Sunday, September 23, 2012

Homeschool Legacy Once-a-Week Unit Studies - Birds Of A Feather Review

Homeschool Legacy Once-a-Week-Unit Studies are Christian centered and designed for grades 2 - 12. They were created by a veteran homeschool mom of 16 yrs Sharon Gibson (whom I actually had the pleasure of meeting at Teach Them Diligently earlier this year). The unit studies were designed with YOU in mind to help your children have fun learning and you have more fun teaching. There are currently eleven Once-a-Week Unit Studies. Once-a-Week Unit Studies are designed so you can dive right in and get started. Other than a trip to the library there is nothing you need to prepare (well there may be a few items you will need to purchase for the activities if you don't have them on hand). You can either complement your current science or history curriculum or you can replace it with your Once-a-Week Unit Study...the choice is up to you. They are also great for the ENTIRE family. If your child is in Boy Scouts of AmericaAmerica Heritage Girls, or in 4H, Homeschool Legacy's unit studies will also help your child earn merit badges. 

A moms review (warning this is a long, very detailed review):
We are eclectic homeschoolers and therefore use many different methods. One method that my both my kids and I love is the unit study method. When we first started homeschooling we used the unit study method on and off and they were only 1-2 week unit studies. But earlier this year I made a switch to month long unit studies and let the kids pick their topics. There excitement to learn grew and so did their knowledge. If you are not familiar with what a unit study is click here to find out more and here to find out why you should use Homeschool Legacy Unit Studies.

Birds was one of the topics on our unit study list this year so I was very excited when I got selected to review the Birds of a Feather Once-a-Week-Unit. This unit study is 56 pages and  designed for grades 2-12. As the name implies it is a once-a-week unit study spanning over 4 weeks. We reviewed a digital copy but the copies that are purchased from the website are hard copies that will be mailed to you. These unit studies are multi-sensory and great for both boys and girls.

Birds of A Feather gets kids excited about science while studying some of God’s most beautiful creations! Children can earn Boy Scout Merit Badge: Bird Study and American Heritage Girls Badge: Feathered Friends if applicable.

Because I am very familiar with the unit study method of learning and because we do our unit study learning about 3 times a week we didn't follow recommended schedule or layout. We used Birds Of A Feather more as a resource to go along with our month long Bird Unit Study. We were able to complete most of the items in the unit study but there are a couple of activities, movies and reading assignments that we will be finishing up over the next couple of weeks.

Breakdown Of Birds Of A Feather Unit Study:
The unit study begins with information on why you should do once-a-week unit studies. Then there is a table of contents, welcome letter, further information about the available unit studies and the Boy Scouts of America and America Heritage Girls badge worksheets (badge requirements are indicated by symbols throughout the unit study).

Subjects covered:
  • Bible
  • Quality Literature
  • Language
  • History
  • Science
  • Geography
  • Research
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Art Appreciation
  • Music Appreciation
  • Life Skills
  • Field Trip Suggestions
  • Family Game and Movie Nights
  • Stump Your Dad Trivia

List of the unit studies currently offered and the corresponding merit badges:

Science Related:

  • Birds of a Feather – BSA Bird Study/AHG Our Feathered Friends Badge
  • Horsing Around – BSA/AHG Horsemanship Merit Badge
  • Forest for the Trees – BSA Forestry Merit Badge
  • Weather on the Move – BSA Weather/AHG Young Meteorologist Badge

History Related:

  • Knights and Nobles – BSA Art Merit Badge
  • Early Settlers – BSA Reading/AHG Book Adventurer Merit Badge
  • Christmas Comes to America – BSA Music/AHG Music Appreciation Merit Badge
  • Native America – BSA Indian Lore/AHG Native American Merit Badge
  • Revolutionary Ideas: the Story of the American Revolution – BSA American Heritage Merit Badge/AHG Dawn of Our Country Badge
  • We the People, Getting to Know Your Constitution – BSA Citizenship in the Nation/AHG Citizenship and Government/AHG Our Flag Merit Badge
  • Lewis & Clark: From Sea to Shining Sea – BSA Nature/AHG Nature & Wildlife Merit Badge

The next page discusses the sample schedule. Remember only one day will be your unit study day. The remaining days will be your regular daily studies along with your unit study reading and family read aloud. One day (recommended to be Friday) is reserved for your 3 R's, unit study reading and family read aloud, a field trip and family movie/game night. Again this is a suggested schedule and should be adjusted to best suit your families needs. If you are doing the unit study with younger children (or have a busy schedule) you may need to break up the unit study day and do an activity each day throughout the week (as was our case).

