Category Archives: unit studies

 American Girl Addy: ~Civil War Unit Study~Addy Unit Study Civil War

Welcome to Addy’s World 1854:
Growing Up During America’s Civil War

*This is such a deeply emotional topic of study that will surely create much discussion and perhaps some sadness, anger, and confusion for children.  I hope to convey some positive points (stories of courage, faith, hope against all hope, and the deepest expressions of love) that will help sort out what can be learned,  so that in our personal lives and in the life of our communities and our countries, we will never repeat a history such as this.    

  * Core Reading:

Welcome to Addy’s World 1864

*Week 1: “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864”- Life in the South 

1.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  Meet Addy                                                     (p. 1-3)
2.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  Intro to the Civil War & Slavery             (p. 26-29)
3.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-   Addy’s Family                                              (p. 30-31; 34-35) 4.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-   Addy’s Faith                                                 (p. 32-33)
5.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-   Songs to Freedom                                     (p. 36-37 )

*Week 2: “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″- North to Freedom

1.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The Underground Railroad                     (p. 38-39)
2.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  New Beginnings in the North                 (p. 8-11; 20-21) 3.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  Children Still Played                                  (p. 14-15; 12-13) 4.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  Fashion                                                            (p. 16-19)
5.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The Church Family                                      (p. 22-23)

*Week 3: “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864”- America’s “Civil” War

1.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The Nation at War                                       (p. 4-7)
2.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The Homefront- South                              (p. 42-43)
3.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The Homefront- North                              (p. 44-45)
4.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The War Ends !                                             (p. 46-49)
5. “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-   Moving On! A New South                         (p. 50-58) Continue reading American Girl Addy Civil War Unit Study

American Girl Kirsten-
Pioneer Unit Study

Kirsten Pioneer Unit Study

Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854:
Growing up on America’s Frontier


* Core Reading-

*Week 1: “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854
Kristen’s Journey to America

1.  “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 1-3, 40-41                     (Meet Kirsten in Sweden)
2.  “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 4-7                                   (Journey to America )
3.   “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 8-11                               (Go West ! )
4. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 12-13                               (Home on the Prairie)
5.  “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 14-15, 24-25                (Home on the Prairie )
Native Americans

*Week 2: “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″
A Day With Kirsten

1.  “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 22-23, 26-27                 (Daily Life)
2.  “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 16-17; 32-35                (Fun & Games for Everyone! ) 3.  “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 18-21                              (Love & Marriage )
4.  “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 36-39                              (Fashion)
5. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 30-31; 49 (inset)          (Medicine )

*Week 3: “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854”
Friends and Foes on the Prairie

1.  “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 44-45                                     (Around Town)
2. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 42-43; 46-47                        (Kirsten’s Neighbors)
3.  “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 48-55                                    (The Dakota Conflict)
4.  “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 48-55                                    (Conflicts Continue)
5. “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854″- p. 56-58                                     (The Great Land Rush)

Continue reading American Girl Kirsten- Pioneer America Unit Study

~ A Christmas Carol~
(Mini Unit Study)
God Bless Us Everyone

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
If you’ve never tried a unit study before,
this busy time of year might be a good time to give it a try !
Simple learning ideas for stress free
and FUN holiday homeschooling !
So that there’s lots of time for baking cookies, going to plays, homemade presents, and hopefully,
even a bit of quiet time to soak in the awe of the advent !


  A Christmas Carol

*Reading Suggestions-

*Week 1:  ‘A Christmas Carol’

A Christmas Carol”  (Gutenburg Version)
“A Christmas Carol”  (Easy to Read Version…Larger Print)
This piece is divided into 5 staves, perfect for one week’s daily reading.

Listen to one of these audio versions
 iTunes Version
  YouTube Version  (Audio with Text)

Watch the 1971 animated version  Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
George C. Scott full version  A Christmas Carol
(There are many good animated and full versions to be found)

*Vocabulary & Other Activities
* A Christmas Carol Lesson
( Lots of printables…worksheets, fact sheets, recipes, and other activities)
* A Christmas Carol Vocabulary
* A Christmas Carol  Script–   Try gathering some friends and acting out this play version !
* Discussion Questions, Fun Activities, and more
* A Christmas Carol Crossword Puzzle
Reading Comprehension Questions from Easy Fun School

*Week 2:  Charles Dickens

* Biography of Charles Dickens  OR  Everything Dickens  (interactive)
Watch the brief BBC Biography, The Life of Charles Dickens on YouTube
or the full length A&E Biography  (very interesting, but probably best for older students)

* ” Christmas With Charles Dickens“, a short memoir by Dickens’ daughter, Mamie Dickens

* “A Christmas Tree” , a short story by Dickens
(Also, you can listen to a well done  audio version on the same page!
This might be helpful, as some of the victorian language is likely
unfamiliar and a bit difficult. )

* Collection of Short Stories by Dickens to enjoy reading online

* ‘The Ivy Green‘ a poem by Dickens

*  Samantha:  An American Girl Holiday
(Just for fun-  though this movie is not set in England, the time period and the themes
of the industrial revolution and child labor are the same)
Continue reading ‘A Christmas Carol’ Mini Unit

 Teaching Kids
~ Thankfulness ~

confused maggie


Have YOU yelled at your dog lately ?!?

