I think I might be re-vamping my entire school curriculum. We are going to give a unit study a trial run this week.
We've been homeschooling for several years and I've always thought unit studies would be a great and fun way to learn, but many of them involve so many projects that we would never accomplish - such as building a mote complete with drawbridge around your house.
Many unit study curricula are so freedom-loving that they bombard you with a ton of ideas but no clear-cut plan. I don't do well with the "do-as-you-please" idea. When I was in school, I froze when the teacher would say, "Write a five page paper on any subject you'd like." Now, if they'd give me a subject or idea (i.e. "Why Commoners Never Built Motes Around Their Cottages") I would be on my way to a paper worth placing in the National Archives.
However, I have recently come across a couple of unit studies that actually seem interesting, have many REALISTIC hands-on projects, and are laid out with a day-to-day plan.
Why change to a unit study and why now when the school year is only a few weeks old?
1. I am now at a point where my youngest is 1 year old and the rest are ready and willing to learn. No babies to be nursed and I'm not exhausted with a pregnancy.
2. We will all be learning together - each of the children will be doing the same activities geared for their age and ability. They can encourage one another and I can be involved in their education as I was at the very beginning of this journey.
3. As most of the children will be doing the same thing at the same time, I won't be pulled in 4 or 5 different directions at once.
4. This type of learning appeals to all learning styles. I have readers, talkers, and doers and there's something for everyone.
5. Why now? Why wait another whole year when I could spend time with my children as they have fun learning TODAY? Also, as we are trying to decide what is best for our oldest child, this may be a great way for him to get excited about learning again and be able to stay at home instead of sending him to Christian School.
6. This, hopefully, will provide us with more time for the things Christians ought to be busy doing - writing letters, making cookies for neighbors, visiting, etc. As it is, some of my children are in the other room working in their textbooks until 4 or 5:00 every day. Where does that leave time to think of others?
I realize that this may seem idealistic. This is why we are giving this unit study a trial run. The BJU books aren't up on eBay, yet!:) If you think to pray for us this week, I would appreciate it. I'll let you know how it goes.