You might have noticed I don’t talk much about interest-led studying or unit studies. That’s not because we aren’t doing interest-led, it’s because most of the time it goes unnoticed.
I am not in the habit of spending hours to plan unit studies because Marc’s interests change quickly and he’s usually skipping from one topic to the next. So most of the time, for us, unit studies are something we throw together haphazardly. I add in some articles, YouTube videos, and a Curiosity Stream documentary, and we’re set.
But I’ve discovered something amazing: online unit studies! My friend Sara created these well-put-together and very affordable unit studies, so we don’t have to worry about looking around for the best articles and videos!
This is a sponsored post. I was given the product to review and I might have been compensated for my time. I would never endorse or recommend programs we wouldn’t use ourselves. Read more about it in my Disclosure.
At A Glance – Online unit Studies from Techie Homeschool Mom
You can take interest-based learning and unit studies one step forward with the online unit studies from Techie Homeschool Mom.
These online unit studies are a great way to hone kids’ computer literacy skills, writing, analyzing, summarizing, and communication skills. They cover various topics, but the one we tried out is the Famous Inventors Online Unit Study.
We loved the layout, information, and that it all tied in nicely together with hands-on activities and balanced by the offline companion that serves to cement the information and push kids to analyze what they’ve seen or read online.
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Style: online unit studies
Components: online access to videos and articles
Price: $ 24
How does interest-led learning work for us?
I won’t dwell too much on the topic, but if you are interested in finding out more about how this works for us, let me know and I will write a separate article about this and how it works for us, and how we balance it with an eclectic homeschool approach.
I’ll just give you one of our examples of interest-led learning.
Marc has a whole shelf of books I’ve been gathering for him to read when he feels like it. He loves reading, so I often catch him with a new book from the shelf. He is free to pick whatever he likes from there.
One of the books I’ve bought for him (about 4 years back) was Archimedes and the Door of Science. It just sat on the shelf all this time (maybe the cover wasn’t appealing enough until now LOL). He just picked it randomly a couple of weeks ago and read it all in one day. He was absorbed, and I knew what was coming.
This book opened the door to more questions and curiosities about Archimedes. He actually started a conversation with his math tutor about the Archimedes cattle problem, and for a couple of hours, they just discussed number theory and the study of polynomial equations with integer solutions. Now, don’t ask me to explain more about it, because I have not the slightest idea what all that means.
One secret about Marc is that he isn’t particularly interested in history, names, and dates in general. That’s why we ended up picking a literature-based curriculum for history. So seeing him so curious and excited about Archimedes was surprising and I grabbed this opportunity to pull out my dear friend Sara’s online unit study on famous inventors.
Can you imagine what followed?
We actually ditched everything on our flexible homeschool schedule for a few days so he could explore about Archimedes some more.
It was nothing planned, it just happened. When I see an interest, I feed it until he’s satisfied with the answers.
What are Online Unit Studies?
If you’ve been around in the homeschooling community, you’ve already heard about unit studies, but did you know about online unit studies?
Unit studies are thematic units of study that integrate multiple subjects around a central topic or project. They typically include learning objectives, materials, and activities for various subjects, such as history, science, math, language arts, and art.
Unlike traditional textbooks, unit studies are more interactive, hands-on, and engaging because they encourage students to explore, create, and apply their learning around a central theme that interests them.
It’s fantastic to see kids’ learning speed and depth when they are faced with learning about something they are curious about. This is where unit studies come into play.
Online unit studies can be completed entirely online or through a combination of online and offline activities.
Imagine exploring a fascinating topic like inventors with your children while they complete interactive activities, watch engaging videos, and even work on hands-on projects. And you don’t have to dig for anything because it’s all there. With online unit studies, the possibilities are endless!
About Techie Homeschool Mom
Let me introduce you to Sara, a homeschooling mom, and blogger extraordinaire. She’s an online friend of mine, and I can attest to her passion for teaching and all things tech. Her blog, Techie Homeschool Mom, is a treasure trove of resources for homeschooling parents who want to incorporate digital learning into their curriculum.
Sara’s journey to homeschooling is one that many of us can relate to (🙋🏻♀️). She never thought she would be homeschooling her kids, but she took the leap and hasn’t looked back since. Her dedication to her family’s education is inspiring, and her commitment to sharing her knowledge with others is what makes her such a great blogger.
What I love most about Sara’s approach is that she understands the importance of a balanced approach to technology. She knows that not all parents are comfortable with digital learning, and she wants to help them overcome their fears and embrace the benefits that technology can bring to homeschooling.
Her online unit studies are a perfect example of this, providing parents with a fun and engaging way to teach their kids about a variety of topics using digital resources. (and I LOVE THEM!)
Techie Homeschool Mom’s Online Unit Studies are AWESOME
Besides tips to homeschoolers on her blog, Sara also offers engaging and educational online unit studies for children in third to eighth grade. These unit studies are almost entirely Internet-based, with lessons presented online and links to other websites for resources, videos, and tools.
Her online unit studies cover a range of topics from holidays, famous birthdays, ancient civilizations, the solar system, and famous artists, to name a few.
Sara incorporates hands-on projects and each study fosters a sense of community by including discussion questions, comments, and shared projects.
