Parents are required to include a certain number of subjects in the curriculum for the child to qualify for the tests. These unit studies are different from the methodology used in normal homeschooling systems. One can say these studies, while being a little dissimilar from the norm, teach a little more. According to this, the child interests are gauged and subjects chosen appropriately. After deciding the subjects, parents should use their creativity and knowledge to make the subjects more interesting and easy to understand. Parents can either design the unit study on their own, or resort to readymade ones.
There are companies like the Teacher Created Materials which publish and sell unit studies according to the chosen subjects. The following are subjects commonly included in a unit study 1. Language Arts Mostly comprising of communication skills like writing, reading and basic comprehension.
However, the child need not master every language skill mentioned. The child could be asked to read a story or write a short essay on any suitable topic. 2. Mathematics While teaching mathematics, parents need to be aware of the learning level of the child, and formulate tests accordingly. Besides, the math problems should be related to the main subject of the unit study. To illustrate; if astronomy is the main subject, addition and multiplications could include examples like, the size of the Sun minus the size of Pluto.
3.Social Studies or Geography Social studies can be the main topic or even a sub topic of a unit study. In this, invention, location and time periods are common topics. 4.Science There are times when unit study could be wholly borrowed from science. For example, a unit study on Africa could not only include the animals, but also the living conditions of the inhabitants.
5.Art Drawing, painting, designing, acting etc. In short, arts fuel the imagination to unleash the child creativity. In this, if the main unit study is on science, the root structure of a flower can be drawn. 6.
Music Music could fit into any unit study. For instance, if Tribes of Africa is the main topic, their cultural music can be taken as a subject. 7. History It is said to be relatively easy to add history to any given subject. If science is the main subject, the history of a flower, right from pollination to it forming into a bloom can be done.
8.Physical Education Most sought after and flexible subject, if taken as a whole, parents need to introduce exercises relating to the main subject. For example, the history of Olympics can be explored. Math and language arts are the most common subjects opted for. However, other than the specified subjects, parents can also introduce novel subjects like the weather, cookery, historical cultures, or the animal kingdom.
Essentially, the defining factor of unit study is that the choice of subjects depends on the students interests. Progress needs to be assessed periodically, keeping a record of the child performance in each given subject. However, if the child seems to have interest in other subjects besides the chosen ones, that should not be ignored, and unit studies including the extra subject should be formulated. To conclude, implementing unit studies instead of normal homeschool studies boosts the child interest in learning, because the subjects are of his or her choice.
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