Ideas for Homeschooling Unit Studies

There are some wonderful ideas for homeschooling unit studies. Unit Studies approach a theme or a topic from several angles, encouraging a love of learning through interesting activities across a variety of subject areas.

Unit studies are structured around a topic or theme and then developed and applied in the areas of the Arts,  History, Science, Health, Physical Education, Language Arts and Biblical studies.

So, how do you choose and find the best unit study idea?

Find Ideas for Your Homeschooling Unit Studies

The first thing you need to do is to choose the broad homeschooling subject area which you may use as a basis for a unit study topic.  This could be an interest based topic within History, Science, Bible, Literature, a Character Building theme or something based on your child's individual interest and totally delight directed.

You can choose it in a number of ways.

When my children were young, I knew there were character issues we needed to work on, so I loved using KONOS, a hands-on character curriculum. We explored a character trait across the subject areas - Science, Literature, History, Bible.

I remember one unit study we did on Patience since we were waiting for the birth of another baby. It was a good lesson for me!

We also studied Attentiveness and at that time had so much fun learning about the ear, making a huge ear out of all sorts of things about the house and actually crawling all the way through it. We learned about characters who listened through books and those who chose not to listen.

Sometimes Unit Studies choose you!  While playing out in the bush one day, one inquisitive child found a caterpillar on a plant.  This was the beginning of a delight directed unit study on Monarch butterflies, the butterfly lifecycle, transformations and so on.

Sometimes a unit study is decided within a library. I know we have stumbled upon interesting books and then find out we're walking out of the library with things to read, make and do together. It doesn't have to be official, and it doesn't have to be pre-planned.  You might only to decide to write about your 'unit study' after you have finished it and then written a learning log for your homeschool records after you have completed the study.

Whichever way you choose, it is helpful to write out your ideas on unit study planning sheets.

We have enjoyed using KWL - planning pages which help us to write down what we already KNOW, what we WANT to know, and later, what we have LEARNED.

I love brainstorming ideas with my kids and so I often use a standard type of brainstorming page which enables us to think about the homeschool topic idea and branch off into a ton of sub-topics we may follow.  Ideas come from discussing things together, and bit by bit, we add art projects, history ideas, science experiments, great literature to read... and so on.

This is where a Unit Study Planner can come in handy - templates which help you think through your topic and places to write it down.

My Complete Homeschool Unit Study Planner has editable forms to help you design your own unit study again and again.

Planning Chart from the Homeschool Unit Study Planner
www.design-your-homeschool.com
Homeschool Unit Study Planner
www.design-your-homeschool.com

Editable Unit Study Planner

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The choice is virtually limitless.

Below you will find ideas which you can develop into a variety of homeschooling unit studies. 


Historical Themes for Homeschooling Unit Studies

Time Period Ideas

  • Creation
  • Ancient Israel
  • Ancient Egypt
  • Ancient Greece
  • Ancient Rome
  • Middle Ages
  • The Renaissance
  • The Reformation
  • Early Modern Period
  • Modern History (1900's)

Historical Characters
Really the list is endless here. It should include characters from a variety of countries for different reasons-

  • artists
  • poets
  • conquerors
  • missionaries
  • scholars

Here you can study the characters which have shaped the world we live in today.


homeschooling unit studies

Science Themes

Scientists

  • Johannes Kepler
  • Robert Boyle
  • Isaac Newton
  • Carl Linnaeus
  • Leonhard Euler
  • Archimedes
  • Samuel Morse
  • Louis Pasteur
  • George Washington Carver
  • Wilbur and Orville Wright
  • And MORE


Inventions

  • The Steam Engine
  • The cotton gin and textile machines
  • The Mill
  • The Printing Press
  • The Pulley
  • Trains
  • Engines
  • Machinery in the Mines
  • Barbed Wire
  • The computer AND MORE

Science Topics

  • Nature Study Ideas
  • Topics chosen from the Scientific Divisions:
  • Life Science- Animals
  • Life Science- The Human Body
  • Life Science- Plants
  • Earth Science- Geology
  • Astronomy- Sun, Moon, Planets
  • Chemistry- the Building blocks of matter
  • Physics-Energy and Motion
  • And MORE

Ideas for Literature Homeschooling Unit Studies

Book Study

  • The Hobbit
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
  • Charlotte's Web
  • The Little House on the Prairie
  • Little Britches
  • Milly, Molly, Mandy
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Fables from around the World
  • Across Five Aprils
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Tall Tales

An excellent resource for free literature study guides for numerous titles is Glencoe Literature Study Guides.

Also, I'm sure you'd love teaching literature with the amazing LitWits Kits.

Creative Writing

  • Making Books
  • Poetry
  • Drama
  • Stories from around the World
  • Newspapers
  • And MORE

Themes in Literature

  • Love
  • Sacrifice
  • Friendship
  • War
  • Injustice
literature unit study

Character Building Themes

Character Traits

  • Honesty
  • Generosity
  • Patience
  • Attentiveness
  • Love
  • Kindness
  • Truthfulness
  • Sacrifice
  • Curiosity

If you love the idea of teaching homeschooling unit studies around character themes, you will love  KONOS Curriculum.

Biblical Themes

Biblical Character

  • Jesus
  • Moses
  • David
  • The Judges
  • Samuel
  • Paul
  • The Disciples
  • Women of the Bible

Biblical Themes

  • Creation
  • Fall
  • Promise
  • Redemption
  • Judgement
  • The New Heaven and Earth
  • The Bible -how it came to us; Divisions in the Bible

Word Studies/ Topical Studies

  • Theme of Saviour in Old and New Testament
  • Names of God
  • What the Bible says about marriage
  • What the Bible says about sexual relationships.
  • The Judges
  • What the Bible says about money.

Interest Themes

You may choose one or more of each theme per year. If you plan in advance, you can sketch out a broad overview and cover important topics that way. If you plan a general outline for a few years in advance, you can make sure you cover the time periods and also study Science Units from each Division.

This is a selection of Unit Study Topic Ideas. Yet, the list is as endless as your own imagination or that of your children. 

Enjoy the journey of exploring a unit study topic together!

The next thing you can do is to  brainstorm the unit study idea with questions. This page helps you to do that by asking questions about the topic or the unit study idea and opening up the unit study in many different ways.


Where to from here?

These pages are written to help you design your own homeschooling unit study by brainstorming, teaching the subjects outside the study, adding kid's learning activities and using these Homeschool Unit Study Planner templates to flesh out the topic.

Do you know of a free homeschool unit study resource? Add the free resource on this page. :)  (scroll to the bottom)

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