Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Preschool Physical Science (grades Pre-school-Kindergarten)

Week 1: Water Cycle

  1. Review evaporation and explore the evidence of condensation. Put ice water in a jar. Add food coloring and put the cover on. Ask your student to observe the jar for changes. Ask him to propose from where the water drops on the outside of the jar came. Remind the student that heat made liquid water turn into a gas. The water as gas was still present in the air. Now the cold water cooled the water in the air and made it condense into its liquid form.
  2. Fill a wide-mouth jar half-way with boiling water. Tell the student to quickly put the lid upside-down on top of the jar and place a bag of ice cubes on top of the lid. Clouds should soon be visible. Guide the student to get the connection between how ice cubes affect water its gaseous form and the formation of real clouds. If the clouds are not visible, sprinkle some fine particles of chalk dust in the jar and quickly put the lid back in place. Turn the lights off and shine a flashlight in the jar. The droplets of water should stick to the chalk dust particles just as they do in a cloud. Have the student draw a picture of the demonstration and describe his observations.
  3. Demonstrate precipitation. A day in advance, put a large metal spoon in the freezer. Heat a pan of water on the stove. Ask your student to describe what happens to the water when it is heated. Have your student predict what will happen when the cold spoon is held over the evaporated water. Complete the demonstration, observing the condensation. Have your student write and draw in his science journal.
  4. On a sunny day, put a clean jar upside-down on the grass. Observe the jar and draw a picture. Return to the jar in two hours and have him propose from where the water in the jar came in his science journal

Week 2: What is Astronomy?

  1. Obtain some resources about astronomy. (A good resource is chapter 2 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, or you can get books from the library on the subject.)
  2. Read about astronomy and have your student tell you about what he has learned while you record it in his science journal. Have him illustrate the narrative. 
  3. Earth, Moon and Stars, Activity 1: Ancient Models of the Earth
  4. Make a model of the solar system. The Solar System: Model
  5. Read about Galileo Have your student write about his contribution to astronomy in his science journal
  6. Have your student sketch and label the solar system in his science journal.
Weeks 3: The Sun
  1. Obtain some resources about the sun. (A good resource is chapter 2 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, or you can get books from the library on the subject.)
  2. Read about the sun and have your student tell you about what he has learned while you record it in his science journal. Have him illustrate the narrative. 
  3. Solar Power: Make a s'mores oven to capture the sun's energy.
  4. Make a solar eclipse model.
  5. Make a pinhole viewing box.
Week 4: Mercury
  1. Obtain some resources about the Mercury. (A good resource is chapter 3 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, or you can get books from the library on the subject.)
  2. Read about the sun and have your student tell you about what he has learned while you record it in his science journal. Have him illustrate the narrative. 

Weeks 5: Venus

  1. Obtain some resources about the Venus. (A good resource is chapter 4 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, or you can get books from the library on the subject.)
  2. Read about the Venus and have your student tell you about what he has learned while you record it in his science journal. Have him illustrate the narrative. 
  3. How Radar Works

Weeks 6-7: Earth

  1. Obtain some resources about the earth. (A good resource is chapter 5 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, or you can get books from the library on the subject.)
  2. Read about the earth and have your student tell you about what he has learned while you record it in his science journal. Have him illustrate the narrative. 
  3. Earth Moon and Stars, Activity 2: The Earth's Shape and Gravity
  4. Pangaea is the name given to the original land mass that eventually became the seven continents that we know today. Read about Pangaea in library resources or textbooks. Pangaea Puzzle (Copy a map of the world and have them cut out the continents and then put them together like a puzzle. We glued ours as it fit together to a piece of paper.) or, you could do a cookie project found at Almost Unschoolers.
  5. Study and discuss the earth's moving plates.
  6. Study and discuss the composition of the earth's layers. Make an edible model of the Layers of the Earth.
  7. Discuss what makes the earth unique among the planets.
  8. Using library resources and textbooks, read about the spinning earth and the earth's rotation around the sun. Demonstrate the movement with a flashlight and a ball. 
  9. Make a sundial to observe the movement of the earth. The position of the sun in relation to the earth casts a rotating shadow off the sundial.
  10. Using library resources and textbooks, read about the seasons and their relationship to the tilt of the earth. Demonstrate the changes with a flashlight and a ball or piece of fruit.

