When we were approaching our second year of homeschooling I decided to try and put together my own unit studies. There are a lot of great unit studies out there, but I didn’t find something that was exactly what I wanted. Many unit studies encompass a wide range of school subjects. I chose to focus on ones that covered geography, history, literature, art, music, and some language arts. Making up your own study is time consuming, but your can tailor the study to your child’s interests, level, and needs.
- First you need to choose a topic. For example you can choose things like a specific country, a period of time, or a science subject. I’ve done some on Native Americans, Creation, Prehistory, Scotland, Ukraine, Canada, United States, Arctic, and the oceans.
- Decide how you want to approach the topic and what information you want to cover. Do you want to do a lot of hands-on or literature reading? How in depth do you want to cover the topic? Do you want your child to learn the geography, history, and culture of a country or just the geography and culture?
- Search for resources. Amazon is a great resource. Type in the topic you wish to cover and look to see what is out there. If you are doing a history study you should check out Sonlight and Winter Promise and see what books they chose. I typically choose at least 2-3 books specific to that study, but I would often have books that I could call spines. Spines are general books that can be used for several different studies such as a book of world cultures or a book on history. You can choose books to read aloud to your child as well as reading books.
- Once you have your books chosen you can round out your study with projects and videos. The internet is a great resource. Spend some time on Google and see what projects others have done on your chosen topic and choose the ones you think your child will enjoy. Explore YouTube and find videos on your chosen topic.
- The next step is to put it all together. If you want to do it pretty relaxed you can just make a list of everything and cross things off when they are done. If you want to plan out the study you can decide how often you want to cover the topic. You can break up the read alouds so you are reading 1-2 chapters a day. Mix in videos and projects with the read alouds.