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                INTRO . . .

Distinctives of KONOS

KONOS is distinct from other curricula in that it features:

  • Godly character trait focus
  • Units with all subjects integrated
  • Hands-on, experiential activities
  • Discovery learning
  • Multi-level, family teaching

KONOS uses the entire library as a textbook
      AND...
the whole world as its curriculum.

 

What subjects does KONOS cover?
Bible
Character
History
Science
Literature
Writing
Practical Living
Field Trips
Critical Thinking
Arts/Crafts
Music
Drama/Speech
Geography
Social Studies
Health/Safety
* No spelling, phonics, upper level grammar, or math
 

What is a typical KONOS schedule?

………………..……….…Morning………………..……….…
 3R's

Reading from KONOS unit.
Writing from KONOS unit.
Math of your choice.
Workbooks of your choice for language arts or spelling or phonics.
………………..……….…Lunch ………..……….…


…………………………Afternoon…………………………

KONOS
Several of the following subjects are included:

Bible/Character Science
History Literature
Arts/Crafts Writing
Music Critical Thinking
Drama Practical Living
Geography Health/Safety
Social Studies Field Trips
 

 

Why have units around character traits?
Christian Character Grows

True Christian education goes beyond a trained intellect. It transforms behavior. That is why KONOS designed its units around character traits rather than subjects, literature, or chronology. Instead of merely learning about biblical truths, KONOS kids do mounds of at-home, hands-on activities to practice Christ-like character traits. Training in Godly character is KONOS' foremost objective, yet Godly character without academic knowledge and skills does not fully equip students.

KONOS teaches children academic subjects while kids are learning to practice biblical principles. In the Cooperation unit, for example, kids read in the Bible about parts of the body cooperating, they study the various systems of the body, and then practice ways of cooperating at home. In the Orderliness unit, kids learn about God's orderly universe while practicing their organizational skills in writing and in keeping their rooms clean. The whole family practices and applies what the Bible teaches, so children learn to "walk" what they "talk".

Jason as Eagle Scout

What is unit studies?
Integrate Subjects

Watch a family using KONOS. Instead of isolated subjects, their kids become wholly immersed in a theme. It's meaningful, because all the subjects fit together. In the Attentiveness unit, children learn about the eye and its importance. They learn from Scripture that the eye is the window to the heart (Bible), do many science experiments like dissecting a cow's eyeball (science), read poetry and idioms related to the eye (language/literature), use eyes to sketch and paint (art/crafts), sing "Be careful little eyes, what you see" (music), write reports on the causes of blindness (health/safety and writing), read biographies of Helen Keller and Louise Braille (reading/history), and practice being attentive to the needs of one another (character).

What is hands-on learning?
Learning By Doing

The KONOS hands-on curriculum captures a child's interest through his senses. He watched a carpenter at work, listens to bird calls, feels lamb� wool, tastes rocks, and smells yeast. While studying cooperation, KONOS kids cooperate by building their own US map on the driveway. Crawling on their knees and outlining each state makes geography unforgettable for KONOS kids. After dramatizing the Continental Convention, American history is remember for a lifetime. By building their own tabernacle, KONOS kids find the Old Testament becomes real and meaningful, by taking apart an old TV, they see first hand how a TV works! Learning becomes more fun than kids ever imagined.

What is discovery learning?
Discovery Fosters Critical Thinking Skills

KONOS activities asks kids to explore and then evaluate the world in light of what God has made. In the Attentiveness unit, children examine bird beaks and guess the kind of food each bird eats. After they reason an answer, the children then observe the birds to check their answers.

True discovery learning is more interested in the process of thinking than it is in the product of an answer. If children are fed step-by-step instructions, they never learn to think. While studying the character trait of Obedience, KONOS kids are asked to be obedient to God's Word and those in authority over them. A study of Medieval times shows how serfs were obedient to Lords. After learning all the architectural parts to a Medieval castle, students design and build their own castle. Discovery learning fosters not only thinkers, but creative thinkers.

What is multi-level learning?

The Whole Family Learns Together

KONOS' desire is to build relationships between siblings as well as keep home schooling mothers sane! That is why KONOS believes in multi-level teaching. Instead of one child studying frogs, one studying sound, and one studying airplanes, the whole family focuses together on the same unit at the same time. After teaching each child his individual language and math in the morning, KONOS moms can quit juggling kids and subjects and teach everyone together the chosen KONOS unit in the afternoon.

