Have you heard about Unit Studies? There are two kinds: Comprehensive and Limited/Subject. They are a great way for your kids to learn because they get to spend more time with a subject/topic so they understand it. They are fun, flexible, can be already made or create your own, and are an engaging, fantastic teaching style!
It was an eye-opening, lifestyle changing moment.
One day early in my journey, I was attending a homeschool convention, and in the last hour of the last day, I sat in on a workshop about a different methodology I did not know existed. Halfway through, I just knew that it fit my family better at that time! It was a comprehensive unit study called Five In A Row.
This literature-based unit study was cross-curricula, meaning I was able to teach many subjects from the same story. So my kids and I would read the same children’s storybook each day for a week and then I would teach a different lesson each day. For instance, we would study history on Monday, art/music on Tuesday, science on Wednesday, social studies on Thursday, and language arts on Friday.
With this methodology, we were introduced to some wonderful children’s books and were able to learn together as a family. These stories are still some of our favorites today!
Chronological history is another popular theme for an integrated, or thematic unit study. We did this Tapestry of Grace while Beyond Five in a Row was still being written. Some other curriculum to research would be Trisms and Trail Guide to Learning.
Unit Studies lead kids to a thorough understanding at its core.
The other type of Unit Study is more topical. It gives your kids the opportunity to learn in-depth about a subject they are excited about. It could be something like horses, jewelry making, or sea life! Try asking each child what they would like to learn about, you might be surprised, and then get them started on learning about it.
There are many inexpensive, already-created studies out there to choose from. Amanda Bennett has developed many different ones. There are some great state history unit studies. Memoria Press and Progeny Press have wonderful literature studies. And YWAM has many important people unit studies as well.
Some topic ideas include:
- science topics – insects, astronomy, or microscopes
- famous person – inventor, writer, or composer
- historical time
- dogs or cats
- a sport
- creative arts or crafts
- a place – city, country, nation
- and more!
Most unit studies involve a variety of learning experiences.
To get into a theme and experience and learn more by engaging your children’s curiosity, exploring, using their five senses, and learn an entire meal’s worth versus just a bite. Some things your students might do during a unit study could be:
- Go on Field trips
- Visit with an expert
- Watch informative movies or a documentary
- Read picture books
- Read age-appropriate documents and literature
- Hands-on activities – color, paint, draw, cook, listen or create music,
- Take photos
- Collect species
- Oral and/or written presentations
Doing a unit study, whether it is comprehensive or limited/subject, is a fun, interesting, engaging, and rich education!
You can choose unit studies that fit each child’s learning style. And you can even teach all of your children at the same time on the same subject. Just select age-appropriate reading materials and lessons for each student. It is interesting when your kids listen to each other’s discussions with you about what they learn because then they are learning from each other too!
Unit studies are popular with Unschoolers, Charlotte Mason, Traditional, Classical, and well, pretty much all styles of homeschooling! J
Note: there are all-in-one-programs that look like Unit Studies, but do not have a collective theme. Examples include: Heart of Dakota, My Father’s World, Sonlight, and Memoria Press Simply Classical. These are all really good curricula programs as they are organized, already made, and quality education. We used HoD and MFW and enjoyed them.
The methodology you teach your kids with will determine your homeschool atmosphere, schedule, and your children’s overall education.
No matter how you teach your kids, if they are learning, you are succeeding!
Unit Studies is just one of several home education methods. Do your research. Talk with others. Ask questions. And give it a try if you think if fits you and your family the best!
So what are your thoughts on the Unit Study education style?
Enjoy your #HomeschoolLife!