There are so many things in this curriculum that I never would have thought of myself because they seem simplistic or are so different than my own educational experience. But my DDs both respond so positively to everything. For example, Carrie said to make up hand motions to go along with the weekly verse. When I just started naturally doing it, my youngest DD said to stop it, that it was dumb. I said that the teacher's manual told us to do it that way. She grew really animated then and started excitedly making up hand motions herself. I guess that as long as it's in the book, that makes it OK. She keeps commenting in wonderment that Mom's big book controls everything. I love having everything right there. I've put sturdy bookmarks in each of the categories in the back that I need to refer to throughout the day; i.e. poems, dictation, extended reading schedule and questions, etc.
Also since my 9 year old knows how to read pretty well, my sister and I (she's doing the same thing with her kids) started our youngest halfway through the emerging reader's schedule, (Prairie School) then will start them on the first DITHOR book at the start of the second semester. I alternate weekly between doing spelling and dictation with her...the "bites" of everything are small enough that she can really sink her teeth into them and savor them. I feel that we actually have a chance of mastery instead of forgetting what we've learned in a month or so!
On another note, I am truly amazed at how my oldest DD took to written and picture narration. She loves it. The girls love school and so do I.