Books - Why did MFW choose Streams of Civ.? (author reply)

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Books - Why did MFW choose Streams of Civ.? (author reply)

Unread post by Marie »

Sue in MN wrote: We are currently enjoying ECC with a 3rd & 6th grader. I have a few questions about CTG. Could you please comment on why you chose Streams for CTG rather than Story of the World or these other choices and if you feel using something else would work with your curriculum?
Sue in MN
Author: Marie Hazell
Date: 3/13/2004

All of the books in our Basic packages are integral to the program. Any books that are optional (but still great books!) are moved into the Deluxe packages. So Streams of Civilization is vital. You will use it for two years. It is definitely the most informative book we have found (besides the Bible!) with information from a Christian perspective about early earth (creation/evolution; ice age; cave men; the flood; etc.)and the rest of history. It keeps a scholarly approach while conveying many important Christian truths that would otherwise be missing from your history lessons. Our pilot families definitely appreciated having it in the total package. (The book is assigned only in part, and in small section, sometimes less than a page --and some parts are only for ADVANCED students or for parent information.)

Now I will agree with you that Streams of Civ is not the most catchy, flashy, book but it's in our package for a reason. You can't just substitute another text because you will miss specific info on important topics.

That said, please ALSO understand that Streams of Civ is NOT our MAIN "textbook." As you know, our style is much different. So we have gathered a number of different books about the history topics and blended them for you into a unified system -- books with wonderful pictures, books with a "story" quality, and lots of hands-on projects. In Creation to the Greeks, as well as in much of Rome to the Reformation, the Bible is also used as a primary source for history lessons. We put a great deal of thought into which books to choose and how to blend them to give a well-rounded picture of history.

Rome to the Reformation uses Story of the World Vol. 2 for the "story" of the Middle Ages to the Reformation. It is combined with other history books to give a well-rounded approach. Creation to the Greeks has other great books that provide the biblical foundation in history as well as other information, so we didn't have a need to use Story of the World Vol. 1.
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Unread post by hollyjay »

More questions about Streams of Civilization
Nancy wrote:I do find myself a little annoyed with the Streams of Civilization book (in CTG). Not because it's a bad book (it's actually a wonderful text that I wish I was able to study history from when I was in high school).

I'm more just annoyed that I don't have the prep time to sit and read this and then explain to my kids what it's about when I'm still taking it all in for myself. I know it would be over my 3G child's head if I just read it aloud, and my 5th grader would probably absorb a little, but I guess I'm just annoyed that something else like Story of the World wasn't used in the schedule instead. Maybe it wasn't available at the time it was written??? Hmmm. Just wondering aloud, I guess. I've got 4 kids, one of which is entering toddlerville soon. I remember someone saying they supplemented with SOTW or other books. I really love MFW. I suppose I'm just wondering if I'm alone on this one or not? Thanks for listening.
Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:10 pm

As far as Streams of Civilization, I don't pre-read anything. I just read it outloud to them as we go. I figure if they understand it all, great. If not, well, I, at least, found it interesting. My 6th grader understands it okay. I don't know how much my 3rd grader is getting out of it, but she doesn't complain. Fortunately the readings are short, so they don't get fried trying to listen to it.

Maybe it's more accurate? I don't know.
Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 1:24 am

The focus in CtoG is on Biblical history, making Streams the better match, I think. SOTW will apparently fit well with later years in MFW, after the Bible-based history.

Streams starts out with Creation vs. Evolution, Noah's flood, and the tower of Babel. There are a lot of pictures and maps that MFW refers to often to get the historical evidence of these important events in our history, such as the dispersion of Noah's sons to the nations according to the Biblical record.

That said, I'm sure that busy moms with little ones at their feet may not have time to read thru Streams thoroughly. If you have to put it aside for now, you might hang onto it until your dc are a little older & you realize they are in need of further explanation to defend their faith.

HTH, Julie

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 6:53 am

With Streams, my prep time is the read aloud of the sections. I let the girls have a little snack/drink while I am reading. Make some notes on the marker board as we go along so the younger student (who is just listening in to RtR this year), hears and see the names and events. The 4th grader listens more closely. I then summarize at the end of the reading while asking questions.

In RtR, when the readings repeat each other, like the other poster said, it helps to reinforce materials.

Posted by cbollin » Thu May 14, 2009 10:40 am
It is not a read aloud. It is a reference book.

Here's a link to an archived discussion where Marie Hazell explains how and why to use Streams. Maybe that would help?

The Bible is the main spine in CTG.
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Unread post by hollyjay »

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:04 pm

You're right. Pre-reading Streams wouldn't really take all that much time. So, I guess I was just being lazy about that.

However, they don't seem to have a problem with me reading it straight out of the book to them. I like the idea of making some notes on the white board. I wouldn't skip Streams though.

