Moms, are you overwhelmed with trying to teach children in different ages?
Are you tired of spending time preparing, when you would rather spend the time with your children?
Do you need a curriculum that is easy to use?
Are you 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 i-pad?
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 (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 Times (4000 BC- 1 AD)
- Birth of Christianity to Medieval Times(1 AD- 1500 AD)
- Age of Discovery through the Foundations of Liberty (1500 AD- 1800 AD)
- Modern Times (1800 AD – The Present).
Power of an Hour makes it easy to select Bible episodes, great 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 Learning Gateways.
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 (generally under eight years old) 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 the children are mid-core phase (about four to six years old), this can be really simple.
Read and discuss 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 recited their lessons each evening. Mrs. Stanton, the mother in the story, was not formally educated and learned right along with her children!
I created a portfolio for core phase called the Family Scholar Portfolio. Family Scholar Portfolio is first used as a family to help establish and track family centered learning activities. This is also designed to track where these young family scholars have been on their individual educational journey of discovery and the development of the discipline of the 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 they become a young scholar.
Older Children in Transition to Love of Learning (about six to eight years old) 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 about a character value. Learn vocabulary found in the reading. Learn about a Noble Person of Faith. Memorize a scripture and a quote on the character value. Discuss and consider how to apply the character value. This is 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. A miniature biography, links and art work are provided. Do a Charlotte Mason style picture study, where you show your children the picture for a few minutes, then 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, as well as art appreciation! 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. A miniature biography, picture, links to musical work are 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. A miniature biography, pictures, and links to activities are 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). A miniature biography, links to statesman, nation info, and a Hebrew letter (including audio link, to learn how to pronounce the letter) are provided.
Friday- Learn about a poet the first week. Study one of his poems each week. Learn about a state each week. A miniature biography, links for poet, state and poem are provided.
Saturday- Scripture episode and classic.
Children in Love of Learning Phase (about eight to twelve years old) Power of an Hour- Plus… This is basically elementary school in four years! Families can do all of the above and more, using thePower of an Hour as a springboard for broader and deeper study.
Once a child is reading, the child should have the three reads each day:
- Read to the child. This builds their vocabulary, an understanding of how words are pronounced, comprehension (especially when discussed), and attention span.
- Child reads aloud. This gives the opportunity to decode the written word and vocie those words. This builds their visual vocabulary and develops the brain.
- Child read to one's self. This helps a child gain confidence and speed as a reader.
Bible study can usually satisfy this. Read aloud from a classic and discuss the reading. This will expand their vocabulary and comprehension.
Add in a daily walk for exercise.
As children are ready, they can begin to develop their writing through:
Year One- writing lists, keeping their own personal journal/ correspondence
Year Two is biography through personal history
Year Three is research and compiling the research through family history
Year Four is digital publishing and blogging.
Use the Aspiring Scholar Portfolio. We created an Aspiring Scholar Portfolio for children in the love of learning phase. Teach Aspiring Scholars to keep their own Aspiring Scholar Portfolio, Book of Centuries, Book of Nations, and Commonplace book (for copywork) of quotes from what they and their families are reading. If a child is not ready to do things on their own, work with them and help set-up good learning habits of consistancy. 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 (a parent talking one-on-one with each child about concens, progress, and goals), 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 or read 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 use this as a full curriculum.
Notice: this is not about the parent taking hours to prepare, as the preparation has already been done. This is based on the leadership education principles of exposure, experiment, and embrace. What children research and record, they are more likely to recall, than when the parent does all the preparation, predigesting knowledge, and the child just passively receives it, does a worksheet, passes a tests, and then a few week later forgets what they learned.
The next post will be on using the Power of an Hour as a blended approach, alongside going to a public or private school.
This post was originally written 22 June 2915 and was updated 16 May 2019.