Family - Will MFW work for large families? Tips, schedules

Joyhomeschool
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:11 am

Re: large family homeschool how to's ?

Unread post by Joyhomeschool »

Some ideas for splitting them up..

1.a play yard to divide a room or space, like this one but find a cheaper one.. ;p
Editor's Note: Link removed according to board guidelines, but search words are North States Superyard Play Yard, by North States Industries


2. a booster seat at the table

3. a baby gate in a door way of a bed room.. like even your room floor could be a small play zone.

i use specific toys for each area. like DD 3's room has a play kitchen, DS 2's room has blocks and a few cars, the basement play area rotates out legos, lincoln logs, star wars and barbie, and animals and people. Then the table rotates puzzles, paints, playdough, various mfw prek activites, little white boards markers and magnets, coloring books. We are lucky to have 5 bedrooms and a finished basement in this house.
Vicki
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Need help with older kids

Unread post by Julie in MN »

faiths13 wrote:I have been looking into MFW for my two youngest ds's for this fall (they will be 4&6). My two oldest are going to be 12&14 and are currently in an independent study program. I am thinking of possibly bringing them back to hs in the fall also, and am also considering MFW for them. I have no idea where to start though. Im not sure if I could consider combining them, or not since my oldest will be in 9th.
Hi, and welcome!

Well, with a very spread-out family, you won't be able to do as much "family learning" as other families. I have an 8-year gap, too, and it just didn't work out. However, there can still be family time when anyone is invited to join in with the geography game, cooking projects, or whatever fun things are on the menu.

Usually a 9th grader will move on to more "serious" earning of high school credits in 9th grade. A lot of the 9th grade program will be re-usable by your 7th grader in a couple of years.

A 7th grader would probably start with ECC, using the 7-8th grade supplement. After that, the student could do modern history or whatever you decide is best for 8th grade.

I'm not sure where you're at with the 6yo. If he's heading to kindergarten, then MFW-K is very efficient and you might decide to skip some of the more fun K projects so the littles can join in with some of the ECC fun. Most of the K program again would be reusable with your youngest.

Also if the 4yo will be in preschool, MFW has a nice package for spending special time with him, as well.

Just some ideas to get the conversation started,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
MelissaB
Posts: 364
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

MFWK or 1st? and other Qs...

Unread post by MelissaB »

sunshineslp wrote:hi! i am new here and new to homeschooling! I have four kiddos 5 and under, so i am VERY busy at home. i need a curriculum that is "open and go" for the most part, laid out, and little to no prep. can anyone tell me if MFW meets these requirements? I hope so. I have fallen in love with it but have a few qualms.

first, my 5.5 yo is already a beginning reader, knows all his letters/sounds, counts to 100, tells time on the hour and quarter hour... will he be bored with MFWK? should i just use it anyway and supplement with reading or math if need be? will that be TOO much though?

also, i want to know from experienced parents about the MFWK bible/value aspect. how strong is it? i kind of feel like it is the MOST important thing that is pulling me to MFWK. i want a strong character development program for my kids as well as the Christian education. is MFWK delivering on those aspects?

what would you do in my position? do MFWK and supp? do MFW 1st? i know this is a MFW board, but i have also considered, should i do something totally DIFFERENT because of my sons differing abilities? i really like Math U See so I am thinking of adding that in at some point. any help you can give is SO appreciated!!!
Hi. Welcome along. :)

I don't think your 5 1/2 yr. old would be bored, because he'll be using the letters & sounds skills he's acquired to build new words throughout the year. He'll also be applying those sounds to his science study and reading books (A - watching ants consume honey on bread; W - watch water turn into vapor and make a cloud; etc.).

As for math, we did a Math-U-See / MFW mix. I found it difficult to get everything in everyday, but I wanted to try both. MFW's Kindergarten and 1st grade math are both excellent. We made sure to do MFW activities each day, and fit in MUS when we had time. The result was that she didn't finish Math U See Primer completely by the end of the year, so we completed it over the summer. If I had to choose again, I would do it the same way. MFW's math seems "fun" - but it's a very solid foundation. Great stuff. :)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4
Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: MFWK or 1st? and other Qs...

