What is KONOS?
I recently purchased all 3 volumes of the KONOS Curriculum for a killer deal from another local homeschooling mom. I have had my eye on it for years, but the price tag and the lack of examples of the curriculum itself really held me back. (You can buy KONOS used online *affiliate link*, but it can still be pricey.) Not only that, but KONOS is all about unit studies – something that I haven’t put a lot of thought into doing with my kids.
KONOS covers everything except math and language arts (though there are writing assignments and vocabulary, so YMMV) and is designed to be used by families with multiple ages. The grades they recommend using it with are from kindergarten through 8th grade, but younger siblings are encouraged to get in on the action too. Each volume gives 2.5-3 years worth of instruction and topics of study.
When I was describing it to my husband, I was telling him that the book itself isn’t a textbook or super rigid curriculum. It’s more like a HUGE book of ideas. For example, in Volume 1, the first section is Attentiveness. One of the topics is Birds and there are various themes to study, such as their body parts, bird identification, behavior, how they care for their young, migration, and a lot more. They list a Bible verse for the Birds Unit, examples, vocabulary words, tons of book suggestions, and then 30 activities to do as part of your unit study.
You can pick and choose and do as few or as many as you’d like. They suggest spending 3 weeks studying birds through reading books and doing activities. The activities listed also have a notation about what subject they cover (science, language, creative expression, reasoning, physical skills, arts/crafts, etc). The activities range from sketching birds to observing various types of birds to plotting migration routes of different birds to going to a Junior Audubon Club meeting. There are so many neat things to do and try.
Free KONOS Weekly Planner
If you use KONOS and have been looking for a handy weekly planner, I made this one for us to use. While our KONOS edition does include the optional pre-written lesson plans, I don’t like following someone else’s plans at all! We will be picking and choosing activities and resources on our own.
Click the image below to grab it! I prints on standard sized paper.
This KONOS Weekly Planner has a spot for the character trait, topic, theme, activities for each day, vocabulary words, writing assignments, supplies and books needed, co-op/family activities, and any extra videos/art work/songs/websites to be used that week. It can be printed in color or black and white. You can 3 hole punch it and put it in your planning notebook easily, if you have one!
Beginning Our Journey
From a video I saw on the KONOS website, it looks like Volume 1 is heavier on activities for younger kids, Volume 2 is about equal, and Volume 3 is heavier on activities for older kids. Due to this, they recommend starting on Volume 1 if your oldest is 4th grade or below. I think we’re going to begin with Volume 1 and I want to incorporate my oldest 3 kids and let the littles tag along.
I think our family is going to start using KONOS, at least during the summer, for a trial run. I would love to be able to combine my kids together to learn something. Honestly, I enjoy being VERY hands OFF, but I know they need me to be more involved in their homeschool lives. I never thought I would be interested in this kind of homeschooling method, but I’ve decided that this 2014-2015 school year has been VERY convenient for me. Everything has been mostly online and I’ve been able to tend to my pregnancy and new baby quite easily this way. However, now it’s their time. My time with these little people is quite limited, and I think I need to jump in and get my hands dirty.
Have you ever used KONOS?
Did you use it as a supplement or as its own curriculum? Do you belong to a KONOS co-op?