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Do You Do Science in your Homeschool?


Do you do science in your homeschool  

192 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you do science in the elementary grades? (K - 5)

    • No - there is no intentional science done in our homeschool twice a week
      17
    • Yes - there is intentional science done twice a week
      161
    • I do not homeschool for elementary
      5
    • Other - explain
      9
  2. 2. Do you do science in the middle school grades

    • No - there is no intentional science done in our homeschool twice a week
      3
    • Yes - there is intentional science done twice a week
      126
    • I do not homeschool for middle school
      44
    • Other - explain
      19
  3. 3. Do you do science in the high school grades?

    • No - there is no intentional science done in our homeschool twice a week
      0
    • Yes - there is intentional science done twice a week.
      80
    • I do not homeschool for high school
      85
    • Other - explainl
      27


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For the purposes of this poll, "doing science" can mean allowing and encouraging interest led scientific exploration, nature study, using a text book and/or workbooks, outsourcing science in some way, and a combination of the above.  The one thing I ask for it to be a "yes" answer is that it is intentional in some way and happens twice a week with some regularity.  (Ok - that's two things.)  I went back and forth on the minimum twice a week thing.  If you can make a good case for me changing that, I might do it!  

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I voted "yes" for both elementary and middle school. We haven't got to high school yet, but I expect it will be more than twice a week by then. Currently, DS is involved with the local bird club, is often out in the field birding, and attended an Audubon Camp and a Natural History Conference. He'll be taking an 8 week long, once a week, course on Ecology and Art at the Museum of Bird Art. We're also using RSO's Biology 2 curriculum this year on an average of twice a week and we have science-oriented readings during Morning Time. He also watches a boat load of documentaries on his own time.

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Given the broad definition, I cannot imagine anyone would answer no to the question.  

 

It is intentional that my home is filled with science books that are kid-friendly.  It is intentional that my dh and I share our science hobbies with the kids all the time.  It is intentional that I cover a lesson of BFSU or similar when a learning opportunity presents itself.   So the kids are reading and doing science all the time.  But I do not have a "science" slot twice a week (I do have once a week) but science is being done on an almost daily basis.  

 

 

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The broad definition highlights my bias - that intentional exposure to science is still studying science.  In practice, it gets more refined as my kids get into higher grades because you can relate to the material in different ways by using the scientific method, in proving or disproving different scientific hypotheses and theories and in learning to categorize things in scientific ways.  

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You can easily do science once a week for K-8 for an entire day. E.g. Kid attend free science workshop at park in the weekend morning. Had lunch at the park and did a nature study at the same time. Went home and search internet for materials to read and documentaries to watch relevant to the morning workshop.

Just substitute outside workshop for a hands on in the morning and research time after lunch.

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OK, we've finished homeschooling, but I thought I'd weigh in anyway :)

 

We intentionally did science in every year probably more than 2 days a week in elementary school years.  In junior high and high school years it was probably daily (definitely daily in high school).  My boys did at least one science at our local university as concurrent high school students...I would guess they did something daily for that course as well.  3 science majors (2 graduated and employed in science fields)...one business major (how did that happen???)

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I voted:

 

elementary -- no

 

middle school -- no

 

high school -- yes

 

 

For elementary, we have mostly just had books lying around the house to pique interest.  I have purchased two of Apologia's elementary science books, but dd7 is on a geography kick right now.  We usually do history or science, but not both at the same time.  We mostly work on skill subjects -- language and math -- at this age.

 

For middle school, the preferred answer would be yes, but dd11 -- really does not like science and I have decided not to fight that battle this month while I'm doing PSAT prep with ds15 and starting high school with dd13.  Maybe in October...

 

For high school, yes, the dc do science every day.

