Homeschooling five kids on multiple grade levels, with a different curriculum for every subjectïż½ can make for one exhausting day! Is there any other way? On today’s Home School Heartbeat, Mike Smith and homeschooling mom and author Kym Wright explore the possibilities of unit studies.
Kym, can you share with our listeners how unit studies have enabled you to keep your sanity and homeschool multiple ages one at a time?
Well, you know Mike, life can get so fast sometimes, and trying to create or follow lesson plans for eight children in seven different subjects five days a week—I’m just tired thinking about it. So, unit studies makes it easy for me because I can plan individualized math and grammar and phonics, then the rest is focused on what we are learning together as a family. Several years ago, we were teaching preschool to college at home, and unit studies helped me keep everyone learning, together, on track, and in the same room so I could be accountable for everybody. Several ideas to make it easier with multiple ages are planning the unit study around the oldest child, then adding books and activities on the level of the younger ones. You might try giving an older child school credit for helping with the unit study. That’s a good idea especially if they help to plan it and teach it. And you can also include everyone in the field trips, the science experiments, the dramas—everything—just make it learning on their level.
Kym, how does this encourage family unity?
Mike, I’ve found when we homeschool using unit studies—studying subjects together, working together, reading together, experimenting with science together, we work out the kinks of our relationships and build healthy friendships with each other.
Well, thanks again, Kym, for sharing. And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.