Friday, May 30, 2008

Write Your Own Unit Studies for Homeschooling

All this week, I have been doing my summer lesson plans, so my frugal Friday post is about writing your own homeschooling unit studies.

How is this frugal? Well, I enjoy the Five in a Row unit studies series and I found a couple books at my library that I really love to use. They are called Literature Activities For Young Children. I like to use these, but sometimes I just have more ideas to use with them. Sometimes we do something and it just works for my daughter, so I customize it for the next lesson.

I have found that I can really "connect" with my child when I use her favorite books to learn with. One summer we spent the entire summer doing activities based on Blue's Clues books, another summer it was Dora the Explorer, still another it was Arthur. This year I am just doing Shayla's Favorites. It's really an easy thing to do, my child loves it, and it keeps us in the homeschool mindset all summer long. She doesn't even realize she's doing school!

Here's an example:


-Reading: Read aloud Bread and Jam For Frances

-Spelling: Use letter magnets to spell the word "food" on refrigerator

-Health: Talk about being a picky eater. Discuss food groups and how many servings per day is recommended from each group. Use plastic play food to demonstrate food groups. Put play food into correct food group.

-Math: Play grocery store to buy plastic food. Mom makes price tags and we use play money. (No, we haven't played using coupons yet! LOL!)

-Home Ec: Prepare muffins and jam and tea for family story retelling show.

-Creative Writing: What kind of jelly will we pick for the muffins? What kind of jelly is Frances' favorite?

I also make paper or other manipulatives for many stories. I draw many of these by a character or idea from the story, but you can also google the name of the book and see if there are other ideas out there.

Then several times a week, my daughter retells the story to the family using a felt board or whatever. This is good to see if she is understanding and retaining the literature and good for her communication skills.

Other ideas include: Doing internet searches or library books for mice/If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Using playdough to make monster faces/There's a Nightmare Under My Bed. An indoor beach party (in the middle of winter)/Dora's Beach Party.

I try to do the same story for 2-3 days. And I cover subjects such as: Reading, Spelling, Writing, Math, Bible/Character, Art, Speech, and Music and Movement. Sometimes it even involves a field trip!

Most of all, just have fun with it! Children don't stay little long enough!

I also do a similar program for learning Bible all year long.

How do you do summer learning? Would you be interested in seeing more ideas? Please share what works for your family.


Katey said...

I enjoy unit studies as well, it takes some of the monotony out of learning. My daughter has been reading the little house books and there are tons of ideas in those books to keep us busy. I've never thought of doing this with my little one with preschool books, thanks for the ideas!

BarbaraLee said...

I like to use several subjects in one.

Marcy said...

Your ideas are awesome! Thanks so much for sharing. I have a 2 yr. old and right now we live in a school district that we don't care for. I never thought homeschooling was an option until I started reading other mom blogs, but now my mind is more open to it as a possibility. So I love to hear what kinds of lessons and activities you can do with your kids. Thanks! :-)

Calina said...

Real learning begins when my child is listening. She tends to not pay attention to workbooks. She's definately a hands-on kind of gal, but I think these would work with any type of learner.