A few months ago, a review for Funtastic Unit Studies came up, to review their Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers. Science and History were my plan for the summer, so I was excited to use this. I’ve been told time and again that unit studies is the answer for the mom of many, to school multiple ages and abilities without teaching a subject five times five different ways. I’ll take it.
Written with different sections written for different ages, Science Unity Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers was written by Susan Kilbride for ages 4-13. I was slightly disappointed that I couldn’t use one section for all my children… until I figured out that I still could. I decided I can take one chapter, for either age group (4-7 and 8-13 is their breakdown) and make it applicable for all of the kids. The older category was far more difficult, I found, than the younger, so I chose to work through the younger section for now. I have five kids “doing” school, ages four, six, eight, ten, and twelve. We worked through one chapter together and I read through a few more. While I found myself adapting often to keep everyone interested and learning, it all worked quite well.
There are twenty chapters, plus tests and worksheets. Softcover and 200 pages, chapters include the following topics:
- Our Sense
- The Human Body
- Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life
- Insects and Their Kin
- Fun with Magnets
- Stars and Planets
- Beginning Plants
- Animal Ecology
- Microscopes and Invisible Creatures
- Atoms and Molecules
- Chemistry Fun
- Force and Motion
- Simple Machines
- Light and Color
- Plants II
Each chapter takes just a few weeks to cover working a few days per week but you could stretch it out to cover longer and learn more – it’s pretty easy to adapt. Several videos were suggested that I was not able to obtain during this review, but they would further understanding, I think. The first ten chapters are geared toward ages 4-7 and the last ten for ages 8-13. We chose to work through The Human Body. It was fun and informative and the skeleton we made, while not the least bit impressive to some of my dear children, was quite fun for others… namely Sterling, age 8. It’s now hanging in his bedroom.
I was quite curious what the viewpoint on creation vs. evolution might be. I scanned the dinosaur chapter and found “millions of years” in the first paragraph and liberally dispersed throughout. It’s disappointing that it’s not coming from my own young-earth creation standpoint, to be sure, but I do think, since this is a unit study and not a “hand them the text book and let them read it themselves” approach, this could be adapted to whatever your personal beliefs are, should they vary from the book. I did not come across further references to how old the earth is or creation vs. evolution (that subject was not broached in all my perusing) but I have not thoroughly read the entire book. It does not give God, or any one/thing else, glory for the wonders of creation.
Overall, we had fun with the book. The younger sections have drawings that might be considered primitive, but they are very visual in terms of giving children a drawing of what they are referring to, and there are a multitude of experiments and projects from pretty ordinary items (love that! We could jump right in without spending a fortune.) to demonstrate the point. The older sections are detailed and offer tests on some of the subjects. They are pretty intense – it’s not just a simple fun book. There’s learning to be done with this book! There’s an abundant supply in here of fun ideas to teach science, and I was pleasantly surprised at just how in depth much of the last half of the book was. While combining ages for the first half made for a simple science lesson for them all, the last half may not be so easy to combine ages after all. It definitely raises the bar from what the first half presents for the younger ages.
The rest of the Crew worked through this book, in various chapters with various ages. Check out what they had to say about it here.