DD likes science, I don't. How do I stay motivated? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 11-09-2009, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The title says it all...and let me just say that I feel really guilty for admitting this...I am struggling b/c DD (7) really likes science. We have all of the Noeo science curriculum for her age (biology, chemistry, physics) and while I think it is a fine curriculum I just don't enjoy the subject matter.

Last year I created a unit on dinosaurs which DD loved and this year we did a human body unit which was also a hit. Now I need to figure something else out and I am dreading it. It is absolutely a priority to me that DD have science in her school day but I just don't know how to keep it fun and interesting. Help!
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#2 of 28 Old 11-10-2009, 02:09 AM
 
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I had the same problem as a PS teacher when I had to teach an inSANEly LONG and really boring unit on the four major types of INSURANCE (yes--insurance... to mostly high school freshmen... for almost 25% of the course ). OMG... I really had a hard time with it. But I really just found ways to adapt other activities I LIKED into incorporating insurance INFORMATION--ya know?

For instance: I liked to let my high school kids draw. So one of the things they had to do was learn about the term "peril" and then draw me a picture of "peril"... which of course they loved because it could be as ridiculous as they wanted.

They had to make up skits about beneficiary situations.

So what you really need is help figuring out WHAT to teach her and then figuring out creative ways to get it into her where the ACTIVITY inspires you even if the CONTENT doesn't.

Does that help at ALL? Okay... if not, it at least bumps your thread.

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#3 of 28 Old 11-10-2009, 08:02 AM
 
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I'd love to make suggestions but need more information. What don't you like about science?
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#4 of 28 Old 11-10-2009, 12:22 PM
 
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Well for me just the fact that my child loves something motivates me;0!
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#5 of 28 Old 11-10-2009, 02:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PJsmomma View Post
Well for me just the fact that my child loves something motivates me;0!
Wow... I feel horrible right now because I seriously can't make myself love playing Lego Space Police to save my life no matter how much my son is enamoured with them. And he is--he'd play that ALL. THE. TIME. if he could but I pawn it off on dh because dh can at least create scenarios and get into it for a while but I just seriously can. not.

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#6 of 28 Old 11-10-2009, 02:18 PM
 
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OT!

heatherdeg, If you're looking for inspiration on the Lego Space Police, you might want to go to Lego.com . Click "Products" then select "SquidMan."

The Agents section might also prove inspiring....
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#7 of 28 Old 11-10-2009, 02:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post
Wow... I feel horrible right now because I seriously can't make myself love playing Lego Space Police to save my life no matter how much my son is enamoured with them. And he is--he'd play that ALL. THE. TIME. if he could but I pawn it off on dh because dh can at least create scenarios and get into it for a while but I just seriously can. not.
oh boy - don't feel bad. I stopped awhile ago. I decided that DH and I have different strengths, lego scenarios are NOT mine. That job is for my DH.
please no guilt about that.

Children deserve the respect of puzzling it out.
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#8 of 28 Old 11-10-2009, 03:10 PM
 
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Well, my suggestion is for you to send your DD over to my house. I love science. Could you please, in exchange, play dolls with my 4 year old to her heart's content?

Sorry I'm of no real help, but I'm curious to read the answers. History is my weak spot though I'm finding it a lot more interesting now - I still find "school" version of history mind-numbingly boring (presidents and wars and blah) but I am finding I am fascinated by the history of agriculture and the global food system, of average women's lives, the Harlem Renaissance... etc. Each of those subjects only rated a paragraph each in my history textbooks... if that.

Hmm, maybe that's something to explore for you... maybe you're bored by science as it's traditionally taught, but maybe you'd find an aspect of it interesting?

I was also planning to make DH the official history guy in the house anyway, though.
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#9 of 28 Old 11-10-2009, 04:39 PM
 
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Maybe start reading books from the "Let's Read and Find Out" series of science books or the Magic School Bus series. Or learn about how things work--Cars and How They Go by Joanna Cole is a real favorite around here. If you garden, that's science. Or you could do nature hikes with nature guides (what birds, trees, flowers and other plants are in your neighborhood). The best explanation about how a flower produces seeds and fruit for elementary school aged kids was from The Life & Times Of The Apple by Charles Micucci.
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#10 of 28 Old 11-10-2009, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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To Chfriend
First of all it is a subject that I am not particularly good at. I never took chemistry or physics, even in high school. I have some interest in human biology but as I mentioned we already did a human bio unit. My college degrees are in English education, not a lot of need for science there.

My lack of knowledge (and honestly, lack of interest) frustrates me because I have to rely so heavily on the texts and have a hard time supplimenting with living books. (yes, I know all about Magic School Bus...we have every.single. book and DVD episode.)

Last night I pulled out "What your first grader..." and What your second grader..." books by Hirsch and specifically looked at the science secion. It looks as though we have covered about 2/3 of the 1st grade topic and 1/2 of second. I then aligned those standards with the curriculum offered in NOEO and laid out our lesson plans for the next few weeks. Today we started on simple machines...specifically building leavers. Ugh, I was about bored to tears.