Mother reads to everyone about Helen Keller. Older children read about the ear and create an ear model under the dining room table, through which younger siblings crawl. Then, older children research the cause of deafness, while younger children draw the parts of the ear. All practice sign language and punch up Braille messages.

KONOS studies one character trait such as Attentiveness, Orderliness, Obedience, Honor, Trust, Wisdom, Honesty, Resourcefulness, and Cooperation for a month or two. At the same time, we integrate into each unit, science and social studies, art and music, great literature and all of our reading, health and safety, and Bible. Each volume is really a teacher�s manual which always includes activities for K-8th grade so you can teach your 6th grader, your 3rd grader and your kindergartner at the same time. With KONOS, you have the structure of weekly lesson plans including daily activities written as part of each unit but still have the flexibility to tailor your curriculum to meet the needs of your own family.

 

What units are covered in each KONOS volume?
VOLUME I

Attentiveness
Ears/Eyes/Other Senses
Sound/Music/Frontiersman/ Indians
Tracking & Trapping
Birds

Obedience
Authority/Light/Bible
Kings and Queens
Military
Friction/Resistance
Horses
Crime and Punishment

Orderliness
Sequencing/Counting/Measuring
Planets/Moons
Calendars/Seasons
Animal Classification
Plant Classification
Rock Classification

Trust
Deception/Illusion
Sheep/Weaving
Floating/Ships
Flight/Airplanes

Patience
Plant growth/Gardening
Grain/Bread/Yeast
Human Birth/Growth
Animal Birth/Growth

Stewardship
Ecology/Conservation
Managing Time and Money
Possessions/Career
Abuse/Prevention
Nutrition/Exercise/Rest/Fun

Honor
Attributes of God/Hymns
Pottery and Sculpture
Tabernacle
Cathedral/Church Architecture
Countries/Cultures
Kindness/Service/Etiquette

VOLUME II

Inquisitiveness
Research/Reference
Scientist/Scientific Method
Explorers/Navigation/Sailing
Earth
Weather
Africa
Detectives

Responsibility
Pet Care
Beavers
Ants
American Settlers
Colonial America

Love/Generosity
Christmas
Easter
Valentines Day

Courage
New Testament Men
Modern and Fictional Men
American Revolution

Wisdom
Proverbs/Old Testament
Choices/Safety
Government 
U.S. Constitution
Presidents
Electoral Process

Loyalty
Family/Friends/Marriage
Immigration/Citizenship

VOLUME III

Cooperation
Systems of the Body
Bees
States and Regions
Town/Community
Family/Church

Determination
Olympics and physical skills
Handicaps
Great feats/Expeditions
Atomic research

Honesty
Books
Newspapers/Media
Business/Advertising

Self Control
Body/Appetites/Emotions
Poetry
Singing/Dance/Speech

Resourcefulness
Frontier Life
Inventions/Simple Machines
Energy/Electricity
Industrial Revolution

Joy/Cheerfulness
Environment
Humor/Laughter
Gratitude/Contentment
Suffering



How does KONOS compare  to a traditional scope and sequence?

Public and private schools are "married" to the traditional scope and sequence, because every year and every subject has a new and different teacher.  The 4th grade teacher needs to know what the 2nd and 3rd grade teachers have already covered; therefore, it is imperative for public and private schools to use a scope and sequence to keep track of what has been taught and what needs to be taught.        

Home school, on the other hand, does not change teachers from year to year or from subject to subject.  Since the teacher stays the same, it makes it far easier to rearrange when various subjects are taught.  Naturally, certain subjects, such as math, must be taught very sequential.  Other subjects, however, such as history, art, literature, science, etc. do not necessarily need to be taught precept upon precept but rather can be arranged according to availability of experts, field trips, seasons, personal interests, etc. 

Because one of the main goals of KONOS is the building of families, we try to teach as much as possible in a unit to all of the children at once.  Looking at a normal scope and sequence, KONOS erased the grade levels and replaced them with character traits.  We then cut up the various subjects in a traditional scope and sequence and placed them under the character trait that they best exemplified, such as states and regions is under the character trait of Cooperation, because the states have to cooperate with each other and kings and queens is under the character trait of Obedience because subjects have to obey the king and queen.  KONOS covers the same material that a traditional scope and sequence would cover except in an order that is related to character traits and not grades.

