Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Funtastic Unit Studies Review

04
Aug

Funtastic Unit Studies

 Science is one of our favorite subjects around here.  Which is a little bit surprising considering how much I hated science when I was in school.  Now that I am homeschooling I try to make science as hands-on and fun as possible.  When I saw Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers from Funtastic Unit Studies I was really excited to check it out.

 The author of Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers, Susan Kilbride, is a homeschooling mom herself.  She realized that science isn’t the easiest subject for parents to teach, so she created this curriculum using the methods she used while teaching science to her own son.  Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers is a paperback book with over 200 pages.  There are 20 different science units covered in the book.  The first 10 units are for children ages 4-7, the last 10 units are for children ages 8-13.  Some of the units covered include:

  • The Human Body
  • Fun With Magnets
  • Stars and Planets
  • Animal Ecology
  • Insects
  • Matter
  • Chemistry Fun
  • Weather

That is only 8 of the exciting topics covered- there are 12 more!

Funtastic Unit Studies Review

Each unit has a supply list at the very beginning of the chapter.  Most of the items you will need are things you already have at home, or you can easily purchase.  After the supply list there are lots of hands-on activities as well as explanations of the hows and whys things work.  The chapters for the older students also contain tests and worksheets.  The end of the book has the answers for those tests and worksheets.

So, how did we use Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers?

I decided that since I would be using it with kids ages 3, 5, and 8 that we would use one of the units for the younger kids.  I picked the unit about our five senses and it was a hit!  Since I am not doing formal homeschooling during the summer, I just set up our science activities a few times each week.  There were lots of hands-on activities to pick from.  If you want to do all of the activities you can do that, or you can pick and choose what you want to do.

Here are SOME of the activities we did:
(Keep in mind that I didn’t include pictures of everything we did do, and we didn’t even do every suggested activity.  So as you will see there are tons of choices!)

Funtastic Unit Studies

I introduced the topic of our senses by having the kids put body parts on Mr. Potato Head.  We talked about what we use our eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and hands for.

Funtastic Unit Studies

The first sense we covered was taste.  I put salt in one jar and sugar in the other.  First they looked at it to see if they could tell which was which.

Funtastic Unit Studies

Then they shook the jars to see if it sounded different.  Then we smelled each container.

Funtastic Unit Studies

Next they felt each one to see if they could figure out which was which.  Lastly, they tasted each one to determine for sure which was salt and which was sugar.

Funtastic Unit Studies

We talked about the 5 different kinds of tastes there are: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and savory.  We did a little taste test to try each taste.  In this picture, they had just tasted sour, which is why Hailey is making such a silly face :-)

Funtastic Unit Studies

Next up we talked about touch.  In this picture Hailey has one finger in a bowl of cold water and another finger in a bowl of hot water (but not too hot that it would hurt to touch).  The middle bowl has lukewarm water in it.  After a minute Hailey put her fingers into the lukewarm water.  To one hand (the one that had been in the hot water) the water felt cold and to the other hand (the one that had been in the cold water) it felt warm.  We talked about how our sense of touch tells us if something is hot or cold based on how your skin already feels.

Funtastic Unit Studies

We also made Sense of Touch books- Hunter is feeling the rough page (sandpaper).

Funtastic Unit Studies

Anthony is feeling the bumpy page (bubble wrap).

Funtastic Unit Studies

When we talked about our sense of sight, I had the kids try to draw a picture of person while wearing a blindfold.  Then they took the blindfold off and drew another picture while looking at their work.

Funtastic Unit Studies

For our sense of hearing I put different items (water, batteries, crumbled paper, goldfish crackers) into some containers- they shook the containers and had to guess what was inside.  I also recorded various noises (water running, piano playing, toilet flushing, money rattling) and they had to guess what the sound was.

Funtastic Unit Studies

Last we did our sense of smell.  I dipped cotton balls into various different things (vinegar, perfume, baby lotion, pickle juice, cinnamon) and they had to smell and see if they knew what it was.