For Mama Shifra To suggestion to take science outside, I have two complicating factors...one, I live in what feels like the artic tundra for 9-10 months of the year. The other is that I WOTH full time and then some, so much of our school is at night or on the weekends when I have all 3 little people and DH is working. DH is home with the kids during the day and will help with HS, but he likes science even less then I do.
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#11 of 28 Old 11-10-2009, 05:43 PM
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How do you feel about experiments? Chemistry can be fun, and there are lots of things you can do at home with chemistry...

baking is ALL chemistry... measurements, conversions, chemical reactions of the correct proportions of salt, baking soda/powder, and some kind of an acid. there is a good book, On Food and Cooking: the Science and Lore of the Kitchen (dont remember the author) Lots of fun science facts there... you could browse through, and find recipes you'd like to try as a family? and experiment with substitutions and additional ingredients and then make notes while doing it- the scientific process (sometihng like): form hypothesis, experiment, record results and analyze, then evaluate hypothesis.

you can do the thing with colored vinegar and lemon juice to make fizz... and you can learn why it fizzes.

have you looked into Mr Wizard, or Bill Nye the science guy? they have really FUN projects that dont require much prep.

you can learn about atmospheric pressure by attaching a bottle of dyed hot water atop a bottle of dyed cold water, and flip it. you should be able to see the cold water sink to the bottom- since cold air falls- and cold air falls because it is heavier.... and it's heavier because.... you get the idea. it can go into so many things.

why do our doors stick in the heat? why do you leave room at the top of a glass container when you freeze it? why does the house creak at night when it cools down? all science, and all around us.

ETA: even cleaning is science- look at the ingredients in your cleaners- store bought or home-made, and figure out WHY those things work... what cuts grease and why? why does ammonia not leave streaks on glass? how does oil remove oil? what is real soap made of? how do you make soap? (making soap could be fun, but some parts arent safe for kids.)

sorry you dont love science, but perhaps you can find ways to tolerate it for your DD! Good Luck!

The babymoon isn't over! Our long awaited A born 7/18/10, making us laugh and smile every day.
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#12 of 28 Old 11-10-2009, 05:54 PM
 
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Bill Nye has really awesome science books -- I almost guarantee that you will find them as interesting as your son does! We've had Consider the Following out from the library, but Big Blast of Science and Great Big Book of Science look great, too. I also like the Explorabook, from San Francisco's Exploratorium -- chockful of things to do with agar-agar and diffracion grating (both included in the book).

For the physics of machines, you can't do better than The New Way Things Work -- it explains everything very clearly and simply, and it's illustrated with wooly mammoths. I am not mechanically inclined, but this is the book that taught me there are three types of levers, and what the difference is.

I find a lot of science really compelling (especially astronomy and evolutionary biology), because it explains why things are the way they are, what they have been, what they will be, what things too small or far away to see are like ... I just think it's all fascinating. So to me, really good popular science books ARE "living books" -- they are full of compelling narrative.
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#13 of 28 Old 11-10-2009, 06:00 PM
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For the physics of machines, you can't do better than The New Way Things Work -- it explains everything very clearly and simply, and it's illustrated with wooly mammoths
I was going to mention this book. I bought the original version for my nephew many years ago... he's 14 now, totally into pop culture everything, and still loves it. LOVES it.

The babymoon isn't over! Our long awaited A born 7/18/10, making us laugh and smile every day.
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#14 of 28 Old 11-10-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gwen's mom View Post
To Chfriend
Last night I pulled out "What your first grader..." and What your second grader..." books by Hirsch and specifically looked at the science secion. It looks as though we have covered about 2/3 of the 1st grade topic and 1/2 of second. I then aligned those standards with the curriculum offered in NOEO and laid out our lesson plans for the next few weeks. Today we started on simple machines...specifically building leavers. Ugh, I was about bored to tears.
Do you have a copy of "The Way Things Work" by David Macaulay? My DH, DD1 and I read it for fun

Also, I know that PBS does a lot of shows about simple machines- Curious George, Cyber Chase and Sid the Science Kid come to mind. I bet if you poked around on pbskids.org you might find some videos (from the shows and the 'live action kids' segments in between) and games that might make the unit more interesting. My 3yo turns household objects into fulcrums on a daily basis!

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#15 of 28 Old 11-10-2009, 06:09 PM
 
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Awesome! I majored in English too, but my family of origin is very science focused.

Science is not a set of interesting facts....It's a way of exploring the world around us.

The scientific method is, essentially:

Ask a question.
Make a Hypothesis.
Experiment, controlling variables.
Observe the results.
Report.

Hands on is the key to making this fun for everyone.

http://topscience.org/ is a good resource. Pick one that looks interesting and go nuts.

