After answering an email on the topic today, I referenced this book and thought it was high time I blogged about it. So here we are!
Unit Studies Made Easy by Valerie BendtI love this book! It is easily one of my favorite homeschooling resources of all time. Why? Mrs. Bendt does a terrific job of explaining how a unit study works and how you can incorporate all the subjects around a theme- be it a book, a time in history, a topic- whatever. She describes how she has her children do writing and grammar with their current study and how to work with different ages in your family.
The book is actually a compilation of separate books she wrote on the topic of unit studies. It's tied together by a couple of extra sections.
- How to Create Your Own Unit Study- this has information on everything from the unit study approach to schedules and routines, getting started, using games, finding good literature, and how to use dictation and copying with your study. It also talks about choosing a unit of study and record-keeping for your study.
- The Unit Study Idea Book- In this one she shares subjects and topics you can base your unit study around. In the FIAR world we think of our studies based on a quality children's book. You can also based studies on topics in science, history/geography, fine arts, and general knowledge. This is where you get a glimpse at what Mrs. Bendt has done with her children over the years.
- For the Love of Reading- This is a fun survey of how to make reading an integral part of your of our children's lives. Topics include inventing stories, providing an atmosphere of learning, using narration, how to find good books, implementing a reader's journal, etc.
- Success with Unit Studies- This one focuses on research, reading, writing, and recording during a unit study.
Valerie Bendt is also the author of Reading Made Easy, Successful Puppet Making and Bible Story Puppets (the patterns I use for making our puppets), and Creating Books with Children (which probably deserves its own post).