Exploring Countries and Cultures -- 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.
lisaha
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:04 pm

ECC

Unread post by lisaha » Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:29 am

I'm very glad we got ECC this year thus far. The children love it and sometimes even ask to do more school, read another page or book! LOL! I have to put my foot down at times "no, we have to stop doing school, it's dinner time!" LOL! What a problem! LOL!

I am 36 weeks pg and going to 1 dr app a week, 2 non stress tests and progestrone shots twice a week, so we have to squeeze school in here and there and my mom oversees school two mornings a week. This has worked very well with ECC as we read Bible, science and social before my mom gets here and the children are then doing alot of independent things when my mom is here. It's easy to switch things around to do fuller days when we are home all morning and do lighter days on my app days, and my children are retaining so much I don't feel too bad when we can't fit something in. The geography game is great, they want to play it over and over again, and my DD (9) was whipping my butt in it! LOL! They love eating foods from the different countries and the art.

My DD enjoys writting strands. It's funny when my DD looks at the painting in the chiropractors office and says "thats a paining of a decidious forest," out of the blue! Or my 7 year old walks by my grandma saying "we are omnivores." My grandma says "what is that?" LOL! Something is sure sinking in! LOL! We did adventures last year and the children loved it. My younger children often sit in and listen to what we are reading. My 5 year old was recently tested through the local school to see if he can get some therapy for gross motor skills, but they insisted they need to test him in all areas, and in everything except gross motor skills, he is testing wayyyyyyyyyyyyy advanced. They can't believe how much he knows! LOL! Things I didn't sit down and teach him, but he heard when I was teaching the older children and remembered. It's very cool.

So ECC is a blessing, and is working well with our crazy schedule this year. We started 4 weeks early and will be taking 4-6 weeks off when new baby arrives, hopefully after we finish South America, before we start Europe! :) LOL!
-Lisa Ha
Abigail 9
Joshua 7
James 5
Toby 3
Levi 2
EDD 11-19-10

asheslawson
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:37 am
Contact:

Re: Exploring Countries and Cultures -- Share Your Experienc

Unread post by asheslawson » Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:09 pm

I just have to say that I have been struggling to "stay on top" of things - this is my first full year of homeschooling and my 10 year old has always been public schooled. I started with this and I have had so many points that we had to slow down because of older children, doctor's, car problems, co-op activities, etc! My 10 year old is having to learn how to learn, since I feel like the public school has not helped him to think on his own. HOWEVER...I think we are finally starting to get past some of this. He is starting to think more creatively and complain a little less about the 'work' (even though we do a much shorter school day than he was used to)!

We LOVED Kingdom Tales, but Cameron Townsend has been a blessing for us all to hear! What an amazing story! My 10 year old has decided he is going to be a missionary and my 6 year old accepted Christ this week! She is fired up to tell everyone about what Jesus has done for us and my son wants to help with getting the word to un-touched regions!

I just have to say THANK YOU for a curriculum, that I've many times wanted to shove aside and do it my way, but for some reason I plugged through. We are VERY behind where we should be (we are in week 11 in ECC, although my daughter is soaring through kindergarten and is already on week 19)! But they are growing in Christ as well as learning. I've seen his writing improve, his math is improving and his creativity is coming back. I just wanted to write this in case anyone else is feeling overwhelmed with 'keeping up with the curriculum'. I have definitely had to learn what to allow myself to skip, though I struggled with feeling like I was depriving my children of some knowledge that the curriculum was directing me to teach. I clearly still have a long way to go in feeling like I'm competent to do this homeschool thing! But here is the deal...I was raised in a non-christian home with no biblical training...and now my children teach me. I am so grateful that Christ chose us. I can't tell you what it means to see my children pray and trust God. How I wish I had a stronger foundation to parent and train them from, but through the grace of God somehow he has allowed many things to happen in my life to bring me to the point where my children can know Christ. I often get nervous about answering their questions correctly, but God continues to lead me to sound biblical people and materials who are willing to help me grow as a christian, in order that I can teach my children about the only One who can save us.

