The Best Way To Plan A Unit Study ~
Written by Jessica Waldock of The Waldock Way
Unit studies are an excellent approach to homeschooling because it’s simple to focus on your child’s interests and passions. Plus unit studies get the whole family involved in learning together and building connections.
I really love the way unit studies weave together lots of different subject areas. We can incorporate art, music, history, science, and more with a great unit study. Planning a unit study can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a challenge.
We like to focus on literature-based unit studies that incorporate all the things we love like art, field trips, and hands-on activities.
Want to learn more about how we do it? Keep reading to discover the very best way to plan a homeschool unit study for your family this school year.
Why Unit Studies Work So Well
Why do unit studies work so well for homeschool lessons? They give us the opportunity to connect, learn new things together as a family, and share our passions.
In our own unit studies, we like to add art activities because it’s something our daughter, Emily is passionate about.
Her dad loves art too, but I’ll admit it’s not my favorite. Adding art to our unit studies gives me a chance to explore an interest that we don’t normally share and experience it through her eyes.
I love that I can use unit studies to teach important academic skills and subjects that Emily might not otherwise be interested in by focusing on something she loves.
For example, a unit study all about survival can be built around Emily’s favorite survivalist: Bear Grylls. I can add science experiments and geography lessons to our unit study for even more learning fun.
The Best Way To Plan A Unit Study
So what’s the best way to plan a unit study? I like to focus on a really great book and build around it. Choosing literature as a spine for our unit studies opens all kinds of doors.
When you begin planning a unit study, talk with your kids about their interests. Your kids will love talking about their passions with you and it’s a great opportunity to get to learn more about them as people. Take what they love and run with it!
If you’d like to see my step by step process on how I plan an in depth unit study you can do that here.
Literature-Based Units For Your Homeschool
Beginning with a literature-based unit study makes planning a homeschool unit easy. You can add lessons about the author, the setting of the story (or stories), and all kinds of creative stuff! Don’t be afraid to dive deep into the world of the book.
In our Harry Potter themed unit study, we focus on all the aspects of Harry’s world to create a comprehensive unit study that incorporates science, history, geography, literature, and more! We began by celebrating the start of our year at Hogwarts with a fun sorting hat activity, dress-up play, and decorations.
We read all the books together, enjoyed recipes from a Harry Potter cookbook, and learned about subjects focused on different aspects of the world at Hogwarts. For example, science lessons focused on herbology, alchemy, astronomy, and magical creatures.
Another literature-based unit study we are really excited about is our new study built around the Percy Jackson book series.
This new homeschool unit study will give us an opportunity to dive deep into Greek mythology and Ancient Greece. In this adventure, we can learn about Greek architecture, mythology, and Greek culture.
I’m really excited about the opportunity to connect and learn together as a family in this way.
Is there a book your homeschooler really loves or a series you’d like to explore as a family? That’s the perfect place to begin building a unit study for your whole family to learn together this school year!
Finding out what interests your child has will give you insights into what specific topics to explore as a whole unit. From there, the adventures are awaiting you and the sky is the limit.
What’s Your Child’s Learning Style? Take Jamie’s new quiz now and set yourself up for homeschooling success by understanding the way they learn best!
Iris van Meer
What was *the most fun* Unit Study you ever did?
We have a 7 year old that really really doesn’t want to do much of anything that sounds like school, so we’ve been trying different things here and there. I’d love to do a unit study, but she doens’t seem to have one specific hyper focus subject. When I ask her, I get a grunt and one-shouldered-shrug 🙂
Jamie C. Martin
I think this post might have some help for you, Iris: https://simplehomeschool.net/core-phase/
If I was in this situation, I might try building a unit study around one of MY OWN interests, and inviting my child to come along for the ride. Along the way, you might find another interest gets sparked. But even if it doesn’t, you’ve had a great time!!
Heya. We are now doing a unit study on the Chalet School. In English lessons we read one of the books in question in order to start with. Then we write a short review or hold a little Q and A session on themes of the book. I also prepared a mini fact file on the events and characters of the novels too. I encouraged the class to research the author and make notes on her. To liven things up I include fun activities like role play.
Do also try the hot seating method. It really works. We also discussed our feelings and events of each book. I created a colourful mind map to ease them into it. Find stuff that works for you. I printed out a list of questions I used for lessons.