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Monday, January 17, 2011

The Human Body Unit Study

Over the past two weeks, Preston and I worked on a unit study of the human body.  I picked out a unit study book from the The Bookcover (a home school book store in NRHills) a while back and was looking forward to making good use of it.  I figured that we would need some sort of structure coming off of Christmas break, so this worked well.  The book had a lot of activities that would be over Preston's head (it was made for kids a little older) but I went through customized it a bit.  What I liked was that it based most of it's activities and lessons off of two books: The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body and Through Grandpa's Eyes.  I got a little overzealous the first few days and Preston fought against me and my enthusiasm.  So, I laid off a little and we did less work, but talked and got through all the material I wanted to anyway.  I wish I had taken more photos during our lessons, 'cause we had a lot of fun doing all kinds of wacky things to learn about the body. 

The first thing we did was make an outline of Preston, label it and post it up on our wall so that we could refer to as we went.
He's saying "It's MEEEE!"
Then we made our way through the Magic School Bus book and lessons, learning about the inside of our body.  How many bones we have, what happens to food in our stomach, what joints do, etc.  He had writing prompts, math problems and art projects in addition to the science-y stuff.  We also did an activity where he practiced a few things every day and by the 5th day, his muscles "learned" - so he could jump farther, write faster and stand on one foot longer... that was pretty fun stuff!
Lots of paperwork, no wonder he got tired of me!
The artsy stuff was more fun to do anyway!
The second week was based on the book about a blind grandfather, and dealt a lot with the five senses and eating healthy.  There were a lot of activities that weren't paper-based, which Preston much preferred, of course.  But he still had writing prompts and some questions to answer and think about.
Not quite as much paperwork the next week

We went to the library at the beginning of the unit study and picked out some books about the body to help us learn more.  We had a good time going through these and finding out all kinds of interesting facts about what we're made of... or capable of!

Unfortunately, towards the beginning of the second week, Preston got sick... and then Callen did as well.  Just a cold or something, but it ran us down!  We spent a little more time on the couch watching tv and movies than we might should have... but oh well, we got our work done and had a nice, cozy time together.
Loving his Boppy, watching The Little Mermaid.
PJs, couch and movies - we had several days of this!
I liked having a unit study book to work off of, took a lot of stress off of me having to come up with every little thing completely on my own.  I had to alter the lessons quite a bit, but it sure made me feel like I knew what I was doing a little more - at least I had some sort of a plan.  Ha!  Now that the body study is over, we're going back to the way it was before Thanksgiving - just hitting on odd-and-end lessons... but I plan to do more of these unit studies as we go to help make sure we're really covering things fully.  I think Preston liked being able to focus on one thing at a time. Though it covered all of the different subjects (reading, writing, math, etc), it had a main focus - wasn't just all over the place.

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