About the Unit Study (from Homeschool Legacy):
Christmas Comes to America embraces Jesus and the traditions we have come to associate with the classic American Christmas. As you celebrate, your children will learn about the Dutch, German, and English settlers who first shared those traditions with the New World.
You might remember seeing me having done a review for a similar study titled Knights and Nobles, also put out by Homeschool Legacy but if you don’t I’ll just say we enjoyed it, so when Homeschool Legacy contacted me about reviewing Christmas Comes to America I eagerly accepted the offer. My one favorite item to note with Homeschool Legacy is the fact that their unit studies also incorporate American Heritage Girls (Boy Scouts as well) – meaning that as the girls work on the work in the study they can also be working on badge requirements. For Christmas Comes to America my daughters will be able to finish their Music Appreciation badge very easily, which also makes my life as mom and AHG Unit Leader easier, they only have to complete the two optional requirements on their own.
So, what you may ask is covered in this unit study? The first week you’ll be studying the Dutch, the 2nd week the English, the 3rd week the Germans and the 4th week is An American Christmas. Once-A-Week Unit Studies are just as the name suggests, meant to be used once a week for a period of 4 weeks – however if you’re like me, you can tweak it – this isn’t a ‘you have to do it their way or it won’t work unit study’ – and it isn’t just for those in AHG or Boy Scouts, any homeschool family can use (or those families who want something to do during school breaks). Basically, it’s laid out that on Monday and Tuesday you’ll do your regular school work and add in the Unity Study reading and the Family Read-Aloud, then on Wednesday you’ll eliminate the regular studies opting to do the family devotional, the reading and the activities with Thursday being like Monday and Tuesday and Friday doing the “3 R’s”, the read aloud, field trip and family movie/game night.
I’d like to think I’m the queen of tweaking, but then again maybe not, but I tend to tweak to fit our family’s schedule with only doing school four days a week. In keeping that in mind I chose to break up the week and include a little bit from each day through out our four day week – which added a little fun to our day. Given that I’m using this way before Christmas and even before Thanksgiving, I picked what we could do now and will re-visit it again when we add in the AHG activities as well. I also appreciate the only prep work I need to do in advance is getting a couple books from the library, of which Sharon Gibson outlines in alphabetical order and gives you the call numbers! Also I make sure we have the supplies listed at the beginning of each week, which are either on hand or inexpensively and easily obtained – such as for the 1st week you’ll want an inexpensive Christmas mug (you can find these at a dollar store) and cellophane bags (our craft store sells these for dirt cheap) as well as ingredients to make hot cocoa mix and marshmallows.
Each week you’ll cover a range of subjects such as Bible, History, Geography, Language, Culture, Life Skills, Music, Research/Field Trip, and some unit studies also include science, math and other subject areas. The other great thing is, if you have children in different grades like I do, in 6th, 4th and 2nd – they can all work together on the same thing at their own levels or you can omit items for the younger children if that works with your child. I like what it says in the book that “Once-a-Week Unit Studies help you build relationships while making family memories” – it’s the truth, since it’s all laid out for me, the teacher, I don’t have the stress of having to plan everything AND search for books AND videos AND activities and this aids in me being more laid back and not as apt to yell to get school work done.
Now for my friends who prefer to avoid Santa, Saint Nicolas or any of the typical American Christmas stuff I will say that you will study these and Christkindl who are presented as gift givers. That being said – we did use to do the Santa thing but my children have wised up and we decided to not continue with that – but we have no issue in discussing and studying the people or fictional characters in light of history and our Christian faith. Some field trips aren’t an option – we could visit a tree farm but since we don’t use a live tree we couldn’t purchase one to bring home – again this is where tweaking comes into play, if you want to figure out another option that works for your family. There is an end of the unit study activity which is called “decorate an After Christmas Tree for the Birds” but I won’t give away what it is because we haven’t done it and I want you to enjoy this unit study as much as we have so I hope that teaser gets you to buy your own copy!
I must apologize for the lack of pictures – I’ve been so busy that I forgot to take pictures of us working on the study – so when we go back and do more I’ll update or do a whole other post about it!
(c) 2013, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws