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This is our 5th year using My Father’s World. We absolutely love this curriculum and there are so many things we enjoy about it. This year both of my girls used Creation to the Greeks. It was the first year for both of my girls to be in the family learning cycle. If you’re not familiar with the family learning cycle it’s when all of your elementary aged children join in and do the same topics for history, science, bible, art, and music. You read the same books and do the same lessons for the most part. For older children there are some modifications to make it age appropriate. And the same goes for younger children as well.
My oldest daughter started the cycle last year with Exploring Countries and Cultures while my youngest daughter was using Learning God’s Story for 1st grade. I had been looking forward to this year ever since we started MFW when my oldest was in kindergarten. Last year was really difficult teaching both girls two separate topics for each subject. I had to read 2 bible lessons, 2 history books, 2 science books, 2 different read alouds, and so forth. I felt like most of our school day was just me talking and reading. I was so exhausted. I knew going into this year it was going to be significantly easier. After completing this year I can happily say that my thoughts were correct. I’ll share my thoughts on each subject next.
Read Aloud Books
This year I decided to stick with the included read alouds instead of trying to pick books for each and every topic like I did last year (and failed). You can read more about that here. I am so glad we read the suggested read aloud books this year. They were absolutely wonderful and perfect timing in some cases. Most of the books were from author Patricia St John; Treasures of the Snow, The Tanglewoods’ Secret, and Star of Light. Her books inspire children to live a Christian life. I cried reading all of them of course. And I think they really helped my girls develop more empathy and Christian character. I highly recommend reading them all!
The other included read alouds are The Trojan Horse, The Childrens Homer, and Aesops Fables. We read and loved them all! The Trojan Horse is a pretty small book and a quick read but it’s broken down over several days. But my girls enjoyed it because they’ve always wondered about the Trojan horse after watching Mr. Peabody and Sherman. The Childrens Homer is a combination of The Odyssey and The Iliad in a somewhat easy to understand book for children. We all enjoyed this classic story. And Aesops Fables is wonderful because it’s short little fables of animals with life lessons in each story. A lot of the proverbs shared are ones my girls have heard before. So they enjoyed hearing where the sayings first came from.
We really enjoyed history this year. Beginning at creation we worked our way to Ancient Greece. It was so interesting learning about how all of the ancient civilizations began. My girls really enjoyed the Ancient Egypt study this year. My favorite book was the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History From Ancient to Modern Times. It is an internet linked book. You can visit their website and enter the book title, it will give you videos, games, and other resources pertaining to each page. My girls loved looking through it.
Streams of Civilizations is meant for older children. I would sometimes pre-read myself and then summarize for my girls. But after while I got tired of doing that and I would just read straight out of the book while they colored or worked on a project of some sort. The bulk of what they learned/ remembered was from the Usborne history book.
They also enjoyed the Hands on Ancient Egyptian book. It is full of fun hands on projects. We didn’t do every suggested activity but my girls enjoyed the ones we did do. It’s really up to you which projects you want to include or not. We did ours based on whether we already had the materials. If we didn’t we skipped it, unless my girls really wanted to do it then I would go buy the materials for them.
This curriculum mostly uses Science in the Beginning. I love the idea of this book. It goes through all things science from day one to day six of creation. For each day there are various experiments to conduct. After the experiments you read about what you did. Then the children can answer questions about it. There are notebooks that go along with the curriculum but I opted to go a different way. I had my girls keep a science journal. So after each experiment they would draw a picture of it and then write about what happened. My oldest usually wrote more detailed explanations than my youngest. They both really enjoyed the science up until the last couple of months of school. Towards the end the experiments are 3 times a week. It was just getting to be a lot of work. And a lot of times my girls asked to skip certain experiments.
We also used the book Dinosaurs of Eden when talking about the creation of animals. There wasn’t too much to go along with this book. It was mostly just reading a few pages a day over a couple of weeks.
When studying Ancient Egypt we used the Pyramids book. This was actually really fun to do. It included some fun activities and projects that go along with pyramids. My girls enjoyed doing the various activities together.
For Bible each day we usually just read different passages in the Bible. We started in Genesis and have worked our way up to Nehemiah. We also used the DK Illustrated Family Bible as well. I mostly read from this instead of the Bible readings except for when there was no suggested readings in this book. They also had weekly memory verses to copy and recite.
English From the Roots Up
English From the Roots Up will be used in the following curriculum as well. During CTG you learn all of the Greek root words and next year the Latin root words. The curriculum includes a book with all of the root words, definitions, and derivatives of each. It also includes how to use the book and some teaching notes.
For art this year we used God and the History of Art. This was the first art curriculum I’ve ever actually used. We’ve tried doing the suggested art curriculums from as MFW In the past but I could never get on board to do them. I enjoyed this book because it not only taught basics of art and drawing but also the history of art and how God has been incorporated in various art pieces over the years. This book will be used in Rome to the Reformation as well. My girls enjoyed it because the lessons were very quick and simple.
