Gather Round Curriculum Review

Gather ‘Round Curriculum Review

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I’m a sucker for good Unit Studies so we used Gather ‘Round Curriculum by HomeschoolOn to see what it was like.

If you are not familiar with a Unit Study, it’s basically where you pull all your subjects from one topic.

It keeps the whole family of all ages on the same topic, just at their own grade levels.

I personally feel it’s a very natural way to learn, plus it makes projects, documentaries, and fun recipes so much easier.

I downloaded a week sample of Gather ‘Round curriculum to try with my 4 kids in grades, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th.

Since most people seem to be using it for younger kids, I wanted to see how the curriculum did with my older teenagers.

The curriculum doesn’t include math of course so each child stuck to their grade level math lessons.

Gather ‘Round Curriculum Review

Each unit in the Gather ‘Round curriculum is about one month of lessons.

You would purchase a different unit each month or buy a year’s worth of units at the beginning of your school year.

Each unit is built to do 4 or 5 days a week for one month.

Many homeschool families use their fifth day to participate in a Co-op, homeschool group, or for extracurricular activities.

The units are absolutely stunning in the way they look and how they are constructed.

You can choose to get a PDF download of all the grades and teachers manual, just one grade/level and the teachers manual or order what you need in print form.

I definitely think if you have more than one child, getting all the grade levels would be beneficial.

The grades are broken down into the following levels:

  • Pre-reader
  • Early Reader
  • Early Elementary
  • Upper Elementary
  • Middle School
  • High School

The Gather ‘Round website has plenty of samples available to see all the levels so you can place your child accordingly.

I chose to use the middle school with my younger two children and the high school with my older children.

Using Gather ‘Round Curriculum

For my Gather ‘Round curriculum review, I followed the recommended books list and grabbed some of the books at my local library for the program.

I’m loving what books are recommended and feel you will use this book list for years to come.

We all gathered around the table together as a family to work through the unit sample.

I read from the teacher’s manual and pulled up some videos on Youtube I thought might add to the lesson.

Then I passed out the worksheets to each child and they could work fairly independently.

My high schoolers used their devices to look up information about the topics and took notes as stated in the worksheets.

I loved the language arts aspect of the curriculum which contains copy work, writing prompts, grammar instruction and reading comprehension.

I assisted my middle schoolers in the questions they had but the worksheets are fairly self-explanatory.

With younger grades, you would need to participate more as a parent in their work but that’s with any curriculum.

After they had completed their work, which was beautiful and consisted of writing and artwork, I chose one of the books to read aloud together.

We have done read alouds as a family for years and even my high schoolers enjoy our time together.

It’s created so many memories and rich discussions over the years.

Here are some samples of our work.

Gather round curriculum review
Middle school history
gather round curriculum review
High school art
gather round curriculum sample
Upper elementary/middle school sample

The worksheets are pretty adjustable to your standards. You could require your kids to write in complete sentences or just to take notes depending on what would be challenging for them.

What I Loved About Gather Round

I enjoyed the look of the curriculum, it’s just breathtaking with splashes of color.

I loved how the whole family stayed together for learning and we could carry the topics into our regular lives.

I loved how it wasn’t dry like a textbook and it spurred discussions in our household.

The children were encouraged to research, use critical thinking, and give opinions on the topics.

It felt good to see how my kids begged to learn instead of dreading schooltime.

I loved how relaxed the schedule felt, you could easily add on an extra day or two, to study war, a time period or a person without losing the momentum of the unit.

I think the language arts portion was very thorough and this curriculum involves a decent amount of writing/ note-taking.

I loved the focus on geography and the culture of different countries.

We are big on map work and geography in our house.

Bible is incorporated throughout but it’s very non-denomination, letting you as a family openly discuss the scriptures without being told what to think.

What I Didn’t Love About Gather ‘Round

I really loved this curriculum so I am being picky about what I didn’t love here.

Having two high schoolers trying out the sample, I’m not sure it contains enough history and science to meet the credits I was looking for.

I have a high schooler working toward a chemistry credit using online lessons and I’m not sure these Gather ‘Round units would fulfill that credit.

I do think it would fulfill a general science credit and a geography credit with ease.

My high schoolers are doing video lessons on Power Homeschool and I think Gather ‘Round is the perfect supplement for them.

Overall the history seems a little disjointed to me. It doesn’t seem to flow in one time period but hops around a little.

This didn’t seem to be a huge issue and the curriculum itself flowed nicely but I know most families are used to studying one time period at a time.

Another slight concern I have is how to print the units. If you have a color printer then it’s not a problem but I currently own a black and white printer.

We did the sample unit in black and white without a problem but it would have been nice to use it in color.

You can pay to have the units printed for you at places like Barnes and Noble Press, or Nest Family Printing but it may add up if you have quite a few grade levels to print.

Overall, I fell in love with this curriculum.

It’s almost like a minimalist My Father’s World.

Having the family on the same topic is important to me and I want their learning to be natural and not full of busywork.

During my Gather ‘Round Curriculum review, I have found it so easy to add videos, documentaries, outside books and projects to the units.

You really could use the units as is or add as much as you want to them.

I love this aspect because we all go through different stages in life where we have more time or less time depending on the season we are in.

If you are still unsure of unit studies, you will not regret taking a week and using a Gather Round sample for your family.

I have been told by numerous moms the Bird Week Sample from Gather ‘Round is lighter than the full units.

If you have used Gather ‘Round please leave your review in the comments to help other families see if it’s right for them.

Thanks for sharing!

2 thoughts on “Gather ‘Round Curriculum Review”

  1. Great review! We LOVE Gather Round! It’s our first year using it, but it fits our learning style perfectly and I anticipate using it for the long haul.

  2. Natalie

    Thank you for your review. I am about to start a week trial of Gather Round and have been looking for a review from a middle/high school perspective.

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