Books - Are the CTG books as great as the other MFW programs?

Including using "English From The Roots Up," "God & the History of Art," & Composer Studies
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Books - Are the CTG books as great as the other MFW programs

Unread post by cbollin »

firewarrior wrote:I keep looking at CTG and the books that come with the set do not look as great as ADV, ECC, RTR, EX1850. And not many books, either. And is the CTG emphasis on Greeks?

Currently we are doing ADV. Great and interesting books! Should I skip CTG next year and going straight to RTR?
Hi Firewarrior.

The emphasis in Creation to the Greeks is on God's people. This program is more of an Old Testament overview and learning what was going on in the rest of world history at the same time.

It is suggested that CTG not be done until after a strong foundation of learning who the true God is. That way, when you study cultures that were not following the Lord, you will know that they were not following the truth.

In MFW we study Egypt in the context of Abraham and Joseph and Moses. It is not the other way around where you learn about Egypt and maybe hear a Bible story or two about some guy named Moses.

Here is a copy from the CTG portion of the main website. I like how they explain the priority of what is studied in CTG:
Creation to the Greeks integrates the history of other civilizations, such as Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and Greece, with Old Testament history. Learn how the 10 plagues were a judgment against Egypt's gods, and why Israel and Judah feared Assyria. All of history is viewed from a Christian perspective, using Streams of Civilization: Volume I and other resources.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your strength.
These commandments that
I give you today are to be upon your hearts.
Impress them on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home
and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down and when you get up.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Welcome to an exciting year! Creation to the Greeks is a chronological, history-based unit study for students in Grades 2-8. You will travel back in time to Old Testament times, beginning with creation. As you learn about the history and culture of Israel, you will participate in the feasts commanded by God that the Jewish people celebrated. The Old Testament will be the foundation of your study of history (His Story.) This will be integrated with the study of other civilizations, such as Egypt, Greece, and Babylonia. We hope and pray that you will understand history and the Bible in a new way, and that God's kingdom will be affected by what you learn this year.

Back to my words now..... for an overview of the scope and sequence
scroll down a bit to see the lesson schedule. I think it will help to relief your concerns about the emphasis not being Biblical based.

Just curious....Why are you skipping ECC?

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Unread post by Lucy »

I have to agree with Crystal. It was like all those stories I had learned in S.S. all my life came to life when it was all put in context. For a good portion of the year the bible is used as one of the history sources as well as for feeding our spirits. Although the Greeks made a lot of contributions to us historically (some of which we can see today) they were never an empire and not very big until the very end when Alexander the Great tried to make them more of an empire. That died with his death. Also a very interesting point I remember from this year, besides its very strong biblical focus, is that the Greeks stop believeing in their gods eventually, thinking it to all be too fantastical.

Maybe you could tell us which book or books seem to be giving you concern and we could address that book and how it is used in CTG.

I am glad you are enjoying your year in Adventures. I also wonder why you would skip year 1 which lays a foundation not only of who our God is but where all these places you will study in the next 4 years are. I will confess I did a poor job of ECC with my kids and I have been sorry every year. Long story but I really wish we had learned where those countries are before starting into the chronological history.

Let us know how else we can help you.

wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:43 pm

Unread post by SandKsmama »

I'm using CTG right now, so I hope I can answer some of your questions - even though we are only on the second week so far. (we had about 5 weeks of ECC to finish first:-)

My dd is 10 and she is thrilled with CTG. She has loved all the books included, and the library list is *fantastic*. A great resource there. Celebrating the Biblical feasts is a lot of fun; the science is GREAT. I was kinda worried that it would be um, "thin" (why I had doubts, I don't know - I should have learned by now, huh?), but it is not! My dd (and I!) have learned so much already.

The focus is very much on Scripture, and HIS-story, and learning about history in that context. I have been SO impressed with how the Hazells have successfully developed a curriculum that doesn't ignore other cultures, but remains steadfastly God-centered. I looked at some other curricula out there recently, and there are few that can be successful at this.

We haven't gotten to the Greek part yet, but I would say that after using ECC last year, and looking over the rest of CTG, I trust that the Hazells stick to their mission, and do not focus inappropriately on Greek topics.

