Compare MFW to living books/Charlotte Mason curriculum?

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Re: Charlotte Mason side of MFW...

Unread post by forHisglory »

Thank you so much for sharing this with us!!! I have been wanting to buy more of her books (I have Pocket Full of Pinecones), and have been eyeing the one you have mentioned for years now! So I shall find it and buy it soon. :) Even though I have read books on CM's philosophy, it's been a while, and I am so glad that this books has helped you to understand the why's of MFW and how it works!

Thanks again!!! :-)
Believing Christ's Love and Grace,
Shannon W.

Wife to Josh :)
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Re: Charlotte Mason side of MFW...

Unread post by MelissaM »

Oh, wonderful book! I finally found it last year at a used book sale, and sort of kicked myself for not just buying it earlier - really good stuff. I've read Pocketful of Pinecones a couple of times too, and enjoyed it. I think I came to MFW from the other angle - learning about and implementing CM methods, and then looking for curriculum that helped me accomplish that. Glad that reading it now is helping you to see how MFW approaches/adapts Charlotte Mason methods.

Well, when I *first* decided to homeschool, my dd was 4.5, and I didn't know anything about teaching philosophy, or homeschool methods or anything. I didn't know anything - really, nothing. I just figured, 'Hey, it's Kindergarten, how hard can it be?' LOL. I think I did a Google search for something like "kindergarten homeschool curriculum" or something, and MFW K was the first thing that popped up. I saw it and fell in love with it.

Through the K package, I read "For the Children's Sake" and so first heard of Charlotte Mason, and started doing a little more research into who she was, and what her philosophy was all about. I didn't totally get it, and sometime during that year someone introduced me to the Well-Trained Mind, which I read and also liked a lot. Trying to figure out my path, I switched from MFW for dd's 1st grade year. We did different things for a couple of years, and all the while I was learning more and more about how to apply CM's methods to our school, because the more I learned the more it resonated with me.

So. Eventually, I was led back to MFW, and after examining the cycle years more closely than I ever had when dd was little, I realized how much easier it would make teaching in a CM way in my house. Wow, that was a convoluted sentence. I guess what I realized, is there is no such thing as the Perfect Curriculum (sniff, sigh - I can't help doing a little searching, still), but with MFW I can completely adapt it how I want it. The thing I like about it is, for those people who relate better to TWTM, they can apply those principles more heavily with MFW, and for us who are more CM, we can flex it that way. When I finally came back to MFW, I just had a much firmer handle on what I was looking for - and that made it easy to see the desirable qualities in MFW - does that make sense?

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Re: Charlotte Mason side of MFW...

Unread post by gratitude »

Kelly1730 wrote:Karen Andreola also wrote two fiction books, "Pocketful of Pinecones" and "Lessons at Blackberry Inn",
Thank you Kelly. I will have to look at those.
MelissaM wrote: When I finally came back to MFW, I just had a much firmer handle on what I was looking for - and that made it easy to see the desirable qualities in MFW - does that make sense?
It makes a lot of sense to me. I think it is where I have come to over the course of this year with my oldest in 2nd. My eyes are opening more and more to the desirable qualities in MFW that I want in my home school. My brief try of HOD, last fall, also opened my eyes further. Now this CM book is making it even make more sense. It is wonderful to understand more about home schooling overall, MFW, and Charlotte Mason.
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Re: Charlotte Mason side of MFW...

Unread post by KimberlyND »

Reading Karen Andreola's books helped me understand and appreciate the Charlotte Mason aspect of MFW alot better. Loved them.
Kimberly in ND
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Living books?

Unread post by Yodergoat »

bethinga wrote:I was just looking through the books I received for Adventures, and a couple of the history books seem more like text books than living books. What has been your experience? Did your kids enjoy these books? I'm referring to The Story of the US and Pioneers and Patriots.
Pioneers and Patriots was an enjoyable book that I think could be classified as a "living book." It does look like a text book initially, but we liked the stories of children to help us understand what it was during various time periods/regions. My daughter enjoyed it because it was in the form of engaging short stories, and she liked the illustrations.

Story of the U.S. was much more like a textbook. We were fine with it, but it was a different style than the other and not as engaging.

