Using Unit Studies to Excite Your Kids

unit study

There are so many options available when it comes to homeschooling and how to do it. We have tried quite a few homeschooling styles over the years and have found that unit studies make our kids excited to learn.

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What Are Unit Studies

Unit studies are not like textbook learning. You will not have a pile of textbooks for each child. Usually, you won’t even have any textbooks at all. Of course, you will have books, but mainly just books on the topics you are currently studying.

Unit studies are topical studies that focus on one topic but include all the subjects your kids need to learn. These subjects include language arts, science, history/geography, art, etc. Each of these subjects will focus on the topic you are learning while still covering the skills your child needs to know.

Typically, a unit study would include a short lesson to start the day. Mom or dad would read/talk about this with all children. After the main lesson is discussed, each child would work on worksheets related to their learning level. 

unit study

How to Pick Topics

There are many different ways to pick your topics for unit studies. You can sit down at the beginning of the year and plan out unit studies based on the seasons and holidays. You can plan on topics that you feel are most important. Or, you can sit down with your kids and find out what they want to learn about.

Allowing your children to have a say in the topic they will be learning about allows them to be excited about learning. This means that they will want to dig deeper and learn more about the different topics. 

We have done a few different unit studies where I have chosen the topic. These unit studies have turned out boring for the kids, and they drag on. When I allow the kids to have a say in what topic we are learning about, they get excited and spend free time still learning more about the topic of focus.

Benefits of Unit Studies

You can sit down with all your kids when using unit studies simultaneously. You are no longer trying to figure out how to schedule your time around multiple kids and their individual studies. This is a massive thing for me. I love knowing that everyone will get their lessons done simultaneously. This allows for all of us to have more free time to do things we want to do.

Watching my kids help each other on worksheets and projects is one of the things I love the most about unit studies in our homeschool. Working on unit studies together as a family also allows us to bond as a family. We are all learning about the same topic, so we can all help each other.

Another great benefit to unit studies is the money I save each year on our homeschool curriculum. When I am only working on the unit studies, and most of our learning comes from online or books we find at the library, I don’t have to worry about three different science curricula or three different levels of language arts. The only thing I need to add to our unit studies is math.

Where to Find Unit Studies

There are many different places to find unit studies. It just depends on which style, theme, and topic you are looking for. I have tried a few different ones and will share my favorites here.

We are currently working on a unit study from Gather ‘Round Homeschool. These unit studies are Christian-based and do talk about God. These unit studies will need a teacher’s guide and a student workbook for each level you are teaching. I opt to grab the digital all grades package. This way, I can reuse the units later on when the kids are at different levels.

I have also used unit studies from These unit studies are a little different from the ones at Gather ‘Round Homeschool. You just need one for all your students, and they complete either the lower level or upper-level work. You, as the parent, can add more as you think they need. There are a lot of links within the learning to different websites. I do love that we can supplement the reading, but sometimes this can get a little difficult to navigate with the kids around the kitchen table.

Another favorite place that I grab unit studies from is Our Journey Westward. These are Charlotte Mason-based unit studies, which I love. Many of the studies are nature-based, but they still include all the other subjects. Our Journey Westward also has live nature studies twice a month. These are so fun for the kids to interact with Cindy and other students worldwide.

Our Journey Westward

Using Unit Studies to Excite Your Children

After trying different schooling methods, I have decided that unit studies work in our homeschool. The kids enjoy them and want to learn more; that is something I can’t argue about! There are so many great choices out with different styles of unit studies, but the best part is, if you can’t find one that works for your family, you can make your own!

Have you used unit studies in your homeschool? What did or didn’t you like about them?


Online Unit Studies with Techie Homeschool Mom – A Homeschool Crew Review

I have always loved exploring the way my children learn. Each of the four learns in a different way. This makes it fun, and hard for me. Thankfully Ray Ray can do Unit Studies with Techie Homeschool Mom and I don’t have to worry about him. Currently, he is working his way through the Famous Artists Online Unit Study (Vol. 1).

