Friday, May 02, 2008

Hands On Homeschool Science at eScience Labs

Lots of homeschoolers think that when their kids get to high school level science, they have to go to traditional school so that they won't be missing out on labs. I have to admit that I've said stuff like this myself! It's hard to get over the idea that standing in an "official" laboratory with a teacher in a white coat and goggles, among 25 other children who are each holding the same test tube and distilling the same compound, is a necessary experience for a teenager doing science.



Official Product Photo

Fortunately, the people at eScienceLabs have created hands-on science kits for homeschool science students. They generously donated one of their high school biology kits for us to give as first prize in our oldest grade division at the G.U.E.S.S. Homeschool Science Fair, so I was able to take a look and examine the contents of one of these kits. I have a few observations:

1. Everything is divided up meticulously into separate little baggies and boxes, so the experiments and materials are clearly distinguishable and identifiable. This would be on my mind, if I were ordering one of these kits, because I as a homeschool teacher am not necessarily familiar with all the little pieces and parts, and having them separately packaged and labelled is a big relief.

2. They've really thought of everything. From the little connecting beads to make molecule models to the slides and test tubes and little bottles of different chemicals, it looks like all you have to add is the child's brain. Real test tubes, lots of measuring stuff, pipettes, goggles, latex gloves -- it's all in there.


All packed into the box

3. This would actually be a neat present for a kid who's into science. I mean, this is so neat and gadgety and interesting and just looks like something that a child would *love* to dig into and unpack -- I bet for the right kid it would make a great birthday present! Definitely a curriculum that would bring out squeaks of joy and excitement rather than groans and moans.

For a science gift or a homeschool science curriculum, eSciencelabs.com has a great selection of hands on kits that will make science fun for your students and make you feel better about creating a real "lab" experience right at home.

2 comments:

  1. Here is another cool science company that promotes a plant that will move when you tickle it! I thought your families that homeschool would enjoy an educational indoor gardening adventure, growing the TickleMe Plant (Mimosa pudica). This activity was featured recently by the National Gardening Associations Kids Store, http://www.kidsgardeningstore.com/14-1030.html
    If you want to give your homeschoolers an experience they will never forget, consider having them grow a TickleMe Plant. This is the plant that will close its leaves and lower its branches when you tickle it. They sprout in days and can be grown indoors any time of year. Just Google TickleMe Plants or go to http://www.TickleMePlant.com for seeds and growing kits. The TickleMe Plant will encourage your child’s interest in plants and respect for nature.
    Happy Growing,
    Mark

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  2. Another company that has been making teaching science easier for many years is Quality Science Labs, LLC - www.qualitysciencelabs.com (formerly under the name MicroChem Kits). Quality Science Labs offers complete science lab kits for grade 7-10 physical science, and high school biology, chemistry, and physics. Their lab kits are designed for home schools, independent study, and small schools.

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