Pin
Pinterest Hidden Image

In this episode of “Ten Minutes to a Better Homeschool,” host Dawn Garrett introduces an insightful excerpt from the Navigating High School Course. This excerpt features an interview with Dr. Kristin Moon, founder of kristenmoonscience.com, a former scientist who homeschools her children and shares with homeschool families her passion for teaching high school science. 

Dr. Moon discusses the importance of hands-on experiences in learning and she offers practical tips for parents who are considering teaching lab sciences to their high schoolers. Listeners will gain valuable information and resources for providing a quality science education at home, making this episode an essential listen for homeschooling parents seeking guidance on science education.

Listen to the Podcast

Pam Barnhill [00:00:02]:
Feeling overwhelmed with homeschooling? Wondering how you can streamline your day and boost your family’s success? Welcome to 10 minutes to a better homeschool. I’m Pam Barnhill, fellow homeschooler and your guide to quick, effective solutions. In each episode, we dive into practical, actionable tips that fit your busy life. Whether it’s curriculum choices, time management, or creative teaching methods, we’ve got you covered. And the best part? It’s all in bite sized 10 minute segments perfect for a busy parent schedule. So pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and join me in transforming your homeschool experience one tip at a time. Let’s make every minute count. Hi there and welcome to this episode of Ten Minutes to a Better Homeschool.

Pam Barnhill [00:00:49]:
I’m so excited today to be bringing you our second excerpt from our navigating high school course. Now a couple of weeks ago, we did an excerpt from one of our mindset audios that’s in the course. This week, we’re doing an excerpt from one of our resource audios that’s in the course. And, actually, in the course, this particular resource is a video. So we do have some video interviews with various kind of homeschool experts in their field. We have Andrew Pudewa, Dennis DeNoia, Colleen Kessler, Jean Burke, all of those great resources there to talk to us about homeschooling various high school subjects. And in this particular excerpt, Dawn Garrett is taking over the hosting duties, and she is interviewing doctor Kristin Moon who teaches science online to high schoolers, but also is very encouraging of parents who want to teach high school at home and not outsource and do some of that themselves, some of those lab sciences at home. So this is a fun excerpt from this particular resource in our high school course.

Pam Barnhill [00:01:57]:
I’m gonna go ahead and let you listen to that, and remember to follow the link in the show notes to be notified when that high school course goes live, April 2nd, and we cannot wait to have you join us in the course. So find that link in the show notes and enjoy this excerpt.

Dawn Garrett [00:02:13]:
Doctor Kristin Moon is a scientist who left the lab behind to homeschool her two sons. Now that both boys have graduated for her from her homeschool and are in college, she’s devoting her time to helping others provide a quality science education to their children from home. She’s teaches high school biology, chemistry, physics, genetics, and anatomy and physiology online to homeschoolers from around the world, including my homeschoolers. She has, also has self-paced science courses available on her website at kristinmoonscience.com. Dr. Moon, thank you so much for joining me today. We’re so glad to have this opportunity to talk with you about science and how to do lab sciences as homeschoolers for high school.

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:03:03]:
Yes. I’m happy to be here.

Dawn Garrett [00:03:05]:
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your passion for science and for teaching?

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:03:10]:
Okay. As, as you mentioned in the introduction, I was trained as a scientist. I went to school and I got my undergraduate degree in microbiology. And then I went on to get my PhD also in microbiology and molecular genetics. And the assumption was that I was going to spend my adult years working in a lab. And in another life, I think that I would have really enjoyed doing that, but my plans changed after the birth of my first son. My heart was just calling me home. And much to the chagrin of of of many people, I I I left the lab, and I came home to raise my family.

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:03:48]:
And as a product of public school myself, I just assumed I would put my children in public school. But when the time came to enroll my son in kindergarten, I was just enjoying having so much fun, you know, at home with him and teaching him the things. And by that point, I had been exposed to homeschooling. So we took the plunge. And we figured we would take it step by step. But once we got started, we didn’t stop. And through that time, you know, when once we were engaged with the homeschool communities locally, I was approached to ask if I would help with high school science. And so even though my own kids were preschool, kindergarten age, I was starting to teach high school science to local homeschoolers.

