Unit studies are an efficient and interesting way to homeschool multiple ages together without losing your mind as the homeschool mom. Have you tried them yet? Here is a round-up list to pin for later with 25 unit studies that are fun for the kids and easy on you!
Here’s how to make it work.
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What is a Unit Study?
Unit studies are usually short topical modules that allow your students to take their time with interesting concepts or subjects, follow their passions, or explore deeper than textbooks allow. They allow homeschool moms to group multiple ages together, combine multiple subjects, and take off the pressure of extensive prep or teacher manual integration.
Unit studies are great because they are not expected to last a whole year like, say 5th grade math or language arts.
You might study birds for 6 weeks. Or the Gold Rush for 2 weeks. Maybe it’s the literature of Poe for the fall and classical composers for the spring. Or maybe you start and finish a shorter unit study all within the same week. Do what works for you.
The flexibility inherent in these thematic units is a perfect fit for many homeschool styles and philosophies. When burnout creeps into your homeschool, unit studies are a valid way to keep learning without all the stress.
Your kids will benefit from unit studies because you can incorporate the many different learning styles into one study. You can certainly read many interesting books about your topic, but include the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners into the unit by giving them tasks that allow them to blossom in their strengths.
Unit studies are a very effective way to teach almost every subject from K-8. You will probably want a core math and language arts curriculum for each child on their level. But other than that, you can usually group everyone together for everything else. This is the beauty of family-style learning! It really does take the pressure off of you as the homeschool mom. So, instead of juggling half-a-dozen subjects for each child, you can really enjoy the learning process instead.
How to create your own Unit Study
It’s actually quite simple to plan your own unit study.
Choose a general topic and start jotting down subtopics, activities, or books to include.
For example, you could plan to study Birds in the fall.
Depending on the age of your kids, your list might look like this:
- birds in our region
- migratory patterns
- bird calls
- drawing birds
- types of beaks
- make a bird feeder
- observe birds and keep a notebook
- watch a documentary
- dissect owl pellets
- visit a zoo or aviary
- John Audubon
- read living books about birds and birding
- write a summary of your favorite bird
- create a poem about birds
Once you decide on your main topics and resources (of course, Pinterest is a wealth of information!), then decide on the frequency of your study and get to it.
You could fit in your unit study daily, or use a looping schedule. You might choose to work on it daily until you feel like you’re finished, or you could deep dive once a week for a whole semester. It’s really up to you!
How You Can Use Unit Studies to Simplify Your Homeschool
On episode 174 of the Homeschool with Moxie Podcast, we sat down with veteran homeschool mom Kerry Beck to give you a mini training in how to use unit studies in your homeschool.
Kerry Beck helps you get past the perfect Instagram image & move on to real life ways to homeschool and encourage your kids to love learning, think critically & influence those around them as adults. She also inspires moms with her personal & spiritual stories of moving from overwhelmed to peace & resting in God.
Are you pulling out your hair trying to homeschool multiple kids? Does it get more complicated as you keep homeschooling? Let’s take a step back. Let’s simplify your homeschool with one of the easiest and most educational methods available.
Let’s look at unit studies to truly simplify your homeschool. Kerry will share ways to use unit studies to give your children a better education, as you simplify your home and homeschool. If you don’t think you can do unit studies, Kerry will show you a way to modify unit studies that will help reduce your overwhelm.
You can find Kerry at How to Homeschool My Child.
Here are some of Kerry’s unit studies:
- Ocean Unit Study
- Christmas Unit Study for Preschool & Kindergarten
- Ladybug Unit Study
- Celebrating Reformation Day Unit Study
- Unit Study Toolkit
25 Ready-to-use Unit Studies
If you’d rather find free or very inexpensive already-done-for-you unit studies, then pin this post for later! Here are 25 Unit Studies that you can incorporate into your homeschool. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend doing all 25 this year. Choose one or two and enjoy! There are so many fun topics included, you’re sure to find a couple that your kids will love.
History & Geography Unit Studies
Pirate Unit Study – Play games pirates may have played, play pirate-y puzzle and physics games, try a few word searches or crosswords, or play a pirate math game.
Ancient Egypt Unit Study – Study Ancient Egypt with your kids with the help of this huge list of activities, resources, free printables.
Christopher Columbus Unit Study – Use this unit study to celebrate Columbus Day in October or anytime of the year for an important history topic.
Titanic Unit Study Resources – Are any of your kids interested in the story of the Titanic? This unit study gives you printables, unit studies, resources videos, crafts and a stem challenge.
The Ultimate Viking Unit Study – Check out these history and STEM projects to learn more about the Vikings.
Geography Five Country Unit Study – Your kids will enjoy being immersed into the food, music, and crafts of five different countries including Australia, Brazil, Kenya, England, and Russia.
Elementary Middle Ages Unit Study – Here’s a six week unit study of the Middle Ages, which includes a great literature list plus an end of unit project.
70 Awesome Resources for a Horse Science Study and Lessons – Grab a FREE Animal Report Printable here and jump into some of the 70 total resources for a horse science unit study for K-12.
Geography Mini Lessons Round-Up – Here’s a few few quick open & go lessons for homeschool geography that you can use today with no prep!
Literature Unit Studies
Little House on the Prairie – This post includes dozens of resources and activities in order to extend the learning from your favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder books.
Multicultural Fairy Tales – Here’s a great book list for creating a multicultural fairy tales unit study. Plus, check out dozens of other unit study resources including astronauts, dinosaurs, nutrition, presidents, holidays, and tons more!
Charlotte’s Web Unit Study – Check out these fun, hands-on activities to extend the learning from this childhood classic.
Civil War Unit Study – Do you have any American Girl fans in your homeschool? Then you’ll love this Civil War unit study based around the American Girl doll Addy.
Rabbit Trails Homeschool – You’ll find dozens of studies here all focused around beautiful picture books. Explore the National Parks, or history or science with your kids using Rabbit Trails Homeschool.
Science Unit Studies
Skeleton Science Unit Study – Grab a free printable to use with this hands-on (literally!) unit study about the skeleton as you focus on the bones in the hand.
Flight Unit Study Resources – If you want to teach your kids about the history of aviation, here’s a great round-up of resources to use. Includes lesson plan ideas, lap books, printables, crafts, book lists, and video clips.
Weather Unit Study – Your kids will deep dive into learning about the clouds, tornadoes, sun, and rain and how they work together to produce the weather right outside your front door.
Solar System Unit Study – Grab this unit study to help your kids learn about space with printables, books, video links, and activities.
Ocean Unit Study – Combine science, art, language arts, and more as your kids explore the ocean!
Foraging & Feasting Unit Study – This unit study will help your kids learn basic survival skills plus a few tips about cooking.
Kindergarten APPLES Unit Study – Here’s a fun thematic unit study for the beginning of your homeschool year. Includes book lists and activities like cooking, experiments, field trips, historical figures, and more.
Learning with LEGO Unit Study & Lapbook – Here’s an independent study for your kids that includes copywork, word of the day, explore and learn, and a building challenge.
Vincent Van Gogh Unit Study Resources – Check out these book recommendations plus hands-on ideas for learning more about Van Gogh.
Antonio Vivaldi: A Composer Unit Study – Your kids will love notebooking about Vivaldi with this five-lesson unit study.
Thanksgiving Homeschool Activities + Unit Studies – When you’re looking for seasonal and holiday-themed ideas for your homeschool, then this is the round-up you want!
Sampler Music Appreciation Course – Dive into 25 different music appreciation lessons with your kids! Titles include George Frederic Handel, Jazz and Blues, Patriotic Music, and more.