Guest Post – How Homeschooling Parents can Teach Their Children About Anatomy

Google “how to teach anatomy” and you’ll probably be shocked to see that many of the top links that come up mention cadavers. Probably not the route that you want to go with your homeschooled kids!

Rest assured that there are plenty of other teaching methods and tools out there that are kid-friendly. And as a bonus for those homeschooling parents who might not be the most confident in their ability to teach complex scientific subjects like this, most of these are very user-friendly and a lot of fun. You might find yourself getting in on the lesson with your child and possibly even learning something, which is always one of the most rewarding parts of homeschooling for parents.

Here are some of the best ways to teach anatomy to your child, from little ones to high school-age kids.

Books. When you learn about anatomy in a regular classroom, they tend to give you a textbook. You don’t have to make your classes with your kids quite so dry, but there are tons of fun, colorful, smart anatomy books out there. There are books that focus on specific parts of anatomy, like bones, passing gas, and your brain. You can get coloring books. Books with projects you can do. Encyclopedias. And disgusting-but-true facts. In short, there are lots of things books offer to make your anatomy lessons fun and informative.

Models. Few things are going to be able to make your anatomy lessons as tactile and engaging as a anatomy models human anatomy model like the one seen here will. Most of us are probably familiar with the standard anatomy model that we might have seen in school growing up or at our doctor – a male torso and head. You can certainly get this type of model to use in your anatomy lessons, but today there’s so much more available. Going over bones? You can find everything from the full skeleton to individual bones that can be manipulated so that your kids get a hands-on lesson in how they work. Learning about specific organs or systems? How about a model of an eyeball, the male reproductive system, or our sinuses? You can even purchase models of individual organs or those designed to show diseases and disfigurements.

Charts. Bigger and more immersive than just reading text in a book, anatomy charts are kind of like posters of different parts and systems of the human body with a modest amount of written description. Sell it to your tech-savvy kids as an anatomy “infographic” and they’ll be all eyes and ears. These can be great for kids who learn visually or don’t like to read a whole lot, because the words and images work together to provide them with a fairly thorough map of the body’s various functions. As a bonus, charts work really well as a teaching aid if you’re trying to point out things or as part of a presentation.

Exercising and playing sports. Another fun way to teach certain aspects of anatomy is to get your kids up and moving with some physical activity and then explain what this does to their body and how it all works. Obviously, this puts more of the onus on you, but you can also keep it relatively simple by talking about things like how their heart beats faster and more blood is pumped around their bodies when they run around. Or how our bones, muscles, and skin interact and together allow us to do all of the amazing things that we do. More advanced learners (and teachers!) can specify which muscles are doing what and teach best practices when exercising. Here’s just one great resource before you head to the gym or field.

Online material. There’s no other way to say it: there’s just a wealth of amazing anatomical teaching aids online. You can find sites with in-depth articles and bright, clear images. Games that teach kids about the systems of the body. Videos of anatomy lectures and animations that take you on a first person tour. And tests and tutorials to solidify your kids’ knowledge (not to mention your own!). The hardest part will probably be deciding what to use and how much time to spend on it.

 

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Juliana Weiss-Roessler writes about educational topics for parents with her husband Josh. Follow her on TwitterGoogle+, and Facebook.

Lisa
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Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile

Comments

  1. I love all these links to resources! I’m pinning this for when we get to anatomy! Thank you!!
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