Rated 5 out of 5 by LBKeller The best K program out there for our family.
We tried another popular curriculum for our oldest. It lacked a strong phonics background (it was kind of there but didn't click with her#. I've seen others that were a softer academic approach to K but wasn't going to prepare them well enough for 1st. I then came upon BJU Kinder and I am so glad I did. I used it for my second child who is now 3rd and a grade ahead in 3 classes, including reading and math. I attribute this to such a strong kindergarten year with BJU.
The TM has the lessons broken down by day with a summary page for the week preceding every chapter. The weekly pages list what to expect, what materials you'll need and what to prepare ahead of time. Parents, it doesn't get much easier if you keep an eye on those pages every week #or plan a few weeks ahead#. The manual guides you through every activity, step by step, every day. I did not copy every appendix page. I looked ahead and decided what we would and would not do. #I am not going to make a bulletin board with paint can shapes with all the letters of the alphabet - great for a classroom, not for a homeschooler#.
The TM is full of activity ideas, fun snack of the week that matches that week's teaching theme, art project ideas, the works. Some of the activities are designed for a classroom; just skip those activities. I don't recommend trying to do it all every day but it is awesome to have so many ideas for fun and enrichment laid out for me. I think of the extended activities as a buffet. Pick and choose daily. If you try to do them all every day, a tummy ache may ensue. :-) My kids have loved the snacks, activities, and extras. I let the older participate with the younger from time to time. So on the week you study firemen, fire safety, etc there is an optional bucket race. It is silly to have 1 child race themselves so I let the siblings join the fun too.
The workbooks are colorful and engaging. The pages have the same basic set up every time a new letter is introduced. Some complain - too repetetive, boring. I disagree. I found it built confidence in my son because he knew what to do and didn't have to struggle with instructions. Variety is awesome for older kids. Younger kids like repetitiveness.
I didn't get the individual readers #before you inhale). We worked directly from the teacher manual every week. He would cuddle up with me and read the pages and the comprehension / discussion questions were right there. I still value those cuddled up and reading together memories.
I added in 191791 - Beginnings K5 Phonics Stories which is in the TM and gave us daily practice for the word families and sight words we were learning. Given it is referenced in the TM, I wish it was included in the kit.
I also added in the Write Now pages for extra printing and writing practice. I don't find enough practice in the workbooks, especially since I know what comes in BJU 1st.
I've used the BJU K Math with both of my kids with great success. I didn't do the manipulatives because M&Ms, Skittles and Smartees are much more engaging for your average 5 year old.... especially when you let them eat the manipulatives at the end of the lesson. Though I did invest in a set of unifix cubes and a small Judy Clock for sets of ten and time studies because my oldest is more kinestetic and she wasn't my only student.
The program has a visual flip chart. I highly recommend this piece because it helps the student visualize the characters, the town, metamorphosis, etc. Ah, metamorphosis. Yes, the kids will be introduced to the life cycle of a butterfly and tadpole, color theory, community helpers #mailman, fireman, etc), helping others, etc. There is far more than just numbers and reading in there.
BJU has done a beautiful job with this program. It sets the child up for success when starting 1st grade.
Since doing Kinder with my son, I've had a 3rd child. My youngest will be doing BJU Kinder this fall. The older kids can't wait because they remember the fun my middle child had during his kindergarten year. Yes, 3.5 years later and the wonderful memories are still there.
For the record, my oldest is finishing 5th grade, my middle finishing 3rd/4th. They use BJU exclusively now. I've tried so many others out there and always found myself wanting. BJU is laid out, integrated, susinct. We tried other curriculums for 2.5 years only to be tired, frustrated and in tears from all the lesson planning and learning gaps. I don't have any frustrations with BJU. We even invested in DVDs for a few classes this year with success.
I recommended BJU to 2 families this past year, both having used other popular curriculums. They have loved their BJU year and have already ordered BJU again for next year. I showed Kinder to a new homeschool family last night and they were ready to purchase it right then and there.
