Book Lists in MFW Guides - Is it possible to get the booklist?

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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Book Lists in MFW Guides - Is it possible to get the booklis

Unread post by Lucy »

Is it possible to get the booklist so I know what books to save?
ustasmom wrote:Is it possible to get the RtoR booklist from somebody? Please??

I have 5 bins of books that I bought, and I would really like to figure out what books I will need for RtoR and sell the rest. I will eventually buy the guide from MFW. We are on EX1850 right now, so it will be a few years before we cycle back around to RtoR. The library is 20 miles away and it is too difficult to depend on the library system for my book basket. Plus we are having Baby #8 in a couple of months and I need to simplify.

Hi Kim,

The book list just like Ex.1850 is very extensive and so would be a lot of information for someone to send to you. Also it is copyrighted material and we are really not supposed to just give that info away. One possiblilty would be to call the MfW office and ask them for a copy. They are the only ones who could really give that info to you without a T.M.

Maybe others could share with you some of their favorite books from the year though and that would give you a few to see if you have.

I would also say that if you have a book that you think is good, that you would think would be a valuable book for book basket, then keep it! The lists in the T.M. are books they have be able to actually look at but certainly there will be others too.

Also let us know what ages your kids are that will use this program so this will help us to name some favorite books for that age. Of course older kids can always enjoy younger kids' books.

I hope this helps even though it is not exactly what you were hoping for.

May the Lord give you rest and peace as you prepare for a new family member.

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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Unread post by Julie in MN »

I was in that same position when I started with MFW -- I had a high school daughter who had just done the ancients & medieval, and too many books. Yes, even for a book lover, sometimes there are too many!

What I did was sort them according to:

* If my daughter & I liked them
* If they would be at the right age level when my son got to them
* If they seemed like my son's style of book
* If they would be a good reference

It ended up being easier than I expected to sort thru. Of course, there may have been a book I got rid of & then re-bought. But with the used market out there, I don't think I came out very far behind.

If you have already done a year of MFW, then you know what a variety of books are on the list, and how many ages & styles are represented. Which types do you get the most use out of in your family? I notice some families use all the novels, but at our house the Deluxe read-alouds are enjoyed very much but they are enough. The most popular books in our book basket are science books & picture books, and my son just reads Hardy Boys & the like for his own reading time.

Topics for the RTR book basket include Rome, Early Church, Vikings, Medeival famous characters, development of different areas during this time period (China, Japan, India, Islam, Aztec, Africa), Explorers (Columbus, Cortez, etc.), Renaissance Artists, Shakespeare, The Human Body, Astronomy, & the Composers in the Deluxe package. And I'm sure I skipped some!

Some of the "overview" books that are listed over several weeks are Famous Men of Rome (or Lives of Famous Romans for older kids), How Should We Then Live, and (continuing from CTG) there is still Lives of the Musicians & Invitation to the Classics. But again, some families may never choose these types of books, but instead fall in love with a different genre.

Basically, if it is a good book about this time period or these science topics, it's in there!

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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Unread post by 4Truth »

The other ladies are right... the list is extensive. We're only on week 4 of RTR, and you should see the huge pile of library books I have sitting here! They don't all fit on what's *supposed* to be my "library shelf"!

Here's another idea... if you can't bring yourself to sort through what you have as Julie suggested. Do you have anywhere in your home where you could store them in a Rubbermaid style storage container? I have a friend who does this. She said that since these books are really used for "school", she stores them when not in use just as if they were regular school textbooks so that the children don't spend too much time with them and get sick of them by the time they come 'round to that time period again. Then when they're ready for that time period or topic again, they're all fresh and new! :o)
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

I'd love to see the book basket list for ECC

Unread post by cbollin »

almomof2 wrote:does anyone know if there is a published list anywhere online of the book basket for ECC? They are not going to be at our state's convention and I'd love to see it.

Heather -- the list is very extensive and there are copyright issues with all of that, so it is not distributed electronically.

Here is a general description to help you "see it" without it being in front of you. Hope this is helpful.
In ECC the book basket list is over 200 books (I don't have the exact number it might be closer to 300). They range from picture books, cookbooks, historical fiction, general information books, biographies, fiction.

It is not just a listing of a bunch of suggested titles either. Each book will have a brief description of it as well as suggested age ranges. And any heads up if there is a sentence or two that might be nice to have a heads up on.

The list is organized by country that you are studying.

for some more general information about book basket, take a look in the book basket archive link here


Trusting the "unseen" lists

Unread post by cbollin »

I can see all the books these other programs are using but in MFW, I can't. I have to *trust* their selections before I get them.
Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:38 pm

Well.... let's talk about it.

