Often when someone writes in with a question about Weaver, they’ve already asked about it somewhere else (another blog, another forum, etc). Many of the people who answer them have never used Weaver, or don’t care for the unit study method of educating their children.
I spent this past school year using Alpha Omega LIFEPACs with my children, instead of Weaver, and I’ve used the SOS computer programs in the past as well. Do I think unit studies take more time? Not really.
Picture these two scenarios:
1) You sit down with your Day by Day and Volume and spend 2-4 hours planning out two weeks of studies for one unit. During the two weeks you teach this unit, you spend 15 minutes each morning going over what you’ll teach to refresh your memory. After you’re finished teaching each day, you put your books away and go about your other tasks, interacting with your children and discussing things that relate to your studies. Based on the things you discuss, you know whether or not they are understanding what you’ve been teaching.
2) Each day for about three weeks you place a LIFEPAC in front of your child and they work through the required 3-5 pages in order to finish the booklet in the allotted time. At the end of each day, you take time to correct what they worked on that day. Depending on the number of kids you are teaching, that can be anywhere from 5 booklets (for one child) to 20+ booklets (for four or more children). Since you are the teacher, you must judge whether or not your child understood the question and answered properly. (Your child usually isn’t nearby for you to question further.) If you have more than one child, this process can take 2-4 hours! And, if you feel your child isn’t understanding the question, you will probably require he or she re-read the section and re-answer the questions–either than night or the next day, before they can continue on in his or her booklet.
The question I must now pose to you, reader is this: Do you want to spend more time before the lesson or after the lesson? Do you want to know what you’re teaching, and teach it to everyone at once, and have family discussion about it? Or, do you want to try to keep track of who is studying what and reteach what they don’t understand the next day? Two to four hours every other Sunday afternoon, or an hour every evening?
Hmmm… you do the math.