Independence - Assigning more work to do independently

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
ManyXsBlessed
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:44 pm

Re: anyone have their kids read most of the books on their own?

Unread post by ManyXsBlessed » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:04 pm

My oldest son is extremely independent. I worried about it for a while until someone set me straight. They told me that this is the goal. We as adults teach ourselves, read ourselves, study ourselves... he has used programs like Sonlight and WinterPromise on his own and just checks things off as he completes them in the main guide. We talk about things, I ask questions, he has answers :), he is doing great. This year with MFW I will require him to sit in on some family reading time with ex-1850 but for a lot of it, if he chooses, he will be able to read on his own. He is 12. I have a 10 year old who is quickly headed in the same direction and doing well, too.
Erin
Mom to 3 boys (12, 10, and 7) and a baby girl
MFW EX-1850, Winter Promise LA, Apologia Gen, Teaching Textbooks, and A Beka

Lucy
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Re: anyone have their kids read most of the books on their own?

Unread post by Lucy » Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:00 pm

Dear Kirsten,

Over the years as my kids grew older I found that Bible and History were the 2 subjects that we continued to read together. The main reason for this is as the teacher/discipler along with my husband we really wanted to help our kids to make connection and to help them see God in history. Although 7th and 8th graders are growing rapidly in their reasoning, logic, and analytical skills many are still quite concrete and only comprehend what is on the written page that day. This being said I agree with Julie that as long as you allow sometime to let him narrate to you (tell you what he read about that day) and have time to give any input that you may see important to help him to make connections, then reading it on his own will be fine I think. You may find that you can simply have him read in the morning and join you all after you have read in the afternoon for a short narration and discussion of the days reading. There is one book that is specifically for 6-8 graders that you will want to read and discuss with him also as it shows a bit more of the reality of the first colonist than we may have had as young children (Building A City on a Hill).

Just some thoughts for you as you make plans for you year. It's going to be a great study!

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

momtogc
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:25 pm
Location: AR

Re: anyone have their kids read most of the books on their own?

Unread post by momtogc » Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:33 pm

I think it's a great idea. Each child might be ready for the responsibility at a different age but since your ds seems ready and learns well this way, it's probably a good time to try it. I have *very little* personal experience but will share that last year I let my second grader (yep - a seven year old) do some school reading and other work on her own. I got the idea from another homeschooler who has four children (ages eight to sixteen). She schedules all of their work to be done independently unless they come to something they need help with. I did it just a little differently for my dd.

Each day dd would refer to a chart that I made up for her and she would do a little bit of work on her own including some light reading then we would finish up the rest together, usually with her narrating back to me what she had read. Sometimes I would read the book or chapter ahead of her so I would know if she was really grasping the material, other times I would skim the chapter as she talked. I'm not sure that I would have started her doing independent work at such a young age but it was necessary at the time since we were dealing with a family crisis and I did not always have the focus to sit with her and read/teach every single thing. It was fun though and she did very well.

I'm certain I will do this again in the future. I believe children need it in order to develop in the area of personal responsiblity - to not be totally dependent on someone else to teach them everything, then have some great family discussions after the reading where the child can share his/her insights with a parent who can give feedback.

Have a great year!
Mom to Gabi, a fun-loving and happy girl!
MFW 1st, Adventures, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp-1850

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Independence with MFW?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:16 pm

jtcarter14 wrote:SO. With all that said, am I just not cut out for MFW? Are there other ways to encourage them to work more independently without having to use something like SOS? Is this ok? &)
I'm a flexible person and have been able to make almost anything work the way I need it to.

That said, to get the full benefit of MFW's already having been planned out for you 100%, I think it works best if you set aside about 4 hours per day to "go to school" and just teach your children, without thinking about other tasks that need doing.

It might seem like you're giving up a lot of time, but I've found you actually gain a lot of time. Instead of half-doing things for 24 hours, you simply do school for 4 hours, and then allow yourself to completely stop doing school for the rest of the day. If you have free moments during those 4 "school hours," use them for school-related things -- correcting, planning, marking page numbers for the next day's reading, or singing a song with your children. Then allow yourself to stop wherever you are after the 4-hour time period is up. When dh comes home, you will be far removed from your school day and can completely spend your time with him and the children.

