Interest Led Science and The Big Field Trip!

The only subject I didn't actually have a set "curriculum" for this past year was science.   I was fairly confident I could piece together units that interested the children from resources we already had at home.  When I sat down to really look back at the year I was so proud of what the children had accomplished.  What I'm most proud of is that the curriculum was interest led by Miss B and GMan!

These are the topics we studied in science over the past year:

The Water Cycle
The Human Body
The Solar System/Space Travel
Mammals of North America
Trees and Flowers
Random Experiments (Color Changing Milk, Cleaning Pennies, Pop Bottle Science, The Amazing Egg.... and more!)

In typical homeschool fashion, when we took a field trip last week to Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, all of our learning came FULL CIRCLE!    It was a  review of our science year, and I hadn't even planned for that.    I knew the museum was fabulous, but we hadn't been in several years and I just wanted a fun day with friends.  

I want to share our trip with you because there are some GREAT resources we used throughout the year which you might want to take advantage of as your are planning for the upcoming year.

Our first stop in the museum was in the new Nature Quest exhibit!  Wow - what a wealth of information and FUN we found here.   The children had just finished a small unit about trees, and we found many things to reinforce our learning, including this awesome replica of a tree to show the growth rings.  We've also been gardening and learning a lot about flowers, and Nature Quest had so much information about both!

Next stop was the Sensing Nature area, where the kids did everything from playing with HUGE bubbles, to forecasting the weather, learn about sound waves, and learn a little more about the miracles inside the human body.   Here's GMan watching how his pupils respond to light.  Remember when we studied the human body WAY BACK IN THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR?  We had used a great CD Rom, My Amazing Human Body, which was so much fun, and we also did a unit based on the Magic School Bus book,  Inside the Human Body.

One of the benefits of homeschooling is how much homeschoolers learn from EACH OTHER!    We went with another family to the museum and their oldest child was so good with the younger ones.

 We also spent a couple of weeks doing a Download 'N Go Unit about Seashells.  Lo and behold, there was a huge seashell exhibit (The World of Shells) at Fernbank, with a huge display about the Chambered Nautilus, one of the kids' favorite shells.

Next, during the Walk Through Georgia exhibit, there was a display about mammals.    One of the children's favorite books this past year was the Burgess Book of Animals, all about mammals found in North America.   This book can be read free online - it is a gem!   I did a huge post about this book and another DVD about mammals we got from the library, as well.

Dinosaurs have been the focus of GMan's science for the past month.   I put together a dinosaur unit (you can find it here) and we all learned so much.    The look on the kids' faces when we walked in the museum and saw the huge replicas of the dinosaur skeletons was priceless!

Each of our science units were done together by my nine and six year olds.  I geared materials up or down for each child and I think it worked well.   Next year I am contemplating using an Apologia text so I have more structure.    While all of these units were fun, I was worn out planning everything!

What was your favorite science unit from this past year?   Do you have a favorite resource?  (Mine has to be all of the Magic School Bus books -- they are awesome!!)

*Linking up to Science Sunday and Favorite Resource This Week --- visit these sites to find some awesome ideas! 

Science SundayFavorite Resource This Week