It’s that time of year again! Back to school sales are on and it’s a great time of year to stock up on homeschool supplies. This year, I have added to our original Back to (Home)school Shopping List to include some homeschool science supplies we have used (and are on our shopping list for this year). More about that below!
Even though I’m sharing these very long lists now, I would recommend only purchasing only what you need and acquiring things as you need them. It’s easy to plan… but often times when push comes to shove we don’t get to the unit or activity we originally planned!!
Here’s a glimpse at our general supply list.
Someone last year recommended I add a laminator to the list. We’ve had one for years and have used it tons, so that’s definitely something to consider. I also added a comb binder to the list because we use ours all the time, especially since I now make the kids so many notebook pages and packets! I’m considering getting a spiral binder instead, partly because I got our comb binder in Australia, so it is actually made for A4 paper (slightly longer, thinner paper than our 8×11 sheets).
We’ve grown to love writing and the kids go through quite a number of writing journals throughout the year. Walmart currently has a great selection of bound notebooks and I definitely went a bit overboard. Boy, do I love paper supplies, but obviously the kids do too.
You can download our supply lists here. They also include my planning pages for science and history. I’ll leave them in if anyone else can use them. The supply lists are free to download.
Scroll down for more about our Homeschool Science Supply List.
Now that I’ve shared the list, let me highlight the few things we absolutely *love* having on hand:
I was never much of a “timer” person, but a couple of years I decided to buy three of them and try it out. We use it ALL the time!! (In fact, now we have 5 of these because they walk away to the piano area and elsewhere.) It really helps us keep on track, especially now that we have a lot more subjects to cover over the course of our homeschool day. I’ve been pretty happy with this timer: Electronic Digital Timer (affiliate link), but I’m sure you can find these anywhere!
Last year I also talked about getting a date-stamp. I’ve found I really like having their writing and other work dated. It helps me remember when we’ve had a break or helps me quickly flip back to see when we covered a certain subject. It’s one of those things I’m not sure I would have purchased if I had not read about it, but I’m SO glad we have one! This is the one we got and I would get it again: Trodat Economy Self-Inking Date Stamp (affiliate link)
I can’t live without our workboxes! They help keep me organized. I like the bright colors and I have one subject for each color. The kids each have their own set. 10-Drawer Mobile Organizer, Assorted Colors (affiliate link)
I love having a nicer looking forward facing book shelf. We used to have the toddler-style set, but upgraded to a wooden one a couple years ago. I really like the look of this Winsome Wood 2-Tier Bookshelf, Natural. (affiliate link) We have this in our writing workshop area.One last thing I thought to add to the list was Project Bricks. We’ve had these for years and bring them out now and then. We’ve had long use out of them because we haven’t glued them together (ours have been temporary constructions!) We use these: FloraCraft Styrofoam Kits, Make It Fun: Project Bricks Sand. (affiliate link) We’ve made these into castle walls, the Great Wall of China, brought them out for physics experiments, and more.
Homeschool Science Supply List
Disclosure: Please note that some of the clickable links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Thanks for your support! ~Liesl
I thought I would put together a list of science supplies that we have used over the years. We slowly have acquired these science materials. I would recommend only purchasing only what you need.
Things we acquired early on in our homeschooling journey:
- Microscope (We have a really nice quality one that a friend passed on to us.)
- Prepared slides: We have several sets of prepared slides. I have all three levels, but I would suggest you start with just one set and go from there. The photos on Amazon show what is displayed on each slide.
- Rock Kits — We bought a set of rock specimens, including igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks like this one: American Educational Classroom Collection of Rocks and Minerals. We have used this regularly through the years, so I’m glad we invested in a kit so the kids could really explore the rocks. Remember too that we have a free Rocks and Minerals packet and free sheets on the Three Types of Rocks. The kids also *loved* cracking open geodes (we liked larger ones better).
- We also got a really amazing fossil kit. The kids *love* exploring these and we have used this with our geologic timeline activities. I can’t remember where we got our, but it wasn’t at Amazon.
- Plastic test tube set. We’ve gotten so much use out of this inexpensive set of Test Tube Trays from Oriental Trading
- We had fun with live mealworms and watching their life cycle. See this post: Working with Mealworms.
- Kits: We’ve gotten a number of kits through the years. The kids absolutely loved creating their own solar system: 4M Solar System Planetarium. They also loved the Squishy Human Body and we use that almost every year. We also have done kits on DNA, Physics and others.
Now that the kids are older (Ages 9, 12), we are slowly adding other science materials
- Molecule Set: When the kids were younger, we made our own molecules (with foam or marshmallows) and used a cheap kit (not really recommended), but now that they’re older we invested in an actual plastic set made by Molymod – 52 atom parts if you are like us and have a number of kids you might be interested in the larger kit. This is the one we got: Molymod Chemistry Molecular Model, Teacher Set (111 atom parts)
- Glass Graduated cylinder/s
- Scale or balance that measures in grams. I decided to get a digital scale (the one I chose measures up to 11lbs and can weight in grams, oz, etc.). Many people get balances instead, but I decided on this because we have a math balance (from Right Start Math) which has been fine for showing things like Air Has Weight (an experiment we did in our weather unit) .
- Density cubes – These are for a unit on density… which you can do as young as 4th grade, but we’re doing later (Gr. 5 and 7) because I’ll have the kids do lots of math calculations. Volume=LxWxH ; equations. Density=mass/volume or D=M/V. We got a set that includes ironwood (a very dense wood)–similar to this one Deluxe Density Cube Set (Carolina is a very reputable science supply store), but this set of 10 would work well too: Density Cube Set. I saw cheap sets, but was worried when people said the dimensions of the cubes were off.
- Equal mass set: There are different options available. We got this one ETA hand2mind, Equal Mass Diverse Materials Set, (41785). I’ll come back to update this once we’ve done our experiments.
Did I leave anything off the list that you think should be there? I’m sure I left a lot of basic science supplies off the list. Let me know by leaving a comment here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook page! ~Liesl
Disclosure: Please note that some of the clickable links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Thanks for your support! ~Liesl
You might be interested in our post, 10 Steps to Get Ready for Homeschool.