The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Tess Hamre and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Kindergarten Complete Semester One Review by Heather Aliano

Homeschool Complete
Debra Arbuthnot
1910 24th Avenue Ct SW
Puyallup, WA 98373-1365

Kindergarten Complete, Semester 1, is an all-inclusive homeschool curriculum for 4-6 year old children.  This program is a unit study approach, with week-long units intended to be completed in a 90 day semester. The first semester includes these topics: All About My Family, Fall, Farm Animals, Zoo Animals, Shapes and Patterning, Fire Safety, Bears, Colors, Heath and Nutrition, Thanksgiving, Behavior, Christmas, Transportation, Winter, Martin Luther King Jr., and Sea Life.

Within each of these units, your child will cover language arts (including reading, writing, and communication), mathematics, social studies, science, physical development and fitness, fine arts, character development, and bible.  Included in the program are all the worksheets you’ll need, as well as book and material lists so you can easily gather materials and literature for the week.

Each day, you’ll review calendar skills, do a lesson in math and language arts, one “other” topic (such as science, social studies, or health) and have an “enrichment” activity. Enrichment activities can be as simple as reading a book, making shapes with play dough, building with blocks, or having a special snack. The activities all fold into the central theme of the week.

We’ve really enjoyed using this program in our home. I have found it very easy to adapt to the needs of my children, and even my three year old has been able to tag along with her big brother to complete the lessons. Each day’s activities takes us an hour or two to complete, with the kids often continuing to play with the enrichment activities or creatively exploring the topic on their own after the formal lesson is complete.

This program comes printed on loose leaf paper, in a three ring binder. I appreciated that the paper is heavy weight and glossy, and it has held up well to daily use. The worksheets are full color, and are clearly laid out without clutter. The good thing about it being loose-leaf is that you can easily remove the pages you need for your child, and easily duplicate them for use in your own home. With a kindergartener, it’s always helpful to have extra copies of worksheets in case of mistakes or other accidents!

I appreciated that there have not been very many lessons where I had to prepare more than simply copying the worksheets, and rounding up the book. Kindergarten Complete really is a complete, open and go type program. It’s quite easy for me to read over the lessons for the week during the weekend, and be ready to go with very littler preparation.

One thing I do think could be stronger in this program is the reading instruction. There are a few sight words introduced, and basic letter sounds, but many children will need a more direct approach to reading instruction than is provided in Kindergarten Complete. Overall, the reading instruction is a very small part of the program, and the rest of the language arts instruction is very strong, with tons of literature recommendations, poetry, and listening comprehension questions.

I really like that this program balanced activities across different learning styles, so you can easily tailor the program to your child’s needs. I have an active child, who loves hands-on work, so we tend to choose to do the more tactile activities and sometimes skip over activities better suited for visual or auditory learners. There is something for all different kinds of learners, and you can do all, or just some of the activities; whatever works best for your family that day.

Overall, this is a wonderful program, with varied activities from week to week. The units are cohesive and interesting, and appeal to a kindergartener’s interests. All subjects are well integrated, with biblical principles throughout. The program is easy for the teacher to prepare and follow, and truly contains everything you need for a complete kindergarten program.

Product Review by Heather Aliano, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2015