Academics - Will MFW give me a "lighter" year?

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Academics - Will MFW give me a "lighter" year?

Unread post by cbollin »

MrsMommy wrote:Would you consider MFW to be a light/"easy" program? I've seen a lot of arguments both ways, and I'm curious as to what people who have really used it think about the difficulty level.

Thanks again! I didn't really imagine I'd be looking at making this kind of change at all, so I'm still kind of shocked at myself!
The good thing is that you don't have to commit to any of these tools of homeschooling. keep praying and may God show you what he wants you to do.

I've used MFW since 2003. I have a very strong academic oldest child in 9th grade. My other 2 children have special needs learning issues. I can still use MFW because it fits our goals.

I like that MFW is not overwhelming to use but is still strong. MFW seems light to some people because it is lighter than what they used before, but it doesn't equate to inadequate. It is a very full plate that is well balanced in my experience over the years. Yet, there is still room at the end of the plate if you want to add something more of your interest. (food analogy.... I'm hungry)

Does "light" mean easy? Well, I have a unique perspective to that. I work as a group exercise instructor and teach only the "Lite" exercise class. There's nothing "easy" about "Lite" -- it just means we take out the hops from the jumping routines and turns skips into marches and do stuff in reps of 4 instead of reps of 8. Heart rate is still in the right zone, and done according to industry standards. Very effective and low impact on the knees and joints that way. So, it means many people are able to complete the class and stay strong at the end and have many benefits without the stress. Now, some of my customers are "high impact" people and they add the hops back in. Cool with me! I do Lite and so do most of the people in the room with me and they have sweat pouring down their faces at the end of the hour. We've gotten in a full cardio set, a full strength and full stretch. and yes, I had someone new today who said "are you sure this is Lite?"

I think MFW is a lot like that.

MFW offers a balance so you can get it done, effectively, You can add in more interests for you family, and still have time in the afternoons to do service projects, or park days, or well... ballet and archery for us and speech therapy. and of course, exercise.

I don't know if my analogies make sense to you or not. But even if MFW is "light" - it is thorough and well done.
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Re: New with Questions

Unread post by dhudson »

I would not consider MFW to be light. I think people get light confused with simple. The Charlotte Mason methodology allows us to teach complex ideas with simplicity. It's not light, it's efficient and at a child's level. I am a very academically focused parent. Some might say overly-so or even obnoxiously so ;) . My kids test very well and I have found MFW to not only prepares them academically but it gives them a strong Biblical foundation which is even more important to me. If I can do that with one curriculum - bonus! I am also a big fan of the 4 day with light Fridays and a four hour school day ( which includes math and LA) which allows us to serve, to do piano, karate, soccer, Bible Bowl and maintain sanity.
God Bless,
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002
Posts: 675
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: New with Questions

Unread post by gratitude »

MFW Grade 1 last winter was a breath of fresh air because it was so much easier than our previous Core. It didn't have the same intensity, but I am very happy with what my children learned in 2010.

I hope this helps a little.
Wendy B.
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: New with Questions

Unread post by Wendy B. »

My experience with MFW- Reading is just right. Our day is not micromanaged. I can add more as able by use of the bookbasket. My kids are learning history and have a really cool notebook that they can review what they are learned. There has been a tremendous spiritual growth. My younger kids can ( and do!) share what they have learned with their peers. My son's Names of Jesus poster has become part of the kid's worship team bible study. How cool is that? We can get done with school ----including extras---before lunchtime! We have our afternoons free to pursue our own interests.

My recommendation would be to do ADV with your 3rd graders next year if you decide MFW fits your family's goals. History sequence is really something that we stress about but for younger kids doesn't really make any difference.

Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:08 pm

Would MFW be an answer for burntout Mothers?

Unread post by ilovemy4kids »

albanyaloe wrote:I was wondering if MFW would be a suitable curriculum for a mother suffering from burnout, whose family seems to love unit studies and hands on learning? I guess it is a tall order to ask a question like that when you don't know my family.

I have tried so many curriculum, (I'd be embarrassed to tell you) and end up tweaking them, leaving out bits, adding bits. I love Weaver and so want it to work, but it just doesn't seem to work for our family though I've tried so hard. I've written my own unit studies, which involves lots of research, looking for worksheets or activities to do, it is exhausting. I want to believe there is a better way. I half wonder if we're not suited to unschooling, but I've always been too afraid to, it seems so drastic.

