Let me begin by saying that we are intentionally using the Level K curriculum in first grade. The Good and The Beautiful publishers recognize that the levels do not correspond with typical grade level expectations. As a former teacher looking through the curriculum there are some components that line up with kindergarten. However, a lot of them are more closely aligned with what a first grader would do in a typical classroom.
I focused on learning through play for Macie Jane’s kindergarten year and I plan to repeat that for my other two children. We did the How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons for reading lessons in kindergarten. I firmly believe that if she did not have that strong phonetic background going into this curriculum she would have struggled. It is excellently written and very engaging but would definitely not work to begin instruction in kindergarten.
The language arts level K curriculum begins with an assumption that your little has a solid grip on letter sounds (some letters having multiple sounds- vowels, g, c, etc.) However, the lessons are short making them easy to manage dependent on what pace your little is ready to progress at. I began the year by simply doing one lesson a day. She’s built up reading strength and at this point (we’re on lesson 64) we have begun to do 2, sometimes 3, lessons a day. I expect we will complete the program in the later winter months and will begin the Level 1 program.
The curriculum comes with a set of mini books and a set of phonics cards. I love the quality of both! The phonics are bright and colorful making them engaging and fun. You do not use the flashcards daily and the lessons prompt you when to get them. I really like the mini books and so does my sweet girl. They have boosted her confidence significantly! I can’t remember if these are an optional purchase but trust me if they are an add-on, it is an add-on you definitely want to include!
I feel sort of differently about the level K math than I do the level K language arts. I definitely think it is more accessible for a kindergartener. It moves sort of quickly so I imagine a kindergartener may take it a little slower but it is well written and beautifully engaging! It has been a great program. I have seen so much mathematic confidence in my girl. It has a hands on approach which I love! The math tool kit gets used daily! If you’re debating on purchasing the toolkit I would strongly encourage it. The manipulative (except the pattern blocks) are well made and perfectly suited to make math fun and easy!
Speaking of easy, math is an area that intimidates me. However, I want to conceal that intimidation and encourage all three of mine to fall in love with math. They have no preconceived notions on mathematical processing and if I can protect them from the negative stigma typically associated with math- I certainly want to! Back to the easy part- this curriculum has been so well thought through as a parent guiding your little it’s incredibly easy. There is very little prep required. The lessons are excellently written and clear to understand both for you and your little as concepts are introduced.
We are just a little over 3 months in and so far we have no complaints! The lessons have been well received by my big girl and we are excited for more Good and Beautiful fun in the years ahead!
I hope this has been helpful. All opinions are my own and derived from our personal experience. Please be sure to use the placement tests available on The Good and The Beautiful website to determine the best starting place for your child. Any questions about the curriculum that I didn’t cover? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I am always happy to help!