Science is not a book; it’s a mess!


Science is not a book; it’s a mess!

Science – it’s all around us! Every day we interact with weather, plants, bugs, food, animals and our own bodies. Has your child ever wondered how something works? That’s science! My daughter asked me just yesterday how turning the steering wheel in a car can make the car change directions. We are born into this world naturally curious, questioning our environment and how things work. Science is part of us! Homeschooling can lead to wonderful science opportunities. We want our children to question and explore the world around them. Homeschooling and science — a match made in heaven!

July 29, 2009

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When students become actively involved in science, they retain more than just the memorization of science facts. As we make the subject fun and interesting, science principles really stick! Check out Tobin’s Lab for ideas. They’ve been around a long time and have won several awards from Practical Homeschooling Magazine.

Tobin’s Lab carries fascinating products like owl pellets (what ten-year- old wouldn’t love that!), butterfly gardens, fool’s gold (great for history lessons) and rock specimens, magnets, blood typing kits, Usborne books, nature coloring books and microscopes! Where do you go when your student is obsessed with the physics of space travel and the mystery of electricity?  Where can a homeschooling parent find copper sulfate and a right angle prism for experiments that will excite the homeschooled student? Combining baking soda and vinegar is fun, but then what? Try some of the do-able experiments found in books featured on the Tobin’s Lab website such as 200 Gooey, Slippery, Slimy, Weird & Fun Experiments, 201 Awesome, Bizarre & Incredible Experiments, and much more.

Tobin’s Lab is a Christian family-owned company that has been in business since 1994. The owners, Mike and Tammy Duby, homeschooled their kids and they know what families need. If a product is on their website, it’s because they have used it, are currently using it, or would use it if their kids were the right age to do so. Tobin’s Lab promises to offer only products that are of good value and afford a delightful learning experience for your family.

Tobin’s Lab offers models and kits, Lap book supplies, lab equipment, charts and posters, games, toys and gadgets, complete science curricula, Boy Scout Merit Badge books, dissection supplies and live specimens. They even have a special section of the website devoted to CLASSICAL CONVERSATIONS families and directors.

Tammy is known as the Lap Book Lady, and has everything you need to make Lap Books to help reinforce what your kids are learning. Also be sure to check out her conference talks available in CD or MP3.

Would you love to get easy science labs FREE in your email? Tobin’s Lab sends a monthly newsletter with 4 labs for each of 4 age groups. Sign up at their website, You’ll also get Lap Book tips, pages from Tammy’s lesson plan book, and subscriber specials. This month’s newsletter is all about CODES! Think Morse code and mysterious hieroglyphs! Below is a portion of the Tobin’s Lab Newsletter: Just sign up below and you will have access to the archives too!


Here’s a topic shrouded in mystery and intrigue–Codes!  This month we have four fascinating activities that we hope will spark curiosity and send kids running to the library or internet for more information.


This month’s Summer Fun activities:


  • Early Childhood Lab Make a Code Road
  • Primary Lab Make Hieroglyph Messages
  • Intermediate Lab Morse Code Translation
  • High School Lab Enigma Machine Simulator
  • A Page from Tammy’s Lesson Plan BookInvisible Ink!
  • Lap Book Q and A Unit Studies that Never End
  • Monthly Tobin’s Lab Special Available only to Newsletter Friends


Click Here to Sign up!!
After registering you will see the Downloads Page.
The first item is a link to download the rest of the
Codes Labs from the June Newsletter!

A Page from Tammy’s Lesson Plan Book – Lemon Juice Codes


When I was about nine years old, I had a secret code book from the Scholastic Book Club.  I loved that book and became what I considered a Code Expert by the end of the third grade.  I even learned a sneaky way to write messages using lemon juice.  Whodathunk I would grow up and use ideas from that little book with my students.

You will need toothpicks for writing utensils, and lemon juice (the kind from a bottle) for ink.  Younger ones can draw pictures on half sheets of paper.  Big kids can cut strips of paper and write intriguing messages.  Work quickly, as it gets hard to see your work once the lemon juice dries. 

When the lemon “ink” dries, the drawings and messages are invisible.  But they will re-appear when heated.  Hold the papers over a lamp light bulb, or lay them in a warm oven (250 degrees) for a few minutes.


  • Write some messages and mail them to a friend or to Grandpa with instructions for making the ink re-appear.
  • Try writing messages with other liquids like orange juice, milk, vinegar.  Do they disappear?  How can you make them re-appear?
  • Study non-lemon invisible inks used by prisoners and spies.

  Fascinating books, cool science kits and experiments, lab equipment, microscopes…..what a wonderful way for families to learn together!