We are not regular unit study families, but I do think that unit studies have their place in many, if not most, homeschools. They fill in gaps, provide necessary relief from daily curriculum tedium, and are great for highlighting certain holidays and special times of the year. They can also be a lot of work! Homeschool Legacy's Once-A-Week-Micro-Studies are no almost no work at all, though! I was lucky enough to get to use the Once-A-Week-Micro-Study Victoria and Her World, and I can attest to the fact that it is everything that is great about a unit study with none of the grief.
Once-A-Week-Micro-Studies are different from other unit studies in that they provide three 30-minute lessons per week (in other words, they don't take over the entire school day). They also don't include library lists, which I *love*. Instead, they give general call numbers so you have an idea of where to look in the library for suggested resources. Those library lists that are common in unit studies always stressed me out. I just knew that the library wouldn't have the exact books I needed when I needed them, and I am not organized enough to plan far enough ahead to have what I need there when I need it. This kind of unit study is so much more up my alley! For my family, a brief detour to Victorian England sounded like a wonderful respite from what has turned out to be a very intense school semester! In fact, we've enjoyed it so much that we might just turn to Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims for another fun break from school reality - what a great time of year to do so, right?
What The Study Includes
Week One includes a basic overview of the literature, music, geography, and government of Victorian Britain. Coincidentally, we had already been studying several of these things in school! I am reading Dickens to the kids (11, 11, 13) and their geography assignment at the time (they are finishing the geography of Europe) was the UK. Part of geography is talking about the government and anthem of a country, so we basically covered much of week one of our unit study without even trying!
Week Two dives more into history, background, timeline, and fashion. Because we are only up to the middle ages in our multi-year survey of history, this was all new material to the kids, and they loved it. My homeschool library is *ridiculous* so I didn't need to go to the library for any materials, which I absolutely loved (major points to this study for not having that required library list!).
Week Three is more history and gets into Victorian Christmas traditions. Now, this is something that I have researched quite a bit in order to create materials for edHelper, so we had a lot of fun delving into this. Week Three also included my least favorite aspect of any unit study - the topical recipe. I'm chagrined to say that I didn't bake the "Queen Cakes." I love to cook, but I hate to bake. It requires measuring. I know that most homeschooling moms love this part of unit studies, though, so I wanted to make sure to mention that baking is included!
Week Four goes into The Industrial Revolution, games, toys, and finishing up the timeline. Another recipe is included with the suggestion of an English Tea. If my kids were younger (or if two of them weren't boys) I may have indulged that idea.
What We Thought
We really enjoyed this unit study, and I know that there will be some families who will *love* this learning style. For us, specifically, I know that we don't *do* unit studies as thoroughly as many do. I gravitate toward what I love, and that is much more what was included in Week One - the literature, the music, and the geography. In fact, Week One is the only week that took us even close to the hour and a half that each week of this study is supposed to take. Granted, I eschewed the baking, so that explains the quickness of two of the weeks. Much of the time we spent on this study was just me talking to the kids about Queen Victoria, Victorian England, and whatever topic was on the table (Industrial Revolution, customs, etc.). The unit study was more of a jumping off point for us. Now, the fact is that I do have a degree in history and I do read non-stop in this area (Victorian England), both fiction and non-fiction. I even scour the Internet for Victorian broadsheets. Hence, at least for this unit study, I didn't necessarily need much direction to really get going with my kids. If history isn't your thing, or if you really like to stay on track and stick to a schedule, you may just love these unit studies!
A total of 100 Crew members have been using these nifty unit studies, so be sure to click the banner below to see what they thought!