April 05, 2006

Favorite KONOS Memories from First Grade and Kindergarten

To give you an idea of what this Homeschooling Series is about for those just “tuning in”; you can also look at my 2001-2 Favorite KONOS Memories post (Pre-K and Kindergarten year). The year my children were in First Grade and Kindergarten was 2003-4. I was using the KONOS Obedience Book, except for a few of my own units that we threw in before we were able to buy our own KONOS book. We were unable to co-op with my friend Kelly as we had the previous year (due to distance), but we invited her to our end-of-year Medieval Feast with friends and family, and got to see her a few times for other field trips. Even without a co-op, KONOS is very fun.

KONOS is a character based unit-study curriculum that teaches Christian values and all subjects as related to God. It is full of history, science, practical living, writing and English assignments, book lists that are related to each subject studied, and more. The books we used for this unit can be found in the following list. You will get an idea of the type of learning you do with KONOS as you skim the lists below. Most of the ideas are right out of the curriculum, but other things you can think up on your own because KONOS helps you to be creative and serves as a spring-board for your own fun activities once you get going on a subject! A few of the ideas below are ones that I added in to what we were learning. I couldn’t tell you now which ones they were, though! Google (or your favorite search engine) is another great resource while using KONOS. I usually find tons of extra unit study ideas by “googling” my subject matter and finding other teaching ideas, songs, crafts, photos, information, and print-outs. I also make crossword puzzle worksheets for my KONOS vocabulary words online using a free crossword puzzle maker linked here on my sidebar! Of course, the ideas below aren’t ALL we did for 2003-4 with KONOS, but they are some of our favorites for you to browse through!

We didn’t do that many KONOS units in 2003-4 because we did a few of our own units (like bats and sunken ships). We began our year late (the first 9 weeks of school, my children were in a private school and we pulled them out when their Daddy left for a few months to Iraq). The two KONOS units mentioned below we did were not supposed to last as long as we did them. Sometimes I wonder how Jessica manages to get so much activity crammed into such a short "suggested" timeframe!? I think we spent nearly two months on light and almost three months on Medieval times. That is the beauty of KONOS! You can do it in the suggested amount of time, leaving out the activities you aren’t interested in… or you can follow every rabbit trail and make it last as long as you are having fun! We ended school early in 2004 (the end of April)... our Medieval Feast was the first weekend of May... because we were moving. Ah, the joys of moving - something our family knows QUITE a LOT about! No unit study needed!

Photos from our Light and Kings and Queens Units will be up by the end of the week, hopefully! Come back later and see them!

Benefits that we enjoyed that span across
KONOS Units, regardless of topic:
  • You can participate in a co-op with other children (so fun!)
  • Learn Vocabulary Words with units - lots of neat words
  • Bible Memory and Character Building lessons woven into every topic
  • Geography, History and Science comes alive in ways no textbook could dream of!
  • Researching and planning was as much fun and informative to me as for the kids!
  • Topic related field trip suggestions in every unit
  • Wrap-Ups (parties at the end of larger units where you dramatize, dress up, cook, etc.)
  • Things we had fun doing... and the unit they were associated with:

Light, Bible & Authority Unit:
  • Discuss different types of light (sun, fire, electricity, bioluminescence, Jesus)

  • Learn Bible verses relating to "LIGHT"

  • Watch PBS Lighthouse Series DVDs rented from Netflix

  • Light Field Trip: Lazer Tag!

  • Watch a History Channel Video about Edison and the Electric Light

  • Learn Light related vocabulary words such as… incandescent, fluorescent, neon, mercury vapor, laser, halogen, LED, electricity, tungsten, lighthouse, bioluminescence, concave, convex, spectrum, infrared, ultra-violet, translucent, opaque, prism, etc.

