Heart of Wisdom Publications:
How Do You Teach Grades K-3?

How Do You Teach Grades K-3?

homeshool_K-3One of the most frequently asked questions I get is “How do you teach the younger grades?”

I’ve been homeschool over 25 years so I don’t worry about checking all the boxes as much as new homeschoolers.  My goal is to teach them to

  1. Love God
  2. Love Others
  3. Create in them a love of learning.

This is accomplished by giving them lots of love, lots of Bible reading, lots of reading good, interesting books aloud, and lots of delight directed learning–watching for what sparks their interest then diving into studies (books, movies, Youtube). For example:

  • Baking bread  lead to watching dozen Youtube videos on wheat which took us to topics on tractors, and ancient farming, etc.
  • A discussion on mommy’s silk blouse took us on a study of silk worms and China.
  • A trip to the apple orchard lead to Bible lessons on sowing and reaping.

Try this Free Apple Unit Study  to see how it works.   Get a list of classics by grade level here. 

Watering Down Lessons for Younger Children

Below are some ideas that will help you adapt unit studies created for older students for younger elementary students. Watering down the activities is fairly simple. Pray for wisdom and insight (remember, God has promised wisdom to those who ask).

The Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach can be used for all ages. However, the Heart of Wisdom unit studies were designed for grades 4-12. The HOWTA book includes recommendations for all grade levels.

The first unit in our history series, Adam to Abraham, was revised to include resources for all ages. Many families are adapting the unit studies successfully for their entire family. If you have one older child in Heart of Wisdom and you adapt this program for your younger students, you will save time and money: you won’t have to buy, assign, teach, and check separate workbooks and text materials for each child.

Many parents are interested in HOW because it teaches things they were never taught, such as history from a biblical viewpoint. Parents, even with very young children, can learn through HOW lessons and share what they have learned with their children.

Read over the four-step lesson yourself the night before or that morning. Your major change will be in step 2.


Watering Down the Lessons

Step 1 Excite: Use this step to discuss what God shows you about the lesson–enthusiasm is contagious! Step 1 usually can be done for all ages so you won’t have to alter it.

Step 2 Examine: depends on the age–and there are three options:

1. Read the text (from an Internet site or book) and summarize it for the student. (This is Charlotte Mason’s narration method in reverse).

2. Help the student read a book written at his level about the topic (elementary-age books are being added to each unit in the Resource Section). Usually you can just read aloud the book recommended in the lesson.

3. Read aloud to the child for no more than 10-15 minutes, and then stop for a narration (retelling) by the child. Make sure he or she is grasping the concepts.

Step 3 Expand: instead of the writing assignment, have the child narrate (tell back) what he has learned. Or have them illustrate or dictate a few sentences to you as you write them. Many activities in HOW unit studies can be done with all ages.

Step 4 Excel: Students put work (on their level) in a portfolio and share with others. You will still work on the portfolio but on their level.

Sample Days



 One of the activities we encourage is Scrapbooking to Learn. The two images below are good examples of children learning on different levels.


Jonah 1 was done by a four-year-old with his mom’s help using scrapbook paper and stickers. Children work on projects as the mother reads the lessons. Jonah 2 was done by a teen working on the computer. Older students are involved in more independent studies. Click here to see more scrapbook samples



  1. This is perfect timing! School begins Mon and I purchased A to M at the beginning of Summer and now I’m getting the day set up … Praise God for ordering my steps and checking back here before I ordered the week!
    Thank you and I look forward to the younger child suggests!

  2. This is perfect timing! Thank you for sharing this tips on how to teach free school.I would to try to adapt this program for my younger students, I’m sure I will save time and money: i won’t have to buy, workbooks and text materials for my child. It is very useful for him.

  3. Kristina

    WHAT in the world are you DOING offering lessons based on a MAGIC school bus and a theme of worrying about ghosts?!

    The Word of God is very clear on rejecting this type of thing.

    I was interested in your program for my two children’s homeschooling until I downloaded this PDF and read these themes. Unreal!

    Shame on you!

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