Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Girls of American History ~ Felicity: Review

Girls of American History

There are very few girls over the age of five living in America who are not aware of the American Girl collection. When I was a little girl I looked forward to getting my Pleasant Company catalogs in the mail and one birthday I received Felicity, the doll I had dreamed about for so long! Felicity still graces our home and my husband sweetly expanded her wardrobe for Christmas one year.

My girls are now at an age where they not only love the dolls they appreciate the stories which go along with them. It is the perfect opportunity to begin teaching unit studies and I was blessed with the opportunity to review a unit from the Girls of American History created by Justine Gamble which incorporates a multisensory approach to learning. Since we already own the Felicity series this was a great place to start. I love how each unit is structured in itself. You can choose to travel through history or simply pick the units you want to study. 

The Felicity study has been much fun for my girls. My oldest two especially enjoy our story time each day. Story time is something I have been making an effort to do more faithfully. Schooling three lovely ladies alongside working part-time has been a balancing act. There are lots of good things I've let slide and this has been an excellent way to bring reading aloud back to our day. Quite often the girls draw or color while I read and it is such a sweet time for us. The books are easy to finish in a week's time and this is just the beginning of the fun!

Unlike traditional literature studies, there is not a question an answer guide for the books. As an English teacher I was surprised by this, but not disappointed in any way. The idea of these units is to engaged children in literature and history through active learning rather than passively answering questions. Student can create a lapbook as they study, there are excellent arts and crafts activity suggestions, and an extensive list of resources for further study on history, biographies, and geography. This is such a unit which allows you to go in any directions you want...or many directions at the same time! 

One of the suggested crafts was embroidering a bookmark. Rose already had a cross stitch pattern started which she continued on with. She has gotten quite good at this!

She also studied about George Washington as well I really how easily it is to add in more history with units likes this. The girls love history already which I attribute strongly to our use of living books. Seeing them excited to learn is every teacher's dream. 

At the beginning of our unit we took a trip to Williamsburg with their grandparents. It was such a fun time and you can read more about our trip here! 

They all had colonial dresses and were simply adorable. My favorite part of the trip was the tea house. It was so very yummy and very interesting. Grace really loved this too. Since she is only 4 her interest was not as fully with me for the majority of the unit. However, experiencing history and some of the same activities has been excellent for her and a great start to planting seeds of historical interest for the future. 

After our trip the learning continued with more books and more activities! I usually stick to a prescribed curriculum, but it was a nice change of pace to let the girls explore things they found interesting on their own. Beth became very interested in colonial dress and has thoroughly enjoyed coloring in her book and reading about the different styles. Rose enjoyed learning to write with a quill pen and has written a handful of letters and poems using it. She now very much appreciates writing with a pencil! 

Each of these 12 units are intended to last 6 weeks, but they can be lengthened or shortened based on your needs or desires. I love the flexibility of this type of study and think we will look at some more of these to use over the summer. For anyone looking for unique unit studies this is a really good fit and I believe your children will be thoroughly engaged throughout our time with them! 

Disclaimer: I received the Girls of American History Felicity unit in exchange for my honest opinion and review of the product. I was not required to give a positive review. These opinions are my own. 

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