Family Reading Together 1

Back before WinterPromise was born, back when my kids were younger, and WinterPromise was just our own family lifestyle, not a curriculum, we discovered that our family experiences provided windows into the souls of our kids.   That each of the things we did together, enjoyed together was an opportunity to see inside them.

A prime example was our family’s love for Playmobil.  If you’re not familiar with Playmobil, you’re really missing out.  Playmobil is a combination building and relating toy.  Sets of Playmobil allow kids to build houses, businesses, firehouses or adventure scenes, while also including people, animals, furnishings, and vehicles to allow imaginations to run wild.  Better still, many of the toys are based in historical time periods such as the age of piracy, the American West or Civil War, and medieval times.

Our family used these toys not only for hours of imaginative play, but as directed props in recreating our favorite scenes from our history books.  The kids named the characters after people we read about.  A little guy with a map and a sextant became Nathaniel Bowditch (of “Carry On, Mr. Bowditch), while western heroes and villains like Wyatt Earp or Billy the Kid carried out frontier justice or broke out of jail.  For hours our kids would re-enact what they’d been taught in elaborate scenes.  Some were pitched medieval battles, others were slowly unfolding chases or taut moments in history.  Either way, they built it and populated it with Playmobil and their own imagination.

It was the ultimate narration tool!

But equally fascinating was how these experiences provided windows into the hearts and souls of our children, allowing us to see not only what they’d learned, but who they were becoming as people.  While the girls of the house fastidiously decorated castles for soon-to-arrive hostile forces, the boys arranged their weapons and set elaborate traps around the perimeter.  When the battle came on one of the girls could be heard tenderly whispering to a victim, “Hold on, help is coming!” while the boys’ shouts bared souls filled with courage and sacrifice, protection for the helpless (or hapless) souls inside the castle.  In short, the experiences were “soul windows,” peeks inside the true character of our children.  What they’d do in ‘real life’ in the same situation, practicing acts of kindness or bravery.  A million facets of the complex people they were to become.

Here at WinterPromise, we offer you a variety of experiences in part because each of them provides a “soul window” for you as a parent.  Not only are they designed to provide rich learning opportunities, but they are deliberately constructed to give you a great chance of peeking inside your child’s very soul.  These are the opportunities we have to change our child’s character, praise him for his gifts, smooth off rough edges, polish up the best in them.

For us here at WinterPromise, we hope to bring you a curriculum is living, well beyond just an educational experience — one that allows you to ‘bring up your child well,’ to mentor and grow them, to reach for the best in them and make them blossom and bring joy to those around them.  This should be the ultimate goal of education.  It was Charlotte Mason’s goal, and it is our goal.  And every one of our children deserves nothing less than that.

Just What Does WinterPromise Mean When They Say They Offer the “Experience Approach”? 
What is the “Experience Approach”?


Unlike other curriculums that focus largely on literature, or workbook pages, or textbooks, or even highly involved activities, WinterPromise is just brimming with all kinds of experiences:  learning experiences, real-life experiences, and so much more.  Kids can be getting out into nature for one class, creating a history notebook for another, building a model for a different class, or trying out a real-world skill in yet another!

What does this variety of experience mean for families?  It means that each day is a new adventure, for one — and each WinterPromise theme offers its own unique set of experiences.  There’s literally a different “feel” to each program, since each theme has its own amazing take on how students “experience” the time period for themselves.  But it also means that, for families with multiple students, each one can pick the learning experiences that most connect with them personally, if they like.  This keeps students motivated and intrigued, and yet keeps families building a common family culture.  Each student is uniquely challenged, and yet the entire family gets to enjoy common experiences, too!

Here’s a Sampling of Some Types of Experiences Your Family Will Encounter in Most WinterPromise Themes:

Learning Experiences: These experiences are more generalized learning experiences, those that allow students to take in information.  These might be called “traditional” learning experiences that include reading and discovering content in books, listening to oral histories or music, seeing new things for oneself in everyday surroundings or at landmarks, parks. or important places, either in person or through pictures or video.

Geographical Experiences: In WP, students discover geography in a variety of ways — through study of countries and their lands, by mapping both places and topics in time, and following how geography affected history and the unfolding of human trends and development.  Geography is integrated in different ways to help students think all the time about how the land affects how events take place.

