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Phonics Museum Kindergarten Kit 2nd Ed. Review by Lisa Rupertus

Marlin & Laurie Detweiler, Ned Bustard, Diane Coleman
Veritas Press
1805 Olde Homestead Lane
Lancaster PA 17601

Kindergarten is one of the most challenging years to plan for homeschooling. Choosing a box curriculum is a great place to start because you know you will not miss any important skills along the way. Veritas Press has created a complete language arts curriculum called Phonics Museum which is $169.00 and the companion app for the yearly cost of $99.00. Veritas Press is known for its Classical Christian Education Model which uses a systematic way of teaching children based on a natural path of learning called the trivium. This complete package includes The Alphabet Quest book, ten primers, fifty puzzle pieces, one deck of Kindergarten Game Cards, two decks of playing cards, twenty-nine flashcards, one pop-up museum game board, a set of paper dolls, one deck of fine art cards, one museum bag iron-on decal, paper clip packets, a packet of game pieces, the Kindergarten Teacher manual and Kindergarten workbook. This is what you need to complete the entire course aside from some household items such as scissors, glue, and things like that. The app works with IOS so you would need an electronic device also.  

Ages vary by skill for kindergarteners, but this course would be for children from ages 4-6. The course begins with basic introductions to the letters and their sounds. All the workbook pages are colorfully printed and enjoyable to look at. This course includes lots of hands-on learning which is great for that age level and for kinetic learners.  Throughout the one hundred and fifty-five lessons your child will learn about letters, sounds and by the end be able to read short books. The amount of work varies daily with scheduled activities. One day you might review the alphabet song with flashcards, work on two worksheets and an art activity. The next day might include hearing and writing sounds then playing an alphabet game. This set up helps ensure lots of review without becoming tedious doing the same activities daily. The Teacher’s Manual is a gem. This book lays out all the activities daily with plenty of instruction. Whether you are a seasoned homeschooler or someone just starting this book is well written and user friendly. The supplemental APP is also a wonderful tool. It is a straightforward way to incorporate the songs as they naturally come up as the child progresses. The app is colorful, musical and lots of fun. Seeing the mascot Knight Percival come to life on the screen brings the whole curriculum to life.

We decided to use this with our four-year-old. We had been working on beginning letter recognition. I decided since he is four to keep a slower pace with the lessons for him, so we do about half the lesson one day then typically we review that part and finish the lesson the next day. That is the beauty of homeschooling, you can go at your child’s pace. I believe a five-year-old would be able to complete the day’s task and an older learner might even be ready to go a little faster. It is easy to just complete the next activity and keep the pace in your teacher’s manual.  One of the highlights for us is the alphabet flashcards. These are generously sized and include the letter and a famous work of art. I love having an introduction to the famous works of art! I think these flashcards have helped with associating the picture and the sound. The set-up of lessons is the perfect mix of fun and learning. The games and activities keep things light which means a more joyful school day!

 I was pleasantly surprised at how much my son has picked up in the few weeks we have used this curriculum. The activities are helping him learn to recognize, sound out and write his letters. I cannot wait to see his continued success. The APP has been a wonderful addition to our learning. My son has moved ahead of where we are in our book work, but I think that has helped him tremendously with having that introduction and then review with me. He loves the app and happily asks to work on it. As a parent teaching multiple students, this has helped me as well. I can have him do his app time either at the beginning or at the end of our school time when I need to work with a sibling. I highly recommend adding this to the box curriculum.

I have enjoyed our time with this curriculum. We take our time and do about twenty to thirty minutes a day which has worked well for us. Having a variety of scheduled activities keeps the days fresh and exciting. In a few short weeks, we went from barely recognizing letters to shouting them out. In the next few weeks, we will be introducing beginning reading which I cannot wait to see him flourish.

-Product review by Lisa Rupertus, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2020