Science is one of the most fun, yet also most challenging, subjects to teach in our homeschools. Fortunately, there’s a myriad of products available to parents all designed to get the most out of our curriculum with hands-on learning opportunities.
Here are six basic learning tools for any aspiring scientist to have on hand when learning about the wonders of our world:
QUALITY MICROSCOPE: If your student is truly fascinated by science, they’d really benefit from having a quality microscope. Critical to any science curriculum, this tool will help them examine microorganisms, crystalline structures, the tiny parts of cells, animals, or plants and perhaps even something found growing in the fridge!
CHEMISTRY SET: A comprehensive chemistry set lets your student experience this fun science subject in action. No amount of textbook reading replaces the benefits of hands-on experiments! You can customize a chemistry set for your student’s age and skill level with older students working with complex chemical reactions while younger teens make slime and goo.
ROCKS, MINERALS, AND CRYSTALS: Explore the sparkling world of geology with a collection of rock specimens. A day trip to a nearby creek, river or lake could be a great time to start an unusual collection. The teens considering a career as a geologist, or any of the branches of that field, would enjoy field trips to a gem and mineral show or a museum exhibit of gems. Our Museum of Fine Arts here in Houston has a great permanent exhibit and perhaps your local museum does, too.
DISSECTION SUPPLIES: A dissection kit can help to make even the most complicated and messy dissection lesson a breeze. These kits come available with general tools or specific pieces designed for advanced dissecting. Personally, I can’t imagine the joy of this, but I’ve seen teens get super excited at the idea of discovering what’s on the INSIDE of a frog. Once you’ve given your teen the tools and instructions, the only thing left to do is dig in!
HUMAN SKELETON MODEL: Although not as exciting as some of the more hands-on learning tools, a human skeleton model provides invaluable visuals and demonstrations. Be sure to purchase a model with an accompanying study guide so that students can get the most out of the visual, especially if your teen is medically inclined career-wise. (My daughter has a preceptor in FNP school who uses her skeleton as a “mannequin” wearing a lab coat. She pins on it every name tag and lanyard she receives as she speaks and teaches around the country. It certainly makes for an interesting addition to her office, and it’s a fun idea your teen might want to remember as they’re planning for nursing or medical school!)
TELESCOPE: A good telescope opens up a world of wonder and awe to aspiring astronomy students. We should encourage our kids to think beyond our planet and praise God for His wondrous works! The “Night Sky” app is an incredible resource to learn more about what’s visible in your sky at night – it uses GPS to show you the sky YOU see and label it for you!
Whether your teen loves all things science related or not, there’s surely a niche that would intrigue them. It’s up to you to find out what area that is and lead them into it!
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