Babies I'm sure make things very difficult. But if you just know that you need to juggle them for one certain period during each weekday, it might feel less overwhelming? Best wishes in your effort to do what's best for your children,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

cbollin

LA and Math not independent enough

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:25 am

JoyfulDancer wrote:Now that I've got 3 dc using PLL/ILL, Singapore Math, Writing Strands, Sequential Spelling and our Hebrew programs, I am finding that my ch need my help or input more rather than less. Aren't they supposed to be doing more work on their own rather than needing me more? I'm a little frustrated, because I spend so much time with each child. How much of this should they be doing independently? And how can I efficiently give the needed time to each child (and still keep the toddler out of trouble)?

Okay, SS relies on me to give a spelling list each day to each child, which may be different from SP (don't know, I've never used it), and the Hebrew is definitely one-on-one with me by necessity. But what about the other subjects? I find I am often needed to go over the lesson in ILL, SM and WS before they do their work and also to review it afterwards to make sure they did the right thing. Many of the ILL lessons I need to help with all the way through. I keep reading about how the older they get the more independent their work is. When does that happen?

Thanks,
Laurie
Ideas in brief:

PLL and ILL 3 days a week. And WS on 2 other days a week. Work diligently in ILL for 15 minutes a day and get as far as you can. If they don’t do the full lesson but get enough, it’s enough. Set a timer. I don't do a lot of ILL independently except then they are writing something.

For Writing Strands, try to teach the lesson basics for 5-10 minutes as a classroom instructor to go over the material and give a model on a board if they need it.make sure they understand the assignment. Have them say something out loud to you to verify that. Then give them some paper to work on for themselves with the book available to finish up on their own for longer time. Grade/evaluate it later and work again the next day.

Sometimes it helps if you leave them alone to work on writing for a few minutes while you give 10 minutes to work with someone else on math. That someone will come back to the writing lesson after math. That’s one way independent is developed, you let them try more on their own and tell them “you can do this”. Then the next day’s lesson is when they can revise the paper.

Spelling Power requires about 5 minutes or so of mom time to give spelling list out loud each day. However, there were times that I had my oldest give it to the middle gal. Not sure how that compares with SS.

The more independent learning happens when mom has no option but to let them try more on their own, and come back to it later in tiny increments. My middle gal and Singapore is a great example of it in her. I’ll be working on something else and she will get stuck on a math problem. She circles the number of the problems and then we come back to it and work together. Fortunately, Singapore lesson and workbooks aren’t loaded with tons of problems. Also, we sometimes do some of the problems orally on workbooks too. That speeds it up.

And of course, be encouraged to call MFW’s office for more ideas on using their recommendations in the real world.

-crystal

mgardenh
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:55 pm

Re: LA and Math not independent enough

Unread post by mgardenh » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:19 am

Joyfuldancer,
Could it be your expectations are higher then what your children are capable of? I don't know the ages of your children or what they are capable of though. If you were teaching in a public school you would teach the lesson to the whole class then go around and give individual help. I remember that even in high school. The teacher would do a lesson then we would do "independent" work but the teach would walk up and down the aisle helping students where the needed it. Or the teacher told us to come to her/his desk if we need help.
Mike
DH to Laurel
SAHD (mostly) to
Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/alexisg
Have used MFW, k, 1st, Adventures, and ECC, CTG, RtR

jasntas
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: LA and Math not independent enough

Unread post by jasntas » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:06 pm

I think some dc come by it naturally and some have to be taught.

My dd just completed K and begun 1st. She prefers independent work already. She will even sometimes voluntarily go to her room to complete an assignment, such as handwriting practice, so she is not disturbed. I would prefer she stay with us but if it's something I have already gone over with her and she wants to, she can.

My soon to be 4th grade ds, on the other hand, is very dependent. He thinks he is being punished if I send him to his room to complete an assignment. I do a lot of what Crystal suggested. I explain the assignment to him and then begin working with my dd. If he needs help, I am teaching him to wait for a good time to interrupt and then politely ask for it. (Still working on that one but getting there.) My biggest problem is getting him not to stare into space and actually do something while I'm working with his sis. But he is getting better with that, too. A timer helps with that.

