Unit Studies for When Homeschooling Gets Hard

Unit studies might not be your first choice of homeschool approach, but hear me out…

Homeschooling is an amazing way of life, but the big difference between homeschooling and regular schooling is just that–it’s at home! And life doesn’t stop for school. Babies are born, people get prolonged illnesses, parents lose jobs, families move across the country.

All these things–good and bad–that life throws our way need to be taken in stride while also schooling your kids. And that can be incredibly challenging.

My best solution? Unit studies.

When Homeschooling Gets Hard: Why Unit Studies Help so Much

  • You can really cover a lot of subjects with a lot of age groups with just one act of schooling.
  • Because unit studies cover all the senses–music, films, reading, hands-on activities, etc–you’re sure to hit all your children’s interests and learning styles.
  • A unit study will help you feel like you’ve done something amazing in your homeschool (because you have!), even when everything else seems hard.
  • Unit studies give you the chance to let all the other things with school go for a while because you’re working on a study that will cover all the subjects anyway!

How to Set up a Super Simple Unit Study for the Hard Times

I’ll admit that one of the hardest parts of doing a unit study is planning the study itself. Don’t let this part keep you from doing it though. Here’s how you can set up a study in just a few steps.

1. Topic

Decide on a topic that everyone will enjoy and brainstorm how that topic would stretch across the subjects.

2. Outline

Outline the study or find a book (or textbook!) for your “spine.” This just simply means a guide that you’d follow for your study. The table of contents from a textbook works great as a spine, even if you don’t read the text at all, just use the table of contents.

3. Gather Resources

Gather all the books and resources you have on your shelves that pertain to your topic. Use these to resources to inspire all the things you’ll do for your study.

4. Plan Activities

Plot out the activities you’ll do, books you’ll read, recipes you’ll make, movies to watch, and places you’ll go.

5. Create a Schedule

Plan out your study, week by week, so you have a nice flow to follow. It doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get everything done each week, but it’ll give you a plan to follow, which is super helpful when life is hectic.

In conclusion, we all have different ways of approaching homeschooling–that’s one of my favorite things about homeschooling–we can all do it our own way! But the one thing we all have in common is this: life gets messy. We can all count on having to get through a hard season every once in a while. Even if unit studies aren’t your first option homeschooling approach, put them in your back pocket for that hard season.

It just might help you through. I know it has for me.

Alicia Hutchinson

About the author

Alicia Hutchinson is homeschool mama to four kids. She is the founder of Learning Well Community and Journal. You can find her blogging at Learning Well Community where she shares simple solutions and easy routines to help you homeschool with confidence.

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