An often overlooked aspect of education is cross-curricular studies! Cross-curricular studies refer to the important integration of content knowledge, in domains such as history and science, with learning in domains such as reading, writing, math, and the arts. By integrating a history lesson with math practice, reading and writing lessons, and the arts, we are able to make all aspects of learning more engaging and enriching!
While cross-curricular studies have long been valued in many schools, they require collaboration between teachers and specialists of different disciplines, which can pose some serious challenges; it is understandably difficult to coordinate cross-curricular units of study when it requires regular meetings and curriculum planning between the history, math, language arts, PE, and art teachers as a group! Fortunately, this can be much easier for homeschooling parents, who often fill many or all of these roles themselves. By designing cross-curricular units of study around U.S. History units, the educators at Lighthouse Homeschool Solutions have made it even easier to experience the benefits of cross-curricular learning. Let’s look at how it all works together using the example of a unit on Native Americans!
Native Americans: Past and Present is a unit of U.S. History. Like all of our history units, this unit involves completing pre-learning activities that get you ready to learn! Your homeschool students will complete a pre-learning activity submission where they share what they already know and what they wish to learn about Native American history.
You’ll also review your geography knowledge together, so that you can easily visualize the important regions of this history topic. Now, you’re ready to start learning with your children!
As with every U.S. History unit, your family will read or listen to text and watch videos that provide an overview of the topic; your students will summarize what you learn together through activity submissions. Next you’ll read information and watch videos about important historical regions while drawing maps that illustrate what you’ve learned. Finally, you’ll reflect together and make connects to our modern world as you hear stories and learn about the experiences of Native American people today. In the final assessment, your children will explain (verbally or in writing) and demonstrate (in a visual or creative format) their learning from the unit. As you can see, through this process, your homeschooling family has learned essential information while thinking critically and demonstrating knowledge throughout the unit!
Now, let’s take it a step further… While you and your children have been learning about Native Americans in the history unit, isn’t it great to further develop understanding by studying Native American literature for language arts studies? And wouldn’t it be great to learn about Native American art, games, and activities for your art and physical education?
That’s the beauty of the cross-curricular units in the Homeschool Solutions online learning program! In our Native American Literature unit, you and your children have the opportunity to deepen your study by reading different forms of literature by and about Native Americans. Texts include poetry, legends, political writings, and novels, plus biographies and memoirs. With each new form of literature, your children will have the opportunity to read and discuss writings, and they will try their hand at writing their own poetry, legends, speeches, and personal accounts, inspired by the themes of the literature you’ve been reading together.
The level of excitement and the depth of learning that can be found in cross-curricular studies cannot be overstated! Whether you research and implement your own cross-curricular units of study, or delve into those designed as part of the Homeschool Solutions online learning program, take the time to explore this great process for bringing information to life!
An earlier version of this was published in 2022.