Encyclopedias - Are these nice to use with MFW?

My Father's World uses a Book Basket method to develop a love of learning and enrich all subjects; Independent Reading Time has different goals and methods but there is overlap in book lists and helpful hints
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Encyclopedias - Are these nice to use with MFW?

Unread post by mamax3 »

Colleen wrote:Hi! I am considering purchasing a set of World Book Encyclopedias (used or on sale of course!). I was wondering if any veteran (or newer) homeschoolers have insight regarding if it is worthwhile to own a set - specifically for MFW users. Thanks!
Colleen (using MFW 1 for my 6 year old daughter)
Yes, I use mine all the time. I have Usborne Encyclopedias of history, science, geography. My kids use these all the time.

I also have world book encyclopedias. I use these more for myself and my older son to find information.

If you decide to get World Book Encyclopedias call them and tell them your a homeschooler. They give a very nice discount. I purchased 2003 with 2004 update for $300.
Sybil, mother of CJ (11) and Damian (8) using CTG, and Brendan (4) using MFW K
Homeschooling photo albums- www.picturetrail.com/mamax3
CJ's websites- www.k-9kids.org www.freewebs.com/cjstudentambassador
Usborne Books- www.ubah.com/Z1131
Sue in MN

Unread post by Sue in MN »

I grew up with World Book encyclopedias in our home. I used them all the time. These were the only books that my parents bought us. So of course I bought a set for my dc too. We own many, many books and no one ever looks at the encyclopedias. Ruth Beechick says to spend the money on books that you want to read. I wish I had listened to her.
Jennifer in Indiana
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Unread post by Jennifer in Indiana »

If you decide to get encyclopedias, I would check with your library. Our library's main branch had 3 sets of recent encyclopedias (~2001-2003) for sale for $18 per set! They looked brand new. You'd probably have to call your library if they don't have a used book store.
ds (1999), dd (2002), dd (2006)
used MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), ADV, ECC, CtG, RtR
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Unread post by DS4home »

I would encourage you to find a used set. I just bought a complete set of World Book Enc. 2001 at our library book sale this summer for $10.

My oldest dd - 8th grade, likes to look things up in her free time. My middle dd - 5th, will occasionally browse. Of course if I assigned something, it might loose it's allure! But it is fun to have a set available when you can find a good deal! Dawn
Amy in NC
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Unread post by Amy in NC »

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:24 pm

For K I used an online encyclopedia some for introductory info on the K topics. I sometimes printed out a brief summary of the topic & some pictures. We also have the DK Animal Encyclopedia. So between those two & library books we did just fine.

For First I didn't use the encyc. at all, just library books for science topics.

I can't remember needing an encyc. for Adv at all.

I can't see spending that kind of money unless you don't have library access or have an insatiable child that enjoys encyclopedia reading.LOL The library books that MFW recommends are much more engaging & enjoyable than the encyc anyway. (IMHO anyway)
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Unread post by kugoi »

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:31 pm

If you really want some encycyclopedias, try your local freecycle. Mine is pretty small and you're lucky to find anything you actually need, but when I requested encycs I got 4 different ppl who had sets to offer. I had my pick! Sure they're a bit older, but a lot of the info is the same; apples still come from apple trees, Abe Lincoln was the 16th president, gorillas have hands that look like feet, etc.
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Location: North Dakota

Unread post by Poohbee »

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:49 pm

We just finished MFWK here at our house, and I also used children's books rather than an encyclopedia. There were only a couple of times I used an encyclopedia, and I used Encarta, which we have on our computer. Otherwise, it was much more interesting for my daughter if we used the library to check out books about our K topics, both fiction and nonfiction. I am a lover of children's lit., so I was thrilled for us to have the exposure to so many wonderful books this year! We discovered some great books at our library about the topics in MFWK!

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:55 pm

I do have Encarta on my computer, and I used that once in awhile during K.

