Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
If you are looking for a Christian Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum, I suggest checking out BJU Press Focus on Fives kit from BJU Press Homeschool. We had the opportunity to try out the BJU Press Focus on Fives and here is our review.
What is BJU Press Focus on Fives
BJU Press Focus on Five is a full Kindergarten curriculum for your five-year-old. It covers Reading, Science, Bible, and writing/composition. When I say full curriculum I do mean FULL. It includes everything you need for your kindergartner. The program includes 180 lessons. There are several teachers manuals. Several workbooks. Several flashcard sets. Several visual aids. Several Series of reading books.
The two-color workbooks in the picture above are used during the lesson. The black and white workbook is for extra practice. The worksheets in the workbooks can be torn out or kept in the workbook.
The kit includes Alphabet cards to put on the wall, Phonics review flashcards and cards with High-frequency words. I really like the visual flip chart in the picture below. It has a spiral metal binding and a hard cardboard back. It can stand up on its own. It would have been nice if they had the phonics review cards also included in the flip chart instead of separate cards but that’s just my opinion.
The BJU Press Focus on Five also includes little paper reading books for the lessons. The books include the sight word being learned in the lesson and other words they are learning. One of the workbooks also has little paper books the student makes to go along with the lessons.
There are six detailed teacher manuals that include all the lesson plans. The teacher manuals are very sturdy hardback spiral-bound books. The lesson plans in the teacher manuals are laid out in a lot of detail. There is a list of all the visuals and materials needed. The lesson plans also have all the instructions needed for the lesson. I would recommend reading over the lesson plan before the lesson so you have an overall idea of what is covered in the lesson.
I was impressed by how advanced reading concepts are taught in this Kindergarten curriculum. When I was in Kindergarten we only started to read basic books at the very end.
Here is a broad outline of the reading lessons being taught throughout the curriculum.
- Lessons 1 – 80: Letter sounds and simple short vowel words
- Lesson 81: Constant blends are introduced.
- Lesson 111: Long vowels like silent e
- Lesson 121: Vowels working together
- Lesson 136: Bossy r words are introduced
There are many practice worksheets to go with each phonics lessons.
While there are 180 lessons the last 20 lessons are actually for special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas. These are in the 6th teacher manual so it might not be apparent that these lessons are available.
What did we think of it
I initially thought my son who is almost 5 would try the curriculum since he is always wanting to do school. While most of the activities were his level, he is not very good at holding a pencil. Since there are a lot of worksheets it is difficult for him to do the writing activities. So I had my next older son try the curriculum.
My next son liked the program but the beginning lessons were too easy for him which makes it hard to jump in someplace in the middle. I really liked the phonics lessons and how they were laid out. He did not know some of the High-frequency words in the reading books since he did not start at the beginning. I really liked the extra activities and crafts at the end of each lesson. I also liked all the visuals and using the characters Mr and Mrs short and Uncle short and Miss Long to help with the phonics concepts. Some of the activities I didn’t really think were necessary for homeschoolers like the classroom routine and the reading centers since I do not have a classroom full of kids.
Overall the curriculum is very comprehensive and detailed. For people who are by the book and like things to be very structured it will work well but maybe not so much or people who are laid back in their approach to homeschooling. I think the online version of the curriculum would work better for our family since we tend to be more laid back. You can see more about the online video version here. I think the BJU Press Focus on Five program would work well for someone starting out who wants everything laid out for them in detail.
Other families used BJU Press Focus on Five too so be sure to check out their reviews by clicking on the banner below.