This year we are Galloping the Globe! For anyone unfamiliar with it, it is a geography based unit study that includes history, science, literature, language arts, etc. Pretty much everything but math and reading.
Our first week was an introduction to maps and the globe and the continents. This week we started on Asia and we are learning about South Korea. Over the next few weeks we will be "visiting" China, Japan, and India, a few more Asian counties and then off to a different continent. We are using the library for resource books and stories from the counties. Our county system seems to have everything on the GtG list if I wanted to hunt them down but the branch down the road seems to have a more than adequate selection for our needs so I think I'll be sticking to that. Crafts and cooking (Eat Your Way Around the World) will help to make this a hands-on fun year (hopefully). As our science subjects come up we study them (tigers in India, coral reefs in Australia, etc). I picked up a bunch of Usborne beginners science books that I'm really impressed with - great illustrations, short but information packed books. These work well with GtG even though they aren't on the list.
I love the flexibility that GtG provides but while giving you the outline. You can spend as much time on a country as you want. From what I've read, some people take a year to do it all, some take two. Some people only do one country from each continent but spend a whole month on it. You can do all of the readings and activities if you wanted to. But everything is organized for you. They provide lists of age appropriate stories. They point out what science fits in where and books to read to learn about them. They list websites for the different subject matter.
Our plan right now is to spend a week on each country to go for an overview/exposure effect. December will be "Christmas around the World".
I organized Max's preschool list (the SL preschool I've used with K and A) to fit in the best it can. It doesn't always fit but it is fun when it does. All of the kids are listening in to that - who doesn't like nursery rhymes, fairy tales, classic stories and fun books!
As much as I love the idea all of the subjects working together, I couldn't abandon the workbooks all together. Some people are great using unit studies and getting kids to learn their language arts things just fine...I admit I like the security of a book. Maybe some day...but then again maybe not. So we are sticking with our Abeka language and math programs and Veritas Press for reading (with a little Abeka/SL reading to gain confidence since those seem to be easier for for Katrina). I'm also thinking we will read through the Abeka health and history books at some point this year. (Abeka history is US focused at this grade which I wouldn't mind Katrina hearing a little since we are focusing on the world with GtG).
So I guess that is the plan...we'll see what it shapes up to be!