Combining part of MFW1 with non-MFW programs?

Learning God's Story

Combining part of MFW1 with non-MFW programs?

Unread post by Guest »

esoloj wrote:I used MFW K with my 5 and 6 year olds and we learned a lot. It worked well for us but I'm debating using the next level. Not because they aren't ready but because I already have them doing a handwriting and phonics program.

I really appreciated the Bible part of MFW K and that is what interests me for moving on to MFW1. So, what I am asking is, could I use just the teachers manual to use what I like or are the subjucts pretty well entwined in MFW1?

You would need the Bible reader and Bible notebook as well as the student sheets because they are are key components of the program. The only one you might not need is the workbook. The sheets are for writing out the scripture verse but there are also sheets that are cut apart and colored for the timeline.

Unread post by cbollin »

One of the hidden features of the Bible program of MFW 1 is its language arts components. Language Arts is not just phonics.

In MFW K, you were doing a language arts program in disguise. When? When you asked and answered all those science questions; when you had them guess an answer to a general knowledge question and then read to them from a non fiction book and then answer the question again; when you had them following directions (make this craft, following these steps); when you spoke in analogies for them to learn about tough concepts. (Jesus is the Light of the World). Predictions, inferences, drawing conclusions, analyzing orally presented and written information.

This same style of integrated learning of langauge arts is carried over in the MFW 1 program with the Bible part. Oh, there is still a phonics aspect to the program. But I'm talking about the big picture here of the span of the langauge development. This time around you will be discussing Bible stories as your basis for langauge development. It is also a time of introduction to history. There is time for increasing attention and memory (with the Proverbs verses); there is time to develop writing skills (with the Bible notebook).

I don't know about mixing and matching with another program. Sounds like extra work, but I've been there and did that too and stopped mid way through to stick to just one.

I really would like to encourage you to not pick and choose through the MFW TM.

Both the K and 1 programs are kinda like a bottle of 2 'n 1 Shampoo/Conditioner. It's so mixed together in the bottle, you don't know where the shampoo ends and the conditioner starts. And you don't necessarily have to lather, rinse, and REPEAT, using an extra shampoo or an extra conditioner. There may be times that you repeat with the same bottle (as in a child who needs more time to learn something). But, I'd better just stop with the extended metaphor.

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Unread post by Lucy »

Thanks Crystal for all the time that you spent to answer this question. I agree with the focus on how integrated the language arts is in MFW 1. I did not know about MFW when I was teaching my kids at this age and when I have looked at it and seen how integrated and time effective it is I always wish I had known of it. The beginning writing that it encourages just always looked so good and from what I have heard from others on this board and at conventions say it has been a great move into writing for their young ones.

All that said, it would be a little more difficult to separate the writing out and depending on the other phonics program your kids may not be able to use the bible reader as it is or they may be already there phonically. Basically you read or tell the bible story, the kids read it in their bible reader, and then they make there on bible by writing at first a few words and a sentence or even just a title and then they progress to writing several sentences hopefully. Each child of course will progress slightly differently. The whole program is based on the bible in MFW 1 and so all that I have mentioned above is part of the lang. arts component of MFW 1. The bible that is used is learning from and memorizing different Proverbs and then of course there is also the math and science and deluxe items if you want to add those.

If you can get to a convention this season and take a look that of course would be ideal or you can look at for 30 days at home and pay for the shipping to you and back.

May the Lord guide you in all you decisions for next year.
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
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Which program?

Unread post by Lucy »

armywife03 wrote:I am really wanting to combine all my children together. We already have math and language arts programs that are working really well....why fix what isn't broken? My 5.5 year old is reading very well and writing fairly well... I was considering MFW if I could combine all the kids. In addition...I need reading/writing/math separate from history/science because my dd(8) is at different developmental levels due to her special needs.
Dear Armywifeo3,

Since you already have a math and language arts that you are happy with for your first grader you do not need MFW First Grade. The one subject that MFW does very well for a first grader that some programs do not include is teaching how to write (composition). This is one of the many strengths of the program. So if the program you are using is not doing this, you will want to add this yourself, teaching him how to form a sentence over the course of the year. Proverbs are used for handwriting and copy work to help learn how to form a good sentence in a more natural fashion. You can use the verses in Adventures for this pointing out the mechanics of writing as well. So in short, MFW First Grade is primarily math and language arts (which all students need at their level) and if you are covering this you do not need it.

