What we received
We received 2 PDF files from Homeschool Complete, one for each of the unit studies. There are a number of additional items that are required in order to fully complete the unit studies ranging from books to milk cartons to rain gutters, in our case.
As unit studies, they do contain math, science, social studies, handwriting practice, drawing, experiments, reading passages, and even some sports and other activities.
How we used these unit studies
Because our schedules aren’t always consistent for many reasons, when it comes to unit studies, we do tend to work on them in big blocks of time rather than do a little a day for several days or weeks, and this is what we did in this case. If doing a little bit daily works well for you, then everything is set out for you in that way.
Olympics (Grades 3-6)
The children started off with the Olympics, a 3-week unit study, and which is always a favourite topic for them, and the grade range matched both of them. I printed off most of the worksheets for the children to do by hand, but some of them we worked on orally, such as the math problems, which were fun for me to call out and have the kids call out the answers as quickly as they could.
The children loved learning about specific people in past Olympics, such as the Flying Tomato, designing their own bobsleds and runs, attempting various balance poses, and they look forward to setting up a mock-Olympics again, as they’ve done in the past.
Asia (Grades 3-4)
The children are currently working their way through the Asia unit study, a 2-week study. This is of interest as I have lived in Japan and they love to learn about cultures as much as I do. The majority of the unit seems to focus on China, but I do realise that there are a multitude of countries in Asia so it is hard to focus everything into a two week study.
What Went Well
The language arts lessons on subject-verb agreement, conjunctions, and attaching suffixes to roots correctly were good practice for my children, who are learning these concepts in their English class at the moment.
The reading passages with associated questions are good for learning information and checking for comprehension, as well as good practice for reading out loud for the children. I liked that the text didn’t shy away from challenging words, either.
What Didn’t Work For Us
For us, things didn’t seem to flow as well as it could have. Each lesson has a group of words that children read aloud, but often these words didn’t have any bearing on the Olympics, although the Asia unit study was more with keeping the theme. The math was much easier than I would expect children of the target ages to know, but I do appreciate the Olympics unit study is geared for a wider age range.
The warm-up activities at the start of the lessons were things that I would already expect children of third grade and up to know, such as their address, the months of the year, abbreviations for weekdays, etc. In addition, we didn’t know the books that were used in each lesson ahead of time and we were not able to source those here in Northern Ireland. We did sub in alternate titles, but this meant we were not able to use the discussion questions provided.
We have mixed feelings about the unit studies we’re doing. I think we’ll do the reading passages and language arts components of the Asia study, and perhaps other activities if they grab the children’s interests, but it will be done more out of interest than as an educational requirement. For us, these particular unit studies haven’t worked particularly well, but they may work for families who perhaps have more background in unit studies, or live in the States where they will be able to source the recommended books with more ease.
You can read 60 reviews (including a couple of vlogs) about Homeschool Complete by the Homeschool Review Crew, to get more opinions of these products, as well as other unit studies and semester-long programs. If you’d like to know more or would like to follow Homeschool Complete, you can connect with them through their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.