My Outline for Science Plans for CC Cycle 1 (Part 1)

Science plans

Planning time!

I feel like I will have an extremely firm grasp on my science plan by the time I finish poring over all these books!

One interesting thing about the classical approach to education is that we pull the focus AWAY from good ol’ textbooks and look to real life experience and “living” books instead.  (By living books, I just mean books that are not sold as textbooks.)

However, I do actually have several ‘textbooks’ that we will reference this school year.

What I have in my planner for science this year is WAY more exciting than just textbooks. This is going to be a fabulously fun science year for us. I am stoked. Here’s a little preview of what I have in mind….

Field Trips

Last year we got to go to the aquarium, the redwood forest, the beach, Point Lobos, the Pinnacles, the San Diego Zoo, and a whale tour. THAT will be hard to top, eh?

Last year we covered land forms, aquatic animals, and all the major systems of the human body (and traced our bodies and painted, labeled, and assembled all the major organs). We also memorized the first 16 elements of the Periodic Table, the scientific method, learned about evolution, and learned the definition and parts of an atom (even to include leptons and quarks!). We built our own little atom, and we did 24 science experiments in the classroom. We also observed sea mammals in their natural habitat, observed kelp forests, and we learned about gradual and sudden geological changes. We even discussed creationism versus the Theory of Evolution.

You know, it’s true that things change gradually over time. It’s completely bonkers to think that the intricate people, animals, and plants that we have in this world magically appeared with no creator.  Bonkers! (But don’t worry. My children will be fully versed on both.)

This year is all about biology and earth science!

So here’s what I have for this year.. Most of these are in San Francisco

Japanese Tea Garden

Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco, Golden Gate Park

1. The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park (Okay, this ties in more with our history unit on ancient Japan.)

2. Bison Paddock

3. the San Francisco Botanical Garden

4. California Academy of Sciences (natural history museum, planetarium, and aquarium)

5. Conservatory of Flowers

6. Point Lobos

7. Yosemite National Park

8. The Tech Museum of Innovation in Silicon Valley

Yeah….I’m a little bit excited!

9. Sacramento, because it’s our state capital, and we’ve never been there.

10 Science Camp at Mount Hermon– We are already registered!

11. Backyard bucket garden. We’ve already started potatoes. We have too many gophers to put the plants in the ground!


preschool science centers

I have these to give Daniel something to do with his hands. Lots of sorting and puzzles.

Take It to Your Seat Science Centers, Grades PreK-K


Here’s an example of a pre-school activity that the book has.

This just gives Dan something to do while the big boys are drawing and labeling things in their science notebook.

Of course, Dan can also draw things. Labeling will come much later. Dan’s 4.

Here are a few books I’m looking forward to using for science this year:

Osborne Search books

I love these Usborne Search books!

Each page is full of animal names and facts.

Then I have this fun lift-the-flap Usborne science book that we used last year too:


Drawing plant and animal cells this year!! This was always one of my favorite things in school!! Sorry about the smudge on my camera lens! Must clean the camera!

Everything You Need to Know About Science Homework

I’ve got so many tabs in this Everything You Need to Know About Science Homework book, I don’t even know why I bothered. Almost every page is tabbed!

Everything You Need To Know About Science Homework: A Desk Reference for Students and Parents

From the Lift the Tab Usborne Science:

great science books

Simple reproduction


Childcraft Plants Volume

Child craft has interesting stories to go along with the facts.

Some people look neat, tidy, and organized when they are planning. This is what it looks like when I plan:

planning time

a library explosion and a baby foot…Do you see those tiny little toes?

Big Book of Science Activities

I have several of these activities ear marked.

great science books

This one has neat pictures. It makes me want to buy a microscope.


Dinosaurs. This is Joshua’s #1 science interest. We’re going to learn about Dinos for added enrichment.

No school is complete without a system for chores. I will DEFINITELY keep this chore system in place. It has worked beautifully. I no longer have to unload the dishwasher in the mornings or kick-start the laundry by myself. By the end of this year, I’m hoping to be done putting all of the boys’ laundry away as well.

