Layers of Learning Reviews

Aw . . . stop, you're making us blush.

Leslie Walters
Champion Homeschool Mom

"I will definitely be purchasing your bundles!"

Thank you for this amazing feat. You two are quite the duo. I am just starting on this homeschool journey with 3 kids (6 year old twins and a 12 year old - all girls). We've decided on a classical curriculum based on the trivium (read The Well Trained Mind) and you guys have created a terrific one stop shop. I will definitely be purchasing your bundles! What amazing work you've put together!

TPT Customer
Legendary School Teacher

"This packet is like gold to me!!!"

I am an accommodated core special education cluster teacher-which means my students need to follow the core however they aren't able to grasp the concepts at grade level. I am therefore left to find various ways to teach these concepts. This packet is like gold to me!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Kori
Breathtakingly Amazing Mom

"We loved the first unit that we tried on trial basis and just bought the first year."

I just wanted to comment on your customer service and how outstanding it is! Thank you for your immediate help (was not expecting an answer in the middle of the night - when are you sleeping?).  We loved the first unit that we tried on trial basis and just bought the first year.  Can't wait to get started!  Thank you.

TPT Customer
Stellar Teacher

"Thanks very much! Lots of useful and fun activities for sixth grade!"

Lisa D.
Phenom of a Homeschooler

"The information provided was thorough and accurate! A+ resource!"

History, Science, Geography and the Arts - it's all in here! This is a complete unit study! Great side notes that you can choose to do additional research on. You can make it as simple or go deep with it! The information provided was thorough and accurate! A+ resource!

Book Lover
Homeschooling Ninja

"We love the bright pictures and maps."

We have truly enjoyed layers of learning so far! I have the pdf files on my laptop. We love the bright pictures and maps. This is a great supplement for our history and geography cycles. We do try to go through the 4 main cycles of history according to the Classical Christian method. This program is neutral so anyone can use it, secular or Christian. I highly recommend visiting the website for a free download of the first unit if you want to see it all or use it on your tablet, laptop or pc.

Laurie Monteith
Barry Homeschooler

" . . . there is more substance than most curriculum for younger kids."

Hello! I've started using your curriculum and I'm loving it. I live in Scotland and curriculum is very hard to find as home education in fairly uncommon. I am loving the activities you use in these books and that there is more substance than most curriculum for younger kids. Loving it. Thanks loads - mum of 3

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TPT Customer
Superhero of Educationalness

"A vast amount of information, wow!  Really cute ideas." 

Kyle B.
Mind-blowing Dad of Awesomeness

"We loved this product so much that I ended up ditching what I was using mid-year and purchasing the entire Year One curriculum . . ."

I discovered this product while searching for ways to make my current homeschool history curriculum more organic and enjoyable. I loved this product so much that I ended up ditching what I was using mid-year and purchasing the entire Year One curriculum from the seller's website. We are now on Unit 1-16 and fully intend to continue with Year Two. My kids especially love that each year contains work in each of the science disciplines (many classical-approach history programs do biology one year, chemistry the next, etc.) The format is not step-by-step, so this curriculum requires a bit more planning than some others, but it's well worth the effort. This could work nicely as a stand-alone unit, but I highly recommend checking out the series, as they "build" upon one another brilliantly. Hands-down my favorite find on TPT so far!

Christy

Uncommonly Intelligent Person

"I love this!"

Erin Loughmiller
Wicked Good Homeschooler 

"We are going to have a blast this year learning about ancient history."

I just received our first year curriculum from Layers of Learning, and I am so excited!!! It is so informative, and it has many fun things to do with my children. We are going to have a blast this year learning about ancient history. Thank you!!!

Brokenshooter
Peachy Keen Homeschooling Prodigy

"One of the greatest assets of this curriculum is that it can be used simultaneously with multiple ages."

As a homeschooling family that is going into our fifth year, we have been truly blessed to have been able to utilize Layers of Learning in our studies. The way Layers of Learning works is that you pick your own Language Arts and Mathematics curriculum, and Layers of Learning can be added in to the mix as your electives. One of the greatest assets of this curriculum is that it can be used simultaneously with multiple ages. Each unit is meant to be used over a two week period, but believe me, there are so many activities, you probably won't be able to get to them all!

There is so much to choose from, all laid out in a concise and orderly structure. You just pick an Exploration, Expedition, Explanation, or Experiment and away you go. The author's have thoughtfully included all of the printables needed for each unit. Another added bonus is the library book list with age guidelines, this feature was so helpful in planning each week. Another positive about this curriculum is the vast amount of hands on activities, my kids loved them! We made our own cuneiform writing, constructed a paper mache globe, and built a model of the solar system.

