Because 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.Tweet