First, I want to say thanks for following my blog Hot Mess Goes to Oz, Taylor Poulsom, and psitsperi! (Note: If I missed you, I will get you with the next post. Sorry this one took so long but I have had a lot going on in my personal life making it very hard for me to post)
So, if anyone one reading this has read my first post you new that when I first decided to homeschool, I was unemployed, newly divorced, and had spent a whole year away from at the time my only child. I also had not moved in with my boyfriend yet and was supporting myself. SO as many of you could have guessed finding low cost but effective homeschool curriculums was a must. (I do want to add I know a lot of people are for what seems to be called unschooling but that does not work for our family 100%. If I understand unschooling, I think we do it to an extent, but we also do some traditional stuff as well but if anyone is interested, I can go into detail on this in the next post just let me know in the comments. If not, I’ll save it for later). According to my neighbor who had been homeschool for a few years this was very possible for any age and grade it was just a matter of finding out what worked for my child. With this encouragement on to the internet I went to see what I could find.
After about a week of YouTube video and other homeschooling blogs a lot of people where talking about the language arts program The Good and The Beautiful. So that what we went with so far, we have completed the pre K primer and are currently working on the kindergarten program. So that what I will be talking about today. For those who do not want to sit and read a long post (because this one is going to be a long one compared to my past few post) I will sum up the pro and con of the program for us.
(Note: I do not know the lady who made this program I am also not being payed by anyone to write this review)
- Little to no cost if you print it yourself
- Very positive program
- It is scripted
- Give you almost everything you need for the class any added items are things we had around the house or could substitute
- If your child does not respond to flash cards this will not work for you
- You must be organized to keep track of everything
- There is a lot of controversy it seems about the creator of the program
So now for the people who want more detail on why I think these are the pros and cons of the program
Little to no cost if you print it yourself
For me one of the best parts is the cost of this program. The pre-k threw level 7 course is anywhere from $15.00 to free depending on the level you need (Note: this program uses levels not grades and it has a nifty little test to help you determine what level you should get for your child) and you print it yourself. For people who do not want to print it themselves they do offer a hard copy that can be shipped to you and it seem to be anywhere from $50.00 to $80.00 dollars. I am not sure how budget friendly that is compared to other programs but for me I have no problems with the free print it out put it together myself.
It is a very positive program
The program its self is very positive. Like in one lesion you ask your child to read some words and teaches your child to appreciate things that I would have never thought to be thankful for let alone teach my child to be thankful for. For example, the bathtub. To me this isn’t something I thought to be thankful for even after working in a 3rd world county for a year where I could only take a 5-minute shower. I liked it though because it made my daughter think and hopefully appreciate the things, she has a little more. So many kids now a days seems to have little respect for anything really, so its nice to see a program that has those kinds of lesions in it.
It is scripted!
For me this is a super big plus because when I have all 3 kids at my house, I normally do not have any time to lesion prep. With this I just read the lesion once before my daughter and I go over it and we are good. The scripted parts are super simple to understand as well.
Give you almost everything you need for the class any added items are things we had around the house or could substitute
So far almost all the extra things the lesions have called for we have had. If we didn’t have them it was easy to substitute the items for something else. Like one of the pre-K Primer lessons said we needed cloths pins. I don’t have clothes pins, so we were able to use a penny instead. We also had a lesson that called for buttons. Even though I like to sew I do not have buttons, but I have a big pickle jar fully of pennies, so we just used that instead. Other then that everything else comes with the program. All the books, work sheets, and flash cards are included with the download. You just print and put it together. (unless you ordered the physical course set then all that is done for you)
Ok so now for the things I think are negative about the program.
Lessons can be time consuming and sometimes a bit too challenging for a child
It is hard to do the lesions for this program if you are an on the go family. You have to take the time to sit down go over it with your child and make sure they understand it. (at least until you get to level 4 from my understanding then for the most part is it a self-taught) I want to say for the kindergarten level we can spend an hour to 2 hours on course content because there is so much. It has spelling words, books that have to be read, sight words that have to be studied, phonics flash cards, and then a paper lesion that has to be done. On days that I have a lot of running around to do it is almost impossible for me to get threw it and the other subjects that I teach my child, (Which isn’t a lot the only other thing we do daily is math and hand writing. History and science are only 2 times a week) as well as get house work done, pick kids up, drop kids off, and get anyplace I need to be at. On top of that in some of the paper work portion of the lessons they give you a challenge problem like how many words can you make out of these random letters. Which I wouldn’t have a problem with if they did an intro to it first but in most cases, there are no lesions to prepare the child for the challenge activity and its sink or swim.
If your child does not respond to flash cards this will not work for you
I for whatever reason got very luck and my daughter does very well with flash cards, and repetitive work but if your child is not much for sitting down and doing this kind of thing you prob won’t have a lot of luck with this program. Even I as an adult hate sitting down and having my child do flashcards and things like that but, like I said I got luck my child is very good with flash cards for some odd reason so I can for the most part trust her to sit at the table and go threw them herself and read them to me while I do dishes or something. On the other hand lets say I was trying to do this program with my step son who is 6, very smart, but cant even sit still long enough to do a single math paper without throwing a fit unless he has the right incentives,(and even then he still sometimes thinks if he throws a big enough tantrum he will still get the prize) I just do not see it working.
You have to be organized to keep track of everything
The pre-k primer wasn’t that bad. It was just do the work sheet and they where fun worksheets. Then we get to the level K program. At this level we have many books, a big book, our lesions, flash cards, and if you’re like me a 2nd set of flash cards for sight words which you must make yourself. It tells you how to organizes some of the things in the program but not all of them. Like the books. So, you get these nice tinny books for your child to read and the program tells you what book to read when and how many times. Well if I understand it right the book should be read 3 times before the chapter is over. There is a check box to check off each time the books been read. That did not work for us. It took me several chapters to fig out a good way that worked for us and by the time I found a good way to keep track of it we where already several books behind. I am also pretty sure we read some books more then 3 times, oh and I think a book or 2 may have gotten lost and needed re printed. Once we found a good organization system that worked for us getting everything done was no problem, but it took me a bit to figure it out and if I wasn’t organized (ok Simi organized is more like it) then we would not have been able to do it.
There is a lot of controversy it seems about the creator of the program
So, the really big things I see that seems to be turning a lot of people off from the program the women who created the program. It would seem the is Mormon. I am not 100% sure why that is a problem, but I also know nothing about the Mormon religion other then they like to knock on my door to tell me about their religion when I worked night shift. From what I have seen of the program it teaches about God from a none denominational stand point. Now this is just the lower levels of course, the higher level may get into more religious teachings. I will admit that I have watched the video that started all the controversy and I am not really sure what the women in the video is trying to get across to her viewers because the video is very unorganized, but I have read blogs and seen other video that do bring up some veiled points to it being a an issue that the creator of the program is Mormon. Like if you do not want to help fund the Mormon church there is a possibility that the creator if she donates money it would be to a Mormon church. I have also seen people talk about all the authors of the suggested books to read are all Mormon authors. As well, as the artist that the program has chosen to talk about are all Mormon artist. Now I have not investigated this personally so you may want to do your own research on this last bit of information.
Over all though this is my thoughts on the program and what seems to work for my child. I do feel it is worth looking into though if you are on a very low budget and need a language arts program. I will provide the link bellow.
So again, thank you for reading, hopefully it will not take me as long to update next time. I also do not have a plan for next post so if there is anything anyone would like to know more about please feel free to leave me a comment. fffff