You will have him join his older siblings the same as students who are using MFW First Grade. So, whether you use MFW First or not I do not think determines if this program will work for you. He is simply at a different stage of learning (learning to read and write) and may not be ready for all of the reading and activities in Adventures, but will likely join in for much of it. Your first grader will join you for Bible and science and be invited to join you for other activities that he is able to do and sit for. He will enjoy lots of books and activities in Adventures. I think as Christina mentioned you know your child and as long as you are being careful not to expect him to do everything (although he may) you will all have a wonderful year in Adventures.

Thanks for serving our country (it is a family thing to me!).
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
Julie in MN
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I've scoured the board, but still can't find an answer

Unread post by Julie in MN »

ark2003 wrote:Here's my dilemma: I have a 13 y/o daughter that will be in 7th, twin 6 y/o daughters who will be starting 1st, and a baby girl that will be 2 in September. I want to teach them all together (the older girls, that is). When I say that, I don't mean I want to teach them EVERYTHING all together, of course. There's 7 years' difference between my oldest and the twins. I will have to do the 3Rs with the twins separately, and science too...since my oldest will do apologia (okay, i'm done with caps...too cumbersome for me...forgive the lowercase lettering in the rest of this post!).

i found that a lot of people have recommended for families with 1st graders and older siblings to do both ECC and MFW1st. the reason that doesn't appeal to me is because i'm happy with the reading instruction we're using now for the twins, and with math. also, if i buy ECC and MFW1st, then i'll not use the ECC science at all (oldest will use apologia, twins use MFW1st sci), won't use MFW1st math b/c want to stick with math-u-see. separate bible lessons? also we're very active in awana and i use the verses during our weekly schoolwork for reading and writing.

i guess what i want to know is: is my plan reasonable, or is there something else in MFW1st that my girls will greatly benefit from or is ECC just plain too advanced for 1st graders? until my oldest is in HS, i really want to minimize our current situation of, "I'm going to do school with Emma now and later I'll do school with Katie and Leah."

i don't think any of this makes sense. i hope the Lord will provide me with some answers thru this message board, though. i'm getting tired of thinking about it! :)
Hello, and welcome!
I think some families use other things for a 1st grader besides MFW-1st. If you want to know why folks love MFW-1st, then just ask away :) But I think other programs will be fine as long as you realize that learning to read and to grasp the idea of math are those kids' main goals this year. I like the character and Bible focus at a 1st grade level, too, but there's also value in creating a "family Bible time" using ECC.

The only other thing I noticed was that Bible copywork might be duplicated between some of the things you're doing, and after you get your materials, you may want to choose just one task, especially for the little ones.

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+)
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Re: I've scoured the board, but still can't find an answer

Unread post by baileymom »

I think that if you're happy with what you're currently doing for 1st, stick with it.

The best thing about 1st for us, was the phonics instruction. I taught my son how to read with MFW's K and 1st. And it went well. And he likes to read. And he reads 3 verses each night during our Family Worship. I heart MFW's phonics in K and 1st...I will stick with it, with each new schooling child. We do LOVE the Bible Reader (which you can always purchase separately). We do love all the pre-made copywork pages (he was even excited to see similar pages in ADV). And he feels quite accomplished with his completed 1st grade workbooks.

*BUT*, because I had older children doing CtG and RtR, we barely did the Science in 1st. And I used another math. And we didn't memorize any of the Proverbs, just read them, talked about them, and did them for copywork.

Anyway...I think doing ECC with all 3 would work. Like I mentioned, my youngers have joined in on most CtG and RtR, and learned from it and enjoyed it.

We haven't done ECC yet, so hopefully, someone else will chime in (but from what I've read, it's a lot of fun, and very enjoyable for the whole family).
Kathi - graduated 1, homeschooling 6, preschooling 2, growing 1
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Re: I've scoured the board, but still can't find an answer

Unread post by gratitude »

Hi & Welcome!

We switched from SL in March and love MFW! :) It has been so much easier for us to do, and the kids are learning a lot. I can not answer your question on doing the twins with ECC, but I can tell you what is in MFW Grade 1 and you can decide if it's something you still want to skip or not.

I have been doing MFW 1 with a 6 1/2 year old. He read some, and had figured out a lot of sight words on his own, but he wasn't reading yet beyond a K level consistently. The phonics, it sounds like you don't need them, are incredible.

