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Friday, July 8, 2011

My Father's World- Kindergarten! #homeschool

Fun in the big city!
      A month ago I spent one overwhelming day at the HEAV (Home Educators Association of Virginia) homeschool convention. I brought the girls with me, and initially I wondered if it would be worth going for just one day and not attending any workshops, but I am so glad I did! For one, the little road trip to Richmond gave us a welcome change of scenery (and on the way back we were able to stop in Charlottesville and see a friend that we don't see nearly often enough). Two, I found it extremely helpful to browse the vendor booths and grab catalogs and pick up and flip through the different curriculum materials.
      The curriculum that stood out the most for me was My Father's World. They had a sample of some of the kindergarten work on display and it was just gorgeous. Interestingly enough, I already had one of their catalogs at home, had looked through it months before and didn't think it was for us. After seeing the samples of the Kindergarten curriculum work at the convention, however, I had to change my mind.
      I spent the next few weeks reading reviews, searching through homeschooling forums and whatever else I could find comparing a few of the different curriculums I had seen at the convention. I fell more and more in love with My Father's World. It came up as our top recommendation using HomeEdExpert (free & personalized curriculum guidance, developed in collaboration with Cathy Duffy).  I wrestled with the fact that I *know* I could do a great job teaching kindergarten material just unschooling and using the ideas in the Kindergarten Basics book I mentioned a few months ago, but having that little bit of extra structure of a set curriculum really won me over in the end, and I ended up ordering the deluxe package a couple weeks ago.

Miss K told me one day that she would like to start school when she is 5. She already knows her alphabet and letter sounds and is starting to read 3 letter words pretty well, and she is also doing some easy addition (i.e. I think she is ready for K), so I suggested that we start after my mom and stepdad visit us this summer. She then said that she would like to start when they are here. A few days after having this discussion, UPS delivered our MFW curriculum. While Miss H was taking her nap, we opened it up and explored the contents. Miss K casually said to me,

MFWK Deluxe Package
"You know.... I changed my mind about wanting to start when Mamma is here."

"Oh, is that so?" I asked.

"Yes," she said, "I want to start when (Miss H) is sleeping!"

I don't blame her; I think I am just as excited! As I read For the Children's Sake, I find that I resonate well with Charlotte Mason's ideas (I didn't know a whole lot about her philosophies before). I think that MFW will be a really good fit for us. It has the structure that I'm looking for, but is also flexible and incorporates lots of fun and creative activities. I love how Biblical principles are integrated into the curriculum, and I'm especially excited about the introductory Creation module. The included resources are high quality and well thought out. We are encouraged to use the library for most, if not all, of our reading material. I think that is such an important skill to have and foster! It's also really nice to have the support of other MFW'ers as well as share ideas on the My Father's World forum. I also joined a Yahoo group of families using MFWK this year. I'll keep you updated on our progress and post pictures of our projects once we get started!

P.S.
Here is a great article with lots of tips for keeping a toddler busy while homeschooling older children! We're already trying to incorporate some of these ideas into our day in order to ease the adjustment.

5 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you found a curriculum that you like. I think that's the most important thing. My son is going into fourth grade. We have been using Time4Learning.com since preK. We both love it.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of homeschooling.

    Kathi

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  2. Thank you! I have heard good things about Time4Learning :)

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  3. YAY! I'm so glad that you have made a decision. May God bless you and the girls as you begin your homeschoool journey...whenever that is, while H is asleep or when Mamma comes to visit. ;) Homeschooling is one of the best decisions we've ever made for our family!
    Julie B.

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  4. Hello...I just finished MFW K with my daughter in March and I have MFW 1 now. We are doing a little but will get in full swing when public school starts (I do child care and that is when all the kids I keep will go back to school). I also did MFW ECC with my 10 yr old & will do CTG this year. MFW K was wonderful; I am amazed at how much my daughter learned. I am tutoring a little boy going into 3rd grade over the summer - and my 6 yr old dd can answer the questions faster than he can. I have to encourage her to play in her room or not answer if she wants to tutor as well (she LOVES math and wants to do "work" at the table while I tutor him). She is really reading well and I'm excited at how much math she picked up with the math that seemed so simple (to me at least - there is more to it that we realize) in MFW K - so just wanted to jump in on here and encourage you - I love using MFW and I hope you have a great experience as well! Ash

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  5. I love how flexible we can be when home schooling! Figuring how to entertain toddlers is definitely a challenge but can be done. And trust me, it gets easier and easier :)

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