Introducing our First Complete Charlotte Mason Unit Study
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It’s here! Our first complete unit study using Charlotte Mason methods and more! It’s spring and soon you will see Insects all around, if you haven’t seen them already. Things are just beginning to bloom here up north, but we are waiting with baited breath for more signs of life after our winter. So, we’ll soon begin our Insect study. Just wait until you hear what is inside this unit study!
Trying to put together a lesson plan that covers a topic thoroughly, has good living books to read, copywork and dictation selections, notebooking pages to use for your written narration, copywork, and dictation, has nature journal pages to use on your outings, outdoor activity ideas, questions to review to make sure you are on track if you feel you need some guidance, hands-on activities, science experiments, online activities, poetry, non-fiction resources, blank lesson planning forms, writing activity suggestions, and lapbooking ideas and lapbooking sources can be a long exhausting process to complete when you are homeschooling!
I know because I just did it, with this unit study. It took some time, but I feel that there is such a need to try to organize these kinds of materials in one place to help us homeschool moms in our busy schedules in our pursuit in using Charlotte Mason methods. After spending the past few years constantly researching and gathering ideas, lists, materials from all different directions, I decided to come up with unit studies that tie all of these pieces together in one place.
This unit study and others that I am excitedly working on right now can be used daily for four weeks with the detailed lesson plans that I have provided. Plus, there is so much included in all these lists, it’s a menu of items that you can use to extend my four week lesson plans to however long a study you wish to pursue. The forms are given to you so you can customize and write out your own lesson plans for years to come with all of the materials I have provided for you, without repeating the same activities or readings for several years.
Here is what you get in this 82 page unit with suggestions for preschool through high school:
- Lists of Living Book suggestions that can be found free online,(these are the ones I have used in my lesson plans I have done for you), the library, or purchased through an online store like Amazon. In these economically challenging times, I have tried to make this a complete unit study where you do not have to purchase anything else unless you want to – all of the materials can be found for free.
- These Living Book titles include Charlotte Mason style literature, quality non-fiction resources, poetry selections and anthologies, and activity books. A brief description is also included for each title with a suggested age range.
- 4 Weeks of daily lesson plans for you to follow (does not include math and history and is not a complete English course)
- Each day contains A Reading Selection from Charlotte Mason style literature from which your child can orally narrate and write down on the provided notebooking pages. There are even sections in the unit that give you direction and suggestions on how to use Ms. Mason’s methods with the lesson plan for your younger, middle, and upper children.
- Each daily lesson plan is divided into two separate plans, one for elementary and one for middle and high school that overlap in places for group activities. You can pick and choose what you want each of your children to do individually or as a whole family. I have just given you options to choose from to allow older children to explore and learn independently at times when it is most suitable. This gives you the time to sit and read with the younger children, while the older children are going into the subject matter in a greater depth, but still allowing everyone to work and learn together at times.
- 22 Copywork selections are provided, consisting of more simple ones for the younger children and longer and more complex ones for the older children – paragraphs from suggested living book titles and poetry.
- 16 different notebooking pages – all different, some labeled and decorated, some unlabeled, some specifically for taking on a nature walk to document your day.
- Lists of online resources and links to online activities, movie clips, activity ideas, manipulatives, insect flash cards from simple to entomological classification, cute preschool crafts and more hands-on crafts for the older children, quality on-line resource information in a fun format and also technical information for the older children including how insects affect their daily lives and our agriculture, science, and medicine.
- Lists of Hands-on activity suggestions for you to do with simple materials with your children in a science experiment format, just have fun applying what we know format, full lapbooks, or get outdoors and explore. You’ll be amazed at what you can find yourself doing and enjoying bugs!
- Each piece of copywork for that week’s lesson comes with a daily focus skill on either a grammar application for them to take notice while doing their copywork, vocabulary or spelling word review, or a literary element discussion, or a combination of these. You will be so happy to see your child recognizing these skills in good writing as they copy these pieces everyday in preparation for dictation at the end of the week.
- There is a suggested activity to do after the reading, narrating, and copywork is completed. You can choose to do the activity or skip it if you don’t have time, save it for another day for another activity you wish to skip, or replace it with a whole new one from our Activity Suggestions list.
