Where the Brook and River Meet
A literature-based unit study by the author of The Prairie Primer, based on Anne of Green Gables. It covers literature, composition, Bible, fine arts, social studies, economics, health, physical and occupational education, and life skills for the duration of the course. Areas of study not included which you will need to purchase separately are science, math, and grammar and spelling (if needed). The author also suggests using a one-year Latin course of your choice "in keeping with the spirit of Academics and Anne." I think that would appeal to Anne as well! There are four books required for use with this curriculum - The Annotated Anne of Green Gables, Anne's Anthology, Writers INC (2001 edition), and The Green Gable Letters from L.M. Montgomery to Ephraim Weber 1905-1909. Other resources are recommended throughout the curriculum, which you will probably be able to find at the library. The curriculum guide is divided into nine units, each one focusing on four to five chapers of Anne of Green Gables. Each unit can be completed in four weeks, thus allowing the study to be completed in a year, but it can also easily span two years if students choose to complete more of the activities or even spend more time on the activities. Planning guides are given at the beginning of each unit, and daily lesson plans are also given for those wishing to finish within a year. Both of these resources allow you to better plan the time and activities to fit your schedule. Occasional student worksheets are included, which are reproducible for your family's use. This unit study guide was revised and updated in 2004.
What is a "unit study"? Briefly, it's a thematic or topical approach to teaching as opposed to the traditional by-subject approach. Rather than teach each subject separately, a unit study attempts to integrate many or all subject areas into a unified study - usually centered around a particular subject or event. Obviously History (the study of events) and Science (the study of "things") are well-suited to unit studies, and usually form the "core" around which other subjects are integrated. Subjects like Bible, Geography, Government, English (writing), and Reading/Literature, Music, Home Economics, Life Skills, and Art, are usually easy to integrate around a core topics. Remaining subjects (Math, Phonics, Grammar, Spelling) can be integrated to some extent via related activities. Each, however, has its own "system" (progression of skills, mastery of "rules") which must be followed to some degree. Since one of the additional advantages of a unit study curriculum is the ability to use it with students of varying ages and skill levels, these subjects are generally taught apart from the core curriculum. This may be as simple as assigning pages in a grammar or spelling book, or using a separate "program" for Phonics and Math. Unit studies also tend to be more activity-oriented than the traditional approach, a real boon to kinesthetic learners. Advocates of the unit study approach site studies showing that children learn best when learning is unified rather than fragmented and when learning is more participatory than passive.