Thursday, March 1, 2012

Welcome Guest Blogger - Louanne Mason

I found out about Amanda Bennett’s Download N Go™ studies last spring from a fellow homeschool mom. I promptly found the USAB website and Facebook  page and started to do a little research. I realized that they were going to be a perfect match for my teaching style and my wiggly 4-year-old. I decided to purchase the Sunny Seashells unit since we were going to the beach that summer.

 The unit is set up to be a five-day learning adventure. We took a lot longer than five days because my daughter was at the low end of the suggested age range for these. I wanted her to enjoy it and not feel like it was information overload. There are book suggestions for each day and video links built in. I ordered about a dozen books from the library, and we set the laptop on the table each time. Each day also has family fun suggestions and craft ideas included. There is a “shell of the day,” and my daughter liked some more than others. Each day also has a featured country of the day, and my daughter would find them on the world map and color them in. My friend from church brought a shoe box full of shells for us to use, and then when she found out how much my daughter loved them, she gave her the box full. My daughter was totally shocked, exclaiming, “MOM! Did you know that she gave me the whole box? Can you believe that?”

When we finished Sunny Seashells, my daughter said, “Mom, you are really fun to do this with. It’s like a party with you!” And at least ten times that day I heard, “I am so excited for our vacation. I want to find some shells!”

This sparked a love of unit studies in my daughter, and we moved on to Rocking Robots, Autumn Treasures, Goofy Geckos, and Valentine’s Day. We have been doing these for eight months now, and my now-5-year-old is totally involved with picking out which unit we will do next. She also gets excited to head to the library to get the next round of books for our study.

Something really cool has happened with every unit we have done. During Autumn Treasures we learned about monarch butterflies, and when leaving church that Sunday, the monarchs were on all the bushes in front of our car! I had our camera in there, and my husband was able to capture some amazing photos. I thought it was God’s gift to us to actually see them on their migration.

My daughter wanted to do the Goofy Gecko unit because she got a green anole for her fifth birthday. We love to watch him and knew that he was known as the American chameleon because he can change colors. During our gecko study we found out through one of the books that our anole is actually the smallest iguana in the world. My daughter loves to tell people that now. Our zoo has an amazing reptile exhibit, so we took a field trip there and my daughter was saying, “Hey, that guy was in our unit study,” or “There’s a giant day gecko.”

I think these units are really fantastic. I learned a lot or perhaps learned again things from when I was little. I love that it’s broken down day by day and you can do as little or as much as you want based on the age of your child. The videos and other links being built into the PDF are a huge convenience. We have also tried to do some kind of cooking project that ties into each unit, and my daughter really enjoys that part. I also think that these are not just for homeschoolers—a lot of families could use them to supplement an interest that their child has to gain more information in a fun way.

Louanne Mason
Fort Worth, Texas

Thanks Louanne for sharing your experiences with us (and your adorable pictures!).  We love hearing from families like yours and how you use USAB studies. 
If you would like to be a guest on our blog, please send an email to and let us know your ideas!


  1. Thanks for having me! We love the unit studies!

  2. Louanne, you made my day! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your family's experience with our unit studies. The pictures of your precious daughter as she learns made me smile. And I love your comment, "Something really cool has happened with every unit we have done..." Hurray - this makes it unforgettable!

    The best part of all had to be this:
    When we finished Sunny Seashells, my daughter said, “Mom, you are really fun to do this with. It’s like a party with you!”
    What a priceless relationship you are forging with her, and that relationship will last a lifetime.

    Thanks for taking the time to write and share!

    Amanda B.

  3. Awe, that was my favorite part too! She is requesting "Astonishing Animals" next so I have been looking at the book list to get ready :)

  4. Louanne,
    Great posts and LOVE the photos of your girls :) Next year we are ditching most of our "standard" book curriculum and will be using LOTS of Amanda Bennett Unit Studies! Now I am even more excited to make this transition. Thanks for sharing!


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