Topic based (unit study) home school education UK
Home Education

Our topic based home school

Our home school

There are many different ways to home educate your child, every family is different. We have been homeschooling for a few months now, so I thought that I would share with you a bit more information about the style of learning which we are using. 

Home school, apple on books with A,B,C blocks and pencilsOur situation

FJ is currently eleven and would be in year six if at school, which is the last year of primary school. I wanted our home school life to be more relaxed than when she was attending school. Straight away, I knew that there was no point in us trying to replicate school with all of the different lessons and subjects each week. 

I decided that it would be better for us if we chose one topic and studied it in detail, with lots of hands-on activities, to keep FJ interested in what we were learning about. I spoke to FJ about this and she said that she really liked the idea of just focusing on one topic and we decided to give it a go. 

We thought of some topic ideas which FJ said that she would be interested in learning about. Then I started to search the internet for inspiration on the types of activities we could do. It was then that I learned that a popular choice for homeschooling in America, was very similar to what we were planning on doing and that they called it unit study learning. 

Topic-based learning in more detail

pencils in a pen pot. home school suppliesThe idea is really simple. You pick a topic and then you complete different activities which all have the same theme. Activities can be art and crafts, cooking, experiments, watch films and documentaries, make interactive notebook pages, go on day trips out and whatever else you can think of. You are only limited by your imagination or your internet search results! 

Doing it this way is really working for us at the moment. Some of the best discussions we have had have emerged while doing some art or baking and all of the activities lead to learning in one way or another. 

So far we have studied emotions and pets for our topics. We typically spend around four weeks on each topic and then I am still following our local school holiday dates. That way, FJ can still play with her friends in the half-term holidays. We are now moving on to study our next topic which is ‘under the sea’. 

What else?

person in pink zip-up jacket swimming under water - home school activityAside from our topic work, I have added in some extras to make sure that FJ is getting a good all-round education. We have a reading book which we read together and then FJ answers questions about what we have read for literature skills. FJ also has a personal reading book and I schedule in set times for her to read. We are doing separate maths sessions so I bought a workbook to use for this. As FJ does not like maths I find it best to only spend around twenty minutes at a time. We go swimming every other week and visit our local library most weeks. 


For socialisation, FJ attends girl guides once a week, local home education groups every other week and is still in touch with friends from school. She also sees our family and friends regularly so I do not think that she is missing out at all. 

More ideas!

I really enjoy putting together topic idea posts, so if you are thinking of trying out this style of learning then I would recommend that you subscribe to my newsletter so that you do not miss any of my posts. You can join my newsletter by filling out the form on my right sidebar. 

For more home education inspiration, check out my home education Pinterest board.

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