I’m often asked how to get started in very simple unit studies for the Preschool to 2nd grade crowd. Because simple unit studies are an important part of learning in our homeschool, I’d love to share with you everything I’ve learned about them over the years!
Before reading any further, please make sure you hop over to How to Plan a Simple Unit Study and read that post first.
That post contains the 3 essential steps to create any simple unit study for your own kiddos.
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So what happens if you think those three simple steps are just not enough for your children and their voracious appetites for learning?
Then add in a few more ideas! But I caution you to add them in little baby steps.
You don’t want to be overwhelmed with plans and then not be able to implement all of your wonderful ideas.
There is nothing more frustrating to a homeschool mama than having beautifully laid out plans, but not enough time to implement them. Ask me how I know!
If you do have room in your homeschool day for just a few more activities for your simple unit study, here are a few more ideas!
Add a Science Activity
Because I’m not as consistent with science as I would like, I usually include a science activity in our unit studies.
I brainstorm potential activities, and I also browse through Pinterest.
Our science activities are not anything grandiose, because my goal is to keep things simple. Our uncomplicated activity could be making predictions about weight and plotting on a chart, or taking an object apart to see why it works the way it does.
So many observations can be made from the simplest of activities!
Besides Pinterest and your own brainstorming, you can find simple science ideas for the younger crowd at the following places:
Add Spelling and Vocabulary
If your children are writing letters and words well, you can add in a bit of spelling and vocabulary practice.
Choose 5-10 words related to your unit study and practice spelling them in various ways: with chalk, on the white board, with letter tiles, or use the traditional method on lined paper.
Make a game with vocabulary words: Mom calls out a word, and your child tells you every single thing they know about the word. Or have dad call out a few words at dinner and see who can report the most information about the particular word.
I always try to keep spelling and vocabulary light, with no pressure. I have found that my children remember vocabulary words and spelling best when they’re used in context multiple times.
Often, reading an abundance of living books accomplishes this task!
Add Video Resources
The internet is filled to the brim with video resources about most any topic!
Netflix is a wonderful resource for documentaries and nature-type programs.
Also, you can find a treasure trove of resources on You Tube, however, please beware of the comment section! For this very reason, I rarely let my children watch educational videos on You Tube.
Because I can’t monitor You Tube in a way that is acceptable to me as a parent, our family has chosen to purchase a subscription to Discovery Education Streaming Plus and use that instead.
So far, I am 110% pleased with this choice!
Regardless of which video resource you choose, it’s easy to drop the links into an online folder, One Note or Evernote, or you can even email the links to your child if she’s old enough.
Add a Field Trip
Admittedly, I have a pretty awful track record for field trips, however I’m trying to improve!
My children love field trips, and much like hands-on activities, they are the event that they remember the most.
I have to remind myself that field trips do not have to be big and involved – these are simple unit studies, after all.
A study of pumpkins can send us to a local pumpkin patch, or a study of whales can send us to 3-D movie theater to watch their latest documentary.
Find an easy place to take all of your kiddos for some out-of-the-house learning, and put the date on the calendar.
I’ll do the same!
Do you and your children love unit studies? What are your best simple unit study tips?