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Old 05-06-2014, 10:33 AM
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Default Best preschool in a box curriculum??

I've done my own curriculum in the past but have been pretty much curriculum free for the last few years as my kids have been really young.

I have one who I thought would leave in Sept. for preschool but they said they are going to keep him here one more year. I'd like to try to get another child his age and start doing more of a preschool curriculum with them. I just don't have the time and energy to put into coming up with my own stuff the way I did years ago so would like to maybe try one of the programs out there.

Can anyone tell me about the ones they've tried? What you liked/didn't like? Which ones are cheaper than others? Best value for the money? Etc. Basically anything you can tell me about your personal experience with them would be great. I can google and research but nothing beats personal experience.

Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:42 AM
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If you don't mind a lot of printing and *initial* prep work (as in, do it once, pretty much, and then reuse it), try Letter of the Week

some things would need reprinted every time you use it, others can be laminated and reused.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
If you don't mind a lot of printing and *initial* prep work (as in, do it once, pretty much, and then reuse it), try Letter of the Week

some things would need reprinted every time you use it, others can be laminated and reused.
is that just letters though? That's a small investment, I will try it but also I was thinking more along the lines of the themed programs where they send you all the craft materials each month?
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:33 AM
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I reccommend Mother Goose Time because it has lots of great ideas and is very professional looking. Most of the projects are cute and easy to implement. I do have a few caveats...

1) I do tweak it (including the art projects) to make it more developmentally appropriate.
2) I use this because I need a parent pleasing curriculum, and I do not have the time to prepare it myself. I do not have the time to print stuff off, look on pinterest, and put together a wonderful curriculum. I have done this in the past and will go back to it just as soon as I have some more time to devote to it.
3) It is a bit expensive and at the end of the month I see how much was wasted because I truly do not have the time to do it all. They provide a lot of stuff.

If you want to see some of the projects we do with the curriculum you can check out my facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/GreenGateEarlyLearning
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy8 View Post
is that just letters though? That's a small investment, I will try it but also I was thinking more along the lines of the themed programs where they send you all the craft materials each month?
I use funshine express buttercups. It's about $500/year but totally worth it. Everything comes with the kit, flash cards, manipulatives, books, and all the crafts for the theme. They send a 2 month shipment. I'm not very creative so this is really easy for me. It can be used right out of the box. I'm very much a procrastinator and always forget to prep my activities until the night before, with this it takes 20 minutes to read though and set up the weeks curriculum.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:38 AM
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I have been using Carols Affordable Curriculum. It is so easy everything you need except glue crayons and markers.I use the jumping kangerroo one .I do have to cut out the younger kids things.The one year I bought for younger kids and Jumping Kangerroo the younger kids noticed.Though they cover the same stff,older kids might make a paper bag puppet while younger just coler.It caused enough trouble that I always just order enough of the older program. It is not perfect but does cover all the material.Not to expensive and a parent letter with recipesand a calender are incluced each month.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:41 AM
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i have been doing my own for years and just needed a break. I have been using MGT. I am not a huge fan of it, but it's all ready to go. I liked looking at your FB page to see how you guys used yours. Cool to see how people use it differently.

The people at MGT are very nice and I even have a rep that calls me to make sure I don't have any questions or need any help setting up. They have been very helpful to me and gave cool ideas to start using it.

I also like the learning box.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:54 AM
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Great post, I'm thinking of doing the same thing. I have a 2.5yr old myself and have two more 2yr olds and a 2 turning 2 later this year plus a 3.5yr old who may or may not be going to preschool this summer after 2 other failed attempts. These programs all seems so expensive! I would have to figure out how much I need to charge to recoup the costs.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinKristi View Post
Great post, I'm thinking of doing the same thing. I have a 2.5yr old myself and have two more 2yr olds and a 2 turning 2 later this year plus a 3.5yr old who may or may not be going to preschool this summer after 2 other failed attempts. These programs all seems so expensive! I would have to figure out how much I need to charge to recoup the costs.
it breaks down to be about 1$ a day, so about 20$ a month. I only buy for 6 kids, copy what I need to or reproduce the extra number of crafts I need.

I spent 124$ for 6 kids and got a dancing CD, which the kids LOVE. I have 12 kids and it covers all 12 of them. so then it's only 10$ a month.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daycare View Post
it breaks down to be about 1$ a day, so about 20$ a month. I only buy for 6 kids, copy what I need to or reproduce the extra number of crafts I need.

I spent 124$ for 6 kids and got a dancing CD, which the kids LOVE. I have 12 kids and it covers all 12 of them. so then it's only 10$ a month.
Hmmm did you have a discount code or something? When I looked the other day it was more than $124 for 6 kids. I guess I need to look at the site again. I wasn't sure if it was duplicatable or not. Good idea.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinKristi View Post
Hmmm did you have a discount code or something? When I looked the other day it was more than $124 for 6 kids. I guess I need to look at the site again. I wasn't sure if it was duplicatable or not. Good idea.
I just went on the site and input my info into the quick price check(12 months, 4 kids) and it came out to $703.68.

