When your child is old enough to start doing research on subjects, it is certain that the research will never end. All of our lives we will research and investigate matters or topics that interest us.
Getting your child to start researching and writing down observations is a perfect way to start their critical thinking skills.
Using research notebooks in your homeschool will benefit your child in exploring science, S.T.E.M (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), S.T.E.AM (STEM plus the arts – humanities, language arts, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design, and new media), and everything in between.
Research is an important aspect of your child’s learning journey. Of course, it is good to memorize important facts, but searching for answers on their own is a perfect way to prepare them for college or future careers.
I have met many people who have gone through schooling or have been in school systems where they learn subject matters and are able to do what they are told. However, when it comes to thinking outside the box, they have no idea where to begin.
Children will face many situations where they will need to research for the best alternatives. Only by research will they be able to make good decisions.
Research, particularly starting in the sciences, will help children think via methods that lead to educated decisions.
Research notebooks work particularly well in the sciences or the ever growing in popularity S.T.E.M, S.T.E.AM lessons. Keeping a research notebook in homeschool helps your student organize, track, and capture their problem-solving process and thoughts.
Using research notebooks in your homeschool is proven beneficial. Here are some benefits to using research notebooks in your homeschool:
- Kids can share and discuss ideas.
- Students can develop their own explanations and ideas.
- Document and identify patterns and relationships.
- Kids can record observations using words, pictures, charts, and graphs.
- Students can describe (including shape, size, number), compare, sort, classify, and order.
- Kids will engage in simple investigations.
- Students can make careful observations.
- Kids can raise questions.
- Students will explore objects, materials, and events.
Research notebooks are fairly easy to put together. Science experiments and lab experiments can lend themselves well to filling a research notebook with ideas, lessons learned, theories, and anything else that comes before the execution of the project.
You can find various ideas for science lab notes, research notebooks, and printables in this FREE Science Lab Notebooks and Printables post.
Having your children develop research notebooks in your homeschool can form a curiosity about the natural world, help them form a sense of nature and creation, and teach them how to form basic large and small controls for science should they proceed to take college courses in the future.
What’s cool for your kids to know is that most scientists keep a research notebook themselves. Kids can be empowered to think beyond what we realize they are capable of.
Research shows that children’s thinking is surprisingly sophisticated…. Children can use a wide range of reasoning processes that form the underpinnings of scientific thinking, even though their experience is variable and they have much more to learn. (Duschl, Schweingruber, & Shouse, 2007, pp. 2-3)
We can have our children utilize research notebooks and encourage independent learning that they will need to have as they grow older and into adulthood.
Here are a few research notebook resources to get your homeschool student started on their journey to critical thinking and investigations:
Another quick thing to think about is the researching of creation and biblical history itself. There will be a time when children will inquire for themselves biblical truths.
Answers in Genesis explains how scientists have developed interesting questions about the physical and biological processes that made the world come to be today, but they are limited to observing, testing, and experimenting with present processes and creatures.
Research will surely get our children thinking for themselves and exploring answers to questions, but some only the Lord can answer. We want our children to think for themselves and come to know the Lord for themselves. Teaching them to search for themselves is crucial in their journey.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
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