Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Funtastic Unit Studies Review

My kiddos love science. They thrive on experiments and hands-on projects. They long to understand how and why things work. They enjoy examining and discovering just about everything. My little ones, like their daddy, are naturally drawn to all things science. I knew they'd be excited to use the Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers this summer. 

This book, written by Susan Kilbride, is part of  Funtastic Unit Studies. Susan, a homeschooling mother with a degree in biology, started the company to help other parents feel comfortable teaching science. She used the methods that she applied when teaching her own son and the unit studies book was born.      

Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers is broken into 2 sections: studies for ages 4-7 and studies for ages 8-13.

Ages 4-7
  • Our Senses
  • The Human Body
  • Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life
  • Animals
  • Insects and Their Kin
  • Fun with Magnets
  • Stars and Planets
  • Health
  • Beginning Plants
  • Animal Ecology
Ages 8-13
  • Insects
  • Microscopes and Invisible Creatures
  • Atoms and Molecules
  •  Matter
  • Chemistry Fun
  • Weather
  • Force and Motion
  • Simple Machines
  • Light and Color
  • Plants II

Each chapter starts with a list of materials needed for that topic. Then, it's broken into parts or subtopics for the unit. Each part lists activities for learning. For instance, we started with Chapter 1: Our Senses. The unit is as follows:
  • Part 1: Introduction
  • Part 2: Taste
  • Part 3: Touch
  • Part 4: Sight
  •  Part 5: Sound
  • Part 6: Smell
  • Part 7: Review of Senses 

This book is very simple to use and makes teaching science fun. Since we do science together as a family, I like to find activities that include all the children (9, 7, 5, 3). The chapters for the younger group work perfectly for us.  I've done a study on the 5 senses with the kids before, but this one was even more exciting for them. We did activities like read "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and pointed out every time one of the senses was used; tasted some yummy treats and discussed whether they were sweet, salty, bitter, sour, or savory; took turns hiding objects from around the house in a paper bag and tried to guess what they were by feeling them; listened to different pitches of sound on glasses of water and even played "Mary Had A Little Lamb;" took turns picking things from the kitchen and tried to guess what they were just by the scent; played Mad Libs in which an orange turned into a popcorn machine; and experimented with many other activities to learn about our senses.

The activities for the older group are more in depth, of course. They include using a microscope; writing a research paper; decoding physical and chemical properties; classifying objects; and using materials like a pulley, cellophane, a carnivorous plant, iodine, colored marshmallows, and more. There are also accompanying tests and worksheets along with the answer sheets.

This book is packed full of activities and experiments that could easily keep your kids busy all year. Most of the materials are things that you probably already have around the house.The activities are easy to prepare and take just minutes to set up. In fact, I know that I could hand the book to my 9-year-old and allow him to preform the majority of the activities on his own. This book truly is written to make learning science as simple as possible.

Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers is thorough, affordable, and fun, and one that you'll want to utilize in your homeschool. If you can't wait for your own copy to arrive, you can start with the 2 free PDF units from the book that are offered or use one of the other freebies on the site. 

My kids ask every day if it's time to do science. We're all enjoying this book and will continue using this wonderful resource.

If you'd like to see how other homeschool families used this book, please read the reviews on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

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