If you have never used one of TOS Magazine's Planner modules, you are in for a treat in your school day. This is the fourth one my family has tried and they are always a hit, especially with my elementary-aged children.
Each module, available online at www.theoldschoolhousestore.com, is a mini-unit study that is easy to use, requires virtually no teacher prep time, and works well with multiple ages. For the busy mom (and what homeschool mom isn't busy?), these short units are a fun break from textbooks that kids will learn from and enjoy.
This 56-page unit comes to you in the form of an enhanced E-book with hyper links to various child-friendly websites with games, puzzles, and other activities to reinforce the theme of Traveling the World via the seven continents. Pages can be printed as many times as needed, and teacher answer keys are included.
There are informational pages, recipes, resource lists, extensive hyperlinks, rebus puzzles, and even coloring pages children. There is also a variety of crosswords, both manuscript and cursive copy work, word searches, and even lap book ideas and templates.
My upcoming 5th grader could read and do most of the work independently, and my preschooler enjoyed the coloring pages and online games (her favorite was a map matching game). A separate section called "High School Expansion" presents more in-depth information for the older students in your home. I found the sections on lapbooking and Letterboxing (a pastime we've wanted to start for years) particularly helpful and interesting. We broke our study down over a period of about three days but these modules could be easily stretched out or shortened.
My middle son is a highly visual learner so the colorful format and bite-sized pieces of information made it easy to understand and grasp. He also benefits from online educational sites and retains information better when it is presented to him in a visual way, so for him each hyperlink was a highly effective educational tool. He just thinks the games are fun and forgets he's learning! And I didn't have to take the time to search out these safe sites for him to explore.
As a mom, I appreciated the ease of use and the way all the information had been gathered for me. The resource link list in this module is outstanding! I really like paying the low price of $7.95 per module and being able to save it to my computer and print only what I need, when I need it, using it with my children again later. The only item called for was a globe and even that was optional, as we were referred to a photo of one in the unit itself as we covered the topics of latitude and longitude.
There are many other modules available, too many to list. There are units on Remarkable Art, Let's Be Scientists, and Liberty: the Founding of a Country, just to name a few.
Many moms I've met shy away from unit studies because they can be so much prep work. Not these modules. Trying a TOS Planner module is the perfect way to ease into the world of unit studies and theme-based learning.
Give it a try! I am sure you'll like it as much as we did.
Disclaimer: I received the TOS Magazine June 2010 module free of charge to use and review.