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Daily Bread: A Comprehensive Unit Study Resource

By Rachel B. Ramey

PO Box 255
Ark, VA 23003

Rachel Ramey developed this product to meet the needs of homeschoolers who (1) want to use a unit study approach, (2) want to base their studies on the Bible, and (3) wish to create their own lesson plans. Daily Bread is designed for a Classical Education approach to unit studies. Over the course of twelve years, each unit is completed three times: once in the grammar stage, once in the logic stage, and once in the rhetoric stage. (When you complete a four-year cycle, you will have read the Bible through.) Each year of study is divided into three 12-week sections.

Overviews show the daily Bible reading, the corresponding weekly study, and a Latin or Greek word root to be learned. For example, Week 5 focuses on Weather & Atmosphere. The Bible reading is Genesis 5-6:22, and the word root is "audio."

The next section of the book consists of the actual units, which are listed alphabetically. So if I were using Week 5, I would turn to "Weather". Each unit includes suggestions for Fiction, Biographies, Nonfiction, Multimedia, Vocabulary, Scripture References, Related Art/Literature/Music, Websites, and Notes. Notes for this unit say, "You will probably want to cover: the atmosphere, climate, natural disasters, seasons, weather, weather instruments."

Most units are two pages long, with some as long as four. To me, this did not seem to be a great deal of information, especially since I would be using each unit three separate times if I completed the entire cycle as written. One significant downfall is that the resources listed in the units are not categorized by age level. You would need to look up each book to determine if it was appropriate for your child's age. Also, the biographies section lists people to study but does not offer specific book suggestions. On the plus side, I recognized several quality reads among the fiction suggestions. The multimedia resources range from board games to movies, audio books, and software, and the website links are plentiful.

The back of the book is devoted to Resources. You'll find a listing of visual artists and musicians (by period/style), a list of Greek and Latin roots, Web references, and an abundance of reproducibles, including a Unit Contract, Unit Study Record Sheet, Bible Book Overview, Movie Evaluation forms, Culture Worksheets, and much, much more.

In all honesty, the first time or two that I picked this book up and browsed through it, I was somewhat confused and less than enthusiastic. However, the more I became familiar with the layout and aware of all the resources, the more I came to appreciate it. Though I won't be using Daily Bread as the author intended it to be used, I most certainly will make use of the many resource lists and analysis forms. It is wonderful to have a quick and easy reference when I want to find good literature, art, or music or a website relating to a specific subject. If you plan to follow the Classical Education method or would simply like a good resource when planning or supplementing your own studies, Daily Bread is full of good ideas. If you want a program that is planned out, detailed, and complete, this is not the program for you.

Product review by Dena Wood, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, December 2006

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