Posts

,

Living Math: Teaching Math with Charlotte Mason

 

Do you struggle with math? Do your students struggle with math? Have you ever thought that math seems disconnected from real life? If you have ever felt these things we are excited to present to you a new math resource that we carry, Living Math!

Living Math (LM) is a wonderful Charlotte Mason math program! It brings all of what we love about the Charlotte Mason method into a structured math program! This math fits perfectly alongside the other programs and resources that WinterPromise offers. In this post we will give you a detailed explanation of how LM works and what makes this program so unique!

Narrative Story

The backbone of LM is the narrative story. One of the core principles that Charlotte Mason promoted was living books. She wanted to get away from dry, stale textbooks and into books that taught the subject by exciting the reader with riveting story – in other words, she advocated books that came to life. Hence the term, living books! What LM does is chronicle an adventure that your child will share while they learn different mathematical principles.

“It is the story of a twin brother and sister who are visiting their grandparents’ farm. They soon learn that the farm is full of learning opportunities! As you read their story, your student will be drawn into the adventure along with the twins.” (Living Math Level 1, p. 4)

The excerpt above was taken from one of the introductory pages. The key to the success of this program is that this math book is not just a book filled with questions and answers, it is a book filled with adventure and problem-solving.

Connecting Math to Real Life

girl_doing_homework

A big advantage of LM is the narrative format which connects the math that your children are learning to real life. Math, along with other subjects, is often taught in a compartmentalized manner. This is not how real life works though! “For example, when you are cooking or baking, you have to use the skills of reading, logical thinking, and measuring, just to name a few.” (Living Math Level 1, p. 5) This program does an amazing job of showing how math is an essential part of life. Here is an example from Level 1:

To teach the concept of solving for an unknown:

” ‘How many cups do I need, Grandma?’ Charlotte asked, wiping her hands on her apron, leaving yellow streaks down her sides. . . ‘Well, how many cups do you have so far?’ Grandma came over to look over Charlotte’s shoulder. ‘We need four cups altogether.’

‘I put one in so far,’ Charlotte answered. ‘So how many more do I need?’

‘Let’s figure it out. . . you have 1 + ___ = 4,’ Grandma wrote on a scrap of paper. Charlotte looked at her fingers, ‘Hmmm. I have 1.’ She held up one finger. ‘And 2 comes after 1, so 2, 3, 4. I counted 3 more fingers. Is that right Grandma?’

‘Yes, Charlotte, that is right. Good job! What you just did is what we call ‘solving for the uknown.’ When you know how much you need altogether,  you can figure out how much more you need by counting up, just like you did.'” (Living Math Level 1, p. 201)

This example as noted above is just one of a myriad of examples of how the story connects math to real life. When your students move on to more complex math topics LM still continues to connect it back to real life.

Other Features

One way that this curriculum keeps costs down is by offering the answer keys free online. This makes for simplicity and affordability. It works great for teachers in larger settings such as a co-op or other one-day-a-week schools. You can access these anywhere and the link is given directly inside the resource. Another feature that this program offers is that each page is perforated and three-hole punched. This provides you with the flexibility to put the pages into student binders or to pass them out for students to finish their work independently.

The program is formatted very simply. Each lesson starts with a narration and proceeds to exercise sheets to practice the concepts. At the end of each section there are quiz or review sheets. This makes the lessons and the structure of the program simple for parents to follow. These features, combined with the proven Charlotte Mason method as the backbone to teaching, makes this program a great fit for most families. You will be successful not only in teaching math, but also teaching your children that math has real life benefits and importance.

We are excited to offer this math program to our families! We will be adding more grade levels as they are developed. In the next few months we should have up to 6th grade available for purchase. If you have any questions please feel free to call us at 802-372-9200, M-F 9-5 EDT. To see the current samples we have please click on the links below!

CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR LIVING MATH 1

CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR LIVING MATH 2

CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR LIVING MATH 3

, , ,

Conquering 4 Common Questions Families Ask WinterPromise: How Does WinterPromise Help the Parent?

How Does WinterPromise Help the Parent?

thanksgiving-family

We are continuing our series on answering some of the most common questions we hear at WinterPromise. How does WinterPromise help the parent? This question is often not said so directly, but parents ask a lot of questions that relate to this issue. How do we help our parents succeed in homeschooling? A lot of curriculums puts the responsibility completely on the parent! It is entirely up to the parent to have a rich and memorable experience homeschooling. While the parents are the primary reason homeschooling will be successful, we here at WinterPromise want to do as much as we can to make it as easy on the parent as possible.

