Studies begin and end with literature in our education. Creating a unit study for a topic that is interesting for the girls yet is rigorous enough for them can be a challenge.
Hewitt Homeschooling produces a program that is designed to help do just that: challenge each student at the level they need to be challenged at while studying topics of interest to them and meeting necessary learning objectives. Joy of Discovery and Learning Objectives for Grades K-8 to give home educating parents a guide to creating a winning unit study.
The Joy of Discovery
Designed as a parent/teacher resource, The Joy of Discovery takes you step by step through the process of creating a unit study that fits your student to a tee. This resource also helps you work through evaluation and record keeping, complete with reproducible forms for each step of the process and an example of how to store the unit studies for a portfolio process.
- I¹ is deciding on a topic of Interest.
- I² is making an Inquiry of that topic by defining a single question about the topic of interest.
- I³ is the Instruction received by developing a study to answer the question.
Throughout The Joy of Discovery, you will find examples of unit studies that the author and her children used in their education. It gives you concrete examples of just how a completed unit study plan might look. Included in the binder, is the Dial-A-Unit. The Dial-A-Unit is a manipulative to help you and your children put together a unit study that incorporates each of the levels of thinking (Bloom’s taxonomy) and helps brainstorm the final product that will be created from answering the questions. A full unit study will have six products, one for each of the levels of thinking.
The rewards of working in unit studies is plentiful. Working in an area of interest provides students with confidence and the growth of knowledge is compounded. A unit study gives you a say in what objectives your child will learn while allowing your student to answer a burning question.
My thoughts on The Joy of Discovery:
I am impressed with The Joy of Discovery. I will need to read and implement the information to understand it all completely but I feel equipped to create a more thorough unit study that I have in the past. I can see a bigger picture for each study now and I have a more informed plan for creating it. When paired with the Learning Objectives, this unit study will be a force of greater learning than our unit studies have been in the past.
Learning Objectives for Grades Kindergarten through Eight
One of the big pieces of the home education puzzle is making sure that you student is learning the things that you feel he needs to, whether he is a PK kiddo or about to graduate from high school. Another big piece of the puzzle is being able to track that learning of concept and skill. Hewitt Homeschooling’s Learning Objectives is a resource that allows to you work on both of those pieces.
The learning objectives are targets for each grade level. As the grade level increases, so does the detail in the learning objectives. Like you would expect, kindergarten has fewer skills then the older grades. All grades include
- language arts
- physical development
Also listed in this resource binder, you will find learning objectives for art, music, and character development. The art objectives are leveled by grade but the music objectives are listed by premusic activities, beginning, intermediate, and advanced. Character Development includes good character traits (both spirit/attitude/inner and conduct/interaction/outer traits) and each one has three levels of development.
A helpful feature of the learning objectives is the way in which they are listed on the page. Each objective has three columns, allowing for the tracking of up to three students over the course of time. The space to mark the objective is a small box and at the bottom of every page, there is a suggestion on how to mark the objective so that you can tell where the student is with it – not started, starting to learn, understands, and mastered.
My thoughts on the Learning Objectives:
I really like the thoroughness of the learning objectives but to be honest, I am just not that stressed right now about tracking every single skill my girls touch on for every single thing we do. I will be using the Learning Objectives to check sequencing on some things but until the girls are a little older, I am not going to use a checklist like this. It will, however, be a good resource to consult for sequencing.
I also had one concern – the last copyright date on this is from 2000. In terms of learning objectives keeping up with standardized testing and state requirements, I believe that is too old. The basic objectives have changed a lot since then in most, if not all, states. These may need to be updated for someone using it to track objectives in a state with regulations requiring that. If you don’t have that kind of oversight or need to meet legal requirements, these are a very good reference.
How To Get The Joy of Discovery
To purchase The Joy of Discovery and Learning Objectives for Grades K-8, visit http://www.HewittHomeschooling.com/. The cost for the binder with both of these resources is $21.00. This is a great resource for any parent or teacher wanting to incorporate unit studies into their student’s education. At Home.
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