This past week Vicki started Heart of Dakota Little Hands to Heaven and My Father’s World Voyage of Discovery. It is going very well so far though we have been using HOD LHTH as the primary core we’re doing almost everything in HOD and about 60% of what’s in MFW Voyage of Discovery.
I really like the way HOD is set up. With HOD it is super easy to teach but unfortunately I think if I were to start it last year with Vicki it would’ve been a bit premature for her as developmentally even for hand games/puppets would ‘scare’ her so in that sense MFW All Aboard The Animal Train was a good choice. It did teach her a lot. I loved that the All Aboard The Animal Train curriculum was in units. In fact, I will admit it is the primary reason we went with it along with the Charlotte Mason Philosophy. But now that I look back and though in HOD Little Hands to Heaven we are just on day 2 of Unit 1 I can say with confidence that she IS retaining way more information from the way HOD is laid out than she ever did with MFW.How can I tell? We’ve done a number of activities since starting HOD and already she can tell me on her own that God created Ba(her blanket),God created me(herself),God created sippy cup,God created Peppers(pepperoni),God created Mom,Grandma and Grandpa…That is not something she did as quickly with MFW.The fact she is retaining information so well already makes me encouraged HOD might be the one to stick with. One thing I’ve seen consistently at least on the website and I expect that through Preschool up to High School will be Charlotte Mason friendly and Unit Study friendly. I am pretty confident that whatever is in the curriculum will work though I will likely edit out a few subjects/books.One thing I saw on Cathy Duffy’s review on MFW after the 2nd grade is that it is not “tightly knitted” into Unit Studies. However even before that I can see it’s not “unit study” friendly as I thought it was. The only one I can say with certainty is Charlotte Mason friendly and Unit Study friendly is MFW All Aboard The Animal Train.IF we do continue with MFW after Voyage of Discovery it will only be up to 2nd grade as I originally intended to do.Something kind of told me to not continue after that so I think that’s probably what we will end up doing.
Today Vicki’s Heart of Dakota Little Hands to Heaven came in the mail. Of course as soon as she saw that there was a box it had to be opened.For the HOD LTTH we got the Little Hands to Heaven Guide,the A Child’s First Bible for ages 2-3(1st run through) and The New Bible In Pictures for Little Eyes for ages 4-5(2nd run through).What we chose not to get was the Big Thoughts for Little People and that is because it is also included in the MFW Voyage of Discovery Deluxe Package which is what we are waiting on to arrive…For the 2nd round of HOD LTTH we would need 2 additional items but that is still a way off.I have heard of homeschooling moms who use HOD LTTH through a 2 year span but when that time comes I will see if we can do another year of HOD LTTH or go to the next guide for HOD. That will also depend which we use as the main curriculum and which will just be extra.I *think* it will be MFW VOD but I’m not sure until I look over everything.
Just by looking at it briefly the program looks fantastic. It has little boxes that can be done through the day for an estimated amount 30 minutes a day. For V,I always did child led so even when it comes to preschool I encourage her to do at least 5-15 minutes of preschool whether it’s coloring, flash cards, reading and sometimes through games/play time. More often than not she doesn’t realize she’s doing preschool so with every play (games, toys) it’s very educational and beneficial for her.
I like the format because of the boxes it feels more “relaxed” to use vs MFW’s ‘typical’ schedule. Though I never exactly follow the entire curriculum and do everything that’s suggested I pick and choose what might suit her that day or over a span of several days we do on one day if she’s up to it.We don’t always follow a schedule though we do year around homeschooling.What I often end up doing is marking it finished in the manuel with the date, sometimes I will write notes and review notes as well in there.I could adapt to both ways.
It looks very fun and though it is still somewhat repeatitive it is a lot more fun and games than ABCJesusLovesMe.So, we are probably going to ditch ABCJesusLovesMe and not order the 4 year.We barely use it now so no sense in continuing.I think HOD LTTH and MFW VOD will be more than enough but I will look over MFW VOD just to be sure my decisions are accurate from my notes and what I might expect from Vicki this coming year.
