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I have a five y.o. son, currently doing K work (SL Core B, Horizons K math, LLATL Blue) and a 3.5 y.o. daughter doing R & S prek and some other assorted prek workbooks. My daughter refuses to be left out of "school work", and often wants to do school work even when my son doesn't.


For next year, my plan is to do SL Core C, math, reading, SOTW with my son-but I can't really imagine doing another year of aimless workbooks with my daughter. We will finish SL Core B at the end of the summer, and I don't really want to turn around and re-do it again. DD will be 4 in July-I don't think she'll be ready for full-blown K work, but I'd like to do something that's a little more than just prek-ish stuff (maybe like adv. prek?)-since she's had almost a year of following along with some of ds's k stuff. I'm considering WP JOI/RTL or AW, or MFW K-leaning towards AW.


So anyway-my questions. For those who use WP, what are your thoughts on JOI/RTL and AW (likes, dislikes, etc.)? I've heard a lot of good reviews of JOI/RTL, and some mixed ones for AW. I'd like something Ds will also be able to participate in and enjoy. I liked the idea of AW because it seems a little "older", but would it be too much for a 4 y.o., even if we do it in a relaxed fashion (dd loves animals and doing crafts, which is why I thought she would love it)? I'd also like something that I don't have to do too much prep work for, that we can just open the books and go, mostly. RTL strikes me as more prep work than AW.


Also, am I insane for thinking I might be able to do both SL Core C and AW together in the same year? Is that trying to do too much?


And what about MFW K? That one looks cool, but also like a bit of prep work. I'd love to hear from people what they liked and didn't like about it.


Anyway, that's my, um, novella about next year.


Thanks in advance!

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I'll start by telling you what we did and how it worked for us. We used SL pre-K first, and then I used MFW K combined with SL K (now Core C, I believe). That worked out great for us, with my dc being 5.5 and almost 4 when we started. I loved the thematic approach of MFW K, but did not love the phonics. We used SL LA K and ETC instead. However, I still thought that MFW K was not to be missed because it was so fun for science. I believe you could go on the MFW website and see samples for MFW K. We did Ss is for Sun and Jesus is the light of the world. The following week was Mm is for Moon and we are the light of the world, but we only reflect the light that comes from Jesus in the same way that the moon only reflects the light that comes from the sun. I remember shining a flashlight in the bathroom mirror for this one.


After that year, we did SL Core 1 and stopped after the big segment on Egypt. We switched over to AW. After about a month or two getting my bearings with WP's AW, we added back in Core 1 and had a really great year. (Oh yeah, we also did some Galloping the Globe over an extended summer period prior to that year). My dc were 6.5 and almost 5 when we started. My dc LOVE animals and NEVER got tired of this animal study. If I were doing it again, I'd probably try to do Galloping the Globe combined with AW in some way. What I would do in terms of checking for readiness for using AW is to go to a bookstore and look over the DK Animal Encyclopedia and get your hands on a book from the One Small Square series. Also, keep in mind that WP has great animal notebook pages, and pages to draw the animal of the week. I think the program is best suited to when your dc can do a bit of writing to fill out these pages. But I do think AW is not to be missed if you have a dc who loves animals!! One other note is that lots of people rework the IG to suit them. We did, and I found it fun. I thought the IG skipped around to different animals a bit too much for me, so I rearranged the devotional books to cover the animal we were studying at the time, etc.


We are now doing WP's AS I, combined with MFW Adventures, and having another great year. I have SL Core 2 sitting on my shelf, unused still. Oh well, I'll make myself get to it sometime! I don't know how much is because I am not excited about this time period in history, and how much of it is that we now enjoy WP so much! :D


Wanted to add that I couldn't comment on WP's pre-K and early K programs because we didn't find out about WP in time to use them!




ds 8


dd 6

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I am going to do IRTL with my 4 yo this year. He'll be a really young immature 4 though.


The following year I will do AW with him and add the WP Basic K phonics. He'll be a young immature 5 then.


Since you are wanting something your ds can share, I think you could do AW. Be prepared to use the Animal Encyclopedia and One Small Square books as "picture study" type activity instead of read and understand type learning (for the little one). You'll want to have her dictate or draw answers for the Make Your Own Animal notebook (or you could make a printed sheet of answers for her to cut and paste).


The fun part about AW for the early K age is the Alphabet Art activity book! I can't wait to use that with our Andrew. You will have one paper plate craft per week to introduce the letters, and an animal craft to go with it.


If you don't get the combined package (so your son will have the higher level materials), I'd highly recommend the Animal Behavior series and the Animal Habitats activity book. They were our favorite parts of the study. They're made for an older kid to read independently, but work wonderfully as a read-aloud for younger ones.


The nice part about combining AW and Core C (and I don't think you're nuts if you make sure not to tie yourself to the weekly schedule... give yourself plenty of time) is that since AW is set up in 5 week habitat units, you can complete a unit and then take a rest if you like before starting the next unit.


I'd also give myself permission to put a book back on the shelf if you feel it's not fitting. I did that with the Alphabet Art for my advanced first grader. It was just too easy. We're also only using a few of the At the Zoo crafts, because we just like the Animal Habitat ones better. We'll use those younger crafts next time through when Andrew is old enough to appreciate them.


Sorry about writing such a long *book*. WP is a subject that gets me going!

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I like WP AW. I am using it this year as science with my boys..7,6,&5. We also use SL core 1. If I was doing it again I would buy a few of the books and just use those with SL. The alphabet craft book is good with younger ones. The animal encyclopedia is great. I think I would just buy 3 or 4 of the small squares and focus on those. My kids hated the notebooking, but I thought it was a neat idea. They have really learned a lot. We usually go to the zoo after each "zone" and I get to see what they have retained.


You really could break this program down into 2 years as a science curriculum for younger kids. We explored biomes and food chains, etc.

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I've used AW, Core C, and MFW K. My favorite is Core C. Personally, I would not be able to do AW and Core C at the same time. Well, you could use AW and add in the Core C Bible (we love Egermeier's and read it at bedtime) and the read-alouds. But, it would be alot to do everything. AW and Core C are as different as night and day. We really haven't liked the AW read-alouds much at all. But, if you have a child who likes crafts and you want to intergrate that, then AW would be great. You can easily add in more read-alouds if you want to. Another option would be to use Core C as your main program (this is what I ended up doing) and adding in some of the AW crafts using the Alphabet Art book (love it!) and the One Small Square books. Pick and choose what you really like the most and integrate that. I wouldn't bother with the Making Your Own Animal Notebook notebook.


As for MFW K, there is very little prep. involved. I liked MFW K but my son burned out with it. Neither of my children were easy to schedule at that age. For example, they may want to do only math for three days in a row and then do a whole week of phonics. Maybe they all of a sudden hated handwriting and cried all the way through it but a week later, they loved it again and wanted to do six pages of letters! That kind of thing. So, a very cohesive, scheduled approach like MFW K just didn't work for either of them. It worked better for us to have separate resources to use to teach those things that we could pull out and use in a more whimsical manner. It was just TOO integrated for us.


If I can answer any questions for you, let me know. I think it really depends on your teaching style and how your children like to learn. I understand wanting to include your youngest. I know I would be inclined to combine them as much as possible given their ages. My sister used I'm Ready to Learn and she absolutely loved it. I could get her to chime in if you want any feedback on that. She will convince you to get it. She should be a marketing person for that program, she loved it so much. Her children loved it, too.

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