Monday, January 8, 2007

Amanda Bennett Unit Studies

AMANDA BENNETT UNIT STUDIES, Etc. Review by: Heidi Strawser, for Homeschool E-store and HSAdvisor


Date: September 26, 2006

Does your family enjoy unit studies? We are not a "unit-study-only family" but I love the idea of unit studies and we have done several unit studies in the past. A unit study is a great way to escape from the routine of ordinary school days and study something interesting and fun.

Anyone who is familiar with unit studies has probably heard of Amanda Bennett. To me, her name is practically synonymous with the term "unit studies". Amanda has written many unit studies for homeschoolers. Her topics are about as broad as the imagination- from the Ocean to Lighthouses, from Horses to Trains, from Patriotic Holidays to American Government, to name just a few. Homeschool E-store ( currently has 13 of Amanda’s unit studies available for immediate download. The great thing about having these unit studies available in e-book form is that you can use them directly from your computer or save them to disc or jump drive for later use. I like this approach better than a "paper book" because Amanda includes many internet links in her studies (for further research); you can direct-link through your computer, rather than typing the web addresses into your browser. Each unit study is written for two levels- there is a daily lesson plan for Lower Level (elementary) and Upper Level (junior and senior high)- so you can use these studies with various age-levels at one time.

Another great product by Amanda Bennett is her notebooking pages. Homeschool E-store currently has six of these notebooking page sets available, corresponding to several of Amanda’s unit study topics. These notebooking pages are basically blank 8½ by 11" sheets, each containing a graphic that is theme-appropriate. I love them because they are a great value, as well as being a timesaver for me.

What happens though, you might ask, if your child is interested in a topic that Amanda hasn’t written a unit study for yet? That was a question in my mind until I found a great book by Amanda called "Unit Studies 101" ( In this book, Amanda explains the unit study approach and why it is so effective; then she goes on to explain how ANYONE can write a unit study of her own. She gives a "roadmap for success" and explains exactly how to research and organize. She includes reproducible forms, a huge list of possible topics, and even a cross-reference to the Dewey Decimal System. Thanks to this book, even I could write my own unit study!

Homeschool E-store has another wonderful Amanda Bennett resource available- her "Unit Study Journal" ( This is a 105-page printable journal full of fill-in-the-blank forms to correspond to your unit study. This book will help you keep track of your unit study progress, make record keeping simple and efficient, and because it is available in digital format, you only have to print the pages that you need or desire to use. Some of the pages in the journal include: Spelling & Vocabulary, Books That We Used, Favorite Finds, Our Projects, Field Trips, and many more. Having this book available in digital format makes it so much more cost-effective, as you can print as many copies as you need.

One more Amanda Bennett product that I just love is a new Bible study book that she has written for preschool through second graders, called "First Steps in Faith" ( This is a 203-page study focusing on the Gospels and the life of Jesus Christ. There are 92 simple story lessons, each containing the scripture reference, some corresponding questions, illustrations, and internet links for online resources and coloring pages.

Some things that I’ve come to appreciate and expect from Amanda Bennett are her detail-oriented approach and her use of famous quotes in her books and unit studies. I know I won’t be disappointed by any Amanda Bennett purchase. If you’ve never used any of Amanda’s great resources, I encourage you to take the time to look over them now at - you’ll be glad you did!

*You can also visit Amanda's blog~ on it, she shares some great ideas, seasonal activities, and specials!



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