Unread post by Mom2theteam »

I have 6 kids 7 and under. At one point, I had 5 kids 4.5 and under. When we did MFW K, I had a 5 turned 6 year old, 2 3 turned 4 year olds and 2 1 year olds...and...I was pregnant half the year. (If you see my signature, I have 2 sets of twins. They are 26 months apart. ;) ) Currently, we just started Adventures for 2nd with my oldest and my 5 year old twin K'ers are finishing up unit 6. I also have twins who are 3.5 and an 8 month old. Life is busy. Here are my thoughts....

I would stick with MFW K and supplement as needed. You just need to be relaxed for now and MFW K is going to give you more freedom in that. Yes, I wanted to do it all for my oldest too, but our reality is (my reality is), I just couldn't/can't. The other thing is I really struggled to get all of the activities in. Doing painting with a ton of young kids is serious chaos. So, I was choosy about what activities we did. I beefed up the info from books when we couldn't get to the activities. It was still a wonderful program that my children enjoyed and I did do activities, just not as many as I might have liked.

As far as the Biblical aspect, this is the biggest benefit to MFW, IMHO. The Biblical integration is amazing. The character qualities taught in K are wonderful. They really aren't to be missed. If you focus on them, they really do permeate the soul of the kids. My children will often quote, "I don't quit. I persevere," or "Big and small, God made them all" and others. I don't just hear them telling me these things. I hear them saying it while playing.

The Bible in 1st is AWESOME also. I feel like my son really got a lot more out of the Bible in 1st because I didn't put him in it earlier. He really, really thought about everything and processed it and took it heart. The Bible in 1st even pushed me to grow and read my Bible daily. I can't say enough good and awesome things about the Bible in MFW. I can't wait to experience it again as we go through the names of Jesus in Adv.

So, bottom line, I would stick with K for now. I supplement one of my current K'ers with Explode the Code workbooks and BOB books. I only do it because she BEGS and BEGS for more work. I print from the internet and I finally got her the Explode the Code book. She wants worksheets. She was beginning to read CVC words already when we started K. She still really enjoys the program. There are ideas for working with children who are already reading too.

One other thing, as a mom of many littles, one of the biggest things that helps me get through everything is schooling year round. It allows me to get derailed by the younger kids often and still not be behind. I have 12 months to do 9 months of work. It really helps take the stress off. (I know you didn't ask for tips to make it work....that was just extra....LOL!!)

Welcome!

ETA - You probably know this, but there will be some basic (usually very easy) prep for the activities. Sometimes we didn't do something because of the prep time, but usually it was easy enough to pull together. Also, MFW utilizes the library for books. I search for my books on the library website and put them on hold. I do this for 3-4 units at a time. Then, I pick them up when I'm already out with hubby (so I can leave the kids in the car) or when he is home with them. I renew them online as needed. I only actually go every 4-6 wks and it's in and out because I have things on hold. So, it's not a big deal for me. But, I know having a lot of littles, getting to the library can be a challenge. Sometimes, we use what we have around the house or that I can find online, but most of the time we have library books. (I did buy a couple of children's encyclopedias to have on hand, DK animals and a general science one.) Anyway, these were not deterrents for me, but I wanted to make sure you are aware of them because I know how it is. :-)
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along
sunshineslp
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 9:35 am

Re: MFWK or 1st? and other Qs...

Unread post by sunshineslp »

wow! great replies! thanks:)

i feel TOTALLY simpatico with you, mom2theteam:) 6 kids? i love it! having four feels like a huge family by todays standards (and I'd still have another if it were in the cards!). so yes, you hit the nail on the head, even going to the library seems like a good way to get a headache and high BP;) but that is ok. i can figure ways around it, and i take the kids 1x a week to the library anyway. I think i'll try to do MFW K. both of your replies are really supportive of it, and i agree, the biblical/character portion has my heart strings pulled. so... ordering today! ahhhhh! i feel like i am taking the dive off a VERY high mountain. i will plan to supplement, but not sure when i will start those supps, might just be when i assess the need to.

what do you use or recommend as a way to stay organized? do you use a binder system or anything? seeing as how i haven't seen MFW yet i am not sure how i might even NEED to plan. do you use a web based planner? or write it down? i've heard about skedtrack (sp?) and The Well Planned Day. any thoughts?
Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: MFWK or 1st? and other Qs...