The heart of the program though is going through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The program does this by having the student go through each Bible story in four different ways: they read the story themselves out loud from the Bible reader, I read the story to ds from the Bible and then he narrates it back to me, he writes the title of the story in the Bible notebook and illustrates it, and then a figure of the story is added to the time-line on our wall. I feel like he is learning a lot from the reinforcement. Truthfully he knows these stories from other places, but he is hearing them directly from our Bible for the first time as well as having them reinforced for learning. The program also has ds memorizing a Proverb each week (he does Awana too, so this is in addition to Awana), handwrite/copy the Proverb, and discuss it; they also include memorizing the OT books of the Bible (which he knows from Awana), but they add some information in the TM about the names of each book and their origin.

A second part of the program is the phonics, which it sounds like you don't need. It includes spelling tests, reading 12 new words most days, and reviewing 8 words or so most days. Incredible reading program. The other parts of the curriculum include Bible activities (about 1 every week or two), science, math, and art. I am not craftsy at all, and I have loved doing the hands on Bible activities with my kids (amazing!) :) The math, like you, we have another program so we aren't using that part of Grade 1. The science I wasn't doing, until a few ladies pointed out how much they liked it. Now I have integrated it with the SL Science we are doing. It is hands on in a different way, and I do like the variety with the SL Science. We do 2 days a week of each. The art for our house has been revolutionary. I can not draw at all. I thought it was something people could do or not do. My kids couldn't draw at all. We can now! :-) We actually learned how to draw from MFW drawing lesson book. It has been really good for my children to move beyond stick people; for me too.

So that is Grade 1 MFW. I am sure you can tell we like it. MFW K is just as good. We started it a month or so ago, and I never could pull off teaching both kids with SL. So far with MFW it has been completely manageable and easy. The TM somehow gets everything in, and they learn a lot, but it stays simple enough to do with four kids. Enjoy!
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Re: I've scoured the board, but still can't find an answer

Unread post by RachelT »

Hi! I want to reply because we used ECC this past school year and my dd was in 1st grade. She was 6 yrs, 8 months when we began last August. She is advanced in her ability to write, read, and draw and my son is more challenged in those areas so it evens out that they are near each other or at the same grade level in some areas. We also are happy with our math, like you.

I wanted to write and tell you more specifically what my 1st grader used this year from our materials. We used MFW 1st for the phonics workbook, Bible reader, Bible notebook, she learned the books of the Bible, and that was about it from 1st gr. because she participated with most of it two years ago when it was the main program for my oldest.

She really enjoyed learning about the various cultures, listening to me read picture books aloud (from the book list), coloring geography notebook sheets or John 3:16 pages, making ethnic food, doing the Global Art activities, most of the activities from A Trip Around the World and Another Trip Around the World, and learning the Wee Sing songs. So she learned a lot. She even played the geography game, but we modified how to play it sometimes so that we all helped each other with recalling the names of countries (making it less competitive). She also could listen to the missionary biographies for a little while, but the chapters got too long for her and we didn't do much with the World Geography book. Properties of Ecosystems for science I also had to summarize a lot, but they liked the Usborne book and the Complete Book of Animals and the Animal Search book.

I really love the MFW 1st grade Bible portion and phonics, but both children learned so much out from our emphasis on missions around the world in ECC and Bible verses from Matthew. So if you are wanting to simplify things for yourself, I think you could have the twins do the parts of ECC that are "fun" for them, knowing that they will not do everything that your 13 year old is able to do and tailor it to meet your needs.
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19
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Re: I've scoured the board, but still can't find an answer

Unread post by ark2003 »

thanks so much, everyone, for your helpful replies. i really appreciate your advice!! i THINK i've decided to go with ECC; see how it goes; if it's too much for the twins, then i'll buy MFW1st.

Postby ark2003 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:33 am

i went ahead and ordered MFW1st, today. i just couldn't get it out of my head, and since we school year round...and like i said, emma won't be thru her current program for a while...i decided to give MFW1st a head-start-spin!!

thanks again for all the advice everyone!!! i appreciate it very much!!

looking forward to our first MFW box day!!!
Wife to a good looking genius
Mom to five sweet girls 3/97, 4/04, 4/04, 9/08, 9/11
And one tough baby boy 7/13
Have done MFW K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CTG, AHL, WHL
Homeschooling since 2006
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1st grade without the phonics?

Unread post by gratitude »

cefcdana wrote:I am thinking of going with another phonics/reading program. Can I still use MFW 1st grade? or is it mostly pointless since we won't be doing the phonics portion? I am mainly interested in MFW 1st for its Bible Overview in a year and associated activities and reader. But if it won't be that much content without the phonics than I can probably just find a Bible curriculum cheaper. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for your input!

