Homeschool Unit Study Approach
Subtracting his years of public service from his age, doing a book report on a juvenile biography about him, and engineering a boat that will hold at least 10 pennies—these could all be creative learning activities to integrate into an Abraham Lincoln unit study. The unit study homeschool method is a mastery-based approach to learning that incorporates multiple subject areas to learn about a specific theme or topic. On this page you will discover what unit studies are, how some homeschoolers coordinate their learning with them, what unit-based homeschool curriculum looks like, and how Time4Learning’s flexible format is the perfect complement to this homeschooling style.
What Are Unit Studies?
Unit studies are time-specific overviews of a defined topic or theme that incorporate multiple subject areas into the study plan. Sometimes called “thematic units,” these studies often involve multisensory learning where each activity is organized according to the thematic idea.
The objective of unit studies is to allow students to delve deeply into a given topic so that they can gain mastery of it. By exploring a subject from multiple angles, information is more likely to be retained.
Homeschool Unit Studies
Thematic units have long been a popular approach to learning in the preschool and early elementary years of traditional schools. Many homeschool families have adopted this method as well—not only because it allows students to study subjects more in-depth, but also because the variety of activities keeps them engaged.
The unit study method of homeschool works especially well for these situations:
- Families homeschooling children across multiple age groups
- Homeschoolers on the autism spectrum who have intense interests in specific subjects
- Homeschooling parents who want to create their own curriculum
- Families who need low-cost curriculum options
- Homeschoolers who want to break up a traditional homeschooling approach with short-term unit studies for variety
Unit Study Curriculum
Families interested in the unit study approach have many curriculum options. There are some dedicated unit study curricula available for purchase. Also, parents can research and find many free unit studies online on a wide variety of subjects. For some homeschoolers, though, having the ability to create their own unit studies holds a strong appeal.
When organizing your own unit studies homeschool curriculum, the following tips can be helpful:
- Spend more time on preparation than on execution of the study. Having all your resources, materials, and links researched ahead of time will make unit studies go much more smoothly.
- List out the academic (or personal) goals you want your child to achieve with each study.
- In the planning stage, create a rough outline of what you want to accomplish each day. Even a simple notebook page of activities and subjects you want to cover daily is a great start.
- If you are a visual person, Pinterest is a great tool for organizing your unit studies. Create a board for each study and pin all the links you may want to refer back to for that topic.
- Get creative with ways to incorporate a variety of subjects. Have you included science projects for your theme? Or did you remember to include writing skills practice in your unit study?
- Remember that you don’t have to create every part of your unit yourself. Take advantage of helpful tools such as online lessons to supplement your study and give you (and the kids!) a break.
- Keep comprehensive records of what you accomplish each day and week. This can be invaluable when creating a homeschool portfolio.
How Time4Learning Works with the Unit Study Approach
Time4Learning makes an ideal complement to homeschooling with unit studies because it is flexible enough to be used however families most need it. For families who want a core curriculum that covers all the bases but want to use unit studies to extend their learning, Time4Learning has that covered. For others who want to use unit studies as their primary style, but not for all subjects, Time4Learning allows students to use only the subject areas they need. And for those who want to use unit studies exclusively, Time4Learning can serve as a wonderful multimedia tool to visually support specific topics with animated lessons and activities.
Time4Learning is a convenient, online homeschool curriculum that combines education with interactive fun. Student-paced multimedia lessons, printable worksheets, ongoing assessments and detailed reporting make our learning system an effective and affordable choice for homeschooling with unit studies and most other styles of homeschooling.
Additional Resources on Homeschooling Styles
Want to know even more about the different approaches to homeschooling? The following pages can help:
- Homeschooling Styles Overview
- Eclectic Homeschooling
- Traditional Homeschooling
- Classical Homeschooling
- Montessori Homeschooling
- Charlotte Mason Homeschooling
- Waldorf Homeschooling
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