Weeks 8: The Moon
  1. Obtain some resources about our moon. (A good resource is chapter 6 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, or you can get books from the library on the subject.)
  2. Make Moon Craters.
  3. Read about the moon and have your student tell you about what he has learned while you record it in his science journal. Have him illustrate the narrative. 
Weeks 9: Mars

  1. Obtain some resources about the mars. (A good resource is chapter 7 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, or you can get books from the library on the subject.)
  2. Read about mars and have your student tell you about what he has learned while you record it in his science journal. Have him illustrate the narrative. 
  3. Dry Ice Investigations

Weeks 10: Space Rocks: Comets, Asteroids and Meteors


  1. Obtain some resources about the space rocks. (A good resource is chapter 8 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, or you can get books from the library on the subject.)
  2. Read about the space rocks and have your student tell you about what he has learned while you record it in his science journal. Have him illustrate the narrative. 
  3. Make comets using a snow cone maker to shave the ice. Pack the ice together around a thin dowel to form the ice core and give the student a handle to hold onto. Have your student roll it in sand to get the outer dust and add a piece of streamer to represent the tail. Take them outside to fly and melt.
  4. Make an asteroid treat by making rice krispie treat balls and then covering them with chocolate. Roll in peanuts to represent the bits of rock and sprinkles to represent other debris.
Weeks 11: Jupiter

  1. Obtain some resources about the Jupiter. (A good resource is chapter 9 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, or you can get books from the library on the subject.)
  2. Read about Jupiter and have your student tell you about what he has learned while you record it in his science journal. Have him illustrate the narrative. 
  3. Learn about the Moons of Jupiter and how they were discovered.
Weeks 12: Saturn


  1. Obtain some resources about the Saturn. (A good resource is chapter 10 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, or you can get books from the library on the subject.)
  2. Read about the Saturn and have your student tell you about what he has learned while you record it in his science journal. Have him illustrate the narrative. 

Weeks 13: Uranus


  1. Obtain some resources about the Uranus. (A good resource is chapter 11 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, or you can get books from the library on the subject.)
  2. Read about the Uranus and have your student tell you about what he has learned while you record it in his science journal. Have him illustrate the narrative.
Week 14: Neptune
  1. Obtain some resources about the Neptune. (A good resource is chapter 11 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, or you can get books from the library on the subject.)
  2. Read about the Neptune and have your student tell you about what he has learned while you record it in his science journal. Have him illustrate the narrative.


Week 15: Pluto


  1. Obtain some resources about Pluto. (A good resource is chapter 12 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, or you can get books from the library on the subject.)
  2. Read about the Pluto and have your student tell you about what he has learned while you record it in his science journal. Have him illustrate the narrative.
Week 16: The Kuiper Belt 
  1. Obtain some resources about the Kuiper Belt. (A good resource is chapter 12 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, or you can get books from the library on the subject.)
  2. Read about the the Kuiper Belt and have your student tell you about what he has learned while you record it in his science journal. Have him illustrate the narrative.
Weeks 17-18 Stars and Galaxies
  1. Obtain some resources about the stars and galaxies. (A good resource is chapter 13 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, or you can get books from the library on the subject.)
  2. Read about the stars and galaxies and have your student tell you about what he has learned while you record it in his science journal. Have him illustrate the narrative. 
  3. The Two Dippers
Weeks 19-20: Space Travel
  1. Obtain some resources about the space travel. (A good resource is chapter 14 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright, or you can get books from the library on the subject.)
  2. Read about the sun and have your student tell you about what he has learned while you record it in his science journal. Have him illustrate the narrative. 

