We've definitely found our groove, but like some others here doing K we don't really have a strict schedule. We don't do school on Daddy's days off (Sundays and usually Tuesday), but Sunday is of course for church and Tuesday is usually devoted to some sort of educational thing such as birdwatching by driving around in wildlife refuges or lingering at the lake. That will continue as it gets colder, as that's when the waterfowl come in.
Loons and grebes and ducks, ducks, ducks! Gail is patient with our birding and if she's not exploring the area while we use the scope, she is coloring and drawing.
Our weeks do end up being sort of broken up.... no school Sunday, school Monday, no school Tuesday, school Wednesday, no school at home on Thursday (but we go to co-op from 10-2:30), school Friday, school Saturday. So we only have two consecutive days of actual curriculum each week. It's fine by me, but I think it would frustrate some. We are not very consistent on what time we do school, but as long as it is done before Daddy gets home at 5-ish it is fine with me. I actually prefer doing it in late afternoon, since Gail and I are not morning people.
Gail goes to my parents' house on Wednesday morning while I go to a precept Bible study, and I often send some school work or activities with her so they don't just sit her in front of the TV (we don't do TV, they do and don't see any issues with it, long story there). It gives them some insight into what kindergarten is about, gives me a couple hours of time in town, and she likes the change of pace. I also send her AWANA Sparks handbook to review verses, so between MFW and that, they get a nice little dose of the Word, too!
My 11 year old nephew is homeschooled and stays with them while his parents work, but his schoolwork is rather mysterious to them since he does almost all of it on a laptop. Nothing wrong with that, it works well for him, but I like for them to see also that homeschool can be very hands-on and fun, too... instead of just mysterious computer stuff!
We are taking a little longer on some units than what is written, especially ones of great interest or for which I have lots of material from the library. We were on N-n-nest for a long time, because it held her interest and we kept finding other things to do! We're just now starting T-t-turtle, although we did some accidental rearranging and did U-u-us out of order because we had the material for it but not for turtle. So we're just now ready for blend ladder and such, excited to start that! Gail has a few-months-younger friend who did "Learn to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" over the summer, and he is reading well now (words like "nursery" and such). I can tell it bothers her that he can read, yet she can't... especially since he is more immature in most other ways. She will be glad to start the blend ladder, although I fear that she will get flustered and nervous, even tearful because she expects to get it quickly and easily. She has a huge vocabulary and writes like a much older child, so I think she has too-high expectations for herself in this area. Reading came very naturally to me at age 4 without any sort of phonics training (it just clicked one day), and I am clueless about how to teach phonics. My husband was the same way, and he says he just can't hear the difference between sounds, much less teach them. So I'm glad it's all laid out in the TM! I'm trying not to put any pressure on her, but I sense a tension in her regarding this and I hope the gentle introduction with the blend ladder will give her confidence.
She is grasping the character teaching and Biblical concepts for each unit, and the rebellious leaf especially made an impact on her even though she had surmised from the beginning that it would die. We were discussing my brother-in-law, a very outspoken and bitter atheist, one day a few weeks after the leaf unit. Gail paused and shook her head sadly and said, "David is like the rebellious leaf who thinks he doesn't need God. He doesn't even believe in God, so really he is a fool even though he thinks he is wise." (sort of mixing Romans 1:22 and Psalm 53:1) She added with great sadness, "That leaf died and withered up apart from the plant, and David will die apart from God." She began praying for him more that he would believe in God and come to Christ so he wouldn't die "like that foolish, rebellious leaf." Where is the happy crying smiley?
And recently she said, "I obeyed right away," which I recognized from the Horse unit... but we haven't DONE the horse unit! I asked where she had learned that, and she said with great confidence, "It's from My Father's World, the horse lesson. We learned it in Mrs. Kim's class at co-op last year. 'I obey right away!'" Indeed, they did a 20 minute per week MFWK study, basically just learning the letter sound, the character trait and Bible truth and coloring a picture of that week's theme. For one TWENTY MINUTE class she heard those words to remember, and (gasp) remembered them! Whoa! That one must have really stuck in her head! (Mayhap not in her heart just yet, grin, but her head at least!) So way to go MFW for making memorable, applicable lessons!
I work with kindergarten age children at church, most of which are in public school, one in private Christian, and two (including Gail and another MFWK user) homeschooled. Sometimes I listen to the public school children talking about school... sometimes it seems like they know lots of things. They all know the same catchy songs about right hands and left hands, the same weird story about some sort of all-seeing invisible elf that hides in their house, and they know what is "cool" and what is not. Gail doesn't know the same catchy songs.... she knows old hymns that glorify God. She has no clue about the weird elf thing. She is decidedly not cool. But she hears during school that she is fearfully and wonderfully made. She hears that we die apart from God. At times when I have a tiny glimmer of doubt or hesitation about if we're doing the right thing, I make a little checklist in my head of what I do want her to know... and MFWK is fulfilling that!
So, we're doing well here. A little disjointed, perhaps, in our schedule. But having fun and learning, and isn't that what Kindergarten is?
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!