Friday, March 15, 2013

Switching from My Father's World to Mystery of History

I never thought I would do this...but here I sit, scheduling and borrowing books from the library so that we can pick and choose what to use.  After 7 year using My Father's World curriculum, I have decided to switch (for 2nd grade and up -- I will still use their Kindergarten and First Grade since it is working quite well for us) to doing the following:
  • Mystery of History (along with their notebooking pages, timeline idea, maps, activities, and challenge cards -- I just love their stuff!  I'll have to do a post just on them sometime.)
  • Usborne World History Encyclopedia (we've always loved Usborne history...why let them go?)
  • English from The Roots Up (I love this book.  I don't even care if the kids don't like it...a.k.a. don't appreciate it.  Tough.  I love it.  Hahaha...)
  • Learning Language Arts Through Literature I have heard good and bad things about this.  I liked Primary Language Lessons and Intermediate Language Lessons that MFW promotes, but sometimes their lessons and the wording were so archaic to my family.  I kept thinking, "No one talks like this anymore."  LLATL seems to be like PLL and ILL, but more up-to-date.
  • Apologia science
  • Teaching Textbooks Math (we've actually been using this for about two years now)
  • Drive-Through History (we won't start that until next year, though, I think, because their earliest DVD's start in ancient Greece...?  Anyway, I've heard great things.)
  • Borrowing every book I can find on a subject (along with historical fiction/living books) from the library (as long as it is appropriate, of course) and having a basket of books to peruse.  (My Father's World's "book basket" idea is superb!)
  • Many educational movies from the library and/or Amazon.com 
My reasons are pretty simple.  They aren't any big deal.  My kids were not retaining what I read, and it wasn't very interesting to them.  A lot of it was, don't get me wrong.  My Father's World (MFW) uses a TON of great books!  However, we were getting bogged down with some of the textbooks, and a few of the readers.  Why bother reading them if my children have the "deer in the headlights" look on their face?  Why not pick an easier read, even if it is considered "below their level" and enjoy while learning?  I certainly don't remember anything I read from the dry textbooks, so why would I expect my children to?  Waste of time.  I don't like wasting my time or theirs.  I started liking bits and pieces of other curriculum and books that we have tried, but have never been really satisfied with any particular "set."  I'm seeing myself moving towards more of an "unschooling" approach, as well.  I love many things about My Father's World, Sonlight, Tapestry of Grace, Biblioplan, etc., but I needed to piece together what worked best for all of us.  So, I'm finally taking the painstaking plunge.  A plunge that many before me and many after me have taken.  A plunge that I was hoping I would never have to make.  Hahaha..okay, no need to be so dramatic, right? :p

How am I doing this?  Well, I purchased Mystery of History this year, and then went ahead and purchased Illuminations with it (Bright Ideas Press publishes both products).  It turns out that Illuminations didn't quite work for us, so I am now using their schedule grid to schedule in what I want and what I think my children will want to do.  I'm sure I could have done this for free with a Word doc or Excel spreadsheet, but since I purchased Illuminations, and it is editable, I figured I might as well make good use of it.  I also purchased the book list download of All Through the Ages by Christine Miller.  I use this to find awesome "book basket" books, readers, and read alouds.

Now I am working on the scheduling part.  Yes, it's taking forever.  Scheduling in readers and read alouds is the biggest challenge right now.  I might just quit sweating that and get tons of books from the library from my book lists and just decide what to read as I go.  That's how I've worked it with my younger ones, anyway.  I'm looking at the suggestions from My Father's World, Tapestry of Grace, Sonlight, and All Through The Ages.  Whew!  I'm borrowing the books from our inter-library loan system (how does anyone homeschool without that?), and hoping to figuring out which stories my children will enjoy the most.

Most of these items I purchased used (I'll buy anything in "Good" condition or higher, and have yet to be disappointed in the quality) or borrow from the library.

14 comments:

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    1. Crud! I meant to edit your comment so as to remove your email address for privacy, and accidentally deleted the whole thing! Sorry! :o(

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    2. I copied your email address, though, so I will email you. :o)

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  3. Love this post, Tracey. Thanks for encouraging me.....again!

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  4. Are you using Mystery of History for your highschool age children (if you have any) . :-)

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    1. Yes, I am! :) Let me know if you have any other questions. :)

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  5. I am right there now. Purchased SL Core G (used) but ended up using MOH 1 (from my shelf) because SL left out a whole bunch of Biblical history. So, filling in with readers and such on my own, I made a spreadsheet of the coordinating SOTW chapters to MOH, using files from the Yahoo group and also Donna Young's website. So grateful for those helps! I'll have to check your files now. Thank you for the suggestion for "All through the Ages". Sounds like a great resource!

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  6. Hi Tracey. Sorry if this has gone through more than once. I live internationally and my kids have been enrolled in a national private school up until now. I hope to start homeschooling them in February. My oldest two will be in 4th & 6th. I've been leaning towards MFW, but once I decided not to do ECC with them, I started looking at other multi-age history and found MOH and really like what I am seeing. What has been your experience using MOH vs. MFW? Thanks!!!

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    1. I've found MOH to be much more interesting. I also like how the activities vary a bit more, instead of doing the same activity page almost every day. I also get to pick which readers to use. We love it!

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  7. So I realize this post is old but I am wondering looking back if you liked your decision to switch. I am right where you are. I am doing MFW ECC right now and thinking of switching to MOH for next year to simplify things. I may look into the other things you suggested. Also did you continue with MOH in the following years? Did you need to add other history to it?

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    1. Hi Gary & Lindsay! Yep! I'm still with MOH...and I've added no other history to it, unless you count the readers they recommend. :) We're in Volume III right now and I'm making up my schedule for Volume IV as I go along this year. :)

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