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How to Pull It All Together with Design-A-Study

Example 1: Plan a unit study based on a culture or time frame (history).
Example 2: List each subject to be taught, then choose objectives in those subjects from the Design-A-Study guides.
Example 3: Use a packaged curriculum, but adjust it to suit your situation using Design-A-Study guides.
Example 4: Allow your student's interests to dictate areas of focus, checking off objectives in the Design-A-Study guides as they are covered.

How To Pull It All Together With Design-A-Study

The guides show you what to cover and how to teach, giving you a framework flexible enough to meet your children's needs. Here are just a few possibilities:

Example 1: Plan a unit study based on a culture or time frame (history).

  1. Choose the culture or period.
  2. Decide which other subjects to cover in connection with history, using the Activity Guide section of the Guides to History Plus.
  3. As you work in a subject, refer to the appropriate guide for the specifics of teaching that subject, and check off objectives covered.

For example:
Critical Conditioning lists the variety of types of books to read (nonfiction, historical fiction, fables, poems, and so on), as well as specific skills to be covered, such as finding the main idea. Skills can be covered in discussion, by use of novels that have study guides (cliff notes, novel units, stories from reading texts which include questions, and so), and/or by use of supplementary workbooks. Composition ideas can relate to the unit—suggestions are included in Guides to History Plus and Comprehensive Composition. Once an area of science is selected, choose specific objectives listed in Science Scope ("Explain how a volcano is formed," for instance). Students can research objectives and present an oral or written report, or the teacher can present lessons using library books, videos, kits, or other appealing resources.

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Example 2: List each subject to be taught, then choose objectives in those subjects from the Design-A-Study guides.

  1. Once objectives are chosen, decide on the materials best suited to your child to meet those objectives.
  2. Refer to teaching suggestions in the guides for direction in choosing resources, and for help in teaching the objective.
  3. Check off the objective in the guide once completed (date and student's initials). Remember, these guides cover several grades, allowing the student to work at his own pace. You'll find it helpful in future planning to be able to skim through the guides to note anything not covered.

For example:
A subject can be taught without trying to relate it to any other subject. You may decide the student should learn the proper form for business letters. Instead of an artificial exercise, he can write a complimentary letter, one of complaint, or a request for information or free samples to be sent and a reply received. Perhaps you want to cover classic literature, but find the books don't relate to the period being studied in history. Complete some of the skills listed in Critical Conditioning using discussion, composition assignments, and/or worksheets. No matter what subject is being covered, remember to find interesting materials.

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Example 3: Use a packaged curriculum, but adjust it to suit your situation using Design-A-Study guides.

  1. Check the Design-A-Study guide in each subject area to determine the actual objectives being covered in your particular curriculum. Then:
    • if necessary, wait and cover those objectives later. You will be able to see how many years an objective is covered so that you can avoid pushing a student before he is ready.
    • substitute other materials to meet the same objective.
    • skip the lesson because the child has already mastered the objective (making it busy work).
  2. Refer to Design-A-Study guides for activity ideas to substitute for curriculum suggestions you found unappealing.
  3. Use the curriculum package for some subjects only. Replace the other subject areas with a different approach, using the packaged materials as one of several resources.
    • Check the Design-A-Study guides for objectives and teaching ideas.
    • Replace or supplement the package curriculum materials with library books or other resources that appeal to the students.

For example:
Use all materials except the science text. Choose a topic from the text, but use a variety of books and projects to cover that same topic. This is an easy way to provide a refreshing change for the students, but keep planning to a minimum.

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Example 4: Allow your student's interests to dictate areas of focus, checking off objectives in the Design-A-Study guides as they are covered.

  1. The guides provide an overview that allows you to cover content or skills in any order. A student interested in electricity does not have to wait until it is covered in a sixth grade text, for example.
  2. When a student has a strong area of interest which consumes much of his time, you, as the teacher, can work in objectives from other subject areas so that the student still completes necessary content and skills. Anything not worked in should be covered using methods and resources appropriate to the student's learning style.

For example:
A study of history could focus on transportation, and while including other elements (see the question guide in Guides to History Plus, could go into more detail in this area of interest. The student could make a timeline of vehicles, read biographies of inventors, write reports on inventors, inventions, or both, and write creatively about the future with an invention of his own. While he reads related books, cover points in Critical Conditioning. Use Comprehensive Composition for discussion and composition points to cover in a biography, as well as to guide writing assignments. Check physical science, especially machines, in the Science Scope for details that he can research or you can teach using related library books with experiment ideas. Maximum Math will show you how to make up related word and estimation problems.

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