Using unit studies in your homeschool can have so many benefits. From making it easier to homeschool multiple kids, to having the ability to accommodate a variety of learning styles – unit studies are totally worth a try. Here’s why!
What are unit studies?
If you’ve never explored using unit studies in your homeschool, chances are you may not be sure what they are. In a nutshell, the unit study method focuses on a central theme and builds lesson plans around that topic. By focusing on a main idea, the theme will typically include most core areas of study.
Using the example of flowers as a primary topic, you can touch on the following subjects and lessons:
- Your children could plant a flower garden (hands-on botany).
- They can paint and color pictures of flowers (art).
- Kids can study different types of flowers (science).
- Books about flowers can be read and use for vocabulary (ELA).
- Younger children can count flowers found in the yard (math).
The possibilities could go on and on with videos, hands-on experiments, geography, and more!
5 Benefits of Using Unit Studies in Your Homeschool
Now that we’ve talked about what unit studies are, here are ways that using them in your homeschool can be beneficial for both you and your kids.
Unit studies help kids retain information.
The structure built in the unit study method presents information to kids in a way that sticks. This is mostly because thematic units use different types of curriculum and resources versus the traditional use of textbooks. The same material can be used that’s found in a textbook, but the presentation is what makes it seem completely different. You’re also able to take learning outside the box. Most homeschooling parents who use unit studies often say it’s some of the most fun times of learning.
They make it easier to teach multiple ages together.
If you find yourself homeschooling multiple ages, grades, even learning styles – then unit studies are the perfect solution. You’re able to use the same study and adjust the content based on each of your kid’s developmental levels. Wrapped in this benefit is also a decrease in the time it takes to prepare lesson plans.
Kids are able to learn from one another.
Suppose you have an elementary-aged child and a middle school-age child. Not only can they do an experiment or project together, but the older one can help the younger one through the process. This method is very giving when it comes to fostering those kind of life skills. Take advantage of pairing your kids together for projects, experiments, research reports, and the like.
Unit studies compliment any learning style and disability.
I’ve touched briefly on this already, but it really deserves its own benefit. Most parents find it difficult to cater to different learning styles, but with unit studies, the lessons themselves take care of that facet. Through the use of videos, books, lapbooks, notebooks, projects, and field trips – you have catered to just about every style there is. Unit studies are also the go to for kids who have learning disabilities. You can speed or slow down according to your family’s unique needs.
Using them makes homeschooling inexpensive.
There’s no need to purchase expensive boxed curriculum or large textbooks. Unit studies often use a combination of printables, workbooks, books that can be checked out from the public library, and real-life experiences. It’s easy to piece together a little bit of this and a little bit of that, catering specifically to the developmental level of your kids. You can also find tons of free unit studies!
Free Unit Studies for Your Homeschool
I offer a variety of ever-growing unit study packs that you can download, print, and use immediately in your homeschool. Here are a few you can get right here on my blog:
- Turn a Movie into a Unit Study
- Learn About Shadows (using Groundhog Day)
- Composting & Worms
- From Seed to Plant
Interested in seeing more? Click here! In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. Do you use any in your homeschool? What have been some of your favorites so far? Let me know in the comments below!