This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure statement for more information.
My youngest daughter is turning five soon, and for the longest time I’d been planning to start kindergarten with her this fall. But something shifted in me this spring as I sat down to plan out the coming year. For my oldest, starting kindergarten at five made sense–she was very eager to learn to read, enjoyed sitting down to work at academic tasks, and craved the formal learning experience. But my youngest isn’t like that at all.
She is still very much four. She wants to play, she wants to run and climb and jump. She has not expressed any desire to “learn to read” yet. She loves playing with words and letters, loves to make up silly rhymes with me, and often tries to sound things out on her own, but she is not ready for kindergarten and I am in no hurry, so why rush into it? That’s the beautiful thing about homeschool–you can tailor the education around the needs of the individual child.
Last year, we did the letter work from Blossom and Root Early Years Vol. 2., therefore Brice knows all of her letters (upper and lowercase and all of their sounds) by heart. But we didn’t do the literature, the art and picture studies, the composer studies, the nature study, or much of the STEM projects because we chose to combine those subjects with her older sister as she finished going through our kindergarten curriculum. So this year I decided we were going to spend the year doing all of those pieces we’d skipped, taking as long as we want, and enjoying this precious time together.
I am SO excited for the year ahead with my little Brice. Here are our picks for our secular, nature-based, Charlotte Mason-inspired pre-k year:
The Main Curriculum
The bulk of our activities will come from Blossom and Root Early Years Vol. 2. There are 36 beautiful children’s books and stories to explore together, as well as weekly picture studies and inspired art projects, composer studies, nature study prompts, hands-on exploration of math concepts, STEM prompts, and early literacy activities. I designed this curriculum to provide a flexible framework, full of inspiration and a rich tapestry of topics to cover each week, and am so happy to have the chance to do it in its entirety with Brice. (I was designing it while I did it with Blake, my oldest, so we never got to do the full program together.)
Science and (More) Nature Study
In addition to the Early Years program, Brice will join Blake for her first grade science and nature study lessons using Blossom and Root First Grade: Wonders of the Earth and Sky. We will be studying geology, weather, and seasons together with lots of hands-on activities, field trips, and engaging literature. (You can see a samples of this curriculum by clicking here.)
We absolutely love SQUILT and all of the wonderful programs it has to offer. We decided this year to use their “eras” program to explore the Baroque and Classical eras of music. We may also throw in the “Meet the Instruments” program–it looks fabulous! SQUILT is so easy to use and has been a wonderful addition to our homeschool for over six months already. Highly recommend!
We are a Brave Writer family, and love to include many aspects of the Brave Writer lifestyle in our homeschool week. One of our favorite features of this lifestyle is our weekly poetry teatime. We usually bake something yummy together (carrot cake muffins, blueberry sponge cake, etc.), make the table look beautiful with random pieces I’ve found at the second-hand store and fresh flowers, then sit down and read poetry from a variety of resources together. We also love to have poetry tea picnics, when we take it outside. Blake calls these our “hundred acre teatimes” because they remind her of the Winnie the Pooh stories. 🙂
Poetry teatime is so easy to implement and it really doesn’t need to be fancy at all. There have been plenty of weeks when we cracked open a box of store-bought cookies and sat in front of the fireplace instead of making up the table. We read everything from Shel Silverstein to Rudyard Kipling to song lyrics. I love this part of our homeschool week!
Brice will also join in on big sister’s first grade art program, Exploring the Math in Art. These picture studies and corresponding hands-on art projects are designed to explore various math concepts in art: shapes, patterns, balance and symmetry, and whole vs. parts. Featured artists include Warhol, Kandinsky, Matisse, Mondrian, Frank Lloyd Wright, Seurat, Van Gogh, Aboriginal artists, William Morris, modern artists working in shadow sculptures, and more!
Most of Brice’s pre-k days will be filled with outdoor open-ended play, not with curriculum. We usually finish everything well before lunchtime and the rest of the day is free to explore, create, and play. This is always where the best learning happens!
We are so excited for the year ahead together! What curriculum or resources are you using for your pre-k year? What are you the most excited about? Please feel free to share in the comments!
Links to all curriculum mentioned above:
- Blossom and Root Early Years Vol. 2
- Blossom and Root First Grade: Wonders of the Earth and Sky
- SQUILT Eras / Meet the Instruments
- Brave Writer Lifestyle
- Blossom and Root First Grade: Exploring the Math in Art
Read more posts from homeschool mamas on their curriculum choices for 2018 – 2019 on the iHomeschool Network Back-to-School Link-Up! (Click here to read posts!)
Get Your FREE Trial Issue of Book Seeds By Blossom & Root!
This FREE issue, inspired by the book The Three Sunflowers by Janet Lucy, includes two weeks of activities including nature study, STEAM, art project, recipe, and exploring language and poetry. Suitable for ages 3 - 8. Grab yours today!