I have created a thorough 13-page outline, including answers to MANY questions as well as a detailed scope and sequence. It is called a “Teaser of Information” and is included on Page 1 of the Member Resource Library. (Click HERE to log in or subscribe for access.)
This post has been edited as of 5/1/19 and will continue to be edited as the creative process unfolds around Level 2. I appreciate your patience as I follow God’s lead and develop the framework!
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 36 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 will have found out that we are pursuing Charlotte Mason's "Formidable Attainments for a Child of 6" between these TWO courses. However, the BULK of the Attainments are pursued in GC Nature. Therefore, we only tackle a small handful in GC Preschool 2.
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:
RecitationSinging! *we will sing our hymnals rather than recite
- Parable/Psalm Recitation and Memorization
- 3 Bible Stories *of your choice, though I'll offer suggestions from our daily Bible readings
American HistoryStories (Sub: American HERO stories)
Ancient HistoryStories (Greek or Roman) **We are departing here from CM's recommendations. Rather, I will focus more on the skills of attentive listening and oral narration, via the excellent living books and wonder stories we read*
13 Hymnals, 1 French song, 1 English song We will purpose to sing one hymnal per term, please each of our geographic explorations will include regional songs*
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."
*I will be discussing why history has been removed below in Q&A!
Geography + Missionary Study- Rather than using history as a uniting thread throughout our studies this year, we will focus on each unit's character attribute through the lense of a Christian missionary who possessed and displayed this virtue with excellence. As we explore the adventures and challenges of each missionary, we will explore the country and culture in which he/she came from and ultimately went to through other living books, fun activities, light map work, and games.
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 be predominantly focused on the development of the Moral Imagination and poetic knowledge in our little ones. (Read more here) We will utilize wonder stories and excellent (classic) literature.
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." Each term will have a focus area (Term 1: counting/skip counting; Term 2: measurements; Term 3: math terms)
Art- We will schedule 1 artist per term and include picture study. Furthermore, regular art activities will be incorporated. (Term 1: Vermeer; Term 2: Monet; Term 3: Thomas Cole)
Music- We will learn about 1 composer each term plus incorporate music awareness, rhythm activities, and more. (Term 1: Bach; Term 2: Mozart; Term 3: Tchaikovsky)
Character- We will work on 1 skill per term: Term 1- Kindness, Term 2- Self-Control, and Term 3- Faithfulness (Everything that we do, read, or study will have a common theme united in these character attributes.)
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 THERE NO HISTORY? Up front, this was the number one issue for me as I began writing this program. I had a plan IN MY MIND. But when I began setting it before the Lord and following his lead, I had a strong discomfort in my soul about history this year. There are MANY excellent literature-based history programs available. But here’s the main reason for the change: How can our children understand the choices of sinful man over the volumes of history they will read for the next 12 years of their education, if they do not have a moral “bank” of what is true, good, and beautiful first written upon their hearts? Through studies about virtuous missionaries, the diverse people they serve, and the morals that God writes upon our hearts that we explore through excellent literature and wonder stories, our children begin to develop poetic knowledge and flex the muscles of their moral imagination. There is no time in their development that shaping their worldview and laying the foundations for discernment will be so integral and RIGHT. Children between the ages of 4-6 are developing a strong sense of justice. Through the moral imagination, we will help them develop this, reflecting the gospel again and again, before we begin to hash our way through the annals of history in 1st-12th grades.
5- What composer/artist/English song will you be using? I’ve updated this above to reflect the artists and composers we will study. I haven’t chosen the individual songs as I’m still working through the development of our geography portions which will impact which cultures/songs we study. Our hymnals will include: The Doxology, Amazing Grace, and All Creatures of our God and King.
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 🙂