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We theoretically do BFSU one day a week, but unfortunately we don't manage to get it done every week.  Then we set aside a week of school to be "Science Week" and we binge on science lessons.  It's not ideal, because I would like more time for my kid to absorb the lessons rather than throwing several at her in rapid succession, but it's what works for us now.  I'm trying to put together a system where we discuss questions from previous lessons over lunch every day, but I'm not there yet.  The kids do get Bill Nye and Magic School Bus from time to time, but nothing intentional.

 

I put "other" for middle school because I have no plans for middle school yet except to let the kid give input on curriculum.  I assume we will do a minimum of two days, but I guess in 6th grade we could be a little more lax still.  (Probably not?)

 

I put "two days" for high school because there is absolutely NO way we will do less in high school.  I actually plan to let my kids take the reins even more in high school, but there will be minimum requirements and once-a-week science won't cut it, period.

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ETA: This is for elementary school. We did science twice a week last year, but I've just simplified our schedule so we do history, science, civics, geography and art once a week each, formally. We do these things one time a week for a longer amount of time rather than twice for a shorter amount of time, as we did before.

 

This is pretty much our schedule as well.  My kids are young and don't handle jumping between subjects well, so we only do one content subject a day for a longer period of time.  However, doing each once a week was a bit too disjointed for my kids - they had a hard time remembering what we read about in history or science "last time" since that was a full week ago.  To promote continuity, we are skipping science for the first semester and spending two days a week on history.  We are on schedule to finish SOTW 1 by Christmas and we will spend the second semester focusing on science twice a week.

 

Wendy

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Yes, we do. As a matter of fact, we are doing it right now. We use Apologia and are studying Flying Things this year. Dd is complaining about having to do the crossword puzzle, so I am sitting here, surfing the Net and helping her. But, yes, we do science and like the Apologia curriculum.

 

I forgot to add... We do it twice a week for my two olders who are still at home. Once a week (maybe) for my first grader and I do Pandia Press's Life Science with her.

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I said no, although I might be doing what you are thinking of as intentional science. 

 

We do what I think of us as intentional science once a week. We do experiements, have a discussion, etc. I've used various resources over the years. We also generally have a focus topic, this year is chemistry. I get lots of books out of the library, we have games, watch videos, documentaries, go on field trips etc all through the year on that topic. I don't necessarily make a point of making sure it's twice a week in the elementary and middle school years although I would bet if we tracked it it's that much. The difference for me is what I schedule vs. what I just make avaiable. I schedule it once a week, resources are available and usually used much more than that. 

 

I don't have high schoolers yet but I expect to have a much more formal and scheduled approach to science at that point. 

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I said yes for elementary, and "other" for the others, just because my kids are in grade 2 and 5.

 

I plan for nature study once a week, and science reading once a week.  We also often will do other reading for fun or watch documentaries, or sometimes do field trips.  It's in many ways casual - if I were less busy I could probably do it unschooling, but I have enough going on that I need to plan.  So - this year we are especially looking at insects and weather, but nature study is often by season. 

 

So - dd10 is collecting weather info daily and will do some projects with it this winter, and she's reading Fabre's book of insects.  Dd 7 is a little more interest led, but we've been reading Outdoor Secrets.

 

Dd10 is doing a program at the natural history museum this year called "nature guardians" which is kind of like an organized nature study event. 

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Ds 11 does some type of science every day, videos, curriculum, books, activities etc. My 8yo has official science 2-3 x a week, living books, nature walks + sketches and movies, dd5yo is not required to do anything but is pretty much there for anything my 8yo does. Informally we do stuff all the time, I try to get us out multiple times a week exploring outside, I strew books, magazines, science activities, we go to museums, talk about stuff all the time. 

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We do 4-5 days a week, always have.  It's a combination of nature studies (walks, microscope work, notebooking), labs, classical science rotation, and free reading/family tv watching.  During the week I have a 5yo, with an occasional 2 & 4yo.  We do Mystery Science on Wednesdays with just the 5yo, continue with a further hands on study on Thurs, incorporate the 2 & 4yos on Fri/Mon, microscope notebook page on Tues, and start again on Weds.

