Choosing MFW High School - Compare to others

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cbollin

Choosing MFW High School - Compare to others

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:03 pm

deltagal wrote:It has been a LOOOOONG time since we've used [a literature-based program]. I abandoned it in the early years for many of the reasons people have posted, but it fell off my radar for High School. I was intrigued today looking at the new catalogues. Has anyone spent some in depth time looking at this? I see lots of comparisons for the elementary years, but not high school.
mostly bumping this up for you...

I can talk about WHL. well.. depending what you'd like to know... I might know a piece of the puzzle.

point of comparisons would be:

Bible - how much, what's covered.
Worldview

History - what years/how does each program do church history, other history.

English credit.... in WHL, it's connected to everything else you're reading and doing. is it like that in SL? (I have no clue. )

anyway.. I know it's harder in high school years to get lots of comparisons out there. It usually means it's someone's 2nd or 3rd or later child who has switched from what oldest did..

I'm zero help. but your post looked lonely.
-crystal

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
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Location: Minnesota

Re: High School: SL Core 300 verus MFW WHL

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:42 am

Agreeing with Crystal that you need some company here :)

I did use many other things with my older dd (before MFW had high school). It was more than 5 years ago, so things may have changed. Lately, the emails ads I receive are starting to sound more like everyone is changing towards MFW, LOL. But based on my past experience with [the literature-based program that you mentioned]:

- The grid I had was for history and maybe literature, but not for Bible and no room for other subjects
- I had their English workbooks but chose not to use them, as I was trying to pull my dd out of the public school workbook mentality, so I don't know how they would be
- The history notes were for me as the teacher and they were hundreds and hundreds of pages, mostly centered around the issue of North vs. South and other prejudices of the author, and more than I could use
- There were maps but no instructions on how to use them, even when I asked all over their message board
- There were daily questions for the main history text and a few of the readers, but they were mostly comprehension questions and not really the thinking, comparative, or moral questions I would have liked
- There were a ton of assigned readers but about half of them were silly books like Dear Mr. Henshaw, and I have no problem with silly books on occasion but just didn't want them *assigned* since my dd probably liked different silly books, I guess :)
- I wasn't totally satisfied with the way the years were divided up in SL, with American history and Church history isolated from world history and modern history and government, but I suppose that was just related to my personal goal of trying to tie in the entire Bible and Christian history to all of history during dd's short homeschool years in high school

Hope that helps as just my experience, and isn't disrespectful of anyone,
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

deltagal
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:13 pm

Re: High School: SL Core 300 verus MFW WHL

Unread post by deltagal » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:21 am

Julie and Crystal,

Thank you both for your replies. Julie, you were able to articulate several items that certainly were my issue in the younger years and after a recent conversation with a friend I think the critical issues remain the same:
the disconnect between literature and history and bible
the history being interwoven with a great deal of author's viewpoints

The appeal though remains more living books for history versus the large role Notgrass plays in WHL for MFW.
With Joy!
Florence
http://awhynotblog.blogspot.com/

dd 7: MFW 1st grade
ds 10, 13, 15: ECC - maps, missionaries, and reading on Wednesdays
dd 2: ?

cbollin

Re: High School: SL Core 300 verus MFW WHL

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:23 am

deltagal wrote:The appeal though remains more living books for history versus the large role Notgrass plays in WHL for MFW.
Notgrass is not the only thing used. If it were... well.. anyway... :) I like how MFW adds rich literature to all of it and it just flows.

One of the hidden parts of WHL (in the lesson plans, but not obvious on website samples) is reading extra books to fill out English credit. If there are titles in another program, or a classics lists, or just stuff your student wants to read, then you can add that in. I know in AHL, MFW gives a short suggested list. My brain isn't remembering in WHL what is suggested for that. not going to venture into teen's room right now eek.

Also, real books are used in the English credit that relate to the history - so there's a blending in teaching techniques with easier to read text style of notgrass, mixed with literature. Then there's an element of "free reading" in a part of English credit... so if you want more historical fiction.. that can be done. You can use another list for that.

best of both worlds on it :)

-crystal

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: High School: SL Core 300 verus MFW WHL

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:03 am

deltagal wrote:The appeal though remains more living books for history versus the large role Notgrass plays in WHL for MFW.
Yes, Notgrass has a bigger role in WHL than it did in AHL. But remember, it's the one Notgrass set that is used over both years. Doesn't [the other program] have a spine? The year we used had a HUGE spine, which was the History of US set by Hakim. Covering "world history" in one year really needs a spine running through it, I think? If you just read living books on individual topics, I wonder how you could cover very much history at the high school level?

