How many of you dread that day on the schedule that tells you get to do a science experiment?
You are not alone. Experiments can be messy and complicated. And let’s face it: more than one of us has failed to blow up a balloon by fermenting yeast! Many homeschooling parents consider experiments to be one of the toughest part of homeschooling. But I am here to share with you that it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are my top three tips and action steps for succeeding with experiments in your homeschool!
Have you ever had one of those days when you open up the teacher guide and realize that you need 20 toothpicks for the day’s experiment and you have none? Yeah. Me too.
Seriously, this first tip comes from personal experience! I usually maintain a fairly well-stocked science supply cabinet, but I’m embarrassed to admit that more than once, I have had to skip an experiment in our homeschool because I lacked the supplies.
If you want to succeed with experiments, you first need to have the supplies to do the experiment.
Action Step #1: Gather all the materials you will need.
You can grab your supplies at regular intervals. This can be:
- At the beginning of each week
- Every six weeks
- Twice a school year
- Or before the year even begins
You can even build your own experiment kits.
If you do keep a science supply cabinet, be sure to check it a couple of days before you are scheduled to do the experiment, as you may find that some little hands have raided your cabinet!
Tip #2: Follow with the experiment directions.
This seems like an easy thing to do, but if you follow experiment directions like I follow a recipe, you could be headed for disaster.
In the kitchen, a little more or a little less of a certain ingredient can create a culinary disaster. Trust me, I’ve tested this one out…several times.
The same can be said for an experiment. The directions have usually been tested many times to ensure your success. It’s worth taking the time to follow them.
Action Step #2: Read through the experiment beforehand.
Reading through the directions ahead of time can ensure that you won’t miss a step along the way. It’s also a good idea to read the expected results and explanation so that you have an idea of where the experiment is going. Even I read through the entire experiment before doing it! It’s much easier to run an experiment when you can see the bigger picture.
Tip #3: If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve failed at an experiment. We have all been there. Pick yourself up and get ready for next week. It’ll be a new day, a new experiment, and this time, you’ll be able to tackle the challenge because you have these three tips in your homeschooler’s tool belt!
Action Step #3: Embrace experiment failures!
Let’s face it, some experiments just don’t turn out as planned, despite your best efforts. Turn you failure into a successful learning experience by talking through the anatomy of your failed experiment. You may not have had a successful science experiment, but you can still walk away with a successful learning experience. Then you will be all set up to tackle the next experiment on your plan!
Share your experiment tips
I’ve shared my top three tips; what are yours? How do you ensure that experiments get done in your house? Or do you not even worry about them? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.