Review: Homeschool Legacy’s “Forest for the Trees” unit study


Forest for the Trees Unit Study review

We just finished a great unit study from Homeschool Legacy called Forest for the Trees.  

Homeschool Legacy Review
These wonderful unit studies are all available in digital format, including the one we received (and some are available in print copy).

One thing I really love about these unit studies is that there are so many choices- lots of books, experiments, projects, and field trip ideas.  There’s no way to do them all–so you just pick and choose what’s best for your family.

Forest for the Trees is actually a 4-week unit study.  She gives a sample lesson plan for using it Monday-Friday each week.  We spread it out to 6 weeks.  It’s called a Once-a-Week Unit Study because all of the main “work” is done only on one day of the week.  The other days you will still spend some time on it by reading aloud from the great selection of books.


Here are a few of the things we did for this cool trees unit study!

For Bible Study/devotionals:

We read Genesis and started memorized Romans 1:19-20.  We also read the passages she suggested from Matthew, Jeremiah, and Galatians and memorized the fruit of the Spirit. There was a chart in the unit study to print out and put of the refrigerator. When one of us noticed another family member displaying a fruit of the Spirit, they would put a star in that person’s box.


We read about trees lots of tree books that we checked out from the library. (These books were all listed in the curriculum.)

We found a twig from a spring tree and identified the different parts of it like the leaf scars and lenticels.  They drew it and labeled it.

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We identified pollen cones and seed cones on different types on conifers while at the park.

Science experiments such as seeing how the water is drawn up into the leaves of a plant. I loved all the other easy-to-do science experiements as well.

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Forest for the Trees



We read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and  memorized the poem “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer.  We started listening to My Side of the Mountain on CD in the car.  We read many other shorter books that were recommended as well.


The kids drew some trees from the book Draw 50 Flowers, Trees, and Other Plants by Ames.

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Each week had different suggestions for art projects to do.


Field Trips:

One suggestion was to climb a tree. The tree below has 5 kids in it!

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Forest for the Trees

We had an awesome field trip to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, where we saw a wide variety of trees.  We also would have loved to make it out to the Morton Arboretum–maybe this summer. She suggested a couple of other field trip ideas I wouldn’t have thought of!

Different trees at the Botanic Gardens:

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What we loved:

I was exposed to so many more books that I have never heard of or read before.  We would have missed these treasures with the Homeschool Legacy trees unit study.  I also love the variety and flexibility.  I was busy with many other activities and school subjects, but we still found a way to make this be such a positive experience for my kids.  I only barely scratched the surface of all that was contained in this 32-page ebook.

There are 2 other special things about the Homeschool Legacy’s unit studies:

You can use them for a full year of your history or science curriculum.  Just choose 4 or 5 that fit what you’d like to learn!  It tells you how long each one is supposed to take (4 weeks, 6 weeks, etc.) They are appropriate for grades 2-12 (but high schoolers will still need lab sciences).  Also, the unit studies specifically include the information needed to use them to gain Boy Scout or American Heritage Girl badges or 4H projects.

Homeschool Legacy Review

You’ll definitely want to check out the great variety of once-a-week unit studies that are available.  I think we’ll do the one on Weather this summer–it sounds so fun!
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And the Weather Study is included in 2 Bundles in the Build Your Bundle sale until June 1!  I’m definitely getting the Unit Study Bundle (it’s only $19!)  You’ll find a couple of other Homeschool Legacy unit studies in other bundles as well.

2015 Build Your Bundle Homeschool Sale Unit Studies Bundle

Homeschool Legacy on Social Media:



Homeschool Legacy Review

Crew Disclaimer

Review of Lewis & Clark: From Sea to Shining Sea, a Once-a-Week Unit Study

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I’m excited to do a review today of an awesome product called Lewis & Clark: From Sea to Shining SeaIt’s a Once-a-Week Unit Study from Homeschool Legacy.

Are you familiar with unit studies?  I have done tons of them in my homeschool career.  What I usually do is pick a topic and then head to the library to check out a bunch of books, CDs, and/or DVDs on the subject.  We then try to add as many disciplines as we can that fit into that topic:  science, history, geography, writing, math, art, music, Bible, read-alouds of fiction and biographies, etc.  We’ve done lapbooks with them, too. They are a great way to do school with the whole family–all ages!

So, here is one of the things that is great about Once-a-Week Unit Studies.  They have all the research done for you!  

You’ll find:

*  All of the lessons are typed out for you to read.  Just get some library materials and craft materials and recipe ingredients to add to it!

