July 13, 2012

Learning with Unit Studies

When our boys were little and there were only two of them, we discovered the joys of going to the library. There were imaginary worlds and interesting insects to discover. Animals we'd never heard of and stories of knights and dragons graced the pages of beautifully illustrated children's books. We fell in love with the characters of so many wonderfully written stories and discovered the joy of nonfiction. Biographies of great explorers and inventors, big colorful reference books about outer space and hundreds of books about underwater sea creatures. It was all there. Anything we wanted to learn about, we found in a book.

At that time, when our boys were only 2 and 4...we had made the decision to homeschool, but had no idea how to do it. I didn't even know there were "methods" of homeschooling your children. Words like Classical approach, Unschooling, Charlotte Mason, School at Home, Unit Studies, Waldorf, Notebooking, Lapbooking and Eclectic had no meaning to me....until I did my research and realized we had already chosen our preferred method of homeschooling and didn't even know it at the time.




Whenever we went to the library, my oldest son would choose books from the children's section that interested him, like Wombat Stew by Marcia K. Vaughan and then we'd head over to the "real life" books, as my son called them. We'd browse those aisles, make our selections and come home with bags full of books. Every time I sorted through them to put them on our "library shelves" at home, I would notice that there were "real life" books related in some way with some of the story books we had chosen.


And this is how we began our Unit Study approach to homeschooling....a natural wonder and curiosity to find out more and more about one thing at a time that interested my boys.

My friend, Carlie from So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler? has an amazing Summer Series going on over at her blog called Homeschool Methods & Approaches. Each week during June and July she features different homeschoolers who use different methods to teach their own children. I am so honored to have been able to be a part of this series as I wrote a post about our Unit Study approach for her series.

  
You can read more about how we include unit studies in our homeschooling days by visiting Carlie's blog. 

I'd love to hear about what works for you. What method or approach to homeschooling works best for you and your kiddos?


1 comment:

  1. Read your extended post over at Carlie's blog and enjoyed it. We don't homeschool full time, but I have discovered that we can still enjoy a lot of the family-bonding benefits (as well as perking our love of learning) by doing a simplified version of unit studies at home together. We pick a topic of interest and find a family read aloud, and then a movie choice, and add a few reference materials, a weekend outing, and some fun journaling to cement what we learned. It's all actually casual, fun, and it works for the whole family across all ages.

    We just finished up a few weeks of pioneers and the Oregon Trail with the book The Stout-Hearted Seven. Now we're on to two books about Pocahontas and Jamestown (with a field trip across the river to Jamestown at the end!).

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