Our Must Have Items for Homeschool Unit Studies

Blog, She Wrote: Our Must Have Items for Homeschool Unit Study

Do you ever get going on your homeschool day and think, “How would I ever homeschool with out this?” Today bloggers at the iHomeschool Network are sharing their must haves. I’m sharing must haves for unit studies.

Must Have Unit Study Curriculum

Five in a Row– this is the mainstay of literature unit study curricula and one we have used for years for our kids through 7th grade. We’ve used FIAR from preschool to middle school at all levels.

Amanda Bennett Unit Studies– We are fans of the original four week unit studies. I do dabble in Download n Go, but we’ve enjoyed many topics with AB units.

Unit Studies Made Easy– Hands down my favorite book about unit studies by Valerie Bendt. The magic of this book is how Ms. Bendt explains putting together your own unit study.

Blog, She Wrote: Our Must Have Items for Homeschool Unit Studies

Must Have Unit Study Reference Material

Books– a large home library full of the good stuff. Essential.

Library– we use our local library for extra resources on topics.

Notebooking & Lapbooking Resource Books– such as Dinah Zyke books and The Ultimate Lapbook Handbook. These have a treasure trove of ideas on how to present information kids learn in a unit study.

Reference Books– Dictionaries, Atlases, thesaurus, etc. We also have general reference books on various topics of science and social studies. I like having something on almost any topic my kids can come up with as a starting place for research.

Maps– both large wall maps and map software. Being able to see where your studies take place is important. We like to check the wall map for a quick look and being able to print good quality maps is crucial to a thorough unit study.

Blog, She Wrote: Our Must Have Items for Homeschool Unit Studies

Must Have Unit Study Technology

Computers– We have two desk tops and a laptop for our children which they share. We use Open DNS as a filter which allows us to control access at the router level. Two of our kids have Android devices and we turn the wifi on and off of those at regular hours as well. The internet is such a wonderful resource for doing in depth research.

Google Earth– Replaces our globe. So many possibilities with this software. You visit a lot of places pretty vividly with Google Earth.

eReaders– We have two Kindles at our house and four devices with a Kindle app. I love my Paperwhite and my daughter adores her Kindle Touch. I love the Kindle for books and short stories in the public domain. The flexibility of downloading a book within minutes is huge for us and keeps our day going.

Video– Whether its stop motion animation or more conventional video, our kids enjoy making videos of what they are working on.

Printer– What homeschooler can live without a printer? I bought a new one last month which can print duplex. Swoon.

Blog, She Wrote: Must Have Items for Homeschooling Unit Studies

Must Have Unit Study Supplies

Craft Supplies– Such as paper of all kinds, paints of all kinds, adhesives, stencils, etc. The two most important things about craft supplies are quality and accessibility. Make them available and watch your kids create. The result is worth teaching them to be safe with the materials from a young age.

Notebook Paper– This is a non-negotiable at our house! It is one of the most used items in our unit studies. Click the picture or the link to see how we use ordinary notebook paper in our homeschool.

Blog, She Wrote: Our Must Have Items for Homeschool Unit Study

Blog, She Wrote: Our Must Have Items for Homeschool Unit Studies

Must Have Unit Study Bonus Material

Games– You can find board games and card games based on specific topics to enjoy with a study.

Learning Activities– Bingo games, flash cards, maps, songs, music, etc.

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iHN Must HavesJoin other bloggers with the iHomeschool Network for a look at their must haves!

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Geography in Literature: Apple Pie Quest

Blog She Wrote: Literature in Geography Quest

This post contains an affiliate link. Thanks for your support!

Welcome to this week’s Geography Quest! I think I’ve learned that I’ll need to be flexible with the exact day each week the Quest will be posted. I hope you’ll be flexible with me!

This week’s quest is Geography in Literature:

There are many opportunities for geography in literature topics. With autumn and apple season just around the corner in New York State, let’s take a fun journey around the world to make an apple pie.

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman

  1. Read the book with your children.
  2. Have them list (through narration or writing) the continents and countries mentioned in the book.
  3. List the oceans in the book.
  4. Make a world map available to them to label the places they listed.
  5. Draw arrows on the map so they can remember the sequence of the journey.
  6. Title the map.
  7. Color the map if it is not printed in color.

Blog She Wrote: Literature in Geography Quest

More Geography Activities for How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

  • Name the resources they found in each location.
  • What other resources is the country known for? Use a world atlas to find your answer.
  • You might consider a project like a diorama for this one.

Blog She Wrote: Literature in Geography Quest

Want More Activities for How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World?

  • Don’t forget to really make the pie! There is a recipe in the back of the book.
  • Five in a Row Volume 1 has a full unit study based on this story (and others).

Using WonderMaps for Geography Quests

WonderMaps allows you to pick and choose what you focus on in a map. I printed one in color and one in black and white. I love the color maps with the physical features. Physical maps are probably my favorite map of all. I love to see the topography of a country and the color overlay seems to really bring out those features.

Stay tuned for more Geography in Literature Quests in the weeks and months to come. Please subscribe via email if you haven’t already, so you won’t miss any Geography Quests!

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Books and a Big Idea: Summer Reads Edition!

Blog, She Wrote: Books & a Big Idea Summer Fun Edition

This post contains an affiliate link to Chalk Pastels ebooks from Hodgepodge. There’s a new release and a special sale. Thanks for your support.

I’m excited about today’s link up post since I’m such a fan of children’s literature and a good unit study! We are sharing lots of books with craft & activity ideas. You don’t want to miss the fun!

I’m sharing ideas for three of our favorite summer time books- I couldn’t pick just one! Below you will find links to some fun activities we have done from the Blog, She Wrote archives along with matching chalk pastel tutorials.

Blog She Wrote: Books & a Big Idea Summer Fun Edition

Blueberry Fun with Blueberries for Sal

Blog She Wrote: Books & a Big Idea Summer Fun Edition

One Morning in Maine

  • Make clam chowder
  • A Path to the Beach– the first chalk pastel tutorial from Hodgepodge Mom!
  • My Blue Boat chalk tutorial– has a great little light house and boat similar to the one in the story
  • Make a tooth keeper for under the pillow- the main character in this book has lost her first tooth

Blog She Wrote: Books & a Big Idea Summer Fun Edition

Night of the Moonjellies

Don’t forget that just reading to your children is always great fun and it is a sure cure for the grumpies at our house- whether they are young or old! So, don’t worry if you don’t have the activity bug. Just read!

Another tip: these activities don’t always have to be totally prescribed. Part of the summer fun is just letting kids choose how to play. Consider letting your children enjoy these activities on their own or choose to let them try a recipe on their own with only the necessary supervision. Make the materials available and see what your kids come up with!

Join other iHomeschool Network bloggers for more Books & a Big Idea. This is great fun with children’s books!

Southern Hodgepodge is holding a flash sale on the new Chalk Pastels through the Seasons for $5.99 (regularly $7.99) and The Chalk Pastel Bundle- both ebooks for $19.99 (regularly $24.99). The sale ends Tuesday, July 9th at midnight EDT.

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