Homeschool unit studies are a natural and relaxed way to learn. However, it is easy to get off track and create obstacles instead of keeping them simple. I know, why do we that?
Look at these 3 things to remember when homeschool unit studies get complicated.
1. Slow Down Momma!
I have the tendency to over plan, not just because I love to plan, but because we find so many fascinating topics to cover.
Pushing quickly through each unit study, we find ourselves at times exhausted. Reminding myself that our unit study topics fit my kids and so should the time we spend on them gets me refocused.
Determine what is a good pace for you and your kids because each unit study is different. Take a cue from your kids and slow down if they are immersed in a topic.
2. Steal Ideas From Other Homeschool Approaches.
When I first started unit studies, I had my boys writing about everything we learned.
Soon I realized that our time spent together was not about talking or interacting with each other about what we’re learning, but about writing everything down on paper.
Should Exploration and Discovery Cost?
Who was I impressing with all the mounting writing reports we had?
Adopting the narration technique from the Charlotte Mason approach was the wonderful gem we needed to add to our learning day.
And though conversations are exhausting with little kids because of their desire to soak up new things, teens are equally challenging because they want to let you know what they know. Let them while they want to talk.
It makes for some great debate at home. Of course, pick your times carefully to “discuss” because teens are almost always ready to question anything and there will be times you are mentally exhausted.
With all that being said, I would never trade our time together talking and recalling all that we learned.
Narration is a way for your kids to each share what they remember and when they do, all of your kids get the benefit of what each child is sharing. It’s mastery learning at its best.
3. Crafty, I am not.
No, I don’t long for or pine to stay tucked away in a room someplace and do crafts. I have friends like that and they make beautiful crafts and did I mention they are very creative? I am moved by different reasons to create or craft.
Crafty and hands-on are not necessarily synonymous as I have learned. Letting go of the thought that we have to do crafts with each unit study helped me to make unit studies adaptable for our family.
The difference between a craft and hands-on project is that hands-on learning is about making a learning connection between doing and reading.
Here is the clincher though and that is that kids that are motivated by the act or live for crafts and kids that want a practical purpose for a project both benefit.
Because I had always associated hands-on learning with a craft, I had put obstacles in the way of learning.
Oh sure, we love to have fun too and I realize now that having fun is a great way to learn. Letting go of public school mentality that learning has to be austere, severe and dry helped too.
Hands-on is a win-win because it doesn’t mean you have to do a craft, just find a hands-on project that your kids like.
I am so passionate about hands-on learning that I created an article, 365 Days of Hands-on Activities – One For EVERY Day of the Year. Grab an idea or two from there for your next homeschool unit study.
Embracing unit studies and making them fit the way my kids learn has allowed us to learn more thoroughly instead of constantly reviewing.
The key has always been getting back to simplicity when I find myself over complicating them.
Has that happened to you?
Have you seen my Ultimate Unit Study Planner? It is my way of tracking what we have learned.
Also, you may like to read these tips.
- 5 Simple Ways to Enhance a Homeschool Unit Study,The Big List of Unit Study Hands-on (and Hands-off) Curriculum, and 5 BEST Books to Create an Around the World Unit Study (and Hands-on Activities).
Hugs and love ya,
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