I love teaching using Montessori, cross-curricular and unit study methods. I believe this is particularly effective when teaching younger children for them to be able to grasp what you are teaching. I’d like to share a wonderful Kindergarten curriculum by Kendall Hunt Religious Publishing.
I was compensated for my time and received this product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. Please refer to my full disclosure.
Themes are Used to Cover Various Subjects
This curriculum focuses on the following different themes:
- Off We Go (Introduces student to a school setting)
- Let’s Be Friends (Emphasizes friendship)
- Who’s My Neighbor (Focuses on God’s gifts to us and the people who help us)
- Deep in the Forest (Learn about nature and environment responsibility)
- Giving Gifts (Christmas-related stories about giving and Christ’s birth)
- We Are Family (Learn about what makes a family unit and that we are all part of God’s family)
- Brrr! It’s Cold! (Learn about weather/environments)
- Wonderfully Made (Explore how the body was designed and how to care for it)
- Moving On (Explore the pioneer era and westward expansion)
- We’re on a Mission (Discover different cultures from around the world)
Each theme will take around eight weeks to complete. The themes are literature-based and include three to five books, depending on the theme. There are spiritual concepts woven throughout the entire curriculum. While this curriculum is published for Seventh Day Adventist, I found it to be mainstream Christian. While I didn’t read every single item, I did not discover any thing that was specific to any one denomination.
The other subjects are taught around the literature. While there is a separate phonics curriculum they offer (Stairway to Reading), there are multiple language arts activities included in the daily lessons. Hands-on activities and learning centers really make the connections come alive. Math, Science, Social Studies, Art, Music, Dramatic Play are all entwined.
The Teacher Manual
I admit, this is the most impressive teacher’s manual I’ve ever seen. If you have a child from three to five years of age, you need this. Yes, most of this manual is geared to setting up a schoolroom setting but the amount of information on how children learn, ideas for hands-on learning activities, assessment checklists and more is immense!! While I never really thought of making centers in my homeschool setting, if I still had a child this young, I would definitely do it!!
Daily Lesson Guide
If you like to have everything laid out for you, this is for you!!! This guidebook is so well organized. Each book has it’s own color so you can quickly look at the side of the book and locate where you are. I’ll walk you through using one of my favorite books that was included, Adele and Simon. Seriously, look how lovely the artwork is in this book!!
You start off with an introduction to the book including some background info on the author. Then you start with the “routines” which is how you incorporate the other subjects. This is discussed in detail at the beginning of the guidebook. I’ll give you a short overview of the routines for this book.
Worship/Bible Skills: Basically, for the worship, you are given a Bible story and scripture along with a Bible verse. The child is engaged by physical activities, worksheets and songs.
Language Arts: There are phonemic awareness activities and sound-letter activities. While some of these activities are worksheets (printables are all included on a CD located in the guidebook), many of the activities use large motor skills such as standing and sitting whenever they hear certain sounds. The reading portion allows the child to focus on something different each time the book is read to encourage comprehension. Writing and Penmanship is next. Included in language arts are activities for fine motor skills. I love this. As a mom of three boys, I have learned that most boys have messy handwriting because they focus more on large motor skills than fine motor skills. When you develop your fine motor skills, it is easier to control a pencil. There are multiple ideas given to help develop this.
Math: The math activities are broken down by large group work, small group work and independent work. However, all of activities are adaptable to one-on-one teaching. While large group work is more hands-on activities, the independent work uses worksheets that are printed from the CD.
Science: Science includes read aloud lessons, worksheets and many hands-on activities. There are additional books suggested to be read in the resource list.
Social Studies: For this particular book, all of the social studies activities are hands-on which would appeal to any child. For instance, you learn some phrases in French and build an Eiffel Tower with uncooked spaghetti and miniature marshmallows!!
Physical Education: The activities include climbing, balancing, noodle balance, juggling, more like they did and change directions. I love that this isn’t just movement but it’s tied into the book being used to center all of the studies around. The book tells about the children seeing jugglers in the park, so of course, you get to try juggling!!
Art: The book is set in Paris so of course there’s really great art activities. The activities not only include art to make but also a game to play introducing famous artists (also printed from the CD).
Music: The music activities include singing motion songs, imitating a beat, repeating patterns, identifying instruments, and even listening to French music!
Dramatic Play: Dramatic play is so important to young children, yet often overlooked. Children will role play and use puppets to act out many of the people seen in the book – chefs, musicians, etc.
Technology: While this is geared for young children, I like that there are web searches suggested to help expose them to a wider world of learning – searching for points of interest in Paris and viewing a live band performance.
As you can see, this curriculum is FUN. And INFORMATIVE.
Literature for Stepping Stones’ Who’s My Neighbor
The books included for the theme, Who’s My Neighbor are seen below.
How to Order Kindergarten Stepping Stones
I highly recommend this faith-based curriculum for any mom teaching the little ones and want to have something more engaging.