Friday, April 27, 2018

5 Days of Unit Studies - Day 5

This week during this 5 day blog hop, I want to share what I have learned about unit studies with you and give you practical tips for using them in your school.  Here is Part 1Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 if you are just joining in.  I am sad today is the last day of the hop, but I hope what I have shared with you this week has helped you.
A Glimpse of Normal, 5 Days of Unit Studies, Blog Hop, Encouragement, Homeschool, Homeschool Review Crew, learning
All week long this has been my opening..."Unit studies have changed how we do school in our home.  They allow us to explore more topics, dig deeper, and be creative when showing what we have learned."  Today I want to share with you why.  A few years ago we were stuck in our school.  My oldest was in 7th grade and every day seemed like a battle.  He was burnt out on our boxed curriculum that I could just open and go for our day and I wasn't sure I was in the place I could take on planning on my own again.  I knew that planning our own curriculum would take a lot of time, especially since I had a middle school child and early elementary child at that point.  I also knew that my son was beginning to hate school.  One day I was chatting with a dear friend and I asked what she did in her school since she had multiple levels of grades she taught too and she shared that they used unit studies.  A light went on for me and I knew this was the route for us.  I started out with unit studies for just history for just my son.  My daughter was still enjoying the boxed curriculum, so I knew lesson planning would be manageable if I was just planning for one student at first.  I asked Buddy to make me a list of what he would like to study for history and went from there.  He had several things related to the Civil War on that list   So that was our subject for history for the year.  Under the subject of Civil War, there were many topics that we studied and made into small unit studies so that they didn't overwhelm Buddy.  Switching to unit studies for just one class that year made the difference in our school and turned it around.  Instead of being a daily battle, there was excitement, willingness, and  joyful learning again.  It flowed over into other subjects.

This year Buddy worked on unit studies off and on for a couple of subjects.  I switched Little Miss to unit studies for History this year and she has done well.  Both of my children have done small unit studies for other school subjects when they have fit what we were working on.  Next year for school I plan to add in more unit studies.  They allow us to dig deeper in topics that really interest my children.  They also allow them to be creative with their work and how they present the topics they research.  They give us flexibility because we have a general overall plan and learning goals set, but we can take multiple paths within the unit studies to reach the goals.  Do I have to do some research and planning ahead?  Yes, but if it makes our school run smoother, I am all for it.

Take it one step at a time.  Start small and pick just one school subject to try for unit studies.  If it works for you, keep going.  If it doesn't work for, that's okay too.  If you feel like you can't plan out your own unit studies, search the Internet.  There are great unit studies that are already made that you can buy, download, and then print everything you need to do the work.  Don't be afraid to purchase those and start there, there is nothing wrong with that.  I've used some of the unit studies that you can purchase through being on the Review Crew and they are fantastic.  The best piece of advice I can leave you with this week is.....don't be afraid to try something new and see if a unit study works for your student.  There is no right way and no wrong way, just what works for you.
Coming Soon ... 2018 Annual Spring Blog Hop
This week I am participating in the Spring 2018 5 Days of... Blog Hop from the Homeschool Review Crew.  We are all writing about different topics this week and sharing them with you.  We each got to pick our own topic so I can't tell you how excited I am to read what everyone is blogging about this week.  Click the links below or the banner above this paragraph to Hop on over to the next blog and read what they have for you, I know I will definitely be hopping to my friends' blogs to see what they wrote.

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