If you enjoy reading aloud, literature unit studies may be a type of curriculum that you want to consider. These are available from many homeschool resource centers, or you can write your own study based on favorite books.
What Are Literature Unit Studies?
A literature based unit study is totally based on a book, or series of books. While each study is different, they all work in basically the same way.
- The parent reads a chapter of a book.
- Usually there are vocabulary words from the chapter.
- The parent and child will do various projects based on the book. These may include:
- Language arts
- Social studies
Math and phonics are normally not included in literature based studies. You will probably need to supplement these subjects to have a complete curriculum.
There are a few literature based unit studies that are created for children in the early elementary and preschool years. Generally these come with very detailed teaching guides that walk you through each day.
Five in a Row
Five in a Row is a series of unit studies which are based on various classic story books. The same story book is read daily for one week and each day a certain subject is studied in depth. For example, in The Story About Ping, your child might study China, boats, ducks, and other subjects related to the story. Five in a Row has four volumes with approximately twenty-two week's worth of study, the teacher's guide, and website and message boards where you can ask questions, get ideas, and find help.
The Prairie Primer by Margie Gray is a year's worth of literature unit studies based on the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This study is based on one of the books every month. Each book is studied based on the main theme of the book, but also includes scientists and inventions of the time period as well as other subjects that tie in. The teacher's guide has more ideas and assignments that you will be able to accomplish and you will need to choose between the projects.
Middle and High School
During the middle and high school years your student will be able to be more independent in his studies. You will become more of a mentor than a teacher. Literature based unit studies can guide your student through the process of learning. They will develop research skills as well as the ability to dig deeper and find out what the student needs or wants to know on any given topic.
Homeschooling high school with literature based studies is a great way to encourage your children in independent learning.
Where the Brook and River Meet
Where the Brook and River Meet is a study of the Anne of Green Gables series of books. Geared toward the special needs and interests of the young teenage girl, this study encourages your daughter in self study as she becomes involved with the life of the Victorian main character, Anne Shirley. Your high school level daughter will study:
- Fine arts
- Social studies
- Occupational education
Once again math will need to be supplemented for a well rounded curriculum as well as any studies that are needed for college preparation. This would include:
- Higher math
- Foreign language
Further Up and Further In
This series of Unit Studies is based on the Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis. Unlike the prior study, this one is more acceptable to both boys and girls. The books are studied individually in four week units for a total of twenty-eight weeks of study. The package includes:
- Recipes (How does Turkish Delight taste, anyway?)
- Recommended reading
This unit study officially states that it is recommended for fourth through eighth grades, but it can easily be adapted for seventh through tenth, and seems a better fit for the older student.
Free Unit Studies
The Internet is a great place to get ideas and free curriculum. The following units are based on literature and can be copied for your personal use.
Whether you use literature unit studies that someone else has created or create one yourself, they are a great way to encourage your children to enjoy good literature as they learn.