Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Sometimes the little ones want their own school just like their older siblings and BJU Press Homeschool makes it easy with BJU Press Focus on Fives kit. If you are looking for a complete homeschool kindergarten curriculum, the Focus on Fives kit has you covered.
About BJU Press Focus On Fives Kindergarten Curriculum
Students receive basic age-appropriate introductions to science, social studies, handwriting, phonics, and reading. Fun and exciting learning activities help young students build a foundation in phonemic awareness, reading strategies, listening, and speaking. Note: The curriculum does have a Christian worldview focus and emphasizes key themes regarding God and the Bible.
There are several items included in the kindergarten curriculum. You will receive six teacher’s edition books to cover the entire year’s curriculum, a Focus on Five’s worktext, reading books, a phonics practice book, kindergarten phonics and review cards, a kindergarten Write Now! handwriting packet, phonics flip charts, and a huge set of teaching visuals.
The one thing I noticed about this curriculum is that it is actually designed to be used in a large class setting. The way the lessons are set up in the teacher’s guide is as if you are teaching a whole class full of students. This is not problematic, however, because it is easily adapted to fit the one or two students that you may be teaching. You won’t be able to do group activities as suggested, but if your child has older or younger siblings, it is easy to enlist them in any fun activities. In fact, my 6yr old daughter is often right by her younger brother’s side as we are singing songs and doing fun activities and she enjoys it just as much as he does.
What I Like About Focus On Fives
No Prior Knowledge Needed
I really liked that this curriculum does not assume that your child has any preschool or other prior education. My son is 4 yrs old, so he really has not had any type of preschool education, nor have we formally taught him anything other than singing the alphabet song. This curriculum was his first introduction to any type of formal education.
I am waiting until he is a year older before we fully implement this program because I’ve learned that he is just not ready to “do school” every day. His attention span is not quite where it needs to be and I’m okay with him just doing a few things a week at this point.
This will be his main kindergarten curriculum at that time, but the way the lessons are laid out I was able to start the learning process with him right away so he is ready once we do start full-time. In fact, the very first lesson introduces the alphabet song as he learns to visualize those letters he has been singing about.
He also learns the correct way to hold a pencil right away by singing the “where is thumbkin” song. He and my daughter both got a kick out of the song and go around the house singing it all day long.
After learning how to properly hold a pencil we were able to do a few activities in the worktext that correspond with lesson number one.
We have continued on and have been doing a few lessons each week (the lesson plans tell you exactly what to do in the worktext and/or phonics practice book). So far I am thoroughly impressed with how exhaustive this kindergarten curriculum is and I look forward to doing it full time with my son when the time comes.
Weekly and Daily Plans
The entire kindergarten curriculum is broken down per week, and then beyond that per day. At the beginning of each week, you’ll see the overall scope and sequence for the week.
Each daily lesson is written out with detailed instructions on exactly what to do that day. It is a good idea to glance at it ahead of time so you know what to expect, but you could open up the book and teach without looking ahead if you really needed to.
Snack Of The Week
I really love the idea of having a snack of the week that fits the theme for whatever we are studying that week. The fact that this is included in the weekly plan is really great because it is less to plan on my part and that means I’m more likely to incorporate it into our school day.
Social Studies and Science Built In
Throughout the entire kindergarten curriculum, you’ll find science and social studies lessons built right into the weekly lesson plans. I really like that I don’t need to go seek out another curriculum for each of these subjects. At this age, a basic introduction is all we need, and Focus on Fives provides that and more.
After every lesson, there is a list of extended activities. Many of these include things like story and rhyme time, arts and crafts, activities to work on motor skills, and additional science lessons that you can correlate to the day’s language arts lesson. I really like that it incorporates these extra activities.
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More About BJU Press Focus On Fives
There is a lot of singing in this curriculum (songs lyrics and sheet music are included); however, since I’m not great with music, I am probably doing more harm than good when it comes to singing the right notes. My older kids are in band class at our local public school and have taken piano lessons, so they are familiar with how to read music. I’m sure we’ll go down the same path with my youngest, and my off-key singing probably isn’t going to hurt anything. 🙂
An example of the inside of the phonics practice book is pictured below.
The included Write Now! practice book gives plenty of practice using a pencil and writing letters.
A set of readers is included and the teacher’s guide will tell you when to use them.
There are also lots of phonics display items that are printed on cardstock and ready to use/display in your homeschool. I really like that I don’t have to print these out myself and they come in full color ready to use.
Final Thoughts and Learn More
Overall the more I get into this kindergarten curriculum, the more I like what I see. While we haven’t gotten too far into the curriculum yet, I can see that this is going to be one of my favorite things to do with my son in the upcoming months. Everything is laid out so nicely that I can just follow the steps and enjoy watching my son learn.
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