High School -- Share Your Experiences

If you have used My Father's World curriculum, please share some of your experiences with us. We would all love to hear your stories -- and it will be especially helpful for new people who are trying to determine if MFW is right for their family or school situation.
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MFW-Marie
Posts: 400
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:30 pm

High School -- Share Your Experiences

Unread post by MFW-Marie » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:37 pm

If you have used MFW high school curriculum, please share some of your experiences with us. We would all love to hear your stories -- and it will be especially helpful for new people who are trying to determine if MFW is right for their family or school situation.

Marie


Also check the High School Archive for...
Experiences with MFW High School http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=3116
Celebrating great moments in MFW High School http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=9838

LA in Baltimore
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:01 pm

Re: Ancient History & Literature -- Share Your Experiences

Unread post by LA in Baltimore » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:14 pm

I have been very pleased with MFW in general and AHL was no exception.
It is a thorough curriculum, but not so hard that the "average" (read that to mean the one who has never really enjoyed school) student can't complete it.
Bible, History, and English dove-tail together so nicely.
The Notgrass History book is a pleasure to learn from.
Reading through the entire Old Testament this year was another plus for this curriculum.
I could go on and on about each book, but I think you get the idea.
We used this year with an older high schooler and it was still challenging enough.
Definitely start here with a 9th grader, but if you are new to MFW and have an older high schooler you can still step right into it!
Only by His grace,
LA in Baltimore
Currently enjoying Rome to the Reformation
Graduated oldest May 2010, Three more to go!

4Truth
Posts: 333
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Re: Ancient History & Literature -- Share Your Experiences

Unread post by 4Truth » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:48 pm

Our review of the first 4 weeks of MFW Ancients -- we're LOVING it so far! In the first four weeks, my dd has:

- Read the majority of Genesis and several of the Psalms
- Read the book of Job
- Written an Argumentative Essay on the topic of her choice (instructions for this are in the Literature Supplement that comes in the package... more on that in a minute)
- Done a Nation Project (research project)
- Completed daily Essay questions with regard to Bible, as well as the OT Challenge Guide for studying the books of the OT that she's reading
- Read several excerpts from Unwrapping the Pharaohs and The New Answers Book from Answers in Genesis
- Read The Epic of Gilgamesh: A Poetic Version (We'd never before read Gilgamesh, but both dd and I fell in love with this story!)
- Read several other books for scheduled Reading time in addition to her history and Bible assignments, some of which were recommended in the manual, and some of our own choosing
- Worked on her timeline (ongoing)
- Mapping project using the Atlas and Geography books that came with AHL

We love the layout of the manual, and my dd loves being able to get up and get her day started, going right down the grid and knowing exactly what she needs to get done that day. She also does her math and science independently, and I check her work periodically to make sure she's on track. There are instructions in the manual for me to know how to grade her work and apply credit. We discuss her work regularly, but there's a scheduled meeting time for each Friday afternoon, too.

I love how the unique MFW timeline book separates the timeline pieces by region, yet parallel to one another so that you can easily see how the events in different parts of the world took place in relation to one another. Also, this book is nice and big which makes it easier to keep everything neat and orderly.

I was on the fence for a long time about whether to do this program. I thought I could save money by putting together our own stuff and just using the Notgrass World History guide on its own (without MFW lesson plans). But after attempting to do that for just a few weeks, I realized I was going to have too much trouble keeping track of her daily assignments AND give her "enough" to do without a lot of hassle on my part. I broke down and bought AHL, and we are so very glad I did! It's all very streamlined for both student and parent/teacher.

So far, there isn't anything we DON'T like about this program.

I'll start a separate post re: grammar and composition.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 9th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

4Truth
Posts: 333
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Re: Ancient History & Literature -- Share Your Experiences

Unread post by 4Truth » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:53 pm

Grammar and Composition in MFW AHL:

MFW uses an adapted literature guide from SMARR guide. It was written by Robert Watson (who also wrote the poetic version of Gilgamesh that the student reads), and this adaptation is published by MFW. The lit guide is separate from the manual with MFW lesson plans that the student uses for all subjects.

The layout of the "Literature and Composition Supplement for Ancient History and Literature" is as follows:

First is a short Introduction and note to parent and student. Note to parent says to make sure you walk through everything for the argumentative essay with the student to make sure she understands. Then she can do the actual literature lessons more independently, but the argumentative paper is *almost* a stand-alone lesson before you get to the lit studies.

