Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Review: Flowering Baby

PhotobucketIf you are looking for an easy way to include your little ones into your school day then the Flowering Baby preschool curriculum might be just what you are looking for.

It's easy for the little ones to "get lost" in the shuffle of a busy homeschool day. The Flowering Baby program is a simple and easy way to spend some fun and educational time with your littlest students.

About Flowering Baby

Flowering Baby, created by a mother/daughter team, combines Classical, Charlotte Mason and unit study philosophies to create this developmental approach to educating the whole child. The curriculum offers five volumes for every age, from birth to five.

Volumes 1-3 (ages birth through 3) offer activities based on age alone. I perused Volume 2, for ones and twos,  and it included daily activities that include music, art, stories, social games, and movement activities. Volumes 4 and 5 (ages 3-5) include a monthly section that covers things like math, language, science as well as a theme section for a unit study type of feel.

Our Experience 

PhotobucketWe received the downloadable PDF format and it was simple and easy to get right onto my iPad. (My preferred method of online reading.)  Kayleigh and I used Volume 5 Monthly Curriculum Guide Four to Five Years Old and Theme Guide Four to Five Years Old.

I decided to start off with the Monthly Guides. It is set up to be really easy to implement. You start off with a list of supplies needed, book suggestions for each "subject", music suggestions, and holidays for that month.

It then moves to daily activities which include: ABCs, stories, math, colors, shapes, science, physical, and Spanish. Some of the activities are very specific, like "Read Three Billy Goats Gruff and use blocks and animals to act out." Or "Read The Old Lady Who Lived in the Shoe and discuss the aging process."

Acting out Three Billy Goats Gruff

Most of the activities are not very specific at all, like "Blue: Read book. Dress in blue for the day. Play I Spy Something Blue. Color a picture using only blue." Or "Ears: Read book. Discuss our ears and that they are one of our five senses. Identify sounds." Their are book suggestions for each unit or you can easily substitute what you already have at home. They also include a lot of life skills like practicing your phone number, reasoning, self identity, and board games.


Next we checked out the themed guide. The curriculum suggests doing two themes per month. You can do the themes in any order that you'd like so you can choose the themes that most interest your child. Some of the themes include Aquarium & Aquatic Life, Bodies of Water, Fish & Frogs, Gardens, Space and many more.

Like the monthly guide, each theme offers book suggestions, supplies needed as well as suggested websites and field trip ideas.  There are six days worth of activities for each theme and four to six discussion questions.

I didn't find the theme section to be as organized as the monthly guide. I chose to start with the Fish & Frog theme, focusing on the fish, since my older daughter was studying fish at the time. I thought it would be nice for the girls to have a similar study and maybe do some activities together.

I was a little disappointed to find that there weren't many suggestions for fish books or activities. Most of this theme revolved around frogs.

After a deeper look into the other themes, I found what I was looking for. In the bodies of water theme I found four suggestions for books on fish. In the Arctic theme, I found a fish craft.

I didn't find these activities to be as well thought out as the monthly section either. Some themes were more exciting and other were very minimalist. Read a book, make a collage, draw/paint a picture, etc.

I also thought that the writing activities were not developmentally appropriate. "Write arctic/aquarium words. Arctic, aquarium, whale, ice, Eskimo, penguin, sea, seal, and shark." Most kids at this age are just learning to form their letters so I really didn't see the educational value in it.  At our house it was a lesson in frustration for my almost 5 year old.

I was a much bigger fan of the monthly activity guide. The activities seemed to be more age appropriate and had more of a variety. I loved how it wove activities into daily life, such as counting the beans on the child's dinner plate.

All in all, if you're looking a no-frills,  easy-to-implement program for your little one, then you should definitely check out the Flowering Baby program.  I could easily read the activities, gather up a few supplies, and start teaching in just a few minutes. No stress, no hunt for obscure supplies, basically just open up and go.



Age Range: birth to five

Cost: $30-$38 per volume
           Get 10% off by using code "Blog10" at the checkout.

Samples:  Birth to One
                One to Two
                Two to Three
                Three to Four
                Four to Five


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