Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers ~ A Schoolhouse Review

 

As most of you probably know by now, we love all things science!  We also have recently come to love unit studies. I love the opportunity to really dig into something my kids are interested in. To take a love of bunnies and study it in so many different ways.  So when I had the opportunity to review Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and Teachers from Funtastic Unit Studies, there was no way I was going to miss out on this one!

 

 

Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and Teachers is a nice big paperback book that is full of goodies; to be exact it is 200 pages.  Within this gem are 20 unit studies designed for children between the ages of 4 and 13.  The first half of the book contains about 1o studies that are created for 4 to 7 year olds, and the last ten units are meant for kids from 8 to 13 years old.

 

There is a wonderful variety of topics within this book including: the five senses, dinosaurs, insects, magnets, microscopes, health and the weather.  Each unit study has a list of required books, supplies and videos. These studies are also all broken down into simple parts which include what I think of as teaching tips, diagrams  and a couple activities that really help kids to understand more completely what is being studied.

 

 

This was such a fun unit study and while we are not yet through all of the studies, we are going to continue for sure!  We have focused mostly on the first part, for the younger kiddos, since even my oldest can really learn quite a bit from these. Once we complete this section, we do plan on moving right on into the unit studies for the older kids too. I think even my younger son (who is soon to be six) will get quite a bit out of them.  He really loves his science studies :-)

 

I love all the activities within these, although for the younger ones, while I see and know all too well the benefits of them, it is a bit difficult with a 3 month old.  I admit it, I tend to prefer (for now anyway) things that are quick and easy.   Besides that, attention is key and there were times that we were so excited and then the time it took to prepare for the activity, was just more than the little ones could bear. haha If you are more organized and plan it out though this could be great!  Moving forward I definitely plan to schedule our studies, so I can make sure that we are prepared for each activity as we go along.  I admit it, in many ways, we tend to be more of an unschooler as of late; I didn’t like skipping around with this unit study book though.  I mean, all of the material and activities are great learning tools for all three of my kiddos (even my three year old daughter was able to get involved).  It just requires a bit more planning than we are used to in this season of our homeschool :-)

 

One of their favorite chapters was Insects and their Kin. My younger son (5) and older daughter (3) both are fascinated with bugs. And animals too (their other favorite chapter is this was Animals)!  My oldest son (9) really enjoyed the unit study on the Human Body.  This was a great introduction for him to this topic too.

I admit to being a bit overwhelmed with the list of materials needed for each unit. For the most part, the materials needed though, were all items commonly kept in our household. Some things we did have to make a trip to get, like modeling clay, and cotton balls; mostly these items were things like markers, crayons, ice, plastic bottles, newspaper…..you know, those things we keep around the house but (if you are like me) rarely use.

 

My kids really did love this (still do) though! Although it is more work for me, I have to say, I feel certain that they are gaining a greater understanding of the lesson every time. It isn;t just busy work it isn’t just read and write either. In each unit study, there are multiple parts that all involve a different form (or method) of learning. This really teaches to all different learning styles; great for teaching multiple learners, of various ages even!

 

For example, in one unit, learning about spiders, we make a spider web with yarn, and tie it about various pieces of furniture, within the house. This helps us to learn about how the spider feels vibrations in the web. In another unit, learning about the skeletal system, there is a little song they learn which helps them to remember which bones are connected; my boys enjoyed cutting out their own skeleton to dance along as they sang. They also enjoyed various activities with magnets, letters from various animals to read that helped to teach the concept of animal ecology.  My oldest son can’t wait to delve into the unit study on microscopes since we had an amazing Goodwill find of just that, not long ago.

 

As we progress in this we will be making a psychrometer (measures humidity) although I am thinking we might need to skip ahead and do that one now (man, is it hot and sticky here right now LOL). We also will be designing our own weather vane, making crystals, creating simple machines to help learn about inclined planes, wedges and wheels and axles.  We will make rock candy too!

