My Typical Day (of MFW and CC) for K and 1st

First of all, if you have not read Why I do Classical Conversations and My Father’s World in the early grades, read up on that here.  This post is deeper into that discussion.

This post was created in response to a comment on the blog, “What does your typical day look like.”

{UPDATE: This post was written considering kindergarten and first grade. Feel free to continue reading. But I have developed further answers about 2nd and 3rd grade here.}  

The short answer:  I fit in Classical Conversations Foundations in the space that My Father’s World doesn’t fill. (I am only in Foundations, so this will evolve when my children reach Essentials in CC.)

The long answer:

The two are very different animals, so they don’t fit together naturally. In other words, I don’t add in CC geography whenever MFW has a geography lesson.  I don’t follow some master chart that connects every piece of information into one single flow.

I keep a bulletin board with as many things hanging as I can…not for the kids, but for ME! So that I have a visual backdrop reminding me what we are even doing!  I created a flip book with the CC memorization facts so that I can glance and read them already hanging up. Anything to save me from having to find a page in a book….while the sink is running over and lunch is burning? I think not.
My Father’s World:
MFW is traditional, so I follow that plan while skipping, shortening and separating things as needed. I disregard her timing of things and move through the material in the way that works for us, faster or slower.
I skip some science and fine arts activities when I feel like CC has covered that for me. I shorten some things just based on our family life and priorities. And some things, I separate from the weekly plan, and zoom through them separately just to get “that thing” “off my back.” For example, I’ve pulled out a particular book from the daily plan and used it as a short-term bedtime routine. And one year, I went through the book and did all of the art lessons together back to back during a summer break. While all the materials were out, we just went through it! (I couldn’t handle all of the set up and tear down, starting and stopping, switching and changing gears!)
CC
The way I do CC is less straightforward. It is not a linear checklist. The classical method is a layered approach.  So you may choose to do (truly customizing) different activities each year based on how long you have been in the program.   And you as a family also sent your own expectations for mastery.
The same information is repeated again, in three years. So the first time through, my kids have fun being introduced to the material hearing the terminology learning the memory work WITH PROMPTING through memorable chants & songs or visuals (whatever your child’s learning style is.)
And if it is your first year, they say, in general, you just let the program wash over you. All of the information is a little overwhelming, and it’s all you can do to just listen to the CDs in the car. And that’s what I did. By the end of my first year of CC, I did do a little bit of map work with the kids, and I had them watch the history sentences through the cc online program, and had them do some of the math visuals through the app, but in general, we just tried to listen to the CDs in the car.
The second year of cc, this was again another year of brand-new material, so it comes very fast, and it can be overwhelming. We would listen to the memory work CDs each week and I added only a few activities that we did at home. Looking at the timeline cards most weeks, trying to repeat back the memory work with prompting.
If your children are young, the first several years, they say, the parents should gather information about the classical model and ease into the paradigm shift if needed.
You are watching your child learn, and learning their learning style, so that you can present the CC material in that form. Does your kid like to copy the timeline and the math memory work? Does he like to read it from a printed chart? Does he like to dance around to the memory work in the form of a song or chant?
So there is some trial and error there.
For me, I noticed my daughter is auditory, and just hearing it a few times, she can repeat it back. My son loves to act things out with silly voices and  hand movements. This is the only way the information permeates into his mind. I tell ya, that is not what I thought I signed up for when I joined CC, but I am so thankful for the program, that I am willing to stretch my definitions of teaching and learning in order to ride the big wave into 12th grade that this program offers.
If all of this sounds overwhelming, you may like hearing this: people who are further down the road than me say that eventually you drop every other program except CC. I am assuming for me that might be when essentials hits in fourth grade. My father’s world offers full math and phonics for kindergarten and first, so I believe you are saving time by using it in those early years. and after that, it may be that I will just be purchasing MFW for the big box of materials that it provides for my kids to use to explore the CC topics, saving me the hair-pulling library trips!
So in summary, I do not have a set plan of how to to work together.
 Hope this helps, and I encourage anyone to please leave comments of or links to their experience. Over time, I would love to be able to compile more than one method, and keep this conversation moving towards clarity and strengthening for everyone!

12 thoughts on “My Typical Day (of MFW and CC) for K and 1st

  1. I am actually trying the same thing!!! It’s our first year through CC and now I want to implement some MFW… What does your typical day/schedule look like as you incorporate both? How long is your school day? I was considering Friday’s being our MFW day…
    I have 4 AWESOME boys under age 8;)

    1. Hey! I edited my post to have more details to answer your question of what my typical day looks like! Thanks for that question! And keep me posted on what things are working for you!

  2. Also I forgot to ask, since we are going into cycle to this coming school semester, and ending cycle one in a couple months, which cycle or cycles would you recommend purchasing from my father’s world?
    Thanks!!!

    1. Hey! ‘Rome to the Reformation” fits best with Cycle 2, I believe. Unless you are like me and your kids are younger, we will have time to do that the next time through this cycle. We are finishing the 2/3rd grade US still and will do the Exploring Countries and Cultures first.

