Charlotte Mason - How do you keep her style in MFW?

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
mamaofredheads
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:23 am

Charlotte Mason - How do you keep her style in MFW?

Unread post by mamaofredheads » Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:12 pm

Mercy wrote:Aside from narrations (which I am not very good at remembering to do, but hopefully it will become more of a habit as we go along in the year) and the nature walks each week, what other things do you do in your school to keep the CM "spirit"?

I'm a little nervous that I may forget the enjoyment of letting them BE.

Just in the mood to start a good discussion. :-)

~Mercy~
One way I think MFW carries out the CM method is with short yet effective lessons. It's taken me a long time to come around to trusting their recommendations in LA, but I'm finally there. When we've used those short lessons all day, it allows our kiddos more free time in the afternoons to continue their discoveries.

Glenna

Ariasarias
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:26 am

Unread post by Ariasarias » Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:57 pm

Also, all of the reall books we get from the library -- no twaddle there!! Oh, how my dd eats up the learning when she thinks she just reading because she likes to read.
Nicole, wife to Claudio since 1996, and mom to dd (2000), dd (2003), dd (2005), and ds (2009).

Heather (WI)
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 8:02 pm

Unread post by Heather (WI) » Mon Sep 24, 2007 3:28 am

Don't forget the classical music studies and great art, from the Deluxe packages.

I always love these, because it is something I wanted to do (as a CM-lover), but never got around to incorporating on my own. I LOVE how MFW schedules them right in each week!!
Love in Christ,
Heather (WI)
MFW user since 2004:
ADV, ECC, CTG, RTR,
and starting Ex-1850 in Aug. 2008!!

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:44 am

If you’re anything like me, when you first heard the phrase Charlotte Mason philosophy of education, then you probably wondered what on earth does that mean?

I thought I'd jump in with a bunch of philosophical ideas while enjoying reading the simple applications that are shared so far. Here are a few things that show the CM influence on MFW curriculum. Some of the ideas that CM believed were important to a quality education (in bold)

Structured mornings with short lessons and unstructured afternoons
MFW certainly tries to do that. MFW jam packs a morning with a lot of subjects to be covered so that you can have afternoons unstructured. In my family we don’t always finished by the exact moment of noon, but that’s ok. We still have a lot of time for dance class, Christmas program practice at church, cross stitching, reading for fun, etc.

Study other countries as early as possible to avoid an "arrogant habit of mind." I like how MFW does this. ECC is done before a start of world history. But at the same time MFW doesn’t introduce other ideas and other cultures too soon in the curriculum. I like that a foundation is built on learning more about God’s word in the earliest of years.

Study history in chronological order and compare across countries in any given time period.
Yepper. MFW does that alright. Even in the US history years in the 5 year cycle we are learning what is going on in the world and not just US. In the CTG year you are learning about other places as well even though the Bible is the framework to drive the chronological history.

Don't be afraid to challenge your children with above grade level books; read good literature aloud.
One thing that I think is a CM influence is the use of quality literature. That is a big part of our family's school. I have really liked the above-grade-level read-alouds for my kids. It's been a gentle way to stretch my average kid.

Century Book – we do timelines and history/geography notebooking in MFW

Nature Day/Notebook MFW schedules this in. I ignored it for a long time. We’re finally better at doing this. In my family we don’t always make a notebook page of each nature walk. Sometimes all we do is a before bedtime ritual of going outside and looking at the sunset, stars, and moon. That’s been one of the things this month that’s been big for us. We just talk out loud about what we see and we saw the night before. We make mental notes of the weather. And then the youngest kid wants to just play chase me to the moon. That’s great!

Music, art, MFW schedules in all of these really great CM ideas.

And the other CM influence in MFW - Give children direct contact with the Bible at an early age. The 1st grade program blends history/reading/Bible into a phonics based Bible reader than covers history from Genesis to the time of Revelation in both art and composition. The Bible is used in the other years. In 2nd grade, MFW includes a young reader’s version of the Bible and you can help your child find the scriptures. A lot of copywork and memory work come from scripture.

-crystal

TurnOurHearts

Unread post by TurnOurHearts » Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:21 pm

Probably my favorite Charlotte Mason-y things MFW uses are Primary & Intermediate Language Lessons. I know everyone doesn't feel that way, but I can tailor the lessons to suit my child, they are relatively short, and every day is different. I feel these are very well-rounded resources that teach the appropriate lesson without ramming grammar down their throats. :)

Also, I feel the inclusion of Singapore math draws on the Charlotte Mason ideals. There are no 30-problem workpages, as in Saxon math. We're done most days in 10-20 minutes.

Again, no resource/program is right for every family, but these have been such a blessing in ours. :)

Heidi
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:23 pm

also the copywork

Unread post by Heidi » Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:56 am

also, the copywork comes straight out of the vocabulary or whatever the lesson is one for the day!

MFW combines or integrates alot of subjects into one too - for example: in ECC the copywork is the Bible verse or the geog. vocabulary, the music adn crafts are from the countries you are studying in geog., the non-twaddle book recommendation are all on the current geog. subject - plus others recommended for the possible interests your child may get or simply be exposed to then develop an interest in by browsing the book in the book basket from the lesson.
Heidi
FL Mommy of 3 "sensational" kids
Homeschooling since Fall 2004
Child 1: Blue LLATL/MFW 1, Adventures, ECC
Chld 2: MFW-K, MFW-1+ joined Adv, ECC
Child 3: MFW-PK, MFW-K + joined ECC

Mercy
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:34 pm

Unread post by Mercy » Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:54 pm

Wow, this was a fun discussion! There were so many things mentioned I didn't even think of. Our second day of school went really well! We finished in almost no time at all! I don't think every day things will go this good, but I can see how this curriculum does allow for the afternoons to be free!

I never really saw art & music as an important (I know, I know...) but I am very grateful that MFW does schedule them in. It will be nice to learn and see the influences of these since we would have probably never gotten to them.

Anyway, thanks again for chiming in!
~Mercy~
Wife to Superman
Mother to 8yob, 3yog & 3mob
started in ECC, switched to ADV
http://ourhomeschoolingadventures.blogspot.com/
http://ourhomeschoolingfun.blogspot.com/
~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
"The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom." H.W. Beecher

Suzq
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:04 pm

How to add to the Charlotte Mason style picture study

Unread post by Suzq » Fri May 02, 2008 11:21 pm

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:36 pm

Here is how I incorporated Picture Study. I just took the God and the History of Art book and picked the artists that would be covered at some point during the year and then used their art works for our own picture study. We do an artist for two months usually and then move on to another artist. I have done it for CTG and now RTR. I have not used the earlier years in MFW but it sounds like it could work there too according to the previous posts.


dhudson
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Re: Charlotte Mason

Unread post by dhudson » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:23 pm

hollybygolly wrote:Hi all~
I was just wondering if anyone has read Charlotte Mason's 6-volume series on education? I just found the series re-done in modern language...more or less kept very close to her original writings. I'm wondering if they're worth the read? I've read Andreola's book on Charlotte Mason, but still curious to learn more about Charlotte Mason and her ideas. Thanks for any feedback! Holly
I haven't personally but I know that Marie Hazell (the author of MFW) has and that she puts many Charlotte Mason ideas into MFW curriculum.
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

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

Re: Charlotte Mason

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:21 am

Holly,
I've read parts of AO's online. I know I posted a link about the nature walk parts of the Charlotte Mason books....
Here it is: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 605#p43605

If you find other gems to share, let us know!
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

4Truth
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Charlotte Mason question

Unread post by 4Truth » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:29 pm

Canoearoo wrote:Charlotte Mason believed that children were born persons and should be respected as such; they should also be taught the Way of the Will and the Way of Reason. Her motto for students was "I am, I can, I ought, I will".

How does my fathers world teach these principles? I'm working hard at home with my kids to teach right from wrong, and respect. But I really struggle with clean and orderly. I get that education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life and that Education is the science of relations. But she firmly believe kids need to be neat and organized. I even struggle with this.

I have all her original books and I LOVE her philosophy of teaching. I want my kids to be taught like this, but I'm not sure the steps to do it.
Okay, I'll bite. :) I read your post yesterday but didn't have time to think it through right then. So here goes:

I think the principles of "I am, I can, I ought, I will" start with the Word of God. Without that, why does it matter? WHY do the right thing if not for a Higher Authority to whom every one of us (including mom and dad) are ultimately accountable, and to whom we owe everything including our very life because He first loved us? So, we start there. How specifically does MFW do it? Here are my thoughts, particularly in the elementary levels:

In Kindergarten, MFW teaches that everything begins with God. Everything. And while God has always existed, everything else was created by Him.

