Heart of Wisdom Publications:

The Four Steps

Each lesson in Heart of Wisdom unit studies contains four basic steps. These four steps comprise a cycle of instruction based on the four learning styles. Each of the four steps teaches to one of these four learning styles. The chart below gives an overview of the four steps.


Step Description

Typical Activities

Step 1


Create an interest

This is a critical step skipped in public school. Motivate students by making the lesson meaningful to their lives. Discuss what the children may already know about the subject and what they would like to find out.

. Mindmapping

. Brainstorming

. Watching a video

. Discussing the topic

. Making lists

. Drawing tentative conclusion

Step 2


Find out the Facts

This is the traditional step: Find out the facts-but not with a text book. HOW suggests looking at several different resources (real books, Internet sites, videos, etc.)

. Research on the Internet

. Look at an interesting book on the subject

. Read a classic

. Look it up in an encyclo-pedia

. Refer to a commentary

. View maps

. Interview an expert

. Interact with software

Step 3


Do something

with what was learned

Reinforce the lesson by completing an assignment or creating a project. Projects can be simple ten-minute activities or elaborate three-day endeavors. HOW lessons focus on writing assign-ments. To retain the material, a student must do something with what is learned.

. Complete a writing assignment (Write a letter from or to a character, write a newspaper article, etc.)

. Create illustrations

. Make a salt dough model

. Do a science experiment

. Create a diorama

. Write songs or poetry

. Trace a journey on a map

. Make a booklet or pamphlet, poster, etc.

Step 4


Pull everything together (synthesis) and share with someone else

The student shares what he has learned, usually through narration (verbally or in writing) and through the creation of a portfolio.  When a student can teach someone else what he has learned, he really knows the subject.

. Create a portfolio

. Narration

. Share and explain a project

. Give a report

. Share writing activities

. Explain the Portfolpio

. Artwork

. Share oral stories

. Recite poetry

. Share a song, etc.

The most important thing to realize about learning styles is that none of the styles is better than another. The Bible teaches that we are all different parts of the body of Christ and that one part is no better than another part (1 Corinthians 12:12-25). We all have different intellectual strengths. No one fits into a box; we are all unique individuals created by God. Each of us is a combination of the four types, more or less, in one or two categories.

Studies show that seventy percent of children do NOT learn well through the way the schools teach-lecture/textbook/test-most students need more.

The 4 Steps are a Biblical Approach



How Jesus Taught

Step 1 Excite

Create an interest

He took the people where they were and made the lesson meaningful to their lives in some way. He spoke to shepherds about sheep, farmers about planting, fishermen about fishing.

Step 2 Examine

Find out the Facts

He brought in the facts shown in Scripture, “It is written, ….”

Step 3 Expand

Do something

with what was learned

He asked them to do something with what they learned

-to actively respond

-by listening.

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear;” by showing faith, “Arise, and walk;” by obeying, “Come,” “Go sin no more;” etc.

Step 4 Excel

Pull everything together (synthesis) and share with someone else

He asked them to go and tell others. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations….”

For more on 4 Steps see Teaching Around the 4MAT® Cycle: Designing Instruction for Diverse Learners with Diverse Learning Styles by Bernice McCarthy

What Every Homeschooler  Should Know About Learning Styles


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