*I was given unit studies to help facilitate my review. All thoughts are honest and based upon our families experience.
One of the first things I do to plan for the next year is figure out what areas we can do together as a family. Last year when the twins began kindergarten I felt so lost. It literally took me all year to figure out how to homeschool all three of my big kids at one time. How in the world was I suppose to be able to give them all one on one time AND get the other things done we needed to do during the day. I was also sure it would take all. day. long!
I knew one of the things I needed to do was utilize unit studies, but I had no idea how to implement them. Which level of learning do I teach to? How do I challenge and water it down at the same time? My brain could not comprehend it all.
When spring came and MACHE had their annual homeschool conference, I took every class on unit studies they had. I needed to get help to figure out what I was doing wrong. The best thing I learned that has saved my sanity was when one of the speakers said, teach to the highest learner and let it trickle down to the younger ones. This was what I needed to hear. This one phrase flipped a switch in my brain and I was able to say, game on! I knew what I needed to do.
My sister Emily told me about a website she had come across, a gal named Amanda Bennett had a whole bunch of unit studies. Knowing unit studies where what we needed to really focus on, I went to her website. Sure enough there was a unit study for every thing my kids are passionate and interested to learn. I found studies on dolphins, Lewis and Clarke, dogs, water and seasonal studies.
Even better, was the price! You guessed it, we now have our whole school year planned out thanks to Amanda Bennett’s unit studies.
Here’s what we are doing!
History – We are using Amanda Bennett’s Pioneer (12 week study) and Prairie Pioneer unit study (5 day study).
*We have been studying American History for quite a while. Last year we explored world history and while we loved it, throughout the last year the kids kept coming back to american history. This year we are going to go back and continue our american history timeline. We’ll leave were we left off which is the exploration and settling of the west. We’ll study the Louisianna Purchase, Lewis and Clarke and other adventures settling the west.
*We are going to the Big Island Rendezvous and participating as re-enactors. We will be running around in our period dress and talking to other reenactors about the civil war, the cowboy era and other wonderful periods in history. A fun hands-on experience for our whole family.
*I am also hoping we will be able to go over to Walnut Grove, MN and visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum.
Animal science – our focus will be dogs
With the recent adoption of our 2 year old husky/american dog, Skye, we are going to be working on dog training.
Here are a few ways we are looking to accomplish this:
*We are going to look into joining our local 4-H club
*Ranch & Pet Supply in Albert Lea has adult obediant classes
*Consistent practice at home (as important as what we learn outside the home)
Earth Science – Twisty Tornado Unit Study
As with many other places, Minnesota is known to have tornados. They usually come on fast and furious, the sky is usually a grey, yellow eerie feeling. Our kids know by looking
out the window we are about to head to the basement. We wanted to help give them a healthy respect of the tornados and to be able to be prepared for them. We are excited to learn more about the weather around us.
Art- Art in all of it’s forms is deeply rooted in Mark and I. Art teaches our kids to be open to the world around them, it teaches the beauty and order of a creator. It is an area of our kids education we are committed to exploring with them.
*Learning to draw crazy cartoons is a fun way to get our whole family involved.
*We will also be visiting the Walker Art Muesum in the Twin Cities, as well as attending local community plays and art shows.
Home Ec. – Family Work
Learning together as a family utilizing cleaning zones allow our kiddos to learn to properly and joyfully take part in keeping our home running smoothly and clean. Even Timmy our little guy can hold a dusting rag and follow his brother or sisters to help dust. He learns a skill, has fun and the older kids learn how to teach someone else.
Learning to combine as many studies together as we can as a family has saved my sanity and learning is once again a fun, family adventure!