Thursday, April 02, 2009
A few years ago, my children and I discovered the joy of literature-based unit studies, beginning with Further Up & Further In from Cadron Creek. This unit study is based on the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis and geared for 4 - 8 grades. Now we are hooked and have used literature-based unit studies ever since!
Further Up & Further In is laid out in a very simple fashion that makes it easy to use and provides great helps for teacher preparation for each section. You read a chapter of a book each day, and then there are MANY activities to choose from for each and every subject, including Bible, Crafts, Health, History, Literature and Language Arts, and Science. The only things I supplemented was Math, Spelling and Foreign Language. Otherwise, you have a very complete curriculum.
At the beginning of each unit (book), they give you an overview of what to expect during this unit, and then a weekly planning guide where they give you suggested resources to gather in advance, supplies you will need for crafts, experiments and other hands-on activities, suggested field trips, and suggested videos. They also give you worksheets that are used in that week's work. In the back of the book is an Appendix with many more resources provided that might be difficult to find on your own, or more worksheet type pages to use with the unit study.
This curriculum was so much fun for us! Reading through the Chronicles of Narnia aloud together was, in and of itself, an incredible experience for us. But to be able to use it for all of our homeschooling was just a blessing and made our year the best one ever!
Then I had the opportunity to review The Prairie Primer, another unit study by Cadron Creek based on the "Little House" series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Wow! Another fantastic literature-based unit study from a great author! This unit study is set up in much the same way as Further Up & Further In, but targeted to a little younger age group (Grades 3 - 6). This unit study covers U.S. History in the 1800's, U.S. geography, science, language, practical living, health and safety, nutrition, music and art. It also emphasizes studying the Word of God with daily Bible readings that include character and word studies.
They give you so many resources and help along the way, that I believe these unit studies are the best and easiest way to delve into the world of unit studies. If you have never tried a unit study before, I highly recommend the products from Cadron Creek as the way to "get your feet wet." They have done so much prep work for you, that you can ease into the exciting world of unit studies and have a great time doing it! And their products are so reasonably priced at just $50 for a full year of curriculum for the Prairie Primer and $56 for Further Up & Further In!!