For the second time during my wonderful life with the Homeschool Review Crew, I have been fortunate enough to be allowed the task of reviewing a Unit Study from a company called Homeschool Legacy.
in 2015, I reviewed Westward Ho! Parts one and Two, and we had a really fun time learning about that time in our country!
This time however, and in an extremely timely manner, we were chosen to review one of Homeschool Legacy’s Once a Week Unit Studies. We were given for purpose of this review the digital version of Christmas Comes to America.
I received a letter from the author of Once a Week Unit Studies, Sharon Gibson. In her letter, she said that Christmas Comes to America is one of Homeschool Legacy’s least intensive unit studies. The reason she gave for this is that she knows how overwhelming the holidays can become, and wants to help draw families together as they celebrate the birth of Christ while having fun learning about some of our various customs, symbols and traditions came to us by way of the Dutch, German and English early settlers.
Once a Week Unit Studies all have components that your Boy Scout or American Heritage Girl can use to qualify for various badges, and some even have components that can be used toward 4H projects. In Christmas Comes to America, your Boy Scout can earn his Music Badge, and your American Heritage girl can earn her Music Appreciation Badge. No other product on the homeschool market offers this wonderful opportunity!
Homeschool Legacy Unit Studies are Biblically based something that by now, all of you who read my blog already are aware is a huge plus for me.
Also, as usual, Mrs. Gibson has done everything for me! This study is laid out completely, right down to listing potential read alouds by name AND Dewey Decimal system numbers to make it easier to find them in your library. The suggested movies and Christmas music are also listed by Dewey Decimal System. Talk about making it simple for us!
a suggested schedule for using a Homeschool Legacy Once a Week Unit Study would be as follows:
- Monday: Your regular daily studies Unit Study reading and Family Read-Aloud
- Tuesday: Your regular daily studies Unit Study reading and Family Read-Aloud
- Wednesday: Once-a-Week Unit Study Day: Eliminate regular daily studies Unit study Family Devotional Unit study reading and Family Read-Aloud Unit study activities
- Thursday: Your regular daily studies Unit Study reading and Family Read-Aloud
- Friday: The 3 R’s (including your unit study reading) Your Family Read-Aloud Unit Study Field Trip Family Movie and/or Game Night
Mrs. Gibson does, however, point out that it is never her intention that we schedule exactly as she suggests, but rather to juggle it around as necessary to fit our family’s needs. I really like that, because when a curriculum or unit study is strictly scheduled, and can only be done one way, it makes me anxious when I can’t keep up.
So, Christmas Comes to America is laid out so as to study the customs, symbols and traditions that came to America by way of the early settlers who were Dutch, German and English, as I told you above. Each week begins with a list of books and CD’s or DVD’s for that week’s study. in the Dutch section, for example, when giving this list the author has made sure to tell us that only one of the first three books listed is needed to cover that week’s history of Christmas traditions.
From the Dutch, we learned about the legend of Santa Claus and the history of the real St. Nicholas. There is also a project to make home-made hot cocoa mix and home-made marshmallows, something my kids and I are planning to do as gifts, if we can find vegetarian gelatin (one family we would be giving this to is vegetarian.)
In week two, we moved on to the English settlers, and traditions, etc that they brought with them. As in each week, a library list is given at the beginning. We learned about the custom of Christmas caroling, making Christmas cards, and more!
In week three we focused on the German settlers, and what THEY contributed to our Christmas traditions here in America. We learned about amazing music created by German composers, including a favorite of mine, MESSIAH! by George Frederic Handel. As before, there are suggested field trips and crafts, as well.
Wrapping up our unit study is week four, An American Christmas, in which we learned that right here in America, there was actually a time when laws were passed making it illegal to celebrate Christmas! We discovered how much later it was that Christmas was openly celebrated in America, and talked a lot about this particular section.
There are so many options in this unit study, and so many ways to work it into your homeschool during the four weeks it covers. You will have Language Arts, History, Geography, and Science, just to name some of the topics. There is a game as part of week four, and crafts and life skills activities sprinkled throughout the entire Unit study. There are family devotionals for each week, scripture to study and ponder, and just things that cause discussions to spring up between you and your children.
According to Mrs. Gibson:
“Any four combined Once-a-Week Unit Studies will easily satisfy a full course study of history or science, if you choose to use Once-a-Week Unit Studies as your main source of history or science. All Once-a-Week Unit Studies are appropriate for Grades 2-12, though upper levels will still need their lab sciences.”
I think this would be a fun way to do a year of history and science, myself, and the cost is very reasonable! Christmas Comes to America is just $14.00 for the digital Grab and Go version, and in paperback for $18.95. While wandering around the Homeschool Legacy site, I discovered that they also have money-saving Bundled Unit Studies, which would be great when you are using the option of choosing go-together studies to cover history or science.
I really, really recommend this company. It was created by a homeschool mom because she wanted the best, most engaging form of learning for her family. Now, it can be just that for the rest of us, too! 🙂
To read 99 other fair and honest reviews of this and other unit studies from Homeschool Legacy, please click the banner right below!
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