Our Favorite Homeschool Science Resources

I’ve said before that science was one of those subjects that I really didn’t like…until I began learning it with my children as we homeschooled. When I was in school, science was boring. I wasn’t sure why in the world I would ever need to know some of the things we learned.

And then there was the Creation versus Evolution debate. I went to a Christian school that used a Christian-based science curriculum. We were taught- “Evolution is wrong and Creation is right. And that’s that.” And, although I certainly believed this, I wanted to know more. It seemed that “real science” was the domain of the evolutionists. And Creationists just had to believe by faith despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

The only really good part of science was when we did experiments. And those times seemed few and far between. I do remember dissecting a frog. My group decided to skin ours, and I remember someone waving around this poor skinless frog.

Homeschool science resources

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With those memories of science as I had learned it, I knew that I wanted to do something different with my children in our homeschool. I wanted science to be fun. I wanted to know and understand why we believed in a Creator. And I wanted the science that we learned to make sense. With these as my “requirements,” I’ve found some great science resources over the years. Here are some of our favorite homeschool science resources.

Charlotte Mason and Nature Study

Early in our homeschooling, when I came across Charlotte Mason and her principles of education, I came to learn about nature study. Charlotte Mason thought children needed to learn about the world around them- not abstract science concepts- when they were young. In her ideas about nature study, children explore the world around them, use a journal to draw things they see, and read great books that help to explain the things they saw. Using these methods, children don’t learn science from a textbook. Instead they’re learning by observation.

Nature StudyThe Handbook of Nature Study is a thick volume that is a great reference as you explore the world and want to delve into different studies more deeply. As children come across things that interest them in their nature studies, you can use this book to look them up and learn more. I was never very good at coming up with great nature study ideas, so I often used this site- The Outdoor Hour Challenge- to help me get more creative with how we could go about this

Parables From Nature was suggested to me as a living book that would give us opportunity to talk about things we see in nature. It’s a collection of stories featuring things from the natural world around us.

Textbooks and Workbooks

There have been a few textbooks and workbooks that we’ve used and actually enjoyed as we studied science. These are more traditional textbooks, but they are written in a way that makes reading enjoyable and that facilitates discussion. They are also resources that have had plenty of activities so that we have had hands-on experiences.

Christian Kids Explore ScienceApologia– I cannot say enough about the Apologia science books. We’ve loved them from the time that the kids were little and we used the Exploring Creation books– zoology, chemistry, botany, astronomy. I love that they don’t read like a textbook but more like a great living book. I also love the notebooks that they provide for more hands-on activities, including lapbooking. Kathryne has loved the high school level books, and it’s Apologia that has given her a true love of science and a desire to be a scientist. I love that the books are written from a distinctly Christian worldview and teach kids that real science backs up the claims of Creation.

Answers in Genesis has so many science resources we’ve used- books, DVDs, workbooks. My favorite is the God’s Design Series. Although the series could be used as a complete science curriculum for K-8, we’ve used it more as a supplement to the other things we’re reading and using.

Christian Kids Explore series from Bright Ideas Press– I’ve gushed many times about this science curriculum that saved my sanity. Although I love the heavy reading from Apologia, it’s not a good fit for some of my children. The Christian Kids Explore series is an awesome balance. There’s less reading but still good coverage of the topics. There are hands-on activities. And it’s a distinctly Christian worldview curriculum that makes sure to give kids lots of reasons that science supports Creation.

Other Books

When I was first intending to use Charlotte Mason’s principles in our homeschool, I was a little confused about living books and science. I wasn’t sure how, exactly to tie those in together, because all I knew about learning science at the time was that it had to come from a dry, dusty textbook. But as I researched, I found that there are some great living books that don’t “teach” science in the sense of a textbook, but that certainly introduce kids to scientific knowledge and principles. One that we came across in our My Father’s World curriculum was Galen and the Gateway to Medicine by Jeanne Bendick. When we read this historical fiction book about Galen, a scientist in ancient Rome, I realized that we could learn science from living books- especially from biographies of scientists.

Hands-on Science
Simply Charlotte Mason- one of my favorite all time resources- has an awesome list of living books that teach science.

Janice VanCleave books– If you are looking for awesome, fun, hands-on science, I can’t forget to tell you about the Janice VanCleave books. She has books for many science topics as well as seasonal books and books about science fairs particularly. All of her books are filled with hands-on science activities as well as brief explanations that give the “why” behind what we see when we do the experiment.

I’m thankful that homeschooling has given me a love of science. I’ve learned so much sharing science with my children, and I look forward to continuing to learn more about science for years to come.

Do you have favorite science resources? Let me know.

More posts about teaching science:

Volume experiments
Hands-on science curriculum

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