When it comes to homeschooling, it would be putting it mildly to say that I’m pretty transparent. Take curriculum, for example. When I find a resource that really works for our family, I can barely contain my excitement.
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Very often, that excitement is short-lived. Since our homeschool is constantly evolving, so is our curriculum. However, for us there have been two curriculums we’ve used for years that have been a constant source of inspiration:
Both of these resources are spectacular standing alone, but used together they create the perfect combination of learning approaches for my children.
Here’s how we do it.
Two Ways to Combine Konos and Beautiful Feet Books
One thing I need to point out from the very beginning is that both Konos and Beautiful Feet Books contain enough lessons/activities to last at least one full year – in Konos’ case, multiple years. So time-wise, there is no need to combine the two.
As a homeschool mom of many, I have had to find ways to keep all of my kids happy in how we learn together. As you might have guessed, multiple kids mean multiple learning styles, and that is the primary reason I started alternating between the two.
If you’re not familiar with either of these materials, let me point out the relevant difference between the two:
While Konos includes an extensive literature list, it is primarily a hands-on curriculum. Beautiful Feet Books, on the other hand, is a primarily literature-based curriculum, so most of the lessons focus on reading and narration.
I firmly believe that both of these approaches are not only valuable, but they support the varying needs of my children.
1. Alternating Between Topics
Since this is the way I most often combine them, I’ll start here.
Konos is probably the longest lasting (and most loved) curriculum we’ve used. As a collection of unit studies, it has never failed to provide us with an array of topics to dive into.
Some of the most memorable activities we’ve completed with Konos were:
- a meticulously planned Medieval feast
- an ear tunnel for the kids to crawl through
- a safety obstacle course
- a cardboard castle
- creating Native American false face masks
- baking hot cross buns
As you can see, although a wide variety of topics were covered, it was mainly done via hands-on projects. Did we have a lot of fun? Absolutely. But over time, I think we all began to burn out on the constant barrage of “thing to make.”
Beautiful Feet Books is a wonderful alternative to this. Since it is literature-based, it is a calmer, yet no less effective, approach to learning.
That’s where the alternating comes in.
What we’ve been doing the past few years is this:
We complete one unit study topic in Konos, and then we complete one book from Beautiful Feet Books. Do they have to be connected somehow? Nope. This is where a timeline notebook comes in very handy. 🙂 Could they be connected? Absolutely. They can provide excellent supplemental material for one another, which brings us to…
2. Blending the Two Together
Every now and then, a beautiful thing happens – I’ll find that a Konos unit study covers the exact same thing as a Beautiful Feet book. The Revolutionary War is the perfect example of this.
Since my children have been using BFB Early American History, once we arrived at the era of the Revolutionary War, I realized this would be the perfect time to combine the literature selections with the creative hands-on activities supplied by Konos.
It was a match made in heaven.
Mixing and matching these two curriculums for similar topics can really help to break up what might otherwise be a monotonous homeschool routine. It can almost guarantee that every day will be different, and I think most of us will agree that that’s a good thing.
Have you ever combined or alternated curriculum this way? Share your ideas in the comments!
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