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Unit Studies took over My MP!

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    Fireweed Prep
    Senior Member

  • Fireweed Prep
    replied
    Originally posted by Enigma
    I would love the link to the secular preK package! Is it JrK or Preschool? I used SC A Charter Edition (Preschool) with Captain this year. I looked at the Charter site and could not find it.

    I think once one is past the JrK, it is a bit easier to cut out the religious materials as the curriculum is not as dependent on them.
    (No offense intended or taken, I hope to MP! We love you!)
    Here is the link for the JrK charter school materials: https://charter.memoriapress.com/junior-kindergarten/ It appears to have everything you need for the entire JrK package, for a five day program.

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  • bean
    Senior Member

  • bean
    replied
    Originally posted by tanya View Post
    We love you too, Enigma! We embrace homeschooling as a flexible path for each family, and I hope we have made that clear with our encouragement to customize as you need to.

    Tanya
    Which is why I "spread the love" about MP every chance I get.

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  • tanya
    MP Representative

  • tanya
    replied
    We love you too, Enigma! We embrace homeschooling as a flexible path for each family, and I hope we have made that clear with our encouragement to customize as you need to.

    Tanya

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  • bean
    Senior Member

  • bean
    replied
    Originally posted by Fireweed Prep View Post

    Really really appreciate your insights!
    I was flagged, so I'll just paste it here below. Since I quoted you, you may have seen the first part of this.


    We used and loved the first 2 BSFU books. I like that there is a community and abridged first book now, though. You really have to have your ducks in a row b/c the original version of that curriculum would take over your school just as much as unit studies. Another word of caution. My dd has always been ahead on math, but she did have a year or two where she was stalled- she couldn't really go much farther in science without more math and it was very frustrating for both of us. Of course most kids aren't reading science textbooks in their free time. Take your time and go deep with science if that's something your kiddos enjoy.

    ETA- at this point, don't even look at high school. We tracked exactly through what I thought we would for K-8, and then everything changed for high school based on what dd's goals and needs are. I used to start with Classical Teacher and only make even swaps for subjects where we needed to use something else, but high school is just a different beast. Dd needs discussion for history and humanities in a way that's beyond just kid-and-mom conversations (although we still do a lot of that), and she's getting beyond MPs math and science. There's no way I could have foreseen I would be working at a university at this point, either, where she's beginning to take classes. Honestly, planning beyond 8th grade is tricky because you don't know what kid you will have in front of you for high school until you are nearly there.

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  • bean
    Senior Member

  • bean
    replied
    I got flagged even though I went out of the page and back in, which usually works. So be aware you might need to be off the page for a certain amount of time to edit without being moderated.

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  • Fireweed Prep
    Senior Member

  • Fireweed Prep
    replied
    Originally posted by bean View Post

    Remember that MP has a "charter" side, as well. These are items suitable for public schools: https://charter.memoriapress.com/

    Yes, I am looking forward to using that PreK Package for my youngest next year!

    We're not secular, but long ago found it was better for us to add our religious studies to a secular curriculum than to try to adapt a Christian curriculum to us. MP is nearly the only "regular" homeschool curriculum materials I've used in years because I was tired of being surprised by some of the worldview embedded in other products.

    It is downright scary sometimes!

    We substituted penmanship in second grade and never purchased the Christian Studies because we did our own thing there. A lot of the MP science that's available came along after we were through elementary, but we probably wouldn't have used Tiner and Novare didn't work for us in the way it was formatted (I have weird kid that has always liked regular science textbooks and would get them from half-price books just to read them).

    I definitely plan on ordering the secular handwriting books, and just did for my third grader. Skipping Christian Studies as well. I think I will have my kindergartener memorize "literature quotes" and I will make up her copywork with that. We are using Saxon for math, and it's going well enough. I'm going to start my girls together on Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding.

    Otherwise we found most everything else to be non-offensive. The lit guides that had the most religious discussion look to be available in another version on the charter side, as does Latin. We always just accepted that Latin was the language of the church, so it never bothered us. We have never been a full-core family, though, because I was always adapting to a work and co-op schedule and would end up re-writing things too much.

    I may look into the secular Latin books once we finish the "regular" Latina Christiana, as I would like them to do some Latin memory work but not prayers or hymns, as is included in the regular series. I like that there are so many Lit guides now--easy to sub in a secular one on the same level! I was feeling a bit hesitant about some of the upper level history books (I look ahead entirely too much probably) but then I was able to see that regardless of my personal opinions of it, Christianity as a cultural force is truly responsible for Europe and America being the way they are. Well, combined with Ancient Rome and Greece :-) I can definitely teach it in a historical context with no qualms.