I don't have 3 I'm teaching with a toddler in the mix but maybe some of this will help.
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

meagabby
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:07 pm

Re: LA and Math not independent enough

Unread post by meagabby » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:14 pm

I have wondered what independent work looks like when you have multiple children.

Not long ago I read that the reading assignments be read to the children. I had been having one dd read a few books by herself after I had read the day's assignments that I thought was beyond her reading ability. As I read that the only thing my children are to do on their own is math, after being taught the lesson and writing, after discussing what to write.

I didn't want to hear that I was supposed to be doing it all, all the time, right there with them.

Now that we are finished with the year and taking a little break. I see that my children aren't as independent as I want the to be, but we still finish our work in about 4 hrs.

We do not add anything to the program and we tweak it to our needs. I have 2 in the cycle, Pre K and a toddler. Next year we will be adding in the K curriculum, but I don't see much changing.

While I'm helping one child, most times, the others aren't really doing what I'd call schoolwork, but when it is their 'turn' they are focused on the lesson and we get it done.

One child dawdles in math and the other doesn't. They are different.

I hope you find what will work for you in your house.

praying,
Dena
Loving learning with MFW!

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: LA and Math not independent enough

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:23 pm

meagabby wrote: As I read that the only thing my children are to do on their own is math, after being taught the lesson and writing, after discussing what to write.
Dena,
There are a few more things they do on their own, if that would be more encouraging about developing independence. For instance:

- copy Bible verse
- book basket time
- independent reading 30 minutes
- math workbook, as you said, and sometimes math facts practice
- some parts of writing, spelling, notebooking, etc.
- Rosetta Stone
meagabby wrote: I see that my children aren't as independent as I want the to be, but we still finish our work in about 4 hrs.
And there's where the development of independence that David Hazell talks about comes in -- unstructured afternoons :)

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

jasntas
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: LA and Math not independent enough

Unread post by jasntas » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:26 pm

JoyfulDancer wrote:Thanks ladies. My dc are 12, 10, 7.5 and 21 mo. What has been working for us up to now is that "rotation" thing, where we all sit at the kitchen table and I get someone started on math, the next one on grammar and then do spelling and Hebrew with the third, then rotate to whoever needs it next, etc. We do pretty well that way and have actually gotten pretty efficient. The problem now is that that has all 4 of us concentrating at the table while the "free-range" toddler has the run of the house with no-one paying attention to him. Or, we wait and only do school while he's napping. This works very well, but his naps are getting shorter and I know eventually there will be only one nap. Because of this I was playing around with different ways to schedule our school. I tried having a meeting time with each child while another one works on their own and the third is with the toddler.

That is when I started to realize that there isn't a whole lot my dc can do without me, other than the math workbook and certain writing lessons. And sometimes those meetings went really long, more than an hour (one child is more guilty of this than the others). Yes, I have had them give each other spelling lists and help out with grammar and Hebrew at times, but that only goes so far, and the oldest gets upset because she ends up having to help the others with everything (doing my job, in other words). I have also started using some activities like blanket time and drawing in his high chair with the toddler, but they will take time to really work. I was just wondering if anyone had any other ideas.

Thanks again,
Laurie
I think the oldest helping and doing 'mom's' job is a good thing. Tell her it's part of school and it's life training for when she grows up. ;)

One thing I'm trying to do with my two is to teach them how to clean house. Something I actually did not learn until I was married. 8O :~ In addition to cooking and taking care of little ones. My mom did it all for me and I was the youngest. (I didn't clean good enough or something. At least that was the message she would send me when I would do something like make my bed and she would redo it before I got home from school. Now, I can't say that I did it joyfully either. :~ But I never got any better because I eventually just stopped trying.) I still feel very inadequate in these areas. (Well, I did learn how to make my bed and child rearing is good on the job training.)

I have a friend that did all the cooking and cleaning when she was growing up and she did lots of babysitting. She can work circles around me today in most if not all of these areas. I am getting better but will never be super efficient. My mom was treated the same growing up as my friend and I think that's why she was so lenient on me. Now I'm not saying to make a slave out of the oldest, or any of them. But to find a balance and to help them become better, more responsible adults.

