Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cool Off with Arctic Animals Study

Last week, I spent a day with a friend of mine and her children doing a unit study on Arctic Animals. We had a blast (that would be a cold arctic blast:-) and I just wanted to share some of the things that we did. First of all, most of the ideas and material came from Sea World's Educational site - did you know that they had great unit studies online? The material included some great experiments as well as tons of information. I also went to the library and picked up about 15 books on different animals from the Arctic, and ordered a DVD from Netflix called Growing Up Arctic.

We started the day by reviewing the sequence of Creation from the first chapter of Genesis to discover when the arctic animals we were going to study were created. Then we started on our cooking craft and mixed up and baked some cupcakes that we would later turn into Polar Bear "Cub"cakes. We read some books, watched the DVD, the older two children, Sam and Charis, wrote reports about their favorite Arctic Animal. Then the kids made walruses out of paper plates and had a lot of fun creating and naming their own walruses. It was a wonderfully fun day and I think the kids really enjoyed doing school in this manner. I am a huge proponent of unit studies, especially when you have multiple children of all different ages to teach at the same time. I did this project in order to "show" my friend how we do unit studies at our house and how much fun, yet very educational, they can be.

I would like to encourage you, if you have never done unit studies or at least not very often, that you consider this approach very seriously. The retention and relaxed fun of learning that results is amazing and school will not be a drudge to be endured each day. We are currently using literature-based unit studies at our house and my children actually beg me to do school during the summer when I like to take it a little easier. So we just do a couple days a week to keep everyone happy.

For more homeschooling ideas and encouragement, visit the Carnival of Homeschooling - The Boy Scout Edition hosted over at Consent of the Governed.

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