Chore Charts for kids

This works really well for us!


My GIANT kitchen wipe-off board serves so many purposes! If I have to actually use it to teach, I have no idea where I’ll write my daily plan…

Outline of this year’s science topics:

Weeks 1 & 2: Dinosaurs!

I. Classifications of Living Things

II. 5 Kingdoms of Living Things


III. Parts of animal cells

IV.Plant Cell parts

V. Major Groups of Invertebrates

VI. Vertebrates


VII. Animal Reproduction (live birth, eggs, etc.)

VIII. Types of Seed Plants

IX. Parts of a Plant

X. Kinds of Leaves and Leaf Parts

XI. Parts of a Flower

XII. Plant Systems


Science Camp: 1 Week at Mount Hermon Science Camp

XIII. Parts of the Earth

XIV. 3 Kinds of Rock

XV. Each continent’s highest mountain

XVI. 4 Kinds of Volcanoes

XVII. Parts of a Volcano


XVIII. 4 types of ocean floor

XIX. 3 Ocean Zones

XX. Parts of the Atmosphere

XXI. 5 Major circles of latitude


XXII. Kinds of weather fronts

XXIII. Types of clouds

XXIV. Markings on the globe

Memory Masters

I’ve already gotten each plan written on paper, and each print-out filed into that week’s folder.

I have a folder created for each of my students, for each week of the school year.


My file system: The old, rough-looking ones in front are the completed work from the last quarter of last year. The shiny new ones are for this coming school year.

Nonna (a retired school teacher herself) gave me this organizational idea, and I love it. All the plans and printed materials I need for each week of the year is filed by boy and week, so when I need it, I can just grab it all from one place.

As their work is completed, I file it right back in their folder.

excellent file system for homeschool

My File System. For example: Caleb- 3rd grade- Quarter 1- Week 1


Open the folder up, and there’s everything you need for that week. Here’s a peek into one of their folders.

This frees up daily space, as we don’t have to keep up with a bunch of workbooks. Hurray!

Science is the subject I’m most excited for this year. What are you looking forward to most? Do you have any more California field trip suggestions for us? That’s our favorite, so DO share!!




  • Nonna

    Great ideas, April! Doesn’t it feel good to be this far ahead? So proud for you! Looking forward to hearing about this school year as you go through it.

  • McMom

    I guess I really was born to teach, because this post just gets me excited, and it’s not even me! I am going to reread this one over and over. At one point or another, I got to teach every one of those science topics – loved them all! If you want any additional activity ideas for any units, let me know! I could see if any of my old labs could be adapted for a homeschool setting with younger kids.

    Also, I love your whiteboard! Are those goals a product of the “Make over your mornings” thing? What was that like? I would love to know more about it!

    • I am just now on Day 6 of Make Over Your Morning, and I promise to blog about that soon. The category goals are definitely from the influence of Crystal Paine. I usually just put a list of 6 most important things to do on the wipe-off board, not that I can actually get away with only doing 6 things, if I count things like ‘get ready’. Alan makes fun of me for including shower/get dressed on my list. I think that’s b/c he’s not a stay at home mom, though. For us, I think it’s a valid accomplishment!!
      This IS an exciting science list! So much more fun to learn than last year’s chemistry unit (to me). You have lab stuff? Oh, that’s so neat! By all means, if you come across ANYTHING you think would be helpful, feel free to share it with us. I’ve learned tons from Nonna, and I was able to use all the map stuff you sent me last year!! Thank you!
      aprilmomoffour recently posted…My Outline for Science Plans for CC Cycle 1 (Part 1)My Profile

  • Look at you go girl! I want to visit all of those places! I love your daily wipe board plan, I need something like that!

  • So organized! This post reminded me how much I loved learning about the rain forest! That was definitely one of my favorite units.

  • Aw.. this reminds me so much of when I lived in SF. Bison paddock! Japanese tea garden.
    Girl, you are born to teach and your kids are so LUCKY.
    Tamara recently posted…How Mr. Clean Made My Shower & My Marriage Shine.My Profile

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