What Is the Unit Study Homeschool Method?

unit studies student led homeschooling

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New to homeschooling? Check out It's Homeschooling, Not Solitary Confinement (AFFILIATE)One of the (many) great things about homeschooling is that you have the ability to tailor studies to how your homeschooler learns. If you’re new to homeschooling, it may take a little while to figure out how your children learn — are they more visual where they have to see something before it clicks? Are they auditory learners where they can just listen and effectively learn? Are they more kinesthetic or tactile, where they like to do activities?

And, each of your children may learn very differently! (Yep. You’re welcome.)

If you’re looking for a way to get your child more engaged in their studies, try out the homeschool unit study method or topic-based study. Unit studies can be student directed, which gives your child a sense of control and investment in their learning. (Plus, they get to pick cool stuff they like to learn about!)

Study Unit Definition | How Does a Unit Study Work?

The unit study, also called student interest led learning or topic-based learning, is a very relaxed homeschooling style where learning  is based around a specific topic. Within that topic, you incorporate math, grammar, science, writing, or any other subject requirements you have for your state.

For example, let’s say your homeschoolers are interested in hot air balloons. For your studies, you could read about the basics of hot air balloons, for science you could make and fly your own hot air balloon, for math/chemistry you could calculate the lift of hot air balloons and the chemistry behind how they fly . . . and so much more! You could even schedule field trips to see hot air balloons or a museum exhibit that covers the topic.


Building Unit Studies Homeschool Curriculum

Building your own unit study can be a lot of work because you have to do all the research and schedule the unit. However, I think this method is also one of the best (and most fun!) ways to learn in homeschooling.

If you really want to get your children interested, ask them what topic they want to study and build the unit around that.

DIY Unit Study Steps

1. With your child, decide on a topic of interest. (If you have more than one homeschooler, rotate their topics of choice.)

2. Determine your requirements. (Are you covering math, science, spelling, etc.)

3. Search online for lesson plans, activities, crafts, worksheets, videos, coloring sheets, and recipes on your topic. (For example, search “hot air balloon lesson plans.”)

4. Loosely plan and schedule your studies. I say loosely because in homeschooling you have the opportunity to adapt and change as you need. Be sure to allow yourself that!

5. Reserve books from the library on the topic.

6. Plan field trips.

7. Start learning!


Get Unit Studies for Homeschool Curriculum

Want to get homeschool unit studies that are already prepared? (This is a great way to go especially if you’re just starting out with this method or new to homeschooling.)

Check out these unit study or topic-based resources. You can use them as a base for your studies on the topic and then also add any additional info that you find.

Unit Studies Made Easy (AFFILIATE) Science Unit Studies for Homeschool (AFFILIATE) The Sixties Unit History Study (AFFILIATE) The Fifties Unit Studies (AFFILIATE) Insects and Arachnids of North America Study Unit (AFFILIATE) Homeschool Study Units How To (AFFILIATE) Geology Study Unit (AFFILIATE) 50 States of USA Study Unit (AFFILIATE)


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