What is AMO?
“AMO” is the short name for our AMO® Program, which is both an enriched curriculum for children and Christian worldview courses for the adults who disciple them. It is rooted in the biblical virtues of beauty, truth and moral goodness. The name “AMO” is an acronym for “Feed My Lambs” in the Romance languages: “Apacienta Mis Ovejas” (Spanish) or Apascenta Minhas Ovelhas (Portuguese) in which the verb “amo” means “I love.” Jesus said, “Do you love Me? . . . Feed My lambs” (John 21:15).
For what ages is the AMO curriculum designed?
The curriculum is written for children who can read and write. However, it has also been used with youth and young adults. Every lesson plan is developed on a biblical principle that is derived from the lesson’s reading content. When you teach by principles, it is possible to include readers and writers of any age, as the Holy Spirit enlightens the understanding of each student at his individual learning threshold.
How do I get started using AMO?
The gateway into our AMO® Program is attending an AMO® Teacher Training. Here you will learn all you need to know to get started. This five-day workshop is just the beginning of a long-term commitment to equip yourself for discipling others. Click here to see our training schedule and register online.
What materials will I need to begin an AMO Program?
The bare necessities are:
- A ringed binder, a Bible, and colored pencils for each child
- A computer, printer, and paper to access and print the duplicable resources
- An AMO® teacher guide (There are many guides from which to choose, but you can begin with the book of Proverbs or the classic Heidi.)
- An unabridged copy of the literature classic you have chosen to teach
- Seating and table space adequate for your children in a comfortable environment
Is there a recommended number of children per class?
Yes, we recommend no more than 20-25 children in one class.
It seems some children have difficulty copying the writings from the board. They are copying but there is not enough reflection.
Copying is copying. For young children, it’s a lot of “work.” They must focus on the act of reading the words on the board and then transferring the correct letters onto their paper. We have learned that at the end of a unit, when the children review all their writing, coloring pages, map work, and graphic organizers, the pain of copying is forgotten. They are “proud” to show their parents and friends the fruit of their labor. And many children use their binders to teach other children in their family or neighborhood. Reflection comes during the prescribed times in the lesson plan for reasoning and answering questions. Reflection is greatest if the Bible Reading for Reasoning time is used properly, meaning if the children are actually given time to reason rather than the teacher teaching and asking the children to parrot back information.
How do I know if the children understand all the vocabulary of the classic they are hearing while being read aloud in class?
Classic literature is the centerpiece of our AMO®Program. The arts and crafts component is coordinated with the classic being used, as well as the culminating festival.
The primary purpose of reading a classic aloud to children is not instructional, but inspirational. When a classic is read aloud, the hearts of the children bond to the reader in such a way as to lay the foundation for relationship. Teaching and learning are first and foremost a relationship, the heart and mind of the teacher interacting with the hearts and minds of the students. Instruction without relationship is just the dissemination of information. So, reading a classic aloud initiates relationship.
Reading aloud also does many other things. It enables the child’s imagination to take flight. He does not need to know the meaning of every word to enjoy a good story or to dream and glean vision for his own life. When we make this area of the program “too instructional,” it removes the joy of entering the story. It is “story” that has the power, not knowing the meanings of all the author’s vocabulary! God designed us to love “story.” He is the Author of the greatest story ever!
Reading a classic aloud builds vocabulary comprehension by association. Without thinking about it, the child learns unknown word meanings by the way the word is used in the story. So, it is not necessary to define every word in the classic that the children don’t know. In fact, stopping too often to define terms, interferes with the spirit of the story. The reader should mediate the vocabulary, however, when the word is important to the theme or the lesson’s principle.
Reading classics to children furnishes their minds with noble ideals and imagery and gives them the vocabulary they need to express noble ideas. Without a well-rounded vocabulary, we cannot speak with precision or write with clarity. The classic soon becomes a lifelong “friend”” of the child and will inform his thinking throughout his years. The characters will be models that he will refer to many times.
The classic also acts as a soil softener for the heart of the listener. It softens “hardened” hearts (if there are any), and it tills the rocks and weeds from the soil that prevent good seed from taking root. God’s Word is like a two-edged sword. It has the ability to “hurt” tender hearts when applied improperly and “religiously.” God’s truth finds prepared soil when sown in those whose hearts and minds have been softened with Christian ideals and principles.
We often feel pressure to skip some of the classes or double the number of chapters to be read in order to finish the classic by our scheduled closing date.
Rushing the reading of the classic defeats the intended purpose of the use of the classic. It can be compared to gulping down a banquet dinner in a few minutes, when it is meant to be savored and enjoyed with delightful friends and conversation. We suggest that you extend the length of time of your program.
The lesson plans provide a lot of material that we need to cover in a short period time. I often wonder what to keep and what to leave out?
Nothing should be left out. The goal of AMO® is not the mastery of information. The goal is to be “wholly” inspired by everything that is offered: by interacting with beauty, truth, and moral goodness through story, God’s Word, the principles, arts and crafts, responding to Wellspring through sculpting, painting, sketching, music and drama. It is the whole enriching experience that initiates transformation from the inside out and cultivates the whole child to express his full potential in Christ.
Divide the lesson plans that appear to take more time in half and extend the length of your AMO® Program. The biblical model of learning is not fragmentary but expansionary—-line upon line, precept upon precept, a little at a time. We lay the foundation of truth through the structure of principles from an early age. Year after year, we build on the same foundation and the child’s comprehension expands year after year until it is mastered.
Can I print the vocabulary cards and memory verse cards in black and white?
These cards are provided in color and attractively designed to make it easier for the children to read, while upholding a higher aesthetic standard for the classroom.
For AMO Day One, where can I find the book, Frederick?
You should search online booksellers or contact an AMO® trainer. Some trainers have access to the book.