From the time you start homeschooling science you may find that you need tools that might be taken for granted in the text books. Test tubes, microscopes, telescopes and chemicals are often called on to conduct a lab or experiment that could stop you cold. This doesn’t have to happen though. While science labs have developed a list of specialized science tools that work well, you can find substitutions pretty easily in the home.
A set of small jars that you have cleaned and designated for school, work well as collection vessels for samples, insects, snails or whatever science-y thing your student is studying. A set of zip top plastic bags could be used for geology samples. Food coloring can substitute for the dyes used to color cell samples and common household chemicals (baking soda, vinegar, salt, peroxide, and ethanol) can be used in some chemistry experiments.
At some point you may find that your student would benefit from a ‘real’ microscope or telescope, until that time there are excellent photos available on line or in books to show the actual appearance of the very small or very large. A good set of binoculars is more commonly found in the home and can bring the moon or a new bird into much closer focus.