Exploring Countries and Cultures, by My Father’s World has been good so far. Good, I know it’s a generic word, but we have been doing this long enough to give it an honest review. And overall it’s good, bordering on pretty good.
What I really love about this program is all that I am learning. I like the missionary stories which correlate to each country studied. I like reading about different places in Window on the World. I like learning the culture through food and crafts and artwork. The science reading is short and not enough to stand alone on its own, but the notebooking assignments to go along with it are too much for my oldest. And he’s essentially the one we are doing this for. He doesn’t enjoy be forced to write about things. So we adjust science a bit. We own many of the One Small Square nature science books, most of the Thornton Burgess animal stories, Christian Light Science readers, and several field guides and so we add and take from the science all the time.
Although the catalog and many of ECC’s users use it with younger children, I found it way too advanced for my younger children, a slow 7 yr old and an advanced 5 yr old. As much as I’ve tried to use this with all three of my boys, it really only suits one of them, and even with him I have to tweak it. With that out of the way, it is a really well put together, very interesting curriculum. As a mom whose used everything, this is probably my favorite boxed curriculum next to Sonlight.
So here’s what I’ve learned so far this year. We can’t learn and teach everything, so what are the important things we want to learn and accomplish in life? I want to be intentional, kick out meaningless twaddle and clutter, and have a clear plan and set of goals. My kids will dive deep into everything- American History, World History, all of the big wars fought, including World War II where my grandfather was deployed overseas long ago. But this year we will learn geography and cultures in depth. So there’s no need to worry that we aren’t going into all those other things on a surface level right now. They will learn human anatomy and the truth about health and germs. They’ll learn how to grow and make food for themselves. They will learn about the animal kingdom. They’ll learn astronomy and biology and all about the ocean and seas. And they’ll learn botany because it’s an important skill, not to mention just plain cool to grow our own food.
For my children to have a great education I do not have to be a great teacher, just a good mom. I despise common core standards because it does not fit our lives and our goal is not to pass tests, but to develop a love for learning so they can learn joyfully. A love for learning comes with the right attitude & motivation and I believe My Father’s World fits that criteria for us. I learn so much from my children. Everyday they surprise me with something new they have picked up. They have given this home an atmosphere filled with a spirit of learning and discovering.
I believe that with a little tweaking (we don’t make our children memorize Scripture- Christ is the Word and He is hidden in their hearts) My Father’s world works well and we’ll be using it for a while to come. It’s super heavy on the Christian teaching which our family does organically and naturally so we don’t teach Love as a curriculum as it’s already in everything we do. I do however include the character lessons as they are gently and naturally approached.
So there’s my review so far. I’ll keep you posted on MFW:ECC as we go. For now, it’s pretty good. 🙂