If anyone else is struggling through the curriculum...keep on pushing through...even if it means slowing the pace until it gets easier. (We stopped Writing Strands COMPLETELY for several weeks...and we decided to try again this week....and things are better. My son wrote a beautiful story and then as an added bonus re-printed it & illustrated the story into a "book" that we can treasure on our bookshelf. He's not totally convinced that writing is truly necessary, but his writing is finally improving, and for that I am glad.) We'll finish with ECC in the summer now, instead of in May, but we are enjoying our school time and I am seeing them learn - for that...I am blessed!
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD
http://texashomeschooler.blogspot.com/

maps1350
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:47 pm

Re: Exploring Countries and Cultures -- Share Your Experienc

Unread post by maps1350 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:34 pm

Hey everyone! My name is April and I have four children ages 5-10. We just finished countries and cultures. I taught all four of the the core, and reading, writing, and math were separate to be age specific. We also got Rosetta Stone in December to start learning Latin America Spanish as a family. Most reviews that I've read in general for curriculums are right after someone buys it and they are excited about the new shiny books. I didn't do this as I think that can be somewhat misleading and not too informative for someone trying to make a decision. So here's a review from someone who just finished the full year.

I love the unit study method in that I have four children who aren't quite on the same level, but pretty close and it's easier to teach them all together. I also love it because for me, it's easier to learn about one subject at a time and learn the different aspects then to learn a bit about it now in history and then in 6 months we can learn a bit more in science and so forth. The total immersion is as helpful for me to teach as it is easy for the kids to learn. The activities were not overbearing, which I've heard can be a problem with unit studies. Certain curriculums who have you spinning your own wool and winnowing the wheat. lol We did not do every single activity as certain days we had other obligations and had to get school done with as quickly as possible, and of course, you never come back to do an art project. But we did the vast majority of them. We liked that the art program gave us some options because not ever project did I personally want to do, nor were they all age appropriate for my 5yo, and I would've ended up doing the project for him, which misses the point.

We used the field days to check out different parks. We live in a very wooded area with lots of bike and walking trails and there's about a million parks (i'm seriously not joking about this....the woodlands in texas is a master planned community to look "parklike" and they certainly met that goal). So we went to different parks and took different trails and got to know a bit more about our neighborhood (we've lived here only 4 years). I also used the light Wednesdays and Fridays to catch up if needed. Sometimes you get behind a bit, like you had a Dr. appointment and didn't finish up math. So we'd take the lighter days to catch up on those cases and it helped us to stay on track for the year in general. (it looks like there's still lighter Fridays in CTG, so we should be able to use those if needed).