*  Library book list (arranged by age, in alphabetical order, and with the Dewey decimal numbers)

* Photographs and drawings

*  Suggestions for how to schedule your time (what to do each day of the week–it’s called Once-a-Week because the majority of the work is done on just one day.  Read-alouds could/should be done each day of the week.)

*  It’s very flexible.  Use it for however it works best for your family.

*  It’s Biblically oriented

*  Field trip ideas

*  Art projects

*  Recipes

*  The unit studies could be used at co-ops

If you have a child in Boy Scouts or American Heritage Girls, you’ll really love these unit studies.  They have lots of badge projects included!  It can be used for 4H projects, too.  

At this time they only sell only physical copies, but plan on introducing digital versions in the very near future.

The first thing to do when getting your Unit Study is to read the section, Getting the Most Out of Your Once-a-Week Unit Study, located in the back. It will help get you off to a great start.  

Here are some specifics for the Lewis & Clark unit study:

*  It’s 80 pages long.

*  It has enough material for 7 weeks.

*  All books and DVD ideas are included.

* The cost is $21.95

*  It’s really fun and interesting!

*  Recipes are included (like Crawfish Etoufee) and some great projects (like making a journal and a mold of an animal track).

*  Each week has a different focus:

Week 1: New France (animal tracks, beavers)
Week 2: Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Louisiana Purchase  (zydeco music, architecture, Lousiana/Cajuns)
Week 3: Fixing for a Start (map, plants, Newfoundland dog)
Week 4: Sacagawea Joins the Corps! (American Indians, birds)
Week 5: Trials and Tribulations (buffalo, bears)
Week 6: Ocean in View! Oh the Joy! (otters, Pacific Ocean)
Week 7: Homeward Bound (wolves, Old Faithful, horses)


Here are the other titles of Once-a-Week Unit Studies that are available right now:

Birds of a Feather

Forest for the Trees

Horsing Around

Weather on the Move

Knights and Nobles

Native America

Early Settlers

Revolutionary Ideas: The Story of the American Revolution

Christmas Comes to America

Westward Ho Part I

Westward Ho Part II

We the People: Getting to Know Your Constitution

Lewis & Clark: From Sea to Shining Sea

(I received a copy of Lewis & Clark in order to write this honest review. This post also contains affiliate links.)

Homeschool Essentials: Antarctica Unit Study/ Penguin Lapbook Resources

Penguin lapbook



This week I’m joining the 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials blog hop.  Come back here each day this week to find out some of my favorite homeschooling resources.   And down at the bottom of the post you’ll find links to other blogs!

Today I’m sharing about the fun unit study we just completed about Antarctica and Penguins.  We’ve been studying world geography, and this was the perfect time to get to Antarctica.  It was even -18 degrees here last week!

The Emperor’s Egg by Martin Jenkins

Penguin by Claire Robinson
Children’s Atlas of God’s World by Craig Froman (pages on Antarctica)

Penguins and Antarctica: Magic Tree House Research Guide by Nancy Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Atwater

Weddell Seal: Fat and Happy by Joyce L. Markovics
Antarctica by Rebecca Hirsch

Other books we didn’t have time to read:
Penguin Puzzle by Judith Bauer Stamper
Black Whiteness: Admiral Byrd Alone in the Antarctic by Robert Burleigh
Crocodiles, Camels, and Dugout Canoes: Eight Adventurous Episodes by Bo Zaunders (chapter about Ernest Shackleton)

Student workbooks:
Around the World in 180 Days by Sherrie Payne (pages on Antarctica)
Draw Write Now book 4 (the polar regions) by Marie Hablitzel

Penguin lapbook:
 Free one we used
Free one from Lapbook Lessons
Various free coloring sheets found online

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National Geographic Antarctic Wildlife (from Netflix)
March of the Penguins

Mr. Popper’s Penguins (haven’t watched yet)


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5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials



Be sure to read about more Homeschooling Essentials at the following blogs:

61. Lisa @ Our Simple Kinda Life

62. Tabitha @ The Homeschool Four

63. LaRee @ Broad Horizons

64. Gwen @ Tolivers to Texas

65. Amy @ Counting Change. . .  Again

66. Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

68. Adena @ AdenaF

69. Stacie @ Super Mommy to the Rescue

70. Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker
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And don’t forget to enter to win an iPad Mini here!

 This post is linked up to some of these great blogs!

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.)

Review of “Our America” Series historical fiction novels by Susan Kilbride

Thumbnail, 1st 3 Books
I have just finished reading 3 wonderful new historical fiction novels by Susan Kilbride in the Our America series!  These are definitely going on our History bookshelf, so we can read Living Books while studying American history!

