“ARE THERE TEACHER MANUALS???” (the most commonly asked question)
**There is a definite downside to reading from ONE teacher’s manual for ALL age groups (as is common in unit studies). The downside? If the age range of children varies, then the teacher’s guide will either be too advanced/intense for your younger children (causing them to be bored, confused, or not learning at their level)… or it would have to be made too elementary-styled (which would not be beneficial for middle/high school children or adults). So, how do you accomplish a unit study without the negative side effects of a single teacher’s guide, while STILL bringing all families closer to each other as unit studies are intended to do? You do away with the teacher’s guide and build into every journal exactly what it needs! We didn’t write the unit studies for the children; we wrote them for the whole family! See below for how we did it!
**HOLIDAY UNITS: The whole family gets their own journal, including adults. The black font is the same in all journals. This way, everyone can take turns reading out loud from their black font. This allows the family to use it together, without going over the younger one’s heads. The [other color] font, however, is there for each particular age group to benefit with “extra information” or “more details” or “different thought prompts” that they can read silently within their own journal. Adult journals contain more information (like further discussion of the wars during the Thanksgiving unit, and a fuller picture). Younger journals contain more information (like definitions to certain words or more elaborate explanations for their age group). The adult journal is NOT to be used in place of a teacher’s guide, and the younger age journals are NOT intended to be used by themselves, either. These units were not written for children; they were written for your WHOLE FAMILY to use together. To see an example of this, take a look at our YouTube Thanksgiving flip through video which shows the concept more in depth.
**REGULAR UNITS (job shadowing/skills enhancement/life experiences): Parents will typically enjoy the “adult” journal or the “high school” journal because those journals contain a higher level of learning and teach more skills/provide more insight (etc). For example, in the “ER” unit, the adult journal is the equivalent of a college student job shadowing an ER provider. All of the lessons match up (regardless of age/journal used), but each journal shares information at its own level. ***If opting to read out loud in these units, we suggest reading the youngest age’s journal out loud (this way younger ones can understand). Older children can follow along silently in their own journals.*** To see this in action, take a look at our ER preview on our Free Previews page.
**ANOTHER EXAMPLE (for good measure): In our camping unit and home defense unit (etc), the adult journal contains information specific to “adults” (it teaches them how to prepare a camping site properly, how to properly survive in certain settings…). This is not a teacher manual. This is to help the adult actually learn with their family. However, once again, all lessons match up (regardless of journal/age group) and come together (in an age-appropriate way). So everyone can sit around each other and learn as a family, at their own level. ***If reading out loud, read out of the younger age journals, and then read your own silently. OR, have everyone read silently, and then share the activities/Family Focus sections/Faith Talks/etc.*** To see this in action, take a look at our Camping preview on our Free Previews page.
**WHAT ABOUT PRE-READER (REGULAR UNITS)? If you have a pre-reader along with older children, simply allow the pre-reader to listen to what is read out loud by your family, glean as much as they want, and complete their own activities that match with the lesson. If you have ONLY pre-readers (or very early elementary age) who wouldn’t be hearing a “family discussion with older siblings,” you can read to them the elementary journal as if a read aloud, and then allow them to complete the pre-reader activities associated with the lesson.
**WHAT ABOUT PRE-READER (HOLIDAY UNITS)? Just the same… allow your pre-reader to listen along to the black font that is read out loud, and complete their pre-reader pages.
- How is this “multiple lessons in one”?
Imagine you have a child who loves all things science & book learning, and another who hates science but loves art and learns by touch. If someone gave them a very specific experiential activity dealing with rainbows, you’d see both of them go to town. Then imagine giving the parents a guide on how to connect with both children during the exercise (no prep work, and almost no thought), and you have some stress-free, quality family interaction going on. Then, add in discussion about where the rainbow came from–and why–and your family is discussing God and the Bible…
…See where we’re going with this? That’s the same basic principle we tried to create in our units.
- Where are my print options?
- How did you come up with this curriculum?
