Sep 08

Homeschool Science and Cultures

No, not bacterial cultures. People cultures. One of my main goals in homeschooling is to teach my child to be compassionate. Compassion is one of the traits that I wrote about here, that I feel contributes to a person’s happiness. In my Lesson Themes article, I mapped out my plan to teach compassion, and as part of that plan, I teach my child about different cultures.

One of the difficulties with having a preschool theme or a unit study focused on a culture is finding a way to tie science into the lesson. One easy way to solve this problem is to study the culture’s natural environment. After all, the environment people live in has a lot to do with their culture.

Homeschool Science and CultureWhen we did our Latin America theme, I focused our science activities on the rainforest and the different animals that live there. We even did some experiments about clouds and rain.

For an Asian theme you might experiment with volcanoes or learn about pandas. For Africa, obviously there are a ton of animals to learn about. You can also learn about types of climates, since Africa has so many. Europe might take a little different turn if you live in the United States or Canada, since its wildlife and climate are so similar to North America. To incorporate science into a Europe study, you could investigate the engineering marvels of the continent, like the dikes and canals, medieval castles, the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, and other Ancient Roman and Greek technology. Obviously, you can also include man-made structures in your studies of other continents. There are some amazing structures found on all of the populated continents. But, those areas also have quite a bit of unique natural history to cover too, that I wouldn’t want to skip.

I’d love to hear how you’ve incorporated science into lessons about other cultures. Please share your ideas!


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  1. Mud Hut Mama

    Interesting post. I haven’t done any real unit studies yet so haven’t tried to tie science into something else but I love your idea of pairing the natural environment with culture. We do a lot of science in the kitchen – watching how cooking changes the consistency of food, and how yeast makes dough rise, making popcorn was a fun science experiment to learn about cause and effect. I think cooking foods from other cultures might also provide some ways to tie in science.

    1. Lorraine Bradley

      I like kitchen science too. And there’s so much you can do with kitchen supplies that isn’t food-related, like homemade playdough and baking soda volcanoes. It’s so great how your children are learning about another culture first-hand. I’m sure they’ll grow up to be more compassionate because of their experiences. I’ll have to hit you up for some ideas when we do our Africa lesson.

  2. maryanne @ mama smiles

    I haven’t incorporated science into culture lessons like this, but I love the idea!

    1. Lorraine Bradley

      Thanks, Maryanne! I guess anthropology in itself is a science, but I think any culture’s natural environment has a lot to do with who they are and how they developed.

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