The book is meant to be drawn in, but if you have more than one child or would like to reuse it they recommend making copies of certain pages. I chose to get a blank sketch book for each of my girls to use. For lessons where there were things you had to draw on I would just quickly draw them in their sketch books for them to fill in. For example, the photo below shows a lesson where they had to draw designs on the two pots. So I drew the outline of the pots for them to draw on. I know not everyone can or wants to do this, but it worked for us.
The music studies were mostly listening to cds of famous composers, their biographies and their music. My girls always enjoyed when we would listen to them. I would usually play it while they were doing independent work or art.
Things I Recommend Adding
I love having a curriculum already set up for me. I love having the lesson plans done and the resources and books selected. But I also really love adding our own spin on things. Especially additional projects, crafts, and activities. That being said I added a few various books and resources this year that we all really enjoyed.
MFW – Creation to the Greeks Facebook Group
If you only do one extra thing, join the Facebook group! This group is full of other families who are working through or have already completed the curriculum. It is the perfect place to ask questions and get recommendations on the curriculum. The file section is jam packed with free resources to use in conjunction with the curriculum.
I highly suggest printing off the Greek sheets for English from the Roots Up in the files section. I bound the sheets into a book for my girls. Each day they added something to the sheet. The first day they wrote the Greek word, meaning, and drew a picture of it. The next day they would write a derivative of the word and it’s meaning. The next day they would write a sentence using that word. And the last day we would review all the Greek words already learned.
English From the Roots Up Flash Cards
I purchased these flash cards from Amazon and used them on our review days. I just held each card up and let my girls say the word and it’s meaning. You definitely don’t need these cards but I ended up preferring them over the book. After the first month I used the cards exclusively to teach. It seems to be unavailable on Amazon currently. But you may be able to find it elsewhere.
If you’re like me and don’t really prep ahead, I suggest getting the Science in the Beginning Kit from Rainbow Resource. I ordered one before we started school. It was on backorder but I had the materials needed for the first few weeks until it would be delivered. Unfortunately it the backorder ship date kept getting pushed back until it was finally just canceled 3 months later. But it’s available now. So if you want to use it for next year I suggest buying it now.
Audiobook of The Childrens Homer
If I could go back and only change one thing to our year I would, as silly as it sounds, add the audiobook of The Childrens Homer instead of trying to read it aloud. We all really enjoyed this book, but I just know I butchered most of the pronunciations of the Greek names. Some of the names I was struggling trying to pronounce! I tried to look up correct pronunciations, but when you’re right in the middle of reading it kind of takes away from the feel of the book if you constantly have to stop and search Google. And there’s no way I could have looked it up beforehand as I’m sure I would have forgotten the pronunciations as soon as I started reading. Do yourself a favor and find the audio version. You’ll thank me once you look through the book. You can find the audiobook on audible or try searching other audiobook websites.
Hands on History Projects
Before we started the school year I searched for some fun projects to add to our curriculum. I found these cool Art in History art projects that I knew my girls would love. They have many projects for various time periods. I got this one for our Ancient Egypt study and this one for our Ancient Greece study.
I also added my own projects I though my girls would enjoy. For Ancient Egypt they painted and decorated a sarcophagus. For the mummy they wrapped gauze around a thick dowel rod. They also made their own cartouches, which is suggested in the curriculum. But I took it up a notch and made them out of clay. Once they were dried my girls painted them gold.
Another suggested project is making papyrus, which we did. But I also got some papyrus paper and hieroglyphic stamps for my girls to write letters to family on.
There are so many fun Ancient Egypt projects you can do! Here is a list of the additional resources and books we added for Ancient Egypt:
Story of the World Vol 1 Audiobook
This is not necessary or recommended from My Father’s World but we thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audiobook of Story of the World. We didn’t listen start to finish though. I found a file in the Facebook group that matched up all the topics with the weeks of the curriculum. So we kind of jumped around a bit. But my girls really enjoyed listening to the stories. I usually played them while they were working on notebook pages, doing art, or playing a game. We played it on this little portable CD player. It’s the perfect size! I love that I’m able to take this anywhere we’re doing school that day.
Things We Didn’t Do
I don’t know if I’ve ever followed a curriculum exactly how it’s suggested. There’s always a few things here and there that I modify, swap, or skip altogether. Looking back on this year I realized we skipped quite a bit of the suggested lessons. Not because I didn’t think they would be good learning opportunities though. It was mostly because we all got sick in January so we just did the bare minimum at that point. After that I just didn’t add some of the things back in for one reason or another. Mostly because I simply forgot since I was so used to skipping them for a month.
I ended up buying the already made timeline from My Father’s World. I found that my girls just weren’t interested in cutting out, coloring, and gluing the events to the timeline. I still wanted to have a visual representation of a timeline though so I purchased the already completed one. We have made timelines in the past using the accordion style. I have a free printable on this blog post if you’d like to use it.
I’ve never actually done these math drills with my girls before. I guess because I never look at the math portion in the teachers manual because they use Masterbooks math and just follow the lessons as they come.
I do wish I would have done some math drills though. Maybe every Thursday do a different drill; addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. I will probably do this next year though.