Hope this helps!
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
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Re: Living books?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I agree, I'd call Pioneers & Patriots a "living book."

David Hazell used to do a convention talk where he compared homeschooling to a cross-country journey. He pointed out that textbook-style learning was like taking the interstate and missing the scenery, but sticking to only back roads can sometimes mean you never get where you're going. MFW tends to blend the two, in order to actually get to the end of history and cover more than a handful of topics. A side benefit for my son has been the "confirmation" of the stories by reading a short "factual" passage that shows the parts that are true and historical.

However, the book basket list adds living books to every topic you study, not only history but also music, art, science, and more.

Does that help?
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
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Re: Living books?

Unread post by kw4blessings »

Hi! Agreeing with Shawna and Julie that Pioneers and Patriots is very engaging. It is in a kind of textbook format, but not used that way. I think there was only one week where the TM even suggested talking through some of the questions at the end of a chapter. It was by far my children's favorite book for Adventures. The 5 yo and even the 3 yo would listen to each story and they always begged me to read the whole chapter in one sitting, even if it was supposed to be scheduled out over a week's time.

The Story of the US is a lot more like reading a textbook, but the sections are short and the information is very "meaty". It is such a short book to be spread over the entire year.
Kelly, blessed mama to
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Re: Living books?

Unread post by bethinga »

Thanks for the replies! That helps!
Beth in GA
Mom to a boy and a girl
Using MFW since 2012
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MFW/Charlotte Mason Integration

Unread post by Christy - Staff »

Marie has used many of Charlotte Mason’s ideas in developing My Father’s World.

• nature walks and nature journals
• twaddle-free teaching (no “busy work” or unnecessary assignments)
• chronological history explorations - with timelines and notebooking
• structured mornings (with short and efficient lessons) and unstructured afternoons to pursue other interests
• “living books” (both the books in our packages and the library lists for Book Basket™)

How have these activities contributed to real learning in your home? How have they brought joy back to your children? Please share with us!
Christy Callahan - MFW Customer Service Team Lead
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Re: MFW/Charlotte Mason Integration

Unread post by manyblessings »

Book Basket!! My all-time favorite teaching tool. Even my big children remember our trips to the library with fondness, when we used to come home with piles and piles of books they would devour. We had some great discussions as they made their own connections with what we were studying in ECC at the time. When my 16 year old saw me come home with the first pile for her little sister who is using Animal Train, she told me, "I really miss those library trips we used to take when I was little!" So she now gets to be included, even though she is not using MFW :) She is still a voracious reader :-)
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Re: MFW/Charlotte Mason Integration

Unread post by TriciaMR »

My boys appreciate that we get it done by noon. That's what Charlotte Mason style has done for our school.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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Re: MFW/Charlotte Mason Integration

Unread post by Poohbee »

We have been blessed by Marie's use of Charlotte Mason's methods in a variety of ways. There are a few that come quickly to mind.

*The "twaddle-free" teaching/lessons...this is most evident to me in the use of, at first, Primary Language Lessons and Intermediate Language Lessons, and now, Language Lessons for Today. I love, love, love those resources! I love that they are short, gentle, can often be done orally, and provide a great variety of lessons. It is very different from the grammar drill I remember from my own public school days. My kids really enjoyed those resources, too, especially the time we spent together on the couch as we did many of the lessons orally.

*The chronological history with timelines and notebooking. I love chronological history! I love seeing connections between various people, events, and eras of history. Chronological history, with the timelines, has really helped my children and me to see those connections that were missing in my own school experience.

*Oral and written narrations. These have been extremely valuable! My dds learned how to give wonderful oral narrations, which led to them being able to write amazing narrations of what they have learned. Fantastic!

*Though I have loved the weekly reminders in the teacher's manuals to do nature walks, I haven't been as good about that as I would have liked. However, when we have done our nature walks, they have been wonderful! We've had some wonderful hikes in state parks and along local rivers, observing and sketching nature.

My Father's World was the first homeschool curriculum we used, and even though we've done a couple of years of other studies to follow my children's interests, MFW is my mainstay. It has been a huge blessing to me and to my family!
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2018-2019: Adventures with 9yo boy
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