Just trying to give an example as to why I think the opportunity your oldest has is a really good one. I hope you don't take this the wrong way and if you disagree, please disregard. :)
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

JoyfulDancer
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:39 pm

Re: LA and Math not independent enough

Unread post by JoyfulDancer » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:02 am

Thanks, Tammy, I'm glad for your input. Yes, you are right, it is good training for her, but I don't want to make her resentful (which she tends towards naturally). I am the oldest child of a neglegent mom, so much child-rearing, cooking, responsibility, etc. fell on my shoulders. No cleaning, though. My mom didn't clean at all, so, like you, I never learned, only for the opposite reason. I still also struggle much with keeping the house in good order and I'm constantly amazed at my organized friends. It is definitely a priority to me to teach my dc to clean, so we do work on that. I am just wary of piling to much on the oldest's shoulders, as I had to live with that myself. BTW, my dh is a youngest and has a completely different outlook on life! LOL.

meagabby
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:07 pm

Re: LA and Math not independent enough

Unread post by meagabby » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:25 am

Julie in MN wrote:- copy Bible verse
- book basket time
- independent reading 30 minutes
- math workbook, as you said, and sometimes math facts practice
- some parts of writing, spelling, notebooking, etc.
- Rosetta Stone
Hey Julie ! :) (they should have little waving smilies here)
Thanks for the bullet points. I simply lumped all that LA together, didn't I?

I appreciate your encouragement and more ideas, I was really trying to point out that even though going through it isn't what I thougth I wanted, it has turned out fine and my children are obedient to the fact that school is priority even if it's done is "doses". Knowing that I should be reading most things to them has actually helped me in letting them develop at the right pace instead of pushing too far too quickly.

And just tonight at a family VBS-type thing the youth pastor was talking about teenage brains and why we think our children aren't getting it all together or they are, crazy-thinkers, for lack of better term.

Short version, their brains aren't fully developed and in adolescense the brain is remapping and absorbing as much as it does in infancy.

Also, he mentions phases the child goes through like having an "invisible audience". You know, when your teen spends an hour getting ready to go out for pizza with the family. It's just dinner, just pizza. But, just before getting out of the car she notices her hair band doesn't exactly match the shirt she's wearing-- total meltdown. the 'audience' she preparing for will see her less than perfect.
another point was the fact that teens think events in their life have never happened to anyone else. The spilling of the soda on his shirt was the most tragic thing. It has never happened to anyone else, so how can anyone understand the embarrassment he felt.

So the child is going from a state of concrete thinking to abstract thinking as well as dealing with the emotional issues.

His bottom line was, pray, listen to them, and love them.

I'm rambling... I really liked hearing his session. I think that applies in what I was trying to say. It may be frustrating for us to figure it out, but it does work out in the end, whether it was the way we originally invisioned it or not. We are teaching them and not giving up. They are going through things they have not before and their brains develop at different rates. They are becoming the people we are helping them to be. We are training them to be independent however slow it may feel.
Loving learning with MFW!

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: LA and Math not independent enough

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:24 am

meagabby wrote:Short version, their brains aren't fully developed and in adolescence the brain is remapping and absorbing as much as it does in infancy.
Wowzers! That makes a person stop & think, doesn't it? What a great speaker.

And yeah, Dena, I thought your post was going in that direction (that it's all working out fine). Just checking :)



Oh, and Laurie, have you perused the Toddler Archives? There are some threads with potential over there, such as:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3854
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3460

Truly, I admire you!
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

HSmommi2mine
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:59 pm

How Independent Can Child Be Using 2nd-8th Grade Curricu

Unread post by HSmommi2mine » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:13 am

chelsey wrote:I am needing some feedback on how mommy involved the 2nd through 8th 5 year curriculum is. Specifically here are my questions:
How much planning is involved?
How much mommy involvement there is?
How much independent work can they do?

My children are ages are 14,10, 6, 4, 2, 1. My 10 year old will be the one doing the above curriculum. Thanks for any experiences and advice you can offer!
Chelsey
MFW isn't meant to be super independent at this age. (The High School level is written to the student.)

