Getting Started With Unit Studies In Your Homeschool

If you’ve been checking us out here at The Waldock Way, you’ve probably concluded that we do a lot of unit studies. Over the years, unit studies have become a big part of how we learn. Unit studies have taken us to outer space, sent us flying with the Wright brothers, turned us into wizards harnessing the powers of magic, and so much more!

I’d love to tell you more about how we use unit studies to teach science, history, geography, and more. Keep reading to discover how you can get started using unit studies to teach your homeschoolers in a way that’s engaging, interest-led, and lots of fun! Plus, discover some of our favorite resources and tips for making unit studies work in your homeschool.

Why Unit Studies Are  A Great Way To Learn In Your Homeschool

I believe unit studies give homeschool moms a unique opportunity to impart a love of learning that will last a lifetime. Unit studies focus on topics and themes Emily is truly interested in and passionate about. By beginning that way, I’m helping make it more likely she will remember what she’s learning in each lesson.

Unit studies are also a great way to encourage your homeschooler to deep dive into subjects she wants to learn about. By using unit studies, we can focus on the things our kids really want to learn. It’s a great way to encourage kids who might not typically be as interested in learning to engage with the lessons.

Unit Study Basics

Whether you’re planning your own unit study or using one of my complete unit studies, there are some basics that can help you get started on the right foot. When you’re homeschooling, planning goes a long way towards helping the lessons and your school day go so much more smoothly. So here’s the unit study basics you’ll need to know before getting started with unit studies in your homeschool.

Planning A Unit Study

When I begin planning a new unit study, I always start by thinking about what Emily would like to learn. It’s really important to focus on your child’s interests and passions when you’re planning a new unit study. 

If you’re not sure what your homeschooler might want to learn about, observe them for a while to determine their interests and curiosity. No topic is off limits in a unit study.

Next, think about which subjects you’ll include. I typically include history, geography, science, art, and music in our unit studies here at the Waldock Way. Which subjects are important for you to include in your unit study? 

Want to learn more about how I plan a unit study? Check out my step by step guide to Planning A Unit Study for more tips and helpful information.

Gathering The Resources For Your Unit Study

Gathering the right resources for your unit study is an important step. It can be a lot of fun too! It’s easy to go overboard getting resources and planning your unit study once you start. One of my pro tips is to match your planning to their interest level.

If your homeschooler is only a little bit interested in birds, it won’t do to plan a semester long unit study about them. Instead, follow your child’s lead and you’ll save lots of time and effort.

Once you’ve gauged their interest and determined how much you need, you can start gathering resources. I like to begin by checking to see what I already have. You might be pleasantly surprised by what’s already on your shelves.

Next, start a library wish list and a Pinterest board. Who doesn’t love getting lost on Pinterest looking at activities and ideas? Planning a unit study for your homeschool is the perfect time to get lost surfing Pinterest.

After creating your board and library list, check streaming services for videos and films that line up with your topic. Is there anything that can’t be found on Youtube? Don’t forget to check for documentaries and fun family movies on services like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Hulu too.

The next thing I do is check the app store on Emily’s tablet. There are lots of fun educational apps that are free or low cost. Using these with your unit study adds a fun new element to help your homeschoolers practice and retain what they’re learning. 

Do I Cover All Subjects In Our Unit Study?

I like to include lots of subjects in our unit study. Art, music, geography, cultural studies, history, and science are some of my favorites. 

I often add games and activities that help Emily practice important language arts and math concepts too. However, I don’t include these subjects in our unit studies in a complete way. Unit studies aren’t the main way we learn these skills.

You’ll want to spend some time thinking about which subjects you want to include in your unit study. It could be the perfect way to include subjects like art, music, foreign language, handicrafts, and poetry. These are subjects it’s sometimes more challenging to fit into a traditional homeschool day.

Incorporating the subjects you often don’t get to or that require more prep in your unit study is a great way to ensure you’re still getting them in. Adding subjects and skills your homeschooler struggles with to a unit study can help encourage them to give it a go too.

Additional Resources For Homeschooling With Unit Studies

If planning a unit study from scratch isn’t for you, don’t worry. You can still get all the benefits of unit studies in your homeschool here at the Waldock Way. Check out my complete unit studies and additional resources for homeschooling in the shop

Plus, you can opt-in for a free unit study from us too. It’s a great way to get started with unit studies in your homeschool without all the planning. Don’t miss the chance to have fun learning with an interest-led unit study for free in your homeschool this year.