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BJU Press Focus on Fives Review

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.


 

Are you starting to look for kindergarten curriculum from a biblical perspective? Then you are going to want to keep reading to find out more about BJU Press Homeschool and the BJU Press Focus on Fives curriculum.

So what is Focus on Fives? Let’s check out the kit!

  • This will come with six complete teacher’s editions that lay out everything you need step-by-step.  There is a lot of information in the early pages of this book just for you to read through before beginning this.  There is some prep work like hanging up the alphabet chart, getting the puppet characters ready, etc. that you will want to look through before beginning. We have altered some activities that are designed for groups or classrooms to better fit teaching one student.  Each of the teacher’s guides covers 5-6 weeks of lessons in a five-week format.
  • You will also get the visuals homeschool flip chart which contains a ton of visuals that go along with the lessons.
  • The phonics charts homeschool packet contains alphabet song charts, high-frequency word cards, phonics characters, mascots, word family cards, phonics song charts, handwriting wall charts, spelling cards and phonics charts.
  • Write Now!  Book which has a variety of tracing and writing activities as well as correct spacing of letters, words and phrases.  
  • Phonics practice book contains a ton of different phonics practice activities and review activities throughout the book.  There are also  a bunch of phonics stories in the back of the book for activities the kids do.  
  • The Worktext is packed with activities and worksheets for your child to go along with that days lesson.  Different activities include writing, circling, cutting and gluing, matching, putting things in order.  Everything you need for these worksheets and activities is included in the book. The sections are separated by color and tie you an overview of new sounds your child will be working on, tips and other books to read.  The back of the book is different checkup station worksheets to ensure your child is retaining what they have learned.  
  • Phonics Review Cards which contain the alphabet, sound combinations and words.  They are clearly marked for the lesson they go with {except the beginning ones which are used multiple times}.
  • Over thirty books for your child and you to read together.  The beginning books are picture books for discussion and they progress to reading.  You and your child read together by reading the kid words and the parent words.  In the back of the book, you will find phonics review words.

Okay – so that’s what you are getting.  Now – how are we using it!  Let’s check it out.  Henry is my checker outer – he is 5 1/2 but hasn’t started any actual schooling that he isn’t interested in yet {October birthday so I give him the lead right now}.

 Okay, so for one lesson, it will give you:

  • a learning center activity that you can find in the instruction aids in the book.  Some of these require some prep work like extra copies.  
  • There is a show and tell activity that we sometimes do.  Some days, all three kids want to do this activity, some times none of them do.  
  • Snack of the week is Henry’s current favorite {especially the cupcake activity where they are decorated with the first initial of each kids’ name}.  
  • Songs {they are listed in the book}
  • {In the first lesson, we introduce the puppets but ours have disappeared and we are super bummed because Henry loves the puppets bouncing over the words and letters as we say them} edit already – we found them!  Yay!
  • Set up the visuals of the lessons.  These may introduce a biblical theme, characters in the story, healthy habits and tons of other things.  
  • Listening story and comprehension.  
  • Worktext pages which are clearly labeled in the teacher’s edition for you to find.  I tear the pages out that we will work on each day.  
  • Alphabet recognition.  This uses the alphabet charts and the alphabet song and chart {we use a different version than the song on here because I’ve been teaching it to my kids since birth but this one is super cute too}.  
  • Handwriting and I love that it keeps referring back to the correct pencil hold so they get a solid understanding of this from the start. 
  • Extended activities.  I have to be totally honest – these tend to be our favorite things!  There will be different story suggestions, the write now activity pages {we also tear these out to work on}, the language arts activity in lesson one is a favorite – the letters on the dog bones and he has to find them around the house and match them to the wall chart.  Motor skills, learning center activities and more.  The extended activities cover a ton of different subjects, language arts, motor skills, arts and crafts, science and my favorite – the bible connection.  I love taking what the kids are learning that day and using it to relate to the bible in an understandable way for young kids.  


The beginning books in the reading books have no words.  They are picture reading books designed to engage the child in the story by asking questions about the pictures.  The story is then followed up with comprehension questions.  

We are loving the variety of activities each week offers.  Arts and crafts is one of his favorite things so incorporating that into the school work is super fun for him.  And the success he finds when he correctly names and matches a letter to the alphabet chart is so fun for him. 

When I first received these packages in the mail, I felt both excited and overwhelmed.  There is a lot of material.  When I first started going through it, I felt like it was difficult to find some of the pages but mainly because I was skimming – not reading and would miss where to find that page.  After the first lesson or so – I figured it out and it wasn’t a struggle anymore.  I get stuff ready daily for each lesson but I think you could also spend a few hours and separate it all by lesson so it’s all set for you each day.  This curriculum allows Henry to exercise his mind and move his body while learning and having fun.  As you progress through the different lessons and teacher’s editions – you move from just letter recognition onto being able to read.  The natural flow of it all seems like it will work great for us.  

Henry and I both like Focus on Fives and while we will take a break from it for now, we will start up again in the fall or on the days he wants to work on it.  Now – wish me luck to find our puppets, I have no clue where they could be!

Want to hear what others have to say?  Check out some more Focus on Fives reviews.

 

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