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Thread: Anyone using unit studies?
09-03-2008, 11:57 AM #1
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Anyone using unit studies?
We are new homeschoolers and just finding our groove but some patterns seem to be emerging in what style suits us best. I like the idea of unschooling but ds is still in the process of deschooling and really craves guidance from me; after all someone has been telling him what, how, and when to learn for years so he just doesn't quite grasp yet that he can take the lead. The best way we've found so far that we both feel comfortable with is the unit study approach. We discuss what he is interested in learning and then I gather materials in the form of websites, activities, recipes, art project ideas, field trip ideas, movies, a list of books available at the library, etc. I put all of the information into a manilla envelope and create a fun label for the cover. On the back I usually include a game of some kind to encourage completing tasks (tic-tac-toe, BINGO, a roll the dice game board, etc.) There is always at least one space on the game boards that encourages him to come up with his own activity. Then it is up to ds to choose what he will do with the materials I've gathered. I have several of these units pulled together at the same time so he always has a choice of what to work on and doesn't tire of it before completion- he gets bored easily and being able to take a break from the unit and come back to revisit it later works well for him. This approach really seems to be helping him focus and helps me guide him into finding his own passions.
I started this thread so those of using unit studies with our kids could post ideas about what units have been fun and interesting and also what have been duds. I'm hoping we can generate some great ideas so when the idea well seems empty we always have a place to fill back up.
So far I have been gathering materials for the following unit studies:
Baseball We have gathered materials on: comparing stats, learning how stats are figured, studying the history of the sport, bios of players, the science of hitting and pitching, documentaries on baseball
Legos We have gathered materials on: creating three dimensional mystery objects from two dimensional and written directions, writing directions to build our own creations, creating simple machines, testing laws of physics using the simple machines created, Lego art (including some really amazing footage on our local news)
Wii Stats ds has created several new Mii characters (named after his favorite baseball players- GO CARDS!) he then chose three games for them to compete in- Baseball, practice, and fitness testing. He plays for each player and records the scores on a table. When all of the "players" have completed each game three times we will then use the data to create charts and graphs and discuss the merits of different types of graphs (bar/line/circle) in comparing data.
Please keep the ideas flowing!
Last edited by elphie; 09-03-2008 at 11:59 AM.
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