I can’t believe it. Our new homeschool year begins next week already. Wow, this past six weeks went quickly!
As I was gathering books at the library for our first unit study the other day, I realized that some of you might like to see how I’m planning for our homeschool days to unfold, especially in regard to our unit study. I’m fairly certain that, even though I address unit studies quite often, they can be a bit of a mystery to those who are unfamiliar with them.
As you might be aware, for years I’ve been breaking my children into groups for their learning, simply because I have so many of them. 😉 (This year I’m homeschooling 8 again.)
However, now that my second youngest is ready to move up to the middles group, I’ve got a bit of a dilemma – that leaves my youngest alone in the littles group. She’s not too happy about that.
So….I’m going to attempt to homeschool my 6 elementary and middle school age kids in one group so that my youngest can be with everyone else. Wish me luck. (It’s at times like this that I really cherish the flexibility of homeschooling. If it doesn’t work, we can go back to the way things were.)
Anywho, here’s what I’m hoping to do…
Our Beginning-of-the-Year Homeschool Plan
(This post contains affiliate links.)
Since we are starting off the year with a unit study on Explorers/Navigation/Stars/Sailing (from Konos Volume 2), other than math, language arts, and devotions, everything will be focused on this topic. What this means is that besides the devotional, math, spelling, and grammar books listed, every single book will be connected to the unit study.
As relaxed homeschoolers, our day is broken down into three basic sections:
- Soft Start (aka, Bible/read-aloud)
- Together Time (unit study time)
- Table Time (time for individual 3 Rs)
Each morning we will do a Bible devotion together, followed by reading a section of the Bible aloud together. Afterwards, I’ll read a chapter or two from our read-aloud, and my kids will take turns narrating.
During this time, we will typically work on unit study activities, although one day a week we will do an art lesson or handicrafts, instead. (On that one day, there will be no table time.)
Some of the activities I have planned so far are:
- painting the night sky
- history of sailing
- learning the song “Fire Down Below”
- navigation vocabulary
- watching a video about navigation
- Bible copywork related to the theme
- identifying constellations
- celestial navigation
- star motion
- moon phases
- baking cookies shaped like moons and stars
- making an astrolabe and solar stone
- drawing a circle with a compass
- measuring angles
- making a fictional island journal
- charcoal constellation drawings
- old world maps
- exploring the woods near our house
- Norse myths
- Vikings and Leif Erikson (We will learn about other explorers in later weeks.)
I’m expecting this unit study to last a few months, unless my kids grow bored with it, so the resources I’m sharing today are not a complete list. These are simply the activities and resources I’ve collected for our first four weeks.
As I mentioned earlier, Konos is my main source for the unit study. All other books listed here are library books which will be used for notebooking, references for various activities, and, possibly, supplemental read-alouds.
Konos Volume 2 (Explorers/Navigation/Stars/Sailing unit)
Early Exploration of North America
Table Time (which doesn’t happen at a table at all…)
At this point in our day, all of our main activities have been completed, and the kids are ready to finish up with their individual learning – spelling, grammar, silent reading, and math. Each child gets one-on-one time with me during this block of time. I tend to do this from oldest to youngest.
My kids can be very motivated to get done early, so most of them usually complete much of this before our homeschool day has even started, and they just save the things they need my help with.
ctcmath.com (for 4th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade)
Abeka Arithmetic (for 1st and 3rd grade)
Silent Reading Selections:
And that’s it!
Hopefully, this gives those of you who don’t quite understand the cross-curricular nature of unit studies a clearer picture. As you can tell from the books and activities I’ve listed here, virtually every single subject will be covered via this unit study – even music and art.
This, my friends, is why I love this style of homeschooling so much: there is so much beauty and efficacy in simplicity.