    ETA: and yes, my dd would "play" me early on. She knew if she dug-in, I'd switch curriculum. I'm glad you figured that out. Also, I guess we did use Singapore Math, which we started before I found MP. It was a good fit for us.

    Ugh switching curriculum has been the story of our homeschool career so far --honestly, I'm lucky my kids are where they are at academically! I really hope to go to Sodalitas this summer (depends on where we move) as I think that could be really helpful for strengthening my decision on MP.
    Really really appreciate your insights!
    Fireweed Prep
    Senior Member
    Last edited by Fireweed Prep; 01-03-2020, 06:29 PM.

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  • bean
    Senior Member

  • bean
    replied
    Originally posted by Fireweed Prep View Post
    Oh wow I needed this. I have fallen from the MP wagon over the past few months and as lovely wise mamas here predicted, my children have paid the price—not so much academically as emotionally. Curriculum hopping is hard for them and, even worse, reduces my authority which my younger daughter takes and runs with. Had a frank discussion with my fantastic husband and I am pulling MP back out for Monday! We will continue with a few changes (we are now a secular family) but what aligns with out world view from MP—we will be using that!
    Remember that MP has a "charter" side, as well. These are items suitable for public schools: https://charter.memoriapress.com/

    We're not secular, but long ago found it was better for us to add our religious studies to a secular curriculum than to try to adapt a Christian curriculum to us. MP is nearly the only "regular" homeschool curriculum materials I've used in years because I was tired of being surprised by some of the worldview embedded in other products. We substituted penmanship in second grade and never purchased the Christian Studies because we did our own thing there. A lot of the MP science that's available came along after we were through elementary, but we probably wouldn't have used Tiner and Novare didn't work for us in the way it was formatted (I have weird kid that has always liked regular science textbooks and would get them from half-price books just to read them).

    Otherwise we found most everything else to be non-offensive. The lit guides that had the most religious discussion look to be available in another version on the charter side, as does Latin. We always just accepted that Latin was the language of the church, so it never bothered us. We have never been a full-core family, though, because I was always adapting to a work and co-op schedule and would end up re-writing things too much.

    ETA: and yes, my dd would "play" me early on. She knew if she dug-in, I'd switch curriculum. I'm glad you figured that out. Also, I guess we did use Singapore Math, which we started before I found MP. It was a good fit for us.
    bean
    Senior Member
    Last edited by bean; 01-03-2020, 07:48 AM.

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  • Fireweed Prep
    Senior Member

  • Fireweed Prep
    replied
    Oh wow I needed this. I have fallen from the MP wagon over the past few months and as lovely wise mamas here predicted, my children have paid the price—not so much academically as emotionally. Curriculum hopping is hard for them and, even worse, reduces my authority which my younger daughter takes and runs with. Had a frank discussion with my fantastic husband and I am pulling MP back out for Monday! We will continue with a few changes (we are now a secular family) but what aligns with out world view from MP—we will be using that!

    Leave a comment:

  • Arrowmama
    Member

  • Arrowmama
    replied
    I just wanted to thank you all for taking the time to respond to me. It's exactly what I needed: encouragement and support from like-minded parents. We've been back at it all week and we're loving life! I'm not running around pieces things together to make it all "fun", and she's relaxed and enjoying the ride. I may not have MP families to bond with in person, but having this online community is life-giving. Merry Christmas to you all!

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  • Arrowmama
    Member

  • Arrowmama
    replied
    Thank you for this! You hit the nail on the head. I wanted to have camaraderie in homeschool motherhood so much so, that I let it influence my gut feeling of what the best path is for my child. I appreciate this perspective and will rely on it, should the feeling arise again. We started back this week and did much of it orally, which made a fun and smooth transition back into it. We're loving it again!

    Originally posted by Mom2mthj View Post

    I think you could answer your question about “why did I need shiny new curriculum” by “I made some new friends” in your original post. For some people that can be a huge deal. I have almost no one near me to just hang with after school so I could see the allure of mixing up school for the ability to do something with other people. I know the bit about socialization gets knocked a lot (even by me), but many of us do crave a friend.

    Unit studies are great...kids do learn a lot, especially if you do academics along with them. However, they are tons of work for you. I don’t consider myself low energy, but I don’t have the time or patience to do them all the time. Two field trips a week would drive me batty, but some people need to get out of the house. Comparing yourself to others isn’t the goal. You can’t be your friend or any other person you find online or in person, but it is so easy to compare ourselves and most of us are insecure in some way when it comes to homeschooling. One thing to consider is the age of the children. My style was very different when my oldest was in 2nd grade and I had one in K, and a 2 year old. We went place and did things that are impossible when the age span is four kids with the youngest is in 1st/2nd and the oldest is is a junior in high school. Things like Algebra have to get done and the time to coordinate that for several kids takes away from being able to be out of the house all the time. Homeschool looks very, very different for my youngest than my oldest. Throw in extracurricular activities and my youngest doesn’t remember going to the zoo.