What Is It?

Techie Homeschool Mom is an online program that gives you access to unit studies. They have a variety of studies available. While they are fully online for learning, there are many things that take the learning to different levels. You and your child will use different online programs (the free versions) and some other items from around the house.

Techie Homeschool Mom offers a variety of unit studies that will appeal to your child. Some take an hour, others take longer. But each is set up in the same way. The lessons are all online and are easy to follow.

Famous Artists is one of the longer studies that will take more than one day to complete. It is broken up into different sections. You will first learn about art itself and follow up with some of the famous artists like DaVinci, Monet, and Picasso.

As you go through each artist, you will learn about them, their pieces of artwork, and you will finish up with adding them to your own exhibit using Emaze. This was the fun part!

How We Used It

Ray Ray loves to take my laptop and disappear to do his schoolwork. This is not a fear of mine when he is working on his unit study from Techie Homeschool Mom. The units are laid out in step-by-step directions. He completes one and moves on to the next.

When it came time for Ray Ray to study art, I wouldn’t see much of him. He would get comfy someplace in the house and work through his lesson. The program shows me what is done and what needs to be done. I had a list from the beginning of what supplies we would need, so I was able to make sure we had them on hand. This meant that I wasn’t saying ‘We will come back to this when we have the supplies.” Or “We can’t do that right now.” Those are always huge setbacks for us.

There are about 5 sections per artist and 10 artists in this collection. We would do one section a day, completing an artist per week on average. This means that this collection would last for 10 weeks. Each day varied on how long it took, depending on the video or how much Ray Ray would write or design, but they didn’t last so long that he lost interest. Every Friday was the day that Ray Ray would work on Emaze exhibits.

What We Thought of It

We love Techie Homeschool Mom and her unit studies! While the majority is online, the platform she uses is not hard to understand. I liked that you complete one thing and move on to the next. I loved that she brought in other online elements to enrich our learning. These were the free versions, so I didn’t have to worry about purchasing something, yet I was able to allow my son to use new technology in his learning, bonus!

The lessons are not too long. And we can stop and start up as we need to. This is great for us. If a lesson gets too long, Ray Ray can pause, if needed. This didn’t happen much, as he was having fun playing with all the technology that is introduced to him. Being a “techie kid” meant that he loved the way Techie Homeschool Mom allowed him to express himself in the unit study.

We have used other unit studies from Techie Homeschool Mom and loved them as well. Ray Ray loved the one on Martin Luther King Jr. In that, he made his first picture graphic using a quote. This was great to see him think of ideas and make them come alive.

If you have a techie child at home who loves unit studies, I would recommend that you check out what Techie Homeschool Mom has to offer.

We were not the only ones to check out Techie Homeschool Mom. Head on over to The Homeschool Review Crew and see what everyone else thought!


Solar, Ancients and Famous People Unit Studies {Techie Homeschool Mom Reviews}

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Intricacies of Snow from Creation Illustrated – A Homeschool Crew Review

This is a review post. I received this item in exchange for my honest review. Below you will find just that, my honest review.

Sometimes in our homeschool, we need a break from our regular schedule. But during that break, I still want to make sure the kids are learning. This is when I love to check out unit studies to help us, and Creation Illustrated gives us that.

We had the chance to take a break and take a look at the Snow Unit Study for this review. This is geared towards grades 3-8, and we used it with Ray Ray and Little Miss, 3rd and 1st grade with no major issues. I made a few minor adjustments for Little Miss, but she still walked away learning a lot from this unit study!

What Is It

This is a PDF unit study in the simplest of forms. You will need the unit study itself, the Winter ’18 Digital Edition of the Creation Illustrated Magazine and access to the internet. These three things will give you everything you need, but there is a list of optional Educational Videos and books for extra reading if you wanted to add more to your learning.

Through this unit study, you will be given a chance to learn about snow in all the core subjects as well as character building skills. This is something that I love to see in a unit study.

