Answer: Anybody! Well, it's not quite that simple. In this post on the "who" of unit studies, we'll talk about how students and parents can create unit studies. As you'll see, one of the best things about unit studies is that they combine the parent's and child's learning interests!
Coming Up with Ideas
Remember that the key to unit studies is to follow student interests. The job of the parent is to pick up on those interests and turn those interests into a unit study. Parents should always keep their eyes and ears open to what their kids are interested in. If you listen for them, you'll have no problem picking up on unit study cues from your kids.
For example, recently our daughter kept on talking about how a character in a book almost lost her house in the Great Depression. An idea for a Great Depression unit study was born!
Parents can also invent unit studies out of things that they would like to learn more about. If a parent is enthusiastic about studying any give topic, it will surely rub off on their kids.
It mostly falls to parents to pull together materials for unit studies and come up with lesson plans and project ideas. Though parents will shoulder most of the burden, kids should have a role in designing their unit studies as well. For example, in our Great Depression unit study, we gave our daughter a depression-era activity book from the library and let her choose from the options listed there. At the end of the day, however, parents will have to do most of the leg work.
Doing the Unit Study
However, one of the nice things about unit studies is that they can cut down on jumping back and forth between teaching of different grade levels. With unit studies, children of all ages can participate together. Some areas, such as language arts, will have to be adapted, but the ability to synthesize everything is good for the whole family.
Purchasing Prepared Unit Studies
Since unit studies can be labor intensive for parents, some publishers have prepared unit studies for purchase. Feel free to check out Silverdale Press's inventory of unit studies. They are deep and rich and take all of the labor out of unit studies for parents. No trips to the library. No Googling to find documents, writing prompts, and projects!
Why not give unit studies a try in your homeschool?