As for what MFW adds to Notgrass in the "living books" department, there are a variety of things. But maybe one difference is that the "living books" are more classic literature and original sources, rather than modern novels? I don't remember the Iliad & Odyssey being scheduled in many other programs, for instance. So anyways, in WHL the types of things added to the Notgrass spine include:

- Of course there is the extensive timeline which is actually some reading.
- There is the extra 1/4 credit in geography with the mapping and the reading that goes with that.
- And not to forget the New Testament, which seems to me a "living book" and is read in its entirety, with the history portions studied right alongside the history of Rome and early church history.
- Several books more in the "living" department are added to the New Testament credit, such as More Than A Carpenter and Practicing His Presence (most of which was written in the 1600s and is read during the middle ages).
- Most of the literature adds to the history (Julius Caesar is read during the early Roman Empire, Beowulf is read during the Anglo-Saxon history, Pilgrim's Progress during the 1600s, Tale of Two Cities during the French Revolution times, Pride & Prejudice during the 1800s, the Hiding Place during WWII, Animal Farm during communism)

- Two other things add a lot I think, and those are the British Lit book and the purple source book, both of which are filled with literature and documents from the actual times, including the words to hymns, poetry, government documents, and selections from literature. I tend to do these with my son, because I'm not sure he can appreciate how famous and important some of these pieces are. I'm often telling him, "These are the REAL WORDS of the REAL GUY, isn't that cool?!!!" LOL. This week we are catching up on some of those purple book poems. We read Tennyson's Light Brigade and then I had him listen to it read on Youtube because I love the rhythm of that poem. Next we read the Burns poem To A Mouse and watched it read in a very Scottish brogue, and I looked up on Wiki Answers and found I was correct in guessing that the title Of Mice And Men was based on this poem. Finally, we read the Burns poems including To A Red, Red Rose and watched a kind of comedian chat about the poem used in weddings when it ends sadly, and then he again read it in Scottish brogue, and we also watched someone sing it. There was also a very touching poem about God in there somewhere. I know not all families don't have time to add these things or read together, but I just wanted to show that each family will have different interests, and the meaty "living books" are really there to delve into.

HTH,
Julie

P.S. That is not to say that there is no room for fun novels in high school. There's a list of fun historical novels listed chronologically in the front of the AHL manual, and there is time set aside on the schedule to fit them in. In WHL, there's an extensive list of videos that go with WHL topics in the back of that manual. My son is also in a book club and they read a lot of fun historical novels. When he was in AHL, it was easy to just use his book club books for the free reading time in the manual. In WHL, there is time set aside for some free reading, but not as much, so I just sub out a WHL book on occasion for one that his book club is reading.
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

deltagal
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:13 pm

Re: High School: SL Core 300 verus MFW WHL

Unread post by deltagal » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:41 am

Wow! This all sounds great. I appreciate this "insider's" look at WHL. I received my new MFW catalog yesterday and noticed the primary source piece. That was huge plus... Thank you both again for all the extra insight. I've already set [one choice] aside, now I only have to sort through one more possibility and I'll make our final decision.
With Joy!
Florence
http://awhynotblog.blogspot.com/

dd 7: MFW 1st grade
ds 10, 13, 15: ECC - maps, missionaries, and reading on Wednesdays
dd 2: ?

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Sell me on MFW for high school

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:32 pm

mothergooseofthree wrote:In the past, my rising 8th grade ds has used SL, HOD, and MFW. All fit at the time. What we did not like about most of them was the jumping from book to book for just history in one day. I love multiple sources, but would prefer one book per day to streamline things. Ds also got tired of me reading history to him and just wanted his assignments to do on his own. Since I was combining him with younger siblings, we did MFW together. I also preferred SL book choices, though we went with Notgrass America the Beautiful for 7th and 8th with extra literature. Ds picked it, and although you do have to do the maps and timeline plus often have a reading of original documents, he prefers it over the readings from different sources we did in MFW. Then the literature just counted for his assigned reading for the day.

Now, I am looking ahead to high school. Part of me wants to pick our own materials and work it all out myself, but I will have two in upper elementary and a new baby when ds starts high school. Plus, I am afraid of missing something if I try to do it myself.

I have looked around at various curricula along with ds, and he chooses MFW.......or he is okay with us making our own. He just ruled out HOD because all of those little boxes feel disjointed and tedious to him. He ruled out SL because of the tons of notes in the guide, and though I like the book selections in their lower levels, I am unsure of SL for hs. So, while I say he chose MFW, it was with a sixty second glance of a few other programs at our convention, and MFW just looked more visually appealing in the format of the guide to him. He didn't look at the books at all. This is my kid that only does school because it is a necessary evil and does not put forth more effort than required.

