We are starting a brand new series called Winter Promise Wednesdays!  We would LOVE to be able to show-off YOUR families using Winter Promise in your homeschool. Today we are blessed to have a guest post from Kendra, who blogs at the Aussie Pumpkin Patch! If you would like to guest post for the Winter Promise blog, please fill out this form and we will be in touch: Winter Promise Blogger Interest Form

 winterpromisewednesdays

A few years ago I was in a bit of what’s known as homeschool burnout. We’d outgrown our trusty old curriculum & I wasn’t truly sure where to go next. After much searching, praying, & considering I stumbled, quite literally, upon Winter Promise.

{Invitation the boys made for our English Tea}

It was a breath of fresh air, an answer to prayer, & quite literally saved me from enrolling my children in the local public school. Winter Promise had just the right mix of Adventure Reading, Non-Fiction spines, timeline work, & notebooking. Exactly what my family loved & enjoyed doing, only I didn’t have to figure out how to line it all up or schedule it out because it was all ready done for me. We had the best school year!

 

{Winter Promise Timeline Notebooks 3.5 years later}

 

Here we are a few years later & we’re still enjoying Winter Promise. One of my very favourite things about Winter Promise is how very easy & simple it is to combine children of different ages & grades. My boys are two years apart in age & about 2.5 grades apart in school. It’s not always easy breeching that small gap, but I find it quite simple with Winter Promise. Allowing my older one to accomplish all the notebooking & timeline bits, while having my younger student do the ones most applicable for his age & level.
{Maps from CAW Theme Photo}

 

 

This year we had intended to separate our children & using completely different themes with them. I wanted my 6th grader to use Children Around The World while my 4th Grader wanted to use Animal Worlds. We set out with that intention in mind adding in some extra adventure reading to both, but in the end our younger student felt left out not to be enjoying the same Theme as his big brother. We found it so easy to just slip him in despite being all most two complete terms into our school year. We simply picked up an e-copy of the lovely World Traveler’s Guide, & oh isn’t the e-copy beautiful with all that lovely colour inside of it!

 

{boys working together photo}

 

As a family we read all the lovely spines, or main books, for Children Around The World & then my children set themselves up at our work table surrounded by the books they need to work on their notebooking pages. My older son is able to help his younger brother which is very sweet to see.

My children absolutely love the non-fiction books & it’s often a fight over who gets to pry through them first after I’ve read aloud from the daily sections. Who knew looking at toilets & televisions around the world would cause such a fuss! While I do read the read alouds to the both children as well, I do assign each child a book of their own, perhaps as an audio or one we read together, something at their own age level. It’s fun for everyone to share together what they’ve been reading about in relation to our studies.

{Crazy Family Dressed up photo}

 

 

Our family has really enjoyed the cultural gatherings getting into the full swing of things complete with dressing up & pretend tours through famous cities & landmarks. The boys have gone all out with special invitations & encouraging us to use “proper accents” according to the country we are visiting.
It’s such a blessing to have found a curriculum that my children love, is a joy to use, & helps us create such wonderful memories along our homeschooling journey!
You can read more about Kendra’s family using Winter Promise on her blog where she has a full category of posts written as they were using the curriculum over the years. Thank you, Kendra!! 

winterpromiseancients

We’ve been homeschooling for 7 years now!! {That’s hard for me to believe!} and we’ve been fairly relaxed, very eclectic, reading lots of good books, doing lots of wonderful unit studies. And we just finished 2 wonderful years of American History where I mostly pulled everything together myself.

The truth is, I enjoy pulling everything together myself. I’m a former teacher, I’m a researcher by nature, I love looking for the perfect craft to go with the perfect lesson plan, etc. But, I gotta tell you, it’s a LOT of work. Searching Pinterest for days on in can be exhausting. ha!

I also gotta tell you that I have looked at LOTS of curriculum programs before. I have looked. And looked. And looked. Even in searching for World History stuff, I looked allllll over the place. I came *this* close to purchasing another major program at a recent conference but just didn’t have  100% peace about it.

Then, I came home, looked at the Winter Promise samples and was hooked. WHERE have you been my whole life, Winter Promise? 🙂

Here are the specific items that drew me in to this program:

