Tips for Planning Your Year in Science

  1. Choose two or three topics you would like to investigate.  You can use broad topics or activities you have always wanted to try.  You can let your child choose the topics.  You can let the test book choose for you.  Two or three is enough as you will want the freedom to let your child go further into a topic if it interests him or her.   If you have more than one child, it is easier if you study the same topic together, only on different levels.
  2. Choose the text or reference material you would like to use.  You may decide on a textbook.   Two points to remember about a textbook are:  early science texts are more readers than science references and later texts can get very boring if you use them as the sole guide for the class.  Choose a book for its information, its readability (by you not your student), and its pictures.  The younger children will learn a lot of science if it is read to them and if they can see the pictures as you explain them.
  3. Look through your science experiment books for ideas for hands-on fun.  Sometimes the book you have choosen for a reference has experiments in it.  Sometimes it is fun to use those cute little experiment books for ideas.  Choose experiments to go with  your topics.   Don’t worry about doing every experiment in the book, or every one on a topic.  Just plan for about one a week.  You don’t have to do them on that schedule though and you can add more as your children think them up.  Playing with science is important.
  4. Decide what you want for a product.  Do you want to grade something?  A test?  A paper?  A notebook?  Something aloud?  Or no grade at all?  Please try to keep a notebook.  In the notebook you can have sections for new terms, notes, maps, photos, experiment write-ups, reports, news clippings, speech notes, tests, and activity pages.  This way your child will have something concrete to remember all about his year in science.
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