Do you have the DITHOR teacher guide yet? That would give you a bit of a better idea how the project time works. We're doing a project this week, so I'll tell you about our choices. My son just finished the Fantasy genre...the 1st one we've done. (I haven't looked closely at the others yet, so my experience is limited to this one genre.
) On day 15, like inHistiming said, you finish reading your book and begin a project. For Fantasy, we had these choices: A Family Spirit Project, a Lit Kit, or a mural. The Family Spirit Project had my son setting specific goals for showing brotherly love and compassion for a week. He'll mark whether he meets these goals and then if he meets them we'll have a Family Celebration that he gets to plan and prepare for. Choice 2 - the Lit Kit -came from the Book Projects to send home. It is a canister that it gives details on how to decorate in a way that helps tell the story and it helps guide the kids in choosing objects to put in it that will help them retell the story. Choice 3- the mural - is a group project. My son is the only one in our house doing DITHOR so far, so we don't have a "group". You as the parent would have to be an active part of the project if you're choosing the "group" one and you don't have a group. I think, at least the way I understand it, that there will always be 3 options for a project. A group project, one from the Book Projects to Send Home book, and another option.
It was really hard for us to choose. I let my son pick between #1 and #2 above nd he chose the Family Spirit one. It's really promoted fun times as siblings so far as he's been setting aside time to play individually with the younger 2 an activity of their choice. (He was playing the game "Pretty, Pretty Princess" with Alli last night.
brotherlylove!!) We're planning a Family Celebration of dove hunting with Daddy on Saturday...and dove for supper - Lord willing & weather permitting. I thought the idea from the book projects book was great, too. And we're planning on using it with a book and having him give a talk to our 4-H club using the idea sometime. That book isn't written by Carrie (as I'm sure you noticed), and is written as a project guide that a teacher would send home with a child to complete there and bring back to share with the class. But it will work so well as a culminating project for a genre, and then we'd plan to share it for the family...inviting Grandma and Grandpa to make it extra-special!
Hopefully that gives you an idea of how it's used! I'd say it's worth it to have, and we're planning to enjoy it, but it's not absolutely necessary.