The Good and the Beautiful's (TGATB) Language Arts: Level Pre-K course set is a comprehensive, one-year course for ages three through five that is more advanced than most others. This level teaches letters and sounds, the concept of vowels, numbers, colors, shapes, fine motor skills, and other learning readiness skills. It teaches only the most common sound for each letter, leaving the alternate sounds for later. Children also learn to print both lower- and upper-case letters.
The course components are the Level Pre-K Course Book, an activity packet, four spiral-bound flip books, and a free “Vowel Song” recorded by the author that you can access through the web site. The course components other than the song are available as either physical products or PDF files. Printed books for both the 112-page Course Book and the four Alphabet Flip Books are full-color and spiral-bound. You will probably use the Alphabet Flip Books frequently, so purchasing the spiral-bound printed books might make more sense than trying to create durable versions of these yourself. Of even more importance, when considering PDF or print versions of the course book are the full-color game board pages, artwork images, and a few of the worksheets. It seems to me that you could selectively print some pages in color if you need to save money, but it would be a bother to sort this out.
If you choose to use the PDF files, you will need to do some prep work before beginning—primarily cutting out and assembling course materials. More such prep work is required for the first few levels of levels TGATB Language Arts courses than for older levels.
At this level, the course book is used by both parent and child. Instructions to the parent for some lessons are in a pale blue font while words the parent is to say to the child are in a black font. No answer keys are provided for Level Pre-K since they should be obvious to parents.
The course is appropriate for young children, helping them to learn through interaction with a parent, hands-on activities, singing, reciting poems, body movement, tracing, and other methods. For instance, letter memory cards from the activity packet and the flip books provide hands-on activity as children learn the sounds of the letters.
Children work on fine motor skills with cutting pasting, drawing, and pencil-and-paper activities as well as painting and working with Playdough®. You will need additional resources for some activities, such as flower seeds, cotton swabs, wiggle eyes, and ping pong balls. (These are listed at the front of the course book.)
The minimal amount of math included at this level should be sufficient for most young students. Children learn to count and recognize numbers up through 10, but the course does not teach them how to write numbers.
While this course goes beyond most pre-kindergarten programs in academic instruction, it does include lots of hands-on and interactive learning. The amount of time required each day will depend upon the child. Some children will need much more repetition and review than others. You should move at a pace that is appropriate for each child, stopping to work with the letter memory cards and the Alphabet Flip Books as needed.