I'd love to hear from those using Preparing...

If you have used "Preparing Hearts for His Glory", please share your experience with us.

I'd love to hear from those using Preparing...

Postby TeacherMom » Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:30 pm

Hello! I am a current MFW user who is eyeing the one year world history course, Preparing (for next year). I'd love to hear from those using it.

I also have a question about the upcoming ancients course. Is it being written at the 4th/5th grade level with extensions for older dc? Would a fourth grader be able to choose between Preparing and the new course?

Thanks so much!
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Re: I'd love to hear from those using Preparing...

Postby mamas4bugs » Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:36 am

Hi there! We are using Preparing with the extensions this year for my 10 year old 5th grader. I think the idea of a year of historical overview before the four year history cycle is brilliant. We are really enjoying seeing how it all ties together. I've never used MFW, so I'm not sure how to compare them. I can give you sort of a run down of our day and see if that helps.

I have a younger son who is doing the Beyond guide this year, so generally I spend a few minutes going over the LA, Science, and Independent history assignments in Preparing with the 10 year old, and then he does those on his own while I work in Beyond with his brother. I love the science assignments in Preparing. He reads the pages and then either narrates what he read, or answers a short list of questions (he does this in written form), or draws and copies something from the book for his notebook, and then once a week there is an experiment. They are teaching the kids to fill out lab reports this year along with the experiments.

After I am done with my youngest son in Beyond, I check over the 10 year old's Preparing work. Then we go over the Poetry section (there are suggestions for dramatic reading, oral presentation, illustration, etc) and the Bible assignment and do whatever the activity is on the history page that day--research, vocab, geography--it varies. Then we call his brother back in for the Storytime box and the History reading (my youngest son is following along in the Preparing history just because that's easier for mom! :P ), and do the History project. The projects are broken down into very managable bites. Then we do math and our own electives that I have added in for our family (art with his sister, piano, chess, French).

One thing I love about this curriculum is that it covers all the essentials, plus cool projects, and it does it all in amounts that we can actually get done. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask. :)
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Re: I'd love to hear from those using Preparing...

Postby TeacherMom » Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:20 am

Do you know if the ancients' guide will be okay to use if a child has not completed Preparing? Just curious!

Thanks!
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Re: I'd love to hear from those using Preparing...

Postby Carrie » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:33 pm

TeacherMom,

Welcome to the board. We're glad to have you here. :D I'll link you to the weekly HOD check-in, where you can see what moms have to say about Preparing there too: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2068

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2120 (this one is just started, so if you watch it for a couple of days you'll see more entries coming) 8)

I'm sure more moms will be along to share their thoughts on Preparing, but I wanted to pop-in and answer your other question...

You can enter any of the Heart of Dakota guides without using the previous guides. Each guide is written to stand alone, although using the previous guides is a bonus skill-wise for the kiddos as they'll have had some of the skills before. :wink:

Blessings,
Carrie
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Re: I'd love to hear from those using Preparing...

Postby my3sons » Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:07 pm

Welcome to the HOD board! I'm in my 5th. week of Preparing..., and we are loving it! It takes us about 4 hours to do Preparing..., and I don't plan ahead to do it. I am soooo thankful that each day takes about the same amount of time, since I have 3 boys, and my toddler is ready to take on the world! :lol: I feel like it is an excellent balance of independent, semi-independent, and teacher-directed plans (as noted by the letters in the corner of each box on the plans). My ds and I are especially enjoying all of the wonderful literature chosen for Preparing... Grandpa's Box is a favorite of ours! I am a person that has always loved the "idea" of hands-on activities, but not so much the actual "doing" them. Preparing... has everything mapped out in manageable time segments, and it also just uses materials I have in my home. So far, we've made a cartouche, a map carving, painting of warm and cool colors overlaid with a landscape, and other wonderful activities I would not have completed had they not been so well laid out for my ds in the guide. This brings me to the guide... ahhhhhh... a slice of heaven! :D As with all of HOD's guides, it's super easy to use. The boxed format along with the 2 page daily plan spread is easy enough that my ds can check of the boxes as he does them, and he can be relatively independent in reading the directions and getting going on his own when my dbaby enters the room. :D The Bible is touching my ds's heart, and mine too. I am amazed at how easily he is memorizing lengthy Scripture with the assistance of the ideas in the HOD guide and the music. Finally, my ds LOVES school. He can't wait to do his next project, hang his next timeline card, or read his next chapter. It's a blessing to our family!

