Thursday, August 20, 2015

Horizons Preschool from Alpha Omega Publications #REVIEW

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My little guy will turn five in November which means he misses our states cut off for Kindergarten. I guess I could have pushed him ahead into Kindergarten since we homeschool, but I like to take a more laid back approach especially with his motor skills still developing and the big change of a new baby coming in a couple of months.  That is why I was so excited to review Alpha Omega Publications Preschool program.  We had done their Preschool for Three's last with great success and I love the idea of using the next step up!

What We received:

Horizons Preschool Curriculum Set

Included in this set:

Horizon Curriculum Student Workbook 1
Horizon Curriculum Student Workbook 2
Horizon Preschool Resource Packet
Horizons Preschool Teacher's Guide 1
Horizons Preschool Teacher's Guide 2

I made an additional purchase for this curriculum - and added several items from their Preschool Multimedia Set - it is not necessary for the curriculum but I loved the idea of their character DVDs for my little guy! The Teacher's Guide gives you prompts on when to watch what dvd or listen to a certain song. It is a very optional kit but I have enjoyed the pieces we purchased.

How We Used This:

This curriculum was used with my son who is four going on five in November. He did have a basic foundation of preschool before starting but as I noted above his handwriting is lacking. I also knew by looking at this book that it steps up a lot in this level and he would still be learning more from the previous level. 

The first thing I did was look over the set and start planning.  I decided to take the Preschool Resource Pack and put it in a binder with plastic sleeves.  Some of the pages I grouped together to save on the cost of plastic sheets so I was able to get away with one large pack of those.  These are things you will use over and over so finding a way to store them for the future is important. The come in a box - so you do kind of have to either keep them in the box, a container or like I did with a binder system.  Included were sheets you could copy as well as cards you could hang in the classroom (ABC/Number). (So if your considering this curriculum - don't go buying any classroom decor until you see what comes with this packet!

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The next step in my planning was to get the teacher's guide and really pour through it. I decided to highlight what I wanted to cover each day so that I would make sure we hit the topics/work that I felt were the most important to my little guy.  He didn't need to really go over shapes (we just talked about them as they showed up). So if he had a sheet of triangles I just asked the shape rather than taking extended time to teach triangles. 

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This prep took me maybe 5 minutes a week to prepare for the next week.  Add in another few minutes to get anything printed from the Resource packet and pull worksheets and it was maybe 10-15 minutes of prep for the whole week's worth of work.

My Thoughts:

I like this curriculum.  First off there are many hands-on activities that my little guy just loves! Almost every supply needed we had on hand for any crafting/project - which was nice!  We've cut, pasted and painted during this review time. The worksheets are short and to the point.  The Teacher's Guide is very informative and easy to use. It is written for a classroom setting but very easily adapted to homeschoolers - which is what I did.  Each day we had Bible, songs and other activities to complete. It didn't take very long to do this. The only thing you really need to add (per Horizon) is some good books.  That is never a problem in this house as we have shelves full!  An alternative would be to visit the library.

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Cutting and pasting
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Making 'Daddy' puppets - the week we learned about Dads!
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Tracing Triangles
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We made a letter 'A' with painter's tape on the floor
All in all I was pleased with this curriculum.  I do think my child is ready for some additional worksheets each day but that wasn't hard for me to come up with. The only thing that bogged me down a bit was all the songs.  Each day we sang something. Sometimes reviewing songs previous songs we sang three or four a day. It is just me and my little guy so it was well it was a lot of singing. So I just choose the ones I knew we would like that best to do each week and left it at that. (I think that was my only complaint and it isn't really a big one since you can just choose not to sing all those songs and my child actually liked the ones I picked and sings them around the house!)

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