By contributing writer Tabitha.
In our home, I’ve never had a problem teaching human anatomy. My children were fascinated with their own bodies from birth. As anyone knows, when the interest is already there, learning is fun!
My oldest son loved anything to do with the human body. At the young age of 6 he had checked out a particular book about human anatomy from the library so many times that we bought him his own copy for his birthday. “Look at my favorite disease!” he would gleefully share with anyone willing to listen. (And yes, we read it with him.)
Having had 9 other children since this curious son, I can tell you they’ve all had various levels of interest, but the interest is still there. Here are some things we’ve learned over the past 18 years.
Tips for Learning About Human Anatomy
Answer their questions!
Children are naturally curious, and with their bodies are there as a constant reminder, they will always be wondering about what’s going on.
Life events also bring up questions. We get sick. Mom is having a baby. Grandma has cancer. Someone gets a cut or scrape. My nose is runny. The kid next door has asthma. I just burped. We walk down the feminine hygiene aisle at the grocery store (that was an interesting conversation). What are vaccines?
I’ve found that just keeping up with my kids’ questions has been a great way to lead into checking out new books at the library, finding a new movie on Netflix, or even asking our pediatrician for more information.
As they grow, the answers can get more detailed and mature. If you keep this venue open, it will lead to great discussions about difficult topics because you started out answering their questions early.
Use fun resources.
The Magic School Bus is a definite favorite. There’s an episode with a trip through the digestive system leads to my kids using the whole house as a digestive system model for weeks. There’s also an episode where one of the students gets sick and they have to have a closer look at the immune system and the blood stream. This is useful any time one of the kids gets sick. Another episode explores oxygen and muscles. Yet another explores skin at the cellular level. It never ends.
We also have similar discussions after watching some of the School House Rock songs, including the Body Machine, Do the Circulation, Dry Bones, and Telegraph Line about different systems in the body.
At one point, we also had a human body puzzle, a fold out human body model, and a human body clear model called Visible Man, which there are several versions of now. Other ideas are games like “Operation” and human anatomy coloring books they actually make for medical school students. We’ve always wanted a full size human skeleton model. Really. We are that family.
We even had a few computer games geared towards human body learning, a Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness book, and videos that had a talking skeleton as a mascot, which are no longer found anywhere. If this is something that appeals to you, there are new ones out that could be just as fun!
Whenever my kids are interested in something, I make it a point to find a LOT of books on the topic. Human anatomy has been no exception. We read the books together, we discuss what we find, and we read some more. There are so many great books about very specific topics!
We have some books of our own, but we still go to the library often and find something new every time.
So, to sum things up, we are constantly learning about the human body in our home because, frankly, there are a lot of them around here. We make sure we do the following:
- Answer those questions!
- Find fun resources!
- Get books and read them!
It’s never a dull moment around here, and learning about human anatomy is one constant in my homeschool parenting lifestyle.
More Anatomy Themed Posts
- Printable Human Body Themed Worksheets
- Virtual Anatomy Study Resources
- Learning Ear Anatomy with Play Dough
Personal Recommendations from The Happy Housewife for Anatomy Curriculum & Resources:
Apologia: Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology
Additional Anatomy Curriculum and Resources
- Human Skeleton Model – a 41 piece skeletal model that stand 9.2″ tall once assembled. Includes a stand and assembly guide.
- Little Labs: The Human Body – a 48-page, full-color illustrated guidebook, this kit teaches human biology fundamentals with step-by-step, hands-on experiments.
- First Human Body Encyclopedia (Dk First Reference Series)
- Learning Resources Skeleton Floor Puzzle
- The Magic School Bus: A Journey into the Human Body
- Melissa & Doug Magnetic Human Body Play Set