Lesson 1 begins the Argumentative Paper. This is where he (Watson) gives you step by step instructions for the argumentative essay. There are practice exercises so the student understands what he means by "Topic", the "Thesis Statement", and so on. He gives good examples and bad ones. He shows a diagram of the structure of the argumentative paper, explains the Introductory Paragraph, the Topic Paragraphs, supporting sentences, and so on. Oh, and at the end of each of these sections, the student writes that portion of her paper... so it's done incrementally.

And then finally, the Conclusion. At this point he gives an example of an argumentative paper well done, asking the student to find the thesis statement and other specific parts of the paper.

Then there's a chance to rewrite the essay at the end of the week, and instructions for typing it up (use 1" margins, etc.). Then there are instructions for the parent to evaluate the essay and how to grade it.

All of that is done over 5 lessons.

Lesson 6 in the lit guide begins grammar exercises, the parsing of sentences, coordination and subordination, parallelism, and other skills the student needs to write an argumentative essay. This continues through Lesson 34, and then he provides a checklist for the Argumentative Essay. We haven't done any of these lessons yet; I imagine they're scheduled later (by MFW) as she gets to doing more papers.

Then you have A Student's Companion to The Epic of Gilgamesh (by Watson). This is for The Epic of Gilgamesh: A Poetic Version also by Watson, and published by MFW. At the end of the study guide for this book is another writing assignment comparing and contrasting Gilgamesh with the Book of Job. Following that assignment is a Glossary for Gilgamesh.

Next is the study guide for Bulfinch, a writing assignment, and Glossary. (Oh, and each lit study guide consists of vocabulary exercises, recall questions, and critical thinking questions.)

Then you have the same thing for The Odyssey.

Then comes the Answer Keys for all of the lit study questions, and then last comes the Vocabulary Quizzes for each book studied. The very last thing is the answers to the Vocab Quizzes.

All of the above are contained in one spiral-bound manual produced by MFW. Again, this is a separate manual from the one the student works with for MFW lesson plans for history, Bible, and everything else.

Someone was wondering in another discussion I read asking why MFW doesn't use Writer's INC in AHL. (Because they do use Writer's INC in year 2, World History & Lit.) Well, I I don't know the answer to that question, but I did have the opportunity to sit down with a copy of Writer's INC and look through it. Their instructions are COMPLETELY different from the ones in this guide from MFW/Robert Watson. Writer's INC gives very complicated instructions for a Persuasive Essay, and then it breaks down the Persuasive Essay into different *types* of persuasive essays... one of which is an Argumentative Essay. The final example of an Argumentative Essay is much longer than the 5-paragraph essay the student does here in MFW... and the instructions in Writer's INC are more complicated than the instructions here.

So the instructions (and the assignment) in the MFW/Watson guide are JUST for a 5-paragraph argumentative essay and nothing else. No other "types" of persuasive essays... it doesn't get into all that. The focus on the argumentative essay here is specifically for the purpose of studying Gilgamesh alongside the Book of Job and other Old Testament/Ancient literature, and comparing and contrasting what man said vs. what God said (as some of the mythology of the period gives varying accounts of biblical events, so the student is learning how to discern the differences in light of the Truth). The student is learning how to make a good argument for the inerrancy of Scripture, as well as the biblical account of Creation, the Flood, and other major events.

As to grammar specifically, there's a whole section w/in the Lit Supplement on just grammar, and there are also daily grammar review questions in the Notgrass history spine. (Notgrass by itself is much lighter than MFW.) But if you have a student who's weak in grammar and maybe needs some help all the way through, as is the case with my dd, you might need to supplement this subject. My dd's doing Easy Grammar Plus, which is pretty low-key, and she's doing very well with all of her writing assignments.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 9th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

TravelBug
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 8:03 am

AHL is fabulous!

Unread post by TravelBug » Fri May 20, 2016 9:47 am

I am absolutely thrilled with MFW's AHL High School curricula! It is so balanced, so well thought out, and simple but not simplistic. It covers every subject like an intricately designed mosaic. Each area is covered concisely, without twaddle, but with depth. It’s not too full as to exasperate my high schooler but it definitely challenges!

I am using it collaboratively with my high schooler after having used a more independent middle school program. I missed my child, and I wanted to be very much part of her high school experience. We are enjoying the OT reading together and all of the wonderful discussions with the Literature and Ancient History. I can see where this program can be done independently but it's not so full that one cannot enjoy it with their student. :)

Thank you, MFW, for offering this to homeschoolers!

Amy

Kingdomgirl
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:02 pm

Re: AHL is fabulous!

Unread post by Kingdomgirl » Fri May 20, 2016 11:25 am

What an awesome testimony to a program/company that wants and encourages a life outside of "school" while still providing quality over quantity, and Godly progression of becoming disciples of His Word through the Bible!

