hollyejt, I agree the ladies on this site are amazing and so helpful!
I wanted to add that I was SO OVERWHELMED my first year HSing. That is normal for most of us I think. It was an exciting time but I just didn’t want to “mess up” (which I now realize is VERY HARD to do b/c there are so many ways to learn and grow!).
I love Sheraz’s post. This is so helpful to me too, as a reminder!
I wanted to also second the suggestion to make a plan, or rather a goal or list. Even if you do just type up a word document with bullets, that would be great. Just something for you to reference especially on those days (that will surely come) when you wonder if you are doing the right thing. You can then go back and look at your goals and you WILL see that you are doing the right thing (even if there is a bad or unproductive day here and there).
I also wrote a proposal last year for my DH who is supportive but was very concerned I might be overwhelmed with schooling 5 children as opposed to 3 I had taught the year before. We had two who came up to K last year. It helped me too though to have that to refer back to. I did sort of a paragraph for each child and also one for me as the teacher.
So great to hear your excitement!!!Melanieamber3Participant
Hi, can I ask for an update? I am just starting out and now am asking myself these same questions. My father world and five in a row are both very intriguing to me. Would love to hear what you have learned & experienced!Wings2flyParticipant
Welcome Melanieamber3. I have some experience with Five in a Row. I started with Sonlight and then switched to Simply Charlotte Mason. Along the way, I found Five in a Row a little late (and use CM methods with it). I wish I’d have started with it and then SCM late elementary and on. However, the more I learn about CM methods, the more freedom I have to use whatever books we like. You have to start somewhere and these curriculum guides can be very helpful to guide you. But they are not your master, so don’t be a slave to them. See what books they use and start with the one whose books appeal more to you.
A friend of mine has always used MFW and has been happy with it, k – 8 so far. But the books and methods are different from FIAR. MFW has a focus more on history and geography. FIAR is more literature-based with optional hands-on projects and cookbook recipes. You still cover some history and geography, but not chronologically. You have freedom to choose activities within the unit; don’t try to do them all! And we have learned that for us, it is better to read the main FIAR book four times, not in a row. 😉
If you need any specific help, feel free to post a new topic. You can also go near the bottom of the forum page to search for more posts on MFW and FIAR.CrystalParticipant
I have used FIAR and MFW 1st grade – Early Modern (this year). We had a really great year with FIAR, it was super fun, though you need to add reading and math. MFW is pretty all inclusive in the younger years and a good way to start if you want a lot of guidance. I have a love/hate relationship with the teachers manuals, I hate to be a slave to the schedule, but like having guidance to make sure I get things done. It took me years to learn how to be the master rather than the slave, but once I broke those chains life with MFW was good. I must like it because every time I try to switch I end up going back to MFW mid year. I think either one is fun and rich and easy to use. Though neither are really CM. I know MFW claims to be, but I would disagree. The early years are probably more CM than the history cycle. That being said, you can make any curriculum more CM friendly, which is what I do. MFW has lists of extra readings that correspond to each week of study which I love. I typically chuck a lot of student worksheets, add more books, skip some encyclopedia type readings and slow down. Although with the first grade curriculum there was no need to CM-ize it, it felt about right. With FIAR you do a lot of crafty stuff, really notice art and literature elements within the books, and add history and science when topics come up. For The Story of Ping we learned about the Yangtze River and Ducks and made a lapbook. Sorry to be so long amd rambling, if you want a comparison of any specific aspect of the two let me know.
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