HOWTAIt’s HOWTA Book Study time.


Who likes to cook? Prepare yummy nutritious meals for their family? Do you have a favourite cookbook? Are you the type who follows the recipe to the letter or do you like to add variation by supplementing or complementing the dish? Do you overly stress about meal planning? Do you even meal plan? How far in advance do you plan?

See, I reckon that we’d have many different responses here, based upon our different personalities and backgrounds. The HOW TA is similar in approach. Robin has recognised that we need to eat nutritiously! That we need to use some key ingredients, but that they may vary from time to time…but every recipe has a key ingredient that simply cannot be left out- the dish will not be right otherwise!

So we set about baking a cake. We assemble the flour, eggs, sugar, butter and choc chips. 😛 Then, we cream the butter and the sugar, add in the other ingredients and bake it in the oven. Next, we ice our cake with some fudge frosting cake, decorated with a few sliced strawberries on top, with a dollop of whipped cream. We try to exercise control as we have one moderate piece with a nice hot cup of tea. 😉

Here we have a basic recipe with ingredients, a method of preparation and an outcome.

Robin likens our endeavours of home education to this; we have the:

  • Ingredients ( Bible, books, video’s etc) and we have:
  • Certain methods ( 4 step method, copywork, narration, scrapbooking, literature based, etc) and we have:
  • A desired outcome (presentation and consumption of good ideas)

The HOWTA contains two main recipes. One is a recipe that we should consume on a daily basis and that is God’s Word. The second is a recipe for a unit study. Robin tells us that we are free to adapt this recipe to suit our family’s needs. Let’s dig in and have a closer overview of the Main Course eh?

The Main Coursethe main dish/ingredient in our main course is the Bible.
Well, how many times have we said, “Well duh, of course!” and then continued on our merry way? Or am I the only one who has done that? 😳

HOW provides a Bible approach in the way of chronological readings along with various nutritious seasonings like Bible study tools. You need to work out the exact measurements for your own family though. That’s the beautiful thing about it! It isn’t purely a One Size Fits All meal. Have you ever eaten a pre-packed TV dinner? They’re okay when you’re in a pinch (they might serve a purpose) but ya can’t live off them regularly and expect to be healthy!

Okay, do we have any side dishes and side dish recipes? Of course- every good meal does! Ours include the study of history, science and life skills. Also included are living books, video’s, and the Internet. What about a sprinkling of geography, composition, religion, government, economics, and more? Sure thing! Robin tells us that all we need to complete our meal is a dish of maths, phonics, a foreign language and other electives.

Now, let’s move on to planning the meal! We have the recipes, we have the side dishes. We have the method of how to prepare it. Robin encourages us to NOT leave out the Essential Ingredient – the Bible. But this meal planning business? Well, the HOWTA even helps us with that. Four years worth of meal plans! Okay, a schedule or plan to cover 4 years worth of study. Then repeat that three times and you have 12 years worth of meal plans!

Robin tells us that if we use the HOW teaching approach we can use the recipes provided (the HOW unit studies available) or we can devise our own recipes by modifying the recipes. I’ve found it helpful to also use the method in other lessons.whether or not I’m using a HOW unit study or not.

The HOW Teaching Approach book is compiled into five sections.

1) Lessons from Exodus
2) Rethinking Education
3) HOW Methods
4) HOW Instructions
5) Resources

Heart of Wisdom
Purchase the HOWTA book: buy the book and view many sample pages
HOW Teaching Approach: for articles and further reading.

Any comments or questions so far?