5/19/15

Diving into the Middle Ages with Knights & Nobles {Crew Review}

A few years ago I had the opportunity to review a Once-A-Week Unit study from Homeschool Legacy. I used it with all four girls and we loved it so when I saw Homeschool Legacy on the upcoming vendor list I got very very excited. They offered several choices but I knew that Supergirl would enjoy diving into the Middle Ages with the Knights & Nobles the most so I begged for that one.  You’ll want to be sure to check out all the Schoolhouse Review Crew posts to see all the different options we crew members had!

Knights & Nobles Once-a-Week unit study review by Tess at Circling Through This Life

Sharon Gibson, a veteran homeschool mom, founded Homeschool Legacy to provide Biblically centered educational materials. These materials provide fun and creative hands-on assignments and activities. On the Welcome page of the Study Guide she states “Once-a-Week Unit Studies are designed to help you inject fun and creative learning activities into your homeschool lifestyle.”

The Once-a-Week Unit Studies are very flexible and at the same time very comprehensive so you can use them to supplement or enhance your current studies or use them as your main resource for history studies. I am using the Knights and Nobles study as our history program with Supergirl. There is plenty here to keep us busy beyond just four weeks!

About Knights & Nobles

Knights & Nobles is a four week study with an optional fifth week for a medieval feast. Each of the four weeks has a specific focus:  Castles, Kings and Queens, Knights, and Life on a Manor.

The study guide begins with a page of reasons to use Once-a-Week studies followed by a table contents. There is a Getting the Most out of Your Study section at the end of the guide. This section contains information about how you can use the study to meet Boy Scout and American Heritage Girl badge requirements. You’ll also find tips and suggestions such as creating a lapbook and how to modify writing assignments for children of various ages.

Read Tess's review of Knights & Nobles at Circling Through This Life

The assignments section begins with a list of Read Alouds for Non-Readers. Then it goes week by week.  Each weekly focus begins with a list of Library Reading and Video Choices.  Each book has the library call letters/numbers so that if you can’t find the exact title, you can substitute a book by the same topic. I had to do this for a few books and it was very helpful to know that I should be looking for books within a certain call number.

Most of the video choices are for the Family Movie Night and are available on DVD from Netflix. At least one suggestion has a library call number. The assignment lists begins with the Daily Activities:  The Weekly Focus Library Reading and the Family Read Aloud.

The Once-a-Week activities are the bulk of the assignments. The first activity is the Family Devotional. Each Family Devotional ties into the weekly focus. For example you can read the Book of Ester (a queen) during the Kings and Queens focus week.  Spend some time on the armor of God from Ephesians while studying about the Knights. These would be very easy to adapt to any denomination, or from a Catholic or Orthodox perspective.

They rest of the activities are listed by subject or type and some have multiple options to choose from. There are activities that can be used for History, Language Arts, Music, Art, and more including Field Trip ideas! 

Using Once-a-Week Unit studies

Although these are called Once-a-Week Unit Studies, students are not actually only doing history one day a week. Ms. Gibson includes a suggested schedule in the front part of the study guide. She lays out a plan that includes doing your regular daily studies 4 days a week along with doing your unit study reading and family read aloud each day.  On one day of the week you would do the family devotional and your unit study activities. This is a guideline and she also gives suggestions for those who want to do a little bit each day instead of all the activities in one day.

We choose to spread out the activities over the week instead of trying to do multiple activities in one day. It was far easier for me to spend two to three days a week doing activities with Supergirl.

I did have to adapt some activities.  For example, we couldn’t do the field trip for Biltmore Estates and I couldn’t find the recommended book, but I was able to find some virtual tours on line.

I also choose to add some DVDs because Supergirl is not reading independently. We were able to find some DVDs to replace books that she couldn’t read to herself or that we couldn’t find that fit the topic. 

We also choose to make this more hands on for Supergirl by lapbooking our way through the study. She especially liked dictating to me to create mini-book about Queen Elizabeth. 

Some activities were able to do as written such as build a castle out of Legos.

Once-a-Week unit study Knights & Nobles includes fun activities like building a lego castle! See Tess's Review at Circling Through This Life

 

Our Thoughts

I do not consider myself a “unit studies mom” so I was very skeptical when I first reviewed Native America. Sharon Gibson’s Once-a-Week unit studies convinced me that I could do unit studies. Supergirl and I are loving Knights & Noble just as much as we loved Native Americans. I do disagree about the prep time. It takes time to hunt down the reading choices and to plan out how to do some of the activities and to gather materials. For me it is a jumping off point and is just what I need to put together a fun, but educational, study that my daughter will both enjoy doing and learn. If you like unit studies, you’ll love the Once-a-Week studies and if you are like me and not really sure about unit studies you’ll still love Knights & Nobles.

Making a Lapbook is just one of the many suggestions in the Once-a-Week Study Guide! ~ Read Tess's review at Circling Through This Life

 

The Details:

  • The Vendor:  Homeschool Legacy
  • The Product: Knights & Nobles
  • The Author:  Sharon Gibson
  • Format:  We reviewed the digital PDF Option (Grab-N-Go buying option) but there is also an option for a physical Paperback version
  • Age Range: Appropriate for grades 2 through 12
  • Price:  (Digital) $14 (physical) $18.95
  • Also Available: See the image for a sampling of the many different options! Or visit Homeschool Legacy to see all the available titles!
  • NOTE:  While the guides are written from an explicitly Protestant Christian worldview, they are not anti-Orthodox and the recommended books and dvds were from a neutral, secular point of view. The only overtly Christian aspect are the family devotions which I chose not to do. The family devotion activities, however, would be easy to modify to be from an Orthodox perspective. I think my Orthodox Home Schooling readers looking for a short unit study will want to check out these Once-A-Week Unit Studies from Homeschool Legacy.

 

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2 comments:

  1. That's kind of odd to have a specific field trip selection, that seems like it would limit those who could purchase.
    It looks so fun, I am jealous of Supergirl

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    1. It does sound odd, but it works for this and she makes it clear that the field trip is *optional* and she gives other options for those of use who could not do the field trip. Unfortunately, the option to page through the book to look at the pictures wasn't an option because the library didn't have it. But I found vitrual tours and phoot galleries so it was like looking at the book. There was a virtual lego castle tour too that Supergirl loved.

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