Home » Blog » Homeschool Tips » Unit studies for homeschoolers

Unit studies for homeschoolers

Steps to Designing a Homeschool Unit Study

To turn your kids’ passions into educational opportunities, include unit studies in your homeschool plans. Homeschool unit studies are opportunities for students to focus their schoolwork around a particular theme for a period of time. Parents often choose to incorporate a variety of school subjects into these thematic units. Your kids may find math, history, and grammar more rewarding when their studies are tied to their favorite topics.

1. Pick a topic.

What do your kids love right now? Outer space? Fairy tales? Farm equipment? Whatever it is, you can plan a unit study around it. For the best family experience, select homeschool unit study topics that both you and your kids will enjoy investigating.

2. Hold a major brainstorming session.

Now it’s time to start thinking about how you can connect a variety of school subjects to your theme. Pull up a computer document or a blank sheet of notebook paper and start jotting down ideas.

Create headers for your main school subjects. Underneath them, list as many connections between each subject and the unit study theme as you can. For example, if your topic is coral reefs, you could write “reef locations” under geography, “protecting reefs” under science, and “graphing fish populations” under math.

Keep in mind that you aren’t locking yourself into using every idea on the list. You’re just giving yourself a foundation to build on.

3. Search for amazing materials.

After that, you can start coming up with irresistible ways to draw your kids into the learning. Start searching through library shelves and checking online platforms for books, videos, maps, images, and other resources that will pair well with your theme. You may find quizzes, art projects, recipes, writing prompts, and games, too.

Make a long list of all the incredible materials you find. You’ll draw on this resource database again and again during your homeschool unit study.

4. Sketch out a loose plan.

Before beginning the unit study with your students, make a rough plan for how you’d like to use the materials. For example, you may want to pick out a few opening day activities, think of a couple of projects to spread out over several weeks, and decide on a fun way to wrap up with a thematic celebration at the end of your unit.

Other than that, though, it’s smart to keep your plans fairly loose. You never know for sure which parts of a unit study will really grab your young learners. Flexible plans will let you run with your children’s interests and stick with the unit for as long — or as short — as they’d like.

5. Dig in with your kids.

Once your planning is complete, it’s time for the fun part: enjoying the unit with your kids! They can read the books you’ve selected, create colorful art projects, think through brain-teasing math problems, and write imaginative stories. Together, you can watch videos, listen to audiobooks, play games, and more. By the end of the study, everyone in your family may have learned a wealth of fascinating information.

For your unit study materials, turn to LightSail’s jam-packed libraries. With LightSail, your kids can explore intriguing books, watch kid-friendly videos, and dive into informative timelines. Plus, with WorldBook Kids access, you’ll also have ideas for art projects and other hands-on activities at your fingertips.

Want a hand pulling together unit study homeschool curriculum? Turn to LightSail’s long list of premade studies. From Science Magic to Let’s Visit the Rainforest, you’ll find carefully curated units to fit your kids’ many interests.

sign up for homeschool literacy program

Posted on 9.Sep.21 in Homeschool Tips



B.S. in Pharmacy RPh - A 17-year homeschool veteran, Kristen has enjoyed teaching her four children in classical and eclectic styles. Kristen loves reading, writing, and volunteering as a reading tutor.
Favorite part of LightSail: Authentic Writing, Fluency
Money back

Our Pledge

We guarantee that if your child reads on LightSail for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 90 days that their Lexile® level will improve. If it doesn’t, we will give you 100% of your money back.

Contact us