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Monday, August 3, 2015

Review: Funtastic Unit Studies (TOS Review)

Review FUNtastic Unit Studies

For this review we got to use Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and Teachers by Funtastic Unit Studies.

Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers has two sections.  The first which is designed for ages 4-7 and includes 10 units, and the second which is designed for ages 8-13 and also contains 10 units. 

There is a list of required materials at the beginning of each Chapter, most items are household or easy to find for low cost.  Each chapter is divided into parts, we covered a part a day, a few days a week…..drawing each chapter out over several weeks (2-3). 

The younger years covers Life Science, some Physics and some Astronomy.  The older years covers mostly Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science and some Life Science/Biology. 

Each chapter includes a test or written review.  They are also loaded with fun experiments and activities.

PicMonkey Collage2
These pictures were taken from activities completed during Chapter 12:  Microscopes and Invisible Creatures (for ages 8-13, though my 6yo also participated).  We discussed the parts of a microscope, we looked at slides, took pond samples, examined convex and double convex lenses, played with fungus (yeast).  This is just one of many fun filled units to choose from.

The text is laid out in an easy to follow format.  This is not a colorful book, it doesn’t have anything ‘fancy’.  It’s plain, simple, black and white.  If you are looking for bells and whistles or frills, this book does not have it.  BUT, it is very comprehensive.  It’s designed to be used in either a classroom or homeschool setting.  The units cover a wide age range, so it would easily work for mixed age levels. 

Some lessons to require prep work, so it’s important to read through the lessons before hand.  This is not necessarily a pick up and go book (but most science books are not).  These lessons include several HANDS ON ACTIVITIES (which is a plus in my book).  Some lessons also include movie and/or book recommendations (mainly in the younger years).  The older years lessons include more writing, data collecting. 

I will say when I think of a ‘unit study’, I think of lessons that encompass every subject.  These don’t really do that.  They are very science based, include math, in most cases (of course, rarely is science without math).  I’d like to see more literature involved.  Not quite sure how to incorporate it, but a unit study should include History and/or Geography as well.  Some of the projects could be considered art, so that’s covered.  I just don’t feel it lives up the name title ‘unit study’.  Maybe I’m being overcritical. 

I do think the book is full of great ideas, fun science projects, it’s very comprehensive and easy to follow and implement.  But it’s pretty much just a science curriculum, not a ‘unit study’. 

If you are looking for an affordable, multi-age science curriculum this would be a great option!  It’s only $16.95 for the book.  It’s a non-consumable,so you can use it for years to come.  The materials (as previously mentioned) are all mostly easy to find for reasonably low costs, with a few exceptions like a microscope (but maybe you could borrow one??), There is also a wide variety of activities, so you could skip some (if you don’t have supplies) and still have a good amount of projects and fun to be had!

Check out these FREEBIES:

Freebies:
Here's a link to a page  that has two free pdf units from the book:
http://funtasticunitstudies.com/science-unit-studies-book/
And here's a link that has some other, unrelated, freebies:
http://funtasticunitstudies.com/lessons-and-activities/
Historical Chapter Book

Funtastic Unit Studies Review
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