For the full story, please click here. The short story: we simply mixed a unit study setup with cross-curricular concepts and Charlotte Mason ideas, then emphasized a family bonding model and extracurricular topics… and then added in some expert contribution. …That’s the VERY short version. 🙂
UNIT STUDIES have existed for many years, allowing children of all ages to come together and learn about a particular topic without an “age” or “education level” barrier. In fact, using a unit study is one of our favorite ways of homeschooling our children, since it provides different activities for different ages, based on the same lesson.
CROSS CURRICULAR concepts have consistently been proven effective over time. Many homeschoolers, colleges, and other schools have seen great benefits from implementing this style of teaching. Personally, this absolutely made a difference and changed the way our own children learned. ……And then a favorite of many:
CHARLOTTE MASON techniques. Absolute brilliance.
…Each of these three concepts are uniquely different and yet equally inspiring…..
UNFORTUNATELY, even when joined together they still lacked two things: (1) a focus on bringing the family inward and encouraging family bonding (including and emphasizing a male role model, too!), and (2) a specific focus on dreams/skills/careers/aspirations. So we thought: why not join what we love together and then add in what was missing? (We also added one more challenging requirement to the list: contribution from professionals or experts across the country)
Insert: Campfire Curriculums™.
- Can I suggest a unit topic or make other recommendations?
YES, PLEASE! We want to hear everything our parents have to say. After all, this was created with the intent of growing families closer together and closer to their passions and goals. If we aren’t accomplishing that, or if there’s a better way we could go about it, we want to know! If there’s a particular topic you or your child are dying to see released, please tell us! We will be taking all parent’s recommendations seriously and working toward giving everyone what they would love. Please give us insight to what your family needs or is looking for, or if there’s something we can change.
- You have a lot of contributors already listed for upcoming units; does this mean we have to wait a long time to see our own suggestions used?
Nope! While we have already gathered information, created activities, done job shadowing/skill shadowing, and gotten the contributors for all varieties of units to be released, we STILL want our customers to give us their feedback so we can USE IT. What YOU want is what we want to provide. So, if our customers want something different than what we have listed, we set out to provide it. We allow our Campfire Community to vote on which unit they want released next. The unit with the highest votes will be the next release. Whichever units our customers want most are the ones we will seek to provide (while our other prepared unit topics would then go on the back burner to be released at a later date). This is why many of our units on the products page say, “COMING SOON,” as it allows us the flexibility to choose which unit to release on which month. One final note: if a unit already has a specific release date in the title, then it is for sure the next one coming out and it’s too late to change!
- How are your units so affordable?
We have been asked the obvious questions: “How/why are your units so affordable when you have to cover expenses for expert contributions, time for job/skill shadowing, and everything else?” In our Campfire Flame Membership, our journals are as low as ~$3/journal, so it’s a fair question. All of our contributors are paid (their knowledge and experience wasn’t free for them, and it shouldn’t be free for us); the design work takes considerable time, expertise, and cost; we don’t have free illustrators, and the time it takes to write and put a unit together is intense…. so how do we make this possible? Because we did everything we could, and determination made it possible. We believe so much in this product and that families need something like this in their home, so we priced it affordably. We want to make a way for this to get into every home with children throughout America and the rest of the world. The affordability is not a reflection on the quality of product–you can check that out for yourself (FREE SAMPLES!). The affordability is a reflection on our determination, our morals, and our passion for families. And, it works. It works for our customers, it works for our contributors, it works for all of our other staff, and it works for us. Why not have the best of all worlds?
- Do I have to do anything special to get a free sample?
Not at all. For the free look inside, you will simply view your screen right in front of you. You can scroll by pushing the left or right arrows on each journal (elementary journal is at the top of the page, middle school is next, so on and so forth).
- Can I purchase any unit I want?
You can purchase units as you want. Any person can just head over to our products page and purchase any unit desired (if it has already been released for the year). With each digital purchase you will receive ALL of the unit’s journals [aka workbooks/textbooks/lesson plans/activities guide/etc] for EVERY age group [Elementary, Middle School, High School, and Adult, plus pre-reader pages]. So, child(ren) and parents will ALL receive journals when a unit is purchased. The total cost of this is $29.95.