The phonics are in the blue student notebook, so if you skipped that part of the program you could still benefit from the Bible portion.

The parts I have LOVED with the Bible overview this past year (2010):
1. Bible Reader - it has been so fun to watch my son read his Bible reader (we are now in the New Testament towards the end)
2. Bible Time-line: I love the fact that his first introduction to a History timeline has been Creation to Jesus. We have it up in our toy room off the kitchen, and the kids look at it all the time.
3. Bible Notebook: He has done a written summary of each story from his bible reader stories and then drawn a picture for each one. What a joy!
4. Reading the Bible stories to Him: Marie summarizes the Bible stories to read-aloud in the teacher's manuel. I have continued to read them aloud from the Bible, New Testament, when I reached the part where she stopped summarizing the stories. Very meaningful.
5. Copy & Memorize verses from Proverbs.
6. Hands on Activities that relate to the Bible stories.

The Bible portion of the program is the center, and really is worth the time to go through it. I think the beginning of the program starts without the reader, so you may have to adjust that some; but I think there is plenty left for you to enjoy. You also might choose to focus on the bible reader, timeline, and bible notebook for student page days; but that will be entirely up to you.

There is also the science & math in the program. We skipped both of these since we were using other sources for math and science. I am still very glad I used MFW Grade 1, even if I skipped a little of it. We did the science part of this program with our K Science program. These are great hands on experiments from the Usbourne books, included in the program; if you haven't done these experiments yet they too could add to your use of the Bible portion.

If you only skipped the Phonics, or even Phonics and math, there would be 90% or more of the program left for you to do!

Blessings! :)

Re: 1st grade without the phonics?

Unread post by cbollin »

I used MFW 1st with 2 children who were already reading ahead of the curve. We use the blue phonics book for the next natural progression: spelling lessons. Many of the 'tricks" of spelling lessons related to phonics are in the manual.

Also, there is plenty of language arts in the program. Phonics and reading aren't the only things in language arts at this age. MFW 1st covers a lot of handwriting (combined with Proverbs, character study), beginning composition, comprehension is covered through narration (ala Charlotte Mason ideas), enjoying books together. Other components of language arts are combined in science too. Things like drawing conclusions, making predictions, etc..... It all blends.

Then, there's the math. The Bible. Even if you use other math programs, I think you'll find lots of good stuff in the manual itself for hands on teaching ideas in math, and literature books to reinforce learning in math.

Julie in MN
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So undecided... help!!!

Unread post by Julie in MN »

mshanson3121 wrote:I have been in love with the looks of MFW for over a year now, and I know with 100% certainty we'll be doing the family cycle when the time comes. I had actually purchased MFW K for my son for this year, but we didn't end up using it as he was already well past the math and the reading lessons included and at that time, didn't want to spend that amount of money for something we would basically only be using for Bible/Science. I'll admit there are times I regret not using MFW K (the fun science topics, having the planning all done for me etc...), but again, I still can't justify spending $150 for Bible/Science.

Fast forward to looking at next year, grade 1. My only real costs for next year would be $55 for math and science, plus I'd need a history/geography course - which I can just use the library for living books and do a year's study on our country (Canada). Sounds cheap, and perfect, right?

While I would LOVE something that's prescheduled for me, at the same time, I'm afraid that it'll be hard to work around life - swimming lessons, OT, DD has Early Intervention, I babysit every day from 3-5. I like that I can add in studies on our country. I love the focus on using living books and strong, classic literature and poetry.

So WHY am I still so conflicted about this? Why am I still so drawn to MFW 1?
Smiling here... I know your pain. How's this for relating to your dilemma: My grandson has a full, 6-hour day of kindergarten over at the public dual language school, all "free" (public school isn't really free, my dd has easily spent over $150 already, but it seems like it), but... I still got MFW-K to add in when I can :)

You may be fine with all your plans, they sound very well thought-out, so I won't so much comment on those as just share my own thinking.

1. Having homeschooled without MFW, I really value that MFW has done all the leg work so I can spend evenings with my family and not planning.

