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?


Feb 192011

Well, actually I hope this was not a normal week.

On Monday morning I noticed a strange burning smell in my room. After a little bit of investigation, I discovered the heat pump was using auxillary heat. That was odd considering it was over 40 degrees outside. To make a long story short, one of our heat pumps was irreparable and needed to be replaced. I’ll spare everyone the financial details, but we’ll just say we’re going to be going on Dave Ramsey’s beans and rice, rice and beans meal plan for a while.

Tuesday we returned to our monthly homeschool book club. This month’s topic was U.S. Presidents. All 4 of the children (hmm. I guess that’s not right anymore.) Everyone but the baby presented. From youngest to oldest they children chose George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Franklin Roosevelt. My middle son pointed out that they had chosen all the presidents on coins. Pretty observant!

Little one presented on George Washington. Here is one page of her book.

That girl sure loves to color!

My middle son is very interested in the Presidents, so I made sure that he did a presentation this time. He hasn’t started participating on a regular basis. We made a book on Abraham Lincoln. He dictated some sentences to me about things he had learned. I typed them up and found images on-line to print. He pasted them onto the top of the page. I was very proud of the way he read his book to the group!

My older daughter reported on Thomas Jefferson. She chose to make a lapbook of her own design.

My oldest son did a report on FDR. He made a Power Point for his presentation.

Continuing on with the week–

My middle son had his yearly achievement test on Wednesday. That’s really the topic of another post. I’ll just say that some things were encouraging (he has made progress since last year), but there are definitely some major learning issues with him. I’m trying to figure out where to turn for help.

We got back to General Science with my oldest son this week. We’re a bit behind and are still working on Module 6. On Thursday he did an experiment on sedimentation. My youngest decided that she was going to do science too. She even made a drawing for her “Science notebook”.

I think if she had been my oldest child, I would have thought that homeschooling was a breeze. She has such wonderful enthusiasm for everything. She is a quite a joy!

How was your week?