Library - Not available overseas, is this a concern?

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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Library - Not available overseas, is this a concern?

Unread post by cbollin »

8shininglights wrote: I have just ordered MFW this past week. Yeah!! :) If you all remember, I live in Australia (we are from the US/Canada), but I am moving to Indonesia in 5 months. Yes....I get confused which country I am from and where my loyalties are!! Think what my kids think!!! We are missionaries, so we are getting used to it....... anyways....... I will be doing ECC with a year 5 and year 7 girls. My year 1 son will be joining in while doing phonics and math from what I have been using for awhile with him. My two high school children will be doing Ancients.

I am just a bit concerned that I will be able to get the "fullest" out of the curriculum because we will not have a library accessible. I have read on other sites that if you don't have access to a library, don't use MFW. Is this true?????? I would like to get some of the books from the book basket, but because of weight restrictions on planes and such, there are only so many books that you can bring (and afford!). I am coming to the US next month to bring my oldest to Bible school. I am bringing my books back with me. Oh! I just received the UPS shipping notification saying that I have 94 pounds coming from MFW!!! AHHH!!!!! I think I am going to have to pay for an extra bag on the airplane!!!! I am only left with 6 pounds for anything else! :( So...............what do you think?

Any advice on making the currriculum now...and in the while living in a country like Indonesia? Remember, I have not physically SEEN any of the curriculum yet. I am going completely by what I have seen on the internet! We have prayed about this, so I know that I can trust Him that this IS what we are to do. I just know that I have to be wise and do the research and what is necessary to make it work!!!! So, how do I make sure that ECC is challenging enough and "full" without having a library? How necessary is a library with high school?

Thanks for your time and patience with me!!
(((hugs)). How frustrating it can be when you read cyber chat that creates doubt or concerns. been there... But I think you're doing the right thing by asking "how do I solve this problem when others didn't"? that way you can be encouraged that you are following what God has said, instead of discouraged.

Never been in your situation. But I know the authors of MFW have been. They were missionaries in Siberia for 4 years and Moscow for 4. I know they have thought about this and probably have ideas for getting books in places without English libraries with the books they want. I'm hoping Mum in Zion chimes in . She's an Ozzie in Israel using MFW.

I'm not the best qualified to answer on high school. But I'm thinking you'll be fine without too much. There is some extra reading (optional), but not the same way with book basket. Hoping someone in high school years verifies my understanding.

book basket serves several goals and is part of the curriculum design for those things. But you'll get all you require from the basic/deluxe packages. Book basket is to allow kids a time to browse different books, enrich the study, go further with a topic they like. And to enjoy reading.

in ECC there were times where my kids read from online articles, or using World Book computer version for more in ECC. and from God's World News magazine ... #Magazines

If you don't have a library and want to use MFW, then buy/borrow some books or some other route. You don't have to have every book on the list. If you had one book for each country studied, wouldn't that be nice? Look for some of the asterisked titles on book basket, and get some of them. Like you said, there are the issues of getting them to you. There are the costs of buying (what about used books?) I'm not sure on all of that. But is there anyone else who might visit you and bring some extra books as time goes along?

How to make ECC challenging enough without full access to library: supervised internet articles, news magazines, maybe World Book on computer, find some ways to do craft supplies, some way to cook/enjoy meal from other places. (well, ok... you'll be fine there....) and, find ways to serve others for the kingdom. (oh wait..... you're doing that, so you're going to have a more full year than those of us with a library in the US) and buy a few books for reading time. You don't even have to have all of book basket at once.

just in a soap box revelation moment......
seriously... I haven't tried to get book basket since moving to Memphis 4 weeks ago. We have books around the house to read. We have time to do the art history and notebooking drawing. We had time to (gasp!)... correct that... we have energy left to read our family devotional thingys from our new church too including some teen books that I wouldn't have used otherwise. Academics aren't suffering. Even though I wish I could go and get books for math and science in first grade -- God found stuff for me to use right here and even fun games for my little gal.

don't get me wrong... I've used mfw since 2003 and love love love love love love book basket. I miss my library from Indiana and loved how MFW helped me use my library quickly and find good stuff to read for extra and fun. But I have found that GOD provides all things while homeschooling.

Lisa, if He called you to use MFW this year, you should have a blessed year in our Father's World.
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Re: Library not available. Is this a concern with MFW?

