Tag Archives: unit studies

Thanksgiving Unit Study Ideas and Resources


This week we began our Thanksgiving unit studies with a couple of Pre-Thanksgiving activities.  Below are some of the links we followed as we both reviewed and learned about the early American Settlements of Roanoke and Jamestown.

3 Articles about the history and mystery of the Roanoke Colony  http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/articles/ushistory/roanoke2.htm

Roanoke Colony Creative Writing Prompt                      http://castelliclassroom.weebly.com/classroom-updates/roanoke-writing-prompt

Online interactive Jamestown adventure                                                                                                   http://www.historyglobe.com/jamestown/

Jamestown Interactive webquest adventure  http://web.archive.org/web/20040811071346/http://www.loudoun.k12.va.us/schools/catoctin/3rd/webquests/jamestown/

Jamestown reading comprehension and printable quiz  http://mrnussbaum.com/jamestown-printable-reading-comprehension/

The Natives and The English video from Crash Course                             http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTYOQ05oDOI

In addition to the early settlement studies, we began this thankfulness Bible study with printable cards and daily question/activity suggestions http://www.faithgateway.com/thanksgiving-bible-verses-free-printable/#.UnUbfhDZjFD

For the school days from now until Thanksgiving we we will be notebooking, crafting, cooking, reviewing, and researching  who, what, when, where, and why – everything associated with the Plymouth Colony.  We will keep journaling pages and bulletin boards of what we discover.

Below are the links we’ll be using for resources as we travel back in time to visit early America over the next few weeks.

Plimoth Plantation “Just for Kids” Activities – Coloring, Talk Like a Pilgrim, Virtual Field Trip, History Detective, and more!                                                                      https://www.plimoth.org/learn/just-kids

Virtual field trip to the first Thanksgiving  http://www.scholastic.com/scholastic_thanksgiving/webcast.htm

Thanksgiving Myths Debunked and other Thanksgiving Articles and Child Friendly Recipes   https://www.education.com/articles/thanksgiving/

Interactive trivia quiz  http://www.quia.com/rr/315169.html

This site is my favorite of all the resources I’ve found.  We will use this site daily.  http://search.freefind.com/find.html?id=76113&pageid=r&mode=ALL&query=&sitemap=Site+Map

Grammar lessons with Thanksgiving themed mad libs  http://amyswandering.com/2012/11/09/thanksgiving-mad-libs-2/

Thanksgiving themed notebooking, activity, and poetry copywork printable pages  http://www.notebookingnook.com/freebies-thanksgiving-notebooking-pages-activity-pages-and-copywork-notebook/

Jokes, poems, songs, and more (scroll down and look at the left sidebar)  http://www.thanksgiving-day.org/thanksgivingday-fun.html

Stories, jokes, poems and coloring pages http://www.hellokids.com/search?recherche=thanksgiving&search_go=OK

Thanksgiving Math  and Printables                                                            https://www.yummymath.com/2017/thanksgiving-football-black-friday-and-giving/

Thanksgiving history, fun facts, and census  https://www.factmonster.com/culture-entertainment/holidays/thanksgiving

Thanksgiving themed math worksheets (for younger students)  https://www.math-drills.com/search.php?s=thanksgiving&page=1&sort=weekly

How Many Calories Are on Your Thanksgiving Plate?                            https://www.thedailymeal.com/how-many-calories-are-your-thanksgiving-plate/112013

Ideas and instructions for Thanksgiving themed arts and crafts  http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/thanksgivingartscraftsideaskids.html

Games that pilgrim children  played    https://www.mayflowerjuniors2020.org/games-the-pilgrim-children-played

Thanksgiving Music Playlist

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade interactive games  http://social.macys.com/parade/#/games

On nice days we’ll be getting outside for some nature observations, football (not soccer), and archery practice and just maybe some fishing.

