I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so excited to try something new with my younger girls. I stumbled across The Peaceful Press curriculum a few months ago and I’ve been observing different people on instagram use it. I wanted to get a feel for if it was something that we could actually do this year with a new baby coming.
After requesting a free weekly sample on the website, I took the plunge and ordered both the Playful Pioneers to use with our 1st and 3rd grader this school year, as well as the Peaceful Preschool curriculum to use with our 3 year old. More on the preschool curriculum later….this post I want to focus just on the Playful Pioneers.
I’ve been very careful with our curriculum choices this year, keeping our new baby coming in August first in my mind as I pick every single curriculum. There are so many amazing choices out there, but there is only one of me, and the time with a new baby is precious. I know how fast it goes and I know it will be a struggle to balance postpartum hormones, a high school student for the first time, and a busy 3 year old plus the nursing baby. I’m tried to be very realistic with what we could do, so it may surprise some of you that I picked a unit study type program.
Playful Pioneers is a literature and project based curriculum for 5-10 year olds. I personally am not using it for our 10 year old as I feel she is ready to do something more challenging (she is using Notgrass History this year), but it feels like the perfect fit for our 6 and 8 year old daughters. I know our 3 year old will join in as well, even though I’m planning on doing some preschool work with her a few times each week.
This curriculum takes you through the Little House on the Prairie books, which I adore! You will study people in history along the way, like Benjamin Franklin, Harriet Tubman, Louis Braille, Thomas Edison, and more.
I like that you only have to get 1-3 extra books each week to study these people, and many of them can be found at the library. This keeps it simple, and helps me feel like it’s manageable.
The parent guide includes map work, nature study, poetry, narration, copy work prompts, science experiments, art, practical life skills and much more.
I love that the student sheets include poetry selection, bible verses for them to copy (both print and cursive included in copywork form of tracing or writing).
There even is a cookbook included if you want to make some of the food that goes along with the books. I plan on occasionally doing this, but I know it’s not something we will always do.
Included are independent reading lists if you want your child to be reading more on their own. I definitely plan on doing this for our 3rd grader and I already own many of the books on the list!
Here are a few ways I’m planning on making this doable with a baby and 3 year old:
- Use the amazing Little House audio books! If I had to read everything it might be overwhelming, even though it’s only a chapter a day in the Little House books. The audio books are very well done, and our library has them!
- Set realistic expectations. We will not do every single project, and I already know we will not be doing the field trips on Fridays. But we will do as many hands on projects as we possibly can.
- Have everything ready ahead of time. I learned the hard way this year that printing off student pages as needed makes a difficult school year. I’m getting everything printed and ready ahead of time for both girls.
I love how each week is so clearly laid out, and that you pick your own math and phonics program. Our 3rd grader will use Teaching Textbooks and our 1st grader will be in Horizons. The 1st grader will be starting All About Reading Level 1 to learn how to read. I can’t juggle more than one phonics program at a time, so the 3rd grader will just do plenty of reading on her own, which she loves.
To print off this digital curriculum, I took it to my local UPS store and used a VIP card (they don’t really give those away anymore, from what I understand) and was able to print both teacher guides for around $35.00. You can use the Homeschool Printing Company online, I’ve heard very good things about them, or print it at home if you have a good printer. I plan on printing the student pages at home.
I plan on updating my Instagram account with pictures throughout the year, so make sure and follow along there! I also have a Pinterest board just for the Playful Pioneers going!
If you are interested in any of the three curriculums available, you can sign up to get the first week for free! This is really helpful to get a better idea if this is something that would work for your family!
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