Funtastic Unit Studies

They also made flowers for our sense of smell…

Funtastic Unit Studies

…then added a cotton ball dipped in perfume to the center of the flower.

We had a lot of fun learning all about our senses!  Remember, the book has even more ideas for teaching the five senses than I shared here.  Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers is full of fun units just like the one we did.  Hands-on is how we learn best, especially when it comes to science.  The lessons have lots of activities and explanations that make it easy for parents to teach science.  If you’d like to see some sample lessons you can download two complete science units.

I really like Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers.  I plan to continue using it this summer and this coming school year.  Most of the time the kids didn’t even realize they were learning because they were having so much fun.  I would definitely recommend this fun and educational curriculum!

Funtastic Unit Studies Review
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Weekly Wrap Up

19
Jul

Our Crafts N Things Weekly Wrap Up ~ Scooby Doo theme

We had another busy but fun week!

Our Crafts N Things

We have circle time each day and on this particular day Anthony decided he wanted to be the teacher.  So, he led us through circle time.

Our Crafts N Things

Since it’s summer I am really trying to keep things fun, so we had a Scooby Doo themed week since the boys both love Scooby Doo.  We read lots of Scooby Doo books.

Our Crafts N Things

Anthony and Hunter practiced cutting.

Our Crafts N Things

They cut out these Scooby Doo pictures and then glued them onto a piece of paper.

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They also colored some Scooby Doo coloring pages.

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We practiced shapes.

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One of their favorite times seems to be table toys.  This week we used counting bears,

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pattern blocks,

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and legos for our table toys.  Legos was the definite favorite!

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Hailey sharing one of her creations she made.

Our Crafts N Things

We made ghost lollipops- simply a tissue taped onto a lollipop.  They thought this simple activity was great!

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We made mummies too.  The kids covered a cut in half paper towel tube with glue.  Then they wrapped it up and added googly eyes.

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The completed mummies

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We used dog bone shaped cookie cutters to paint.

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Each day we do a little bit of writing practice.

A few other fun things we did:

Our Crafts N Things

Hunter dressed up like a mummy

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Hailey was a scary mummy.

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Shaggy and Scooby (Anthony and Hunter) unwrapped the mummy to find out who the bad guy was.

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We had mummy hot dogs for lunch one day.

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Hailey pretended to be Velma- and she misplaced her glasses like Velma is always doing.

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Then Shaggy and Scooby (Anthony and Hunter) helped Velma find her glasses.  They loved this game!

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We played a matching memory game with Scooby cards, while eating Scooby snacks.

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I am reviewing Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers and we have had lots of fun learning about the 5 senses.  I’ll be posting more about it in a couple of weeks- but this is just a sneak peek at the fun we’re having.

It was definitely a fun filled week!

Homeschool Legacy Review

19
May

Our Crafts N Things

We love unit studies here at Our Crafts N Things!  They are definitely my favorite way to teach.  It can be hard to try to pull everything together, so when I find a unit study that someone has already put together for me I get pretty excited!

Homeschool Legacy Review

We were given the chance to review a unit study from Homeschool Legacy.  I looked over all of the history unit studies and science unit studies available and had a really hard time deciding!  I finally ending up picking Weather on the Move.  Weather on the Move is a 67 page, 7 week unit study all about weather that can be used for grades 2-12.  Some of the units at Homeschool Legacy have a shorter duration and some have a longer one.  The units can be purchased as a digital copy or a physical paperback.  I usually prefer to have an actual physical copy, but this time I wanted the digital copy.  There are links that you can click on, so having it right on my laptop was definitely convenient.  There were some pages that needed to be printed, but only a few, so I didn’t have to use much ink.

Homeschool Legacy Review

Weather on the Move is considered a “once-a-week unit study.”  The idea is that 4 days out of the week you do your usual homeschool lessons and activities, and a small part of the unit study, such as reading from a book.  You pick one day out of the week to eliminate your usual daily work and focus on your unit study.  Of course, since it’s homeschooling, you do what works for you. If it works better for you to break up the unit study and do a little each day during the week, that will work too.