In Texas, public schools "teach to the test". There's a big end of the year assessment test (similar to SATs) for all children grades 3 and up. The teachers get "graded" on how well their class does and if a student doesn't pass, they have to do summer school. The problem is that the children learn to take a test, but they don't learn. My children, by the end of the year, could identify most flags and locate almost every country in the world. Even my 5 and 7 yo could do this! They didn't participate in the geography game, but they were around and paid attention enough to soak it up. My kids are knowledgable about the flora and fauna of many different ecosystems around the world and can accurately describe what different ecosystems you might find in this country or that one. Because of the immersion style of learning, the kids had enough time, enough repetition through different books, to retain the information. They didn't test on this stuff. Life isn't a test. It isn't pass or fail. But in life, I've witnessed my kids using the information they've learned over the last year. Teaching other children how everything works together. Using analogies about camouflage and how the artic hare changes color. Asking questions as we're taking a drive on what balances this or that (we talked a lot about the earth and all that there is in it working together as God designed it and that everything has it's own job and works to help maintain that balance with other plants and animals).
We also started Spelling Power and I cannot say enough good things about it. The ability to cut to the chase and practice the words you need to practice instead of wasting your time practicing all the words in the English language is great. My kids don't think so because they didn't go to the school that I did. SO of course they think they have it real hard!
I feel that the whole program is very easy to use as a teacher with every laid out for me. I also believe that the book choices couldn't have been better. We've home-schooled for 5 years and it can be hard to find good books. I've been nothing but happy with the choices made by MFW.
Lastly, a few months ago I got a check in the mail from MFW. It seems that they are now offering a price break in the rosetta Stone package and they offered me that price retro-actively! I heard David Hazell speaking at a homeschooling convention a few years back. One of the things that stuck in my memory of what he said was that one of their goals was to create a curriculum that was reusable for families as well as cost effective. When we first bought MFW, I felt that it WAS very cost effective, especially when looking at some other curriculums, and for four children total! But when we got that check and it paid for almost half of this year's curriculum, I knew that what he'd said that day was more than a PR stunt. It was something they believed in and worked hard at finding ways to make that possible. All of us have bought something just to see it on sale the following week. Oh well. It happens. But I NEVER expected to have a business, ON THEIR OWN, contact ME to reimburse me for "missing out" on a sale!
We've recently started CTG, and I believe that we will be using MFW for the remainder of my children's education.

schoolmom2
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:50 pm

Re: Exploring Countries and Cultures -- Share Your Experienc

Unread post by schoolmom2 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:41 pm

We finished our first full year of homeschooling with ECC, and loved it! What a great year of learning and growth! We just took the end-of-year test, and my kids knew every country asked of them, plus a few that they had memorized by doing geography puzzles. They know all the major biomes, which ecosystems/climate can be expected in different areas of each continent, major world landmarks (Big Ben, Taj Mahal, Rift Valley, Alps, etc.), and all the vocabulary words we studied. Everything I could have hoped they learned, they did! Geography was their favorite subject this year. I can only hope it continues into a love for history!

I enjoyed the Window on the World book, and cried over the stories many times. I am not sure how my kids liked it, or how it impacted their lives. I think the missionary stories made more of an impact on them. But only God knows the true impact, and His word never comes back void, right?!

Our least favorite book was Properties of Ecosystems. I tried lots of different ways to get them to "tune in", but mostly I did a lot of paraphrasing. However, they always knew the answers to the questions at the end of each chapter, so I guess they were either listening or they'd had the information from other sources. I tried to get picture books from the library about each biome and ecosystem, and they liked those much better.

We did not participate in the memory verses since we do AWANA, and it gets to be a bit much. But, reading through the entire book of Matthew was a challenge and my kids were great about entering into a good discussion each day. We also enjoyed watching the Time/Life version on DVD. I think it helped my boys with visualizing the people and how Israel looks.

I am so glad to have this year to solidify world geography in our heads before starting on our exploration of history. I think that my kids will have a better grasp of history at an earlier age because they understand a little more about the geography/climate/culture of the areas we'll be studying. At any rate, they won't be like me, and be shocked to find Egypt in Africa when they are in 6th grade (always thought it was in Asia)! And they'll know that not all Russian peoples are blonde haired/blue eyed. And they'll know that Jesus wasn't a white guy! They're already leaps beyond where I was with my public-school education! Thank the Lord we live in a country where homeschooling is a freedom to enjoy!

mdarce
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 8:35 am

Re: Exploring Countries and Cultures -- Share Your Experienc

Unread post by mdarce » Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:40 am

Last year was our first year homeschooling so a lot of research, prayer and thought went into choosing a curriculum for my formerly private schooled fifth grader. While she excelled with the well known private school curriculum at school, I knew with her personality and learning style, it would not be a good fit at home. I wanted something with more depth, something our family could be involved in together and something that could be fun as well. God led us to MFW ECC . I admit , it was hard, at first, to break out of the "workbook/textbook" mindset that we were so used to from school but once I let that go we were so blessed by ECC. The format was so easy to use, with everything laid out in the schedule...great for a new homeschool mom. ECC was a great way to study Geography..It's amazing how much we all learned! I love how everything being studied (Bible,geography, science, art, read alouds..) all blended perfectly together. My daughter loved the missionary stories , but her favorite aspect was Window on the World. She loved learning about the different cultures and being able to pray for them.