How We Used It

We were not given any guidance on a schedule for this unit study at all. This is good and bad in my opinion. I am one that loves to know what to do and when, and with four kids and a husband at home, this is something that makes it easier for me. However, at the same time, I am able to go through this unit study and see what we could feasibly do each day with the current day at hand. I didn’t have to feel like I was falling behind, as long as we were doing something each day.

While I love having my hands on things as we learn, we were given the digital copy of the magazine that we needed for this review, so we used this with no issue. And at the same time, we were able to gather around and read the other online resources that were provided for us to read to complete our worksheets.

As we read through the readings that were provided for us, we were able to take those a step farther with vocabulary and penmanship exercise to start with, I liked starting with these to make sure the kids understood the main words. After that, we jumped around a little bit between the Bible Study, Art, Math, Science, and Geography. We finished up our study with the fun word search puzzle and paper snowflake making activity. There was also an activity to photograph a snowflake, but we did not do this, as it wasn’t snowing while we did the unit study. However, we will be doing that over the next few days when we are expected to get another 8+ inches of snow…in April…I am not happy!

Since there was no guide on when to do what, we were able to work on this unit study over a two week time period. I could see us spreading this out for a month if we wanted to dig deeper into each area, but with the younger group as the focus for this review, two weeks was all we needed.

What We Thought

The kids loved putting their books away for two weeks and doing fun things. Please don’t tell them that these fun things were actually educational! I won’t be able to do this again if they find out my secret.

We were hitting a rut, and I didn’t want to struggle with the kids, so this review came at the right time for us, even though we weren’t getting fresh snow at the time, learning about the snow we had gotten was something that I didn’t have to argue about.

Our favorite part of this unit study was the chance to draw the different snowflake shapes. The kids were amazed as too how many different shapes there actually were when it comes to snowflakes. While in the big picture they all look the same, when you take the time to pay attention to them, they are all just as unique as the people in the world. This was a huge eye-opener for the kids, and I loved watching them see this.

To go along with the Snow Unit Study, Creation Illustrated also has a Pine Trees unit study. This unit study uses the Fall ’17 Digital Edition of Creation Illustrated. As the snow melts, I look forward to taking another break from our curriculum and learning about pine trees using this study! This is set up in basically the same way as the snow study, including the core subjects in fun ways.

If you and your kids are looking for a great way to take a break from your regular homeschool schedule, I would recommend checking the unit studies from Creation Illustrated. Check out what other review members had to say about this and the Pine Trees unit study right here:

Creation Illustrated Unit Studies {Creation Illustrated Reviews}
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Home School Farm ~ A Review and GIVEAWAY

When you are the homeschool community, you find others who are like you. You find families, that may have different viewpoints, but the end goal is to provide a great education for our children. I was so happy to find that when meeting the author of Home School Farm, Amy Doeun from Crazy Boy Farm. I can't wait to tell you all about this book!

Home School Farm

Now, I call this a book, but Amy didn't just write a book, she wrote a year-round unit study of types. She takes us month by month on living on a farm and includes monthly and seasonal activities that will bring learning into real life.

After a brief introduction, Amy starts off with January and the excitement that the month holds. We continue through the months with some fun breaks for different topics throughout. Each month includes a little introduction and then it hops into the study for the month. Amy covers every subject even down to some fun activities to keep the kids interested in what they are they doing.

Home School Farm

There are 6 different mini topics that pop up through the year, these are; Budgets, Loss/Death, Abundance, Throwback Farming, Passion and Seasons. While these are not like the monthly sections that include Unit Studies with all the subjects broken down, they give you some great ideas for each topic and tell why they are important within the family and home. I have really enjoyed these breaks and each one applied to my life in some way or another.

Amy has taken the ho hum of farm life and shown what you can do for homeschooling and family learning by expanding on what you are already learning. She gives you ideas and resources so that you can expand on. I personally remember learning half of these lessons while working on my family farm. I have been super excited to start my children in on the learning and this book makes it possible for me to do so without a lot of extra planning!

