Fall Science Fun

Fall is the the time colorful leaves and fun hands-on experiences science activities. Here are two things to do with your children.

Grab a bag to put goodies in and go on a nature walk to gather leaves of various colors, including green ones too. You would like to have at least 5 of each color of possible. Return with your finds and do the following:

Classify the leaves according to color. You can tape a different color of leaf to a cup or jar and have your student place their leaves in the appropriate cup. Idea and picture from

Have you heard of leaf chromatography? This is where you take colored leaves and draw out its color through rubbing alcohol. This is a great time to discuss chlorophyll in plants. I have done it with my sons and it is neat to see what colors are in the leaves. Here is the experiment given with terrific instructions. (

Materials Needed:

Paper towels or coffee filters, rubbing alcohol, a clothespin, small mason jars or glasses, scissors, pencils for each jar/ glass, leaves of different colors and something to grind or crush the leaves, a small tray


Cut your paper towels or coffee filters into 1 1/2″-2″ strips that will fit into your mason jar. Next, cut the leaves into small pieces, make sure to keep them separated by color. 

Take a rock or smooth, rounded object and grind up the leaf pieces. Place the cut-up leaves into mason jars or small glasses, putting the different colored leaves each in their own jar or glass.

Next, pour just enough rubbing alcohol to cover the leaves in each jar. (1-2 tablespoons)

Place your strips of paper towels/coffee filters far enough into the jar that they are barely immersed into the rubbing alcohol and secure them with your clothespin to attach them to a pencil that you lay across the top of the jar. This is to keep the strip from falling down into the container. 

Place the jars on a small tray and put in a secure dark place (a closet) overnight and allow the rubbing alcohol to absorb into the paper strips. Remove the strips and allow them to dry.

I was reading various sources that said the color will become more apparent when the strips dry. Look closely to see the various colors. I am thinking that a magnifying glass may be beneficial.

Take the experiment farther: As you are waiting to see the results of the experiment, create a prediction of what colors you think will appear on each of the paper strips. Check your predictions. What color were you the most surprised with the results?

Have a great week! ~ Lisa ~

Teaching Ohio History

It may seem like a no-brainer since you live in Ohio, but what exactly do you teach when it comes to Ohio history? No specific guidelines are given, so you can choose to cover it however you wish. Here are some things to get the ideas flowing for you to teach about our great state.

Early History- What native groups of people were here? Choose one or more tribes to learn more about them.

Pioneers- When was Ohio opened for pioneers? Who were some of the first people to settle here?

Statehood- When did it become a state? Where was the first state capital? Where is it now? Why was it relocated?

Presidents- There are seven that were born in Ohio, how about learning about them?

Inventions/ Inventors- Did you know that the Wright brothers were born in Ohio? Carillon Park in Dayton has a great display of inventions and their history for you to see.

Underground Railroad- There are many places throughout Ohio that slaves traveled to get to free states and Canada. What about doing some research to learn more about it?

Make it Hands-On History is all around us. Visit statues, museums, historical markers, your library, an older neighbor or a relative. Any or all of these are great places to begin to learn about the history near you. Find out if there are any programs that talk about the history of your town or the area. Summer is a great time to explore and visit various parts of Ohio. Are you familiar with our Ohio Historical Society? It has places to visit, archives to search, and even homeschool programs.

Geography- Have you ever looked at a map of Ohio with your student? Can they locate the major cities or rivers of our great state? You can use google maps to have a more interactive experience if you like. Personally, I enjoy a paper map and getting a better idea of how far a place is from our home.

Explore the great outdoors- Ohio has such a diverse landscape that includes lakes, rivers, farmland, caves, gorges, and forests, bike trails, etc. Instead of planning a long road trip, how about exploring a different part of the state? You’ll not only have fun, but will be able to count it for school. (yay!)

Read books about Ohio– The photo collage that is seen above is one I created (using Pic-Collage) with some books that might be interesting to your student(s).

Videos- You can find all sorts of documentaries about the history of Ohio if you do an internet search. You could have your older student take notes, make a slide show or PowerPoint presentation about what they have learned.

Create a Lapbook- These are a great way of getting your student to write snippets of information without taxing them too much. You can take as much time as you wish making the lapbook.

Is there anything you have done with Ohio history that you think others would enjoy? Please leave a comment.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

NASA Image of the Day

Do you have any space enthusiasts in your house? With amazing pictures and interesting headlines, NASA Image of the Day is just the resource to inspire your want-to-be astronaut or astronomer. There are pictures of current discoveries as well as pictures from past space programs. Here is just a sampling of what is shown on the website.

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The image below shows you the information that accompanies each daily photograph.

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 Reach for the stars!  ~Lisa~ 

Easy Science Experiments

Growing up, I thought science was boring. We just read from a textbook and never did experiments. That doesn’t have to be the way for your children. I have a couple of videos that show some amazing things you can do with just a few simple things that you have around the house. Some things may have to wait until you get to the store at a later date.  Your daughter/son can help you gather the things needed for the experiments. They can also write a lab report. (See below)


Here are 10 experiments that tell you what you need and the explanation behind what you are seeing happen.


Include these elements for your Science Lab: Materials; Questions to Ask; Steps in Experient; Observations: Record Results:  Draw a Conclusion.

You can also go here to get a Free Science Process Pack 

Have a great week! ~Lisa~



MLK Day Activities

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I am so glad we, as a nation, honor Martin Luther King, Jr. He is a man that I admire because he had convictions of fairness, equality, and loving others that he didn’t give up on even though he was imprisoned, persecuted, and eventually tragically killed for them.

Are you interested in having your son/daughter do a lapbook? Here is a free lapbook with notebooking pages too. Homeschool Helper Online

Here are quite a few FREE worksheets and activities for all grades that focus on Martin Luther King, Jr.   Teachers Pay Teachers

Brain Pop video about Martin Luther King

Another video with quotes from Martin Luther King:  Martin’s Big Words

Here is the I Have a Dream speech with subtitles.

Have a great week! ~ Lisa ~