Our science is research based (meaning the kids will have to come up with their own resources for information) and will include the following topics:

  • Human anatomy – digestive system
  • Why does Thanksgiving dinner make us sleepy?
  • Native American agriculture and nutrition of  “The Three Sisters”  (beans, squash, corn)
  • Natural Resources, plants, and wildlife surrounding the Plymouth Colony

Thanksgiving themed free downloads and printables for all levels and subjects for homeschools (you will need an account, but that is free and easy to set up)  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:thanksgiving/Grade-Level/Homeschooler/Price-Range/Free

Resources and Activities of Thanksgiving with a modern history twist!  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2014/11/15/thanksgiving-been-there-done-that/

betty jo


Almost Finished

may calendarAccording to the Kentucky statutes governing homeschooling, we are finished with what is required of us!

“Required Days of Instruction:

185 days, which must include the equivalent of 175 six (6) hour instructional days and 10 non-instructional (teacher) days. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 158.070 and 158.080.

Required Subjects: Include reading, writing, spelling, grammar, history, mathematics, and civics. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 158.080.”

However, we have not finished with our Middle Ages/ Renaissance unit studies,  nor have we reached a stopping place with our math and spelling courses.  So our current homeschooling will be continuing for a few more weeks, but without any pressure or stress.  We are transitioning to the “AT LEAST ONE THING” schedule.

For now and throughout the summer I will only require my kids to do only one educational lesson a day.  They may choose math, spelling/grammar, unit study, or an arts related project to work on Monday through Thursday.  The rest of their day can be spent reading, watching movies, playing outside, and a little bit of video gaming.  In the next few weeks we will be including youth camp, two Vacation Bible Schools, our library’s summer program, and community service projects with their daily learning choices.  When we are done with our Middle Ages/Renaissance unit study, we will start working on a new one, Music.

Last year, we were able to add twelve complete school days to our records by sticking with our “AT LEAST ONE THING” a day schedule.  I hope we can do that again this summer.  It was wonderful having twelve days recorded at the start of our school year.  It was also nice to be able to take a few extra days off during the school year without feeling that we would be falling behind schedule.

This freed up schedule is even better for me than it is my kids.  I need some extra time to complete our homeschool records and scholarship reports.  I also have not completely organized our summer school music unit study, not to mention the American History unit studies for the 2013-2014 school year.  And, I would love to just sit back and read a book or two.

Since Monday was our first day of  being finished with our regular homeschooling schedule, I thought we should do something special to celebrate.  I asked the kids what they wanted to do. They wanted to go to the library.  (I’m thinking my kids might be nerds.)  They also asked for pizza.  So pizza at the library’s garden it was.

 pizza 2 pizza 3
                                         pizza(My two teenagers were there, too,  they just did not want to be photographed this time.)
Click here to link to view homeschooling laws for any US state   http://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp
I had the opportunity for a free download last year for homeschool records, planners, and report forms. This offer is no longer available but a few free sample pages are available here  http://momstoolbelt.com/homeschool-planner-student-assignment-book-pages
For more about our summer school Music unit study click here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/05/06/homeschool-of-rock/
betty jo

Why And How

unit study

When others learn that we do not buy curriculum, but that I design ours myself, they often stare at me as if I’ve grown a third eye, and  ask me, “Why?” or “How?”.    My answer to both questions is, “By the grace of GOD”.  However, upon request, I can explain a bit more.

We pulled our oldest out of public school kindergarten 16 years ago.  At that time we just used some cheap workbooks for language arts and math along with plenty of books to read to finish up that school year.

Over the following summer, I poured over curriculum catalogs taking in all the information I could.  I could not decide on anything and truthfully, we couldn’t afford anything either.  As August approached we still did not have curriculum.

That same summer our son went to Space Adventures Vacation Bible School.  His head stayed in outer space even when the week long program was over.  Outer space was his favorite topic of conversation and play.

We went to a used curriculum sale and I was talking to some experienced homeschool moms about our lack of school books when one of them asked my son, “What do you like to study?”  Of course he replied, “Outer space!”  He then shocked me with, “I’m going to start a space club!”  She then told him that astronomy was one of her favorite unit studies and a space club sounded like a marvelous idea.