What does that look like? Let’s take a look!

1. WinterPromise helps the parent by ensuring there is as little prep work as possible!

There is a lot in a WinterPromise program. We have a lot of pride in being able to offer huge value in our programs. We want to give you a rich, deep, and joy-filled homeschool experience. What that means though is that parents that are new to homeschooling and even more experienced homeschoolers can look at our curriculum and be overwhelmed! We want to assure you that we will help you succeed!

One of the central values our founder and author Kaeryn holds to is that parents should be doing as little “behind the scenes” work or prep work as possible. Life is busy enough let alone homeschooling, and you don’t want to be devoting more energy than is needed working to prepare lessons, organizing activities, scheduling and tracking progress etc. We want to do as much of that work as we can! We are an “open-and-go” curriculum. Which means: as long as you have your materials, you should be able to open up your guidebook and go!

What does that look like in our Teacher Guides? They are the cornerstone to each program. The never center. Our guides are PACKED with information and teacher helps. They not only schedule your weeks but they hold all your activities, extra resources and notes for teaching, all in one place!  Here are some examples:

Every Resource Scheduled Every Week – We have everything from our activities, reading, independent assignments, teacher notes, weekly goals, interactive online projects, DVD suggestions and anything else you could imagine scheduled and laid out for you. You don’t need to plan anything! We have everything planned for you. With WinterPromise you will be able to wake up, get your coffee, get breakfast going for the kids and then start your homeschooling without worrying that you have what you need to get something accomplished.

Activities Designed For Simplicity – We believe that every activity you do should be something that adds to your educational experience and to the understanding of a particular subject. Activities should not be just plain busy work. We offer great activities every week for you and your students to dive right into. To help the parent we have described each activity as Open & Go, Easy, Moderate or Difficult. Most of our activities fall under the Open & Go to Moderate range and are completely doable. You will also be given at the beginning of your guide a list containing everything you will need for the year to complete the activities and also every week you will be given what you will need for that particular week. Most often they include normal household craft materials. We do everything we can to make sure our activities are designed in such a way that you are spending more time learning and less time prepping.

Teacher Helps – Do you ever feel out of your depths when it comes to a particular issue or time in history? Do you ever feel that you are not as gifted a teacher as your children need? We have all felt those things. To address these concerns we have packed our teacher guides with so much information and help that will be invaluable to you the parent! We include in each guide several pages devoted to informing you about the different learning styles and intelligences. This is really great for you to know! You are given tips on how to use the guide even! For those that feel like they struggle knowing what the goal for a given week is, we offer weekly teacher notes so you know exactly what you should be emphasizing. We want you to succeed!

2. WinterPromise wants to help you create memories!

Homeschooling parents put so much pressure on themselves. They guilt themselves into feeling inadequate as a teacher and/or parent. The cause of this is often because the motivation or standard by which they are evaluating themselves is not helpful or accurate. Ask questions like: What is your goal? What are things that really matter to you and your family? What do you want your family to have by the end of this?

Homeschooling offers the unique opportunity to be a part of the learning process. You an be a part of the ups and downs, successes and failures. What an amazing opportunity! If you are only concerned about a test score at some state standard test, we believe you are missing the point. Knowledge is vital and we teach our kids ultimately so that they will learn. But if you are homeschooling purely for the transfer of knowledge you are missing out on so much! WinterPromise is designed to help you create a family culture that is centered around making memories and experiencing joy! Learning should be a joy and it should be shared! We want you to focus on the unique growth of each child, and to grow with them! How do we do that? Laugh together, read great books together, make a mess of a science experiment together, enjoy a nature walk, run around in the rain when you should be doing math, cook meals together, journey together into different cultures, go on adventures together! WinterPromise wants to offer that to your family!

Create memoires together; because memories flow from the wealth of love and joy in a family. This will take the pressure off of you and will enable you to succeed in a way that you never thought possible! If you are willing to not blame, guilt, or crush yourself along the way you will find that you can go on a wonderful journey with your children as you homeschool.

WinterPromise wants you to succeed. Parents are the most important relationship a child has. Parents have everything to do with their development. Therefore we at WinterPromise want to equip and help you the parent as much as possible. Let us become a part of your journey.

