Fall-Related Unit Studies and Homeschool Activities

I cannot believe that fall is already here. It seems like only yesterday I was celebrating the first day of summer.

Time flies when you’re having fun!

As much as I wish the warm weather could stay forever, there’s just something about this season that inspires creativity in me that I never knew existed. With the smell of the changing leaves, the colorful trees everywhere, and the crunching sound beneath our feet as we take our walks, the kids and I all love to incorporate these experiences into our homeschool routine.

With this in mind, today I’m going to share with you a list of autumn-related unit studies and hands-on activities. Enjoy!  Continue reading “Fall-Related Unit Studies and Homeschool Activities”

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Large Family Homeschool Hack #2: Uncomplicated Unit Studies

Welcome back for Day 3 of my How to Homeschool Multiple Children Without Going Crazy series. I’ve really been having a lot of fun writing these posts, and it’s my prayer that they will be helpful to you.

Anyone who knows anything about my homeschool style at all is very aware that I am a huge fan of unit studies. In fact, my friend, Jen, often calls me the Unit Study Queen, a name I wear with honor. 😉 They’re such a wonderful way to teach your children together while keeping things fun and engaging. (For more, watch my video on this topic.) Continue reading “Large Family Homeschool Hack #2: Uncomplicated Unit Studies”

A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Back to “School”!

We’ve reached the end of our first week of our new homeschool year, and we have had so much fun! The kids and I were all so excited to begin, and that has lasted throughout the entire week, so things are looking great so far!

Unfortunately, we almost got off to a rocky start because I got a phone call early Monday morning from a family member asking me to drive them somewhere (they live 1/2 hr. away). After I explained that it was our first day of homeschool, they were very understanding. Unfortunately, though, when I mentioned it to another family member I was lectured about sometimes “having to make sacrifices.” I got more than a little angry at that, because I have sacrificed many a homeschool day to help people out. The problem is that once I started doing that, people have constantly been expecting me to do it over and over again.  Continue reading “A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Back to “School”!”

5 Simple Steps to Creating a Literature-Based Unit Study

Writing my own unit studies was never something I seriously considered doing. I was completely satisfied with the prepared resources I had purchased and assumed that it would never be necessary.

However, when my children and I grew tired of the last unused unit study we had, I was faced with the option of forging ahead through something none of us wanted to do, or creating my own unit. The idea was rather daunting to me, but out of desperation, I decided to give it a go. Surprisingly, I discovered that not only was it quite easy, but I loved doing it.  Continue reading “5 Simple Steps to Creating a Literature-Based Unit Study”

Well, I Didn’t See This One Coming!

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So here I’ve been the past several weeks, happily typing away about the freedom of unschooling. Imagine my surprise today, then, when Dillon approached me and said, “Mom, I want to start doing unit studies again.” Huh?? I was shocked, and I did a poor job of hiding it when I blurted out, “Why???” Apparently, he’s bored. Bored. I immediately pointed out all the cool stuff I bought in lieu of curriculum this year. I did my speech about how he’s so lucky to have the freedom to learn about what he wants to learn when he wants to learn it. Still no change. I told him that if he’s absolutely sure that he wants to do unit studies, we’ll do that. His reply? “I’m not sure. I’m just bored.”

Okay…I know that I need to get to the bottom of this- and fast.. First of all, I’m hesitant to pick up where we left off because I know that as soon as the weather warms up, he’ll want to be outside all the time studying creepy crawlies like he always does, and the unit studies will be forgotten. I know firsthand that the cold weather can make me feel like a total slug, so I’m guessing it’s taking its toll on him.

One thing that I know is going to have to change for now is our screen-free period. As it stands now, the kids aren’t allowed to do anything involving electronics- at all- during this time. I thought it was a good idea, but I’m seeing now that it’s a little too strict. My kids love to research. And how do they research the most? While we do go to the library quite a bit, the majority of their research happens on the computer using either search engines or YouTube videos. As good as my intentions were, I think this rule has been hindering their creativity and motivation because, while they may get tons of ideas during the screen-free time, they have no access to the computer. My answer, up until now, has always been, “That’s a good idea. You’ll have to look that up after 4,” after which, the idea is completely forgotten, and instead I see a lot of glum faces trying to come up with something else.

Image courtesy of suphakit73 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of suphakit73 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So, for now, I’m going to compromise. Instead of this time of day being an all-encompassing ban on electronics, I am going to allow these devices to be used for research purposes. In the best of circumstances, when the weather gets warmer, this won’t even be an issue at all. In the worst of circumstances, this will continue through the spring and summer, but my kids will still be learning, and that’s not such a bad thing.

And if Dillon or another of the kids is still bored after this change? Then I’ll do the unit studies. Part of unschooling is giving children the freedom to learn what they want to learn when they want to learn it and how they want to learn. As another blogging friend once said- homeschoolers are freedom scholars. And we’ll use that freedom to the best of our ability.