  • assignment sheets ALREADY PREPARED for the girls for the entire year! I have already printed and put into a 3-ring binder for my girls, and my teacher guide is 1 weekly sheet also and I have those printed and in a binder also. (I might opt to spend a little more and get the print version next time. It is a LOT of pages and I ran out of ink halfway through printing and had to wait and order online. Cost might have actually evened out, not sure.) 
  • an independent reading schedule to coordinate with the history – plus comprehension questions for each book!! So excited about the “independent learning” opportunities for my girls this year – this is an area I have felt lacking in the past.
  • On the girls assignment sheets there are boxes for me to add in math, science, anything else I want to add for them.
  • list of recommended videos to coordinate with the schedule for the year – and bonus!! Several of them are offered for free on amazon prime, which we already have a membership for!
  • awesome notebooking pages, already found & done for me, for the whole year
  • “missions” or projects EACH WEEK for Hannah to choose from and complete independently
  • Links in the teacher’s guide to videos and online places for us to search out to add to our studies
  • many of the same titles to be read through the year as other world history programs
  • reading from BOTH Story of the World AND Mystery of History (I’ve always struggled to choose just one!) The schedule is already all written out for us
  • 4 day week plans through the year
  • very updated looking teacher guide, notebooking & worksheets to go along with everything (I know this is silly, but some of the samples I looked at online were so ancient looking!)

Winter Promise is a great blend of Charlotte Mason, quality literature, experience & activity based, and notebooking. I’m excited about all these great things that I love coming together in one place without having to piecemeal this year.

I can’t wait to get started!

Would YOU like to share on your blog about using Winter Promise in your home? What you love about it? Specific projects you’ve done? We’d love to have you join us! Please fill out this form and we will be in touch!  Winter Promise Bloggers Interest Form

Candace blogs at His Mercy is New and homeschools her 3 children in beautiful East TN. 

Hello Winter Promise Friends!!

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and also invite YOU to be a part of something new and exciting at the Winter Promise blog!!

My name is Candace and I’m the brand new Community Coordinator for Winter Promise!! I know, what does that mean?? Well, Kaeryn and I have been talking about what we can do to share with the online world about our love for Winter Promise. This blog, along with several social media platforms, will help us to do that! We are working on several projects that we are excited to share with you in the coming weeks!

I am a homeschooling mom of 3 children, ages 11, 10 and 8yrs, from beautiful East Tennessee. If you’d like to read more about me or our homeschool, please hop over to my personal blog, His Mercy is New.

Now, on to the exciting blog news!

We want this blog to showcase what we love so much about Winter Promise! And we would LOVE to have YOU join us!

Here are some ways you could get involved:

  • Share about Winter Promise on your own personal blog!
  • Share about  how you use Winter Promise in your home here on OUR blog!
  • Share about Charlotte Mason ideals & methodology on our blog!

So, what do you think? Won’t it be awesome to read about how other families are using Winter Promise in their homes? I hope it will be a blessing and encouragement to each of us!!

If you are interested in one of these blogging opportunities, would you please take a few moments to fill out this form for us??

Winter Promise Bloggers Interest Form

Thank you!! Looking forward to hearing from  YOU!

 

winterpromisefreebie

 

Climb into the Crow’s Nest and Become a Pirate!

The new Pirate Pack will guide you on your way!  This fun pack is a part of WinterPromise’s “Adventures in the Sea and Sky” program, and is just one of the fun topics students love to delve into during this amazing year-long program.  So just what will your favorite ruffian discover about pirates in this awesome pack?

They’ll Read About:
Pirate Raids and Making a Pirate Living
Pirate Victories & Dreadful Scare Tactics
The Golden Age of Pirates
Pirate Entertainment & Discipline
Famous Pirates and Privateers

They’ll Have Fun with Pirate Activities:
Dress Like a Pirate
Raise the Jolly Roger
Make Battle Swords and Hook Arms
Create Sea Maps & Log Books
Outfit the Captain’s Quarters
Design Loot & Haul Containers

They’ll Play Pirate Games:
Pirate Attack Game
Fortune Mapping
Pirate Hoard
Treasure Ship Ho!

So — How About Trying a Micro-Study on Pirate Dress?
It’s taken from the Pirate Pack.  Click on the link below to download it and transform into a Pirate!

Micro-Study_Pirate_Dress
Click this link to download this FREE Pirate Dress Study!

Go here to purchase the full Pirate Journaling Pack.

winterpromisefreebie

 

Did you know WinterPromise offers world history for young students?  You’ll find it in our “Hideaways in History” program.

This program offers a variety of easy-to-use resources for students in Kindergarten and 1st grade.
Here’s what parents using this program can expect:

– Daily scheduling of everything you need to do in an easy, one-page format – in the Hideaways in History Guide
– Reading about history with the help of three mischief-prone insect friends – in the “Let’s Hideaway in History” Text
– Making a weekly historical “hideaway” inspired by the time-tested “tent” fun – in the book “Hole Up in a Homemade Hideaway”
– Additional fun and low- or no-prep history activities – from the book “On-the-Spot History Fun”
– Easy notebooking for students who aren’t really reading – from the “Make-Your-Own” Hideaway Book
– Weekly Bible memorization and learning program – from “Hiding God’s Word in My Heart”
– Other Resources that give you:  skills practice in phonics, math and more, science content, illustrated history text

Want to See the “Hideaways in History” Program for Yourself?
Download the Free Mini-Study on Rome by Clicking the Link Below!

