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Reverting to Catholicism. Should we use MP?

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    Reverting to Catholicism. Should we use MP?

    Hello. After many years away, I am in the process of returning to the Catholic Church. My children have never received any of the sacraments, and I was never well catechized, so I intend to do a lot of learning in religious education alongside my children.

    At the same time, we have been using very little curricula, mostly unschooling, up to now. My oldest is 10, followed by an 8 and 6-year old. I'd like us to become more consistent in our formal lessons.

    That said, with all of this happening at once (I've dubbed 2018 "The Year of Doing Hard Things!"), I have wondered if we should start with a specifically Catholic curriculum. My questions are two:

    1. Can anyone speak to the idea of my family using Mother of Divine Grace vs. MP and why either might be better for us?

    and

    2. Where do I place my children in the various levels? Should they each do their own year? I am pretty confident that none of them are capable of MP grade-level work right now.

    Thank you so much!

    #2
    Re: Reverting to Catholicism. Should we use MP?

    I'm going to let some really good friends of mine speak to your religious questions, but I wanted to welcome you to the MP forum and assure you that there is a place each of them can be at home with MP academically. Anything you can share about their current academic abilities will be helpful: if/how well each can read, what (if any) arithmetic work they've done, what you've focused on in your homeschool interest-wise. You may have a rabid Lego engineer and a master chef. One of you parents may be bilingual. We never know!

    They will likely have individual placement in cumulative studies like reading, math, and Latin, but there will be some things you can group and/or enjoy together (literature and enrichment, possibly classical/Christian studies) for some or all three. More specific placement is going to depend on where they are now.

    One thing I love to remind myself is that there's no shame in being a beginner. Just begin! It's how everyone started.

    Again, welcome.
    Last edited by pickandgrin; 01-04-2018, 07:52 PM. Reason: I try not to sound like a fool in public more than necessary.
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    2020-2021
    11th year HSing · 9th year MP
    @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
    11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Reverting to Catholicism. Should we use MP?

      Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
      I'm going to let some really good friends of mine speak to your religious questions, but I wanted to welcome you to the MP forum and assure you that there is a place each of them can be at home with MP academically. Anything you can share about their current academic abilities will be helpful: if/how well each can read, what (if any) arithmetic work they've done, what you've focused on in your homeschool interest-wise. You may have a rabid Lego engineer and a master chef. One of you parents may be bilingual. We never know!

      They will likely have individual placement in cumulative studies like reading, math, and Latin, but there will be some things you can group and/or enjoy together (literature and enrichment, possibly classical/Christian studies) for some or all three. More specific placement is going to strict depend on where they are.

      One thing I love to remind myself is that there's no shame in being a beginner. Just begin! It's how everyone started.

      Again, welcome.
      That's very kind of you. Thanks for the warm welcome.

      You were pretty spot on! We have a 10-year old pastry-chef wannabe, and my husband grew up speaking Spanish (although he claims he's not comfortable speaking it now except to his family).

      My 10-year old is also a strong reader. She taught herself to read when she was 5, and I think that set us on the path of unschooling. She made it look so easy! Her exposure to math has mainly been through practical usage -- figuring out measurements, budgeting, etc. Her spelling is painfully bad; so much so that I am avoiding having her write thank-you notes for Christmas gifts because her spelling and writing are just so far behind. She loves all things science and art and handicrafts.

      My 8-year old is only at the stage where Level 1 readers and Bob books are still her comfort zone. Math has been minimal. She loves to be creative -- she comes up with the most amazing uses for paper! And drawing. And she loves all things fashion.

      My 6-year old is not reading and doing the bare minimum with writing. We've always been a "better late than early" family, and since she just turned 6 in November, I've been okay with her progress. I do think she would welcome some of her own work, though. I can't imagine her doing anything above K level right now.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Reverting to Catholicism. Should we use MP?

        Originally posted by trace View Post
        Hello. After many years away, I am in the process of returning to the Catholic Church. My children have never received any of the sacraments, and I was never well catechized, so I intend to do a lot of learning in religious education alongside my children.

        At the same time, we have been using very little curricula, mostly unschooling, up to now. My oldest is 10, followed by an 8 and 6-year old. I'd like us to become more consistent in our formal lessons.

        That said, with all of this happening at once (I've dubbed 2018 "The Year of Doing Hard Things!"), I have wondered if we should start with a specifically Catholic curriculum. My questions are two:

        1. Can anyone speak to the idea of my family using Mother of Divine Grace vs. MP and why either might be better for us?

        and

        2. Where do I place my children in the various levels? Should they each do their own year? I am pretty confident that none of them are capable of MP grade-level work right now.

        Thank you so much!
        Hi! Welcome! First, MODG is a well respected program and I do think it is a beautiful, lovely program, but not for our family. I started with MODG. However, when I say I "started" we did K. We didn't even do K very "well"! We did their Religion, Art and Poetry and that was about it. My daughter was struggling with reading and 100ez was not doing it for us. (That is for another story- our reading saga). There just always felt like something was lacking. I could not put my finger on it though. Then, I read a little blog that basically explained with MODG, it is assumed you know how to teach reading, writing, math etc! If you don't, you need to enroll and then the consultant is the "teacher's guide". I personally do not operate well this way. I need a little more hand holding and the curriculum guide and teacher's guides do this for me at a MUCH cheaper cost than enrolling. Also, I can tweak it if we get into a rhythm and see we can move faster (or slower). MP has a really unique situation in that everything is laid out so well that the rhythm just can't be beat.

