It seems I always start a new curriculum with a bit of struggle. This year I thought that would not be the case. I thought I was prepared, but once again I have much to learn. I clearly did not fully realize what I had purchased when I ordered My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures. I had this vision of fun little moments of cultural adventure and pointing out the countries on the map. That was my vision, but as usual I soon lost "my" vision. I have been trying to do everything in someone else's vision. And I did purchase this curriculum to get the expertise of that "someone else" and their vision, but I have got to start remembering that I must not lose my own vision in theirs. We have to give ourselves room to change what we need to change or simply omit some things.
This weekend I shall spend some time rediscovering my vision. I already know some things I will change. Right now I want to share a little about what we like and what we don't about this curriculum. First of all, I think there is a huge mix of age ranges within the books. The problem with that is that there are a couple of books that are way to complex in my opinion. On the other hand I can see where some people might not like some of the more youthful books and the music CD. I myself have to ease myself into the "hokeyness" of children's music, but now that I have I would say there is much to learn from it even for older age groups. This curriculum also has a lot of worksheets and labelling of maps and that equals dullness to me. I know that sometimes learning can be dull, but these worksheets require way too much labelling. I would rather do a puzzle of the world or the country we are talking about or some other hands on activity. I think they can learn as much that way without getting severe hand cramps. I can see having a worksheet with a list on the side and drawing arrows to the location or using an "A,B, C..." type code. I do see the value of some mid to older age range kids learning the spellings of the countries and geography words, but my 2nd grader is not able to write in all that information and even my 5th grader is stretching it a bit with as much labelling as the sheets have. I will go through the books one at a time and tell what I like, so this will be sort of a product review. Keep in mind that we are only beginning, so maybe I can update this as the end of the year.
Deluxe Package Items:
Overall, it is the map labelling, overabundance of worksheets, and book choices for Science that I do not like. I love the Biblical perspective of MFW. I only share this because I think the more you are prepared for what you are getting yourself into the better. Had I realized some of these things I probably would not have gotten so panicked once we started using it and realizing how overwhelming it would be for US. I will try to update with my plans later. Off to brainstorm about it all....