PreK opinions/reviews wanted

Last post 10-18-2007 9:03 AM by Mommy2BeautifulGirls. 20 replies.
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  • 08-28-2007 4:54 PM

    PreK opinions/reviews wanted

     Hello all. So what is it like? What did you add/delete? How much time did it take? What age did you start your child? Was it helpful for preparing for Calvert Kinder or would you have skipped it? Is it doable with two at a time? What sort of activities were in there? Would you purchase again? And anything else that may be helpful for someone deciding between PreK and K. Thanks so much.

  • 08-29-2007 11:49 AM In reply to

    • Denine
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on 07-23-2007
    • Posts 9

    Re: PreK opinions/reviews wanted


    I did PK with my daughter last year.  We started about 1 week before she turned 4.  It took us about 1-1/2 hours a day for 2 lessons.  DD loved it and so far, K has been a review of PK so it has been easy.

    There were a ton of activities.  DD especially loved making gingerbread men, christmas card, presents and ornaments.  She loved the painting and coloring activities.

     I was not going to use a program of PK but decided it would be a good way to get both of us into learning at home.  We got into a nice routine and DD looked forward to it.  SHe was and still is disappointed if we are not doing school.  I felt much more confident starting K this year than I would have if we didn't do PK. 

    We are on lesson 24 in K now and it has been easy for DD as long as she concentrates and tries.

  • 09-04-2007 1:26 PM In reply to

    Re: PreK opinions/reviews wanted

    There are lots of posts on the old board regarding this topic, too. I know, because I started a few of them!


    I will see if I can find them and then link it for you... unless someone else beats me to it! 

  • 09-05-2007 3:24 PM In reply to

    Re: PreK opinions/reviews wanted


    We just started Pre-K this year and it is definitely worth it. My 3 1/2 year old was just dying to do something like his older brother and this fits the bill precisely.  I don't always get to everything on the list, but story time is a must for both of them.  And the older one likes the incentive of the art projects because they are very hands on.  Even my 2 year old participates.  We love it! 
  • 09-05-2007 11:24 PM In reply to

    Re: PreK opinions/reviews wanted

     I'm not sure how helpful I'll be since I'm 2 days into pre-k, but so far, we love it.  I made the decision to go with Calvert about 2 1/2 years ago, and I've just been waiting until my kids were old enough.  I bought it for my son, who just turned 4 in August, however, my daughter (3 this month) has been sitting in and doing all of the activities with us.  I've found that it's easier having 2 doing it at once, since they play off each other.  There are also a lot opportunities to act out parts of stories, and it's helpful to have more than one child to do that.  For example, we read "The Little Red Hen" yesterday, and my daughter was acting out the part of the hen, while my son, a plastic pig, and I were sitting on the couch acting out the parts of the other animals.  Tomorrow they are acting out "Jack and Jill" so we're going across the street to our neighbor's hill.

     It takes me about an hour to do school with them, but I add in Hooked on Phonics.  I'm doing Discoveries in Music with them as well, but we do that on Wednesdays (we don't do regular school on Wednesdays because we have lots of appointments on Wednesdays).

    I like the way it is set up.  You do an opening, then there is a discussion.  There is usually a story, some sort of art or craft, sometimes a math activity, and there is time to play at the end (that's usually when the kids need to act something out or play some type of game).  It's cute.

     I also had a difficult time deciding between K and pre-K.  Intellectually my son is ready for K, but he lacks the fine motor skills and attention span for it.  I added the Hooked on Phonics so he would be challenged.  The thing is, I've found that he IS challenged with pre-K --not so much with the material, but with the arts and crafts.  Due to his fine-motor limitations, he usually tries to avoid them.  He's doing them with Calvert, enjoying them, and making progress.  I think I made the right decision enrolling him in pre-K this year.  Every child is different though, so you need to consider your child's strengths and weaknesses before making your decision.

    Mom to Nathan (5)
    and Laura (4)

    "I've seen the village, and I don't want it raising my child."
  • 09-17-2007 11:20 PM In reply to

    Re: PreK opinions/reviews wanted

    We are in to lesson 40 of the preK. It has turned out to be way too easy for my 4 yr. old son and he does get bored with it.  So we are doing 2 or 3 lessons a day and skipping over the stuff I know he already knows.  I have added alphabet worksheets you can print for free from we work on one letter a week.  It is doable with two my two year old loves to join in on the activities and storytimes.  The only issue I really have is most of the worksheets and stories are in black and white with no colorful illustrations or pictures to go along with the stories,,kids this age really like to look at the pictures. Our normal day combining lessons even is usually 1 1/2 hr. to 2 hrs. long.  I schedule our day so we get about a 1 hr. lunch break.  After lunch my little one can go down for a nap and me and him can concentrate on the tougher stuff alone. More one on one that way.  But personally I would have skipped it had I known it would be this easy.   It really varies on each child though..My younger one I feel is really gonna need it.

