Thursday, June 18, 2009

Science for Homeschool or After-School


What could possibly fit the bill for Thirsty Thursdays and Frugal Fridays?

TOPS Learning Systems modules!

My son has an insatiable thirst for science. Until recently he's been interested in physical sciences like chemistry and physics, and we've been using TOPS modules to feed that interest. The books are inexpensive (roughly $8 to $12 for 16 to 28 lessons) and most of the supplies are ordinary household items (paper clips, rubber bands, empty cereal boxes, etc.).

We've used several of the books (probably more than I can list offhand):

  • Weighing (which includes building a working balance and making a set of weights)
  • Pendulums (which includes experimenting with the length and weight to see the effects)
  • Analysis (mostly qualitative analytical chemistry)
  • Cohesion/Adhesion (chemistry and physics)
  • Probability (more math than science, but the concepts are easily applied to scientific experimentation)

The books are available in different formats, such as reproducible write-on activity sheets and reproducible task cards (which require the use of a separate notebook), and for grade levels K-12. The books we've used are chock-full of hands-on learning projects, and I love that the lessons teach concepts and formulas to support the observations.

The pages are printed in black and white, with cute but simple line drawings.

The books are available from third-party vendors, such as Rainbow Resource Center, as well as directly from the publisher.

For more Thirsty Thursdays (homeschool or education ideas for parents) or Frugal Fridays, click on the respective images at the top of this post.


  1. I've always heard a lot about TOPS, but I've never heard how people use them or like them. My 7th grader has a strong interest in the sciences, so maybe these might be something he'd be interested in. Thanks so much for posting about it!

    And thanks for participating in my first Thirsty Thursday!

  2. Thanks for the tip! My boys love experiments and suspect they would love these books!

  3. My kids have also enjoyed TOPS over the years!

  4. We have not used these yet, but they look like fun. Thanks for posting about them!

  5. Those books look really cool - awesome resource for homeschoolers.

  6. I've never heard of TOPS! Gonna go check 'em out now. :) Thanks, Melissa!


I love to hear what you're thinking, so thank you for leaving a comment!

Spammers are unwelcome here, and spam comments will be deleted.