At first glance, The Carpenters Kids (TCK) is overwhelming! It is a four-inch thick notebook with 845 pages. What, I thought, could be filling all those pages? To start, TCK is jam-packed with teaching suggestions for preschoolers. You can use this program for 1-4 years. While not marketed for kindergarten, I think it would make an excellent kindergarten curriculum. Robyn Hudson wrote TCK for use in a private preschool, but it works very well in a homeschool setting. Whether you teach 1 or 10 preschoolers, this program will work for you!
My top 5 reasons for using TCK are:
TCK is divided into 10 chapters roughly corresponding to a traditional school year. With the exception of Chapter 1, each chapter contains material for 4 school weeks. TCK also includes a curriculum format, learning objectives, helpful hints for teachers, and a detailed calendar for 41 weekly lessons, review material, and bibliography. WOW, that is a lot!
Each chapter begins with a calendar listing the study material. Each week focuses on a theme, a letter, an animal, and a Bible character. Every month has a pair of numbers and a shape to learn.
My 4-year-old son and I embarked with gusto on week 1's theme of "My Name". We tried to do every activity, song, and suggestion. By Friday, I was exhausted and Daniel was stressed. I contacted the author, and she reminded me that TCK has a lot of material and not all of it should be covered in one week. After all, it is a multi-year preschool program. Week 2 went much smoother. During week two we focused on apples, the letter A in print and sign language, Adam, and the color red. Daniel did not notice he was learning during week two, but he knew he was having fun - a great turnaround from week one!
TKC is an expensive curriculum. Most home educators do not spend a lot of money on preschool education, but if you factor the cost over 3 years, TCK is more affordable. If you have several children, it is more affordable still. Use it for kindergarten and several children and you will find its lifetime cost minimal. I highly recommend The Carpenter's Kids.