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Monday, September 24, 2012

Forest for the Trees -Homeschool Legacy -Schoolhouse Crew Review

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As Charlotte Mason fans we love unit studies and we love nature.  What a great combo in this review product we recieved through the Schoolhouse Review Crew that combined both!  Homeschool Legacy Once-A-Week Unit Study: Forest for the Trees by Shannon Gibson!

What are Homeschool Legacy One-A-Week Unit Studies?
PhotobucketHomeschool Legacy offers a simple way to do unit studies.  Broken down step-by-step each unit study is easy to use because all the planning has been done for you!  Designed to fit with any curriculum Once-A-Week unit studies allow your family to continue daily with your regular school day, incorporating your unit study just one day per week (with simple family reading encouraged each day).  It is incredibly simple to add one of these  unit studies to your regular schedule but they are comprehensive enough to be used as a stand-alone science or history curriculum if you choose.  Each unit study is designed to be about 4-7 weeks in length with a LOT of flexibility built in.
Homeschool Legacy is a Christian Curriculum and so each lesson is biblically centered.   In fact, each lesson includes a devotional which recognizes God’s hand in all things.   Memory verses are included!  Each unit study encourages family time offering recommendations for family game night, movie night and field trips. 
Another great feature of Homeschool Legacy’s Once-A-Week Unit Studies is that they are Boy Scout and American Heritage Girls friendly.   Help your child earn their next merit  badge by completing the requirements in the unit study…  Wow!  It is completely laid out for you, no research necessary.
Homeschool Legacy unit studies are recommended for grades 2 - 12.   This is a feature I adore!  It is SO hard to find a curriculum (especially science) that can be used with older as well as elementary children.  I am a fan of combining learning whenever possible.
Forest For The Trees:
We were excited to review a science Homeschool Legacy Once-A-WeekUnit Study called “Forest For The Trees.”  Ours was designed as a 4 week unit study that focused on nature.  We were able to conduct a few simple experiences, learn how to identify trees, and create a lovely nature journal.  Since the Once-a-Week unit studies are supposed happen once a week it was expected to run something like this:
4 Days each week follow your regular studies.  Each day add in your Once-a-Week Unit Study readings and family read aloud.  On one of these days plan your field trip and family movie or game night.
1 Day each week – eliminate your regular studies and complete the Once-a-Week Unit Study.
For our family, eliminating our regular studies once each week won’t always work, but we did the minimum in the morning and then were able to spend the rest of the day focusing on our unit studies.  By the 2nd week we found it easier to pick and choose our tasks and spread a few out through the week so it was a little more bite sized for my girls short attention span.
Each unit study offers a full book list (complete with call numbers) to request from your library and a supply list.  I had to wait for several books to be sent from another branch so you’d want to make sure you request your books a few days before you are ready to begin your unit study.  Supply lists are simple items you typically have around the house…things like, zip-lock baggies, paper, glue, magnifying glass, etc.
Daily Activities give you a recommended book to read plus a family read-aloud to enjoy together.  You will do these 2 activities each day.
On unit study day you are given the following activities:
1.       Family Devotional

2.       Science

3.       Vocabulary/Language

4.       Research ideas

5.       Art

6.       Physical Activities recommendations

7.       Field Trip ideas

8.       Stump Your Dad Trivia

9.       Ideas for giving service to a neighbor or friend

Kayley had fun making a nature journal and was intrigued by the Physical Activity for week 1 which was “climb a tree.”  Any curriculum that involves tree-climbing gets a 2-thumbs up from my Tom-boy.
What we thought about the Once-A-Week Unit study...
1.        No PREP WORK!  Hallelujiah!

2.       Easy, easy to add in to our regular school day.

3.       We hung out as a family completing this unit study!  We had a great time going on Nature Walks, gathering leaves, making rubbings, identifying what we found…getting chigger bites… Honestly, it had been months since we did something together as a family.  We had a great time.

4.       This was very easily adaptable to my 2 year old.  She had a great time gathering leaves and creating her own nature journal.  I would be eager to say that I believe there are many activities that can be done by preschoolers so don’t let having preschoolers stop you from buying this curriculum.

5.       Love, love, love the fact that it is Bible-centered!

6.       I was disappointed that I could only find about 1/3 of the recommended books at my local library.  It makes it easier when requesting items from home but it was simple enough to make the several substitutions.  That is the beauty of the unit studies…they are flexible!

7.       It did take us longer than one day to do the once-a-week activities.  In fact, there is so much stuff that we wanted to do that we are still logging leaves and such in the journal.  We ended up getting a poster from the Missouri Dept of Conservation, where we discovered new trees, and we are still enjoying what we started with this unit study. 

8.       A few of the concepts are definitely for older kids and my daughter (age 6) was definitely lost when we began learning about photosynthesis…but, that’s ok, we will revisit it another time!
Homeschool Legacy Unit Studies – Forest For The Trees retails for $15.95.  You can receive free shipping on orders of $50.00 or more.  For more information you can contact them here.  Have fun!  I know we did!!
Many of my crewmates reviewed products from Homeschool Legacy.  To read their reviews, follow the link below:
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Disclaimer:  We received Homeschool Legacy free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed herein are my own.

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