I've put together a list of some of the more frequently asked questions I am getting about this new curriculum. If you have other questions, please send me an email!
What is this?
Gather ‘Round Homeschool is a curriculum designed to be all your subjects but math for every grade from Preschool to Grade 12. It doesn’t give you extension activities, it comes with 6 individual student notebooks that vary in level and give targeted grammar, spelling, writing, art, reading & comprehension, geography, science, social studies, history, Bible, and MORE lessons. All on one central theme that you introduce in a beautiful, full-color teacher’s guide. One mom (and/or dad)... all of your kids, gathered around and working on this beautiful, in-depth, cohesive curriculum. No more being the human ping-pong ball my friends. This is changing the homeschool game.
How long are units designed to last?
We will have 10 units per year, each designed to be 4-5 weeks. They will be released every month (see the schedule of what units are coming here). Each unit will have 20 lessons and can be done as a 4-day school week (lasting 5 weeks) or a 5-day school week (lasting 4 weeks) to offer flexibility.
How long will the lessons take?
It depends on the age of your kids as the notebooks get progressively more detailed. Pre-reader will be about 10 minutes a day, I recommend having them color while they listen to you read. The Early Reader will be about 30-40 minutes, the Early Elementary about an hour, the Upper elementary 1 1/2 hours or so. The Middle School will be 2-2 1/2 hours and the High School could be 2-3 hours depending on the day. The reading can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes depending on if you discuss throughout, look up things, etc.
Can I pick and choose from the units or do I have to go in order?
If you do not have a pre-reader then jump around freely! If you do have a pre-reader, here are a few things to consider:
*The pre-reader level work is independent of the teacher’s guide and other notebook levels. Aside from a coloring page that ties in with the unit lesson, there is no connection to the material being taught in the teacher’s guide. *Each pre-reader notebook builds on the previous, so it is necessary to go in order as they are being taught letter recognition, phonics and number recognition in alphabetical and numerical order.
So what should I do if I have a pre-reader?
The easiest solution is to just go in order of the units. If you have multiple children and you are purchasing our full digital bundle, you will have all the notebook levels to include pre-reader and you can go through the units in order, together as a family.
If you have your heart set on doing units out of order, we do have another solution for you. We received requests for a separate pre-reader bundle so we made that available for those who want it. The full year pre-reader bundle is offered as a separate purchase. With it you receive all of our pre-reader notebooks as a standalone product so that your pre-reader can work in the proper order on their letter recognition, phonics, number recognition etc. The teacher’s guide is not needed for this bundle as each page of the notebook has the instructions included. When you purchase this bundle, you’ll receive a PDF containing all of the links to download our currently released units. As we release a new unit each month, a new download link will be added. **We know this is an added expense and does not make sense for everyone. This is being offered because of the demand for it but the most cost effective option is to simply go in order.**
If I don’t use the units in order, won’t my kids miss things?
Gather ‘Round is both spiral and mastery, so nothing will be missed. Different concepts are covered in different units. One unit we might focus on adjectives and then the next unit sentence structure (which reminds them about adjectives but if they haven’t covered that, it isn’t critical) then another unit might be types of sentences, etc. We'll cover it all again in the years to come so that it gives your child lots of practice to master topics. By the time they have mastered a concept they will be moving up to a higher notebook level where new things will be taught and eventually mastered!
Is this Christian or secular?
The lessons are Christian though we will personally still be adding in More Than Words (my new Bible curriculum through Masterbooks). We are doing this for two reasons: first of all, the Biblical approach in the units is more of a worldview and touch on, not in-depth teaching. We use scripture for copywork to learn spelling and there are Bible connections and sometimes it is touched on through the readings, but it doesn't go into specific teaching. More Than Words Bible curriculum goes into details about who God is, what it means to be a Christian and how to have a relationship with God and walk out your faith. It also includes picture studies which I purposefully left out so that we could save our printers.
What subjects are covered?
The pre-reader covers all your subjects (including math) for preschool/early kindergarten. The other units cover: geography, science, social studies, history, spelling, grammar, writing, some reading and comprehension, art, Bible, etc. Lessons vary day to day so there might be other things we add in. You will need to add math for your kids as well as some independent or one-on-one reading time. Phonics and learning how to read are built into the pre-reader but it does not go beyond 3 letter words. Once you are at that point you could add a reading program though I have personally found that once my kids knew their letters and sounds... just reading together with them was the best reading program. I will have recommended readers in the teacher’s guide for each unit.
