I have been reviewing Hewitt Homeschooling and their My First Report: Middle United States with Sterling. Sterling is seven and has just begun second grade, so he’s at the bottom edge of the age group for this – he needed a bit of help, but understood the work. This is recommended for grades 1-4.
When we got our envelope, the first thing I did was put these pages into a three ring binder. They were three-hole punched and this seemed the easiest way to keep things organized. I had Sterling read the pages to begin, but he was quickly overwhelmed so I had to step in and help him. Liberty (age 11) also was able to help him and do a bit of the research with him online. She liked that, Sterling got the help he needed, and both learned a bit about the states they were researching. That sounds like a win to me!
The states covered in this bundle include two that are dear to me: Missouri and South Dakota. Also in the bundle are Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. Each was created to last a week, but Sterling struggled with that much writing after a summer break that didn’t include so much writing, so we ended up with each state taking about two weeks working on it 3-4 days a week. Again, he’s rather young for this, and the point was that he was learning, so I wasn’t worried about progress through the states so much as progress in learning. We worked on looking things up quite a bit, but when that got old for him, a crossword puzzle made the work so much better. Sterling loves United States geography, but was getting tired of writing things down. There were many activities to break things up and keep him learning without getting bored. It was a great subject to introduce him to the world of reports, since it held his attention well. The day the packet came in the mail, as I was putting it into a binder, he saw the outlines of the states and named every state he saw. He’s got those figured out very well. Davy Crockett is far more interesting to him than the state birds, so studying through both was a good mix.
There is an abundance of suggestions regarding activities, people, events, and places to study, hymns to study and sing, and so much more. If I were not a textbook user, this would be an amazing unit study that would last a full quarter and cover math, reading, physical education, music, science, history, geography, health, art… it easily could be a full curriculum with a little effort – and end up being the most economical school year ever! We chose to spend 30-60 minutes a day on this – it can easily be adjusted from as little to as much as you want it to be.
We really enjoyed this review. I loved that it had such variety, that we could go with the flow and what Sterling felt like doing. He learned quite a bit, and had fun doing it. If you are a unit study schooler, this would be a great option. It covers every needed subject in the early elementary grades, and follows what I’d consider the ‘delight-directed’ approach. It has a long list of recommended resources to keep students busy for a quarter or longer. It is consumable, so one packet per child is needed. We did find there to be not enough lined paper for the amount of writing needed, so I had Sterling work on separate lined paper often.
This My First Report on the Middle United States is $8.95. It consists of 62 consumable pages printed black and white on regular computer paper with a fun colored front page. They are punched with a three hole punch and worked well in a three ring binder.
To read more reviews on this material and many other things offered by Hewitt Homeschooling, head on over to the Review Crew Blog.