Homeschooling, technology

    Engaging Curiosity with Microscope Science

    There are many acceptable ways to approach science in your homeschool, but this school year I wanted a break from textbook based science.  I wanted to try something slightly less structured as we kicked off our school year.

    microscope-science-1

    Something simple, yet engaging.

    I wanted science plans that would provide opportunities for my kids to be curious about the world and a chance to follow their curiosities.

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    So I began brainstorming.

    It occurred to me that we happen to own a fantastic student compound microscope that we occasionally pull it out to explore the microscopic world around us, but we have never used it for any type of formal science study.  At least not yet…

    Brilliant.

    I determined that this microscope was going to be our Fall Science Curiosity Driver.  or something like that.

    Basically, I decided that we would spend the first months of our school year being curious about the world beyond the naked eye.

    I knew that I would need more than just the microscope so I began to research book titles that would guide us gently, leaving plenty of room for curiosity and questioning.  In fact, I wanted a guide that would encourage both of these things!

    Right around that same time, I hosted an Usborne book party and discovered this fantastic book for the microscope, “The Usborne Complete Book of the Microscope“.

    It was the perfect book to guide us along an educational path with our microscope.

    So we began reading.

    And we set up our microscope so that we could all explore the microscopic world together.  This microscope comes with software for the computer and a special USB port eyepiece so that you can view the images on your computer.  Then I used our  HDMI cable to connect my computer to the television.

    microscopic worlds

    And it has been perfect.

    Simple.  Low preparation, but high enthusiasm.

    The book has encouraged us to take a look at water, feathers, and various types of paper and cloth materials under our microscope.

     

    img_0935I was particularly intrigued at all of the fibers making up various kinds of paper.  Toilet paper.  Paper towels.  Drawing paper.  And colored magazine pages.  Fascinating.

    Each of my children brings a composition notebook over to the floor and we simply write the date and draw images of the various objects and materials we view under the microscope.

    We have had some frustrations with materials that weren’t easy to view, but we have had a ton of “WOW” moments that have made our experimenting worth it.

    I have a feeling that we’ll know when it is time to move on to other subjects.

    My hope is that the time we are spending with our microscope will make us more confident to use it during all of our science lessons!

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