We have some serious hands-on learners in our house. In fact, when I asked my kids what “hands-on” means to them, they immediately chimed in unison, “getting your hands dirty!” Part of the reason that my kids avoid math with a vengeance is that there really isn’t much about math that is hands-on. That is why I was excited to get to review Interactive Math Curriculum Notebook K from Crafty Classroom. Here is what we found…
A Little Bit About Crafty Classroom
Crafty Classroom has homeschool products that cover the major subjects as well as the Bible. What they offer is designed for students in Kindergarten through third grade, and is created to be as prep-free as possible. A lot of the activities included in their curriculum are hands-on. If you have a hands-one learner, this just may be the choice for you. Our review will focus on the Interactive Math Curriculum Notebook K, but the following is a list of all the products the Review Crew is looking at for this review:
- R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook K
- R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook Gr. 1
- Interactive Math Curriculum Notebook K
- Alphabet Letter of the Week Curriculum Notebook
- Bible Letter of the Week Curriculum Notebook
- Sight Word of the Week Program
- Pattern Block Activity Bundle
- Fables & Tales
- USA Activity Bundle Pack
A Little Bit About Interactive Math Curriculum Notebook K
Interactive Math Curriculum Notebook K is a downloadable and interactive PDF file. This means that you will have this available for future children, and since everything is printable, it is completely reusable. Please note that this is for you and your immediate family only. They do have separate licences for co-ops, schools, and churches if you wish.
Interactive Math Curriculum Notebook K includes worksheets, a file folder activity (done daily), and lots of hands-on activities and games. They really have thought of everything, as since this is printable, the worksheets are in black-and-white, while the tools are in color.
My only suggestion would be to make some of the things on the worksheet larger. Since my daughter has significant eye sight problems, some of the small, lightly colored print was difficult for her to see. This was easily rectified by writing it bigger for her or reading it to her.
There are links to online games to reinforce what your child is learning. The sites are free and available for everyone, but it really saves time since they have the links readily available. I love it when I don’t have to go digging for things.
How We Used This Product
As I mentioned earlier, I was very excited to try this product, as my daughter doesn’t just want hands-on learning, she needs it. I was really hoping that this would have the types of activities that keep my daughter engaged. She is a non-typical user as she is sixteen, but due to her disabilities has just started Kindergarten/ first grade schoolwork. This is our lens as we review this product.
Our Learning Curve
First, let me say, I truly love this product. However, I can’t really do an honest review without talking about the learning curve we encountered at the beginning. This product advertises a low prep design, which I was all for. I am not going to lie, but I need to be spoon-fed. If a curriculum is not easy to use, it tends to be stored in file 13 (the garbage can).
I really struggled to get this program up and running. I had no trouble getting this downloaded at all. That part was very smooth. What I had trouble with was figuring out what I was supposed to do with my daughter each day. The syllabus shows page numbers, but these page numbers do not correspond with the PDF page numbers in any way.
I have to admit that I got so frustrated, that I actually put this aside for a few days. When I returned and really dug into the notebook, I found a section of review sheets for weeks 1-4. I decided to just print all the pages up to that point and work through them at our pace.
What I ended up discovering is that each page of the workbook has as a tiny number in the bottom right hand corner. I had not noticed this until they were printed. These number corresponds correctly with the syllabus. Just in case there are others out there that could be confused by this, I hope my mistake will save you time.
Once I realized how the program works, I began to see that this is a really wonderful curriculum. It mixes activities for all learning styles, and even though it is worksheet based, it is not boring. Before you begin, you need to put together the file folder activity. This becomes the first 5-10 minutes of each day and acts as a math skills review.
After a quick review with the file folder activity, we would progress on to two worksheets. The first one was more like a typical worksheet that you might see in a brick-and-mortar school. I didn’t see any instruction to go with the worksheet, so I provided that for my daughter. The concepts are pretty simple, so this part was not difficult.
Once the main worksheet was complete, we progressed to the activity sheet. Some days she would paint the correct number of apple seeds on several apples, while other days she played a counting game. This was her favorite part. While this curriculum is designed for young children, it isn’t done in a juvenile way. The graphics could be engaging really for any age.
We finished our time with the suggested online games (links are in the syllabus). My daughter really likes the popping bubbles game. The games serve as a great reward to going through the worksheets. Since the games are really supplemental, you would not need to add this if you don’t allow your child on the internet.
Ruth (age 16)
“I like this math. It has games to play. My favorite is the Bank game with the pennies. I want to bring that one on my vacation this summer.”
“I was a little worried that this would not interest my daughter, as she is not a fan of worksheets. However, she loves it! The worksheets are more like activities than real worksheets.”
Review Crew Thoughts…
You don’t have to take our word for it though. Other Review Crew families have also been working hard to bring you a great review. They are each reviewing different products from Crafty Classroom, so I highly recommend checking them out. To do so, simply click the link below.
Getting In Touch With Crafty Classroom