|Funtastic Unit Studies Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and Teachers.|
If you have been following my blog for a while now you know that my family loves science and unit studies. We love learning about the world around us and think that hands-on projects and lessons are great for learning because we seem to learn a whole lot more by experimenting: asking lots of questions, researching, hypothesizing, testing, troubleshooting, and analyzing. Unit Studies help us focus on one particular theme/topic in our studies for our homeschool. These themes/topics are approached from several different angles. There is so much more visual, auditory, tactile kinesthetic, hands-on, and project oriented learning within Unit Studies and this is precisely why we love them so much!
|Potato People for "Our Senses" unit study.|
Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and Teachers by Funtastic Unit Studies is a wonderful full size softcover book that gives homeschooling parents and teachers the keys to a well rounded science curriculum. There are a total of 20 different science unit studies in this book. It is separated into two age groups. The first half is for ages 4-7 and the second and last half is for ages 8-13. The whole book is about 200 pages and has answers to tests and worksheets at the end so you can grade everything easier.
It is good to read each unit before you start so you can have everything ready. Some preparation and supply gathering will need to be done ahead of time for the activities. Each chapter starts off with a list of materials needed to do the unit. These materials are stuff that most people will have already around the house or that you can get fairly easily, inexpensively other places. Some units; however, require additional materials you might not have like specific media or a scientific instrument. There are also instructions in each unit with how to prepare all of the activities in each part with the listed materials.
|Salt and Sugar difference activity for taste.|
The units have roughly 4-8 parts. They start off with and an introduction to the unit. Each part usually has something to read to the student and activities to do.You can skip around with these lessons. These lessons don't have to be taught in any particular order, although it is probably better to do so. At the end of each unit for ages 8-13 also has a test for the student to see what they have learned. Each unit takes about two weeks or less to finish. They have simple diagrams to illustrate concepts that will be learned with the units.
What is Covered in the Table of Contents...
The unit studies for Ages 4-7:
- Chapter 1: Our Senses
- Chapter 2: The Human Body
- Chapter 3: Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life
- Chapter 4: Animals
- Chapter 5: Insects and Their Kin
- Chapter 6: Fun with Magnets
- Chapter 7: Stars and Planets
- Chapter 8: Health
- Chapter 9: Beginning Plants
- Chapter 10: Animal Ecology
The unit studies for Ages 8-13:
- Chapter 11: Insects
- Chapter 12: Microscopes and Invisible Creatures
- Chapter 13: Atoms and Molecules
- Chapter 14: Matter
- Chapter 15: Chemistry Fun
- Chapter 16: Weather
- Chapter 17: Force and Motion
- Chapter 18: Simple Machines
- Chapter 19: Light and Color
- Chapter 20: Plants II
|Glass Bottle Water Orchestra|
How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
My girls are perfect age for the 4-7 units since they are 4 and 7. My boys are good ages for the 8-13 units since they are 13 and 14. I did the very first unit about senses with my girls for this review because my boys were off at camp and other activities with their friends for the summer. Jaedan who is my 13 year old did participate in the making of the potato people at the beginning of the unit.
The senses unit study is divided into seven parts. We worked on about 3 and a half parts per week in order of how they were arranged in the book.
We had some trouble finding some of the items because my home is just not as well stocked as I thought it was. For example I didn't have any baby food jars because I don't have any babies in the house any more. I used to keep them for craft projects, but when I moved I got rid of them. I have been purging a lot lately too and found that some of the items I got rid of might have actually been useful for some of the activities. Other items I was having a hard time finding in my home since the move (probably still in a box somewhere). Also, this book seems a bit dated because it asks for a "tape recorder"...I am not sure who has these any more. At any rate, my supply of things needed was lacking. I had to substitute some things with others we did have because of my budget. We ended up using brown bottles instead of clear for the glass soda bottles for making the water music. We tried to do the activities with what we had though and managed to pull it off reasonably well.
My kids enjoyed the activities and even though I felt a little disorganized because of my lack of supplies we had fun doing them together. While doing this unit my younger children learned a little more about their senses. Making the potato people was their favorite activity. These science unit studies for homeschool are well laid out in this book and we are excited to do more of them this upcoming school year. I recommend these great science ideas for teachers and homeschoolers because they are fun and educational.
Here's a link to a page that has two free pdf units from the book:
And here's a link that has some other, unrelated, freebies:
The new edition of the Funtastic Unit Studies Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and Teachers sells for $16.95.
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