An Overview of Gardens by Amanda Bennett
Using Gardens by Amanda Bennett this summer has added the academic component I needed to compliment our garden project. It has four wonderful weeks worth of study to complete which made it a perfect study for our summer homeschool. I would summarize them for you as:
- What is a Garden?
- History of Gardens: The Garden of Eden
- Botany- Plant Science in Our Gardens
- Planning and Planting a Garden
Each week is light but full of goodies making it enjoyable and not an overwhelming unit study. You can do as much or as little as you want of the four day week plans. The fifth day is mostly a review or it can be omitted if you have a four day week. An extensive garden book list is at the beginning of the PDF along with some family project ideas.
Each week has additional internet links at the end of the lesson. They complement what was covered during the weeks lesson and can supplement your study. In addition, there is a “Favorite Findings of the Week” page where you and your child/children can jot down some things you took away from the study at the end of each week.
Each days study includes these sections:
- Quote for copywork- sometimes from a famous book or person but often from scripture
- Words of Wisdom (WOW) words- vocabulary terms related to the days study
- Interesting people and places- guides you through a biography or site study which relates to the days topic
- Read and Discover- gives questions for research along with links for where to find the answers and suggests writing the answers in a journal
The appendix includes two Quizzes and the answer keys plus 13 coloring/notebooking pages for a variety of uses.
How we used Gardens for our summer project:
You do not have to be growing a garden to use this unit study in your homeschool though it’s highly recommended. It could be done anytime of year and it stands alone as a unit. If you plan to start a garden with your children, however, it would be most fitting as a spring unit that concludes with planning and starting your garden. In our case we planted our garden first and then supplemented the experience with the unit study. But it does not require that you have any gardening expertise or a naturally green thumb. So don’t worry, you can use this unit and your children can learn about gardens without you being an expert or even having to start a garden!
My son and I used it a supplement to our summer gardening experience. I generally used the quotes for copywork and that was enough writing for him for the day. I also had him look up and write the vocabulary as I wanted him to practice dictionary skills. He completed these on lined paper and started a garden notebook that we can add to for several years. We tended to do the research together online. (The unit also includes helpful advice for using internet search engines with kids.) Then we discussed the questions verbally since my child doesn’t enjoy writing and I wanted this to be a fun supplement to our studies for summer with a focus on information and not writing mechanics. The unit required no additional work to do so.
Why I will use Amanda Bennett’s Gardens Study for years to come:
One thing I really liked and thought was beneficial for homeschoolers was that this unit offers a guide for both elementary and upper grade levels. This is a plus for homeschool families since it can be used for all ages and is easily adaptable for the children’s abilities. Even though I have just one child that I am currently homeschooling, it’s still very beneficial to me since gardening is an ongoing learning experience in our home. It makes a timeless resource for me that I can pull out year after year and get a new website, copywork quote, vocabulary word list, biography study and more whenever I need it! There is no end to it’s value for me which is why I feel it’s such a great price for something I know I will use for the rest of the years I homeschool, and maybe after that for me as a gardener. It’s proven to be well worth the investment for me and will be a perfect compliment for my homeschool garden for years to come!
Gardens is available from…
Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett for $10.95. It comes in PDF format so you can click on the many internet linked resources in the unit. The entire unit is 156 pages long and is very complete in its content so you definitely get your monies worth. It’s also got several very wonderful notebook pages in the back of the study that can be used for a variety of purposes as you use the unit.
We used some of them to record progress in our garden journals and will use them as time goes on since we garden at least half of the year. I am looking forward to finishing everything the unit has to offer us with all its links and resources for years to come.
~Stephanie is a Catholic military spouse and mother to 3. She is wife of 21 years to her husband, Brian. Even with 13 moves in 17 years she finds time to write, garden and create recipes. Visit her blogs @ Harrington Harmonies and Nature Notebook.