- Education and Science»
- Home Schooling & Life Experience Education
How to Teach Physics, Chemistry and Biology to Kindergarten, 1st Grade and 2nd Grade Students
The best way to teach a subject is to teach a little over a long period of time. So, introducing elementary age children to topics like physics, chemistry and biology can be very beneficial. If you start teaching these subjects at a basic level starting in kindergarten, 1st grade or 2nd grade, your child will have a solid basic foundation by the time they finish elementary school. They will enter middle school better prepared to learn.
Children don't effectively learn and retain information when taught disconnected facts. If your child attends elementary school in the United States, this is most likely how they are taught. It's important to teach subjects like physics, chemistry, biology and Earth science regularly and in a logical order. A children's encyclopedia can serve very effectively as an outline for either a homeschool or afterschool science curriculum.
How to Teach Physics, Chemistry and Biology
First, get a book like the Usborne First Encyclopedia of Science. This book introduces a lot of foundational concepts in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Earth science at a very basic level. Each topic has a two page spread. You should spend about a week on each topic. After every 3rd section or every 3 weeks, do a review week and go over previously learned material.
For each topic in the Usborne book, supplement with books from the library. It's very easy to find basic books covering major topics in the sciences aimed at early elementary age kids.
Let's use force in physics as an example of how to teach. Read the first page on forces in the Usborne book on Monday. Have your child demonstrate the concepts when possible. For example, you can have them demonstrate a pushing force and then a pulling force. The next day, read the next page on forces. On Wednesday, read your first library book. On Thursday read the second book. On Friday, do a review of keywords. After every third topic, do a review week to reinforce what your child has learned.
Look for videos on YouTube that supplement these topics. You will find some aimed at younger kids. The Magic School Bus series of videos and books cover many topics in science. It helps a lot to have a subscription to the brainpopjr.com website because they have videos covering many foundational topics in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. But it costs $85 a year for home use. If your child attends school or is homeschooled through some kind of public or private school program find out if the school offers brainpopjr.com for free.
It's also helpful to have your child draw a picture of what was learned and put labels on it. For example, you could have them draw a picture of the various types of forces and put a label with each one.
When you have completed the physics section, move onto a new section in the book. But make sure to do occasional reviews of previously learned material.
Learning More Advanced Topics
It will take several months to complete the Usborne First Book of Science. Once your child has these basics in place they can move onto more advanced physics, chemistry and biology books aimed at older elementary age kids. You could try the Usborne Science Encyclopedia and go through the same steps you did with the First Science Encyclopedia. The Science Encyclopedia can again serve the purpose of being a homeschool or afterschool curriculum if well supplemented with other learning resources.
Usborne has books called What's Physics All About?, What's Chemistry All About? and What's Biology All About? that could also be a good next step.
The website eequalsmcq.com has a free Life Science book in PDF format that is aimed at elementary age students. You can also buy physics, chemistry and Earth science books. Each book is a one year program.
Look for educational science chapter books as well. The magic school bus chapter books are one good option. The George series by Lucy and Stephen Hawking is another good option for physics and astronomy.