We are wrapping up our first year partnering with A Reason For, and are excited to be working with them again for the coming school year! We have loved using this curriculum for handwriting and science this past school year, and intend on using ARF for these subjects again. This year we will are also excited to try out their Guided Reading program.
I initially made a video review and flip through for Instagram, which I then ended up sharing to youtube. Afterwards I thought I might as well write up a blog post as well for those who prefer written reviews! I have included the YouTube video here for reference (The video shows many samples of inside the course books!):
Thank you to A Reason For for sending us this curriculum!
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A Reason For offers Handwriting in 8 different levels: K (kindergarten), A (1st), B (2nd), T (transition 2/3), C (3rd), D (4th), E (5th), & F (6th). I have never been very good about using a stand-alone handwriting course. I find that it mostly develops naturally while learning letters, reading, and literature. However, this past year I have definitely seen the usefulness in being able to practice handwriting on it’s own!
Last fall I ordered the K level for the twins (preschool) and Will & Zoey (1st) as we hadn’t done any handwriting practice with them yet, so I though we should start from the beginning. The A level definitely would have been more appropriate for Will & Zoey so I ended up skipping them to B for the year ahead. Because The twins did K during preschool, I’ll be starting them on Level A, but we of course may not finish it all this year. Audri started on the transition level, but we were a bit inconsistent with it. Now that she realized she will get to learn cursive in the second half, she is much more excited to continue with it again through the next school year.
Similar to Handwriting, Science is broken down into Levels rather than strictly grades. Levels A-H line up with grades 1-8 and lay the foundation for Life, Earth, and Physical Sciences. It focuses on inquiry based learning, and has hands on activities for every lesson! We were able to utilize the Materials Kit with our set, which made it SO much easier to open and go and not have to worry about tracking down supplies.
For the last several years we had been working through various science units from The Good & The Beautiful, which allowed for us all to work on science together. I was very excited to try A Reason For’s science because it covers so many more topics throughout the year, however I wanted to continue doing a more “family style” learning for science. I opted to use Level A (recommended for 1st) with all 5 kiddos currently homeschooling: two preschoolers, two 1st graders & one 3rd grader. It was easy to use across the age levels with simple instruction adaptions. For example I might write a one word answer for the twins & Zoey to copy, William could write phrases, and Audri needed to use complete sentences etc. Not all kids’ skills always line up perfectly with their grade level anyways, but I found this course very easy to use and have discussions across the age groups!
The Guided Reading Program offers 95 different books across 13 levels (A-M) and can be purchased as a full set or as smaller bundles. We were sent the Complete Program + Parent Resource Guide. I love the variety of Bible stories and faith based books in this set that help kids learn more about God while developing their reading skills. These books are filled with bright and colorful illustrations, and each level builds on the last to help build vocabulary and confidence. Zoey and Vivi in particular have been very eager to work on these most days!!