Monday, May 10, 2010

Ideal Pre-school Curriculum

The mission of Ideal Curriculum is designed to provide a formal pre-school education at home. Complete with assessments, daily lesson plans and all the elements a classroom teacher would need I believe Ideal publishers has worked hard to cover all the bases. I received a free downloadable copy of month 1, Transportation unit of Ideal Curriculum to use with my five year old son, Aidan, in exchange for this review.

I have six children ranging in age from 20 to 5. I have spent many, many years in the presence of pre-schoolers. My oldest two children attended three years of pre-school classes at a wonderful, enriching pre-school near our home. It was a great asset for our family at the time since I was overwhelmed with other responsibilities and unable to create a formal pre-school educational environment in my home.

After those initially busy years of having only little children in our home, I never provide a formal pre-school education for my youngest four children . Their pre-school years were filled with educational toys, being read to on a daily basis and my concentrated effort to faciliate age appropriate activities on a regular basis. Simple and basic to be sure, but not a formal curriculum. My confidence that informal pre-school was enough to meet their needs only took root after my confidence in my parenting skills was built. Ideal curriculum, thorough and comprehensive, will support and build confidence in new homeschool Moms and Dads.

The following components are included in month one of Ideal curriculum:

  • Goals for the month

  • Initial assessments

  • Literacy activities complete with a sample daily/weekly schedule

  • Science/ Social Studies activities

  • Math activities

  • Calendar activities

  • Songs on MP3 files to complete activities

  • Printable resources and scripted teaching helps for activities

I administered all portions of the initial assessment with Aidan. The first assessment took a total of 8 mins. and near the end I found Aidan to be tired and distracted. I did, however, learn the precise holes in his phonics education and letter recognition skills. Since we were in assessment mode we followed with additional evaluations of his knowledge of print and other literacy skills, sight word recognition and phonemic awareness. Total assessment time was close to thirty minutes.

Ideal offers lots of suggestions to the homeschool teacher of how to incorporate the curriculum into your pre-schooler's day. It is designed for formal scheduled school time or to be used subltley throughout the day and play time. Repetition is key when learning new skills and with handy sample schedules included in the curriculum, parents can be assured they are covering all elements several times whether scheduled formally or not.
We chose the non-scheduled approach to Ideal based on my previously stated philosophy of pre-school. The songs included were very easy to incorporate throughout our day. My older children and I even began to sing some of the songs to encourage Aidan to review adding to the fun and playfulness of the curriculum.
"I like the animal freeze dance. I like to make a pose for the freeze part. I like to freeze. That is really fun. I like all the songs. They are really cool", said Aidan.
I found all the worksheets, and supplemental paperwork a bit confusing to organize. Having an instant download is great when shopping plus makes storage a breeze, but be ready to become an organized publisher. It took me nearly an hour of time to print, organize, cut, staple, three-hold punch, etc. for two weeks of the curriculum even before reading through the teacher's notes and directions. This is not a grab and go curriculum. It requires thoughtful planning and organization, but once it is in place it is full of fun, games and wonderful learning opportunities.
Ideal curriculum sells for $55.00 per monthly unit for a print version and $30.00 for the downloadable version at the company website, Currently only month 1 is available as an instant download, but months 2-9 are under development and available as a pre-order. Customers wishing to purchase an entire school year of product and take advantage of a 10% discount by purchasing the package for $526.00.
For more testimonials and information regarding Ideal curriculum check the company website, read the Ideal Curriculum blog at or read reviews from the rest of the Homeschool Crew by visiting Crew blog.

1 comment:

Sandy Fisher said...

wow this is great! I'm in the market for new homeschool curriculum and I think I found it! Thanks!