Teaching, using the Unit Study Method, comes more naturally to some than others. I find a topic that interests my children and I focus my time, attention and creative energy on pulling together every bit of information I can find on that topic. I have them read about it, eat something that reminds them of it or relates to it through food origin or recipe, look at pictures pertaining to it or watch a video of it; and take them somewhere that it is or was, etc. I exhaust my resources and immerse them in the topic. They complete the study; and I prepare to move on to the next vein of interest. Often a study is generated by something that caught our attention or piqued our interest from a previous study. Unit Studies are synonymous with In-depth Studies, covering numerous subjects at a time. They promote Investigation from several angles, Research, Application of skills learned; and invaluable Family Time. Creating a solid Unit Study can be quite time consuming, but not necessarily difficult; and using it is usually effective and rewarding. Although many educators truly like the idea of teaching through a Unit Study, the amount of preparation can be overwhelming.
Once-a-Week Unit Studies from Homeschool Legacy, provide step-by-step instructions on how to use each fully prepared Unit Study. They were created by Sharon Gibson, an experienced homeschool mom with a passion for the benefits of using Unit Studies; and the verve to share their ease and flexibility. You just have to choose which of the 11 Studies currently available you want to do first.
- Birds of a Feather
- Forest For The Trees
- Horsing Around
- Weather on the Move
- Knights & Nobles
- Native America
- Early Settlers
- Revolutionary Ideas: the Story of the American Revolution
- Lewis & Clark: From Sea to Shining Sea
- We the People: Getting to Know Your Constitution
- Christmas Comes to America
One of the main ideas behind Once-a-Week Unit Studies is to literally set aside every other regularly scheduled program for one-day-a-week to focus on Unit Study only. Presently, my children have away-from-home commitments on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon; so our “Unit Study Day” is Wednesday.
Just like you, the first thing I had to do was choose which study I wanted. The individual studies range in price from $15.95 to $19.95 each, so cost wouldn’t really be a determining factor for me. Revolutionary Ideas: the Story of the American Revolution is a perfect fit with our American History studies this year. The versatility of Once-a-Week Unit Studies permits them to be used as a stand-alone curriculum or as a compliment to what you’re already using.
This is a 7-week study, designed for grades 2 – 12. That includes all of my children, with no limit to family use of printed materials; so it works well with my budget consciousness. At the back of your book you’ll find, “Getting the Most Out of Your Once-a-Week Unit Study.” This is the place to start. This is where I was reminded by Sharon Gibson that, “Text books merely inform. Family time and loving moments help build a legacy.”
Unit Study Day begins with a Family Devotional Time that uses Scripture and commentary to highlight the topic. It is important to note that every Homeschool Legacy Unit Study is Biblically sound.
For each of the seven weeks of study, Sharon Gibson has compiled an outstanding list of Classic and Award-winning Literature, Interesting & Informative Books, Biographies, Classic Movies, Documentaries; and more.
An excellent choice of books, for individual daily reading and family Read-Alouds is given for:
Week 1 – Significant Pre-Revolution World Events
Week 2 – The Life and Times of Colonial Americans and Their Taxing King
Week 3 – The Firebrands
Week 4 – Early Battles and “The shot heard ’round the world.”
Week 5 – America Declares Her Independence
Week 6 – The Turning Point
Week 7 – March to Victory
“The books listed in the Pick & Choose Read-Alouds for Non-Readers” have been read and vetted to eliminate objectionable content. I really appreciate this! Another superior feature of Homeschool Legacy‘s Unit Studies is the fact that – because the recommended books and videos are listed in numerical and alphabetical Dewey decimal order, once we made our selections according to age and ability, they were easy to find at our local library. For the couple that weren’t available in our system of libraries, I followed the suggestion of noting the Dewey decimal numbers on the books that are listed, and checked the library shelf in the same section for any books that explored the week’s focal topic. This is a no-stress guide to learning. It is completely teacher/student driven, and flexible to each family’s needs.
Clear instructions are given on how to make a Timeline Notebook. This is a wonderful idea for any age, but especially when it is established with young children and maintained through the years. It can be used for many subjects, takes up far less room than a timeline on the wall; and sincerely helps to visually tie past events, places and people together.
After Family Devotions, Unit Study Day is generally spent on inexpensive, interactive and engaging activities that keep the focus of the day squarely on the topic.
One Topic > Many Subjects
Reading and writing assignments, experiments, outdoor adventuring, oral presentations, map work; and other hands-on activities are suggested and detailed for each week.
My kids were excited about using the Revolutionary Ideas Unit Study as soon as they learned that the suggested game for Week 1 is RISK! It is one of their favorite games, but inevitably it takes forever to play; so it doesn’t get played as often as they’d like. As far as they were concerned, here it was listed as a must for Game Night! I put up a little fuss, just so they don’t pick up on the fact that I’m thrilled with continuing education long after school hours are passed.
John Adams said, “The revolution was effected before the war commenced. The revolution was in the hearts and minds of the people.”
Week 5 had us read The Declaration of Independence in its entirety. I think every home in America should do this once a year. We went online and looked up John Trumbull’s painting of the “Signing of the Declaration of Independence.” Before our Unit Study Day, I went to the bank and bought a two-dollar bill for each of the children working through the study. We used a magnifying glass to look at the incredible detail of the painting on the back of the two-dollar bill. We tried to identify some of the Signers pictured and then recapped a brief history, thought or idea for each of them. I think the general retention of the information will be greater because of the hands-on activities we did. Anytime you can utilize more than one of your senses while learning, you foster the possibility for optimal retention and recall of the material. To date, this was our best week!
We have yet to finish Revolutionary Ideas: the Story of the American Revolution, but I already know that one of the veins of interest we’ll follow will be from Week 6. In our Family Devotional Time, we read that “George Washington had prayed for a much needed ‘signal stroke of providence.” God answered that prayer in the form of a major victory. In response to that victory, the Continental Congress called for a “Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to God.” They also recommended that everyone confess and ask forgiveness of their sins so that God would be able to pour out His blessings upon America.” We will pursue this topic right into Thanksgiving 2012.
A unique aspect of Homeschool Legacy‘s Once-a-Week Unit Studies, that I wasn’t able to utilize, is the potential for Boy Scouts and American Heritage Girls to earn corresponding merit badges when assignments are completed as designed. I don’t have Boy Scouts or AH Girls.
For further details you can Contact Sharon@HomeschoolLegacy.com or call – 828-685-7215. Homeschool Legacy is in Hendersonville, NC.
My Schoolhouse Review Crew mates had an opportunity to review different Once-a-Week Unit Studies. You can read their reviews when you click on the banner below.
If you’ve never gotten around to doing a Unit Study, now is the time. I believe you can trust Homeschool Legacy to help you build a family legacy of learning that pleases The Lord. The present state of our great nation compels me to wholeheartedly suggest that you begin with Revolutionary Ideas. Knowing our past and acknowledging our foundation is vital to our future.