In 1st grade, you memorize verses throughout the year from the book of Proverbs, and who can find a better book on character training than that? :) Then as the child learns to read from and illustrate his own personal Bible reader, he's also learning that the Word of God is the foundation of everything else.

In Adventures, you learn the many different names and character traits of Jesus -- our ultimate role model. As you do science activities related to the names of Jesus (i.e., the Bread of Life and learning about yeast, unleavened bread, taking Communion, and serving your neighbor), you see the principles of the Bible, love for Jesus (the one who saves us), and service to one another are intertwined.

In ECC, you learn how many other people so very different, and yet so very similar, are out there in this world that God created, what their prayer needs might be, how it is that not everyone serves the same God we do, and how important it is that we get the Word out to them. You also see the faithfulness of many people who've gone before us to share God's Word and His love to millions of others around the world, suffered persecution because of it, but did so anyway because of Christ's love for us.

In CTG, you see how the faithfulness of God to His people throughout the ages points to Christ, how the law cannot save, and yet God, because of His righteousness, demands a certain amount of faithfulness back to Him because of HIS faithfulness to us. Again, His Word is the foundation.

In RTR, you again see God's faithfulness as He brought the Messiah "in the fullness of time". You see the Apostle Paul's faithfulness and diligence as he traveled the known world to spread the gospel and faced persecution, but, like the missionaries we read of in ECC, did so because of Christ's love for us.

In EX1850, you study and memorize the book of James which could really be defined as "a book of service", while also reading about faithful men and women of God that He used to help establish and grow this country in which we're blessed to live... but not neglecting what was simultaneously done in the rest of the world, either. This year is what I'd call "discipleship-focused".... beginning to focus a bit more on the practical, our attitudes, and what all those prior years of "Bible study" are for.

And then in 1850MOD, the Logic stage student is doing a personal discipleship study, continuing to read about others in the world who've had to suffer persecution for Christ's sake, and making connections to God's faithfulness even in modern times as wars and rumors of wars abound.

How does all of this translate academically to a Charlotte Mason education? Well, I think the short lessons, particularly when using quality literature, Scripture passages, and other meaningful sources (i.e., not twaddle) that help a student really focus on a lesson and do it *well* rather than trying to hurry through just to get it finished. I've often said to my one dd that "copywork should never have a mistake." This promotes diligence and attention to detail, even when she doesn't feel like it or she thinks she "can't" do it because it's "hard". Miss Mason liked for a child to be challenged whenever possible, and I think MFW does this in little ways (age-appropriate, purposeful, and incremental lessons) that build upon each other over time.

Nature study, which is scheduled in all of MFW's programs, brings attention back to God's Creation as we first learned way back in Kindergarten. It also promotes attention to detail and patience.

Copywork, narrations, dictation... you've read CM's writings, so you know how she intended that these should work, but these skills are included throughout all of MFW's programs both as extra assignments in the weekly lesson plans, and through the use of CM-style resources such as PLL, ILL, and even the Bible itself. MFW has also chosen quality, not twaddle, which accustoms the child to truly good and effective communication. Having a variety of types of resources teaches a student that no one author has all the answers, but are useful tools for research, and that only the Word of God is infallible.

My interpretation of Miss Mason's quote:

I am.... loved and chosen by my Creator, the God of the universe.
I can.... learn skills that previously were difficult for me, which I can then use for service to God and others.
I ought... to do all things for the glory of God.
I will.... give my life for the One who gave His for me.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

4Truth
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Re: Charlotte Mason question

Unread post by 4Truth » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:41 pm

And now that I've given my interpretation of how MFW does it philosophically, my response to the "clean and orderly" question isn't quite so deep. 8[]

This is an area in which I've always struggled, too. One thing we've always emphasized here is "teamwork". Everyone who lives here, helps take care of it. Sometimes we learn as we go.... I think it's part of that "when we sit in our house, walk by the way, lie down, and rise up" concept of Deut. 6:7. Rome wasn't built in a day. ;)

