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Unit Study Basics

Originally posted on our homeschool blog, Benoit Academy

Unit Study Basics

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!).

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.

This past week we learned about Beowulf so we read a kid-friendly poem of it while J12 is reading a chapter or 2 each day from the book. We also have a timeline for this unit here.

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 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!

edited to add the link to the lapbook that we are using for SotW V2! It’s from

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5 thoughts on “Unit Study Basics

  • Thank you Jess! I love the ideas of using this with SOTW. What a good idea!

    • Thanks Amanda! We do too…it's so much fun! Thanks for the idea for the post btw. 😉

  • Jess, <br /><br />Unit studies have a much loved place in my heart. We did them pretty much exclusively for the first several years and even now do one for variety. The Middle Ages would be a great year long unit! I&#39;m itching to do a unit with our current book club read, Around the World in 80 Days. I just might pull a few things together for it before Monday. <br /><br />Thanks for

    • Around the World in 80 Days sounds like it would be a fun one! I am in the middle of putting together something for Thanksgiving before Monday. 🙂

  • Pingback: Our Homeschool Curriculum for 2014 - 2015

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