I first came in contact with the Homegrown Preschooler when Leslie and I were vending in Duluth this spring. I loved the booth! As a closet artist, it is everything I want my house to be: warm, inviting, neat, hands-on, practical, and beautiful. So, she had me at the booth. But then I got to talking to her and Leslie is not only a business owner but a Challenge Director. Classical Conversations tribe love, right there! The philosophy of The Homegrown Preschooler is Charlotte Mason inspired and Classical. Sing my song, speak my language; sold.
And y’all do know I have a new little Grandbaby, right? So, I’m on the look-out for cool things to do with little Samwise.
⇐ See, he’s happy Gramma’s on the job!
This is pre-school at it’s best. Charlotte Mason inspired, classical methodology, Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, all wrapped into one beautiful package that is guaranteed to inspire and encourage parents of pre-schoolers! Educating one’s kiddos is do-able. More than that it CAN be fun, lovely, and cause one to push beyond their normal to something truly inspiring.
Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb. Brooks to wade, water lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hay fields, pinecones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries, and hornets, and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of education. ~Luther Burbank.
About the Curriculum
I received The Homegrown Preschooler: Teaching Your Kids in the Places They Live by Kathy Lee and Leslie Richards, along with A Year of Playing Skillfully, by the same authors.
The book is divided into nine chapters in two different parts.
Part One – the Chapters
- Homeschooling- Harvesting a Bountiful Life
- Learning Through Play
- Sowing the Seeds- Preschool Learning
- Setting the Stage
- Home Life=Learning- Slow Down and Teach
- What has Time for this?
- Organizing it All
- Days and Seasons that Don’t Fit in the Box
- Special Circumstances
Part Two – the Activities
- Home Life
- Gross Motor
- Fine Motor
- Language and Emergent Literacy
Each chapter is chock full of activities, suggestions, ideas, recipes, adorable pictures, quotes, and color!
It is visually delightful and crammed full of ideas and resources.
The Appendix is wonderful as it gives you building plans for the awesome play/activity tables that Homegrown Preschooler has in their booth. The tables are perfect for sand, water, little animals, colored rice, cork letters, and more.
The Activities portion is, again, full of ideas and pictures of kids enjoying themselves as they build language and number literacy and life skills. I love this book- it would be a wonderful shower present for an expectant Mom who already has a pre-schooler, especially if you included provisions to do some of the activities.
It’s also a lovely homeschooling primer for those who compelled by homeschooling but are not sure where to start. If you have a pre-schooler- this is where!
It would also be an amazing Grandparent gift! Have this at the ready at Gramma’s house for fun and wholesome engagement when you are watching the littles. This is a great way to build memories across generations.
Over the years we have done many of the activities that are included, but the beauty of this book is that you can pull it out and have ideas at the ready. Also included are supply lists. How perfect is that?
A Year of Playing Skillfully is what really caught my eye. This is an actual Charlotte Mason inspired, classical curriculum for preschoolers.
I took my copy out of the packaging and put it in a 2″ binder. Some of the pages are cardstock/printables and I put those in page-protectors; other pages are 3-hole punched, but if I was going to use this for multiple kids, in a co-op or day-care, I would definitely put those pages in page protectors as well.
What You Will Find – Nine Months of Activities
Each month has a FacePage printed on cardstock that outlines and details the month. Each month includes a Theme and a Character Trait as well as ideas in each of the following areas:
- HomeLife/ socio-emotional
- Field Trips Science/ Sensory
- Outdoor/Gross Motor
- Scripture Verse.
The pages are visually lovely and colorful but not cluttered. You can use the face pages as a checklist if you like or they can be a general guide.
Next comes a month-by-month detailed Activity Guide.
The guide is a detailed, month-by-month plan of activities, books, music, chores, inspiration, recipes, living skills, reading and math readiness, art and science projects, nature journaling, gross motor play, field trips, and more. Complete with lovely pictures of adorable kids participating in them. In other words, these things are DO-ABLE for real Moms, like us. At the end of each month’s activities is a supply list by activity as well as a place to record memories. Brilliant!
What You Will Find in the Activity Guide
- Living SKills
- Reading Readiness
- Math Readiness
- Art Projects
- Science Projects
- Nature Journaling
- Gross Motor Play
- Field Trips
Also included are printables, ready to use multiple times as they’ve been printed on cardstock. This includes games and other age-appropriate pre-school activities like cutting practice and garden planning.
