Over the years I have used Charlotte Mason-inspired curriculum. Like My Father’s World, Heart of Dakota, and I have pieced together others. I have never used a full or “whole hog” (as some would call it) Charlotte Mason curriculum. This year, however, I decided to go all in and try A Gentle Feast. So, after using this curriculum for 12 weeks, I am going to give you an honest A Gentle Feast curriculum review.
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WHAT IS A GENTLE FEAST?
If you are reading this review, you probably already know what A Gentle Feast is. However, just in case you happened upon this review by accident, here’s the rundown.
A Gentle Feast (AGF in many Charlotte Mason circles) is a complete Charlotte Mason homeschool curriculum. It was created by Julie H. Ross, a former teacher and Charlotte Mason homeschool mom of 5 kids.
Grades grouped into forms as Charlotte Mason did. Form 1 covers 1st-3rd grade, Form 2 covers 4th- 6th grade, Form 3 covers 7th-9th grade, and Form 4 covers 10th-12th grade. I really like this because it helps you combine subjects with children. It’s especially helpful when you have a larger family!
WHAT SUBJECTS ARE COVERED?
- History (American/British/Ancient/ and I think some years Canadian)
- Natural History
- Music/Composer Study
- Artist Study/Picture Study
- Poetry/Poet Study/ Poetry Tea
- Folk songs
- Foreign Language
- Hymn Study
- Nature Study
- and more!
Sounds like a lot… right??! I promise it’s not as overwhelming as it may seem. (These subjects aren’t done every single day.)
A Gentle Feast is also on our list of 11 Complete Homeschool Curriculums. Read it here.
A Gentle Feast‘s 4-year history rotation is color-coded. This year we chose to go with Green Year which covers from 1000 ad-1600 ad. Also, the Green year is the first year in the history rotation.
WHY I DECIDED TO USE A GENTLE FEAST
I was sold on A Gentle Feast from the day I laid eyes on it! I was like, “This looks so amazing! It has to be too good to be true!” I even made my husband watch the video trailer on the AGF website. (He wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as I was..Oh well!)
This first thing I did was pray about it. I was juggling between two different curriculums at the time. A Gentle Feast or The Good and The Beautiful. (Read my review on The Good and the Beautiful Level K.) I honestly had my mind set on The Good and The Beautiful.
Then one day I was at a thrift store, and I found a ton of the books from the Green Year book list for 50 cents – $1 apiece. I took it as an answered prayer and bought the books.
MY THOUGHTS ON A GENTLE FEAST GREEN YEAR
Now fast-forward 13 weeks into the curriculum. Am I still as excited about A Gentle Feast as I was when I started?? Yes and No.
Of course, as all homeschool moms know, the newness wears off and excitement wears down. Don’t get me wrong, I really do love A Gentle Feast. The book selections are fantastic! I have enjoyed all the extras, and my children have, too. (I have 1 in Form 1 and 2 in Form 2.) But, I have also been facing the ups and downs of pregnancy. So, some days we have to tweak our schedule a bit.
One of the best things about the curriculum is that it is super flexible and customizable. If you can’t find a particular book, or you have one that is similar, you can swap them out. So, nothing is indeed set in stone. For example, there was one hymn we couldn’t tolerate the video for. (My kids didn’t care for the style.) So, we found the same hymn, different video.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS CURRICULUM?
Of course! I think Julie did a fantastic job of pulling together this impressive Charlotte Mason curriculum. It truly lives up to its name. A Gentle Feast is just that…. gentle. It is the most flexible Charlotte Mason curriculum I have seen.
The AGF website is super easy to navigate, and Julie is always creating more great products and improving on A Gentle Feast. Each level was updated this year. Unfortunately, I fell right under the bracket! I had just purchased my curriculum a couple of months before she began to sell the new updated version. I would’ve switched, but I already had my student books printed out and bound!
The main difference is that all of the language arts lessons are now included in the student packets.
*Side note: All student books are now available in physical copy and download!
MORE PRODUCTS BY A GENTLE FEAST
100 Gentle Lessons in Sight and Sound
This is a reasonably new phonics curriculum.
I really enjoy the morning time portion of A Gentle feast, and I am sure that this one is just as great!
Gentle Exams was a perfect book that helped me understand more about Charlotte Mason exams. Before I read this I felt a little bit clueless about how to go about giving the exam, but it is explained so well in this book.