Is your homeschool suffering from burn out? Maybe your kids are getting bored of the same old textbooks and worksheets. There is nothing wrong with mixing things up for a change of pace.
Unit Studies are a great way to focus on a specific topic that is of interest to your child. Unit Studies usually have one main theme or topic that the study focuses on while incorporating English, History, Science, Math and sometimes even Bible all rolled into one. A Unit Study helps your child to learn about a topic in a fun and engaging way, that is completely different than a textbook or workbooks. Unit Studies engage even the most reluctant learner.
There comes a time in the school year, especially towards the end of the year where everyone loses their excitement to do school. Yes, even this mama gets tired of teaching sometimes! There are also times like pregnancy, having a new baby, or an illness that puts you out of commission for a while and makes it difficult to do school. There is nothing wrong with putting the workbooks on the shelf and trying a different approach for a season. Unit Studies are the perfect solution for a change of pace in your homeschool.
I also enjoy using Unit Studies in the summer time, or around the holidays, when we are not doing formal schooling, yet still taking a relaxed approach to learning and soaking up information. I have noticed that my kids learn best in a relaxed setting, with topics that they are interested in.
How to get started with a Unit Study:
The first time we decided to do a unit study we just picked a topic that my girls were interested in (the first time we did this it was on the Nutcracker ballet). We went to the library and checked out some books on the Nutcracker ballet along with picture books and readers. We also checked out a dvd of the actual ballet. Then I went online and searched for free printables and resources to print out for them to use. We spent a week working on different hands-on activities, reading, watching and playing all things Nutcracker. I made sure to plan this around Christmas when the annual Nutcracker ballet school show would be playing. We ended our unit study with a beautiful field trip to a real ballet!
If you don’t feel like creating your own unit study, there are many resources available that are already done for you!
Here are some of our favorites:
Homeschool Share is a FREE site that offers unit studies and lapbooks on many different topics, as well as unit studies on well loved books and literature.
In the Hands of a Child creates high interest, hands-on lapbooking style unit studies on every topic you can think of! Your kids will love the mini books and graphic organizers that they get to fill out and create themselves on topics that they enjoy learning about!
Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett are very popular among homeschoolers. These unit studies are interactive and engaging, while covering many homeschool subjects at one time. They are great for multiple ages as well.
Homeschool Legacy offers Once-a-Week unit studies that are no-prep, and simple and easy to follow. I personally love that they are Biblically centered and that you can earn scouting badges while doing these. The majority of Once-a-Week Unit Studies have incorporated corresponding badge requirements into the assignments. This provides American Heritage Girls with the opportunity to “earn while they learn,” while completing the unit study assignments with the rest of their family. Older Trail Life USA scouts also enjoy using Once-a-Week Unit Studies in conjunction with their Design Your Own Badge option.
A Journey Through Learning is another popular lapbook company that has created some amazing Lapbooks that cover specific topics just like unit studies. Lapbooks are a great option for crafty children that love learning and creating with a hands-on experience.
Techie Homeschool Mom is the creator of Online Unit Studies. These are unique, internet based online unit studies that integrate multiple subjects for multiple ages of students. Students access websites and videos and complete digital projects. With Online Unit Studies’ easy-to-use E-course format, no additional books and print resources are needed. Just gather supplies for hands-on projects and register for online tools.
We also post tons of Unit Study resources and freebies here on a daily basis. You can find all of our posts on Unit Studies HERE.
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!