Rainbow Price: $269.95
Lots of children's books to read together? Check. Fun themes for every week? Check. Designed specifically for homeschoolers? Check. Bible-based? Check. Easy to use? Check. All-inclusive? Check, again. Obviously, this program has it all! I took one look at this program and fell in love. I currently have five children, two not yet in Kindergarten, so I'm in the thick of homeschooling these early learning years myself! I opened the Kindergarten Semester 1 Teacher's Binder and was immediately impressed with its usability and attractiveness, for both teacher and student.
This program is based on a 36 week school year, with planned activities for four days each week and one open day for either catch up or activities of your choice. Subjects include Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Physical Development and Fitness, Fine Arts, and Character Development/Bible, and the scope and sequence appears to be traditional in terms of pacing. The program is heavily literature-based, which I love, and my kids love! You can choose to either check the books out of the library or purchase some or all of the titles. The Teacher's Binders include all lesson plans and a single copy of all student pages 3-hole punched for easy removability. Additional student workbooks (200+ pages per semester) can be purchased either in a binder or as refill pages.
When you first open the Teacher's Binder, you will find an overview chart that shows the months and the themes for each week. Notes are given for teaching procedures, skills that will be acquired, organization and planning, using the daily lesson plans, daily routines, pledges and songs, etc. Then you get to the weekly lessons. Each week starts with a page showing the theme, the required literature, additional literature, and a Bible verse that pertains to the theme. Turning the page gives you the lesson plans by day, starting with skills to be learned in the lesson, a list of required materials, and then delving into step-by-step direction for each subject covered that day. The plans are very clean and almost scripted, so it's easy for anyone to just pick up and do once required materials have been gathered.
Worksheets used for the lesson follow the teaching plans. The worksheets are clean, attractive, and inviting. Most lessons have one worksheet, some have a couple. You can start days off with prayers or pledges, and then go into calendar activities which include knowing what day it is today, yesterday, and tomorrow, marking off days on the calendar, counting up to today's date, singing songs to learn days of the week or months of the year, the weather outside, using patterns, etc. Next are subject-specific assignments for each day, laid out with bullet points. Math activities usually include a mix of hands-on activities and a simple workbook page. You read a book with your child every day, and the Teacher's Manual includes questions for discussion. Each day includes other activities that utilize drawing, writing, arts & crafts, memorizing, physical fun, singing songs, nature walks and much more.
In the back of each binder, you'll find an appendix containing flashcard templates, rhymes and songs, recipes, materials used (shown with general weekly materials, and broken down for each week - more convenient than looking at each day!), a literature list, and more.
Bundles include the Semesters Teacher’s Binder, a 12-month blank calendar, several sets of flashcards, games, and several other manipulative resources. You can purchase the Full Year Bundle which includes the teacher’s manuals for both semesters and the other resources listed above, or purchase a Semester Bundle which includes one teacher’s manual and resources listed above used for that semester. Teacher’s Manuals include all the plans and one set of student pages.
All in all, this solid program gets a thumbs-up from me! It is so user-friendly, covers a full range of great concepts and skills, ensures lots of quality and fun school-time with your young children, and introduces you to many engaging children's books. ~ Megan