Physics Level 1


REAL Science Odyssey- Physics Level 1 is a year-long, secular homeschool science curriculum for elementary grades. Students learn key concepts in physics through an incremental series of lessons and hands-on exploration.

Pages: 498

Grade level: 3rd – 6th grade

Course type: textbook


What is Physics Level 1?

REAL Science Odyssey- Physics Level 1 is a secular homeschool physics curriculum. Students learn the key concepts in physics through an incremental series of lessons. They start with basics, like matter and motion, and progress to magnetism and electricity. Age-appropriate math and labs are woven into the course, providing students with many opportunities to apply the scientific method and reinforce their knowledge. The course guides elementary-age learners as they Read, Explore, Absorb, and Learn physics:

  • Read– Fun, engaging readings introduce big ideas and details for the chapter. The text is designed to be read aloud to students, fostering questions and discussion.
  • Explore– Carefully crafted, hands-on experiments demonstrate physics concepts in the real world and give your students practice using the scientific method.
  • Absorb– REAL Science engages visual, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic learners, to help every student understand and retain key concepts.
  • Learn– with Physics Level 1, you don’t just learn about the literal forces that shape our world, you learn how science is done!

It’s also important to understand what REAL Science Odyssey is not. This curriculum is NOT:

  • A random selection of labs. It’s a fully developed, incremental homeschool science curriculum.
  • Too hard for elementary students. Children are very capable of learning the basics of how the physical world works, when it’s presented in an exciting and accessible way.
  • Lightweight. Children will learn REAL physics, from Newton’s Laws to relativity (with a bit of quantum weirdness thrown in), and they’ll use the real scientific method.
  • Dry or boring. Thought- and question-provoking readings aid in remembering facts, and engaging labs bring concepts from the page alive.
  • Influenced by religion. All REAL Science Odyssey courses are secular and based on valid, empirical science.


Who can use Physics Level 1?

We recommend Physics Level 1 is targeted to 4th grade, or ages 9-10, but can be used successfully with students in grades 3-6. Labs, readings, and assignments can be adapted easily to students of different ages. Read aloud and transcribe written answers for younger students, and give older students more independence.


While many of us weren’t exposed to physics formally until high school (if at all), younger students are completely capable of building a solid foundation of physics knowledge. In truth, your child has already studied physics! Every baby performs an experiment of dropping items from their high chair, deducing for themselves the concept of gravity. RSO Physics Level 1 invites students to explore physics in the everyday world around them. They experiment with household objects and build models to learn how simple machines follow the same laws that govern the universe.

What’s more, you don’t need to have a science background to use this homeschool science curriculum! All materials are written with the physics novice in mind, so you don’t need to do a lot of extra research in advance of the lessons.

You can also use Physics Level 1 as part of a co-op or with multiple students. If you’re using the curriculum with more than one student, you can purchase extra copies of the consumable student pages separately.

If you need a homeschool science curriculum for a different grade or a different subject, check out the REAL Science Odyssey homepage.


Science Topics Covered

Physics Level 1 starts with the basics, and each unit builds on the last. Every unit reinforces aspects of the scientific method and critical thinking. Each unit explores a big idea or question in depth through reading, experiments, and conversation.

What Is Physics?

What Is Physics?

  • Matter and how it behaves
  • Scientific method
  • Notable physicists
  • Mass, Density, and Volume
Newton's Laws

Newton's Laws

  • A force is a push or a pull
  • Inertia, velocity, and momentum
  • Action and reaction


  • Causes of friction, resistance
  • Friction and heat
  • Real life application: Auto Safety
Simple Machines

Simple Machines

  • Work
  • Kinetic and potential energy
  • Ramps, levers, wheels, and pulleys (oh my!)





  • Air, air pressure, and atmosphere
  • Weight, thrust, lift, and drag
  • Bernoulli’s Principle
Energy and Waves

Energy and Waves

  • What is a wave
  • Sound waves
  • Amplitude, wavelength, and frequency


  • Fields as an area in which a force exists
  • Magnetic substances and magnetic fields
  • Magnetic poles
  • Earth’s magnetic field


  • Electrical charges of atoms
  • Static electricity
  • Currents, conductors, and circuits



Science Skills Covered

In addition to being a complete, homeschool astronomy curriculum, REAL Science Odyssey will guide your student in learning essential skills that will serve them throughout their education and life, such as:
  • Applying the Scientific method
  • Critical Thinking
  • Observation
  • Presenting scientific data
  • Reading and interpreting informational texts


Lab Experiments

No homeschool science curriculum would be complete without hands-on experiments. Children will move, test, and build to see how concepts play out in the real world. With Physics Level 1, your child will:
  • Learn what happens when they drink through a straw
  • Build a simple lever and describe how it works using mathematical observations
  • Calculate how long a lever you’d need to have for a child to lift a car with it
  • Use different sizes and shapes of balloons in a rocket science experiment

. . . and much more! Each experiment includes detailed supply lists, step-by-step instructions, and, when needed, safety precautions.

Lab sheets guide your student through implementing the scientific method. Your student will gain experience:

  • Formulating and writing down hypotheses based on knowledge gained from the reading
  • Recording observations and results
  • Drawing conclusions based on those results
  • Reinforcing their knowledge by answering questions about the experiment.


Planning and Scheduling

Research shows that science is best learned in deep investigations of a single subject, rather than short hops from one field to another. RSO curricula align with this methodology. Physics Level 1 is designed as a full-year homeschool curriculum. It includes:
  • 36 weeks of material, assuming you teach science twice a week
  • Suggested weekly schedule for the entire course
  • Supply list break down for each week
  • Instructor pages that guide you in implementing each lesson and lab
  • Student pages are available if using the curriculum with more than one student


Important Copyright Information: If you choose the eBook version of this course, you are purchasing a license to use the PDF for your own children. You may make copies for your own children, but you may not share (email, download, print and distribute, resell, etc.) this eBook or any portion of this eBook to others.

Licensing is available for group, school, and co-op use. Please contact Pandia Press for details on group licensing (

Most supplies are normal household items that you can find either in your home or at the grocery, craft, or big-box store. You’ll also need a 3-ring binder for lab and notebook pages.

Uncommon Supplies Needed for Course Labs:

Spring Scale- approximately 5-10 lb (about 2 kg-5 kg) capacity

Iron Fillings– readily found in education supply stores, and even some toy stores in the “science” section

Electricity Supplies- You will need a Circuit Kit with at least two battery holders, or obtain the kit supplies separately:
D-cell battery holder, miniature light bulb (not LED), miniature light bulb receptacle, and insulated wire

Please see the Try Before You Buy file for a complete list of the lab supplies needed to complete this course.

Home Science Tools offers supply kits for all RSO courses.

Physics SP