Whether you’re looking to homeschool or you have a full class of preschoolers, it’s hard to decide on a curriculum that makes sense. There are so many, ranging from no brain precut and counted materials so all you have to do is follow the pre-determined schedule to curriculums that focus on one specific area like phonics or art. How do you choose?
I have tried a lot of them in my 20 years of teaching, and I have seen that the more structured and premade a curriculum is, the less children take away from it.
They are not a pre-made, pre-cut, open-the-box-and-follow-the-schedule type of program. The Kid Crafters curriculum covers math, science, literacy, social studies, holidays, circle time, calendar activities, parent notes, cooking, finger plays, music, large motor skill activities, small motor skill activities, dramatic play, and more. Instead of a box, you receive a book every month. On the back of the book is a calendar with all of the activities in the book laid out, but the beautiful thing is that you don’t have to follow them. If you want to do week three first, you have the freedom to do week three first.
I received some sample materials from Kid Crafters for review, and I fell in love with the versatility that the program gave me. I could supplement it with things I already used in my classroom, or I could solely rely on it and be fine.
The downfall in the eyes of precut loving teachers is that it does not come with any materials. You have to find your own. As an avid recycler, this just boosted the creativity of my program because I tried to use as much recycled material as possible.
The upside is not only the versatility, but instead of paying a monthly fee for each child, the monthly fee is just the cost of the book. Each book comes with a cd that contains artwork, printables, parent notes, book lists, felt board stories, games, flashcards, posters, math manipulatives, calendar activities, patterning activities, and more. When you purchase Kid Crafters, you have open license to use them over and over again in your home or classroom.
There are three cycles to the Kid Crafters program, meaning that you could use this program and not do the same thing for three years. You can purchase the entire program or pay the low monthly cost to have one book sent to you every month of the school year.
In addition to preschool, they also have summer activity books and a toddler program.
Three years ago, I received review samples of this program planning on writing a quick review of what I saw. Based on how in depth and completely thought out the program was, I decided to purchase the rest of the program and wait until I had used it in my classroom through all three cycles. Three years later, I will never stop using Kid Crafters in my classroom.
The folks at Kid Crafters have been very helpful every time we've had a question, they answered the phone every time we called, and when we called for assistance, we were speaking with the designers of the program directly. The level of customer service was superb.
In the classroom, the kids have been very receptive to all of the activities that come with Kid Crafters. It has also involved parents who otherwise weren't involved because it allows you to schedule end of unit parties and comes with a list of things the class needs for activities coming up that parents can donate. The program isn't so date specific that you can’t add supplemental activities or field trips as well. Instead of wandering the book store or library looking for the perfect books to go with my theme, there are extensive book lists each month, saving me some very valuable time.
The monthly investment was more than reasonable, and now that we own all three cycles, we will get to continue to use our investment for years to come.
If you’re looking for a program that doesn't come in a box of pre-measured activities, I give Kid Crafters more than five stars.