For the last 5 weeks, we have been using Horizons Preschool Curriculum Set by Alpha Omega Publications; today I am going to review it, tell you how it worked for us, and give you a peek into our preschool day.
My youngest child who is in school is 4 this year, so when I heard there was a whole Preschool set available, I jumped at the chance to review it. In the past, I have done a hodgepodge of preschool things. It’s fun, eclectic, and a little crazy, like the rest of my life. I thought it would be really fun to try the exact opposite: something organized, all in one place, scheduled ahead for me so I didn’t have to scrape everything together at the last minute. Horizons Preschool Curriculum fit the bill for me.
When we got our package in the mail, I was surprised. I looked at it online before we chose it, but between then and the day we received it, I guess I forgot how big it was. It really is a set with everything you need in it. There is a teacher’s guide (divided into 2 books so they are more manageable), a huge pack of resources (some re-printable, and some not, each is labeled), a student workbook (also divided into 2 books so it’s not massive), and a music CD. Everything is done incredibly well; it is set up for private school use as well. The graphics in the resource pack are often in color and beautiful, the teacher’s manual is laid out in a logical, professional way, and the books are all sturdy and made to hang tough in the homeschool environment. I was very impressed at first sight.
In the past we have used another program by Alpha Omega Publications: Weaver. I was pleasantly surprised that some of the resources available in this set are the same as the ones in the Weaver program. It made me feel like I already had some experience with how to use this curriculum. Of course, the whole set is different as a whole, but I really enjoyed using Weaver before, so it made me happy to see some of the same activities.
The teacher’s guide lays out a suggested schedule for either half a day or whole day preschool. They also stress that you cannot cover all the material in the book, and recommend you choose whether you want to have more academic learning or more hands-on learning with your students. Each day has a supply list (things like a globe, stickers, glitter, etc.), media resources, a memory verse, and PE suggestions. There is also music, reading, writing, math, health and safety, art, story time (complete with a list appropriate for this age group), phonics, language arts, social studies, and Bible. Horizons makes a point to say that the Bible is the best reference for teaching your children. Love, love, love it!
The student book has tear out pages that your child completes. You will need one for each student you are teaching. These activities are everything from coloring to drawing to writing numbers and cutting/pasting. It is varied every day, so it’s not like a typical workbook.
My daughter really liked getting her own time with her own activities. We got to have our own girl time to talk about who God is, how He loves us, and how He created the earth. It’s been a special time for us, and I’m very glad to have it. She really enjoys using scissors and glue, so days where she gets to pull out her art supplies are especially enjoyable for her. There are pages for her to show Daddy when he gets home in the evening; I love watching her light up when He says that she’s doing a good job.
The CD that comes with the curriculum is not my favorite children’s music CD, but my kids enjoyed it and it’s very calming. The curriculum tells you which days to listen to certain tracks, but we enjoyed playing it on repeat while the kids played. Again, it’s very soothing. I enjoy having something in the background that takes the energy level down a notch.
For me, it’s hard to not look at everything and want to do it all. It’s all good learning! I have to make myself choose less. In fact, lesson one took us three days because I wanted to do everything. It shouldn’t be like that. You have to make yourself pick and choose or your child will be in Preschool for three years. We used this curriculum 3-4 days per week. We are usually done with school by noon, but on days where I have all three kids in school it usually extends to more like 4pm (with a good break for PE and a good break for lunch and a nap). That’s just my family. You could use this curriculum for a couple hours if you only had one student, or for a whole day if you have a preschool/daycare. It’s very flexible, which is important to me.
A Day With Horizons Preschool
Out of the activities available, I always did the Bible lesson portion, and tried to pick out what else we needed to work on after that. For example, the first lesson tells you to introduce your students to their written name and help them recognize it; my daughter already knows her name, so I knew we could skip this. Instead, we worked on her writing the letters of her name (something she has been working on but is not proficient at yet). We split that lesson into multiple days because she has not done her own Bible study up to this point, and I really wanted to reinforce the idea that God is three persons and that He loves us.
For an illustration of how to split up a lesson: day one we did Bible, language arts (singing), and half of social studies (talking about why we love Daddy). Day two we did Bible, half of social studies (drawing a picture about why we love Daddy, with her and Daddy in the picture), Music, Story Time, and Writing. Day three we did a repeat of language arts, Bible, Phonics, Math, and Story Time. I wasn’t kidding: there is an insane amount of things to do. Pick and choose. If I keep repeating it to myself, surely it will sink in.
We have really enjoyed using this curriculum in our homeschool. This package is perfect for first time homeschool parents who want to have everything set out for them, or for seasoned homeschoolers who don’t want to scrounge around to cover every subject. With this set, there really is no need to go out and buy any other curriculum for the year, which takes a lot of the burden off your shoulders when you are laying out a whole school year.
My daughter enjoys the days when we use Horizons; I love that everything is Christian and based right around the Bible. I feel like she is getting an education that is on-par with what she would get at a private school, but here in our home, and for less money. The teacher’s guide has many extras including how to teach younger children and how to set up your classroom. The people at Alpha Omega really thought of everything when they put this together. I highly recommend Horizons Preschool Curriculum.
For more reviews like this, please click the banner below. The Review Crew all reviewed different products from Alpha Omega Productions this time around, so there is a big variety of curriculum to peruse. Enjoy!