As we have enjoyed embracing Charlotte Mason’s philosophy into our lives we have always been saddened at the lack of exposure our children were having to South African history, geography, art, music, nature and more. We do however highly value her philosophy – which we draw into every aspect of our lives – and we love many of the amazing Charlotte Mason inspired living books we have read over the years. So we began to question how we could possibly still expose our children to this beautiful literature and weave within it our South African heritage.
Another area we battled with was that so many of the curricula began with ancient history or British or American history and geography. While beautiful living books were read to our children I found that much of this went over my little people’s heads as, although we did narration and the little talk she suggested as well as map work at the age of 6 or 7, they had no context of where in the world or in time these events were happening. They needed to have a bigger sense of where different continents, oceans and countries were found. Obviously it would take them years to learn this all but they needed some more anchors in place before they could really contextualize the readings. For these 2 reasons we decided to draw from all the amazing books we have read over the years – including South African living books – and write our own Charlotte Mason based curriculum.
The core of the Family Feast program is based upon the fact that it draws from South African as well as international resources. In some cases we have used a British book about plants or birds but you will notice that we will draw your attention to flowers or birds that your child is more likely to find in South Africa too. We have then spent the first year looking at the world as a whole. We read stories about children from around the world. This has been an amazing starting point as it has encouraged our children to celebrate diversity as well as spend time with the world map and they are beginning to understand where they are in relation to those around us. As we then move onto ancient history next year and speak about Egypt and Rome they will be able to know where these places are and that it was in a time before the children about whom we’ve read in the first year.
The Beauty of all the Family Feast programs is that they can be used as a full, stand alone curriculum or as a supplement with whatever you are doing already.
Under 6 year olds
Dandelion Days Level 0
These years are full of fun and exploration. If you are feeling you need a guide and especially on how to introduce them to reading and numeracy, pre-reading skills – along with a host of everything else – then please hop over to our Family Feast Pre-School Program page. This program is based in literature and covers all the preschool skills that a child from aged 2 to 6 could possibly need to cover before they reach more “formal” lessons at 6.
Ages 6 to 9 yr olds
Family Feast Program 1
A Charlotte Mason based program
Family Feast Program 1 is available at present and this program can be used with children ranging from age 6 to 9 year olds.
We have ensured that it is applicable to the South African child in that it has included South African nature study, South African artists and South African composers. It is a fully inclusive program that suggests you purchase certain books and readers to go with it, however there are alternative free downloads for each of these suggestions. Within the program we have included a year planner to guide you through the year as well as a weekly tick off chart to keep track of what you complete each week. You can use this program with multiple ages and even stretch much it over 2 years if you wish. Within the program we guide you through:
- story writing
- nature study / science
- artist study
- composer study
- home skills
- foreign language
- free reading
Please note the only item not included in this guide is a teaching to read program. You are able to purchase this separately – depending on your child’s level from our Reading Program page.
Program 1 consists of a parent guide and a year planner.
An African Adventure Ages 7 -13
Have you ever wanted to use literature and fun activities to explore Africa?
Find out more about this exciting adventure and how you can join us on it today! Your African Adventure Start here!