The activity books of Singapore Science are hands on as well.

http://www.singaporemath.com/Primary_Science_s/30.htm
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#16 of 28 Old 11-10-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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What about just buying kits and kind of letting him do it himself?

We have Snap Circuits and I just let her go. I don't see anything wrong with that. Sometimes I'll check in and we'll talk about it a little or write down some terms. *shrug* I think that's enough.

We have a similar kit for Chemistry, and just going through the experiments takes only 15 minutes, and then we talk about the terms.

Other than that, I count Science read-alouds, which are super-easy. We have "The Story-Book of Science" (lots of God references) and The Burgess Bird Book.

I have two blocks a week for either Social Studies or Science. I usually do the first one as a read-aloud session and then the second for experiments. Each session is 15-30 minutes long. I just break it up into these manageable little bites.

Happy and in love with my family!
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#17 of 28 Old 11-10-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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Levers and simple machines: http://www.delta-education.com/siang...ID=5&menuID=68

K'nex simple machines: http://www.knex.com/educational_toys...rs_pulleys.php

Lego simple machines: http://www.legoeducation.us/store/de...=6&c=0&t=0&l=0

dd1's first science fair project when she was 5 was "Simple Machines in Castle Times" She made a castle out of legos with a pully for the drawbridge and a catapult with a lever.

Hands on!!
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#18 of 28 Old 11-11-2009, 12:56 AM
 
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My post wasn't to make someone feel badly. I thought the question was what motivates you to teach a subject you don't like and my reply was that my son's loving a subject is what motivates me.

I didn't think the OP was about playing Legos repeatedly. I wouldn't want to do that either.
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#19 of 28 Old 11-11-2009, 08:21 PM
 
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This is where a homeschool coop might be useful to you to. If DD can take some science coop classes that would lighten your load. Also, check out your local park system etc. Our county does great inexpensive classes for people of all ages and even for families that are science and nature oriented. Everything from fabulous fungi to astronomy to spiders. You can always supplement with some reading.
Just a note, I did not finish college and am mostly an artsy/crafty mom. I still get out the lincoln logs, quadrille and other even popsicle sticks for building (science and math). This year my two older kids will be building a stable for our playmobile nativity set. That way we add social studies, calender and seasons in with our math and science and kill 5 birds with one stone, so to speak.

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#20 of 28 Old 11-12-2009, 01:01 AM
 
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Boy do I feel for you!!!
I'm doing okay with the animals unit and the weather unit, and will do fine with bodies and earth science and astrology because I like some of those things. I am not super motivated, but I just following the curriculum (K12 is good) and supplement with books from the library and killing 15 tadpoles . But I HATE doing most experiments and I told hubby that Chemistry is all his this December! I won't touch it with a ten foot pole if I don't have to. Then there's MATH and I feel like I am dragging myself to do it. Ughhhh...

I so feel for you. No answers other than library books upon library books and trying to find someone else to teach!

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#21 of 28 Old 11-12-2009, 02:55 AM
 
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I'm in the same boat.

I just bought these recently: Loose in the Lab Seriously Funny Science

I LOVE them. Seriously, LOVE. And he loves them, too.
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#22 of 28 Old 11-12-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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Astrology? Or was that a mistype for astronomy?
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#23 of 28 Old 11-12-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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online coloring book of the brain - click on a color, click on a part to color it.
Coloring book of the brain in PDF to print out

neuroscience worksheets and activities - contains lessons and activities with teacher guides

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#24 of 28 Old 11-12-2009, 06:39 PM
 
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OMG, I want the brain coloring book for ME!
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#25 of 28 Old 11-13-2009, 10:53 AM
 
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I totally get where you are coming from.

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#26 of 28 Old 11-17-2009, 09:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalia the Muse View Post
OMG, I want the brain coloring book for ME!
The Human Brain Coloring Book is a great resource for older children/adults.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#27 of 28 Old 11-17-2009, 09:26 PM
 
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Okay, my son loves science. Luckily, I like it too, but since September we have covered; insects, earth science, sharks, horse shoe crabs, and dog anatomy.
That doesn't include the daily random questions about black holes, planets, tics, what causes earth quakes. I resorted to telling him to look it up the computer.
We currently have a habitat for 15 crickets, another one for a walking stick bug, one for a centipede and he's growing a venus fly trap. We even hatched Monarch Butterflies He's currently advocating for a lizard or snake.

I have a really hard time interesting him in anything else. Today, I found him classifying his plastic animals into piles of mammals, reptiles, and birds. It's charming, but disconcerting since he is only seven.

One thing that helps is my sister is an environmental educator so she not only provides me with ideas and materials, but she keeps me informed of all of the classes going on at different museums and animal sanctuaries.
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#28 of 28 Old 11-17-2009, 11:16 PM
 
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At Singapore Math, they also have a science section.

We enjoy the Math and will start doing the comprehensive and practical Science experiments soon.
Their books cover generally diverse topics and you can expand them as you like/needed.

Vegmum:Hedding::: treehugger::
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