"Mom, can we do school... really, really fun school?"
That is the question that I have been hearing more and more often from my daughter who is 6 and going into 1st grade and my son who is 4 and going into pre k.
I love that they want to learn, but I often don't feel like trying to get lessons and crafts ready for them when I am so busy with my older boys( 11 and 9) not to mention my 2 1/2 year old!
We finished our curriculum for the year but are still doing some school during the summer so when I had the opportunity to review Stepping Stones, I jumped at it. I knew my kids would absolutely love their Living Things/Deep in the Forest Unit as they love anything to do with animals and nature and since I didn't have anything in particular planned for the summe, this was perfect!
Stepping Stones Curriculum is developed for Seventh Day Adventist Schools and though I don't agree with all of their theology, after looking over the curriculum I was pleasantly surprised that I did not find anything that would conflict with my beliefs. I found that this curriculum would be great for faith based homes and schools despite differences in doctrine.
I loved that at the beginning of their books they make this statement,
"Kindergarten Stepping Stones: A Journey to Excellence through Discovery is an integrated kindergarten curriculum that utilizes literature based themes with strong spiritual connections so children may get to know God better and love Him more."
"It is the primary purpose of this curriculum to help make the invisible God visible to each child, guiding them into a loving relationship with Jesus so that through service they may each uniquely reflect His love to others."
This is what I want for my children also. This faith based curriculum has so much to offer!
The curriculum for this unit included a comprehensive teacher's manual, a daily lesson guide, 4 beautiful hardcover books that each section is centered on and a CD with printables and digital resources that correspond with each book.
With each story book at the core of the studies, the lesson guide includes target skills that you will cover while studying each book; such as Bible, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education, Art, Music and Technology.
Though the curriculum seems to be mainly made for a classroom setting it could also be tailored for homeschool purposes and I was excited that the format fit well with teaching both my Pre Ker and 1st Grader.
In this Deep in the Forest Unit the books we covered were:
When the Rain Falls by Melissa Stewart
Where would I be in an Evergreen Tree by Jennifer Blomgren
Good -Night Owl by Pat Hutchins
When We Go Camping by Margriet Ruurs
Each theme of the curriculum is intended to be covered in a month but I felt as if we could have stretched it out quite a bit longer.
There is an extensive planning overview to help you plan what you want to incorporate into each week. I scaled it down to this routine:
Memorizing Bible verse
Sound letter activity( using work pages)
Read book/ Discussion/ Comprehension Questions
Name writing practice
Writing Activities (using work pages)
Journaling( drawing pictures that correlate with story)
I was so happy to see so many great activities and hands on crafts to incorporate with each lesson. I know I will be coming back to all the great ideas long after we are done with this unit.
I am so glad I gave it a try and the kids and I have really enjoyed the great animal/nature themes, activities, crafts, and comprehensive learning materials!!
Check out their site to get more information about their curriculum!
Linking up here!