That said, you can easily make it more independent by assigning the student to do some of the reading on their own. You will still want to discuss it though, especially for this time period. 10 is a little young, but last year with my 12 yo I photocopied the assignment grid each week so that he could see what was going on and he often was able to do things (mostly reading and notebooking) on his own when I was otherwise occupied.
~Christina

Wife to my favorite guy
Mom to 3 great kids

DS4home
Posts: 266
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:32 pm

Re: How Independent Can Child Be Using 2nd-8th Grade Curricu

Unread post by DS4home » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:41 am

The MFW teacher manual has everything planned out for you, so it is really a "pick up and go" type of curriculum. That is one of my favorite things about MFW, I don't have to do any of the planning work! Exactly what pages to read each day, what days to do art or music, the whole schedule is planned out for you.

Like the other poster mentioned, typically Mom will read the Bible, history, and science parts on the TM grid. But you could work with your child to have them read some things on their own. Their is another section further down on the grid called Reading. This is where the kids read their own book, either one they chose, or one Mom chooses for them to read. I often like to select a book that ties in with our history for them to read.

That's just a little info to get you started. Are you considering Exploring countries and cultures? Their is a lot of information on the web site for you to explore, even a look at the actual grid for a week. And this is a great place to ask questions!

Dawn
Celebrating our 29th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS Grad, College), & Bethany(10th).

2019: WHL for the 3rd time!
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1

cbollin

I have some questions about MFW curriculum in general. :

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:47 am

HapyMama wrote:I posted a thread earlier about possibly switching to MFW, I still think I want to do that! I just have a few more questions about MFW in general, I'm gonna try to sum them all up in one post. :)
Hi Sara,
Looking forward to hearing lots of answers.

I can try some. Hopefully others will answer, or a call to MFW office to fill in more details will be helpful too. They offer wonderful customer service on the phone and at conventions and other ways too. But just wanted to encourage you to know that personal service is an option for more information.
Does MFW work students into more and more independence? This is clearly laid out in the program we are currently using and I'm wondering how (or if) MFW does this. I would like my kids to be doing some independent work starting in middle school and I'm just wondering how MFW handles this.
Over the years of using MFW, I have seen the following ways that MFW encouraging more self motivated/independent learning opportunities. I'm sure I'm forgetting some.

let's start with Preschool briefly: there is guidance in the booklet and David's workshop to show how to give them just a touch of independent choices so they are encouraged to try new ways of doing things.

Book Basket time is there to foster a love for reading and doing it without the pressure of questions and quizzes. Book basket will give time to learn more on a topic of interest.

Writing assignments including copywork and notebooking. I think that’s something in common between both programs. But we don't have to hover over them once they are taught how to do it.

Some research projects are to be done more independently at certain ages (based on individual student of course.) In the ECC program for example, Marie lists it all out by grade level of who works most independently on that, who works with some guidance, and who works with all guidance.

Art work is encouraged as more independent time with teacher guidance. In other words, they get to work on that on their own and we don't have to hover unless you see the need to encourage your child. right?

Reading time in general is done more independently and gradually as students get older. We still are involved as parents, but don't over quiz them.

The extra science experiments and crafts can be done on their own if there is interest and parent is willing to not be a helicopter parent all the time. Make them clean it up.

MFW is not a program that is always teacher intensive. I honestly think that in the elementary years, our children grow to do more on their own. As your family grows, it all comes together.

By Jr. High, MFW really begins to encourage the transition to more independent learning in the Science, Math, and some language arts. MFW provides the syllabus and the materials for that. Those plans are separate from the teacher’s manual and the children begin to have to take responsibility. The years before that, the kids do have the parent given opportunity to let them learn to read the grid – even if Marie doesn’t spell it out to do that.

If you have a goal to work toward independence, well, let them grow up and do some things on their own: take more responsibility for science experiment clean up and set up (that’s especially the case with 5th and 6th graders in MFW). Same with crafts.

Another thing that MFW seems to suggest is in helping the child learn to stay on task during school, and at the same time be flexible for real life. One of the things in the manuals that you’ll find will be hints and helps for Help! How do I get all of this done? In that section, we get to read some cool examples how it worked in their lives and some of it might help various families.

So, some things are spelled out and others are a gradual and natural growth process – much like the way we help our child go from crawling to walking on their own. How did you know when to let go of their hand the first time to see if they could walk without extra support? Well, that’s how MFW does it with academic independence.