Vicki is almost finished with the ABCJesusLovesMe 2 year curriculum and we are getting ready to purchase the 3 year curriculum both teacher’s manual and workbook.We will continue to primarily use it to supplement My Father’s World All Aboard The Animal Train 2s and 3s.What we won’t use in the 3 year curriculum ABCJLM is the handwriting curriculum.I will probably be teaching her the italic way of handwriting with the Getty-Dubay. Looking forward to start it this summer with V!Once we’re finished with ABCJLM I’ll post a review of what she’s learned from the 1 and 2 year curriculums.My Father’s World All Aboard the Animal Train 2s and 3s we’re finishing up the 2nd unit and starting the 3rd unit this week. All About Reading Pre Reading we have honestly not done much because she already knows the letters and the sounds it makes so it doesn’t make sense to just do that aside from reading, tracing letters and numbers.Mostly we’ve been reading the books with the pre reading curriculum and look forward to the first level of the program.Not sure when we will start it.Probably once she has the rhyming down is when I’ll order the 1st level of reading.She does meet the criteria for the first reading level though.My goal is not to push her though it’s for mastery of concept/skills
Currently we’ve just restarted “preschool” in the past few weeks and right now we’re close to finishing Unit 2 of My Father’s World All Aboard The Animal Train 2s and 3s Bear and Obey Unit.We are also almost half way finished with the 2 year curriculum of ABCJesusLovesMe.One thing I have noticed though is she has forgotten almost everything we covered the 1st year of homeschooling after she had the regression on Depakene syrup. I just noticed it a day or two ago when she took interest in doing the Match it puzzles from The Learning Journey International. I had actually thrown some pieces away to challenge her. What I wanted or was hoping for was to have her categorize say anything that begins with W and find all those pieces and put it together(Whale,wall..) or things that belong outside(Pail,hose,rain…)just to name a few categories. But as I was going over some of the really basic ones like wall for an example.Before I could show her a picture of a wall(on a puzzle piece) and she’d say “Wall”. Now she can’t do that.Another one she knew well was “Camel”.Showed her a picture of a camel and she looks at it blankly as if to say “Mom,What’s that?”So we need to buy more matching puzzles. Yes,she’s very sharp and she does know most of her ABC’s and colors even starting to count and actually read not saying it from memory. I can clearly see her reading from the beginning of a sentence by pointing word for word. She did one sentence on her own just a few days ago from a sight word book “I like to help out”.
She read on her own “I feed the dog”.Pretty good for 2 1/2 years old.We have not touched much on All About Reading Pre Reading lately but I don’t want to overwhelm her so I try to do pretty much whatever she’s interested in and as long as I get some cooperation from her.
That’s the thing about homeschooling and when a homeschool parent schools year around is we can meet the child right where s/he is at and go at his/her own pace.We don’t need to worry about comparing our kids to others. Inevitably it will happen at some point but sometimes kids find out they’re further than a public or private school student.
I will share her progress once we reach the review week in ABCJesusLovesMe.Every time there’s a review I go over my notes in the student book, teacher book and write down on another paper what she’s made progress in, what she needs to work on, what she’s mastered as that’s very important to me in mastering a skill/concept.If it’s mastered you’ll see a M followed by a date.For progress I’ll just put the month and year and if that pattern continues for several months I’ll consider it mastered providing she hasn’t regressed in that skill/concept.
We have re started doing “preschool” after about a month of hospitalizations for seizure control.Since then we’ve kind of resumed the All Aboard The Animal Train studies and the All About Reading Pre Reading program.
The first unit focused on love and Vicki caught on really fast to 1 John 4:21 “Love God and love others” very fast.One of the things that drew me to My Father’s World-well at least for preschool and lower elementary-is it really focuses on character building and that is something I have always wanted to focus on even before becoming a mom.As with homeschooling, I knew long before becoming a mom I intended to homeschool just because the education system is the worse I’ve seen particularly Common Core being one issue but I won’t get into that.If there is one thing I have seen people in general in the current generations of the past 20 years is lack of respect and namely character in general. I feel like its’ not emphasized enough more than likely at home from the time kids are brought home from the hospital until they graduate from high school. I feel it’s so important to take our jobs as parents seriously because if we don’t raise them to have good character who will…This is a huge reason I chose to homeschool and not even send my daughter to preschool.I even considered Montessori. On one blog and I don’t recall which one it was, it stated the reasons a mom should not send their child to preschool and one that stood out for me is-A teacher at school might discipline one way and at home a parent might discipline another way.If it’s not the same the child will not respect you…..(moreorless the same wording but not exact) and that is a huge one for me.
Respect and obedience is something I want to instill in all of my kids while instilling character and God in the education.Of course there’s everything I listed on another page on the site of what I look in a homeschool curriculum as well and so when I saw MFW’s really enforced character it is what drew me to buy the curriculum.In all honesty,I have been a little more strict with my daughter because I really want her to grasp the concept of obedience. Of course, she’s only 2 but high expectations is something I’ve always had for any kid I raise from birth. An example would be putting away her playdough.For awhile I’d let her play with her play dough but then it really did become an issue.Every time she’d play with it soon we had to throw several containers away because all of the moistness was dry.Bascially she was forgetting to put it back in its’ container when she was done playing with it.So since we have been working on obedience I decided why not get her to put away her play dough in its’ containers when she’s done.Now,if she plays with the play dough and I see she’s not put it away properly I’ll say “Vicki,come over here and put away your play dough into its container.” Vicki:”NO!” Me:”V,you need to come over her right now and put the play dough away now.” Vicki “NO!
