For the sake of this workshop we will use Konos Volume 1 and examples from Konos Volume 1.We have already covered the timeline and so we will put that aside for a while.
We presume that we have just got our Konos Volume as a family at home and we are very excited by it all. We open it up and read inside the first page , which says “please read this letter”. These are frequently asked questions that are likely to be very useful and it would be a good idea to start with that.
Then we move on to the Index which has all the topics that will be covered, remember that in Konos you do not need to start at the beginning and work through the manual, you can pick and choose the category that you want to start with. The character trait that is applicable to your family at this specific time.
For the sake of this workshop we are going to choose Patience, which is No 5 on the list of character traits in this volume. You can also look at the list of topics under each heading or character trait. You decide what you really need to focus on, once you have chosen the character trait you can read the topics that you will cover to your children as listed in the index. You explain to the children that you are going to be studying patience and why, that God is patient and would like us to be, we are going to grow in patience and to help us do this we are going to be studying these topics. As you read the list of topics you might see a spark of interest in one of your children, one might say he wants to learn about animal birth while another might want to plant a garden. So now you have two children wanting to do different things, as a family you might decide to start with plants and discuss that together, explain that you will be getting to the animals, but you will start with the plants. That is what is so exciting abut Konos. It is family integrated, you discuss it together, you can stop and pray or even have your Bible study at this point and see what God leads you to do, where does He want you to start. After praying about it you become united as a family and decide which topic you will start with. The other child will need to wait to cover the topic he/she chose and this will help their growth and patience.
Now you have made your decision. What we suggest is that because Konos is fortunately in a file, you take out the whole unit of patience and put it in a smaller file or folder. You can then put the Volume 1 aside and you can work with the unit you are dealing with.You have the unit and the activity pages and all the yellow pages. We decided we are going to do the examples of the plant.
Now we get to the yellow pages, these are confusing as it has on the side the ages “older/middle/younger” and it lists all the books and activities here. What often happens is that Moms try to do everything suggested reading all the relevant books etc. We suggest you don’t even reference to the yellow pages. They are going to trip you up, you are going to get bogged down doing what is suggested in the time frames it stipulates. This is just a guideline. You are going to read through the unit and you will know that you are not going to give your 4 year old a diagram to draw, but you will give the 12 year old that diagram. So following then yellow pages may well get you into a knot, so why not take them out completely.
So keep the introductory main page on patience, take out all the other yellow pages and put them back into the big Volume that you put aside earlier.So now you only have the pages applying to the patience unit (less those yellow pages.) We look at the first white page where you will find the definition, the objective and methods. You are going to keep that as your focus and we suggest you photocopy that and paste it in the children bedrooms, on the fridge and in other places, so everybody has these reminders preparing them for the onus and the topic you are covering. Go through the page with your family, even Dad who can read through it at the dinner table and the reasons why we need to develop this trait.
Now Mom , or perhaps Dad, will get on with the rest. The first thing you will face is the resources, then examples to put on the Timeline and then vocabulary. This will be what happens with each trait. The remainder of pages are the activities.
We start at the beginning, where each unit starts (after your objectives ) with the Bible, everything is founded on the Word, that is why we do Konos, we are taking what is in the Word of God and putting it into practise. The incredible gift of Konos is that it helps us to be intentional and fix on each character trait. You will often bring in one of the other character traits as you do go through the others. For example if you have already done “‘Attentiveness” and a child’s mind starts to wander you might remind them of the attentiveness teachings and help that bring them back to what you are doing.
Your Bible provides scripture that pertains to this unit, they will have some examples , in this case of patience, and then some characters to put on your time line. We covered the timeline in an earlier video you will remember.In the patience unit you will have characters to cut out and put on the timeline according to the year. These people are now in our focus and in our reference.
The vocabulary list trips too many people up. Your reference of vocabulary might be “Spelling test on Friday.” That is not the way Konos living does it. The way the Woods family did this was to read all the words out and then ask the children which words are brand new and then expand their children’s vocabulary by putting those words into context and show them what the words mean. However, capillary action might be something you can discuss and show to your 12 year old but smaller children might not be able to gasp that concept, so don’t let the list trip you up don’t struggle over every word just because it is on the list. However if you go forward with all the activities and then return to the vocabulary list and you will find that your children will be impressed by how many of the words are now part of their understanding and their vocabulary.
As parents our concern is not about how much knowledge they have at the end of the activity about the plants you might have studied but rather how much progress has been made with the goal of teaching the children patience.
The Resource list is next, it is a long list and there will be some books you can’t find but don’t worry. This is a big list of suggestions and you can go and research on google, bulbs, for instance, the resource list is purely a reference, it might prompt some ideas, the title of a book might be “The medicinal value of herbs” and that might trigger your interest in looking into that aspect, not necessarily with the book listed, but on the web, or with other books. You might then bring those ideas in when you grow your herb garden. The point of building the herb garden is to teach patience, remember to keep that as the focus.
The knowledge they glean in doing all the activities is not what is important, knowledge and the relevance thereof may be relevant for this period in time, but The Word of God and His teachings are here forever, and that is what is important and what they will need in their adult life, knowledge of Him and His Word is what Konos and Oikos is all about. Seek first God and the rest will follow.
Now we get into the living of the activities and how to apply them to your daily living. So you read through the list of activities in the unit. Over a weekend read through the pages and you will get inspired and be able to decide which of the activities will suit your children depending on their age and other factors. When you come across an activity that you think will suit your family well, circle them and make little notes in the margin with all the ideas that come to you.
You might then decide that you are going to be busy with the unit for quite a few months, or you might decide that you will only spend a short time on the unit because you need to get to, for example responsibility, because the puppy you ordered is on the way. You want to do responsibility when the puppy comes along. So you will then know how long you are going to spend on that trait and you will possibly decide you are just going to do the plant section, or only the animal section.The animal section in patience would also be very appropriate if you are getting that puppy.
This explanation purely highlights that it is up to you and your situation to dictate whether you are going to do a lot of the actions in a certain character trait, or just a few. Whatever is appropriate for your time frame.
Ideally you should stay with a character trait until you can see the activities bearing fruit, can you see your children growing in patience? Are you able to confidently say they understand the meaning of patience. You can always re-visit the trait again, the Wood family re-visited character traits often, it so happened that one child would get to grips with one trait quickly while the other needed to re-visit that particular trait, also as they grow older certain traits are more applicable.The measure would be to look for fruit and stay with that trait until you see that fruit.
So now you will have read through all the activities and alongside that you might have notes. You need some masking tape, some flower seeds or herb seeds, so the next thing is the shopping list. You could list all the requirements that might be needed for the trait the family is studying so that when you are out and about you can collect what you need. As you prepared by reading through the activities you will have noted what you need, how you plan that is entirely up to you but it does help to prepare and get the items listed, many of them will already be in your home.
How do you get something when you really don’t know where to start? You can use this as a learning process for the children. In the case of “Attentiveness” where you need to dissect an eyeball, perhaps you and your children will assume the butcher might be able to help, so ask the butcher, he might be able to help, but if not there is always google and you can watch the process of an eye being dissected there. If you can’t source what you need skip that activity, but keep practising the trait you are studying.
That is your preparation, share it with your husband and children and then you start living it.
You might have heard that Konos is too much to prepare, we hope this workshop has settled that, and also highlighted that when you are actually doing the activity prepare together, get the pots with the children, collect the soil together this is part of the integration as a family doing it together.