3 Reasons to Use Unit Studies
Three Reasons You Should Look Into Using Unit Studies in Your Homeschool
Unit Studies Are FlexibleCreating a unit study around your children's interests is a really flexible way to teach. You can use a unit with more than one child at the same time even if they are on different levels. Add math and language arts projects and materials that are appropriate for each age group and simplify hands-on projects for younger children.
Family learning means that everyone is active and working together. This builds strong social and communication skills. You can enjoy learning alongside your children and they can learn to appreciate learning together. Older children utilize materials that allow them to be more independent.
You can be as structured or relaxed as your family needs. Your unit study based homeschool can utilize different types of techniques or methods depending on your teaching philosophy or style.
Unit studies allow you flexibility with scheduling. Many families use them year-round or adjust their weekly school schedule for a four day week; planning one day for activities or field trips like the Homeschool Complete curriculum.
Unit studies naturally address the needs of the different learning styles of each of your children. Teaching using a variety of materials and activities such as audio books, literature, textbooks, worksheets, videos, computer games, music, and handicrafts enables you to meet the learning needs of students that learn best reading, those who are visual, auditory and those who need to be active. Your creative kids thrive, and all your children benefit as they strengthen any skills in which they are weak.
Unit Studies Promote Higher Level ThinkingChildren who work through the hands-on processes of activities or projects, are utilizing higher thinking skills on a regular basis. They become proficient at problem solving when allowed to make connections based on the materials and environment you provide for them. Unit Studies are perfect for integrating subject matter which leads to increased retention of the material and builds on previously learned skills in a natural way.
It is important to recognize the value of activities that accompany a topical study, not just as ways to keep things fun or interesting, but actually as the learning tools they are. What appears to be a fun craft or science experiment designed to keep them entertained is absolutely integral to a child's learning.
Interest Led Themes Create a Love of LearningUsing a basic structure, you can build your unit study around whatever currently fascinates your children. This is not just catering to your children or entertaining them, it is creating an environment where education is delightful and natural. Learning happens all day, not just during "school time" and the children are invested in their own learning experiences.
Planning your school year can be a family event instead of a burden when you let the kids work out together the types of things they want to learn about each year. Kids that have a stake in their education are excited about each new learning adventure.
Try a Unit StudyGo ahead, put your foot in the water this summer and try out an individual unit study. They can take as much or as little time as you want and can be built around anything.
There are some free and inexpensive unit studies available online or take a look in the Homeschool Complete Curriculum webstore for one that is fully planned and includes almost all you need to complete a unit all planned out and listed for you.
Filling lessons with material that teaches your core and extracurricular subjects around topics or themes that are interest driven is a proven way of keeping a child's attention and is often a great springboard for their creativity.
You may even find, as I did, that your children's playtime is filled with additional discovery and child-led activities they create themselves around the very themes you are learning about. With unit studies they love to learn and the learning never ends.
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Written By: Merit Kirkpatrick
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