One of the approaches to homeschooling that is currently working for our younger children is the use of Unit Studies. Our kindergartner is interested in a lot of different topics—including history—so reviewing the Thomas Jefferson Unit Study (K-6) by Sarah Bean of Love at Home Education was a perfect fit for our homeschool. There are three options for purchasing the Thomas Jefferson Unit Study:
We received a digital copy of the Thomas Jefferson Unit Study (K-6) (49-page PDF) to use in our homeschool. It is written to be used over the course of one week and has parts for K-2 and 3-6 grade students. In each of the President studies there are mathematics pages, landmark pages, fact and timeline pages, and a variety of other activities provided.
How We Used the Jefferson Unit Study
I read through the unit study to decide what parts would fit in our homeschooling day since our kindergartener would be using the materials. I then printed out the following items to use:
- Facts about Thomas Jefferson (3 pages)
- Timeline (2 pages)
- Math worksheets (2 of 3 pages for Kindergarten)
- Vocabulary (1 page for K-2)
- What's the Declaration of Independence? (1 page)
- Facts about Jefferson (places named for him; 1 page)
Over the weekend, we read through the facts provided and discussed the new vocabulary words like: surveyor and dumbwaiter. The first activity our kindergartner completed was the timeline activity. This was great because it allowed him to practice his scissors skills and sequencing of events. We were able to discuss some of the things we had learned about Jefferson from the facts we read as well as the books we checked out of the library. (Our son always wants to see if the library has any books on the topic we are studying.)
On the next day, I requested our son cut out the two vocabulary words so we could hang them up and then he also wrote out some of the words in which he was unfamiliar with the definitions. We then worked on one of the math worksheets ("Circle the group that has more").
On the same day, he completed the second math worksheet ("Circle the group that has less"), we read about the Declaration of Independence and looked through our library books on Jefferson. He referred to the vocabulary words that he cut out the previous day.
Finally, we spent time looking at the landmark photos provided in the unit study and working on some geography. For the list of places named for Jefferson, we sat at the computer and looked up locations near our home. We also looked for places on our United States Map.
Personally, I like that it is "an open and go" book which allows a homeschooling parent to use the unit study in conjunction with other products by Sarah Bean or with whatever works best for their children's learning styles and needs. One of the great things about homeschooling is the freedom that it provides families. Unit studies like this are perfect for that purpose.
Our kindergartner really enjoyed learning about Thomas Jefferson. I felt that the information and worksheets were just right for him. And we would be able to do more research on our own if he wanted to learn more about Jefferson. This was a fun unit study to use in our homeschool. While the Thomas Jefferson Unit Study is available as a download, I would recommend purchasing the printed Thomas Jefferson Unit Study (bound or unbound) because there are full-color photographs and illustrations. This will really help your time studying the third president of the United States come alive! Print versions are now shipping!