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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Review: ideal curriculum

Ideal-curriculum-logo
Looking for some organized activities for your Littles with an emphasis on early literacy and a fun theme to tie it all together? ideal curriculum is a 9 month program for preschoolers, packed with music, hands-on activities and big motor movement to keep the wiggles at bay. Each complete month-long unit focuses on a special topic:
  • Transportation
  • Color
  • Weather
  • All About Me
  • A Healthy Life
  • Animals
  • People in My Community
  • Traditions in Our Country
  • The World Around Us
Each unit covers language arts, math, calendar, and science/social studies and is available in print or as a download.
We received the 1st month (Transportation) as a download for review. The curriculum includes teacher’s guides (one each for language arts, math and science/social studies), MP3’s with original music, 3 full-color reading books (the download version can be read off a computer screen), and worksheets.
Language arts begins with letter recognition and learning the alphabet. Math begins with recognizing numbers and rote counting both forwards and backwards. Science/social studies will vary by topic. Transportation includes a gentle science unit on wheels and axles, with lots of hands-on activities for experiencing them first-hand.
The emphasis here is definitely on literacy, with the literacy manual (for one month!) totaling over 50 pages. Each day has at least 4 literacy activities, focusing on:
  • Letters and Sounds
  • Phonological Awareness
  • Concepts about Print
  • Sight Words
The science manual contains at least one activity per day, usually including a read aloud of a book related to the topic (there’s a list given of suggested books you can find at your library). The activities themselves are highly varied, with investigation, narrative, critical thinking and art all coming into play.
In contrast, I found the math and calendar activities to be pretty skimpy. You are given one concept and activity for each for an entire week. Week 3, for example, introduces counting backwards by playing the elevator game, or the rocket ship game. All week. I would have liked to have seen more integration of math into the science activities.
I like ideal curriculum’s neat package, with everything laid out for you, it will save you the trouble of seeking out activities on your own. But, there is still a fair amount of teacher prep to do with reading the manuals and tracking down books and other resources. Perhaps a little too much time to prepare for 1 or 2 preschoolers, especially if you have other children you are educating. I also found that I needed to add some more math and make some connections.
Our preschool philosophy tends to be: Let them learn from their older siblings. And a little gentle direction from Mama. And they do. But, this could be a great resource for a preschool classroom, a daycare, or for the homeschooling parent just embarking on this journey for the first time. It’s a little like being taken by the hand and shown what to do. And how. And why. And that can be both helpful and comforting. A real confidence builder. Perhaps a month would serve as a springboard to get you started planning your own activities.
Monthly units can be purchases separately, or save a little money and purchase 3 or 9 month sets.
  • 1 month print $55 or download $30
  • 3 months print $156 or download $85.50
  • 9 months print $440 or download $240
You can also get the year long curriculum by subject for $560 (print).
Or order by subject.
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received the first month of ideal curriculum’s preschool program as a download for review purposes. I received no compensation. This review reflects my personal experience with this product.
To read more reviews of this product, please visit:
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1 comment:

  1. I love the philosophy of having children learn from their older siblings...I know I definitely learned a lot from mine and hope my kids will do the same

    ReplyDelete

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