But I am a lover of children's literature. So, I found nonfiction children's books at the library as our source of information each week instead of using encyclopedias. I purchased some, too, as I was able, and we've used some of them again this year for 1st grade, because we study some of the same topics again in science, such as moon, sun, planets, ocean creatures, etc. We read and looked at so many wonderful books last year (during K), and we got all the information we needed.

However, you said library trips are difficult with your small children. I certainly understand that. I know that every library is different, but I am able to keep my library books for 3 weeks and renew them once. So, I can keep my books for 6 weeks. When I visit the library, I try to check out books for at least the next three weeks or units, and then I can renew the books. That way, I only have to visit the library maybe every 3 weeks or once a month.

Just thought I'd offer that alternative for you.
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Unread post by GoodCat »

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:41 pm

We bought a set of encyclopedias a few years back, and I'm glad we did. I did ECC with my 3 older children and we used them a lot with research and ILL and PLL. I didn't use it much with my MFW1. But this year I will be doing MFWk and I'm glad I have them for that also (just in case I don't get to the Library). I think if you can afford them, they will be an asset. Especially down the road as they get bigger and start doing more research. Just a thought.
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Unread post by TNLisa »

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:25 pm

I was totally excited to see there was a cd-rom version and only app. $30! I ordered it directly from World Book's site. I just recently loaded it for my upcoming 7th grader (as of Monday!) to use with ECC. I played around with it a bit and really like it - I really prefer "books" but this is a great alternative.

Here's the link to the CD. This is a neat site - lots of extra info/activities as well.

Just my thoughts! - Lisa
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Unread post by niki »

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:44 pm

I have to say that we've used a 1992 set given to me by a friend that was moving - bless her!

My kids love them. They are constantly pulling them off the shelf to look something up, or just look through. We've used them from K and on... Maybe I'm old fashioned, but at our house we like to get our hands on the info more than the computer???

As they get older the computer will be a good resource, even as a newer CD-ROM version...but we love having a set at home - just to get a quick fix!

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Unread post by RachelT »

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:12 pm

I don't think that you need a whole set of encyclopedias to experience lots of learning in MFWK!

We have a Children's Encyclopedia which has illustrations and a DK Animal Encyclopedia which has real photos. We found almost everything in those two books. We also have the Zoo Book from Answers in Genesis. They all have real photos of lots of animals and have been helpful, but and we also found lots of non-fiction children's books at our library.

We also find lots of things on the internet and there are good links for the units here on the K archive board.

I remember enjoying an encyclopedia set when I was a child, so I'm sure your kids would enjoy it, but I don't think it's neccessary.

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Unread post by nehschooler2three »

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:22 pm

I bought a CD rom on ebay (2003 I think) for .99 plus 4.49 shipping. I didn't think that was bad. We also have a set of well loved ones off freecycle. Edition-1962!!!!! But some things (as kugoi said earlier) still are the same. HTH.

Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 11:27 pm

We are an encyclopedia-loving family here. We pull them out when various things come up from ILL topics to video references. We purchased our first set when our oldest was in elementary school, and have traded in for a newer version. It was a worthy investment to us (with a discount).

However, not every family will use them. I think the best thing to do is evaluate whether *your* family would actually use them.

Best wishes in your "big" (LOL) decision!
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Unread post by 705emily »

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:38 pm

I bought a set of Childcraft Encyclopedias on ebay a couple of years ago and they are GREAT for kids! They are put out by World Book--but are a lot more child friendly. It's good to have this set on hand when you don't have time to get to the library or for a quick reference.

Have a great day in MFW!

Irmi Gaut
Mom to Emily 6 and Nathaniel 4
Married for 9 years to Dave
Michelle in WA
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Unread post by Michelle in WA »

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:02 pm

We have the one my parents bought when I was in Elementary school. For most of the K topics it's just fine. It's a 1986 edition.

We prefer the Usborne Children's Encyclopedia. Good pictures, basic info, etc. Get the mini version, it's easier for little hands to hold. It has internet links so you can do further research or games, if you want.

Along with books from the library.
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Unread post by southernshae »

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:17 am

I started MFWK without it , and just used library books and that works fine.