State Scope and Sequence
Subjects History Science Art Music Bible Geog. Drama/Speech Math Phonics Grammar Spelling
K Peoples Plant Life Sense Aware Listening None City/County   counting ABC's N/A N/A
1st City Gov't Animal Classification Sense Aware Listening None People Humans   Addition Sounds Capitals Book I
2nd Groups 5 Senses Media Listening None World Cult   Add/Sub Homonyms Sentences Book II
3rd Town/Com Machines Oral Speaking Dance None Local   Multiply N/A Paragraphs Book III
4th State History Cells Drama Singing None US   Division N/A Reports Book IV
5th Nations Air Pressure For plays Instruments None Wash DC   Long Div N/A Quotations Book V
6th Cultures Hum Anatomy Playwriting Orchestra None World Cult   Graphs N/A Papers Book VI
7th Current Affairs Earth Science Media Ethnic None World   Percents N/A Footnotes Book VII
8th American History Creation/Evolution Differ. Media Harmony None N. America   Pre Alg N/A Gerunds Book VIII
Grades

vs.

KONOS' Scope and Sequence

Subjects History Science Art Music Bible Geog. Drama/Speech
Obedience Medieval Light Coat of Arms Minstrels Prov 6:20-22 Europe Medieval Feast
Obedience Horses Horse Breeds Drawing/Painting Cowboy Songs Prov 6:20-22 Cowboy Trials Cowboy Cookout
Honor US Immigrants Construction Tabernacle Ethnic Deut 6:5 Mediterranean Passover
Wisdom Constitution Animal Instinct Block Prints Patriotic Songs Prov 12:15 East US Constitution Play
Attentiveness Indians, West. Expans. Human Senses, Birds Indian Crafts Indian Dances I Sam 3 American Tribes Indian Night
Attentiveness Westward Expansion Birds, Sound Sketching  Orchestra I Sam 3 West US Orchestra Production
Orderliness Aristotle Animal Class., Solar Sys. Costumes/Puppets Hymns Ps. 95 None Animals Play
Stewardship Occupation  Ecology Make Bank Hymns Col 3:17 City Career Night
Stewardship Africa Savannah/Jungle Animals Animal Sculpting African Music Col 3:17 Africa Africa Safari Night
Responsibility Settlers Early Craftsmen Stitchery/Tinsmith Pilgrim Songs Prov. 6:6-9 Settlements Thanksgiving Feast
Courage Rev. War Fire/Heat Soldier Uniform Yankee Doodle Dan 3 Battlefields Rev. War Reenactment
Endurance Russia Rockets, Space Race Russian Ballet Matt 24:13 Asia Nutcracker
Patience Farming Plant Life Plant Drawing Collage Harvest Songs I Cor 3:1-11 Farm Regions Plant Exposition
Honesty Famous Newsmen Printing, Xerox Machines Political Cartoons, Advertising None Prov 12:17 Local Publish Newspaper
Self-Control Lives of Singers and Poets None Calligraphy Rounds, Harmony Gal 5:22-23 None Poetry Reading
Cooperation States, Regions, Towns, Community Systems of the Body American Crafts Harmony, Regional Songs  Rom 12 US US Play
Determination Great Feats/Expeditions Construction, Bridges, Dams, Canals, Atoms Mechanical Drawing Work Songs Phil 4:13 Great Feat Locations None
Trust Great Pilots and Sailors Air Pressure, Water, Hydraulics Painting, Drawing Flying Songs Prov 3:5 Ship/Plane Destinations/Routes None
Bible Times Sheep Spinning, Weaving Harp/Flute David's Life Middle East Crafts Demo
Resourcefulness Industrial Revolution Electricity, Magnetism, Simple Machines, Energy Woodworking Work Songs Gen 3 US Inventor Reports
Frontier Life Medicinal Herbs Carving, Quilting Pioneer Songs Ps 37:3 US Pioneer Hoedown
Inquisitiveness Explorers Astronomy, Navigation Rope Tying, Rope Art Sailing Songs Ps. 19 New World Explorers Night
Early scientist Earth Science, Weather, Pendulums Water Painting Rhythm, Tempo Prov 18:15 Map Skills Scientist Night

Not in KONOS (*Covered in KONOS)

Subjects Math Phonics Grammar Spelling
K counting ABC's N/A N/A
1st Addition Sounds  Capitals Book I
2nd Add/Sub Homonyms Sentences* Book II
3rd Multiply N/A Paragraphs* Book III
4th Division N/A Reports* Book IV
5th Long Div N/A Quotations Book V
6th Graphs N/A Papers* Book VI
7th Percents N/A Footnotes Book VII
8th Pre Alg N/A Gerunds Book VIII

How do I keep track and make sure I cover everything?

