It only makes sense, kids learn best when they are interested! So, first figure out what your child is interested in – then build on it!
This is how we made our lessons plans when I taught preschool, it was so much fun and the kids enjoyed it so much. Learning becomes so much more fun when it’s hand’s on and something they are interested in!
My son is really into Titanic, so I have been piecing together a unit study that embraces his interests and builds on them!
Here is the book that started it all -
With the internet so readily available, building unit studies on a particular topic are so easy! It just takes a little bit of time, google searching and Pinterest (are you not on Pinterest? I highly suggest it, it’s a homeschoolers best friend! It’s great for all the different ideas you find for different units)
FIRST - gather a wide variety of reading materials.
In this case I found books about Titanic. (you can choose to get these from your library, or buy them. I prefer to buy them, because I know my son will revisit them again and again).
Where to buy books? I have many go to places for books, the first place I always check is paperbackswap.com, even if you don’t have credit’s you can purchase them for a reasonable price, and shipping is FREE! I also frequent Amazon, Ebay and of course, Usborne Books. I found a wide variety of literature and other items available – here are a few:
both of these are available through Usborne Books
Okay, you probably do not need so many, but I have a book addiction…can you tell?
SECOND – find video resources online via youtube, netflix, hulu or DVDs.
My son is also really into Lego’s and has been wanting to build a Lego Titanic. I found this video on youtube that if slowed down…..gives a great step by step to a fairly simple build. I also found this FREE ipad app called Building the Titanic
THIRD – find printable materials or guides available online. It’s nice to make your own too, but it can save you a lot of time if you see what is out there already to use! A lot of these resources are FREE, which is twice as nice!
This is where Pinterest comes in! Make a folder to pin all the great things you find!
Check out my SUMMER FUN UNITS Board. In addition to Titanic items, you’ll also find Pearl Harbor here. I plan to do two extended unit studies (one of each) this summer.
FOURTH – Find hands on projects. Chances are you will have come across some in steps 2 and 3, but just in case…make a point of finding at least a few projects to go with your theme. I found this one on Amazon for just under $5.
FIFTH – make sure as many subjects are covered as possible! If you are doing a unit study you want to cover a wide range of subjects, particularly Science, History, Language Arts - (Spelling, Writing),Geography, etc.. If you can throw Math in there to, do it! I like to make a list by subject and write in what we are doing for each one, to make sure it’s all covered.
Here are a few premade unit study planners you can print off -
The Homeschool Mom
Mobile Secular Homeschoolers
The hardest part is weeding through all the finds to see what you like (and what your kids will like) best!
Use your child’s interests to your advantage!
Of course there are many great already made unit studies you can find on the web, particularly those by Amanda Bennett! (we use those too!) But, with just a little bit of leg work, you can come up with one of your own, tailored for your own children to their delight!