As you would expect with a good unit study, this study covers:
Science - simple botany experiments and identification of plant life, keeping Nature Journals.
Social Studies - discussion of famous "tree people," history, and we worked in some geography while talking about national parks and forests.
Language Arts - includes reading lists for older and younger students, both for family read-aloud-time and for individual reading time, and there are writing assignments.
I love that the study also includes:
Art - My kids loved the fact that one of the books on the reading list was about how to draw trees. I'm not sure that all the trees in their Nature Journals are actually indigenous to this area, but they sure enjoyed drawing them!
Family Devotionals designed to emphasize the awesomeness of God's creation - You cannot beat those units that allow you to tie your family devotionals with Dad in the evening into what you've been studying in school.
Outdoor Physical Activities
I am ashamed to admit that one of my favorite characteristics of this study is that it required no advance preparation on my part. Sharon Gibson had done all the work for me. I will admit this here, though, because I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm not the only homeschooling parent who runs short on prep time for multiple students and uses unit studies for just that reason! This unit was easy to use with multiple age groups combined.
We started by taking the included reading lists to the library on our library day. We have a rather small library, and I could only find 2 or 3 of the exact titles there. The author had already suggested, however, that similar books (with close Dewey Decimal System addresses) could be used. We substituted these books, thereby checking out a goodly portion of our library's books on trees, and my youngest was quite happy to have his own list of picture books for which to hunt.
We began with the novel My Side of the Mountain, as the author suggests, as a family read-aloud. My oldest had read this several years ago, and in fact it is one of his favorite books. The others had not read it. I also found an old movie made for My Side of the Mountain, with which I plan to surprise my children next week (if they don't read my blog and find out first)! This first novel, being the longest, is used for the first two weeks of the study, and there are shorter family read-alouds for the remaining two weeks.
Warning: If you use this unit study, and specifically the novel My Side of the Mountain, your children will be desperate to adopt a peregrine falcon as a pet. Go ahead and plan a trip to a zoo or aviary where they can see one! (We had to go to a zoo and see one after my son read the book the first time.)
My girls wanted me to show you their lovely tree drawings!
If I have piqued your interest enough, here is what you need to know to obtain your own copy:
The Product: Forest For the Trees Once-A-Week Unit Study (comes in physical print form)
Vendor: Homeschool Legacy, http://www.homeschoollegacy.com
Ages: Grades 2-12
Homeschool Legacy produces a number of other "Once-A-Week" Unit Studies. Click the banner below to take a blog hop around and see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of some of them.