    I think my point is not to feel bad about your decisions. I don’t do complete cores and we complete quite a bit orally. You really can read Greek Myths out loud and do puzzles and games to learn the states and capitals. Some subjects lend themselves better to creative methods than others. Get the basics down....math and Latin and some writing and enjoy your kids being little. They grow up too fast. There is a lot of material in the cores and not all of it is of equal priority in my mind. Keep the cumulative subjects up and the rest will be there to complete with study guides and tests when you are ready for it. Just make sure that if you love MP that you stray for reasons that fill a need or a conscious want in your life, not because someone else is doing it.

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  • Arrowmama
    Member

  • Arrowmama
    replied
    That sounds like a fabulous idea. Thank you! I could try to put everything into a 4 day a week schedule, then have a free day to work on unit studies. She is really loving the American Girl studies we've been doing, because it's all cooking and handicrafts.

    Originally posted by jejegreer View Post
    Every time I try a different curriculum (once a year), I come back to MP. We are then "behind" with MP. Therefore, we do school year-round now. If you follow the MP lesson plans there is no reason that you could not do school year round (people work year-round, right? so why not teach that early). If you are getting tired take a week off and do a unit study. Have fun with one that is well-planned so you are not having to re-invent the wheel. Then go back to MP. It is almost like a vacation week for the unit study week. Or do MP, but only do school 4 days a week, and go to the museums or cook the food from the unit studies. Do the fun parts. And remember that if you do four days a week of MP, but also go to the museum or the ballet or cook an historical time period meal, those hours also count as homeschool for your state hours requirement.

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  • Arrowmama
    Member

  • Arrowmama
    replied
    Agreed! Not much, but many! Multun, not multa.


    Originally posted by Emilylovesbooks View Post
    I’m also loving the responses here! I’ve found that even if I don’t want to teach the core as written, most of the books and subjects are so good that I am motivated to get them out and help the kids dig into them more, especially starting in third grade. MP just provides a good, general guide to what’s worth spending time on. I know that even the parts I may abandon aren’t actually a “waste” of anyone’s time.

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  • Arrowmama
    Member

  • Arrowmama
    replied
    Emily, I'd love to know which episode that was, if you happen to remember! It makes so much sense and will help me to remember why I want my daughter to put in the work of MP, and why I feel so satisfied when we've had a full day of it. Thank you for your response!

    Originally posted by Emily L View Post
    I know this question has already been resolved, but I just wanted to add in my two cents as an outsider. (I use some MP materials and I generally lean classical or a tiny bit CM.) I was just listening to an old episode of the Schole Sisters podcast and they were talking about how unit studies are a beautiful education for the mother, because she's making all these connections in order to plan the unit. But the education was in those connections, and the child is NOT necessarily getting all of those meaningful connections, just because it's all been put together. And it's frequently something the kids enjoy but aren't really retaining anything from. The rule in CM circles is that the child should always be doing the intellectual heavy lifting. When the mom is working harder than the kids at schooling, something has gone wrong, because the one doing the work is getting the benefit.


    ​​​​​​Not like you can't cook apples and onions for fun, or whatever. But that's just fun. That stuff is like the yummy dessert, not the main course. Just my two cents. I thought those ladies had made some good points.

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  • bean
    Senior Member

  • bean
    replied
    We used MP as our primary curriculum from about 3rd grade-8th grade. Anyhow I'm just popping in this thread to say that I've never owned the whole manual. Some downloadable single subject ones, sure. But mostly, we've always looked at what we needed for the year, bought it, and just done the next thing. I'm very much a box checker, but know I would rebel against the CM and be off looking for something else. And honestly, MP's materials are super easy to plan without one once you've got the rhythm.
    bean
    Senior Member
    Last edited by bean; 12-13-2019, 06:37 AM.

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  • Emilylovesbooks
    Senior Member

  • Emilylovesbooks
    replied
    I’m also loving the responses here! I’ve found that even if I don’t want to teach the core as written, most of the books and subjects are so good that I am motivated to get them out and help the kids dig into them more, especially starting in third grade. MP just provides a good, general guide to what’s worth spending time on. I know that even the parts I may abandon aren’t actually a “waste” of anyone’s time.

    Leave a comment:

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