It is an online unit study with nothing to print! There are modules for different inventors, including Archimedes, Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, Alexander Graham Bell, James Watt, Charles Babbage, Nikola Tesla, Johannes Gutenberg, The Wright Brothers, and Steve Jobs. It is completed online and keeps track of your child’s progress as they work through each module.
Each inventor is introduced, and that includes a biography and video, and sometimes other goodies like lots of fun facts or extra videos. After that is completed, you learn about the most famous invention or inventions. Finally, your student will get to work on a project directly relating to that inventor’s line of work.
Here is an example below. When my sons learned about Nikola Tesla, they found out about AC power. For this project, they got to try their hand at drawing power poles.
The videos within the project were helpful to offer guidance.
As you can see, my boys aren’t the biggest artists in the world, BUT they were able to learn about a concept and get into it themselves kinesthetically.
Other modules had more involved projects. A list of supplies is provided before they start their class, so you can be sure to have them on hand.
The other one my boys liked a lot for its simplicity, and reminded me of my own childhood, was creating a cup and string phone! They thought it would be a huge bust, but were excited to see how it worked out for them. My younger boys jumped in and tried them out, too. I liked that there were deeper thought questions with the activity. For that one, for example, the question was posed whether the length of the string would make a difference in the sound. My boys disagreed about that when they were hypothesizing, so it was fun to see them test that out to see who was right.
This course is specifically for middle to upper elementary and middle school students. Younger kids could certainly participate with some guidance and help from someone old enough to help them with the projects and with navigating through the website to make sure nothing was forgotten and that they clicked to save their progress each time.
We were able to access the course on my phone when my internet went out so we couldn’t use my computer. It worked fine! We did prefer it on the computer, though, so that videos could be seen on a larger screen.
Each module is designed to take about 2-3 hours to complete, mostly depending on the level of difficulty and effort your child puts into the projects! Also, some of the videos were a few minutes long and some were more like 20 minutes in length. There were 10 inventors studied, so that’s about 20-30 hours of work for your student. That said, the course is totally self-paced and you will have access to it for as long as you want.
This is perfect for families with multiple children as you can have them work on it together all at once, or you can “save” it for your younger students to complete as they get older. I recommend letting younger kids work alongside the older kids even if it seems way over their head, and then do it with them again when they’re old enough to really get it. They’ll likely remember their favorite projects and enjoy doing it again as a more mature student!
I liked using this with my oldest sons (3rd and 6th grade) because it incorporated science and history together. The activities were very STEM-based and gave them a hands-on opportunity to test out concepts that they had learned about for themselves. I like that the unit study is a brief overview of the subject, with enough meat in it to give the kids a lot of information, but not so much that it seems overwhelming or impossible to finish! Each part of the module was a good bite-sized piece of work and fit easily into our day on top of our regular homeschooling curriculum.
If you’re wondering how your kids will like this curriculum, be sure to check out the Techie Homeschool Mom website. Beth Napoli, the creator, has included a Free Online Unit Studies Lesson Sampler so you can see it for yourself.
There were several courses that were reviewed by other families. Besides this Famous Inventors Online Unit Study, others sampled were online courses on Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Famous Artists, and even one on the Solar System. To see what others thought of those, click the banner below.