Do you have a child who hates science? I had no clue how to homeschool the child who hates science, and realized I was doing it ALL wrong! Here’s how to do it right!
In a world where there has been a huge push on girls and science and STEM and all things related, what do you do if you have a child who just absolutely dislikes science? It feels like we are moving backwards. What if your daughter just likes history, and babies, and kids, and books? What if the idea of science makes her gag, or bored?
What if you have a child who just hates science?
My oldest is exactly like that. And, I don’t blame her, science has never been my forte. I may have chosen a high school lab partner who wanted to be a nurse just so I didn’t have to dissect that cat in anatomy. I was a solid C student all through high school and college in science and math related subjects.
So, she gets it honestly 😉
BUT, science is something our kids have to study right? I mean they need to know the basics. We can’t let them skip out just because they and we dislike it. So, today we are going to answer the question,
How do I homeschool a child who hates science?
Now, I am going to share a few things that have worked for us. These are not foolproof, but they help a lot. Also, you can replace science with anything. History. Math. Reading. The key to homeschooling subjects a child doesn’t like can be found in the same general way as how we approached a dislike in science.
Find a Topic that Interests Them
No matter what you are studying, finding something that you LIKE makes it so much more enjoyable. One thing we have done with our kids through the years is encouraged interest led learning. While we have chosen a science curriculum that we LOVE (Apologia!)) we have always let the girls CHOOSE the topic they are studying.
For example, my middle LOVES animals (she is also my science lover). My oldest was bored with the animal study after two years of it. She wanted to go with something different. So, we went with botany. Now, in full disclosure, I keep pets and kids alive. Plants? Not so much. BUT, she had an interest in it and we went with it. Guess what? The world didn’t end! And, she was able to study something she enjoyed.
Dissecting a flower today. We love @apologiaworld! #ihsnet #botany
Allow Them to Work at Their Own Pace
Another area where we have had to make adjustments is the pace in which she works at science. We go through it slowly. Our science program, Apologia, has a sample schedule in the front of the book. This makes planning super easy. We have adjusted it though and while it offers a twice a week plan, we spread out that work over three days. Making the days shorter in the science area, and allowing her to process the information at a better pace.
We have also allowed her more time in elementary science before moving forward to junior high level. This past year, she was in 7th grade, we SHOULD have moved her up to General Science. However, after chatting with her, some great friends from Apologia, and fellow homeschool moms who have used General Science, we chose instead to allow her another year in the Exploring Creation series. We went with Chemistry and Physics and she had SUCH a great year.
She enjoyed science this year. And as a mom? That was a great feeling! And we are able to do that because we homeschool. We don’t need to push our kids because the world says they should be at a certain level. We can allow them to slow down, and enjoy learning. Embrace the beauty of homeschooling and allow a child who struggles with science to learn at their own pace.
Invest in a Program that Encourages Hands on Learning
One of our favorite things about Apologia is the hands on learning. From the time my girls first began using it in 2012 to now they have benefited from the notebooking journals, experiments, and hands on activities that are incorporated into the curriculum
If you have a child who dislikes science making it FUN can make a huge difference. For my oldest that fun has come from the cut and paste activities in the notebooking journals from Apologia. My oldest doesn’t really like to get into projects that are messy, and dissecting animals is a no go for her. BUT, the notebooking journals (learn more about them here) are a great way to add hands on learning without getting messy. One of her favorite activities was the personal person project in anatomy. She learned a lot from that project and there was a ton of similar activities in the journal.
If you have a child who doesn’t like the notebooking sort of stuff, no problem! The experiments can be done without the journals. And, they are SO much fun! I shared some of our favorite experiments from Apologia in this post. And, a good portion of them included my oldest who dislikes science…
Be Willing to Get Involved
One of the hardest things for me about homeschooling a child who dislikes science, is that I don’t really like it either. This means it would be SO easy to just push it aside, and not encourage her to learn it. BUT, one thing we need to remember as homeschool moms is that our kids follow our example. We are modeling to them what learning looks like, and if we aren’t willing to invest in learning it, why should they?
That means we HAVE to get involved. Even if that means cooking a bunch of small cookies so our kids can learn the periodic table. One of the best parts of homeschooling is learning with our kids right? That can and should include those subjects we don’t necessarily have an interest in. I have learned more from my oldest studying science than my middle. Because my middle will take the book, dive in, and devour the content without ever discussing it with me.
My oldest? She needs discussion and interaction. She needs me to come alongside her and do the experiments. She needs encouraged to finish the work, and study for the test. She desires for me to be willing to get involved. And, as a homeschool mom? That’s my job. Even if I dislike science.
So, how do you homeschool a child who hates science? I believe these four things help greatly. Allowing them to explore their interests gets them invested in something that they enjoy. Give them the opportunity to work at their own pace, and truly love learning, instead of pushing them at a level that the world says is appropriate for their age. Incorporating hands on learning can have a huge impact in how well they enjoy a subject. And, being involved yourself means you are modeling that learning is important. Even when it may be something you’re not interested in.
One way we have done this is by choosing Apologia Science as our curriculum.