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:04:30]:
And that’s when I realized how much I loved teaching. I had a little bit of teaching opportunity while I was in graduate school, like helping out with med student labs and stuff like that. But but actually getting to get kids excited about science, I realized that that that just thrills me. It absolutely thrills me.

Dawn Garrett [00:04:48]:
Yeah. Homeschoolers are nothing, but if not, you have an expertise, can you help us with that expertise? And I think that is I think that’s such a great part of the homeschool school community is that we are able to help one another and to really make sure that our children have all of opportunities to do lab sciences and to do history and to do things well. Absolutely.

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:05:12]:
We all have gifts. And my gift was not foreign language or teaching art or or many other things. So I was glad to outsource as well.

Dawn Garrett [00:05:20]:
I would love for you to tell us a little bit about my lab sciences. Why do we have to do lab sciences, Dr. Moon?

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:05:28]:
I think that lab science, I mean, especially once we get to high school, students are learning about really abstract concepts like forces and atomic bonding and genetics. And I think that they can learn to a certain degree reading textbooks and listening to lectures, that sort of thing. But just like anything, I mean, you could read about how to play an instrument, but playing an instrument is really just going to to make that come alive for you. It’s the same thing with lab sciences. Actually, getting your hands involved, getting your whole body involved, all of your senses. I mean, it’s, it’s just going to really help you to connect to the material and make it make a lot more sense.

Dawn Garrett [00:06:13]:
I’ve, yeah, that’s, that’s great. And I will say that as Charlotte Mason people at my home, we’ve done a lot of science reading, but my kids have taken classes from doctor Moon, from Kristin, and they come back to me surprised. Oh, we really like science. We really like doing it because they’ve had the opportunities to do some of those labs. So many, if kids are college bound, they obviously want it on a transcript. Mhmm. But, I appreciate the reasons to do it that aren’t so utilitarian. They’re just such real kinds of learning about the world that has been created for us.

Dawn Garrett [00:06:51]:
Absolutely. So even if my children are not planning on science careers, they’re gonna need to have these lab sciences. How do you help kids kind of take that on and, and, and make doing these sciences at home their own?

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:07:10]:
Well, I think that science, you know, so many people think of science as just something that they need to check the box about because they’re going to to college or because maybe their state requires certain things for them to graduate from high school. But, honestly, science is is how we understand the world, how how our world works. And I think that there is utility in in learning that. Whether you plan to go on to science, you know, career or to college or or what have you. And when I get kids and and I actually I’ve I I enjoy the challenge when a student comes to me or their parent tells me they hate science because I don’t believe it. I don’t believe anybody really hates science. I think that they may have preconceived notions that it’s hard because they’ve heard people describe it as hard or, you know, that it that it’s not any, you know, usefulness to them. I love to to show students how their everyday lives are filled with science.

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:08:10]:
And I like to to try to equate what we’re learning in class to what they’re doing in their everyday world. Just this past week in in chemistry, my students who are learning about solutions, we we learned about freezing point depression, and we discussed why we put salt on the road when snow is expected. And and they got to learn how to do that, and then I make it fun. I’m giving them a chance for extra credit. They can make use this same property of freezing point depression to make ice cream at home for extra credit. So, anyway, I I do try to make it fun, but I also tried to help them recognize how they’re using science in their everyday life.

Dawn Garrett [00:08:49]:
That’s great. Yes. Are there other skills that come from studying science than the science knowledge that, that you help to, to foster and bring about with your students?

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:09:02]:
Absolutely. I mean, one great skill is, resilience because experiments don’t always work. I think that there that people might think that professional scientists, scientists that work in a lab, that their experiments work all the time, just the way that they planned, but that is not true. In fact, it took me 5 years to to to earn my PhD because it just took me so long to get the the results that I needed, you know, to to prove my thesis. There’s going to be a lot of of experiments that don’t work the way that you expect them to, but that is an opportunity to put problem solving skills into effect. Why didn’t this work? What could I change? What possibly did I do wrong? And and then, you know, just doing hard things. There is such, you know, there’s such good in learning to do hard things even when they don’t come easy to us. And, and then of course, you know, just developing that sense of wonder.

