At first glance, Kindergarten Complete brings back some great memories with a similar curriculum I used with our oldest children. I am intrigued with what I see and can't wait to work through some of the lessons with my four year old and then explore the rest on my own.
“This all-inclusive curriculum is designed to meet the needs and challenge the abilities of that active four-six year old we call a kindergartner. To the child who has spent the first years of his life exploring the world and finding all kinds of new and exciting things within it, learning is fun! Kindergarten should continue to be a fun and active year of learning. The purpose in writing this book is to help parents have an enjoyable year in effectively teaching their children.”
Author, former teacher, and homeschool Mom, Debra Arbuthnot has created just that in Kindergarten Complete! (You'll want to check out the extensive Subject Area Content and Skills List .)
Kindergarten Complete: An All-Inclusive Curriculum
Each prescheduled unit is based on a five-day school week. There are four days of planned activities and one open day for activities that you choose. This gives you a total of 180 days over 36 weeks. Each days 'work' is fun, light-hearted and to the point. No busy work! And no taking the fun out of learning!
Semester 1 covers: family, fall and winter, farm and zoo animals, shapes, fire safety, colors, health, transportation, manners and Martin Luther King.
The detailed and easy to follow lesson plans incorporate various activities that appeal to visual, auditory and kinestetic learners with low cost items found around the house. Plus all the color printables are included!
Example of math from Lesson 12:
Kindergarten Complete begins simple enough: recognized #1-3, count 3 objects, names of people start with a capital letter, learn your home address, days of the week, and families. It's a good preschool review!
One thing my 4 year old and I both enjoy is starting the school day with song! There's daily exercises utilizing the calendar, songs for learning the days of the week, months of the year, home address AND pledges to the flag, to the christian flag and to the bible.
After doing a few of the lessons with my four year old, I make these observations:
* Math is very tactile and not just left to worksheets.
* Literature is sprinkled liberally throughout the curriculum with a listing of books that can be borrowed from the library.
* Items for each lesson should be located before beginning the lesson. Fortunately these items are commonly found in most homes!
Though it appears Kindergarten Complete assumes basic knowledge of letter names, it does cover letter sounds. Starting in lesson 2, the sound for "m" is introduced. By lesson 61, the student is working on combinations: "ma", "na", "sa" as well as the sight word "not".
Moving ahead through the lessons, skills such as cutting/pasting, counting money, ordinal numbers, kicking a ball, telling a story from a pictures and much more are covered. Every unit includes bible memorization and character traits.
AND THAT'S JUST THE FIRST SEMESTER!
I can confidently say that while there are similarities with other unit studies for Kindergartners that we've used (Christian, hands-on and fun), Kindergarten Complete is definitely more academic. It is possible to slow down or speed up with some of the skills - although not possible to move the order of the units due to the skills that are directly tied to it. And these skills build on each other.
All and all I feel this is a well rounded curriculum that my son has enjoyed. Due to my son's readiness level, I was on the fence whether we should continue using Kindergarten Complete at a slower place or save it for the next year. My son made the decision for me when he asked repeatedly to "do things from the Panda book". I love his enthusiasm!
On a side note, regarding "holidays", Jesus AND Santa are present in the Christmas unit. However, there's no mention of Halloween in the Fall unit.