Homeschool Legacy is the company behind Once-a-Week Unit Studies. Why once-a-week? For those new to unit studies or not wanting to set aside their traditional curricula this allows you to “try-on” unit studies for your family. You will see how much fun can be had learning together as a family while incorporating many subjects. This is one of our favorite ways to learn!
One of the first things I noticed about the Once-a-Week Unit Studies from Homeschool Legacy is how little prep work was required of me. There were lists of books for our library trip. Any supplies needed for an activity or craft are clearly listed for each week’s lesson. None of these were things we didn’t already have on hand (thanks to the walnut trees out back). The easier it is for me to have things ready to go, the more time for fun (and let’s face it, the more often we will get these activities done).
At the end of the pages of the study is a section giving more information on choosing the books. There are specific titles given for each week’s focus. These include books for your children to read aloud throughout the week and a family read-aloud to be read during the week. Depending upon your library, the specific books may be hard to find. The suggestions by the author for finding alternatives are what I have been using for our regular studies. We were able to find many of the listed titles as well as adding some of our own finds. We love using literature for our studies (especially history) so this has been a great fit for us.
The unit we received is the Early Settlers in America. This is listed for grades 2-12. We used this with everyone — 6th, 4th, 3rd, 1st graders and the “tag-alongs” (2 1/2 and 4 year old). Something fit for everyone’s abilities and interests. Our favorite things were predictably the read-alouds and the hands-on activities. We scheduled the end of the week (usually Friday) for the day we focused on the activities and writing assignments – our “unit study day”. Many subjects are covered (Bible, math, geography, etc.) so it is easy to “make a day of it”. There are even movie/video recommendations where appropriate and “Stump your Dad” trivia questions to involve the whole family.
Here is a shot of my oldest daughter’s fingers during the activity making ink from walnuts. Not everything was this messy! She is not happy that this didn’t just wash right off. I asked her if she would still choose to do this knowing her fingers might get stained? She grinned and said absolutely!
This year I have been experimenting with doing both American history and world history on alternating weeks. This unit study has made it easy to keep up even during our “world history weeks”. We had started American history last spring with talking about Vikings, Christopher Columbus and other explorers. We then stopped to finish our world history curriculum. The Early Settlers in America study starts with the colony at Roanoke. Did you catch that this is exactly the place we were in our studies? I love it when the Lord brings these things together despite me.
Thus far we have learned about Roanoke, Jamestown and Plymouth colonies. We even had a week learning about Holland. The Once-a-Week study brings in learning about Holland during the time the Pilgrims were there prior to their voyage across the Atlantic. One of the recommended books is about Rembrandt. Guess what artist is our focus for this 6 week term? Love it! These studies lend themselves well to expand and stretch out if you want or just use them as intended for that time once a week. This has been an easy and fun way to kick off our studies for the school year. We are already planning which one to do next, just for fun (horses? weather? We just cannot decide).
Each Homeschool Legacy Once-a-Week unit study has a planned length that varies depending upon the topic. Early Settlers in America is a 6 week study, though there are some that are 4 weeks and one that is 8 weeks. The prices vary according to the length of the study. Early Settlers in America is $17.95 These are printed studies that you will receive (we were given a pdf for review purposes) so there are shipping charges (unless your order is greater than $50).
Something that was a big hit with some of my Crew mates was the ability to earn badges for both Boy Scouts and/or American Heritage Girls. We aren’t involved in either of these programs, but the families that are were excited about this. Be sure to read all the reviews — there are many great topics that were studied.