Currently, there is a great deal of research surrounding learning theory. The Science Mommy has read much of this research and incorporates it into her explorations and investigations. If you are interested in doing your own reasearch, I would recommend How People Learn. There are three important components that are well documented and researched:
1. New information needs to be attached to some background knowledge or experience
2. Students need to do something with the new information - practice it, apply it, explore it...
3. Students need to reflect on what they now know - how the new information connects with prior understanding or how their prior understanding has changed with the new information.
Consider explorations to be building background knowledge. When ideas connect or build on each other, The Science Mommy will link posts. Don't worry if your Kid Scientists doesn't understand the science behind the exploration. While Kid Scientists won't be able to understand molecular theory or The Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy, they can begin to build background by making obersvations and exploring models. Later when Kid Scientists learn the more complex science, they will have background knowledge to connect.
Ask your Kid Scientists lots of questions...feed their curiosity...build their background experience and the technical understanding will come when it's time.