The Homeschool Minute ~ Teaching Science

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Teaching Science
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Gena Suarez

Hey Mama,

Some of the best science learning can take place in the kitchen. Our kitchens are already set up for measuring, mixing, and messes. It’s the perfect place to set up some of those messy experiments. And if it’s going to be a super messy experiment, take it outside!

Here are some articles from the magazine to help you teach science:

And remember . . .

You are the best teacher for your kids. Did you know that? Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not qualified. If you lack, then challenge yourself to either gain in the areas needed or barter with a friend. You teach a cooking class and have your friend teach your child grammar. Whatever works; be resourceful. You can do it.

If you are tempted to put them back in school, stop and pray. Ask the Lord if His will for the children He loaned you is to have them placed in an institution which inherently hates Him. A system which is first devoted to the state, secondly devoted to the system itself which funds it, and lastly devoted to the family. God isn’t even on the scale … except to remove His presence. How bold. How brazen.

He gave you these children to train up in His ways. Character first. Knowledge of Him and His word first. Academics second because those are EASY to acquire anyway. Read John Taylor Gatto and Dr. Raymond Moore. Download some of their books onto your Kindle tonight and start reading. You will be inspired that you are the best teacher there is.

But you already are inspired. You have the word of God. He has shown you what they should be thinking about … what is good … what is pure and true. Not what is against Him.

Pray about it tonight. Call a friend or relative and ask them to pray as well. Lord, make it abundantly clear to Your people. Give them a peek into Your plans, Your heart, Your great love for them and their children. Make it plain, and then help them to stand firm, neither wavering to the left or right. Standing firm on the path to do what YOU have called them to do. In that confidence they can walk. And You will bless their obedience; it’s all over Your word. Amen.

~ gena


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Relational Homeschooling    

Diana Waring

Dear Friends,

When it came to teaching science to my kids, I really wanted to do it right. That’s what compelled me to ask every scientist I met at homeschool conventions this question:

“How do I teach science to my grade school kids when I don’t know anything about it??!!”

To my surprise, each scientist basically gave me the same answer:

  • Let them play in the dirt.
  • Let them experiment.
  • Let them explore nature.

There was nothing about formal study in their responses, because (as they explained to me) the best foundation for becoming a scientist is a sense of wonder and curiosity about the natural world. As kids explore and discover, as they experiment and observe, as they ask questions and look for answers, they will be prepared to do the formal study of science in later years.

What I learned from these Ph.D. scientists is similar to what experts have learned about babies learning to walk–which is that the most crucial preliminary step to walking is to crawl. So, armed with this knowledge and  to create a love for science, we began to experiment. We made volcanoes (baking soda and vinegar), we played with dry ice (goodness, did you know that quarters can sing??), we went exploring in the woods, we visited wild animals in the zoo, we saw ocean storms hit the coastline … and we thoroughly enjoyed it all!

If you want YOUR elementary kids to love science, my advice is to let them play in the dirt, let them experiment, let them explore nature–bugs and all! (For some fantastic experiments that will delight and amaze your kids, I highly recommend Dr. Jay Wile’s new elementary science books.)

If, on the other hand, you have high school students, then by all means, get a formal biology, chemistry, and/or physics curriculum.  Our family’s hands-down favorites were the books written by Dr. Jay Wile on these subjects because he made them understandable and interesting for students. What I personally loved about these books was that Dr. Wile assumed there was no science teacher in the home, so he included all of the lecture material he would have given in a classroom setting in his textbooks.  Frankly, my kids thrived in science–without my help!!

Remember, stay relational!


P.S. Could you use some encouragement in your homeschooling journey? To celebrate Mothers Month, for the last two weeks of May we are offering the downloadable Encouragement for Homeschool Moms Collection
for the discounted price of $20!

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The Familyman 

This is going to be quick. As I write this, we’re about an hour away from hitting the road in the Familyman Mobile. We’ll be at the state homeschool convention in Florida (FPEA) this weekend. First person to come to my booth with a genuine, Florida “souvenir” gets a free
Official Book of Homeschool Cartoons of their choice.

While there, we’ll hook up with Davis and Rachel Carmen. They own and operate Apologia: a full line of science books and resources. Not only are the Carmen’s great people with a heart for God and homeschoolers, but they’ve published a great science curriculum.

We use it by having the kids read the books. They don’t have to answer questions or take tests on what they learned, they just read it. And guess what, they learn a lot in doing so.

Sometimes I think we kill our kids’ desire to learn by testing them on everything. I was a master at testing and knew how to do well on tests without learning much of anything (it was a gift).

My kids, on the other hand … learn stuff. They read and are interested and the stuff they like sticks in their heads, and the stuff they don’t care about slips through. And that’s okay, because I know that only one or two of my kids really have a scientific bent. I have science kids, art kids, math kids, history kids, relational kids, and hammer and nail kids. That’s because God makes all of our kids different, but each one is a masterpiece.

That’s why we have our kids read science books. We’re not expecting all of them to be scientists, but we don’t want any of them to be ignorant. So they all need science exposure and the chance to study God’s amazing creation.

If you need a good science resource, check out Apologia and tell them Todd sent you.

Be real,


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Contest Corner 
For the month of May 2015

 Jim Hodges Productions Audio CD, In Freedom’s Cause

In Freedom's Cause
Many homeschool families have enjoyed the G. A. Henty educational classics. Jim Hodges Productions provides unabridged recordings as audio books for our generation.

Recently members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew were privileged to receive MP3 CDs of some of these G. A. Henty classics. Most also included an accompanying study guide in PDF format. If you are not familiar with this author, you may be interested in Jim Hodge’s free audio recording:  How Henty Helps with History, Geography, Language, and Character.

Because these recordings follow the unabridged versions of the books, children can follow along with the books while listening to the audio version. Jim Hodges shared that one of the reasons he chose to record Henty’s stories was because they portrayed such accurate history. They are filled with action, adventure, and excellent role models.

“His use of the English language is quite advanced and his vocabulary is vast. So much so that some paragraphs I’ve read turned out to be one sentence, and it seems every page has at least 5 to 10 upper level vocabulary words. I am pretty well read, and have encountered words used by Henty that I’ve never heard before and had to look up myself.”

Stories range from elementary through high school (and beyond.) You can reference the scope and sequence shared on their website for specific levels recommended for each story. Most are not recommended for children under eight years old.

“My sincerest prayer is that all young men who read or listen to Henty historical novels will desire to become Mighty Men of Valor.”

~ Jim Hodges

(Click here to read more to read the reviews of the Crew families for the many titles available!)

YOU can WIN In Freedom’s Cause MP3 Audio CD!

TO ENTER: Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, “In Freedom’s Cause” for a chance to win* it for your family!

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