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Advantages to Unit Studies in Home Schooling

written by: Leah Witmond•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 2/8/2013

Unit Studies can provide you with a fun and cheap way to home educate your children. Unit studies are versatile and creative, and probably best of all: the whole family can take part in them.

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    Unit Studies

    Unit Studies, also called Project Studies or Integrated Learning and sometimes referred to as the Rolls Royce of Learning, can be a fun and cheap way to provide your home educated children with an all round tuition, that will challenge them academically and hone their skills.

    Homeschool unit Studies can be hands-on or literature based, and are easy to implement in just about any curriculum, making them a great and inexpensive tool for any home educating family.

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    Characteristics

    Unit studies combine most if not all academic subjects like math, grammar, history and science into the study of one single topic. Any topic is good, but you’ll find that if you choose a topic in which your child is currently almost obsessively interested, your role as a coach or educator becomes much easier.

    During the course of the Unit Study, your child will study the chosen subject from all angles. She’ll read about it, watch movies about it and create her own art related to the subject. Maths can be implemented in the Unit as well, e.g. by making charts and graphs, taking measurements, letting your child calculate the costs of the materials you have to buy; the possibilities are endless. Also, don’t forget to go on a field trip.

    Since you won’t be using textbooks – or maybe you will, but just not the ordinary way – your child may want to make a notebook, lapbook, website or portfolio of the things she has learned.

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    Pros and Cons

    Advantages:

    • One subject can be studied by children of several ages - and the adults – alike, each at their own level
    • Unit studies are great for building research skills
    • Retention of what has been learned is usually very good, because of the holistic approach to learning
    • Most children love doing unit studies
    • Unit studies can be a wonderful creative outlet for your children; esp. if they are artistically talented
    • Unit studies can be done successfully at low cost

    Disadvantages:

    • Unit studies often require a lot of planning ahead and research by the home educating parent
    • Covering all academical subjects can be challenging, and parents may feel they need to add a curriculum for maths or language arts