Do you want to teach science without a curriculum? To break free from the constraints of a structured program and study whatever you and your kids want?
Yet the same time it’s important to make certain your kids learn the key concepts of science they’ll need for future study. This is why structured curricula are so easy to use: everything your kids will need to know is laid out for you!
But you can have your cake and eat it too. You can teach science without a curriculum and still give your kids an excellent science education.
How to Teach Science Without a Curriculum
The trick is to introduce kids to astronomy, biology, physics, chemistry, and geology in a gentle and somewhat systematic approach through nature study, science spines, science kits, and more.
So let’s go through and discuss how to teach science to your kids without using a curriculum.
Pick a Science Spine
These books give short blurbs about scientific concepts for kids to read as they work through the various disciplines of science such as biology, geology, astronomy, chemistry, and physic.
Reading these books will give your kids a starting point for future studies.
Now you don’t need to go through the books in order, but they’re handy to make certain that you’ve covered the basics of the various scientific disciplines.
Make notes on each page you study or flag each page with a small sticky note. And encourage your kids to branch out from reading about one and only one aspect of science.
Use High-Quality Science Books
The next tip I have is to have your child read excellent science books from the library. An excellent science book will be interesting, engaging, and filled with appropriate scientific facts.
Don’t worry about trying to have your child read thick and long science books. The shorter picture books are actually a better choice. They give the information your child needs to know in short chunks that lay a foundation for future study.
If your child’s interested, then they’ll likely choose to go on and read thick and long science books.
My little girl is fascinated by rabbits. And the books she now reads on rabbits are detailed!
So start with the short picture books to lay a foundation and build interest. If your child is interested in more, go for it. Otherwise, move on to other scientific topics that interest you and your kids.
And don’t forget to check out nature books. Many a young scientist has developed a lifelong interest in science through the study of bugs, birds, or flowers!
Study the Biographies of Scientists
Another fun way to study science is to read biographies of various scientists. There are some well-written books such as Archimedes and the Door to Science which will whet your child’s interest and teach some science.
Read the biography and as you come to each scientific concept being taught, go read about the concept in your science spine.
Your kids will not only come to understand a broad range of science but they’ll be introduced to the men and women behind these discoveries. And learn that they were once children and actual people who walked on the face of the Earth.
After all, science began someplace!
Use Science Kits
I’ve found that science kits are an amazing way to tweak a child’s interest in an area of science. Have a day where you and your kids pull out science kits and make weird things happen.
You can make candy and explain the chemistry behind the cooking – especially that of gummy worms!
Your children can raise butterflies or start an ant farm. Nothing makes a child ask questions like watching caterpillars turn into butterflies or ants crawling around their farm.
Don’t forget to pick up the electricity kit so your kids can learn how electricity works while making lights blink, fans spin, and cars move.
There are also kits on the human body, physics kids, and actual chemistry kits. And if your children are interested in detective work, pick up a forensic kit.
Be careful though. While some kits are relatively safe for kids to mess around with, other kits require adult supervision.
Play Science Games
Did you know that there are science games out there? Some of them are set up like trivia so the kids have to answer scientific questions in order to play the game.
After a while, your children will know random scientific facts just from playing these games.
You can also grab games that teach biology, human anatomy, or physics.
Games are a great way to tweak a child and interest them in science. Remember to look up the facts you run across in your science spine.
Enjoy Nature Study
Ultimately science comes back to nature study and the questions of how come earthquakes happen. How do rabbits make babies? Why does it rain?
Another fun way to study science is to focus on nature study.
Hike around your local area and take pictures as you go. Learn about the rocks and geological formations. Study the weather and set up a weather station in your backyard.
Join in the national bird count every February. Put pictures of local birds at the edges of your windows so kids can figure out what types of birds you have visiting.
Sleep outside under the stars and find the constellations.
Keep a nature journal to record your observations over the years.
And don’t forget to return to your favorite locations several times throughout the year so you can point out to your children the changes that happen as seasons change.
Create a Back Yard Square
A backyard square is a fun way to encourage your kids to learn about science. The idea is simple. You grid out a yard by yard square in your yard and observe what’s there.
And it’s not a one-time event. You keep coming back to look for tracks. Did a deer visit? What about a raccoon? What type of bugs do you see?
What are the plants that are growing? Are there spiders building nests on these plants?
Leave your square up for a year and observe how it changes over the course of the year. Although you might want to place it in an out of the way corner so you can mow the yard during the summer.
The trick to teaching science without a curriculum is to intrigue your kids. Whet their interest with good books, excellent biographies, and fun science experiments. Explore the area around you noting the plants, animals, and rocks you see.
Take your time and enjoy yourself.
When all is said and done, your children will have an excellent background in science for future studies!