I haven’t made any curriculum choices yet for our upcoming years, but I love to stop by thrift stores and browse their books and toys sections. We’ve run across some great “homeschooling resources” this way for very little money! I picked up this book about a year ago for a couple dollars. I think a good target age group would be 3-5 year olds. It’s set up for independent learning stations in schools, but works great for homeschooling.
I followed their instructions to make folders out of the individual units and we’ve pulled them out occasionally to work on a random topic. They’re all realllly basic, but lead to great conversations.
I’m hoping to create a more accessible “science area” where all our books are easy to see and reach. The boys love browsing our bookshelves and pulling out books (i’ll do another post about this, but we have a ton of random non-fiction type books) and I enjoy seeing them find interest in new topics at their own initiative.
Here’s one example of N working on one of the folders. As he grouped things in the categories (solid or liquid), I realized he had somehow got stuck on the thought that solids were things you eat and liquids weren’t. The packet provided the example of water being a liquid and ice being a solid, so I guess he extrapolated his own theory from that. He got really frustrated when he had organized both charts according to this theory and the pieces didn’t all fit.
I’m discovering “homeschool principles” as I go, and ran across another one through this experience: it’s good to let him choose what he wants to work on and give him freedom to make choices about how he interacts with a given project, but it’s also important to stay close and talk to him while he’s working. If I had been completely hands off, I wouldn’t have caught this misconception, or he might have just given up in frustration and might not be happy to talk about this topic in the future.
My husband and I tried to provide lots of different examples of things that were solid and liquid to help him create a framework that made sense to him, since the singular example and simple definitions were leaving too many loopholes for different interpretation here. We also introduced the idea of edible vs. inedible, since that ended up being a relevant concept. And of course, the daddy-bear tried to extend the conversation to work in an explanation of gases and well as solids and liquids ;).
N doesn’t always want to do the worksheets that come with these packets, but this time he was willing to do this one, so he got some great scissors practice and a few more clarifications of the difference between solids and liquids. Scissor-use is a tenuous activity around here, since our littler users usually want to experiment to find out WHY you shouldn’t run with scissors or cut your nose with them. 0_o. It’s all part of the learning process, i suppose …