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Using KONOS for Child-Led Learning


Posted on : 11:56 AM | By : Nic | In : , ,

I was homeschooled using KONOS for a while... I'm not sure how long, but at some point in the elementary years and possibly until I started high school. Now I am currently using KONOS with my kids, but I am using it differently. If you are not familiar with KONOS, it is a curriculum designed by and for homeschoolers using the unit study approach. A unit study is when you used a topic to explore a myriad of subjects and learning methods until you've exhausted the topic. KONOS was designed to be used with a schedule, the library books they list out, and has a very ordered layout. At the same time it is very flexible and can be used with all ages at once, and there are three huge volumes of units and projects

I have the old KONOS Vol. 1 (the one above has the new cover), and I use it for child-led learning. For example, I asked the girls what their first project of the year would be, and of course they picked princesses. So we are doing the Kings and Queens unit in a very relaxed way. KONOS is actually centered on character traits (obedience is the one the Kings unit falls under) but we are being very project-based. I also don't try to find the specific library books they recommend.

So for example, we've dressed up and pretended to be the queen and her lady-in-waiting, even practicing tasting the queen's food for poison. We've built two cardboard castles, one with a working drawbridge, and decorated them with drawings of knights on horses. We've discussed the defensive aspects of castles, what a portcullis is, a moat, the keep, a turret, etc. We looked at famous paintings of royalty, and we watched Queen Elizabeth's coronation. Ana wrote a small essay on what a queen is and drew an illustration, and we made shields and swords. Yesterday we studied some of the symbolism and purpose of heraldry and decorated or shields with our own personal crests.

Anyway, they have told me that they are interested in this or that, then I find a project in KONOS, and from that project they ask another question and the next day we explore that.

There are two reasons I am being so relaxed. The first is that they have math and phonics workbooks that they are obsessed with doing and would never do anything else, so I'm fairly confident that they are getting their three R's (am I the only one who picture the three R's as three pirates?). If only everyone could be so lucky eh?

Secondly I don't think I plan to be so unstructured as they get older. I think at the beginning of each year I will have them write out what they want to learn and we will stick to that plan using curriculum if necessary. But for now, it's ok for them to play to learn and it seems to add up very quickly.

Comments (2)

My mom had bought Konos, but we only used it for the book list growing up :) I inherited her Vol. 1 book (old cover) when I started homeschooling our children. Last year, we did Veritas, which I like, but I do miss the feeling of playing while learning that you get with Konos!

Which math program(s) do you like?

Hmmm, that's a good question because I didn't really like math, and partly because I never got the chance to use a good one. I was on Saxon math forever! Ugh. But my brother got Math-U-See and that seems like the best I've seen. Right now I'm just collecting all the hands-on or enjoyable math books I can find: Math Wizardry for Kids, Painless Algebra, Usborne math books, dominoes and Cuisanaire rods and books.