A Gentle Feast is a flexible, Charlotte-Mason based curriculum that encourages you to work as a family as much as possible. This is a biblical program that uses lots of living books. However, it is not a detailed curriculum with specific assignments for all subjects.
The suggested outline of the curriculum is free online. You will almost certainly want to purchase the individual student packets. These are available on four levels for Forms I through IV. Packets are available in either cursive or print versions for all levels. Form I covers up through third grade. Form II is best for grades four through six. Form III is for grades seven and eight, and Form IV will suit grades nine and ten.
Student packets have lists of suggested read-alouds, picture study information and links, suggested composers to study, Scripture memory verses, hymn studies, poetry for memorization, copywork passages (from the read-aloud books for the entire family), and natural history reading assignments, plus space for dictation, free writing, and drawing. Some levels add geography assignments.
Student Packets have schedules showing what is to be accomplished in each area each week, but daily assignments are left to you. The student packets are the most detailed aspect of the curriculum. These come as downloadable PDF files, and you’ll want them stored on your tablet, phone, or computer so that you can quickly access the websites that are frequently used for source material.
It’s difficult to tell how this might work for consecutive years if a child remains in the same Form since these packets are all designed for one school year. I expect others will be forthcoming.
The website shows a suggested flow of activities for each week under five headings. “Morning Time” should happen each day. This consists of Bible reading, Scripture memory, and prayer time. The “Beauty Loop” has you choose one aspect for each day from hymn studies, poetry memorization, picture study, or fables and hero tales. The “Academic Block” will encompass work on as many days as needed in natural history, geography, history, foreign language, grammar, and science(with the last two subjects added for fourth grade and above). The “Language Arts Block” will vary based upon the student’s age, but it might include daily read-aloud books; copywork, dictation, or free writing; phonics; etc. The fifth heading, “Independent Studies” is a daily time dedicated to grade level appropriate math and reading. To this basic schedule you can add nature study, free reading, other subjects, and activities wherever they fit best.
Some subjects such as those within the Beauty Loop should actually loop. This means starting with the first one on the list and working through them sequentially. If you miss a day or run short on time, you just pick up from wherever you are in the loop.
After presenting the overview chart, the site provides a few more specific suggestions for each of the five areas, but generally, you are on your own to determine what to teach within each area other than those areas I’ve described for the student packets. Ross has a link to an outline of her complete curriculum for 2016-2017 showing the primary resources she is using for all subject areas. This helps flesh out how A Gentle Feast works alongside your choice of other resources.
If you have younger children, you might want to check out Ross’ list of suggested student readers for the primary grades.
While A Gentle Feast is not a complete program, it does a fine job of helping you develop a manageable flow to your curriculum while ensuring that your schedule includes time for learning the Bible, learning to appreciate and love good literature, and developing an appreciation for beauty through the arts and nature.