Homeschool Review: How to Teach About Electricity For Ages 8- 13 + Giveaway!

Posted on January 27, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Instead of just taking reviews that I feel real comfortable doing, I have made it another goal this year to widen out and take reviews for products or projects that I may have never done otherwise.  Add in some hands-on projects along with reading about the topic and my interest level goes up. 

How to Teach About Electricity for Ages 8-13 by Susan Kilbride is not just a unit study about teaching electricity but a book that helped me to get excited about teaching the many benefits of it.

Reading through the book several times before we did some of the activities, I immediately liked the encouragement at the beginning to have a basic understanding of atoms and molecules before starting the unit. Ms. Kilbride even provides, for free, the chapter on Atoms and Molecules from her book Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and Teachers to be sure you have needed background information.

Having gone through topics about energy at the higher levels with my oldest sons, I appreciate the fact that she is steering you to a correct understanding about electricity. Understanding that electricity is a form of energy produced by electrons ties it to something I can even understand better. Though I don't feel it is as important to understand all the words or terms associated with electricity, it is more engaging to figure out the science behind how electricity is produced.

The first topic in her unit on safety and the reminders included with each activity as needed throughout the book teaches your child how to treat electricity properly. The topics covered after that are static electricity, electrical currents, switches, more currents, short circuits, and electricity and magnetism. Including in each topic are several hands-on activities.

But on to my favorite parts of the book.  Providing a list at the beginning of the book so you can collect all the supplies before diving in, I found very helpful.

The topics and activities go from easy to more complex and really take very little time to do. This gives you time to build understanding of each concept before you add another one in and to use the pieces already built like a battery holder and simple circuit for the next activity.

I could see this book being used as a practical guide to teach in a co-op setting, including girls too, that lasted several days. I used it with my youngest son and we grabbed Mr. Awesome to help us out too. 

Also, you know I can't review something without determining if it has pictures or drawings. Simple drawings are placed throughout the book so you can be sure you understand how each activity is made. 

Too, what makes a topic like electricity entertaining is determining what make its work and what makes it not work.  Though the teacher mom in me was interested in Tiny learning some of the vocabulary like conductors and insulators in Topic 4, he was more focused on which materials helped electricity flow.

Like I mentioned before, the emphasis should be on making science fun and that is why I loved the activities like this in Ms. Kilbride's book. For us, the activities in this book motivated my son to want to investigate a little further with the pieces we had handy from our FBI unit study.

If I could change something in the book I would add some pictures of the projects completed or in the different stages. As a non-science mom I like using the pictures to help me understand the activity. Also, one more thing and maybe it's because I like things laid out easy but I think it would be helpful to include a material lists at the beginning of each topic or at least at the beginning of each activity.  When I do a unit study I too gather everything up in the house I need though I don't always leave the materials out. Having a materials list at the beginning for just that activity gives me a quick check off list before I start the activity or better yet to have my son collect them.

How electricity is generated is the spark that piqued my son's interest and How to Teach About Electricity for Ages 8-13 has fueled his curiosity to learn more. Thank you Ms. Kilbride for such a simple but captivating introduction to the fascinating topic about electricity.


Name: How to Teach About Electricity for Ages 8-13 by Susan Kilbride

Recommended for: Ages 8 to 13 years.

Website to Purchase: Amazon Link

Author's Website: Funtastic Unit Studies

Price: $2.99

Format: Kindle book. But there is a free app that allows you to read it anywhere on a Kindle Cloud Reader: Read instantly in your browser, Smartphones: iPhone & iPod touch, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Computers: Mac, Windows 8, Windows 7, XP & Vista, Tablets: iPad, Android Tablet or Windows 8. Click here for the free app to use to download a kindle book to the device of your choice

Would you like a copy? Time for a giveaway!

Ends tomorrow Monday Jan. 18 at 7:00 p.m. CST. Add your comment now.

My rules are always simple. Two winners will receive a free Kindle ebook that you will be able to download to the device of your choice. You do not need to have a Kindle to participate in this. Use the free app to download to the device of your choice.

1. Comment here on the blog and tell me how you are following our blog.

To do that, come to the blog, click on this post to comment here. Remember, though I always love getting your emails, you won't be entered in this giveaway if you send us an email. Note:{Update on our site: Though we have turned off the member section on our site, a mailing list still exists. We have left this feature on our site for the time being. So you may be asked by email after you comment to confirm to be on our mailing list.}

2. You can comment twice.

Winners will be chosen by and notified.

That's it!

Hope you win!

In my next post I will let you know what the upcoming unit studies are too in case you want to follow along and do it with us.

Hugs and you know I love ya,

{Disclaimer: I have received an ebook copy from the author for the purpose of my honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions and opinions are my own}.

Categories: Review of Homeschool Products, Giveaways, Unit Studies