- Can I become a member and save on cost?
YES! You can become a Campfire Spark Member to save more money. Becoming a Campfire Spark Member means you get automatic access to one new digital unit every month, for as long as you want (2-month minimum). The cost of this is only $17.99/month for the WHOLE family (again…all units include ALL four journals for ALL age groups).
- Can I pay up front for the year?
If you want to pay for a membership up front (Campfire Flame Membership), the total is $179 for FULL digital access to every unit as it is released during the year. This includes access to ALL of our bonus units, as well (we will be releasing a minimum of 12 units per year)!
- How do I get my unit each month when I am a monthly member? Does it come through email or the website?
All monthly members receive “one credit” every single month. One credit allows you to download 1 unit (all journals, all age groups) directly from our products page. This setup allows you to scroll through our units and download your preferred one! Typically, a member would download the unit just released for the current month; however, if you were late to the game and were dying to go back to download a previous release with your credits instead, your membership allows you to do just that! We released the 2020/2021 school year’s first unit on July 2020, and will release 1-2 per month every month–totaling 12 units minimum/year.
- I heard there was an option to receive the curriculum for free or on a sliding scale for lower income families. Is this true?
YES! Please contact us with your unique situation, and we will be able to provide assistance to families who request it. We do not want anyone to miss out because of financial obstacles. On this note, copyright laws do not allow customers to share the material with a friend, so if you know someone who could use a discount or free curriculum, please send them our way and allow us to provide it to them. They can contact us here. This also allows us to know who we can hopefully help and blesses us with the opportunity to specifically pray for their needs, which we would appreciate.
- What are the payment methods you accept?
We accept any credit/debit card! For an easier checkout process, we are also in the process of syncing with PayPal, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, and more! The “easier” checkout options (enabling more of a 1-click checkout) should be available by January 2021.
- How soon will I receive my unit?
Regardless of which option you choose (member or non-member), you will receive a digital copy of the applicable unit(s) to be downloaded immediately. Every month a new unit will be released and it, too, will then be available for immediate download. Within each unit, you can print all the journals desired for children/self and put each person’s journal in his/her own binder. You can also choose to spiral bind each journal with custom color rings for $3 at a particular office supply store! Each journal is approximately 80-120 pages, so 40-60 double-sided pages. We find the spiral binding to work perfectly for our needs.
- What if I don’t want to print that many pages? Are there alternatives?
There sure are! View our print page for details!
- What if I am a teacher or part of a co-op and want to use this?
If you are a teacher, co-op leader or part of a homeschooling group, please contact us as you will have different laws to abide by and different pricing for different licensing. We will actively monitor downloads and number of prints from a particular source, so please don’t skip this step.
- Is this part of a core curriculum?
This is an EXTRAcurricular program. Your child will certainly still be developing and learning in multiple ways, and core level education will also be grown and utilized. Our lessons (depending on the unit) do touch on history, science, art, reading, health, language, spelling, vocabulary, anatomy, social sciences, government, the Bible, and more… so we HAVE had feedback from some indicating that they would occasionally enjoy using Campfire Curriculums™ as a core curriculum or added onto their core curriculum. However, this is created as an extracurricular program focused on skills growth, family growth, father focus, and the Lord. How you use the curriculum is ultimately up to you. Our hope was that you make Campfire Curriculums™ a part of your family evenings (or mornings) together. Add it to your school day, make it part of your road trips, or use it as part of your literal campfire sessions. You can do it if you’re homeschooled, private schooled, or public schooled. That, in our minds, is the beauty of it.
- Which unit should I pick?
ALL of them! Maybe even pick something YOU are passionate about. If you’re not quite sure which unit you or your child will love, please don’t worry! As we said before, these units are intended to create exciting and experiential learning while bringing families together… regardless of the topic! In the process, they create multiple lessons in one and have so many more benefits than just what’s on the front cover. DO ALL OF THEM, and get something out of each one! You may even discover a brand new passion for yourself or your child(ren) that you never knew was there!
