The Playful Pioneers Review: 3 First Impressions

LauraBooks, Homeschooling

I first heard of Jennifer Pepito’s curriculum on The Homeschool Snapshots podcast.

I love her philosophy about the preschool years and became interested in her “Peaceful Preschool” curriculum. While I was checking that out, I discovered her newest  curriculum, “The Playful Pioneers“, which provides a multi-sensory approach to the first 5 books in The Little House on the Prairie series for early-elementary students.

I wanted to make sure I got this post out to you asap because she is offering 20% off either curriculum through June with the discount code “Summer”. You may want to snatch this one up!

Why I Chose The Playful Pioneers for our Children…

Like SO many homeschoolers, I adore The Little House series.

I grew up believing imagining I was Laura Ingalls Wilder – surviving blizzards, teaching bullies, sweeping for hours, and making gallons of nature soup.

Eight years ago, I read the first few books to our oldest daughter. Then two years ago, our second daughter hid away behind one Little House book after another until she emerged from the entire series, smiling and inspired.

Now that our son is entering first grade and our 3-year-old is precocious enough to listen in, I think it’s time to enjoy the series together.

The Playful Pioneers curriculum provides just what we need to map out our reading and dig into the pioneer lifestyle.

I decided to begin the curriculum this summer since it’s targeted toward K – 3rd graders, but my rising 7th and 4th grader begged to be included in the fun. With the flexibility of summer, I want to try it on for size and see how it works best in our home.

I LOVE that it begins with Farmer Boy. This appeals to my 6-year old son right off the bat. I’m so thankful for that! After the first week’s reading, he wanted to run right off and “play Farmer Boy!” (Who could ask for more?)

One of the highlights from Week 1 was making a pink dye from rose petals. With it, we dyed some yarn and white socks. We decided that the color of the socks is best described as, “Well, ew, Farmer Boy Pink?”.

I dunno. What would you call this color??

With two weeks under our belts, here are my first impressions about The Playful Pioneers:

  • It’s well-organized, simple, and easy to follow. 

When you purchase the curriculum, you’ll receive a few downloads: The Student Worksheets, The Book List, The Cookbook, and The Curriculum. I printed it out, punched holes in everything, organized the student worksheets with their corresponding Week #, and put it in a 3-inch binder.

Each week provides a clear one-page overview of every activity, then each day has a more specific description with internet links included for project instructions, etc.

There’s no question about what to do, when. This curriculum provides simple, do-able assignments and projects to enhance each day’s reading. I’m confident that my children are learning so much from the multi-sensory approach of making rose-petal dye and popcorn, listening to music and poetry, and drawing and writing.

  • It’s a thorough curriculum.

Along with your favorite Math and Language Arts curriculum, The Playful Pioneers could be everything else you need for a 30 week school year.

Because we’re starting this in the summer, we’re simply doing the day’s reading while the children work on the copy work/ coloring pages or a related art project. If there’s an additional art or practical skills project, we do that in the afternoon.

In the fall, I’ll be more conscientious to include the Scripture copy work, the additional reading, as well as the science and history elements.

  • It’s hands-on, sensory fun for a wide range of ages and grade levels.

Even though The Playful Pioneers is geared toward K – 3rd grade, my 3-year old and 12-year old daughters are enjoying it just as much as anyone.

For example of how the assignments appeal to a broad range of ages, check out that photo of the horses. The prompt was, “Draw a horse, using p. 141 in Farm Anatomy as a guide”.  My 6-year old and my 6th grader were equally absorbed in the assignment and felt good about their work. You can see how they each naturally applied it to their own ability level.

My older daughters love the copy work and coloring, and are really enjoying the art and practical skills projects. And of course, who wouldn’t enjoy the books themselves? The Little House books are timeless literature for every age.

I’m anticipating that the older girls will want to continue being a part of the fun in the fall. If so, I’ll just shape their curriculum around what we’ll be reading and experiencing at that time. I can keep you posted about that if you’re interested.

My first impression of The Playful Pioneers? Two thumbs up! Excellent quality. Affordable. Do-Able. Meaningful.

Click here to check it out for yourself! And remember… 20% off with the code “Summer”. 🙂