Home Elementary The Good and the Beautiful level K – thoughts, tips, and up close look

The Good and the Beautiful level K – thoughts, tips, and up close look

June 15, 2020
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Do you have a more reluctant learner? Who isn’t really interested in learning to read? Or maybe you have a child who can’t wait to read and is itching to start, but you’re trying to find the right program to help you teach them? The process of teaching your child to learn to read can feel overwhelming and daunting. I remember when I was first starting out homeschooling, I was so afraid of “messing up” my daughter and teaching her wrong. I wish I had had something like this program when she was little, but it also gave me the opportunity to see what worked and what didn’t work. Fast forward to now, my first is flying through 4th grade and is an amazing reader! One of the best things to me, is seeing them take off reading and watching them grow in knowledge! 🙂

My next daughter was equally a child who loved learning and wanted to read early on. She wanted to keep up with her older sister and flew through anything I gave her. Then I start my third child, thinking that my experience with my first two was how homeschooling was and kids couldn’t wait to learn to read. But he wasn’t interested in the slightest. It wasn’t that he couldn’t, he just didn’t want to. And because he didn’t really want to try, it just wasn’t clicking for him. So I realized I need to take a step back with him, do more games and hands on things. Then I switched him over to The Good and the Beautiful level K. We started out and he loved it, but it moved very fast for him. By the time we hit the unit 1 assessment, I could tell he just wasn’t ready to continue to move on. I wanted his foundation to be strong and not rush him through a program. I also didn’t want to discourage him and felt like we needed to pause and just focus on read alouds and reading through the Beginner Book A set from The Good and the Beautiful. We also worked through the Hook on Phonics level K program. Doing Hooked on Phonics gave him the confidence to see that he could read, so once we finished we jumped back into The Good and the Beautiful and haven’t looked back! We are over 75% of the way through it now. And I cannot believe how fast he is moving and how well he is reading! I went from wondering if it was ever going to click, to seeing him last night grabbing books to read himself!

There have been a few things I have learned that have been a help through using their level K, so I wanted to share them with you. I also wanted to share what this curriculum looks like up close and how each part flows into each other.

The Good and the Beautiful level K set comes with the course book, reader, phonics cards, and mini books. This new edition is SO much better! We tried the edition before that in the very beginning, but there was a lot of flipping back and forth and harder to get in a good flow. I love the look of the lessons and how everything flows so much better!
This reader is one of his favorite things to read. It’s got such cute stories and slowly builds up to harder stories.
These are all the mini books! They incorporate them into the lessons and your child will typically read them twice. I love how it works on the words their learning, while also putting in a few harder words here and there.
Next come the phonics cards. You will use these for levels K through 2 in the Good and the Beautiful. For the K program you go up to card 56. *A tip I gleaned from Dina over at Pursing Peace was to put the cards in a different order then they are number. Instead of how they are number, match the sound blend and with the word group behind it.*
Another tip that I started implementing that made a huge difference is, instead of just practicing the phonics cards and sight word ladder twice a week, we now do it every day. I was finding he needed more practice and by doing this it has been a game changer for us!
At the front of the course book is a page that once they finish those phonics card sets, he get to color. It’s a fun incentive for them and something he looks forward to (btw he is pretty much done with cards 19-37 I just realized we never went back and colored it! ;)).
Here is the sight word ladder incentive coloring page. Each time they finish one of the ladder they get to color a different animal or thing in the picture.
One way that I have found that works great is that I got this little ring notebook at Walmart and wrote all the words on them. We work on all the words and then on the days that it says to do it in the course book, if he gets them all right he gets to check it off. This practicing of all the words have kept it fresh and now he reads them all much faster!
At the beginning of a unit, it will go over the different spelling words, supplies you need, concepts that are taught, and mini books they will use.
I love the art work through all their course books and how they incorporate it into the lessons. Asking them questions that relate to either what they are learning in that lesson or just about the painting itself. I have noticed with all my kids a huge difference in how they look at art work. When they see a picture somewhere now they will stop and look at it, asking questions or really looking at the details of it. It’s so amazing to see!
I truly love how each lesson is laid out and flows so smoothly!
Throughout lessons it will have independent practice for them to do of things they can work on themselves.
At the end of units there is a unit assessment to show if your child needs a bit more practice, or understands the concepts and is good to move forward.
I recommend using both Beginners Books Box A and B with the curriculum as it a wonderful resource and so fun for them to be able to have books they can read themselves.
Again I can’t say enough how much I love the color, beauty, and fun hands on things for them to do throughout the course book!
I also love the beautiful messages it speaks into your child’s life!
If you feel like your child needs more spelling and is flying through the small list they give, it has an optional spelling list at the back.
It also has a optional poetry memorization section too.
This curriculum has truly been such an amazing blessing! I love how easy, open and go, beautiful, and how amazing the program works! My son went from not interested in reading anything, to now picking up books to read! 🙂 Out of all the curriculums we have done, this has been the best fit for our whole family!

I will end with my biggest piece of advice… go at the pace of your child. If they want to fly through things, let them. And if they need a bit more time to bloom, take a step back and don’t feel the need to check boxes for the sake of checking boxes. Enjoy this time with your child that you have. Cultivate a love of learning. Find what your child loves and use that in teaching them. Most of all, stop and just be with them. I know this is hard in our busy culture and if you have multiple kids. But you would be amazed how some one-on-one time will not only fill your child’s soul up, but it will also fill yours up as well. 🙂 One of the reasons that I love The Good and the Beautiful curriculum, is that it gives me that one on one time with my child to just focus on them. Does it take longer? Yes. Do I have to be better with my time during the day since I have five kiddos? Yes. Do I regret the time I spend with them? Not in the least. Out of anything I can do in my day, that time with them will mean the most. When my kids are all grown, my hope and pray is that they will know that I loved spending time with them and how important each of them are to me. That if it’s between my phone, social media, or laundry pile, time with my children and pouring into them will make the most lasting impact in our family, and in turn generations to come.

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