One way we fit in homeschool extras is to do the learning together. All the ages, all the children studying one or more subjects – matching each child’s age and ability. Here is how to fit in the extras with unit studies.
Extras with Unit Studies Make it Easy
We do this weekly, the whole school year through, with Tapestry of Grace. Tapestry of Grace is a classical approach, Biblically-based, unit study curriculum for the whole family. Tapestry covers eight subjects. Everyone learning together – each child on their own learning and skill level. Here are the subjects Tapestry covers:
- Fine Arts
- Church History
So we just add: Math, Grammar and Science
Yet, one of the beauties of homeschooling is that you can shift the focus of your studies to scoop up all you can on current events, like the Olympics or elections. In August we had an Olympic start to the school year!
We’ve now studied both the winter and summer Olympics Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett. We took a month to learn all about the games! Everyone together – older children down to the younger ones. We completed our three Rs and then moved to the Olympics. Not only did we find out what it takes to be an athlete, we studied the events, the history of the Olympics and the city they were hosted in. We created flags from different countries, learned about famous American athletes.
For copywork, the children wrote famous quotes from Christian athletes. We added all kinds of vocabulary to our memory banks. We even held a closing ceremony for our studies while we watched the closing ceremonies on TV.
One October we studied Amanda Bennett’s Elections unit study. We pulled out those journals from the Olympics (because there was still plenty of room and paper) and add elections to them. I reserved books for all the ages, as suggested in the study – from picture books for the littlest ones to further study on the candidate selection and electoral process for the older ones. Our favorite? The Do You Know Who Were the First Five Presidents? song. Lil’ Buddy impressed many by singing that wherever we went!
Other unit studies we’ve enjoyed:
- Amanda Bennett’s Digital Photography (books for that photo study pictured at top)
- Amanda Bennett’s Bountiful Bread
- Holiday units like Cindy West’s Easter Nature Study Through the Holidays immersed us in the Biblical studies of resurrection while teaching us to notice signs of spring and Easter in nature.
- Each Christmas season we enjoy an advent focus for the month of December.
- Our very favorite Answers in Genesis God’s Design for Science.
- Harmony Fine Arts – music and art appreciation – all the resource gathering is done for you. The children and I enjoy one grade plan each school year. Just open and click. Read more details in my review at Curriculum Choice.
How to fit in these studies?
As I mentioned yesterday, we 1) focus on the basics first. 2) We have the resources on hand. Sometimes we will gather around and enjoy a read aloud in the morning. But usually we save all our unit study learning for the afternoon. 3) All those extras we look forward to in the afternoon hours. And they don’t take long. Anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours. But I’ll share the secret in detail tomorrow.
In Summary: by using unit studies, the children can all learn together. The prep work is done for me. All I need to do is add the books and supplies called for. The end result is we add in so much more learning!
- I’d love for you to visit me at Amanda Bennett’s Unit Study blog today. I’m sharing a guest post on how we discovered a way to fit in art – and then grow that love.
- And don’t forget the two giveaways running this week! Six Unit Studies titles and five copies of A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels ebook!
January is the perfect time to soak up some homeschool encouragement. Hop on over and check out all the topics by the ladies of iHomeschool Network – January 2013 Hopscotch.
- Five Days of How to Fit in All The Homeschool Extras
- Day 1: How to Fit in the All Homeschool Extras – What Are the Extras?
- Day 2: How to Fit in All the Homeschool Extras with Unit Studies
- Day 3: How to Fit in All the Homeschool Extras: Time Management
~Subscribe to Hodgepodge for more homeschool help!
I hope you’ll be back tomorrow. I’ll be sharing those tried and true time management favorites – the key to fitting in the extras.
-originally published January 2013