I used to think BJU was a little expensive. We're all on 1 income. I realized 2 things: by the time I added up all the books and such for the other guys, BJU was equal or less than them. Plus with all the lessons laid out and ready to go, the academic excellence of the program, I don't think twice paying the price because it is a VALUE.
BJU Kinder lays a wonderful foundation for the years to come and provides wonderful memories for the family - assuming you choose to do more than just the workbook pages.
May 15, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by TotheUKmomma In an effort to simplify it becomes complicated
There are some good things about this curriculum. I can't say it's all bad, but it's certainly not all good.
We are doing this as our kindergarten homeschool and there are several things I am not pleased with.
1) the instructions for the teacher are extremely vague and it took me months to figure out where all the provided materials were located and how the lessons are to run smoothly.
2) along with the first issue, this one is with the organization of content and materials. Visual aids, appendixes and additional content enclosed in the kit are highly confusing, still. The word family cards are also a hassle.
3) probably my biggest issue is BJU's phonics program. Having used "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" previously with my 5 year old he had great reading skills and comprehension. BJU uses forced repetitive memorization in word families. The phonics characters are not much of a help and often confuse my child. There are other problems as well including word families introduced erroneously (i.e. the "_ank" family introduced in with the short vowel sounds) and missing phonics cards.
4) the music we have given up on completely as its written too high and very old fashioned
5) KJV, the use of Kings James Version scripture is a drawback for us. There are other versions that would be better for understanding with a kindergartener
All of these combined make this not a great curriculum for the price.
6) I'm not sure I could've gotten this far without a background in education. I have my bachelors in elementary education and it's because of this I was able to understand some of the instructions for the teacher, especially in reading and phonics.
1) there are lots of activities and ideas given to further the lesson, they aren't all great, but you should never be long on time
2) scripting. For a beginning teacher the scripted lessons help until you are confident in the lessons
3) the math. It isn't included in this kit, but it is excellent and although we will be using a different 1st grade curriculum in general I may just reorder BJU math.
(I won't leave a scathing review of this without also writing a great one for K5 math)
I hope this helps someone. You may find you like it, but for the price it's a bit of a gamble for all the inconsistencies.
March 20, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Mom10 Overall wonderful for kindergarten.
This is the second time I've used this book and the second year in a row. The one problem I've had is that if you don't have the teacher's edition you will have to forfeit some of the assignments.
April 6, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Adensmom It's okay.
I like how the workbook goes with the video lessons easily and the back of the worksheet is always left to the child to do by himself to check his understanding. The thing that annoys me the most about this workbook is the perforation of the pages is horrible at around page 80 to around 250. They don't come out at all without ripping. I've ordered two of these books so far and I've had issues with both books. I finally just gave up trying and used an exacto knife to remove the pages for the classes.
February 26, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by hbme I like the product
This product is liked alot by my pre schoolar and it is motivated her to read. It is colourful and is simple for her to get through. I would recommend it to another parent whose child is starting to read.
February 15, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by mama Easy to use and my child likes it too
I have used several ki5 books but really like this one. It has kept my kids attention and he doesn't get bored with it. I like that it is easy to use even for someone who keeps it more simple.
February 14, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Laina I especially like the spiritual tone and the academic excellence.
I have been teaching kindergarten for over 20 years. It is the best text that I have ever used. I will be ordering more in May for 2014. I like the spiritual tone and the academic excellence.
February 11, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by SaraO Wonderful resource!
I cannot think of anything negative to say about this worktext. It is colorful, engaging, challenging, but not intimidating. My son LOVES doing the math sheets. Seriously. We do many (but not all) of the accompanying activities from the teacher text, and it has just been perfect for his kindergarten year. I have already purchased a second one for my youngest to have when he starts kindergarten. Love this curriculum!
February 11, 2013