-crystal

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: I have some questions about MFW curriculum in general. :

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:44 am

Hi Sara,
I probably won't say anything different from Crystal, but I'm always up for a conversation (while my ds is "independently" doing his French and reading LOL!).
HapyMama wrote:*Does MFW work students into more and more independence? This is clearly laid out in HOD and I'm wondering how (or if) MFW does this. I would like my kids to be doing some independent work starting in middle school and I'm just wondering how MFW handles this.
Independence hasn't been a huge goal of mine. I've had kids in public school who were independent of me :~ and I want more togetherness! However, part of that is that I know it's going to happen on its own. Kids just naturally ask to do more things on their own as time goes on.

How does MFW encourage this? Well, by middle school they are doing a LOT of their math and science on their own. And of course reading independently. Also in English, the literature guides and grammar just lend themselves to doing a lot independently. Depending on the the MFW year and the family preferences, there can be quite a bit of writing done fairly independently throughout the curriculum, from the big State Report in EX1850 to the reports throughout ECC to writing from an outline in 1850MOD. CTG and RTR use a notebooking method that can be assigned to an older child independently and we've been very creative with this at our house. Book basket, too, is sort-of an extra "history vignette" that the child chooses to explore, beyond the lesson.

As for the core of Bible and history/worldview, I've always done that together by choice, in order to guide my son. But I know MANY MFW families have too many children to do as much together as we do, and MFW was written by a busy family with 6 kids, so likely you will hear about even more independence from them, too.
HapyMama wrote:*I'm having a little trouble seeing the "big picture" with MFW. I mean, I understand the 5-year cycle and I can see their heart for the Lord, but I'm guess I'm having trouble seeing how their TM's build on each other skill-wise. Is there a steady progression of skills?
Multi-level unit studies in general allow for different ages and different skills. Even though I only have one child left at home, I found it helpful to have a little wiggle room there to tailor assignments according to my child's strengths and weaknesses, as well as his interests and passions. MFW is not so open-ended that I had to make a lot of decisions or plans. However, there was room for me to assign more writing and less reading, or whatever I felt my ds needed at any particular point. I remember times he wanted to learn more about the presidents, or the stock market, and we focused less on a war in Paraguay :) There is a lot to offer in MFW, and you can do things exactly as outlined or mix it up a bit. Most everything is specifically outlined in the manuals; in a few areas I just went on my own instincts (or chatted on these boards to get more ideas).
HapyMama wrote:What are MFW's goals for kids academically? I'm assuming that once kids get through 8th grade and have finished the 5-year cycle, they are well prepared for high school?
Like Crystal, I, too, have a 9th grader this year who has been through the entire MFW cycle. I am very pleased with his base from the elementary years, as well as with the fact that he got to have some fun during those years, before he hit the books in 9th. My ds doesn't remember everything from the younger years, but I think he got a sense that there is lots to learn, that it can be interesting and fun to learn, that there is a structure to learning, and that certain things easily click when he is hearing about them again in high school. One of the biggest gifts is that he followed a complete sweep through the history of the world, without getting stuck in one place, and without jumping around to random places. And the Biblical history was right alongside, in order.

The other thing that has happened with MFW is that *I* have become a knowledgeable teacher who can help my ds!
Julie
Last edited by Julie in MN on Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

HapyMama
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:00 am

Re: I have some questions about MFW curriculum in general. :

Unread post by HapyMama » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:47 am

Julie and Crystal- Thank you so much, you have no idea how helpful your posts are. I always feel like I need to know all the "ins-and-outs" of a curriculum before jumping in, I'm kind of a weirdo that way. :) Thanks for helping me think everything through! :)

cbollin

Does anyone "not" read the history reading aloud?

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:04 pm

JanOH wrote:I'm drowing in students this year with two highschoolers, an eighth grader, third/fourth grader/second grader and a dear K'er in addition to two toddlers. Reading time for history sometimes turns into a most stressful time of the day! Somehow, 1yodd and 3 yods don't usually cooperate with Momma sitting with the three middle kids and reading for long periods of time. I'm playing with the idea of having my eighth and fourth grader read the assignments to themselves (or at least part of the assignments). Even my second grader would be more than capable of reading STOW by himself. We're doing EXP to 1850 so I'd probably still read at least one of the books aloud each day but am wondering if anyone has had success with just having the kids read on their own and then do their written narrations. Thanks for any input/advice.
SOTW has an audio version. Would that help any?