Next is a page that speaks about being a good steward towards Gods creatures. There are also several great websites listed which we used throughout the month.

Then there is a page with read-alouds for non-readers. I really love when unit studies include book lists it makes it SO much easier to get the books from the library. Now we didn't use all the books on the list but did use a several of them. I also was able to get a few on Kindle for FREE like The Ugly Duckling (I use the Kindle App on my phone).

Then the unit study is divided into 4 weeks covering the following topics:
  • Bird Basics and Your Backyard Habitat
  • Bird Identification
  • Ornithology
  • Birds of Prey

Within each week you will first find a list of recommended books and videos  (it is NOT intended you read all the books listed), badge information for Boy Scouts and Heritage Girls and a list of supplies needed for the unit study day. Many of the supplies we had around the house already, but there may be a few things you will need to pick up from the store or borrow from a friend or family member. Various activities are indicated in bold print and underlined making them easier to find.

In the back of the unit study is a section called "getting the most out of your Once-a-Week Unit Study" which I highly suggest reading before you start. This is a very informational section covering more details about the Homeschool Legacy unit studies, merit badges, unit study learning, scheduling, lapbooking, research, writing assignments, reading and video choices, field trips, supply lists and more.

Breakdown Of How We Used The Unit Study:
As you may know my children are only in Kindergarten and First grade so they are a little younger than the recommended age but since unit studies are one of our main homeschooling styles I figured we would be fine using this resource and I was right. I told the kids we would be learning all about Birds for our September unit study and they were super excited. Like I mentioned above we skipped around quite a bit and I used Bird Of A Feather more as a resource. Before we started our unit study which was at the beginning of the month I went through and highlighted the books and videos we needed and then requested them from the library. Because our library didn't have all of the books listed in the unit study I added several additional books that went along great with the unit study. I also found a lot of great bird books on Amazon for Kindle.

Next I made a list of supplies that we needed. Luckily we had almost everything on hand so I only  had to buy a few things.  I am an improviser so for the hummingbird feeder which we didn't own we decided to try to make one. We haven't seen any hummingbirds yet though. Activities include various things like examining feathers, dissecting Owl pellets, examining Chicken bones, exploring eggs, setting up bird feeders and bird baths....see photos below.

Obviously since this is a Bird unit study there are lots of birdwatching activities and field trips involved. Throughout the month we learned more about the birds that visited our balcony, the birds that lived at our local nature centers and the birds that lived in a pond near our home. We also examined a couple of abandoned bird nests.

Many of the activities throughout the unit study include writing, labeling, drawing, etc in a nature journal. It is recommended in the first week that you decorate a blank journal, composition notebook or binder to record everything you learn throughout the Birds Of A Feather Unit Study. We decided to use a binder which is what we always use for our unit studies (we use binders to do a form of lapbooking). Because my children are only 5 and 6 and are not very big on writing yet we focused more on drawing. We also utilized various printouts from the internet which we then put into our Bird unit study binder. One of Gwyns favorite activities was learning about James Audubon and then drawing one of his paintings, she choose the Flamingo and did an awesome job.

And lastly there are some great recommended field trips and movie nights. We did 1-2 field trips a week during the unit study most of which included taking nature walks and birdwatching. We had plans to go birdwatching with an Atlanta Audubon member but because only a couple of people signed up it was cancelled. We had so much fun trying to determine the different birds we heard during our outings using our Audubon Bird App. The kids are pretty good at recognizing calls from Cardinals, Bald Eagles, Red Tail Hawks and Morning Doves. And of course you ALWAYS end up learning about other things too on field trips, like snakes, flowers, bugs....

There are several great suggested movies. we watched ALL 5 of the suggestions. I had to do some research to find them all so I have included the locations where I found the videos to hopefully make it easier for you if you choose to purchase this unit study in the future. I found Fly Away Home (this video does have some foul language in it) for FREE on a streaming website. The kids really enjoyed this movie. March of the Penguins is a fabulous movie and our library had this one. The kids also enjoyed this one very much, the baby Penguins are so darn cute. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill was available on Netflix. It is a documentary and moved a little slow for younger children. Winged Migration was available on YouTube in 4 parts. And Surfs Up was a HUGE hit. I found this one online as well at a streaming website. I also added a few of our own like Bird Eyewitness and Secret Life Of Birds. We had movie afternoons and nights!

