We’ve been working on parts of the homeschool unit studies available from Silverdale Press LLC. We received their White House Holidays Unit Studies to review as part of the Homeschool Review Crew. All opinions are our own.
Although much of our schoolwork tends to be more curriculum based these days, I do enjoy a good unit study. Digging deeper into a particular topic and following rabbit trails is something that brings joy to this homeschool mom’s heart. It also helps to provide a break from our typical studies.
Homeschool Unit Studies with Silverdale Press
White House Holidays Unit Studies is a series of homeschool unit studies published by Silverdale Press.
The author, Jill A. Hummer, Ph.D., has fond memories of different holidays during her youth, especially how her teachers would add fun activities or crafts in their days. This break from routine added to a level of excitement in the grade school classroom.
Pulling from those experiences, she wanted to craft something that would allow students to learn more about the holidays. Moving beyond elementary grades, she includes lessons for middle and high school students. Those lessons ask them to dig deeper into their learning and understanding. Through these lessons, students can then have a better appreciation of our forefathers and the history behind each of the holidays.
As a professor of government and history, she has plenty of education and teaching experience to pull together the key points for students to learn.
Particular US Holidays Covered in White House Holidays Unit Studies:
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Note ~ The website lists a new study coming soon on George Washington!
Using White House Holidays Unit Studies
Families can study the same holiday together by using the lessons appropriate for their child’s grade level. Each study has three lessons for grade K through 6 and a different set of lessons for 7 – 12.
All the heavy lifting prep is done for you.
Each lesson begins with an introduction and overview for the teacher.
Then you will find the history the student reads for more background on the topic.
Finally, activities or other exercises reinforce learning and include lists of materials needed and any other resources (e.g. websites) the student needs to access.
This shows the breakdown of the K-6 lessons found in the Labor Day study.
Our Thoughts on Homeschool Unit Studies from Silverdale Press
While the timing of this review is not perfect for the actual US holidays, it has been a great way to dabble in some of the content now. I found that the boys were fine with reading through the material and doing the discussion aspects. However, I am tabling some of the projects for the month of the actual holidays.
I really like how she integrates photos and other illustrations during the lessons when teaching historical events. This helps bring the words to life for my boys and me.
Adding primary sources to the reading is another aspect of the lessons I like. I find that it helps the boys see the first-hand accounts and not rely upon someone’s worldview interfering with their summary of events.
The first study we read from is Labor Day.
The idea of being part of the workforce is a topic appearing in our house often. I have boys that need to work and earn money and one teenager who wants to work to afford life’s luxuries. Some of their recent experiences have led to discussions of how labor laws have evolved over time. While they are glad to not have ‘sweatshops’ with kids manning stations, they do wonder why some states have tight limits on the number of hours a minor can work.
We also took a gander at the Veteran’s Day readings. This was interesting given that many people confuse some of the different holidays recognizing military members. Seeing how it grew out of Armistice Day which marked the end of World War I was an eye opener for them. WWI seems like so long ago to a young child.
As a parent, I peeked at the other unit studies as well. Each is done quite well with a great background write up for the students to learn the history behind the holiday and the activities to help them take action on what they’ve learned.
Final Takeaway on Homeschool Unit Studies from Silverdale Press
If you want to dabble a bit in the history of these holidays, the unit studies are easy to add into your week. Having the different grade level lessons for those of us with both elementary and high school students means a common focus for all.
Not only can you have some fun, but you and the kids will have a better appreciation for these national holidays.
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit Silverdale Press post on the Homeschool Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this resource.