The Organic Studies
1. denoting a relation between elements of something such that they fit together harmoniously as necessary parts of a whole.
characterized by continuous or natural development.
The Organic Studies curriculum is based on the idea that the best learning is organic. Harmonious, grounded, organic learning sprouts naturally from the rhythm of our lives and from the world around us, as we open our hearts and eyes to all that life offers. This curriculum seeks to provide an environment in which organic learning grows from the resources and lesson plans provided, as well as the play suggestions, books, and creative movement studies. We hope that it brings your family closer to one another as communication and discussion are promoted, and learning comes from exploring and growing together.
When we connect to the earth, we are grounded. Grounding provides foundational support: as we come to know and love the Earth and experience its joys, we better know our place on it. Being out in nature to explore is an integral part of this curriculum, and will contribute to organic learning by providing a place to learn observation, flow, life’s rhythms, order, and appreciation of beauty.
Nature also provides the basis of study in this curriculum. Each unit is based on the natural world, and your child will finish The Organic Studies possessing extensive knowledge about the world around them.
We move through and experience life in our bodies. Thus, well-rounded learning cannot be restricted to intellectual study and stimulation. The Organic Studies provides creative movement prompts created by our founder, who has a BA in Dance. These movement studies support children in learning the way they naturally desire to learn: through moving and playing and pretending and exploring. Creative movement creates space for children to explore what they are learning physically, reinforces sense of self, enhances communication skills and confidence, and contributes to higher levels of proprioception.
There is something deep within each of us that calls out to create. That creation will look different for each person, but to answer its call is vital. Artistic expression is as important to organic learning as lesson plans and nature walks. The Organic Studies curriculum provides art studies and projects during each unit to give life to your child’s creativity.
Nothing contributes to organic learning quite like reading fascinating, well-written literature. We have spent hours combing through the best books available to create a book list that will grow with your child and contribute to the creation of a family library that helps mold the ideal home learning environment.
Book selections include core course books, unit specific books, and historical reads for each unit. Core course books will need to be purchased since they are used often, while many unit specific books can be checked out from libraries, or watched on Youtube as read-alouds. (The books that are available on Youtube will be indicated on the booklist so you can plan accordingly.)
Simultaneous Family Learning
True to its mission, this curriculum was designed so that learning can take place organically within a family* of any size. Perfectly suited to a single child, it also works beautifully in larger families. Rather than each child working independently to complete their own work, The Organic Studies provides a base curriculum for a large age range of children to work through together, while parents can supplement extra curricula for older children as desired. This curriculum can function as the full schooling of a younger child, and the science and art of an older child. The Organic Studies is designed for children ages 5-12.**
*The Organic Studies is intended for use within a single family unit. If you plan to use it with multiple families or within any sort of co-op structure, you must purchase a group license.
**We have recently changed the age range for The Organic Studies after receiving feedback that families were loving it for children up to age 12. This change is not currently reflected in the Organic Studies Parents' Guide, but the age range is 5-12.
A Dual Purpose
True to our mission here at Idlewild, The Organic Studies is also designed to tutor you as the parent in organic and natural learning within the walls of your home. The simple open-and-go style is intended to beautifully guide your child in learning, while simultaneously teaching you how to teach and lead your homeschool. We want to instill confidence in you as you recognize how simple learning at home can be. Homeschool does not have to be complicated to be meaningful and provide depth.
One hundred percent of Idlewild parents polled reported that their confidence in being able to homeschool grew after using our products! You are capable of beautifully and confidently leading your homeschool, and we believe learning on the job and as you go is an amazingly effective way to gain the skills you need.
Secular and Spiritual Options
The Organic Studies can provide a secular OR Christian homeschool experience for your family. Used alone, The Organic Studies is completely secular. For Christian homeschool families, we have created a nature-based Bible study add-on that works seamlessly with The Organic Studies to provide the spiritual instruction many are seeking. If you'd like to learn more about The Word Studies Biblical add-on, click here.
If you have questions about the secular nature of The Organic Studies, head over to our FAQ page to learn more.
The Organic Studies is a secular, literature and nature-based unit study curriculum for children ages 5-12 that seeks to create a well-rounded learning environment by connecting nature, science, movement, art, and reading. This 34-week course includes four easy to follow lessons per week plus creative movement prompts and field trip suggestions for the fifth day of each week.
Subjects of study:
Science (including Botany, Zoology, Oceanography, Geology, and Astronomy - see topic list below!)
Letter Work (for younger children)
Naturalist History/Field Specific Historical Highlights
*Children learn through play! Our course includes play suggestions, as well as sensory play activities.
What is included in your digital download:
Weekly supply lists
34 weeks of lessons
Daily lesson plans for each week (Monday - Thursday)
Creative movement prompts and field trip suggestions (Friday of each week)
Topics covered in The Organic Studies:
Birds (eggs, nests, feathers, beak adaptations, songbirds, etc.)
Butterflies and moths
The Earth (what creates day/night, seasons, axis, tilt, layers, etc.)
Flowers, including anatomy and pollination
Tectonic plates and mountain formation
Rock formation/the rock cycle
Habitats of the Earth
Insects and spiders
Plant and animal kingdom classification
Minerals and gemstones
The moon (phases, what it’s like on the surface of the moon, etc.)
Stars and constellations
Nocturnal vs. diurnal animals
Ocean (waves, salinity, currents, and zones)