Unit Study Home Schooling Curriculum Programs

Unit study home schooling is a unique way to teach and learn.

Unit study is a method of teaching and learning. Although it may appear very casual to the uninformed eye, it is used in a structured way at home and in alternative schools.

It is the intense study of one topic, and encompasses reading, writing, critical thinking, geography, science, social studies and history. If you are creative, it can even include math.

Unit study is also known as thematic learning, based on the word 'theme.' My daughter attended a school where the curriculum was described as literature based thematic study. The themes were in 2-month blocks based on a time line from Prehistory to Modernism. All subjects were learned within each theme.

For instance, science in Prehistory was the study of dinosaurs, plants, constellations and the seasons. Math was learned through stories of cave people having a yard sale. Each person's items were tallied up each day of the sale.

One great thing about unit study is that if you are homeschooling more that one child, you can still use just one unit. This was clear to me in my daughter's school, as the older kids simply had more involved material. They read Clan of the Cave Bear while the younger ones read an age-appropriate book with the same material covered in it. This was social studies - how prehistoric people lived. Another advantage of this is that the older children can teach the younger ones.

Unit study topics can be chosen according to the preferences of the children at home. But to draw on something unfamiliar can be just as exciting and take you to new places. You can open an encyclopedia and study whatever page you are on. Or flip through a dictionary for a word for a topic. Anything is appropriate form airplanes to giraffes to pizza to zoology.

All kids love dogs, and so that would make an interesting topic. You can study their history, country of origin (geography), biology (science), and uses (social studies). Studying a certain breed or a country can take you to places you never expected!

By studying one topic thoroughly, children get a big picture, not little snippets of history and so on. If they understand the Middle Ages, then studying plants later on, they will already know the history of herbs. Everything will be connected for them, because of this unique perspective.

Unit study for homeschooling parents doesn't have to be expensive. Use encyclopedias at home and at the library. Videos can be borrowed from the library as well. Go on field trips, talk to local experts you found in the yellow pages, and use the internet. There is a wealth of information for the having if you look for it.

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