Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Our Review of Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers!

I am very excited to announce that our family was chosen to review Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers!

Funtastic Unit Studies Review

Our family loves the unit study approach. We have spent the last year exploring different science unit studies on our own. Each month moving on to a new area of study that interested us. You can imagine how excited we were to get a chance to review Science Unit Studies forHomeschoolers and Teachers by Funtastic Unit Studies.

This unit study material was sent to us as a soft back book. I know a lot of the unit studies available these days are online and available as downloads. I am probably showing my age here but I love actual books! Something about holding a new science book in my hands makes me as giddy as a kid in a candy shop.

Science Unit Studies forHomeschoolers and Teachers is made up of 20 Chapters covering a variety of scientific material. Chapters 1 -10 are dedicated towards children 4-7 years old and chapters 11-20 specifically for 8-13 year olds. The author however makes it clear in the beginning of the book that the age ranges are just suggestions. When dealing with children there are always a great range of abilities present in each age range.

When looking through the book I found that the early unit studies (Chapters 1-10) dealt mostly with broad subject matter. Such as Insects, Dinosaurs and Prehistoric life, Fun with Magnets, etc. While the later unit studies (Chapters 11-20) dealt with more specific subject matter. These included Chemistry Fun, Atoms and Molecules, Force and Motion, etc.

Each chapter is then broken down into different parts. Many of the chapters had as many as 6 parts within them. Each part is a subcategory of the main chapter heading.  Within each part there is a teachers section with instructions on how to complete the section as well as an activity to complete for each part.
For example:

Chapter 2: The Human Body
·        Part 1: The Digestive System
§  Activity: Build a model of the stomach

Having the chapters broken down into so many parts made it very easy to divide up the material into manageable pieces for our school day. It would be very simple to spread one chapter with 6 parts into 6 weeks of study. Or to complete two smaller parts in one week. It all depends on your schedule and your child’s needs.
In our family we have 6 children who are involved in our daily homeschooling endeavors. We have chosen to keep all of our children together for our core assignments. This means I have children ages 11 years old to 2 years old completing this unit study. We have found it fits best in our family to go with a lower age range product and then make things a bit more complicated for our oldest child. With this in mind we chose to complete one of the 4-7 year old unit studies.

Our family decided to work on Chapter 10: Animal Ecology. It worked well with our twin’s current kindergarten curriculum. The kids are working through units such as “C is for Cow” so a science unit covering animal ecology seemed like a natural fit.

Part 1 discussed Habitats and Biomes. There were several activities available for this part, we however chose to only complete one activity per part. For this part we decided to go with activity 2, a world traveling stuffed animal.

 Once the kids had gone to bed I hid one of their stuffed animals and explained in the morning that their toy had gone on a world traveling adventure. I then proceeded to “mail them” the children the pre-written letters within the book every few days. The four letters covered facts and information on the four main habitats and some of the animals that live there. Each was written from the stuffed animal’s point of view and discussed who she was meeting and what she was up to. I signed the letters with their stuffed animals name and put them in simple handmade envelopes. The kids loved reading the fun letters and I don’t think they even realized they were learning facts about the different habitats and biomes.

Part 2 discussed Predators and Prey. This was a very simple section that focused on learning the terms Predator and Prey. The section included a short story about two young wolves about to go on their first hunt. Through the story we learn that the wolves target the sick and weak among the prey herds. This makes the prey herd stronger and keeps the wolves fed.  There was not a hands on activity for this section but I did later find my children playing “wolf and caribou” in the backyard!

Part 3 had to do with Food Chains and Food Webs. In this section the children learned specific terms such as “Primary Producer” and “Food Web”. The hands on activity for this section was to make a food chain from pictures in a magazine. I however could not find old magazines that had a variety of animals. I instead had the children draw out the food chains by hand.

Last up for this chapter was Part 4: Animal Defenses. We discussed all of the various ways that animals protect themselves (stinging, tasting bad, etc). We then completed the activity for this part. I traced the bear provided in the book onto two pieces of white paper, cut them out, and glued them onto a white piece of paper and a black piece of paper. When standing 20 feet away I held both pages up and asked the children how many bears they saw. They were only able to see the white bear on the black paper. Once I brought the pages closer they were able to see the white bear on the white paper.  It was a great lesson on how animals are able to camouflage themselves as a defense mechanism.

We loved using this unit study material! It was straightforward and very user friendly. We are very much looking forward to completing more units from within Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolersand Teachers by Funtastic Unit Studies.  I happen to know my oldest daughter has her eye on Chapter 7: Stars and Planets. It could have something to do with building a solar cooker and making smores!

Want to know what the other School House Review Crew Members thought about Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolersand Teachers? Click Here  or on the banner below to find out!

Funtastic Unit Studies Review
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