Creating A Unit Study

Creating a Unit Study | Tools, schedules, and tips to make it a success in your homeschool. #homeschool #unitstudy

Creating Unit Study For Optimum Learning

As the co-author of a creation science unit study, I found that creating unit studies is the ultimate key for learning to stick. Unit studies may not be the flavor of the month in the current homeschool climate but for me, it is the epitome of what real homeschooling is all about. Why? Because it keeps the family together, engaged and excited about learning from the youngest to the oldest child.

A unit approach emphasizes the integration of various books related to a topic of study. Instead of grade-level textbooks, unit studies encourage learning on a different level, immersion. It also lends itself to discussion and research with children enthusiastically jumping in, which is the key — curiosity which is natural in children. This means more of the information is remembered and the overall experience of everyone is much more successful. This is ideal for parents with children of different ages. It keeps the family united and speaking from experience, it can be very enjoyable providing life-long memories.

How Long Do Unit Study Take?

The question I am most asked question is how long does a unit-study take? It can take several months broken up into six to eight-weeks of studying one main topic, or even six months to a year depending on your level of instruction. Ultimately, the choice is yours! I highly recommend the Media Angels Creation Study Guides as the main focus of your curriculum this year. It is truly life changing. Your kids will be armed with the information they need to combat evolutionary thought at every turn. You can not watch anything scientific without the spouting of “of course we know millions of years ago…” as if the commentator was an eye witness. Evolution at best is a hypothesis as is the study of creation. Your kids will spot out the lies and learn to think and discern the truth for themselves. The Media Angels study guides are made up of four books that may take you about one school year to complete. We purposely created the Creation studies to serve as a yearlong unit study, or to supplement your current curriculum for an in-depth study of creation with an apologetic focus.

How Do I Get Started with Designing A Unit Study?

It’s easier than you think. Do you have a book on unit studies or a topic you want ot study, let’s say Ancient History? This type of broad topic will naturally bring in other subjects.

  1. Decide on your broad topic of study. Will it be science, history, literature or art and music?
  2. Once you’ve decided on a topic the idea is to bring in as many subjects as you can.
  3. Creating a study surrounding history?
    • Pick a period of time
    • Study the people who lived during that time
    • What scientific advances or discoveries happened?
    • What historic events of significance happened?
    • Tie in fun assignments in art and music to round off your unit study.
    • Use books from the library to read
    • Little children can do copy work, older ones write reports with a research element
    • Children may create mini-books, journals, lapbooks, or timelines on the topics they’ve studied.

Is A Unit Study A Complete Curriculum?

Yes! Add a good language arts curriculum if you want and a math program and you are all set! While you can forgo the reading program in the older grades it is important to have a good phonics foundation in the younger. Checking for comprehensions is easy with a unit study because discussion abounds! As for math, our family uses textbooks. However look for ways to add math to your unit as it lends itself to the study. For example, you can study fractals or the Fibonacci sequence which is so much fun and brings in a wonderful element for those who love puzzles or challenges.

What About Unit Study Prep Time?

Unit studies take a good outline and typically one afternoon or roughly three to four hours or less to plan. Then a few days to gather the supplies you may need. If you have a complicated study it may take a few days longer, especially if you want specific books from the library – don’t forget inter-library loans. Now it is just a computer click away that you can do in your own home! Sign up for a public library card and ask how to access the library system at home on your own personal computer. You can order your books, the librarian gathers them, and alerts you when your titles are ready. One quick trip to the library to pick up your books and you are done! I often planned out my unit studies in the summer which made it easier to leisurely gather the supplies I needed beforehand.

What About Scheduling A Unit Study?

  1. Scheduling is the most time-consuming part of any unit study. Figuring out what day you want to teach each particular subject, or complete the activity.
  2. If you are creating your own study you will need to first create an outline. Be sure to add the main points you would like to study, the days you’d like to complete your activities, and if you are using one day for catch-up.
  3. I decide on the days:
    • You plan to do experiments or activities.
    • Three days per week or two days a week?
    • Days we will plan for reading, researching and gathering the information needed to perform the experiments?
    • What day will you complete the experiments or activities?
    • What other hands-on activities will you complete?
    • Will there be a culmination activity of the study? A family event? A final book or notebook?

Unit studies the core of my homeschool 25 out of the final  32 years of my homeschool journey. The only times I did not do a complete unit study was when my kids were in high school — those considering college. I’ve had three of my five children attend college. One graduated Magnum Cum Laude and the other two are currently in college with full academic scholarships. Unit studies teach your children to think, to figure out the answers and to delve in deeper, something that textbooks and workbooks fall far short of doing! As you can tell I am a major advocate of unit studies and I pray you will try one, I’m sure you’ll love it! Any questions or successes? Please share them with me, here!

About Felice Gerwitz

Felice Gerwitz has five children and graduated two. Along with her huband Jeff, Felice owns Media Angels, Inc. Felice is a mentor to homeschool moms and hosts several podcasts, VintageHomeschoolMoms.com, The CreationSciencePodcast.com, A Few Minutes With God Podcast.com and WritingAndPodcastingAdvice.com. You can still access the former Ultimate Homeschool Expo in its entirety for a fraction of the original cost on the MediaAngelsMembership.com website.  To learn more about Felice, visit http://www.MediaAngels.com

 

 

Teaching Science | Unit Study or Single Subject?

teaching science unit study or single subject | Whether you're teaching science as a single subject or unit study, the key would be to get out and do experiments and activities that tie in with the topic, no matter what the approach. Have fun!

Teaching Science | Unit Study or Single Subject?

“I like the ideas of using a scope and sequence, but how should I teach science as a single subject or as a unit study?” 

There are many ways to teach science, and you need to decide which is best for our family. Let’s look at some examples, starting with science as a single subject.

Teaching Science as a Single Subject

I could look at a scope and sequence and find that a single subject, say Astronomy, is one of the topics to be covered this year. Under this subject, I could choose a subtopic, such as astronomers, stars and constellations, galaxies, etc.

If I were to emphasize the single subject approach, the children would take turns reading the books containing the topic we were studying, discuss the book, and supplement with activities tied to the topic. Other subjects, such as history, would be done separately.

Teaching Science as a Unit Study

Emphasizing the unit study approach, we would read as many library books and do as many experiments dealing with the topic as we could find. We would tie as many subjects together as possible. We’d plan to spend four to eight weeks on the unit. It’s ideal to cover as many subjects as possible, and science easily fits with history.

You can study the history of the subject, people, places, and even science tools as part of your science unit study. This lets children see the bigger picture, rather than learning things in isolation from one another. I’ve found they really enjoy making the connections themselves and having those aha moments.

Teaching Science to Multiple Ages or Grade Levels

If you are teaching a variety of ages, having more subjects overlapping makes your job much easier. A Unit Study truly unites the family!

A unit study is taking a topic and incorporating as many of the following school subjects as possible:  science, history, math, reading, language arts, spelling, grammar, creative writing, art, and music. New skills can be taught as old skills are reinforced. While our family chose to do phonics and math as separate subjects, you can easily incorporate those as well.

Multiple Level Teaching Example

Let me give you an example. We studied a geology unit. It took eight weeks to complete. You can decide how you want to lay our your day- who you work with when, what grade-level to “teach to”, and which activities you’ll directly supervise.  Teaching to the oldest is a popular way of teaching a variety of ages.

Let’s pretend you’re teaching four grade levels. Ages 2, 5, 9, 13, and 16 years of age. Watch how many subjects can go together.

  • Bible – read the Bible selection aloud. Discuss difficult words.
  • Reading – assign separate reading for the readers, have a read aloud, and read books to the youngers—all on the same subject.
  • Spelling – create an age appropriate word list from the reading selections
  • Grammar- ages 5 and under could use simple copywork, nine year old can identify parts of speech, and the older can diagram sentences from the reading selection
  • Science- a group experiment plus the 5-9 year old could work on a hands-on project together, giving the toddler a “helper” role. The older can do topic specific research with parent approved research tools, such as the internet.
  • Creation camp- hold a creation camp at home. Get everyone involved!

Whether you’re teaching science as a single subject or unit study, the key would be to get out and do experiments and activities that tie in with the topic, no matter what the approach. Have fun!

 

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Media Angels Creation Bundle Membership Site

 

Get an entire K-12 Creation Science Curriculum for less than $70.

About Our Books:

Why should you teach your children about Creation? Because everything else they read that is remotely science related teaches evolution as FACT. Shouldn’t your children learn there is more than one side to the story? Do you want your child to be informed? We do and we consider this our mission at Media Angels.

About the Study Guides:

These study guides include a readable outline of the main points in the Creation vs. evolution discussion, the major talking points you should know and ways to educate the children in these points with hands-on activities and experiments. This series isn’t a read-it-one-time and forget it! This series will be repeated again and again and is for K-12th!

If you want a course in Creation Apologetics for kids, this is it!

Additional Resources

Activity Packs for each of the study guides which contain hands on activities you can photo copy for your family.

Creation Kids Classes: On Demand

-Six weeks worth of classes — one per week for ages K-8th grade (high school if you’ve never studied Creation).
-Audio Recordings
-Handouts and Websites to visit
-Further research
-Bonus interviews

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