Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Introducing Mini-Units and September Mini-Units

September Mini-Units The Happy Wife (homeschool)

I have decided to do something new this year with the kids.  We are still studying units like we have in the past, but this year, I also decided to include mini-units, several days a week, to break up the monotony of focusing on one main thing for a week or two at a time.  To decide on the mini-units, and to keep them relevant, I started at the Wacky and Unique Holidays over at Holiday Insights.  I went through the months and marked down the "holidays" that seemed like a good fit for my kids.  I then went through the Birthday and This Day in History calendars as well.  I also included regular holidays that are celebrated in the US, England and/or Mexico (my children's heritage).  I only choose one mini unit per day, so in the event there is more than one holiday/birthday/historical event/etc on the same day, I picked the one that was most relevant to our lives at the moment.   I also used the Wacky and Unique Holidays find  the "special" months (Hispanic Heritage month, Honey Month, etc) and add some of those in through the month, especially on days when there was not an appropriate "fun" event to learn about.  I will share with you what we have studied so far and what is coming up for us over the next few weeks.  Some days the mini-units take up more time than others and there are a handful of days where we do not do any mini-units at all.

I will start with the things that are celebrated throughout the month of September that we will be celebrating in some way:

Classical Music

We are listening to one classical musician each week.  We listen to one song by that musician each day and read a short biography about them, usually on Monday, but can move it to another day if needed.

International Square Dancing Month- 

This is an easy one because we will actually be making a full unit study out of it for Physical Education.  We are planning to learn several steps and a bit about the history of square dancing.  We will also be looking at some traditional square dance costumes.

National Piano Month-

 Learning piano has been on our bucket lists for a while now.  This summer I picked up some curriculum for learning how to play piano, so we are going to celebrate Piano Month by kicking off the piano lessons.

Chicken Month and Honey Month-  

We are celebrating by incorporating chicken and honey into recipes each week.  So far, we have tried Honey Carrots, and Honey-Glazed Chicken (which has become a favorite in our house).  Up next is Baklava and Fried Chicken .

Baby Safety Month-

We are going through the house and determining what hazards exist.  We are then sitting down and figuring out how to correct the hazards and then implementing our plan.  Since we have a toddler in the house, this is necessary anyway, so I am just turning it into a health/home ec lesson and doing during Baby Safety Month.

Hispanic Heritage Month

(actually runs from 9/15-10/15)- This hits close to home for us so we will be doing some full unit studies involving famous Hispanics throughout history, including Rita Moreno, Antonia Novello, Sonia Sotomayor, and soccer great Pele. As I complete the unit studies for each of these people, I will link their name to it.

Now for the daily events we will be learning about.  I will start by listing the units and then linking to the corresponding weekly post as they are written.

Week 1:

9/1- Mary Had a Little Lamb first published

9/2- Labor Day

9/4- Rosh Hashanah

9/5- Cheese Pizza Day

9/6- Birthday of the Marquis de Lafayette (incidentally we are in the middle of studying the Revolutionary War, so this was perfectly timed)

9/7- Birthday of Grandma Moses

Week 2:

9/8- Grandparent's Day

9/9- Teddy Bear Day

9/10- Sewing Machine Day

9/11- 9/11 Remembrance Day

9/12- Chocolate Milkshake Day

9/13- Birthday of Roald Dahl

Week 3:

9/15- Make a hat Day

9/16- Mexican Independence Day

9/17- National Apple Dumpling Day

9/18- National Cheeseburger Day

9/19- International Talk Like a Pirate Day

9/20- POW/MIA Recognition Day

Week 4:

9/22- Elephant Appreciation Day

9/23- Birthday of Ray Charles

9/24- Birthday of Jim Henson

9/25- Pacific Ocean Discovered on this day

9/26- Birthday of Johnny Appleseed

9/27- Native American Day

9/28- National Good Neighbor Day

I do not have anything scheduled for the last 2 days in September, but September 30th kicks off Get Organized Week so we will be choosing one area in the house to organize each day that week.

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