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Thematic Units: Homeschool Tools

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

Fresh Topics To Include In Your Studies

Calling All New Unit Studies!

I am greatly inspired by using thematic units as my method to teach homeschool. If I have a weekly theme, I've got a week of learning plans. It's just the way my mind is wired. As our second year of homeschool was wrapping up though, I was beginning to wonder just how long I would be able to produce new topics- had I already used the best possible ones? Is there anything we hadn't used?

Well thankfully, as it turns out, as I sat down to brainstorm yet another year's worth of themes, my page started filling up! There is so much in the world to inspire a new theme, and sometimes they're sitting right in front of you. Sometimes, the obscure ones only seem that way because we are using them or around them everyday and they just get overlooked. All we need to do is look around and call on them.

Report For Duty!

Maybe you're at the start of a new school year or smack dab in the middle of one, and you need new ideas. I've called to action a quick list of themes that I hope inspires you and flicks on the light bulb to help fill the year with some fresh and unique units to study.

So check the list to find themes that are fit for duty.


Cheese Unit

Examine the cheese making process and make your own cheese recipes. Explore the history of cheese and how it came to be invented. Paired perfectly with books like Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson to incorporate social and emotional development topics into the lesson plan. There is so much to study about cheese, you could fill a whole platter!

Thematic Units: Cheese Unit Activity
Homemade cheese in progress!

Thematic Unit: Cheese Unit Learning Activity
Curds and Whey Learning Activity

Thematic Units: Cheese Unit


Wax Unit

It's in your home right now and there is a lot more to it than just candles. Study the purposes of wax and the different types. Investigate its properties and what it is made from. Discover the function of wax in history to present day. Tie in social studies by setting up and presenting a wax museum or if you're near one, take the kids for a visit. Create with wax by using it for encaustic painting or making new crayons. The more you research this topic, the more it will melt into all areas of your learning material.

Thematic Units: Wax Unit
Our homemade crayon project

Thematic Units: Wax Unit

Thematic Units: Wax Unit
Wax Reveal Spelling Activity


Soap Unit

We used this theme in our second year and it soon became one of my favorites. As one of those everyday items almost taken for granted until the pandemic, learning about soap was fascinating. From how it actually works to get our skin clean to the ingredients that go into creating it, our interests were kept through the entire lesson. Making our own various types of soap, spelling in liquid soap, and getting off our "soapbox" in our language activity, were just a tiny bubble on this topic. Include the book, Germs vs. Soap by Didi Dragon and a soap thematic unit study will be pristine.

Thematic Units: Soap Unit Soap Carving Activity

Thematic Units: Soap Unit Soap Jellies Activity

Thematic Units: Soap Unit Activity
Soap experimentation

Thematic Units: Soap Dish Learning Activity


Textiles Unit

We put it on everyday and yet overlook this incredible industry and usages. Give this topic the spotlight it deserves by creating a unit study all about textiles. Beyond scarves and

T-shirts, there is an enormous yarn ball's worth of ways to incorporate textiles into your studies. Start unraveling it by learning how to weave using a cardboard loom and yarn. As a fun project have them make a pattern and create a blanket or plush of their own design. Visit a textiles museum to discover art methods using textiles. String together contractions, literally, using paper and yarn. Test the science behind different types of fabrics by completing a burn test with various blends of materials. This unit was hands on fun and our learning was well thread throughout the whole week.

Thematic Units: Textiles Unit Learning Activity
Working language skills in this fun weaving activity

Thematic Units: Textiles Unit
Exploring a textiles art gallery

Thematic Units: Sewing project learning activity
Learning to sew and use the machine!

Thematic Units: Burn test science experiment
Studying the science of textiles


Postal Service Unit

A well-oiled machine such as that of the postal service makes for a fantastic unit study. Being that the postal service uses so many applicable core math topics like time telling, chart and graph reading, number patterns, and map reading, the learning material is all there sealed inside. Take a look behind the scenes of a post office in an in person or virtual field trip. Find out how the postal service came to be by researching its start in history. Read "The Jolly Postman" by Allan Ahlberg which will certainly become a family favorite. Play language learning games that involve sorting and delivering. There is so much fun and engaging material to go on with this unit that it will definitely get the stamp of approval from your young learners.

Thematic Units: Postal Service Unit

Thematic Units: Track the Package Learning Activity
Track the Package Math Activity


Kentucky Derby Unit

Oh the Kentucky Derby Unit, one of my dear favorites. A unit like this, filled with rich traditions will spark such an immersive week of learning that will win you all the roses! Core topics like counting money and probability work well with this theme for math. With plenty of kitchen creations for the kiddos to get their hands in and also taste, the Kentucky Derby Unit will be sure to win their hearts and minds.

*Get The Kentucky Derby Lesson Plan HERE*

Thematic Units: Kentucky Derby Learning Activity
...and they're off!

Thematic Units: Kentucky Derby Unit Learning Activity
Practicing measuring skills in this math activity

Thematic Units: Kentucky Derby Unit Kitchen Creation
Exploring the traditions with a kiddo version of mint juleps

Thematic Units: Kentucky Derby Unit
Field trip to visit a horse park


Mining Unit

You don't have to dig very long before striking it rich with this unit. Using this theme will unearth tons of ways to present the core learning topics and have fun doing it. Practice weekly spelling words by panning for missing letters, fill paper mine carts to practice place values, and pull sticks of "dynamite" to test language skills. Visit a mine if near to one or make your own sluice box. There is tons of gold inside of this theme and what I've listed is just scratching the surface!

*Get the Mining Unit Lesson Plan HERE*

Thematic Units: Mining Unit
A trip to try their hand at panning

Thematic Units: Mining Unit
Heading into our mining week!

Thematic Units: Mining Unit Learning Activity
Our hands on, fun spelling activity!


Like To See More Ideas or Full Lesson Plans for These Units?

There's More Inspiration and Thematic Units On Deck Here.

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