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:09:59]:
I I really do love seeing students, and and they they will leave me comments on their homework about just how amazing this was, how how they didn’t expect this to happen, and that they’re just they’re just blown away. And that’s the thing. Doing hands on experience experiments and and having them work, it’s addictive. Like, once you get once you get it, it it’s almost like magic. It’s magic, but it’s real. And they they want to do it again. They want to keep on doing it. So, I mean, I think that there’s a lot of usefulness in in doing hands on science.

Dawn Garrett [00:10:32]:
Yes. I agree. And I personally have appreciated how my kids had to like pull in their math skills, have had to pull in some writing skills, have had to, like, work on all of those things together within the the science coursework that they’ve been assigned. And so resilience is great. And, and all of, all, all of those pieces I love. That’s really wonderful. I have chosen to outsource lab sciences. And so I chose to do it because I wanted somebody who is gonna help my kids get excited about science, who knows it and is interested and really, really loves it.

Dawn Garrett [00:11:11]:
I think that’s really important. Are there other reasons to risk out to outsource it that you can think of? I

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:11:18]:
think that if you are, are, if you know, as a parent that you just don’t love science, that it’s not your thing and and your children have the opportunity to to maybe experience science with someone who is passionate about that, I think that’s a great a great thing to outsource. Because those of us that are passionate about science are really excited about it. And and we’ve got lots of tricks up our sleeves. We’ve done lots of different things. And I think that we probably have a way way of of, explaining science and the abstract concepts to students that may be, you know, the the typical person does not. You know, also time is a factor, you know, being really busy, you know, if you work outside the home. And then, you know, sometimes if you if you’re participating in a class or in a homeschool co op where students get to do labs together in a group, They they can a lot of times you can do experiments in a way that it’s a lot more easy. It’s a lot easier to do them in a group than it is to do it at home.

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:12:17]:
So, you know, there’s typically a student. Like, if you have a group of kids, there’s usually kids that love to do dissections and kids that do not want to do dissections, and you pair them up. Right? Mhmm. Maybe one person can write the notes while the other person is dissecting. So, you know, there could be lots of different reasons to outsource. But but, really, if, you know, I think the major reason would be if you feel like you’re you’re just not gonna be passionate and you’re not going to instill that love of learning to your kids, just like any other subject, you would want to outsource that. Just as I said, how I outsourced foreign language. You know, I was never going to do that justice.

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:12:53]:
So I recognize that, and and I outsourced it.

Dawn Garrett [00:12:57]:
What do you do if you just can’t afford to do the outsourcing and it’s not your strong suit and you you’d you have to figure out how to do it at home. Do you have any suggestions or recommendations for

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:13:08]:
that? So are we we’re talking about lab science in in particular, not just In particular. So there are some really wonderful online options. I do prefer to do hands on, but there are really great out online options. Some which will, like, walk you through how like, if you get the equipment yourself, it’s almost like watching a cooking show, how they will demonstrate the steps and you can do them along at home. That is great. And we are so fortunate to be living in this time because we are able to order all sorts of great stuff from vendors and they can come to our home. We can order acids and bases and chemicals and equipment, and you could order bacteria and petri dishes. You could order so many different things.

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:13:52]:
You know, am I allowed to mention a couple of vendors? Yeah. Please. The one that I go to, by and large, is Home Science Tools. Mhmm. I just think that they’ve got really great quality equipment and and resources. And if you struggle, you know, they’ve got people that you can call or email that will help walk you through. And then they have lots of different resources for using their equipment. So it’s just a it’s just a wonderful website.

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:14:18]:
And and so you could go there and get all sorts of different information. But I’ve I’ve I’ve lost the original question. What was the original question? I I this happens.

Dawn Garrett [00:14:26]:
I’ve I’d no. I think I think that is great. How how do you do lab sciences at home if you have to be the one who’s doing them is really the question. I know you have courses that you sell that are self paced courses that they should work with almost any kind of science texts that you’ve chosen for your students. Is that correct?

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:14:47]:
It is true. So I have one that goes with biology, high school biology, and I have another that goes with high school chemistry. And it was it was something that I kept seeing, like, a common complaint I was seeing in lots of the homeschool groups. And it was about how high school science and and and high school science more on the level to what kids might be getting in a private or a public school, that would prepare them well for college. That was that went above and beyond kitchen science. So, yes, I I did create two of those courses, but it is using materials that you can get from home science tools and that you can do from home and you can do with any curriculum.