I had to have these moms explain what a unit study was.  I had not seen anything like that in my catalogs.  She invited us to her house so she could show me how they did school.

Her coffee table was covered with library books and notebooks.  Apparently, her kids picked a subject they were interested in, and checked out everything the library had on it.  Then they read, bookmarked pages, and took notes.  They made trivia games and art projects that related to their topic.  Their spelling and vocabulary came from those library books too.  When they got tired of one study, they picked another. They were only spending money for paper and art supplies.  Those kids were smart.  Everyone seemed happy with their homeschooling. She even had a son who had graduated and was attending college.  Smart and happy and going to college is what I wanted for us, too.

These moms assured me that since I had at least graduated from high school,  I was capable to teach my  children what they needed to learn.  And that I could do it without spending hundreds of dollars. They told me I would want a large map,  dictionary, thesaurus,   grammar guide,   good pencil sharpener,  Bible and  Bible dictionary.  I mentioned that I did not have a Bible dictionary and could they recommend one.  One of these sweet moms went out to her car and got hers.  She gave it to me , not let me borrow but gave it as a gift!  She showed me how to use it for a space study.  “Look up a word such as “stars”, then look up the Scriptures for copy and  memory work.”

That August we founded the Space Adventure Club.  I even found a math workbook that had a rocket on the cover and cute space pictures on the worksheets.  We borrowed library books about the solar system and space travel.  We made a telescope, a solar system model and a mini planetarium.  We wrote and memorized Scriptures about stars. We learned of ancient ideas about the heavens.  We watched space themed movies. We researched space careers.    We sang space themed songs.  This unit study idea was working well.

The next study club was Nature Scouts, followed by a series of different clubs.  This is how we schooled for the first couple of years.  I had to add spelling as a separate class because my son was able to spell difficult words but was having trouble with the more common ones.  We picked up a used grades 3-12 spelling course and have stuck with that same one for all the years since.  We have also been given or bought some phonics readers as the other kids have started their road to reading.  We have added current events to our non-unit study list of classes.

There was one year when I made the mistake of comparing my homeschool to others. I thought what they were using would be best for us too.  That year we spent over $700 for three children  to learn with a “regular” curriculum.  We hated it!  The following year, we ditched the idea of regular curriculum and went back to our unit study approach.

It’s been years since we’ve called our unit studies clubs,  but our studies are still made like those were.  For the past six years I have designed our unit studies based on historical period timelines.  We have also added technology,  free web resources,  to how we homeschool.

So now you have my answers to “why” and “how” we homeschool like we do.

betty jo

HeartsforHomeButton250_zps0bf17d36-1_zps2609e0a3-1_zps7355f539Ultimate momnewfriendshipFridaybutton_zpsba323150                                                           http://www.faithfulmomof9.com/


National Day of Prayer


We are leaving the Middle Ages and it’s plague victims, strange treatments, fleas, and rats for a  day.  Something much bigger than our unit study is occurring.  Something Current Events, American History, and GOD is occurring.  This important something is America’s National Day of Prayer.

2 Chronicles 7:14  “If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

We believe that we are “MY people”.  We consider ourselves to be GOD’s homeschool. .  Our name implies it, The Hendrickson Covenant In-Home School.  That “Covenant” part comes from our agreement with our Heavenly Father in the Name of Jesus Christ to home educate our children as long as The Holy Spirit guides us every step of the way, because I wouldn’t know how on my own.

Our language arts lessons will be writing prayers and Scripture journaling.  We’ll be using free customized writing paper from  http://www.dltk-kids.com/type/writing_paper.htm

Our social studies lessons will come from here  http://www.wallbuilders.com/

We will let God take care of the science lessons as we observe Him healing our land.

