Sunday, July 15, 2007

Unit Study Book

I was asked to give a better description of a book I found at the fair. So, here it goes!

In the introduction, Valerie begins by saying that this is a book of ideas, not a curriculum guide. Also that it is not exhaustive only inspiring and encouraging. She goes on to encourage you to use only the suggestions that appeal to you, in other words do not be "chained" to her ideas. She says you must enjoy what our are doing for the kids to learn more. She explains that we would never be able to COMPLETELY cover any one given topic because, "Our Heavenly Father created such a vast and complex universe that even in a thousand lifetimes we could never learn all there is to know." Our goal should be to acquaint the children with a variety of ideas, people and places. She encourages us by saying that we are our children's best curriculum designers, to pick topics we know they will enjoy AND broaden their interest with unexplored topics as well. Valerie says she didn't try to force every discipline study into every unit, because it can turn into confusion and sometimes no real connection to the core topic; explaining that some subjects will naturally draw out disciplined studies. "So stop worrying about your children getting their daily shot in the arm of math, science, history, language, art, music, geography, and spelling. Let's get on with real learning and real life that isn't compartmentalized into digestible doses of mediocrity." (My favorite line of the introduction!) She ends by saying that education is a thoughtful, not complicated process and asks the Lord to bless our endeavours to raise Godly children.

Well, I just shamelessly plagiarized most of the introduction. Let's go on to the "SUGGESTIONS FOR MAKING THIS BOOK EASIER TO USE". The first suggestion is to read her first book, How to Create Your Own Unit Study. How nice. Yes, I am being sarcastic. So, has anyone read it???? The next thing she discusses is the suggested book list. She says if you can't find them at your library, don't waste valuable time searching them out. Do a library subject search and use what you find. Ideally, Valerie says, we should rely on the library. Occasionally we MAY want to purchase supplement materials. Personally, I like to purchase a few books on anything we study so they can be revisited... books are like friends to me. Books Children Love, by Elizabeth Wilson was recommended to purchase. Joy upon joys, I already have it... and most of the books listed in it. She closes by warning us not to try to undertake every suggestion she makes in the book. Can anyone spell B-U-R-N-O-U-T? I will end with the table of contents, and back cover. And one more note... I skimmed through the studies and they seem very doable. Reading them was like reading a story, it is not just a book list. I believe this was a good purchase. I told the seller that this must be a good book, because it is in a very used condition, she laughed and said yes they very much enjoyed using it and even lowered the price a dollar because of all the wear! I will also say that because this book was published in 1992, there are a lot more resources available to us now! For example, in the resource guide, Answers in Genesis is not listed for creation science. All the more reason to use the book for suggestions and for getting the creative juices flowing.

I recently did an internet search about unit studies. I found some by Karen Caroe, and a good Argentina unit study by Homeschool in the Woods.

1 comment:

Our Family of Five said...

This sounds neat, I would love to borrow it. Love, Lynn