The Oikos Lifestyle Essentials

  • Parent Helps – Your children are no doubt your primary focus, but these books are here to equip you for this journey. Please go through the parent help books, watch the videos and select the book you feel would be most appropriate for you at this time.
  • Bible Studies – We have a variety of Bible resources appropriate for all ages. You’ll need to spend a little time in this section so that you can choose which of the resources are appropriate for your family.
  • The Social Studies – We do realise that your reference to education could be boxed into subjects such as History, Geography, Science etc. You might possibly want to know how to fit in all these various subjects and try to make sure that each grade level has been achieved and given enough attention. The school system has a curriculum syllabus dictating what the children have to learn. This is done by splitting up knowledge into subjects. By bringing your children home, you don’t have to follow that same system any longer. It’s no longer relevant what knowledge you are giving them at any particular level of their age or grade.
    Please bear with us we we get you to think a bit outside the box. We are going to share about social studies a little differently to how you are used to thinking about it.

Assessing the social studies

The good news is that you don’t have to assess these skill levels (as explained above). You don’t need to ascertain what knowledge they have or don’t have at different ages. What you do need to assess is numeracy and literacy skills, which we are going to get to a little later on. But for now, lets talk about the Oikos learning lifestyle.

We have this wonderful gift of social studies all wrapped up as ‘KONOS’ in volumes 1, 2 and 3. We refer to these volumes as your parent manual for training character. They are filled with hundreds of hands-on activities suitable from toddler age all the way up to age 14-15. Thereafter, we have KONOS HOW (History of the World) for the higher levels.

While doing these activities for training their characters, you’ll find your children will gain knowledge along the way. Your primary focus will not be about what knowledge they’re gaining, but rather about learning and discovering while you train their characters. Knowledge is moving at such a pace, much of what is learned today will most likely be obsolete by the time your children are adults. Even ‘facts’ have a shelf life and expire as new research is done. Conversely, training characters can last for a lifetime if it is based on the Word of God. Keep in mind, the Word of God is the same yesterday, today and forever more!

As for which KONOS volume to choose; each is applicable based on what character traits fit your family’s needs. Each character trait is listed with each volume on the store. Most families simply start with volume one as this focuses on foundation training such as Attentiveness, Honour, Orderliness, Obedience and so on. The assessment required here is for you to see what is needed for your child’s character development.

Please watch the KONOS clips to gain a deeper understanding of how KONOS covers all your social studies.

Some of the things you’ll discover include:

  • It’s a Unit Study
  • It spans a wide range of general knowledge
  • It fits all grades
  • It fits all ages
  • It’s an integrated curriculum

Now on to the more formal aspects of the learning lifestyle – numeracy and literacy!

Oikos Formal Essentials

Maths – Math-U-See level correct for your child (see below).
Language – LLATL level correct for your child (see below).

For a child starting at the beginning

Let’s start with families who have children who are not yet at school going age. Their assessments will be different to children of various ages who have already been in a school system. It’s quite easy, you’re going to start with LLATL blue book for teaching your children to read, as it’s a complete package for all beginner readers. After Blue book, you move on to Red book which takes a student from beginner reading to reading fluency while introducing grammar. This process repeats until the child has finished all the levels listed on the store.

Using Math-U-See, a parent would start with Primer which introduces mathematics. The next level up is Alpha which focuses on addition. The child would then continue through the program according to the order listed on the store.

For a child coming out of another educational system

Language Assessments

This section is for those who have been in the school system up to this point or who have been using another curriculum at home. Let’s start with language. First, visit the language category and go through the LLATL assessments. Establish to which level of reading and grammar your children correspond (detailed instructions on store page). Next select the appropriate LLATL parent manual, student workbook and the readers that accompany that level.

A little word in here about those readers. Fortunately, we are able to provide all the readers that accompany the student book at each level of LLATL. The readers are what you may consider as “set books”. These are vital to the curriculum. We’ve heard that when parents go elsewhere to try and order these books, they find that they can’t get the Parent book or they only see one reader or even no readers and are not aware that these readers are an important part of the program. Here at Oikos, we make it our mission to see that all of these books are available for each LLATL level. It’s very unusual to not have each of these readers ready for you.

Language Assessment Tip

You may find that if your child is strong in language, they will slot in at a level which is perhaps a little higher than you are expecting, or even a little higher than their math level. This is another reason why we don’t have grade levels. It is preferable to assess your children at the skill level they are at. This is just one of the values of the Oikos lifestyle, you don’t have to lump all the various formal and academic subjects together according to grade. Instead, you have your child learning and working at a level which is appropriate to their particular abilities.

Maths Assessments

Once again, you would go to the formal category, then click on South African Math-U-See category, on the store and then the placements. This would enable you to establish their skill level so that you can order the appropriate parent and student packs. After visiting the maths page, you may wonder which of the listed ‘extra’ items to purchase, such as manipulative blocks or algebra decimal inserts. All of this will be explained in the video clip or within the individual levels on the store.

Maths Assessment Tip

We’d like to encourage you to give your child an assessment which is a couple of levels below where you think there are currently. This is so that they can gain confidence. Please don’t give them an assessment at the level you believe they are currently.

And finally, Science

For elementary, we have Science in the Beginning and the Apologia Young Explorers Series. We would recommend starting with Science in the Beginning for the elementary years, as it provides a broad overview of science. The young explorer series are topic related, so you simply select which topic your family or individual children are interested in. Should interest lie in land animals, botany etc., then these are the titles you would add where appropriate.

The High School series is slightly different, as the sequence matters. You would start with General Science book and work through the program according to the order listed on the store. Please watch the clips on the Apologia page for more understanding on this.

Final Thoughts

We hope you are feeling that it is worthwhile to get a handle on assessing your own children. It is all part of the journey of becoming responsible, successful and confident in your home educating (Homeschooling), learning lifestyle!