Currently I'm reading through (and trying to implement) Managers of Their Chores, not so much because I want to use that "system" as designed (I tailor it for our family), but because she helps me organize all the *what to do's" for each family member. She didn't have much on her Master Chore List that we don't already do.... but I needed help putting it together in an organized fashion and being more consistent. (She also helps you think through how often something needs to be done.) I think Laying Down the Rails would be just as good, though I'm not sure if she has practical steps suggested for implementation? You can let us know about that... But I certainly agree that establishing good habits to begin with is the key to maintaining them. :)
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

Canoearoo
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:11 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Charlotte Mason question

Unread post by Canoearoo » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:44 am

wonderful summary of MFW and how it meets CM goals! THANK YOU
I am.... loved and chosen by my Creator, the God of the universe.
I can.... learn skills that previously were difficult for me, which I can then use for service to God and others.
I ought... to do all things for the glory of God.
I will.... give my life for the One who gave His for me
this is also a great summary! Thanks!

I also ordered the book "Laying Down the Rails: A Charlotte Mason Habits Handbook". I'm half way through the book and love it. If you like the cm books, what this book does is it came up with the list of all the habits cm though were important. Then it takes quotes out of all her books and puts it under each habit. So it makes it very very clear the habits she felt were very important in life and in school. Finally it makes a check list so you can see how you are doing with the habits. Over all if you like charlotte Masons books and theory on life with education, you will love this book
"I am, I can, I ought, I will". -Charlotte Mason

dd 2004, dd 2005, ds 2008
MFW User Since 2009

Fly2Peace
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:36 pm

Re: Charlotte Mason question

Unread post by Fly2Peace » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:20 am

Have you ever seen the movie "TimeChangers" - it came to mind when I read this....
it is really a thought provoking movie. And, it ties right in with this discussion. ;)
Fly2Peace (versus flying to pieces)

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

is MFW for our family?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:47 pm

hsmomof2 wrote:We plan to start hs-ing next year with ds 1st grade (he is in ps K right now). Our dd will be preK next fall. I am wanting to follow Charlotte Mason methods and was strongly considering Ambleside Online or Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum suggestions. But reviewing MFW curriculum, dh and I love the MFW history cycle (teaching both dc together in context of the Bible), focus on Christian missions, practical hands on activities such as cooking, I LOVE the ECC year lay out as I am very mission/world focused myself. Dh a thinks ds will want more bookwork than is included in the other curriculums I have considered (since ds likes all the worksheets in school much to my dismay). MFW seems to have a balance of bookwork, reading, and hands on activities.

Our dc get Bible lessons through Sunday School and the lesson repeated at an after school "Good News Club"....the lessons go through the Bible in 5 year rotation with the summers being a rotation of missionary or evangelist stories. Also, our dc attend an AWANA program in which Bible verses are studied and memorized along with a counsel time that includes either a Bible story, a missionary story, or character study. While I think MFW Bible based curriculum is wonderful, I"m wondering if a heavy Bible based curriculum would be needed for my dc when they will be getting much Bible from outside school hours. Regardless of if we do MFW or the other curriculums mentioned, I plan to include studying the OT with history, hymn studies, scripture memory verses for Sunday School and AWANA, and devotions. My hesitancy for using MFW for academics is that they might have "too much" Bible (if that is possible).

Also, if we choose MFW, is it okay to wait until ADV to start or is it of great benefit to start with the K and 1st grade program vs. put my own curriculum together using living books, copywork, nature study, math program, artist/composer study, handicrafts, housechores and such. I was thinking to start ADV when ds is in 3rd grade...then ECC could start when dd is in 2nd and ds is in 4th.

Sorry for the long lengthy post (being my first post here at that!), but I appreciate if anyone has a POV about the curriculum that I have not thought of. Thanks!

