Before we started homeschooling, we had never heard of unit studies. But, once we tried one we were hooked! What began as a trial study soon became the backbone of our curriculum. With our sons now grown and graduated from college, we can truthfully say we wouldn’t have homeschooled any other way! Why?
1.Unit Studies Take the “Boring” Out of School and Make Learning Fun!
Because unit studies take a more creative, hands-on approach to education, they got our kids EXCITED about learning! Never once did we hear them utter “School is boring” or whine “I want to go to real school!” On the contrary, I often rejoiced when they exclaimed, “We loooove homeschooling!” But, to be honest, unit studies were never just about the kids. Unit studies gave ME a fun way to teach and truly enjoy my children!
2.Unit Studies Make Life Easier.
Unit Studies connect multiple subjects to one central theme. That means, with the exception of math, grammar, and spelling (though they too are often integrated), I didn’t have to keep up with multiple textbooks, for multiple children, for multiple grades, and multiple subjects. You get the picture! Instead, each child learned about the same topic, at the same time, as I wove several subjects into the central theme…even though they were six years apart!
For instance, while learning about Lewis & Clark, each child replicated Meriwether Lewis’ journal, while they learned about various plant and animal species and recorded them in their journals! They read living books about the expedition and biographies about the men (and woman) involved. Their writing assignments pertained to the study, as did arts & crafts and a host of other subjects. Even our family devotional focused on character traits pertinent to the expedition. In the process, we easily covered science, history, language, arts & crafts, and Bible just to name a few.
3.Unit Studies Build Precious Family Memories.
Our kids don’t remember most of the textbooks we used, but they sure remember the memories we made…like the time we hosted a teepee painting party or reenacted a battle scene from the Revolutionary War, or the time we made a volcano or clay topographical map, or baked an ooey-gooey, chocolatey-delicious pioneer home (complete with Playmobile figures). Each of these fond memories simultaneously reinforced what they were learning, as did so many more.
4. Unit Studies Accommodate Different Learning Styles.
Engaging all the senses while incorporating a wide variety of creative assignments and activities accommodates the needs of all your children.
5.Unit Studies Build Strong Family Relationships.
The very nature of unit studies combined with the guiding touch of a loving parent can’t help but bring the family closer together and naturally strengthen family bonds. Even though our sons were six years apart, they (and we) became each other’s best friends because we learned together. Getting our noses out of textbooks and “actively” learning as a family enabled us ALL to stop and “smell the homeschool roses” and rejoice in the journey.