This is a beautiful study on wisdom and learning how to walk in it. Biblically based, rooted, and grounded, it is an amazing adventure into the concept of wisdom. I absolutely love the idea of an Internet based study, full of hot links and great tips that are actually worthwhile! There are 4 basic steps to each lesson in this study: to excite, examine, expand, and excel. Let's look at each step in the process.
1) Excite - intriguing, interesting questions, designed to pique your students curiosity and fan the flame. Time here to share ideas and generate conversations that will lead naturally into the next phase.
2) Examine - research time! Lists and links to readings all about each lesson. There are verses to look up, lots of discussion, and discovery after discovery.
3) Expand - this step is full of follow up expansion ideas that flow from the research and information examined in step two. These activities include research projects, summaries, essays, charts, etc. The skills needed are taught along the way, via links right on the page. These links will take you to worksheets on the H.O.W. site or to external sites that have been checked for their usefulness. I LOVE this feature, students can work on their outlining and essay writing as they produce projects. Robin has researched the best of the best and compiled/linked them directly to the lesson plans. No need to scramble, or pre-order whole books for just a small bit of information. Links for everything from creating vocabulary and spelling notebooks to correcting work and creating portfolios. You can really see the result of Robin's love for the Charlotte Mason method of home learning - gentle, yet thorough instruction. I had no idea that these resources were available via the Internet! There are some recommended print resources that will be of great benefit to the whole study. These are all listed in the introduction as the "key" resource and will be used in almost every lesson. Other than that, there are few books you need to buy. Robin has even noted page number reference in the lesson plan so you know where to turn to access your info quickly and easily. This lady has made research and study a breeze, and all the while you are delving deeper and deeper into a fascinating and beneficial topic. Lots of optional resources for read aloud and for older students are also included.
4) Excel - this is where prayer and Bible study come in. These are the first steps to walking wisely. Students are encouraged to write out their prayers, seek His face, and seek His way as they journey along this path. There are lots of Bible study topics, prayer ideas, and helps throughout.
So you will journey through these four steps with each lesson. Keep in mind though that this is not an "hour a day" study that is then finished and you can move on. You could take these thoughts and expand them through a whole day, or month, if you so choose. As Robin has the time scheduled, it may look something like this:
Excite - five to 10 minutes to discuss and start ideas flowing.
Examine - 30 to 60 minutes, at least, to research and read, maybe longer if
interest is intense.
Expand - 30 to 120 minutes to complete each assignment or project chosen.
There are many choices with each lesson and you will choose those that
intrigue you most, or those that include skills on which your student is
Excel - up to 60 minutes to correct and share work and discoveries
The longest lesson you will encounter is Studying God's Word Wisely - this lesson will lead your students to learn about Bible study tools and methods to build a foundation for continued studies. Students are encouraged to complete writing assignments as this is the best way to truly understand a topic - to write about it. Incorporating Charlotte Mason methods, you will use narration and dictation, in a "grown-up" style. Students will read, research, and retell via essay, report, mind maps, etc. During this process they will assess and determine their feelings and dialog about how and what they have learned. I love how this study allows students to indulge in delight directed learning. When your students take initiative on any lesson, set aside your time frames and let them enjoy the process of learning.
Robin has compiled an amazing list of objectives for each of her units. I encourage you to check the website. You will be amazed at what you find there.
I also like the way Robin has listed the new vocabulary for each lesson right up front along with a link to preparing and keeping a vocabulary notebook. Everything is just so easy to access and implement. Often I will delay a new project or unit of study simply because it is too much work for me at the time. Heart of Wisdom Studies have taken that problem away and made a whole new set of possibilities. You can purchase the key resources right through the website as well if you don't already own them. For Wisdom, the key resource is a book called Walking Wisely: Real Life Solutions for Everyday Situations, by Dr. Charles Stanley. The order of lessons in the Wisdom unit study follow the order of chapters in this book.
This unit on wisdom has 15 lessons. It should take between three and six weeks to finish, but you may choose to take your time and spread the unit over several months. Once you try one of the Sampson's units I know you will be hooked. SO much prep time has been eliminated and the content is extremely interesting. Look for other units on topics such as light, sound, energy, as well as the fantastic Ancient History units that I have reviewed elsewhere (history). Each of these are Biblically rooted, based on
Scripture, and on furthering students walk with God. As Robin puts it, her first goal of her history plan is to inspire students to become "hearers and doers" of God's Word, and to encourage them to search the Scriptures and apply them to everyday situations. The second goal is to teach students a love of learning that will last a lifetime. I was totally enthralled from this point on!
While I would not recommend the unit on Wisdom for small people, say under fifth or sixth grade, sitting in on the reading certainly won't hurt anything! The assignments seem too mature and introspective for anyone younger than 11 or 12. Anyone from these middle grades on up to adults will totally enjoy the journey. And the other units that H.O.W. offers are appropriate for any age range. They have lots and lots of cool choices.
Did I mention that these units/books are all available via e-text? If you haven't tried purchasing anything this way, I highly encourage it. It is SO fun - you simply place your order on the website, pay through their secure server, and then you get a pass code from them to access the book online. You can print the whole thing off, or you can complete the study right at the computer where all the links to everything you need will be "hot." You will jump right to the intended page and then hop right back to your assignment, or chosen reading. I can't believe how streamlined the whole process is and how easy. You will really love it and best of all - there is NO waiting for your book to arrive! How sweet is that?
Of course, you can order them through the mail and use the paper bound versions as well. When you purchase the paper version, you register online with the Sampsons and they provide you with a password that will provide you with all kinds of links to help study the lessons. In the history units, these become invaluable as there are audio clips, video clips, and so much more! I received units both ways and for my younger ones I appreciated the text version so I could read ahead and help direct where necessary. But the older children will make full use of all the available online options and love every minute.
Robin Sampson and her husband Ronnie are parents to 11 children and grandparents to 12 as well. They have an intense, deep love for God and a desire to share that love with others. They have homeschooled in every way possible and through their own journey have been led by the Lord to write these phenomenal studies. The Sampson's know whereof they speak. They have joy, life, and love and it comes through loud and clear when you read these units. I feel blessed just being able to work with them for review, I can't wait to get started on our own journey and really work through them.
Please check out the website, http://HeartofWisdom.com or the online bookstore at http://Homeschool-Books.com. I am SO excited about Heart of Wisdom and I am sure you will be also. It is an exciting and joyful journey. Have fun! If I had to give stars, I would definitely give Heart of Wisdom Studies five out of five. Highly recommended!