Hello, welcome and blessings beautiful souls!
If you’re here, you know this homeschool journey-thing can be super confusing. There are so many talented and amazing homeschooling educators out there kicking-ass all over the internet and making it look so easy planning their routines and curriculum.
Well, if you’re like me and are super unorganized, not at all creative or just straight-up do not have time, then you might be looking for a little guidance and direction when figuring out exactly what to teach your kid(s) and when to implement it. If you’re even more like me and subscribe to a niche set of spiritual beliefs it can be even more confusing and difficult to figure out where to start and what to implement; not to mention some curriculum can be so expensive! For us, we wanted to start off with a nature based curriculum and supplement spiritual learning from there. Even so, there is a lot of information out there…
Do not fear! I’ve got your back with my Top 5 Favourite Nature Based Curriculum for Preschoolers!
First, I’d like to say that most of these curriculum are Waldorf or Charlotte Mason in inspiration. Not necessarily following their exact teachings, but they are almost all influenced in some way by either, or both.
Learn more about Waldorf Education here.
Learn more about Charlotte Mason Education here.
There is a very good reason that The Whole Family Rhythms is number one on my list. Meagan, the creator, gives you her Seasonal Rhythms digital downloads completely free! While this alone is a great reason to snag this amazing content up, there are so many more reasons as well.
You can tell that Meagan put a lot of time, effort, heart and soul into creating this. It is very Waldorfy in inspiration and has everything you need to set up a beautiful daily rhythm all laid out for you. Each week, she includes a themed finger play, a read aloud story, nature hike and handcraft/art/kitchen project for each day of the week (watercolour painting, working with modeling beeswax and colouring). There is even a suggested weekly meditation theme and monthly handcraft project for the student caregiver (parent)! At the very end of the seasonal content she has graciously provided a selection of suggested books and nursery rhymes to include over the course of the whole season.
The waldorf way suggests that “formal learning” not happen until first grade, and until then kids should be left to play, create, bake and just be children. This whole “curriculum” is such a great way to start a child’s learning, but in all honesty could be added to any curriculum or majorly expanded on for multiple ages. For our 3-year-old, this is the bases of what we use every day. We use the weekly themes as a base for our library book selection and any extra activities we might want to pull off the internet to learn. All and all, it’s a great start with lots of room to expand on and is way, way more than worth the investment… because honestly, I think Meagan is getting ripped off… 😉
I love Blossom & Root so much because the creator, Kristina, really makes sure that her curriculum is nature-based and interest led. Her approach is more based on the Charlotte Mason philosophy, but she really knocks it out of the park with her content.
This is a complete curriculum with no need to supplement if you don’t want to, but it is totally affordable to the penny-pinching family (like ourselves) because it is PDF based and can be printed out as-needed or printed and bound at your local copy shop. Kristina includes everything you’ll need for a well-rounded preschool curriculum including music study, art appreciation, skills in the kitchen, reading/writing readiness, early math foundations, S.T.E.M activities and of course, lots of nature study. This is based off Level 2, which we purchased for our daughter ourselves.
Early Years Level 1 (ages 3-4) will cost you about $22 USD and Level 2 (ages 4-5) is about $45 USD.
We got this curriculum to start with B in the Spring, but honestly I am chomping at the bit to start it. Pending on how she is doing with our current structure, if she gets bored we may start it early. Overall I think this is a great and super affordable curriculum for a preschooler and anyone would be remiss not to at least look into it. You can even watch Kristina explain and overview her curriculum on her YouTube channel Blossom and Root.
While I know this isn’t truly a curriculum in the sense that it is all you need to homeschool, I couldn’t leave it off my list for many, many reasons. If you have been looking to get out into nature more with your kids, ENWC is a great add on to any curriculum that you might already have, or you could even use it if your kids are in public school and want to add a little something extra in on the weekends to get you out of the house. It’s content is super flexible and can be adapted to use with kids of ages and even expanded on if you’re into mini unit studies. I love that the creator, Lynn, keeps everything fresh on her Instagram and that she is always adding new content on her blog with new things to do; because this curriculum can be used with all children for years to come.
Even though our simple curriculum base of The Whole Family Rhythms has a nature walk suggestion in it every week, I purchased ENWC to give us a little something extra. I love all the content it provides and it gives us motivation to get out on a nature walk more than once a week. There is a weekly theme for study, a nature walk activity, book lists of both fiction and non-fiction, a poem to enjoy, a suggested piece of art to enjoy and some activity extensions if your kid(s) really thrives on the theme and you want to dig deeper. The cost of the entire curriculum is a one time purchase of $18 USD, so its a bargain to be sure!
I really want this curriculum to be higher up on my list because it is so complete and provides so many educational resources for the student caregiver, but the price just kills me! It really isn’t even that high, but at $150 USD for PDF format, it sunk down to #4 simply because of price.
If you want to make the investment, the Earth Schooling curriculum is everything you need. It literally holds your hand; tells you how to structure your day, provides weekly themes and even suggests what you should eat and when. If you are the type of student caregiver that needs an open-and-go kind of curriculum, this is your ticket. It is a Waldorf curriculum which means, at preschool level, it focuses on being outside in nature, helping with the household, free play with natural toys, enjoying music and creating art. The extra resources that come with the curriculum are also amazing. On top of the Main Lessons, they provide you with instructional videos, music lessons, teacher guides, Earthschooling member benefits and webinars to help you get the most out of the curriculum and your homeschooling year.
To be honest, when you think about all the extras provided, the investment doesn’t even seem that bad; and I can tell you we are definitely keeping Earthschooling on the table for our kindergarden curriculum for 2021.
Again this is another nature study add-on kind of situation and not a full curriculum, but I still love it. It is more of a subscription service but they also have all their past lessons on their website for purchase at any time. If you purchase the subscription (or even the individual lessons), I would argue that you could create a full curriculum by using them as a launch point. The reason this is #5 on my list is because there isn’t a whole lot of “meat” to the lessons. That being said, if you’re willing to put in the work, this is a great nature based curriculum that can be adapted to any age!
The true purpose of Firefly Nature School is to be a supplementation for other “full curriculum”. The subscription service provides you with 4 lesson themes a month, one for each week. Each weekly theme contains an overview of the skills learned (geology, biology, research, etc.), supplies need for the lesson, information about the theme, step-by-step instructions on how to complete them, a set of questions to ponder over with your kid(s) and suggestions on how to extend your learning. The lessons also usually includes printable cards or activities to complete.
If you’re into creating your own lessons and enjoy making unit studies or just want a little extra nature study that is fresh and dropped in your inbox every month, I’d say the $8 USD/month is totally worth the investment.
I believe that every child deserves to know the deep roots of connection and that you can create opportunities to nourish your child’s head, heart, and hands…Meghann, Rooted Childhood
Even though this isn’t technically a curriculum, or nature based, I had to include Meghann’s work. She has lovingly and beautifully crafted Waldorf inspired monthly collections of poetry, songs, games, picture books, homemade crafts, handworks, recipes and projects to celebrate the seasons. I purchase these monthly simply because I love her content and ideas. You can purchase them monthly, seasonally (3 months at a time) or yearly at different price points. For our budget I purchase monthly at $15 USD. If you are at all inspired by Waldorf education and philosophy like I am and want to connect on a deeper level with your child, I highly recommend Rooted Childhood’s carefully curated collections.
Do you have a Nature Based curriculum that you feel gives you everything you want out of it? Be it creative freedom, open-and-go lessons, structure or go with the flow ease? let me know in the comments!
Many Blessings, Kyllie