I'll say there were some weeks in either EX1850, or 1850MOD, where I had to let my oldest read either out loud to me, or I'd read at night and then she'd read. That was while I had a weird illness and couldn't talk for more than 15 minutes at a time without having to rest.

not exactly the situation you're in. but for a season I did not read everything out loud. my dh helped with read alouds. I had the most voice at breakfast.

sometimes you have to do what works, right? it wasn't my ideal, but

-crystal

MelissaM
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:52 pm

Re: Does anyone "not" read the history reading aloud?

Unread post by MelissaM » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:13 pm

Would it be possible to have the 3 middles take turns reading aloud while you sit on the floor and play with the toddlers? You could be there to answer questions/discuss/hear their narrations, but not be required to be doing the actual reading.

Or have one of the highschoolers (who are probably tremendously busy with their own stuff, I realize) read some of the history to the middles?

As you can tell, I honestly have no idea. But I do have a 1 yo who does not like me to do any reading to anybody. I think he has a real aversion to SOTW - he starts hollering every time I open it. :~

Melissa
:)
Melissa
DD13
DS10
DS5
DS2

lynut
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:17 pm

Re: Does anyone "not" read the history reading aloud?

Unread post by lynut » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:10 am

There is nothing wrong with letting them read on their own. I would just make sure I knew enough of what they were reading to at least discuss it. audio books are another solution.
Lyne

tiffany
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:56 am

Re: Does anyone "not" read the history reading aloud?

Unread post by tiffany » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:51 pm

We've done a variety of things.

1. Read to everyone.

2. Read to youngers, older kids read to themselves

3. We've used cd's for SOTW for 3 years running. The first 2 years the kids listened independently. This year we all listen, then I go over the review questions, and do the outline on the whiteboard on the wall.

4. Sometimes we read some sources together and other texts independently- like ones with lots of pictures. This year we read Children's Encyclopedia of world history independently a great deal of the time.

I usually feel I have a better handle on what they are learning, if I am doing some of the reading with them. During RTR, the kids did a lot more of their work independently due to me being sickly. It was great to have that option during a time like that.
Tiffany
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877

JanOH
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:16 pm

Re: Does anyone "not" read the history reading aloud?

Unread post by JanOH » Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:52 pm

Thanks so much for all the ideas and information. After panicking yesterday about returning to school after a long break, today went great - go figure! I'm going to play it by ear, day by day. My eighth grader hates reading aloud so that's not really an option and my high schoolers are very busy and already help out a lot with the littles so I hate to pile anything else on their plate. Part of the problem is that I like to check off boxes and I need to let that go and realize that the world isn't going to end if we don't manage to read all the assignments on a given day - it's o.k. to split it up into two days if I need to - LOL! You would think I'm being followed around by the homeschool police!

Thanks again for all the help.
Janet

Mom to ds (17), dd (15), ds (13), ds(8), ds (6), ds (4), ds (2), and dd (born 9/3/2009)

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Does anyone "not" read the history reading aloud?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:01 pm

So glad it's going better!

Here's some more reading:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3047

I really like doing Bible & history together, in order to build worldview together. But of course my life doesn't always proceed along in ideal fashion :)
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

SandKsmama
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:43 pm

Re: Does anyone "not" read the history reading aloud?

Unread post by SandKsmama » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:45 pm

I hereby give you permission to let the olders read to themselves LOL. :-) That being said, I always did read everything aloud, because *I* wanted to learn it too! But I so hear ya on reading to olders with toddlers running around - it's a hard challenge. I had a baby the year we did Exploration -1850, so that year wasn't hard, because he slept all the time:-). 1850-Modern was TOUGH, but mostly what we'd do was have everyone work on their independent work until baby went down for his nap, then we'd rush to get the reading done while he slept:-). This year, he's a little older (almost 2), but still into everything, so some days, I can get him occupied enough to read while he's awake, but other days, we still wait for his naptime to get the reading done.
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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