I had this ready to go last week, but forgot to post it when I arrived in El Salvador. Even if you don’t use unit studies as your primary approach to homeschooling, this can help you encourage a love of learning with occassional unit studies.
Why Use Unit Studies?
Unit studies offer a break from the doldrums. If you are using a textbook approach, you could take a break every once in a while and use a unit study. Or maybe it’s the middle of the school year and you’d like something fresh and new. Or maybe you school year round and need a little break in the middle of the summer. Unit studies give us a breather from everything else that’s going on.
It’s important that your children see how life fits together and that’s what unit studies do for your kids. This usually motivates us and our kids to learn. When you do a unit study about the Pioneers, you will study history, culture, education, math, science, art, handicrafts and much more. You gain an appreciation of life a hundred years ago. Instead of learning about dates & dead people, your children experience life during the pioneer times. It makes more sense.
You may be studying a specific curriculum and realize there’s a hole that needs to be filled. Let’s say your chapter on astronomy does not cover Black Holes. Black Holes are important or interesting to you. Take a break from your science curriculum and study black holes. Use that time to do a Black Hole unit study. This can betrue about any subject area. Watch for times to fill the gap in a specific curriculum.
I really like unit studies because it allows families to study what they’re interested in. You’re not cramming a bunch of information down your kids’ throats.
How to Use Unit Studies
Pick and choose topics from your family interests. If you have multiple kids, then rotate the topics that you actually study. Let each family member take a turn choosing the unit study topic. This will encourage a love of learning, as they study their own interests.
Retaining what you learn is one of the most important reasons to use unit studies. Studies show that kids using unit studies retain 45% more than traditional approaches to homeschooling. To retain 45% more, your children get involved in their studies. What they learn in the process becomes part of them.
Simplifies Teaching of Multiple Children
If you have more than one child, unit studies can simplify teaching to multiple kids. Let’s say you are using the textbook approach and you have three kids. That’s three kids times seven subjects every day. You have 21 lesson preps for every single day. That’s a lot of preparation.
If you have all different textbooks for each child, you may have one child studying Ancient Rome history, the other one studying early America, and others doing a study in China. On top of history, you have three different sciences and all different maths. Unit studies simplify your life and helps focus on one particular area of study. With unit studies, your entire family will all be focused on the same topic.
One of the drawbacks is the time to get started with a unit. I know you are very busy cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring. For some reason my family still wants to eat three meals a day! Can you believe it?
You still have other responsibilities in your home.
Unit studies take a little bit of time to get started. But in the end, you should consider what kind of education your children receive with unit studies. Unit studies are superb to other methods, it’s well worth your time. Discover how to create your own unit studies with our Unit Studies Tool Kit.
My Unit Studies Tool Kit will help you create your own unit studies, step-by-step. You’ll also receive 5 mini units as my gift to you when you grab the Unit Studies Tool Kit. Click here to see how you can get started with unit studies this week.
Question: How do you use your unit studies in your homeschool? What topics have you studied with unit studies? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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