The Benefits of Unit Studies, Mama
I never considered myself the “fun” unit study mom. I am still more of a textbook/workbook person. Unit studies don’t always fit with the way our family operates—and that is one of the great things about homeschooling! No matter the method, homeschooled kids excel (www.nheri.org). However, I know the kids need breaks from the books, and they learn a ton from unit studies—so we occasionally add some in. Here are some we’ve done related to science.
- Insects: We love raising our own and charting their growth. We have ordered many from Insect Lore. We have raised butterflies, praying mantises, ladybugs, jumping spiders, caterpillars, and any larvae we find in our yard. We mark where we found them (habitat), what they eat, and how they change. We look at anatomy and metamorphosis. We have put specimens in see-through containers and draw and labeled their parts. We have gone on nature walks and kept nature journals of what we found.
- Experiments: We have done many experiments that used household items. This week, we made goop that demonstrated colloidal suspension.
- Gardening: We have planted seeds, watered, photographed, harvested, measured, and monitored growth of all kinds of plants. We have cooked and eaten what we’ve harvested. God’s creation is truly amazing and worth studying whenever possible.
Unit studies teach a topic across the curriculum. So, to add to one of the topics above, we have learned about men of science who were also men of God for history. We have found Scriptures on plants, animals, and insects as Bible and copywork. We have measured growth and made charts for math. We have drawn, painted, and sculpted things from nature for art.
Maybe you are just feeling too overwhelmed to even think about fun unit studies. Embrace your weakness as it compels you to embrace your Savior. Embrace the power of the cross once again. Repent for pushing aside your first love with Him. Submit to His perfect will. You will begin to know the power of His resurrection in your own life. Have you forgotten why you homeschool? Here are some Scriptures about Homeschooling.
I pray that you find a place of real rest in Christ. Lay your stress, your cares, and your pain at His feet. He wants to speak to you, comfort you, and then give you the strength to rise up and keep running the race.
What about a math unit study? How and Why to Do a Math Unit Study by Marla Szwast
Art can be added to any unit study subject. See the Light’s black light and fluorescent chalk art lessons and cartooning videos are not only fun, but the kids also learn great techniques.
Deborah Wuehler is the Senior Editor and Director of Production here at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. She would say she is a very ordinary homeschool mom–with one exception: she has an extraordinary God Who provides all she needs for life and homeschooling. She has eight children aged 11 to 29. Deborah’s mission is this: to point other homeschoolers to the Lord in all they do, think, and feel—and to confirm that they, too, can find everything they need for life, godliness, and homeschooling in their knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1:3-4).