  • 10-08-2007 4:30 AM In reply to

    Re: PreK opinions/reviews wanted

    I do find it a bit easy for my four year old, especially in the begining but there seems to be at least one skill every day that she does need to work on like a lot of the fine motor stuff and right and left.  SHe loves it and we generally do all of it even the review because her twin two year old sisters are watching and for them that material is not review.  Repetition is the key to learning so I don't mind going over material that she has already mastered.  We love the stories, songs, games, and crafts and I love that someone else planned it all out for me.  It takes us about an hour to an hour and half but sometimes longer depending on how many interuptions we get. Smile



    mom to Audrey 4, Charlotte 2, Annabelle 2, and Oliver 2 weeks

  • 10-08-2007 3:29 PM In reply to

    • LoriV
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 07-02-2007
    • Illinois
    • Posts 81

    Re: PreK opinions/reviews wanted

    I skipped PreK with my first daughter and didn't miss it.  We didn't start with Calvert until she was in second grade.

    I tried it with my second daughter and ended up zipping through it quickly.  If I had to do it all over again, I'd skip it for her as well.

    Like Candlmommy said, it really depends on you and your child.

    Tweetin' on Twitter
    ♥ ('Cause I'm too lazy to blog.)
  • 10-10-2007 7:27 PM In reply to

    Re: PreK opinions/reviews wanted

    We love Calvert. My daughter is 4.5 and she loves it, however, it is too easy. Most of the things she already knows. If I were to do Calvert Preschool again

    I would being it with her at age 3 or 3.5 instead. Otherwise the program is really good. The stories are great and she doesnt mind that they are in black and white. We enjoy reading them and then acting them out afterwards. It gave some great tips on how to introduce ideas that she hadn't yet grasped like left and right and the difference between sweet, salty, sour etc..and it also just a really beautiful curriculum. We love the old style to the stories and drawings, most look very Victorian and are just wonderful. All in all it is very well rounded and wholesome as well. I don't like the preschool math, it really seems to jump forward quickly. I prefer something a little more incremental for preschool myself. I hope that helps! ~Lara

  • 10-11-2007 5:05 PM In reply to

    Re: PreK opinions/reviews wanted

    Thank you ladies for your valuable input. One more question, are the workpages in color or black and white for math and reading? Thank you once more. 

  • 10-11-2007 9:07 PM In reply to

    Re: PreK opinions/reviews wanted

    both! some pages are color and the others are in black in white.
  • 10-12-2007 4:53 PM In reply to

    Re: PreK opinions/reviews wanted

    Would the preschool work for a 2.5 year old? Maybe doing going slower doing 2-3 lessons a week? thanks!
    Angel - mom to three teen boys and a little princess
  • 10-12-2007 5:06 PM In reply to

    Re: PreK opinions/reviews wanted


    I never used calvert pre-k for my son. We started K at three years old so I could imagine that calvert's pre-k could be done with a younger child depending on the child's abilities and motor skills. In my opinion though I do not rate Calvert as the best possible pre-k or nursery school option and therefore we aren't even considering it for our younger children when they get to that level. What we used was Great Books Academy's Nursery School and Pre-K programs and thoroughly enjoyed the experience as well as the fact that it was a lot cheaper than Calvert. You might find the nursery program to be a better fit than calvert pre-k or as a step before calvert pre-K. The lack of color in the calvert materials as well as the amount of cutting and pasting etc... that is involved may not make it the best fit for the younger pre-k students. As far as the skills that are to be learned (abc's, colors, numbers, etc...) that should be no problem for a one or two year old.
    Mom to DS (2003), DD (2006), DS (2006), and baby DS to come (2008)!
  • 10-12-2007 5:38 PM In reply to

    Re: PreK opinions/reviews wanted

    Thanks! That looks great and I love the way fairy tales are incorporated in the preschool. I will check it out more. Can the Great Books Academy be used secularly? I love it! By the way, is it hands on at all?!
    Angel - mom to three teen boys and a little princess
  • 10-12-2007 9:15 PM In reply to

    Re: PreK opinions/reviews wanted


    What we used from great books academy was completely secular. I like the flexibility and the choice and that you can mix and match from the grade levels to accomodate various strengths since some children excel in certain subjects. That is one of the big disadvantages of Calvert since one mainly only has choices to change the math for the grade level. The one thing that calvert may have over great books academy is a more thorough lesson manual but in my honest opinion for the nursery, pre-K, and K levels it is hardly necessary to have all that. The lesson plans for great books academy is pretty much to the point and gives suggestions for what should be done and how many times a week etc... It does stress flexibility over rigidity and that is something that some people will like and others hate.

     GBA has both hands on and reading aloud (the parents reading) type of activities. There is drawing activities and such for reading that you do with great books academy. I just personally think it is better for the younger learners than a lot of worksheets. The phonics/reading program involves singing and games and is definitely great for young kids! The saxon math K that is used in pre-K is really great for young learners because it is hands on. My ds started with that when he was newly three and loved it. It uses a lot of mainpulatives but doesn't require any worksheets which is better for the really young. I thought that when ds started calvert K, after we had done great books academy, that he was more advanced than he would have been if he'd have done calvert pre-k. We actually did first grade math while he was doing calvert K since great books academy used saxon math K and had already covered calverts topics. If you decide on GBA I reccomend buying lesson plans/enrollment from them but all the books from other sources (EBAY, AMAZON, etc...) since it will be cheaper and much faster...GBA doesn't have the most efficient mailing system and it took me a few weeks to get my package from them. I did like their curriculum for the nursey and pre-k though.

    I hope this helps :)

    Mom to DS (2003), DD (2006), DS (2006), and baby DS to come (2008)!
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