We have found that our girls love learning with unit studies. We have most often created our own so when we were given the opportunity to complete a Once-A-Week Unit Study by Homeschool Legacy, we were more than happy to do so. There were several unit studies and we were offered Knights & Nobles in a digital download. Excitement was pretty high around here when that list came out!
Homeschool Legacy has created their Once-A-Week Unit Study series to add a fun element to homeschool studies. With little-to-no prep required and recognizing that interest and fun creates long-lasting learning, the Once-A-Week Unit Study contains a number of different activities to stretch the learning and pleasure. Our unit study included family read alouds, individual reading, videos, games, arts and crafts, history, language, art history, music, and more. It also included a dedicated family devotional for each week of the study. When you throw that much hands on, subject intense activity at the kids, they can’t help but fall in love with the study and learn. A lot!
Knights and Nobles is designed to be a four week study and it has an optional fifth week activity. I downloaded the PDF to my Kindle so that access to the guide was easy, no matter the activity we were doing. Each week followed the same basic set-up. Each day of the week, we had a family read-aloud book. We kept on hand a number of books pertaining to the topics and the girls were assigned topics for the week to read on, such as knights, castles, kings and queens, and life on a manor. The other activities for the week are designed to be able to complete in a single day, thus the title Once-A-Week Unit Study. Our schedule worked better to spread the activities out over the course of the week, doing an activity or two each day. We did not complete every activity every week but we hit most of them and the girls had lots of fun.
Some of the activities that we did for this study included:
- learning chess
- designing a coat of arms
- designing stained glass
- creating a catapult
- studying armor and correlating it to the study of the Armor of God
- studying castles and how they were made, watching a video on this
- discussing music in medieval times and listening to authentic instruments
- looking at a Lego castle online
- learning about versal and illuminations
- studying King Solomon
You can see that there is a great variety of activity suggestions. It was great fun learning about Knights & Nobles.
For those of you with American Heritage Girls or Boy Scouts, the requirements for merit badges are built into Homeschool Legacy’s studies. There are both science and history related merit badge correlations.
Additionally, these units are done so well that Homeschool Legacy says that any four combined Once-A-Week Unit Studies in history or science will be enough to serve as a year’s worth of learning and credit. You can find out more about that on their website.
A couple of notes:
- I did find that while the library list was helpful, the Dewey decimals for the books and movies were pretty far off of how our library shelved the materials for a large portion of the books. This meant I had to spend more time than I had planned but didn’t really present a problem. Just something to have a heads-up on and perhaps check out online before you go if you can.
- The suggested videos were difficult to find. In fact, it was only after we had passed one of the weeks that I located a way to rent one of the videos. We ended up substituting videos for most of the weeks. The good thing about this was that in searching for those videos, we found some of the suggested reading books that the oldest giggly girls had read were done as part of the My America series on Netflix. So she was able to watch videos on the Royal Diaries and compare them to the books.
- The catapult was tricky to make. I don’t know if it was my personal difficulty or what. We did finally get it done with At Home Dad’s help. We were disappointed when we got it done though because it didn’t look at all as the girls were expecting. Which brings us to my next point.
- It is easy to expand this study even farther. We found ourselves doing that naturally as the girls came up with questions or ideas they wanted to explore further. Once we had made the catapult and the girls recognized that it didn’t look or function like they expected, they wanted to figure out how to make a different catapult. So, our math skills and terms got a workout as they discussed fulcrums, levers, and angles. Another way this occurred was research. The girls would read about something they wanted to know more about and so we would hit the computer and research it.
This was a fun little unit and I think we all learned a lot. I know that we all had a lot of fun. After all, chess has become a new favorite game and the girls are noticing little things like castles on flags or shields and coats of arms on items. They’ll stop and talk about them and compare it to something they read or learned about. I think that makes this a success. At Home.
Want to find out about other studies available as a Once-A-Week Unit Study? Others on the TOS Crew reviewed things such as Westward Ho, horses, birds, Native Americans, and more. Click on the banner to see what others on the Crew did with their studies.