- There is a huge age and learning difference between my 1st grader and 5th grader…do I use an “Elementary” journal for both of them?
The quick answer is: Yes, probably. The long answer is: The wonderful thing about the way Campfire Curriculums™ is set up is that you receive ALL journals [Elementary, Middle School, High School, Adult] any time you purchase a unit. Furthermore, things are customizable even within a journal itself (IE: can be watered down for younger children or enhanced for the older ones). In any case, you will be able to see exactly what is inside of each journal and can print which one is best for YOUR child(ren) and yourself. As you’ll notice, there are different activities/stories/directions depending on the education level. You might find that a 5th grader functions more on an 8th grade level and choose to let him use a middle school journal for a particular unit. That is perfectly fine! Or, you might find that the high school unit is too much for your 9th grader and instead opt to let her do a middle school journal in a particular unit. If you have a child very passionate about a particular topic, you might even let her try the adult journal! In the end, it’s up to you and your family. We want to emphasize, though: the “right” journal is of relatively little significance in the grand scheme of things. These Campfire Sessions™ are not necessarily about “learning” more (as if in a school room). They are about the experience: learning within that experience; drawing closer as a family through that experience; growing in passions and knowledge by that experience; growing closer to God in that experience. Therefore, even if children had the “wrong” journals for their education level, everyone would STILL be experientially learning, interacting, and growing closer as a family. So don’t stress it! Even our pre-reader enjoys the elementary journal (although it mostly gets filled with colorful drawings).
- What are the benefits of a program like this?
Parentally speaking, we believe you can take your family back. We believe this has the possibility of reconnecting families in a way that they have been lacking, even within homeschooling communities. We hope to have provided a way for fathers or male role models to also be involved in an incredibly impactful way and in a way they, too, will enjoy. We desire to bring the family inward, and we truly believe this curriculum can help do that.
Clinically speaking, studies have revealed that when children have only TEN minutes a day in experiential extracurriculars with a parent, their anger can decrease, their emotional intelligence increases, their ability to self-soothe is enhanced, and family bonding is magnified. Studies also shown that when a student is able to participate in experiential extracurricular learning/activities, then:
- Their overall cognitive function increases (3 times!)
- Different parts of their brain are triggered and growing than in regular schooling or interaction
- Their core level education benefits (grades increase in unrelated courses)
- The bonds between family are stronger than in other homeschooling families (and non-homeschooling) families!
- They become more well-rounded adults
- AND they also have a higher rate of excelling in their career goals and passions that God has given to them.
- Where are the free samples?
You can click here for some free samples. We have 2-3 different units available for sample each month. Each sample shows the first few lessons with journals for different ages, so you can try it out and see if these Campfire Sessions™ are for you!
- Is this a Christian curriculum?
This curriculum is founded on Christ. In that way, yes, it is a Christian curriculum. If you’re wondering if it’s something secular parents can use, the answer is also yes. You can still have the other benefits of the program even if you choose not to apply the Faith Talk sections.
- Why are you only releasing 1 – 2 per month?
Between interviewing/shadowing/graphic design/scheduling time with certain experts, it’s a bit time consuming! The reason we are not releasing more than 1-2 per month is because we need to practice what we are preaching and invest more in our own children and family. One of the entire points of this curriculum was to bring our family closer. Releasing 1-2 units per month allows us to invest in our children and also continue to (hopefully) help other families do the same, as well. This also allows us to take in new suggestions from customers and have the time to find properly qualified contributors, graphic designers, etc….
- What are your theological beliefs?
Please see our Statement of Faith, here.
- Is there any way you can mail us a printed copy?
Yes, please contact us if this is something you are needing!
- Why did you name it “curriculums” instead of “curriculum,” “curricula,” or “extracurriculars”?
For all of our grammatically correct parents out there:
We went back and forth between “curricula,” “extracurriculars,” and “curriculums.” Technically, depending on which circle (or country) you are in, all of the options can be correct. In the end, we chose “curriculums” because it was the domain that was available (true story) and the one we thought most would remember. 🙂