Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers ~ Review


A couple of months ago I was contacted by Susan Kilbride, the author of Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers about writing a review for the book.


She had read my blog post on our The Secret Garden unit where I used her free Plant unit study downloaded from Funtastic Unit Studies.

I told her that I would be thrilled to review the entire book that the plants unit came from, because we enjoyed it so much!

Although we have not done any other full unit studies from the book yet, I have reviewed it extensively. I have even pulled out some relevant activities to do regarding delight-directed learning opportunities on which we had embarked. (Like our spontaneous Water Cycle unit. I just grabbed the book to see if there might be some activities on the Water Cycle, and voila! I found some great things in a snap!) I do, however, plan to use this book for many years to come.

That's what's great about the book! It has designated activities for Ages 4-7, and then Ages 8-13. They are age-appropriate and FUN! They are things that I haven't come across before, and drive home the points in a relevant and engaging way.

Another thing that I love is that Susan is so approachable! She and I have e-mailed several times back and forth. She is so open to suggestions and available to answer questions. I have truly enjoyed working with her.

Let's get to some specifics.


Table of Contents

The unit studies for Ages 4-7 are:
  • Our Senses
  • The Human Body
  • Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life
  • Animals
  • Insects and Their Kin
  • Fun with Magnets
  • Stars and Planets
  • Health
  • Beginning Plants
  • Animal Ecology
The unit studies for Ages 8-13 are:
  • Insects
  • Microscopes and Invisible Creatures
  • Atoms and Molecules
  • Matter
  • Chemistry Fun
  • Weather
  • Force and Motion
  • Simple Machines
  • Light and Color
  • Plants II
Although the units are "designated" for certain age groups, they are not inclusive to those age groups. Eli and Brynne are 8 and almost 7, respectively. I am very interested in, initially, the unit studies on Stars and Planets, Health, and Fun with Magnets. They could both easily do the activities included in the units.

Dawson is almost 16, but we will definitely be using the units on Chemistry Fun, Microscopes and Invisible Creatures, and Atoms and Molecules.

All three kids can sit in on each other's units to observe the activities. They are easily adaptable to other age groups.


Materials Needed for this Unit

At the beginning of each Chapter/Unit, Susan gives a VERY specific and exhaustive list of ALL supplies and materials that will be needed for ALL of the activities. The majority of them are household items or easy to locate for purchase.


Parts

The lessons are broken up into "parts", and there are about 6-7 parts to each unit. Within each part is about 2-6 different activities that you can do. Susan starts with some easy narrative to introduce the material in each part, and then the activities are listed separately. It is SO EASY to read through the lessons while planning and star the activities you plan to do. This makes collection of the materials a breeze.

Something else I did with the Plant unit was to choose short living books and picture books to read with each part. I tried to choose a non-fiction book and a fiction book, because my teaching philosophy always includes literature as it's base. The parts are designated so clearly, and the narrative materials are so concise, that it's easy to pick the issue and/or topics to easily choose the books.

There are also pictures included when needed to reinforce the topics being taught, or to diagram how to conduct an activity. Easy, simple, and clear.


Tests

The units for Ages 8-13 include a multiple choice test at the end of each chapter/unit. These can be used if you are wanting to take a test grade, or to determine how well your student absorbed the material taught. There is also an answer key provided in the back of the book.


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I don't have anything negative to say about this book. In fact, it might be my favorite science unit study resource I have come across. It fits my style perfectly. I only hope Susan will write a Volume 2 with more great unit studies soon!

If you would like to get your own copy of Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers by Susan Kilbride, it can be purchased at 30% off right now at Amazon for $11.55. As Amazon changes their prices frequently, I don't know how long the sale will last. But, even at the regular price of $16.95, that's still a bargain at about 85 cents a science unit.

** I received the book, Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers, free of charge in exchange for my honest review of the product. All opinions are my own. **

1 comment:

  1. nice; I love a good science resource that is gender/age friendly to all (especially me, lol). Off to check it out!
    ~Sheri

    ReplyDelete

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