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How To Plan a Robin Hood Unit Study

As we school year round, this is our last week before taking April off. In an attempt to be a “cool” mom, I thought that rather than do just our normal school work, we’d have a fun week filled with themed games and activities; a Robin Hood unit study!! We were already set to cover the classic as part of our history readings so, Sunday night and Monday morning I quickly compiled some other material to incorporate. In doing so, I clicked through numerous other blogs showing happy kids working on medieval inspired crafts, gleefully coloring pages for their notebook and overall, just squealing with unbridled enthusiasm.

I was so excited to share all I found with my kids.

However, any school work, regardless of whether it’s related to Robin Hood or, I don’t know, Mao Zedong is still school work as far as my kids are concerned, and their response was somewhere between apathy and downright hostility. So I thought I’d share all my findings here just in case you wanted to torture your poor children or, on the off chance they love Robin Hood, provide them with 4,697 writing prompts.

First, I said we’d be listening to J. Walker McSpadden’s version of Robin Hood, via Libra Vox, during our Literature time. What a mistake. How dare I make them all sit still together and be quiet for 21 minutes!

“What did you think?”

“That was boring.”

“What?! What about the archery tournament?”

“Well, that was okay. Now what?”

Well, since that sucked I guess not the list of discussion questions I found by the Core Knowledge Foundation. I wouldn’t want to make you relive the horror of that period in your lives children.

For spelling, they ditched their books and were allowed to work on Robin Hood spelling words and play spelling games. This seemed to be going fine until I realized Edie was trying to use Addie’s sixth grade words/ activities and was getting very upset at the difficulty. “No, no, no! This is supposed to be fun! FUN! Not frustrating!”

I also invited them to select any pages they’d want to color or complete from a free Robin Hood Unit Study/Lapbook  pack I found on Homeschool Share. I didn’t say “lapbook” or they’d instantly think I was making them cut and paste a whole bunch of flaps and tabs. I tried to be subtle like, “I have coloring pages and crosswords and some things to make if you want to learn about weapons.” I mean, weapons, who doesn’t want to learn about weapons????? My son actually asked to write two paragraphs about something other than Robin Hood. Fine. Whatever. I didn’t want to help you study battle axes anyway.

I was so deflated that I didn’t even get around to suggesting some of the Robin Hood themed games I found on a birthday party website.  We’re having friends over today, so maybe when they start trashing the house, I can send them outside to “tax some peasantry” or something.

If I’m feeling really ambitious/crazy I might consider letting all the kids construct weaponry. The downside being someone is sure to get hurt, the upside being everyone will sleep soundly tonight. Potential eye stabbers include (click each picture for instructions):

You can’t forget the bows and arrows. 

These seem slightly less threatening.

And if I’m feeling really careless, I could show them some videos on how to fight with a quarterstaff, then set them loose with a few old broom handles. Note to self: remind friend to bring all her kids insurance cards.

And will Fulton or Teddy wear this, if I lovingly construct it for them? Hell no.

It didn’t help that the library was checked out of one of my favorite Robin Hood picture books, ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood by Marcia Williams.

Thankfully, we did manage to snag Robin Hood by Margaret Early.

Not that anyone has picked it up to look at it.

Of course my kids usually love movies, and when it comes to Robin Hood, there’s no shortage. While the Men In Tights version is my personal favorite, I don’t know if its very…uh….”academic”. There’s Disney’s classic, Errol Flynn’s old standard from 1938 and if you have Amazon Prime you can watch the 1922 black and white silent version of Robin Hood for free. I always like free, however, I’m sure my kids would get suspicious that I was making them read the dialogue.”Wait, this is, educational!”

At this point, a marathon of Robin Hood movies followed by copious amounts of trampoline time with foam swords sounds delightful. Next time I’m moved to try doing something “different” again, someone smack me with a quarterstaff please.

For other educational tips and tricks that have actually worked with my crew, visit my Homeschooling page.


  1. Ha, I just started reading them the book out loud yesterday because we’re going to see the play on Thursday! (late planning FTW!) I have no idea if my one child understands any of it. But arrows! Yay!

  2. Typical. I attempted an Olympics unit study, and my children were alternately wildly unenthusiastic or violently opposed. If it doesn’t directly involve Minecraft, they would rather slog through their Latin declensions and move on.

  3. So glad this just doesn’t happen to me! Why is it that anything we think will be fun always ends up being torture? Oh yeah, human nature…..if kids have to do it during the “school” day…it’s no fun, ha ha!

  4. My goodness! This post eased exactly what I needed!? We’ve been struggling with homeschool lately, and reading Robin Hood. I thought maybe we’d take the morning off to do some Robin Hood activities. Now I’m not so sure. But I really needed that laugh, and the reassurance that everyone goes through this!

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