Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Completed: Flowering Baby Curriculum level 4

What a delightful curriculum! I wish more parents could experience the joys of this flexible, developmentally based curriculum. I have level 1 for baby F and am looking forward to using all five with her. Highly recommend any and all moms to try this out. It's thorough, flexible, and unlike any other I've seen. Now that we're moving on to the final level (prek level 5)  I thought I'd share some highlights. at the bottom has a link to a one month sample  <~~~Has different samples
and the option to buy 12 or 6 month versions in PDF form

When T started out I was pleasantly surprised by how Flowering Baby helped refine the rhythm of our day. It's so natural. There's no need to sit down and do school. You can so easily spread the activities throughout your day.

Another thing I learned to appreciate is how it takes you beyond. Flowering Baby  uses items found around the home or at the library and then it guides you as to how to best use those items based on where children are naturally developmentally at that stage, and then grow them developmentally further. It is a very developmentally based program. If your child is like mine, you will see him flourish.

There are themes in Flowering Baby. Unlike some unit studies learning does not become forced into an unnatural box surrounding these themes. Just because you are studying frogs the program doesn't require you to only count frog or pond related items, or do everything you can with the letter F. You can certainly and it encourages you to help make association. Write frog or pond related words, count those lily pads. Great! But it doesn't tie you down to only learning around one theme at a time and forcing everything to fall under that theme. The program is filled with variety, and each theme will just be a part rather than the driving force.

Now I did make a mistake I think with T. Towards the end of the twelve months I noticed he was starting to find the work easier and easier. He turned 4 in Early March by the way. I went back and forth wondering "Should I advance him to level 5 now," (it's the pre-k level) "or finish out the twelve months?" Well, I should have advanced him at the end of April at the latest. Doing May and June in level 4 was way too easy for him. At least the activities were still fun. So if you havea gut feeling your child is ready for the next level, or say your child is beind and needs to stay in a level longer please follow it! You'll be much more satisfied. It's developmentally based after all.

Pre-Literacy Skills
Letters are taught contextually and reviewed with nice variety and variation rather than in isolation as letter of the week programs are set up. This makes learning a bit more natural and less forced.
Rhyming is covered, along with story sequencing.

Phonetic sounds and matching introduced, reviewed. A little writing without worksheets too if your child is ready. We used all kinds of materials like chalk, pudding, shaving cream, cereal, pipe cleaners to help us form letters.

Books, books, books

There's little way to grow  up disliking reading with Flowering Baby. From level one on books are read. Level four has you read picture books, award winners, non-fiction, and one large chapter book or poetry collection each month.

T's favorites were Mr Popper's Penguins and Paddington Bear followed by Charlotte's Web and Curious George. Some books the program suggests applying pre-narration skills after reading.  I have noticed a definite increase in T's ability to remember and retell stories over the last year.


Counting forwards/backwards,
skip counting

measuring and cooking

making patterns



identifying shapes



writing and reading numbers

Ordinal positions are covered and reviewed. Again it has used  things  found  in  our  home.



Even board games.

Fine and Gross Motor

Safety and Culture

Personal safety is discussed and important numbers memorized

 Labor Day was just one of the many holidays we studied. Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Father's Day, Christmas, Cinco de Mayo and many others. On average one holiday a month. You read about it and usually do a hands on activity. For example for Chinese New Year we ate Chinese food with chopsticks and wore red! For labor day we wrote thank you notes for the mail carrier etc.

Running, jumping, balancing and more!


Each month has 2 or more "themes" you study alongside the main curriculum. A few follow.

 Forest animals.



Aquatic life


Human Body


 Bodies of water

We also had various science topics we discussed in the middle of the main curriculum. Like magnets.


 How water is absorbed


Each month you listen to a different style of music. It's not a sit down and listen time. Just on in the background to expose the child to a wide variety of music. Besides this you do a lot of hands on activities with music and art.

This is a very small sample of our year. It was so enjoyable. Can't wait to see what the next year brings as I do Level 5 with T and Level 1 with baby F.