I love the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education, so I am always eager to look into curriculum that uses this philosophy. So I spent time looking at WinterPromise.
From their website they are “Inspiring – not Discouraging, Discovering – not Lecturing, Empowering – not burdening, and Tailored – not uniform”.
They also state “Have you ever wished you could wave a magic wand and have a curriculum appear that would offer you the best of everything? If so, you’ve just found it — literature and activities, family projects, notebooking, mapping, student worksheets, and best of all, family memories — all in one incredibly easy-to-use curriculum!”
WinterPromise pulls together a variety of resources that allow you to tailor the program to meet the needs of your family members’ individual learning styles. You can count on activities that are exciting for kids and realistic for parents! We’re a great choice if you want a “open and go” curriculum that will also build a family culture all your own.”
With this curriculum, they produce many of their own resources, like reading books, so that they fit accordingly with the lessons.
PROS OF WINTER PROMISE
- It “unites” many different learning methods – Charlotte Mason, Literature approach, Classical method, Unit studies.
- The themes or unit studies are multi-age, so you can use the same theme with several children of various ages.
- Strongly literature based – writing many of their own books
- Faith based (if this is important to you)
- The guidebooks provide basic instruction on how to use the materials in the package, detailed daily lesson plans, a supply list, and additional lesson plans/schedules for older students who will complete some of their work independently.
- The themes/unit studies are very hands on and incorporate a lot of craft, especially for younger children.
CONS OF WINTER PROMISE
- Math is not provided. You will need to source your own math curriculum. (Though this can also be a pro)
- It can be cost prohibitive
- Faith based (if you are not looking for a faith based curriculum)
- There are no tests and answer keys for the core programs (which for some is not a con) so you will need to work closely with your children to make sure they are understanding the material and mastering skills
- Language Arts for grade 3 and up separates grammar, spelling and conventions of writing with additional workbooks
It was difficult to narrow down what an example cost would be, as it depends on what bundle you might use. For all the bundles – whether Language Arts, Themed or Science – there was a “starting at” price. And these varied for which bundle and subject you would like.
For example, some Language Arts bundles started at $137. You would also need to add a themed and perhaps a science bundle. If you wanted to do Adventures in the Sea and Sky, it would start at $289 but the Children Around the World starts at $119. While you can use it for multiple children, you could easily spend over $500 to get what you need for a year (and still need to add math).
I would recommend speaking to a curriculum specialist to help you work out what you need.
I like that there are many samples you can look at online at Winter Promise. This was helpful for me to see how much work is involved as a parent.
I will say that I was overwhelmed in reading the samples. There felt like so much text and additional information and, for me, this was a turn off. I would struggle to be using this curriculum with what I would need to read and do to stay on top of everything. I didn’t feel that this was a curriculum I could just “open and go” with. But I understand that it might work for others.
A little note about the website – I found it a little frustrating that a lot of what I clicked on opened in a new page.
Check out Winter Promise here