We are sure you have a few questions about Five Senses Literature Lessons. And we want to give you the answers you are looking for. Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions below. If your question isn’t answered below, please send it to us in the form at the bottom of the page. We will get back to you ASAP and probably update this page with the answer, too.
General Program Questions
Is this really a full curriculum?
Yes, for some children this is the only curriculum you’ll need to follow. Some children need more practice with spelling, phonics, grammar, or math. In that case, depending on their age and readiness for such skills, we do recommend separate programs.
Is this program secular?
Yes. We do not promote or disparage any religions. Our programs can be used by anyone independent of their faith or lack thereof.
How can this curriculum claim to work for both gifted children and those with learning disabilities, along with typical children?
Our programs are designed with lots of open-ended activities. This means that every individual can do the activities at their own pace and ability level. Some children will spend more time on an activity and some will spend less. There is no “right” amount of time for an activity. We leave it to you to determine when your child has gotten enough from the activity or discussion.
Each lesson has ways to take the activities further and dive deeper into the topic, for the child who becomes deeply engaged in the material. This means that gifted and twice-exceptional kids can dive deeply into the lesson when they want. However, many of the stumbling blocks for children with learning disabilities, like excessive writing assignments, are not included. Instead of being asked to write about something, we suggest watching a video or doing a science experiment, to take the learning further for every child.
Will this program fill our entire school day?
No. All of our programs are designed to take a reasonable amount of time per day. What’s reasonable is different for each child and the program level. Lessons at the Orange level are simpler and can typically be done in less time than lessons in the Yellow level. But at no point do we expect a daily lesson to take a “full day”. This leaves plenty of time for you and your child to explore their interests, play, cook and enjoy life together. Children do not need to spend six hours a day engaged in adult-directed learning. They need time to go out to play and cultivate their imaginations. So we created a curriculum that will help them learn many different things, all in less time.
How does the science portion of this program work?
Science is all around us. It is why the plants grow, the birds migrate, and the stars twinkle. Because of this, it’s easy to teach science alongside the beautiful books featured in our programs. Every science lesson ties to the story, so it’s relevant and interesting. Some science lessons are based on watching videos and some are easy experiments you can do at home.
We aim to teach the most up-to-date scientific information available for the topics covered in each program. Science is age-appropriate to the color level and complex topics, are discussed with the target age level in mind. The Orange level programs have science topics that are mostly related to things your child can see and touch. Yellow level explores concepts that are a little more challenging but are still things you can observe. At the Green level and up, we introduce science concepts that require a higher level of abstract reasoning. In this way, we are following childhood brain development patterns, which work from concrete reasoning to more abstract understanding of the world around them. Abstract ideas such as the origins of the universe and evolution are easier for most children to learn when they are ready for other abstract ideas such as algebra. As such, we have chosen not to include those topics in the lessons for younger students.
I see your program has a color coded system instead of grade levels. Which level should my child use?
This handy chart is our suggestion of where to start. You can see, there is some overlap between levels. This is because we respect that not every child is ready for the same level of learning at the same age. Some children will be firmly in one color level and others may be comfortable on multiple levels. Because of the flexibility of the program, you may choose to put children of different ages in a single program together, to make your life easier.
· Ages 3 to 6
· Picture books
· Simple concepts and themes young children can relate to
· Songs and nursery rhymes included
· Gross motor games for developing bodies
· Ages 4 to 8
· Picture books
· Tangible topics
· Songs and rhymes for memory work
· Hands-on science activities
· Fine motor activities to prepare for writing
· Ages 6 to 10
· History-based picture books
· More complex ideas and discussion topics
· Proverbs or Quotes for copy work
· More emphasis on fine motor activities and writing readiness.
· Ages 8 to 12
· Historical Fiction Chapter book unit studies
· Lessons introduce abstract ideas and critical thinking skills
· Challenging hands-on activities to build confidence and independence.
Questions about Laura and the Company
Do you speak or present at homeschool conferences? If so, which ones?
Yes! We love getting to meet new people and we are avid supporters of our local organization’s homeschool conference. We have just wrapped up our 2019 conference season and had a wonderful time traveling and meeting so many lovely homeschooling families. If you know of a conference or homeschooling event that would be a good fit for us to visit, feel free to let us know about it. We’d love to check it out!
What kind of homeschool philosophy does Five Senses Literature Lessons follow?
Honestly, it’s a whole new thing. We’ve borrowed some of our favorite ideas from established homeschool methodologies, like Charlotte Mason, Classical Education, and Unschooling. But we’ve incorporated some important principles from Laura’s occupational therapy background. The combination of approaches results in a rich, eclectic, developmentally appropriate, and adaptable program we are proud to call Five Senses Literature Lessons.
If you want more information on our philosophy, check out Laura’s blog post on the topic.
How do you decide what books to include in the programs?
This is one of the most important parts of designing the curriculum and something we take very seriously. There are so many great books in the world and we can’t ask you to read all of them. So the first thing we consider is age-appropriateness and quality of the book, both in terms of the literature and the illustrations. We want to use books that are visually engaging and interesting to read. We want books that don’t all look the same. So different types of artwork and different narrative styles are incorporated into the programs.