Weeks 21 and 22: Rocks


  1. Go for a walk with the student and find a large rock. Guide the student to speculate about how that rock got to where it is. Encourage the student to become aware of all rocks, large and small, and think about the rock's origin.
  2. Collect rocks wherever you go. Try to gather a large variety. Look around lakes, rivers, in the woods and along country roads. Wash and sort them by color. Try to get a wide variety, but if you have a lot of trouble with this, you can buy collections of varieties of rocks. 
  3. Select a rock in your mind from the collection. Describe the rock to the student, including a feature that none of the other rocks have. Ask him to pick out which one you are describing. Take turns playing this game as long as the student is interested. 
  4. Draw a large Venn diagram on the sidewalk or patio with sidewalk chalk or on a large piece of paper. Using your collection, pick out a dozen or so rocks of different colors, shapes, textures and sizes. Choose two adjectives from the descriptions that were made last time, and write them above the two circles of the Venn diagram. Have the student sort the rocks into the two circles. If the rock meets both criteria, have the student put it into the area in which the circles intersect.
  5. Choose two different adjectives and sort them again. Do this as long as it interests the student. 
  6. Briefly define and show examples of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Give the student a piece of pumice to observe. Pumice is an igneous rock. It forms when lave is frothy and bubbly with gases. Give the student a bowl of water and have him discover a property of pumice.
  7. Study the three types of rocks (igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic) and how they are formed.
  8. Sedimentary Rocks: Demonstrate How Sedimentary Rocks Are Made and have your student sketch a picture for his science journal about it.
  9. Metamorphic Rocks: Metamorphic Rocks change from one form to another through Earth's heat and pressure. To demonstrate how heat and pressure can make substances change form, it is fun to make these Metamorphic Bar cookies.
  10. Field Trip: Visit a rock shop and explore the variety of rocks and minerals formed by the earth Ask for help in identifying which rocks are igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic. Start a rock collection, sorting and labeling the rocks as you obtain them.
Weeks 23 and 24: Minerals and Rocks
  1. To identify minerals, a geologist will rub a rock on a square of unglazed tile. The color of the streak may help to determine the minerals present. Have your student try this.
  2. A mineralogist by the name of Fredrich Mohs made up a hardness scale of minerals. The scale lists ten minerals from the softest to the hardest and is used to help identify minerals. Make three columns in his science journal and label them Soft, Medium and Hard at the top, Have your student use a fingernail (soft), a penny (medium) and a steel penknife (hard) to scratch the rock to determine what column the rock goes in. If nothing marred a rock, it can be considered very hard and placed in the hard column. 
  3. Organize your rock collection. Sort your rocks into egg cartons or other sorting boxes. Write a number inside each section. On a page of your science journal write the corresponding numbers with a description of the rock in that cup. Refer to a book with colored pictures to help you identify the rocks. 
  4. (math) Let your student feel how heavy one-gram is, then have him pick up each rock in his collection and estimate if it weights less, the same or more than one gram, and sort them into the three different piles. Using a balance scale, have him then weigh each stone to see if his estimates were correct. Add the correct weights to his science journal. 
  5. Measure the size of the rocks in your collection by placing each rock next to a centimeter ruler. To measure circumference, wrap a string around the rock, then measure the string against a centimeter ruler. 
  6. Field Trip: Visit a rock shop. Browse the variety of rocks and minerals they have. The student could possibly purchase some rocks to add to his collection. The salesperson might also know about good places to go rock hunting in the area.
Weeks 25 and 26: Conservation and Erosion
  1. Discuss the importance of conservation so as to lessen the negative impact of humans on the earth. Ask the student to design and carry out an effort to recycle a material that is not currently being recycled in your home.
  2. Geologists determine the composition of the soil in an area by taking "core samples" with a special drill. Simulate a Core Sampling using a cupcake and a straw.
  3. Have the student predict what will happen when you rub two sandstone rocks together. Have your student write in his science journal his hypothesis, and then have him rub the rocks together over a piece of paper. Observe the particles of sand that are rubbed off. Have the student draw and describe in his science journal what happened. Ask him to think of something in nature that would cause the same effect.
