Tuesday, May 15, 2018

PandaParents Preschool Review

Preschool is a great time to expose a child to new ideas! Reading stories, singing songs, looking at animals, coloring pictures, using stickers, scissors, glue... everything is new and exciting! Preschool is supposed to be messy, creative, and fun! 

If you have a child in those preschool or kindergarten years and are looking for something structured, yet laid back, flexible, fun, and easy, then PandaParents MESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND KINDERGARTENERS may be just the thing you need to begin your youngster down a path of learning! We had a blast reviewing it this month!

MESSYLEARNING is a monthly preschool learning curriculum geared for ages 3-6, but I think the age range should be 2-5. 

M.E.S.S.Y. stands for:
Mixed subjects & activities for integrative learning
Engaging activities that challenge minds
Simple 1-2-3 steps: READ, LEARN, CREATE
Smart designs for creative learning
Yeah, a new way to promote preschool STEM & early brain growth!

Although this acronym isn't the best, this program really does meet these expectations. 

Each month's course focuses in on different letters, math concepts, science and nature ideas, behavior and emotions, songs, games, activities and crafts.

I want to focus in on Mommy's Baby, which is one of the available monthly curriculum options. My son Elias (4 years old) and I worked through this month's program in depth. This will give you a good idea of what a month entails. 

First off, we read the story book! I received a PDF version of this book. We read it together and watched the Read-To-Me video along with my 22-month-old. We laughed and I ticked them as we read it. At the end of the book there were questions that made us take a deeper look at the text and find all the sea creatures in the book or count the total number of hearts on a certain page. 

Every day we watched the video together and then pulled out the Workbook with all the learning activities to explore!

We learned about the letters "b" "p" "t" and "k" by tracing them, placing stickers on them, finding them hidden in a picture, coloring those pictures, and sounding them out from scenes in the story. We did some counting, and some shapes that correlated with the book we read daily. We learned about different animals and their tails. We learned about what LOVE means and we played games together. 

I printed this in black and white, but the PDF version is in full color. 

Elias got to cut, color, count, glue, circle things and sort things. It was very fun, laid back, unstructured enough that we could do as little or as much as we felt, but structured enough we had something solid to follow. 

This is truly a grab-and-go let's spend 15-20 minutes on something a day curriculum which is brilliant when you're home educating a lot of kids!

Now, as much as I liked it, I felt like most of the animation and pictures in the workbook were simply created on "paint" with basic shapes. The animation isn't the BEST out there for sure. Also, with the different voices being portrayed in the videos, it was difficult to understand what was being said at times. 

Let's talk price! There are different levels of subscriptions, but the most basic is $9.95-$14.95 per course, or you can pay $9.95 per month for 1-2 storybooks, 1-2 read alongs, 1 workbook. Now you have to consider that you need to print out all the materials to use at home. However, you do get to download these and use them again and again. Essentially, it's saving you money in the long run in this aspect since subsequent preschoolers can benefit from the material as well. 

Do I recommend this product? 
I would probably give MESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND KINDERGARTENERS a 3 out of 5. I LOVE the concept of the book and the workbook correlating and it covering a lot of subjects in one simple format. No need to buy a math, writing, reading, science all for preschool when it's all combined into one. I also think the price of $10 a month is reasonable. 

What I think would make this even better is more complex graphics and voice overs for the videos and workbooks. Also an option to order hard copies of the books and workbooks with actual stickers would be nice and convenient (instead of cut out and glue on ones). I know PandaParents is working hard to make this an option. 

These changes would make this a top notch preschool curriculum!

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