(Don’t forget to see below for a coupon code for 5% off all WinterPromise programs!)
Our early years of homeschooling were a little rocky, as you’ll recall from my last post.
Thankfully, things only got better from there. One day while researching alternatives online, I discovered WinterPromise. I know it’s so cheesy to say, but it was their website that first grabbed my interest. (Yes, just the website. ComputerGuy will appreciate that, as he has often talked about the great value in a well-designed website!)
WinterPromise is a small, family-run business so I hadn’t heard of them before, and none of the other homeschooling families I knew had heard of or had used them. But their website was flat-out gorgeous. I wish I had a screenshot to show you! If memory serves, it had a real Mary Cassatt feel to it, with artwork featuring mothers and children. As she’s one of my favorite artists, it worked. It drew me in. (The website has since gone through a couple redesigns since then, they went steampunk for awhile, and now feature a more cutesy cartoony style that flows nicely with the artwork in their early Language Art programs.)
What sealed the deal for me though was that their statement of beliefs was clearly stated right there on the website, and they matched my own. How awesome was that? That a curriculum company would state right there, publically, that they weren’t necessarily in it for the cash, but that they had a set of values and a worldview that they and their books would adhere to? Sold!! 🙂
Our first WinterPromise programs were “Readers to Real Books” for Language Arts and American Story 1 for our first experience with American History. What a FUN year it was!! WinterPromise is a literature-based curriculum, so we got to read stacks of exciting and memorable books together. Such a change it was from rote bookwork and sitting at desks, and worrying about deadlines! This was such a momentous change for us. We could cuddle on the couch as we read awesome books like “The Sign of the Beaver,” or “Ben and Me.” American Story has since been redesigned and I understand they don’t have quite as many “adventure readers” (as they call them!) but I’m sure it’s still a wonderfully solid introduction to the subject.
WinterPromise became our “core” curriculum during the next several years. We went through several of their History Themes and completed their Language Arts programs all the way through to grade 6 before Rocketboy’s learning style finally necessitated a change.
We are now enjoying an eclectic mix of curricula, though the girls will be starting their history studies with the same WinterPromise American Story 1 this fall. Rocketboy has been really enjoying Notgrass’s “Adam to Us“ Middle School World History program this year, while Ottergirl has been working on WinterPromise’s third-grade language arts program. Fixergirl has been back on my tried-and-true early phonics and math favorite Abeka and will switch to literature-based curriculum next year for the first time. (If you’re not familiar with Notgrass, make sure to check them out too! They approach history in a slightly different way, but the content is great, and they are another wonderfully solidly Christian company. We will be using them for the rest of Rocketboy’s high school history requirements!)
We have so many favorites, and we will be trying out new curriculum programs next year as well that I’m sure will become new favorites. One of these that I’m really excited to try is Guest Hollow. As you know, Rocketboy is a science-fiend… anything science related and he’s all over it. We’ve got a couple high school science programs planned for him next year, one of them being Guest Hollow’s Kitchen Chemistry. I’ll do a post later on this fall to let you know how it goes.
How is your curriculum planning going for next year? What are some of your favorite curriculum publishers? What makes you love them?
The thing I most love to do, (and having a blog helps with this!) is to give credit where credit is due! WinterPromise is not paying me in any way for this review and recommendation, but have been gracious enough to share a Coupon Code with Chickadee Nest readers! So here it is! If you use the code: CHICKADEE you will get a 5% discount off of ANY of WinterPromise’s programs! (5% doesn’t sound like a lot but believe me, it really adds up when you’re buying great curriculum!) 🙂 Enjoy!
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