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
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 inspired. Everything 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.