When my daughter was in the early elementary years, we focused on the three R’s for our homeschooling. Then in the summers, we usually added in some science studies. So when I was looking for a resource for our summer science activities one year, I wanted something fun and hands-on. And I found both of these qualities in ScienceWorks-ENERGY, by Evan-Moor.
ScienceWorks-ENERGY consists of 15 chapters, each covering a different concept, such as:
1. Energy can move and change things.
2. Light moves in a straight line.
3. Heat is energy that you can feel.
and 13 more….
Each concept is written in child-friendly language. This made the concepts easy to explain to my daughter. All of the lessons were laid out in a step-by-step fashion. We began our studies of ENERGY by making a Minibook.
Other activities in ScienceWorks-ENERGY included simple experiments, picture cards to follow, and simple resources, such as record sheets, logbook forms, and task cards.
SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY SKILLS
By doing the hands-on activities in ScienceWorks-ENERGY, my daughter began to think like a scientist! More specifically, she learned to:
1. Make observations and record data.
2. Make predictions, ie, write a hypothesis
3. Analyze the results, and think about the “Why’s”
EXPERIMENTS AND ACTIVITIES
Our favorite activity, all summer, was to make a homemade thermometer. It was simple to do by following the instructions as listed above. After making it, my daughter took temperatures of different liquids.
Other activities/experiments included:
1. Going on a Light Walk.
2. Making light prints.
3. Making a super viewer out of an oatmeal container.
4. Making a shadow center, and many more.
A TOMATO EXPERIMENT
My daughter loved recording her data for each experiment – just like a real scientist – on her investigation form. One of my daughter’s favorite places to practice her new science skills was in the garden. Together, we planted two different kinds of tomatoes. Then we made predictions….”Which one would grow taller?” My daughter took careful measurements, and recorded her data on her investigations form. Then we discussed the results, and wondered together why the cherry tomatoes grew faster.
Through simple activities such as these, my daughter learned the basis for scientific inquiry! And she developed a love for the subject, which has helped her in later years as she begins her high school science studies. The early elementary years are the best time to lay a foundation for a love of learning and a desire to explore science!
Where to find it?
If you are looking for a helpful resource for the young scientists in your home, my family recommends ScienceWorks for Kids-ENERGY which is also available in ebook form. For more information on this and other books in the series, please visit www.evan-moor.com
Betsy is mom to her now college senior, whom she homeschooled from day one. She blogs at BJ’s Homeschool, about the early years, high school & college and wrote the book – Homeschooling High School with College in Mind. She offers FREE homeschool help through messages at BJ’s Consulting.
We also focus more on the ” 3 R’s” for most of the year. It isn’t that we do not enjoy Science & History. Actually, it is very much the opposite, in our home. What I mean is that we enjoy watching educational shows on TV. We are BIG Animal Planet History channel, etc. watching family 😉
However, during the Summer, we do more hands on things and recently added a neat Online Science program ( http://www.science4us.com/ ) to help reinforce the learning.
Great Blog Post , enjoyed it 🙂