Hands-on - Will MFW 1st be too much for me?

Learning God's Story
Post Reply

Hands-on - Will MFW 1st be too much for me?

Unread post by cbollin »

Blessed with six wrote:I think, with everyone's help (thank you!), that I am going to get MFW 1st Grade and eventually get ECC for my two older daughters.

My question is this. I am not an artsy/craftsy person. I know, ducking the tomatoes! I do not like curriculums where we have to stop what we are doing and try to find things around the house, I spend too much time looking for that "lost" shoe..ha! I like things where we can pick up a book and read, do a work sheet, color or paint is good, but real creative type stuff I am just not good at doing.

Is MFW LOTS of hands on? I don't mean to be a bummer here, just curious as to what kinds of hands on stuff, is it every lesson, every day?

Thanks again!
this has been my experience...

Not every day, and not every lesson.

And like you, I can't stop to look around for that weird little thing here and there. Most of the stuff is from grocery store or retail store and is normal stuff (even if you don't normally have it in your house).

There is one really big hands on project in 1st grade (you make this big salt dough map of Bible lands). ducking the tomatoes with you --- I didn't do that project as a big map. We just drew a map on paper and poured salt over it and traced it with our fingers. (whistling innocently.....)

So... those projects sure can be adapted as needed. some are food-related, some are paper projects, some are grab a sheet and a belt and call it close enough to a bible times costume. I'm not the creative type am I? I know we "need" hands on stuff to help with retention for younger kids, but I'm not good at it. I like easy to make, easy to get rid of, and easy to clean up and move on. MFW's hands on projects give me that!

In ECC I chose projects based on what I had available. And I would plan a little bit ahead and pick up something at the grocery store or have hubby get it on the way home. I even changed some things around --- I'm not brave enough to deal with paper mache to make a music instrument, so I made maracas from a paper cups with beans in it and put a lid on it. Ok -- so we went through the drive thru for lunch that day. {blush}

If we didn't do the exact idea in the program, I found it easy to adjust it down to meet my needs.

I did have to look ahead and grab things for the morning. But even then, my planning and prep time was about 5-10 minutes.


P.S. Plasticine is a brand name of modeling clay, by the way (that comes up in one of the first grade science books.) You can use any brand you want.
Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Crystal -- LOL!!!!!!!

Thank you so much for dispelling all my beliefs that I need to be Supermom and make that map perfect. We haven't even started our year yet and I was already sweating about how to do that big map. Especially since I'm celiac and can't use wheat flour, and what if it doesn't come out right? . . .

In calm retrospect, I improvised my way through MFWK and we had an absolute blast. Some of the goofiest things end up being the biggest life lessons. We made up songs for everything. We used "The Wiggles are having lunch in Australia while we are sleeping at night" to explain the Sun, Moon, and earth location/rotation. You should have seen us slowly race around the house being Tt turtles yelling, "I press on toward the goal! I persevere!"

Now that I've admitted to acting like an idiot, I can hardly remember the original thread! But as far as crafts go, I'm terribly impaired, but I usually end up finding what I need, or something close, easily enough. I was so intimidated at first, but everything just has a way of "working together for good."
Last edited by Cyndi (AZ) on Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 9:08 pm

Unread post by sarajoy »

You guys crack me up! I love it!!

I'm seen by others as a fairly "craft-sy" person. But I'm with you guys on keeping it quick and easy, down-scale if needed, focus on what works for your kids, and don't sweat it. At least the kids aren't sitting at a desk learning to blow massive spit wads at the new substitute teacher.

Praise God!!!
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 6:49 pm

Unread post by LizCT »

But the salt dough map was so fun!!!!!!!

Just pretend you are Miss Frizzle from the Magic Schoolbus videos/books and say "get messy - have fun"!

I skipped things here & there too, but the kids do love the messy projects, don't they?

Grinning with you - Liz
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

questions about curriculum selection

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Opiemom wrote:Are the "projects" easy to do? Could they be dropped one week if life became too hectic. We are heavily involved in community theater and if there is a production going on , excess things get dropped. thank you
I think MFW looks different in every home. I do think, though, that MFW teaches kids in some of the ways they learn best, which often are hands-on. Not difficult hands-on, but not just reading all the time, either. I remember the first convention talk I went to by David Hazell (by accident, since I only had a high schooler at the time and MFW didn't have high school). David was talking about a K or 1st hands-on project about the distance between the sun and moon, or something like that. He asked if we would get a project done that involved the entire yard and building materials, and I had to LOL because I think we were using that program at the time :) Instead, he gave some simple activity from the MFW manual that could be done in 10 minutes, or the like.

Have you had a chance to peek through the samples? Here's the sample from Week 5 (scroll down to page 10):
http://www.mfwbooks.com/downloads/pdfs/ ... rst_TM.pdf [updated 2016]

Two activities on Friday, Exploration Day, are described in the notes (page 16 of the sample):
  • 1. Bark rubbong
    2. Collect seeds
Now I can picture some families doing both, and other families doing only one, and others adapting it with ideas such as these from the 1st grade Ideas board:
Some may add more http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 995#p23232
Or change it to a Thanksgiving tree http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 079#p96680
Some may prefer coloring pages http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 995#p28744

...and finally, some families just enjoying the Bible story and discussion :)

Does that help?
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: 675
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: questions about curriculum selection

Unread post by gratitude »

MFW1 is my favorite program that we have done with MFW. I am doing it right now a second time, along with ADV for a 2nd grader. I like the way it, and MFWK, teach the early elementary grades. The phonics is good. The Bible reader is a very nice way to teach reading to a child. The Bible note book is a nice introduction to writing, drawing, narration, and summary work. I think the other thing I have found with MFW is that we can enjoy a program like MFW1 and my kids still love to have us read aloud their SL books. My ds6 most recent favorites to have us read aloud our James Harriot from Core A and Henry and Ribsy from Core B. It isn't the same as doing it with an IG for curriculum, but they still do enjoy the books.

For these younger grades though I really do prefer the approach MFW takes for 5 & 6 & 7 year olds.
Posts: 364
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: questions about curriculum selection

Unread post by MelissaB »

Opiemom wrote:Are the "projects" easy to do? Could they be dropped one week if life became too hectic. We are heavily involved in community theater and if there is a production going on , excess things get dropped.
Hi! We are just finishing up MFW 1st. It's full of wonderful hands-on activities - - and, yes, they are very easy to do. Most mornings, I just open up the curriculum and go.

If you're comparing MFW 1st Basic to Deluxe, I think the Basic package works great. We borrowed the entire Deluxe package from a friend. While the art books, pattern blocks, etc., are nice to have, they are definitely "extras." The Basic package in itself is complete. (You can always borrow some library books on art. :) )

Hope that's helpful. Whatever you decide, have a great year!!
Melissa B.
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
Post Reply