Hideaways - Experience 2012 - Cover

Mini_Study_Rome_from_Hideaways_in_History {click here for freebie pdf}

Look at Hideaways in History on our website. 

Purchase Hideaways in History here. 

Just what does WinterPromise mean when they say they offer the “Experience Approach”?  By that we mean that WinterPromise is just brimming with experiences:  learning experiences, real-life experiences, and more.  What are examples of these kinds of experiences?  Here’s a sampling to show you what we mean:

Learning Experiences:
Creating a 3-D Lewis & Clark Map
Comparing How Grassland Grazers Choose Their Food
Designing a Temple Wall for an Egyptian Ruler

Natural Experiences:
Taking a Noun Walk
Measuring the Length of Dinosaurs
Journaling the Life of a Tree for a Year

Real-Life Experiences:
Examining an Ancient Stele like an Archaeologist
Looking through Homesteading Records like a Geneaologist
Creating a Crime Scene Drawing like a Crime Scene Investigator

Online Experiences:
Taking a Virtual Tour of a Castle
Following the Timeline of Viking Invasions
Visiting an Archaeological Dig in Real Time

Creative Experiences:
Preparing an Industrial Revolution Exhibition
Building Your Own Great Wall
Outfitting a Pirate Captain’s Quarters

Notebooking Experiences:
Assembling a Customized Looseleaf Notebook
Adding Field Trip Pages and Your Own Creations
Completing Interactive Notebook Pages on History & Science

This is just a sampling of the kind of “Experiences” that WinterPromise offers to parents.  Each one has an educational focus, not busy work.  Together with interactive notebook pages, and DVD suggestions you’ll love, parents will find 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!

THAT’S the “Experience” Approach at Work in WinterPromise!

Not Too Much to Carry 5

I remember when I first met Charlotte Mason.  Okay, not really “met,” but got to know.  I was immediately struck by Charlotte’s intuitive understanding of children and how to education and train them.  I was also hugely impressed by how counter-culture Charlotte’s ways are in today’s world.

If you haven’t gotten to know Charlotte Mason yet, and you are hoping to be a good homeschooling parent, a great “Mother-Teacher” — or at least aiming that direction :), then you should “meet” Charlotte, too.  There are a lot of summaries of Charlotte’s ideas online, but here are the basics:  Charlotte Mason was a British educator who worked with children for years.  She believed in exposing children to great ideas, wonderful literature, God’s Word in liberal amounts, and beautiful artwork, and she called for challenging them in a way that gave them a love for learning.  She believed in teaching history, getting children to tell back what they know, and — most of all — Charlotte believed in joy!

As a Momma myself, this is what perhaps convinced me that I wanted to be a “Mother-Teacher” like Charlotte.  After all, if I couldn’t bring my children joy, and teach my children the joy in curiosity, in exploration, in discovery — what was motherhood for?

As I delved into Charlotte’s methods and thoughts, I found new ways we were kindred spirits.  It was a thrill to hear from someone who did not believe that raising your children meant teaching them to cram for exams, run around to endless extra curricular activities, and fall into bed exhausted at night.  Charlotte’s ideas were freedom.  Freedom to develop a lifestyle that was not at all like school, not at all over-busied, and above all — not self-focused.

The freedom we found was like finally breathing again.  It meant so much more, you see, than just that we’d found a homeschool method that worked for us.  In fact, we’d found a lifestyle!

We’ve had a chance to live the Charlotte Mason lifestyle for a lot of years now, and we’ve just seen our lives change so radically from what they were before.  Here’s what I’ve learned along the way:

1.  I have never spent one moment thinking about how I wish I done things differently.  Our lifestyle works for us, and it works for our family.  It is a servant to, not a master of, our souls.  It supports our family — it does not “run” our family.

2.  My children have had enough free time to think big thoughts on their own, and that has allowed each one to blossom and develop in their own unique way.  They’ve had to time to explore the world their way, to be curious, to investigate, and it has made all the difference in how they relate to the world.  They reach out to the world and experience it, a true contrast to how many children have to depend on “packaged” experiences in classroom or sports arenas.

3.  The time we’ve had together that wasn’t “overplanned” and “over-scheduled” reaped so many more benefits than I could have imagined.  As my kids have grown up, I can see each day how much that has meant to their development.  They are comfortable with conversation, deep relationships, reading, and self-improvement.   We’ve had so much time together, time we used to mold our kids’ character and develop their relationship to Christ.  We’ve had time to teach them skills and common sense, courtesy and manners, and simple leadership skills like timeliness, follow-through, accountability, servanthood, and working as a team.

