I am embarrassed to admit that it’s been hard for me to make science lessons a regular part of our homeschool. I have a molecular biology degree, for goodness sakes! Science is my thing!
The 2021-2022 school year was the year I finally got science lessons figured out. We used a combination of both living literature and hands-on lessons and experiments. Here are the resources that finally helped us make science lessons happen.
We had been using the scheduled AmblesideOnline science literature books (Burgess Bird Book, Burgess Animal Book, etc.), but I felt like my children weren’t really getting enough out of them. I was too frazzled to find my own extras to help the lessons really sink in. This year (2021-2022) we’ve been using the Simple Studies lesson outlines to supplement our living books. It’s been working! The following science Simple Studies are available:
- Burgess Birds
- Seashore Animals
- Earth & Sky
- Farmyard Animals
- Meadow Creatures
- Night Creatures
- North American Animals
I will review each of these as I use them, but we have gotten started with the Night Creatures Simple Study and I really like it. Check out my in-depth reviews (they will be linked above) once they are written. The lesson plans include a reading schedule for the main literature book the study uses, coloring pages, additional picture book recommendations, and other recommendations for field guides and sections from the Handbook of Nature Study. If you aren’t familiar with the Charlotte Mason method of science instruction, this might not sound as amazing as it is. 🙂 Please reach out! I’d be happy to explain it all to you.
BFSU (Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding)
This book is amazing. It’s also completely overwhelming. After two years of limping along with this book, I finally figured out a groove that works for us. My child is so glad, because he loves science. His enthusiasm really spurred me on to get this figured out. So did an online Zoom group class that met during 2021. Those moms and children were so dedicated and consistent. I owe them!
This book says it’s for K-2nd grade, but if a child understands everything in this book, they would know more than most high school students. This book is that thorough! That’s also why it is overwhelming. We began to have success once I began to regard the book as a reference rather than a curriculum.
This book includes a confusing flowchart of which lessons are prerequisites for other lessons. Fortunately, there are people who have already figured out a really nice order to do the lessons in. There is a helpful BFSU Facebook Group that has lots of files (including a recommended schedule). There is also an abridged version of the book that has a great schedule (I follow this schedule though I don’t have this additional book) and it also includes more straightforward lesson plans.
Once you know which order you will teach the lessons in, you can check out the videos/lessons available on Mystery Science or Generation Genius. I turn to these on the days when I feel like I “just can’t” with a science lesson that day. Both of these services are subscription services, but I’ve been able to get free access either through the site itself or through My Tech High (our state-funded learning partner).
These lessons don’t have to be perfect. They don’t even have to be great. My children love science, and that’s a great motivation for me to press through even when I don’t want to do yet another “messy” experiment (they really aren’t that bad, and if I’m really having a rough time, there are videos of all the experiments on YouTube or one of the services I mentioned earlier).