  3. It has been almost a year since this post. Are you still doing both CC and MFW? I did MFW K-2 and skipped it for grade 3 and used CC as my base. I am thinking about next year and reconsidering if I should go back to doing both. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks, Jen

    1. I TOTALLY understand. I am just now finishing 2nd grade this year with my oldest, and have found it more difficult to juggle, but I can’t imagine not having the options and materials of MFW. Even so, I found myself adding a few things here and there for my younger kindergartner who needed more and wasn’t quite able to go on to first. (In other words, I began to hit those scary tweaking decisions to keep things working for particular kids.

      I only got through half of the US curriculum, but since they call it their 2nd/3rd, I’m going to finish the second half next year. Although it’s not perfect, I’m going to press on with this.

      I often think about it, wondering if it is worth the mental strain of “letting some of MFW go.” So far I think it is. It gives me some “go-to” material when we want to sink our teeth into something.

      Keep me posted on what you decide and how it goes for you. It sounds like you are one year ahead of me on the same stretch of road. At least so far!

  4. I just found this page from googling MFW and CC. I did MFW for the first time this past year – 1st and 2nd grade, and have been excited to start the cycle next year with Exploring Countries and cultures. But then I talked to my sister who is hoping to start CC next year and I’m starting to wonder if I should look into it too, primarily for the community aspect because we live out in the country and it would be nice for my kids to meet other homeschooled kids. We would have to drive to town for group- about an hour away, which is what deterred me in the past but now I think I could give it a try. (I was pregnant this year and had my baby in March). I also have a 2 y.o. and a 4 y.o. I really want to start MFW with ECC and go in order but that wouldn’t match up with CC – starting cycle 2 in the fall? What would you recommend? With five kids should I just pick one and not overwhelm myself? It also adds on extra cost to so both! Not sure what to do! I anticipate your reply!

    1. I feel terrible about waiting so long to reply. The honest truth is that I took the time to fill out a long reply, using my phone, and then I lost it, and then didn’t have it in me to try again. I think it was because I had to approve your comment first, so my reply went into the Outer Banks of cyberspace. Ugh x 100!

      I feel you, and you are on exactly the same page that I am on. I am doing ECC and MFW this year. Here comes a long reply:

      On CC, Classical Model & Community: The decision to use CC for me, is way more than community. To be honest, I needed nuts and bolts educational support more than I needed a community, because I had other circles of friends. And although community gives you access to various points of view and getting to see other families cheering you on or being understanding or saying, “I use this for math,” or “I’m doing this,” all of that is helpful and makes you feel better and uplifts the heart, but the hard work of homeschooling is still done at home. That bubble popped hard for me! :$

      The classical tool is the gem of the program –dumping in terminology (“grammar” of each subject) is an amazing method! It even builds a foundation for English and math, however the hard work of early math, reading and writing is still done at home.

      Cost: Yes, it is costly. My mantra is “time is money” & I will either pay in time or money. CC gives educational support that I don’t have time to give at home.

      The hard part for me: what continues to be my greatest struggle is holding down the fort when it comes to the foundations of math, reading, and writing. I feel like moms need more support in this area, because these are the non-– negotiables. These are the things that require one on one, are often time intensive, and are more difficult when you get behind.

      This year after doing all three cycles with CC, I felt like I could do a cycle at home, because I have one year before my oldest will go to essentials, the afternoon class, so I am taking a year off of CC, to focus on holding it together at home and doing more writing with my third grader. I’m still doing CC, just not with the community this year. I know that is sometimes looked down upon, but I need time with my kids this year more than I need a repeat class.

      When I started CC, I wanted to do it one year, to see how they do it, and then I thought I might just adopt some classical methods at home, or contain the program. I love every part of it, so I continued the program through the first three cycles. I’m going to continue with CC, but Year-by-year, I have to do what my family.

      The latest possibility: I have considered using online Abeka for math and language this year. I have a plan, but if I am not able to maintain it, I will outsource some math and reading. These videos are interactive, and I can pick only the videos I want to watch, and I don’t have to do it on their timeframe.

      My big picture: So my family time at home each week has the guiding concept that MFW gives me. My over all K – 12 educational plan has CC giving me strength and help. And if I need it, I will be outsourcing math and reading to Abeka online tutorials.

      Yes, that may seem intense, but each year I and increasing humbled by how difficult the task of homeschooling is! I think you’re right there with me!

      Keep me posted. Thank you for reaching out. I hope I didn’t fail you by waiting so long to get a grip and reply again!

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  6. Thank you so much for this post and your other posts on combining CC with MFW. Our daughter is turning five in a couple of weeks and we are supposed to start kinder, though I’ve been an avid CM fan and not wanting to really start kinder. But I want the community, interaction, and encouragement from CC and do like the classical model of grammar. And I also want the organization and full curriculum of MFW so I can just float on by another year without doing much. CC makes complete sense to me, especially with regards to math tables and geography. But I love the touchy-feely MFW. I was so torn and stressed thinking I had to choose just one. Surely, I thought, someone else has felt the same so don’t do libraries well. So thank you for your thoughts and advice. Starting homeschooling, in general, is so overwhelming, but I have to remind myself there is so much grace in it, too. I love that I don’t have to do every single thing each curriculum suggests, too….such a simple concept that caused be so much stress! Again, thank you!

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