All of the required books you can see on the MFW website. Those books are the ones used as spines in the basic package, and the read-alouds from the deluxe package.

But what about the book basket list? The lists are extensive. We're talking hundreds here.

Here are some reasons that I have been able to trust the book basket lists over the 4 years of using MFW.

* the topics allow me to not introduce some subjects too soon to my children without over isolating them. That's the biggest one for me. I don't have to worry about what my kids are seeing or reading. The Hazell family checks that out for me. My young kids will not have to read gory things in history that can wait until they are older.

*the prescreening. The Hazells check out hundreds of books every couple of weeks from their not local to their town library. They drive about 60 miles in one direction to the big library a few counties away. They check out hundreds of books and not all of them make the final cut. A personal thank you to them for doing all of that pre-reading for me. It is much appreciated over these years.

* there are notes in the teacher's manual that give me a quick description of the book and a suggestion age level.

*a variety of styles of books

* when it does have something of a bit of controversy, Marie Hazell, the author of MFW, puts in a little note about that so I can decide to skip it if needed.

anyone else?

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Unread post by LSH in MS »

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:36 pm

The list is very similar to Sonlight's catalog or SOTW's list etc. There is just a lot more on them for a wide variety of ages.

And they are suggestions. You can just type in the topical words in your libraries catalog for books that will work as well. We have found some gems that weren't on the list.

But we also have requested many from our library that we wouldn't have known about otherwise.

I love the flexibility of their list. THey have suggestions for every grade level that I need, but I can go to my library and look at them and see what is appropriate for my children. And if for some reason my children didn't like a certain book I don't feel like I have to use it because I paid all this money for it. I can just take it back to the library. We are on our 3rd year of MFW and we have enjoyed all of the lists.

I know why MFW doesn't put that list on the website. It represents hours and hours of work and is a customized list for their program.

They did this for us to keep the cost affordable and be able to use a lot of great books cheaply. I appreciate their labor of love because I could never afford all the books that I use from the library.
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Unread post by kellybell »

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:35 pm

Hmm, if you can't trust a book list, can you trust a stranger (me) to vouch for the list?!

So far, I've never been disappointed by a MFW-recommended book. Every once in a while, the book list for the week is "slim pickings" so I have to find a few extra books on my own and sometimes I forget to "screen" the ones I pick on my own and we end up with some losers. However, that's my own doings.

The MFW recommended books have been delightful, age-appropriate, and enjoyable (twaddle-free too).
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Unread post by Lucy »

Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:10 am

I agree completely with the above posts. I know I can trust any book that has put on that list. I copied below from another post that I just wrote also.

Remember you can always add more books to book basket to enrich whatwver you are studying. You are not limited to the ones that are listed in the TM and if you cannot find one of the books listed for book basket that is o.k. too since those books are never specifically assigned by name or page number in the T.M. I know many people use other lists to choose more books from.

Sue in MN
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All the other programs only show you what they are selling.

Unread post by Sue in MN »

Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:49 am

All the other programs only show you the list of what they are selling. After you buy their books, you don't get an additional list of possible library books.

MFW shows the books that they are selling, too. But they also give you a list to take to the library.

MFW is giving you something extra that the others don't offer. Why should that be a problem?!
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Unread post by annaz »

Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:15 am

Yes, Crystal is right. One of the Hazell's tapes mentions how their older kids pre-read the books on the list so they are appropriate in content and age levels. And if they love the book, but not a specific sentence, they note it, so you can skip it. So this list is a list that made the cut.

There are a few curriculums out there that only after your family has read the page or parts of the book, did you found out it was inappropriate.

And...if you didn't buy them, there is nothing lost, unlike the full programs that you've already bought the book.

Unread post by cbollin »

happyWImom wrote:The only thing I wasn't thrilled with about MFW was the bookbasket thing. Not that I have to buy all the books, but I wish there was a way to see the list other than waiting til you buy the manual.
Posted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:40 pm

Let me try to help you see the unseen book basket list in Adventures.
Many of the same titles that you'll see in other programs like Five in a Row's, SL or WP or whatever will also be in the book basket lists in MFW.

MFW pre screens for content and age appropriateness as well. Not everything that the Hazells (the mfw family) reads gets put into the book basket list.

However, MFW offers more than the other programs when it comes to enrichment reading. In ADV there are well over 300 titles listed for the whole year. Those include picture books, information books, historical fiction, video suggestions. If you saw the whole list at once you'd probably be overwhelmed. :)

You have a lot of flexibility with MFW's book basket reading. Some programs tie all of the lessons to a specific reading book. With MFW's book basket you get the chance to just enjoy the books and enjoy the plot. Also, your child will get a wide variety of kinds of books to read. You teach them their history lessons from the basic package books and then get to have "a reading field trip" to round out and experience even more. And MFW includes a lot of great books in the deluxe package for read alouds. Many of them are just wonderful for Christian content and worldview.

