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Teaching With God's Heart for The World Review by Holly Cameron

By Ann Dunagan
http://laurelwoodbooks.com/

The rest of the title on this unit study says "Finally, a Unit study curriculum for all ages, incorporating God's heart for world missions into nearly every subject!" And it's true! I stumbled onto this little gem about three years ago while searching for something to do with missions for my now 12-year-old, so it's been around for a while, but the surprise is just how few people know about it! The author, Ann Dunagan, is the wife of a missionary, and the family is presently serving the Lord underground in the mission field. Not being able to contact them, the folks at Geography Matters have left word that they would like to publish this unit study for the Dunagans once the present supply is gone. Until then, you can now purchase the study through http://laurelwoodbooks.com/ and you"ll be glad you did! As unit studies go, this one is a bit different. The core purpose of this study is to provide a world missions resource appropriate for anyone with a heart for the Lord. This guide is specifically written for homeschool families by a homeschool mom. At the time Mrs. Dunagan wrote this unit study, she had four young children and homeschooled the school age ones!

The study is very well laid out, with weekly lesson plans and guides. At the beginning of each week there is a list of resources and necessary books required for the week. The guide is written on a 160-day schedule, but it would be easy to modify it. The study itself is quite relaxed, with the emphasis definitely on Jesus and having our hearts one with Him. The first week is called Foundations Week, and you spend it getting the foundation down right! Prayer, Bible studies, prayer - so that in the following weeks our hearts are in the right place! From the second week on we study the beginning of world missions starting with the Old Testament/Israel/Creation, and moving on to the New Testament/Roman Empire in week 3. There is reading, writing, language arts, science, history, and geography incorporated into every week. On Fridays there is an international meal based on the area of the world you were studying. This is a very "loose" unit study, meaning that there are lots and lots of room for movement. If you prefer a structured language program, for example, instead of the writing ideas and narration provided here, it is easy to insert it in the appropriate place. There are several places provided to "write an essay," but no real instruction on how to write an essay, so if you are new to the homeschooling arena, then you may want to have a language and writing guidebook on hand to supplement the teaching. There are lots of field trip ideas to reinforce what you are studying and a little bit of math, but again, if you are worried about "doing enough," then you would want to add a structured math program. The program continues on through history, with a missions focus. We see that there have always been many events and individuals that God has used to see His message of love shared throughout the world. It is a unique curriculum, and very, very good! It is one that I won"t let go Even if we don"t do the whole thing again with my younger kids, I will definitely use parts of it again and again. The author says that this study can be used for many ages, and can be done together. This is true, although the emphasis would be more appropriate for about a fourth to eighth grade range. After the world history coverage, the focus switches to missions around the world, you learn about different parts of the world, and how God is being presented through missions in these countries. There is emphasis on the 10/40 window, as well as third world countries. I really enjoyed this study, probably more than my son did, but as mentioned before, that is because he was probably too young to really realize the importance of missions or the reason for missions! If you were planning a short-term mission trip, or even preparing for the mission field, this study would be a great way to introduce the world to your children. Check it out at http://laurelwoodbooks.com/!



-- Product Review by: Holly Cameron, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

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