Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What is a unit study?

You’ve probably even done a unit study without knowing it. Have you ever read a book to the kids and enjoyed the illustrations so much that you taught the kids a little about oil pastel drawings? And maybe the story was about a little boy at the beach, so you checked out some books from the library about seashells and seagulls, to go along with it? And taught the kids the tongue twister about seashells on the seashore? Or made the kids fish or clam chowder for lunch, since it was mentioned in the book? If you’ve done anything like this, you’ve already laid the foundations for a unit study!
A unit study is simply learning about a particular subject, whether it be grasshoppers, ocean currents, or a particular book. A unit study could be about anything, as long as you’re able to cover the material in depth and from different angles. This method is great when you’re homeschooling multiple children, because the older kids can learn about predicting weather from ocean currents, for example, while the younger ones learn about the life cycle of a fish. It’s all connected as a unit study about oceans!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

socialization concerns

One of the biggest complaints about homeschooling that you’ll hear from folks who don’t understand it is the issue of socialization. How can your kids socialize with their peers if they’re stuck at home all day? They’ll grow up in isolation and their social development will be delayed. Right?
Wrong! Homeschooled kids are some of the busiest around. There are so many activities available in most communities that if you did all of them, you’d never be at home to do any schoolwork. The YMCA often offers homeschool classes, such as swimming lessons, and depending on the YMCA, they may offer even more. Some have computer and foreign language classes for homeschoolers, and even art and music lessons. Your local community center probably has planned activities too, and these things provide time for kids to learn and interact with others.
Many homeschoolers also belong to homeschool support groups that have field trips, play dates, and other activities for kids. There are also co-op classes in many areas, where parents take turns planning the classes to be taught each week. Even if your kids play in the afternoons with other kids in the neighborhood, you’ve accomplished socialization. It’s that easy!