Teaching Everyone Together…..So Much Easier!

KONOS is perfect for building families, because the bulk of the activities are done together. It is sooooooo natural. The easier part of the activity is done by the young ones, while the more difficult tasks in an activity are done by the older ones. While doing ATTENTIVENESS: Ear/Sound/Music one activity is to build a crawl through ear under the dining room table.  Older kids take the lead in knowing the parts of the ear and saying the parts aloud.  Younger kids hear the repeated parts and learn them in “the trickle down” of the construction of the ear.  An older child may tell a younger brother to go get a sea shell for the cochlea. There is learning even in the going and getting. Younger kids may contribute in the sequencing of the parts in the proper order.  Amazingly, it was a little brother in our family that had the idea to use mom’s panty hose for the ear drum forming a membrane when tied from chair leg to chair leg (I would have opted for the toy drum myself); however, the little kids could not implement the idea on their own.  It took the big brother to figure out how to tie the hose tightly enough to work.  Now, the youngest could pretend to be a sound wave as he crawled though the ear, hit the ear drum and bounced off. Bong!

But what about activities where everyone is supposed to be doing the same thing such as dissecting a cow’s or pig’s eyeball in ATTENTIVENESS: Eyes/Seeing? For those kinds of activities I think it is helpful to consider the activity a bus that all the students get on at the same time and place. You can level the activity to each child’s information saturation point, and when the child is saturated with information to the level you think he should be, he gets off the bus and leaves the activities.

     Rhett was 5 years old when he dissected his eyeball.  After sawing through the tough sclera and cornea out popped the oozing aqueous humor and the lens….which landed on the table-protecting newspaper AND MAGNIFIED the print! Well, of course it did… but I was as surprised as Rhett. I made Rhett name all the above eye parts before he left the table looking through his lens and singing O’ Magnify The Lord. He got off the bus.  But Jordan was 8 years old, and I required more of him.  He drew the eyeball and labelled the parts as did Jason, the 11 year old did, before they took apart an old camera and compared it to the eye.  Now it was time for Jordan to get off the bus. Jason was still required to write a paper comparing the ways the camera was like the eye and how it was different, before he could get off the bus.

The shear beauty of teaching everyone together keeps mom sane….and that is very important for there are no substitute teachers in homeschool when mom is burned out! All morning long, mom has been teaching the 3R’s on all these individual levels.  After lunch, mom puts down her juggling balls and teaches KONOS to all her kids together at one time.

You have to realize that every kid will get something different than the other child, because they are at different levels….. and that is absolutely fine. The parts of the ear and eye are not on the SAT test, and if they have need of them again, they can always google it on their cell phone to refresh their memory. So why go through the activity in the first place if you do not remember all the information? Sit down, because what I am about to share with you is the sum total of education….PROCESS NOT PRODUCT.  Translated that means you should focus on the process of how to learn NOT the answers. If you give a man a fish (answer) you will feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish (process) you will feed him for life.  Likewise, if you focus on the process and not the product/answers, you will give your child the gift of how to learn ANYTHING. Then he can FIND HIS OWN ANSWERS…. long after you are gone.

All these activities are the vehicle to teach the PROCESS of how to learn, the meat. The information is the gravy.