There are many options when it comes to Literature-based homeschooling. I thought I'd share a bit about these options with all of you.
Five in a Row was my very first adventure in learning with a literature-based approach. In studying with Five In A Row you are expected to read the same book over and over for a week, gleaning new insight each day. Sometimes the tasks suggested were challenging and other times I felt like there wasn't enough to do. I began to use the books as springboards for other ideas and we extended many topics that way. My only real complaint with Five In A Row is the difficulty in finding many of the books on the reading list. When we did The Carrot Seed unit I was ready to pull my hair out. We went to several local libraries and a few book stores and no one had it! If you live in a small town like I do it can become very difficult to hunt down each book. If you have a good local library you should do fine. It's a very good curriculum for homeschoolers who are just starting out. The best part about FIAR is that it's a homeschool family who created and run the business. They've shared what worked for them and many families have benefited from their effort. Check out Five In a Row here. To see books on their reading list look here.
Ambelside is what I am currently using. They are a free Charlotte Mason/ living books curriculum advice website that has been a blessing to any families by making homeschooling very affordable. If you are a single parent or in a financial bind, Ambelside really helps to make it possible to continue in your vision to homeschool despite what the bank account reads. They provide a book list and a schedule, but being Charlotte Mason, they are very flexible and easy to adapt to any schedule. The key is short lessons and lots of great reading. I am really enjoying the older living books that have found a place on the Ambelside list. Heidi and Robinhood are pretty well known books for childhood reading, but we have also enjoyed jems like Understood Betsy which I probably never would have found on my own. Click here to visit Ambelside. Look here to see the Ambelside reading list.
Another popular Literature- Based Curriculum is Sonlight. I subscribe to their e-mail newsletter, but I have not used their curriculum. I think their reading lists are great, but their package cost is a bit high for my budget (example: a full year's Kindergarten curriculum will cost you $777.56).Sonlight is a homeschool supplier and books can be ordered separately as well. I usually keep a current catalogue on hand because teir prices for individual books are sometimes better than other places. As someone who doesn't use Sonlight, one of the things that is most intrieging to me about this curriculum is the amount of support that Sonlight users can get. If you chose to useSonlight you won't be alone. If you get stuck they have support boards available and I've heard wonderful things about their customer service from Sonlight users I know. I've found them to be very friendly vendors at homeschool conventions as well. You can learn more about Sonlight here.
Itty-Bitty Bookworm is a curriculum I just became aware of recently. My blogging friend , Carisa is reviewing them over at 1+1+1=1. This curriculum is built for Preschoolers and Toddlers. Baily's Curriculum covers ages 18-36 months and Bo's Curriculum covers ages 3-5. Itty-Bitty Bookworm costs $25/ unit or month for their CD or $20 for download. That's about $300 for a full 12 months (plus the actual cost of the books). Not too bad. This is something I'm really praying about purchasing for my little ones. If you have little ones like I do, it's worth it to visit their website whether you order their products or not. They have wonderful downloads available for free. Check out Itty-Bitty Bookworm here. See their book list here.
The Noah Plan is a biblical approach that uses literature in it's study. They call themselves a literature-based curriculum, but from what I saw of their site is looks more bible-based. However, they do use wonderful literature selections like Snowflake Bently and Little House on the Prairie. Subjects other than literature look a bit classical and possible challenging to some. You can see their catalogue here.
Heart of Dakota is a wonderful homeschool resource and supplier. They are also bible based stories. Teacher guides are all under $50. Pretty good price. Go here to learn more about Heart of Dakota.
Veritas Press Classical Home School Curriculum is another catalogue that I like to have on hand. They are a classical approach, but many of their literature selections can be found on other lists. Go here to request a catalogue.Tapestry of Grace is also a popular classical choice. I've tried this for a review and quickly learned that I am not a classical style homeschooler. If you are you might want to check them out here.
There are many other options that, honestly, I know very little about. I'll list them anyway and you can visit sites and form your own opinions.
Popular Lit-based curr. I know little about:
My Father's World
Winter Promise- has anyone used this? I'm really interested in this one.
Others I found:
Footprints on our Land and Love 2 Learn are two South African based curriculum choices that I found.
Robinson Curriculum looks morality heavy.
Student of the Word is Bible- centered.
Living Lessons has a Classical approach.