Units are undoubtedly the best way to teach students, so they retain what is taught; however, they can be a book keeping nightmare for the parent/teacher.  In truth, real record keeping for the purpose of college does not begin until the 9th grade.  Parents who are concerned about SATs should calm their fears by realizing there are really only two areas that the SATs cover...verbal (English/grammar/vocabulary) and nonverbal (math).

Original KONOS covers the "gravy of education".  By that, we mean it does not cover either of the areas that appear on the SAT directly.  If you refer back to a typical daily schedule for teaching KONOS, you will see that the morning time is spent in covering the BASICS, known as the 3R's...reading, writing, and arithmetic.  This is essentially what the SAT covers.  What KONOS does is direct you to great literature, suggests writing assignments, and build vocabulary, and critical thinking skills that contribute greatly to high SAT scores and confidence and competency in life. 

To keep track of the math and language arts, The KONOS Compass has from grade K-8 check lists to alert you of all that needs to be covered grade level by grade level.

The Compass also contains planning sheets that can be Xeroxed and KONOS In-A-Box contains planning sheets within the curriculum for each week.

Sample Compass Page

 

However, the New Classic KONOS units such as Obedience and Orderliness do analyze literature and teach writing. Below is a KONOS In-A-Box Sample Planning sheet. This sheet is available in both the Orderliness and Obedience Curriculum. There is one page for each week.




                    MORE . . .



What is the Philosophy of KONOS?

5 D's Philosophy of KONOS
DO... to Capture Attention

In response to the current problem of lowered academic proficiency, there is a trend in education that is a departure from traditional educational practice. The trend is toward introducing abstract learning concepts at an even earlier age. The assumption is that, by introducing certain abstract concepts earlier to children, those concepts will be learned better. But earlier does not equal better. Head Start and other pilot projects have demonstrated this. Children have not become better readers by introducing the alphabet earlier, they have not used mathematics better by introducing drill cards earlier, and they have not become better writers by completing language workbooks earlier.

While agreeing that older children today are less proficient in abstract skills than in previous years, the KONOS solution to this problem is different. We choose to raise the age of abstract skill development instead of lowering it and to use these earlier years to provide more concrete, real-life, hands-on, multi-sensory experiences. Providing concrete experiences with much manipulation of tangible objects over a prolonged time in a real environment is the only demonstrated way to develop abstract skills.

When Carole's son, Carson, was three-years-old, he was learning the concept of the number 5 by setting the table with five spoons, five forks, five knives, five plates, etc. Later, when he was introduced to the symbol 5, it had real meaning. At the same time, Carole's five-year-old son was comprehending the meaning of addition by manipulating match box cars. Although he could not perform on command 5+4=9, and he was still referring to tangible objects like cars, blocks, or fingers when he made his calculations, he understood the concept of addition. Eventually, children wean themselves away from concrete experiences to abstract thinking.

KONOS is a hands-on curriculum filled with concrete activities to do. Our curriculum puts life into learning through experiential activities. We have admittedly overemphasized experiential learning in hopes of bringing the educational "see-saw" back in balance. While we do subscribe to the necessity of seatwork and drill work, we do not consider these to be the major emphasis of true education.

 

DISCOVER... to Foster Thinking

We believe that a concept must first be understood to be mastered. Any child can memorize. Since he enjoys repetition, he will easily recite whatever he is assigned - the alphabet, math drill cards, or The Declaration of Independence. The question is not whether a child can memorize proficiently. The question is whether by doing this he gain mastery of a concept.

Consider the following examples. By memorizing the chronology of presidents, will the child better understand what a president is? By memorizing the Twenty-third Psalm, will the child better understand the relationship between a shepherd and the Lord? By practicing fraction drill cards, will be better understand the concept of fractions? True understanding of a concept prepares the child for mastery; mastery (i.e. memory and other refinement skill) does not promote understanding. The development of true understanding requires active, personal, mental involvement such as imagining, generalizing, comparing, and evaluating plus time to do all these things. The child needs freedom to explore his environment.