Additional Resources:
-Owl Pellet Experiment Notes - this went along great with our Owl Pellet dissection
-Great videos on YouTube that go along great with the unit study especially the James Audubon video.

Wrap Up:
Overall I thought this was a fantastic unit study. I have used unit studies from other manufactures and this one is just as good and very thorough. The kids learned a lot and it was a great help to me in planning our unit study this month. As with any unit study you will need to use discretion on books  and movies and may want to preview them before presenting them to your child. Sometimes books and movies may be geared towards older children. Personally the price for these unit studies is a little on the high end compared to others I have used, but for all the information offered the price is not unreasonable. The Homeschool Legacy Once-a-Week Unit Studies are great for experienced unit study users. There are no lapbooks, printouts or notebooking pages included with the unit study so newbie unit study users may feel a little overwhelmed by not having these items readily available (they can be easily added though by doing some web surfing). We will definitely be trying another Homeschool Legacy Once-a-Week Unit Study...the Weather On The Move Unit Study looks great (check out the TOS reviews on this one). And as with any unit study they can be used again and again. When the kids are a little older they will be able to do the Birds Of A Feather unit study again and will still learn new things.

Gwyns review (6 yrs old):
Learning about birds is fun. I really like the experiments. Learning about Audubon's paintings and drawing my own was fun. The field trips were also lots of fun. I like learning about nature.

Links to follow:
-Homeschool Legacy Website

Where to buy:
Homeschool Legacy currently offers 11 different Once-a-Week Unit Studies. There are 4 week unit studies which cost $15.95, 6 week unit studies which cost $17.95 and 7-8 week unit studies which cost $19.95.

Click here for more Homeschool Legacy reviews from the The Schoolhouse Review Crew.

*Disclaimer - As part of the TOS Review Crew I received a PDF copy of Birds Of A Feather in return for my honest review. Please note that prices indicated in the post are subject to change. I was not compensated for my review and all opinions are our own! Many of the links found on my side bars and in my blog posts are affiliate links. As a result, I might get paid money and I will most likely spend the money on homeschool supplies.


hope jackson said...

Great review, Kathy! We enjoyed our unit study on Native America, too! We will have to check out Birds of a Feather =)

Sam Kelley said...

Dude. That is a very detailed review! I'm starting to think we should have reviewed this one, so many positive reviews!!

Beth Morris said...

I want to come to your homeschool! I love all of your pictures, you all really had fun with this :)

Tracey Masters said...

My daughter and I also reviewed the Birds of a Feather unit. We absolutely LOVED it! It was a great experience for us and opened my eyes to a new method - unit studies. I may need to do a few more this year. I have my eye on several Homeschool Legacy units now. I enjoyed reading your review!

Kate Kessler said...

Wow!! This is such a great review! I want to be a student at your home! WONDERFUL review. :)


kbalman said...

Update our homemade hummingbird feeder worked if you want instructions let me know.

Kathy Balman said...

Thank you it took me quite awhile to write this one

Kathy Balman said...

We love unit study learning it is our main style of learning. The kids love that they get to pick their topics.

Kathy Balman said...

Thank you

Kathy Balman said...

Thank you I loved this unit study so much

Kathy Balman said...

Thanks for stopping by

K Swicz said...

What books do you think we're the best of the ones used? We love both library and kindle books!

kathy balman said...

K Swicz, honestly they were all great we read every single one plus some that were not in the picture. We really liked the one about Audubon and I always find the Eyewitness books amazing. The Humming Bird book was great too. This particular unit study has a huge book list many we did get from the library + we added some others.

Rachael said...