Kim (just getting started with now 5yo ds and 3 yo dd).
Kim,

I don't think you can have "too much Bible." My kids have Sunday School (we don't have an "after school program), AWANA, and we use MFW. I think it is perfect, and it is amazing how God will work it so something they are studying in Sunday School or AWANA shows up in the Bible from MFW :)

And, it will all work out. Just do the cycle for your oldest, and have the youngest join in the fun activities and then formally join up when she is in 2nd grade.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

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

Re: is MFW for our family?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:07 pm

Agreeing with Trish, never too much Bible :-) And all the things you mentioned are included -- hymn studies, OT history, etc. I also like that with MFW, kids really know where they are in their own Bible, and aren't jumping around or listening to someone's retelling.

That said, MFW covers a lot of ground efficiently, leaving you time to delve into the things you are interested in or haven't covered before. We did ECC twice and delved into completely different things each time.

As for a worksheet lover, your son will be doing work pages in math most likely, and he will be creating a notebook each year, and there are a few other worksheet type things here & there. If he does K/1 there are many pages to work on there.

However, I'd take that desire with a grain of salt, too. (1) My son loved for me to make up little math worksheets and such for him in the early years and quickly grew to dislike them once they were no longer new. (2) Sometimes my kids actually did want more "worksheet and forget it" learning and I just chose not to go that route. But (3) if I did want more worksheets, then there are mountains of inexpensive workbooks I could offer my kids to do after we read and discussed our lessons as a family ;) In fact, I sometimes did print out a worksheet here and there online. I think you'll even find some ideas for those are on the "Ideas boards" for each level.

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

Re: is MFW for our family?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:30 pm

Kim,

Welcome along!
Agreeing with Trish and Julie. even repeating some of it :)

I know it is hard when you can’t see the program in person. Some people order from MFW and then take the 30 days to look at it. Then you’re just out the shipping to return it. Others love to stand around in the convention booths and really look at everything. Then, there’s the finding someone locally. You’re not in Memphis area?

One advantage of the Bible in MFW is how it is tied in with what you are studying in other subjects. Also, you might find as your children get older, it becomes harder to do every fun outside of the house thing. I know when my oldest was those ages, it worked well to do MFW Bible and church, and Keepers of Faith.

On the other hand, you can trim a few things here and there. If you do outside memory work, then the “memory work” in MFW can be just for penmanship practice and copywork as a worksheet.

Yes, it is ok to wait until ADV to start. Yes there are great benefits of doing K and 1st. Having a program with pre made lesson plans can be so nice as a newbie homeschooler. Why make the first year of homeschooling hard on you?

If you start in ADV with 2nd grade, then it’s fine to go on to ECC the next year. Younger siblings (those younger than 2nd grade) can still get a lot out of ECC while focusing on 3R’s. The program is designed for family teaching so that there are fun activities to involve everyone. Same thing applies with using ADV and Kindy together. You have your younger child focus on 3 R’s and then use the fun activities from ADV and ECC (or other 5 year programs) as “dessert” for their learning.

My oldest did not use MFW K or 1st. In fact, she started in ECC in 2nd grade because Adventures hadn't been written yet. Before that, we used a really lovely program where you read a book several days in a row and do some language, some art appreciation, some studies from the same story. (I had to add a phonics program and math.) That program had a character "supplement" with some Bible reading. While that was "nice", I realized after using MFW how much "nicer" MFW is with Bible being tied in to the studies in a way that is not an afterthought, or supplement, or stuff like that.

When oldest was k 1st age, we were doing more church stuff, outside thing (keepers) with lots of character and Bible and memory work. Not that this is a "bad" thing, but it felt like it wasn't all that connected. But it was really nice to have MFW Bible integrated into studies. Plus, I ended up really liking how using MFW in our home helped us with daily personal Bible study as a family. just thought I'd toss that in because I was thinking about it while the coffee pot was dripping.

-crystal

hsmomof2
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:25 pm

Re: is MFW for our family?

Unread post by hsmomof2 » Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:04 am

Thanks ladies, this is helpful information....I am not in Memphis, but thanks so much ;) . I hope to go to a homeschool convention in May and see the materials myself. Your comments were very helpful getting insight from actual MFW users. I've looked at every review and every comparison for MFW vs. other curriculum options considered. I really think MFW history cycle will fit our family well. My dc are 2 years apart in age, so when ds is in 2nd (ADV) then dd will be in K. It is good to know that she may be able to "tag along" well if I go ahead and do ECC with ds when he is in 3rd (her in 1st), so I don't have to wait longer to start the program with him.

