Do you enjoy unit studies? Do you enjoy unit studies that are already prepared for you? Do you enjoy unit studies that require little to no gathering of materials on your part? Do your children enjoy learning on the computer? Do you desire for your children to be able to learn independently? If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of my questions, then Brandenburg Unit Studies might be for your family.
Visiting the Brandenburg Studies website will lead you to more than 40 in-depth unit studies that can either be purchased on a CD or downloaded immediately to your computer as an e-book.
Just what are Brandenburg Unit Studies?
Very thorough, internet-linked lessons and activities, including quizzes, tests, notebooking, projects, literature and other media to help your child learn about a topic in as independent a way as possible.
What will you find in the unit?
- A section of hints for the teacher
- A daily lesson plan chart that you are encouraged to print for yourself and your child. This chart tells you how long the unit lasts and what lessons to do each day. Children who can read on their own are encouraged to do much of the learning themselves, with mom or dad being an overseer of the learning. You’re encouraged to put a copy of the daily lesson chart in the front of a notebook for your child so they can take responsibility for doing the daily lessons.
- Suggestions for literature and videos that go with the theme. Like me, Mrs. Brandenburg believes children retain knowledge better when additional books and videos are added to the unit. “Living literature” lists include ideas for independent reading and family read-alouds. Most units last anywhere from one to three months, which allows plenty of time for diving into some good literature.
- Daily lessons for children. The units are in PDF format, so as you scroll through the book, you will find the daily lessons in order. Much of the daily lesson time is spent reading information from the computer. Some of the lesson is located in the PDF file, but your child will also leave the file sometimes as they click on safe internet links. The internet links lead your child to internet pages with more information about the lesson’s subject, to quizzes and tests, to online games and other very safe pages that enhance the particular lesson.
The daily lessons, even though often taking place in front of the computer, are filled with colorful pictures to give your child great visuals for understanding. They are also varied. In other words, the student won’t simply be reading information from the computer and taking a quiz everyday. One day they might read and take a quiz. The next day might be a video clip and an online game. The next might be reading and labeling a diagram for their notebook. And the next might be an art or craft project.
- Worksheets, notebooking pages and other various printables. Your child will be encouraged to learn information from the computer lessons and either add the information to a prepared notebook, complete and online activity or complete one of these pages.
- An idea list for final unit projects. This is a list of hands-on projects that your child can choose from in order to “show what they know” as the unit comes to a close.
- Based on the topic, the units might include vocabulary, map work, Bible references, and/or a final test. Most tests and activities completed on the internet can be printed out to include in the student’s notebook.
- Since keeping a unit notebook is highly encouraged, each unit provides directions for creating one.
Each of the units is recommended for various age levels from Kindergarten through High School. Be sure to check the suggested age before purchasing!
What if I don’t want to “set my child free”? Even though the units encourage student independence, mom or dad can still be “hands-on” in the unit if they prefer. Like any other unit study, these can be used in whatever way suits your family’s needs.
Are the prices fair? I believe the prices are very reasonable. It won’t set you back too much to try at least one of the units to see if the style is a fit for your family.
One more thing. Struggling readers may have some difficulty since there is a lot of reading and writing necessary to complete each unit. Children who prefer hands-on projects may not be a good fit for these units, either. But with the variety of daily lessons, I think most students will find the studies to be interesting and enjoyable.
Cindy, a unit-study, Charlotte Mason, Classical sort of mom who likes to surprise her children with varied ways of learning. These units are one of those surprises!