Unread post by Mom2theteam »

I don't do much pre-planning. So, I don't really have a schedule or a planner. We do have a basic routine that is in my mind. Get up, eat breakfast, read something to them while they are eating if possible (often not), do Bible, give the youngers something to color or do (I often print out a big letter...same one we are doing in K...have them color that. Then, hand them strips of construction paper and kid scissors. They cut those strips up. Then, I put glue on the letter and let them glue the pieces of cut construction paper to it....keeps them busy for...meh...7 minutes! Ha, ha!! They love it though.) Then, phonics first always in K and 1st because I consider it to be the most important thing. Science topic and/or activity comes next. Lunch. Math and then whatever is left plus reading. This is typically for K. I'm now doing, K and 2nd. So, it's different, but you get the idea. Obviously, it sounds like everything goes smooth as silk. Clearly, you can imagine the reality of it. There are constant interruptions all around. Many days we don't get to everything. It's just life with lots of littles. We do the best we can and school year round to pick up the slack.

One thing I've learned is even though the interruptions are many and some days it seems like there is really no point in trying, you just have to keep going. Keep going back to the table. Let the interruptions come, but get back to it. For us, I have to keep my focus almost all day on getting school done. Even though it only takes 10 minutes here and 20 minutes there and a total of about 1.5hrs in K, it takes most of the day to actually get it all in. (Of course, my older was VERY distractable too. He was tough and took much longer than he should have. Hopefully, you won't have that, but with 4, I would guess that one of them might have that trait. One of my 5 year olds (the one I supplement) is great and wonderful to teach. The other is not as tough as my oldest, but not easy either.) Point is...if you just keep going back to it, you will get it done, maybe not as quickly as you'd like, but it will get done. Also, always keep in mind that whatever gets done first...gets done. So, if you have missed science for a few days and really want/need to get it in, do it first. This is why I do whatever subject I feel is most important first because it gets done. (phonics in K and 1st, math is second, but I do it after lunch when my littles are napping.)

That was a tangent! So sorry.

Organizing....many people use a large file folder with a tag for each letter for K. Some use a file box with a hanging file folder for each letter. This way, as you come across things you want to use during that week, you pop it in the file and it's there when you pull out that file for the unit. I don't have time to add extras. ;) I use a 3" 3-ring binder. I 3-hole punched all the student sheets, except the ones used for games and flash cards and the calendar pages. Only the ones that the student would use as consumable. I bought pocket dividers...so if I ever did happen to want to stick something in a unit, I can put it in the pocket. I separated the units with the dividers. Then, my kids have their own notebook. I keep their calendar, 100 chart and things to memorize (like our address) in page protectors in the front. Then, I put all the student sheets for the current unit in there and anything extra I printed out. When they finish that unit, I put the used student sheets back in my big master binder and pull out the next unit's sheets and put them in the student binder. Any projects they did for the previous unit that can't be 3-hole punched goes in the pockets of the dividers. So, this 3-ring binder is storage for both completed and future work. I only get it out once a week. It works out great. There are many ways to organize it though.

If you need daily records, copy the grid (per the manuals guidelines on that) and put the date at the top as you do each day. Then, put check marks as you complete each item or makes notes as needed for any changes. You have several children to come. So, I suspect you won't have any intention of getting rid of your manual. (You can only copy the grid if you agree not to sell, give or loan your manual. It states this in the front of the book.)

Congrats on your order!! I felt the same way when I took the plunge. But, MFW has been such a huge blessing to our family. I can't imagine not using it. :-)

(sorry, I'm feeling chatty. &) It is because they don't let me out much. 8[] )
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along
sunshineslp
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 9:35 am

Re: MFWK or 1st? and other Qs...

