For starters, I am not a techie homeschool mom. I’m a still-trying-to-figure-out-my-Gmail-account mom. When I heard of the Techie Homeschool Mom, I knew I wanted to glean as much knowledge as I could from her- and I thought my kids would enjoy learning from her unit studies as well! We checked out Famous Inventors Online Unit Study and learned about ten famous inventors through the online course.
The Techie Homeschool Mom offers a variety of online unit studies which are self-standing, meaning they don’t require any additional books. Instead, links to articles and videos are provided to bring all the information to the click of your mouse. The courses are also self-paced, so students can learn at their own speed. Plus, there’s no limit to the length of time students can take on this program and it’s accessible from any device making it incredibly convenient.
In the Famous Inventors Online Unit Study, we learned about Archimedes, Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, Alexander Graham Bell, James Watt, Charles Babbage, Nikola Tesla, Johannes Gutenberg, The Wright Brothers, and Steve Jobs. The course is designed for middle elementary students, but can be used for younger students with some parental assistance in reading the material. Before this course, I knew nothing about Archimedes or Charles Babbage and my 7-year-old wasn’t familiar with any of the inventors so there was a lot of learning for both of us!
Each module starts with an overview of the famous inventor, through videos and outside links, students begin to understand the world in which the inventor lived and the impact their work had. The second part of the module focuses on the actual invention, how it worked, and how it ultimately changed the world. In the final part of the module, students are guided through their own experiment that compliments the previous learning in the module. The module ends with a quick quiz or critical thinking question for students to complete. Quizzes can be retaken if needed.
Though the program was suitable for my 7-year-old with help from me, the projects were definitely appropriate for 3rd or 4th-grade children with parental guidance. They include building a replica of Archimedes screw (material cost $40-80), building a telescope, building a parachute for toys, a cup and string phone, making a model steam engine, binary coding with Legos, drawing power poles, making a desktop printing press, folding paper airplanes, and dissecting a computer.
We decided to make parachutes for you army men from plastic bags and practice out paper plane building.
I thought that we’d complete the entire unit study in a week, instead, we took a slower approach and focused on one inventor each day as part of our science time 4x a week and completed this program in a about three weeks. For each lesson, we’d spend about 40 minutes learning on the computer before attempting to complete the project.
The online format of the unit study made it really accessible and convenient for my 7-year-old. This was his first time working through a unit study, as well as first time working online in this format. At first, he dug his heels in a bit and wasn’t excited to learn about the inventors, but by the end, he asked to go back and do it again! Instead, we might check out some of the other unit studies by Techie Homeschool Mom. She has one on the solar system that looks great as well! Ultimately, I would recommend this program to families wanting to dive into thematic unit studies; they’re accessible, organized, interesting and ideal for students 3rd grade and up!
Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew checked out different unit studies- so be sure to see their reviews!
is a writer & tired homeschooling mom of five.