The Weather on the Move unit study focused on a different topic related to weather each week.  The topics include: meteorology, the sun, the atmosphere, the water cycle, frozen precipitation, clouds, and extreme weather.  Each week there is a book list you can pick from at the library to go along with your topic.  There are plenty of books to pick from and even our small library had many of the books I wanted to use.  There is also a list of supplies you will need each week.  Many of the supplies were things we already had, but I did have to purchase a few inexpensive items.  Finally, there are activities suggested for the topic.  There are ideas to use for devotions, math, science, history, language arts, arts and crafts, field trips, and even family movie nights.  There is no shortage of ideas and they are all very easy to do.

So, how did we use Weather on the Move?

Our Crafts N Things

First, Hailey prepared her weather journal by making a cover for it.

Our Crafts N Things

The first week we focused on meteorology, and Hailey did some research about Aristotle.

Our Crafts N Things

One of the arts and crafts projects was to build a terrarium.

Our Crafts N Things

Hailey was able to follow the directions and get everything set up all by herself.

Our Crafts N Things

It turned out very nice- and it is still doing very well several weeks later.

Our Crafts N Things

Hailey did some experimenting with an “old fashioned” thermometer.  Everything is digital now, so she was pretty impressed with being able to watch the temperature go up and down.

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We did an experiment to help her understand the water cycle and what causes rain.

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Hailey made a rain gauge and has been very excited every time is rains ever since she made it :-)  She loves measuring to see how much rain we got.

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We made a cloud identification guide.  We printed pictures of the different cloud types and then glued the names and descriptions of the clouds onto the back of the pictures.

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Hailey took her guide outside each day and identified the kind of clouds she saw.

The activities I shared are just a small portion of the activities and ideas that come with Weather on the Move.  There are so many fun learning activities in this unit.  Both of us learned so much!  I felt like all of the activities and projects had a purpose.  There wasn’t anything in the unit that we didn’t learn from.  This unit study was definitely one of my all time favorites!  I very highly recommend Weather on the Move.  There are some history unit studies from Homeschool Legacy that will coordinate very nicely with what we are studying next year and I am planning to purchase those units when the time comes.

Hailey’s opinion of Weather on the Move: “I liked all of the projects and activities we got to do.  I liked making my own weather journal.  I really liked all of it, it was a lot of fun!”

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Homeschool Legacy Review
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Rainforest Unit

28
Mar

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We recently finished up a really fun rainforest unit. We both had a lot of fun and learned so much!

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Of course, we read lots of books about the rainforest.

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These are some of our favorite books that we read about the rainforest.  We learned a lot from both fiction and non fiction books.

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Hailey made this rainforest layer craftivity from The Razzle Dazzle Classroom.

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The outside shows and labels the different layers of the rainforest.

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The flaps open up and on the inside there is information about each layer of the rainforest.

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One day I put all of this food out- cinnamon, coffee, bananas, tea, pineapple, nuts, sugar, coconut, and chocolate.  I asked Hailey if she knew what they all had in common.  She was surprised to learn that they all come from the rainforest.  Of course, we did a little sampling of the food :-)

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She made a little poster about the different foods that come from the rainforest.

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We also made this fantastic diorama of the rainforest.

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Closer look at the emergent layer.

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Closer look at the canopy.

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Closer look at the understory.

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Closer look at the forest floor.

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Hailey made this great display to show what she learned about the rainforest.  She included plants, food, and animals from the rainforest.  She also colored a map to show where the rainforests are located.  She added some information about camouflage, how important the rainforest is for the world’s oxygen, and some fun facts.

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Hailey and her rainforest display at our educational fair with our homeschool co-op group.

Hailey worked really hard on this unit and she had a great time!  It made me so happy to hear her ask if she could learn more about the rainforest!

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