We are half way through May and in true fashion our late winter/entrance into spring has felt really long. However we have had some really warm days and have all been antsy to get outside, so as our days have started to warm up, we have been letting all the things go and letting our winter skin see the sun. And darn it, that’s just ONE of the beauties of homeschooling. If we want to enjoy the warm day and do our math lesson while I’m cooking dinner instead, we do it!
Over March and April we delved into our KONOS Honor unit study and it turned out to be such a sweet couple of months. Honor is defined as giving respect where it is due. We focused a lot on respectfully showing God, our Creator, how great He is, as well as treating others well because they are made in His image. I’ll tell you what…I don’t know that there was ever a better message for our world right now, or EVER! Treating others with honor and respect is an age old lesson for us to learn and grow better in, and then ultimately re-learn and get better at again.
Our unit started with teaching about the many attributes of God. We focused on a couple of these each week and did some really fun projects to learn about them, including a really cool circle art project to understand that God is eternal.
When learning about how God is omnipotent (all-powerful), we built large towers with blocks and then had my two year old come over and destroy it, which basically made his day. It illustrated that the girls had the power to build the tower, and my son had the power to destroy it, highlighting that power is not always destructive. Finding ways for my two year old to be involved and feel a part of things this year has been a challenge for sure, so when we are able to, we call the day a major win!
From there we moved into learning about pottery and sculpture, focusing on how God fashioned us in His own image. We participated in an art night put on by the art department at the high school my husband works for. The girls were able to sculpt pottery pieces one night and then go back a couple of weeks later to paint them and put them back in the kiln. My kids love arts and crafts so this was a really fun experience for them.
At home we made homemade play dough, learned how to make coil pots and pinch pots, and watched some videos of artists “throwing a pot.”
We spent a day learning about the magnificent Mt. Rushmore and then tried our hand at making soap carvings.
It took a lot of patience and time and gave us some perspective on the amount of time it took the artist to create Mt. Rushmore! We finished up this part of the unit by watching a couple of videos on the seven wonders of the world.
Next we moved on to reverent behavior and hymns, taking time to understand how our behavior should reflect our worshipful heart toward the Lord. While I didn’t plan it this way, we spent the least amount of time on this section. I was excited to introduce to the kids some of the hymns that I grew up loving, but I have a highly sensitive child and this type of music stirs up emotions in her that are hard for her to process right now. So we skipped it and hopefully in a few years can circle back to it, because I adore the rich and beautiful words of old hymns. Instead we spent a few days learning about how we should act in church. I found that our list was really just a great example of how we should act anywhere, and not necessarily specific to church–respectful, obedient to our parents, patient, and kind and thoughtful to others.
Next up was heredity and individuality and it was probably my favorite part of this entire unit study on Honor. Teaching my kids that ALL people are important because they are all made in God’s image was just the most fun. Their innocence to our jaded world was refreshing and encouraging to me. It felt good to know that the influence they are getting right now in regards to this particular subject is Biblical and full of God’s truth. I introduced the whole topic by starting with how ordinary household items have similarities and differences and we walked around pointing those things out. Then we did a really fun project where we interviewed all the members in our family so that we could compare and contrast our own similarities and differences.
We spent a morning tracing life size pictures of the kids and then having them color and decorate them.
We did a little study on Rembrandt and how he loved painting his self-portrait. He was his favorite subject–maybe the earliest form of a true selfie! To wrap up this portion we worked on a project to showcase how we are all made in God’s image, by looking through magazines and making a collage of all different kinds of people.
We used National Geographic magazines because there is just so much more diversity in them. The girls were super into this, had tons of questions, and I feel like the entire project gave them greater understanding about our many differences.
From here we got to pick one country to do a more in depth study on and we chose The Netherlands. We had just finished reading The Wheel on the School which was so darn cute, and it sparked a lot of questions about the area and culture so it was great timing! We picked out tons of library books, found it on the map and observed its surroundings, made paper Dutch dolls and a cute windmill craft, made Dutch pancakes, learned about Van Gogh who was from The Netherlands, watched several videos about the tulip fields and tulip harvesting, and finished up the country study with a fun tulip painting!
To wrap up the last section of our unit on Honor we studied kindness, service, and etiquette, learning that we honor everyone by our own actions towards all people. This is something I strive to teach my kids daily, as I’m sure so many other parents do as well. We watched a video on The Good Samaritan, read about Harriet Tubman, learned the fruits of the spirit, discussed ways that we can serve others, and talked about manners. Lastly we started a running list of manners and etiquette for our family titled “What Schraders Do.” I started this list a while ago as a way to remember things I wanted to make sure I taught my kids as they were growing up in regards to service, kindness and just being an overall decent person. It was fun to let the kids think about things they thought were important and add them to our list.
If you haven’t heard me talk about how much I love the KONOS curriculum, you can read about it in pretty much any one of my posts, because I’m sold on it. It’s solid stuff and such a fun way to teach and make learning come alive. Focusing on these Godly character qualities is the exact foundation we want for our kids and I just couldn’t be more pleased with it. I learn so much right alongside them!
We are currently working on finishing up our last unit study for the year, as well as a few other things before we officially declare ourselves on summer break, and WE CANNOT WAIT! Hope that your end of the school year wrap up is going well, no matter what that looks like!
Links to resources:
*The vast majority of these ideas were straight from the KONOS curriculum.