Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Crew Review: Funtastic's Science Unit Studies

I have to admit that I'm not very good at putting "fun" in science, at least not once we move past the nature study days of early elementary school. I don't have many ideas for making science fun. With that in mind, you'll understand why I was interested in Funtastic Unit Studies when they appeared on the Schoolhouse Review Crew's upcoming review list. I've used unit studies in the past, but never science unit studies. We were chosen as part of the group that was asked to review Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers by Susan Kilbride. It seemed like the perfect way to get some fun educational moments into our summer break!

Funtastic Science Unit Studies Review
Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers is a softcover book that is 201 pages long. There are 20 chapters in the book, with each chapter having its own topic. Each chapter begins with a list of materials required for the activities, and the book contains templates and diagrams that go with each subject. The answer key is provided at the back of the book, as well.

The first ten chapters of Science Unit Studies are geared for children ages 4-7 and the last ten chapters are for children ages 8-13. My first thought was that it naturally would fall into a once-a-month science unit study for two different age groups! The only down-side to that approach is that the topics don't overlap, so you'd be teaching two different sets of unit studies to your kids each month. Though since they are short studies, you could easily do the younger kids at the start of the month and the older kids later in the month. A fun, science unit study from the book can be done in two days of focused work, or spread over the course of 1 or 2 weeks.

I'm glad that the material list is included at the start of each chapter. It helps with planning and preparing. This isn't a "pick-up-and-go" study. Some of the materials were not things I owned, and needed to buy. Other supplies required some gathering from the garage and nooks and crannies around the house. There are also some related books and movies to borrow from the library (or a friend) that need to be factored into the preparation.

The younger children and I had fun with the Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life chapter. We learned about dinosaurs, looked at different books we already owned, played with plastic dinosaur toys, and had a Dinosaur Treasure Hunt. We searched the yard for hidden T-Rex teeth to put in the "mouth" we laid out on the ground with rope.

Funtastic Science finding T-Rex teeth
Finding T-Rex teeth hidden in the yard!

T-Rex Teeth Hunt - Funtastic Science
Finding 40 T-Rex teeth to put in the open T-Rex mouth.

Funtastic Science Unit Studies
Everyone helps with the T-Rex teeth!

There are a lot of fun, educational ideas in Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers. We'll enjoy continuing to add them to our studies as they fit in. If you'd like to take a peek at the book yourself, you can download two free sample pdf science units  from the book. Susan Kilbride also has some other free homeschool lessons on the website.

Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers can be purchased for $16.95. It's reusable, affordably priced, and an excellent resource to add some fun and excitement into your science studies. Although I wouldn't consider it a full curriculum for more than possibly early elementary ages, it's a great supplemental product that would enhance any homeschool science program! It would also make a fun resource for homeschool co-op groups! I can't wait to use it with ours!

Funtastic Unit Studies Review

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