I usually plan out most of our curriculum. I am trying to encourage them to use something outside of a textbook. We use lots of documentaries. But I personally really enjoy unit studies, which can be time consuming to plan out. We have been studying our way through the presidents, so we were excited to get a chance to review Cooking Up History with our Founding Presidents from Homeschool Legacy.
If you are not familiar with Unit Studies, they are a great way to concentrate on an area of interest. They can be on any historical, scientific, mathematic topic. They can really be on anything. If you buy a premade one, such as Cooking Up History with the Founding Presidents, all the "heavy" work has been done for you. We reviewed the downloadable version ($12.00). This unit study is part of the Grab-N-Go Micro-Studies that they have created. It can be used with a wide range of students, Grades 1 - 8, but depending on your child's abilities could easily be used into high school with a few adjustments to difficulty levels by adding a couple extra research projects.
The Once-A-Week Micro-study offers great flexibility for your student. You could use it daily or once a week to fit into the history that you are working on. There are 4 Presidents covered. You will study George and Martha Washington, John and Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James and Dolley Madison. The coolest part are the hands-on activities that are included.
Each president has basic stats included about birth, religion and when they served as president. A supply list is given. Homeschool Legacy does a great job listing extra reading material to bring each president and their time period to life. They encourage the use of classical books. Their supply list is also simple. Most items you have at home, or can easily borrow from a relative or friend. I know that we have never owned a crank ice cream maker (Thomas Jefferson). I knew that this item was needed to show how hard they had to work to get ice cream. So I substituted making ice cream in gallon baggies to show them the amount of hard work it was in those days to get this delicious treat.
Historical facts about each president's history in the White House are also given along with clickable links. These links take your kids to extra research areas to see that the things they are learning are facts and not just stories that someone made up. Your older student could very easily use this Once-a-Week Micro Study on their own, or help you out by teaching their younger siblings while reinforcing information they have learned in the past.
Cooking Up History with the Founding Presidents is definitely not your typical bookwork. If you have a budding chef in your family, like we do, then this is a great historical study to do when you need a break from your typical days. Or a great add-in to go with his current history program. That is the great thing about Once-a-Week Unit Studies. You can use them independently or to give your boring bookwork a kick back to excitement.
You can even use it along with another Once-A-Week unit study to bring the whole time period to life. For example if you want to study the Revolutionary War time period, you could use Cooking Up History with the Founding Presidents along with Revolutionary Ideas: the Story of the American Revolution or
We have used other Once-A-Week unit studies in the past and really enjoy them. Cooking Up History with the Founding Presidents Micro Study was no different. Caty loves to cook. So even though we passed this time period in our history studies, it was fun for her to go back and see the history of some of the Founding Father's favorite foods. Unfortunately we ran into some food allergies, but that's life. So we didn't get to make all the recipes.
But we did supplement a bit with some documentary videos on the Presidents and their wives. This is another great thing about using Micro-Studies and Once-A-Week unit studies, they provide great flexibility. Even if we couldn't cook up a recipe, we did study the history of the food. We looked up information on it or watched a cooking show about it. We were also able to compare the difference in how they made the recipe during the President's lifetime and how we make it now. That was very interesting to read.
Homeschool Legacy has a great selection of Once-A-Week unit studies. So even if you are not in American History right now, they will most likely have something that will work for you. The downloadable guides are very affordable. You can pick and choose what you would like to print. We actually did not need to print any of the materials for Cooking Up History with the Founding Presidents.
Homeschool Legacy provides samples to look at for each Once-A-Week study that they offer. They also provide a list of badge requirements that each study fulfills for both Boy Scouts and American Heritage Girls. What a great way to combine to encourage your children's badge work.
I can't wait to get started on our next study to match up with our history unit on the Old West. These Once-A-Week and Micro Unit studies have been a great time saver for myself as we work our way through our studies.
Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to try out various Micro Unit Studies from Homeschool Legacy. Take some time to click the link below and read how they used them with their families and what experiences they had.