Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ideal Curriculum, a TOS Crew Review

Ideal Curriculum offers a researched based pre-school curriculum for little ones or for older children who may need some experience and practice in pre-school foundations.

I don't have a pre-schooler (by age). I chose to send my children to a tuition based pre-school when they were little. (I'm one of the accidental homeschoolers.) My children loved pre-school. They got to do things there I could not do with them at home (like paint) while managing the chaos that happens with autism, trying to get through each day with very little sleep the first five years of that child's life. My daughter with an autism diagnosis attended an early intervention program as well. While we did a lot of work on pre-school skills at home during play, I never considered purchasing a pre-school curriculum and skipping a tuition based pre-school, probably because autism ruled our moments during that time in our lives and I didn't know a for-purchase pre-school curriculum for a home education setting exists.

It does exist at Ideal Curriculum. Click here to see the company product page. The nine monthly units, priced at $55 each, are meant to be purchased and used in order, contain everything you need to grow literacy, calendar skills, science, math, social studies, and oral language.
Crew members were given one unit, the unit on transportation. Other units cover different topics: Color, Weather, All About Me, A Healthy Life, Animals, People in my Community, Traditions in Our Country, and The World Around Us. Purchasers may buy the entire curriculum or parts (literacy or math & calendar or oral language & science) of the curriculum, and may choose between a printed version or a downloadable version. (The downloadable version is cheaper.)

The unit I received is very thorough. The homeschool page has a nice description of what's inside. I'll let you click through rather than duplicate that information here.

For my older elementary aged child who needs more practice in pre-school and kindergarten academic foundations, some of the activities are appropriate and some are not. (Most are not - which is interesting - I got a new snapshot of what we've accomplished with this review opportunity. After all the reviews that spotlighted gaps, this one has been refreshing.) We're in an odd spot, developmentally. The songs that come with Ideal Curriculum are too "babyish". She knows her phonics sounds. Other materials within the curriculum are useful in addressing some of the odd gaps I'm discovering (oral vocab, for one). While there are some parts that we could use at my house, I wouldn't pay $55 a month ($30 for the downloadable version) for nine months for a curriculum that I have to sort through to find applicable pieces.

I can't begin to imagine if I would have used something like this when my children were little had we not had to meet autism. Autism threw a monkey wrench into my plans, and that was a time when we simply existed. There was no time or energy available for a program like this one. And no extra money - our state doesn't require insurance companies to cover autism intervention.

My years with my pre-schoolers is probably atypical. If you have a pre-schooler and are considering programs, click through to the main Crew blog page to read what families with actual pre-schoolers have to say about Ideal Curriculum. To read my Crewmates' reviews of Ideal Curriculum, please click HERE.

As part of The Old Schoolhouse Crew of reviewers, I was given a complimentary month of Ideal Curriculum's research based preschool program . I am not compensated for this review and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

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