The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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The Prairie Primer Review by Rheanna Doane and Kim Wolf

By Margie Gray
Cadron Creek Christian Curriculum
4329 Pinos Altos Road
Silver City, NM 88061

I first heard about unit study programs when my mom started homeschooling my sister and I eight years ago. I knew several families that utilized this program. People said unit study made things so much easier, especially if they had several children close in age. I never really understood it though, and the whole idea seemed odd. How can you use one thing to teach many different things? Everybody knows you're supposed to have one book per subject! Right? Wrong!

The Prairie Primer unit study program is a wonderful idea. I read the table of contents and wasn't thrilled, but then I started looking at the pages and the sections and a flood of memories came to me. I remember Little House in the Big Woods and By the Shores of Silver Lake! The history lessons in this book were wonderful! There are even book reports to write with costume and recipe ideas. The book is said to be for third through sixth grade, although I think it would be best suited for younger children. I will remember this book when I have children! --Product Review by: Rheanna Doane, Homeschool graduate and now a college junior, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

Here's another The Prairie Primer review!

Have you ever felt like you may have been born in the wrong century? I always wanted to be a pioneer girl. When I was growing up, my favorite books were the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Then, in my early teens, I was able to watch the Little House on the Prairie TV show.

When my daughters were in Kindergarten and third grade, I found the Prairie Primer unit study by Margie Gray. I don't know who was more excited to dig into it, my girls or myself!

In one year, we traveled through all nine of the Little House books - from the Big Woods of Wisconsin to De Smet, South Dakota, from about the time Laura was four years old to the first four years of Laura and Almonzo's marriage, and all the joys and tears in between.

Margie has done a great job in incorporating all the things we love about unit studies into one of the most enjoyable, fascinating studies our family has ever done. The topics are interesting and varied. They range from: Bible Concepts and Building Character (Comparing Ourselves, God's Umbrella of Protection, Struggle with Sin Nature), Bible Memory (various verses), Crafts (Candle Making, Moccasin Making), Health (Causes of Diseases, Effects of Tobacco and Alcohol, Food Groups, Rabies), History, Government, Social Studies and Geography (American Folk Songs, Family History, Geographical Terms, Indians, Louisiana Purchase, Presidents, States and Capitals, Woman's Suffrage), History - Biographies (Clara Barton, Abraham Lincoln, Noah Webster), Literature and Language Arts (Composition, Foreshadowing, Vocabulary), Living (Cooking, Guns and Gun Safety), Science (Bacteria and Viruses, Electricity, Simple Machines), Science - Animal Kingdom (Animal Classification, Leeches, Grasshoppers), Science - Human Body (Blood, Eyes, Genetics). It's a very full year!

This study is most appropriate for grades three through six; but our family has done it twice - as mentioned above, our girls were in Kindergarten and third grade the first year we did the study and in fourth and seventh the last time. It was quite easily adapted to lower or upper grades. This is very easy with which to work. When our girls were in the upper grades there was so much time that had passed, and since the subjects were covered more deeply, it seemed like a whole new study.

The Prairie Primer was by far one of our favorite studies.

-- Product Review by: Kim Wolf, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine