Homeschool Unit Studies: What subjects do I have to include? What about holes?

Part 3 in our How to Write Homeschool Unit Studies series by Tina Franks
So far Tina’s shared what a unit study is, and how to choose a topic, so now let’s get into the next two big questions…

What subjects do I have to include?

This first question has many answers and all of them are correct.  For a complete unit study, it is a good idea to try to include activities from all of the subjects you would normally teach.  But, you don’t have to. 

Read that again. 

You don’t have to include every subject. 

You should include what you feel is important to the study of your selected topic and follow those trails that spring naturally from its study. 

Including applied math in a unit study on safety is quite possible, but don’t feel that you have to force it into the unit if it just doesn’t flow in the direction you want it to. 

Remember, part of the beauty of creating and using a unit study is the freedom of being able to study, on your own terms, a topic or theme that you and your student have a real interest in. 

It is the freedom of being able to follow those little detours that naturally spring from a child’s curiosity. This is not textbook teaching and it should not be made to conform to that style of learning.

For those who like it laid out, though, here is a partial list of some of the subjects that can be incorporated into a unit study.

  • Reading comprehension / literature connections
  • Writing activities
  • Handwriting practice via copywork
  • Grammar concepts
  • Vocabulary
  • Applied math (such as measuring); word problems; graphing
  • Science experiments or exploration into related science topics
  • Bible study or memorization
  • Character traits
  • Social studies concepts – mapping, history, cultural connections, community connections
  • Research skills
  • Field trips and webquests
  • Art projects, art history, picture study, artist study
  • Music study
  • Life skills connections – cooking, service projects, etc.

Again, this is just a partial list of the myriad of subjects that can be incorporated into your unit study. 

So what about holes in your child’s learning? 

Simply answered, there are holes in every education.  Not every chapter is covered in every textbook.  Kids get sick and miss a few lessons and will never recover every single bit of information from those days that they missed. 

As children, we were most likely not taught every single piece of information that should have been taught. 

Every education has gaps and we will never be able to teach our students everything.  Thinking that we can teach them everything is, while admirable, quite unrealistic. 

The goal of a unit study is not so much to cover every bit of information that’s out there, but to foster in our students the love of learning and the motivation to learn more on their own.  With those tools, they’ll be presented with a tremendous opportunity to learn as much as they want. 

So now that we’ve got some topics picked out and we know what areas we can cover within those topics, let’s talk about how to put it all together.

Up Next: Homeschool Unit Studies: How to Put it All Together

Tina is about to start a new, huge monster of a unit study, and she volunteered to let you and I follow along as she creates it. This is the perfect opportunity to learn exactly how she goes about putting together a study. J

Interested? Just enter your email address below and we’ll send you Tina’s updates whenever they are ready!

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One Response to Homeschool Unit Studies: What subjects do I have to include? What about holes?

  1. Pingback: Homeschool Unit Studies: Choosing a Topic & Expanding On It | Living Life at Home

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