Summer Science

Summer is fast approaching. For many of us, that means a break from our formal home education. The textbooks go on the shelf and we get a break from grading and evaluating. As much as we enjoy the time off, we really enjoy studying science during the summer. It’s the perfect time to get outside in the backyard, take trips to the zoo or to other nature parks.

Last summer, we worked through most of the Apologia Zoology 3: Land Animals curriculum. The kids and I took trips to a few different zoos and wildlife parks. That experience made the text come alive. Since it was summer, we didn’t do tests or assignments beyond the reading and the notebooking. I am convinced that the kids learned more without the pressure.

You don’t have to work through a text or follow any kind of curriculum to study science this summer. Just go with what your kids are interested in and pursue that with no pressure or expectations. The most important aspect of summer science is keeping it fun!

Ideas For Summer Science Study

Unit Studies – Unit Studies are lots of fun. They actually incorporate many academic areas around a main topic in a really fun way for kids. In our experience, kids learn without even realizing it! We enjoy Amanda Bennett’s Unit Studies. She has some really fun topics for summer: seashells, summer, trees, baseball, dolphins, oceans and gardens. You could always create your own unit study based on your child’s interests.

Experiments – Go to the library and grab a couple experiment books. Choose a few that look interesting and gather the supplies needed to carry them out. Have your experiment list and supplies on hand to pull out throughout the summer when the kids get bored.

Nature Field Trips – Make a list of all the zoos and nature parks within driving distance. When you have a free day, pack a lunch, binoculars, nature guides, sketch pads and cameras and take off. Pay attention to what interested your kids most about the trip. Grab some corresponding books at the library to keep the fascination going.

exploring backyard bugs

Backyard Nature – The backyard can be a fascinating place. Put out a bird feeder or bird bath and observe who it attracts. Plant flowers for the butterflies and hummingbirds. Spend time outside. The more the kids are out there, the more they will see.

Science Kits – There are lots of fun boxed science kits available. I have seen them at Michaels, Hobby Lobby and online at place like Nature’s Workshop Plus. We have built and launched rockets, made our own ice cream and made a bug habit – all from a kit! You gotta like science in a box!

Do you have any fun summer science ideas?


  1. I used the Flying Creatures book several years ago with my oldest daughter, during the summer time. I have decided to use it this summer with my soon to be 2nd and 3rd grader. The summer seems to be the time when all the bugs and insects are out! We love learning through the summer as much as we do the rest of the year!

  2. We like to look at the stars. You do not need a lot of fancy equipment. We have seen a lot just by looking at the sky. The further you go from the city the more you can see. So star gazing can be done while camping. We use a star guide to try and identify the stars and constellations that we see.

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