Overwhelmed with trying to teach children in different ages?
Tired of spending time preparing, when you would rather spend the time with your children?
Need a curriculum that is easy to use?
Struggling with establishing consistency in structuring your learning time in home school?
Do you need something that is portable and hyperlinked that you can take with you on your kindle or ipad?
Have you considered the Power of an Hour?
What can educationally be experienced in a single hour a day, added up week to week, for nine months a year, for four years? More than one might imagine!
Robert Schuller once said "Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.” Just as the seeds of an apple when planted can produce more apples than one can imagine, the Power of an Hour is bite sized learning that can really add up over time!
Power of an Hour (POAH) can be great for home educators who would like to increase the consistency of their homeschool and also boost their children's cultural literacy, also known as, the breadth and depth of learning. POAH works well to help parents create a portfolio of work at the end of the school year for their children. This is a simple system, it all adds up! This also saves the parent hundreds of hours compiling lists of people, art works, music, other resources and links for further study.
POAH has a yearly theme based on a cycle or era of time:
- Ancient (4000 BC- 1 AD)
- Medieval (1 AD- 1500 AD)
- Renaissance (1500 AD- 1800 AD)
- Modern (1800 AD - the present).
This makes it easy to select Bible episodes, literature, artists, musicians, mathematicians/ scientists, statesmen, and poets throughout history to learn about.
Power of an hour has three elements:
- A Bible episode.
- A read aloud from a classic literature.
- A daily enrichment.
This is simple and flexible enough to use from child to adult age, but can be expanded and taken as deep as one wants to go. This can be a supplement to what you are already doing or it can become a whole curriculum map. So, what is included and how is it used? What can one explore in one hour, in a single day? A week? A month? Nine Months? Four Years? Let's take a look...
For Young Children in Core Phase (about 4-6) and those wanting something simple to expand what they are already doing. We call these Family Scholars because much of their learning takes place as a family.
If children are mid-core phase this can be really simple. Read the Bible story from the Bible, let them become use to the beautiful language. Then read a few pages to a chapter from a classic. The enrichment can be as simple as sharing at the dinner table, "Guess what I learned today..." Children this age can also learn by what they hear taught to the older children. Think of how well "Little Sister" in Laddie: A True Blue Story by Gene Stratton Porter, gained most of her knowledge before going off to school. She listened as her older brothers and sisters learned. Mrs. Stanton, the mother in the story was not formally educated and learned right along with her children!
We created a portfolio for core phase called the Family Scholar Portfolio. This is designed to track where these young family learners have been on their educational journey of discovery and the development of the discipline of the learning habit. This is not a planner, though it can may have a few planning pages, this is more a portfolio. The Family Scholar Portfolio leads into the Aspiring Scholar Portfolio and helps prepare them for the Personal Scholar Portfolio when the become a young scholar.
Older Children in Transition to Love of Learning (about 6-8) If children are approaching transition into love of learning you can actually just share the ideas and do the activities suggested. This would include reading the scriptures and a classic aloud each day. For a fuller curriculum begin keeping a Family Scholar Notebook, Book of Centuries, Book of Nations, Nature Notebook and:
Sunday- Read and discuss an excerpt from the classics and learn about a Noble Person of Faith. A great day for family councils and personal interviews too!
Monday- Learn about an artist (the first week) Study one of his works each week. Miniature biography, links and art work provided. Do a Charlotte Mason style picture study where you show your children the picture for a few minutes. Turn the picture towards you and have them describe the picture they remember. This helps build memory, descriptive capability, and is a pre-composition activity. Then teach them the spelling rule; they are short and take only a minute or two!
Tuesday-- learn of a famous musician the first week. Study one of his works each week. Miniature biography, picture, links to musical work provided. Listen to a musical piece by this composer (links provided). Let the children dance or move to the music. Teach them the grammar rule, it only takes a few minutes.
Wednesday- Learn about a famous mathematician or scientist each week. Do a living math or living science activity each week. Miniature biography, pictures, and links to activities provided.
Thursday- Learn about a statesman each week. Learn about a nation of the world each week. Learn a Hebrew letter, word or phrase each week (second year is Greek, third year is Latin Roots, fourth year is a modern language). Miniature biography, links to statesman, nation info, and Hebrew letter (including audio link) provided to pronounce the letter.
Friday- Learn about a poet the first week. Study one of his poems each week. Learn about a state each week. Miniature biography, links for poet, state and poem provided.
Saturday- Scripture episode and classic.
Children in Love of Learning Phase (about 8-12) Power of an Hour Plus... Families can do all of the above and more, using the Power of an Hour as a springboard for broader and deeper study. A child should have the three reads each day: be read to, read aloud, and read to ones self. Bible study can usually satisfy this. Add in a daily walk. We created an Aspiring Scholar Portfolio for children in the love of learning phase. As children are ready, they can begin to develop their writing through: year one- keep their own personal journal/ correspondence; year two is Biography through personal history; year three is research through family history; year four is digital publishing and blogging. Also, Aspiring Scholars and Scholar keeping their own Book of Centuries, keeping their own Book of Nations, keeping their own Commonplace book (for copywork) of quotes from what they and their families are reading; and Aspiring Scholar Portfolio for themselves. The parent can share the extra links provided, or go to the library on Friday to pick up books on the subjects covered the next week. In addition the child can:
Sunday- work on writing letters, memorizing Bible verses and more. Also, this is a good night for family counsel, personal interviews, and a family recital of poems memorized, music learned, or anything else they want to share.
Monday- add the artist and the art work studied to their Book of Centuries. They might also want to work on learning to draw or keep a nature notebook. Look for the spelling rule expressed in the scripture or classic.
Tuesday- add the musician and thoughts about his music to their Book of Centuries. They may want to choose to learn to read music or learn to sing or play an instrument. Also, they can look for an example of the grammar rule in the readings of the day or write their own example of a sentence using the rule.
Wednesday- add the mathematician or scientist to their Book of Centuries. They may also want to experiment further with the living math or living science activity.
Thursday- add the statesman to their Book of Centuries. They may also want to practice writing the Hebrew, create a map of the country studied, learn more about the nation, and add the nation to the Book of Nations.
Friday- add the poet to their Book of Centuries. They may also want to memorize the poem, create a map of the state studied, learn more about the state, and add the state to the Book of Nations.
Saturday- Family activity or service project. One can just keep it simple or one can move this to a full curriculum.
Notice, this is not about the parent taking hours to prepare, the preparation has already been done. This is based on the leadership education principles of exposure, experiment, and embrace. What the child researches and records for their self, they are more likely to recall than when the parent doing all the preparation and the child just receiving it.
The Power of an Hour is $2.99 a week or save by purchasing it by the month at $9.99. The next post will be on using the Power of an Hour as a blended approach, along side going to a public or private school.
Power of an Hour
Portfolios and Binder Packets
- Family Scholar Portfolio- $9.99
- Aspiring Scholar Portfolio- $9.99
- Personal Scholar Portfolio- $9.99
- Book of Centuries- $6.99
- Book of Nations- $6.99