I’ve had a few messages lately, and I certainly don’t blame you. I’ve been talking about The Gentle + Classical Preschool LEVEL 2 for about a year now. I’ve read, prayed, and have been planning for quite some time. However, Gentle + Classical Nature turned into quite the project and interrupted my focus for several months. Now that Term 1 has been released (YAY!) I’m shifting my writing focus to TGCP Level 2.
And YOU want to know- WHAT WILL IT COVER?
I’m with you, Mama! I normally start planning my next school year in February. So, while this program won’t be complete until late July, I want to give you an overview of everything that’s planned. Please don’t be upset if these plans are later altered or adjusted!
CURRENTLY, The Gentle + Classical Preschool Level 2 will include 32 robust units of Scripture, Bible Stories, American History, Language Arts, Math Memorization, Catechism, and more.
If you have downloaded and began reading Gentle + Classical Nature, you'll find that we are pursuing Charlotte Mason's "Formidable Attainments for a Child of 6" between these TWO courses.
Up front: No you don't HAVE to do both programs, and you don't need to "align" them. They are complementary but not required to be used simultaneously. They are each fully stand alone programs. Gentle + Classical Nature is a full SCIENCE program, which replaces the science portion of The Gentle + Classical Preschool Level 2 (TGCP).
What are these "Formidable Attainments"?
Items in BOLD are integrated into Gentle + Classical Nature. Items in ITALICS are included in The Gentle + Classical Preschool Level 2. They are:
1. To recite, beautifully, six easy poems and hymns.
2. To recite, perfectly and beautifully, a parable and a psalm.
3. To add and subtract numbers up to ten, with dominoes or counters.
4. To read — what and how much, will depend on what we are told of the child; children vary much in their power of reading.
5. To copy in print- hand from a book.
6. To know the points of the compass with relation to their own home, where the sun rises and sets, and the way the wind blows.
7. To describe the boundaries of their own home.
8. To describe any lake, river, pond, island, &c, within easy reach.
9. To tell quite accurately (however shortly) three stories from Bible history, three from early English, and three from early Roman history.
10. To be able to describe three walks and three views.
11. To mount in a scrap book a dozen common wildflowers, with leaves (one every week); to name these, describe them in their own words, and say where they found them.
12. To do the same with the leaves and flowers of six forest trees.
13. To know six birds, by song, colour, and shape.
14. To send in certain Kindergarten or other handiwork, as directed.
15. To tell three stories about their own “pets” — rabbit, dog, or cat.
16. To name twenty common objects in French, and say a dozen little sentences.
17. To sing one hymn, one French song, and one English song.
18. To keep a caterpillar, and tell the life story of a butterfly from his own observations.
To get a feel for the flow of TGCP Level 2, I HIGHLY encourage that you download and read through the introduction of Nature, if you haven't already. Even if you don't use it, it will help you get a true feel for the structure and purposes within TGCP Level 2.
In summary, here is what we will purpose to learn via the Attainments:
Parable/Psalm Recitation and Memorization
3 Bible Stories
3 American History Stories
3 Ancient History Stories (Greek or Roman)
Songs: 1 Hymnal, 1 French song, 1 English song
But what about memory statements?
Those will absolutely be included! We will cover:
History- These memory statements will be new every 2 units to allow plenty of time to dive into the topics. They are also aligned with Year 2 (Units 2 and 3) of Tapestry of Grace. They span Jamestown through the presidency of John Adams. Our goal will be to learn about famous historical characters and "play at history."
Scripture- These will be predominantly from Psalm and Proverbs and will still alternate each unit with Character.
Language Arts- You will still need your own phonics program (I’m a fan of All About Reading!). Our language arts portion will include nursery rhymes but will be centered around excellent living books that support one of our memory statements each unit and some for just their own merit.
Math- You will need your own formal math curriculum once you decide to begin that. (I love Math-u-See and RightStart.) However, we will continue to memorize important math skills like skip counting, fact families, and important math terms. One example would be that we will learn that the "-" symbol means "subtract, take away, minus, difference."
Art- We will schedule 1 artist per term and include picture study. Furthermore, regular art activities will be incorporated.
Music- We will learn about 1 composer each term plus incorporate music awareness, rhythm activities, and more.
Character- We will work on 1 skill per term: Kindness, Self-Control, and Faithfulness
Catechism- We will begin the Westminster Shorter Catechism where we left off from Level 1.
I'll go ahead and answer a few other questions in advance:
1- Will it be free? YES! I fully intend to offer it for free but will continue to offer paid bundles that make implementing the program even easier for you (and these also allow me to continue to offer the curriculum as a ministry).
2- Will it REALLY come out in July? Let's admit it- I'm terrible at projecting realistic timelines. If you have subscribed or follow me on social media long, you know how true this is! I do have a backup plan though, friends. If all else fails, I'll release what I have in July. I'm praying that God equips me to finish all 32 units over the next 4 months. However, if he does not, I can easily release 12 or 18 or whatever I have so that we can all get started on time! Ultimately, it's all in the good Lord's hand as I try to commit all my ways to him!
3- What will the Bundle include? It will include memory statement cards, hymnals, artist and composer study, as well as UPDATED flashcards that reflect more picture options per letter, letter blends, as well as a cursive option. (I'm looking into making a D'Nealian option.) And it might include more, but that's all I can be certain about at the moment.
4- Why is the history aligned with Tapestry of Grace and why does it repeat some events we studied in Level 1? There are a few answers to this. I'm aligning to Tapestry of Grace to be self-serving. All of my kids will be in the same history cycle next year, and I'm very excited about that. We are repeating some content from Level 1 because we are teaching it to older children. Our kids did Level 1 at ages 2, 3 and 4. Now, as 4, 5, and 6 year olds, they'll be encountering the content in a completely new way, with new understanding and depth. We choose to study early American history first, as I'm a believer that children need to understand the world that's closest to them (and the concept of time passing) before they jump back into ancient history.
5- What composer/artist/Roman history story/English song will you be using? I'm not sure yet. I've been predominantly focusing on WHAT content I wanted to include and slowly narrowing that scope. My next step is to make those decisions. I will update here as soon as I know!
6- Aren't Charlotte Mason's Attainments for a child OF 6- not a child of 4? TRUE! So true! The Attainments are actually focused on what we should teach our child who has turned 6 as a "kindergarten" program rather than what our child should know before the age of 6. However, as I detail in Gentle + Classical Nature, this is a decision for each family. MOST of us are going to do some type of formal instruction before age 6- often times because our children are eager to learn! Our personal family belief is that our preschoolers have plenty of hours in the day to receive natural, developmentally appropriate, engaging, play-based instruction and STILL have freedom to play without restriction and explore nature freely. I talk about this at-length in Nature 🙂