While baking with Jessica, Jason, at five years of age, discovered fractions by measuring volumes of flour. His response was, "Oh, I see, 4/4's equals a whole cup and 3/3's equals a whole cup." This did not mean, however, that Jason had mastered fractions. He merely understood the concept, but the mastery of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division would come later. Education is more than merely learning information; it is the development of critical thinking skills, true reasoning ability. This is why KONOS includes activities conducive to discovery techniques. We encourage the child to figure things out on his own.

While studying the character trait of Attentiveness, we visit the zoo aviary to observe birds, being attentive to their distinctive beaks and feet. The children reasoned that birds with short, fat beaks eat nuts and grains, whereas birds with long, skinny beaks usually eat fish. In the Patience Unit when making bakers' hats, we could have merely demonstrated to our children how to make a baker's hat.. To be more challenging, we could have given them a pattern for making their own baker's hat. But wanting to stretch their reasoning muscles, we showed them a picture of a baker's hat and asked them to figure out how to make one.

Does it take longer to teach in this way? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes. Dictatorships are always more efficient, but they do not produce creative, reasoning people. They stifle creativity and reasoning.

 

DRAMATIZE... to Visualize

Children do not soon forget Daniel Boone, if they have donned a coonskin cap and tracked animals while studying westward expansion, or Thomas Jefferson, if they have worn a white wig and written parts of the The Declaration of Independence with a quill. And blindness becomes a reality after a day spent blindfolded and writing in Braille. To live it is to remember it.

After a child has read a particular work, his ability to recreate that work through drama fosters several skills. First, it tests his memory of what was read with all its details. Second, it tests his ability to communicate effectively what he read to another person. And, third, it tests his understanding of the meaning of what he read as he adds inflections, emphasis, gestures, and dramatic actions to enact the story. Dramatizing not only allows the child to visualize what he has just read, but it reinforces the meaning and understanding of it as well.

DIALOGUE... to Internalize

Certainly parents, not textbooks, are the best teachers. KONOS helps parents talk effectively with their children during activities. Dialogue internalizes truths while strengthening family relationships.

If homeschooling parents merely make and grade their children's assignments, without dialoguing and discussing with their children, how can true knowledge be imparted? The goal of Christian education is to train the heart as well as the head. It is through the dialogue between mentor and pupil that both head knowledge and heart knowledge are imparted.

Many homeschooling parents today are opting to be mere graders of their children�s school work. Others, farther down the road, consider themselves tutors of their children. But the real goal of homeschooling parents should be to mentor and model to their children. The distinction between a tutor and a mentor is this: a tutor teachers through a casual relationship, instructing the student in head knowledge and occasionally challenging him with questions; a mentor, on the other hand, models rather than teaches through an intimate relationship, rather than a casual relationship, and shares himself as he gives counsel for the head as well as the heart by asking challenging questions.

Too many parents are obsessed with the amount of facts their children can spew forth and how many workbooks they have completed, rather than their ability to think, reason, and discern. Dialogue builds thinking, reasoning, and discernment. Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., in her book, Endangered Minds, claims, "Conversation builds the executive brain." Certainly our children are worthy of executive brains.

 

DRILL... to Crystallize

KONOS crystallizes learning through games like "Guess What King I Am" in the Obedience unit, service opportunities like reading to the elderly in the Patience unit; creative expression projects like publishing a newspaper in the Honesty unit; and show-and-tell nights like the culminating Medieval Feast in the Obedience unit. While having fun, children learn, practice, and best of all, retain.

When we began homeschooling, we encountered many homeschooling parents who related their daily routine to us. We were astounded to find a great number of homeschoolers who went on field trips every other day. They had one experience after another. While KONOS is a proponent of experiential, hands-on learning, it is clear that experiences without wrap-up are nothing more than confusion or a hodge-podge of learning.

Jessica recognized this first-hand when, as a public school teacher, she had an opportunity to take part in the initiation of a hands-on, experiential science program in the public school where she taught. She felt this program was the answer to the children's lack of understanding of physical science. After teaching the course for four months, she was ready to pull out her hair. It finally dawned on her that, while the hands-on lab learning setting captivated the children's attention, the program had no built-in wrap-up, where data could be compared and contrasted. Without the wrap-up of drill experience loses its punch.

 

What does KONOS mean?

KONOS is the Greek word for cone. KONOS uses the inverted cone to symbolize God at the top of all creation and all knowledge. God is not simply a part of our lives; He is at the very apex of our lives overseeing all areas of life.

