While history is our #1 favorite subject, science comes in at a close second, especially when experiments and activities are involved. We recently had the opportunity to review “Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers & Teachers” from Susan Kilbride of Funtastic Unit Studies. Let’s just say it was the perfect fit for our Summer of Learning this year!
I received a physical copy of the book “Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers & Teachers” in exchange for my honest review.
About the Book
“Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers & Teachers” is designed to be used with children ages 4-13, either in a homeschool or elementary school setting. The goal of “Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers & Teachers” is to make science fun.
When children enjoy a subject, they are more likely to pursue it further on their own, digging a little deeper into topics of interest. This book is like the first step to nurturing your child’s love of science.
There are 20 chapters or units, and each unit builds upon the next. Kilbride recommends starting with chapter 1 regardless of your child’s age for that very reason; however, it is not essential.
As you can see, chapters 1-10 are geared toward ages 4-7, and chapters 11-20 for ages 8-13. Each chapter or unit begins with a list of materials needed to complete the unit. Most of the materials are items you will have on hand, so you don’t have to buy any expensive supplies. There are also some additional worksheets and tests but not for every unit.
How We’re Using the Book
Since my girls are under age 7, we started with Chapter 1: Our Senses. Before diving in, I skimmed through all of the activities to see which ones seemed doable and the materials I would need. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I actually understood all of the activities and how to present them because science is not my forte.
I introduced the five senses with this really fun activity using potatoes and various produce I had on hand. Essentially, the girls created their own Mr. Potato Heads. As they put blueberries on for eyes and red peppers on for lips, we talked about what our eyes and mouths do. This was a really fun activity that led to a yummy baked potato lunch with the remaining veggies and fruits.
We concluded our Science lesson with a rollicking reading of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” The girls hollered out the sense being used as I read. A very successful first lesson!
The next day we went through the activities pertaining to Taste. Because I had all of the supplies needed, we did 4 of the 5 activities. It was really FUN and only took about 30 minutes to do! The girls loved distinguishing between the 5 different types of tastes with different types of food.
Probably our favorite FUN activities in the unit were (1) for seeing, playing blindman’s bluff and (2) for smell, trying to guess the different scents on various cotton balls. For the latter activity, there is a fun story to read along with smelling ginger, strawberry, vanilla, almond, and peppermint that we all enjoyed.
We were able to go through the entire first unit in a week because the girls were so eager to keep going.
Learning about the human body — chapter 2 in “Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers & Teachers” — was also a great summer unit. Learning about digestion using a ziploc bag, soda crackers, water and apple vinegar helped the girls (and me!) visualize how the process works.
We’ve taken a little break from “Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers & Teachers” as we are starting our new school year this week, but I can already see that we will be pulling it out again during the year because the girls keep asking for it!
My Take on the Book
I’ll admit that science intimidates me. It’s one of those subjects I don’t feel comfortable teaching because of my lack of knowledge and what I feel was poor schooling. But “Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers & Teachers” takes all the work out and makes learning about different science concepts very fun. My kids didn’t even realize they were learning! That’s a success in my book!
What I love about the book:
- The instructions are clear and easy to follow.
- There is little to no planning necessary.
- You don’t have to go out and buy lots of expensive equipment or materials.
- You can use the book with children of multiple ages. Even my 3 year old learned something and enjoyed participating.
- It’s comprehensive: The concepts included range from dinosaurs to chemistry, health to simple machines. There’s something for everyone.
- The hands-on activities are easy yet very effective.
(One note of caution for Christians: In the Dinosaurs unit, I noticed a mention of dinosaurs going extinct 65 million years ago. If this is an issue for you, then be sure to pre-read the book before handing it over to a child to read.)
Even though our summer is coming to an end, we will continue to use “Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers & Teachers” throughout the school year. If you struggle with teaching science or have kids who don’t like the subject, I HIGHLY recommend this book.
Check out the freebies to see if “Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers & Teachers” would be a good for your students.
- Here’s a link to a page with two free pdf units from the book:
- And here’s a link that has some other unrelated freebies: