Thursday, August 29, 2013

How to Begin Homeschooling, Part 6, Unit Study Planning

Unit Study Planning

Little confession here, I don't do many unit studies. They are a great way of incorporating some, if not some, of our main subjects into one focused unit. You pick a topic and fill in a ton of different ways to learn everything you can about that topic in a specific (or not so specific) amount of time. I do use them from time to time, but I'm just not as keen on them for grades higher than first as I am for pre-school and kindergarten levels. So... before writing this I had to refresh my memory about them by doing some research online and pulling out a few of our older unit studies to look at.

First I wanted to share a wonderful link to a page filled with free resources for planning ... if you haven't checked out this site yet it is definitely worth a peak or three. There is at least one file here free to print that will help you plan a unit study.

Now, we need a topic to do a unit study about ... Fall is just around the corner so I thought we'd do something about that. It's a VERY broad subject, but this allows for a lot of leeway in planning. 

You can place leaves changing and animals getting ready for winter into a Fall unit study for Science.

How people harvest food, and how they used to store it for winter before greenhouses and grocery stores for Social Studies/History. Or the true history of Halloween (if that is appropriate to your home).

Counting fall objects (acorns, leaves, pumpkins, etc.) or doing Fall printable worksheets for Math.

Journal about Fall for Language Arts. Check out a lot of books about Fall from your local library as well.

Incorporate Fall Art craft projects that you find online. Or do leaf rubbings before the leaves all get crumbly in fall colors.

There has to be Fall music out there somewhere as well.

Plan some nature walks at parks around town or your nearest state or national park for field trips. 

Rent or borrow videos about fall.

You can also take into account the ages of your children (because you can do a unit study across all ages if you chose) and say that child "A" needs to paint a pumpkin for art, while child "B" writes a report on the first Halloween, and child "C" watches a video about how pioneers prepared for winter during the Fall. Ok, so you'd probably have all the kids paint a pumpkin, have the eldest ones write reports while the youngest ones talked to you about Halloween, and show them all the video together. But, you can see what I meant there.

I may have chosen too broad of a topic for a nice lengthy unit study but I only used it as an example. Your possibilities out there are endless. If you find a subject that your child is really drawn too see how many places you can plug that into their life. ECJ is really drawn to electricity and electronics and I find as much as I can for him in all of his subjects so that he can see how it relates to things. I just haven't made a true unit study about it.

Have fun with unit planning, it really can be fun to do and it's really nice to have a couple little ones prepared for those weeks when things come up and you need something to do but don't have anything planned (or the kiddos need a break from text books).

** All clip art on this page was found on free clip art websites and was not created by myself. **

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