Sunday, February 1, 2009

Product Review: Itty Bitty Bookworm's Bailey Curriculum

Because I hope to homeschool Suzi one day, I was excited to review Itty Bitty's Bookworm's literature-based Bailey Curriculum (for toddlers and two-year-olds). They sent me the December CD, which contained a PDF file with all the plans. It was far more detailed and comprehensive than I'd ever expected. It didn't just include plans for activities centered around the books; there was a complete daily (and half-day) schedule outlined hour-by-hour with various songs and activities to reinforce age-appropriate skills. You can tell it was put together by experienced childhood educators (read about them in the FAQ)!

After calling the library and local used bookstore, I had to order the books online, but they were inexpensive and easy to find in good used condition. Our favorite was This Old Man. After I sang it for Suzi a few times she started to sing it herself, which was so cute! She had a good time coloring in the face of her "old man" we made with a paper plate. While she was coloring hers, I made one too and poked holes for the eyes so she could look through it as we sang the song. She got a kick out of that.

She also enjoyed making "music makers" out of cups and dried beans. Her favorite part was scooping up the beans and putting them in the cup--although she was quite put off when I tried to put the other cup on and tape them together. This, along with several other of her reactions, helped me realize I had to tailor the plans to suit her 19-month-old sensibilities. I allowed her a few extra minutes of pushing beans around with a spoon, and let her color a plain paper plate when she'd finished with her old man's face. I know she learns more when she is allowed to do her own thing and be creative.

We liked the two books, and I know Suzi will enjoy singing along with This Old Man for years to come. There are also plenty of animals and things to count in that book! She is coming right along with her counting, and we are so proud.

The Itty Bitty Bookworm's Bailey Curriculum would be great not only for homeschoolers, but also (and perhaps especially) for small preschools and in-home daycares. Many of the featured activities are best for a small group of children. I love how the curriculum precisely outlines the schedule and explains which skills are reinforced with each activity.

The Itty Bitty Bookworm specializes in curricula for children ages 18 months - 5 years. The program is affordable and discounts are given for subscriptions of 3-12 months. Go here to read over the options and order your curriculum now!