Teaching Multiple Science Curricula Gifted and Struggling Learners

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How To Teach Multiple Science Curricula to gifted and struggling learners without blowing up the house or losing your mind

Last summer, we finalized our decisions for what we would learn in our homeschool and as I closed the planner, I asked God to give me the strength to follow through where He wanted me to wisdom and make changes when I needed to. This prayer was necessary because I would be teaching three different science curricula for the to our children: one child (who is considered academically gifted), one who struggles (in academics but gifted in creativity) and one who is still learning to read.

Yes, I thought I was nuts, too. You can go ahead and say it out loud, that’s ok.

However, I prayed and accepted where each of my children were emotionally and academically and made changes as we progressed through the year based on God’s prompting and their growth.

It wasn’t hard. It wasn’t easy. It was a great opportunity and I want to share how I did it.

I’m going to keep this simple because really, I’m not nuts (and I never enjoyed science in school). It didn’t take superwoman showing up and anyone can do it. Not only can you do it without being superwoman, you can do it without blowing up the house or losing your mind. I’ve shared with you my thoughts that being a Mom isn’t hard, we are qualified to teach and disciple our children and as soon as we stop complaining and ask God to reveal what He wants us to do and equip us for His work, it all falls into place.

What Science Curriculum did I teach?

  1.  Botany
  2. Flying Creatures
  3. Chemistry and Physics

Why and How did I teach three different Science Curriculum?

Botany:

Why: For the past few years, we have had a garden. I wanted to read the Botany book as a family to grow our knowledge about plants. So, we used this as the core for our nature study. Now, when we plant our garden this year, we will implement a lot of what we learned and we will have this book to reference when we need to. We also live in a home with a wooded back lot. That made it easy for us to look out our window in the winter and see a lot of things in a new way.

How: Every week, I would read to the children for 30 minutes on Monday and Wedesday. Then, they would work on a lapbook I purchased. They did not complete individual lapbooks, but a team lapbook. It ended up being huge, but it was a great way for the children to work together and complete a project as a group.

Flying Creatures

Why: My middle and youngest children wanted to learn about birds this year. So, I agreed to teach them. This worked out great since we have three bird feeders on the back of our house. We were able to see most of the birds we read about. In addition, we have almost every single creepy crawly creature in our yard. So, the two children were excited to hear about many of the insects they have wondered about and match a bug with the facts.

How: Every week, I would read to the two children for thirty minutes on Tuesday and Thursday. It was interesting because the oldest child generally found his way to the room in which we were reading and he would listen in as well. The other two to three days, they would work on individual lapbooks. In addition, this helped my middle child improve her communication and reading skills because I had her work with the youngest child while they completed their lapbook.

Note: I purchased one lapbook  that I could print (individually) for each child thinking they would enjoy that and it would save money. They did enjoy it, but it did not save money. So we all decided that they enjoyed the notebooking journals available at Apologia and purchasing those books would be less expensive than the individual lapbooks So, lesson learned, we will go that route from now on.

Chemistry & Physics

Why: We were blessed to work through all of chapter 11 last year before the book went to press, and that really peaked the  curiosity of my oldest child. He decided he wanted to work through this entire book. So, I said ‘OK, but you’ll have to read most of it by yourself and then come tell me what you’ve learned.” He was incredibly excited about that and I was too. This is is last year in ‘elementary grades’ and I want him to be a self learner.

How: Every week we would sit down and discuss what he needed to accomplish in his reading and his notebooking journal . This was a great opportunity for both of us. It taught me to be patient and give him grace as he transitions into more self learning and less dependency upon me.  There were days when he would ask me to read to him. Of course, I couldn’t say NO! How long will he keep asking Mama to read?

Were there problems?

Just a few adjustments here and there. We slowed down in some areas when we needed to and kept up a regular pace in others. All in all, it was a great year with Science. No one was running around crying like a chicken with it’s head cut off and I never felt like I had to do all of the experiments or recommendations. We did read everything and we finished most of the journals and lapbooks. But, we did not do the things we did not feel were necessary.

Science with multiple children

What did I learn through this?

I learned that it is possible to stretch myself beyond what I think I can do as a Mom and as a Homeschool Mother. I was reminded that everything we read is a fabulous opportunity to grow in God and together as a family.  The more I learn and grow as a Mom on this journey learning with my children, the more I enjoy science.

I was also reminded that children will soak up what’s put in front of them. They will keep asking questions and growing their minds when they are given the opportunity to spread their wings and fly.

Last, but not least, I learned that my oldest is ready for the next step in Science. We’ve already decided on Land Animals (with the junior and regular notebooks) for youngest and middle child and the next step for my oldest: General Science with notebook.

Can You do this?

YES! You can. Apologia Science Texts and Notebooks are fantastic ways to teach your children science. They make it easy and fun.

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Comments

  1. YahuahsHomeMaker says:

    Just wanted you to know that this post help me alot. Right now I have the same types of learns in addition, we have a beginning preschololer and a toddler. I want to teach them how they learn and what they are interested in, but I felt completely challenged as to how to meet all their needs. I will print and keep this post in my homeschooling notebook as a reference guide.

    Thank you!

  2. Awesome, Rebecca! I LOVE how you followed each of their interests, while giving them responsibility, but still shared in that community reading time. It’s such a blessing that we, as moms, are able to grow and stretch through homeschooling. God is awesome!