|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
- 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.
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.
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
- Multi-level, family teaching
KONOS used the entire library as a textbook and the whole world as its
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 KONOSí 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 Godís 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".
What is unit studies?
Watch a family using KONOS. Instead of isolated subjects, their kids
become wholly immersed in a theme. Itís 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
cowís 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).
Learning By Doing
The KONOS hands-on curriculum captures a childís interest through his
senses. He watched a carpenter at work, listens to bird calls, feels lambí
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.
Discovery Fosters Critical Thinking
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
Godís 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
The Whole Family Learns Together
KONOSí 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
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 teacherís
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 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.