I thought I would share with you why we stopped using Masterbooks for kindergarten and walk you through the curriculum in case you’re trying to decide if it’s right for your family.
If you didn’t already know, Masterbooks is a full curriculum that takes a “mastery” approach to learning. Meaning, your child doesn’t move on to the next concept until the current concept has been mastered, not memorized.
And for that reason, our 7th grader is currently using ONLY Masterbooks – Which she loves! So, we’re not AGAINST Masterbooks, we simply have chosen to stop using it for Kindergarten THIS year.
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Our Kindergarten Curriculum Choices from Masterbooks
The Kindergarten level curriculum choices really are amazing. And I love that there’s not a ton of different books to purchase. Literally, everything you need from Masterbooks for Kindergarten can be found inside ONE book – Simply K. But I also grabbed the Foundations Phonics and the devotional, More Than Words, from Rebecca Spooner.
Some families will grab the Math Lessons book for Kindergarten as well, but we like to try to include math in our day-to-day activities for Kindergarten level, instead of worksheets. To each their own 🙂
The Simply K book is open and go for the most part. Before each lesson there’s a lesson prep page that walks you through objectives, supplies lists, activities, etc. Once you begin the lesson, Masterbooks has everything scripted out for you to literally open and read.
Each lesson also has activity pages to complete, a memory verse for the week, and other things to work on together. This is NOT an independent workbook. You WILL need to sit with your kindergartner and read through each lesson with them.
Our frustrations with Masterbooks for kindergarten
I actually love the curriculum.
The thing that frustrated our five-year-old the most was the amount of time we spent sitting still to read each lesson. He’s five, y’all. He’s ready to go go go all the time – Sitting still long enough to not only read the lesson but for him to actually comprehend what he was hearing, was a struggle.
At first, I was frustrated because, “other kids do this, why can’t mine…” — and that’s the black hole no one tells you about when you follow other “like” mamas on social media. But I got over that real quick.
It 👏 doesn’t 👏 matter 👏 what 👏 any 👏 other 👏 mamas 👏 are 👏 doing 👏 👏 👏
God gave YOU a specific calling for your homeschool, listen to HIM and He will direct your path. And that’s exactly what I did with Masterbooks for Kindergarten.
I, personally, didn’t feel at peace working through this level with our son, THIS YEAR. I still highly recommend Masterbooks for Kindergarten and other grades, because it’s beautifully written and the mastery approach is amazing. But my homeschool is mine and your homeschool is yours and IT’S OKAY if they look different, mama.
With that being said, we will probably pull this level out again next year and see where he’s at as far as being able to comprehend and complete the assignments. Heck, I will still pull some of the activities out of this book every once in a while to complete with him and he does great! Our homeschool ebbs and flows and I love it!
Moving on to Foundations Phonics. This is not a requirement for the Simply K curriculum, but it IS mentioned throughout the curriculum about halfway through.
However, I’ve had more success teaching our son to read by reading from a Bob Book, than I’ve had teaching from the Foundations Phonics curriculum.
Inside Foundations Phonics, it is very open and go. They script everything out for you, similarly to the Simply K lessons, and you work through the sounds our letters make and blending words together.
There are some worksheets as well, but it is, again, so reading-heavy. I’ve found that something simple like a Bob Book is more effective. And the best way I’ve found to teach reading with a Bob Book is not only sitting down to read one together, but to truly work through the WORDS in the book as if they were a curriculum themselves.
| Related: Our kindergarten homeschool plan for March
For example, instead of opening a Bob Book and reading through each page – and / or GUESSING the words on each page based on the picture it shows, I will write one word at a time on our chalkboard and point to each letter. Our son will mimic the sound it makes and we will blend JUST THE WORD ON THE CHALKBOARD together. I do not show him the Bob Book.
After he’s read every word from one page on the chalk board, I will then show him the page he read and we will read it together once again from the book.
This is fun for him because we’re using the chalkboard and less distracting!
The last thing we grabbed from Masterbooks for Kindergarten was the devotional from Rebecca Spooner, More Than Words. And we have yet to do one devotional in it 😅
The ONLY reason why I grabbed it is because Rebecca wrote it and we’ve done a lot with Gather Round Homeschool (her homeschool curriculum), so I wanted to check it out. But you guessed it, it’s really heavy in reading. However, it’s beautiful! You should grab it if you’re looking for a new devotional. I can’t wait to try to start it again soon!
Masterbooks for Kindergarten
I hope this gives you an insight into how Masterbooks might work, or not work, for your homeschool. Just remember that it’s YOUR homeschool and you get to create it however you want! ♥️
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