Well, I dithered and prayed and researched and finally selected the loosely-guided curriculum that we started back in September.
And it was fine; we read lots of books and it was Catholic and the FB support group was basically awesome and I discovered many new “living” Charlotte Mason resources through those wonderful ladies.
But it wasn’t a match made in Heaven. It was a great place to start, and a great way to see which way we needed to go from there. Sometimes, you can’t find the answer till you start.
For me, Mater Amabilis was a mix of too much to do, and not structured enough. There was literature, 2 history books, 2 geography books, 3 religion books, poetry, music, Nature Study, phonics, handwriting, optional foreign language, and math to be juggled and metered out each week/day. For Kindergarten. There was no suggested daily break down of tasks, and a few of the books we just plain didn’t like. At all. And it seemed, poking around on the FB group, that that was a recurring theme throughout the grade levels.
So we indeed “switched horses midstream” and started Week 1 of Mother of Divine Grace’s Kindergarten program after the New Year. At this point, my plan is to just keep at it, taking a break for moving this summer, and transition to First Grade sometime in the fall. And it is great. For me, it has the perfect amount of structure, but is easy to switch out resources or change the pace in a particular resource if I feel that fits our needs better.
For instance, I spent 45 minutes one night at the end of November perusing the Internet for the lyrics to a Christmas song for us to learn and a simple Christmas poem for Rachel to memorize. With MODG, Catholic hymns and classic poems are provided and integrated. In the syllabus it says “Have your child memorize the title and author of ‘Rain.'” Well, it took her a few days to get that down straight, but now, 10 days later, she has the entire little verse memorized. We may not complete the memory work perfectly, but we do work on it everyday. The syllabus is nicely structured but is easily deviated from if that’s more your style.
For MODG, our day generally includes
Daily Prayers: Morning Offering, intercessory prayer, 1 decade of the Rosary (we just say 5 Hail Marys not 10)
Classic Picture Book;
and every other day or so we do Art Study)
Math (finishing MEP Reception level then will move to Abeka Kindergarten Math); Handwriting (we are continuing on with Memoria Press’s New American Cursive versus MODG’s recommendation of Writing our Catholic Faith since cursive is very important to me, plus we had already started it and have had great success with it)
Religion (Reading, alternated with illustrating and narrating Old Testament Stories from Golden Children’s Bible)
Phonics (I am shocked, but we are really enjoying Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and we do this after our chapter book read aloud time every night right before Rachel goes to bed)
We are also going to do Memoria Press’s Kindergarten Crafts book, which corresponds with different classic picture books, and I will read out loud Nature Study books and we will take once Nature Walk per week–this will all hopefully occur on Fridays, since MODG is set up on a Mon-Thurs schedule.