Not only has Amy been generous enough to let me review this book, but she has told me that I get to give one of you a FREE copy! That is right, one of my lucky readers will get your own copy of this wonderful book! How do you get your chance? Fill in this form and see if you win. If you don't, you should still grab a copy of the book for your home right here!

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Make sure you check out Amy at Crazy Boy Farm, let her know you were sent by me! And don't forget to enter this giveaway today!!

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Homeschool Legacy Pirates or Privateers: You Decide ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Are you a Pirate, or are you a Privateer? Now is the time to decide! And you can have some fun learning while you are at it! Homeschool Legacy has a super fun Once-a-Week Micro Study called Pirates or Privateers: You Decide that we had the chance to check out!


The Homeschool Legacy Once-a-Week Micro Studies are a great way to add some extra fun into the learning each week for four weeks, or to take a break from the normal and do a quick 4-day weekly study. Everything you need is right here even the extras, or where to find them.


The first thing I found when I downloaded our Unit Study was a great introduction from Founder Sharon Gibson. In this short, one page introduction/welcome, I found all that I would need to be prepared for the upcoming four weeks. Sharon first told me about the family read aloud that she suggested for this study, Treasure Island. This is a great book to read during a study like this, and I loved having the idea there for me so I didn't have to plan for it.

Next, Sharon gives us the section to look at in your local library to find extra books to read during this study. This is great. I love having extra books on hand. The kids usually grab a book or two during our "quiet time" each day, and knowing that they have the options to read something that we are learning about is great! I may have stalked the library website and requested more than we needed for books, but that is an ok thing in this unit study.


Sharon also gave us some ideas for family movie night that went along with this study. Yes, a fun, popcorn filled movie night with movies that are on the same topic as what we are learning about. No, not the boring movies you slept through at school when you were younger, but actual fun action packed movies that were well loved in our house!

Once I got into the actual study, I was happy with how easy it was to understand. I could simply save it in my Dropbox and open it on the iPad for my teacher portion. As much as I love a physical, hands on copy, I loved being able to click the links as we needed them and see the fun that Sharon had for us.

Each week we studied different time of the pirates or privateers. And each week we covered different subjects. Subjects like History, Language Arts, Music and Geography. Sharon had it all set up that I could just pull this open, easily see what was needed for the lesson grab those simple items. This is wonderful for a busy mom of multiple kids!

We loved learning the fun of the Pirates and Privateers. We took our time and did this every Friday for four weeks. This was a great way to have school on the busiest day of the week for us. We were able to still spend about 30 minutes, more if you and your kids get really interested in the topic of the day. This did happen, and I found my kids reading the library books often during the week. This allowed us to have a base. We loved the movie night idea and took the ideas to make that happen. We were able to see what we were learning about on the TV and the kids loved that.

We had a lot of fun with this unit study. This was one of the first that we tried a full unit study like this. We enjoyed it. We found a fun new way to add some variety into our week and keep our homeschool fun!


Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}


Homeschool Legacy has many other unit studies available and the other families of the crew had a chance to look at different ones. I know that two of those studies are perfect for this time of the year. One of those is the Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims Micro Study, and yes, you can still finish this by Thanksgiving! The second is Christmas Comes to America. This is a regular Unit Study and would be great to start at any point to be ready for Christmas! Head on over with me and see what everyone thought of their studies!

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}

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Winter Birds Unit Study Resources

Winter Bird Unit Study

It is cold, no wait, it is freezing outside right now. This is not a fun time for mom. I don't want to send the kids out in the extreme cold of Minnesota, but I want them to enjoy the outside at the same time. So, what is a mom to do? A bird study!

Winter Bird Unit Study

We are finally in a house that allows us to actually see the birds outside. We are not in the country, yet, but we have some aged trees in the yard, and that is enough to bring the birds this way. That means we spend time looking outside. Even Baby Girl loves to stand on her chair and watch the birds, and squirrels out front!

