Here is another email question, this one related to Unit Studies:
Q: Hi Holly
We have been homeschooling for one year now and would really like to use a unit study, but haven’t been able to find anything on a 6th grade level. Unfortunately, I will not be able to make it to the workshop for this event. Can you recommend a few curriculums?
A: Hi MaryAnne, I am sorry that you won’t be able to make the workshop on Unit Studies.
For 6th graders, here are a few options.
Konos: a K-12th grade program in several volumes. The main focus is character qualities with nearly everything except math tied in. Each unit is divided into sections to show the grade level material for each subject. Much of this program works better if you have some other students to interact with–such as a weekly co-op (If you live in the west valley, I know someone wanting to join or start a Konos co-op) Lots of hands-on activities. http://www.konos.com/
Weaver: Also K-12th grade. Main focus is historical with a chronological view of Scriptures as a base, tied in with parallel subjects in modern history. Units are divided with grade and subject matter. Several volumes are included in this program. Lots of hands-on activities. http://www.aophomeschooling.com/weaver/overview.php
Sonlight: A literature-based K-12 program with heavy emphasis on reading (novels, biographies, classics, original documents) and discussion. Each volume takes an historical theme such as American history or church history and ties in science, art, music, literature etc of the era or goegraphic focus, and the reading material is geared more for a smaller age range. It is not exactly grade-level based, but would be appropriate for 3 -4 grades. It doesn’t have as much supplemental material for the grades outside of that range as the Weaver and Konos have. Hands-on science experiments are included in the program–but not as extensively hands-on as other programs http://www.sonlight.com/
Prairie Primer or Further Up and Further In: Both of these are by Cadron Creek Publishers. The first is using The Little House on the Prairie series and the reading level is about 3rd-6th grade. An in-depth study of American History in the late 1800′s is the focus, and every part of life that is discussed in the books is part of the lesson (i.e. crops, soil, pests, fire, drought would all be lessons on agricultural themes). Lots of hands-on activities.
Further Up and Further In is based on the Chronicles of Narnia series–reading level 4th-8th grade. History, science, geography, character qualities and literature are explored through the lens of the fantasy story, again utilizing all aspects of the narrative for the lessons. Lots of hands-on activities. http://www.cadroncreek.com/
There is a third curriculum from Cadron Creek that is geared to girls junior high and up: Where The Brook and River Meet, which is based on Anne of Green Gables books and explores life in Canada and New England in the early 1900′s. All the Victorian foods, customs, crafts, games etc are explored. Lots of hands-on activities.
Beyond Five in a Row and Above and Beyond Five in a Row: Based on children’s classic literature for the middle school years and the junior high years, respectively. I haven’t looked at these materials, but the younger series (Five in a Row and Before Five in a Row) take a book each week, and do hands-on activities related to the book for a different subject each day of the week (science one day, language arts the next, math the next etc). The younger ones are reading the same book every day, but with longer chapter books, that wouldn’t be possible for the older kids. I assume that a portion of the book is read each day with appropriate subject activities related to the reading material. http://www.fiveinarow.com/
There is a new one on Lord of the Rings–Literary Lessons from Lord of the Rings by Amelia Harper: http://www.homescholar.org
There are unit studies in these curricula, but I haven’t looked at any of them: Heart of Dakota, Heart of Wisdom, Doorposts, Far Above Rubies and Blessed is the Man, Beautiful Feet, Greenleaf (Just for starters)
I just did a search for homeschool unit studies and got a huge list, many of them with how-to-develop your own or free pre-prepared studies. Here is one site that lists online unit studies on psecific topics from A-Z (many links don’t work)
A great place to look at the main ones I mentioned is Covenant Home School Resource Center. They are distributors for Weaver, and typically have Konos, Weaver, Sonlight (some) on hand used to browse through, plus various other ones from time to time. www.chsrc.org
Let me know what you find that works for you!
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