I'd encourage you if you can to look over CTG - will you have the opportunity to see it at a homeschool convention before next year? You could also call MFW directly and ask them about your concerns. I think they'd be MORE than happy to talk to you!

I hope that helps some.
Amanda, Wife to a great guy since '99, SAHM to 4 fabulous kids! DD(7/96), DS(1/01), DD(8/03), and baby DS (3/09)!
Used MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, Ex1850, and currently using 1850-Modern!
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Unread post by Lucy »

Oops! Amanda and I were posting at the same time so my comments may seem funny since they kind of repeat hers a little.

I forgot something too. The science in this year is very hands-on and fun too. Also this is the year that if you choose, you start using God and the History of Art. We were amazed how art told the story of history so much. We liked the books and used the book basket a lot this year. We use it every year but some years more than others. We also enjoyed several of the feast of the feast together but not all of them.

wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
Sue in MN

Unread post by Sue in MN »

CTG is sooo NOT boring that we spent 2 years on it! It is mostly a study of God and His people by reading the Old Testament part of the Bible. You only study Greece for a short while near the end. You can do what you want but as a Christian, why would you want to skip the Old Testament study? We are in RTR now and also enjoying it.
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Unread post by kellybell »

If I had to find a word for CTG (we did it 2 years ago with our two oldest girls, then 8 and 10 yo) I think the word "rich" pops into my mind.

I would recommend starting with ECC if you've not done it. What a blast, doing all those crafts, songs, costumes, folk tales, projects, games, and (oh!) the cooking!

CTG might have a short book list but that's so we don't go broke with it. The book basket is loaded with library books. The books that are recommended for purchase with CTG are very meaty (I'm thinking of Archimedes and also the Greek Myth books some but mainly Victor's Journey through the BIble and -- saving the best for last -- the BIble itself).

We loved CTG and we all learned so much. The feasts taught us so much about God's chosen people and about how Jesus was anticipated from Old Testament times. My girls really understand their OT history. Our church had a Bible quiz during a family day near the end of our CTG year and it got to a point where the other kids were asking to NOT have to "go against a Bell kid." These are average-ability kids with very average parents, but we had good tools that year and most of the things that they did well during the quiz were right from CTG study.

The main history text of CTG is the Bible, with some commentary (usually in the form of maps or explanations of the culture, etc.) from Victor's Journey through the Bible. CTG is a very OT-history year.

But, you can't just have OT history because the Hebrew people existed side by side with some pretty interesting peoples. When you understand WHERE Babylon is, WHAT Babylon is, etc. then you understand the Bible better. So, it's a good thing to study Greece and Egypt (and Persia, India, etc.) CTG never glorifies these ungodly civilizations. It gives them credit for their contributions to us today (we all learned about Pythagoras in math class right?) and it also explains how their belief systems (lots of gods, etc.) were filled with superstition and fear (and we therefore thank God that we are free indeed and belong to God!).

The books were excellent and we enjoyed them much.

When I first got our CTG package I thought it looked a bit dry but it really was a rich and "alive" program.

Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Unread post by Tina »

Hi: We are doing CtG this year also. We are going into week five. I first want to say that it is a lot of fun, just like the other years' studies. We are having an enriching experience with the science (so far, we have studied light and have moved on to pyramids) and the art is excellent!

This curriculum is biblically based. Everything in it shows God's truth. The very first scripture learned is that all Scripture is God-breathed. It shows us how God's truth has been, is and will be. I find the study of the old testament interesting, encouraging and enlightening. So far, my children have learned that the world will give them many ideas and beliefs that are un-Godly, un-Truthful and unwholesome. This curriculum is laying their foundation to see how Jesus fulfills everything in the old testament, how we needed atonement for sin and helps us to understand the old customs of His people before Jesus came into the world.

