Making a Mess of Your Science Lessons
Print E-mail
The other morning I saw the question what's the difference between a scale and a balance, and can I use my Weight-Watcher's Scale. I pondered responding to the writer. There was a time, now decades ago, when I would have asked the exact same question. One of the things I have learned from using BJU Press materials for the past two and half decades is that it is truly user-friendly“ so, yes, if you have a digital kitchen scale and it can measure in grams, by all means, use it! But make sure you understand the difference between a scale and a balance, so that you can explain weight vs mass to your learner.

At my home, science is not really done like a laboratory but more like a mess. I strive to use the labs/experiments/activities as opportunities to ground and reinforce scientific principles. No matter what happens, I try to make sure we follow the scientific method: hypothesize, experiment, observe, record and repeat. Whether we try to figure out just how many pennies will break a piece of dry fettuccini when suspended in a cup (125,) or build a cone volcano and add vinegar and baking soda in order to see how lava flows down, or scratch various rocks trying to figure out which is harder, the chief purpose to teach my daughter how to think critically. And we try to have fun doing it!

Education is an investment, and having a solid science program means that I have some responsibilities. I always need to be looking ahead in the lessons to see what supplies we are going to need in the next couple of weeks. I want to make sure they are purchased (but not eaten!) and waiting for the day we do our experiment so that the lesson is completed in a timely fashion. Once in a while, I might have to hunt for the occasional item, but most of the materials are easily obtained. I need to keep in mind that budgets may need to be adjusted so that we can afford to get the more costly items (such as the digital scale,) and schedules each day have to leave enough room to complete the entire experiment and write up the lab. That means I have to remain flexible, not only in preparing for the lab, but also in the execution of it. And I need to also make sure that we have time to discuss the results in order to help reinforce what we learned.

Most of all, science experiments are worth everything you invest into them. Science is messy. It can be costly. It might even be crazy. but we love it! Both my student and I have an opportunity to be equals observing the results of our experiments. We laugh (or cry) and we build great memories. I try to remember to take pictures. Most of all I want to link what we did to what we are learning about and help my daughter to draw conclusions that will help her as she moves into more and more complicated material.

Meet the Author

Rebecca Kruc - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant


Facebook Group

Connect with HomeWorks Consultants and other homeschool moms to discuss BJU Press Homeschool materials in our Facebook Group, BJU Press Homeschool Community!

Visit Group

Consultant Spotlight


Esther Black

Esther Black is a second-generation homeschooler, wife, mom of 7, and HomeWorks by Precept Consultant from Iowa. Her goal is to encourage and support other homeschooling families to find the tools they need to continue investing in their children. ...
Continue Reading

Carla Heslop

As a homeschooling momma of 7, I’m familiar with the fear of ruining your children for life. I’ve even tossed around the idea of pushing my kids on the school bus and throwing in that towel! I desperately didn’t want to, and I just didn’t know what else to do! I was drowning. I needed homeschool help, and I just didn’t know where to find it...
Continue Reading

Beth Milligan

My name is Beth Milligan. I live in a beautiful part of North Idaho surrounded by glistening lakes and rugged forests. We live in a rural area where fishing and hiking are within minutes and where a moose may pay a visit on our back porch. In the summers, you will find our family of 5 playing a fun round of ...
Continue Reading

Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith lives in Fayetteville, NC – the home of Fort Bragg 82nd Airborne and US Army Special Operations. She graduated from Bob Jones University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Counseling and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education. Natalie met her husband, Germaine, at Bob Jones University working in the University Cleaners. They have been married for 13 years. The Lord has blessed them with two girls. ...
Continue Reading

Sharon Huizinga

Sharon Huizinga lives in Michigan with Tom, her husband of 13 years, and their four children. They both grew up in Connecticut, met at church, and got to know each other better in college at Western Connecticut State University. Sharon graduated with her bachelor’s degree just a few weeks before she and Tom married in 2006. She went on to teach second, fourth and fifth grades in Christian schools. ...
Continue Reading
tab 1
tab 2
tab 3
tab 4
tab 5

Contact Us Today

HomeWorks By Precept exists to provide you with the best educational resources to help your child become a creative, adaptive thinker with a strong biblical worldview. Our relationship doesn’t end with the once-a-year curriculum purchase—HomeWorks By Precept is here to partner with you all year long.
Find A Local Consultant