Unread post by sunshineslp »

Heather, HA! you made me laugh out loud at your chatty comment and not getting out much;)

well, honestly, i had to re-read your organization system about... oh... 4 times, lol. it sounds amazing! i am an organizing QUEEN that has been on hiatus since i've had kids, haha. being organized with 4 kids 5 and under around is like trying to rake leaves in a wind storm;)

i am curious, do you know much about the math supps? i am thinking of MUS or Singapore. i am worried Singapore will be to intensive... but worry MUS might not give them enough.

your emails are so helpful! thanks so much!!
gratitude
Posts: 675
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: MFWK or 1st? and other Qs...

Unread post by gratitude »

I remember having 4 kids 5 and under: Busy times! Also very joyful. It may sound surprising, but I miss the simplicity of those days.

I have started Singapore 1A as early as the beginning of K and as late as spring of first. I recommend the latter due to the fact it builds in intensity and tends to be advanced. My middle two have enjoyed MFW math & seem to have a more solid math foundation than my oldest who started in K with Singapore 1A. Singapore mind you though is very good, and is producing solid math abilities; I just think its abstract approach is OK to wait on a bit.

My two middles did MFW K. They both knew alphabet, letter sounds, basic math, count to 100, and read a little when they started it. I found it gave them both a solid phonics foundation that is stronger than my oldest phonics foundation; my oldest started with MFW1 as a reader. MFW K I think over all is a better program for 5.5.

Welcome! It looks like Heather gave you lots of excellent advice!
Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: MFWK or 1st? and other Qs...

Unread post by Mom2theteam »

The organization will make more sense once you actually see the program and have it in hand. ;)

For math, I struggled with implementing the math in K and 1st the first time around. I used the older edition with both. I'm enjoying the math in K a lot more the second time around with the changes in the newer edition. But, I ended up jumping ship about halfway through and moving to Singapore K Essentials. This time, I know better what needs to be taught and I'm having an easier time getting there with the new edition. So, I'm not sure I'm going to supplement. Somewhere around unit 17/18, it suggests getting a simple addition/subtraction workbook (optional). I already have Singapore K Essentials book B for both kids. I will probably use that. But now that my oldest is going into second grade and about to start Singapore 2a (and us having floundered in math and not been fully committed because of me), I realize that real life math definitely does work in K and 1st. So, right now, I'm not really planning to supplement math.

However, the same child who begs for more, more, more, also begs for more math. So, I might end up giving her free printables or even starting her in the K Essentials sooner. I'm not really sure on that.

I love Gratitude's response.

Carin - You need to copy and paste that into the thread asking if K and 1st are too easy! :-)
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along
kw4blessings
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:56 pm

Re: MFWK or 1st? and other Qs...

Unread post by kw4blessings »

sunshineslp wrote:being organized with 4 kids 5 and under around is like trying to rake leaves in a wind storm;)
LOL! One of the best analogies I've ever heard 8[] Have fun with K!
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!
joyb
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:53 am

Daily schedule with times laid out

Unread post by joyb »

Not sure if there is a post out there already about something like this, but I am new to homeschooling and MFW, and am just trying to get a sense of what kind of daily schedule I might try to keep. I am interested to see others' schedules, if you don't mind posting them, with times and subjects laid out, how much one-on-one time you give to each child and when. I will have a 2nd grader doing Adventures, a 1st grader doing some Adventures and the 1st grade curriculum, and a 2 year old who is very needy!
Joy, new homeschooling mom to
8 yo DS - 2nd grader, Adventures in US History, Singapore Math 2A, PLL, Spelling Power
6 yo DD Modified Adventures + Learning God's Story (MFW-1st)
2 yo DD (!!)
Joyhomeschool
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:11 am

Daily schedule with times laid out

Unread post by Joyhomeschool »

joyb wrote:I am interested to see others' schedules, if you don't mind posting them, with times and subjects laid out, how much one-on-one time you give to each child and when.
Mine is strange because I have so many little people and three levels at once. See ages and the like in my siggy...

bigs= 12, 10, 8 years old
Middles= 4, 6 year olds
Littles= 1 and 2 year olds.

