I spend a lot of time during the day working with the children on their school work. The younger girls see their big brothers and sister doing school work, and they want work of their own too. I was very excited to have the opportunity to review Flowering Baby with my 22 month old and 3 year old.
Flowering Baby is a "whole child developmental approach from birth to age five." The curriculum is co -authored by Carolyn Schulte who has a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Special Needs and her daughter Martha Saunders a homeschooling mom who decided to blend the Charlotte Mason, Classical, and Unit Study approach in her homeschool. They decided to co-author this curriculum in order to share with parents and teachers the hundreds of simple and inexpensive ways you can positively affect a child's growth and development.
Their program is designed to work with your child for 20-40 minutes a day on different skills depending on their age. Each activity is designed to develop a full and solid educational foundation. The curriculum contains at least 20 different activities per month. The program is designed by year and broken down by month so you can begin the curriculum at any point in the year. The curriculum can be purchased in the following levels:
Birth to One- Designed with activities for you to work with your baby for 20 minutes a day for 20 or more days on a specific skill. Each day there is usually one activity, one story, and one song. The goal of this year is to expose baby to a wide variety of music, sounds, activities, words, and your family's environment. You can find a whole month of activities here. You can purchase here for $30.00 CD format.
One to Two- This year is about exploration. Your child will work on directional tasks, experience paint and Playdough, find out about new tastes, and figure out his independence. Each day there will usually be at least one book, one activity, and one song. You can find a sample month here. Purchase here for $30.00 CD Format.
Two to Three- This year your child will still be learning about the world around him. In addition he will also start learning more academic things such as: ABC's, counting, shapes, colors, nursery rhymes, perform simple experiments, listen to a variety of music, and more. Each day there are multiple activities to choose from. See a full sample month here. Purchase here for $30.00 CD Format.
Three to Four- Starting at age 3 the curriculum changes somewhat. There are now 2 parts.The first part is a general educational guide which includes math, language, science, phys ed, self help and more. Your child will learn many new things such as magnets, cooking and nutrition, safety, games, read, sing, listen to music, and more. The second part is a Theme Guide which contains 24 mini unit studies that you incorporate throughout the year choosing two per month. There are approximately 6 activities for each theme. The themes range from holidays, to sports, to animals, and more. Books and activities are included for each theme. See a month's sample here. Purchase here for $38.00 CD Format.
Four to Five- This year's curriculum is in the same two part format as the three to four year olds; a general educational guide and a them guide. Your child will be able to count to fifty, count by two's and start writing numbers. He will put together puzzles, paint, use Playdough, and do a variety of physical activities. He will learn about weather, holidays, city, state, and country, and listen to a variety of music and stories. The theme units are similar to age 3 but include more challenging activities and additional books are read. See a sample here. Purchase in CD Format here for $38.00.
You can also purchase the entire 5 year set for $132.00 here.
DISCOUNT CODE- Receive 10% off your purchase by using discount code "Blog 10" while ordering.
I had an opportunity to use the One to Two level starting with month 22 and the 3 to 4 level starting with January and the Winter and Zoo theme units. First I am going to talk about the One to Two Level.
The guide starts with an introduction talking about the curriculum and it's focus. There is a list of common supplies you will need, Music CD's, and a book list. The book list is full of recommended titles, but you can substitute with other books if they are not available to you. Then it goes into the activities starting with the age your child is. I started with the 22nd Month. If there are additional supplies you will need they are listed first (for Month 22 colored cellophane and a xylophone were listed), followed by specific book recommendations, and the Music choice for the month. In the 22nd Month there are 23 days of activities. Some of the activities are just general life activities (ex. work on dressing today), some are game-like (ex. matching, finding things that don't belong), some are crafts (ex. draw or paint), and everyday has a book or a music suggestion or finger play, or both.
It can be hard getting photos of the little ones while you are doing the activities with them, but I did get a few of Emelia.
|Drawing a picture while listening to music|
|Playing a "Where did it go?" Game|
|Making A Healthy Food Collage|
|Painting with different shades of blue|
|Listening (and marching) to the music on Wee Sing|
|Making a snowman|
One of the things that I loved the most about Flowering Baby was that I could include the littles in my school day without having to come up with the activities on my own. I love that the curriculum is flexible and you can pick and choose what activities you want to do. Although they give a list of suggested books, you do not have to use those books. Our local library is very small and did not have any of the books I needed, but between what I had on the shelf and a few I borrowed from a friend, I had more than enough books to cover each topic. The general supplies were not things that were hard to find or expensive. Anything that I didn't already have on hand, I could easily pick up at Walmart. I loved the music suggestions, and Emelia and Lillian really loved dancing to the music on one of the suggested Wee Sing Cds. The craft and games were not things that I could easily come up with on my own. In the 1 to 2 year old curriculum one of my favorite activities was to take pictures of your child's favorite toys or stuffed animals and have your child match the photo with the object. My favorite part of the 3 to 4 year old curriculum is the theme guides. It is a great way to dig into some topics that children in that age range enjoy the most.
To see what other crew mates had to say click here.