I feel so frustrated, and my husband is getting annoyed that I am wanting to change curriculum again! I end up spending so much time preparing and finding resources. And all our other subjects take so long that we have to squish everything in when we are all grumpy. I'd appreciate feedback about this and MFW.

South Africa
Hug! You are not alone. So many of us have been through the same thing!

YES, to answer your question. MFW makes it so easy.... the grid to guide you...the notes to help you (which are right there where you need them- no flipping from this binder to that tab to this area....) and lists to warn you that you will need a 2 liter bottle NEXT week. I love it! That's for the lower grades. Plus you can buy the whole package of books at one time and wala, you are done other than library books for book basket!

High School is even easier! It's written directly to the students with appropriate notes for you and them. Right on their grid if it involves mom or dad it says "with parent". What a novel concept!

What ages are you teaching?

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Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:34 pm

Re: Would MFW be an answer for burntout Mothers?

Unread post by danabogan »


I think MFW is a wonderful curriculum that is a good fit for various learners and families. I have used MFW for the last five years with my four children (even now living in East Africa). Before that, I did use other curriculums that were good, but they were just not what I was hoping homeschooling would be. A few years ago I was talking with a friend who was also using Weaver. She liked portions of it, but there were just things that were not working. I suggested her looking at MFW and she did. After attending a homeschooling convention she made the decision to switch her three children. She also loves it now and has been teaching it for the last two years. MFW is flexible enough that you can add a bit, take away what doesn't really fit with your family's schedule, or use it just as it is. I have done all of that, but what's best is that I don't plan at all. All that planning is done for you:) Because of that I now have much more spare time in the evenings reading to them, watching movies, and playing games. I would pray about this curriculum and then let the Lord direct you to what you should do.


Dana Bogan
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:09 pm

Re: Would MFW be an answer for burntout Mothers?

Unread post by momxnine »

I agree with the other two answers. MFW was definitely the answer to THIS burned out mom. :) I have used Weaver and pretty much every other curriculum out there in the 25 years we've been homeschooling. I've NEVER finished one whole year of school with one curriculum until this year and using MFW. I absolutely love it!

I have been right where you are, always planning, always buying and nothing ever works, until this year. Everything in MFW is laid out very neatly and is very doable. The other good thing is that your child can easily finish all of the work before lunchtime if they are diligent about working (which one of mine is not). That leaves the rest of the day for doing other things, which is how the authors planned it.

I say "go for it" and don't look back. You'll be glad you did!

And I must also add, I'm very envious of Lindy and Dana, who are living in Africa! I fell in love with East Africa while studying the continent this year in ECC. I have even had the opportunity to buy some Kanga fabrics and make some Kanga skirts. :)

Vicki in SW. MO.
Vicki in SW MO.

Mom to 9, ages 10 - 31, Grammy to 4
Married 32 years, homeschooled for 25 years; 6 graduated, 3 to go
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:17 am

Re: Would MFW be an answer for burntout Mothers?

Unread post by albanyaloe »

Thank you so much for your encouraging replies. What a great discussion board. Your answers make it sound like this may be the way at last. I will indeed need to pray about it and talk to hubby.

Sandra, to answer your question, my children are aged 10 (ds) and then dd's aged 8 and 5.

I think I would go with ECC and but use my own method for teaching reading for the 5 yo since I've already done it for two children. Reading (phonics etc) is one area I am confident in teaching and fortunately the children love it too.

Dana, that is exactly what I want- I want time to "live and have fun" with my children, not always be doing school. That sounds great.

Vicki, it sounds like you know exactly what I mean. I appreciate your comment about Africa. We're born and bred S.African's. You know, when my children ask where I really want to live I always burst forth in song "I want to live in America..." Maybe we could do a holdiay house swap ;-) I guess we're never happy! South Africa is a beautiful country, but it is filled with many hurting hearts that need to hear about real freedom.

I've got other questions but it is nearly midnight here.
Thank you again.

Our first year with MFW, doing ECC 2012, Our 7th year of HS'ing
Joel 11 yo, Emma-lee 8 yo and Shelley 6 yo
We're from Sunny South Africa!
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