- At the end of the week there is a nature study type activity, most outside, some inside in case the weather does not want to cooperate. You’ll find yourself virtually dissecting an insect or skimming a pond and examining insects before they morph into something that looks like a totally different bug. Nature Journal pages are provided to take with you on some of your outings for a more relaxed and exploratory experience.
- We have provided the opportunity to include a short poetry study in this unit. From reading some aloud or examining some literary elements in poetry to learning how to write a specific form of poetry and combining it with an art project.
- There are a few writing suggestions included in the lesson plans to practice writing a fable based on the insect theme, and modeling and writing a personal narrative.
- We even have a Video Suggestions list and Questions for Review as added bonuses.
This unit study is designed to allow you to use the daily lesson plans as they are, use some parts and not others, move parts around if you want, or exchange pieces that are in the plan with other ideas you like from the lists provided for you. It’s that EASY. You get to customize your plans to fit your child’s needs.
AND, there is so much here, you can keep going after 4 weeks or you can use this unit year after year and still not use everything in this unit. I have given you two different kinds of blank lesson planning forms to use so you can make your own plans in the way you feel most comfortable.
There are suggestions and directions to guide you in using Charlotte Mason’s methods in your homeschool and how to use those methods when studying Insects with this unit study.
I am so excited to share this with you! This has been on my heart for 15 years but life always got in the way with one thing or another. But I was really pushed into doing this now before my oldest gets too old for all of us to enjoy these activities together.
I hope you will enjoy the time spent together with these quality readings and activities with your family and really digging into homeschooling the Charlotte Mason Way without the worries and stress of pulling materials together!
If you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com and I will be glad to answer them. If you have any topics you would like to see developed, email that to me too! I’m always looking for ideas!
Order your Insects: A Unit Study using the Charlotte Mason Method and More now before the Insect season and school year are over!
We are offering this unit at a special introductory price of $9.95, normally offered at $14.95!
Click on the Add to Cart link below the ebook picture and you will be taken to paypal to complete your purchase. Then you will have directions to automatically download your item.
Now, here is a mini unit study about Insects as a free gift to you to celebrate this goal I’ve had for 15 years!
To start off your unit with Insects, a couple of online books in Charlotte Mason style worth looking at and using for narration, copywork, and dictation would be The Insect Folk for little ones up to fourth grade and Insect Adventures for upper level grades.
Some useful readers for younger children would include Christian Liberty Press’ Nature Readers. These are great! If you want to read some fun and quality picture books, try Eric Carle books with all the different kinds of insects who live in them – like The Very Hungry Caterpillar. That’s a great book for looking at metamorphosis as well as beginning counting skills and days of the week for those preschoolers listening in.
A great book for the older kids that I found at my library and is a one of a kind is DK Google e.guides: Insect. This is a great general resource packed with information and online links just about insects.
Let C.P. Ant teach you about insects at http://urbanext.illinois.edu/insects/index.html. This is a fun site with a teacher’s guide.
A fun outdoor activity to try and soon would be planting free sunflower seeds in your garden to attract some bumble bees and then participate in a bee count here http://www.greatsunflower.org/. Sign up soon so you can be part of this activity.
Something we do every year which we never grow tired of is ordering caterpillars to watch while they grow into butterflies. We keep an observational journal and mark down any changes we see from day to day. We label our pictures with the appropriate terms during the metamorphosis. We have a ceremony to release them into our garden and take pictures as they fly off.
To have a fun snack during your unit, try ants on a log or create some of your own bugs out of twinkie snacks or moon pies!
A great set of lapbooks and other resources to tie into your reading and writing can be found here http://www.homeschoolshare.com/connections__insects.php.
Remember to get outside for that nature study, observe your surroundings, and draw what interests you. My younger son only showed signs of any interest in writing when we would go for our nature walks and he drew something that caught his attention. Afterward, he wanted to write the name of it underneath his picture. He would practice sounding out the word and write the letters in his journal. Until that moment, he resisted holding any kind of writing instrument!
Well, that’s it for now! Get outside and enjoy that sunshine and beautiful weather. We had balmy breezes of 60 today!
Filed under: Charlotte Mason Homeschool Education Tagged: | Art Appreciation, Copywork, curriculum, Dictation, hands on activities, home school, homeschool, homeschool Charlotte Mason, insects, Lapbooks, lesson plans, Living Books, Narration, Nature Journal, Nature Study, Notebooking pages, online activities, poetry, science experiments, Unit Studies, worksheets