Homeschooling by substitute teacher, traveling, moving

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
MelissaB
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Going crazy

Unread post by MelissaB » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:06 am

We all feel that way at times. You are not alone.

Like anything, there are days that this homeschooling journey is amazing. And there are days when life is just hard. Hang in there. If the Lord has lead you this direction, know that, ultimately, He will direct your path.

Much Love, Joy, Peace & Strength (daily :) ) in Christ alone -
Melissa B.
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

I think I made a mistake...Help!

Unread post by gratitude » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:23 am

tiffanys wrote:Last year was our first year with My Father's World. We used Adventures with a 3rd grade boy & 1st grade boy, with two youngers tagging along. The first half of the year was great...

Then we moved and rushed through the second half. We really didn't give it a fair shake. Because of the move, I tried to squeeze in a whole lot at the end of the year so that we could be "done" and have the summer off. I NEEDED the summer off! So - because the last half of the year was a flop, I started to react and switched our plan entirely. And then two days before we started our school year, I tweaked it some more. We did not go with a purchased curriculum, but based it off of Ambleside Online.

So now I am regretting not having the fun year with ECC that I had imagined. I am struggling to spend any time with our 4 and 2 year old, and the year just isn't...fun...or enjoyable. I would be tempted to just jump to ECC and get right back in, but my main hesitation is that I really, really think I need to be fostering more independence in my older boys, especially the now 4th grader, and I am not sure that a curriculum that is so dependent on me would do that. Also, the one thing I didn't love about Adventures was how history centric it was. Am I going to have the same frustration with ECC?

Thoughts? I am so tempted to just go ahead and switch to ECC & also buy MFW K to do with our 4 year old (he'll be 5 soon, and he is ready for gentle schooling). Am I just being reactive again? I feel a bit funny because all of my friends have always seen me as a homeschool superstar, but I seriously feel like I am floundering right now. This move has been so incredibly hard, and I just don't know how to get back on track. What would you do?
I had a similar experience / response 4 years ago when we had to move in the middle of ADV & at the start of MFW1 for my second born. I also packed up & unpacked a house with 4 kids ages 8 and under. Unbelievable stress on top of other stress factors.

You sound overwhelmed from the move, and very understandably so. It takes time to figure things out in a new area and settle. Four very young children can be distracting, which can make settling take longer.

I handled it a little differently. I dropped ADV & MFW1 during the move preparation that included selling a house and the actual moving. It took 6 months. Then I tried other things and had a bit of a crazy fall home school wise. Re-starting ADV would have actually given the stability we needed. In January, as the dust settled, I re-started ADV & MFW1. We had been ahead grade level wise so ended up more on par.

What would I do if I were you?

With your children's young ages I would focus on the Bible & the 3Rs for this school year. Get used to a new location. Find a church. Let the dust settle. Stabilize. Find new routines. Unpack. Give yourself grace. ECC could easily be for your oldest 4th grade year & still have the entire cycle. ECC is a great program. You have time. I have heard AO is a tremendous amount of planning for mom. I wouldn't take that on right now. Organize the house. If you come back to MFW do so ready to embrace it so you don't feel a need to rush it. If you can trust & follow the TM it works well. Tweaked it falls apart. I have done both.

I would settle & give your self time and focus on Bible and the 3Rs until you are really ready & not overwhelmed so you can take on more.

My husband told me the same advice during our move. He said we needed to lay low for 6 months. I tend to become more active with stress. He becomes slower. I so wish I had listened to him. It would have helped us immensely during that time period.

Blessings,

abrightmom
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: I think I made a mistake...Help!

Unread post by abrightmom » Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:11 am

Tiffany,

I agree with gratitude .....

You sound like you want to hit the Panic button and I REALLY grasp how you are feeling. But, the Reset button is usually the wiser course. Staying with a steady 3 R's progression and making sure YOU are on top of the pile at home will help you in the long run.
-Katrina-

DS15, DS14, DD12, DS8

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: I think I made a mistake...Help!

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:53 pm

I agree with the others that you be very careful not to overload right now. (Love the panic button imagery.) A calm mom is a great gift :)

I was thinking, though, that I always hated letting my kids get out of the discipline of a schedule. Maybe that's just me -- I always felt it was far easier to parent with a schedule than without. And it felt so hard to pull them back in after the summer without a schedule, plus I sometimes even felt my kids were skeptical about my teaching when they saw empty days -- although they all spent time in public school so that comparison may have been at the root.

So in case that resonates with you, I was thinking that you could still set up your days around "school hours." But within those hours, you could have the three Rs, as the others mentioned, as well as the all-important Bible time, and the rest of the time could still have a routine, even if you don't take on a whole program right now. Honestly, for me a MFW program was usually easier than mom-planning, but if I was really careful to rope myself in, then broad sections of the day could include things like:

- a family learning activity with all the kids, such as finishing up things you didn't get to do in Adventures, especially fun things, or maybe if you get MFW-K or even MFW-preschool you could do a few things together, or any other fun educational things you've wanted to do including cooking and games

- time for housekeeping and organizing the home, learning new tasks, attacking small areas each day, practicing siblings caring for siblings, planning menus together, setting up the new normal for your family

- family and independent reading time, including reading through the Adventures notebook they made
tiffanys wrote:my main hesitation is that I really, really think I need to be fostering more independence in my older boys, especially the now 4th grader, and I am not sure that a curriculum that is so dependent on me would do that. Also, the one thing I didn't love about Adventures was how history centric it was. Am I going to have the same frustration with ECC?
The MFW family cycle is designed for families to learn together, at least up through about 5th grade. But there are independent pieces built into each day. Maybe it would help to just list those out so they don't blend in with the rest (book basket, copywork, notebook pages, etc.). Learning together may not take any more time than correcting independent work (or correcting misunderstandings when work wasn't corrected for a long time). But there are some folks who adapt MFW to be quite a bit more independent than most. For instance, this thread:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15332

As far as history-centric, I'd say MFW is God-centric, and history is the vehicle through which God's hand in our lives is shared with our children. I'd also say that MFW uses a unit study method, where some of the skills are seamlessly meshed with learning and you might not see them right away (narration, dictionary day in CTG, art's effects on culture, etc.).
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

abrightmom
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: I think I made a mistake...Help!