2. Also due to having homeschooled w/o MFW, I really value the whole year being laid out so I don't neglect anything I don't choose to cross off the list, just because I forgot about it or didn't realize how much time needed to be allowed for it, and I feel sure I'll get to the end of the plan at an appropriate pace. e.g. My oldest dd and I were reading through the entire Bible together in high school just like MFW high schoolers, but I kept getting sidetracked and delving into areas, so that she never really did finish all the prophets and letters. My youngest used MFW and read the entire Bible in 2 years, cover-to-cover, and now this year is able to delve into the worldviews study with the entire Bible as a backdrop, in MFW's 11th grade.

3. MFW's K and 1st teach children where children are at, not where moms remember elementary school being at. e.g. Little kids can learn math in two ways, in my opinion, (a) hands-on, or (b) memorize. So MFW kids may begin to memorize math facts, but all of their "math understanding" will be based on at least 2 years of solid hands-on math.

4. The heart of MFW is probably why most of us are here. Kindergarteners begin to own the Truth through the creation story, and every week they learn little sayings that they can remember and understand in their own way. First graders learn the "Whole Story" in a simple way. Second graders learn to open and use their own Bible, and learn they can understand some big phrases in there, like Jesus is the Bread of Life. Okay, I could go on... But these things are woven into their entire day -- they are the point of their day, the joy of their day -- and they are never random verses coming out of nowhere.

Hoping you hear more, as these conversations are fun :)
mshanson3121 wrote:I wonder if the conflict is that I'm being called to use it, and have just been ignoring the call. I'll admit, I'm a planner, and in a way, piecing together the pieces of SCM has been fun, planning it etc... and yet also stressful too, making sure I've got it all covered etc...
Just to reassure you, you are still "allowed" to plan with MFW :) There's an entire "ideas" board for each level, showing lots of us planning things. But the planning doesn't take over your life, squeeze out time with dh, you get the picture...
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
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Re: MFW 1: Should we use it? Input please!!!

Unread post by gratitude »

You could use MFW1 as your history course. It is Bible history from Creation to Revelation. It builds writing skills through the Bible note book that is assembled. The time-line on the wall shows that the Bible is indeed part of history. The drawings in the Bible note book build drawing skills. If you are good at getting hands on activities done there are many in MFW1 that go right along with the Bible history. The BIble stories that you read would correspond to the note book and time-line. The first part of the program, if you were not using it for phonics, would not be as geared towards history since it is a review. It reaches Noah though around day 65 and quickly moves on from there.

I am glad that I used MFW1 for my oldest and now for my second. I will admit for my 2nd it has been primarily history since day 65. I ended up putting him in with science with big brother and doing a different phonics book. I am still more than a little glad that I have done the history part of the program. My kids know the Bible is real history and that was important to me. MFW1 has certainly been a part of that knowledge.

The Bible note book is lovely to have. My second often is looking through it and reviewing the time-line from Genesis to Revelation. My first has that time-line solidly memorized.

Blessings in your decision.
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Re: MFW 1: Should we use it? Input please!!!

Unread post by kw4blessings »

I'd like to give an enthusiastic thumbs up for MFW 1st. I'm doing the program this year with my oldest. I LOVE that most everything is planned out for you. Coming from K, where I tried to piece together a curriculum and used a co-op like group, this has been an answer to prayer! For the small side of me that enjoys planning, I think there is plenty you can plan in 1st if you want to. I don't know how the new 1st will look, but with the current program, I plan out each week of math based on Marie's suggestions and the Complete Book of Math (fantastic!). And there are so many great ideas here on the board you can add in.

As others have mentioned, the Bible history is wonderful and we love the Proverbs as well. DD loves to memorize and recite those. We're on day 55 right now, and my dd is really taking off with her reading thanks to the amazing phonics program. I'm not sure where your son is on reading, but I would recommend doing the phonics lessons as written if only to reinforce what he already knows. Same with the math... we tried a book-based math program last year and my dd got really frustrated around 1/4 of the way through. So, we scrapped that and just started doing everyday math using life situations. Now that we're doing MFW1, the hands-on math has really helped her to "get" math....understanding it a lot better now that it's so visual and concrete, not only numbers on a page.

We passed over MFW K last year for a number of reasons and now I'm SO sorry that we did. I do get to start using it next fall with my second. Woo hoo! Best wishes in your decision, just wanted to put in a little plug about how much we're loving MFW1 :)
Kelly, blessed mama to
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Re: MFW 1: Should we use it? Input please!!!

Unread post by MelissaB »

I can SO relate to what you're saying.

Four years ago, I was preparing for our next school year. I had already filled out the order form for the curriculum we had been using and was very happy with it. The decisions had been made; the form was filled out. All I had to do was deliver it with a check in a few weeks and get free shipping. Done!