Natural Experiences:  A key part of WinterPromise study is nature study and other natural experiences.  As students discover themes, there are integrated activities that have them also getting to know the natural world that was a part of history or scientific discovery, or even catastrophic events.  Students spend time creating eco-journals, and discovering the trees, plants, animals, and physical forces that affect  our lives every day, and have dictated world outcomes in the past!

Real-Life Experiences:  A hallmark of WinterPromise learning are our real-life experiences.  These creative activities get kids trying out true-life skills, things that are needed and important in the real world.  These experiences not only help them understand key historical figures, but also help them understand different times and places.  Plus, they whet their appetite for enjoying things they may never have considered pursing otherwise.  AND, they help build real-world confidence in themselves to experience success with new things!

Online Experiences:   Getting kids familiar and productive with computers is another thing you can count on with WP.  Not only does it give them skills they will use for a lifetime in almost any workplace, but getting them online opens up a world of amazing experiences.   Online, students can visit places they’d never go in real life, or get a chance to see something up close that is locked away in a museum vault or under glass in an exhibit.  They can hear from experts they could never talk with, and even attend online courses or seminars, or watch online videos and biographies.

Creative Experiences:  Kids and parents alike love all the creative experiences WP suggests.  Our activities are never pie-in-the-sky, but are well-thought out to bring you the highest possible educational value for the lowest possible prep or expense.  WP’s creative experiences are unmatched in this regard.  Parents love how the experiences really get kids thinking, demonstrate principles of science or history or humanity or culture, and how the experiences themselves are built to make it “stick” inside a kids’ head!  Creative experiences can be drawing, painting, building, designing, recreating, photographing, videoing, cooperating, demonstrating — the list goes on and on — and all of it highly educationally rich!

Notebooking Experiences:   Not only does WP offer your student one of the most unique timeline notebooks available for homeschoolers, but we also help them build a “Make-Your-Own” History Book with looseleaf notebooking pages they collect year after year.  These notebooking pages are designed to be interesting and very interactive, demonstrating historical or scientific concepts, adding more rich content to student study, or helping students show what they know in a unique and fun way!

Working Together Experiences:   Collaboration is another great way to learn, and WinterPromise integrates these kind of “together” experiences all the time.  They’re great because they build family cooperation and unity, and give your family wonderful shared experiences to laugh about and remember later!  Whether students are putting on a play, creating a historical video, or cooking up a cultural dinner, they’ll learn a lot — and enjoy it in a different way — by doing it together.

DVD Experiences:   WinterPromise also recommends key DVD picks for students who connect with this avenue of learning.  There’s nothing like seeing how Vikings used the same kind of boats in the open sea and inland rivers, or finding out what Civil War soldiers endured during battle and in between.  These come alive in good quality videos, and our picks let you choose which ones you’d like to get from the library or buy for your family.  Either way, it offers another great way to “experience” history, science, or culture.

Service Experiences:   There’s no better way to teach your values to your kids than getting them serving in your community or church, or volunteering to help those who are less fortunate or challenged in their everyday lives.  That’s why WP suggests opportunities that get kids giving in some way to others.  These service experiences help you as a parent to teach them contentment and gratitude for the blessings in their own lives, while helping them learn how to serve and help others who really need it.  They build real-life skills, and create tenderheartedness to the challenges others face, either right down the street, or around the world!

These are just some of the different types of “Experiences” that WinterPromise offers to parents.  Each one has an educational focus, not busy work.  This means no matter what kinds of students are in your family, there is something for everyone in our family-oriented packages.  The experiences WP offers are based on the Multiple Intelligences, and each scheduled activity appeals to one or more of these learning avenues that connect with a certain type of learner.  No matter how many different kinds of learners are in your family, there are plenty of experiences just right for them!  PLUS, WinterPromise is always focused on how each experience can change the heart and the character of the learner.  How cool is that?

THAT’S the “Experience” Approach!  That’s WinterPromise!


Hello Winter Promise friends!

I hope you were able to join us for our first ever Winter Promise facebook party!!

But if you weren’t, no worries…you can enter our give aways up until October 8th!

If you happened to miss the party, you might have missed our BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

A new sister-site from Winter Promise!


Spirited Autumn Hope

Spirited Autumn Hope will be similar in some ways {Charlotte Mason, experience based materials!} but different in other ways {Winter Promise has full year themes, Spirited Autumn Hope carries shorter studies!}

So, head on over and check it out! And read the graphic below for the LIMITED TIME ONLY discounts!

grand opening sale