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Catholic Review of: Mother Of Divine Grace 2nd Grade Syllabus

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Author:  Laura M. Berquist

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This item received 5 stars overall. (12/31/2011)

Orthodoxy: Completely orthodox.
Reading Level: Intermediate

 Dorian SpeedBy Dorian Speed (TX) - See all my reviews

Synopsis

Structured but flexibile approach to a classical Catholic homeschool curriculum

Evaluator Comments

The Mother of Divine Grace (MODG) program was designed in keeping with the principles of founder Laura Berquist's Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum. As expressed via their Statement of Purpose:
 
It is designed in the light of the classical principle that the goal of education is to teach children how to think; to help them learn the art of learning. If children learn how to learn, they will be equipped for life, able to master any subject when it becomes necessary or desirable. Further, the curriculum is faithful to the doctrine and teaching of the Catholic Church, which enlightens and informs all the areas of the curriculum.
 
For those new to homeschooling, the idea of designing one's own curriculum - and the seemingly lofty goals of classical education - may be a bit intimidating at first. But the tools offered by Mother of Divine Grace exist to make homeschooling a rich and rewarding experience for the entire family. 
 
The MODG approach allows for less time in formal schooling in the early years so as to allow younger children abundant time to explore on their own through reading, listening to stories, enjoying field trips and neighborhood walks, and pursuing their own interests. This allows for a child's imagination to be "filled with the heroic, the noble, and the beautiful." For our family, since the decision to homeschool was originally based on a desire for our children to enjoy and discover their own talents absent the overwhelming structure of traditional schooling, this philosophy has been a perfect fit.
 
Which isn't to say that MODG is all about letting the kids play video games all day long and read whatever the latest movie-tie-in books they received in their kids' meals. This curriculum will help you to focus on quality books and media to share with your children and provide daily, weekly, and yearly plans for how to help your children appreciate them.
 
The Mother of Divine Grace second grade syllabus includes a tentative weekly schedule that includes daily mathematics and reading, with poetry, religion, and phonics spread throughout the week. Music, Art, Science and History are each accorded one day of the week, although children will of course explore these subjects through supplemental reading. 
 
I particularly like the emphasis on Memory Work through the study of poetry, which fine-tunes children's memorization skills while giving them a "treasure box" of poems to reflect on through the years.
 
Mother of Divine Grace incorporates a variety of texts from various retailers, many of which can be acquired through one's local library or swapped out with your family's personal favorites. 
 
I'd highly recommend this curriculum whether you are looking for something with a detailed plan of action or a basic foundation for building your own curriculum. Our family leans heavily towards unschooling but I like having the syllabus to bring us back on track when we've veered too far away from structure for my personal preferences.
 
You can purchase this book here.
 

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