Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Free Elementary Science Curriculum for Homeschool: Weeks 17-20

Here's an overview of weeks 17-21.  We're continuing on with Earth Science.

You can catch up on the previous weeks here:
Weeks 1-4
Weeks 5-8
Weeks 9-12
Weeks 13-16

The links for this weeks PDF documents (Google Drive) can be found here:

Lesson Plan for Weeks 17-20
Student Worksheets for Weeks 17-20

These will be short and sweet overviews again (hopefully, but I've been known to ramble on a keyboard).  I've been busy.  I haven't had time to proof read these at all.  I noticed one of the student pdf worksheets is pushed off to the right.  It's not like that on my document, so I don't know why it's printing a pdf like that.  It's free, so you really can't complain too much!  If I have time over the summer, I'll proof read the whole thing and organize it a little better. I just don't have time to do that as I'm trying to stay 1 week ahead of my kids.  They really love doing the labs.

As with the other weeks...each week has 2-4 topics.  I list pages of books that we own and read along with those topics.  But you don't have to read those books.  Just choose any book that relates to the topic of the day.  The library is your best friend!  We visit ours once a week and get books that relate to the topic (some I list in the curriculum and some I don't.)  Or find an article online or website that relates to the topic, I do give some suggestions.

Here's a quick breakdown of our activities:

Week 17: Rivers, Waterfalls & Oceans

I forgot to get photos of our lab this week.  But I did get one of the kids reading a Magic School Bus book about oceans.  My kids loved looking at photos online of rivers and waterfalls.  The facts about rivers were fascinating to them.

Week 18: Rocks & Minerals

There is so much to cover with rocks and minerals.  You could take a whole year doing geology.  I just picked out highlights that I thought my kids would like.  This week we studied minerals.  Growing crystals was a big hit.  The one with borax is the best!  That green arrow is my kid's name, so I covered it.  But that gives you an idea of our set-up of growing crystals with borax.  See those yellow and green things with crystals on them?  That's the borax one.  It's pretty neat.

Week 19: Rocks & Minerals

This week we identified rocks.  It was challenging and fun.  We had rocks laying everywhere in our house.  The kids had a great time spreading them out and trying to find the ones we have in books.  We also did a Smithsonian set that lets you chip out rocks and minerals and then identify them.  Don't waste your money on it.  Luckily I had gotten a set of 3 Smithsonian kits at Costco on Clearance for around $10.  I wouldn't pay more than $3 or $4 for those sets.  They're pretty cheesy and don't always work.  The Volcano one was decent, the rocket one (we had 2 of those and are saving one) was a bust, and this rock ones was pretty disappointing.  The minerals are teeny.  You'd think with that photo on the front of the box that the rocks would be decently sized.  Most are smaller than a pea.

Week 20: Weather

I had thought our weather journals were going to be a busy.  The weather was the same everyday during week 20.  We're keeping the journals through week 21and our weather has take a turn!  Yay!  (Some might say good and some might say bad.  Snow!  We desperately needed moisture here.)  This week focused on what is: the atmosphere, weather, the water cycle, and climate.  The purpose of the labs might be over some kids' heads, but they're fun!  My kids caught on pretty well and were able to figure out why things happened.  They impressed their mother.  We had to do the can crushing one twice.  The boy even took a movie of it the second time so he could watch it ("because I jump when it happens," he said).  And I have to say...the epsom salt paintings were pretty cool.  I even did one.  They're currently sitting on our counter because they shed when I move them.  I think I'll take photos of them and the real ones will disappear soon.  Next week we get into what interests the kids more: snow, thunder, lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes, and such.

We're currently playing in the snow here.  The public schools have had delays and I give my kids a delayed start too.  We go out and shovel (that counts as PE, right?) and play in the snow.  It's been fun!  Then we warm up with hot chocolate!  Then I have to motivate myself and the kids to do schoolwork.  They look forward to science, but not so much some of the other subjects (especially when I'm not motivated to teach them!)  All in's going well!  Hope it's going well on your end!


  1. My daughter is studying weather on her online science curriculum, science4us. I was doing a search online on weather and I came up with your blog. Thank you for sharing these things for free. Our online curriculum is interactive, but once in a while I like to add to it. I'm sure I'll be able to use some of your ideas. Thanks again!! :)

    1. You're welcome and thank you for commenting! I hope your daughter is enjoying science! I'll have to check out science4us, I haven't heard of it. Enjoy doing science!


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