Ladies I really need some wisdom. Here is the short story: My family has moved alot - my 5 year old has lived in 8 going on 9 places. This summer we spent in NYC with my husband who is currently working a contract there. We are about to move into a home that we are looking at being in for several years - move in Labor Day weekend. This summer was really challenging to me. The past few years finally caught up with me and I am weary in every way. My oldest son is 51/2 and I plan on starting kindergarten stuff with him. I had some ideas of what I wanted to do going into this summer but now I really just am having a hard time functioning with life - we will be living in Alabama and my husband will be in NYC 4 days a week and home on weekend. So I kinda feel like a single parent in some ways right now and am in a period of adjusting to this. I have been seriously considering using My Father's World Kindergarten because it requires little effort in the way of planning and preparation for me during this time. My husband thinks this may be a good idea but is trusting me to make the decision. I would love some of you to weigh in with your thoughts on this idea. My plate is really full and my tanks are really empty but I want to keep him home. Suggestions and ideas...please.
Wisdom Please(10 posts) (7 voices)
My prayers and thoughts are with you Amy. I used MFWorld and we both loved it! We are in a similar situation with the single parenting thing, but not with the moving you have had. If I were you I would just enjoy him this year, read lots of stories, take lots of nature walks, spend lots of time talking, snuggling, nesting and reading. At 51/2 you are not hurting anything by waiting, especially with boys:) They need time to be boys and you need time to just be a mommy. When my dd was K age my dh was fishing in Alaska for 3 months at a time and when he was home he was on the road. My older kids were doing their schooling OK but I was soooo tired and not ready to embark on the journey. I read, enjoyed, walked, read, talked, read, to mydd and after Christmas we started with My Fathers World K. She loved all the activities and it was really not very stressful. I did add some reading of interest in there but mostly we used what they suggested. Just try and enjoy the journey and hopefully it will be the last move for a few years so you have time to catch your breath! Enjoy your kids and be easy on yourself. I think hschool moms are harder on themselves than anyone else I know, lol. Praying for you!
I guess if I were you, I would make it as easy and enjoyable as possible. Depending on your requirements legally speaking, you could just focus on the main subjects; esp. at his age. Most importantly, foster a love of learning. Work on basic math, letter recognition and perhaps a start in reading, reading him TONS of great books and fostering your faith. Go on lots of field trips and have fun. That is my .02. If you think Our Father's World would be a good fit and easy on you; go with that. The only bad thing about a boxed curriculum though is that "sometimes" it sets up a feeling of failure if you can't get it ALL done.
If you used the curriculum guide on her as a start, you'd probably find your year very enjoyable. I'll be praying for you.
In Christ, Bridget Riedell There is another living books curriculum that you might not be aware of dear; it is called http://www.livingbookscurriculum.com They have wonderful books and there are lesson plans that come with it too. You might find that helpful.
Where in AL are you going to be? We are in Huntsville (north AL). I can completely relate as we have moved 12 times since 2002. We may be moving again in the fall. I think you need to do whatever lightens your load and makes your life easier. A packaged curriculum can certainly help--especially when they are very young and learning so many fundamental things. I think MFW or Living Books would be a great choice.
Remember that K is very slow and gentle and if you take a lot of time off it is fine! I only went to K a couple days a week and for half days at that. Not all would be lost if you just chose to read amazing books your your little ones and practice a little bit of copy work and narration. I did this for children much older when we were moving a lot.
Oh, audio books, sing alongs, and good videos really help.
Hi, AmyJane! Thanks so much for sharing. Can't imagine having to move around a lot! You certainly have my respect. Not sure how I would deal with that?!? But I can say that we've used MFW for 3 years now (K-2nd) and I'm going back to it yet again.
When I started homeschooling, my oldest had just turned 5 and I had a toddler who had just turned 2. I wanted something simple to allow me to get my feet wet, where I could just wake up every day, open the manual, and do what it said. My husband owns his own business and works long hours, so I needed something that wouldn't overwhelm me and wipe me out. That's exactly what I got with MFW.
In fact, I just got finished using the K program again with my second child, who started (at her request) last fall when she was 4. With her, I just used the math and reading portions and skipped the activity guide (that has science and extra stuff) because she was tagging along and learning from what her older brother was doing in 2nd grade. Plus, we've since had a 3rd baby who is now the toddler in the house, and with more to juggle, I (again) needed simplicity! You could probably do that, too, and just focus on teaching the math and reading on a daily basis... then do whatever extra activities inspire you (bake cookies together, go on walks, chase frogs, read library books, etc). Since I've never used anything else, I can't compare it to other curricula, but I can say MFW worked for us. And just a side note: 2 other friends I know tried it, but they moved on to something else in later years because they thought it was TOO easy/simple!
One tip, if you do use MFW: you might want to mark the 3 different reference sections with paper clips or sticky tabs for easier use. The first time around, I had to keep double-checking what the math activity for the day was, then what the reading plan for the day was, then what the science/bible activity for the day was, and since the manual does not have dividers, it made it much easier after I marked my own sections.
Prayers & Blessings,
Amy in TX
Amyjane, when I read your post I thought what a terrific opportunity God has given you to train your son in leadership. As Daddy is away and your son learns to serve and be a help to Dad by helping Mom you will build a foundation of servant-leadership that will aid him all his life. As a mom of older boys, I know what it could mean to instill this at a young age. Of course, this is only my thoughts but one idea would be to do some reading instruction, a little math, 'do' some books from the library based on his interests and then really emphasize those habits and routines, work alongside of him, read scripture, and some great books about servanthood to him that will build that desire in him to be a man of God.
As you know, learning to lead is coupled with clinging to the Lord, so not all of these suggestions are about leadership per se. I'm sure you will also include first and foremost the heroes in the Bible and I'm also sure others will have tons of suggestions, but from my own shelf (as I'm sitting here staring at it!) I see: Boys of Grit/Men of Honor, and A Hedge of Thorns, both Lamplighter books. Boys of Grit may be a bit above him, but, if you have it, you could give it a go in tiny amounts. I love the Hedge of Thorns because it's not only about obedience, but how an older one can lead a younger one into blessing or destruction. The Reward of Childhood Truth and the Little Medicine Carrier - Triangle Press. Hmmm....Willie's Acquaintance with Christ, Johnny Appleseed (Sower Series), Pulling Together - a Bob Jones reader, The Robinson Crusoe Reader - Christian Liberty, The Life of Washington by Pollard, Tiger and Tom and Other Stories for Boys, William Bradford-Pilgrim Boy, by Smith. Honestly, we are weak in the area of picture books, which would probably appeal to him more since he's a little fella. So, I'd take any of these in bits and hopefully others will add some good suggestions, now that we've bumped this post up.
As far as 'doing' books from the library; we have had much success in allowing a child to choose some sort of project book and then we do it from front to back. That has opened up many an interest around here (plus it's cheaper than most curriculums!).
We've also moved a lot - our longest stay was 3 yrs, but some were 12 mos. Ultimately, I think that was a big factor in my pulling my kids from PS and HSing them. My kids are older (7, 9, 12), but our first sememster after we'd just moved - we did the 3 R's (lightly and w/ their interests) and just relaxed. We drew outdoors, went on a gazillion field trips, nature walks in the woods, PJ's every Friday, we read aloud Tale of Desperaux, etc. It was like a winter vacation at a cabin for me. Much needed to just have some family time, while still learning. This semester, I'm incorporating all of the CM methods, but I'm thankful I went easy the first semester. Moving is stressful and unsettling and you all need the down time. Hugs!
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