Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rome to the Reformation (RTR) Week 1

We just completed our first week of using our new curriculum My Father's World Rome to the Reformation.
In the past I have been a "piece it together" type of person working off my own handwriting lesson plans.  Using a pre-planned lesson grid has been a bit of a visual challenge to me.  It seems that writing plans out helps them sink into my brain so I am having to reread the grids and notes multiple times to let them sink into my brain.

 *** Note *** As I am writing the above sentence it occurred to me that my pregnancy fog is not helping matters with reviewing the lesson plans.  I suffer from an extreme case of pregnancy brain.  I consider it extreme because normally I am a very organized and fairly intelligent person.  I would never dream of misplacing my car keys or forgetting an important document.  However in previous pregnancies I have left my ATM card in the bank machine (mortifying to me) and didn't realize this until the bank called.  I also lost my engagement ring for several months because I decided to put it in a safe place while under the influence of pregnancy hormones.  This pregnancy is so far disaster free, but I do feel like I am living in a constant haze and I did ask my husband "What date is Christmas?"

Ok back to MFW... overall I think we had a successful first week.  I did over-schedule myself and unfortunately had to leave the house every day for field trips, doctor appointments and play dates.  This is not really doable in the long term, so I will need to adjust my schedule and try not to over-commit for the remainder of our school year.

The positives:
- my kids really liked the simple hands on projects we did this week
- I really liked the simplicity of the projects
- I also enjoy the "Book Basket" which gives me 15 minutes to regroup my thoughts midway through the day

The negatives:
- so far I find the history to be pretty dry.  Last year we used History Odyssey and our main spines were Story of the World, Usborne Encyclopedia of World History and A Child's History of the World.  We found those to be very engaging.  This week the majority of our reading came from Streams of Civilization and I find it to be written for an older audience.  My kids are 9 and 7 and the younger one, especially, has that glazed look in her eyes.  They do use more than one book for the history reading so I am hoping those hold our interest more.  We really loved history last year and I want us to continue to be excited.


TaMara said...

We're also doing RtR this year. We'll be starting next week. I'm a new follower.

Lisa said...

I'm hoping I can offer you some encouragement. I found your blog on the MFW Blog Roll. We've been using MFW for 3 years (this is our 4th) and I'll honestly tell you that it's a relief to "hear" someone say that it's a lot of reading and a bit advanced for younger students.

Having said that, I still like the bulk of MFW. We don't usually do anything marked "advanced" unless we have time and I feel it will be understood.

Also, it's ok to not read everything! Read it yourself ahead of time and sum it up for the kiddos. Skip parts that may cause their eyes to glaze over! Trust me, this will not only save you time but it will also help keep your sanity.

After reading a few of your blog posts, I sense that you are kinda like me in the sense that you like to check things off your list. So, skipping over content or summing it up may be difficult for you at first. It gets easier. :)

Lastly, there's no single curriculum for everyone. That's why we have so many choices. Do what works for you & the kids. If it's no good for you, it's simply no good. If it's not broken, don't try to fix it.

Homeschooling is hard work but oh so rewarding. So don't give up. Keep trying new things, when needed.

I pray for you to slip into a groove soon. It can take several weeks, maybe even a couple of months to really adjust to MFW. But it can be done!

Blessings to you and your family!