Not exactly sure what a unit study is?
Referred to as a multi-disciplinary or a thematic approach, unit studies integrate several or all subjects around a central theme.
While some parents choose pre-made unit studies, others create their own depending on their child's interests.
Still others try homeschooling unit studies, only to find out it doesn’t fit their lifestyle or their children's learning style.
Make Your Own Unit Studies
Some ambitious home educators like to create their own unit studies for their children. Although this method takes additional time as you are making a course of study, often completely from scratch, it is customized around your child's interests and needs.
Many children learn better through unit studies because all subjects relate to each other through a central theme or topic.
Pre-Made Units Studies
Pre-made unit studies provide the benefits of hands-on homeschooling, without the extra hassle and time investment that comes with creating your own course.
For the younger grades, I love to use unit studies with my children. I find my children learn better, retain information easier and school is definitely more fun for them.
Although this is a great and fun way to learn, homeschooling unit studies can be extremely time consuming. If you do not have a wide variety of available resources at your disposal, you may get discouraged or frustrated, if you do not plan adequately.
Depending on which unit study curriculum you choose, you could spend more time than you have when schooling your children with this hands-on teaching method.
If you decide to forgo the create-your-own option for a ready made pre-packaged unit study curriculum, choose one that is busy-parent friendly! :)
When my two oldest were in middle school, we had a newborn in our schoolroom and due to lack of time, almost gave up unit studies for tradition curriculum.
However, I found a unit study that was perfect for our situation; it was laid out day-by-day and also listed at the beginning of each unit, ALL the materials we would need - even including the day we would need each item!
Plan Ahead = Successful Unit Studies
I encountered unit study nightmares as my children got into the older grades. They worked quicker, read quicker and due to my failure to plan adequately, they always seemed to be waiting for me to provide the day’s work outline.
It takes time to plan a unit study properly. You need to allow sufficient time to visit the library. If your library does not have the books you need for your study, you will need to inter-loan them, which takes extra time.
Some books you can not find at the library and may have to order. If not purchased in time, waiting for shipments to arrive can delay your unit study for awhile. So have an alternate plan.
If you are on a limited budget, you may have to forgo the purchase of some items, which could effect the quality of your unit. But don't worry too much. You will find many substitute projects or resources that are just as good! :)
Cost-cutting Unit Study Tips
If you teach multiple children, look for unit studies for multiple grades, so you can teach all or most of your children at once.
Look through the curriculum before purchasing it and make note of items you need to successfully complete each unit. If you are noticing that the materials to complete projects are costly or hard to get, then perhaps you will want to move on to something else.
I have found the best homeschooling unit studies for our family required items that we had readily available around our house, didn't take much effort, or additional money to obtain them.
Homeschool Unit Study Advice
Are you an avid homeschool unit studier? Have you found success? Or have you tried, and learning through homeschooling unit studies is definitely NOT for you? Share your experience, tips and stories below, to help others!
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Please share your homeschool unit study stories, tips and advice with other home educators!
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Avoid Homeschool Unit Study Headaches!
A home school unit study provides many educational benefits, but without proper preparation and a little forethought, unit studies can quickly become a homeschooling headache. Learn six tips for home school unit study success!
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