And I agree, too, that a difference is the biblical history that is included. Although, it's my understanding the SOTW is written from a Christian perspective. We, obviously, didn't use it at the beginning, but added it in later, here and there.
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Unread post by Lucy »

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:00 pm

Hi All,

This is a good discussion and worth an answer " straight from the horses mouth." To hear what the author had to say about why they choose the books that they did for CTG and did not chose SOTW 1 take a look at the Choosing Curri. Archive under Why did we choose to use SOTW 2 but not 1?

Hope this helps some. Of course it is always o.k. to add more but this will give you some perspective from MFW.
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Unread post by Karen TX »

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 6:48 pm

Nancy, I love the biblical focus in CTG. I saw other books too... We just spend too long on everything, I don't think we would have the time..... but using them for book basket is a great idea! Karen tx
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Unread post by Lucy »

baileymom wrote:We have read some of SOTW, and the girls listen/retain it sooo much better than Streams of Civilization (so dry), so I really want to use both, and maybe even omit SOC when I can. I'm thinking this is even how SOTW 2-4 are incorporated in the next few years?
Just some quick thoughts here. I really think that Marie's post that is in the first link says it the best(well,she is the author):) . [ ]

I was just thinking with all the discussion of adding different books to the program that adding another book does not replace Streams. Going back to Marie's post, Streams fills in the gaps from a christian perspective. The other books being mentioned, although good books, do not fill in that same information. I would consider at least trying to read the Streams part yourself so that you can casually share the information with your kids even if you do decide to use another book. In other words it is not an apples for apples exchange. Just something to think about as you look at adding to the program.

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Unread post by Jenn in NC »

Christine in TX wrote:I'm trying to bring my 6th grader up to speed. He loves history! I was thinking of having him just read SOTW, but then saw that MFW uses Streams of Civilization instead of book 1. Just wondering why?
Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:54 pm

We are close (about 7 weeks out) to finishing Creation to the Greeks right now. I wanted to offer a slightly different take on this:
4Truth wrote:I thought I'd mention that Streams is actually a high school textbook and is used as reference material in MFW, particularly for older students.
I am schooling an 11yo, an 8yo, and a 6yo. The 6yo is officially in MFW 1st, but he does a lot of tagging along with his older brothers in CTG and learns just about as much as they do!

Streams is scheduled in the TM to be used on most days. Most of these assigned readings are not only for advanced students, but for all your students. It is suggested that the parent read the assigned section in advance and decide to either (1) read the section to the kids straight from the book, or (2) summarize the information for the students, taking into account their individual attention span, level of interest, etc. I have used both of these approaches at different times throughout the year depending on the material being covered and the length of the section assigned. Pre-reading is very quick and painless -- it hardly takes me any time. I like to do it while they are working on handwriting or something like that.

Sometimes there will also be further reading in Streams that is listed for the parent and any older children to read and discuss. I always have my 11yo do these sections in addition to what I cover with the others. He loves history (he inherited that from his dad) and really enjoys reading Streams. He asks for it to be available at Book Basket time!

Ok, that is all the practical info about how Streams works on a day-to-day basis. On the less practical side -- I had a lot of misgivings about trying to use this book with kids the ages that I had. But it has been so good, and I really would not have wanted to do this year without Streams. I cannot emphasize enough what a valuable resource this book has been for us. To say that the biblical perspective it gives to the study of ancient history is helpful would be a huge understatement -- it is nothing less than irreplaceable, in my opinion.

We already owned SOTW vol 1 before we began CTG, and I do let the kids listen to the CD recording of this book sometimes. They enjoy this very much. But being at the end of the year now, I can tell you I am so glad Marie chose Streams for this year and not SOTW 1.

Anyway that is my .02 -- we have really loved this year.
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Unread post by Lucy »

Posted: Thu May 01, 2008 2:06 pm

Christine and others,

We have used MFW high school this year and you will find that they will get this again at a deeper level and like in CTG it will combine biblical history with the rest of what was going on so as to give the student a good picture of all of history with a biblical persperctive. So do not worry about what your kids have missed up to this point. They will get it again along with geography as well.

Christine if your son is up to reading Streams then let him go for it but even in CTG and RTR the whole of it is not read(as I think Donna,4Truth, mentioned). It is a bit dry in comparison to SOTW which is why it is read in parts to fill in the gaps and give a biblical perspective that SOTW does not give. So if he peters out or finds it too dry then you will not be surprised. Since he likes history so much it may not phase him! Just a heads up for you :).

Christine in TX wrote:thanks lucy! he devours books, especially history books. i printed off the sample pages from for him to check out. He's excited!!
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I've enjoyed SOC

Unread post by Blessed Beth »

I've actually enjoyed SOC so far this year as well as my 4th and 2nd grade ds. We are on Week 8 now. I sometimes summarize it when appropriate if the text is long and involved.
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Unread post by Amy in NC »

Blessed Beth wrote:I've actually enjoyed SOC so far this year as well as my 4th and 2nd grade ds. We are on Week 8 now. I sometimes summarize it when appropriate if the text is long and involved.
I, too, am enjoying SOC. We're in week 10.