The biggest challenge in having so many choices is that you have to choose what fits your family (and your budget) best.
Please let me know if you've tried something I haven't, or if you know of something great that isn't on my list. Comments are always welcome. What have you tried and loved? Please feel free to share .
I love poetry. I always have. Yet,somehow, sharing poetry with my children is not as simple as I thought it would be.
My best experience teaching poetry to my children was when we studied Lullabye by Eve Merriam. You can read this poem here.
We read the poem and then made purple playdough. If you need recipes for playdough you can see my post with tons of recipes here. You might try using grape flavored kool-aide if your child doesn't have allergies.
We also made purple the "color of the day". We read Harold and the Purple Crayon and cooked egg plant for dinner.
We did these activities on July 19th, which was Eve Merriam's Birthday. It was also a good time to be outside and hunt for purple objects in nature.
I understand that poetry study is a subject included in most Charlotte Mason home schools. To be honest, my home school is floundering on this topic. So far, we have completed two semesters attempting the Ambelside poetry list. My kids just seem bored. The poetry is odd language to them and the words are sometimes mispronounced to make a rhyme. They just don't seem to understand it.
It's hard not to include fun, child-friendly poetry that I read and loved as a child, poetry that would surely be considered twaddle by some. One of my favorite modern children's poet is Sara Holbrook. I especially love her poem titled The Storm That Was. I would not consider her poetry to be twaddle. I find it genuine and insightful. I think she gives tremendous respect to childhood feelings and presents them in an honest and often humorous light.
Frankly,I don't really understand the term twaddle. As a writer myself I struggle with the concept that some books are viewed as garbage. That thought makes me very sad. Of course, I wouldn't read (or benefit from) every book out there today, but I believe there are gems from our decade that can achieve beautiful learning and evoke great poetic images for our children. I hate to skim over them just because they aren't "classic".
So here is your part to jump in. I'm throwing these questions out to my readers. What is your favorite poet? Can you think of a poetry lesson that was extremely meaningful, productive, or just plain fun? Do you include modern poetry in your lessons? How do you define the worth of poetry? Do you cringe at the word "twaddle" too?
If you're up to the challenge, please consider blogging about your experiences or feelings from my list of questions above. If you take my challenge, be sure add a comment below with a link to your related post.
I began homeschooling my daughter Chloe very early. Honestly, a little too early. I had no clue what homeschooling really looked like, but I didn't wait for directions. I dove right in. Believe it or not, I began with Squirrel Nutkin. We read the book over and over again for an entire month. Each day I focused on one page of the book or some small detail of it. I wish I could remember and share all of the crazy inspiration I got from that tiny little book. We worked our way through all of the Beatrix Potter books that year,--though Chloe barely remembers the lessons --I told you I started too soon. That's why I was so excited when I found Peter Rabbit on the FIAR reading list. By that time she was the right age and I was eager to revisit our old friend, Peter.
Here are some of the ways that we enjoyed The Tale of Peter Rabbit --along with some new goodies I've picked up since then:
Extend through Reading and Writing:
Extend through Math:
Extend through Science:
Extend through Art:
Extend through History/Geography
There are a ton of free activities online for studying Little House On The Prairie. Here I've compiled my favorites along with some pictures of our completed activities so that you can see some of these great ideas in action.
Reading and Language Art:
Check out Chloe and Caibry's candles:
We have a family friend named Mr. R who is 98 years old. Just for fun Chloe tried on an authentic prairie hat worn by his family while traveling to Oklahoma in a covered wagon!
I hope that you found this information helpful.
Frog and Toad are Friends was the first full book that my oldest child ever read aloud to me. I have such wonderful memories and pride when I think about our time spent with this book.
There are tons of ways to extend this book. I'm sure I'm only scratching the surface a little when I mention some of the activities we enjoyed.
Extend with Math:
Extend with Science:
Extend with Language Art:
Extend though Art:
Extend through Life Skills:
Extend through entertainment:
Still need more? Check out these great sites for more learning:
Mr. Popper's Penguins was a very fun read aloud. I think it was my favorite read so far this year. There are a couple of fun and free directions that you can go in to extend this book.
1) Extend through art:
Here is a picture of our Art Wall of penguin art projects . . .
2) Extend through Science or Geography
3) Extend through emotion and literary comprehension:
I hope these links, pictures, and ideas prove helpful to you.
Connect w/ Me: