Jan 042018

Winter Blahs?

Are you looking for something new in your homeschool?

Are you dreading starting back to school after a long Christmas break? (We’re attempting it today. Not going so well…)

Winter Blahs

How about trying something different while you get back in the swing of things?

The Presidents of the United States Video Based Unit Study from Paradise Praises might be just what you’re looking for.

Disclosure – I received compensation and a free copy of this study to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review. Post contains affiliate links.

Presidents of the United States Video Based Unit Study

This digital unit study, available as a downloadable pdf, consists of a one page chart for each president and an appendix. Each chart contains key facts like the years the president held office and who was the vice president. There are also video links and book suggestions for each president as well as geography tie-ins, field trip ideas, art and other suggested activities for many. The appendix contains suggestions for additional resources, a blank US Map, blank notebooking template pages, and vocabulary lists.

The schedule suggests studying 1 president per day. That provides 9 weeks of study including a final day for studying the first ladies. If you started next week, you’d be over halfway finished by President’s Day!

My Thoughts

This a simple unit study. There are not a lot of extras built in though there are plenty of ideas in the resource section. It’s essentially a plan of videos to watch, books to read, and appropriate activities.

Could you find all this yourself? Yes.

Would you do it? Speaking from my own experience, probably not. Sure, you might start well, but to actually keep going and make it through all the presidents? I’d end up with something more pressing. I wouldn’t have time to find a video one day. We’d skip that day. That would turn into a week and eventually my great idea of studying each of the presidents would be abandoned. (I hope I’m not the only one this happens too!)

The biggest value that I see in this product is that it’s ready to go. You don’t have to search for an appropriate YouTube video. The work is already done for you. You don’t have to decide which library books to order. They’re on the chart. This product is ideal for the homeschool mom who needs something that the kids can do independently while she works with another student, cooks, cleans, takes a nap, or whatever she needs to do.

You might enjoy this product if…

  • You are looking for something straightforward and easy-to-implement.
  • You don’t have the time and/or desire to put together your own studies.
  • Your children are familiar enough with a computer to open files and click links unassisted.
  • You have a good library system to order books.

This probably isn’t for you if…

  • You frequently create and enjoy creating your own unit studies.
  • You don’t want your children to watch YouTube videos about the U.S. Presidents. (Or go to YouTube at all.)
  • You are looking for something that includes reading and comprehension questions.

How I would use this –

I think this is a great addition to any elementary American History curriculum. Instead of studying 1 president per day, I would probably study 1 president per week that roughly corresponds to the time period in history we’re studying. We’re using Story of the World Volume 3 this year and this is the perfect time to start the Presidents of the United States Unit Study since we’ve completed up to the start of the American Revolution in our history studies.


You can view samples and purchase this product at Paradise Praises.

Have you started back to school yet? Do you start everything at once or ease into it? Do you like to change things around for the new semester?


Nov 092010

I remember sitting in an airport sometime around 1992, when for some reason, I got into a conversation with a man who was reading a book by someone I had never heard of: David Barton. This man very excitedly shared with me all he was learning about our Founding Fathers and their intentions for our nation to be a Christian nation.

I must confess, this was all news to me. Although I was a Christian, I had completely believed what little I had been taught in my public school history books. Wasn’t America founded as a place of religious tolerance? Weren’t our Founding Fathers mainly Deists? I somewhat skeptically listened to this man talk, and I even wrote down the name and author of the book he was reading.

A few years later, the name David Barton was mentioned again. This time it was because he was going to be speaking at a church in our area. Many of our friends from church were going to hear him, and my husband and I decided to see what he had to say. We were definitely in for a treat, in a mind-boggling sort of way. If you have ever seen David Barton you will know what I am talking about. Much of his presentation consisted of a picture of the Signing of the Constitution which he pointed at with a laser pointer and very quickly told facts about the faith of the various delegates. I left with my head spinning from information overload. There was no way to remember and digest all the information in that one talk, but I did at least recognize that the history books don’t tell the whole story.

Why have I told you all of this? Because I was recently given the opportunity to review an excellent resource that put that wealth of information about our Founding Fathers into one accessible volume. For You They Signed, by Marilyn Boyer, contains biographical information about each of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The book is arranged in the way the Declaration was signed: by colony. Included for each signer is a sketch, a table of basic information, a timeline of public service, and several pages of biographical information. Also included for each signer are Questions for Discussion. There are questions that focus on facts in addition to those that point to each man’s character.

There are several suggested ways to use this book:

  • A Year’s Worth of Family Devotional Character Studies
  • A Complete Resource for a  Single Mom
  • A Practical, Life-Changing Self-Study
  • A Group Study Designed to Make a Difference
  • Inspirational General Reading

In addition to these ways, I think it makes a great supplementary resource for American history study. I do not intend for my children to grow up with the same dismal knowledge of history that I had! And among the many benefits of homeschooling, I get to learn alongside my children. I look forward to using For You They Signed with my family for years to come.

I received this book compliments of Master Books to review. You can follow Master Books and Marilyn Boyer on Facebook. I am also participating in America’s Christian Heritage Event at the Christian Home School Hub. You can find links to other reviews at Christian Home School Hub and you can vote for your favorite review.


This book is available for purchase at Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com.

Oct 232007

We just completed our study of the Civil War. We used all the following books and websites to study the Civil War and create our lap books.

Civil War Study

Across Five Aprils
This was a read-aloud.  It provided a good overview of the war from a child’s perspective.  It gave some detail about various battles (as much as we wanted truthfully), and insight into many of the issues.

The Everything Civil War Book: Everything you need to know about the conflict that divided a nation (Everything (History & Travel))
I used this mainly to familiarize myself with the Civil War.  There was a nice timeline in the back that I used to make the kids’ timelines in their lapbooks. I wrote the event and had them copy it onto cardstock.  That’s what the LONG white inserts are in the lapbooks.

Abraham Lincoln (Bicentennial Edition)
Abraham Lincoln – Read-aloud

If You Grew Up With Abraham Lincoln
If You Grew Up With Abraham Lincoln – Independent reading

Who Was Harriet Tubman?
Independent reading

Meet Addy: An American Girl (The American Girls Collection Book 1)
Meet Addy-An American Girl – Independent reading

The Drinking Gourd: A Story of the Underground Railroad (I Can Read Book 3)
Independent reading

Pink and Say
I read this book aloud.  It is very touching.  I got choked up several times.

Civil War Days: Discover the Past with Exciting Projects, Games, Activities, and Recipes
his is a book of projects.  We didn’t do as many of them as the kids would have liked. We especially liked baking “Shortnin’ Bread”.  It was delicious.

A Picture Book of Robert E. Lee (Picture Book Biography)
This was a good read-aloud.  It had good information about Robert E. Lee.

Ulysses S. Grant: Eighteenth President 1869-1877 (Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents)
I read this aloud too.  It included U.S. Grant’s life, not just his presidency.

My America: My Brother’s Keeper: Virginia’s Civil War Diary, Book One
Independent reading

I also found these websites helpful.

Homeschool in the Woods – Civil War Unit Study

The History Place – A great Civil War timeline

Differences between the North and South Minibook


We included a copy of the Gettysburg address pasted inside a modified envelope book.  Basically it was folded twice in the envelope fold, like the old “cootie catchers”

The clip art of Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Grant, and Robert E. Lee was from free historical clip art.