beatrice7 wrote:I am trying to decide whether or not to purchase two different levels of MFW for my (next year) 7th grade and 10th grade sons, or to go with Sonlight's 100 American History in Depth, which I can do with both sons together. My dilemma is two-fold:
1 - I did MFW's Rome to Reformation, my first year of MFW, with my youngest son this year. I chose it because, for the first time, I couldn't find a curriculum that would work for both of them at the levels that they both were. I chose MFW because it looked to me to have all the great things I liked - without being so overwhelming in the million books and too many writing projects department. I also liked the music and art education that came along with the deluxe package. We have loved it! It's been perfect for us - challenging, comprehensive, fun, and interesting - without being overwhelming. This is the first year I've used a Bible curriculum that didn't make me think, "I could come up with something better than this," and it was VERY well-organized, as well. So, I'd really like to do the next sequential year with my youngest son. The only down-side was that I really missed being able to work and discuss (and have them discuss together) literature and history at the same time with both sons. I mean REALLY missed it.
2 - I decided to have my 9th grader go through SL's core 200 this year, because it just looked like a really great core (and it has been - with a few notable omissions) and it covered generally the same time period as the Rome to Reformation MFW that my younger son was doing. I thought this might at least give us a chance to discuss some of the same topics, and it did - a bit, but not as much as I would like. In addition, this left my eldest working pretty much on his own. I realize this isn't necessarily a bad thing at his age, and he's had to learn to schedule and keep up with work without me working out every detail for him, and that's good. But these are some pretty weighty things he's reading and thinking about this year and the next few years, and I feel like I need to be there to help him think about this stuff and work through it a bit more than I have been this year.
So, those of you who have been through some of the upcoming MFW highschool - if I go with MFW for my eldest, I'm looking at doing US History 1, since he just covered the same stuff that is in MFW's World History and Literature. It sounds like this is pretty challenging, but I think he's up for it. Has anyone ever done this before? Taught MFW jr. high and MFW senior high courses at the same time, and if so, how did it go? How much time did you feel like you needed to spend in discussion and help with your highschooler(s) and did you feel like you had that time? In a nutshell, I want to have my cake and eat it, too. I want to go with the MFW curriculums that appeal to me, but have the cohesiveness in my home school that I've had with both boys.
If you're still reading and up for commenting on my dilemma, any advice, comments, or thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks in advance!
Welcome to the forum!
For the last two years, I have had a high schooler in MFW high school and a middle schooler in the 5 year cycle programs. My high schooler does the reading and writing assignments on her own and we find time to discuss together. Sometimes through the writing assignments she begins to think through. We use the MFW "conference" idea in the high school program to schedule sit down together time and talk and talk. She loves to talk. And then throughout the day, she likes to talk.. so she'll dart in here and bring up stuff.... Usually it's a 5 minute here and there thing and she's learned to wait a moment for me to be available.
today... she darts in and asks... "mom.. why did they think the whole separate but equal would work?" "mom.. did the phrase commie pigs come from the book Animal Farm or was that already in use when the book was written?" (can you tell we're in the 1950's?)
I like how MFW's david hazell once described the stages of learning.... "pre school - mom feels smart and can answer the questions"... by high school "parent think.. oh boy... "
LOL.. that described my feelings on her observations in today's WHL lesson.
oh.. I have US1 and US2 on the floor next to me. Haven't done them yet. We'll start those in a few months with 11th grade. My middle child will be in 1850MOD.
I like how the reading and writing assignments in MFW high school help me to have the discussions without me being on top of all of the reading in the high school. I like the idea of a one day "focus" time for a good hour or two conference. That becomes a check point in the week. Daily grading works better for me in 15 minutes a day...
I have the time to be available for those darting in and out questions. I have the time for one day a week (sometimes it's Friday... sometimes it's Saturday) for a conference.
Then, I can teach my middle gal who needs more of me, but slowly needing less.... and even some time for youngest (who really isn't in an mfw program right now... unschools plus special needs therapies)
it helps that my husband does some of the grading and check in point on daily stuff.. or some of the conference things once in a while....
One thing that has surprised us in using high school and middle school MFW this year.... (whl and ex1850) is how much during 2nd semester topics were related. There were times I felt that we were more connected in history than I thought we would be.... I expect that to continue a little next year now that I've seen how it works.
beatrice7 wrote:Crystal - thanks so much! Really helps me to feel better about doing the two different curriculums! Anyone else out there who has done US 1? How challenging did you find it in the context of teaching multiple levels?
I don't know if there are a lot of online chatty types who have done US1.
From the looks of the program.. most of it would be about the same on the parent as in WHL and AHL... . weekly conference. However, in US1... there is one option for parents to read through the lesson plans for Thinking like a Christian and doing more discussion from that. MFW recommends that 45 minutes of the weekly conference be with that section. I've done prep work for the lesson 1 and it took about 10 minutes of prep work. (2 minutes of me praying.. God please help?) followed by about 8 minutes or so to read through the prepared lesson plan and not panic)