Easy science, math and language arts lessons to do at home

Are you a teacher or parent trying to find some lessons that could be done at home? Try these!

Youth and adult conducting an experiment
Photo by National 4-H Council

One of the biggest misconceptions about science education is that you need to have extensive knowledge in multiple fields of study to teach science. That is wrong! Anyone can teach science by asking questions and trying to figure out the answers. Michigan State University Extension has a series of lessons around this concept called Teaching Science When You Don’t Know Diddly-Squat.

If you are home for any reason, these lessons are designed to be done with stuff you probably already have at home. They don’t require special training, just for you to be willing to ask youth questions and follow them down the path their questions lead to. Saying, “I don’t know, what do you think?” is a powerful tool to lead to more discovery.

The joy of science is the joy of discovery. Have you ever had a light bulb moment when you suddenly understood something you previously did not? How does that feel? You feel accomplished. The goal of teaching science is not to impart your knowledge to others, but rather to let students discover it for themselves. When you simply spew forth information from your brain while attempting to teach a young person, you take away the sense of accomplishment of that light bulb moment.

Science is not:

  • Knowing all the answers. Even if you don’t know diddly-squat, you can teach science. The Wright brothers did not know how to build a working airplane when they started. They asked questions, which led to more questions. Some questions don’t have an answer (yet).
  • A recipe. A recipe is a set of instructions used to put things together and get an expected result. Science does not always have predictable results. It is about predicting what will happen, trying an experiment, and then figuring out why it did or did not work.

Because these lessons are based in science and engineering practices (listed below), they also have connection to English language arts and math.

Use this time at home as an opportunity to discover science with your learners and enjoy the things you discover as well.

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