In Christ,
Julie :D
Have enjoyed LHTH, LHFHG, BLHFHG, BHFHG, PHFHG, CTC, RTR, RevtoRev, MTMM, DITHOR, WG, WH, USI, USII
Currently using WH and RTR
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Re: I'd love to hear from those using Preparing...

Postby TeacherMom » Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:32 am

Wow, my3sons! I would call that a glowing report! :)
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Re: I'd love to hear from those using Preparing...

Postby my3sons » Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:44 am

TeacherMom wrote:Wow, my3sons! I would call that a glowing report! :)

Yep - it's glowing - and it's the truth. :D I'm very thankful that Preparing is making school for my ever-aging children continue to go smoothly. If you have any more specific questions, please be sure to post them - I'm not sure if that's what you were looking for or not. :D
Julie
Have enjoyed LHTH, LHFHG, BLHFHG, BHFHG, PHFHG, CTC, RTR, RevtoRev, MTMM, DITHOR, WG, WH, USI, USII
Currently using WH and RTR
Wife to Rich for 23 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 19, 16, and 12
Sister to Carrie
my3sons
 
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Re: I'd love to hear from those using Preparing...

Postby TeacherMom » Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:15 am

my3sons wrote:
TeacherMom wrote:Wow, my3sons! I would call that a glowing report! :)

Yep - it's glowing - and it's the truth. :D I'm very thankful that Preparing is making school for my ever-aging children continue to go smoothly. If you have any more specific questions, please be sure to post them - I'm not sure if that's what you were looking for or not. :D
Julie


Thanks, Julie! I'm not exactly sure what I am looking for! I'm kind of in a funk with school right now. I'm kind of unhappily using MFW ECC. :) While it is a great program, I just can't get into it. It takes so much time for us to complete the actual geography workload that I am finding it burdensome. Basically, I am just going to have to scale back on all the map work and focus primarily on the culture part of the study.

I'm doing my homework early this year to do decide where I want to go from here. At this point I don't plan to continue with MFW next year. I'll either use SL's one year world history or Preparing. SL looks easier to combine my then fourth and second grader. If I do that, I will definitely add some of HOD's literature and Bible resources to beef it up for my oldest. (Preparing would be perfect for him but not for my daughter.) One thing that I am certain of: I am done using material in which my oldest is the lowest age recommendation. I think that is the problem I am having with ECC. It is written for 3rd-6th graders, so he is young for it. Add in the fact that he is a very young third grader and the problem is compounded.

Anyway, I'm not in the financial position to make changes for this school year, so I'm revamping ECC the best I can and am learning from my mistake. :)

Thank you for taking the time to share with me your experience with Preparing. I know it is a new program, so there may not be many of its users active on the board.

Blessings!
TeacherMom
 
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Re: I'd love to hear from those using Preparing...

Postby GingerN » Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:06 am

Hi TeacherMom! I will jump in here with just a brief thought. I am very familiar with the MFW packages, and have used 4 of them. ECC is the one I actually boxed up and sold...and I am a curriculum collector. :mrgreen: Not to bash the fine folks at MFW, I will compare those programs to HOD. We are far and away happier with HOD. The subjects are so interconnected and our days are so memorable and fun. With MFW we just plugged away until we got done and said, 'Good, that's done.' With HOD, I am tempted to flip ahead to see what fun we will have tomorrow. So, the basic difference is that this program (we are using Bigger) and the other levels I am sure, speak to the hearts and minds of our children. The lessons are more conversational and relative. Every day we see correlations between our history lessons and the poetry and geography, between the science and the history and art, between the Bible and music and happenings in our daily lives, too. The subjects connect instead of just being a history lesson followed by a grammar lesson followed by a science lesson, etc. We are all excited about HOD! May the Lord bless you with peace and clarity.
Ginger
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Re: I'd love to hear from those using Preparing...

Postby TeacherMom » Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:39 am

[quote="GingerN"]With MFW we just plugged away until we got done and said, 'Good, that's done.' /quote]

You just nailed it. That is exactly how I feel. Truly, I could box up ECC, sell it, and be able to study countries/cultures without the guide. Obviously, the guide makes it easier, but the program follows a very predictable pattern, so it is not rocket science.

