If there’s any topic in our homeschooling that gets all three kids cheering, it’s science. They all enjoy learning about the human body, animals, the microscopic world, dinosaurs, and space, especially when we are reading in our awesome Sonlight science books that have tons of great pictures. But what REALLY gets them excited is the hands-on activities we do and the occasional field trips we take. We live close to a great kids’ science museum so we often hop into the car to check out a new exhibit (the most recent one was about space) or pop up to the second floor where the museum staff always have neat crafts for the kids to do. The last time we went, the craft was to create paper characters (called “Balance-kun”) who would balance on the characters made by other children and then get hung from the ceiling to decorate the second floor of the museum. Another time, each child created one scale of a carp which was added to a giant carp craft that hung at the entrance of the museum. It’s fun for the kids to come and see their artwork hanging where everyone can see it. The museum also has a huge outdoor park area where we can rent funny bicycles for an hour and ride them around a track. The last time we went, our whole family crammed into a car-like “bicycle” that was peddled from the back seat.
Our latest hands-on experiments at home have related to electricity. The boys have built electrical circuits to light light bulbs and make a buzzer go off. Bryan joined the fun recently to help the kids make a frog-themed maze with a buzzer and light attached. The kids take turns taking a paper frog across lilly pads, trying to go from start to finish without making the buzzer go off. If the buzzer sounds, it’s the next person’s turn until someone goes through the whole maze without setting off the buzzer and light. Bryan helped the kids design the game so that the wires can be changed to create a new maze every time.
Bryan and the boys also recently had the opportunity to attend a fun science class for elementary school kids which was led by a BEST Club friend of ours. The theme was electricity (which went perfectly with our science curriculum!) and the boys got to use a kit to build circuits to make a car go, power a fan, and set off lights and buzzers. They also enjoyed creating a battery with a lemon (which Bryan was especially excited about!) 🙂
Another fun field trip for us was going to the Tochigi Prefectural Museum to see a special exhibit about dinosaurs. They had tons of dinosaur skeletons and had a large exhibit about some Japanese scientists who went to the desert of Mongolia to dig up dinosaur bones. It was interesting to see how the scientists lived during their time in the desert and to see details about what dinosaur bones look like when paleontologists first find them and how they go about carefully digging them up.
Here are some photos of our various scientific endeavors. 🙂