Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Review: Ideal Curriculum
For a few weeks I have been looking over Month 1 of the "Ideal Curriculum" package I was sent to review as part of the crew. This is a curriculum geared towards the new homeschooler and one that is perhaps a little fearful of what to teach their Pre-K students. I have seen some things that would work for our family and some that would not. As this curriculum is definitely cheaper if you purchase the download version that is what I would advise. With the download of a product you do not need to print every file or folder or book.
Month 1 of this Curriculum consisted of some Reading, Music, Teacher Guidance and Printing files. The curriculum is sold in a one month at a time package or a full year package. Month one files included the early teaching of the sounds and shapes of words using both the printed out letters, sounds in the 2 different ABC songs heard from MP3's and various fun games that the children play to familiarize themselves with the way words and letters look. It focuses on how the letters are shaped with horizontal, vertical, and curved lines with practice pages in the student manual for those lines.
I found that my Preschooler who only just turned 3 was really only interested in the reading books. He is already recognizing letters and doing sounds/phonics all on his own by listening to his older brother. For a new homeschooler though this method may help you teach your child a methodical way of learning the sounds.
The Teacher Manuals are very thorough about why you are teaching the child the concept of letters and sounds in different ways in order to capture the child's many different learning ways and keeping them active at the same time. Jumping forward one jump at a time when sounding out the letters in the alphabet, or taking a giant step for each letter perhaps.
For Math they use Picture cards and actions to learn the concept of time (fast and slow), about following directions, comparing between two different objects at how fast or slow they move etc.
For Science the Month 1 Curriculum also involved looking at different modes of transportation and comparing them again. the student is encouraged to act out and/or retell the stories that you are reading to them either from the fiction or non fiction books that connect with the subject they are learning. They practice making cars go faster or slower by building ramps. They make collages and other art projects too. There is a book list at the end of the Science Manual on other books that can be borrowed from the library to help reinforce the concept of transportation. The students would definitely have a fun time with all the experimentation on this one I think.
As I mentioned earlier this curriculum can be purchased individually by months or as a whole. the themes of the units are as follows : Transportation, Color, Weather, About Me, A Healthy Life, Animals, People in my community, Traditions in our Country and The World Around Us. That is a broad spectrum of subjects in the Science/Social Studies section. The most positive aspect of this curriculum is that you do not have to print out or do every activity. You may leave out a few if they are too much for your student/s.
There is a one week trial of the Week 1 Month 1 Curriculum available on the site if you sign up for it and you can decide whether this will help you teach your preschooler or not.
A One Year complete Preschool Curriculum costs $526.00. The various curriculum's for Literacy is $270.00 or a Math Program for $60.00. The monthly kits are for Printable $55 per month and $30 for downloadable. The Printable ones will be shipped to you at the correct time of the year depending on when you begin the program. The downloadable product for 9 months is priced at $240.00 if purchased per month (I think that is what it says). More details of all the different packages can be found at http://www.idealcurriculum.com/.
I was given this product to review and my colleagues at the TOS Homeschool blog have posted their reviews too. Click on over there to see who wrote what and compare it with mine I guess too:
I have reviewed this product after receiving a one month curriculum for Ideal Curriculum so that I could blog about it here. I have received no payment for this review.