* Experiences - MFW High School

Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:16 am

Off to a good start

Unread post by Ginnyandkids »

This is my first year homeschooling. We had a horrible experience with public schools any my son, square peg/round hole...something like that. We ended up moving him to Montessori school in 4th grade. He just finished 5 years of Montessori education and was heading to high school. Weighing all our options, we chose homeschooling.

We are using the high school - Ancient History/LIterature curriculum. We have two weeks under our belts and I have to say it feels "so far, so good". I appreciate the thorough lesson plans for all the subjects.

We have elected to start slower, since this is a new thing for both of us. We are not doing language yet - perhaps we'll start that later in the fall, or in January. We are doing AHL, plus math and science. And I am loving that I can count his 45 minute walks/runs as PE every morning!

I keep using "we" to describe what is largely "him" doing the work, but because I am sitting across the table from him most of the day, I count this as a "we" activity. I am sure I will have more freedom once the year really gets underway, but for now, it's helpful to keep him on task and if he has questions.

Again - we're just two weeks in, but it feels great so far. Let's hope in two more weeks or months, I am loving it even more!

Married 20 years
6 kids, ages 14, 11, 9, 7, 5 and 4.
First time homeschooler starting with high schooler. Other kids currently in Montessori School
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: higschool testimonials

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Joyhomeschool wrote:Can I hear some reviews of the highschool program? We are getting close! When I started with mfw the highschool was either new or wasn't at all and I had always thought I'd go with BJU/Abeka distance learning or Sonlight for highschool. But now that its complete and my dad is getting close to it I want to hear what people think? Has anyone finished it and had students go on and do well in college? Is it even been around long enough for that? Lol. Thanks moms.
Hi Vicki,
Well, my son took college classes in 11th and will take more in 12th, does that count?

I should start by saying that there is no magic fix and each child is different -- my 3 kids are very different from one another. But after saying that, I'd like to say that MFW has a good preparation for students, both spiritually and academically. That, combined with parent discussion and help with things like writing feedback, will likely be as good a prep as students would get anywhere else, in my opinion. I have a son who went to public school for K-12 and had far less than MFW offers, yet he still did well in college and is a working engineer. I have a youngest son who has used MFW since 3rd grade, and who has succeeded in being accepted at 2 colleges for courses during high school (Minnesota PSEO program), and earned 13 college credits this year. Like most kids, he is not a perfect student, he has his weak areas and his baby-of-the-family traits, etc., but I am very pleased with having MFW on board all this time. My middle dd started homeschooling in 10th grade and I was basically planning a MFW-type curriculum on my own (reading the entire Bible, choosing literature, etc.), and it wore me out.

As far as Abeka/BJU, first of all, MFW does use BJU for their American history credit (half in 11th, half in 12th). But besides that, it is possible to blend programs like that with MFW, such as using their science, it's up to you. You might try all of MFW's recommendations at first and veer off when you see a need. My son got extremely frustrated with me in chemistry this year (he's a mathy kid, trained in Singapore elementary to just do things in his head, and we did a good job with math facts, so I just can't figure these things out as quickly as he does!). As I heard another mom say once, my son has fired me as his science teacher and is taking it at a college in 12th. That's the kind of thing that could come up and you might turn to BJU videos or whatever. Or, maybe it won't. The MFW science sequence is perfectly good on its own, and it's nice that there are folks here and in the office to support you along the way.

There are MFW graduates who have gone on to college now. I don't see many online, but there are some in the office I've talked to -- feel free to call them if that would help. Try this thread, too: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=7863

Kids change a lot during the high school years. I think AHL is an excellent way to begin. It's not a 12th grade program (unless you make it one), it's reasonable for 9th grade. But it does pull kids up to high school level work and accountability. It focuses on getting them to write a position and support it, but has a reasonable number of essays with a break in the middle (just when you are sure you are going to tear your hair out). And best of all to me, it presents apologetics just when kids are transitioning to a new level of faith and typically want to explore what faith will be like as an adult -- kids are owning the entire Bible for themselves, comparing the ancient parts to other ancient works, comparing what it says to findings in science and archaeology, and more.

Well, hope I said something in my rambles tonight. If not, just ask again :)
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:41 am

Re: higschool testimonials

Unread post by donutmom »

I know this topic is a bit past posting (I haven't been on here for awhile), but I wanted to share something. I've just completed my first year MFW high school with my oldest, so I haven't much experience yet. I will say that it was a struggle of a year for various reasons--the increased & challenging work load, but mostly, health issues that sidelined my child greatly. BUT when it came to next years curriculum, he didn't want to switch! He liked the challenge and most of what he was learning (he doesn't like map work so much!!). But that is not what I wanted to share!

Two Mays ago at our state convention, I was waiting in line at the HSLDA table to ask a question. There was a couple there ahead of me, and the wife was deep in conversation with the HSLDA person. The husband was talkative and started chatting to me and sharing their "dilemma". Their son didn't want to go to college, so they stopped using MFW after his 8th grade, and chose some other curriculums (some were big names, I will add). Well, the son changed his mind after a couple of years (I'm sorry, but at this time I do forget if he was going into 11th or 12th grade). His dad was upset that there would not be enough time for him to prepare for college, and he kept saying, "We should have stayed with MFW." (and when I say kept saying, I mean it. He repeated that several times!). I asked what he meant--since we were a year away from deciding for ourselves and were just not sure what to do. Among some of the answer (which was long!), he said that MFW is not "fluff" work, it is challenging, it teaches students how to think, how to work independently, it prepares them for college work. So here they were talking to HSLDA and to MFW. Considering the situation they were in with their son, and how convinced this man was that they had screwed up by not doing MFW, and how they were trying to figure out what of MFW they could squeeze in, I thought this was a pretty good reference for MFW high school.