 

If you’re looking for a fun way to learn science with lots of hands-on activities, this is the perfect material for you!  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 with some other, fun freebies: http://funtasticunitstudies.com/lessons-and-activities/ to enjoy!!  I hear Susan Kilbride is now working on a history series entitled “Our America” as well as an ebook titled “How to Teach about Electricity for Ages 8-13″.  Personally, I can’t wait to see both of these…Perhaps for The Crew to review? :-)

 

Funtastic Unit Studies Review

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Haustiers

In German Haustiers means pets.  Today I should introduce you to our pets.
My kids all love animals! But we have a rather small, let’s call it cozy instead, house. So of course we cannot have nearly the number of pets that are children would like.
This is our English bulldog Moses. We got him for our oldest son for Christmas as a baby pup. He was so tiny! And now he is so big and I guess at almost 7 years old he is considered an old dog. 

 

We also have two lizards. One is a leopard gecko and the other is a crested gecko tank, truly I cannot remember. Our boys absolutely love these little guys! One for now, is named Iron Lizzie and the other one Freezey. But my oldest son is thinking about calling him Turtle instead Lol
  

So these are our little guys and are not so little doggie. Any furry or scaly friends and your house?

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Created by…

My oldest son has recently learned about the art of paper crafting. He also found lots of free patterns for doing this that are related to Minecraft, his other favorite thing right now.  I like that this requires lots of practice with patience and focus on the task …

She has also started making his own puzzles. Since he loves to draw he cannot be image cut it out and glue it onto some cardboard and then have other people try to figure it out. Is the latest is an Ironman.

My five-year-old son loves to build models. Since he is still young that limits us someone as to what he can do. But he did recently build this awesome pirate ship and he plans on painting it soon too.

He also made a cute little race car and this one he painted too!

As for me I have one of those really need loom for knitting so I am trying my hand at a blanket with it. I just started so I am probably nowhere near done but it is quite fun and since there is one big one and one tiny one my daughter is trying to make a hat for her baby sister. How sweet!

What are you making in your home? ✨

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Favorite Childhood Book ~

I loved to read when I was growing up? Can you imagine that? LOL

 

I still love to read, although its harder to find time. But I make sure I have some time each day to read a bit of something (not including my Bible) because frankly, I just love to read.

 

I remember when I was young, I had so many books! And I loved to pile up a bunch of them and just find a cozy spot to settle into. I could read all day. And really, it was an experience for me. I was there with Alice in Wonderland, I was trying to escape being in the middle of the Civil War in Atlanta with Scarlett; I travelled and lived through the characters and times.  Such fun!

 

My favorite though? I had so many.

 

Of the top of my head though I have to say:

 

 

Especially Jo! She as by far my favorite character of all!  How I admired her strength, her tenacity, her passion.  And still do :-)

 

 

What was your favorite childhood book?

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With Lee in Virginia Audio Drama (Heirloom Productions Review)

Heirloom Audio Productions has done it again! We have spent quite a few hours listening to (and enjoying) their newest audio theater presentation With Lee in Virginia.  We have been so blessed to experience a number of their products, such as In Freedom’s Cause and Under Drake’s Flag.  Every one has been such a joy to our family! This one though…this one, we think, was by far the best!

 

 

With Lee in Virginia is a two-CD set full of two and one-half hours of “non-stop adventure” for ages 6-adult (although my 3 and 5 year old were captivated by this one too!). There were also some excellent, special bonuses, we received like a study guide, a copy of the ebook itself….a few others too!

 

“Stories of virtue and valor, daring and determination, character and courage. From history’s master of storytelling..,,”

 

The audio dramatization was written by Robert Liparulo and the soundtrack by Emmy-winning composer John Campbell (of Narnia). Their actors include Jim Weiss, Sean Astin, Kirk Cameron, and Chris Anthony, to name a few.

 
There are a couple purchasing options to choose from. The basic package ($29.97 ) includes the 2-disc set and three bonuses.  With this you receive a high quality digital study guide, a printable poster with a quote by Robert E. Lee, and an MP3 download of the official soundtrack scored by John Campbell.  We LOVE the soundtrack!