  • Experiment with Magnifying glass to see Red Blue and Green dots on TV Screen

  • Driving Field Trip - Find Different Types of Man-made Light in City

  • After-Images Science Experiment to trick your eyes into seeing a "Ghost Pattern"

  • Learn 4 Types of Sentences and Play Sentence Game (Declarative, Interrogative, Exclamatory, & Imperative)

  • Make Candles

  • Carnation Experiment - Use colored dye to tint petals through the water in the vase

  • Science Experiment: Spin Colors in Milk with a drop of detergent

  • Watch Pete's Dragon (Lighthouse) - Light Unit

  • Lighthouse Geography Assignment: Get postcards from other KONOS families from across America of Lighthouses and Map them

  • Trip to Bolivar Lighthouse in Galveston, TX

  • Read about Bolivar's part in the Great Storm of 1900 (website)

  • Act out Noah's Ark from Genesis "It Pays to Obey"

  • Draw and label the parts of a light bulb

  • Use a Timeline Wall Chart and put figures of people we study on it

  • Write a journal entry about rainbows and draw them

  • Paint rainbows on a canvas bags with our initials

  • Sing "This Little Light of Mine"

  • Find objects that reflect and absorb light

  • See how water refracts light (pencil in a clear glass of water)

  • Learn about Primary Colors, Color Blends and the Light Spectrum

  • Learn about Light Waves (infrared - slowest/violet - fastest)

  • Use the 7 letters of the rainbow to make a sentence: "Red Octopuses Yodeled Going Backwards in Vermont"

  • Read books about sea animals having bioluminescence

  • Experiment with a spoon to learn difference between Concave and Convex

  • Experiment with a mirror and a bowl of water to make a moving rainbow on the wall

  • Make a lighthouse out of household items (tubes, boxes, glass jar, plastic caps, etc) and paint

Kings and Queens Unit:
  • Draw and journal about Castles

  • Build a Kingdom out of toys and blocks

  • Play War with Jack in the Box's Medieval Shaped Kids Meal Card Decks

  • Dress up and play Kings and Queens

  • Visit an old Cathedral church to see Stained glass windows for our Kings and Queens Unit

  • Use paper and tape to cut and create a castle with a drawbridge

  • Medieval Vocabulary (King, Monarch, Orb, Queen, Coronation, Crown, Scepter, Ampulla, Lord, Lady, Anointing Oil, Middle Ages, King Arthur, Serf, Nobleman, Knight, Armor, Castle, Siege, Manor, Jousting, Tapestry, Dubbing, Tournament, Shield…)
  • Learn about the history of St. Patrick's Day and the Celtic Cross (website)

  • Make a Bible Memory Verse Crown (gain a gem each week when the verse is recited from memory)

  • Sing kingly hymns to the Lord

  • Read poems about Knights ("One Knight's Passion", "A Ballad of Two Knights" and "The Three Knights")

  • Draw and label a castle

  • Draw artist's conception of God's throne

  • Read through Mother Goose and note all references to kings and queens

  • Be a King and Queen for a day at home (everyone bows and says "Yes, Your Majesty")

  • Make Orbs

  • Learn about the 5W's (Who, What, When, Where & Why) and an H (How)

  • Make a 'coat' of chain maille out of pop tabs and beading wire

  • Have English "Tea Time"

  • Make butter with cream, a glass jar, and a marble

  • Bob for apples

  • Dress in Costume and have a Medieval Feast (invite family/friends)

  • Eat authentic Medieval Foods

  • Get "Dubbed" into the next grade and get awards for accomplishments

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Laura said...

I am happy to have stumbled on your blog while searching for ideas for my homeschooled 5 year old. I am definitely leaning toward Konos, but at this point trying and praying that God will give me the motivation and organization to move forward. I love the idea of Konos, but putting it all together in a practical way, is what I really want. Any advice?

~~Audrey O.~~ said...

I basically said the same thing as Laura in a different post. This post was GREAT information on KONOS. It sounds like something my children would ABSOLUTELY LOVE. Again, I dont underestimate the power of cheap, and this (although miniscule compared to other curriculums) still a bit pricey for what we can afford. I also, am not organized enough yet to put all the fun things into practice. That, my friend, is EXACTLY what I am praying for help with over this summer and into next year. Feel free to add it to your prayers for me, as well. :)



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