Pam Barnhill [00:15:27]:
Do you want fewer arguments, less tension, and true excitement during language arts learning? Night Zookeeper is the answer. Night Zookeeper is a game changing language arts program that takes the stress out of teaching by making it fantastically fun and engaging for your child. The program teaches spelling, grammar and punctuation, vocabulary, reading and writing through a preplanned language arts curriculum that your child can use independently, freeing you up to focus on other tasks. Night Zookeeper has hundreds of word games, interactive video lessons, and inspiring writing prompts to keep your child engaged all year and boost their confidence. Your child will also get written feedback on their writing from real tutors, so you don’t have to be the bad guy. Thousands of homeschool parents have found success using Night Zookeeper to transform their children’s attitudes towards language arts learning. Parents like Ally Midday, one of the member liaisons Pam. Ally’s three oldest kids have been using Night Zookeeper, and they absolutely love the feedback that they get from the writing tutors and the ability to create their own characters.

Pam Barnhill [00:16:39]:
They are having so much fun. So if you’re ready to say goodbye to the stress of teaching language arts, give Night Zookeeper a try. Click on the link in the description to this podcast for a 7 day free trial and 50% off of an annual subscription.

Dawn Garrett [00:16:59]:
Can you just tell us tell everyone where they can find you, your Instagram, your website one more time?

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:17:04]:
Yeah. So I wasn’t very creative when I came to naming my how to find me. It’s Kristin Moon Science. Kristin, and my last name is Moon Science. That is my handle on Facebook and Instagram. I even have a YouTube channel. I’m gonna try to get better about creating my own videos. But right now on YouTube, you can find, like, curated playlists for biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy, and physiology videos that you can use.

Dr. Kristin Moon [00:17:32]:
Some of them are lab experiments, but, basically, these are videos that I assign my own students in my classes to help just round out their their knowledge on the different topics. Then I do have my website, kristinmoonscience.com. That’s where I’ve got blog posts and the curriculum that I offer. And then I do have a list on my website of different, some of my favorite resources for teaching science at home. So people who are looking for, you know, different tips or methods or experiments or simulations, that would be a really great place to to look.

Dawn Garrett [00:18:06]:
Well, thank you so much for coming and talking with me today. I really appreciate it. And I’m hopeful that we’ll get to see you at the robotics tournament. I got to meet doctor Min at the robotics tournament last year when my kids were near where she lives, so I’m hoping that we’ll get to see her again this year. Yes. Thanks so much, Kristin. Absolutely.

Pam Barnhill [00:18:28]:
Thank you for tuning in to Ten Minutes to a Better Homeschool. Remember, small changes can make a big impact in your homeschooling journey. If you want more tips and resources to enhance your experience, check out our free Homeschool Better Together Community. You’ll find additional tools, guides, and a community of supportive homeschoolers just like you. Visit community.pambarnhill.com to learn more and join us. Until next time, keep on homeschooling.

Links and Resources From Today’s Show

Key Takeaways About Lab Sciences for High School

  • Lab sciences in high school provide a hands-on experience that helps students connect abstract concepts to real-world applications, making the material more understandable and memorable.
  • Lab sciences also foster resilience, problem-solving skills, a sense of wonder, and the ability to handle experiments that don’t work as expected.
  • While outsourcing lab sciences to science educators is an option, there are also online resources and self-paced courses available for parents who choose to teach lab sciences at home.
  • Dr. Kristin Moon offers self-paced high school biology and chemistry courses, designed to work with various science textbooks, providing resources and materials for conducting experiments at home.
  • Parents can find Dr. Kristin Moon at Kristin Moon Science on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and can access her curriculum and valuable science teaching resources on her website at kristinmoonscience.com.

Better homeschool news
Get our Friday newsletter and more with new episode info, Pam's homeschool picks, and interesting finds to share with your kids.

Leave a Rating or Review

Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast. iTunes bases their search results on positive ratings, so it really is a blessing — and it’s easy!

  1. Click on this link to go to the podcast main page.
  2. Click on Listen on Apple Podcasts under the podcast name.
  3. Once your iTunes has launched and you are on the podcast page, click on Ratings and Review under the podcast name. There you can leave either or both! 

Thanks for Your Reviews