You must have had a coupon code when you ordered to get it for 6 kids for $124.
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Old 05-06-2014, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Asmithdaycare View Post
I just went on the site and input my info into the quick price check(12 months, 4 kids) and it came out to $703.68.

You must have had a coupon code when you ordered to get it for 6 kids for $124.
Ok whew! I'm not crazy!! LOL I was thinking it was something like that for 4 kids when I looked!
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:20 PM
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I only ordered the curriculum and the dancing beats CD NO COUPON

4 kids= 70.74 a month plus 13.99 shipping
then add about $5 for each additional kid.

6 kids= 79.24 plus 15.61 shipping.

this is only for 1 month

the dancing beats CD was 19.99 and comes with a book that includes sheet music, movements and words. this was my frist order of this dvd/cd
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:00 AM
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I wish shipping wasn't expensive. I can get use the ups depot to have it delivered so shipping would be cheaper. I was thinking of getting back into doing a cirriculum to change it up a bit.
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:07 AM
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Funshine Express is $72.00 for 6 kids (plus $11.50 for S/H) but you get the Teacher pack included FREE which is a ton of stuff, including a dance CD.

http://www.funshineexpress.com/curri...eflies/pricing

Personally, when comparing the two curriculum's (I used both for a year ~ a long time ago) and ultimately went with Funshine.

I used it for about 4 years before converting to my own.
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:14 AM
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I use Funshine Express. Both the Buttercups and Fireflies. I really like it because I just don't have time to make my own right now. They use a 4-year rotation, so I laminate what I can and I can reuse a lot of it.
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:26 AM
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So how do you just get 1 month and duplicate when they have different letters/numbers each month?
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinKristi View Post
So how do you just get 1 month and duplicate when they have different letters/numbers each month?
If I understand what you're asking, you would need to buy 9 months worth (at least of Funshine Express) and then you would have a full year of their curriculum. The curriculum runs during the school year, and the summer is review of what they learned, plus some summer themes.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:14 AM
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If I understand what you're asking, you would need to buy 9 months worth (at least of Funshine Express) and then you would have a full year of their curriculum. The curriculum runs during the school year, and the summer is review of what they learned, plus some summer themes.
thats what I did when I MGT, but then they updated their program.
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Old 05-07-2014, 01:27 PM
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Ok so I have to at least buy 9 months for 1 child and then duplicate it? Are they easily copied? I have a laminator and copier here at home. What about the art work? Just buy my own supplies like theirs?
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:13 PM
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I only need for 2-3 kids, and none are older than 3.5 so it can't be stuff meant for 4-5 year olds to do. MGT is coming out to $55/month. That's more than I want to spend. I can't raise my rates to cover it either.

Anyone use Carol's Affordable Curriculum?? That's more my price range, LOL!

I should probably just spend a good week or two creating my own again. I don't want to spend a fortune on stuff when we probably won't get to all of it, I still want to remain somewhat play-based but with enough curriculum to satisfy parents.
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:20 PM
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It's $436 plus S/H per student per school year for MGT. Even if I did 1 kit and copied it that's still a LOT of money.
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy8 View Post

I should probably just spend a good week or two creating my own again. I don't want to spend a fortune on stuff when we probably won't get to all of it, I still want to remain somewhat play-based but with enough curriculum to satisfy parents.
Have you or has anyone else thought about just charging the monthly cost to parents? Especially if they are the ones you are trying to satisfy.

Here the learning is embedded in the play. ALL of my kids leave fully prepared for Kindy but if a parent requires something tangible in order to measure their child's learning/development it will cost them more than the regular weekly rate I charge.
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Have you or has anyone else thought about just charging the monthly cost to parents? Especially if they are the ones you are trying to satisfy.

Here the learning is embedded in the play. ALL of my kids leave fully prepared for Kindy but if a parent requires something tangible in order to measure their child's learning/development it will cost them more than the regular weekly rate I charge.
I would have to raise my rates for a preschool curriculum and pass the cost on to the parents.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:30 PM
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I used to charge parents $20 a month when I first started MGT it was optional.

I had several parents that didnt want to pay it, so when we did MGT I let the others do something else. Obviously, a family with an infant is not going to want to do MGT and pay for it. Now I have it fixed into my cost.

if you are looking for a one time buy program, I suggest teaching zoo phonics. it comes with the teaching guide the rest you have to make copies from the book or the cd. It is a bit out of pocket, but once you get the lessons down, you learn to revamp it better and better each year. I paid to get certified and it was well worth it. I am still using the same exact materials as I was 7 years ago. So now that I look back at the cost, it has only cost me $142 for each year......plus the cost of paper, glue and tape, etc....
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:45 PM
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I've used Funshine Express and it's ok. Then I used The Learning Box and liked that one better. Now I am using God's little helpers and I like it because is #1 free and # 2 is so simple that I can add according to their interests. Lately I'm just following what they like, I google and look in pinterest for ideas, then add to God's little Helpers. I don't think I'll pay again for something like Funshine, for me it's been working better this new way.
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