So, will we like MFW for high school? Will it fit? Will he be okay coming into it without doing the five-year cycle? We did CtG and just a bit of RtR. He is using [a writing program] for 8th this year, so I think his writing skills will be up to par.

Also, I will be adding Latin, MUS, Apologia or another Biology, and the MFW Logic for 9th. How long should his days run?
Hi over here,
I won't repeat my little conversation from before, but I spotted a few new questions in there :) Seems like the board is quiet this summer, so I'll keep you company until some more high school families join in.

1. No worries coming into MFW at high school. Bret, the MFW high school expert (whom you can call and chat with on the phone) started MFW with high schoolers.

2. As for time per day, I usually plan for an hour a day per credit. MFW has light Fridays, and my son usually does his service project in summers (or on Sundays this year), but I still plan for an hour per day on Friday as well, just to catch up or do something outside of the basics (my son was in a book club on Fridays, and had a track-n-field day, etc.).

I do personally not add many electives. If a student is already doing foreign language and Bible, plus the core 4, that's a full load where I live. Then I might give a half credit for phy ed, or the 0.25 credit for geography in WHL, and now it's a little more with dual enrollment credits, but I don't like to overload.

3. Multiple books, hmmm, here's a run-down.

Bible credit in AHL:
- Old Testament and questions about it. Usually just one segment a day, but adding a Psalm -- he could do those all together at the end of the year or something? My son kind of did that.
- Victor Journey (or now it has a new name) looking at pictures and maps and details that relate to the Bible reading

English credit in AHL:
- There is an optional reading box most days, but you can skip that if you like. My son used his book club for that. Yours might have books he likes to read?
- There is a main assignment, which often includes both reading a piece of literature and doing an assignment of some sort (three major literature studies, the rest have fairly minor assignments).

History credit in AHL (probably your main concern?):
- Notgrass is used from creation through the Greeks, so not every day, and a few chapters are used out of order since AHL is chronological and Nograss sometimes groups things more widely and then narrows it down. Along with reading from Notgrass, you would have his questions and a little Bible question and grammar point, all with their check-boxes on the grid (the quizzes aren't used until WHL). Notgrass gives a connection between Biblical and secular history.
- The entire Usborne Encyclopedia is read over the year (with the Rome part next year). This gives all the details that Notgrass doesn't have time to dwell on, as well as visuals. So it isn't read all through, but spread out as the different areas of the world and such come up.
- Mapping and timeline come up on occasion in each major segment of history (these are not as major in AHL as they are in WHL).
- Two other books are added. I can't say if these would annoy your son. For us, they were primary in terms of AHL being a year of apologetics. The first, Unwrapping the Pharaohs, helped him explore whether the Bible fit with archaeology finds. The book actually discussed more than one Christian timeline that matched Biblical events in Egypt with archaeological finds (although the author of course preferred his own conclusions, it was good he brought up a variety). The other, New Answers Book, helped my son explore whether the Bible fit with science. It was always asking, what about this question? what about that question people have?


Okay, just trying to help you see the unseen, so you can decide what will work. Keep asking. And I hope we'll have more join in the conversation!
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

DS4home
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:32 pm

Re: Sell me on MFW for high school

Unread post by DS4home » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:32 pm

Your son sounds a bit like mine ;) He is just finishing up AHL this summer.

I think the MFW high school levels have a little bit of a different feel to them than the lower levels. In high school it doesn't feel like you are jumping from book to book in one day. The different books are used on different days. So it's more like this: you do the Bible reading, sometimes there is a reading from Victor with pictures from the Bible reading (but not every day). Then you read your history. One week you might do a Notgrass lesson on Mon, Tue, Wed, then read from Ency. of the Ancient World on Thur. So the reading for each day is from one main source. The next week you might do 3 readings from Ancient World and just one from Notgrass, but it's still only one source on each day. Does that make sense?

It sounds like he is ready to take some independence in his school readings and that is good! The high school manual is written directly to him. He will like the grid. I couldn't get used to the boxes of HOD either (they drove me nuts!), I much prefer the grid format for scheduling. As he works his way through each subject he gets to check it off when it's done. Such a simple thing can be very satisfying :-)

I think it could be a good fit, just because my ds has just gone through it and HE Actually Did It !!
Really, I had my doubts about his motivation level and if he would do the work as scheduled. I can see how much he's grown this year as he stepped up to the plate and took responsibility for his school on a whole new level.

Dawn
Celebrating our 28th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS Grad, College), & Bethany(9th).

2018: AHL for the 4th time!
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Questions about HS and balance....