Woohoo!

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: AHL is fabulous!

Unread post by gratitude » Sat May 21, 2016 6:19 pm

I Loved reading this post Amy! :)

You have given us a beautiful glimpse into MFW Highschool. Thank you for sharing.

:-)

Kelly1730
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:22 pm

Re: AHL is fabulous!

Unread post by Kelly1730 » Mon May 23, 2016 6:48 am

Thank you for posting this. We will begin AHL in August and while it looks and feels a little intimidating (and I am a long time MFW user) I am excited to be using it with my sons.
Blessings,
Kelly
Mom to 6
Mimi to 8
MFW K, MFW 1st, Adventures, ECC, CTG, RTR ,EXP-1850, 1850-MOD, Ancient History and Lit 2016-17

Lisa M
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:53 pm

Re: High School -- Share Your Experiences

Unread post by Lisa M » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:51 pm

It’s taken me two years to get back here to write about my experience with My Father’s World Curriculum. I hope this encourages you.

We didn’t do every single lesson of every single MFW curriculum item. Some years we ended 4-6 weeks shy of the whole year! And partially because I didn’t discover MFW until many years into my homeschooling, I didn’t use every single curriculum item they offered. However, the Bible-Literature-History guide was the core thread on which our entire day revolved. It presented us with good books, meaningful conversation, and pointed us to Christ.

My kids are still referring back to their memory work in James, even though two of them didn’t get the whole book memorized. They credit nature notebooks, read alouds, good books, and meaningful assignments for keeping them interested in learning. And they appreciated that Biblical truth was the foundation of all the lessons.

When I first started homeschooling, I wasn’t happy with anybody’s entire curriculum package, so I did a pick-and-choose method to pull together my schooling. Some days all I wanted was for something to be simple and straightforward. About five years into my homeschooling, the MFW catalog came in my mailbox. I opened to find descriptions of books I already had on my shelf! It looked like whoever was writing this curriculum was looking for the same things I was!

So while I continued to do a little tweaking (partially because I had already started with some other items) I was a super-fan of the method, the amount of work, the subject material, and the simplicity.

Fast forward 10 years.

My oldest daughter entered public high school the second semester of her junior year. (She had started Running Start but had to drop a class because of not understanding how to organize her assignments. We thought it better to figure that out in high school instead of on a college transcript.) Although she isn’t super gifted with academics, she ended up being Valedictorian of her tiny school. It was because of the principles she learned in MFW academics, along with a great work ethic, that landed her at the top of her class. She will be graduating from college this year to be an elementary school teacher.

My son is my only 100% homeschool grad. With preparation from his MFW curriculum, he passed the AP English Comp Exam, Western Civ 2 CLEP, and the American Government CLEP. He also used InstantCert for his CLEP prep. He had great SAT scores and received a bunch of scholarships. The MFW curriculum is streamlined – no extra fluff and busy work - which allowed him to do more than if he had been in public school. It encouraged his Biblical studies and allowed him to study classical guitar while also lettering 3-4 years in three high school sports. He, too, loves to learn and is interested in so many things about life because of the good books and worthwhile curriculum that MFW has put together.

After that one graduated, we moved for my husband’s work. Because he is a school administrator, we really needed to stop homeschooling, and the girls were ready to take on the challenge of going into the public school.

My next daughter entered public school her Junior year. She had to quickly adapt to solid deadlines, but otherwise was completely prepared to take AP classes and heavy academics. She played three sports, took college level courses, had great SAT scores, and graduated number 2 of 70 in her class. But she missed her MFW assignments.

Now my youngest is in her third year of public high school. She misses homeschool but she is also doing well and is gaining a different set of skills for being in school. Apologia science was a fantastic preparation for her. In fact, I would say the labs in Apologia science are CRITICAL for a young person’s thought process, regardless of their future vocation. Very few actual experiments were done in her public school Biology and Chemistry, so the training she got in Apologia General Science and Physical Science is the best scientific thinking she ever had.

And I should mention that all three of my kids that did Apologia Biology passed the state exam.

So even though I didn’t get it all done in exactly the way it is written, My Father’s World has a great program that pulls together some of the best tools available. It prepares students for higher education, while training them up to be young men and women who seek after God. I am very thankful for this resource!
DD 8 yrs homeschool; Junior in PS
DD 2017 10 years homeschool; graduated 2 of 70
DS 2015 Homeschool Graduate; Four year college tuition scholarship
DD 2013 Valedictorian of tiny PS; 10 years home school

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