7am-four big kids get up and do Math
8am-I bring granola bars, yogurt, water, and fruit downstairs tin the school room and three big kids do Exp-1850, while DH gets littles and middles up and fed for the day.
930am- DH goes to work and I bring the middle ones downstairs to the school room to do the rest of first grade and kindergarten while the three big ones do morning chores and keep care if my littles.
11am- by now I'm done with my k and 1st and can come upstairs and care for my littles while the bigger ones finish LA, note booking, book basket and anything we didn't finish before.
12- lunch and read aloud/music/art

We do not use mfw for science as we do apologia with our coop. And we do not use a lot of the art because we take an art class.

At least that's the ideal. :-) we can not do mfw while the 1yo and 2yo are present. :-) The last two years I've struggled to be done by supper time! But I had two nursing babies to contend with and now that they are older its getting easier to do. Getting up super early is the ticket, getting ahead in school before little ones get up. I need my afternoons free to do the house cleaning, ministry and other appointments. When we were dragging school out all day other things seemed to suffer. (thats not so to say that there arent occasional days when homework is finished after lunch)
Vicki
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

All levels the same number of weeks?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

TammyTE wrote:Does each level of MFW have the same number of weeks? ie., Kinder vs. the cycles vs. high school levels.
No, not exactly, but close.

High school = 36 weeks
1st-8th = 34 weeks, with 2 optional weeks in ECC
K = 26 units x 6 days, plus 10 days Creation Unit = 166 days or 33.2 weeks

HTH,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
gratefulmom
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:11 pm

Six kids Kindergarten-high school

Unread post by gratefulmom »

My6Blessings wrote:I will be homeschooling six kids this fall. My oldest children are teenagers and will be mostly independent in their studies. The younger one will most likely need some help. Then, I have four boys ages 7, 5, and twins who are 4.5. My twins are definitely ready for MFW K, and my 5-year-old is ready also, although I'll have to do it a little differently with him since he's already reading really well.

I like the unit study approach, and I'm looking forward to diving into learning about creation with my boys. However, I'm not wanting to do a different program for my 7-year-old, who would probably be in Adventures. I would say he is an average learner, maybe even a little on the slower side, and he has never been excited about school. I'm thinking about just including him in the K program with the other younger boys, and adding age-appropriate reading, writing & math that he will be able to work at on his own level. Does this sound o.k.? I would appreciate any advice or suggestions on how to handle this. Thanks in advance! :)
Your situation feels a lot like mine. I'm homeschooling six as well, two teenage daughters and then my boys are in 7th, 5th, 3rd and 1st. We also have a busy 3.5 yr old boy and a little girl that's almost two. And...I'm expecting a new little one in Feb. :) So never a dull moment at our house!

I'm far from being an expert, but from what you are saying about your 7 yr old, I think it would make sense to have him doing grade- level reading and math and let him join in on the wonderfully fun activities and read-alouds from K. One thing you might consider adding, especially if he likes to draw, is the Bible Reader and Notebook from Learning God's Story. My rising 3rd grader really enjoyed that in 1st grade. I would feel like he would get his science from the activities in K, and, I don't know, at this age, how much I'd be worried about his history. My 1st grader this year will tag along with his older brothers in 1850-Mod. I know he'll enjoy the books from the 2nd- 3rd supplement.

I'm sure there are others with more experience here, but that's my two cents worth. :)

Blessings on your year!
My6Blessings
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:17 pm

Re: Six kids Kindergarten-high school

Unread post by My6Blessings »

Thanks for your advice!

I think he will enjoy the science activities in MFW K. We did a history-based curriculum last year, so he actually got a lot of history this past year. Maybe even too much for his age...I might have pushed him too hard. I'm hoping this upcoming year will be better for everyone. And, I know what you mean...never a dull moment! It seems like I'm spinning plates sometimes...

Congratulations on your new baby due in February! I love babies, and I miss having one around. It's such a special time.

Thanks again! :-)
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