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Making Units Yours: The Three Basic Types of Unit Studies
Volume 77, Program 13
9/12/2007
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Did you know you could teach your kids reading, writing, and good study habits all by exploring Ancient Egypt? On today’s Home School Heartbeat with Mike Smith, author Kym Wright shares three distinct ways your kids can learn several subjects all in one unit.

Mike Smith:
Kym, as we’ve been talking about unit studies this week, I’ve been wondering—is there one model, or are there different ways to approach unit studies?

Kym Wright:
When I heard about unit studies, probably back in the 80’s when we first began homeschooling, I was so intrigued. But I researched the idea and found out that there are really three distinct categories of unit studies, divided by the foundation or the theme of the unit: first is subject-based, second would be character-quality units, and third is literature-based. Subject-based units, they’re usually around a central theme or a subject such as human anatomy, Ancient Egypt, or reptiles and all of the subjects will relate to that topic.

Character unit studies are based on a mannerism we would like to instill in our students; a personality quality we deem important and desire demonstrated in their daily lives. With the topic of “attentiveness,” you might investigate the ear and hearing, or the eye and sight. And the third type of unit studies is literature-based. The anchor of literature units is a book, or poetry or other work of great authors, such as Charlotte’s Web or Lord of the Rings or the Narnia series. Let me encourage each person, depending on your inclination and educational approach and that of your students, there is a unit study for you. You can achieve a comfort level with units when you find which type of unit study based on subject, character quality or literary piece, finding which style works for you and your family.

Mike:
Thank you again, Kym, for sharing. And until next time, 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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