Just a few days later, I was vacuuming my living room floor. Just.... vacuuming. When I felt the Lord move on my heart that I should consider a new curriculum. Silently, I thought, I've already made that decision. The form's already filled out... "O.K., Lord," I thought. "I'll consider it." (Is that funny to anyone else but me? Or not so funny... Shouldn't my response have been, "YES, Lord. Right away!"?) Then, I asked more to myself than to the Lord, "So, which curriculum should I look at?"

Immediately, I thought about the MFW curriculum from the booth at the previous year's homeschool convention. No way, I had thought at the time. This looks like neat stuff, and fun, but there's no way this is going to be academically challenging enough. How would my children do on standardized tests?? Where are the workbooks?

But, I've rejected the Lord before in my life ... and suffered consequences. So, that soft, peaceful Spirit is one I try very hard not to reject at this stage in life.

"O.K., Lord," I said aloud. (I'm vacuuming - no one can hear me. ;) ) "I'll look at it." [Again - probably should be a little more "Yes, Lord, I'll do it right now" in me ... I'm guilty of many flaws - currently working on that one, too.]

Weeks went by, enough time to pray. I was drawn to the MFW booth before I ever walked in the doors of the homeschool seminar that May. I still wasn't sure, mentally, if I thought it was the right curriculum. But I felt a strong confidence inside that it was what the Lord wanted. So, we purchased Exploring Countries & Cultures and Kindergarten that year.

It was the best year! Our oldest dd feels a calling to be a missionary when she's grown. She's felt that calling since she was only five yrs. Special girl. As we studied ECC, and began to read the biographies of Cameron Townsend, Nate Saint, Amy Carmichael .... wow, I could totally see one of the reasons GOD had drawn us to use this amazing curriculum! And our youngest daughter who was struggling to learn to read using the previous curriculum, really loved MFW. By the end of the year, she was counting money, adding, subtracting, perfectly understood place value... GOD has a plan for each of our children, and HE knows what curriculum works best for them.

So, my input would be: pray. :) Trust in the One who made your children. He loves you! And He'll share with you His desires for their lives, one step at a time ... including your curriculum choices.
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4
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Re: MFW 1: Should we use it? Input please!!!

Unread post by mshanson3121 »

Thank you so much for your input ladies.

I'm happy to announce that we'll be starting MFW 1 in the fall.

And more - I have felt such peace since making my decision.
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Re: MFW 1: Should we use it? Input please!!!

Unread post by erin.kate »

I am so happy that you decided on MFW 1. It is an absolutely amazing year. We've used K, 1st, Adv, and we're now in ECC ... MFW from the start ... and something about MFW 1 just moves my heart! My daughter who used it has the most beautiful memories of it and her Bible notebook is a treasure and she is grounded in the Bible as our historical foundation. I can say that for the first 10 weeks of this year we veered off and tried SCM/AO because I, too, wanted to plan and in theory it all seems so simple, but the heart of learning and the heart of Christ was deeply lacking and it cannot be replicated in ways that Marie helps us present it to our children. There is still plenty of planning and creativity involved and I'm almost glad that I had the diversion so that I could see more clearly what I was missing. We used MFW1, by the way, as written, though we did at times add Miquon math, which was complely unncessary and I won't add a thing with my next three coming up. Enjoy!
♥Count it all joy ~
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MFW1st/MUS/AAR/Adventures.... help?!

Unread post by asheslawson »

saraclouse wrote:My dd is currently in public school K. Lord willing, I will be homeschooling her for 1st grade next year. (YAY!!) I am very excited about using MFW and have been reading reviews and had my heart set on this curriculum for years!

Looking ahead to 2nd grade Adventures, I would have to add in Math and Language Arts... which I would want to use MUS and AAR/AAS. So my concern would be adding those things in later during 2nd grade. Since it seems like it would be easier to start at the beginning with those programs. So...... do I.....?

a) Stick with MFW 1st entirely
b) Use MFW1st with MUS Alpha and All About Reading (since I will most likely be using those in 2nd grade)
c)Skip adead to Adventures where I can start out using my own math and language arts. (She will be 6 almost 7 when she starts 1st grade in the fall bcz she has a late birthday. She is very advanced compared to everyone else in her K class. She is reading readers independently and can write well.) But at the same time I don't want her to "miss out" by pushing her ahead. I want homeschool to be fun!

