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You may know by now that history is one of our favorite subjects around here (science is our other favorite, I think). The use of unit studies has always been our favorite method of study as well. The Once-a-Week Unit Studies from Homeschool Legacy is nothing new to us, I'm sure you know. This time we used Westward Ho! 1 and Westward Ho! 2.
The Once-a-Week Unit Studies are well planned and well laid out. They are Biblically centered, and fairly low preparation. The bulk of the activities are scheduled for one day, with daily reading related to the topic. Each unit study provides a fairly extensive list of suggested books from which to choose for read-alouds and individual reading. There are also movie suggestions for family movie night.
The next week covers pioneer life, of the 1700s and early 1800s. You'll learn about the Wilderness Road, as well as the Natchez Trace, and Cumberland Road.
Week three covers The Lone Star Republic. Remember the Alamo! Stephan Austin. Samuel Houston. It makes us want to take a trip to Texas! (Hey, I have two brothers living in Texas.)
During week four, you will learn about the life and times of James K. Polk. The treaties he signed, which expanded the United States boundaries to clear to the Pacific Ocean, from the Rio Grande, to Canada. You'll also learn about Samuel Morse, and Morse Code.
Week five, ah! Oregon Fever! The Oregon Trail, and missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, will be covered in this week. Not only the Oregon Trail, but the Sante Fe, California, and Mormon Trails, are covered as well. Also covered is a brief history of the Mormons.
There are crafts, and recipes, added in.
The first week you'll cover the California gold rush,and Sutter's Mill. Also, how a territory becomes a state, and the law of supply and demand.
Week two will find you learning about life on the prairie. The Pony Express, the Homestead Act, and sod houses are some of the things covered this week.
The third week will have you learning about the great American railroad race. You'll have fun learning about not only the Transcontinental Railroad, but trains, and steam engines in general. I think this is one of my boys favorite topics!
And finally, in the last week, cowboys and cattle drives. You'll learn about Buffalo Bill, Frederic Remington, and one of our favorites, Charles M. Russell.
Throughout the course of both parts, one of the suggestions for the family read aloud is to read through all of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books. Since we were going through at such a rapid pace (for the sake of this review), we used audio books instead of my reading aloud to the boys.
We actually have Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie on CD. But we found the rest on YouTube! We would listen in the morning, while we were preparing breakfast, eating, and cleaning up afterward. I am sad to say, but this was actually the boys' first time all the way through her books. I read them as a child; beginning in about third grade, I'd read through the whole set every year, clear until after I'd been married a couple years or so. Yep; I have the books pretty much memorized! Or at least I used to.
Our library system is sorely inadequate, so it is always hard for me to find most of the suggested books. Since I have a subscription to Netflix, as well as having Amazon Prime, I was able to find many videos to go along with each week's topics. I'll admit, though, the pace we were going, Netflix wasn't able to get the videos to me quickly enough! LOL
But, hey, if you are Amazing Race fans, Little Bit was quick to point out the cowboys and Texas Longhorns in the final episode of this season the other night!
Be sure to read our reviews for the Native America and Knights & Nobles Once-a-Week Unit Studies as well. Also, you'll want to read the rest of the reviews from my Crew teammates.
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