Today I’ll be sharing with you a review of Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers & Teachers by Susan Kilbride. It’s a great resource for teaching science to ages 4-13, whether you are a homeschool mom teaching your own kids at home, teaching a class at a co-op, or teaching at a school.
There are 20 different chapters to do 20 different science units. Ten are specifically for ages 4-7 (our senses, the human body, dinosaurs and prehistoric life, animals, insects and their kin, fun with magnets, stars and planets, health, beginning plants, and animal ecology), and ten for ages 8-13 (microcopes and invisible creatures, atoms and molecules, matter, chemistry fun, weather, force and motion, simple machines, light and color, and plants II).
A little about the author Susan Kilbride (taken from her website): Susan Kilbride is a homeschooling mother with a degree in biology. A few years ago she noticed that many homeschooling parents are either uncomfortable teaching their children science, or just don’t have the time to do the necessary research to teach their children science. Susan wrote Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers with these parents in mind, using the same methods that she used when teaching her own son.
We tried out part of two lessons: Health and Weather.
In Health, we talked about eating healthy food and getting exercise. They played a new game: shadow tag!
For Weather we talked about evaporation and condensation.
Here we put water in a jar and will check it to see how much evaporates.
Next we watched the steam escape from a pot of boiling water.
And then I held a pot of ice water over the boiling water. It caused condensation, which fell like rain drops!
One thing I really liked about the book is that the lessons are very approachable for a teacher who has very little science knowledge. The lessons are broken up into bite-sized segments, so you can do a little each day and finish a whole chapter in a week or two. Or you can add to the lessons with books from the library, internet research, videos, lapbooks, etc. and stretch a chapter to last a whole month or longer! There are many “activities” for each chapter as well. Some are science experiments, but there are other fun types of activities as well (such as keeping a weather journal, playing shadow tag, and making healthy snacks). Each chapter begins with a list of materials needed, but you can pick and choose which ones you’d like to do. Many of the materials are easy to find (and you probably have them around your house already), but others require a little advanced planning (like buying a microscope, slides, or iron filings).
There are two things that I didn’t like about the book. One, it isn’t written from a Christian perspective. I love teaching science so that kids understand that God made everything and so that they are able to recognize his handiwork in all they see and experience. He is such a creative and an amazing designer! Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers & Teachers teaches evolution as fact, not theory. The other thing is really just a preference. I would love for the illustrations to be professionally drawn, and possibly even add colored photographs in future editions. It would really add to the the quality of the book and make doing the activities/experiments easier.
(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the above book in order to write this honest review. This post contains affiliate links.)