Our Curriculum Choices

We started this school year with one in Preschool and one in Grade 2.  Late in the summer, I had stumbled upon “The Peaceful Press” and once I researched their curriculum offering of “The Playful Pioneers”, I knew it was something special we would all enjoy.  The fact that it is based on “The Little House” series tugged at my heartstrings since this book series was so special to me when I was young (and now even more special at “not-so-young”). 

Little House Series” by Laura Ingalls Wilder

This curriculum references the Julia Rothman Collection of books almost weekly…I am so excited with the discovery of these books, as you may of noticed from the majority of my posts! They are beautiful, informative, engaging and simple to understand and enjoy…a true MUST-HAVE!  To see a full list of our favorite resources, clink HERE.

The Julia Rothman Collection” by Julia Rothman

I also love how this curriculum covers most subjects yet allows you to add in your own Language Arts and Mathematics program.  You can keep things basic for early learners or delve much deeper in any given subject for more mature students.  We tend to do interest-led learning and this program is a perfect fit as it introduces a variety of themes each week and we can go with whatever interests the girls the most.

Here’s a peak at what is included to help us plan our month, week or day.

It includes an organized page to jot down ideas, to-do lists or website ideas for the week.

There is also a detailed list of supplies needed or recommended.

As you can see, it is all laid out for you so you can be prepared well ahead of time, and the materials are almost always things you have on hand already or they are easy to find at the store.

A portion of this curriculum is Bible based and we simply add in our Bible, songbook and a book we are studying with our congregation.  It is very adaptable though no matter what your beliefs are.

The copy work and illustration pages are always a hit in our home.  The curriculum requests that students narrate (aloud or written) what they remember from the day’s reading and frequently they are asked to illustrate a given scene in the book as well.  This has proven to be an amazing tool to help the girls remember what was discussed, we will definitely use this method for future read-alouds.

Click to see “A Closer Look At Pigs” blog post

Also, art cards are included for artist studies which have been fun for all of us.

Poetry, Map work, Recipe Book and patterns for crafts are all included.  Every single recipe, activity and science experiment has been a hit with the girls, this curriculum was obviously well thought out (and no this is not an endorsed post!).

Click to see “A Closer Look at Pumpkins” blog post

Baking and Playing.

closer look at sheep

Click to see “A Closer Look at Sheep” blog post

As mentioned, this curriculum covers Singing, Bible reading, Read Aloud, Science, History, Geography, and Art. It then gives recommendations for Language Arts and Mathematics lessons, but you have to add in your own workbooks.

Miss 6 uses the Explode the Code series as she has used these workbooks from the start and they have proven to be a huge success for her.  She knows exactly what to do each day as the exercises go in the same pattern for each lesson.  For Mathematics we are using Singapore Math which we have also used since Kindergarten.  To be honest, we don’t have the same enthusiasm for this series as we once did.  If you have a recommendation for Grade 2 Math…please leave me a comment!

We use Handwriting Without Tears for both girls at different levels (Miss 6 will use the cursive book next year), they enjoy the extra practice with their handwriting and the illustrations are adorable.

“Cursive Magnatab” by Kid-O

  Miss 4 is using the Explode the Code series as well, also with huge success!  This little Miss has always loved letters and has known her letters and sounds from a young age…letter formation is coming, as her hand strength continues to improve.  No rush, she’s having fun with it at this point.

For Mathematics, we are simply working on number formation and activities that encourage counting and number order.

“Wooden Counting Set” by VIAHART


  Both girls learned to read with the help of BOB Books.    Miss 6 would read nothing else at the age of four, they made her feel secure because they never introduced words that were too difficult or beyond her level of reading, like many first readers do.

“Beginning Readers” by BOB Books

The rest of our studies are far less formal and can vary depending on the week.  We try to stick with the themes that The Playful Pioneers curriculum has laid out for us but of course we go off track as interests are awakened or as the seasons change. 

Please see the blog post “Books (and things)” for our main reference books.  These books are the heart of our children’s education.  Our other blog posts will give you a taste of what “a-day-in-the-life” looks like for us…again this is what works for us, and in no way reflects what might work for you.  We love that you are sharing in our journey and hope you will share your feedback in the comments below.

Finally, here are a few of our suggested tools-of-the-trade:


“Acorn counting and Sorting” by Chica and Jo

“Pattern Block Board” by Melissa and Doug

“Geo Boards” by Learning Resources

“Numbers Magnatab” by Kid-O


“Write and Wipe Number Facts” by Learning Resources

“Illuminated World Globe” by Little Experimenter

I feel like there is so much more I could add, but that’s enough to digest for one day!

Let me know what works for your family and PLEASE help with recommendations for Math!


I hope this day finds you within easy reach of HAPPY!




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  • Reply Michelle December 19, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Still looking for a good grade 2 math curriculum as well! We have used Singapore and now Horizons, which I’m not a big fan of. I’ve heard good things about Math Lessons for a Living Education and Teachings textbooks (starts grade 3)

    Can you please share the title of the art book you have open above to Van Gogh Flowers?


  • Reply Mary January 6, 2018 at 2:35 am

    I have heard that Right Start Math is amazing! We use Singapore now and while my oldest still enjoys math, the book has gotten a little “boring”, so we’re thinking of switching to RS this following fall!

    • Reply ReachingHappy January 8, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      Yes! The same here…it isn’t a fun subject right now and I think it could be! We are going to tough it out with Signapore Math the rest of the year but add in lots of math games. Next year will be a fresh start 💓

    I'd love to hear what you think...

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