My decision to homeschool was not a long time coming. It was something I had been thinking and praying about but always came back to "I can't" or "I would never!". God is funny that way isn't He?
I made THE decision in one night and the next day I was researching curriculums. I was even researching, how to research curriculums. Talk about completely clueless. Thankfully, I have amazing Sister-in-laws who have been at it for a few years already and were full of good advice.
Things I knew immediately:
I wanted to teach ours girls according to their learning style and their interests. My first daughter Olivia was 3 years old and she's been anxiously asking to "do school".
I wanted a biblical centered curriculum. Because it's what we want for our girls but mostly because Olivia is so hungry for the word of God. The bible is her favorite book currently - all on her own.
The early years are meant to be fun and creative, not all worksheets.
I wanted a structured curriculum and a teacher's manual for myself, because that's how my brain works best to be able to teach.
After much review of what felt like hundreds of curriculums I circled back around to My Father's World Christian Homeschool (that my Sister-in-Law recommended and loves).
Why I fell in love with My Father's Word
It's very biblically centered and beautifully written for the little learning hearts. Always pointed to Jesus and that was just what we were looking for.
It has a teacher's manual, plus student sheets - so I am able to have my own manual to teach through and plan with.
Charlotte Mason style of teaching & learning.
The Book Lists - with the Charlotte Mason approach rich living books is a must and every curriculum comes with the most amazing book list that ties in to the lessons.
Christian world view through ALL subjects.
Preschool vs. Pre-K, vs Kindergarten
Oh, I have so much to say about this. So legally in the state of Colorado (I'd suggest checking out your state's homeschool curriculum requirements) you don't have to technically do anything until the child is 6. I do love to celebrate little milestones, plus Olivia had been asking to "do school". So I decided well, she's three so that means Preschool. I started with My Father's World Preschool Curriculum and I quickly realized that I was not teaching to where she was. The preschool curriculum is beautiful but Olivia was way past it material wise. The good news? I can save it for the next child, so when Sofia is 2-3 it will be super easy to inject her into our school day!
The Preschool curriculum is beautifully written and all of their curriculums I can simply be saved for the next child. They sell student sheets to purchase for as many children as you have need, so awesome!
Once I realized the curriculum wasn't suitable for her skill level I set the Preschool Curriculum aside and saved it for Sofia. Currently, I have been planning our next "school year" and I have had to decide if we were going to do a Pre-K year or go straight to Kindergarten.
I knew I wanted to continue with MFW but where to continue? In the mean time I have been coming up with my own curriculum. I did a quick search on the skills needed to start a Kindergarten year and tried to fill in in the gaps. For example, I realized we had not traced or talked about shapes in a while so we started incorporating those. Also, letter sounds - we started slow and now she loves sounding out all words and telling me what letter it starts with. I can also see that she's picking up some sight words, although we prefer a phonics approach.
I landed on MFW Kindergarten Curriculum and prayed for the best. Once I received it, I was thrilled. I read through the lessons and the skills, and it's PERFECT! Right where she is. She will be four when we start and I know that seems a bit young but that's the beauty of homeschool, we make the rules and I teach up to her not to "where she's supposed to be". Once Sofia is in the mix, I will evaluate when to start and how she learns. I just love the blessing of tailoring their schooling personally to their little mines and interests.