Elementary Homeschool Language Arts Subject

Magic Tree House Unit Studies

Each year as I plan for our new homeschool year to begin, excitement fills my mind as I fill pages and pages of my homeschool planner with plans…MY plans. Each year, I know this year is going to be better because my children are a little older and their mama is a little wiser than the year before.

This year, we will enjoy our days and have more structure (because we always need more than last year). Each year, my planner reflects all kinds of amazing curriculum choices and lesson plans that we will undoubtedly be able to get through…now that life is settling down after a very trying season.

And then, life never quite settles down.

Can you relate? Have you ever had all your plans laid out and then suddenly, you know they’re just not going to work for whatever reason? You need to pivot.

We can’t predict what may or may not happen just around the corner, but we can still have peace-filled days if we’re willing to surrender those plans to the Lord. So, I pray and asked God to show me what to do.

When this recently happened, I was led to try doing unit studies.

Unit studies often require minimal effort on the teacher’s/parent’s part but have maximum impact on the children.

 

Magic Tree House Pinnable Image

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Magic Tree House Unit Studies

Have you ever read any of the Magic Tree House series books by Mary Pope Osborn? There are 52 of them to choose from! Most (if not all) of them can be checked out from your local library if you don’t want to buy them.) We purchased them because they are that good and my children want to read them over and over. But it’s not necessary to buy them.

Part of what I love about these adventurous books is their titles….Pirates Past NoonVacation Under the VolcanoTonight on the TitanicChristmas in CamelotCarnival at Candlelight, and High Time for Heroes. Don’t those just grab you?

Each book follows the amazing adventures of siblings, Jack and Annie, who travel through time to different cultures and during different times in history.

This series is a favorite of ours, as we’ve already read quite a few of the books. These books are geared for children between the ages of about 5 to 11 years old. (But, honestly, even as an adult, I love them!)

I love how beautifully the stage is set and young minds are primed and eager to learn when the content of a story is so well presented.

Magic Tree House Unit Studies

And then one day, I happened upon the Magic Tree House website for this series–which led me to an incredible resource:  Free Lesson Plans (I call them unit studies) for each one of the books. I was blown away and as I pored over these lessons. I realized just how well put together they really were.

Each book covers many topics relating to the adventures written about. Here is an example of what subjects you’ll cover as you read and do the unit study for each book.

  • language arts
  • social studies
  • science & technology
  • math
  • geography
  • nature & conversation
  • animals & wildlife
  • character building lessons
  • visual arts
  • music
  • theatre arts

And my very favorite part is that all four of my children (ages 3 – 9 at this time) LOVE these stories, which means I get to teach all of them TOGETHER.

The lessons are laid out well, flow naturally, and really cover a wide array of subjects. And you know how homeschooling goes….there are rabbit trails, always rabbit trails.

When we read about Jack and Annie going up into space in Midnight on the Moon, of course, we checked out all kinds of other books from the library that led to many conversations about space travel and how God created the universe.

In Carnival at Candlelight, my boys learned all about Venice. We touched on Greek Mythology, studied two famous painters, learned about the significance of Carnival and the importance of many character traits and virtues highlighted within that story.

Non-Fiction Companions to the Magic Tree House Books

There are also some non-fiction companions to the Magic Tree House books. They are called Magic Tree House Fact Tracker. Not all of the Magic Tree House books have a companion Magic Tree House Fact Tracker book, but many of them do. It’s worth taking a look to see if there’s one available for whatever book you’re reading.

Don’t be afraid to add your own ideas and explore your kids’ rabbit trails and interests! 

Any time you read books with your children, it’s a great idea to explore their own ideas and allow them to go down rabbit trails to learn more about particular topics that interest them.

If you’re reading, for example, Mummies in the Morning, look for:

Your kids don’t have to all be the same age/grade level to be able to enjoy reading the Magic Tree House book series and to learn from doing all kinds of related fun, educational activities in your homeschool! Just choose a book or two, look at the Magic Tree House website, and do a quick Google search to find more ideas and activities. Then have fun working and learning together!

If you haven’t tried the Magic Tree House series with your elementary-level students, you should! They are a fun way to teach all of your children at the same time and have a great time reading and learning together!

About the author

Megan

Megan and her amazing husband, along with their four young sons live in Washington state. She is a homeschooling mom after the heart of Jesus and wanting to make Him famous to her boys each and every day. As often as possible, Megan and her boys spend their time away from the table learning with a very hands-on approach. They love unit studies, science experiments, great books and especially the outdoors. One of her sons was born with a significant hearing loss, so her family learned American Sign Language, which has been an amazing blessing to all of them. Megan is passionate about encouraging moms in their faith, is inspired by others willing to share their real-life stories, finds joy in the everyday of Motherhood and loves spending as much time as possible in God’s creation with her family.

5 Comments

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  • We are also doing this series as unit studies this year with my 5 and almost 9-year-old with baby Godzilla in tow (1 and full of fun!) We have even included a neighbor who does public school and his mother is thrilled that he is into something unplugged! Are you doing them in book order? We are and started the whole series over. Also, do you let the kids use the tree house club?

  • Since the Magic Tree House series rubs many Christians the wrong way (magic, long earth ages, etc.) I wanted to point out that a really awesome alternative is The Imagination Station (a kid’s historical fiction series branched off Adventures in Odyssey). It’s pretty much a Christian version of Magic Tree House. I’m not trying to start an argument, but I recognize that many parents don’t choose to use the Magic Tree House series in their homeschooling because of certain convictions they have. I’ve read both and choose to use The Imagination Station. The series is really awesome, both instead of or in addition to Mary Pope Osbourne’s books.

    • We have also been reading Geronimo stilton books, they also cover a lot of historical time points. We have only been through a few, they also share the “long earth” ideas as many things do. We did however come across Jonathan parks series. Its a radio broadcast and we picked up the whole set. It strongly supports young earth Christian views. I am looking at these and trying to formulate a unit study plan for them next. My son started asking questions about evolution vs creation …intelligent design. I was thrown for a loop. These are things I don’t even understand or have ever questioned and he is 8! This how we found the parks set and I also went to the sonlight catalog and pulled some great DVD titles. I think maintaining a balance and allowing room to explore “theories” is a good thing. So just another idea for those searching.

  • I have been waiting for the right time to start these books and use lesson plans for each. I want to start at the beginning, although my kids have heard all of them through audiobooks, I think they would really enjoy it.

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