Homeschool.com’s Product Reviews
Can you review a product and give it an A+ just for their packaging and presentation? Probably not—but if I could, both Kelso’s Choice and SD Accelerate (same company) would receive the highest possible grade. When I opened the Kelso materials, I immediately started “OOHing, AAHing, and Oh, MY GOSHing”.
But it’s not just the packaging/the presentation that’s great–the enire Kelso’s Choice Conflict Management Skills program (4th Edition) is impressive. That’s because Kelso’s Choice is based on the premise that every child is capable of becoming a peacemaker (what a wonderful premise!). This is not just an anti-bullying program (although it’s that too)—it’s a life skills program in how to resolve conflicts, and is a great tool to prevent tattling.
Kelso’s Choice teaches kids the difference between small and large conflicts. It encourages, and gives them strategies to resolve small differences on their own, and it encourages kids to seek out an adult when more serious problems come into play.
The program grows with children by providing developmentally appropriate lessons, activities, and visuals. The first half of the lesson book is for grades K-3 with Kelso the Frog teaching children how to manage conflict. The second half of the lesson book is for upper elementary-aged kids, and uses photographs of pre-teens to teach conflict resolution.
The Kelso’s Choice kit includes a lesson book, a DVD, a storybook, Kelso and Lily puppets, some of the highest quality posters I have ever seen, and MORE. The varied components keep students interested and engaged throughout the entire program.
The lesson book itself is 23 lessons, with 16 additional activities for review and reinforcement. The key component is Kelso’s Choice Wheel which contains nine possible response scenarios to any type of conflict. They include:
- Go to another game
- Talk it out
- Share and take turns
- Ignore it
- Walk away
- Tell them to stop
- Make a deal
- Wait and cool off
Because terms such as “Ignore” are linguistic in nature, each of the above options is taught as distinct behavioral skills—that way young learners understand what to do. For example, what does “Make a deal” mean to you? Kids are taught specific strategies for “Make a deal” which include flip a coin, pick a number from one to ten, compromise and make a trade-off, etc.
We received the package below, which is meant for a classroom, due to the large number of included posters. Items can be purchased separately.
This program has won various awards including the:
- 2012 Telly Award Winner
- 2011 Omni Award Winner
- ★★★1/2 out of 4 stars by Video Librarian
- 2013 Communicator Award of Distinction
We were impressed as well! This is a very good program for a family—or for a homeschooling co-op/ a support group program.
It’s a little pricey—but it teaches conflict management—a skill your children will take with them for the rest of their lives. And I bet when you ask them, “What do you remember about your third grade studies?” Their answer will be “The frog lessons!”
By the way, there is an alternative option to the complete curriculum. The Counselor Activities Toolkit includes a workbook of short activities and crafts, a board game, a storybook, and a DVD. There aren’t in-depth lessons introducing each of the choices, but a printable version of the wheel is included. All this is available for $149.95, which is much easier on the pocketbook!