One of the easiest ways to add depth and richness to your homeschool learning experience is through unit studies. However, many times the idea of taking the time to plan a unit study can seem like a huge obstacle for many families.
I have a very easy solution for you and your homeschool! Unit studies are fun, interesting, and you can’t let the planning stand in your way. I have several easy steps to help you plan a unit study in less than 10 minutes. Don’t forget to download your copy of The Relaxed Unit Study Planner to make planning a unit study even easier!
The first steps to take to plan a unit study – 3 Minutes
1. Decide how you will use unit studies in your school for this year. (**If this feels like too big of a step, skip this and concentrate on planning a single unit study before thinking through a full year of units.**)
* Will you do one unit study per week for history?
* Will you do a unit study per month related to ocean science?
* Are you creating a unit study before traveling?
2. Decide on your subject.
* Are you using a spine? (A textbook or curriculum that you’re planning unit studies around)
* What purpose do you have in creating this study?
* Will you be learning about only one aspect of your subject? (For example, only learning about D-Day instead of World War 2 as a whole, or only learning about Octopi instead of all Cephalopods)
3. Decide on your goal with the study. If you’re going to plan a unit study, you have to know where you’re going!
* What do you want your student(s) to understand at the end of the study?
* What is the objective of your study?
4. Write a single sentence describing your purpose and goal with the unit study. This is your mission for planning and helps you keep everything on track.
* Example: Subject – George Washington, Goal – To understand the role George Washington played in the founding of the United States. Sentence: This unit study is being created to introduce my children to the history of George Washington and help them understand his role in the creation of the USA.
The finishing steps to plan a unit study – 5 to 7 minutes
5. Search for books related to your goal. For the example above, I’d search, “George Washington kids books” and “Books about George Washington for kids.”
* Make a list of books to use for your unit study. You may not be able to find all of the books on your list, so include three to five books.
* If your topic involves people, search for biographies as well.
6. Search for videos related to your goal. Don’t forget to check Amazon Prime, Netflix, YouTube, and iTunes.
7. Choose activities to extend your child’s learning and understanding of the subject. I recommend at least three related activities for each unit study.
8. Choose a way to evaluate your child’s understanding of the unit study. Evaluation can be done through a test, writing, or in many other ways. You can also choose an activity for the child to complete that also demonstrates their understanding of the subject.
There you go! Your unit study is complete. Now, you can take the unit study you’ve designed and plug it in to whatever process you use to plan your school schedule. If you’d like ideas on making a unit study work for your family, check out this post on This Crazy Homeschool Life.
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