 

One thing that really brings me joy about this, is the study guide that accompanies their audio dramas.  How many audio books do that? We enjoy listening to audio books now and then (when we are on the go, when we are just busy about the house…) but it is so refreshing to have a guide like this, to go along with the story. Especially for younger kids I think!  The With Lee in Virginia study guide is 30 pages of questions, with some assignments too.  It includes biographies of G.A. Henty, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, a map of the famous cities and battlefields within the story, suggestions for additional readings, and two Bible Studies–one on Duty and one on Loving Your Enemy.  And each track has its own set of material which includes: three sections.

 

 

1) Listening Well: These questions are meant to ensure that the details being heard in the story are being understood; great test of comprehension, and a good way to encourage a bit of narration for any of you Charlotte Mason homeschoolers :-)

2)Thinking Further: These questions encourage our students to apply the lessons within the story in various ways. A great way to go deeper; to explore specific items within the story and really encourage critical thinking in those older ones.

3)Defining Words: This is great for vocabulary since, for my boys, there were lots of words for them to learn within the story.

The Bible studies provided involve a number of Bible verses which relate to the area of discussion. What an excellent way to show His Word within this great story. Jesus at the center of it all.

The last section covers a bit more in depth of a discussion of discussion of sectionalism and slavery within the Bible.

 

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This is an answer to prayer really! And with the super hot days that we have been having, it has been a great way to spend our time indoors! We played this one a couple times; mostly at the request of my two boys. We have not done much regarding the Civil War yet, but my husband has had an affinity for Robert E Lee since he was young and has passed that on to my son, I think (we have a couple books on him in the house).  My oldest son was fascinated by Stonewall Jackson.

 

Our first time listening there were lots of questions, mostly about the vocabulary used, so we frequently replayed tracks to make sure we didn’t miss any big or small details. The second time around we paid much closer attention, and kept the study guide handy.  It really helped to have it there too (I wish I would have used it when we listened the first time) as a tool for questions as they came up.

 

In short time Vincent and Tony were like old friends we felt so akin to them. There were some rather graphic moments, there were some sensitive topics (slaves – people treated as property) which caused some distress to my oldest son. But this such a good way to gently discuss this topic in a way that was easier for them to understand. As I said, we have not studied much of this time period yet.

 

I tell you, every detail in this story, we could close our eyes, and see it. As if we were there ourselves, in the moment! Take a listen to this 3 minute preview on the website!! I promise you will be hooked! I have always enjoyed history but so much more as much when I am able to close my eyes and be transported right into it!

 

My oldest loves the poster that we received with this; what a great quote too from Robert E Lee:   “Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, You should never wish to do less.”  We are framing this to hang in his room ~ Such wise and inspiring words!

 

We truly do love Heirloom Audio Productions!  I have yet to find any other that truly strives to bring history to life as they do. Their stories are adaptations of G.A. Henty’s novels but this is so much more than just a story. There is a passion there within every one of those involved in the production of these audio dramas. They do their research, and they provide the highest quality while also maintaining excellent standards of Christian virtue. Their stories are an example, an inspiration, to our youth, of the Christian faith in action. :)

A big thank you to Heirloom Audio Productions! We cannot wait for what’s coming next :-)

 

With Lee in Virginia Audio Drama Review

 

Connect with Heirloom Audio Productions:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WithLeeInVirginia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeeAudioDrama

Google+: https://plus.google.com/b/114534826166314080647/114534826166314080647/posts

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Making the Most of our Time

Today’s post in the blogging challenge is sponsored by Gerber® Good Start® Gentle, who believe that “comfort for baby means happiness for all”. We all have a formula for happiness right?

Here is my Formula for Happiness™.

 

First of all, I think myself happy, as the scriptures say! Quite wise words, from Paul, for us to live by. I say these to myself often when I am not so happy. And running on very little sleep lately, with my precious baby, I adit some days it is REALLY hard to be truly happy. (I may be truly tired, truly achy, truly hungry….but honest, some days I am not truly happy…)

 

Yet the joy of the Lord is our strength right? And remembering, as Ecclesiastes says, there is a time for everything; we go through various seasons in our life.

 

I remind myself, looking at their faces small and not so small, that what I am doing at home, right now, it matters so much.  This is BIG stuff I am doing here. I cannot ever forget that.

