Acceleration Through Unit Studies

acceleration-through-unit-studiesBecause unit studies simplify your homeschooling while going deeper into each topic, acceleration through unit studies is possible. For example, I completed a one-year elementary astronomy course with my children in one month. It was relaxing and fun to only do one topic in our homeschool after doing math first thing in the morning. The rest of the school day was spent splashing into the topic of astronomy.

At elementary ages, I would do either science or history for our unit studies. I alternated between science and history. Literature was usually tied into either science or history. If it wasn’t, I would read the novel in the summer or over Christmas break. For example, I read A Christmas Carol one week during the month of December while the children were drinking hot cocoa by the fire. While studying botany one year, we read The Secret Garden alongside our science study.

Because we have all the time in the world and haven’t chopped up our morning into dinging bells every hour that abruptly force us to change topics, we are better able to have a coherent study. Right now I’m reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin to my kids, so in the evenings, we were watching some Civil War DVD’s from the library. We are plunging ourselves into the time period while munching on popcorn. Our whole day makes sense and isn’t schizophrenic.

Delight goes a long way in how much information we retain from our studies. I have been astounded at the huge majority of facts my kids remember because the grid in their minds is robust in each topic. When you are studying a topic for only one chapter in a boring textbook, it’s hard for your brain to latch onto the information and remember it. If you spend huge amounts of time in each topic, you remember just about everything because you “lived it.” Living something is different than forcing yourself to learn dry facts. Unit studies give you hands-on and living activities that enable you to grasp that topic on a deep level.

So yes, our kids have done acceleration through unit studies. They were ready for high school science before the age of 10. We had gone through all the sciences in depth, sometimes more than once, and I kicked back for a couple of years and didn’t do science because we were so far ahead, and high school chemistry requires Algebra. Instead those years were spent building robots for robotic competitions for their Robotics Club, and they tinkered with electronics with their father. Meanwhile we did tons of history, Shakespeare, and other topics because we had all that extra time left over.

If you are looking to simplify your work in putting together unit studies and would like to have more fun in your homeschool, save yourself a lot of time and effort by joining the Unit Study Treasure Vault.

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12 Responses to “Acceleration Through Unit Studies”

  1. I never thought of unit studies that way before, but you’re right. Their learning is accelerated! They learn so much when they are immersed in a fun topic like that. Thanks for pointing that out 🙂 It’s something to think about as I’m working on my school plans for the new school year.

  2. Suzie Cheel says:

    Awesome, I really don’t know much about home schooling. This will be a great reference if I am asked, thanks!

    • Susan says:

      Anyone who wants to find out about homeschooling can easily do some research on the internet. It’s not that scary, and anyone can do it!

  3. Priya says:

    I don’t know much about home schooling but this is useful as my little boy is growing up and will be handy. Thank you for sharing!

    • Susan says:

      Kids of all ages do well with homeschooling because it’s tailor-made for each child. The reason homeschooled kids score higher than regular school kids is that they are getting the one-on-one instruction.

  4. Viyoma says:

    Interesting..but I believe a lot of discipline is required to follow the regime. If a school like regime is introduced at home too, wouldn’t it get too taxing on the child ? Just curious….

    • Susan says:

      This is why I do unit studies instead of textbooks for elementary, except for math. I like the fact that you called the schedule at the school a regime, because it is.

  5. Sophie Bowns says:

    I know so little about home-schooling. I’d never be tempted to do it myself, I think it’s very important for children to socialise.

    • Susan says:

      Homeschooled kids have more time to socialize with friends because school children aren’t allowed to socialize except for lunch and recess, and school kids have homework. Homeschooled kids get their school work done in a more efficient manner, so they can get together with friends without having to worry about homework. Also, homeschooled kids are capable of socializing with people of all ages. School kids are not able to socialize with anyone unless they are the identical same age. They don’t socialize with older or younger students because of peer age segregation.

  6. Lindy says:

    Thanks for this view on unit studies. I plan to incorporate these into our schooling next year and this is so helpful.

    • Susan says:

      If more people knew they could accelerate their children’s learning this way, more people would be doing it. It’s fun, it’s easier, and you get further ahead!

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