ECC was a wonderful start to our homeschool journey.

This coming year my other child will also be homeschooled and we have already purchased CTG . Both my children are so excited to get started. That speaks volumes. Thanks MFW !

Michelle

juliehucks
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:23 pm

Re: Exploring Countries and Cultures -- Share Your Experienc

Unread post by juliehucks » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:09 pm

Walking through the bookfair at my first homeschool conference was completely overwhelming. I thought I knew what curriculum I was going to use until I saw all of the different ones available.

I had spent three day listening to different speakers and then reviewing curriculum until I was so confused and in tears. I walked into the booth for MFW. The lady who worked for them saw my face and immediately came to me. The first thing she assured me was that "you won't ruin your children". She knew how I was feeling. She walked me through their curriculum and how it worked. She really calmed my fears and I decided that I would use ECC for our first year of homeschooling (1st and 4th grade).

We have loved it. I have learned so much and the kids have too. I have supplemented with spelling lists. Spelling Power will be good for older grades but for my 1st and 4th graders I used a different program. I have also added a vocabulary program for my 4th grader and will do the same next year for them both, but I am looking forward to starting Creation to Greeks. It looks so fun!!!

All in all, I loved MFW and will continue to use as long as God allows us to homeschool.

amyhatfield2003
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:05 pm

Re: Exploring Countries and Cultures - Share Your Experience

Unread post by amyhatfield2003 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:01 pm

This is our family's second year using My Father's World Curriculum and we LOVE learning with MFW! As a first-time homeschooling parent, the Teacher's Manual was a lifesaver. I love how Marie ties everything together perfectly and makes it so easy to plan. We have two boys (ages 10 and 12) and they really enjoy the "hands on" projects that make learning fun. Exploring Countries and Cultures was AMAZING and we had a blast "traveling" to different places, trying new foods, and reading the missionary biographies together. My children's eyes were opened to how many people don't know about Jesus and His gift of salvation. Creation to the Greeks has been great also and I'm already astonished at how much we have learned in just four short weeks! I have been blogging our homeschool journey and would love to share our experiences with other families who are thinking about using or are just starting out with MFW. The address is http://homegrownhatfields.wordpress.com. THANK YOU David and Marie for sharing My Father's World...many, many lives have been blessed through your work!

mlangley
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:41 pm

Re: Exploring Countries and Cultures -- Share Your Experienc

Unread post by mlangley » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:29 am

ECC was our first stop with MFW. Up until then, I kept trying different options but nothing ever felt right. Finally, we found MFW. The geography game quickly became a favorite with our family. The Bible integration and seeing other cultures and countries in our studies had a huge impact on how we see the world. My middle son really has a missions heart and this study helped solidify that!

Thank you, thank you!!
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Grace Christian Homeschool

Using CTG & AHL with 3 children

jenniferlisk
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:56 pm

Re: Exploring Countries and Cultures -- Share Your Experienc

Unread post by jenniferlisk » Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:57 pm

Hello Marie and David,

I want to say that for years I "pieced together" our children's curriculum and it was seemed so tough, then I was introduced to MFW. We were able to go through ECC and it was the first time we actually enjoyed school! It was all put together and even used most of the things I had been using for years. I enjoy how much Bible is incorporated into every subject and is the back bone of what they learn. I appreciate this because I didn't become a Christian until late in life, so having everything point to him is beautiful. Thank you for caring about what we teach our children, about how much we save due to most of us being single income, for your loving advice that you give me each time I call or email, and for being diligent to create a set up that is enough each year. I can't wait to purchase for next year and begin in the next chapter (year) of history.

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