Textbook-Free Human Body Studies for Multiple Ages

Want to learn about the human body with your kids in homeschool science this year, but dread a boring textbook approach? Or do you have multiple ages in your homeschool, and you’re looking for a way to study anatomy with all of them in a hands-on, wonder-filled way?

Then save this post, because it is filled with delightful resources and projects for your next human body hands-on unit study!

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Textbook-Free Learning

As a 2nd-generation homeschool mom of five, I know how important it is to find things we can all study and learn together. But with a wide age span that’s sometimes easier said than done!

The joy of pursuing a textbook-free approach to science, history, geography, and a host of other subjects is that we can share a common learning experience while simultaneously challenging each individual child at their own appropriate level.

Your older children will certainly need to read and study human anatomy and physiology more deeply, and it is completely appropriate to provide them with textbooks or classes that teach them at that deep level.

But just because they’re studying science on their own does not mean they can’t also enjoy some textbook-free fun with the younger siblings!

For many younger children, a worksheet-heavy science program is not an enjoyable choice. Instead, find engaging books to read aloud, watch educational shows together, and pursue hands-on projects to reinforce the concepts you’re learning.

Teaching the Systems, Organs, and Cells of the Human Body

Learn the bones of the human body with this fun song set to the tune of “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.”

Bonus points: play the game “Simon Says” using the names of the bones of the body. For example, “Simon says touch your patella!”

Once you’ve learned the bones of the body, head outside and draw a gigantic Mr. Bones on the sidewalk to greet and educate your neighbors.

Now check out this cool video of the bones of the body from the ground up!

Of course, if you really want to be the cool mom, you could add this model skeleton to your homeschool room! What shall we name him?

Free Human Anatomy Printable Pack from The Homeschool Compass: This amazing free human body printable pack includes 40 full-color pages of learning and fun covering the organs of the human body and the major body systems.

Think all cells look alike? These images will blow your mind! For bonus points, have older children sketch or model the cell of their choice.

These free cell worksheets from Rock Your Homeschool include coloring pages, word search, and more.

This magnetic model of the human body is sure to become a family favorite!

Arts, Crafts, and Hands-On Activities to Study the Human Body

Anatomy Coloring Pages? Yes, please! Children of all ages will enjoy coloring these anatomy diagrams. Older children can label them in a detailed way, while younger siblings can just color the various organs and parts of the body in different colors.

Do you have a leftover Halloween skull lying around? Here’s a fun (and thrifty) way to learn the bones of the skull:

We often take the daily beating of our heart for granted. But the design of the valves and chambers is truly fascinating! This Pumping Heart Model DIY project is a fascinating hands-on project to demonstrate the circulatory system.

Another thing we take for granted? The fact that our food goes down to our stomach when we swallow. Ask your child why they think this happens. Maybe they assume it’s because of gravity. But then ask them what happens when an astronaut swallows in space! Do they have to stay upside down until the food reaches their stomach? A simple demonstration can show your children the role the esophageal muscles play in moving food from mouth to stomach. Have your children get in an inverted position (allow them to rest their feet on the wall to stay steady while upside down). Place a raisin, goldfish, or other small object in their mouth and instruct them to chew and swallow. What happens? What do we learn from this experience?

One of our family’s favorite projects has been making a Candy Model of a Human Body Cell. We start by creating a master sheet of each organelle, its candy representative, and its role. Then the kids have the best time putting together (and then eating) their cell model!

Don’t forget that taking a First Aid or CPR certification class is a great way to combine hands-on human body learning with practical life skills! The Red Cross, American Heart Association, your local emergency service providers, and many town community centers offer classes to a range of ages.

For even more human body, anatomy, physiology, and biology resources, check out the kits and projects available from Home Science Tools!

Human Body Videos

An MRI of what happens inside our mouth and throat when we speak and swallow is fascinating!

Check out the Human Anatomy and Physiology playlist from Kristin Moon Science

What are some of your favorite books, hands-on activities, projects, and other textbook-free ways to study the human body? I’d love to hear about them! Share your best ideas in the comments below.

For more homeschool encouragement, tips, and resources be sure to check out my Homeschool Conversations with Humility and Doxology podcast.

Amy Sloan

About the author

Amy Sloan is a 2nd-generation homeschooling mom of 5 who loves to share epic book lists, beautiful memory work, and down-to-earth encouragement at Humility and Doxology. She also hosts the weekly Homeschool Conversations podcast to share the wisdom and real-life perspective of a variety of homeschool moms, dads, and educators. She'd love to chat with you over a mug of strong coffee!

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