Thursday, October 24, 2013

First Term Science Experiments! (A Big Success!)

Each home educating family has its strengths and its weaknesses. My weaknesses include a sincere dislike of anything that produces mess. I simply detest messy projects (and cleaning them up). And though my dreams of a NASA-cleanroom type house don't seem to be coming true, I do like to maintain a certain level of orderliness and cleanliness (the levels of which seem to be declining each year).

This means that things like crafts, science activities, and big projects of any kind are naturally on my, "Oh, man! Do we have to?" list. In other words, my instinct is to avoid them like the plague.

However, there's another and greater truth - and that is that I have been entrusted with the education and raising of my children. Home education was not something I volunteered for - it was something that I felt was specifically assigned to me by the Lord. And that being the case, I want - very badly - to do a good job at the assignment that has been entrusted to me.

Additionally, I don't want my children to grow up into some of those rare-but-unfortunate former homeschoolers who were dissatisfied with the homeschool experience. (I've only seen a couple of these, thankfully!) I don't want my children missing out on the fun parts of education - the fun parts being all of the things that I would naturally like to avoid.

That being said, bring on the crafts and science activities!

I have assigned myself the job of providing a minimum of one craft, one science activity, and one field trip per week. The field trips are easy - it's more of a job of keeping them down to one per week - and I've found that there are oodles and oodles and oodles of awesome crafts and science activities to be found on the internet (and I'm collecting them in Evernote notes - more about Evernote later!).

For the first half of this year, science activities have been a huge success. My current system is to do the research, print off the directions, gather the equipment and supplies, and then let DH and our eldest son loose with them. This allows DH to be involved in our lessons, and they have a great time together.

And - as always happens when I force myself to do something that stretches my comfort zones - I have found that I, too, am having a wonderful time with science experiments! They are definitely a high point of our week.

We do occasionally have to buy one or two ingredients for the activities, but on the whole, science activities for lower level elementary have been surprisingly easy and inexpensive to do. If you haven't yet launched out into this area, I highly recommend it!

Here are some of the science experiments we've tried this year (for first grade):

Milk and soap - polarity. 
Painting with Vinegar - one of many vinegar/soda experiments!

Bubbling lava lamps!

Cornstarch Polymers
If you haven't yet delved into the area of science activities for young children, it might be time to give it a try! Enjoy!

(Try Steve Spangler Science for some starter ideas!)


Housekeeping Note:

I generally try to blog only twice weekly, but I am currently overrun with half-finished blog posts - so I am publishing more often for a little bit in order to clear up older posts and enable me to start some new ones! Thanks for your patience! 


  1. Diana, I love that you make the effort in an area you don't enjoy so that your children can! We have also delegated science to daddy this year for my younger children, I only have the 7th grader's science on my plate.

    Thanks for linking up!

  2. Tristan - Thanks for hosting the link-up! It was fun! :)

    I enjoyed your post about writing, too, and I'm hoping to incorporate that style into our home education program within the next year or two (right now our 7yo has to be tortured into writing, so I'm hoping it will come more naturally in a year or so). If you'd ever like to write more about how you encourage writing, I'd love to read about it!


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