But, our local library was selling old sets at their annual sale and I snatched up a 1984 set for $5. My kids use them constantly. Since getting the set, I've been pleased to see my dc learning how to look up info.

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Unread post by sewardmom »

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:51 pm

We just got a World Book set a week ago - there was an offer on our local Freecycle. What a blessing - it came from people who were moving out of state and they had kept buying the update books for several years. It was a great answer to prayer.

We have encyclopedias on CD but our children love to sit and curl up with the World Books. Great sight to see!

We will be starting CTG this year and have done fine without them up to this point. It was worth the wait.

Blessings on your search,
Cyndi (AZ)
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Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:07 am

I asked that question myself last year, and the ladies on this board encouraged me to pick up a used set that my library was selling. I'm so thankful I did -- we have a 2002 edition, and we love them. We love to look things up, and we even use the pictures for inspiration when drawing illustrations. If you can get a set at a good price, I say go for it.

I wish I would have had them for all of MFWK, but we were able to check out an "old" encyclopedia for each topic from our library. You don't have to have them, though. Sometimes we checked one out and ended up not even using it because we had so many good "children's books" on the topic. There's suggestions in each unit for good books to check out from the library, and you can always choose more. You'll find lots of ideas on the Kindergarten thread.
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Unread post by lyntley »

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:35 am

SOmeone recently offered me a complete set of Beautiful Encyclopedias with all recent upgrades. I had to deny them because of lack of storing space. But we have not been in lack without them. God has provided us with so many wonderful resources and the internet, and the library etc. So I just wanted to add here that If you are unable to buy or store them don't feel that you are missing out.
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Unread post by LoveBaby »

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 5:10 pm

we love ours! i bought them this fall at our library book sale for $10 and they have been such a wonderful addition to our library. i bought the world book set with color pictures. the kids love them and are forever pulling various ones off the shelf just to look at. it's fun to be able to tell them to "go look it up" and have them accessible. we have no restrictions, so they can use them when they want, where they want, as long as they are put back when they are done. i like they are comfortable with them and since they were only $10, I don't fuss about them being used.
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Unread post by Momto3princesses »

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 12:56 pm

Just thought I'd provide another perspective.

When I started last summer I wanted to get an encyclopedia set and thought we couldn't be successful without one, but I never got around to purchasing a set mainly because I didn't know where we would keep it. We haven't missed it one bit.

We are a big computer family (well, mostly my husband is and the rest of us follow along) and so anytime my 5th grader needs to find out anything or research a topic we have taught her to look it up on line if she can't find the information in one of the many other resource books we have around the house.

I personally LOVE encyclopedias and books in general and so we have used the library more and more as we move through the year. But, I wanted you to know that I believe we have been completely successful without a set and haven't missed it at all.

All the best,
Kim S.
Homeschooling for 6 months
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a children's set

Unread post by netpea »

Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 9:17 pm

We have a children's set of encyclopedias put out my Little Golden Books. My mother gave them to me when my oldest was born in 2000, she got them at Goodwill. If I'm reading the roman numerals correctly, they were printed in 1988. They are wonderful. They don't have everything of course, but they do cover more than I expected. At first I didn't want them because you can find anything on the web. But its wonderful to have books on hand.

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:34 am

You might also want to consider the DVD version of the world book. It's not an online version, but is computer based. About $50 or $40.

Also, there is an old thread on the K forum where "Humpty" listed some other ideas. She used DK books at the library for general information.
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... ight=#7501
maybe your library has some of those books to use for the general information?

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Unread post by mommysweird »

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:53 pm

I used the wikipedia.org free encyclopedia. While I agree that World Book is more thorough, I feel that wikipedia offers enough of an article to get you going. There are some good pictures and with library books on the weeks topics, I felt things were covered well enough. You just have to skip over the portions that mention evolutionary things like millions of years on dinosaurs and the human body (U - us). Just scan through the article before you read it and only read what's relevant and helpful for the Kindergarten level.
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Unread post by MolleenCarie »

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:37 pm

I usually check out a copy of the World Book Encyclopedia from the library, or just find children's books on the subject.
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