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Winter Promise Animal Habitats? Good? Religious?

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I'm still looking for an animal/ecology unit study for Hobbes, preferably one that gives him lots of opportunities for writing, as he loves to write. An online friend recommended this one. Has anyone used it? What are the pros and cons? Is it religious? Are there any samples available?





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This program is brand new this year. However, I have used all but the Habitats, Hollows, Homes journal as part of the Animals and Their Worlds program.


It is completely secular, unless the HHH journal has something added I don't know about. I have that on order and it should arrive next week. If I remember, I'll try to check it out for secular/Christian content.


I was able to preview it at the WP retreat in Nashville the middle of April. The schedule is a 2-day per week checklist. (that would include 4 pages of One Small Square and 2-4 animals in the Animal Encyclopedia).


I would not describe it as having "lots of writing". You could very easily beef up the writing though by having Hobbes write a full report on the animal of the week instead of merely answering the form prompts.


I highly recommend the optional Animal Behaviors set, though I'm not sure of your son's level. They would be independent reading for the 2nd-5th grade student and a bit too elementary for a sixth grader. The illustrations are incredible in both this set, the One Small Square set and the DK Animal Encyclopedia. It's a tremendously visually-appealing program.


If you look at the sample "Experience Animals and Their Worlds" on the WP website, you can get a sample of the two notebooking resources. It is here: http://www.winterpromise.com/pdfs/AnimalWorlds-Experience2009.pdf


Just be aware that the AW program is a full integrated theme program (with some Christian material included) and it's aimed toward a much younger audience. (For example, I'll be using the Ency for picture study and curiosity-based questions/answers instead of reading all the text with my boys this year).

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I can't comment on the actual program itself, but a few points might help you in your choice:


1. It seems that Winter Promise usually keeps the Bible component separate from the main theme/program -- it's more tacked on than integrated throughout, as far as I've seen. Since the catalog doesn't indicate that a Bible component is included in Animal Habitats, there most likely isn't one, especially since it's a science program (rather than a history-related theme).


2. One Small Square Series -- these are excellent resources for your study.


3. Animal Behaviors Series -- again, these are excellent resources.


4. Also recommended (not in WP): Box Turtle at Long Pond (George); Beaver at Long Pond (George); The Rainforest Grew All Around (Susan Mitchell); and the "Introducing Habitats" series (Bobby Kalman Books) -- these might be too basic for Hobbes, but the set titles give a comprehensive overview of what to cover in a habitats study. HTH.

Edited by Sahamamama
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I checked out the two kinds of journaling pages. The HHH ones looked fine for him. The other ones looked very basic - as you say, I would have Hobbes write a report instead, or perhaps alternate reports with poems, stories, letters, etc.


Do you think that the practical activities are very oriented towards US ecology? Will we find ourselves constantly trying to work out what to look for instead of the suggested fauna/flora? Or are the prompts more general?


Thank you again



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The practical activities are mostly in the "Easy To Create Outdoor Habitats" and One Small Square books. If I remember correctly it's pretty general, though there were things we couldn't observe because we didn't have access to a swamp easily... does that answer your question?


Easy to Create has you making bug shelters, butterfly gardens, toad houses, bird baths, rabbit shelter brush piles, and such like. So that's very generalized.

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Another way to add writing is to use the lapbooks from Hands of a Child. They don't have one for every habitat that WP covers, but for most of them. The year we did AW (great year by the way) the lapbooks was all I added to beef it up for my oldest.



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