I know I'm probably waaay over thinking this, but would love some input.
Regarding reading - if she's already reading really well - I don't know how to tell you what is best. My dd LOVES and treasures her bible notebook. And she colored and decorated her bible reader, which made it special for us too. You may want to look at the curriculum if you are able to see it at a convention. My daughter has a late September bday & was 6, almost 7, when she started 1st. We LOVED MFW 1st...and now this year she is doing RTR with her older brother.

Here are my thoughts on math....and these are my thoughts and may not be the thoughts of others. I used MFW math as written at first. I used the math book (which came in deluxe) & did some of the math activities in the yellow section of the teacher's guide. These are wonderful - and she learned so much. As a matter of fact - she is doing the math this year, in 2nd, that my son did in 4th grade after pulling him out of public school (he went to PS till 3rd & I quickly realized he just didn't have the foundation he needed in math - so we went back to Singapore 2A / 2B & worked through it at a faster pace - but he needed to go over basics as he wasn't grasping them).

However - in the 2nd half of the year I started realizing that she was already doing things the math I was planning to use would cover - and I wanted to cover them systematically as the curriculum prescribes. I am not confident enough in math to feel comfortable if I don't do the whole book - because I am sure I'd miss something they need. I considered Math U See & Horizon's - and really liked them both - but I went with Singapore. Anyways - in answer to your question - if MUS is your choice - I would personally start it in 1st grade - but be willing to slow it down or start it in 2nd semester so you can do the fun hands on activities too. They teach so much and my daughter still makes copies of our "dinner bill" and adds up the cost of dinner for us sometimes. However - I just feel better moving through the entire series since different math curriculums do different things in slightly different ways and / or different order. I remember wishing I had gone ahead & started Singapore 1A along with her 1st grade math activities (and book if you do it). I just stretched a little math in summer - to finish or started where we left off whatever we didn't finish. To me - building a GOOD foundation in math is important - probably because I struggled so much with it in middle school & high school. That is just my .02 cents - I know it differs a little from some opinions - but it is the one thing I would have started right from the beginning of 1st grade.

Don't overlook those activities that are in 1st though. She LOVES math & seems a natural at it. MFW really knows how to teach those foundation things well. My only thing is that I didn't want to "feel behind" by starting somewhere in the middle of the math curriculum's series of the curriculum I chose (if that makes any sense).
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
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Re: MFW1st/MUS/AAR/Adventures.... help?!

Unread post by DS4home »

If you have made the decision to use MUS, then I would go ahead and start it in 1st grade. In the early years it does not take tons of time every day, so that you can still do the fun hands on math activities included in MFW 1st grade material. I think you will have time enough to do both. Just spread it out in your day so your not doing all math things in one block of time.

As far as reading goes, I would not add anything to MFW 1st. MFW is already a full phonics based reading program. I think adding another program would be redundant and not worth the extra money. I say that without knowing anything about AAR though.

As far as spelling, I have used All About Spelling and enjoy it alot. I didn't begin using it until 2nd grade though. I really wanted to focus on reading first before introducing spelling as a subject. Reading is about putting all those letters together into words and spelling is taking a word and breaking it down into letters - two different concepts to learn. They are very closely related and work hand in hand a lot, but can often be too much for a young learner to take in. There is no rush. Take it one step at a time. They will have spelling words for many years down the road!! I guess that was a lot to simply say I'd wait on the spelling :~

May God bless you as you embark on this homeschooling journey!

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Re: MFW1st/MUS/AAR/Adventures.... help?!

Unread post by danabogan »

I have used MFW for eight years with four children that all have very different learning styles. Also some have been much more advanced then others. The reason for saying that is I'm a huge advocate for teaching where the child is. I always want to challenge my children but at the same time not rush them to grow up so fast.

With what you have said, I think I would go ahead and move to Adventures. I'm not usually one where I would say to skip a year in MFW, but for 1st grade it centers so much around phonics. If your daughter is already reading readers independently, then I don't see where it would be necessary to do that year in my own opinion.

Hope this helps for you to think through some things. No matter what, pray about it and seek God's wisdom :)

Dana Bogan
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Re: MFW1st/MUS/AAR/Adventures.... help?!

Unread post by Mom2theteam »

Not totally sure what to advise as far as skipping 1st altogether. I'm not sure I would want to even if my child didn't totally need the phonics because the Biblical history/focus is 1st is so wonderful to us. However, it is very phonics focused. So, it's really hard to say. My son has an Oct b-day. He started 1st just before he was to turn 7 also.

