As most of my long-time readers know, we love unit studies. Finding a topic and studying through with unit studies are our favorite way to learn about things. So when I received the opportunity to review Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and Teachers from Funtastic Unit Studies, I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance to take a peek and try a unit study from the book with my children.
What We Received
Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and Teachers is a large, trade paperback that is approximately 200 pages in length. It contains 20 unit study chapters that target children between the ages of 4 and 13. The first half of the book (10 units) are created for 4 to 7 year olds, and the last ten units are for 8 to 13 year olds.
Some of the unit studies included are the five senses, dinosaurs, insects, magnets, plants, health, microscopes and the weather. Each unit study has a list of necessary books, supplies and videos at the beginning, and then the study is broken into several parts. Each part has diagrams, teaching and activities to help illustrate the concept being taught. The activities in the unit are placed in a sequential order where the activities in the unit build on each other and need to come in a particular order. However, there are times when there are multiple activities that illustrate a particular concept.
How We Used This Unit Study
Each unit study is composed of approximately two weeks of activities and work. Some of that is going to vary depending on the unit and how involved the activities are that go with the unit study that you have picked out.
I had originally thought that I would allow the children to go through the book and pick out their own unit study. However, because the big kids were involved in some other reviews and it’s the middle of summer, I decided instead to start my preschoolers on the “Our Senses” unit study. Seeing it in the book reminded me that I really hadn’t talked about the senses or done any activities with the senses with the children. So, I primarily used this with my five and four year old. However, when my 8 & 10 year old saw fun looking activities going on, they couldn’t help but come get involved in some of the unit work as well.
The senses unit study is divided into seven parts, and we worked on it during seven different days over the course of about three weeks.
My Opinion on This Book
This unit study was a lot of fun and all the studies in the book look like fun too!! While I’ve mostly looked at the younger unit studies, the older studies retain an element of fun while adding in more information for your students and even an end of unit test.
I did find the constant emphasis on activities was draining on me, and even though most of the items needed for projects were easily available, making sure I had the right quantities of items and planning when to use them was tedious. If I use this during the school year, I will schedule to use it two days and week ,and make sure that I go through in advance looking at the specific activities that I wanted to use and making a more detailed weekly shopping list. Sometimes we didn’t use the unit study or we skipped activities that I wanted to use with the kids because I hadn’t looked ahead and planned to go and buy specific materials for activities.
Still, we really enjoyed the activities. With the five senses unit study, we had a book we were supposed to use and there were a couple of short stories printed in the unit to use with specific activities. I really enjoyed the closeness that those stories and activities engendered between the preschoolers and me.
I do know that even after I finish using the units that my children want to use from this unit study that I am going to be keeping it for use with co-op classes. It’s been a while since I taught at a co-op class, but this would be a perfect book to go through an elementary or middle school co-op science with. There’s so much to choose from that you could have a fun class and still assign homework if you’d like with the students. I can picture this one in that environment in my head.
So, if you’re looking for a fun and hands-on way to do science with your children or with your co-op, or if you’re looking to add some fun activities into your classroom, this is a great book of ideas and activities to make teaching science concepts fun!