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The two days a week thing is awkward for me - all through elementary, we did science once a week but it was pretty much the only thing we did that day. We also did read alouds and films on other days, but your question implied it had to be scheduled and we don't schedule. Some weeks, we did a ton, others less. But I think it's weird to say we didn't do science. I mean, we were super committed to science, so I chose that anyway. On average, we probably did something for science 3 days a week or more if you count unrelated field trips and nature studies.

 

Now for middle school we're not running that science group anymore and the kids are going more interest led. Right now we're doing lots - every day - but I suspect that we will do very little in the spring.

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K-5 is the wonder of it all kind of stuff.  My husband does more unschooly kind of science at that time in the elementary years K-6 or 5 to 12 ish.

 

7th and up is intentional, systematic, subject integrated science 3 times a week.

 

When she was 15, my middle daughter's college chemistry professor said she was one of the best educated students he'd ever met.  My husband didn't do any science experiments in our homeshool but he's heavy on integrating the history of science, first source materials (writings by Feynman, Einstein, etc.) formal logic, and math (statistics and error analysis.)

 

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I voted yes for elementary and other for the others, because we're not there yet, but I can't imagine NOT doing science at least twice a week for middle and high school.

 

Science is part of a core curriculum in my mind - the question for each year is not "are we going to do this," but "HOW are we going to do this?"

 

DD#1 loves science.  DD#2 always wants to watch the experiments and gets mad if we do one without her. :)  

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The two days a week thing is awkward for me - all through elementary, we did science once a week but it was pretty much the only thing we did that day. We also did read alouds and films on other days, but your question implied it had to be scheduled and we don't schedule. Some weeks, we did a ton, others less. But I think it's weird to say we didn't do science. I mean, we were super committed to science, so I chose that anyway. On average, we probably did something for science 3 days a week or more if you count unrelated field trips and nature studies.

 

Now for middle school we're not running that science group anymore and the kids are going more interest led. Right now we're doing lots - every day - but I suspect that we will do very little in the spring.

This thread is a spin-off of the thread that asks why homeschoolers on this board do history but not science.  The two days a week thing was awkward for me too but I ended up choosing it just because it seemed like public schools do about two days of science (at least on paper) and so that seemed to be a good gauge of how much work would count.  But . . . . like I said, it is awkward.  I don't care if you decide that you cover that amount of science work all in one day and so you count it as a yes.  

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We've always included intentional science in our homeschool; in the very early years it was science book read-alouds, nature study and some basic experiements. As the dc get older, more reading and writing is involved, along with experiments, hands-on learning, and some outsourcing through co-op classes and volunteering in the community (wildlife sanctuary). 

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Sorry, I didn't read your full post and didn't realize that was a minimum of twice a week. I voted other because we did science daily. We started homeschooling in 5th, so I barely make it into that category. I'm not sure if we would have done science less often at younger ages. I never had to make that decision.

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I voted no, no, and other (no high school aged kids yet).

We do science "intentionally" once a week or so, meaning I purposely set aside time to read or do experiments about specific topics. We do it "accidentally" (LOL) nearly every day, through discussion, watching the news and/or documentaries, free-time reading etc. It was the combination of intentionality and 2 times a week that forced me to answer no, although I feel that we more than adequately cover science.

 

ETA:after re-reading the question, and some of the responses, maybe I should have voted yes? I can't really parse out exactly what intentionally means in regards to this question. Sorry if I threw your numbers off!

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ETA:after re-reading the question, and some of the responses, maybe I should have voted yes? I can't really parse out exactly what intentionally means in regards to this question. Sorry if I threw your numbers off!

I know that it isn't a scientific study.   ;)    If you read the other thread about "why history over science", I've been hotly defending this forum's dedication to teaching science.  Then I started to wonder if people really do science like I said that they do - in a variety of ways that are formal and less formal but that still result in the kind of learning that we're trying to espouse.  Thus - this poll.  Because homeschooling even classically allows for a diversity of ways to tackle subjects, I tried to leave things on the broader end of the spectrum.  

