Teaching multiple grades, levels and different ages can be quite taxing if you are using different methods, or different curricula for each subject and each child. If you aren’t careful you could be homeschooling ALL day long! Teaching multiple grades doesn’t have to be overwhelming or difficult though!
In this series I am talking about different ways to do this with curriculum suggestions and ideas for the subjects. This week we are talking about Unit Studies!
What is a Unit Study?
A Unit Study is studying and learning a particular theme or subject with many different methods. I think it is one of the easiest ways to incorporate multiple ages and grades together at the same time. You simply adjust the level of learning with books, writing assignments, research, videos etc… for older kids and younger ones. Yet you can still be learning and studying the exact same things at the same time!
Unit Studies are great for families who are on a tight budget or trying to homeschool for free. They are inexpensive (you can use your own books, you tube videos, free online resources and the local library). You can create your own resources, lapbooks, notebooks etc… and don’t have to purchase multiple workbooks!
They work great for ALL learning styles. You can use so many methods of learning with unit studies. The sky is the limit when it comes to hands on projects, videos, online learning, audio books, living books, science projects, nature studies, coloring pages, lapbooks, learning toys, sensory activities, working on a white board, field trips and so much more!!!
If you don’t want to create your own unit studies here are some curriculum suggestions that use the Unit Study approach:
Konos is a biblically based homeschool unit study program. Each volume is really a teacher’s manual which always includes activities for K-8th grade so you can teach your 6th grader, your 3rd grader and your kindergartner at the same time. With KONOS, you have the structure of weekly lesson plans including daily activities written as part of each unit but still have the flexibility to tailor your curriculum to meet the needs of your own family.
Here is a great post about using Konos with a FREE Konos Unit Study Planner:
Konos Planning for Dummies by Sprittibee
Five in a Row is a literary based curriculum that uses the Unit Study approach with classic and popular children’s literature as the core of each Unit Study.
There are many ways you can incorporate multiple ages into these studies. Before Five in a Row is for ages 2-4, Five in a Row is for ages 4-8, Beyond Five in a Row is for ages 8-12.
The Weaver Curriculum
The Weaver Curriculum is a unique unit-based, Christian homeschool curriculum. For grades PreK-12, this family-based curriculum uses the same daily Bible theme as a foundation and then creates lessons for each student. Your students are then studying the same main subject the same time with individual lesson assignment geared to each student’s grade level. For example if you were teaching about the plagues of Egypt, your student would learn about frogs in science, Egyptian topography in geography, pharaohs in history, and so forth. Using this one-room schoolhouse type teaching, students are able to glean information from each other.
Resources for creating your own Unit Studies:
Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus has some great blog posts about unit studies:
Thinking About Diving into Unit Studies?
10 Days of Diving into Unit Studies
Sidetracked Sarah has The Ultimate List of Unit Study Resources – This is a HUGE list organized by alphabetical order. There are so many free resources on such a variety of topics to choose from!
Homeschool Share is a site full of FREE Resources. There are unit studies, lapbooks, printable studies and much more. All you do is type what you are searching for in the search bar and more than likely there will be something you can use!
Homeschool Helper Online is another site with FREE resources. Their Unit Study Page is full of great freebies!
Unit Studies Made Easy by Valerie Bendt
Valerie’s popular book, How to Create Your Own Unit Study, is back! This updated, expanded version includes all four of Valerie’s previously published unit study books in one big volume: How to Create Your Own Unit Study, The Unit Study Idea Book, For the Love of Reading, and Success with Unit Studies. Are you tired of trying to teach like the schools? Are you searching for a simple yet effective teaching method? Do you want to instill a love of learning in your children? This guide presents the nuts and bolts of teaching through unit studies. This CD version includes all 336 pages in PDF files.
Homeschooling using Unit Studies does take more planning than an open and go curriculum, so here are some awesome FREE Unit Study Planners to print out and help you stay organized:
8 page unit study printable by Newbee Homeschooler
30 Page Unit Study Printable Pack by Free Homeschool Deals
FREE Lapbook and Unit Study Planner by Heart of Wisdom
You don’t want to miss the other posts in this series:
Teaching Multiple Grade Levels With the Same Curriculum: Bible
Teaching Multiple Grade Levels With the Same Curriculum: History
Teaching Multiple Grade Levels With the Same Curriculum: Science
Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate)! She is a an eclectic, Charlotte Mason style homeschooler that has been homeschooling for almost 20 years.. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!