Recently we received the following e-mail…
Does the preschool curriculum include a copy of your book as well? What is the difference between the book (29.95) and the curriculum? I already own quite a few different preschool curriculums from Winterpromise to Sonlight to Memoria Press…what makes your curriculum stand out? Before I set down another considerable amount, I just want to know exactly what you offer! Maybe a sample is available? Also for my bigger kids, we use charlotte mason…is your curriculum in line with her philosophy?
We thought others might be asking this same question so we are sharing our response:
Thank you so much for contacting me with your questions about A Year of Playing Skillfully. After schooling many children, we are well acquainted with the disappointment of buying a curriculum only to figure out that it isn’t a good fit with a particular child. As a matter of fact, we have purchased ALL of the products that you have mentioned over the years! Part of the reason we developed our resources is that we could see the lack of developmentally appropriate and comprehensive programs available to parents.
Does the preschool curriculum include a copy of your book as well?
No. The curriculum is a completely different resource.
What is the difference between the book and the curriculum?
We wrote The Homegrown Preschooler as manual for parents to set up their own program for their children in their homes. We think of it as our science/philosophy book on how preschoolers learn best. We give lists of activities for parents to do their own scheduling with. This book includes the woodworking plans for our sensory table, our light table, and our outdoor plexi-glass easel. In addition, it also has information for the young homeschooling mother on scheduling and homemaking, as homeschooling tends to have an effect on all areas of home life. From our personal experience, we address homeschooling under unique circumstances such as chronic illness, special needs, and adoption situations.
After we wrote The Homegrown Preschooler, mothers contacted us and wanted more. We listened to the things that mothers felt would be helpful and went to work on A Year of Playing Skillfully. Some of the things that we considered in developing this curriculum were:
- Mothers wanted more of a plan…a flexible plan, but a plan nonetheless
- Mothers wanted to use this with a wider range of children (3-7) so needed instruction in adding to activities to include older children
- Mothers of more than one child needed to find ways to do preschool while educating older children and caring for babies as well, and wanted strategies for tucking in preschool throughout their day
- Much of what was on the market was developmentally inappropriate for preschoolers. Mothers were frustrated with preschoolers inability to sit and do worksheets. Tears were being shed by mom and children.
- One of Lesli’s children has a brain injury and many of Kathy’s children are adopted and had hard beginnings. We have been forced to learn more than we ever wanted to know about neurology and the way the brain learns. The blessing that has come out of this is that we can say with authority and lots of research to back it up (Kathy’s 25 years in Child Development and Early Childhood Education helps too) 🙂 that when the child engages in sensory learning activities, neurons form synapsis. When children do not receive enough of this type of stimulation, the brain culls those cells off in an effort to be more efficient. They need to keep those cells…not lose them! We try to provide the maximum benefit for the brain with each activity. If we can do a literacy activity that has a sensory component, it is a double boost for brain connectivity. It also helps children to concentrate and focus better.
- We have an agenda. we admit it. These little ones are going to be the thought leaders of the next generation. We don’t take that lightly. We want them to become adults who know truth, beauty, and goodness when they see it, and their natural response to be to try to replicate it! Through our science activities, we teach them to use Aristotle’s Common Topics to become orderly thinkers. Through our art studies we try to help them define and replicate beauty…..we are so mindful that these are important formative years and the responsibility to provide the best for them is a great responsibility.
What makes your curriculum stand out?
Our curriculum looks at the whole child from a developmental perspective. We cover the following developmental areas in great detail:
- Home life
- Service to others
- Gross motor
- Fine motor
- Language and literacy
Each month you receive a printable calendar to put in a frame or on your refrigerator.
Each activity listed on the calendar page is fully described in our curriculum. Most of the supplies are things that you probably already have on hand. Every day you can pick a few activities to fit into your schedule. Over the course of a month, all of your child’s developmental needs are met.
In addition, each month we work on a specific character trait and Bible verse.
Do we have samples available?
Of course! Here is a one month sample for you to see and try with your children.
We use Charlotte Mason with our older kids, would this be compatible?
Absolutely. As a matter of fact, you will find lots of Charlotte’s quotes smattered throughout our book! We are both highly influenced by her writings.
We hope that helps! We wish we could just sit at your kitchen table and show it to you! Please contact us anytime if you have any more questions.
Kathy and Lesli