I didn't OM for Kindergarten, I just found things that looked interesting and DS did them. He asked strongly for a curriculum for 1st grade, a thing of books that would come in the mail and that would be his learning work for the year. After much agonizing I chose OM.
At first I was a bit iffy about it!
But now I really like it, and so does he. I will mention that we are WAY behind because I kept getting sick, I mean over and over, from Fall through Winter and right up into Spring. It's been awful.
Reading...they don't want to force kids into reading, they have a very nice soft touch with reading. And that works VERY well with my particular son. I myself taught myself to read way too early, but DH didn't learn until he was 8. DS is just about 7 and is really getting into it now, really making some progress. We do the Word Families from OM, and we do lots of reading for more learning about subjects (right now we have books about the north and south poles, astronomy, and Greek archaeology) and of course being read to helps. In addition we are slowly using the BOB books, and he was gifted some phonics early readers.
My sister in law's sister (also in NC like you) got the K program for a steal at a convention, even though her DD is only 3, and just looking through it she isn't liking it, and is now moving away from OM. So there might be something about the K curriculum that's different from the higher grades?
I do find that I have to sit and read the lessons through, then write it down in my OWN words and my OWN order in a notebook. That way I know what's coming up, I know if it's a long week or a week where I can do two or even three weeks' worth! That's important as we try to catch up.
I'm not sure if any of that was helpful. Just know that there's one OM 1st grader who is learning a ton, progressing to being a reader, asking to get more more and more books...and his mom has no problem supplementing with other readers to meet that wish.