This is what I appreciate about Techie Homeschool Mom’s online unit studies:
⭐️ Interactive and engaging learning
Techie Homeschool Mom’s online unit studies are designed to be interactive and engaging, providing students with an opportunity to learn through a variety of multimedia resources, including videos, interactive activities, and quizzes.
Moreover, you can combine the online experience with offline hands-on projects and printable worksheets (offered as a free companion PDF file) to make this a blended experience.
I love this mix, and I always preferred online learning tools that somehow blended online and offline together for a well-rounded learning experience.
This is a big advantage because we all have limited time to plan and create lessons and unit studies. Sara’s unit studies come pre-made and she already chose the best resources for each topic.
I love this aspect of her online unit studies because it saves me a lot of time. I have to admit that many times I just played whatever video popped first on YouTube on the topics we were interested in. I have little time to preview the videos, so I would just cross my fingers and hope for the best. With these online unit studies, I know the resources have already been filtered through a homeschool mom’s perspective, so I can just hit play with no doubts.
🤖 Flexible and self-paced
Unit studies are usually self-paced and flexible, and Techie Homeschool Mom‘s online unit studies are no exception.
Kids can choose to do everything in order or skip around as they see fit, offering them the flexibility they need to explore freely.
I love that the layout allows for this. By adding projects throughout the lessons and a bigger presentation at the end, Sara tied in everything nicely, offering both a learning and an exploration opportunity.
So these online unit studies are more like our shelf of various books. They will patiently wait to be picked and explored whenever Marc wants to. He already explored various parts of this unit study.
💻 Technology Integration
As the name suggests, Techie Homeschool Mom’s online unit studies integrate technology into the learning process, which is essential in today’s world. This allows kids to become familiar with various technology tools and applications, which are essential for future success.
I love that through her online unit studies, Sara is trying to educate kids about the possibilities that technology can offer for learners.
One of the projects proposed with our Famous Inventors Online Unit Study is that kids make a presentation online using Prezi. It’s an awesome way to introduce Marc to online presentations, and it’s already on our to do list.
💰 Affordable, lifetime access
When I first opened our Famous Inventors Online Unit Study I couldn’t believe the amount of work that went into planning everything so carefully, but most of all I couldn’t believe that for only $24 we will get access to these online resources forever.
So if you’re looking for affordable online unit studies, browse Sara’s collection!
The only downside I see to these is that they aren’t a complete curriculum, but no unit studies are. They are meant to be used as enrichment to your current curriculum and allow kids to delve deeper into certain aspects that interest them.
Famous Inventors Online Unit Study by Techie Homeschool Mom
As you already know, Marc is science-oriented, so the Famous Inventors Unit Study offered by Sara was perfect for us.
So far, Marc has been skipping around picking topics that interest him. This feels like a well-curated list of videos that quickly answer his questions and raise his curiosity about the topics presented. We love it!
Let’s have a closer look at the Famous Inventors Online Unit Study:
The Famous Inventors Online Unit Study is accessible online, so you will need an internet connection to access the videos and articles.
The lessons consist of YouTube videos embedded on the platform, so kids will not be distracted by anything else. Aside from the videos, there are child-friendly articles linked inside the lessons that kids can use to read more about the inventors.
Some lessons even have simple quizzes embedded and all lessons encourage kids to ask themselves questions and drop comments in the comment area, creating a sense of community.
Each lesson has two parts: the informational part and a project that can be done online or offline.
Inventors covered in the Famous Inventors Online Unit Study
There are 10 inventors in our online unit study. They each have a dedicated section and dedicated workbook pages if you download the companion. The ten inventors are:
- Leonardo daVinci
- Alexander Graham Bell
- James Watt
- Charles Babbage
- Nikola Tesla
- Johannes Gutenberg
- Wright brothers
- Steve Jobs
I love this selection of great names in science and I see this unit as a perfect enrichment for our physics studies this upcoming summer.
If the awesome resources inside the unit studies weren’t enough, Sara is also offering a free printable of companion notes for the Famous Inventors Online Unit Study. It’s free to download for anyone in case you want to have a look at what’s covered. (Use this opportunity to add more freebies to your cart to test out while you’re at it).
We used this companion to enrich the online experience and cement the information. I love that we could use it to implement more writing and research!
This printable even has suggestions for parents to implement the online unit studies, a suggested pacing calendar, a unit study rubric, and a certificate of completion for the full unit!
Each inventor has a few dedicated worksheets where kids can use their research and summarisation skills to find out more information. There are also pages to keep an experiment journal if they tried any of the hands-on suggested projects.
I love this addition to our online experience.
Archimedes- example lesson
The first unit in the Famous Inventors Online Unit Study is Archimedes, and this is what the lesson covers:
Subjects and skills covered
I feel that this online unit studies is covering multiple cross-curricular skills like:
Conclusion and final thoughts
I feel that the online unit studies offered by Techie Homeschool Mom are a valuable addition to our homeschool because they have just the right amount of information curious kids need to raise more questions and encourage them to go deeper.
I love the way Sara managed to balance the use of online research with offline work and hands-on projects while also encouraging kids to use various programs to help them design or present what they’ve learned.
I hope I made you curious to try these in your homeschool! You have a lot of options to choose from and don’t forget to take a peek into Sara’s shop and try some of the few freebies as well.
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