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I know that it isn't a scientific study. ;) If you read the other thread about "why history over science", I've been hotly defending this forum's dedication to teaching science. Then I started to wonder if people really do science like I said that they do - in a variety of ways that are formal and less formal but that still result in the kind of learning that we're trying to espouse. Thus - this poll. Because homeschooling even classically allows for a diversity of ways to tackle subjects, I tried to leave things on the broader end of the spectrum.

Something about your original post made me think there was more to the story. I found the history/science thread you were referring to and just finished reading it. In that light, I would change my answers to yes. I absolutely agree that, at least on these boards, there is a strong dedication to good STEM education!

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I ended up voting no, though I suspect we "do science" nearly daily. However, I only intentionally do science as part of our homeschool once per week. My science-oriented daughter mostly adds in the rest herself, with constant reading, videos, independent exploration, and questions.

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I picked "other" for elementary as we devote an entire afternoon to intentional science studies one day a week. That one afternoon is anywhere from 2-5 hours of science depending on the topic, rabbit holes, length of experiments etc and is easily more that 2 school lessons however only happens once a week.

 

For middle school and highschool there is much more science instruction, way more than twice a week and more like 4 times a week or daily.

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"Yes," seemed correct answer for through middle school. Generally more than 2 days per week, or if only 2 days, one would be very long spent on science.  Certainly more than 2 hours per week.

 

 

 "Other," for high school because not there yet; I expect to be homeschooling still at that point, but may have science done at CC or some such other approach--4 years of science will be required in high school whether at home or elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

 

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I voted yes elementary, yes middle, we dont teach high school as I dont yet have a high school student.

 

We do science reading and or lab 3-4 days a week with elementary students. My middle school student does science 5 days a week. I have very STEM oriented kids with a STEM father. I am not STEM in any stretch of the measure LOL! So it is hard for me to balance my love for history with their love for science and math. We do a lot of all 3.

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We do intentional science, but on a long cycle; we do history for 2 weeks, science for 2 weeks, then art appreciation for a week, repeat.

 

I maybe should have just answered yes, twice a week, but it felt dishonest. Keeping up with history AND science AND art on a weekly basis felt overwhelming (and unnecessary) for me right now. Plus having the focused time for big projects has been amazing.

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Given the broad definition, I cannot imagine anyone would answer no to the question.  

 

It is intentional that my home is filled with science books that are kid-friendly.  [snip]

 

So the kids are reading and doing science all the time.  But I do not have a "science" slot twice a week (I do have once a week) but science is being done on an almost daily basis.

 

:iagree: Similar here, except I don't have science-related hobbies. My husband is in the medical/technical world, though, and he likes to talk about interesting things, such as bowel disimpactions, arteriovenous malformations, brain surgeries, and cervoventilators (he doesn't do those, but he's in the OR, training others on complex machines). He also talks about car engines, lasers, computers, black holes, lunar eclipses, battery acid, solar panels, light bulbs, and soap. It's all technical, though -- no nature study from him! When we went on our honeymoon, years ago, he pointed to a field and said, "Look, Honey, isn't that beautiful corn?" It was field of soybeans. Nature, weather, geology, ocean tides, biomes, zoology, caring for animals, gardening, canning, cooking, baking -- that is all my department. Hubby discusses cell structures, anatomy & physiology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, technology. I suppose we are complimentary. :)

 

We aim at "doing Science" twice each school week, but we might end up with more like one long and interesting Science session. However, the girls are assigned to read in Science throughout the week, so they "do Science" at least twice, even if we only have one group session. We are out in nature a lot, attend regular nature study classes (Parks Department), and we have good resources in our "Science Center." So all of that, plus the inevitable discussions and extra science-related things (field trips, videos, exhibits, library events), adds up to enough at this level.

 

I can't imagine not "doing Science." That would leave out so much general knowledge, so much observation of things, how would a child even understand the world?

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