I hope that you reconsider this study. I have not reached Greek rule yet, but so far so good. I really believe this study always point us to Truth.
Tina, homeschooling mother of Laura (1996), Jacob (1998) and Tucker (2003) In MO
"One of the greatest blessings of heaven is the appreciation of heaven on earth. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."--JIM ELLIOT
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Unread post by MJP »

We did Creation to the Greeks last year. It was wonderful!
Wife of 1 for 18 yrs. Mom of 7--ages 1-15--1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th and 9th grades & (one on the way)
Psalm 16:8
Currently using--1850 to Modern Times
Previously--MFW K , 1st, CtoG, RTR, Exp. to 1850
MJ in IL
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 5:23 pm

Unread post by MJ in IL »

BostonMom wrote:We have been using MFW for two years and love it. I have been reading reviews of CtG lately that aren't so good. People say it's pretty dry. Can anyone give me an honest opinion of your experience with CtG compared to other years? Any feedback would be great!
Posted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:16 pm

We loved CtG! I will share a bit, but also look in the Ideas Section and the Sticky part for CtG at the top of this forum.

Highlights included "building" the temple, the read alouds~especially Patricia St. John's, Egyptian studies (we also saw Tut at the museum around the same time,) and the kids cut out a model of the Trojan Horse while reading Homer. We enjoyed learning more about the Jewish feasts and I loved having the Bible as a spine. It was a great year for us! Oh, EFTRU made vocab a favorite here...go figure, even for ds9. Cutest part: dd4 memorizing the Isaiah passage..."Do you not know, have you not heard..."

I'm not sure that I would have excluded anything. The kids got a bit tired of the Victor Journey book but I wouldn't have cut it out at all. I know some have not enjoyed Homer as worked well for us though. I appreciated Marie's notes on what to look for in each chapter. One child summarized the last reading, I read, one answered the question and one narrated. We started reading through MOH at the same time as CtG, but dropped it b/c it seemed to be giving a simpler summary of what we had already covered. I did add a few more notebook pages to summarize people & events.

We have jumped to 1850MT and are enjoying that as well. SOTW is working out well and using the supplement for my 3rd grader has gone much more smoothly than I had anticipated. He loves the puzzles! We are currently using travel time in the van to listen to the Little House series audio CDs-I can barely get out of the driveway without someone asking for them! We plan on moving back to RtR when we are done.

Overall, MFW has offered us a focus by which to structure our time and efforts as a family. I can't imagine using anything else! My husband has been encouraged to start leading Bible time in the evenings when he can. The children are working on filling a piggy bank for Bible translation. They look forward to book basket time and reading the books that I (well, Marie, too) have chosen to include that particular week. The goal of finishing lessons to have free time in the afternoon has led to some interesting studies!

I'm not sure what years you have completed or what you have read regarding CtG, but it was a winner for our family!

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:17 am

If you've been on this forum for long, you know that I really have enjoyed each year of MFW. But I don't talk much about my CTG year. ready for some stories....

It's been several years since we did CTG. I remember a few "hot and dry like the desert" spots. But that's to be expected when studying some ancient history. We struggled a bit with The Children's Homer for a day or two --- then I went back to the notes in the teachers' manual and adjusted accordingly. I wasn't on any message boards or forums at that time and just did my school and stuff according to what was in the manual. Worked fine.

I actually liked Streams of Civilization. Was it colorful, wazzle razzle dazzle and sit down for every second and love it? No. But in CTG, that book is scheduled in bit sized pieces and I learned so much in Streams of Civilization that I was able to share with my child.

The year that my family did CTG was kind of a rough going year in our house with life. We were working with intense speech/language therapies with middle child and youngest child was just being diagnosed as autistic. God provided so much for us that year ---- there was no way we could actually do the OT Feasts that year, but God put it on the heart of the children's minister at our church to do an OT Feast study for the Sunday School classes. huh??? I think God wanted us to use CTG and let Him be our provider. We didn't get to the make the tabernacle because my oldest was doing a bigger tabernacle project in the Sunday School class. Again, God provided. He put MFW in my path and it hasn't been dry.

We really liked the Patricia St. John books.

There were lots of fun things in CTG that we were able to get done. There was lots of fun in CTG --- who doesn't want to build a pyramid out of sugar cubes? Or play with paper frogs while reading Exodus. (I found a frog the other day..... in the basement.... ) We still have a tiny project that we made using flat wooden coffee stirrers and clay. We enjoyed CTG. And even before the year was over, was looking forward to going to RTR. (more in another story....)