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:43 am

FLHSMama wrote:
Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:32 am
I am new to the board and am honestly thinking of switching my HS kids over to WHL. I have been a solid user of TOG for 12 years; however, the kids and I are realizing there needs to be more balance in our school day. Can someone please answer a few questions for me?

We have been using TOG fully for history and literature since they were little. Both have completed RH history too. Unfortunately, it takes hours for them to finish their assignments and they are miserable they are not able to pursue outside interests. My son this year is in RH History and D Literature and spends most days working on school from 7:30 am to 4-5pm with a 45 minute lunch most days. He is also in a coop for the weekly discussions. Our main concern is that MFW will be that intensive and overwhelm both kids and the money spent would be for naught.

My daughter (17) is still in 10th grade due to an autoimmune disease that has prevented her from completing any school work. At this point, she doesn't want to weight of the 100-200 pages of reading a week (sometimes it is more) for TOG. She loves to read and write but we just need to move her through.

Thoughts? It sounds easier for me too as a teacher. Which is something also I need as my DD has been in and out of the hospital for 6 months. I am just nervous about switching ships so late in the game......

Any thoughts will be appreciated.

Teresa
DS - 15
DD - 17
Hi Teresa and welcome!
I haven't used TOG and am not familiar with the abbreviations RH and D, but my son used MFW all the way up (with some dual enrollment) and I did high school with an older dd before MFW was around, so I have a couple of perspectives.

First I'd like to clarify that you want to start with WHL? I'm guessing with TOG that they have spent some time in the Bible, but AHL goes through the entire Old Testament and WHL goes thru the entire New Testament and church history (although that text is now optional), so just want to be sure you aren't wanting to start with AHL -- not sure what you covered this year.

If that decision is set, then I'd assure you that there won't be 200 heavy pages of reading per week, per credit, in WHL. High school does ramp up (typically 11th grade is the heaviest year, even in public schools), but WHL is a solid yet comfortable 10th grade level, not college :) The textbook (Notgrass) has fairly large print and wide margins, and the other materials are often a break from heavy reading (Usborne, timeline) -- though remember that the mapping is an extra 0.25 credit over-and-above history, if you choose to include that. A couple of the denser, more unfamiliar world lit books (Beowolf, Dickens) use slightly easier versions. When the big research paper is assigned, the literature becomes optional.

I'd allow for an hour a day per credit, with perhaps double that for math. For the very focused student, there will be time on Fridays to pursue a service project (a less focused student like my son used Fridays to catch up, doing his service in the summers or at Sunday service). If you want more freedom, then I always suggest not scheduling any electives (besides Bible & foreign language), and if needed creating additional electives out of the interests your students naturally pursue. That would mean about 6 scheduled hours per day (7 if math takes 2 hours including lesson, problem set, and corrections) with light Fridays for the focused student or Friday-catch-up-day for my son.

The parent isn't "teaching," nor does the parent need to read portions of the encyclopedia daily, as I hear TOG includes. I prefer to spend my time with high schoolers on my own priorities (for instance, reading the Bible as a family, editing their writing, and helping them notice why they misunderstood an answer they got wrong - which can be very interesting!), and MFW allowed me to choose to spend my time on those priorities and still take care of others in my household. Of course, we each can tweak as we see fit, but it is so helpful to have a thorough yet reasonable plan as a base.

Does that help?
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

FLHSMama
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:58 pm

Re: Questions about HS and balance....

Unread post by FLHSMama » Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:57 am

Sorry about the abbreviations! D = approx Junior High with RH being High School level. TOG doesn't differentiate between a 9th grader and a 12th grader. They expect the same amount of work out of each student. Obviously you can tweak, but there is only so much tweaking one can do to something.

Thank you for your answers! TOG goes through the entire OT in Year 1. We were originally thinking of dropping both kids into the AH1 level, but the lady at MFW after talking said WHL would be a better to start. Truthfully, We are tired of ancients :~ So I was thinking that WHL would be a good place to start. The first portion will still be review as DS is doing Fall of Rome to 1770'ish this year. DD hasn't done school in two years and we just need to finish her off:) She is a strong reader and writer just needs something simpler at this point. I am just fried from trying to keep everything moving and on top of topics, so even my portion sounds nicer.

Thank you again for your answers! I wish we could switch now but that wouldn't be logical!

Teresa

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Questions about HS and balance....

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:21 pm

I agree that you've covered the most important part of AHL - the complete Old Testament - and it's fine to move on.

I'd expect the Fall of Rome to be a repeat, but the rest of World History is so vast that I imagine new things will be popping up all over :)

Blessings on your efforts to meet everyone's needs.
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

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