The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Thanksgiving Unit Study Review by Marla G. Nowak

By Amanda Bennett
AABennett Books
595 Pope Road E.
Dunlap, TN 37327

If you like the unit study idea but are hesitant because of the legwork, the Amanda Bennett software unit study series may be the tool to get you started. The organization process is complete, and the clear simple structure is laid out in a way your child can easily follow.

Mrs. Bennett's four-week Thanksgiving Unit Study includes everything from recommendations for virtual tours, books, songs, and videos to excerpts from books and magazines—including an 1860 Harper's New Monthly. She lays out a program of study that focuses on a daily plan: "Today's Passages"—to be read, copied, or memorized; "Words of Wisdom"—vocabulary and spelling; "People and Places to Know"—from Priscilla Mullins to Wompanoag; and finally the "Read and Discover" portion that focuses on research. Family recommendations for projects range from building a Mayflower model to attending a Native American festival. The weekly plan also has a focus. For example, week one focuses on the background history of Thanksgiving. Many Internet sites are recommended as well as plentiful quotes, varying from Scripture to Emerson.

The Thanksgiving Unit study includes notebook pages decorated with Thanksgiving and autumn themes. Some of the old-fashioned looking borders and designs can be colored. These pages, like the study, are divided appropriately to work from younger elementary to senior high age.

While Mrs. Bennett's plan provides a format to encourage your child's study, there were parts that did not seem challenging. For example, the vocabulary words for younger elementary children include words like trip, enjoy, boat, help, ocean. The junior/senior high level included words like adventure, journey, departure, and voyage. For many children, most of the spelling/vocabulary work could seem like busy work.

It's true given lots of time, many homeschooling parents could come up with something similar to Mrs. Bennett's plan with the help of Google. However, she did it for us. Create your own or enjoy the tutor's work, and thank Mrs. Bennett.

-- Product Review by Marla G. Nowak, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2005