 

 

,

4 Common Questions Families Ask WinterPromise Families: How Long Does A Day With WinterPromise Last?

How Long Does A Day With WinterPromise Last?

knight-on-horse

This question seems like a very simple question at face value. It is simple at first, but behind this question are there are questions like: What will you be doing? How long are you reading? How demanding is the program? How de we fit in Science and Language Arts? There are a lot of practical questions that are behind this question. We hear this all the time. So in this post we will talk about the practicals of WinterPromise. How long it will take, how to fit in other aspects of WinterPromise and how demanding it is.

 

How Long Does A Day With WinterPromise Last?

Here at WinterPromise one of our greatest joys is that we can encourage and comfort our families when they have fears. There are two motivations for this question.

Our parents come from a variety of backgrounds. Some have been homeschooling for 10 years and are very experienced in managing their kids and the homeschool lifestyle. These families are usually concerned about having a day that would end up being too short, or not demanding enough. While other families have been homeschooling for only a year or two, or even shorter! They are still trying to adjust to and manage the challenges that the homeschooling lifestyle brings to the table. WinterPromise is unique in the fact that inside of our curriculum we can comfort and excite those on both sides of the question.

If you are doing a WinterPromise Themed Program, and depending on the age level of your program you can have a range in the time you will spend ‘doing school.’ Usually you will spend an average anywhere from 2-5 hours a day. This includes your time with them and also their own independent studies.

The beauty of WinterPromise is that inside of our programs we have so much rich material that if you wanted to do more, we have extra resources, tons of activities, online resources, research projects, DVD suggestions and so much more! If you want to be more rigorous we offer the opportunity and the resources to do so. At the same time if you want to take it easy and experience your education with your children in a more relaxed atmosphere, you can scale back and still get a great experience! WinterPromise can be as rigorous or as relaxed as you and your family need it to be.

“WinterPromise can be as rigorous or as relaxed as you and your family need it to be.”

How Does Your Science and Language Arts Fit Into That Schedule?

Now we often get a follow-up question to the above answer. If you spend 2-5 hours a day on your Themed Programs (History, Social Studies, Geography) then how do you fit in Science and Language Arts? That is a great question!

WinterPromise is designed in a 4-day schedule. Our Language Arts can easily be added as an extra 30-60 minutes each day. Our Science Programs have been designed so that they can be done in a day in just a few hours! Meaning your 5th day could be spent just doing Science!  This means that you get a wonderfully rich science experience and it doesn’t feel like a huge burden. Families also sometimes do their Language Arts and Science in one day so that the rest of their week is lighter. We want this work for you how you need it to. Therefore our science and language arts are designed so that while it is scheduled for you, you can also do some tweeking if you need to.

WinterPromise does as much work for you as we can so that you can worry less about preparation and adjustments and more about what matters. The reason you started homeschooling was at least in part because you wanted to individually invest, mentor, and educate each one of your children. To see them grow as people, to teach them about life and the skills to be successful in life. This is where your time be invested and not into hours of preparation and busy work.

WinterPromise wants to work with the parent and to work for the parent.

, , ,

Conquering 4 Common Questions Families Ask WinterPromise: What Kind of Curriculum is WinterPromise?

knight-on-horse

As a company we are new to a lot of people. This year a lot of you have called into our office for the first time, never hearing about us before recently! We love the opportunity to be able to impact so many families and to see our WinterPromise family grow!

With so many new families contacting us we get a lot of questions, and some questions we hear more often than others. For that reason we wanted to write an article that dealt with a few of the common questions that we hear on the phones, in emails, on Facebook and beyond! Our desire is that this helps you understand us as a company better, and what you can expect when you choose us as your homeschool curriculum.

This will be split into a few posts, this week we are only answering one question!

What kind of curriculum is WinterPromise/What makes

WinterPromise unique?

This question we have heard a lot this year and have really enjoyed being able to tell people what kind of company we are, and what sets us apart. The answer to this question is not a one sentence answer, so please be patient and read along.

1. The first thing that comes out of our mouths when describing WinterPromise is that we are Charlotte Mason inspiredEverything we do starts with the foundation of the ideals and philosophies of Charlotte Mason. (If you don’t know who she is please Google her!) She was a British educator in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She has had a profound impact on education in general and we endorse her ideals whole-heartedly. They are central and foundational to everything we do. What are her ideals you ask? (or maybe you weren’t asking but you may as well read!)

