I’m not the most creative person when it comes to making learning fun through play and hands-on activities. I usually always need some kind of assistance with ideas. At the very least, I need help finding a good jumping off point to get the creative juices flowing. With lil’ sis starting Kindergarten this year, I started to panic. How was I going to keep her excited about school, while still getting work done with the older girls?
Kindergarten Stepping Stones by Kendall Hunt Publishing Company recently came to my rescue! I was given the opportunity to review their “Who is my Neighbor” theme, and I can’t wait to share how it has blessed our homeschool this summer.
**Disclaimer: I received this curriculum for free and was compensated for my time in reviewing this product. I was not however required to give a positive review. As always, this review is 100% genuine and reflects exactly how I feel about this program.
What is Kindergarten Stepping Stones?
Kindergarten Stepping Stones is a Kendall Hunt Publishing Company curriculum based on the Seventh Day Adventist’s faith. While I’m not Seventh Day Adventist myself, I was still able to easily adapt all of the lessons to my own unique Christian beliefs.
The curriculum is geared towards ages 3-5 and is divided into 9 different themes. Each theme contains enough material to cover 8 weeks of learning. Each of the 9 themes come with the following:
- 4-5 picture books
- 1 oversize spiritual story book (they call it lapbook)
- Teachers Manual
- Daily Lesson Guide Manual with CD
The ultimate goal of Kindergarten Stepping Stones is to help your child grow closer to God. It uses Montessori style teaching to help children bridge the gap between being at home and beginning early elementary education.
The themes also include many different subjects such as: worship and bible, math, language arts, writing, science, and social studies. There are activities for the individual, small groups, and large groups. These activities
The First Impression
When I first received the “Who’s My Neighbor” theme, I was actually pretty overwhelmed. I had never used a curriculum before that is geared towards a classroom type setting with a large group of kids. As a homeschool mom, life is busy. I usually try to stick to something that has a suggested lesson plan already mapped out for me.
After setting aside some time to read through the teachers manual and daily lesson guide, I felt more at ease and excited to get started. The activities in the book seemed like they would be a lot of fun, and I knew lil’ sis was going to love it!
Luckily, I didn’t need to do too much preparation ahead of time since the daily lesson guide CD had all of the printables I needed. There were also plenty of activities I could do at home with the girls (yes! all three!) since they didn’t all require a large group of kids.
Who’s My Neighbor?
We received four different hardback books in the “Who’s My Neighbor” theme. The titles included:
- Me on the Map
- Adele & Simon
- Be My Neighbor
- Career Day
Lil’ sis loved the books, and asked me to read them over and over again. The imagery along with the story had her captivated from beginning to end. Even Moe and KK enjoyed listening to the stories as we read them (over, and over again)! The older girls even read the books to lil’ sis a few times too.
How Kindergarten Stepping Stones Worked For Us
The printables definitely helped me make the learning more hands-on and fun. There were so many suggestions in the daily lesson guide manual that that I would have never thought of on my own.
One of the activities in the daily lesson guide is “stuffed animal math”. Lil’ sis loves her “stuffties” and always wants to incorporate them into everything she does. She was on cloud nine when I told her they were going to help us learn about addition and subtraction!
When I originally told the girls we were going to spend part of our summer doing some school work, they all moaned. After the first week, my oldest asked me “When are we going to start summer school?”, not realizing we had been doing school all week! She was having so much fun with the hands-on learning that she didn’t even realize we were doing “school” at all!
Every day lil’ sis was so excited to wake up and play “weather woman”. We would head outside so she could report to me what the weather was for the day. Then she would get to work filling in her weather chart. She would never let me forget that we had to fill in our chart for the day!
What I Loved Most About Kindergarten Stepping Stones
My favorite part of this curriculum is that I was able to adapt it in a way that my older two could join in, and still learn something new. Many of the activities were easily adaptable to include all three girls in the lesson, so they were able to participate in all of the fun too.
I also loved that there were activities we could do at nighttime too, such as learning about the different phases of the moon. We loved stepping outside a bit each night to star gaze and report what phase the moon was in each night.
I know these lessons are sticking because lil’ sis talks about all the different things she has been learning on a regular basis. Today while playing on the iPad she discovered that the background image was a picture of space. I guess all that talk about the solar system, stars, and planets are definitely paying off!
If you are looking for ways to make your homeschool more hands-on and fun, while keeping it faith centered, I do recommend Kindergarten Stepping Stones. Just be prepared to spend some time in the beginning familiarizing yourself with the layout of the program.
Once you get started, you’ll lose yourself in the fun activities and quality time spent with your children – all in the name of learning! I promise you will be giving your little one(s) a well rounded education, while helping them grow closer to God at the same time. You can’t go wrong there, can you?
Does this curriculum sound like it would bring more hands-on fun learning to your homeschool? If so, which Kindergarten Stepping Stones theme sounds like the most fun to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!