Homeschool Elementary with Oak Meadow Curriculum - 2e Style

Our favorite homeschool elementary curriculum for gifted/2e.  It focuses on the heart, head, and hands with an innovative hands-on educational approach. 
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When my daughter was a young one, she was all about exploring... Making things, asking lots of questions, wondering "why's" and eager to learn new things.

Sometimes she would take her World Book encyclopedia to bed with her for hours and read about penguins, the life cycle of frogs or rats, her first essay topic ever, lol.

So when we were looking for a homeschool elementary curriculum, I wanted something that would nurture her explorative spirit. We found that in Oak Meadow, a project-based, creative hands-on homeschool curriculum for preK - 12.

Elementary Oak Meadow Homeschool curriculum is a project based, hands-on program that was ideal for my active child.  It includes early academics with a focus on art and handwork, too.

Have you heard of them? We started using it in 5th grade, then continued with it through high school for some subjects.

Oak Meadow Homeschool Curriculum Philosophy

Oak Meadow (OM) strives to meet the child where she is: head, hands, and heart.  

It still follows rigorous academic standards and is also developmentally based.

I loved its gentle, yet complete approach to academics as well as it's efforts to make it interesting to the fifth grader's experience.

Oak Meadow is very adaptable, and all the planning is done for you. You can make it as structured as you want or as relaxed as you desire.  We did both.

No need to do the research to find the science experiment, project or book that your student needs.

It is all put together for you in weekly suggested lesson plans.  That saved me a lot of time with preparations. Yet we could adapt them or change them up as much as we wanted to.

Oak Meadow Publications was originally developed by Lawrence Williams, EdD, who had an extensive educational background, including training as a Waldorf teacher.

It is like Waldorf in it's gentle approach and  focus on hands-on, creative learning.

However, it is NOT strictly Waldorf at all, and has NO connection to Steiner theosophy.  It is secular in it's approach.

Oak Meadow has been revised many times over the years, to stay current and is aligned to state standards. 

It incorporates art and hand arts, like knitting, weaving, etc into it's lessons with it's project-based learning approach, along with projects for English history, geography and science.

Oak Meadow offers curricula for preK through high school.  I picked 5th grade today, to give you an idea of what they do for elementary.

Oak Meadow 5

Oak Meadow 5 includes social studies, English, science and math.  This program can be purchased all together as a package, or bought separately.  The English and social studies was integrated into one course for 5th grade, all in one book.

OM comes with easy-to-follow instructions with hands-on learning throughout each subject.

What is included in Oak Meadow Fifth Grade?
  1. US History/English 5 syllabus  - with 9 literature books to go along with both
  2. Science 5 - with an Environmental Science focus
  3. Math 5 - which is quite similar to Saxon Math.
  4. Oak Meadow Teacher's Manual for reference
  5. Optional art and crafts supply kit or list of what to get

How We Used OM 5 in our Homeschool

The 5th grade history lessons covered U S History.  My daughter loved these lessons, full of information written to the child, including things that she cared how the children might have lived at that time in history, etc.  

I especially liked how the history lessons were combined with English, including related literature that coordinated with the history lessons.

This program was flexible and easy to use.  Planning was easy, as all the projects were laid out and well explained.  My daughter just chose the project that she wanted to do.  

So it really cut down on my planning time.  

Crafts and Executive Functioning

This curriculum is not a Waldorf curriculum per se, but it has is routed in solid child development and uses crafts and hand arts during the elementary years, as Waldorf schools do.  

The hands arts are used every year in Oak Meadow, just like they are in Waldorf schools.

Hand Arts - Many children learn so much from doing hand arts, eg, knitting, sewing, weaving, etc.  It can help to develop not only fine motor skills but also attention span, attention to detail, etc.

This curriculum does a good job of building up writing skills.  We continued using Oak Meadow for social studies and English from then on, all the way through high school.  

Click here to read more about Oak Meadow 5 in my detailed review.  We did not use Oak Meadow in the early years, but they do offer a nice 1st grade curriculum, which is discussed below.

Oak Meadow 1

Oak Meadow Homeschool Curriculum begins in the early years, with even a preschool curriculum. 

I love how OM 1 is hands-on yet still presented all the early academics, but in a fun and approachable way.  And it was not hard to teach.

Each week was laid out in easy to follow and adaptable lesson plans.  

I was delighted when I found Oak Meadow – First Grade – full of hands on activities, beautiful art, and lots of resources for her early learning. 

I love how it is so rich in art....and crafts, too.This approach gives a child a nice, gentle introduction to elementary academics.  

But the early science in OM was so lovely and full of innovative projects to do. The Oak Meadow First Grade curriculum consists of the teacher's manual, easy to follow lesson plans and the core curriculum, hands-on, all rolled into one!  

Above are some of the books that were included in their lessons.  (They could be from the library, instead of purchasing from Oak Meadow.)

Early Math....made use of little gnomes to introduce addition, subtraction, etc, as a way to make it more hands-on for young kids.


I also have a review of Oak Meadow 1  here.

Oak Meadow 1 Review (Covers have been updated)

Oak Meadow K 

Many would consider Oak Meadow K Homeschool Curriculum as more aligned to preschool learning, but it is very creative and unusual in it's approach to learning the alphabet and early math, so I think it is worth looking at. It may be a good fit for some preschoolers.

Note - Oak Meadow also offers used curriculum under Oak Meadow Seconds for 

The Oak Meadow Families Facebook Group also includes used curricula sales plus connections with other OM families.

Or send me a message at BJ's Homeschool.  I love talking about Oak Meadow.  

We continued to use it in middle and high school for English and Social Studies. It is a college prep homeschool curriculum in the high school years.

I was recently asked to write for the top special education site on this topic.  I invite you to click 8 Tips for Homeschooling a Twice Exceptional Student for more ideas and encouragement.

What would you add to this list?   I love reading your comments.

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is retired O.T, homeschool blogger, and most importantly is mom to her 2e college grad, whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh schoolcollege and 2e 

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