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At-Home Science Enrichment


Q. Our daughter is sad that there never seems to be time for hands-on science experiments or activities in school any more. She is going in to sixth grade. What are some ideas for things she can do at home to get some quality science experience outside of school?

Science is so much fun for both parents and kids! Every room of your house contains possible science lessons. You can make just about anything into a science project! But you're right: if you are deliberate about it, you are much more likely to actually do it. So here are some ideas:


         Ask a science teacher for ideas and resources.


         Ask a librarian.


         Ask your district's curriculum director; this is also a good opportunity to share your concern about the lack of quality experiences in the science classroom.


         Search the Internet for "science and homeschooling" or "science projects for kids."


         There are a lot of great "at-home science projects with kids" and "kitchen chemistry" books in the marketplace. Try a bookstore or garage sale.


         Set up your daughter with a "science mentor." Call the local high school and find an honors student. Pay him or her babysitting rates to come to your home once or twice a week for an hour or so, and do fun and simple experiments with your daughter. For example: botany (start plants from seed); physics (build structures); chemistry (baking bread to learn about gases, or making controlled explosions with vinegar and baking soda).


         Check out science-related DVD's from the public library.


         Get your child hooked on the many quality science TV shows instead of brain-draining cartoons and sit-coms.


         Local museums often have a kid-friendly section that teaches about science as well as the arts.


         Treat every vacation as a source of science learning. On a fishing lake, watch pelicans fly and then look up their skeletal structures online to see why they fly the way they do. In a big city, find out how they handle wastewater or garbage. The learning opportunities are endless if you spend most of your time in the greatest science lab of all: the great outdoors!



Homework: A wonderful resource to bookmark and visit often:



By Susan Darst Williams 2011


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