Friends & Heroes
Ah, if only my children were younger - we would have been thrilled with this unit study! It contains everything that was important to me in our homeschool journey: a solid foundation on the Bible, multisensory teaching, journaling, and freedom to go deeper into topics my children delighted in.
Charlotte Mason inspired, this unit studies brings together quality-animated videos, Bible study, History/Geography, Creative Writing, Science, Crafts and discipleship. Consistent with the unit study model, you will need to add Math and language arts; although basic language arts concepts are included, there is no writing instruction. The heart of the program is found in the CD-Rom, which contains the Teacher's Overview, Teacher's Guide and Student Manual. Templates are included for creating your own binder covers. The Teacher's Overview provides tips for a successful unit study, the structure of this study, general information and additional resources. The Teacher's Guide contains a resource list for the unit and individual chapters, internet links, background information, teaching support and answers. Resources are common household or easy to find items. With nearly 50 colorful pages, the Student Manual is self-guided for older students (younger ones may need some assistance.) These pages include the topical readings, subject assignments, fill-in worksheets, templates for assignments, and mapping activities. Student pages are reproducible for use with your own family.
Each series contains 13 episodes, for 13 unit studies to do at your own pace and schedule, approximately 2-4 weeks each. While the study is centered on viewing the DVD, you are at liberty to set the viewing pace: entire viewing before the study or individual screens throughout the study. Each DVD episode is approximately 25 minutes. I suspect most children will thoroughly enjoy the DVD episodes, and personally, I would "kick off" each study watching the entire episode to engage and excite for the upcoming lessons, then review target sections throughout the week as needed. Each episode is presented through the eyes of Mackey, a 14-year-old boy living in Alexandria, Egypt 2000 years ago, and contains two thematic stories-one Old Testament and one New Testament. What is special about Mackey is that he believes in Jesus of Nazareth. Through his many adventures, Mackey learns about trusting God, doing what is right, forgiveness and much more. For those not wanting the full unit study experience, DVDs are available separately for each series. At this time, there is not a unit study designed for series 2 or 3.
Let me share a bit from Series 1, Episode 1 unit study : The DVD episode, The Long Journey, tells the stories of Daniel and the Lion's Den and the Miraculous Catch of Fish (Daniel 6:1-24a and Luke 5:1-11). Thematically, this lesson focuses on courage and helping others. In history, children learn about the Romans, Roman trade and money, and Roman imports and exports. For science, they study the properties of silver and sand as well as perform basic experiments to understand chemical reactions. Creative writing includes journaling suggestions (which continues throughout the series), copy work, narration, dictation, mini-reports, and song writing. Reading comprehension questions, discussion questions, maps, and a variety of other activities are also included. Craft ideas include clay sculpting, paper weaving and various drawing suggestions.
Worth mentioning, in characteristic unit study philosophy, these options are presented as tools or guidelines. Activities may be expanded or tweaked depending on the ages and needs of your family. Suggestions to adapt materials for younger and older students are contained in the Teacher's Guide.
This curriculum provides a glimpse into the story of the early church. I love how the author provides a well laid out plan to follow but also extension activities for those wanting more. Your children may just beg to do school with this enjoyable and educational unit study! NLT Bible references, but works well with the version of your choice. ~Deanne