At the homeschooling book fair that I attended back in May I sat in on a session by Dr. Rebecca Keller about how to teach science to children. She believes that the majority of the time we teach science backwards and that we do our kids a disservice when we teach them life science before we teach them the basics: chemistry, biology, etc.
Her ideas really intrigued me and I ended up buying her curriculum for the boys-all 3 boys. It's called "Real Science 4 Kids" and it begins with teaching the basics of chemistry. So far I have really like the text book and the experiments. Each chapter has an experiment and the experiment from chapter one was on observation.
When we and/or scientists observe something and do research on something it is easier to record information about the topic or object if we can look at it closely. The experiment had the boys (Terrance included, but I'm just showing you the work from the little boys) write down all they knew about a cracker and draw a picture.
Then they were asked to actually observe a cracker and write down what they saw, smelled, tasted, discovered, etc. Then we were to look at the results of what we found and decide if we knew more after actually observing a cracker up close. Of course we did! This is James' work and I just love the difference in his picture and what his observations showed when he actually held a cracker.
Here's Remi's work from when we did the same observation time with a pencil. Again, he was able to come up with more quality descriptions when holding an actual pencil.
We're enjoying this curriculum and its experiments. This week we will be working with "molecules" a.k.a. marshmellows to see why it's important that atoms have rules to follow when creating molecules. I'm all about giving kids the information they need up front and then building on that to form an understanding. This is going to be fun!