Unread post by dhudson »

Book basket is great but not necessary. I agree with Crystal that magazines, an encyclopedia online and perhaps a few extra readers would be great. Some weeks we get to the library and some weeks we don't and we have learned a lot. I think doing ECC as missionaries would be the perfect scenario. You will be learning and doing what the curriculum teaches, loving the people of the world as He does. I would imagine that your family will have a much deeper understanding of the world than those of us who haven't yet taken our kids out of North America, no matter how many books we borrow from the library. :-)

I haven't gotten to high school yet but I know that MFW works very hard to include all the materials necessary to provide a well-rounded academic education.

I hope you can get all your new books onto the plane without trouble! ;)
God Bless,
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002
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Re: Library not available. Is this a concern with MFW?

Unread post by mgardenh »

One idea might be seeing if one of your supporters would like to purchase some of the books for you and ship them to you. You could give them a list from the book basket list or other books you would like. Or maybe someone you know who doesn't financially support you but homeschools or has an interest in you would be willing to help you out. When I was on staff with Intervarsity we had some one who cut hair give my family free haircuts another family gave us a car, and another family would purchase stuff for our kid. Some of your prayer partners might be willing to do this. Ask them to pray for the situation (you don't even have to ask if they will consider helping you out). Just share the need and see what God does!

DH to Laurel
SAHD (mostly) to
Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
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Re: Library not available. Is this a concern with MFW?

Unread post by ManyXsBlessed »

We love MFW and we are not using the book basket. We are in week 5. I planned on picking some up at the library but haven't done it yet. I picked and chose readers for my children to read from another program rather than book basket. This has worked for us, and I don't care what anyone says, I really feel we are getting great information from the main program and it is enough reading, even a lot of reading. Just Thursday we were reading about the Pilgrims getting off the Mayflower, and we read about this in In God We Trust, Exploring American History, Almost Home, Squanto, and American Pioneers and Patriots! I'm not thinking we are lacking anything. =) This is just one example. My kids are learning more this year than they have. And we have used WinterPromise and Sonlight in the past. I can see how the book basket would enhance what we are reading and could be fun but I don't think it is absolutely necessary, at least in the year we are working on right now.
Mom to 3 boys (12, 10, and 7) and a baby girl
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Re: Library not available. Is this a concern with MFW?

Unread post by HSmommi2mine »

We never get to the library and we have had wonderful years with MFW. You will be fine. You will want to do an extra ECC unit on Indonesia. :-) I wish I had saved those plans! (My dh grew up there, he's an MK). Use what you have on hand and have a great year.

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Re: Library not available. Is this a concern with MFW?

Unread post by tiffany »

Just wanted to add that if I was a missionary and couldn't use the library, I would still use MFW. It is such a complete well rounded curriculum. I would think it would be especially great when you don't have access to educational materials in your local area. I can't imagine a better alternative for your situation actually.
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877
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Re: Library not available. Is this a concern with MFW?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Your kids will have a lot less need to immerse themselves into another culture in order to have the full "ECC experience." Their knowledge will be vastly above most of our American kids. They will do well :)
P.S. There are many ideas here, tho not sure if any will apply to your situation:
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: Library not available. Is this a concern with MFW?

Unread post by 8shininglights »

WOW!!!!!!! I was not expecting such a response! It was great to hear what all of you had to say!!!! I am truly excited about his coming year, and yes, I know that God has led me to this decision. I was just trying to be aware of any "negatives" out there. I am sure that all curriculums have their area of weakness. I remember when I started using A Beka, everyone would say that it was weak in thinking skills and creative writing. It was good to be aware of those things so that you could look for it. (Actually.....I never did a good job of filling in those gaps....the curriculum took so long, there was never any extra time!!!) Anyways, I wanted to know what "could be" the weakness with MFW. Actually....what some people feel is a concern (Bible being the spine and not wanting it to be so scheduled but doing it themselves) is DEFINITELY not a concern for me!!!!

It was just when I read that a comment that if you did not have a library available, don't use MFW. They went on to explain that the curriculum was not full enough without the added books. It just made me concerned that maybe I needed to actually purchase more books. I have to say..........there are other misso families where we are going, so you never know what kind of "library" they have built up too! It is just hard for me to make decisions right now when I have not physically seen the curriculum....or even what books are on the "book basket" list! I don't even know what people are talking about! I am slowly getting an idea based on my readings. I am starting school pretty quick after I return from the States, so I know I need to be organised and understand everything quick! Whatever I can plan ahead of time, the better.

Thank you are all fantastic and I have learned so much from you ALL already!!!!! Thank you for being willing to be used by God in people's lives the way you to people encouragement and compassion.........people you don't even know!!!!