As for math, we did almost exactly what asheslawson did. We used the program at first and then switched to Singapore. We did it for the exact same reasons she did. I needed it all laid out very clearly and wanted to start with Singapore's method right from the start so I was confident we had the proper foundation. I'm very glad I did. I also wish we had started at the beginning, though I think we started sooner. We are on about day 91 of 1st, so a little over half way, and are almost finished with 1a going to be starting 1b soon. We don't do much of the MFW math anymore, but we did a little at the beginning. I'm sure doing the math as written would work very well also, but this was what we chose to do.

But, here is what I'm thinking about...age and maturity. I have read many, many times (and heard) from many BTDT moms that pushing ahead can cause maturity issues later on. A good friend of mine was just over a few days ago and having issues with this. Her son is only a month older than mine. She started him in K the year before I did. So, he is now in 2nd as a young 7 year old (turned 7 right after starting 2nd). She was telling me that it is starting to catch up with them. He is younger (and smaller) than his "peers" by almost a year in church and co-op and everywhere else. The material they are going to be learning in 3rd is above what she feels he is going to be ready for on a maturity level. She really wishes she had not pushed him ahead. Now, she is faced with decided to keep him back a little which will hurt his pride or moving him along before she feels he is mature enough. It isn't actually about his ability. Personally, I feel maturity is more important in pushing ahead than academic ability. That said, you can do Adventures and still say she is in 1st grade which will avoid that issue in other places, like church. But, it is still something I would strongly consider.

My biggest suggestion would be to pray about it. We all have opinions about what is best. It is colored by our own experiences in our own families. Only God can really direct you to the right program for your family. Take what we say under advisement and take the decision to God. Good luck!!
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Re: MFW1st/MUS/AAR/Adventures.... help?!

Unread post by Julie in MN »

If families use MFW-1st math and then want to start Singapore math in 2nd grade and want to begin Singapore right at level 1A, then they can start 1A in 2nd grade and they will not be "behind." Level 1 of Singapore may go quickly, or students may just continue at one level per year, with the goal to finish level 5B at the end of 6th grade.

I cannot be sure about whether that would work with other programs. However, my son did use Math-U-See on occasion during 3rd-5th grades, as a sort of extra drill program or a break when he needed to hover in place for a while (Singapore was his main math program). I never saw a problem with his jumping into MUS at Gamma, so my experience is that it didn't leave "holes" two switch into it, as long as we had been doing age-level math in some form or another.

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Re: MFW1st/MUS/AAR/Adventures.... help?!

Unread post by danabogan »

Another thing to think about. Just because you skip 1st grade doesn't mean that you have to skip a year. It means that you can have an extra year in either the primary or secondary levels of school. I've always assign work that matches my child's ability but have never skipped years. For two of my children, it means that they are doing 5 years of high school level work enabling them to choose more advanced classes or take dual credit classes. I'm a big proponent for challenging children but don't like the idea of hurrying their education:) Just something to think about.


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Re: MFW1st/MUS/AAR/Adventures.... help?!

Unread post by lovehomeschooling »

I think you could easily do 1st along with AAR and MUS. I plan to do first along with AAR and Right Start math. We subbed these in for MFW K as well. I had considered skipping first as well, but I really don't want miss everything else in first!
DS10- MFW RTR, AAS3, Rightstart Math E, and Rosseta Stone Spanish
DD8- AAR 2, AAS 1, RS B, and Abeka Handwriting
DS6- MFW K, RS A, AAR 1, and Abeka HW
DS2- Tagging along
Used MFW K 2012, 2013, 2016 MFW 1st 2012, 2015 Adv 2013 ECC 2014 CTG 2015 RTR 2016
Wendy B.
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Re: MFW1st/MUS/AAR/Adventures.... help?!

Unread post by Wendy B. »

I vote for...

a) Stick with MFW 1st entirely.

Keep it simple your first year homeschooling. This will give you the opportunity to work on routines, habits, etc. which will benefit all of you in the future. Since she is already reading, the phonics in MFW 1st may be all she needs to take the next step to chapter books. There are enough spelling opportunities in MFW 1st that there is no need to add in a spelling program.

Both MUS and AAR have placement tests. If you still want to use these programs in the future, then you could place her in the appropriate level at that time.

FWIW, I used MFW 1st with a 2nd grader. It was a great confidence building year for him.
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.
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