Curiously and although his parents are liberal arts folks, our young fella has developed an interest in chemistry.
As with most of his emergent interests, we seek to nurture, inform and entertain rather than drill facts. Our goal right now is to foster appreciation for a variety of topics while nurturing basic research skills.
Translation: we monitor for interests and then use the Internet and our library to find age-appropriate material to give a little depth and background. With the chemistry, we’ve done a few small experiments, but mostly we’ve sought to connect the dots between the periodic table and real life–to break down the staid walls between Science–capital S!–and everyday living.
Secretly, however, I’m hoping that maybe he’ll try his hand one day at singing the periodic table on a Brit chat show while seated next to a chuckling Colin Farrell.
I mean, if it’s good enough for Harry Potter, well…
If your small fry are attracted to the idea of chemical reactions and the periodic table, then you might want to check out this stuff:
• Chemistry: Getting a Big Reaction and The Periodic Table: Elements with Style These are a lot of fun for kids because the illustrations are colorful and lively. Part of the Basher Laboratories series. Check your library or bookstore.
• The Photographic Periodic Table of the Elements is both a web site AND a book where you can “see” most of the elements.
• The Periodic Table of Videos is fun for all ages. A friend sent this link to me earlier today. Produced by a U.K. university, I have to say that I learned quite a bit myself about history, science and the trial-end-error nature of experimentation.
• This site features AWESOME, colorful, and printable periodic tables for FREE. We’re partial to the one featuring teeny illustrations and have placed it in our learning journal for handy reference. (We refer to it a couple of times a week, in fact.)
• Much credit to the ol’ Bill Nye videos for “sparking” our interest in chemistry. His “Atoms” video (see a snippet) rocked our world this summer, and we are slowly working our way through other videos thanks to our library system.
Spend a little time with these suggestions, and your kids will “get” this crazy cat pic in no time:
Also seeing as I found two of the above suggestions on Pinterest, it seems fitting to remind you that I have a homeschool/afterschool board that you are invited to follow.
Pamela Price is an award-winning blogger, writer, and editor who also happens to homeschool in San Antonio, Texas. To be fair, her fave high school science class was, in fact, chemistry. She can be found on Twitter at @redwhiteandgrew. She writes about a variety of topics, including home education, at RedWhiteandGrew.com.