Monday, January 26, 2015

Some thoughts with My Father's World Kindergarten, where we're at, and where we're going from here

This part was written awhile ago:

We've been going slowly through some of the My Father's World Kindergarten units lately. The farm animals units were fun, and I was glad we could go to a dairy farm for a group field trip roughly when we were learning about cows. Did I mention we made our own butter? We put heavy cream in a jar and shook it. For like 20 minutes.

All 5 of us took turns shaking it, and it turned into butter. I added a little salt and we spread it on zucchini bread. Nomnomnom.

Anyway, today I started unit 15/26 which is on elephants. It's the first of four units discussing various wild animals.

I read all five of the Bible lessons today, as they were so brief and I had attentive kids. We read a few books from the library on elephants, and Johnny read one to me. He was like, "wow! Did you know...?" and sharing fun facts with us.

I found some video clips with elephants and shared them with the kids. I especially enjoy watching elephants swim. There's just a certain grace about it. Plus, they look like they're having fun.

We'd go to the zoo to see them, except it's sub-zero right now and. I. just. cannot.

So, MFWK as a whole:

We aren't doing the phonics, math, or handwriting. Also not doing the Cuisenaire Rods alphabet book or classical music activities (but I do like the CD and play it from time to time). I do the Bible lessons, do the book themes, activities that sound like fun. We do a field trip if we can work it in.

What we're actually doing with MFWK is fun, but it's brief. It seems like the activities and are getting fewer as we go.

Written on 1/26/15:

We're now on unit 19, Rock. Johnny was a bit over learning about animals. He is more into physical science. He is interested in weather, astronomy and I wasn't surprised when he took to our rock unit.

I think we'll keep on using the MFWK teacher's manual to help with library book selection, projects and activities, and I still do like the Bible discussion that we have with it. After all, we're almost to the end, and in that slightly OCD way of finishing a program I think we'll keep with it.

But oh man. It is a really stripped-down version from where we began with it.

In a way, I knew this would happen. I drafted a post two years ago about why My Father's World Kindergarten wouldn't be a good fit for us. I never published it. I'm reading through it now, and yup. I was right. All of the potential negatives I pin-pointed ended up being true for us.

Also, I think we would have used the program more as-written if I began him on it sooner.

Ultimately, MFWK was overall a good thing for me and my firstborn, because it was our first year of being more intentional with structured learning, and it helped me to see the possibilities. It held my hand in some ways, and it left it open-ended in other areas.

I'm not sure if I'll use it in any form with my 2nd or 3rd children. It might prove beneficial to pull out some of the worksheets for the girls. I know my 3rd child will have no memory of any of it, heh. Maybe my 2nd child will remember some of the units, but I don't think there would be harm in me starting over with her in say, the fall when she's 4.5. I may end up doing that.

I may also scrap it and keep the 3Rs separate, as that proved to be a BIG DEAL to me.