Unit Studies for Home Education

This is an example of how I go about planning a Unit study for our Home Education. This is one of the first unit studies that I planned and wrote when we first started to home educate.  When I asked my child what they would like to learn about the first thing was about the planets which is why I did this.  

How I Start

I always plan a new unit study with pen and paper as I find this easier.  I begin by deciding on a topic that we want to cover and then look through books that we already own to see if we have anything that I can include.  Remember that the books that you use for a unit study can be different for different age children.  

This is an example of how I planned a Unit study on The Planets

Unit Study Planning
Unit Study planning

As you can see I write down a list of ideas of things that I would like to cover within the unit study.  

Does anyone see the first mistake I made with this unit study? If you have read my post about How to Create a Unit Study then you will know the answer.   I went and ordered two new books from Amazon.  This is why I know that it is so much easier to either use books that you already own or borrow them from the library.  I made that mistake you see of buying new books for the first few unit studies that I wrote and then starting to think about how much this was going to cost over the years.  Now I know better and borrow from the library.

Next I go through the list and decide if I want to cover everything from my initial ideas or if there are any areas that I have missed.  This is also the time I see which subject areas can be covered with the unit study.  

With The Planets I could see straight away that we could cover music by including Holst’s The Planets.  I knew that I wanted to add a craft project but to start with I was not sure what and put down that I needed to find something to include. 

My Unit Study Plan

This is the plan that I finally made.

  1. Order of the planets.  Print out each planet.  Find out what each planet looks like and put the planets into the correct order and label them
  2. The Sun.  Print out a copy of the sun.  Find out about the sun’s temperature at the center and surface.  What is the size of the sun?  What is the sun made of? Stick on the sheet with the planets. Label it.
  3. Distance.  Find out the distance from the sun for each planet and write onto your sheet.
  4. Gas or Rock?  Find out what each planet is made of.  Also we can find out about what the temperature of each Planet is.
  5. Use Holst’s The Planets in the background as we look at each planet above.  Discuss the music and the names given to the planets.
  6. How many moons do each planet have?  – Research
  7. Craft activity
  8. What is your favourite planet?  Name your favourite planet and draw a picture of it.  Research and write about some fun facts about the planet.  Write a story about visiting the planet – eg. what to visit and what to avoid.

Hope that this gives you some ideas for how to create your own unit study.  On my initial notes when planning this unit study I had written down stars, galaxies, comets and asteroids. Within this unit study I did not include anything about these topics as I felt that they did not contribute to learning about the planets.  

But those ideas can be used for another unit study! Check out how to create your own Unit Study

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