He reveals His character to us through His Word and His creation. The more we study subjects with the enlightenment of the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit, the better we see God and His character through the world around us. It is Gods character we seek to emulate. He is the source of both what we should know and what we should be. As we grow in godly character, we become more like Him, and in so doing, glorify Him.

 

What is KONOS and who wrote it?

KONOS is a biblically-based unit studies curriculum written in 1984 by two educators who are also homeschooling moms, Carole Thaxton and Jessica Hulcy. Jessica and Carole wrote KONOS for their first graders who were bright, inquisitive, wiggly, six-year-old boys. After a year in public kindergarten the Thaxtons decided to homeschool C.J., their six-year-old son. In kindergarten C.J. had become friends with the Hulcy's son, Jason. Jason went back to school for first grade and C.J. was not there. Jason came home and told Jessica that C.J. was being homeschooled and Jessica promptly went over to Carole's house to "straighten her out". Carole, a counselor by training, sat and listened intently. Little did Jessica know that Carole had prayed for the Lord to raise up someone for her to write curriculum with. Carole patiently prayed for the Holy Spirit to work in Jessica's heart. Within a month, the Hulcy's were homeschooling with the Thaxtons!

Carole and Jessica recognized that the tell and regurgitate method of the public school was often necessary in public schools because of the 20 to 25 children one teacher had in her classroom. Since neither Carole nor Jessica had 20 first graders in their homeschool, they refused to use the workbook/textbook approach. They chose to do homeschool, not school at home. Instead of textbooks, they used real books and classics from the library. Instead of sitting at a desk filling in blanks, they used the garage, flower beds, and kitchen as they classroom. Instead of sending every child to his room to study independently, they taught all of their children together as much as possible. Instead of telling every answer to their children, they allowed their children to discover the answers on their own. Instead of teaching topical units, the authors designed units that pointed to the character of God.

Authors of KONOS: Carole Thaxton and Jessica Hulcy
What are the goals of KONOS?
  • To train our children in Godly character... by focusing on character traits.
  • To create a true love of learning in each child... by teaching hands-on and using discovery learning to foster critical thinking.
  • To be a family... by learning as much as we can as a family in true multi-level fashion that builds life long relationships.
  • To achieve academic excellence... by immersing the children in units that integrate all subjects.
  • To equip parents to become master teachers of their own children... by sharing 20 years of teaching experience in seminars, videos, tapes, articles, speeches, and personal helps.
Founders and Families
Compare KONOS to other Curricula
KONOS and the Classical Approach
By Linda Trumbo, VA

Classical Education, as it is presented in The Well Trained Mind, is both a methodology and a course of study. The methodology involves lots of information input and memorization for young children (1-4 grade), some memorization and beginning analysis thinking at the middle years (5-8th grade), and in-depth critical thinking, analysis, and persuasive writing and speaking at the high school level. As a course of study it involves studying Western Civilization exclusively and chronologically, repeating material every four years, just at a deeper level. It also includes Latin, logic, and theology.

As I've read through the material on the methodology, I've seen a lot of points of similarity to KONOS. I'll list, if you don't mind, the similarities between the two, some close approximations, and the major differences.

Similarities:

  1. Both rely on real books and primary sources instead of textbooks. A general overview book plus whole books, fiction and non-fiction, are used.

  2. Narration and dialogue are important components.

  3. Research is taught at upper elementary and middle levels, and is vital during the high school years.

  4. Both are "language rich" approaches - lots of reading, discussion, and writing.

Close approximations: 

  1. Classical approach requires memorization; KONOS utilizes hands-on drill with vocabulary and timeline figures. The goal of both is the same - kids who know their stuff. The difference is enjoying the journey! 

Outright differences:

  1. Classical starts first graders out with ancient history and mythology, often drawing from writers who were writing for an adult audience. So much of that material is abstract. KONOS starts with concrete learning that�s closer to home for young students, then moves to ancient as their thinking matures.

  2. Classical treats Bible and theology as separate subjects; KONOS teaches to the heart and head by integrating all knowledge around God�s Word and His character.

For those of you doing HOW, this is Classical and then some! If you make sure you are requiring orderly journals and high-quality written work from your high-schooler, you�ll be matching the recommendations for history and English put forth by the Classical Ed people. If you take advantage of the extensive map work, Bible work, and activity selections in HOW, you'll be exceeding the recommendations of the the current advocates of Classical education. The joy of KONOS is that it makes this level of learning possible even for the young person who isn�t a bookworm. There�s no provision for that student in the Classical approach.