I am curious what the MFW reading lists/book baskets are like. We live in a good sized city so I'm guessing our library would have many selections....but have read reviews that some were unable to find many of the books at their library. Could that be that they were in a small town or country? Does a city library generally have many book basket suggestions? And about the quality of the literature. .....At first I wanted to delve into the highest literature with dc. But now am thinking that while I want them to be well read it is most important to learn how to relate to people in the light of Christ, to work hard/diligently, and character development (forgive me as I'm sure I'm leaving out many other area to concentrate on). I've read some reviews that the book basket options are not "up to par" with great lit, and other reviews that the book recommendations are fantastic. For now I'm reading them books like Beatrix Potter, Winnie the Pooh, McCloskey books, and such. Through the early years I was planning on reading them the Little House on the Prairie Series (noted that is included in MFW), selections from the Ambleside Online booklist (some of which are in the MFW curriculum but at later years), the Chronicles of Narnia, Pilgrim's Progress, Misty series, many of the biographies I saw in the MFW curriculum, Little Women series, Anne of Green Gables series, and many more. Is this in line with the type books included in the MFW TM book basket suggestions? I understand that there are recommendations for older and younger children for book suggestions with each TM of the history cycle. Is this true?

Of many of the 7th/8th grade and biographies on the MFW list, I had read after I became a Christian in my college years. I am excited about offering these books to dc before they leave home if I follow MFW suggestions.

Also, Charlotte Mason curriculums tend to have heavy Shakespeare and Plutarch teachings (since Charlotte Mason herself used this in her teachings, as she considered Shakespeare the 'best literature"). I want dc to be informed about this literature and able to understand it, but not saturated in it for the sake of being well read. I saw that this was included in the upper years MFW curriculum, but is it a good balance b/n knowing Shakespeare/Plutarch without being "heavy" in it? I am thinking the Bible is better written literature than Shakespeare. I would consider understanding psalms, parables, and Revelations by the time they graduate to be a measure of their "high understanding" of great literature that others would get think they are getting through Shakespeare or Plutarch alone.

I so appreciate the homeschool community for helping new to homeschooling parents get started in choosing materials. Hopefully, I'll be able to be the one answering vs. asking so many questions in a few years ;) .

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: is MFW for our family?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:17 am

We live in a major suburb of a big metropolitan area, and we can get about 95% of the books - and have got several through Inter-Library Loan.

What I appreciate about MFW is that they don't introduce books/subjects to early. Also, in the book basket lists, they give grade recommendations - so be sure to take note of those. Just because a child can read at a 4th grade level (but maybe is only in 2nd grade), doesn't mean you let him read a book recommended as a 4th grade book. Even my oldest (11 yo 6th grader) loves looking at the picture books recommended in the Book Basket. The Book Basket books usually tie into the History (or Geography in ECC) and Science. We have often used Book Basket books as bedtime story books, too.

The reading lists in the back of the MFW TM's have most of the classics you mentioned, and broken down by grade level. Some people use those as "readers" for their children. As I have 2 dyslexic children, I just get Abeka and Pathway readers to have my kids read to me about 10 minutes a day each so I can see how they are progressing. I let my kids just enjoy those "classics" as they get old enough and I see that their reading is at that level.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

Amy C.
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:12 am

Re: is MFW for our family?

Unread post by Amy C. » Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:17 am

I don't know if this will answer your question about Shakespeare but thought about it while reading your post. I learned about historical figures such as Marc Antony, Julius Caesar, Brutus, Cassius, etc. through Shakespeare lit in high school (9th grade I believe). The problem with that was that I thought all of Shakespeare's writing was fictional. Don't know why I thought that. Not faulting the teacher. Maybe I was just not listening well enough in class. However, even though in the back of my mind I guess I vaguely knew that these characters actually did exist in history, they were never really real to me. Another problem was that I just did not understand much of Shakespeare's writing and in public school, we did not have time for me to have a one on one tutorial of it. Plus I had a very intimidating teacher. This may not be true of anyone else. I am probably simple minded, but in 9th grade I was just not grasping the Shakespearean language. So the fact that I did not understand the language and the fact that I thought most of it was fictional led to the fact that I just did not learn/retain that much of that time period.

