We dabbled in A Gentle Feast (AGF) last year and loved it! We will continue using this curriculum again this year!
We are adding a little Classical Education to our Charlotte Mason homeschool this year. For Morning Time we will use the morning time packets from A Gentle Feast (American History) along with memory work from Claritas and Cross Seven (World History). If you’ve ever heard of Classical Conversations, this is very similar. The two curriculums will be our spine and actually work very well together.
AGF is split into 4 cycles/different time periods. These are the time periods for Form I/American History:
Cycle 1: 1000-1650 Cycle 2: 1650-1800s Cycle 3: 1800s-1900s Cycle 4: 1900-today
We started with AGF Cycle 1 last year. This year we will finish Cycle 1, then move to Cycle 2 where we will spend most of our year, and finish with a little Cycle 3 at the end. The AGF Cycles are really meant to be used 1 per year. But we are a little different in that we will use more than one morning time packet. The reason we do this is because our Co-Op uses Claritas for World History and is studying Cycle 3: Early Modern (1550s-1850s). So I pull a little bit from the first three AGF cycles’ booklists to sync with our Co-Op’s time line. It actually blends beautifully. I will probably hang two timelines in our home so my children can see where American History (in AGF) syncs up with World events (in Claritas). I’m sorry if that is a little confusing. I’m sure there are other homeschoolers who make things a little harder on ourselves by blending curriculums too. 😉 But it really is beautiful when it all comes together. If anyone uses Story of the World, it blends well with Claritas too since they both take 4 years instead of 3.
Each AGF Cycle is broken down into three terms (12 weeks each). We plan to use Term 1 in the late summer/fall, Term 2 in the late fall/winter, and Term 3 in the spring.
We gently follow A Gentle Feast and do not use all resources from the guide. This works best for us since the Claritas memory work covers quite a lot too. I just don’t have the time with three young children who still need a lot of my instruction to use all that AGF offers on top of our memory work. But the great thing about AGF is you dont have to add a thing. It has everything you need. Even though we will need to swap a few things around, we will mostly stick to the Cycle 2 guide which provides amazing booklists. Remember your curriculum is just a tool not the boss. 😉 I use A Gentle Feast as a visual to the framework I build. I’m also thinking of switching some poems around to match the seasons. I personally think of Wordsworth in Summer/Autumn and Longfellow in Winter. These packets are so beautiful and well laid out, that all the swapping or omissions do not really mess me up too much.
Note: I have a 6, 9, and 10 year old this year. So we are mostly using Form I as a family except my oldest will use Form II for Language Arts and maybe some History lessons. Here is how we plan to use the four “forms” over the years in A Gentle Feast:
Form I: ages 7, 8, 9 Form II: ages 10, 11, 12 Form III: ages 13, 14, 15 Form IV: ages 16, 17, 18
Here are my notes so far on who/what/when we will use each packet. (I noted the items we swapped in parenthesis.) I’m sure I’ll make changes as we go, but this is the overall plan! Hope this is helpful if anyone else is using a Classical timeline like Claritas or history curriculum like Story of The World.
Term 1 (first 12 weeks) Form 1 (grades 1-3) Autumn
*Blending with: (Claritas Memory Work weeks 1-11; 1500-1600s)
Bible Memory (3 passages): 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 + Psalm 139 1-4 (Claritas) + Matthew 5: 2-12 (Claritas and AGF Cycle 3)
Hymn Study (3 songs): Amazing Grace (AGF) + Be Thou My Vision (Claritas) + Immortal Invisible (Claritas)
Poetry Recitation Form I (3 poems): Mud + 30 Days + Pumpkin (AGF term 2)
Picture Study (1 artist, 6 artworks): Thomas Gainsborough
Composer Study (1 musician, 6 songs) : Vivaldi
Poet Study (1 poet): William Wordsworth (AGF term 2)
Fables/Tales (1 book): Stories of Great Americans (term 2)
Tea Time Read Aloud: Homer Price, The Incredible Journey (with our Co-Op)
Term 2 (second 12 weeks) Form 1 (grades 1-3) Winter
*Blending with: (Claritas Memory Work weeks 12-17; 1600s and Advent)
Bible Memory (3 passages): Phillipians 4: 4-8 (Claritas) + Phillipians 4: 4-8 (Claritas) + the Christmas Story
Hymn Study (3 songs): Hark the Herald Angels Sing (AGF) + Angels We Have Heard On Hight (Claritas) + Oh for a Thousand Tongues to sing (AGF term 1 and Claritas)
Poetry Recitation Form I (2 poems): The Wind + The Goops (term 3)
Picture Study (1 artist, 6 artworks): John Singleton Copley
Composer Study (1 musician, 6 songs): George Frideric Handel (term 3)
Poet Study (1 poet): Longfellow (AGF term 1)
Fables/Tales (1 book): Stories of Great Americans, American Tall Tales
Tea Time Read Aloud: Five Little Peppers
Term 3 (third 12 weeks) Form 1 (grades 1-3) Spring
*Blending with: (Claritas Memory Work weeks 18-28; 1700-1800s)
Bible Memory (3 passages): John 1: 1-10 (AGF term 2 and Claritas) + Ephesians 6:10-18 (Claritas and AGF Cycle 1) + Psalm 1:1-6
Hymn Study (3 songs): Come Thou Fount (AGF) + All Things Bright and Beautiful (Claritas) + Christ the Lord is Risen Today (AGF Term2)
Poetry Recitation Form I (2 poems): Kind Words + The Caterpillar (from term 2)
Picture Study (1 artist, 6 artworks): Benjamin West
Composer Study (1 musician, 6 songs): Mozart (from term 2)
Poet Study (1 poet): William Blake
Fables/Tales (2 books): American Tall Tales (from term 1)
Tea Time Read Aloud: Wind in the Willows