Wife to my BEST Friend, Roger, for 22 years!
Blessed Mother of Victoria (20), David (19), Anna (16), Elisabeth (14), Rebecca (12), and Daniel (8)!!!!
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Library books

Unread post by asheslawson »

bujah4 wrote:I was wondering what other people do if they don't have access to a library or very limited access. Thanks :)
I have a tiny library, with only the tiniest fraction of the books ever being in their selections from the MFW recommended reading list. We do one of several things (if you are referring to the recommended books for book basket):

1.) I often allow them to choose a book that doesn't fit within the category we are studying - as long as I think it is appropriate - if it is something they want to read - I still love that they want to read!

2.) We find other books that do fit in the topic, but aren't on the suggested list - we have found some great stories that enhanced our specific history cycle even though they weren't on the list.

3.) I have found some dirt cheap deals on books with not so pretty covers (some even for .01 or .25) at ebay, 1/2 price books, and This site is great because you can search the listings alphabetically - and if the seller has PPD after the book title - they pay the shipping - I found several books from the appendix of my CTG manual for only $2 or $3

4.) Outside of reading - don't miss checking the Usborne quick links in the Usborne books that come with some of the years you will study. These have been really fun to check out. Just one thing my son loved was that he could sail a Greek ship through a battle and try to avoid being destroyed...he loved it!

5.) And of course, book basket is a nice extra, there is plenty of great reading in the books that come with the curriculum...especially if you get the deluxe sets. We have truly loved the Christian Heroes books that came with ECC & the Patricia St. John books that came with CTG.

Hope this helps....ash
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
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Re: Library books

Unread post by cherona »

We do not do the library mostly because I find it time consuming/stressful to try to locate/reserve/return in a timely manner- just too much for me to keep up with. We prefer to buy used books as much as we can.This will be my first year finding books for a MFW book basket, but when we were doing KONOS and looking for suggested books we checked out the Goodwill close to our house and were almost always successful finding books on topic and sometimes even an exact title. I also did paperback swap that year, though I am not currently, and found used books through Amazon as well. I found we always had enough books and we didn't spend too awfully much. I plan on going the same route finding books this upcoming year for our ECC book basket. :)

Wife to my hardworking husband, Seth, and Mom to...
Emma (12) CTG
Megan (10) CTG
Katie (8) CTG
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Re: Library books

Unread post by cbollin »

I've heard some ideas from others who live overseas with no English libraries:

*buy a few of the books with asterisks next to the titles in book basket
*when friends or missions sponsors visit, they ask friends to bring specific books along
*some access online to reading non fiction articles

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Re: Library books

Unread post by bujah4 »

Thank you for all of the suggestions! It was very helpful to hear. I will be checking into ordering some of the books and some online things as well :)
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Re: Library books

Unread post by lea_lpz »

I have a 3 year old son and was considering doing BFIAR but didn't want to do it if I couldn't get most of the books at library! Anyway, the 5 my library did not carry I have been able to get reserve through worldcat (inter library loan) and some of these books are out of print and thus going on e-bay and amazon for way too much, even used with wear and tear. You should try it! I did it all online. I've been reserving all my library books online, even of it's at my home library because it's so much easier to be able to just pick up all my books in one spot than trying to search through the children's section with two little ones running around like crazy!
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)

Re: Library books

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

Dear bujah4,

Thank you for asking about library books. Each of our curriculum packages is complete and the library books are highly recommended, but optional resources used to enrich the weekly topics in history and science. The author checked out 1000's of books to comprise the list provided in each Teacher's Manual, however you may find other books that that were not in the libraries we used. We would recommend looking at what books you may already have that can be used to enrich this years study. If you decide to purchase some of the books, highly recommended books (the best of the best) are starred. If you are unable to purchase additional books remember they are optional and you can use any good books you may already own for book basket.

One idea is to choose a larger resource book or two that would provide information or stories on the topics being studied during the year. For instance in ECC if you found a book that covered many countries or a book that covered ecosystems (science) these would be good resources for extra information throughout the year.

You will need to have readers for each student and these can be any good books. They do not have to be connected to the time period that is being studied. With this in mind, you may have some books already in your collection that would work for this purpose.

I hope some of these ideas will help you as you look at using My Father's World.
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Re: Library books

Unread post by amelasky »

I also look at paperbackbookswap for the important books. I have found several great selections there.
Married to my best friend and high school sweetheart for 18years. Blessed momma to my princess (14) and little warrior (10).
Exploration to 1850
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