June 01, 2012

Homeschool Legacy: Knights & Nobles

IMG_2759I tend to have a few challenges when it comes to History and Science. I’ve homeschooled long enough to know this isn’t unique to this year, it is just me. Our life. Nothing new. A constant.  I don’t think I am unique to these challenges, but they are mine none the less.

Challenge 1:

At times my life gets really busy and we resort to doing just the basics – Math, Reading and Scripture Journaling.  Sometimes we do just the basics (formally anyway) for weeks at a time.  Of course this leads to feelings of being “behind” my projected goal in other areas.

Challenge 2:

I LOVE learning Science and History with my children.  Perhaps it is selfish of me, but I have learned so much that I didn’t know prior to our studies together, that I don’t want to miss anything.  So I put off or postpone our lessons so I can participate instead of sending them off to work independently which I do for other subjects.

Challenge 3:

This one is kind of related to the one above - I don’t want to miss anything!  I want to read every book, view every map, do every cool hands-on project relating to our subject matter.  But really, there is such a thing as overkill and cramming 4 years worth of study material into 1 year isn’t smart and I know that - but still… it’s a challenge.  Tell me I’m not alone here!

Enter Once-a-Week Unit Studies from Homeschool Legacy.

From their website: KAN

Once-a-Week Unit Studies are designed for you to dive right in and get started! Other than a quick trip to the library, there is nothing you need to prepare. The work has already been done for you!

The most unique feature of Once-a-Week Unit Studies?

If you have any Boy Scouts or American Heritage Girls in your family they receive the added benefit of earning merit badges while completing the unit study assignments with the rest of your children!

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  This unit study has proved to be a wonderful resource that has helped with my above mentioned challenges considerably.  Let’s take a look.

We tried out their 4 week (once-a-week) unit study called Knights & Nobles. This is one of their “lighter” studies.  They offer longer and deeper study units on a variety of subject matter as well.  You can view their unit study lineup here.

When I received Knights & Nobles, right off the bat, I realized that this was going to be a great adventure!  The unit is literature based (which we love) and there are book lists included for readers of all ages, including non-readers.  The book lists are arranged by library call number.  Oh yeah!!  Just go down the aisle and you are in the zone!  Of course this poses a problem because you are now looking at the whole library section devoted to your topic!  Now this can be good because you can find additional treasures, but it can also be bad (see challenge # 3 above).

I’ll admit I did come home with additional treasures not on the book list, but I had to return over half of them - which stinks, but after reading the reviews and browsing through them I found several inappropriate for my crew.  However, the recommendations we used from Homeschool Legacy were all wonderful and the majority were classic titles.  Sharon from Homeschool Legacy has done her homework.  Included are lists of videos available as well as nonfiction and historical fiction books. I love this!

Basically the unit study works like this:

Every day you enjoy a family read-aloud time together, in addition, the children choose books you collected for independent reading time on that week’s focus.  Each week there is a new book list on the new focus.  Lucky us!

Then once a week, you focus on your unit study activities.   There is a Bible-based family devotional, and various activities like arts & crafts, research projects, Timeline work, Field Trip ideas, Family Game Night suggestions and even “Stump Your Dad Trivia”.

So let me share some of the things we enjoyed.

Week one our focus was on Castles.  In addition to our wonderful Read-aloud, we had a great family devotional on capstones and cornerstones.  We talked about why Christ was referred to as these stones and what that means for us.

We also built a castle.  There are multiple suggestions of materials to use in the unit study.  We ended up using this cardstock model found here @ PaperToys.com. This model  is great for ages 10 or older due to the small scale and amount of cutting and gluing involved.

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Week two our focus was on Kings & Queens. This week was full of interesting books.  Since we are related to Mary, Queen of Scotts, we were glad to read about her through one of our literature selections. We found Versal Manuscript designs fascinating and plan to play around with that a bit more.

Week three our focus was on Knights.  For our family devotional, we compared the armor of a knight to the armor of God.  Another simple and great correlation. There were opportunities for creating a coat of arms, and even a field trip to an archery range.  We haven’t been able to make it to the archery range yet, but we are planning to this summer for sure!  Mason loves archery!

Week four our focus was on the Life on a Manor. Again, literature highlights every week and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.  We came across this fun book called Archers, Alchemists, and 98 Other Medieval Jobs you Might Have Loved or Loathed by Priscilla Galloway.  I made a simple notebooking page to accompany this neat book.  My crew had fun reading through the various jobs and deciding which might not be too bad and which they thought would be horrid. You can read more about this here.

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This is just a small sampling of what is available inside Knights & Nobles. There is also a bonus section for a royal medieval feast and much much more.  Click here to see the depth of this study.

We found this unit study to be easy to implement and full of quality literature and activities, not packed with time wasting, never ending lists to have to sort through - which is just what I needed.  It is also flexible , which is another plus, and we found it to be a great and fun way to “catch up”.

You can purchase Knights & Nobles here.  A purchase of $50.00 or more gets free shipping.

* I received this product for my honest opinion and review. No other compensation was made or expected.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate this review-- I love unit studies, but I am not good at doing lots of pre-planning. This sounds like a great option! So thank you! :-)

    ReplyDelete

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