Unread post by abrightmom » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:19 pm

Julie in MN wrote:As far as history-centric, I'd say MFW is God-centric, and history is the vehicle through which God's hand in our lives is shared with our children. I'd also say that MFW uses a unit study method, where some of the skills are seamlessly meshed with learning and you might not see them right away (narration, dictionary day in CTG, art's effects on culture, etc.).
LOVE this.

I was pondering how to address the history-centric bump and couldn't quite find the right words. Julie, this is a wonderful way to address it and I hope it's a help to Tiffany. :-)

P.S. I do want to mention that a my Reset button wouldn't equal no school but an opportunity to calm down with a basic routine for awhile. Going into the holidays can be a real schedule disrupter anyway!! Maybe, if you like how things are running in a streamlined fashion you might feel like the new year is a good time to add ECC. I LOVE fresh starts with a lot of time to prep and ponder before hand if possible ...

We are using ECC right now with an 11 and 9yo. It's wonderful and I am LOVING it!
-Katrina-

DS15, DS14, DD12, DS8

tiffanys
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 3:02 pm

Re: I think I made a mistake...Help!

Unread post by tiffanys » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:32 pm

Thank you so much for all of the responses! What we have done for the last 6 weeks is math & copywork daily, a couple of read-alouds, and we have been working our way through Pilgrim's Progress, along with our regular Bible time. It takes about 2 hours a day all together, but it is kinda spread out over the course of the day. We did take a full summer off - from Memorial Day until the middle of August. That was nice.

And YES - panic button! My husband is an evangelist for a church here, so we have settled in nicely with our new church family, but being a preacher's wife brings its own struggles & responsibilities. Add to that trying to settle into a new home & trying to figure out how to make the space work best for us and get into new routines & procedures and I am just overwhelmed. I also am floundering at having an older elementary student, a younger elementary student, a preschooler, and a toddler. They are four very different stages and I am struggling with balancing it all. I *do* need a reset! Part of why I am drawn to using MFW again is that it is all planned for me. I can just turn on my auto-pilot for the year, do what the teacher's manual tells me, and at the end of the year, feel that we covered some ground and made some good habits in learning.

And thank you, Julie, for the comment that MFW is God-centric. That is a beautiful way of looking at it. I second guess myself because *I* love history so much, that I wonder if I gravitate towards so much history just to please myself, but this makes me feel better. There is nothing I love more than reading a biography of a life well lived. I think it's a great way for our kids to learn to be discerning - look at lives of others and decisions & consequences and compare it all with Scripture.

So here's what I have ended up doing after prayer, talking with my husband, and listening to your advice - I ordered ECC to have on hand. Whether we start when it comes in or wait till the new year, we will see. But I want to have it in hand to look through and browse and see how it feels all together. I ordered Singapore math for my 7 year old, language lessons for both boys, and writing strands for the oldest. Part of what has me so overwhelmed is that for years I have put together my own language arts - my own copywork, dictation, writing, etc. I just need to autopilot everything and trust someone else for a while to just tell me what to do. I know that a change in curriculum is not always the answer, but I am praying that this brings me peace.
Tiffany
Having a great year with Adventures with my two older boys - 3rd & 1st grades
With the world's chattiest 4 year old boy & his 2 year old sister tagging along

RVoilers
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 9:16 am

MFW review - Road Schoolers

Unread post by RVoilers » Fri May 27, 2016 9:36 am

We are so in love with MFW! Going on year 3 and excited to order next year's curric.

We are full time "road schoolers" and we love the ease in which we can get 4 kiddos school done in half a day, and 4 days a week. We do the majority as a family, so we can go live life to the fullest and have an adventure on family Friday in whareverse town we are parked in.

We live in an rv now, and love the simplicity of the curriculum and teachers manual! I don't have to haul a bunch of extras around to do school successfully!

I always have a good experience when I call in for help and appreciate the wisdom in which our grade spread is handled by the people there at MFW. (Prek through 7)

Anyhow, thank you for being wonderful!

We look forward to year 3!

Belssings, Tonya

manyblessings
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:24 pm
Location: Nevada
Contact:

Re: MFW review

Unread post by manyblessings » Fri May 27, 2016 6:19 pm

Love this review! My husband and I have been toying with the idea of living in an RV. So wonderful to hear that MFW works well on the road :)
Lourdes
Mom of 4 adults, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 son-in-law, 1 in 1st, and
3 in heaven 8/11/06, 8/18/10, and 9/13/13
Married to my soul mate since 6/20/09
Past: MFW K, ECC, AAAT, VOD, GCA, LGS
2019-2020: ADV

allgrace
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:41 pm

Re: MFW review

Unread post by allgrace » Sat May 28, 2016 8:57 am

Thanks for sharing. I too always have a great experience when I call mfw. They are wonderful!
"Sanctify them by the Truth, your word is Truth" John 17:17
Ds11:RTR
Dd8:RTR
Dd6: MFW K
Ds 4: VOD
Ds. 2: being very active😜

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