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The idea of unit studies always intrigued me especially after I went to a Konos seminar many years ago. Basically, a unit study is just an in-depth study of a topic. The topic can be tied to a child’s interests or to what the parent thinks the child should be studying.
Unit studies usually start out with a broad topic such as weather, oceans, a period of history, etc. You can study different subjects within that broad topic. A unit study can last a few hours up to an entire school year. You can combine several ages of children together to study a topic at different levels of difficulty.
Advantages - Here are some advantages (as I see it) to doing homeschool unit studies:
Here are some activities you can do with the materials and resources you have collected.
Disadvantages - The disadvantages to doing a homeschool unit studies would be that sometimes it can be a bit of work for the parent if the children are not interested in participating or if children are very young. If you think you are not creative, this may be a roadblock, but you can learn a lot from homeschool forums, books or other homeschoolers that you know that would be willing to give you ideas. Some people can’t stay motivated if they don’t have a curriculum or lesson plan that they are forced to stick to. Unit studies do need attention each day, but can still be fun and provide enjoyable learning. The danger would be that you might become too relaxed and just let your children wander around and do whatever they pleased.
Amanda Bennett is the queen of unit studies! Why reinvent the wheel when she has already done all the hard work for you? Here is a very SMALL sample of all the homeschool unit study curriculum packages that she has available:
1 year Download-N-Go
19 Download N Go units
Outdoor Fun Pack
Lewis & Clark/Prairie Pioneers
Expedition Fun Pack (7 units)
Foods Fun Pack (4 units)
When my children were younger we really liked Five in a Row although it is not as readily available as it used to be. It was a simple way to use picture books to introduce me and them to unit studies. We read the same classic children’s picture book each day for a week and did most of the activities listed for that book. This is a great way to see if unit studies might be for you without spending a lot of money or time.
Whether you decide to plan your own unit study or whether you use a guide, I hope this page has been helpful and has given you the confidence to pursue unit studies in your home school.
Do you have a great story about how you use unit studies in your home or a great idea that others can use to implement unit studies better? Share it!
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Use Things Around You!
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Unit Studies promote family togetherness and learning about life.
Besides the obvious of making schooling easier I think unit studies are great for bringing a family together and for teaching skills they will need later …
My daughter had a lot of fun doing a cooking and food services course. We used the Joy of Cooking cookbook as a text book. She learned the cooking terms, …
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