Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Homeschool Review: Christmas Unit Study

Last year we had the chance to review a Once-a-Week Unit Study about Knights and Nobles and LOVED IT!!! So when Homeschool Legacy contacted me about reviewing their NEW Once-a-Week Unit Study, Christmas Comes to America, we were thrilled!

Of course, there was a slight "catch". Naturally, Homeschool Legacy wanted my readers to be able to use the unit study THIS Christmas, which means, writing the review . . . now! So, we've had the added fun of getting to have a little taste of EARLY Christmas fun :)

As the name suggests, Once-a-Week Unit Studies are designed to use once-a-week, as a fun change of pace from your normal curriculum routine. The Christmas unit could also be used to add a little bit of "school" to your week if you, like many families, choose to take the month of December "off".

One thing I like is that, in consideration of the general busyness of the holiday season, the Christmas unit is less "intense" than the Knights and Nobles unit that we reviewed.  You can easily fit this one in during the busy Christmas season, and have a blast doing it!

You can see a sample week on the site, but to give you a general idea, each week focuses on Christmas traditions from one country, leading up to the diverse traditions that make up our American Christmas. Each week includes a short devotional time, and then reading and hands-on activities covering history, culture, music, etc.

If your children are involved in Boy Scouts or American Heritage Girls, the unit also includes all the requirements to earn a specific badge.

Naturally, we had to make some adaptations since we were doing the unit a month (plus) early. Some of the most fun sounding parts just weren't practical for us to do in October/early November, including attending a Christmas concert, though we DID get to make our own instruments. Lexie even found directions to make a "string" instrument, since violins are her passion.  We also listened to a variety of Christmas music on CDs to make up for not being able to go to a concert, there just aren't any Christmas concerts to be found around here this early LOL.

Our other "musical" hands-on activity that we decided to save for later was going caroling. We went caroling with a group from chutry the rch a couple years ago and the girls enjoyed it, but even at Christmas time, I'll admit we got some strange looks, apparently it's just not "done" around here. And I figured we would get VERY strange looks if we knocked on peoples doors and started singing Christmas songs in October LOL.  Though people should have liked it, better to offer a song than to beg for candy like all the other kids were doing that time of year, right? :) So, we skipped the caroling, except to sing our own songs at home, but we DID make the wassail recipe (the suggestion was to have it waiting when you got home from caroling), and LOVED it! So much, in fact, that the girls chose to make it again that weekend instead of our traditional Saturday night hot chocolate :)

A definite ADVANTAGE of doing a Christmas unit early is that I was able to reserve all the books we needed from the library without any waiting lists :) And the librarians are so used to me getting tons of books about odd topics that they didn't even question it, hee hee.

I think all three girls' favorite part was making Gingerbread Houses (though be aware, the suggested read aloud to go with it is Hansel and Gretel and it's a more "authentic" version than, say, the Nick Jr version the girls had heard when they were little. Instead of being ambiguous about how the children get lost in the woods, this version tells of their step-mother (the Grim Brothers certainly had something against step-mothers didn't they?) convincing their father to LOSE them in the woods because the family didn't have enough food. The girls were abit horrified by that, but since it's a "happily ever after" ending, it was all good :)

We opted to make graham cracker houses, and our selection of Christmas candy was still abit slim, but we made do, and the girls had great fun with it! Little Bit got frustrated with the fact that if she pushed too hard the house collapsed, so she went with a deconstructed gingerbread house, which still served her main purpose which was, eating the candy over the next week or so LOL.

This unit study is available for $17.95, be sure to order with time to leave shipping time and still have it for the whole month of December :)

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the above mentioned products, free of charge in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received and I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations.

All prices are accurate at time of posting.

No comments: