Footprints Homeschool Curriculum FAQ

These are answers to Footprints Homeschool Curriculum FAQ – frequently asked questions about our South African homeschool packages.

Footprints Homeschoo Curriculum FAQ

FAQ’s about Footprints On Our Land – South African Homeschool Curriculum


1. Why should I choose a Footprints programme?


“I can’t decide whether to use … [an imported curriculum] …or a Footprints programme next year. I
need more information to help me make my decision…”

After about 6 years of home educating using excellent imported curricula, we, the authors of Footprints, realised that our children were exposed to too many stories about Thanksgiving, baseball, bears and snow at Christmas and that they were lacking in knowledge of their own heritage and environment. Footprints On Our Land was born to fill this need.

Our vision was to put together South African programmes that would make our children proud to be South African, that would make them understand and appreciate the good in our country as well as its problems, and that would give them a desire to play a part in building a bright future for our nation.”

President Paul Kruger once said: “Search in your past for what is good and beautiful. Build your future from there.”
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2. Can Footprints go along with other curricula?

“Am I correct in thinking that it is a supplementary programme to [imported curriculum], i.e. if we’re doing the [imported] course then I can add the Footprints as an extra …or must I leave out something in the [imported] course for Footprints?”

Our programmes have been designed to be slotted in between other top imported home education programmes like Sonlight Curriculum and others.. Where these programmes take a year to study American History and culture, our clients use our packages to study our South African heritage.

Some families use our Footprints On Our Land-South Africa’s Heritage programme (for ages 7-12) as a supplement to go along with other imported unit study programmes. For example instead of studying a unit about the American Pioneers, they use Footprints to study the Voortrekkers!

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3. Are Footprints materials available in Afrikaans?

Little Footprints: Although seventeen of the twenty-seven story books we use in our
Little Footprints
studies have been printed in Afrikaans, the Afrikaans versions are now out of print (except for about 7) so if you want to use them, you will have to locate them at the library or ask the librarian to order them via inter-library loans. The titles that are in print can be bought from your local book shop or online vendors.

Although our manual is only in English, the manual is written to YOU, the parent, giving instructions and ideas of things to tell or discuss with your children from the stories and also activities to do. This you can then implement in Afrikaans.

Read the testimony of an Afrikaans family that used Little Footprints and enjoyed it.

Footprints On Our Land: There are 8 books that have previously been printed in Afrikaans. We can supply these titles on request in place of the English counterparts. Due to variances in the reproduction and copyright costs of these books, the price of your package may vary slightly from that of the standard English package.

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4. Please would you send me your booklist of essential reading materials.

On receipt of a deposit, we will send you our booklist for the programme you need. Some folk are shocked that we will not just hand it out for free, especially since we claim to be Christians. We believe that as the Scripture says in 1 Timothy 5: 18: “The worker is worth his wages.” (See also Matthew 10:10)

To justify all the effort and time away from our husbands and families that sourcing the literature and creating our programmes has cost us, we feel we have to offer our services as a business and not just as a ministry. And we find that we need to guard our Footprints “baby” from those who would seek to exploit us, by using our work without ever paying us for it.

What we do offer free of charge is online support via our websites, free ezines and our Footprints eloop. On the Footprints eloop we often post reviews of new books and resources, websites etc that we have found that fit in with our SA studies. We arrange field trips for our Footprints clients, hold “public” open days and allow home educators to visit us in our homes privately to view our products and ask our advice about home education in general.

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5. What do I need to add to my Footprints package?

What you will need to add to each of our Footprints packages for a child in grade 1 or higher, is an age appropriate Language Arts programme (phonics, reading, spelling, dictation, grammar etc.) and an age appropriate Maths programme. We have given reviews and contact details of a few of these for you to consider under Curriculum Reviews

“I have been told that Little Footprints is not “enough” for Grade 1 level. I personally disagree but would so appreciate your response to that.”

Being unit studies, with each of our programmes, you, the parent, can control to what depth or “how much” of a topic you wish to study and this varies from child to child and family to family.

“My 5 year old knows his alphabet (phonics) and is keen on reading. Will Little Footprints assist me in teaching him to read? “

The story books we use in our lessons are intended to be read aloud by you, the parent.  Little Footprints is not a reading/phonics programme, so you will need to add an age appropriate Language Arts programme (phonics, reading, spelling, dictation) and an age appropriate Maths programme. Refer to Curriculum Reviews. Later on, once your child has learnt to read, s/he will be able to enjoy reading the Little Footprints stories alone!

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6. Is your schedule in Little Footprints appropriate for a Grade 1 or should more time be given to each activity? 

Handwriting will also have to be included somewhere…I’m really looking for a guide and some “security”.

In practice we have found that learning the 3R’s takes up a quite large amount of time in Grade 1. For instance, the time spent on Language Arts may vary from day to day, according to the task at hand, the child’s interest and concentration span. You will need to learn to gauge for yourself how much you can expect from your child and be careful not to fall into the trap of comparing with others.

Home education should be tailor made for your child.

For practicing handwriting, the  Little Footprints guide contains selected sentences from the storybooks for “copywork” which is an activity encouraged by Charlotte Mason.

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7. Why do you not supply all the stories for Little Footprints?

There are 27 books studies plus two poetry books and a reference book required for Little Footprints, but we only supply 24 of these. Some of the story books are out of print, so we all use the library system to obtain copies of them and some books are from overseas suppliers, but since they are readily available in local book stores, we have not gone to the trouble to import them ourselves.

It is up to you if you want to buy all the books we sell or if you want to use the library to obtain the story books instead…or thirdly, you can buy the books a few at a time and stagger your payments. On our order form we also have a list of other quality SA books that will go along well with the LF programme.

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8. Are the books in Little Footprints the same as some of those that will be used in Footprints On Our Land?

No, Little Footprints focuses mainly on contemporary South Africa. It will introduce your children to modern day SA and some of the various cultural groups of our rainbow nation. The stories are also distributed over a variety of different geographical locations – there are rural stories, city stories, a seashore study, a river study, a Karoo story, a desert story, and stories set in various provinces of our country. These stories also include lessons about our local animals and plants, foods, etc.

Footprints On Our Land – South Africa’s Heritage is built around historical fiction spanning the period from 1488-1910.

A number of families have run these two programmes together successfully. On request, we provide a lesson guide for families who intend to do this, indicating which of the Little Footprints stories correspond with the lessons in the Footprints On Our Land programme, so that the older and younger children can study the same topics simultaneously.

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9. How much preparation time do I need and do you include Christian character building in your units?

Our unit studies are literature-based and do not require extensive preparation and research by you the parent, so Footprints is easy to use! On your planning day, you will need about an hour or so to source your materials and set out the lessons for the following week. All the lessons are written for you, you need simply slot them into your week.

In  Little Footprints there are also themes like Obedience, Honouring Parents, Generosity etc, although each study is centred on a storybook.
The updated edition (2005) of  the grade 3 – 7 programme offers Bible study themes as well. Footprints into the 21st Century, has an extensive Christian faith building programme relevant to the lifestyle of young adults.

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10. Does the programme provide suggested activities for further studies for the older age group or is it aimed more at the lower grades?

Each Footprints programme is aimed at children between specific ages. However, if a family chooses to use a programme for multi-level learning including an older child, that child would probably find it interesting to select certain topics that interest him/her and study these in more detail, possibly by finding resources at the library. We do sometimes give suggestions of more advanced activities that an older child could do, as well as providing suggestions for additional titles that you and/or your children can read to enrich your learning experience.

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Curriculum FAQ

11. Would I be able to find appropriate readers linked to the curriculum material?

In the manual there are reviews of a multitude of suitable books that can be obtained through the library system (or inter-library loans system if your local library does not stock all the titles). We also sell a limited range of additional books that will add to our respective programmes, for those who wish to buy further reading material.

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12. For how long can I expect to use the programme?

Each one of our programmes is designed to possibly be completed in one academic year. However, since many families like to use a curriculum as the “backbone” to their studies and then spend time exploring their own interests in more detail, each programme can be used over a more extended period too.

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13. How do I go about ordering?

When you have made up your mind about the specific programme that you want to purchase, use the contact/order form on the relevent page of this site. We will send you our banking details so that you can pay directly into our bank account. Once we have confirmation of payment and your postal address, we will post the package to you and provide you with the tracking number. Assuming we have stock of all the items you need, you should receive your materials within about a week. Items on back order will be posted to you separately at no extra cost, should the case arise.

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 Footprints On Our Land - South African Homeschool Curriculum