Each year we squeeze in a few unit studies usually during the holidays or in the spring. I am grateful that this year we were blessed to review Homeschool Legacy's ~Forest for the Trees unit study. The best part of this blessing is the fact that I didn't have to do any additional planning or start from scratch.
The Forest for the Trees unit study was delivered to me via email as a PDF. This particular study was ,of course, all about trees, but other topics are available. Some of the Homeschool Legacy's unit studies are also available in paperback. Sharon Gibson, the creator, has done an awesome job of preparing this study. There are not any stones left unturned. She includes all subjects with a variety of options. Due to the nature of this study, she encourages the user to keep a nature journal to store all of the findings and art work created during the four-week project.
Did I mention that I appreciated the fact that this study was only four weeks? I find that when we have too much information that can be drawn out forever, it actually takes us forever to complete and we tend to lose focus. Another great part about this unit study is that it could also be expanded if desired because there really is enough projects and activities to help draw it out a little bit longer. I also found that starting this study awoken my own desire to create a little bit so we were able to include extra projects that fell in line with Forest for the Trees.
Are you wondering which subjects are focused on besides science? Well, each week follows the same format which includes family devotionals, science, language, vocabulary, research, art, physical activity, field trips, and Stump Your Dad trivia. Sharon suggests having one unit study day per week to focus only the study. She also recommends continuing your normal lessons on the other days of the week. Our unit study day was Wednesday, but our field trips were on a different day of the week.
The family devotional also has a memory verse for the week. I made posters of the memory scripture to hang up. The girls and I often found ourselves reciting the scripture at different times in the day.
The literature component of the study was spot on. Sharon is so awesome that she includes several books each week that can be checked out from the library. Not only does she include the list of books, but also their call numbers which makes searching for them that much easier. The books that are included as library choices are often non-fiction. We also enjoyed the read aloud selection, My Side of the Mountain. It was recommended to read it in two weeks, but instead we listened to it over the entire four-week period. I chose to do this because our library did not have the second read aloud selection and neither did Audible. I am not a huge fan of reading books on devices. The read aloud selections were nice complements that gave life to the subject matter, trees.
We were also encourage to take field trips. This was perfect for us because we are in a new area, and this lead us to taking our first nature walks. We visited an old battlefield that has a walking path covered with a variety of trees. We also visited the Wilderness Station which has quite a few trails. The best part about our field trip to the Wilderness Station was that they have backpacks that you can check out and take on the trails. Which one did we request? Trees, of course. It was the perfect extension to our unit.
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