Frequently Asked Questions
How is this an All-in-One Curriculum?
The Wonder Garden curriculum aims to provide homeschooling parents with a one-stop solution for their early childhood education needs. It is written by an experienced educator with nearly twenty years of experience who has vetted numerous curriculums for her own nature-based preschool and boys' homeschool experience.
Our all-in-one curriculum stands out due to its comprehensive approach, incorporating various educational philosophies such as Montessori and Waldorf. We believe that children learn best when they are engaged and actively involved in their learning process, so our curriculum focuses on child-led exploration and discovery.
Here are the key components that make our curriculum truly all-in-one:
Math and Literacy: We ensure a solid academic foundation by covering essential math and literacy skills through engaging activities, hands-on materials, and age-appropriate exercises.
Thematic Book and Writing: Each week, we introduce a thematic book that serves as a basis for exploration and learning. This book fosters literacy development, vocabulary expansion, and critical thinking. Writing activities are integrated to encourage children to express their thoughts and ideas through storytelling, journaling, and creative writing.
Fingerplays, Fine Motor, and Child-led Art: We emphasize the importance of fine motor skills in early childhood development. Our curriculum includes fingerplays, which promote hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and finger strength. Child-led art projects inspire creativity, self-expression, and a love for the arts.
Sensory Play and Movement Games: Sensory experiences and physical activity are integral to a child's growth. We incorporate sensory play and movement games to engage children's senses, enhance their cognitive abilities, and promote gross motor skills.
Music: We recognize the power of music in nurturing creativity, imagination, and emotional well-being. Our curriculum includes opportunities for listening to and creating music, allowing children to explore their musical abilities and develop an appreciation for different genres.
Science: Scientific exploration is encouraged through age-appropriate science activities. Children learn about the natural world, conduct simple experiments, and develop their curiosity and scientific thinking.
Dramatic Play: We provide opportunities for imaginative play, fostering creativity, social skills, and empathy. Children can take on different roles through dramatic play, engage in storytelling, and develop their communication and problem-solving abilities.
Snack Skills: We prioritize teaching healthy eating habits and practical life skills. Our curriculum includes snack preparation activities, where children learn about nutrition, engage in basic food preparation, and develop independence and self-confidence in the kitchen.
Mindfulness Techniques and Social/Emotional Skills: We understand the importance of mindfulness and emotional well-being. Our curriculum incorporates mindfulness techniques to support children's emotional awareness and self-regulation. We also provide activities and resources to help children navigate their emotions, build healthy relationships, and develop effective communication skills.
By encompassing these essential components, our all-in-one curriculum ensures that your child receives a well-rounded education.
The Preschool and Kindergarten curriculums have similar themes. How are they different?
The curriculums share similar themes, intentionally designed to create a spiral effect in children's learning. Just as nature follows a cyclical pattern each year, our curriculum reflects this relevance by incorporating similar themes.
While the themes are consistent, the activities within the preschool and kindergarten curriculums differ.
Academically, the preschool curriculum focuses on introducing numbers from 1 to 10, while the kindergarten curriculum expands on this by covering numbers up to 20 and introducing the concepts of addition and subtraction. In the preschool curriculum, letters are introduced, whereas, in kindergarten, there is a deeper exploration of letter sounds and the building of CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words.
Additionally, the kindergarten curriculum incorporates writing skills, including fine motor activities that assist with letter formation. Children engage in drawing and gradually progress to writing simple sentences.
The mindfulness component is the only aspect that repeats between the two curriculums. Mindfulness concepts are deemed crucial and deserving of repeated instruction. However, each time they encounter these concepts, children will be at a different stage of understanding and will learn something new. As humans, we will all benefit from relearning and deepening our understanding of these mindfulness concepts.
By integrating similar themes throughout the curriculums while offering distinct activities and depth of learning, our spiral approach ensures that children build upon their prior knowledge, consolidate their skills, and explore new concepts as they progress from preschool to kindergarten. This approach fosters a continuous and engaging learning journey that aligns with the values and aspirations of homeschooling moms who seek a comprehensive, nature-inspired, and emotionally enriching curriculum for their children.
I already have a math and literacy component I want to use. How can I still use the Wonder Garden curriculum?
The Wonder Garden curriculum is highly adaptable and embraces a child-led approach, allowing you to seamlessly incorporate your existing math and literacy components (or whatever components you have already purchased). We understand that homeschooling parents have unique preferences and resources, and we want to ensure that the curriculum meets your specific needs.
Our curriculum is designed to be flexible, allowing you to integrate the components that complement your existing math and literacy materials. There is no rigid requirement to follow the curriculum strictly, giving you the autonomy to tailor it to your preferences.
In response to the frequent question regarding customization options, we are working on separating and offering individual components of the Wonder Garden curriculum for separate purchases. By the end of 2023, you will have the option to select and acquire specific parts that align with your needs. This enhancement will give you even greater flexibility and the ability to customize your curriculum according to your unique preferences and resources.
We understand that each homeschooling journey is unique, and our goal is to provide you with a curriculum that supports your vision and values. By incorporating your existing math and literacy components while utilizing the Wonder Garden curriculum's other engaging and enriching elements, you can create a well-rounded educational experience for your children that aligns with your homeschooling goals.
