Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Science Unit Studies- Schoolhouse Crew Review

Can I just tell you that reviewing curriculum can be hard work?  Often there is a lot of prep and even more often I have to take a break in what we are currently using to fit something new in.  I LOVE when we find a product that fits right in with what we are doing and literally adds nothing to our day except fun and facts!  Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers is one such product we have been using!

Funtastic Unit Studies offers this delightful 197 page soft-cover book by Susan Kilbride for $16.95. The book is a collection of unit studies for ages 4-13, making it easy to use when schooling multiple children or even if you are just looking for experiments that will interest and engage a wide age range of children.  Using easily found supplies, many which you probably already have in your home, these experiments are clearly written and easy to do. At the beginning of each chapter is a complete supply list for ease of use. The 20 chapters are clearly labeled for ages 4-7 or 8-13, but I believe that with a little supervision you can have your younger children participate in the older experiments easily.

Chapters include-
Our Senses
The Human Body
Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life
Insects and Their Kin
Fun with Magnets
Stars and Planets
Beginning Plants
Animal Ecology
Microscopes and Invisible Creatures
Chemistry Fun
Force and Motion
Simple Machines
Light and Color
Plants 2

Each unit of study is broken down in to multiple "parts" that include facts and related information to share with your child and then several activities or experiments to perform based off that information. Some units also include recommended movies to help further your studies.  Chapters 11-20, which are intended for ages 8-13, include a quick 10 question test you can use to test your child's comprehension.

The Hows and Whats-
While I think you could use this resource as a great spring board to create a complete unit study if that is your way of schooling, we chose to just have fun with it and try a few different things to fit the subjects we have been studying this year for Colby, our 8 year old.  He loves science so it was quite easy to get him involved and luckily he had a willing 17 year old sister to help us!

The first unit we decided to try was the first one, Our Senses.  Susan suggests you do the units in order but they do stand alone if you want to use them to fit your needs.  We began the unit with an introduction and by simply asking some basic questions about our senses and what each is used for. The activities for this part included a potato face and reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears to help identify each of the 5 senses.

The next 5 "parts" of this unit each focused on one of those 5 senses.

Taste, of course, involved tasting and identifying food by taste or by sight with the salt and sugar taste test.

One of the touch activitys involved pins, which I had to assure my son I was not going to poke him
with, and finding the parts of our body that are more sensitive than others.

For sight, Colby and my oldest daughter read the story of The Blind Men and the Elephant, identified the parts of each other's eyes, watched each other's pupils dilate and contract, and ended their time together with a game of I Spy!  I love that these activities are simple enough to be led by an older sibling and also provided a time of bonding for them!

There were several activity ideas for smell but I decided to use the old "can you guess what that smell is?" one.  It was funny to see Colby's cute nose wrinkle up when he smelled each item!  Then he got to taste each!

As silly as it may sound, I loved the review of this unit the best!  Remember when you were a kid and you did mad libs on long trips?  Is that just me?  Anyway, the review for senses is a giant mad lib where your child gets to choose words that pertain to the senses to fill in the blanks.  What results is a cute and funny story, sure to entertain your child.  What could be better than learning when laughter is involved?!

So, have we enjoyed Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers ?  Yes!  Will we keep using it? YES!  Next unit up- The Human Body!  We can't wait to put together a skeleton and make a respiratory system with balloons!  Then look out- dinosaurs will follow.

Susan and her unit studies make science even more fun!

Free Plant Unit and a Free Atoms and Molecule Unit are provided at Funtastic Unit Studies so you can check it out first!

Susan also offers an American History Chapter book series that looks delightful!  It is now on my
wish list!

Funtastic Unit Studies Review

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