  4. Have him do the same thing he did last time except using two hard rocks. Tell him that if two hard rocks such as these rub against each other over a really long period of time, there would be wearing away, but it can't be seen in this sampling.
  5. Take a piece of limestone and let your student observe it. Have him draw the rock in his science journal and make a hypothesis about what will happen when you tap it with a hammer. Wrap the rock in a rag and hit it with a hammer. Observe the debris left from the rock. Ask your student to think of something in nature that would cause the same effect (earthquakes, freezing and thawing, roots from plants, etc.)
  6. Make different colored sand by adding food coloring to white sand in separate containers. Give the student a small glass bottle with a lid. Have him fill it with layers of colored sand to make a stratification bottle. Get books from the library and research the Grand Canyon. Compare the layers of stratification in the bottle with the layers in the Grand Canyon.
  7. Vocabulary: Erosion
  8. Mix 1 cup of sand, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup plaster of Paris in a large paper cup. Allow the mixture to thaw overnight. Peel off the paper cup. Put the artificial sandstone outside where it will be exposed to the weather. Once a week, have your student sketch the artificial sandstone over the next few months.
  9. Observe a smooth rock taken from the shore of a lake, bay or ocean. Have your student make a guess about what might have caused the rock to be so smooth.   Read about how the Grand Canyon was formed.
  10. Field Trip: Walk in an area known to have a lot of rock cover. Have your student take his journal and draw evidence of rock erosion and different rocks and write a short explanation of each.
Weeks 27 and 28: Fossils
  1. Make a Fossil Find activity using fossils that you have bought, sand and a screen box.
  2. Amber was made from tree sap that hardened. Sometimes insects got caught in the sap as it flowed down the tree, and the insect was then fossilized in the amber. You can simulate Fossilized Insects in "Amber" by putting plastic spiders or insects in amber colored glycerin soap.
  3.  Trace Fossil Model Trace fossils record the activities of an animal such as a burrow trail or track left behind by an animal. These fossils can give paleontologists information about habitats and living habits of animals. Help your student make a model of these type fossils, take a cup of damp sand and press a pencil into it, leaving a hole or burrow. Next, pour some Plaster of Paris that you have mixed up in roughly a mix of 2 parts Plaster of Paris to 1 part water. Let sit until it has hardened (about an hour or so.) Dump the wet sand into a larger container and have a mini "fossil" dig!
  4. A mold fossil is the indentation or impression left in rock by the remains of a plant or animal. If mineral and rock materials fill the indentation, a cast fossil is formed. Make a Cast and Mold Fossil Model by using Plaster of Paris to represent the mineral and rock materials. First you have to make the impression. Take a shell and press it into clay firmly and then take it out of the clay, leaving an impression of the shell. Fill the impression with Plaster of Paris and let sit to harden (about an hour.) Once hard, bend the clay back until the cast pops out of the clay. Have your student compare the original shell to the cast.
  5. Fossil Footprints Most sedimentary rock forms under water. Sediment, or pebbles, sand, clay and plankton (bodies of tiny dead animals and plants), is slowly buried by more sediment piling on top. Over a long period of time, as the pile gets heavier and heavier, the particles near the bottom are squeezed closer and closer together. Groundwater brings new minerals that cement the particles together to form sedimentary rock. If the sediment is mainly sand, it will change into sandstone. If the sediment is mostly clay, it will form shale. If the sediment contains mainly plankton, it will turn into limestone. To simulate but speed up this process, infuse some sand with the minerals (Epsom 
    Salt) to cement the particles of sand together. To show how dinosaur footprints are sometimes left in rock, press a toy dinosaur's foot into the wet sand to make an imprint. Let this dry out over several days and you will have a model of sandstone with a dinosaur footprint in it.
  6. Make a model of a  Limestone Cave. 
Week 29: Magnet Explorations
  1. Follow the section on magnets in the Handbook of Nature Study , taking one section of questions each day. 
Week 30: Review and Testing
  1. Assess the student's knowledge of earth changes. Have the student name some ways that the earth changes. 
  2. Have the student explain, with a diagram, how either a volcano or an earthquake uses force from within the earth to cause changes.

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