Homeschool unit studies are filled with extra value. They make it easy for kids to make connections between lots of different subject areas. Plus, they’re a great way to approach learning with a topic that’s interesting to your kids.
Do you want to know what a unit study is really like? Are you curious about how a unit study actually works in real life?
Keep reading to discover why unit studies are our favorite way to learn. I’ll give you the inside scoop on the 3 things you really should know before your first unit study lesson plan. Plus, discover some of my favorite resources for making unit studies come to life in our homeschool.
Why Unit Studies Are So Valuable In Your Homeschool
We love unit studies. We believe unit studies give us a unique opportunity to build a lifelong love of learning. Unit studies give us the opportunity to focus on topics and subjects that Emily is interested in or passionate about. Beginning a unit study with topics your child is already curious about makes it so much easier!
When kids are already interested in or curious about the subject, they’re more engaged in the lesson and more likely to retain all the things you’re trying to teach them. You can use unit studies to encourage your kids to dive deep into the material they’re already passionate about.
The unit study approach is a fantastic way to get reluctant learners interested in the lesson too. We love unit studies because they make it easy to get the whole family involved. In that way, we’re fostering connection and building family memories as we learn together.
3 Things You Should Know About Homeschool Unit Studies In Real Life
Unit studies are beautiful and amazing in theory, but they might not always work out that way for your family. Do you start a unit study but get easily overwhelmed with the amount of stuff included? Are you stressed about the order or timing of things? Do you find yourself simply completing the academic stuff but leaving out all the fun?
Then, here are some things you should know about homeschool unit studies and how they actually work in real life!
If you take these 3 things you should know about homeschool unit studies to heart before you begin, you might find that homeschooling with unit studies is more enjoyable and you may even come love this approach to homeschooling as much as we do!
#1 Don’t Do Every Single Thing Included
Don’t do everything that’s included in the unit study. Especially when it comes to our comprehensive unit studies here at The Waldock Way, you can feel free to do what works for your family and leave the rest.
Homeschooling with unit studies isn’t about checking boxes. There’s no prize for completing every single activity or book on the list. Instead, focus on the materials you think your child will enjoy most or learn the most from this year.
Take your time with the materials and resources included. Add related books and activities you find along the way if you want and take the time to enjoy them too. When I’m not rushing through the list, we all have a chance to let the material sink in and learn more together as a family.
#2 It’s OK To Skip Around
Just as there’s no unwritten rule about finishing everything on the list, there’s no rule that says you have to go in a certain order. If Emily gets really excited about one of the projects or books included in our unit study, we start there. Why wait?
You can do the lessons in your homeschool unit study out of order if you want. In fact, sometimes it’s better! We can swap lessons around to line up with field trips, family vacations, or our own schedules.
Take advantage of the wonderful flexibility we have as homeschoolers and skip all over the place in your unit studies to make them work for you. I’m so glad we did!
#3 The Hands-On Activities and Games Are Important
Games are just as important as copywork. It can be really easy to feel like our kids are learning more when they’re completing worksheets. After all, worksheets make it easy for us to see what our children have retained.
However, copywork and worksheets aren’t the only measures of success and sometimes they aren’t the most accurate. So much learning is happening during fun and play. One important lesson I’ve learned as a homeschool mom is don’t skip the games.
Children learn so much through play and it’s a great way to get them engaged and actively learning all kinds of subjects. You can teach anything with gameplay!
More Resources For Unit Studies That Really Work
One of the best ways to ensure your unit study adventure is a success is to start with a unit study that focuses on topics your child is interested in learning about. We have created some really fun unit studies for Emily and I’m excited to share them with you. Check out some of our favorites below.
Survival Unit Study
Learn how to survive in all kinds of wilderness situations with Bear Grylls. This is such a fun unit study for homeschoolers of all ages. Plus, it pairs up perfectly with your family’s next camping or hiking adventure.
Human Body Unit Study
Are your homeschoolers fascinated by anatomy? Emily is too! That’s why we created this cool unit study all about the human body. Discover famous anatomist Andreas Vesalius and all the systems in the body with your homeschoolers this year.
Moon Unit Study
The moon is the first heavenly body most kids notice. It’s a great place to begin teaching your kids about the universe, our galaxy, and the planets. Discover the phases of the moon and more in this complete unit study all about Earth’s moon.
Ocean Unit Study
Are you planning a vacation to the beach? Before you go or while you’re there, check out all the fun books and activities in our ocean unit study. It’s filled with information about the plants and animals in every part of the ocean.
Space Unit Study
Travel to outer space to discover the stars, planets, and the asteroid belt. This unit study is perfect for your future astronaut. Plus, this unit study is designed for the whole family to enjoy together.
Which unit study are you most excited about exploring with your homeschool family this year? Do you have any tips and tricks for making unit studies successful in your homeschool that I forgot to mention? Share your tips in the comments. I can’t wait to read them!