Our Science Plans for This Year
The last couple of weeks, we had our Back to School Challenge, but I didn’t write specifically about our upcoming plans. In today’s post, I’m going to talk about our plans for science this year.
The kids are going into grades 3, 6, and 8.
When planning out for the new year, I think back over the units we’ve covered the past few years. I try to make sure that I cover material again as ED (the youngest of my three kids) comes up through the grades.
So last year, we did a big unit on chemistry in the fall.
- With ED (who was in grade 2) she read the Real Science-4-Kids Chemistry pre-Level I (affiliate link) and did a number of great chemistry activities to go along with that (that packet is free here).
- Then we all moved in to slightly more complex chemistry topics (which you can check out in these chemistry posts).
In the spring semester, we did a large unit on biology:
- Again, for ED (grade 2), we covered vertebrate and invertebrate groups and their characteristics in our Animal Unit plus she covered animal tracks (it was winter so she enjoyed trying to find tracks in the snow!) and learned about the difference between wild and domesticated animals and reviewed a few other things like reviewing basic animal characteristics and animal classification again.
- Then we went on to study biology a bit deeper (really delving into feeding relationships, biological interactions etc.). I expect to have to cover this material with ED again in a few years. My older two will cover that material again when they get to high school biology.
- We also did a big unit on oceans (the hydrosphere). We talked about the 4 Earth Systems – and went into great depth (haha!!) about ocean features, currents, tides, marine habitats, special ocean creature body shapes and features, and so forth. (That was a great unit and the kids loved the documentary series Blue Planet. (affiliate link) Even ED begged to watch the next episode each day!! We highly recommend that!!)
As we wound up the year, I had ED do a small mini-unit on Simple Machines again (because it had been several years since we had covered that topic). My older two were fine with the material, but again I always have to remember that some things we cover together are a bit over ED’s head at the time. 🙂 We always need to circle back around to it.
Anyway, that was a very, very long-winded way of saying that I felt like I needed to go over the States of Matter – Solids, Liquids, Gases with ED again. I want to make sure she remembers what’s happening on a molecular level. And also she probably needs some review on the terms when there is a change of state… Of course, she knows what happens when water goes form a solid to a liquid (melting), but probably doesn’t remember what it’s called when ice goes straight to a gaseous state (sublimation). I also want to talk with her about polymers again (long stringy molecules) that can make some things appear to be both a liquid and a solid (because who doesn’t like playing with ooblek in their homeschool, right?!!). It won’t be a long unit, but I’ve got that pretty much set to go (update: you’ll find this packet here: States of Matter Packet)
I’ll also have ED watch Molecules to the MAX (affiliate link) which we first watched last year when we were studying chemistry (the periodic table). You can see more at our review here : Review of Molecules to the Max. (Note: the giveaway mentioned in that post has now ended.)
You will also find an amazing, FREE 55-page resource guide at Molecularium.com: This is great for Grades 1 to 3!!
Again, you might want to grab our free Chemistry Experiment Packet:
Then we’ll go on to explore a couple other topics in chemistry related to matter:
Properties of Matter: (Physical vs. Chemical Properties) We’ll talk about size, shape, color, hardness, texture, state/malleability, melting point, and so forth… reactivity, corrosion, tarnish, etc. Another topic we’re going to talk a bit about is Mixtures: Solutions, Colloids and Suspensions.
This is included in our Chemistry BUNDLE.
We are also going to talk about volume, mass and density and I have some materials for that part of the unit so we can do some hands-on activities with those.
- a digital scale (affiliate link).
- density cubes: We purchased a set that includes ironwood (a very dense wood)–similar to this one Deluxe Density Cube Set (affiliate link) (Carolina is a very reputable science supply store), but this set of 10 would work well too: Density Cube Set. (affiliate link) I saw cheap sets, but was worried when people said the dimensions of the cubes were off.
- Equal Mass Set: We got this one ETA hand2mind, Equal Mass Diverse Materials Set, (41785) (affiliate link)
Electricity and Circuits — We are all very excited about a new unit on electricity and circuits. The kids have seen all these cool things coming in the door (wires, bulbs, small motors, copper tape, etc.) and have been itching to delve into all the projects! We have talked on a basic level about electrical circuits (and they played with snap circuits (affiliate link) when they were younger), but this time around we’re going to talk about things like volts, amps, ohms; the difference between simple and parallel circuits; some of the basic electrical symbols and schematic drawings and things like that. I have almost a dozen different projects almost set to go… and also got the packet ready for this unit too. I think the kids will learn a lot and will be really engaged in this unit! What a fun way to start off the year!!
This is included in our Chemistry BUNDLE.
Once we’re done with those topics, we’re going to turn to the human body. The last time we talked about the human body systems was a year and a half ago.
- Back then, we started off with a unit on cells (organelles and how proteins are made)
- Then we talked about Human Body Systems in a general way — and how it is organized: human cells (specialized cells), tissues, organs, body systems.
- And finally we went over the Skeletal System. We ran out of time to cover any other body systems that semester. 🙂
- We had studied the Digestive System a few years ago.
This fall we’re going to talk about the Circulatory System and Muscular System… at least to start off with. Then depending on time/energy we may or may not delve into another human body system as well.
You can see these units here at the Human Body Systems page
I never quite know how long all these topics/units will take… but (tentatively) we would delve into Physics again after that (in the spring semester). We’ll see!!
That’s the plan for what it’s worth! 🙂
If you are interested you can check out some of the hands-on science activities we’ve done over the years by visiting the Science Tab above. That shares links to the various posts in the science units we’ve done and also shares links to some of the packets we have available here on the blog.
You might also be interested in the Homeschool Science Checklist (which is free to download) has the units we hope to cover in elementary and middle school.
See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts. You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group. Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well. ~Liesl
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Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post 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!!