My strongest concern with the Classical Approach as it's currently being expressed is the recommendations for young children. In a truly Classical Approach, the younger years (until about age nine) were used for mastering the 3 R's, exploring the world around us, and enjoying lots of reading and family input. The grammar stage did not begin with 6 year olds! This is a modern adaptation to make this chronological approach to history fit the public system - not a wise endeavor, in my opinion. I want my young ones� minds and hearts aimed toward godliness at the beginning and I want them to know the joy of learning along with the hard work. Only KONOS has provided that for us.

An interesting side note - in her essay "The Lost Tools of Learning," Dorothy Sayers never advocated a chronological approach to history. Again, this is a modern American adaptation. 

KONOS compared to Literature Based Curricula

KONOS is literature based. In fact, back in 1984 when we began selling KONOS, the first complement we received was from a librarian who said, "I cannot believe how you have woven the all time best in classics, Newbery Award winners, and greats in children's literature into your units about character traits! Were either one of you librarians?" Jessica and Carole certainly could be, for they know children's literature inside out. Jessica has often said that beautiful wallpaper, gorgeous furniture and fabric, and great books make her salivate. Seven years ago when we built our home in the country, the one thing Jessica insisted on was a real library.

BUT no matter how wonderful books are and no matter how much they make Jessica salivate, we are clear at KONOS that Godly character should be the focus of everything we read, write, say do. This is why our academics are woven into units focusing on a particular character trait. Of course we want our children to be well read and love literature, BUT literature is not our primary focus�Godly character is.

LIKEWISE the latest research about how children learn best does nothing but confirm what we as parents know...children learn best when they are participating in interactive, hands-on, doing, kinesthetic learning. Call it what ever you will, but it all involves movement. The younger the children are the more important that movement is. My favorite quote about children comes from Henrietta Mear who was a famous Bible teacher of Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ and Ruth Graham, wife of evangelist Billy Graham. Mrs. Mear wisely comments, "God put the wiggle in children. Don't you dare try to take it out!" KONOS loves reading, but KONOS is designed to teach children the way God made them...wiggly. KONOS uses meaningful activities plus literature to motivate, enjoy, retain...and work with, not against, the wiggle.

KONOS compared to Textbook Approach

At KONOS we do not hate textbooks. We simply view them as an incomplete way to study history, art, music, drama, science, etc. 

We view the whole world as our curriculum
and the whole library as our textbook

How could ten pages in a textbook fully tell you about the Civil War? The answer is it cannot and it does not. You need to read Across Five Aprils; set up soldiers in battle formations reenacting major battles; memorize the Gettysburg Address; argue Dred Scot's case; sing Stephen Foster songs; read biographies of Harriet Tubman, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Abraham Lincoln; map the entire conflict on a big map; practice taking black and white photos; make a haversack complete with contents; read about gangrene; dress as Union or Confederate soldiers and have a bivouac; watch Gone With the Wind and Shenandoah; sketch the face of Clara Barton, and have a Civil War Ball. KONOS is about immersion into topics, not just grazing topics.

KONOS compared to Other Unit Studies

KONOS shares with other unit studies the commonality of the unit, yet it surpasses other unit studies in its focus...Godly character traits. Certainly, units focusing on plants or Indians or even baseball have a similar approach of integrating all subjects. However, KONOS believes those topics can and should point toward the character the Lord wants His people to emulate. Godly character is something that every Christian parent wants his children to posses. It should not be limited to a few minutes of the school day. Children should be saturated with the incredible reality that God displays His character in all His creation...whether it be His orderliness in the universe, the seasons, or mathematics...or His patience in the growth of humans and plants...or His trust demonstrated in the laws of nature that govern flight. KONOS units and topics always point back to the character trait

Further, the unique activities of KONOS are not duplicated in other unit studies. A very unusual call came into the KONOS Corporate office many years ago. A customer wanted to purchase KONOS, but she also wanted to make a confession. "I am not sure you want to sell to me," she said. "You see, I used to write for one of your competitors. I would sit around with several other writers and we would try to think of KONOS-like hands-on activities to make our curriculum like KONOS. We just never had the creativity of Jessica and Carole, so I decided to buy KONOS to teach my own child."

If you don't have creativity, don't worry...KONOS has it for you.