Ideal Curriculum has a mission to help every child be successful at learning. Building on education-research, they have created a play-based preschool curriculum to help build a foundation that will help children learn and succeed.
We were given the first month of their Level One curriculum in e-book format to review. The Level One curriculum has 9 units, each designed to last a month. Each unit has its own theme and contains a teacher's guide for math, science, and literacy. The monthly kit also comes with music, printables, and booklets to read aloud. Some of the themes include: transportation, weather, color, animals, health, and traditions.
The literacy and math lessons are divided up not by daily activities, but with activities to be used and repeated throughout the first week, second week, third week, and fourth week. The science manual does have daily lessons, and the literacy manual provides a possible schedule of activities for each week.
The lessons are sprinkled with games, activities, and music to help learning be fun and to help children learn in all the learning modes: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Bookwork is not the focus of this curriculum ... children are allowed to learn kinesthetically, through dramatic play, games, and music. However, the lessons are geared for a classroom with multiple children; using it at home would require some adaptation.
In our home, preschool is a very relaxed time. We allow our young children to explore their world, to learn through playing and living life alongside the family. Preschool is for unstructured learning in our home. We encourage our preschoolers to enjoy books, play with puzzles, draw, create, use play dough, help with chores, and just enjoy being free to play and imagine. Although Ideal Curriculum has sought to involve play in their curriculum, it is not the same as unstructured play and imagination.
We have used some preschool curriculum in our home, but in a very relaxed way. Our main curriculum is literature-based, so it involves lots of time reading aloud to the children. We use it and other materials when the preschooler expresses interest in doing "school stuff", and the rest of the time we just let them live and learn alongside us.
Ideal Curriculum is a well-written and complete curriculum, but it is also costly. It is better suited for a preschool, daycare, or co-op type setting, in my opinion. I realize that some homeschool Moms desire this type of structured daily learning environment for their preschoolers, so they may find the cost to be worth the time it saves them in designing their own materials.
Ideal Curriculum is available in two formats: print format and PDF download. It can also be bought as monthly kits or a year-long curriculum by subject. The monthly kits are sold for $55 each in print version, or $30 each in downloadable e-books. If you buy all 9 months at once, you get one of them free ($440 print, $240 e-book)! The year-long curriculum is sold for $526 in print version only -- a savings of 10% over buying the subjects individually.
Purchasing the monthly kits in e-book format keeps the curriculum completely reusable for your future preschoolers, and is the most affordable option. E-books cannot be resold, so if you only have one preschooler that might not be the best option for you.
If you're looking for a complete preschool curriculum that is play-based ... check out Ideal Curriculum.
This item was provided free for our review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. We received no other compensation, and this review is our honest opinion. Click the TOS Homeschool Crew banner at the top to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.
Trusting In Him,