Recently, the topic of “unit studies” or “main lessons” came up on a reddit.com discussion. This approach to home education is useful to create a topic focus that wraps many disciplines into a month long (or longer) period. This ability to “connect the dots” should help pique the interest in even the most reluctant students.
Conceptually, this is similar to what we’ve been calling “fusion”, in which we actively pursue the interrelationships of various disciplines (e.g., reading, writing, math, physics, chemistry, biology, botany, history, mythology, etc). The main difference for us is the duration of the experience. Where unit studies tend to dwell in the topic for long periods, sometimes a simple fusion of related topics and disciplines over a short period (even as short as an hour) is enough to inspire the child to dig deeper.
One such occurrence is exemplified by the simple BraveWriter copy work around a poem about viruses (below). In this case, Primo had recently been devouring books on human anatomy and biology in general, including spending several hours with a copy of Gray’s Anatomy. After copying the poem he asked GranolaGirl if she knew the difference between bacteria and viruses, and then proceeded to add the pictures to his copy work.
Totally self taught. You’ve got to love that.