You'll have lots of great reading in MFW. They offer more reading options that the other programs who just package it all together. Your kids can put down some of those books if they are just not liking it. But they will be gently exposed to a lot of books and different styles and might like that kind of book later in other years or just even down the road with another topic.
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Unread post by BostonMom »

Posted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:38 pm

Hi--Crystal's description of the book basket is perfect.

My kids have read hundreds of books this way, and it's one of their favorite times of the day. I love that every book has been pre-read by the author and that the list includes warnings if they decide to include a book that might have a sensitive concept (like evolution or the death of someone, etc). They also suggest age/grade levels for many of the books. The list also has titles with (*) next to it, to indicate that it is a particularly highly recommended book (we always try to get these books through interlibrary loan). At the end of the TM, they also have a list for recommended general reading by grade level.

Also, if your daughter likes hands-on, Adventures is for you! Of all the programs we've done so far, Adv. had the most fun (and easy) art projects. I remember lots of shaved crayon pieces!
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Unread post by Mommyto2 »

Posted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:43 pm

It's funny. I thought I would be purchasing a lot of books because we love books. Both my kids have their own bookshelves and we have adult bookshelves, school bookshelves, extra bookshelves, books in the closet....we love books.

Now I go to the store and I can't stand to buy a book I know I can get for free from the library (or for a small fine when I forget to return it). This is especially true for the kids educational books from the book basket. Most I know my son is only reading because I put them there and if I bought it, he would never pick it up.

Now it seems the only books I buy for the kids and impulse purchases they just have to have from the used books store ($1-$3 a book) or a book set that I know will get read more than once (Chronicle of Narnia, Little House on the Prairie...)

After a year of using the library I feel liberated from the bookstore. My library has a little note on our website that tells us how much we saved by using the library. On one of our four accounts we saved $1450.00 this year by using the library instead of buying the books we needed. I regularly use 2 or 3 of our cards each time we go and sometimes we need all 4 cards to get all the books we need.

I don't know how people homeschool without using the library. How boring is their schooling? I can no longer imagine life without the bookbasket and I remember the days when I just didn't get it. What was this bookbasket and how was it supposed to work. Now I know and fully appreciate the beauty of it.

Thank you Marie and MFW.
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Unread post by TammyB »

farmwife wrote:Is there any way to get the book basket book suggestions without purchasing the curriculum? I plan on using Adventures in the 2009-2010 school year but I don't plan on buying it until next spring. Until then it would be nice if I knew the books in the basket so I can be looking for them used online. I don't plan on using our library very much.
Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:07 pm

All of the information in the TM is copyrighted, so the book basket titles cannot be shared online.

You can still begin collecting books, however. If you run across books that deal with the topics studied in Adventures, go ahead and purchase them. You will find that they will fit at some time or another in your book basket. :)

Best wishes!
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Unread post by mgardenh »

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:41 am

Does your library do books by mail? or have a book mobile that might come to your area. Our library does books by mail. I can go online order my books from the library at no cost and they mail it to me in a handy bag that I mail back at no cost. They just started this service and you can bet I am going to be using it.

Definitely talk to your librarian they might have ideas for you. A lot have online service where you can put books on hold and then go get them.
Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:21 pm

You will find some good book suggestions from users on this board. Maybe you will see some to put on your wish list:
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I wish people could see the book basket

Unread post by mamaofredheads »

armywife03 wrote:I have been going back and forth between using MFW next year. I really wish people could see the book basket option before purchasing to help see exactly how rich the MFW programs can be. I know you cannot give me exact titles...but does the bookbasket include lots of chapter books? And what other kinds...literature, science, history? Would you say that with the bookbasket added MFW is a much richer program?
The book basket lists for MFW are full of variety and richness. There are picture books, science, history (or geography in ECC) and chapter books (and probably others I'm forgetting). Two differences that many have noticed between MFW & SL are that the Bible is intertwined throughout everything in MFW whereas it is mostly a separate subject in SL. Also, many times the reading selections in SL are not really appropriate for the age they are recommending IMHO. I have found that many selections show up in the book basket list in MFW about 2 years after the age they are recommended for in SL. Many people use & love SL, but it definitely wasn't the right program for our family.

Julie in MN
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Re: I wish people could see the book basket

Unread post by Julie in MN »

You know, MFW includes *everything* you need. All the read-alouds that are important to the content of the studies are included.

If you're comparing the 2 programs, I'd look at the MFW package as a complete program and compare it that way.

