Unit studies can be intimidating. The same things that make unit studies captivating can be the same things that make them tough to teach. Sharing 5 simple ways to enhance a homeschool unit study, I’m hoping that you won’t be afraid to take the plunge and try a unit study or two.
Do You Struggle with Homeschool Unit Studies?
One/ Always include a simple hands-on activity or two.
I use to be very judgmental and critical of homeschoolers (I know, doesn’t sound like me at all does it) who did a lot of hands-on activities until I started actually teaching.
What I learned along the way was that activities don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming to have a wow factor. What is more important is that hands-on learning brings your topic alive and those are the teaching points your kids remember for life.
I’ve tried to do simple things through my many years of homeschooling. Grab an idea or two from my category for Hands-on Activities here at my blog category. I have about 150 or so you can choose from.
Two/ Include living books.
Sometimes you can pull information from a textbook. I’ve done it several times because that is what I had on hand and there was no need to purchase something else. Look at how I did that at From Textbook to Homeschool Unit Study Starter.
However, if you’re wanting the best ways to enhance a unit study, living books beat the boring blahs when it comes to introducing or learning a unit study.
We love using the books by Beautiful Feet, but we also love using reference books. Though some can be dry, we find they still have a story like appeal which is the hallmark of living books. Look at my tips at my post Day 3. Selecting Superior Sub-Topics. 10 Days of Diving Into Unit Studies By Creating A Unit Study Together.
Are Your Unit Studies Boring Your Kids to Sleep?
Three/ Use movies as part of your unit study or as a kick starter.
Many times, I’ve used a documentary, musical, or movie to kick off a unit study. It adds flavor to a time period especially if it’s a history related topic. Not all kids have good imaginations for a past time period. A movie has a way of adding facts about a time period without a child having to slave over period details.
Look at my post Homeschool History Teaching Ancient Civilizations Using Netflix.
Four/ Include just one or two other homeschool families.
You don’t have to join a co-op if you want to cover topics specifically geared toward your kids. By homeschooling with another family, you still add the element of fun that is found in a co-op, share the lesson planning with another homeschool mom but still control what you want to teach.
Plus, it was great to see my kids interact with another homeschool educator. We did a study about the Vikings with another family and between the two of us, we had so many ideas for our kids.
Some of our best times were by including another homeschool family or two.
Five/ One of the best ways is to focus on one subtopic within your unit study or enhance it with a focused subtopic.
A huge mistake in unit studies is covering way too much material. But too another point is not being able to hone in one of the subtopics in a unit study.
Whether you purchase a unit study or find one that is free, a problem has always been that you’re not able to cover a subtopic deeply within a theme which interests your kids.
Today, I’m over the top excited to announce a new series which will be in my shop and that is Unit Study Enhancers.
What exactly are they? Well they are printables (minibooks and/or notebooking pages) to use for those times when you can’t find a unit study which hones in specifically on a subtopic that you want to cover.
My unit study enhancers will enhance your teaching points. It’s meant to bring up close a subtopic or topic that you want to highlight within a theme.
Add them to a notebook, lapbook, use with a workbook or include them as a subtopic in a free or purchased unit study because the printables are not a complete unit study, but enhance one.
Too, by giving you options within the product download, they are designed to relieve teacher prep time and to use with multiple ages of children. For instance, some downloads have simple researched printed material to glue onto pages. This allows you to move forward teaching when your time is limited.
Or, you can have your student research his own information and write it in. Where possible, I give one link or more for reference while using the printables.
Unless a topic is specifically geared toward young learners, quality photos and not babyish images are chosen so that older learners can be engaged. Color and the highest quality graphics I can find are used to diminish the blah of boring printables.
My first Unit Study Enhancer focuses on one of my biggest free unit studies here on my blog and that is The Amazon Rain Forest. The Unit Study Enhancer is about the temperate rain forest. You can read more about it here at my shop.
But you can download it today for only $2.25.
Also, look at my tips at my series 10 Days of Diving Into Unit Studies by Creating a Unit Study Together.
Hugs and love ya,
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