Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Planning KONOS for the New Term

Over the years, my methods for planning a KONOS unit has changed, adapted and sometimes been turned on it's head completely. I think that's the nature of a home educating mother - always tweaking and refining. I usually only plan one unit at a time, allowing God to lead us in the next character trait that might need practising.   With this being the last week of 'school holidays', I set to planning out the remainder of our unit that we are busy with, which is 'Self-Control'.

I usually plan a couple of weeks up-front and then make sure I spend time each week preparing another weeks lessons. This way I always have two weeks planned in advance.

First, I fill in the mornings 3 R's. I make a note of which lessons are to be done for each child. Next I fill in our read aloud schedule. I use the 'Family Reading' in the KONOS planning pages, or choose another book from the recommended book list. So the next book that we are going to be reading together is 'Treasures in the Snow'. I want to complete it in two weeks so I have divided the number of chapters over 10 days and allocated each set to a day. I have also got my own KONOS reading homework for this unit - I am reading James Dobsons 'Emotions: Can you trust them?' - also from the book list. I would like the girls to read this book for themselves when they are older, but for now I plan to impart bits of pertinent information as we work through this unit.

I also work through the works of two artists per term. I decided on my artists for the term as well as 6 paintings from each so that I know exactly what will be covered. Each Monday we spend 10 minutes studying a new painting - that  is scheduled into my weekly lesson plan sheet. If a unit happens to have art appreciation activities, such as 'view paintings of clouds by artists xyz...', then this will take preference. I will then schedule these in rather then proceeding with my chosen artist. My reason for this is simple. I think I mentioned in a previous post that KONOS is more than just a curriculum for us. It is a tool that continually points us to Godly character. It was written to achieve certain goals, one of the most important to the author was Godly character, so I would far prefer to use these activities which support our character trait than push on with my own plans. In order for KONOS to achieve it's ends, I need to remain true and stay the course.

On a Friday we have our Family co-op activities, but we also do a nature study. We are following Barb's Nature Hour - have done for little over a year now. The challenge is noted in Fridays box, I print out Barb's monthly newsletter as well as each challenge lesson plan as she publishes it and put them into my 'homeschool planner' behind my weekly lesson plan sheet. If I am not going to use a generic nature study sheet then I create my own, print out enough copies for all of us and place them in my planner, ready for the lesson. I try to remain quite flexible about this and will create my own lesson if something crops up. You may read some of our nature entries on my other blog 'Under An English Sky'.

I will also schedule in the girls Science before I look at the KONOS. With Miss V heading towards her high school years, she is working through the Apologia General Science on her own. I simply schedule what she needs to read and do each day. She checks the planner and moves ahead with her work. This is helping to train her for the time when she moves onto KONOS HOW. With Miss J, I will purchase a nice lapbook through Currclick or use a freebie from HomeschoolShare. I will only do this if we are busy with a unit that has almost no science in it. At the moment she has an interest in butterflies and moths, so I found a lovely lapbook on HomeschoolShare for her to do while we work through 'Self-Control'. If a particular unit has a high science content then that takes preference and no lapbooks are scheduled at this time.


After all 'morning' subjects are planned, I am able to concentrate my full attention on the afternoons KONOS activities. I find the KONOS lesson plan sheets very useful, but need to have all my lesson plans in one central place (hence the reason for creating my own lesson plan form). What I usually do is refer to the coloured lesson plan from the KONOS curriculum and note down on my own lesson plan form what materials, books, videos etc I will need for the following weeks lessons. Keeping and 'advance' list helps me to make sure that I have all I need when the time comes to do our activities.

Next I read through all the activities in the white pages, paying special attention to the activities noted on the coloured planning sheets, and circle the ones I think we would enjoy doing. In selecting the activities I try to keep a balance of art, research, writing, practical living etc... Allot of the time the activities on the coloured planning sheets are the ones that we do, but sometimes there are others not listed in the weeks activities that I think we would prefer to do - hence the reason why I read through all the activities

With regards to field trips - I think this is a subject worthy of it's own post - but I will briefly note here that at the beginning of each month, I will go through the KONOS pages and see what field trip activities are listed. I will decided which ones I think are best suited to our family at the time and try and plan these well in advance so that they are not glossed over due to lack of organisation. But - more on that in another post.

I thought that I would mention in this planning post a bit on Homeschool Mentor. I used this wonderful resource for a term and it is certainly something that I will use again in the new school year as I found Jessica's teaching exceptionable valuable, insightful, humorous, inspiring - I could go on. Also, I loved loved LOVED that in essence all the planning was done for you. I could print out the weekly lesson plan slides and was good to go.  The only reason we are not signed up right now is that we have chosen to do a unit that was not scheduled for this current academic year. But again, the beauty of Homeschool Mentor is that your commitment is only per term. Once you have seen a term through you are free to leave the Mentor and sign up again when you are ready. With British terms running a bit differently to the U.S. - I am waiting (with much excitement) for the 2012/2013 schedule to be posted. I will be the first one in line to join up for the start of the new school year!

Blessings in Christ,


  1. This was so very helpful to me!

    1. I'm so glad it helped Stephanie :) All the best for planning your KONOS unit studies.


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