Thursday, June 7, 2007

Why teach science to younger kids?

Why do we need to “do” science with preschool and early elementary children? Shouldn’t the focus be on the four R’s: Reading, Writing, ‘Rithmetic, and Religion? Yes, it should—all the more reason science should be less formal and more about great reading and fun activities that expose kids to science concepts. Charlotte Mason homeschoolers begin a rigorous reading schedule, as well as nature studies and journaling, at age 6. Why exclude short pieces of science literature, or fun activity books, dealing with other aspects of the world around us?

Early science education has many benefits:

- It fosters a love for God's world, and an eagerness to learn more about it
- Growing up with science makes it less intimidating
- Learning basic concepts early makes formal science learning easier later

I encourage you to look at the books tagged ”Preschool” and “Beginner” at the LibraryThing site and borrow them from your local library. Some are literature and others are activity books. Simply reading these books and performing some of the experiments, in no particular order other than what appeals to you and your children, is the perfect way to learn early science. Of course, you can also take a more planned approach or use a literature-based curriculum like Noeo Science, too.

Interestingly enough, as you use this approach with young children, you will become more comfortable using it with older children such that you will find less dependence on those expensive, boring textbooks. Who reads textbooks once you finish school, anyway? At Home Science is the foundation for life-long learning.

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