Again- brilliant. I don’t have to go searching, it’s readily available and I can make multiple copies as needed.
Have I mentioned I LOVE this curriculum? It’s more than curriculum- it life prep for littles. It is lovely, well thought out, pragmatic, and thoroughly delightful. KB and Mr. V can’t wait to use this with little V and I have high hopes to jump in with and do some of the activities with them every now and then.
Get A Discount NOW!
The Homegrown Preschooler has offered all our readers a special discount coupon. Use the code TRUENORTH at checkout to save $20 off the Plan and Play Bundle – HERE until September 30, 2020.
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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this product in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
Beyond Personal Finance
Beyond Personal Finance by Charla McKinley is a comprehensive high school program. She designed the course to give young adults a thorough understanding of money, budgeting and stewardship before they graduate from high school. The author, Charla McKinley, describes this course as a smash-up of Dave Ramsey and the Game of Life.
Designed for High School
While the Dave Ramsey course is excellent, it is really designed for adults who are in financial trouble and need a way out of that trouble.
Most high school kids have a difficult time understanding what that could look like. Money is, after all, something most of them don’t have much of, think much about or struggle with. A benefit of Middle-class America is that our kids have their needs met and a good portion of their wants provided for, too. As a result, most teens have an abstract rather than concrete understanding of money. As one of the students in my high school class said, “Bills? I don’t have any.”
And that is exactly why Charla wrote this course. To give kids an idea of what kind of money questions and issues they will face as young adults and how to plan for, manage and think about the monkey wrenches that life continually throws in the way of all everyone out there “adulting.”
Lessons Included in the Course
This program consists of lessons in the following:
- College and Careers
- Car Purchase Apartment Rental
- Spouse Selection
- Credit Cards and Interest
- Baby & Payroll
- House Purchase
- School Choice
- Business Basics
- Layoffs and Reconciliations
- Income Tax
- The Dangers of Divorce
As you can see, Charla does not hold back. She addresses head-on difficult issues like layoffs and divorce. And while everyone says it won’t happen to them, the statistics say that 43% of American workers will be laid off at least once during their working years and 42-45% of all first-time marriages will end in divorce (and that number rises to 60% for second marriages). Monkey wrenches mess up even the best plans and these are life skills that will prepare our young people to overcome some of those obstacles.
Having Fun While Thinking of the Future
Think of this as a High School Cost of Living Project on steroids. One thing I love about this program is that there is vocabulary included in each chapter. Kids get a great overview of things like withholding tax, deferment, and depreciation. This course is meaty but not boring. Each chapter includes information and goofy videos like Identity Theft, that keep everyone laughing as they tackle serious stuff.
The Teacher’s manual is thorough and includes key terms, answer keys, charts and all the information needed to utilize this program in a class or co-op. Not all of the pages in the teacher’s manual are numbered, however, which makes it hard to track. I went through and tabbed sections for easier use. In my perfect world, I would have loved chapter objectives and a more structured, traditional Teacher’s Manual. This one has so much information, it can be overwhelming. But the value of the program makes it worth taking the time to tab each chapter and highlight the information you want to cover for each class period.
I’ve had several of my kids work through a COLA before and facilitated others students as well, and Beyond Personal Finance is the most comprehensive program that I’ve seen that gives kids real-world information that relates to where they’re at in life- as young adults about to embark on a great adventure.
It’s is a fantastic preparatory program- perfect for homeschools, co-ops, class COLA days or UMS programs! We’ll be utilizing this program with our True North Homeschool Academy online Orienteering class!
Students who are seniors and have completed the BPF program are also eligible to apply for their $1000 Scholarship Program. Visit the website to get all the details and requirements. The deadline to apply for that is no later than May 1st. Follow them on social media for updates on the program. If your high schooler needs more career exploration, check out our Young Professional Series of e-books.
Sign up for your chance to win a BPF program of your own! We are giving away a single student pack worth $150.00. You can see the product HERE.
The prize is a fun 20 lesson immersive course designed for middle school and high schoolers to learn personal finance skills.
Enter anytime from March 10-25th!
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