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Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

I was another who was concerned about the 'textbook' feel with SOC. But going into it, I knew the directions for younger students were to "summarize & present." We have actually stretched that now into reading just about all of the text. The thing that made the difference for us? A) Looking at all the 'fun' books first on days where we read from Ancient World or Ancient Egypt in addition to SOC. My children REALLY enjoy the pictures & information. By the time we get to Streams, the kids are into it. B) On days that we just have history reading from Streams, I give the kids something to do with their hands. Whether it's a related coloring page I've found online, or a blank sheet to doodle on. This works especially well with my younger, auditory learner. With my oldest (visual), I have to ask questions as we go to make sure he's focusing on listening (constantly reminding my auditory sweetie-girl to not answer for him ;)...).

Anyhoo, don't be afraid to switch some things up to make it work for you. Keep asking questions, too. There are some great people with some great ideas around here! :)
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Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »

I have to say that we're in the "like it" crowd as well. I tend to be a very animated reader though, which keeps the kids engaged.
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Just purchased Creation to Greeks...some questions...

Unread post by courthart246 »

dorenekimberly wrote:I am looking through Streams of Civilization. It looks a bit overwhelming. I looked it up on Amazon and it said it was for young adults and was a 9th grade textbook. To me it looks a bit intimidating. I love the idea of "Living Books" and Charlotte Mason, and this is looking a bit advanced to me (and dry).

Posted by courthart246 » Thu May 14, 2009 6:03 pm

We are finishing up CTG tomorrow. I have a 3rd/sort of 4th grader and a K'er. I did MFW K with the K'er just to clarify.

We actually didn't mind Streams. It looked daunting to me at first too, but it really helps to tie everything together. You can still use lots of living books in the book basket. Also, you can read through it and summarize if the content is too overwhelming, but usually the portions that you read each day aren't very long. We hardly ever spent more than 15-20 minutes on our history reading on any given day.
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Had a chance to preview Streams....

Unread post by TammyB »

I think it looks awesome! Really interesting.....looking forward to using it. I can definitely see why it is used instead of Story of the World for Creation to the Greeks.

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Re: Had a chance to preview Streams....

Unread post by AudMama »

It's definitely packed full of information that SOTW doesn't have. :-)
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Re: Had a chance to preview Streams....

Unread post by Amy in NC »

I have to agree. I loved Streams this past year and look forward to using more of it as we study Rome. It has such great Biblical insights.

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Re: Had a chance to preview Streams....

Unread post by 4Truth »

Me too. I can see why some people think it's "dry" or boring... if you were to just sit down and read straight through cover to cover! But Streams isn't used like that in MFW. There's a lot of great info in Streams!
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Why MFW uses SOTW vs MOH?

Unread post by TriciaMR »

euromom wrote:I was just wondering why MFW uses Story of the world and Streams of civilizations instead of Mystery of history? MOH seem to be more suitable for a christian curriculum than SOTW and at the elementary level unlike SOC.

I haven't used any of these programs yet , but I have looked briefly at these materials ( from the library or online samples).Still deciding whether to use MFW for next year ...
I'm using Streams with my 9yo dd in CtG this year. I read most of it to her, summarizing the "advanced" lessons mentioned in the teacher's manual when it is a topic she isn't interested (death and wars, mostly), but otherwise pretty much reading it all to her. It seems to spark interesting little discussions between the two of us, that I really like. And I like how they tie it into Biblical history, too. It is read in small bites, so it isn't overwhelming, and you don't read *all* of it.

MOH isn't finished. Also, it is a summary of what you are already reading in the Bible. Why not just read the Bible?

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Re: Why MFW uses SOTW vs MOH?

Unread post by 4Truth »

TriciaMR wrote: MOH isn't finished. Also, it is a summary of what you are already reading in the Bible. Why not just read the Bible?
We were using MOH 1 when I found MFW, and these are exactly the reasons I switched.

Streams has been fine for us. It's usually marked as an "advanced" assignment in the TMs, so younger children aren't going to get or need the info, anyway. With the older ones, either I read it aloud or summarize what it said. Sometimes pictures and maps are used for a notebooking assignment. Sometimes I'll have my oldest dd look up more info from the review questions at the end of a unit. If it happens to be a topic that they're already bored with, I just read it for my own information and skip it with the girls. And as someone else said, you don't read the entire volume cover to cover, anyway. It's more like a reference or encyclopedia resource for more detail. I think it helps teach our children good research skills to use different types of resources. That's part of the balance about MFW that I love. :)
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