The 2020/2021 curriculum will include a Kindergarten program in addition to a separated Pre-K program so if your child is ready for Kindergarten concepts, you’d select the Kinder bundle in the fall.
Is the geography/socials specific to Canada or the US? It is worldwide! This first unit is more based in North America but the other units will be going through continents, learning about the earth, space, the human body, oceans around the world, and we will be doing world history for this year. If you live anywhere other than North America and are concerned about that, this year it won't be a problem other than maybe in this first unit which applies to both Canada and the US. Next year I may go into more specific US history but have Canadian socials add ons coming this year as well for my fellow Canadians.
Do you take PO numbers here in Alberta or BC?
We currently accept PO's from HCOS, Ascend, TLA and RCOA. If your school is not one of these, send me your school name and email and I'll contact them and let you know. Please put your school name and PO# in the subject line (not your actual PO number, just that exact word) so I can search it and find your email to let you know if I am able to accept it or not.
What's the difference between print and digital?
Digital you have a family license to use within your own immediate family as much as you want, print you would need to order more student notebooks if you wanted to add to it later. If you choose to go with print you will need a teacher's guide and notebook for each child each month. If you choose to go digital you will have access to all the student notebook levels and the teacher's guide for much cheaper, Learn more about the differences here.
How do I figure out which notebook my child should be placed in?
The recommended ages are listed below: Pre-reader: 4-5 years old Early reader: 6-8 years old Early Elementary: 8-10 years old Upper Elementary: 10-12 years old Middle School: 12-15 years old High School: 15-18 years old
You can read more here about how to place your child. https://www.facebook.com/notes/gather-round-homeschool-community/how-to-place-your-child/361263864825555/
How would you list this for High School credits? From what I read credits are based from hours. If you are going on the system of 1 credit for a 1 year course (as opposed to New Jersey's system or California, etc.) then you would get the following if you did the full year for High School:
- 1 LA Credit
- 1 General Sciences credit
- 1/2 history credit
- 1/2 social studies credit (humanities, government, social issues, etc.)
- 1/2 Geography credit
- 1/2 an art credit
And if you give credit for Bible then 1/2 Bible credit. (I would personally add More Than Words so that would be a full credit for that then.)
What happens when they are done the year, do they repeat the same unit with a different book?
I plan on doing way more than 10 of these! The plan is to do 4 years of new material before you start back at the beginning, but I may do more if there is a demand for it! You can recycle them with the older notebooks and get more value out of them, or you don’t have to. New is always better
Will the pricing and options change?
I have decided to commit to consistency on pricing and my prices will stay the same all the way through the 2020/2021 school year, so that you can budget and plan and know what to expect.
Print options: Individual student notebooks $30 Teachers guide $25
Digital options: 1 Month PDF bundle (with teachers guide and ALL notebooks) $49.95 1 Month 1 Student bundle (the month teachers guide and 1 student notebook) $19.95
Will History be done in order?
I do plan on doing history in order after this but I thought doing an overall picture of it continent by continent will give a totally unique snapshot for the year and an overview so our kids have context when we go deeper for year 2 if that makes sense. This year is totally an intro but it will also go more into social studies topics that most history programs miss entirely. Like the government, trade and exports and main industries, etc. Then next year we can tie it together. I want the units to have as many connections as possible so that we can start to see how history and science and socials all connect, stop teaching them all independently, in some ways that seems more sporadic to me. Life isn't separate, everything connects and the more we can show our kids these connections the more its going to sink in!
Why are your prices in USD if you are in CAD?
Because most of my audience is in the US, I priced it in USD. If I had priced it in Canadian, it would have been the exchange rate higher so I didn't price it for a country, I priced it based off the value of the product. I totally understand that for fewer kids it is not as economical, but if you have anywhere near the amount that I have, it is about 5 times cheaper than buying individual curriculum for all of your kids. In that sense, even at USD it is a fraction of the cost. The units will save you time and (I hope) an experience in your homeschool that is priceless. They are 800 pages of writing and designing each month so I think for that price it makes it HUGE value. But again, the value totally depends on how many kids you have and what you are looking for ;)
The one good thing though is that curriculum in the states charges you TONS for shipping, because I'm in Canada I can get it to you at a more decent price.