Noodle and I were thrilled when we were offered the opportunity to review the Christmas Unit by Homeschool Complete.
A Unit Study is an all inclusive curriculum based on a specific theme. The study will have activities and lessons that cover all subject areas.
Although I use Seton Home Study School as the Things’ curriculum, I love finding unit studies that follow the children’s interests, and Noodle has inherited my love of Christmas. While everyone else is welcoming Pumpkin Spice at the beginning of autumn, he and I are already dreaming of Peppermint and Eggnog.
There were a number of things that I immediately caught my attention regarding this Unit Study:
- Each language arts lesson begins with learning and memorizing the Christmas story according to the gospel of Luke.
- The Unit Study includes a long list of required and suggested Christmas books, both religious and secular.
- It includes a Teaching Procedure that explains how to introduce new skills, as well as how to review a previously learned skill.
- It includes a list of the skills that the child will be learning while studying this unit.
- It includes a list of all materials that will be needed throughout all 8 lessons.
- It can be used for grades K-6.
The 89 page Christmas Unit can be purchased as either a digital download or a physical copy (that will be mailed to the purchaser for a small additional fee).
Once printed, I hole-punched the entire unit made up of 8 lessons and placed it in a 3 ring binder and began flipping through it. I noticed that the Teaching Procedure, Skills List, Literature List, and Materials List were at the beginning of the entire unit, which made it easy to begin planning for the lessons. There is no time schedule given for how long each lesson is to take, or how many lessons to do each day. I liked being able to work at our own pace, fitting the lessons around our regular schedule. Since Noodle is in 3rd grade, I figured that this should be perfect for him. I would be able to review skills he knows, while introducing new skills though these 8 lessons. I was excited to see a Daily Calendar Routine that included journal writing. I loved how easy it would be for me to modify this particular lesson to suit our needs! Noodle knows his days, weeks, months, etc, but I could use this as an Advent Calendar to review his Catechism and what Advent means for us as Catholics! One of the great things about Unit Studies is that there really are no rules! Use what you need, adapt when you must, create new lessons based on old ones!!
Each lesson is laid out in a such a “user-friendly” way, beginning with a list of the skills that will be taught and a list of the materials necessary. Then it breaks down the lesson by subject area. Specific lessons have “Accommodations” for Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Levels. Everything is very clear and concise. This also meant that if I needed to step away, Noodle could do many of the lessons on his own.
I loved the list of required Christmas literature. One of our family traditions is to pick a new Christmas story every year to add to our Christmas book collection. I scanned the list for the Christmas Unit and realized that we didn’t own any of them. Noodle and I checked the local library, but since we live in a small town, very few were available. I reviewed the lessons to see how difficult it would be to modify. There was no problem! We did purchase some of the books from the included list as our new books for this year, but we were able to use many of the books we already owned and books from our local library.
The corresponding worksheets are placed directly after each lesson, which is nice. I hate having to flip through an entire unit study or book to find the right worksheets!! And again, because Noodle knew where to find a specific worksheet that he needed, he could work independently. This also made it so easy to modify when I wanted to add or skip an activity.
I love that there are hands-on activities for each lesson. Whether it be for art, PE, math, or science, it’s a simple activity that is a change of pace! It was also great to realize that the necessary materials were things we already had. There were no lessons that required expensive purchases. I only had to replace art supplies we had run out of, and ingredients for the recipes, which were lessons I modified! One day, the activity was to bake and decorate gingerbread cookies. I saved this activity for a day that my niece (Goober) was visiting. Instead of baking the cookies, I found ready-made packages that includes the cookies, icing, and decorations. Noodle and the Goob had a ball!
I really liked decorating the gingerbread and snowman cookies! (Noodle’s exact quote)
This was a fun, easy to use Unit Study! The lessons that were too easy for Noodle were easy to modify, or to simply skip. (I saved those for the Goob while she was here and they were perfect for her as a kindergartner.) I was also able to modify lessons that were challenging for him.
The Unit itself works perfectly as a stand-alone curriculum, or as an addition to other Christmas lessons, as Noodle and I used it (such as adding the social studies and geography lessons to our own Christmas Around the World Lesson). The adaptability of this Unit Study is one of the things that I genuinely loved about it!
Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions stated in this article are my own, and are not influenced by the company or any affiliates.
You can purchase the Christmas Unit Study and receive a 10% discount using the code XMAS10 (until December 21, 2018).