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Originally posted on our homeschool blog, Benoit Academy
I have been asked by a few fellow homeschooling mamas just what exactly unit studies are. I have dabbled in them a bit in the past couple of years during holidays & such but we never did a full year of them. Now I am no expert or guru when it comes to this but I do know someone who is & I will have the link for her blog later in the post! She has a 3 part series on how to get started with Unit Studies! In this post, I will give you an example of how I use them in our homeschool.
Unit Study Basics
Unit Studies can be on anything or anyone imaginable. You can cover many different subjects during the study but some may have to be supplemented, such as math. You can use journals, notebooks/notebooking pages, & copywork for writing/handwriting for instance. We have a separate math & reading program for M6 & L8 because of their age, but other than that everything is woven into the unit study.
We love to do lapbooks as well. They can take a day or even a whole year to do depending on how much you want to learn! You can buy pre-made ones or you can put them together on your own. The choice is totally up to you (& the kids!).
- For lapbooks, you can use file folders, glue (I recommend glue sticks, or my all-time favorite, rubber cement), computer paper (white & colored *optional) for lapbook template printouts or even construction paper. You can find many free templates online as well!
Find Out What They Want to Learn About
Talk with your children, if you like, & decide what topic they would like to study. Then, search around & find everything you can about it. Crafts, activities, books, recipes, movies, games, websites, worksheets, etc.. Collect all of your resources. I like to use Pinterest & separate each unit into its own board. I also use Dropbox to keep all of my files organized & can grab them from any device that I have!
This year we decided to learn about the Middle Ages. It all started with a little story I read to the kids during this past summer about the Vikings & Leif Erikson. We wanted to learn more, so in my search for “all things Viking” I figured why stop with them?? I decided to use this whole school year to learn as much as we can about the Middle Ages. You can see a bit of our Viking unit study here that we started the school year with.
What We Are Using This Year
Since this was my first attempt at a full year unit study, I needed something to help guide me through. I didn’t want to miss any important events or people. I came across Story of the World Volume 2 : The Middle Ages. This is what I use as my spine of the study along with the Activity Guide. We read a chapter a week, do copywork (which are sentences that I like from that chapter), J12 keeps a journal & also does a lapbook piece, any crafts & activities we can find (online & off), movies/Youtube videos, books, & sometimes a recipe.
So now that you have an idea of how I am doing unit studies this year, I will lead you to the one who helped me out a T O N… Betty Jo of StillLearningSomethingNew.com. The first part of her 3 part series is here, tips on how to keep records are here, & also how to make weekly plans are here!
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