So, because I am that mom who still wants her child to have a nature study unit when it is cold outside, we have begun a bird month, or two, because I said so. I still haven't heard any arguing, so that is a good thing! What is a unit study? Well, it is a fun way to focus on one thing, but learn within all the subjects you need to learn from.

Here in the cold Minnesota weather, we still have a bunch of fun birds that we get to watch. These birds include black-capped chickadees, house finches, downy woodpeckers, blue jays, red-bellied woodpecker and Northern Cardinal. We even have a pileated woodpecker that makes his way to our feeders at least twice a week.

Now, for it being cold, that is a lot of birds. This is awesome because that gives us something to watch and learn about. Something that is not a video game or tv show. Something that makes mom happy!

I am not a creative person, I try to be, but sadly I am not. However, there are a ton of other ladies and gents out there that are. That means, when I want to work on a unit study I go to Pinterest and take a look at what I can find! Heck, I even made a fun little board full of different studies of just birds! For the bird unit studies, here are what we will be working on:

We are going to head on over and have some fun with what we found here at Homeschool Giveaways. When you go here you can find a great list of freebies to make bird learning fun!

Winter Bird Unit Study

Little Miss needs to have some fun while we are learning, right? That is when I am going to head over to 1plus1plus1equals1 and have some fun with Counting is for the Birds. What a fun way to keep her involved and having fun with us!

Winter Bird Unit Study

Over at Education Possible there are a lot of great hands on fun activities to keep those little ones busy!

Winter Bird Unit Study

Learning the key facts about birds is the main idea over at Triumphant Learning. I would love to see a turkey looking in the window at me, but we just have the cute little chickadees looking in here.

Winter Bird Unit Study

If you are looking for more resources all in one place, take a look at what Premeditated Leftovers has on their site! They have a little bit of everything!

Winter Bird Unit Study

I love the idea of being able to keep the kids busy with fun learning this winter! You need to check back with us next week and see what we have found! I keep trying to get a picture of the birds on our feeders, but apparently they know that I am watching them!

What do you like to learn about in the winter? What are some of the birds you see in the winter? I would love to hear from you!

Homeschool Legacy Once-A-Week Unit Study ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Are you looking for a once a week unit study? We recently reviewed a history unit study from Homeschool Legacy called Revolutionary Ideas: The Story of the American Revolution.

Homeschool Legacy’s Once-a-Week Unit Studies are a wonderful way to work together in all subjects on one basic topic. This way of learning is something I have always wanted to try with Moe Man and see how well he would do.

american revolution unit study

With the Once-a-Week Unit Study, you have simple daily activities, which is mainly reading, and your Once-a-Week activities which would take the whole day and cover almost every subject you need to cover for the day.

At the beginning of every week in the study, there is a list of Library/Video Choices for the week. You are also told about the focus of the week. Within the list of library book choices, you are told which books are the most important, which ones carry along the main focus of the week.

Homeschool Legacy Review

Once you have found your book choice for the week, and grabbed your family read aloud of the week, you are able to get started. Daily activities include reading those books and keeping up with your regular studies.

Once a week…Wednesday is the suggested day, you will work on the Unit Study for the day. You will still do the reading for the day, but you will add in the family devotional and other activities focused on the unit study.

The family devotional helps to tie the history of the United States into the bible. You talk a little about what you are focusing on for the week and read a bible verse that goes along with it. Week 3 we learned about the firebrands and then read Galatians 5:1 about freedom.

Other activities for the once a week range, but usually include everything from history, language, research of some type and arts. All these subjects focus on the topic of the week and help the children to learn more about that topic.

Homeschool Legacy Review

These subjects have your children doing research, some online or in encyclopedias. There are many different things you can do, and they are easy enough to adapt to your child’s learning skill level. Every once in a while you will come across a student work page (worksheet) for your child to fill out, but most things are done online and on notepaper.

Fridays you will do your 3 R’s including the daily reading, but you will also go on a field trip, if it is available for you and/or have a family movie/game night that goes along with the focus of the week. There are Netflix/movie choices that let you know which movie would go good or if there is a game, you would find it listed in the lesson.

