Homeschooling – Traditional Versus Unit Studies – How to pick.

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What is Traditional?  To me this means a complete curriculum kit. Abeka and Bob Jones are examples of this. You order the parent/child kits, everything is included. Each subject’s curriculum tells the parents WHAT to say, WHEN to say it and the answers to every question. You need a “kit” for each kid, for each grade. I used this in the beginning because I was unsure of how it all worked. If you’re uncomfortable with the thought of teaching and want a lot of help; this is perfect for you. You can even go one step more with this kind of curriculum and do the DVD program where your child is taught by a teacher for each subject on a DVD.

What is a Unit Study? To me this means a mix and match of curriculums. A unit study is about ONE topic and incorporates other subjects into it like Vocabulary, Spelling, sometimes Language, and sometimes Math. For example: Native Americans Unit Study (History) will give you Vocabulary words, Spelling words and sometimes ideas on creative writing and some basic math. You will need to get your own grammar curriculum, math curriculum and science for this unit study. The unit studies vary in length and really depends on how in depth you want to get as you can always go off on any tangent with the study to enhance it even more. You can use this with any grade. You need to use different levels of vocab, spelling and such for the younger student, and more difficult for the older student. Amanda Bennett has unit studies as well as many others.  If you are a parent that is totally at ease with teaching and doesn’t want to be boxed in with a strict day by day planner, this is for you. If you are not happy with either one of these styles, there is an in-between style. One example of this unit study curriculum  is Christian Cottage.

I am using it now and it is somewhere in-between. It does give you a daily planner of things you COULD do, but you still have the freedom to go off on tangents. A mixture of structure and freedom. Just like regular unit studies, you can use this with any grade. If you aren’t too intimidated with teaching and would like to even add a few things to it, this is for you! The MOST important thing to remember is this: they are YOUR kids!  YOU know them better than anyone else. You can always try out all types of curriculums till you find the one that fits you and your kids the best.

They will learn 100% better if they know YOU are at ease and the learning style fits THEM. For example ADHD kids might find it almost  a punishment to do a daily grind of traditional curriculum, and an award to make a model of a cell using JELLO while doing a Cell Unit Study! Find what fits for you and your kids and….have FUN!!!

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