Me:What did you just say?Did you just tell me no?If you choose not to come and put away your play dough you can go to your room.” With that,I picked her up and put her in her room with the door shut. After a few minutes I went back in there and said are you ready to listen and follow instructions? She said yes. So I told her “When Mommy tells you to do something you do it the first time I ask.I shouldn’t need to ask you twice.Do you understand me? V:”Yes,Mommy” Me:When I ask you to put away play dough what are you supposed to do?”V:”Put away play dough”. Me:”Good girl. Now tell me your bible verse…”V:”No” Me:Ok,you can say your bible verse and repeat it after me or you can stay in your room until you are ready to talk..” V”Talk.” Me:Ok,say your bible verse and repeat it after me. Psalm 119:55 I will obey the law. I will do the right thing” V:”Psalm 119:55 I will obey the law.” Me:”What will you do?” V:”Obey.” Me:”Good girl let’s go up…”I have found that having her repeat a bible verse while correcting her behavior helps a lot because she can connect the word with the character being taught. She still remembers the first one 1 John 4:21 Love God and love others.I really like the progress I see with this curriculum especially the character.It’s super helpful in training her to respect me.
Once she kind of grasps it like 25% of the time is what I am aiming for we’ll move on to the next unit.As she gets older I hope to instill more obedience in her and hopefully her listening will continue as well.All in all she listens very well and communicates very well. Up until about a week ago I was feeding her “solids” whatever I eat I’d kind of feed her but she’s almost 2 1/2 so I am trying to get her to feed herself 50-75% of her solids.I will feed her some but not as much as before.I have never really did the “babying”but always high expectations and by the time she’s 5 I hope to have her feed herself about 90% of the time. The following acronym will give you an idea of how I parent
Love,Encourage,Affection/Affirmation and Praise
Along with attachment parenting,gentle parenting,positive parenting, and natural parenting.
Today was the last day of My Father’s World All Aboard The Animal Train 2s and 3s Unit 1 which focused on love and rabbit. Just a short review on this unit and my thoughts how I think she did with it.
I think for the most part it went really well.She grasped it fairly quick and if we really pushed which we didn’t we could’ve finished in maybe 2 weeks. With most things I let her go at her pace and just guide her. This unit took about 4 weeks.
She’s gotten the heart and circle down though she has known her shapes and animals for awhile even before starting My Father’s World since it’s also focused on in ABCJesusLovesMe 1 and 2 year.She’s did the 1st year and now doing 2nd as a supplement to MFW.She got rabbit down as well, the concept of Love and the bible verse “1 John 4:21 Love God and love others” whenever she treats anything with disrespect. I got this idea from the Duggar Family which really encourages their children to learn characteristics.See,this is an area I felt was lacking in my childhood and hopefully I can instill in my daughter by training her early to follow God’s work and lean on Him in the good and bad.
We also use supplements from many homeschool moms that are super helpful. I try to only use the pages to help V understand more where she’s at and not above her capability to frustrate her.I think it helps with her understanding as my goal for all concepts is mastery based. What I’ve learned is mastery is best because when its taught little by little it stays in the memory a lot longer and how I’ve learned this…I went to Kumon Math and Reading when I was younger and though I did get frustrated I kept doing it over and over till I got it and only then was I able to move on.I recall I was able to do 3-4 digit subtraction in my head without pen and paper.Unfortuantly due to medicine side effects from an epileptic medicine I previously took,I can no longer do this but the fact I was able to shows that a mastery approach does work!
Ok,so we’ve finished one unit yet but we’re super close to finishing the very first unit!This is still not a review just an update how well it’s being recieved by V.It’s not even a month since we started the curriculum but wow the results are unbelievable! Why?Well,first I told her the bible verse and had her repeat back to me…Later she said it on her own with prompting- https://loreenehsblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/03/my-fathers-world-all-aboard-the-animal-train-2s-and-3s-2
Now,when asked to say her bible verse she says it on her own “I John 4:21 Love others and love God” Sometimes it comes out “1 John 4:21 Love God and love others” She says very clearly too. Even the word twenty one is very clear.Isn’t that amazing!
Sometimes if V tries to hit whether she’s thinking it, showing the motion of hitting or actually hitting I still reprimand her for it because it’s not acceptable to hit those you love.She shows me love “Love Momma” by giving me a stroke on the cheek or a 😘 then I will have her say her bible verse(Only one we’ve been doing consistently so far is 1 John 4:21 and it’s a good simple verse to teach love when she does wrong)1 John 4:21 “Love God and love others” and she says it without prompting!