3 Things Your Student Should Learn From Their Junior High Science Classes
As parents of junior high students, we want the best for our kids. We want to prepare them for high school sciences the best that we can, but with so many choices in junior high sciences today, what are the best choices for your student? The most helpful suggestions I can give you are not what classes they should take, but what they should learn from each of the classes they take. That being said, here are my three things that your student should know by the end of their junior high science classes.
Did my student learn to love science?
This is the first thing on my list for a reason. I think it is the most important concept. So many times we put our students in classes that they don’t love or that are too hard for them with the good intention of pushing them to be the best they can be. However, sometimes pushing them into classes that are too hard or are not fun for them can kill the enjoyment of the learning experience. This will only create a dislike for science before they even start high school. So, make sure to put them in classes that center around things they want to learn about, and allow them grace when they don’t understand something. The main idea is to have fun.
The second thing that I think is important for junior high students to learn is to be independent. I understand that sometimes the vocabulary of the book we are using can be difficult, or perhaps we need to help them understand instructions. Most definitely we need to help with some of the experiments because some can be dangerous. However, whenever possible, let them do it all by themselves. Even if they fail, it is important for them to learn how to fix their own problems. How are they at researching things on their own? Can they read the chapter and answer questions without assistance? Are they able to read and meet the deadlines? It is much easier to let them fail and learn in junior high than in high school. Trust me, as hard as this may be, it is very important and you will appreciate all the work you did when you have a self-sufficient high school science student.
Lab reports are so important to understand before you get to high school. Every teacher will do lab reports a little differently, but for the most part they all want the same information. Make sure your student understands what a lab report is and how to properly fill out each section. In high school and on into college, lab reports will be the main focus of all of their science classes. By working through all the confusion and problems in junior high, your student will start high school with an edge up from other students who have never done one before.
I know many of you may be wondering why I didn’t mention what science classes to take. Well, as I’m sure you are aware, there are many to choose from, and they are all so important. I would suggest that you let your student pick the ones that they are excited to learn about. Of course we all think of chemistry, physics, and biology as the three main important classes, but there are so many other wonderful classes that are offered. Why not take a class on astronomy? There is a lot of physics involved in astronomy, so your student would be getting so much more than if he simply took a physics class. Why not take a class that focuses on the human body? Teachers will be covering a lot of biology along with anatomy. Classes that teach about the physical science of our earth will cover a lot of chemistry concepts, and so forth and so on. You get the idea! So don’t get bogged down with the type of classes your kids take. If you focus more on the three concepts listed above and let your student pick the classes that interest them, you cannot fail to prepare them for high school science classes.
Heather Getson has been teaching science classes online for the last seven years and loves watching her students find connections between science and their everyday lives. She has been married to John for 20 years and has four kids, whom she is currently homeschooling. As a family they love to be outdoors; camping, hiking, and traveling are their favorite things to do together.