Inside: A full review of Pre-K curriculum from The Good and the Beautiful
NOTE: Since writing this review, the Good and the Beautiful has released a new Preschool curriculum that I have been using with our 3-year-old son. For my full review on the most recent version of this curriculum, click here!
As you may already know, I began homeschooling our daughter, Arwyn, when she was 2 years old. It started out simply enough with some letter basics (singing ABC’s and recognizing a good bit), colors, shapes, etc. But it quickly became apparent that she was ready for more.
So when my daughter was about 2 1/2, I started using The Good and the Beautiful Pre-K with her. It was a curriculum I had researched (mainly through YouTube videos) and that came highly recommended.
Arwyn finished that curriculum back in July 2019 (just 6 months after starting), so I want to share our experience with you!
My Full Curriculum Review
Before we get started, know that at the time when I’m writing this, I am not affiliated with The Good and the Beautiful in any way. No one is paying me to do this review. But in the spirit of transparency, I will say that I would love to work with them some day, ONLY because of the positive experience I’ve had with their company and their products.
Below I’ll include my full review of the Pre-K curriculum from The Good & the Beautiful. Hopefully it will help to answer any of the questions you may have. If I’ve forgotten something or you have any other questions, drop a comment at the bottom, and I’ll answer to the best of my ability!
What is the Good & the Beautiful?
The Good & the Beautiful is a company created by Jenny Phillips, a fellow homeschooling mother. And like the title of the company implies, their curriculum emphasizes what’s good and beautiful in life. Children who use this curriculum learn to study art from a young age and also listen to music (recorded by Jenny Phillips herself) to remember and solidify concepts. There’s also a strong emphasis on good literature.
The curriculum does have the Christian worldview, which we personally love and were looking for.
What does the Pre-K curriculum cover?
The Good and the Beautiful Pre-K is 53 lessons (112 pages) long and focuses mainly on the alphabet but also covers other pre-k related topics.
Concepts covered include:
- letter recognition (including if the letter is uppercase or lowercase)
- letter sounds
- basic handwriting & fine motor skills
- number recognition
- order of events
As I mentioned, the primary focus is the letters. There’s also handwriting practice in each lesson to start learning how the letters are formed. All other things covered are very much secondary.
The Good and the Beautiful is a more literature-heavy curriculum, so it makes sense that even at a young age, language would be the primary focus.
What age group is it for?
According to The Good and the Beautiful, the Pre-K course is for kids between the ages of 3 and 5.
With that being said, Arwyn had nearly completed the course before she turned 3. So if you have a child who is in love with learning and ready to soak it up, they could definitely start this curriculum before 3 and excel.
How will I know if my child is ready?
There is a placement assessment available on the website. To see what level of curriculum from The Good and the Beautiful fits your child best (or if they’re not quite ready to start yet), go here.
How’s the ordering process?
Ordering from the website for The Good and the Beautiful is very simple. You can follow these steps:
- Go to thegoodandthebeautiful.com
- Hover your mouse over the tab that says “Pre-K – 8 Curriculum”
- Under the green “Language Arts” menu, click “View Levels”
- From the drop-down menu, select Pre-K
- Add it to your cart & check out!
Shipping was fairly quick, and I was able to track our order while (impatiently!) awaiting its arrival.
What’s included when you purchase the curriculum?
The course set comes with:
- the Pre-K course book
- 4 letter flip books
- an activity packet with:
- a number slider
- a letter cube
- Mouse House
- Feed the Elephant
- Hide and Seek Pets
- Swat the Fly
- Letter Memory
We can think of each of these three things (the course book, the flip books, and the activity packet) as a different layer in the learning process. Read more about each one below.
The course book
The course book is the framework for this curriculum. It’s the “bones” and structure. It’s where the concepts for the Pre-K course are introduced and lightly practiced.
It’s also super parent-friendly and easy to use. All of your instructions for what to do with your child in each lesson are found in the pages of the course book. AND it prompts you to use the flip books and materials found in the activity packet (though we did all of them more often than what the curriculum suggested).
The flip books
Each flip book covers 6-7 letters.
Uppercase letters are on the left, lowercase letters are in the middle, and a picture with the beginning sound of each letter is on the right.
You and your child then flip through the book until you have a match all the way across. Very simple, and great practice!
This is the “repetition” layer of learning for our children. Seeing something over and over and over until it’s second nature and not something they have to think too hard about.
I will say that things like this may get “boring” to some children depending on their interest level, so try to find ways to keep it exciting. Even if it’s just being silly and playful as you do the activity together.
The activity Packet
Arwyn adored these activities and still occasionally asks for them even though she’s done with the Pre-K curriculum. They’re very simple games, but we always had fun with them!
It’s said that children learn best through play. So these activities are that hands-on ingredient that our kids need. (And of course, you don’t have to ONLY do the games included in the curriculum! We found other ways to play and learn too.)
Does the curriculum require any additional materials?
There are a few other things that you’ll use throughout your child’s time in the Pre-K course. At the beginning of the curriculum, there are 2 lists: one for things to always have on hand and the other for extra items needed during certain lessons.
You can gather all the materials at the same time before beginning the Pre-K curriculum with your child OR you could get them as you need them. For example, before each week begins, you could make a checklist of the items you need for that week. It’s probably easiest to gather them before starting the course, though, to make sure nothing is forgotten.
Thankfully, you may be able to find most of it around your house. We did!
How do you use it?
The real beauty of homeschooling is that the curriculum isn’t a holy grail. It’s a tool that you can use to best fit the needs of your child. So there’s not really a right or wrong way to use it.
We usually covered each lesson in a day, though there were some that required 2 days to complete. And we worked out of the course book 2-4 days a week, just depending on what other things I had planned and her personal interest.
The curriculum prompts you when to use the extras such as a flip book or a game from the activity packet. However, we often played the games more often than suggested. And you can totally do that (or modify the curriculum in any other way) if that’s what your child needs!
To watch us using this curriculum, check out this video over on our channel:
Is it effective?
Here’s the million-dollar question.
It was incredibly effective for Arwyn. She went into it with a fairly good grasp of letter recognition but not many sounds. This curriculum really helped her to solidify those sounds in her mind.
Between the lessons, the flip books, and the games, she was able to learn her sounds and get them down confidently (a skill she is now using to read short words in the K Primer curriculum).
She also had fun with it, which made it that much easier for her to absorb.
Is it enough on its own?
Clearly, I love this curriculum. But is it thorough enough to stand on its own? I’m truly not sure.
Does it need supplementation from other curriculum? No, I don’t think so.
But should you supplement with other learning toys, games, tools, and creative activities (arts & crafts)? I did. Mainly because I wanted to present these foundational concepts to her as richly as possible, meaning I layered the way I taught it to her. I didn’t want to use just one source but come at it from different angles to really make sure the information got through in a meaningful way.
Plus, as I mentioned before, the curriculum is more focused on language foundations than anything else. While it has your child practice other skills, extra practice with counting, shapes, colors, etc. is likely needed for full understanding. But those things don’t require a curriculum.
Will I personally use it again?
Absolutely! Our youngest son isn’t 2 years old yet, but when he’s ready, I plan to use The Good and the Beautiful Pre-K curriculum with him as well.
Any other questions I could answer about our experience with The Good and the Beautiful Pre-K? Drop a comment below!
Until next time,
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