Fast forward to this year. We are doing Rome to the Reformation and learning about these same people from this same time period. "I" am learning tons, things that I never learned in school, and I believe my boys are getting a much more accurate picture of this time period in history than I got. We are learning about this as the Bible as our spine. It is so exciting to see that the names in the Bible that we read are actually historical figures and to learn even more about them and their life and the times in which they lived. It really helps us to see clearer the times in which Jesus and his followers lived and to understand why they said this or did this. I didn't get this by reading Shakespeare.

I have seen Shakespearean books on the book basket list, but his writings are not the main thing, and for me that is just fine because of the history I have had with trying to learn it as the main spine. The Bible is a much better and more accurate way of learning history because, well, the Author has been here from the beginning, and He wrote history before there was even the 1st day! ;)

And, if someone is a Shakespeare fan then they can add his works in. Like I said, I have seen some books listed in the book basket list.

I can't speak to the amount of Shakespeare in high school. We have not gotten there yet. My oldest is 7th grade, but from what I have seen and heard of MFW and its heart, I can't imagine that it would be any different in the older years than the younger years in the history cycle as far as the Bible being the spine with other readings and writing being a supporting cast, not the main character.

Also, wanted to speak to your other concerns. My children attend Sunday School and Awana. Sometimes we get weary from all our activities, including sports and scouts, but I do not feel that my kiddos are getting too much Bible. As a matter of fact, it all works together. There have been many times that their MFW memory verses are some they have already learned from Awana so therefore, we don't have to work as hard to learn them during school. We just review them and take time to discuss their meaning. Or my children have already learned verses in school that they need for Awana so therefore it makes it easier on them for Awana. This does not always happen but it has happened enough to make it nice. I see this as an even greater opportunity for God to work it all together for His good and His purpose in their lives. With my 7 y/o, I don't always drill the Proverbs verses (in 1st grade curriculum) with him because of his other memory work, but I do have him write them and read them with me several times and we discuss their meaning. We just had one he had learned in Awana last year. Nice!

I just can't say enough about how we are learning so much about the Bible and history through MFW. I also love the open and go of the TM. I can't imagine having to pull it off myself. Love the TM!

Hope some of this helps!
Amy C.

cbollin

Re: is MFW for our family?

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:24 am

You have great questions to know if MFW is going to fit for you. I think it will... here's why :)

Book basket: most years the book basket has about 300-400 books listed. Those books will have a wide variety of genres and levels. Part of the idea is to encourage a love of reading, as well as giving the children the tools to learn more information on the topics that you are studying. The book basket list will have picture books as well as longer novels and non fiction books. Thus the purpose of book basket is not necessarily about being a “great books list”. However, you will find many great historical fiction books on the list. It is thematic based reading.

I have not had a huge problem with finding books on the list. Does my library have every single one? Of course not. The good thing is that it just doesn’t matter. If a child has one book on topic for the week, that’s plenty. You can add in other reading material during book basket time. Remember the distinct goals of each part of reading time in MFW. If you aren’t familiar with that, I’d encourage you to read page 37 of the MFW catalog. Here’s a link
http://www.mfwbooks.com/inc/catalog/view.html#/page/37

Usually when I’ve heard the comment that book basket is not up to par on great literature, I take it with a grain of salt because book basket is only one piece of the whole puzzle and it is very age appropriate.

Trish mentioned that there is a classics list in the teacher’s manual with lots of children’s classics. If those aren’t enough, MFW also recommends another list out there by using the book Honey for a Child’s Heart. Many of the titles you mention are part of MFW recommendations, but are not part of “book basket” necessarily. Book basket is more about thematic enrichment reading tied to the unit study. Some times, such as Anne of Green Gables, or Johnny Tremain, or Swiss Family Robinson, a book will be included in jr. high English class when it fits in with the history study too. More info here
http://www.mfwbooks.com/products/M50/70/0/0/1#progeny

From the listing of 300-400 books (only about 250 in CTG though) in book basket, combined with the “classics list” in the teachers manual, plus the additional “Jr. High packages”, and combined with the Read Alouds each year, you and I will have more books that we can possibly read while using MFW. And in high school? If MFW’s list isn’t enough, they sell Jim Stobaugh’s SAT Prep book which has a list of 150 more titles for high schoolers. Eek!

