How to create a homeschool unit study with family discussion is a necessary component for a successful homeschool unit study.
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How to Create A Unit Study With Family Discussion
First, what is a unit study?
Unit Study Definition
A unit study is a focused topical study of high child interest that connects multiple subjects all relating back to the main topic.
Next, let's do a brief recap of how to create a homeschool unit study in 5 easy steps since this article covers step #1 in the creation process.
How to Create A Homeschool Unit Study in 5 Easy Steps
- >>Run a Unit Study family discussion<< (WE ARE HERE!)
- Plan & schedule
- Research & gather resources
- Look for core subject connections (mat, history, language arts, etc.)
- Record learning journey
Through Discussion, Get the Child's Unit Study Input
- Start with child's unit study interest choices
- Break out of adult-led learning mentality left over from public education
- Collaborate & democratize learning and education
Why Discuss and Get Child's Unit Study Input?
- Gets them pumped & excited to learn topic
- Helps them take responsibility for their own education.
Step #1: Run A Homeschool Family Unit Study Brainstorming Discussion Meeting
- Call A Family Meeting
- Bring a unit study journal for brainstorming (You can use NatureGlo's Unit Study journal template)
- Serve a drink (tea?) with snacks
- Ask kids what topic or topics they'd like to study
Here, your family has a few options.
- Study one topic together
- Study various topics independently
Here's where NatureGlo's Unit Study Planner BUNDLE can come in handy and help you out. You can print out multiple unit study planners, either one per family topic studied, or several planner templates per child, focused on each child's topic of interest.
Step #2 - Brainstorm and Record Unit Study Topics Using NatureGlo's Unit Study Planner Journal and Brainstorming Templates
- List children's unit study interests using NatureGlo's Journal Template (pictured above left)
- Decide on topic(s) of interest
- Brainstorm together (using NatureGlo's Unit Study Planner Brainstorming Template pictured above right): books, activities, movies, shows, field trips, and materials.
- Set dates to begin (Tip: I suggest having a soft ending date since children's interests and wax or wane per topic)
Step #3 - Work Together as a Team
- Share unit study research and implementation responsibilities together as a family - 1 responsibility per family member
- Research books, videos, urls, experiments, cooking, field trips.
- Young children - help older siblings and parents; ex: carrying materials and helping stock the learning center.
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I see a lot of homeschool parents and teachers making the mistake of choosing a unit study topic based off of THEIR OWN adult interests without getting any buy in or feedback from the children. That is a huge mistake and the #1 reason a homeschool unit study can and will flop. The child's interests are the starting place for any successful unit study.
But, don't hang your head low, dear parent if you feel the guilt over barreling through your child's interests and following your own through unit studies or other curriculum. I have done the same thing with my homeschool and school students over the years. After all, adults taking control of kids education is expected in most of society and is the mainstream way.
BUT, if we want our kids to fall in love with learning and dust off their "ye old learning curiosity drive" that we all were born with, it's high time to let them start taking the reins of their education. Kids learning to take on the responsibility of their education and to have a voice in it has both short and long term benefits.
In the short term, you will get the best unit study learning cooperation from your child because they're engaging with a topic they're truly interested in. The longterm benefits of consulting with your child and getting their unit study buy-in includes that they will begin to fall in love with learning again and take responsibility for their own education.
Unit studies are an amazing way to help kids follow their learning interests yet with the structure that adults seek to have. Learning to create your own unit study will empower you to let go of unwanted and unnecessary curriculum.
Gloria aka NatureGlo