I told my girls at the beginning of the year they wouldn’t need a separate handwriting curriculum as long as they wrote neatly in their other subjects. This lasted most of the year actually. Until about the last two months they started to get really sloppy with their handwriting. I knew they could do better and would remind them that I would be getting them a handwriting book if they’re still having trouble. So I ordered some simple ones from Zaner Bloser. This one for Olivia and this one for Emma. Much to my surprise, they actually enjoyed working on them! So we will probably continue with them next year too.
All the Science Experiments
For science my girls keep a science journal. They each have a Juniper Grove Journal with a notebook insert. I customized a notebook with a half blank page and a half lined page and labeled it Science. After each experiment they drew a picture of what happened and explained the process. Although we skipped quite a few science experiments throughout the year.
As you know I didn’t have the science kit with all the materials so I didn’t always have the materials needed. And since I don’t always look ahead I didn’t have time to gather them. I knew this would be the case with me which is why I wanted the kit from the beginning.
Toward the end of the year the experiments are 3 times a week. My girls started to get very uninterested in all of the experiments so some weeks we would skip a day or two. I would have preferred this curriculum to be 1 experiment a week with maybe some reading or videos the other day or two.
Although looking back I really wish I would have just gathered and prepared all the materials for the experiments at the beginning of the year or at least the beginning of each month. I would have loved to have done all of the experiments and maybe recorded them. I think it would be great to share them on my blog for others to watch on those days when they didn’t have the materials. But maybe next time I will.
We were pretty on top of the memory verses the first half of the year. Once we got past the Ten Commandments and the books of the Bible we stopped. It’s not that I didn’t want them to memorize the verses, but in January we were all sick with the big C and only doing the bare minimum. Once we started back with the full curriculum I just never added it back in. I guess I was just so used to ignoring that part that I continued ignoring it. We were also pretty burned out at this point and just wanted a break. We skipped our spring break so we could finish everything before June since we were out for a month. Yes, we technically took time off while we were sick, but taking time off when you’re sick isn’t really a break.
I have always loved the book basket in the back of the teachers manual. And I was really good about getting books the first half of the year. But again, after we were all sick in January, that was one of the things I started skipping. And then I just never really added it back in. I hope to utilize it all next year though!
We were so good about the music portion in the first half of the year. And again, we stopped after we were all sick. I just never added it back in. My girls did always enjoy listening to the cds though and can now recognize famous composers and songs. I’m going to try and keep up with it all year next year.
I really wanted to do all of these but honestly just forgot. We did a sabbath in the beginning of the year. We made the challah, embroidered a challah cover, made clay candlesticks and rolled beeswax candles. It was so fun! But I think because the teachers manual doesn’t have the feasts included in the weeks (because some people start the curriculum at different times) I ended up just forgetting to do them. Looking back I wish I would have written down in the manual when we should celebrate each feast. By the time I would remember to celebrate them it was usually too late to gather everything needed for them.
Extra Biblical/ Historical Activities
We didn’t end up building a tabernacle model or traditional meals. We never made ancient Egyptian clothing or act out any biblical/ historical events. And we didn’t bake or cook any of the suggested things except for the challah bread.
My Thoughts on the Curriculum
All in all we really enjoyed this curriculum. There were so many aspects that were wonderful! Also some things we changed. We’ll be doing it again in 5 years so I’m excited to see how it will be with older children the next time around.
A question I get a lot about this curriculum is, is it worth the cost? For us, most definitely. I always purchase the next year’s curriculum in the Winter when they are the least expensive. My Father’s World always has sales going on, but the Fall and Winter has the most discounts. I’ve thought about buying the items separately, but I have found it’s cheaper to just buy the whole package. Although if you’re looking to purchase now, it may be less expensive to purchase items separately. I guess it just depends on where you can find the various resources. There are several MFW groups on Facebook that sell the curriculum and other items used. And I always like to check Thrift Books and Abe Books for used books. Amazon and eBay are good places to check too. As well as any half priced book stores near you.
If you’re interested in purchasing this curriculum I suggest to buy the whole package. Most of the books will be used in other years such as World History from Ancient to Modern Times, Streams of Civilizations, DK Illustrated Family Bible, English from the Roots Up, and God and the History of Art. And we really did use every book included this year so there isn’t really anything I would say to skip. Except for maybe music or art if you’re not interested in that.
I am not affiliated with My Father’s World, they don’t have an affiliate program. (I wish!) But they do have a customer referral program. If you’d like to help support me you can use my referral code W062704 at checkout. I will receive a small amount (5%) of each sale to go towards my next order of curriculum.
Sometime in the next month I will be sharing about our curriculum choices for next year. Spoiler alert: it’s My Father’s World. But I’ll also be sharing our choices for math, language arts, and any additional books and resources I plan on adding to our main curriculum.
Thank you so much for your support over the years on my blog, Instagram, and Facebook page. I love sharing about our homeschool journey, the things we love to use, and what works for us in hopes that it might help you in your homeschool journey. Please let me know if you have any questions about this curriculum or anything for that matter!