Friday, July 1, 2016

The Homegrown Preschooler- Review


Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud turtle, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, tress to climb. Brooks  to wade, water lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hay fields, pine-cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets, and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprive of the best part of education. ~Luther Burbank.

I first came in to 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. CC tribe love, right there! And the booth and philosophy of The Homegrown Preschooler is Charlotte Mason inspired 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 Goodnesss, 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.
ice eggs - Freeze balloons filled with water and small toys. Cut balloon off and play with eggs outside. Provide spoons for cracking ice and digging treasures out. SUMMER - also fun with ice cream buckets:
I receive 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 9 chapters and 2 parts
The Chapters and Part I
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 Seaons that Don't Fit in the Box
Special Circumstances

Part II- Activities
Home Life
Science
Gross Motor
Fine Motor
Math
Language and Emergent Literacy
Art
Social-Emotional
Why Music is Beneficial to Kids, How to Make Homemade Instruments, Resources and Freebies:
Each chapter is chock full of activities, suggestions, ideas, recipe, 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. Perfect for sand, water, little animals, colored rice, cork letters, etc.

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 homeschooler but are not sure of 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.
For the first day of spring. Birds will take a string (or multiples) and weave them into their nests!  Colourful Nests + Fun for the kids:
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 CM inspired, classical curriculum for pre-schoolers. 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.
Cultivating Joyful Learning Through Intentional Play:
What you will find 9 months of activities.
Each month has a FacePage, printed on cardstock, that outlines and details the month, which includes a Theme and a Character Trait as well as ideas in each of the following areas:
Home Life/ socio-emotional
Art/Music
Language/Literacy
Math/Manipulative's
Field Trips Science/ Sensory
Outdoor/Gross Motor
along with a 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.
Oil pan from Wal-Mart!:
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 lovey 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 months activities is a supply list by Activity as well as a place to record Memories.  Brilliant! 

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. 

Find the Homegrown Preschooler on Social Media:

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. 
@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

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