Unit Studies Made Easy is an updated version of How to Create Your Own Unit Study that includes three other books: The Unit Study Idea Book, For the Love of Reading, and Success with Unit Studies. (The following review refers to the original How to Create Your Own Unit Study.)
This book can act as our guide as we pull together our own unit studies. From the detailed outline at the beginning to the “Guide to the Reference Section of the Children’s Department of the Public Library” at the end, Valerie Bendt has written a book to which we will refer over and over. Includes wide margins for note-taking, plenty of quotations to spur interest, samples of unit studies for inspiration and a resource list. Covers integrating subjects, scheduling, the use of projects, and record-keeping. Truly an invaluable resource for anyone ready to do-it-themselves!
Much of the curriculum written for children today fosters the multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank mentality. The children aren’t introduced to something as a whole but in bits and pieces of predigested material which they are to regurgitate at the appropriate time. In trying to complete their work, they are looking for the right answers rather than being given the opportunity to grasp a whole concept or idea….
[In a Unit Study Approach] basic school subjects are studied in light of a particular topic, theme, or historical time period instead of studying eight or more isolated subjects. Children are able to grasp the wholeness of truth as they see how these subjects relate to one another. Studies are approached from a biblical philosophy of education. Lesson planning is simplified because all ages study a topic together. Families are strengthened through this unity. Field trips, projects, and games all center around a particular unit. Basic skills are taught in an informal manner while engaged in the study of a particular unit. Previously learned skills are strengthened as the children work at their own level.
Valerie Bendt, How to Create Your Own Unit Study