Next, the book has to lend itself to the topic and lessons well. A lot of great children’s books don’t give you the foundation for hands-on activities or discussions appropriate to the curriculum. The connection from the book to the activity should be natural. We don’t want to force an activity on a subject without the context from the story.
We strive to include books that are widely available. One aspect of our company mission is to make homeschooling easier. That means using books that are found at most libraries or second-hand bookstores. This was a little harder with the Native American curriculum simply because few good-quality books about Native American history are widely available. But, in general, the programs include books that are easy to find.
And lastly, we consider the social impact, representation, inclusivity of the story and its characters. This means the programs have books that include people of color or underrepresented populations. Each curriculum includes books which have characters with disabilities or that cover an aspect of history that has been typically overlooked. And we look for books that facilitate a conversation on social skills or morality.
Are you writing more programs? Are you going to offer more levels?
The short answer here is yes! We just launched a new program for Orange, Foundations & Fundamentals. And we are currently working on new programs for our Yellow and Green levels. And we have long-term plans to add levels beyond Green (there is a whole rainbow of colors to name them after, you know!) If you want to be kept up-to-date on what we are working on and what’s up next, be sure to sign up for our mailing list.
Will Laura ever write a blog post about *insert my child's diagnoses/issue here*?
I absolutly LOVE Five Senses Literature Lessons. What can I do to help more people learn about this amazing way to educate their children?
Thank you! We are so happy that you are happy. The best way to get the word out is to recommend Five Senses Literature Lessons to your homeschooling friends. Either online or in person. Share our blog posts in your groups or with your friends and family via Facebook and Pinterest when you feel that they are relevant and helpful. When someone asks “what’s the best homeschool curriculum for kindergarten?” point them to us.
Word of mouth and fan referrals are really the best way to share our message. We are truly proud of the work we do here at Five Senses and the content we create. Not just the curriculums, which we love like they are our children. But the blogs and memes, too. Everything we publish goes back to our core mission of helping families make happy, healthy, well-adjusted children who will one day be compassionate, well-informed adults. If our message resonates with you and our methods work for your family, please spread the word to those who you think could use our help.
Your support is much appreciated.
Customer Service and Technical Questions
I'm trying to download my PDF and it says I have exceeded my allowable limit of downloads. What can I do?
First off, don’t worry. We can help and you do not need to purchase the program again or anything like that. Each time you click the link in the email or Your Account page and the PDF opens, it counts that as a download. So if you clicked it on your computer or phone and it opened in a browser window and then you closed that window, that counted as a download. You may have a saved version of the PDF in your Downloads, My Documents, My Files, or Temporary Files locations on your device. It really depends on your personal device configuration.
The first thing to do is check your Downloads folder to see if it is there. All of our programs are PDFs that have “FiveSensesLiteratureLessons” in the name of the file.
If you can’t find it, send us a note on our Contact Us form to let us know. Be sure to fill out the fields for your name and email address. We will work with you over email to resolve the issue and get you your PDF as soon as possible.
Why do I have to create an account to purchase a curriculum?
What am I actually getting with my purchase?
Each program consists of a single PDF document that contains detailed instructions, an explanation of the philosophy and how to use the program, lesson plans, book and supply lists. There are links to YouTube videos and other websites to supplement the lessons. And each program includes an appendix with all the necessary worksheets or pages for any activity where you need to write something down.
Can I get a physical copy of the program?
We do not yet offer a way for you to purchase a printed/bound version of any of our programs directly. The programs really are designed to be used mostly electronically. The links in the documents are all live so you can easily get to the recommended YouTube video or website or appendix page. Our vision is that you’d only have to print the appendix pages.
That said, we know some folks prefer to actually hold something like this in their hands. We are working to partner with a reliable print vendor for direct purchase. In the meantime, we recommend a printing service called The Homeschool Printing Company. They are an independently owned printing company run by a homeschool graduate. The turnaround can be a bit slow, so definitely compare them to your big-name players like the office supply stores.
Can I get a refund?
Once you have downloaded one of our programs to your computer, there is no way to return it or cancel your order. Therefore, there are no refunds for PDFs. If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, we may issue credit for another program. We reserve the right to decide if credit will be issued.
I teach in a Co-op and would love to use your program. Do I have to buy a copy of the curriculum for each child in my class?
Oh, we are so excited that you want to share our programs with a classroom full of children. That’s wonderful! No, you do not need to purchase the full curriculum for each child. We do ask that you purchase the supplementary Appendix pack for the program per child, essentially giving you a license for each child to have copies of the worksheets. Reach out to us via the Contact Us form and let us know how many kids you are working with so we can discuss pricing and other details.
What did we miss?
Do you have questions about Five Senses Literature Lessons that we didn’t answer? Feel free to ask below. Make sure to include your name and email address. We’ll answer you via email and update this page to share the knowledge. Thanks!