Unit Studies

I started out my homeschool journey heavily influenced by the Classical Homeschooling movement.  I read A Well-Trained Mind, joined their forum, structured our studies in a way reflective of those general principles.  I still believe it’s a great model!

But it’s not working for us.  I mentioned a while back dropping Story of the World.  This was a big move for me since that series was one of the reasons I wanted to homeschool in the first place.  Hearing some of the cool things friends were doing inspired by their SotW studies made me jealous!

We’ve been trying the MBTP units, and I like the inter-disciplinary approach.  But I feel like we’re spending way too much time on them [5 weeks instead of only 3], and I skip or greatly modify many of the activities.

Yesterday I told you about a friend who does neat unit studies.  I’ve always liked the idea of using a more interest-driven approach, but it didn’t fit with the Classical style.  But at this point I’m seriously considering going there.  I could more easily address L’s desire to study certain areas, and I think it would be easier to include C next year if we choose to go that direction.

I talked to L, C, and T about it over dinner last night.  We brainstormed some different unit themes.

2014-02-18 16.40.23

My little notebook with my scrawlings.


2014-02-18 16.40.50

I rearranged into an order that fit the flow of the year best. For example, mythical beasts seems to go well with Halloween so it’ll be in October. Bald Eagles can be most easily viewed in winter, so it’ll be January. There’s a Roman Days Festival in May, so that’ll be then. Etc.


I have created Pinterest boards for them, and a notebook to jot down ideas.

2014-02-18 16.44.26

On the left is a brochure from a company that does “gem mining”. I’d picked it up ~2-3 years ago and managed to find it. On the right are the initial notes on our first unit.


After we finish Simple Machines/Rats of NIMH, we will do a unit on Westward Expansion.

2014-02-18 16.44.33

Sketching out the weeks.


I have a MBTP unit for this, but I will be modifying it to suit our needs better and supplementing it with other stuff.

The rest of the year will consist of a few other units inspired by what I’d planned to do with MBTP and aimed to cover certain topics.  I’m also hoping to structure them in such a way that they inspire C to want to join us.

2014-02-18 16.41.03

The rest of this year.


Well, this is the plan at least.  But as you’ve seen, I sometimes change plans frequently.  :/ L is supportive of this change, almost excited, so that may help.


2 thoughts on “Unit Studies

  1. This looks so exciting! :) You already do so much. I admire the way you keep wanting to grow and shift together. It makes me feel more hopeful about what homeschooling might be like when “Sonic” is L’s age.

  2. Well, reciprocally, you inspire me by your sheer determination to meet Sonic at his level. I met a woman who had her kids all doing the same curriculum, and she clearly gave no thought about whether it met their individual needs. I get wanting to simplify, but…

Leave a Reply