Book basket is a free extra. It's a fun enrichment. It's 15 minutes added to your studies.

MFW does copyright their manual, but they don't sell you the books. They, in fact, encourage you to use your library. Or, as Sonlight families often do, you can take their list and try to find them a discount.

So, after you have learned about a topic, MFW schedules in the structure and the time to enrich your studies with a "banquet" of books. If you look at the sample of each program, you'll see the table of contents lists the topics for the year. Those are the topics you may want to enrich, using the MFW recommendations as a springboard for using the library, bookstores, or hunting through your own bookshelves. You'll see by the examples that you might even go beyond literature and include picture books, cookbooks, and more. The list is not required, it's just a springboard.

What I like is that my son doesn't have the read the same books that someone else's son likes reading, but I can tailor it to his interests and tastes. And there have been times he wants to read about something totally different, and we can!
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: I wish people could see the book basket

Unread post by inHisgrip »

I just wanted to mention that our library is also very small, and often doesn't have the exact books that MFW recommends. BUT... I found that I can go on-line, about 3-5 days before we start a new unit, and find the books at other libraries in our county, then have them sent to our local library for me to pick up. I get a recorded phone call when the books are there waiting for me. This has worked beautifully this year for us. We don't always have the time to spend looking for books at the library, and my son loves to go straight to the "holds" shelf and find the books with his name on them. I'm not sure if this is a service at all libraries, but it's really saved us lots of time and made getting the books we need VERY easy.
Last edited by armywife03 on Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I wish people could see the book basket

Unread post by armywife03 »

I have a much better understanding now, thank you. I was just curious what "kinds" of books were in the book basket (science, literature, history, chapter books, pictures books, etc).

Our library here is small and has a terrible selection and I do not even want to bother with it. If I go with MFW I will actually purchase as many of the books in the book basket as I can. My kids love books and love to read so I think it would be very necessary for us.

Money is not an issue and I would be buying the books anyways with Tapestry or Sonlight so I am not concerned about buying books. I am very busy and the last thing I need to be doing is dealing with our library here. I know the library works for some people...but not for us. I definitely will not be buying all 300+ books...but I would pick out some that I thought we did not want to miss.
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Re: I wish people could see the book basket

Unread post by mamaofredheads »

Agreeing with Julie that book basket is an enrichment and not required. You will love the core books that come with the program.

We have a fairly small library and lots of inter-library loans don't work for us as well. I purchase many book basket books at used home school group book sales, on paperbackswap and through Amazon. We love books here too, so I don't mind buying them. Our children's librarian will also let me give her a list of books I would like for them to get and she orders what she can, so that might be another option depending on your library.

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Re: I wish people could see the book basket

Unread post by blessedmomof3 »

Just wanted to add that we are finishing up with Adventures in about a week and this was our first year with MFW. Prior to this year, we used Sonlight. My son and daughter have absolutely LOVED book basket and we actually have read probably 90% of the books on the list. They have had such a wonderful year and I'm so glad we switched to MFW. They beg me each day to start with a book from the basket. We have a great library in a big metropolitan city so we've been extremely lucky to have been able to get most of the books.

We also thought a lot of the books were a little too advanced for our kids at the time. Some were great but some they would beg me NOT to read anymore. I have loved the variety of books, history, geo., science, etc. in the book basket selections. I'm not sure how to tell you which ones to buy though.

We mainly switched to MFW because we wanted a biblical worldview woven throughout the curriculum not just as a side note.

Good Luck!
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Re: I wish people could see the book basket

Unread post by dhudson »

We are huge book lovers so we like to own many books but I thoroughly trust MFW's book suggestions as I know that they have read every book and checked for any questionable material. It allows me to not have to pre-read everything.

My kids are huge book lovers so the book basket allows me to buy what I can afford but then I can also check out 10-20 books per child for them to read about the topic we are learning about.
God Bless,
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

Re: I wish people could see the book basket

Unread post by cbollin »


In ADV (and after that), the lists are organized by each week of study and over the year there are hundreds of titles listed. Everyone else already described that you have chapter books, picture books that are age appropriate but not full chapters, non fiction. Covers history, science, and a few music things too. It is very rich. Hundreds of titles.

Since you would be buying books anyway, you might look for book titles in ADV manual that have an asterisk by them. Those are the gems of the gems. Marie Hazell reads and pre-screens all of the books that make it into the list, but some of them are really super good as compared to good or super. Those get an asterisk. Then you can buy from sources that are within your budget. You don't need a minimum number of book baskets to make MFW work. It' s just how much do your children like to read. Exact titles don't have to match. Basket time is like having the field trip to explore more and have time together. You get all of the basics from the package books that MFW sells and schedules.

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