This was a fun review for me because, in over 12 years of homeschooling, I have never done any “official” unit studies. When The Homeschool Village gave me the opportunity to review one of the one-week Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett, I chose “Crunchy Cookies”. Why that topic? We all were sick at Christmas and never had a chance to make all the cookies we’d planned. 🙂 Besides, I also wanted to see how educational a study of cookies would be!
My first reaction is: I’m quite impressed! The subtitle describes the study as “One week of hands-on learning adventures for kids from K – 4th grade.” That is definitely true, because it would take me an entire week, at least, to explore the depth of information included in this unit study! (Plus lots more time to eat all the different kinds of cookies… 😉 )
The study is very well-laid out. As I was reading it through, from time to time a question would pop into my head, only to be answered in the next sentence! There is a section right in the beginning which clearly explains how to use the unit study, along with how to use your printer to the best advantage and save ink, should you decide to print it out. As always, one of the first things I checked was to see if I could legally make copies for my children, or if I would have to purchase additional copies. I was very happy to see that per the license agreement I may print copies of the worksheets and lapbook materials for each of my children, because they are in my immediate family. Yay!
The list of suggested books is extensive – I was disappointed that my local library did not carry many of the suggested titles, but… they are just that – suggested. If you click on the links provided in the study, you will be taken to Amazon where you can purchase the books, if you want. However, let me stress that, in my opinion, you can do this unit study without the use of any of those books! There are numerous links to websites built right in to the unit study, with extensive information that gets my children researching with encyclopedias and supervised internet study. I especially appreciated the helpful reminder to parents that internet content can change overnight – the study suggests that parents check each link before letting their child use it.
What amazed me the most about this unit study was how all “traditional” school subjects were woven throughout in a very natural manner. Within our chosen topic of cookies I found:
- math (multiplying recipes, learning to read graphs, counting chocolate chips)
- science (how the ingredients change chemically as they bake)
- spelling and vocabulary (definitions of cooking terms)
- history (favorite cookies of different Presidents, how different cookie companies started)
- geography (where cookies came from, traditional cookies of different countries)
- home economics (actually making the cookies)
- art (coloring pages, cutting and pasting activities, making lapbooks)
- poetry (cookie-themed, of course!)
Cheerfully designed worksheets are included throughout the study for children to fill in after research, and the lapbooks (something we have never done) are a valuable and fun way to compile what we’ve learned and review it in the future. I absolutely loved that the templates for the lapbooks were included so they can be printed, cut out and filled in. That is a big plus for me – if I’d had to design the lapbooks myself, I simply would not have even considered them. For those people who are crafty, there are links to several helpful lapbooking sites included in the study.
This actually changed my view of unit studies – up until this point I honestly had avoided them, thinking they would require too much prep work on my part. With Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett, however, you just need some basic lapbook supplies, a few books if you want, a computer with internet access, and some copies of the worksheets and lapbook materials. There is actually so much information that I could easily stretch this out over two weeks if we wanted to plumb all the depths of the materials and extra resources provided.
Customer service is pleasant and helpful. I only ran into one snag with this unit study, and it was my own fault! Five pages of the study seemed to be “missing” information, so I emailed customer service. After a few emails we discovered that I didn’t have the latest Adobe Reader installed – that happily solved my problem.
The unit studies are also very affordable – one-week studies are $7.95, and four-week studies are $10.95. Sometimes there are even sales and promotions on these studies, too!
Wouldn’t you like to try one of these Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett yourself? Head over to The Homeschool Village to read more reviews, and enter the giveaway!
Review Disclaimer: Please note that I have been provided a complimentary copy of this resource by The Homeschool Village specifically for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.