Science is the human endeavor to discover truths about the world. As we discover more and more, we are able to apply what we've learned to develop new technologies and to improve everyday life. But perhaps more importantly, as we gain knowledge through science, we are able to begin satisfying our deep-felt need to know more about ourselves.
Kitchen science is the most accessible, particularly if we're homeschooling on a budget. Boiling water for spaghetti? Condensation happens along with evaporation. Matter is changing from liquid to gas. Throw an ice cube in the pot and you’re going from solid to liquid to gas. Play with it, especially with younger children – turn a glass over the steam and watch the gas turn back into a liquid.Make some Italian dressing and you’re exploring emulsions with density and viscosity. If we’ve got a little glycerin (available at any pharmacy), pour some into a separate glass with oil and water and you’ll have something like a mini lava lamp, with three visibly well-defined densities. Suspend things of different densities in the concoction, like a coin, an ice cube, and a cork and see what happens.
Wonder aloud as we go. The best way to create interest in children is by modeling it. Its one thing to tell kids that science is interesting; it’s another more inspiring thing altogether for them to see their parents articulating fascination of cause and effect when they press on the gas pedal. Explain how combustion happens and the car goes. Being pleased with the successful chemical reactions of a cake done just right is good; discussing the failure of the more unfortunate chemical reactions of a burned dinner, though, can be just as useful. Garden science also provides an everyday lab. Every seed that sprouts is a science experiment - a response to sunlight, water and nutrients in the ground. Bath time offers yet more opportunities for hands on science as you explore dirt in suspension and the...