Homeschooling with Unit Studies is a fun, engaging and hands-on approach to learning. If you were wondering how and why to use unit studies in your homeschool, read on and hopefully you will be able to make your homeschool more exciting and help your children want to learn.
So what are Unit Studies?
Unit Studies are typically built around a particular topic or unit and incorporates learning in all of the subjects: social studies, science, language arts, math, Bible, music and art. A good unit study will captivate your children, bringing the chosen subject to life and engaging your child want to learn. One great thing about unit studies is that they encourage your student to see the topic as a whole, learning from real life experiences such as field trips and science experiments.
Why we use Unit Studies?
The best thing about using unit studies is that we are able to cover topics that our children as passionate about. Children are more engaged and they explore the topic better and their retention is higher than using traditional learning methods.
A few benefits to using unit studies in your homeschool are:
- They keep your child interested in learning. Some children may not be interested in learning some concepts in math, but when placed in the context of something that they enjoy, the math suddenly becomes a lot more interesting.
- They can be used for multiple ages at once. Using unit studies makes it easier for homeschooling families to teach different aged children the same topics with each child working at their own level. They are also a great way to encourage family time. younger children also benefit greatly from and through an older sibling.
- They accomodate a multitude of learning styles. Homeschooling with unit studies can include a variety of hands-on activities as well as some written work to suit each child. Some children may enjoy the hands-on activities such as gardening, baking or craft, while others prefer the story writing, poem writing, or notebooking.
- They are simple to use. There are many pre-written unit studies that you can find for free or for a small fee or you can make your own as you only really need a few supplies that you most likely will have already. If you want to grab some that are already pre-written, check out my list below.
- They are using lower in price. By creating your own unit studies with books from the library, free downloads from the internet and things around your house, you are saving a ton of money that could usually be spent on expensive curriculums.
- In-depth understanding. As I mentioned previously, when children are passionate about a topic, they are more likely to get an in-depth understanding which helps them to retain the information better.
- There is no time limit. With no time restraints, your child is given ample time to think, experiment and discover everything they want to known about their chosen topic.
- Encourage imagination and creativity!
How do we use Unit Studies?
In the past, we have used lots of lapbooks as these are a creative way to learn about a specific topic and the boys are able to have a keepsake at the end. Just remember, there is no wrong or right way to complete a lapbook. At times, there can be a lot of mess with an array of scissors, papers, glue, pencils all over the place, but we have found our boys enjoy being creative while learning.
Other times we have used notebooking pages in conjunction with science experiments, worksheets and other hands-on activities to complete a study on a particular topic.
Here is a list of a few of the ones that I have created for our boys to do. This will give you an idea of how we do them:
- England Unit Study
- Pirate Unit Study
- Silkworm Unit Study
- Butterfly Unit Study
- Lego Lapbook
- Italy Unit Study
- South African Lapbook
- Let’s Go Camping
Here is a list of other pre-written places we have used and highly recommend:
- Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett
- Notebooking Pages
- Homeschool in the Woods
- Homeschool Share
- Homeschool Legacy
- Progeny Press