We are just about half way through our curriculum for this year. For those who don’t know, we are using My Father’s World – Exploration to 1850 for Bible, history and science. I have a 6/7th grader, a 3rd grader, 1st grader and several littles.
For Bible this cycle, they have planned to memorize as much of the book of James as you can. So far, we are at verse 9. It’s going well, although I need to be more consistent with it. Memorizing for us is me reading the verse out loud several times, then the kids repeat it. I am always amazed at how they can memorize so well from just hearing the words read out loud.
At the beginning of the year, the teachers guide had the book ‘Boy, Have I Got Problems’ by Kay Arthur scheduled. We started doing this but soon fizzled out because my 3rd grader was not able to do the writing on his own. Our living situation at the time was difficult (very small space with lots of kids) so I wasn’t able to sit with him to do it. It did seem like it was a great study, and I regret not having my oldest do it independently.
Two other books that are scheduled for Bible are ‘Trial and Triumph’ and ‘In God We Trust’. Both of these book contain stories about Christians of the past. ‘In God We Trust’ focuses more on those of American history.
We very much enjoy these books. The stories in ‘Trial and Triumph’ are a bit longer, but they can be very detailed and exciting to read. ‘In God We Trust’ is fun because the stories in it are of Americans who came before us and trusted God through their difficult times. These stories are shorter, usually only 2 pages long.
Honestly, I feel as though I am failing at teaching my kids history this year. We haven’t don’t any of the fun stuff. I only ordered one set of student sheets at the start of the year because I thought I would pull my own together. I regret doing this because I was never able to get my own together and I think the kids have missed out because of it. I do plan to order another set, at least for my 3rd grader, for the second half of the year. We will be learning the states, their capitals and other information. I feel like having the student sheets will benefit them a ton.
When I read the title of this cycle, “Exploration to 1850”, I think only of American history. And that is a big part of the history this year, but we have been learning about much more than that. We are also learning about what was going on in other parts of the country besides America. This is one of the things I think is so neat.
Kaylee has been reading a couple of the history books independently because there is a lot of reading scheduled in this cycle. I don’t have time to read all of it to everyone, and the little kids would not be able to sit for that long. I took the advice they give in the teachers guide and scheduled Kaylee to read ‘Building a City on a Hill’ and ‘George Washington’s World’ on her own. So far she is enjoying them and she can sometimes give us extra details about the things I am reading aloud to the younger kids.
I have also added the 2nd-3rd grade supplement because I still have it from when we did Adventures with Kaylee. My boys have loved reading ‘American Pioneers and Patriots’ and ‘North American Indians’. We haven’t finished ‘American Pioneers and Patriots’ yet but they are looking forward to it. We have started a couple of the read alouds, but would you believe me when I tell you that we lost one of them? I don’t know how you can lose a book you read everyday in a 400 square foot fifth wheel, but we did. So, we haven’t gotten to finish ‘The Courage of Sarah Noble’. We have now started ‘Sarah Witcher’s Story’, but we are all sad to not get to finish ‘The Courage of Sarah Noble’.
For the first half of this year, we have been studying Animals in science. Kaylee is reading two books on her own, ‘The World of Animals’ from Answers in Genesis; and ‘God’s Guide to Animals’. She has just finished them so she will start ‘Exploring Creation with Botany’ from Apologia after Christmas break.
The boys have been enjoying ‘The Complete Book of Animals’. They love it so much that I think we will continue them until they have completed them. They are really easy little workbooks that have good information and fun pictures to color in them.
In the past we have really enjoyed using My Father’s World. This year we have had some big changes and I haven’t been putting as much effort into school as I would like. My goal for the second half of the year is to use MFW with the student sheets to reinforce learning. I also want to include more of the fun activities and field trips. We are living in a place with a rich Native American history and there are a bazillion museums around. I would like to do at least 1 field trip a month, to museums, and at least one to the zoo.
How are you enjoying your curriculum this year? What would you change or do different? Let me know in the comments below!