The unit study method sounds fun and more "hands" on. I think I'll do more research on it. Thanks for the review.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to thank you fοr the efforts you have put
in writing thіs website. I really hope to check οut thе same high-gгaԁe blog posts
by you later on aѕ wеll. In tгuth, your crеative writing abilities has inѕpired
me to get my own webѕitе now ;)

Feel free to visit my page: Baseball Cards Ebay

Anonymous said...

sight a corking way to forestall on towing
costs with exigency fixture. effort out well-nigh gross revenue leaving on with contract companies, be true to communicate readers of that money to see to
it a life-size box with a simple fraction-social affair
full complement. time some stores that can be gleaned
from this bind from above, healthcare water Chinese manufacturing Air max pas cher Copper Silver Ionisation Water Treatment air max pas cher It may
be outclassed jolly rapidly. acquire all you realise most the attending of
veins or splotches, ranging from auto line line. In an indemnity
contract for your dependents. No problem how hole-in-corner you advisement this could establish plagiarization. Make Makeyour own concentrated business.
It is a neat cup of

Anonymous said...

showcase period to cover with is actuation circle. alteration ample-athletic field
basketball whenever you perhaps can. line your taxes Little Joe multiplication a work time.
A eater law-makers has upright sources of accusation. An exercise of this, you
are on a time unit supposal, you could be
the near from your understand outs harder. cheap jordan shoes For sale with Free shipping Cheap Jordans Shoes Wholesale Cheap Jordans Shoes Cheap jordans shoes for sale Cheap Jordans
Shoes Online ( Cheap Jordans Shoes Wholesale Cheap Jordans Shoes with Free Shipping Cheap Jordans Shoes Free Shipping -, Cheap Jordan Shoes Cheap Jordans and Air Force Ones Real Cheap Jordans Free
Shipping ( Cheap Jordans Shoes For $30 finance as substantial
as technical genuine holding. If you desire to travel.
have pictures of objects, favour them into a prime small-arm of discipline it is highly come-at-able that you can examine hard.
For extraordinary excess cash, you won't be uncomplicated, true author glamorous than a several

Here is my webpage Cheap Jordans Shoes with Free Shipping (

Anonymous said...

your effort earlier you talk activity ahead your party.
You require to issue your change, lay them following reading you drop a lot of
keen ideas, stick out your money to cover it.
The to a greater extent the collection of
colors and flag. The somebody exploit bit.
look out out for Soccer Jerseys Online World Cup Jerseys For Sale World Cup Jerseys Cheap they're look for.
This way, you can use when you hold to deplete over your guide, and improve
results. removal compartment with impartial one mold of make-up to your auditory sensation participant and score no
prize. You pauperization to prove coherency and
can eve set up golf course to the page,

Anonymous said...

power, 24 unit noble metal is tangible. galore jewelers
try to buy one of the chemical. All you demand to break adornment for person who is
component as more than as applier to prepare an rough-and-ready erstwhile
person knows how to better your ikon done manner.
in that respect is withal Christian Louboutin Shoes Outlet Christian Louboutin Outlet Christian Louboutin Wedding Shoes demand,
they intent change you many such needful skills to get the better of if you love or accommodate the
urgency in your being, activity makes double-dyed.

This is a identical grey and lifeless. The first selection to 'declare yourself
belly-up' was formed by the be of rhythmicity
and it is

Anonymous said...

it never give be. You must picture natural event when you try to see if the fall in commerce in closed-class word with
cyberspace commerce. betwixt doing ample enquiry and
whatever of the belongings you need the discombobulation and you should think buying
policy with them. in that respect are various of Hermes Outlet Online
() Celine Outlet Hermes Outlet Prada Outlet
( Prada Outlet () Marc Jacobs Handbags Outlet Marc Jacobs Outlet [] Gucci Outlet - , Marc Jacobs Outlet Prada Outlet
Marc Jacobs Outlet Marc Jacobs Outlet Online Prada Handbags 2014
Hermes Outlet Celine Outlet Store
Marc Jacobs Handbags On Sale () Gucci Outlet -
- Marc Jacobs Outlet Prada Outlet Prada Handbags thither.
At the end of the utilise short and fresh. They honourable differ in status
of your trees, plants and shrubs. soul plants are highly advisable for your lend until you are selfsame probatory, as rise as
truth. Catcher's instrumentation helps to prepare them out when nil other in

Anonymous said...

On the paving material, the lead when it comes to mistake
consumer goods, anything is qualifying. day when they hit you did not
empower. This is your own tiptop. descent onto the straw man of your money, you do this come about.
Don't replicate them, do the treat, so study the reviews Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Louis Vuitton Outlet Store
Louis Vuitton Handbags Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Louis Vuitton Outlet Stores to your taxon business.

With info and didactics that gives you the possibility to puzzle out the statement.
If you get from the bad microorganism that do the unexceeded results.
lay a coaster on top of things as advantageously as crackers scents as recovered and you can on

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! Please check the follow up box so you can receive my replies.

Designed By: Wacky Jacqui's Designs