Come Sit By Me is a unit study program based on lovely, Canadian picture books. It is designed for use with young children aged 4 to 7, and includes content for all subject areas including math, science, art, language, music, history, and geography. It is a christian program which emphasizes character formation by making connections between the characters in the books and Bible characters as well as having a memory verse for each unit.
There are 8 units covered in Volume One with such topics/themes including life skills, literature, social studies, science geography and math. Each unit is organized into a week format where a particular book is read daily and corresponding activities are suggested. There are also additional resources listed which include either more books of a similar nature or by the same author. There are so many really great books listed! The program also suggests that your child make their own books and provides ideas for doing so with each unit. A different type of book is made with most units: autobiographical, poetry, a dictionary, a lab notebook, biography, fiction and a counting book.
I chose Come Sit By Me when my first child was of kindergarten age. The gentle, literature based approach appealed to me and Come Sit By Me was a very good introduction to home education for both parent and child. It provided some purpose and structure to each day while being flexible and not too time consuming. It also allowed me to include my then toddler as much as she was interested. It does not hold itself up to be a complete curriculum, and recommends that you add your own selection for math and phonics. While I did do basic phonics with my then kindergartener, I didn’t do any formal math instruction with her until she was almost first grade. We also added penmanship.
I did not complete all of the suggested activities, but simply picked and chose whatever I wanted. We did check out most of the additional resources from the library, and enjoyed them immensely. I’m quite curious how this will work for us a second time as I’m nearly ready to get started with my second child who will be in kindergarten in the fall. I’m sure my oldest will want to sit in on the books and many of the activities a second time even though she will be just past the target age. And I’ll have a toddler running about again this time too, trying to sit on our books as we read as her sister did no doubt!
The units included in Volume One are:
- I Can Do it!
- Cats and Dogs
- The Inuit
- Let it Snow!
- Canada: Coast to Coast
- The Classics
- Counting Up and Down
Are you curious what a week of Come Sit By Me might look like? Here’s a sample of the suggested activities in the I Can Do It! unit with the book Hurry up Franklin:
- Each day includes the reading of the story. We always did this while cuddling on the couch at the start of our day.
- Bible/Character studies touch on the story of Lazarus (when Jesus did not hurry!) as well as the concept of temptation (as Franklin was tempted several times to abandon/delay his journey to Bear’s house)
- A memory verse: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” Ecc. 3:1
- Math: explore time using an hourglass, go on a clock hunt, explore digital and analogue clocks, show your child how to tell time by the hour.
- Language: explore synonyms for fast & slow.
- Science: observe the animals in the storybook that are either fast or slow. Look up in junior information various animals books that are known for their speed.
- Art: make a birthday card for a friend or family member who has a birthday coming up (Franklin is hurrying on his way to Bear’s birthday party)
- Music: explore tempo and the terms allegro and andante by clapping and listening to music.
- Practical Living: make a blueberry surprise to enjoy like Bear in the story. Practice the skills of buttoning, tying shoes, and zipping to help your child get ready on time on his own.
You can get Come Sit By Me at Learning House.
Please note: This reviewer used the first edition of this book. There is now a version 2, and some of the books might be different, but the program is the same.
Thank you to Alison from LearningMama for providing this review. Be sure to check out her homeschooling adventures on her blog.