MFW is truly literature rich. At the same time, if you don’t have the exact titles on book basket, you are not in trouble either. I mentioned earlier in the thread where my oldest used a program that has the student reading/listening to one book several days in a row. If you did not have that exact book, then you had to make your own plans. With MFW, if you don’t have the exact book on book basket? It’s ok because book basket is enrichment. You can use other similar titles and still do MFW's lesson plans.

Yes, book basket will have a wide variety of levels. Marie includes notes on the books too. I have watched my jr. high students still enjoy “younger books” on the list by the way. It’s part of loving to read.

Shakespeare and MFW: near the end of RTR, MFW provides some gentle intro and summary book basket options to intro to Shakespeare. It is not heavy and I am thankful for that. The intro in RTR with Shakespeare was light and enough. High school: they do Julius Caesar. He was one writer. Not the only writer. He isn’t excluded. Neither is Homer. in 10th grade we did Beowulf recently. But I’ve really loved the wide variety of authors over the years in MFW.

Plutarch? Ok. who or what is that? oh, I just looked up that name. No. MFW doesn’t go there. Aren’t you glad? MFW does Homer, but from a Biblical perspective. Instead of Plutarch, MFW does this other really super famous writer who was alive at the same time as Plutarch. His name is Saul of Taursus. But he changed his name to Paul. Paul’s writings have been a more major influence to world history. Wink wink giggle giggle.

MFW is classical. But Biblical worldview classical, so yes, there is balance.
keep asking. :)
-crystal

Canoearoo
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:11 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: is MFW for our family?

Unread post by Canoearoo » Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:48 pm

I was a teacher for 10 years before having kids and now that I have my own kids, I love homeschooling them. My favorite philosophy of education is Charlotte Mason (I've read all her books). yet I also like the convince of classical education. I think MFW blends the best of both worlds. Every day we start out with I am, I can I ought I will. :-)
"I am, I can, I ought, I will". -Charlotte Mason

dd 2004, dd 2005, ds 2008
MFW User Since 2009

erin.kate
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:38 am

Re: is MFW for our family?

Unread post by erin.kate » Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:10 pm

I wanted to chime in that Charlotte Mason's works and philosophies are near and dear to our homeschool. After two excellent years with MFW we (er, I) decided to go purely CM and take a break from MFW. It didn't work for our family and I was over and over called back to MFW.

The richness and purpose of the Bible teaching in MFW is without question the very best and it is simple to "make" something lean more CM than Classical ... make your lessons short and purposeful, drop all twaddle, flip flop subjects, choose the great books (when not suggested by MFW) on your own for additional evening reading, make your language arts and math curriculum selections more rooted in CM's approach, implement more narration than notebooking in the early years, take the lite nature day a little more intentionally as CM would have done. It doesn't have to be all or nothing to be lovely, grounded in Christ, thoughtful, and academic. It can fluidly and organically blend with our imagination and prayer. Anyway, I hope that I encouraged you to think of your family's curriculum as a starting point or an anchor that you polish and shape to fit your hopes and expectations for your children. :-)
cbollin wrote:Plutarch? Ok. who or what is that? oh, I just looked up that name. No. MFW doesn’t go there. Aren’t you glad? MFW does Homer, but from a Biblical perspective. Instead of Plutarch, MFW does this other really super famous writer who was alive at the same time as Plutarch. His name is Saul of Taursus. But he changed his name to Paul. Paul’s writings have been a more major influence to world history. Wink wink giggle giggle.

MFW is classical. But Biblical worldview classical, so yes, there is balance.
Better than a wink wink giggle giggle. Love this.
♥Count it all joy ~
Mae 11, Viola 9, Jude 7, & Jack 6
2015: RTR
2014: CTG
2011: Adventures
2010: MFW First Grade
2009: MFW K♥

cbollin

Re: is MFW for our family?

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:49 am

I was hoping Donna (4truth) would chime in or link to one of her past threads about MFW and Charlotte Mason. I guess she's kinda busy. Here is a nice thread she wrote with a lot of the CM flavor in MFW to help explain it more to Canoearoo (who posted in this thread as well). (the odd things I remember.. but can't remember where my purse is)

http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 004#p66798

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