This is a review partly about a curriculum, but mostly about my new homeschooler ineptitude. Perhaps in jotting this down, that will help me avoid it in the future!
Since my kids were in second grade, 5k, 4K, as well as a toddler, who isn’t schooling yet, my thinking was, I should get the Exploring Countries and Cultures, which is suggested for grade 3 and up… are you seeing where this is going yet?
It does seem obvious why this didn’t work in retrospect, however, there are a few reasons I misjudged the level. They do say that if you have an older child, you can start this curriculum a little younger. Also, we were beginning this curriculum in late winter, and I figured this could be used for the next school year, when my oldest would be in 3rd grade. The reasons behind beginning a new curriculum mid-year deserves a whole other post, and won’t be addressed here.
Despite buying a curriculum for older children, and having challenges within a few days of beginning this curriculum, I pushed through for the majority of the remaining school year. However, I noticed I was slowly shedding materials like layers in the spring. The kids were not into it. Of course my kids are brilliant *wink, but it seemed like some of the material was just going over their heads, and it was a fight to sit through the read alouds. These are the same kids that happily sit for 2 hours when I read different books, so I realized it just wasn’t a good fit.
Another aspect that is a plus or minus depending on your personality is the daily grid schedule. For me, it was a little stressful. Coming out of a private school setting, I had concerns about organizing everything in homeschooling, just like the kids would do in school. I did not find a way to be flexible when the kids had extra interest in certain areas.
Although, when speaking with other homeschoolers, many people appreciate having everything laid out for them on a daily basis.
We started ditching the things we were not interested in, and I just built my own units based on what we were interested in doing. Some examples: Ancient Egypt, the Human body, Bears, Wolves.
The kids were fascinated with the ocean, and I saw online that the Good and the Beautiful were offering a free unit on the Ocean, and we loved it! We took our time with it, and added in extra things, like the Professor Noggins Ocean game, Toobs ocean life, a few Shark week documentaries and many many books from the library.
I also started researching for alternatives and found Julie Bogart’s youtube videos, and added in much more poetry, and art study. We began the Jot it down program and the Quiver of arrows in the last 2 months of school, and the kids loved it! Gone were the struggles to do school work. In fact, the kids have done many writing projects over our summer break, inspired by my Bravewriter readings.
Although, I could see how a family who wants to have a plan laid out for them would love it. The curriculum is complete, and covers a lot of material. Most likely, if I had gotten a younger grade I would have loved it. However for us, My Father’s World is currently living in a box under my bed.