One of the most fantastic elements of Layers of Learning, is that it is designed to be used in a 4 year classical education schedule. Each time you cycle back through the units every four years, you can build on what you went over the first time, and dive a little bit further into each topic. We have been so pleased with Layers of Learning, and will continue to use the fantastic curriculum.

Lila Gianelli
Homeschool Ace

"The list of suggested books/videos at the beginning of each unit is so helpful!"

We have enjoyed using the Layers of Learning curriculum this past month. I have a five and a seven year old who have had a lot of fun with the experiments and projects in the Year One Unit One unit. The list of suggested books/videos at the beginning of each unit is so helpful! We are mostly using LoL for the science and geography sections. I loved the ideas and tips on how to explain the concept of maps and globes to young children. We enjoyed doing the Where I Live exploration and A Mapmaker's Troubles experiment. The unit also gave me the idea to draw a huge map of the world with chalk on our driveway. I told the kids to hop from continent to continent and ocean to ocean, and they had so much fun with that! We also made a glittery map of the Milky Way and made coloring books of our Solar System. These units are so full of ideas! I also love having the scope and sequence for the year laid out for me.  I downloaded the unit to my iPad using Notability so that I was able to make notes and highlight right on the unit. When I was finished with it, I saved it to my computer so that I have the unit with all of my notes for the next time we cycle through!

Rebecca Kvenholden
Stunningly Smart Homeschool Mom

"Overall, i'm incredibly pleased with the content of this unit"

We are currently going through this unit in our homeschool, and I can honestly say its our favorite so far. One thing i love about these units is that its so easy to adapt. You have to get past the mindset of having to check all the boxes. With this unit, we are both omitting some of the hands on activities, like the viking hat made of paper mache. That one just seemed like a whole lot of work. But we also amped it up a bit, by picking up some of the resource books and some readers at each of the kiddos levels that pertained to Vikings. The summary style of the read aloud portion is very effective, it cuts to the chase and gives a good overview. You can then use other books to pick up any details, if you have time, or not, if you don't! Also our families are from Norway so we are enjoying that as well. We've not yet used the science, since we are using the science from another unit, which is another wonderful benefit of this program. Overall, i'm incredibly pleased with the content of this unit, and the format of the program as a whole. I like how i can pick up the book and have before me basically everything i need to teach my kids history, geography, science, and art all in one place. I'd really like to find more things wrong with Layers of Learning, since i'm on the review crew and would love to provide the authors with some helpful feedback, but I honestly can't think of any.

Sherri Graham

Super Cool Homeschooler

" . . .  it gives you a lot of flexibility in how you use it."

What I love about this curriculum is that it gives you a lot of flexibility in how you use it.  If you love reading living books, like we do, you can use the units as a guide for selecting books as you work through the units.  If you have kids that love hands on type activities, well there are a lot of ideas included! 

Joy

Brilliant Homeschool Mom

" . . . hits so many major wishes and then just keeps on delivering."

We are not new to homeschooling and so have tried a lot of curriculums and I've never been overly excited about any. Many have worked but not really stood out for any major reasons.  Yours just hits so many major wishes and then just keeps on delivering.  I am just a little awe struck.  I have to admit I don't really enjoy teaching much of the learning areas to the kids.  It just needs to be done and I try to make it enjoyable. . . this was the first time I was having fun! I found it very interesting and wanted to learn more, LOL.   I found myself wanting to do it again!  I am so impressed how much it has exceeded expectation.  So many Layers ; )  You really did an unusually excellent job creating this.

Deanne

Rainbow Resource Reviewer of Magnificence

"A beautiful aspect of this curriculum is the lack of daily lesson divisions, which allows families to control their own learning experience."

As a firm believer in the value of unit studies for homeschool families, I was delighted to have the opportunity to review this winning new curriculum. Written for a wide grade range of 1-12, parents with younger children will easily have enough materials to include their little ones in the topical studies, making this truly a unit study for all ages!

Presenting a chronological, four-year cyclical approach to history, Layers of Learning is a well-organized yearly study that is available in bite-size pieces. This complete curriculum provides instruction in history, geography, science and the arts. You will need to add grade-appropriate math, phonics/spelling, and writing instruction (writing activities are included).

