Do you struggle with whether or not to get a home school curriculum for schooling your younger children? I have two two year old little girls that I really just didn't want to leave out of school this year. They love participating with their older brothers and sisters while we do school, but they're not really ready to be learning to read quite yet!
I was very excited to get the chance to review the Flowering Baby curriculum as it deals with young children. And by young, I mean it actually has a section for birth and on up! You have birth to one year, one year to two year, two year to three year, three year to four year, and four year to five year! I received a downloadable file for all five years. The younger children sections are even divided up by month! So you can just go to the month that is your child's age and find fun activities and books that are age appropriate as well as some things that your baby should be able to do at that age! I loved this!
I received the whole five years in download format. These courses are very detailed and give you instructions for each day. There is not a lot of preplanning that you the parent has to do except to have all of the supplies ready. At the beginning of each section you are provided with materials that you need. For us this was a list of books(all of which we either already had or were available through the local library) and a supply list of things you will need. Most are things that you will have lying around the house: crayons, construction paper, empty toilet paper tubes, etc. It also lists things that would be fun to include such as a trip to the local zoo.
If you visit the Flowering Baby website and go to the bottom of the page for each section you will find a full month sample to view!
Four Year Old Themed Units
I used two different sections of this curriculum(I received all of them, but only two were needed due to my children's ages). For the age 4 group you could use a monthly schedule or a themed unit schedule. We went with the themed units. For January the theme was Aquarium and Arctic Life/Dinosaurs. This was a huge hit with my little boy! The only sad note was that we were not able to visit our local zoo that has a huge walk through aquarium and wonderful penguin run. The zoo is two hours away and we just didn't have a really nice day that fit in our schedule to go.
Some fun activities that went with the Aquarium and Arctic Life theme were finding pictures(we went online) of arctic animals and deciding if they lived on land, water, or both. The kids also had to identify what the animal was. This was such fun and we learned about a few new animals! We talked about what we would wear if we decided to visit the Antarctic/Arctic. My kids thought they might need their snow pants and coats, but didn't want gloves because they wanted to be able to feel the animals fur or skin! I love the logic of little children!
After the animals we studied water, birds, and bugs. While studying birds we went to our local Wildlife Refuge which is a migratory stop off for geese and swans. We also saw several hawks and other fun birds. As an activity we took construction paper, pipe cleaners, and crayons and made some lovely butterflies! Another activity that the kids loved was using an egg carton(cut in half lengthwise) to be a caterpillar. The kids got to use paints to paint it. They thought this was so neat!
|Though this was an activity in the 4-5 year section, all 8 of my kids enjoyed it!|
|We used this butterfly craft in conjunction with the 2-3 year old course as well.|
Here is our youngest concentrating on doing her butterfly.
I loved these themed units and loved watching my kids have so much fun learning. It wasn't just my four year old doing this. It was also my 8 year old and everyone on down to the 2 year old. Of course some got more out of it and remembered more of it than others, but they all learned and had fun. And THAT is the most important thing about school!
Two to Three Year Old
The other part of the curriculum that we used was the 2-3 year old section. My youngest turned 2 in November so in January she was 26 months old. We started out with the 26 month section. The first thing I noticed was the extensive book list at the beginning of this section. We love to read in our house and I was pleased to see some of our favorite books on there.
I loved that one of the books for month 26 was the Very Hungry Caterpillar. While big brother was studying bugs we could read this book and help him make caterpillars. I love being able to tie what one child is doing in with what another is doing.
One of the suggestions that surprised me was having them listen to classical music for at least 15 minutes a day. They would have you change the composer but always classical. We have always played classical music to our children at bedtime. They go to sleep with a classical cd playing in the background. So, what we did was to use the composer that they suggested as the cd for that month! For month 26 it was Hayden. My kids all love classical music and I think that this has something to do with it.
Each day you have a book of the day, a color of the day, and a shape of the day. Naturally my kiddos favorite part was the coloring. Fionna(my youngest two year old) already knew her colors but she had great fun helping her sister find the right crayons since she still struggles with knowing her colors at the age of 30 months.
There were a few things we had to improvise on due to weather. For instance, one day we were supposed to go outside and use sidewalk chalk, but it was very cold so we had to stay inside. Instead we cut out lines to make the squares that we would have made on the sidewalk. I am lucky to have a play area in our basement that the kids can do fun things in!
We really enjoyed using and reviewing Flowering Baby. You can purchase the downloads online at the Flowering Baby store and also receive a 10% discount by entering code "Blog10" when you checkout. For the entire five year program the cost is $132. For the first three sections(birth to 1, 1-2, and 2-3) each section costs $30. The other two sections(3-4, and 4-5) are each $38.
Make sure to check out the rest of The Crew's blog posts on this curriculum to learn more about the other levels that we did not use here!
Disclaimer: I was provided with a downloadable file for all five years of this curriculum for free in association with the TOS Schoolhouse Review Crew. I was not compensated in any other way besides this curriculum. All thoughts and opinions in this review are my own and not influenced in anyway. I was not coerced to write a positive review but rather wrote my own thoughts(or those of my children) on the curriculum. I am disclosing this to be in compliance with the FTC Regulations. Pin It Now!