This Homeschool Legacy Unit, along with many to most of the others, are Boy Scout and American Heritage Girl friendly and can help your children to earn different badges.

We printed our unit study out so that I could take notes on it. This is a no-prep study, one of my favorite types of studies! I really loved the set up and layout of the unit study, but found that this does not chive well with Moe Man’s learning. He loves to read, but free reading only. When needing to learn something from reading, or making a deadline with the reading, he freezes. This unit study focuses a lot on reading and while I helped him out through this review period, he was not happy.

Now, my final decision on this…if Moe Man loved reading a little more, this would have been a hit. He loved the research part of this unit study, and loved the movies. I loved the whole thing and would love to try this again with Ray Ray when he gets a little older.

Homeschool Legacy has many different unit studies, and many other homeschool families had the chance to review other ones. Head over here and find out how much they enjoyed their unit studies.

Homeschool Legacy Review

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**Affiliate Links have been used in this post. That does not change the price to you, but does help us with our homeschooling and this blog. Thank you! **

Hewitt Homeschooling ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review



Do you like Unit Studies? Do you plan your own, or use premade ones? Have you always wanted to plan your own, but weren’t quite sure how to do it? Hewitt Homeschooling has this really nice resource available to us teachers called The Joy of Discovery and Learning Objectives for Grades K-8. This combined package not only includes a guide for unit studies, but also the learning objectives for Kindergarten through 8th grade.

What is it?

The Joy of Discovery and Learning Objectives is a nice combination of two wonderful resources, a guide for unit studies and a list of learning objectives for grades K-8. The Joy of Discovery comes printed in a durable three ring binder and the Learning Objectives is also combined at the back of the binder. You also get the supplies needed to make a Dial-A-Unit spinner. This is a fun addition to making sure your student doesn’t always choose the easiest way around a unit study. With The Joy of Discovery, you would be able to plan a whole curriculum for your child based off of what they love to learn about. You are able to get all of this for only $21 at Hewitt Homeschooling.

How We Used This

This was a fun “mommy” review item…little did the kids know, they would still be a part of it! I have always wanted to do unit studies, but those prepackaged ones just never seemed to fit our needs. I was able to talk with the boys, and find something that they were interested in and went to work following the steps of planning out my first unit study!

You don’t just pick a topic and go though. This program is set up so that you learn about the I3 theory (Individual, Inquiry and Instruction). With this knowledge, you will then be able to plan a unique unit study for each of your children. With the Dial-A-Unit included with this program, you are able to use your topic and what you want to know to find a thinking skill to use and a project idea. This makes each unit study different! Moe Man had fun spinning the Dial-A-Unit, and I had fun not needing to worry about all the small details myself.

After Moe Man would decide on his topic, I would than go through the steps of making sure learning objectives were touched upon during our study. The steps on how to do this are included in the planning stages. Having the list of learning objectives listed right behind the unit study pages is very helpful when it comes to this!

They have thought of everything within this study planner. Even the question and answer section and my favorite Reproducible Forms and Charts…Being able to copy a form for planning the Unit Study and the Evaluation was wonderful and made it easy to use this program multiple times.

I used the learning objectives to first make sure the kids were where they needed to be and then to work on making sure we stayed on track while planning the beginning of our year.

What Did We Think?

I loved this whole set up! I was able to take what my kids were interested in and let them have fun while learning about that topic! I also really enjoyed the learning topics, and love that they were included in the binder. While planning a unit study, they came in handier than I thought. If I would have bought just The Joy of Discovery, I don’t think I would have looked into the Learning Objectives, but getting them together showed me how much they need to be used together. If you are a Unit Study family, I highly recommend this! If you have ever thought about Unit Studies, I highly recommend this before a prepackaged one. The only thing I would change about this whole package is a picture of the Dial-A-Unit in use…the directions are there, but I was a tad confused the first time. Once I figured it out though, it was really simple!

Hewitt Homeschooling sells more than just The Joy of Discovery. Head on over and check out some of these other reviews on other products!

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