I'm just so bummed about school right now. I see the value in ECC, but I just don't want to open the TM and "do it."

What MFW years have you used?

Thanks!
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Re: I'd love to hear from those using Preparing...

Postby mamas4bugs » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:06 pm

I don't know your budget for next year, but what we are doing this year might work for you for next year with HOD. I have a 5th grader and a 1st grader using HOD this year. We are using Preparing and Beyond. We are combining the boys in the history section of Preparing. So what we do is have both boys listen in to the history portion of Preparing and listen to the Storytime box and do the project and activity (sometimes these are over the little one's head, but sometimes not). Then each boy does the right hand side of his own guide so that math/la/science are on the right age levels (and the oldest does the independent history section of Preparing). Does that make sense? It's a nice way to combine at least some of the subjects/projects, but still have each one on the appropriate level for la and math.
mamas4bugs
 

Re: I'd love to hear from those using Preparing...

Postby GingerN » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:14 pm

Oh, we want to encourage you, no matter what you are using! I'm so sorry you are *bummed* about school...been there, done that, too! We have used the MFW K program which was really sweet, as well as part of ECC, Rome to Ref., and the upper programs years 4 and 5 we were a pilot family (to help check for errors and make suggestions). None of those seemed to have any kind of spark to get us inspired. When they first asked us if we desired to be a pilot family for their new high school, my dd said, "Oh please Mom, not that!". Yikes. Oh well, it has it's good features, but I have total peace that the way HOD programs are designed is just superior IMHO. As I said, we can hardly wait for the next lesson. Please feel welcome here as you ponder the future. The Lord already has a perfect plan for you. Until He makes that plain, just take the parts of your ECC that you really like and really enjoy them. Those workbooks are easily set aside, to make time for more crafts from the craft book, etc. We also used an around the world cookbook to make a regional dish each week. So be encouraged and take care~ :D
Ginger
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Re: I'd love to hear from those using Preparing...

Postby TeacherMom » Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:26 pm

Thank you, Ginger, for your kind words. :) I am definitely asking the Lord for His leadership and trusting that He will make His plan clear to me.

I plan to sit down some time this weekend and figure out how to revamp my approach to our geography study. How far did you get in ECC?

Thanks!
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Re: I'd love to hear from those using Preparing...

Postby GingerN » Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:26 am

I'm trying to remember here...I'm getting old and my memory is, too. :lol: I remember struggling with the Bible/culture readings since they seemed too mature for my youngest girls, so I had to find other things for that. Then about half way through the program I got frustrated and did a major acceleration...so from what I remember, I picked the most interesting things from each week and did them in 1-2 days instead of a whole week. I don't want to waste time and money already invested if I can help it, and hubby appreciated my efforts. (Please don't think I am encouraging you to do the same...just know that I understand being frustrated with things that aren't working as I had hoped they would.) They made entries in their passports and the crafts and science lessons were fun. Can't remember what I did about the geography other than referring daily to our wall map! I never used their read alouds but substituted more engaging books. We got to the end going quickly, and had a family around the world party that was such fun! Part of my problem that year might have been the age ranges of my girls and my expectations being unrealistic :oops: so I don't blame ECC entirely...but this year we have found everything I desire plus everything the little girls need, too. HOD is a breath of fresh air and we are thankful. It's meaty, has lots of variety within it's comfortable structure, engaging but simple daily projects, and when we're done for the day I feel satisfied. I know I have a 'winner' when, at night, the girls chatter on to their Daddy about what they learned that day. :D Happy weekend!
Ginger
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Re: I'd love to hear from those using Preparing...

Postby my3sons » Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:04 am

TeacherMom wrote:Thank you, Ginger, for your kind words. :) I am definitely asking the Lord for His leadership and trusting that He will make His plan clear to me.

I plan to sit down some time this weekend and figure out how to revamp my approach to our geography study. How far did you get in ECC?

Thanks!


I'm lifting you up in prayer this weekend as you work through this - God will reveal His plan to you because you are faithful in asking!

In Christ,
Julie :D
Have enjoyed LHTH, LHFHG, BLHFHG, BHFHG, PHFHG, CTC, RTR, RevtoRev, MTMM, DITHOR, WG, WH, USI, USII
Currently using WH and RTR
Wife to Rich for 23 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 19, 16, and 12
Sister to Carrie
my3sons
 
Posts: 10464
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

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