And in CTG -- the Bible is the main spine of the program. the TM helps you through the dry parts of that :)

What I remember the most from our CTG year --- I remember learning a lot about the Old Testament, and found it is a very exciting book, and that I was able to share that excitement with my child and discuss it with her. Wouldn't have missed that for anything.

MJ in IL
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 5:23 pm

Unread post by MJ in IL »

I found a frog the other day..... in the basement....
Posted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:27 am

I am laughing along with this one. I just found one in my husband's sock drawer!
MJ in IL
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 5:23 pm

Unread post by MJ in IL »

CarynB wrote:I'm currently using Adv and K and we LOVE MFW!!!! We recently moved to a rural area in Iowa and the library system here is NOT good. The entire Ancient World section is only like 10 books total! I like the way MFW is laid out but I have no idea what books are used in the bookbasket time for any of the history cycles.

The core books for CTG look pretty bland. I know that the booklists are copyrighted so I'm not asking for specific titles but if I have a better idea about what books MFW recommends it will help me prepare and then I will more than likely stick with MFW. It's not a question of trusting MFW's choices, it's simply trying to work ahead and build our library and I don't want to purchase a bunch of books that aren't going to be recommended....

We really strive to incorporate as many living books as possible into the kids' schooling so I want to utilize as many great resources as possible. I would just prefer to spend my money on the * books that MFW recommends not just whatever random history books I can find. My DH is a pastor so our homeschooling budget is very limited! 8-)

Mommy of 5
Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:10 pm

I can sympathize with you regarding the small library! However, my library does ILL free of charge and I can get a teacher's check-out time (6 weeks) from a larger library about 1/2 hour away.

As far as books, I'm not sure off-hand which of these are listed in CtG ~ but we enjoyed reading Hittite Warrior, Tirzah, The Golden Goblet, Cat of Busta... and puzzle-type book about Ancient Greece. Don't discount the books included in the package though. The P. St John books are fabulous and my children really enjoyed the Children's Homer with Marie's hints for getting more out of it.

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:27 pm

One of the many things that is really nice about book basket and MFW --it’s ok if you use books that are different from the ones recommended. And it’s ok to buy some of those enrichment books instead of using a library. I love how flexible book basket is that way. Remember that book basket is a time to enrich what else you are learning.

One idea in the back of my head that might work for you would be to order some things for now (from the catalog that you have for no further than Egypt for young elementary age to read to themselves**) and then order other MFW recommended titles after you get the CTG manual and can look for the titles with the asterisk next to them. Isn’t it nice to not have to read every book that is listed? That way you can spread out the book buying a bit too.

six meadows
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Unread post by six meadows »

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:05 pm

I will be doing CTG this fall. As far as I understand it book basket is for enrichment books that you find interesting. The list in MFW is only there to help out with suggestions, but you can choose which ever you would like for book basket time/reading time.

Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:03 pm

I want to be sure you understand that CTG includes all scheduled books to give you a broad exposure to the ancients. Each of the package books are used completely and are chosen from among the many similar books that are out there, so that you get at least one good one in the package, and then can add more according to your interests. With the package, you will use --

* The Bible, most importantly -- this will be your "biggest book"!
* A Bible reference with wonderful pictures and additional facts.
* An Usborne book.
* An activity book.
* And a textbook for reference.
* A historical read-aloud.
* And, quite a few science books -- on the dinosaurs of eden, Archimedes, pyramids, as well as an experiment book.
* If you get the full Deluxe package, you will also get a set of classical CDs, an art program, and a vocabulary program, as well as a set of nice read-alouds -- all of which are scheduled in your manual so you get them done.
* What am I leaving off? Oh, Trojan Horse & Celebrate the Feasts.

ALL of the other books you might want to add are completely up to you. None will be scheduled. You would fit them in during book basket or reading time, during the week you are studying a similar topic. The teacher manual gives you a long list of good ones with nice reviews, but you are not limited to this list.

You don't NEED any extras. In fact, my ds felt the Bible was a better history book than any of the books about history, and the books in the package were "enough," especially since he really understood the tragedies mankind was into at that time. His book basket favorites were science-related and his readers were just kid books that year.
Paula J
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Unread post by Paula J »

Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:35 pm

I am adding

The Golden Goblet
Hittite Warrior
Detectives in Togas
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