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Defining Unit Studies
Volume 77, Program 11
9/10/2007
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Have you ever been immersed in a particularly fascinating study with one child and found yourself wishing all your kids could be learning right along with you? Tune in to this week’s Home School Heartbeat to hear HSLDA President Mike Smith and Kym Wright discuss unit studies.

Mike Smith:
My guest this week is homeschooling mom of eight, Kym Wright. Kym recently wrote a book called Booster Shot: Energize Your Homeschool with Unit Studies. Thank you for joining me on the program, Kym.

Kym Wright:
Thanks for having me on the show, Mike.

Mike Smith:
Kym, we’ve heard of classical education, and child-directed learning—but just how do you define unit studies learning?

Kym:
Well, as a definition, the basic concept of unit studies is using one topic to incorporate just the majority of the school subjects. Learning takes place around a central topic, a subject, or an area of learning. Instead of compartmentalizing or breaking up our studies, this makes learning more cohesive—looking at a subject as a whole, instead of individual parts. For example, rather than learning about one subject in science, and something completely different in history, we bring it all together with unit studies. History will relate to science, which will relate to the reading and writing and map work. Learning becomes whole rather than segmented. And when we use unit studies for our school, we can incorporate a majority of the subjects into the school such as science, history, social studies, geography, writing, art, Bible, music, reading. We can even have our extracurricular activities relate to the unit studies we’re studying. So, for our working definition, we will say that the basic concept of unit studies is using one topic to incorporate the majority of school subjects and that most of learning takes place around that central theme or subject.

Mike:
Well, thank you, Kym, for that outstanding explanation. I’m Mike Smith.


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Boost your homeschool with unit studies! Check out Kym Wright’s new book Booster Shot: Energize Your Homeschool with Unit Studies.

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