Monday, November 23, 2015

Curriculum Changes

We have had a rough start to this year. I run an in-home daycare, and I took on a 12 yr old boy this year that is being homeschooled. I couldn't get into my groove. Lily is in first grade, and the other child is in 6th, so they can't work together. They also want to play instead of do their work, and that makes it hard. I love FIAR, but with me not being able to get into any kind of groove schedule-wise, I needed something that is laid out for me. We tried HOD (Heart of Dakota). It's a great program, but it was too book-ish for Lily. She loves hands on activities. It's how she learns best. After 4 weeks of HOD, I started looking at other curriculum choices. I need something that is laid out, but has some flexibility for me to add an activity in if I find something fun. We are going to try MFW (My Father's World) first grade. Now I feel like we are a bit behind, because we are basically starting first grade over again. Lily can use some extra phonics instruction, though, so it's not terrible that she is starting over.

So, here is a look at what comes with MFW first grade:

The teacher's manual has everything laid out in a weekly grid for you. It also has things written out daily. So, you get a week at-a-glance, then your days are laid out as well.  There is a student workbook, which is the phonics/reading work. There is also a pack of student pages. Everything is copywritten, but you can view samples of each item at:

The math in MFW first is very hands-on.  There is a container of pattern blocks, and a book of pattern animals to go with them. There are Unifix cubes, and activities for those. There is the Complete Book of Math, a clock and 2 decks of flashcards. One is for addition facts, the other is subtraction.

For Science, you use these three Usborne books. There are lots of fun hands-on activities in these books.

Bible is integrated into the  MFW curriculum. You have the Big Book of 5 Minute Devotions, which is super cute, and is an animal theme. Around week 11, your child begins reading stories in their Bible reader and writing Bible verses in their notebook. They also illustrate each verse.

Music appreciation is also included in the Deluxe package of MFW first. Your child will learn about the different instruments and how they sound with the Peter and the Wolf CD.

Also part of the deluxe package is Honey For a Child's Heart. It is a great book. It has an amazing list of books listed by age group in the back.

I went rogue on the art program. I didn't really like the one that was included in the curriculum, so I didn't order it. We are using Draw Write Now books. and HomeArt Studio DVDs. I'll also get some ideas from Pinterest.

There is also a list of books in the back of the manual that has suggestions for supplemental books based on your math and science topics for the week. You can create a book basket full of library books for your child to go to throughout the units. MFW also suggests reading aloud to your child for 15 minutes a day.

Overall, it looks like a fun program, and I think it will be a better fit for Lily. It has a nice blend of book-work and hands-on activities. I like the fact that it is already planned, so if I don't have time to plan any extras, I don't have to worry that all subjects are covered. I'll keep you updated on what we think! :)