Thursday, June 21, 2018

Learn About American History and Holidays with Fabulous. Flexible Self-Contained Unit Studies {A Silverdale Press LLC Review}

{This post contains affiliate links to a vendor we highly recommend: Silverdale Press LLC.}

Do you ever crave a break from your regular history studies but still want to engage your children in memorable learning? 

Then, I suggest you look at 
White House Holidays Unit Studies by Silverdale Press LLC!

Before being offered an opportunity to review these self-contained unit studies, our family had never heard of them.  Now, we are big fans!

I appreciate how flexible, yet complete the 
White House Holidays Unit Studies, while each of my children has already asked to do more of them!

Why White House Holiday Unit Studies Are Fabulous and Flexible

Have you ever begun a unit study only to realize you need to order or access a bunch of different books, resources, and supplies?

I have, too, and, to be honest, sometimes that just becomes too cumbersome and prevents my on-the-go, eclectic-homeschool style family from completing a study even when we like it.

White House Holidays Unit Studies don't present that problem!  They are self-contained studies that require no more than the pdf file they come as and basic supplies that most homeschoolers already have. 

Further, the studies are succinct, yet complete!  Each study is only 3-5 lessons long, meaning that they can be dug into over the course of a day or week, or spread out as engaging breaks from other history studies.

I so appreciate that the brevity of these 
Unit Studies allows us to start AND finish them before getting derailed, but the depth of their content makes our efforts meaningful.

The author of the studies, Professor Jill A. Hummer, Ph.D, is a nationally known presidential scholar and professor of government and history, so she knows her stuff.  She is also a homeschool mom, so she is well aware of how best to present that stuff.

She has written the studies so that families can do them together, offering activities meant for children in grades K-6, and corollary materials for those in grades 7-12.  The two different levels of materials - complete with varied activities and primary source materials -  encourage everyone in the family to access and understand holidays and the historical forces that created them at their own levels.

Unit Studies also, of course have a unique twist: they use the American presidency as a window into holidays and history.

Replete with easy-to-read history stories, fun and creative activities, primary sources (such as speeches, posters, letters, and documents), and complete objectives, lessons plans, and enrichment, White House Holidays Unit Studies allow families to dig into history with ease!

Currently, the series of studies includes:

Our Experience

Life's been a little loony in our household this spring, so we were delighted to have White House Holidays Unit Studies to enjoy and learn from without having to do any prep work for.

The first unit we chose to do was the 
Labor Day one.  For, although Labor Day has yet to arrive this year, the time seemed ripe for learning the history behind the topic.

My husband was recently without work for three months, and as he interviewed for and landed his new job, my children became more and more aware of what our current job market is like and also began asking why they could not get regular jobs at their ages.

We also have read several books in the past year that references child labor, labor unions, and more.  So, the children were ready to learn more and connect more dots, so to speak.

Labor Day  study was perfect for that!  We used the grades K-6 portions of it, with easy, informative text and engaging activities.

My children found themselves drawn in with the photographs of families at work in tenements, naturally falling into debate as we read about labor unions...

... enjoying creating signs and presenting their grievances...

... and getting into making comics.

They all liked the study and want to do the grades 7-12 version at a later point!
My oldest also dug into the Veterans Day with me at the grades 7-12 level.  

He does not typically love crossword puzzles, but happily referenced readings to complete the one in this study.

He also had some great discussions with me, enjoyed connecting what he already knew about WWI history with Veterans Day, and came away asking if he can do all of the studies and their activities at both the lower and upper level.

From My Children's Mouths...

When I asked my 11-year-old for her thoughts, she said :
I liked this unit study because we got to do crafts, look at pictures, and chat. 
I learned about Labor Day.  I don't agree with everything unions said, but a lot of it seems reasonable.  I understand the history of Labor Day more. 
I want to do more unit studies like this if I can!

When I asked my almost 8-year-old for his thoughts, he said:

I liked this unit study, because it was fun.  I liked how you got to make things.  You got to write your own thing - like the comic strip!

I learned that they used to just hang clothes all over in New York tenements.  Many of the people were poor and lived in dirty homes where the kids and adults worked.

People worked at factories, too, and got paid very little and it was very unhealthy... for pennies!  So, some people died.

Things changed unions and Labor Day.

When we talked, we shared our own ideas.  My idea is that people are stupid when they had the parade, because hey were saying, 'no rent", which is selfish.  What about the people with the business who need rents?  Workers and business owners need to make good pay, health for people, but not overpay and not do barely any work.

I also asked my 12-year-old for his thoughts.  He said:

These studies are interesting.  So far, I've done the Labor Day and the Veterans Day ones.

I did the Labor Day one with my brother and sister, so we did the younger kids' version.  I did the Veterans Day one by myself with my mom, so we did the older kids' one.

Th e older kids' readings are better, because they are longer and more informative.  The activities for both ages were pretty good.  The ones for the younger ages were more crafty and the ones for the older ages were more "writey".

I'd like to do all of the activities and readings - older and younger  for each holiday unit we have, because I like the way the author writes, and I also like the projects.  They are not like lapbooks.  You don;t have to do silly booklets, but can learn more from fun activities!

We all agree that the White House Holidays Unit Studies that we've done so far have been great - no fussing, plenty of learning and engagement.  We look forward to completing the rest of the series and recommend them to other families looking for ease, flexibility, and happy homeschool history.

Learn More

Enjoy FREE SAMPLE LESSONS from Silverdale Press LLC.

Also, check our their Persuasive Writing & Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers for ages 14-18, which I hear from other Crew Review families is great!  

Persuasive Writing & Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers & White House Holidays Unit Studies {Silverdale Press LLC Reviews}

In fact, you can read reviews about 
 Silverdale Press LLC's products written by 75 Homeschool Review Crew families.

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