Are there other supplies needed for the Wonder Garden curriculum?
Yes and no. :)
Yes, there are other supplies needed for the curriculum, as it emphasizes a hands-on learning approach. However, I have made a conscious effort to utilize materials that nature provides or items that are commonly found around the house. This helps minimize the need for additional expenses. The only recommended expenses are Base 10 blocks and Pattern blocks, but even these can be found online as printable resources if you prefer. Things like magnetic letters could also be made by painting on letters to smooth rocks.
To enhance the curriculum's thematic experience, we include picture books that align with each theme. If a specific book is unavailable at your local library, you can find ALL of these books read aloud on platforms like YouTube, providing an alternative option for accessing the stories.
On the other hand, it's important to note that all supplies mentioned in the curriculum are optional. If, for example, you prefer not to purchase herbs for a particular activity, you have the flexibility to skip that activity or explore alternatives using flowers from your yard. Removing or modifying an activity will not hinder your child's learning experience. The curriculum is designed to be adaptable to your unique circumstances and preferences, allowing you to create a personalized and meaningful learning journey for your child.
By striking a balance between utilizing readily available materials and offering flexibility in activity choices, the Wonder Garden curriculum aims to provide a practical and accessible approach to homeschooling.
If you would like further detail, I have made a full-year supply list for the Kindergarten curriculum that you can receive by filling out the request form below.
Are there more grades coming from the Wonder Garden curriculum?
YES! Grades 2 and 3 (up to age 9) are in the works.
My child has special needs is the Wonder Garden curriculum appropriate for him/her?
Each child is wonderfully unique, making it challenging to provide a definitive answer. However, I firmly believe that there is inherent value in the Wonder Garden curriculum for children with neurodiversity.
The curriculum is designed with a hands-on and concrete approach, which can be particularly beneficial for children who thrive in tactile and experiential learning environments. The majority of the activities are designed to engage children actively, allowing them to explore concepts through their senses and interact with the materials directly. Moreover, the curriculum incorporates sensory activities to support your child's sensory development and integration. These activities provide sensory exploration and stimulation opportunities, catering to individual sensory preferences and needs.
Additionally, the social and emotional aspects of the curriculum are presented in a concrete manner. The curriculum focuses on fostering social skills, emotional intelligence, and self-regulation, which are crucial for all children, but especially those who are neurodiverse. By providing concrete strategies, activities, and discussions, the curriculum can help your child develop and strengthen these important skills in a supportive and engaging manner.
The Wonder Garden curriculum provides a rich foundation that can be tailored to meet the diverse needs of children, fostering their growth, development, and love for learning. While the Wonder Garden curriculum is not specifically designed for children with neurodiversity, it offers a framework that can be adapted and personalized to suit your child's unique abilities and interests. As a homeschooling parent, you have the flexibility to modify activities, pacing, and approaches to accommodate your child's specific needs and learning style.
That being said, I am also in the process of building out a specialized curriculum tailored for children on the Autism spectrum. Drawing from my dual degree in elementary and special education and my years of experience working with Autistic children, I have developed a deep passion for teaching children in a way that supports their individual needs.
While I continue to develop the specialized Autism curriculum, I invite you to explore the Wonder Garden curriculum and allow it to bring joy to your child's day. Please let me know how I can provide additional support and accommodate your specific requirements. If you choose to purchase the curriculum on the monthly program, I can be flexible in switching between the Kindergarten and Preschool curriculums, ensuring that your child receives the most appropriate and beneficial learning experiences.
I aim to create inclusive and engaging learning environments for all children, including those with special needs. I am dedicated to supporting you and your child on their educational journey and am here to offer guidance where I can.
Can the Wonder Garden curriculum be used in a co-op or group homeschooling setting?
Absolutely! This curriculum was designed when I ran my nature-based preschool, so it was made with multiple children in mind. (But to note, all activities can also be done with one child.)
This curriculum could also be used for a preschool.
Is the Wonder Garden curriculum suitable for multiple-age homeschooling households?
Absolutely! The Wonder Garden curriculum is designed to accommodate multiple-age homeschooling households. While the "academic" portion of the curriculum is tailored to the specific age group, the majority of the other activities can be enjoyed by children of all ages. This inclusivity allows siblings or children at different developmental stages to engage in shared experiences, fostering connection, collaboration, and a sense of togetherness in your homeschooling journey. Whether you have children in different grade levels or a wide age range, the Wonder Garden curriculum offers opportunities for shared exploration, creativity, and learning that can be enjoyed by all.
Can this be used in countries in the Southern Hemisphere?
Unfortunately, as of now, no. The progression of skills matches up to the northern hemisphere's seasons. I would LOVE to make a southern hemisphere version, as I have been so inspired by teachers in New Zealand and Australia.
If you are from the southern hemisphere and would like to work with me on modifying the Wonder Garden curriculum for your seasons, landscapes, and animals, message me in the form below!!
If you have more questions or would like further explanations, please use the form below to contact me. Thanks!