We are ankle-deep into My Father’s World Exploring Countries and Cultures. I have tried everything, Heart of Dakota, Weaver, KONOS, A Beka, Alpha Omega Lifepacs, Horizons, and lots of smaller company curriculums, like Story of the World and Apologia. My hands down favorite is My Father’s World. A close second is Sonlight. If SL weren’t so darn expensive we would have stuck with that through all our years homeschooling. Fortunately, we had to find something more economical and I have always wanted to give MFW a try so we made the switch. We are all so glad we did. Me, mommy, has never been so completely sure of a curriculum as I am of this one. I love something about everything we’ve tried, but with this year-long unit study I feel like it’s incredibly rich and deep, yet completely doable. I have tweaked it, of course. The thing is, I can skip over what seems contrived (which isn’t much, but all curriculum has material like that) and even leave a week not completely finished before we move on, and still feel like a rock start homeschool mom. It is that good of a program. My kids are learning a lot about latitude, longitude, coordinates on a map and continents and habitats and ecosystems and we are only a few weeks in. We have a great year ahead of us as we learn about each country and we add in books about great authors, leaders, and important people from said country. Right now I am able to use our Five in a Row read alouds as our “book basket.” What is a book basket you ask? It’s a key component to MFW. We get to choose the books read aloud in addition to the few that come with the package. The instructor’s guide recommends books to go along with each country/region and we happen to own many of them thanks to my book addiction. 🙂
As I am sad to have left Sonlight complete curriculum, we still use pieces of what I have left. Sonlight homeschool curriculum gave my oldest son a very strong foundation in reading. It was frustrating at first as he had to work at listening and narrating back what we read. But when all was said and done he fell in love with books. And to this day he loves his books. I am so thankful that we used Sonlight for the first few years. It was such a blessing to our family. As I teach my youngest two to read and listen to good books in the same way, I hope to impart that same love of books onto them. Hopefully we’ll get to use the complete curriculum again one day, but this year and next year I am sold on using MFW. My two youngest children are using the SL learn to read program with Language Arts (which includes Explode the Code- huge thumbs up for this phonics program).
Another unit study, which I will never sell and that I hold onto dearly are my KONOS volumes. If we ever get to a place of being completely destitute financially, KONOS will be our curriculum. The reason we don’t use it now? I don’t have the time. It takes a ton of time coming up with a planning system, actually planning each week, gathering all the supplies and books from the basement and library. It does not afford me and the kids their independent time as it is very parent intensive in the younger grades. And the math and language arts can be included, which is really fun to come up with all of that, but it takes a TON of planning to make it a complete curriculum for each kid. And then there is the task of making sure everything is covered over the years because nothing is taught sequentially (which I am okay with as long as everything is covered), but rather the chapters and volumes are organized by character traits. It’s a lot of fun and we still use their best activities, but it is not perfect for us right now.
To conclude, I love My Father’s World. I have never known just how much I love a curriculum that works for all of us this early in the year. We will be using it next year too and maybe for the rest of our homeschooling life. We’ll see. I have always wanted to write a fun academic year for my boys and pull it together myself, but I don’t know that I could do a job as good as any of the authors who have written the previously mentions studies. We” stick with the good stuff already “out there.”
Have a good day friends!