Ideas for Teaching Science Lessons without a Kindergarten Curriculum
Help kindergartners learn to love science. Activities for teaching kindergarten science can be used to homeschool indoors and outdoors, in every season.
Teaching kindergarten science, for some homeschoolers, doesn’t look extremely complicated. Thumbing through a kindergarten curriculum, a peek at the science lessons indicate that kids are supposed to learn to identify weather patterns, understand that plants need sunshine, that animals need food, and that animals and plants have families, similar to humans, and a variety of other simple concepts that many children intuitively understand. It’s definitely not rocket science.
Kindergarten Curriculum Science Lessons
In a kindergarten curriculum, however, the science lessons often take a counter-effective approach, involving picture books, coloring pages, worksheets, singing songs, art projects, and rhyming games that, while they may be fun, are lacking in experiential learning activities that make a lesson memorable. For homeschoolers, using activities to teach kindergarten science allows children the opportunity to explore and discover the world of science while honoring their curiosity and ability to figure things out on their own.
Ideas for Teaching Science
Nature journals, chemistry sets, outdoor play, gardening, hiking, birdwatching, fishing, swimming, water play, snow play, caring for animals, visiting a desert, a rainforest, or a swamp, melting ice, 4H club, cooking, blowing bubbles, eating honey with a honeycomb, baking cookies, sledding, watching the repairman, riding on an escalator, washing the car, camping, field trips to the zoo, the aquarium, the farm, donating blood, visits to the emergency room or the dentist are all opportunities to see science in action. Some of these activities allow kindergarteners to explore the world of science in a hands-on manner, while others give kids the opportunity to see science in action, or in the workplace.
Teaching Kindergarten Science with Activities
There are a few ways to approach an activity-based kindergarten experience. A school-at-home family may choose to start with the kindergarten science curriculum, to be sure that the child is exposed to the same information as kids in the classroom, only with the added benefit of activities to ensure that kids are learning. On the other end of the spectrum, an unschooling family may simply marvel at the natural love with which children explore their world, knowing that no textbook can possibly quantify all that a child learns while experiencing real life.
Start with a Kindergarten Curriculum
Homeschoolers can either make a list of objectives, perhaps based upon an official kindergarten science curriculum, and plan experiences that allow kids the opportunity to explore. Or, they can flip through the curriculum as their child takes an interest in the scientific world, and ensure that they learn the vocabulary words that coincide with their explorations.
Start with the Kindergartener
Another way would be to make notes of the scientific experiences kids are having each day and make a point to discuss the scientific principles with children. For example, when a child notices that the grass growing under the rock is yellow instead of green, a science-savvy parent can simply explain photosynthesis by saying “The plant needs sunshine in order to make chlorophyll.” For some children, this will be far more effective than coloring rays of sunshine on a science worksheet.
Immersing a child in the natural world, recognizing the science that’s all around, and making the most of a child’s natural experiences can create memorable science lessons for homeschooled kindergarteners. Science activities allow kids the opportunity to make impromptu nonverbal experiments and to discover the world of science on their own terms. Learning the vocabulary of science is possible via conversation, and worksheets aren’t always necessary.