Care to get a little dirty? Study Earth Science! -by Lynne

Learning about erosion

Studying earth science is a fantastic way to interest little boys and girls in science, especially if your little ones like to get dirty and make messes. There are dozens and dozens of ways to dig in to earth science (pun intended).

We did earth science during our first year of homeschooling, when my boys were in first and second grade. After a quick perusal of library resources, I decided not to even look for a curriculum for earth science. There were so many age appropriate books for every topic that I thought we should cover that I didn’t see the need to spend any money.

Here are some of the books that we used:

Magic School Bus Inside the Earth, by Joanna Cole

The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks, by Joanna Cole

Kingfisher Voyages: Oceans, by Stephen Savage

Weather (National Geographic Readers), by Kristin Baird Rattini

Weather (Eye Wonder), by Lorrie Mack

Rocks! Rocks! Rocks! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace

Rocks and minerals (True Books), by Ann O. Squire

Volcanoes, by Seymour Simon

Global Warming, by Seymour Simon

Hurricanes, by Seymour Simon

Danger! Earthquakes, by Seymour Simon

Tornadoes, by Seymour Simon

Dave’s Down-to-earth Rock Shop, by Stuart Murphy

My boys also enjoyed this video: Earth Science Rock N’ Learn

We spent a lot of time together on the couch this year. We read and read and read about earth science. We started out learning about the layers of the earth and plate tectonics. Then we moved on to the different types of rocks. We talked about how rocks were formed by volcanoes and compression of sediment. My younger son loved this and started a rock collection, to which he still adds rocks and gem stones today. It thrills him to look in his rock books and try to identify what he’s found.

Playing with plate tectonics

Looking at how water turns into weather

We then moved on to the water cycle and oceans. This led us right into the different kinds of weather patterns and storms. We learned about cloud shapes, and what causes thunder and lightening. We scared ourselves silly learning about tornadoes and hurricanes. We made a rain gauge and kept a weather journal. We looked up average weather patterns for our area, and compared this information to our weather journals.

Seeing how wind moves ocean waters

Digging a hole for the rain gauge

Checking on the rain gauge

We took a few field trips that helped us learn more about earth science, as well. We visited some really cool caverns, where we learned the difference between caves and caverns. We went to Niagara Falls, and saw the exhibit that shows how the falls have moved back because of erosion. We visited a nature center that explained how our entire area was once covered in a glacier. When the glacier receded, layers and layers of fossils were left behind. We have found several of these fossils. We’ve gone to Lake Erie and looked at the layers in the cliffs. We also learned how our big river carved out our current topography.

Niagara Falls!

Giant stalactite!

Because we follow a four year history and science cycle, we will be revisiting earth science next year. Grammar Stage earth science was a blast. I can’t wait to see what Logic Stage will be like!


Lynne–Lynne has enjoyed homeschooling her two sons for the past 4.5 years, after their brief stint in the local public school.  Her older son is a humorous fellow with high functioning autism who thrives in a home education environment.  Her younger son is a sensitive soul with a great deal of patience. The boys, Mom, and Dad, along with the two guinea pigs, live in Northeast Ohio.  Lynne holds a Master’s Degree in French Language and Literature.  She is also a Harry Potter fanatic, enjoys line dancing and Zumba, spends hours scrapbooking, and loves organic vegetables.  You can visit her soon-to-be revitalized blog at

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