Oh yeah, math lessons.  We’ll just forget about them this one time.  My kids can have the testimony that GOD does answer their prayers.

betty jo

Thriving-Thursdays1 buttonHeartsforHomeButton250_zps0bf17d36-1_zps2609e0a3-1_zps7355f539Ultimate mom

Leonardo da Vinci

leonardo-da-vinciAfter taking a break from our middle ages unit studies  this week to study spring weather,  we will be returning to them again next week.  We will be finishing up our artists lessons with Leonardo da Vinci.  The timing for this is perfect because his birthday is April 15.  That means that we can work some cake baking and decorating into our homeschooling day.

Below are the links we will be using for the da Vinci study

Biography, art gallery, games, quizzes, printables and more from here  http://www.gardenofpraise.com/art17.htm

Even though our library did not have Leonardo’s Horse I think we can still make good use of these lapbooks using what we found here   http://www.homeschoolshare.com/leonardos_horse.php

Artist Notebooking Page                                                                               https://notebookingfairy.com/artist-notebooking-page/

And da Vinci quotes from here   http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/l/leonardo_da_vinci.html

Since da Vinci is famous for his works of the human body and portraits  we are going to try  the lessons from here  http://www.drawingnow.com/tutorials/view/how-to-draw-people-step-by-step-for-kids/  and here  http://www.learn-to-draw.com/figure-drawing/07-drawing-muscles.shtml

Da Vinci Inventions                                                                                                                   http://www.da-vinci-inventions.com/davinci-inventions.aspx

For other posts about our middle ages art studies click here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/04/06/raphael/  and here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/07/art-day-sistine-chapel-style/  and here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/12/gothic-revival-in-western-kentucky/

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.” Leonardo da Vinci

betty jo


RaphaelKnowing that Raphael was born April 6, 1483 we included him in our homeschool’s Middle Ages/Renaissance unit study this week.  (I like it when historic days can be fit in to our learning.)  (My kids like it when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can be fit in to our learning.)  So this art study was a win/win situation.

Garden of Praise has a short but good biography of him as well as quiz, word puzzles, coloring page, and more printables.  Here’s there link to Raphael’s page, but spend some time here browsing around.  They offer a wonderful selection of resources.  http://gardenofpraise.com/art33.htm

Inspired by Raphael’s work on the wall of the Sistine Chapel, we’ve been drawing angels.

Raphael art

Z7 and J9 linked here for their art practice  http://artforkidshub.com/how-to-draw-an-angel/

B15 and E17 gave this lesson a try  http://www.dragoart.com/tuts/15007/1/1/how-to-draw-a-guardian-angel,-angel-statue.htm

For those of you who might be wondering how our angels turned out.  Well, there’s a good reason why I’m not sharing photos of them.  We were a bit disappointed in our work.  Wings are tough to draw.  The lesson learned falls more into the category of Art Appreciation this time instead of Art Application.  And I even have a link for this

You might be an artist if …

–The only piece of new furniture you have in your home is a $2000 easel.
–You’ve ever cleaned your fingernails with a palette knife.
–You butter your toast with your fingers, just to feel its texture.
–You’ve ever considered framing your palette instead of the painting.
–You notice the burnt umber in the background of the Playboy centrefold.
–Your children are forced to share a room so you can have an art studio.
–You routinely drink the rinse water instead of the coffee.
–The suggestion that you should “teach” or “open a flower shop” or “go to law school” makes you want to scream and throw things.
–You know the difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell.
–Your favorite fragrance is eau d’ linseed oil.
–You do judge a book by its cover.

from http://www.top10-best.com/a/top_10_best_art_jokes.html

Leonardo da Vinci has a birthday coming up April 15.  We will be learning about him that week.  And blog posting about him, too.

I’m regretting not having the time to make Raphael a birthday cake.  Maybe, I’ll buy him one.  Eating birthday cake while practicing drawing those angel wings sounds like a plan to me.

For another post about our Renaissance artists studies click here  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/03/07/art-day-sistine-chapel-style/

betty jo