Homeschool Curriculum Review - Konos Unit Studies
One of the most popular ways to homeschool is through unit studies. Unit studies provide almost complete curriculum for a variety of ages at the same time. Konos Unit Studies have been around for long time. Many homeschoolers use Konos and many other unit studies have been designed after Konos. Developed by Carole Thaxton and Jessica Hulcy the Konos curriculums are designed for grades K-8.
Unit studies are great ways to teach your children. They typically cover all subjects except math and spelling. Many unit studies do provide activities that incorporate those subjects, but isn't a complete program and you do need to do those subjects on your own. I have used many unit study curriculums and really liked Konos the best. Konos is a Bible based study, focusing on learning about and through God's character. My kids really liked Konos as well.
Konos has 3 main volumes of curriculum, each one covering 2 & 1/2 years of lessons, divided up by character traits. For each lesson you will be given many activities, games, crafts and ideas that go along with the lesson. The parent will have to figure out which options they want to use, when they want to do them, how long they want the lesson to take and put together all the supplies needed. These three volumes require a lot of work from the parents, but they are very well done.
If you are looking for something that is a little more spelled out for you Konos does have other options. They have added weekly lesson plans for the volumes which can help a parent get the year organized. This method provides a little more structure. For parents needing even more structure there are some sets available. We did two of these sets - the Russia study and the Obedience study.
Konos has taken parts of their volumes and expanded them into very detailed and organized for you type of lessons. There are two cultural units, one on Russia and one on Africa. We really enjoyed the Russia unit. You can purchase just the lesson planner or you can purchase a box set that includes a few books and craft supplies to go along with it. I was able to choose which activities would be age appropriate and of interest to my kids. There were plenty of ideas to choose from.
Konos has also taken some specific character traits and turned them into boxed sets as well. Currently there are sets on Obedience, Orderliness and Attentiveness. We did the Obedience curriculum. It focused on three things - light and authority, horses, and knights. My kids loved this unit study so much. I had the boxed set and it came with most of the craft things I needed (aside from the basics) and a few books to read aloud. We got many more books from the library and spent three months doing this study.
All in all, I found Konos unit studies to be very thorough. The units we did were easy for me to teach for the most part and the kids really liked them. My children were younger when we did Konos and it did seem that many of the activities were really geared for older kids, but I could adapt them just fine. I do think they would have gotten more out of the unit studies if they had been older. The only thing that bothered me about the Konos unit studies was there were many grammatical errors and typos in both units we did. After awhile it really got on my nerves and obviously the editing was done very well. Aside from that though, the Konos unit studies were great to work with and the kids learned a ton and had fun too.