There are many ideals that Charlotte Mason held too, but we will highlight just a few key ones. The first is: Curiosity and Discovery. Charlotte Mason believed that curiosity and discovery should be the primary motivators and backbone of learning. Young children have a deep curiosity about the world around them. This curiosity should lead to an active discovery on the child’s part during their education. They should be on an adventure of discovery while they are at school. But it shouldn’t stop when they get older It should continue throughout their childhood and even into adulthood.

Charlotte Mason also believed that the books that children learn from should be what she called, “Living Books.” Dry textbooks that merely communicate facts do not engage children. This impacts learning. We all learn something quicker if we are having fun doing it! They also do not insight curiosity or a desire to discover in the child. We here at WinterPromise have chosen books specifically designed to be exciting, engaging, educationally rich, and feed the curiosity of those reading. DRY BOOKS ARE A NO-NO!

I am going to mention only two more ideals so that we don’t drowned in Charlotte Mason information! Another ideal that Charlotte Mason held to, was the strong exposure to nature and the direct observation of it. Nature walks and observation are a huge part of education for children! WinterPromise offers animal and nature studies, and in our nature studies (for example Animals and Their Worlds!) we encourage the active engagement of nature. We want our kids outdoors and engaged with the world around them!

Finally, Charlotte Mason also held to the ideal that learning should be as joyful as possible. Although with Algebra, I am not sure how joyful it can be! 😉 Learning should not be joyless. Learning can be challenging and full of hard work but it should never be joyless. We here at WinterPromise always strive to present the information in a way that excites, engages and puts a smile on the face of those learning. Just a few examples are: Your students can go on adventures with Quest for the Ancient World, see what life on a ship is like in our Adventures in the Sea & Sky, learn to read while meeting new friends in our Early Language Arts and much more! We want to make learning fun!

Everything we do at WinterPromise seeks to include and be underlined by these ideals! Joy, Curiosity and Discovery, Living Books, and Nature Study.

2. We are multi-faceted in our method!

There is a great graphic on our website that summarizes how we incorporate all the different homeschool methods into one curriculum. You can find that here!

When Kaeryn started on this journey of writing curriculum it was for a very personal reason. It was for one of her sons. This son is very unique in how he learns. He is really smart, logical, great at putting things together, but struggled in a lot of different homeschooling curriculums! Because of this Kaeryn tried out just about everything that was offered at the time and none of them really fit. What was the problem?

Each curriculum had a method, and it did have benefits but for every benefit there were also weaknesses. This led to frustration for Kaeryn and her son. For example: one problem was that if she went with a curriculum that was Literature Based she found that at a certain point her son’s attention span and general boy-ness distracted him from really having a rich learning experience. Besides the fact that her son did not learn nearly as easily when hearing something read to him as opposed to other more hands-on ways. It worked for a while but as we know, in a literature based curriculum you read and read and read and Kaeryn needed more.

On the other hand, she then found that if she used a curriculum that was very hands-on and activity based,  it was successful at keeping him busy and engaged but that created other problems. The problems were two-fold: 1) the activities created a lot of prep work that then led to busy work. This was exhausting considering she had 5 kids to handle! 2) The activities did not offer a truly rich educational experience, and therefore the busy work and prep work were just that. Busy and prep work.

Kaeryn found that she wanted wonderfully rich books and she wanted great educationally beneficial activities. She also wanted as much of the prep work done as was possible because she was busy enough! Kaeryn wanted these things for her son and herself but could not find them!

This inspired WinterPromise. Kaeryn designed WinterPromise to offer rich learning experiences through books, activities, multi-media, observation, notebooking, interactive content. This would create curriculum. Kaeryn was inspired to bring together the unique strengths of all the different homeschool approaches while using those approaches to offset the weaknesses! This was a lot of work. But now we have done the work so you don’t have to!

3. We offer full programs!

WinterPromise offers history, social studies, language arts, science and math. In all of our programs we underline everything with the ideals listed above. We also have designed the programs so that if you were to get one of our Themed Programs (which include history, social studies and some science!) you could include multiple students within the same program that are in different ages and grades.

WinterPromise is unique in how we create each program so that you can easily tailor is to your students needs. Whether that means you have a slightly lighter work-load for one student or you do every single project, activity, and reading assignment for the student that is older. We make it easy for you to include multiple students into one Themed Program, and this saves you money and time!

There may be lot more questions you may have and if so please visit our FAQ page or call us if you have a more specific question: 802-372-9200! We are open weekdays, 9-5, EST.