Physics can be complex and difficult for kids to grasp. After all, unlike biology or chemistry, you can’t just look through a microscope and see gravity at work.
And even where there are experiments to bring the topic to life — electricity, magnetism, etc. — these are usually best done in a controlled environment. You can’t experiment with black holes and gravity in your living room!
Together, these two factors make homeschool physics a little harder to master than other subjects.
Harder, yes. But impossible? Absolutely not.
In this article, you’ll find the basics of teaching homeschool physics, fun lessons to do at home, and which worksheets best complement the lessons.
Teaching physics for kids at home
As one of the natural sciences, physics is concerned with matter, motion, space, time, energy, and force. Students encounter the effects of physics every day but aren’t always aware of them, which makes the subject somewhat harder to relate to.
But just because you can’t always see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Even at home, you can showcase forces with simple demonstrations and everyday items, as well as delve deeper into the world we live in!
So let’s look at some fun lessons and worksheets to get you started.
5 fun physics lessons ideal for homeschool — and the worksheets you need to support them
Teach kids about magnetism with lots of different demonstrations on how magnets work, from exploring magnetic fields with a disk magnet and some aluminum tube, magnetic poles with some iron filing and button magnets, to making your very own magnetic compass! There’s plenty of options that don’t require a lot of materials — this video will show you how.
Our worksheets on magnets and magnetism will teach students why they were once called lodestones, why some magnets are permanent while others aren’t, how heat and electricity affect them, and much more.
One of the most fun ways to learn about friction — the resistance an object encounters when moving over another object — is by using toy cars and lots of different surfaces. The higher the friction, the more difficulty the car will have moving along the surface. Have your kids test and compare speed or distance across different surfaces to see this force in action.
This experiment is a classic — chances are you even did it at your school! But if you need a reminder, this video explains it all.
Kids will be amazed to learn how friction can be converted into power, in wind turbines. Our worksheet package covers the basics of wind power, as well as explaining other types of alternative energy.
#3: Morse code
There’s something incredibly cool about Morse code, especially if you tie it into the world of spies and espionage! But what’s it got to do with physics?
Samuel Morse used Morse code for telegraphs way back in May of 1844. The first telegraphs used a key that, when pushed down, would send an electrical signal to the receiver.
This experiment demonstrates that electricity can be used for more than just powering objects. The first telegraph proved it can be also used to communicate — and is the basis of all online communications we know today!
Morse code worksheets
Supplement your Morse code lessons with some history on how it was created. Our physics worksheet on Morse code covers the development and modern-day uses of Morse code, too!
#4: Tornado in a bottle
This demonstration shows how much faster you can empty bottles by using physics! You’ll need two bottles — one of them two-thirds full — that are taped together at the mouth. Now turn the full bottle around and start swirling it. A vortex will appear in the bottle because the water on the outer part will move faster to keep up with the water at the center.
This vortex makes it easier for air to get in while the water is draining into the lower bottle. It’s faster because both air and water can use the mouth of the bottle at the same time! Complement the activity by showing your kids this video to help them understand the forces at work.
Teach students how tornadoes are created, why strong winds can be felt so far away from the actual tornado, and all about tornado threats and Tornado Alley. Our tornado worksheets tie in well with the vortex and bottle experiment since the winds — similar to the water in the bottle — try to keep up with the vortex. The further they are from the center, the faster they become.
#5: The center of gravity
Gravity, in itself, is easy to explain, but the center of gravity is a bit more complex — it’s the point where gravity acts on an object! You can help find and demonstrate the center of gravity by balancing two interlocked forks on a glass with nothing more than a toothpick. It’s also a pretty fun party trick for adults!
In addition to demonstrating how the center of gravity can be harnessed in cool tricks, our gravity worksheet will help you teach about how mass influences gravity, why astronauts float in space, and how Isaac Newton discovered its principles.
Homeschool physics lessons have never looked this good!
Sure, physics can be a little lofty at times.
But if you design your physics class to first explain a concept, then see it in action, and finally cement that new knowledge with a written worksheet activity, you’ll have your child becoming a physics maestro in no time!
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