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

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

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 used the entire library as a textbook and the whole world as its curriculum.

 

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".

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. 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).

What is hands-on learning?
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.

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 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 thinkers.

What is multi-level learning?

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 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 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.