I really could go on and on.  In short, I am thankful every day that Charlotte’s simple wisdom traveled across time to whisper to me the things for which my “Mother-Teacher” heart was longing.  She pointed the way to a Christ-centered, family relationship-focused lifestyle that changed our lives.

So, when God gave us the opportunity to create a curriculum that would allow homeschoolers to really enjoy their journey, it only made sense that we build it the Charlotte Mason way.  We’ve included many of the concepts that Charlotte Mason advocated, and added a few we fancy Charlotte would have if she were living in this century!  We’ve made it easy to do yourself, without having to pull a bunch of things together on your own, so there’s still plenty of time to invest in the character of your kids.  Plus, we made sure to include the kind of life learning that so benefitted our own kids, and really stuck with them as time went by.

So, now, I whisper all of this to you, too!  Don’t wait!  Go out there and get some Charlotte Mason in your life!

It may be that WinterPromise offers you a start on that lifestyle, and we’d love that!  But be sure to meet Charlotte Mason in any case, so that you can develop a lifestyle that suits you as “Mother-Teacher,” and develops the promise in your own family!  You’ll never be sorry that you did!

Kaeryn

 

winterpromisefreebie

Children Around the World is one of WinterPromise’s most popular programs — and it recently added a lot of great new resources!  Resources like specially formatted ebooks to enhance each country study, and fun resources like Native Costume Stand-Ups and Country Doodle Placemats.  Parents also love the easy to digest book, “Children of Many Lands,” in which they learn about the history and geography of 3o countries, together with neat information on its traditions, celebrations, cities, landmarks, and more.

Then there are the “you-can-do-it,” easy activities WP has included to introduce your family to the “flavor” of each country.  Great recipes, fun to try games, traditional activities, plus crafts or real-life experiences — these all round out the ready-to-do activities WP has put together for you, to make this program as easy as can be.

To add real meaning and depth to this program, WP offers information on the lives of children, not only in their everyday lives around the world, but also in other settings.  It allows students to see how kids in other parts of the world long for simple things like clean water, a school to attend, enough food to eat, or even just to stay healthy.  It gives kids a chance to do some neat volunteer activities and look at how much they themselves are blessed.

But the heart of this program really is the huge notebooking resource.  WP’s “Travel Diary” for this program includes text on the notable landmarks of each country, its flag and a country map, special finish-it-yourself native costume pages, intriguing mysteries or facts on natural places or manmade cities, castles, towers, or ruins, and so much more!  The Travel Diary runs more than 300 pages long to keep students completing a lot of interactive work and having a blast!

If this wets your appetite for finding out more about this fantastic culture and geography program, you’ll want to enjoy a free download of a study of Great Britain excerpted from this program.  It is below, along with a link to check out Children of Many Lands at winterpromise’s website, www.winterpromise.com

Head Here to Check Out Children of Many Lands Yourself!
http://www.winterpromise.com/children_world.html

Click on the Link Below to Download the FREE Great Britain Study!
It takes awhile to download, because it is 100 pages long!

Free_Sample_COVER_Great_Britain_Study_2013

Free_Download_Great_Britain_Study_2013

Read more about Children Around the World on our website here. 

Purchase any of the Children Around the World curriculum here. 

winterpromisefreebie

It’s always great to see a new program ready for our parents.  Our new “Dinosaur Days” Science has just been released, and is an awesome new addition to WinterPromise’s line of science programs.

“Dinosaur Days” is a great “ancient science” program that comes alongside any study well, but works especially well for parents studying the Ancient World.  It begins with a study of the days of Creation, and then works through the simple machines utilized by men at the beginning of time.  Then, it spends many weeks on the lives and different kinds of dinosaurs, finishing with several weeks on fossils, digs, and paleontology.

This program really challenged me to think about God’s incredible creative work.  Some of the dinosaurs you encounter in this study sport huge sail-like barbs on their backs — some as tall as 6 feet high!  Others have elaborate horns or crests, while still others have strange bony heads.  Discovering their unique design gives you a fresh appreciation for the wonders God has made.  This study allows you to peek inside the world of the dinosaurs, get a sense of their size and lifestyle, and so much more!

You might want to take a peek yourself — at a sample of the student notebook for the Dinosaur Days program!

Dinosaur_Notebook_Cover

SAMPLE_Dinosaur_Days_Student_Notebook

While dinosaurs are only found in bone beds now, other creatures still declare His creative glory.  I found myself looking around for reminders each day of things I “forget” to see that God sends our way.  One of them recently was a bunny spending time eating outside a basement window, curiously looking inside at our family while we enjoyed watching him!  God’s wonders really are everywhere!  Have you enjoyed one of these “wonders” lately?

Find Dinosaur Days on our website here. 

Purchase any of the Dinosaur Days science here.