What Is the Meaning of a Feather?

This morning, I took my dog on our daily one-mile loop around the neighborhood. We usually go right before sunrise, when the day isn’t too hot yet, and the air isn’t quite as heavy with humidity. On these walks, I keep an eye out for treasures like new flowers in bloom or a bird I’ve never seen before. Today, I found a feather.

This feather is black, and it’s the largest one I’ve ever found. Of course I brought it home and added it to my collection. Then I started thinking about all of the things we can learn from … Read more

Watersheds and Your Connection to the Ocean

watersheds and ocean scienceNo matter where you live, you are connected to the ocean. Some of the rain that falls in your neighborhood makes its way through streams and rivers until it discharges into the ocean. Much of the oxygen you breathe is in the air because of small photosynthetic organisms in the ocean. Whether you live in a coastal community or a landlocked region, ocean science is relevant to your children. Here are some ideas for how to include it in your homeschool curriculum.

Watersheds

Watersheds are the concave basins of land that surround a body of water. Often, they’re named after … Read more

Kindergarten Science Curriculum Homeschool

Kindergarten Science Curriculum HomeschoolWhen you’re looking for kindergarten science curriculum for homeschool, you should make sure that it contains the right ingredients to give your child a successful learning experience.

Accounts for Short Attention Spans

Children tend to have short attention spans, so it’s important to use activities that can be broken into shorter segments. Then children can work for as long as their attention spans allow them to.

One way to help children have longer attention spans is to teach them in nature. As Last Child in the Woods author, Richard Louv, points out, being in nature can also help children with … Read more

Free Online Homeschool Curriculum

I want to give you a free sample of Environmental Issues for Kids’ online homeschool curriculum. This curriculum uses video lessons to teach your child about science, and it’s for children in kindergarten through fourth grade.

The free online homeschool video I want to give you is the first step in the Backyard Buddies lesson. This lesson is part of a 9-week series about animals. In this series, I will guide your child through all of the steps of a scientific investigation so they can learn about animals that live in your community.

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Science for Kindergarten Homeschool

In kindergarten, the world around kids is still new. Kindergarteners continue the curiosity, exploration, and discovery that they began in infancy and carried through pre-K. They are using skills such as making observations and developing conclusions.

Science Builds Skills

At this point in their education, it’s a good idea to direct these skills into an academic route. For example, they’ll continue to use observation skills, but now they’ll use their observations to make recordings and collect data. Similarly, they’ll develop conclusions, but these will be based on evidence from many sources instead of only what they see. By using these … Read more

Turkey Fun

turkey funAs Thanksgiving approaches, connect the holiday to science by helping your kids learn about turkeys. Here are some activities that will give your children knowledge to wow the guests at Thanksgiving dinner!

Kindergarten

Education standard: Recognize that some books and other media portray animals and plants with characteristics and behaviors they do not have in real life.

Explore a variety of media about turkeys (fiction and nonfiction books, cartoons, documentaries). If possible, observe wild and/or domesticated turkeys. Talk about what turkeys look like and how they act in each source where you find information. Identify the turkeys and their behavior … Read more

Elementary Anatomy and Physiology – Making Tables

elementary anatomy and physiologyAnatomy refers to the structure of organisms, while physiology refers to the function of organisms. One hands-on way of studying anatomy and physiology is through dissections, and virtual dissections on the computer will work as well.

When your child learns the structure and function of organisms, making tables is a useful way to organize this information. Scientists often make tables so the data they collected can be easily seen and understood. Knowing how to make tables is a skill that will benefit your child in many subject areas.

Below you can find examples of tables that your child can make … Read more

Teaching Children About Autumn

Teaching Children About AutumnGoing out in nature and teaching children about autumn is possible as long as you have a slight seasonal change in your area. Even where I live in the South, small changes can be observed as the seasons change. Here are some ideas for activities your child can do.

Kindergarten
Education standard*: Observe plants and animals; describe how they are alike and how they are different in the way they look and in the things they do.

Activity: Spend time outside observing plants and animals as they get ready for winter. If possible, view birds migrating south, squirrels gathering and … Read more

Benefits of Playing and Learning in a Natural Environment

Benefits

Nature-deficit disorder is the human cost of alienation from nature, according to author Richard Louv, who wrote Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Some of these costs are the diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, and emotional illnesses. In contrast, some of the benefits he describes for children who play and learn in nature include

  • increased creativity
  • greater attention span for those with ADHD
  • greater physical and emotional health.

Nature in Your Own Backyard

When I was a kid, I went outside almost every day. My parents didn’t take me to nature parks, … Read more

Book Review: The Kids’ Nature Book by Susan Milord

If you’re looking for nature activities to do with your kids, I highly recommend The Kids’ Nature Book: 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities & Experiences by Susan Milord. I found this book at the library, and after looking through it, I had to get the book for myself.

Layout

The activities begin on January 1st.  Each week has a theme, and every day has an activity to go along with that theme. This week’s theme is rocks, and the activities include two field trips, two science labs, two art projects, and a rock collection. Other themes list poems and stories to … Read more