Each yearly study is uniquely divided into units that are sold separately. The units are designed to take two weeks, although based on the amount of resources included, these could easily extend into longer periods of learning. Each unit is formatted similarly. The unit activities are separated into three grade ranges - Grades 1-4, Grades 5-8 and Grades 9-12, although parents will easily be able to move about the levels to best meet their children's learning needs. At the beginning of the unit, a list of suggested library resources is given providing you with the tools to add a living literature or Charlotte Mason flavor to the studies. The author emphasizes that the book lists are strictly optional and have been provided for additional topic study. The units are divided into 4 areas: Explorations (hands-on activities), Experiments (Science), Expeditions (field trip suggestions) and Explanations (additional teaching notes). All of the background information is written in an easy-to-understand language that students could read independently or could be read aloud as a family. Within the textual information are "Teacher Tips" boxes that provide specific helps and ideas. Also scattered about in the margin area are "Fabulous Facts" that bring interesting or unique information about the topic, "Writing Workshop" boxes containing a variety of writing prompts to give students writing practice related to the topic studied, and "Additional Layer" boxes. These are suggestions designed to enhance learning in the topic area for families who would like to extend the study through carefully selected rabbit trails. A beautiful aspect of this curriculum is the lack of daily lesson divisions, which allows families to control their own learning experience. It is also important to mention that the authors have given us a guided tour of history and not just a series of activities to be completed, meaning you are free to select the learning paths that best fits your family needs.

During Year One, students will study the historical time period of Ancient Times through 400 AD - Mesopotamia through the Roman Empire. Written from a neutral religious perspective, Christianity is covered for its historical importance and not from a definitive Christian perspective. Geographically, students will learn about maps, geography of ancient times, reading map keys, landforms and much more. Science covers planets, stars, earth and moon, satellites, humans in space, laws of motion, machines, states of matter, atoms, elements, plants, fungi and more. A sampling of the content in the art studies includes cave paintings, Egyptian art, Greek Art, poetry, moral stories, rhythm, melody, Chinese Art, line and shape, color and value, texture and forms, African tales, Roman Art, instruments, composing and more.

Year Two continues chronologically from the Medieval Period (400 AD) to the Renaissance - Byzantines through the Explorers. Students will learn world geography as they study countries around the world. Corresponding science topics include climate/seasons, weather forecasting, wild weather, cells and DNA, skeletons, muscles, skin and cardiopulmonary systems, digestive system, senses, nerves, health, metals and non-metals, carbon chemistry, gases, electricity, circuits, technology, magnetism and motors. Represented in the arts are Byzantine art, illumination, Viking Art, King Arthur's tales, Canterbury Tales, gothic art, religious art, oil paints, printmaking, textiles, Indian legends, poetry and more.

Years Three and Four are currently being developed. Year Three will focus on the Colonial Period - Age of Exploration to the American Independence and continue with the countries around the world studies. Science topics include zoology, sound and light and geology. Within the Arts, students will learn about colonial art, fairy tales, classical music, art skills and Shakespeare. Year Four targets Modern Times-specifically the past 200 years. US Geography is the focus with a study of all 50 states and an in-depth study of your state. Science will cover heat and energy, earth science, ecology and chemical applications. The art focus is modern art and modern music, poetry, and theatre and film.

Since this program is cyclic in nature, once you have completed Year Four, you can then start again at Year One completing the next level of activities. Families electing to begin with older students will also want to begin at Year One in order to see the big picture of history.

While designed to be a comprehensive unit study, some families may prefer to utilize this holistic learning process to supplement textbook learning. With the ability to purchase each unit independently, this is an excellent way to try out the program, to supplement your current curriculum with hands-on activities or to stay on track with your homeschool budget. For your convenience, we have provided a resource package per year which offers a sampling of the suggested resources. See our website for details.

Recommended for the study are: a 3-ring binder, a children's encyclopedia (for example the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History(#018005 or #000979 or the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia #003618), a student atlas (DK Student Atlas #00000), and a Science Encyclopedia (DK Encyclopedia of Science #004894).

I appreciated that this curriculum is clearly laid out, easy to navigate and adaptable. The textual information is thorough enough to provide instruction in the main concept areas, and the activities are clearly explained, using commonly found items. The supplemental writing suggestions provided were varied and enjoyable, such as making an acrostic poem about a globe or creating a personal cookbook. Each softcover book provides full-color illustrations and graphics. Also included are blackline masters and templates for creating a personal notebook. The authors have also provided a coupon code for a free digital pack of all the printables, making it more convenient to reproduce the masters for multiple students.

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