It all started today with yelling at my dog, some fleas, cold coffee, and some dust bunnies.
What does that have to do with teaching your kids about thankfulness ???
Here’s what’s floating around my mind (other than aforementioned, dust bunnies 😀

But not in the

kind of way,
  more in the
stop-and-open-my-eyes-and-actually-SEE-life-all-around-me-and-be-thankful” kind of way.

Gratitude takes a special kind of seeing some days.
Sight, past the obvious.

My recent version of obvious…
I wake up. I make coffee. I Iet the dog outside.
I see the obvious.
I see my grass needs to be mowed.  I see the weeds overtaking my garden.
I see my fence needs repair.  It’s raining.
I quickly close the door.
The dog brings half the back yard in on his feet;  I see mopping all the floors in my future.

I try again.
I mean it’s almost Thanksgiving.  I have to be grateful.
I need to finish my list of things I’m thankful for.
I need to make my kids finish their lists of things they’re thankful for.
I need to… err… you get the idea.

And again.

I curl up in my favorite chair.  I start to read.
I’m distracted.  The house is too quiet.
I see the obvious everywhere.
I see a dog hair dust bunny the size of Texas floating across the floor.
I see the dirty dishes that need to be done.
I see that by next year this time, my house will be quiet like this all the time… empty of kids and all the noise and motion that comes along with them.
Sheesh.  The dog wants to go out again…and this time he
brings back in the other half of the backyard on his feet.
Now my cup of coffee is cold.  And it’s time to finish a math lesson.  Now my list won’t get done.  I didn’t get my “quiet time” “done” either.   

And so I lose it.

I yell at the dog.
I blame the whole list of what’s not going right in my world squarely on him right down to the cold coffee.  
He looks really confused and kind of scared.
Poor pooch.

And the kids hear me too.
That completely blows the gratitude lesson I did with them earlier in the morning.
Thoughtful Gratitude Builders >

Ummm  yeah.  And then I get it.
It’s MY attitude that needs a major overhaul.
“They” say we teach most powerfully by our example.

Have you ever had a day (or a string of days) like this ?!?

Some days  Every day, I need to just stop for a moment,
take a deep breath, open my eyes, open my heart,
and really SEE life…life past the “obvious” that an overtired heart sees.

There is beauty everywhere to be thankful for.
There is good even in the worst situations.
There is laughter even at the saddest moments.
It’s all about seeing past the obvious.

I’m practicing.
And my dog is grateful.

Years ago, I read a story to my children, taken from Corrie Ten Boom’s book ‘The Hiding Place’.    It is called “Thank You, God, for the Fleas!“.
I don’t know if they remember it or not, but I have never forgotten it.

All these lessons & stories are so good, but can we (I) truly teach our children to grow a thankful heart if we aren’t tending our own hearts and training them toward gratefulness ?
I hope we can somehow all be encouragers of thanksgiving along the way, as fully as Betsie was for Corrie.

I am giving thanks today for all of you mamas out there who are giving your all to raise your sons and daughters to change the world by their love and light!!

Teaching kids ourselves thankfulness takes a whole lot of effort some days.
But it is all well worth the return!
For which my dog is abundantly grateful.    🙂



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** Election Day is coming up!  **

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.
We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream.
It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. ”
Ronald Reagan

It’s almost election day!
Excited about it, or not this year, it’s a great way to teach our children some very important lessons.
Why not take a break from the routine and make a quick brush up on the election process?
Maybe even take them along when you go to vote!  
YES!  You can do that !  Read more HERE .
Here are a few online freebie resources for a quick study.
I am always amazed at how many really wonderful (and free) ideas there are out there!
Wishing you all a fun week of living, loving, and learning together! 

* Especially For the Littles

And anybody else who likes fun coloring pages, simple explanations,
and The Berenstain Bears!!   🙂

*In All You Do… Breed- Love has LOTS of really cute preschool-early elementary election day printables (activities, coloring pages, handwriting pages, etc…) all freebies of course.    If you have not visited this blog before, you should.  One of my new favorites !

The Big Election … The Berenstain Bears  (Full Episode)

Duck For President  (YouTube)

* For Everybody 

Homeschool Deals Election Day Freebies  (LOTS of links for reading, printables, activities, and even crafts!)…My favorite ‘favorite’ today!!       🙂

Elections Printable Lapbook from Homeschool Share (very nice!)

*Election Unit Study from Busy Teachers Cafe

The United States and Our Government …  Printable book

Congress for KidsAll About Elections

*School House Rock 3 Branches of Government

*School House Rock Electoral College




                                      Fourth of July Bible Study-   Freedom !!
American Flag Fourth of July
                              “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free!”

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer !

This Bible study on freedom is part of the Felicity and Colonial America unit study I posted awhile back.   It is in three parts, and will work fine without needing any references at all to the American Girl unit (the boys will appreciate that  🙂  ).
You may want to do just one part or all three.
There are lots of ideas for Scripture reading, discussion questions, songs, activities, object lessons, and coloring pages.   Enjoy!!

Part 1-  What is Freedom?
Part 2- Slavery
Part 3- Free !!
*You might also like to add a short-ish version of Pilgrim’s Progress (maybe even a children’s version) to your reading (or viewing…there are lots of great movie options too)  as it goes along very well with the theme of freedom.
Continue reading Fourth of July Bible Study for kids- Freedom!

photo by: justusbluemer