That's what I wanted to share. :)
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:36 pm

Re: higschool testimonials

Unread post by luv2tch »

I am posting even later than the last reply--I have not been on here in awhile either. I want to say that this is our 2nd year with MFW and our 2nd year homeschooling, after having my children in an academically strong Christian school for many years. We had various reasons for making a transition to homeschooling, but I did not want the academics to suffer. My husband and I are both former teachers and it was important to us to have a strong, Christ-centered, college-prep course of study. I researched many different curriculum and there are a lot of good ones out there. We ended up choosing MFW because it was affordable, Bible-centered, and I loved the blending of classic literature, a strong writing program, and historical sequence, woven in with Bible study. I also love how MFW takes "the best of the best", as far as different publishers/materials, and puts it all together so that it is all coordinated for you.

My daughter was a sophomore last year and did WHL. She is strong academically, and she really enjoyed and was challenged by her MFW program. She definitely wanted to continue with MFW this year, and has begun US History 1, and loves it already! I have a 9th grade son, who has started AHL. Although it is only his first week, I love the emphasis on biblical history and worldview, and I feel the first writing project, the argumentative essay is really teaching him how to think and write articulately. I love how they are explaining it step by step, so it is manageable, rather than overwhelming.

He did some ECC last year in 8th grade, with his younger brother, but we also added in some other things to provide more challenge. He had not had a comprehensive Am History course, so we used the BJU Jr. High course, the American Republic, with him, and found it very doable to complete in a school year. (I learned right along with him!) I will say that he greatly strengthened his knowledge of world geography and missions by going through the ECC material.

Now that we are looking toward having my daughter take some classes at our local jr. college next year, I am so thankful she is getting the strong, biblical teaching in MFW. I chose to have her wait until next year for that, because I so wanted her to go through this US 1 curriculum, especially the Thinking Like a Christian worldview study. In my opinion, a high school student who goes through MFW will be well-read, have a solid understanding of Bible, world, and US History and government, have learned how to analyze literature and express their ideas well in writing, have learned how to work independently, and, most importantly, have had instruction in applying the Bible to life and allowing it to shape their thinking and worldview. All of these skills will serve them well as they head for college. Sorry for the lengthy answer, but I can't say enough good about MFW high school--you have a lot to look forward to! We have not regretted choosing it for our family.
Rhonda--Married 19 years to David
Traded classroom teaching for homeschooling!
Currently: C2G, AHL, and US 1
dd, 11th grade
ds, 9th grade
ds, 6th grade
"His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness..." 2 Peter 1:3
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

high school curriculum

Unread post by Julie in MN »

MY3monkeys wrote:My DH thinks we should go with MFW as our new curriculum but he was curious about the high school curriculum. We want something we can stick with till the kids graduate and MFW fits that. But we would like some input from people as to what they think of the high school materials and more details of how the programs work. Our kids may or may not be college bound-it's too early to tell. If they do they will likely start at the local community college. I look forward to your responses. :)
Good morning. I hope you get a variety of replies on this one, because typically high school families aren't on the board as much, so the posts in the archives and the "share your experiences" board are thin. That reminds me, I should post over there, shouldn't I?!

I did find a post back a ways about how AHL, the first year of high school, has blessed us. I think it's a good example of how MFW high school can be used in different ways in different families, since our family's needs changed mid-year:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... =25#p71131
There are 2+ pages of experiences on that thread.

My son is now in 12th grade. We have had a lot of life difficulties during high school. He has experimented with doing some or all of his courses over at colleges, and is thinking about just homeschooling his last semester, not sure. I have always been grateful for having all the MFW high school years on hand to work with. If he doesn't do a portion, then I don't feel badly that I've spent months planning out a detailed curriculum. I just set aside a portion that Marie has all planned out, and I can pick it up again later or not.

I think the first 2 years of MFW high school were an invaluable foundation for my son, and he has read the entire Bible in that time. He's read it as a high schooler, which is different than reading it earlier. He read it alongside other ancient literature and world literature, and he knows the difference. There was also some good food-for-thought in terms of character examples (good and bad) during those years of MFW high school.

The second 2 years of MFW high school include a whole variety of valuable things, from tons of early American documents to different points of view on economics. I value having all these things scheduled in to use alongside his outside college courses while my son navigates his growing into a man, someone who will be voting (he just turned 18) and working (he already has 3 part-time jobs) and hopefully raising a family one day, not just as a potential college student. But he has been fully prepared for the college courses he has taken, as well.

I've done high school before MFW had high school and I had similar goals but spent a LOT more time planning, never knew when enough on a topic was enough, took it more personally when something I'd poured my heart into fell flat, was challenged in putting together whole credits on a transcript, etc. MFW is MUCH easier, and yet it STILL brings in the variety of resources and methods that I sought, allows me to teach my child in my own way (vs. materials completely from classrooms), and of course takes the Bible credits seriously. Our founders were largely seminary graduates, after all, so there is a lot to be learned in that one Great Book.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:11 am

Re: high school curriculum

Unread post by Joyhomeschool »

Juli3, that was so well written. Dh and I were just discussing highschool as we have one more year on the five year cycle with my DD. Its really sneaking up on me! Anyway, thanks for a great post!
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2
Post Reply