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Delightful Planning: A Unit Study Planner for Every Homeschool Review by Cassandra HoldemanMarcy Crabtree
Choosing the right method for your homeschool can be hard, but ultimately you have to find what works best for your family. Last year we needed to change up my son's school and I decided to try unit studies. I have had my moments of doubt because unit studies are such a deviation from what we have been doing. This is why I was very excited to receive Delightful Planning: A Unit Study Planner for Every Homeschool from Marcy Crabtree to review.
Delightful Planning came as a digital download and it has been a great encouragement to me. Marcy writes about delight-directed learning and how she personally used it in her homeschooling. Using delight-directed learning means finding out what your students like to learn about and then using it to lead the direction for your school. Using this method lead Marcy to start compiling unit studies for her son.
Unit studies do not have to be complicated and I was reminded of that as I read through this book. They are designed to cover one topic from multiple academic areas. This helps your student learn more about a subject than just a few facts to remember for a short period of time. This approach also helps students view subjects as a whole since the subjects revolve around one theme at a time.
In the book, Marcy gives all the important details of how you can go about creating unit studies so they are useful and effective for your school. She breaks planning unit studies into five easy steps and then gives you guidance for planning out each of the five steps. This was very helpful to me to have the unit study planning broken down into parts since lesson planning can become overwhelming. It helps me see that I was doing an okay job of planning out his unit studies before I read this book. Now that I have read it, I can plan further out with more confidence and not be afraid to adjust the studies as we go.
The book also discusses a couple of other methods of delight-directed learning like The Rabbit Trail Method, The Field Trip Method, and The Fun School Jar Method. These methods are very appealing to me for different subjects and just to switch up our school every once in a while. Marcy also gives ideas for implementing each of these methods in your school.
One of the last sections of the book is filled with planning and journaling pages. Some of them are for your student and some of them are for you to work though. They are very helpful for planning and a great way to plan out and track the unit studies you are planning. The final section of the book has resource links for unit studies, lapbooking, and notebooking. The sites the book links to are very helpful for the planning and work of unit studies.
I really liked this Delightful Planning book. It erased that nagging sense of doubt I had from trying a new method this year and it has been an encouragement to me. After reading through the book a couple of times and using the planning pages to plan out my son's unit studies, I have decided to go in the direction of unit studies next school year with my daughter too. I think she will benefit more from the unit studies and being able to really dig into topics like her brother has this year. I feel like I am all set to take time this spring and summer to plan out next year's unit studies for both kids using the resources, planning pages, and methods from this book. I definitely recommend this book from Marcy Crabtree if you are considering using unit studies in any way for your school and it is only $10.95 to purchase so if is a very affordable planning resource for any homeschool.
-Product review by Cassandra Holdeman, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April, 2017