Prayer For a Child
Originally written for a little girl, this gentle, lyrical poem is full of requests to bless special objects and beloved people. The soft words and wonderful illustrations offer comfort and peace to all children.
A prayer full of the intimate gentleness for familiar things, the love of friends and family, and the kindly protection of God. Though it was written for one little girl, the prayer is for all boys and girls, and it carries a universal appeal for all ages and races.
These literature-based unit study curriculum guides are so named because you spend five days in a row (a full week; one day for each subject area) using a particular children's book as the theme for multiple academic subject areas. Five in a Row (FIAR) Volumes 1-3 cover social studies and character, language arts, math, science, and art through 15-21 children's books. The literature selections, primarily picture books, contain positive moral values reflecting Biblical values. Christian content is not incorporated in Volumes 1-3, but is available separately in a Christian Character & Bible Study Supplement. Five in a Row Vol. 4 is for slightly older students (Grades 2-4) and features fewer books, some of which are stretched to two weeks of lessons. Christian content is included in the Volume 4 guide.
Before Five in a Row takes the same concept, but simplifies it for ages 2-4, with multiple activities provided for each book, but not as structured between days of the week.
Beyond Five in a Row is the next step up (for Grades 3+), and these guides are structured around chapter books. Activities at this level incorporate history, geography, science, language arts and fine arts with Christian Character and Bible content available separately.
What is a "unit study"? Briefly, it's a thematic or topical approach to teaching as opposed to the traditional by-subject approach. Rather than teach each subject separately, a unit study attempts to integrate many or all subject areas into a unified study - usually centered around a particular subject or event. Obviously History (the study of events) and Science (the study of "things") are well-suited to unit studies, and usually form the "core" around which other subjects are integrated. Subjects like Bible, Geography, Government, English (writing), and Reading/Literature, Music, Home Economics, Life Skills, and Art, are usually easy to integrate around a core topics. Remaining subjects (Math, Phonics, Grammar, Spelling) can be integrated to some extent via related activities. Each, however, has its own "system" (progression of skills, mastery of "rules") which must be followed to some degree. Since one of the additional advantages of a unit study curriculum is the ability to use it with students of varying ages and skill levels, these subjects are generally taught apart from the core curriculum. This may be as simple as assigning pages in a grammar or spelling book, or using a separate "program" for Phonics and Math. Unit studies also tend to be more activity-oriented than the traditional approach, a real boon to kinesthetic learners. Advocates of the unit study approach site studies showing that children learn best when learning is unified rather than fragmented and when learning is more participatory than passive.
Memoria Press now offers complete Curriculum Manuals and grade-level curriculum packages for PK-10 using the classical methodology. Recitation is used in every level for memorization of basic facts, systematic phonics and good books are used for reading education, copywork is used for teaching Bible truths, and music and art are included for enrichment in the early (K-3) levels. Each Curriculum Manual contains complete lesson plans for a one-year course of study. The Curriculum Manuals are well-formatted and easy to use. In the front of each book you will find a checklist of the materials needed at that level, an explanation of this curriculum, instructions for lesson implementation, a recommended schedule and blank schedule for your own planning purposes, and 33 weeks of detailed lesson plans. Lessons include assignments from the books used at each grade level, as well as activity suggestions. The appendices include a variety of material for that grade level, and may include: prayers, letter activities, recitation, memory verses, read-aloud book list, poetry list and selections, and a paintings/music list for kindergarten and first grade. These pages are reproducible for family or classroom use. Although most of the guides have been available for several years, the curriculum was restructured in 2015, with many of the programs originally included in 3rd grade now with a slower pacing to span 3rd and 4th grade. Guides for grades 3 and up have been modified to reflect this change, while the lower-level guides have only had minor changes. If you are already midway into the program with the original guides, you can still continue in that track with the older guides, now
There will be families who are very thankful for the appearance of this curriculum; for years it's seemed as though classical education and special needs might be incompatible. Then comes Cheryl Swope who just...does it. Not only did she start walking down the classical path with her special needs twins, but she quickly realized that it was the very best possible educational path for them. The combination of systematic repetition, language skills emphasis, gracious implementation and quality content has reaped amazing results, transforming their challenging lives into those with meaningful expressions of beauty and service.
Simply Classical Curriculum, written by Mrs. Swope, is essentially a set of lesson plans coupled with a choice reading list that moves gradually into some of the Memoria Press curriculum products (i.e. First Start Reading and Classical Phonics) as well as other early level curriculum products (i.e. Rod & Staff preschool workbooks). A quick look at these lesson plans might cause you to conclude that it is simply a typical classical program slooooowed way down. You're not exactly wrong, but you're not exactly right either. It's rather that the possibility of slowing way down is built into the lessons. The daily collection of lessons - rich in quality literature - progress slowly and surely through the process of laying a very solid foundation in classical learning. The plans/program offers 10 key features:
- - The rich, beautiful content of a classical Christian education
- - A slower pace with ample review
- - An emphasis on books with elegant illustrations to cultivate a taste for excellence
- - A multi-sensory presentation of material
- - Oral language components
- - Skills checklists
- - Integration across subjects
- - Themed levels
- - A trivium approach
- - Socratic questioning
Introductory information for each level includes a program overview, readiness assessment, FAQs concerning where to begin, list of read-aloud books, supply list, brief teacher notes, and a week-by-week chart for recitation and memory work. The detailed readiness assessment for each level covers language, cognitive ability, emotional development, fine-motor skills, and gross motor skills and is followed by a set of skills in each area to develop during this level of the program.
Other than making sure you have read-alouds and supplies for the day, prep is practically nil. The four-days-a-week, weekly lesson plans provide a daily checklist with specific tasks in each of several areas such as calendar, alphabet/numbers, and motor skills. In levels B and C, Simply Classical Crafts is incorporated into the arts/crafts tasks. Opening and closing the learning period with prayer is not only encouraged but prompted with suggestions for prayers to learn. There are 34 weeks of plans plus eight weeks of review. 110 - 180 pgs, pb.
The Core Curriculum Packages include the Curriculum Manual (Lesson Plans) plus books/workbooks used throughout the year. The Read Aloud Packages include all the books used as read alouds for the year. The Supply Packages are a collection of school supplies that are needed to complete the program. ~ Janice
Not to leave out the eager younger children, this volume provides mini Five in a Row- style lessons for youngsters. This book; however, is divided into two parts, the first being similar to the other curriculum guides. Just as in the original series, each unit is built around a simple, classic children's storybook. This book differs from the older volumes in that it is not structured around a week. The purpose is simply to provide an array of activities for each book that engage children and lay the foundation for further learning. Some of the activities are subject related, such as Bible, science, math, language arts, and art; others are various skills such as learning shapes, sequencing, colors or problem solving, and the rest are centered on specific topics, like relationships, contentment, birthdays or another book-related idea. The second part of this book focuses on arming parents with creative ideas to build learning readiness. This section is a treasure trove of activities that help develop reading readiness and motor skills or focus on the arts. Additional activities also capitalize on teachable moments that arise during bath time, in the kitchen, or during a trip to the store. 149 pgs. ~ Steph
Theme is Essentials, Etiquette and Ear Training. Emphasis areas are manners, letter identification, music, counting, art, crafts, and Bible stories. Approximate mental age for this level is 3-4. Daily areas include prayer, calendar, recitation, alphabet lesson/ear training, number lesson/fine-motor skills, literature/language, poetry/music, manners/games, enrichment or therapies, Bible literacy, and closing prayer. Prayers for Children illustrated by Eloise Wilkin is a required supplement for this level but is not included in any package.