        I still have the syllabi for MODG for grades K-6. I pull them out now and again. Occasionally, I think, ok, we are going to start doing x from MODG. It never sustains. I have 3 kids in fairly close age ranges. MODG use the St. Joseph's Baltimore Catechism Book 1, in grades 2,3 and 4. I finally decided we would just start at the beginning of book 1 and would work through the questions, together as a family. My oldest is learning a little faster. However, I don't feel I'm really holding her back. Additionally, we read HER Faith and Life book (it is a quick read). We try and celebrate a few liturgical feasts, read about Saints 1x per week (also scheduled in MODG) and then use the Christian Studies from MP for the Bible. However, we also read the daily Mass readings from the Magnificat we subscribe to. I can't tell you how much just doing these things has taught "ME!" In Faith and Life 3, it directs you to read from the Bible when discussing points of the Catechisism and I plan to do that next year.

        MP is one of the only NOT Catholic curriculum providers that is friendly to Catholics. I really feel like it is the bridge needed to unite all Christians. It does leave out our Mother, Saints, etc, but you can do that outside of your school day.

        As to where to place them....can you tell us more about your children?

        Can they read? What kind of phonics instructions have they had? Can they do basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, division? (thinking about the 10 and possibly 8 year old here) How is their handwriting? Can they write a basic sentence? Do they know it starts with a capital letter and ends with a punctuation mark? Do you suspect any learning difficulties?

        P.S. In my opinion, MODG really needs to be done as written, with slight modifications. They use a science text to teach writing. There is a lot of writing in the religion program, etc. So, if you piece out or in MODG, you actually could be missing huge chunks. If you start piecing together MP, you also could get the same results, but not quite in the same way. There are many folks that work their way up to full cores with MP. In MODG, you would really need to jump in all feet.
        Last edited by howiecram; 01-04-2018, 08:52 PM.
        Christine

        (2019/2020)
        DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
        DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
        DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

        Previous Years
        DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
        DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
        DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Reverting to Catholicism. Should we use MP?

          Thank you so much, pickandgrin and howiecram. I did respond about each of my daughters, but I got the message that an admin needs to approve my message first!

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Reverting to Catholicism. Should we use MP?

            We are Catholic, and love MP. Some years we use catechismclass.com as a supplement. It scratches my kiddos' itch for "computer time" and is solid in content.

            Just another option for your toolbox. Welcome home :-)
            Amanda - Mama to three crazy boys (7A, 6M, 2), classics major

            "Non nisi te, Domine. Non nisi te" - St. Thomas Aquinas

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Reverting to Catholicism. Should we use MP?

              Originally posted by trace View Post
              Thank you so much, pickandgrin and howiecram. I did respond about each of my daughters, but I got the message that an admin needs to approve my message first!
              Approved, and sorry about that! I'm not sure why it was blocked. It looks like it was just a glitch.

              Welcome again!
              Michael
              Memoria Press

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Reverting to Catholicism. Should we use MP?

                Trace,

                Hello and welcome to the Forum! I am so glad that you have found your way here - this is a fantastic community of a wide variety of families who delight in helping each other along as we travel this journey together.

                I first want to echo what Jessica said about not worrying about where you are starting. The foundress of MP, Cheryl Lowe, always reminded us that most people overestimate what they can do in a year, and underestimate what they can do in five. You just need to take those first steps, get going, and trust the process. In the not too far off future, you will begin to look back and be in awe of where you guys have come.

                I am also so glad to hear about your spiritual journey as well - that is fantastic news! God be praised! Our family is Catholic, and we have found MP to be the hands-down best fit for our family. In our pre-MP years I tried every organized Catholic program out there. A lot of things were good, and I loved the "idea" that we were using a Catholic curriculum. But there was a perpetual restlessness that stemmed from wanting a complete program that would be our whole school from beginning to end. And nothing ever fit the bill without a lot of additions and tweaking. Ever since we started using MP as a our main curriculum, we found a sense of peace that had been lacking the entire time. It had the right balance of challenge and pleasure, development of strong skills and things to do just because they were interesting. It has been so freeing to not wander and switch and search. And we have always had plenty of time to live out our faith as a family, add in our religion coursework, and apply what we are learning in school to the conversations we share together - all of which helps develop them as the "whole people" we want them to be.

                So all of that is to say that we are very happy with our experience with MP, and happily recommend it to others as well. For religion specifically, we do use a mixture of the Faith and Life religion textbooks, memorizing questions from the Baltimore Catechism, Bible readings and Saint stories. One side project of mine to develop what we do into lessons to share with others - which will hopefully see the light of day sooner rather than later! So if you have any specific questions on that topic, I would be happy to help

                As for your kids and school...there is much we can do to help you get started. Your six year old sounds like a good candidate to simply start with K and get the ball rolling. Your older two will probably benefit from choosing some programs that will help address gaps by simply starting at the beginning in a lot of ways. One thing I will suggest is to perhaps call the MP office directly and ask for someone to speak with you about your girls specifically. When you have a lot of questions, this is usually a great way to get them answered in the context of a full conversation. I am sure we would all still be happy to continue giving suggestions, but a live phone call is usually really helpful in the very beginning.

                And that is where I am going to leave it tonight. My nights have been short on sleep lately and I am feeling the need to turn in early. Welcome again, and God bless!

                AMDG,
                Sarah
                Last edited by KF2000; 01-04-2018, 09:54 PM.
                2020-2021
                16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                DS, 16
                DD, 14
                DD, 12
                DD, 10
                DD, 8
                DD, 6
                +DS+
                DS, 2

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