The newest (third) historical chapter book, The Salem Adventure, just came out and to celebrate Amazon is giving away the Kindle version of the second book in the series, The King Philip’s War Adventure, for FREE at this link on July 15, 16, and 17, 2013!   

The second book:  The King Philip’s War Adventure

 The first book of the series is called The Pilgrim Adventure.

Let me tell you a bit about the books.  The main characters are twins Finn and Ginny whose uncle has created a time machine.  Their parents accidentally went back in time, but weren’t able to get back home , so Finn and Ginny keep going back in time to try to  find them.  In each book they have gone to a different historical event in America’s history–and in order!:  the Pilgrims on the Mayflower and their first year in America, the time of King Philip’s War (about 50 years after the Pilgrims), and in Salem during the Salem witch trials.
I really enjoyed reading these books!  They’re fairly easy reading and are for ages 10 and up (mostly because the content of war and death is a heavy subject).  One of the most fascinating aspects of the books are that Finn and Ginny meet their “real” relatives–who are actually the author’s real relatives!  (I’d love to find out if I have any ancestors from these time periods!)  The events that the twins interact with in the books are actual events.  Susan even includes copies of documents, like the Mayflower Compact, letters, and arrest warrants.
To see a full description of the series, go here!  And for you homeschoolers, there are also free pdf activities to go along with the books on this page of Susan Kilbride’s website Funtastic Unit Studies so you can make it a full unit study by doing enrichment activites: geneology, science, games, cooking, and crafts.
I’m looking forward to reading more books in the series, so I can continue to explore American history with Finn and Ginny (and Susan Kilbride’s ancestors)!
Be sure to get the free Kindle book today and you might also want to get the other books–at Amazon, CBD, or Rainbow Resource.
By the way, if you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon has free Kindle apps for various devices at this link: Kindle Apps.
Susan has also written a science book called Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers.  See my review of it here.

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of the first 3 books in the Our America series to read in order to write this honest review.  This post contains affiliate links.)

Apologia Swimming Creatures Final Post

Apologia Swimming Creatures Lapbook Crafts Field Trips

We had an absolutely wonderful time studying science this year using Apologia’s Exploring Creation With Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day.  This was the fourth of the elementary Exploring Creation books that we have done.  And I have loved all of them!  Jeanne Fulbright loves the Lord and brings her understanding of God’s creation to all of her readers.  We become fascinated with not only what He made but how he made everything!  We also learn about what evolutionists think about things and how we understand it differently.  For example, evolutionists would say the ocean is billions of years old.  But since the oceans are becoming saltier, if they were really that old, they would be too salty for life by now.  Also, many scientists think jellyfish are “simple” animals, but their nematocysts are so amazingly complex that only an infinitely intelligent Designer could have made them.

See below some pictures of the experiments we did (using the great experiment supply box from Nature’s Workshop Plus), the ocean boxes we created, and the lapbooks we made!  I put a lot of great ideas on my Swimming Creatures Pinterest Board–be sure to follow it!



Making ocean currents:

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Learning how octopus and squid rise and fall in the water:



Making a salt crystal brittle star:


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Making a shell collection box:



Ocean Boxes:


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Here are the links to my previous posts this year:

Introduction to Swimming Creatures/ Ideas for each ocean box lesson, including supplies

Starting the Ocean Boxes

 Tube Anemones, sponges, octopus, sea urchin

Rays and Sharks

 Starfish, Squid, Octopus

Top Ten Whale and Walrus YouTube Videos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


From the Archives:  Oceans Unit Study and Lapbook


We used the Apologia Swimming Creatures Notebooking Journals, which are really well done.  The youngest kids did the coloring sheets, the middle kids the lapbook, and the oldest did notebooking pages and crossword puzzles of the vocabulary words.  Below you’ll see pictures of the lapbooks of two of my kids.

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We have one more thing to do wrap up our study, and that is to visit an aquarium!  We’re planning to do that when we go on our road trip this summer.

Update:  We went to the Omaha Aquarium, and it was awesome.  Here are a few pictures, but see the rest at Vacation Post #1.

Giant Japanese Spider Crabs:

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There was an awesome tunnel to see sharks, sea turtles, and rays:


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By the way, many of the animals in our ocean boxes were made with Crayola Model Magic.  Crayola Model Magic is an amazing invention! I don’t regret one bit ordering a class-pack of 75 individual packages for my kids to use this year. We got a great deal on it at Discount School Supply!  If you’ve never tried it, it’s like clay but not messy at all.  You can color it with markers, and it dries in 24 hours.  My kids love it!

Assorted Colors Crayola Model Magic Classpack


Linked to   at My Joy Filled Life

   Ultimate Homeschool Blog Hop  at Teachers of Good Things

See all the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here!

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)