Using Gentle + Classical Primer
The Kindergarten year is a super special year, am I right or am I right?? The following video is all about how I hope to guide my 5 yr old in his Kinder year using this incredible curriculum as MY guide. Gentle + Classical Primer.
I'd like to introduce you to why I love this program, how it aligns with the CM philosophy, what aspects of it I’m excited about it, how I’m organizing it and the steps I’m taking to help ensure a fun year ahead using this Charlotte Mason + Classical Education inspired curriculum called Gentle Classical Primer.
The reason I fell in love with a Charlotte Mason based education for my children is because of her philosophy behind education.
The CM Philosophy - The Basics
“Charlotte Mason believed that education was about more than training for a job, passing an exam, or getting into the right college. She said education was an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life; it was about finding out who we were and how we fit into the world of human beings and into the universe God created.”
Miss Mason didn’t begin formal lessons until the age of 6yrs old. However, she advocated that a child’s Kindergarten year be a year in which the mother/teacher or Kindergartnerin carry out certain principles:
Offering Positive Role Models
Invention and Creativity
Stories- Told & Read
Religious Training through Stories
Time with Peers
Songs and Singing
Acquaintance with Nature
Caring for Pets
Following a Child’s lead in learning (this includes reading and math instruction)
When you read through Erin Cox’s, the creator of this beautiful curriculum, part 1 of the teacher guide, one truly comes to understand that this program is more of a guide than a strict set of rules to adhere to. It’s a helping hand for those of us Kindergartenrins who wish to guide our own children through a feast of big beautiful ideas in a time of the child’s life when mimicry is strongest and deep impressions are made.
G+C Primer uses all these memory statements and a memory statement board. But what is this memory statement thing and why use them? As Erin Cox beautifully states in Part 1 of her Teachers Guide,
“Memory Statements are an opportunity to “see and say beauty.”
These weekly or biweekly memory statement boards give us the teacher/parent a spring board to help “plant true, good, and beautiful notions into hearts and minds” and help “equip them with proper language to express their own ideas, needs or experiences.”
I hope to show you all in the next year a day in the life of us using Gentle Classical Primer so that you see it in action. But until then, I’d like to show you how I’ve organized all of this and what portions we’ll be doing as a family.
Since I do not own an Eco Printer and for other reasons, I went ahead and purchased the printed bundle. This allowed me the opportunity to skip right to the organizing.
Now on first glance all the memory statements together may seem overwhelming, just because there are so many right? But once it’s all organized it all flows and makes so much sense.
The sorting was so much fun for me. I love the process of making things organized and creating a system within this homeschool of ours. I’m getting better at doing that within our home life but I will say I much better at it here.
The printed bundle comes with everything you’ll need and most importantly it comes with a Starter Guide to help you make sense of it all And the Teachers guide whose first Part will absolutely inspire and empower you.
I opted to use this large 60 file expandable accordion style file folder instead of Binders. I liked the idea of closing it all up and not risking anything sliding out of the protective sleeves inside a binder. I went with this since I had this cubby waiting for it to be it’s hole for the next year. (Shot of the cubby)
I organized it by Unit and then put all the extras in the back. The idea is to be able to pull out all the contents pertaining to each unit the Friday or weekend before you start the next unit week, change your memory statement board as needed and pull out any books or materials you might need as well so that you’re all set for the week ahead. Easy peasy.
The Art & Music Pack
This is the portion of the curriculum that I am doing as our enrichment rotation as a family and this have opted to stray away from the Ambleside Online rotation for Composer and Artist Study like I did last year. We’ll be utilizing Erin’s Art and Music Pack which gives suggestions for simple activities that help expose children to these great artists in Music and Art.
Erin suggests focusing on the artist study in one week and the composer in the second. I’m going to try doing both each week since that’s what we’re used to from last year and also this will allow the kids exposure to both the artist and composer twice over the course of two weeks. I’ll have to make a video during our homeschool year and let you know how that goes.
The Morning Binders
I plan to have a morning binder ready for my preschooler and I’m even considering doing an age appropriate one for my rising 2nd grader because I know she’ll feel left out if I don’t. In any case this is what I have ready for my 5 yr old and my 2 yr old.
I have the rest of the morning binder contents at the very back of the big file folder and I should note that the primer bundle didn’t come with the preschool morning binder. I bought that one separately since he’ll just be tagging along this year. My intention is to start his preschool with Gentle + Classical Preschool next year. (Btw, Erin just came out with the revamped version of preschool and it is worthy of checking out!)
Friends, I am so excited for this upcoming year! I can't wait to be able to show you how things flow in real time once the school year begins, but I'm glad I was able to at least give you this small introduction to my planning process, organization, and hopefully instill some excitement for the upcoming year for you as well.
See you soon,
Mom of three beautiful kids, married to my best friend, finding daily ways to bring joy!