 

I snuggle my sweet girl, who is already three months old, and while or house looks a bit like a tornado blew through it, I remind myself, these days will pass. She will grow and be busy with playing and learning. I strive to embrace the snuggles.

 

We read. A lot. Out loud. Just about anything too.  From our Bible to old classics like Shakespeare, Bible Commentaries, history, foreign language, science…kids books, momma books….Its all good!

 

We listen and sing and play worship music. We have a flute, a guitar, a keyboard – three who love to play the drums on cups and bowls and the walls and tables (it gets loud!) and we sing and worship together!

 

These are happy things. Making memories that will last.

 

Drawing and coloring, resting and just talking….or swinging on the swing and enjoying the day.

 

I have to remember, the sleepless nights, the fuzzy baby, the dirty walls and windows – fingerprints everywhere – it shall pass. Too soon it shall pass.

 

Embrace and love the blessings that are within our home. Right now. Every moment. For we are all, in His age, created and greatly loved!

<3

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Heart Training ~ Parent Training Center Giveaway for Churches

It continues to be a blessing and an honor to be part of the launch team for the National Center for Biblical Parenting.  This time around is no different; I am just thrilled to be a part of the Parent Training Center launch team. And I am truly looking forward to sharing lots more information about this great resource with you in the coming week.

Today, be sure not to miss out on this AWESOME giveaway though.

What’s a Parent Training Center?

Let me tell you. This is a church that intentionally trains parents, provides resources and tools for the discipleship of believers as well as evangelism to families in the surrounding community.

The National Center for Biblical Parenting offers resources, and practical support to help you to become the Parent Training Center God designed. The Equipping Program contains a number of mobilization tools to help you advance to the next level in your parent discipleship ministry.
With this program you’ll interact with experts as well as other pastors and church leaders. Receive personalized guidance for your unique church situations. Use resources that will equip your parents to reach their children’s hearts.
Parent Training Center Giveaway for Churches

Introduce your church to the Parent Training Center concept, with this awesome giveaway which includes some of our best church and parent training resources, along with a $100 gift certificate to the National Center for Biblical Parenting store.

 

Here’s what your church could win:

Parenting Is Heart Work DVD Church Kit ($199.95 value)

Equip parents to touch the hearts of their kids with this biblically-based, practical training program. Parents and teachers of children 2-18 years will benefit from this life-changing curriculum. 

The Parenting is Heart Work Church Kit Includes:
• Eight 35-minute video sessions 
• A Leader’s Guide with reproducible pages for attendees
• A copy of the 256 page book Parenting is Heart Work

The videos were filmed before a live audience of parents and children. Using drama, Bible stories, and lots of illustrations, Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN will energize you and provide you with tools you need to strengthen your family. Use this eight-part video series in your church, small group, or even in your own family. Many times parents have to change the way they parent in order for children to change the way they live.

The Family Toolbox DVD Church Kit ($179.95 value)

The Family Toolbox consists of 8 lessons for parents, teens, or both in a small group setting. Each one has a 1-2 minute scene of a family living life and experiencing common challenges in their relationships. A discussion guide prompts dialogue among parents and a 10-minute teaching session featuring Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN gives practical tools to use right away.

As the Group Works Through the Lessons Parents Learn:
• How to focus on the heart instead of just behavior
• The cues you give that tell your children when you mean business
• Practical ways to remove conflict from the problems of family life
• How to end correction times with impact
• A tool for maximizing heart change in the correction process
• The value of teaching kids to accept no as an answer
• Ways to reduce anger episodes in children
The Family Toolbox is designed for families with children ten years old and up and is an excellent resource for small groups. Each lesson can be done in 20-30 minutes, but could also lead to discussion and dialogue lasting an hour or more.

Coupon to purchase resources in the NCBP Store($100 value)

 

Visit the NCBP store to discover a wide variety of church and parent training resources.

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To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter below.  :-)

Terms and Conditions
This giveaway is open to residents of the U. S. only. Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn. Entrants to this giveaway will be added to the email list for the National Center of Biblical Parenting.

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