Worldview - Preparing children to meet other worldviews & mo

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Heather (WI)
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 8:02 pm

Worldview - Preparing children to meet other worldviews & mo

Unread post by Heather (WI) »

TommyGirl wrote:I have been preparing to switch to MFW next year. One of the things that I like about my previous curriculum is how they do expose the kids to other worldviews so that they can be aware of what is out there and how to converse intelligently about it and defend their own faith in a relevant way.

I know that MFW definitely teaches a Biblical worldview and I love that!

I am wondering if they also expose the kids at appropriate ages to other worldviews as well so that we might discuss them together purposefully. I think some programs introduce topics coming a little early and a little heavy for my comfort level. However, worldviews are a very big concern of mine and it is very important to me to teach them to my kids in a way that prepares them for the world they will encounter when they leave home. How does MFW approach this?
Hi Tiffini,

I only know about ECC ("Exploring Countries and Cultures") and "Adventures", but I can tell you that the Hazell's (authors of MFW) are/were missionaries and write their curriculum with that focus in mind.

For example in ECC, you read from "Window on the World" and learn about all different religions and cultures that aren't Christian, and then pray for those people as well.

In "Adventures" we are learning American History this year, and you learn about the faith of our forefathers, as well as some who opposed that (think of the Pilgrims coming from Holland and England, etc.)

But, overall, it is definitely more "child-friendly" in it's approach to worldview than what I have experienced in the past.

Hope this helps!!
Love in Christ,
Heather (WI)
MFW user since 2004:
and starting Ex-1850 in Aug. 2008!!

Unread post by cbollin »


In Exploring Countries and Cultures, children are introduced to other cultures and this includes religion. So yes, other views are slowly introduced, but in the context of praying for others. Parents are left to discuss the ideas as needed.

In Creation to Greeks, differing worldviews are discussed in the context of the historical civilization studied. In Egypt I remember the most of the Egyptian ideas are discussed in connection with how they might have related to the 10 plagues of the Exodus. And so on with the other cultures. It ties back to what God was doing with the Israelites.

RtR -- the same method continues. By the end of RtR, the ideas of humanism and secularism are starting to be discussed in very basic form because these worldviews were beginning to become more noticed in many ways including art, philosophy, etc. Marie Hazell does a great job in the TM to remind parents to preview the readings to make sure it is suitable in your family's situation and that you might have to condense the information for younger children. I handled the Aztec/Mayan situation this way: I saved the reading for a time when the younger children were doing other stuff. My oldest read it quietly with me standing there and she said "ah, that's why you wanted them out of hearing range. That's really kinda gross."

I don't think that the other worldviews come too early or too heavy-- but that is a subjective call. My oldest was ready to read ancient Greek myths. We also had the chance to show how Paul (Acts 19) knew about the culture around him and was able to use it in a way to talk about the one true God -- and that He was no longer an "unknown" God.

Also, I think the Missionary stories used in ECC help plant seeds of ways that others have been used to change the world. And the whole reformation -- the studies in the Trials and Triumphs book have shown boldness in the face of staying true to the Word of God.

Posts: 120
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Unread post by SandKsmama »

I heard David Hazell speak to just this issue in Dallas last summer, and what you have described as far as exposing kids at *appropriate* ages to to other worldviews, is pretty much exactly what he said they are attempting to do with MFW.

I am doing ECC with my 4th grader, and we have already discussed quite a few "other" worldviews. We just finished Brazil, and had a LOT of discussion and reading on the Aucas, etc.

Anyway, I hope that helps! I think you will find what you are looking for in MFW.
Amanda, Wife to a great guy since '99, SAHM to 4 fabulous kids! DD(7/96), DS(1/01), DD(8/03), and baby DS (3/09)!
Used MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, Ex1850, and currently using 1850-Modern!
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:36 pm

Unread post by Fly2Peace »

When I first read your question, my mind went in another direction than the responses so far, so let me share my thoughts...

I thought more in line with "how to think like a Christian from a Biblical view" instead of worldly view. Like how to make day to day decisions from a biblical perspective. MFW does that by focusing on God first and foremost in all things. The day begins with Bible study, and everything else that is done ties in with that focus. Now, that is not to say that other countries and cultures are studied and discussed in the same way, but let's face it, there is plenty right here in the good ole' USA that is done, and decisions made without any thought of the Bible or Christ.

I guess I feel that my family is getting an "immersion" program in biblical thinking. Are hot topics brought up? Not that I have seen, so far. But, on the recommended reading list there are books that list specific things for further discussion or to avoid, if you feel your child is not prepared. Some of these include things like lying (even as subtley as by not speaking up), and other such items.

This is long, but probably still not clear. You may have been asking about the other type of worldview anyway, but this is the thought pattern I had with your post.
Fly2Peace (versus flying to pieces)

Unread post by cbollin »

FYI: David Hazell presented a workshop called Expanding Your Child's Understanding of the World and its Cultures at convention. He also spoke on Integrating God's Word and Character Building through your curriculum.

At one of the convention workshops, David Hazell said that in CTG we start with foundation of God's Word as truth. When we get to the Greeks, we start off learning Fables, which are obviously not real, but contain good moral values. Then it is easy to just teach some of the Greek myths alongside the fables.

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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:56 am

Unread post by tiffany »

One resource we use to encourage thinking about world events from a Christian perspective is God's World News for Kids. It is a current events newspaper with 4 different levels grouped 2 grades at a time.

My 3 older children read it one day a week during their reading time. I'm not sure of the website but if you google God's World News it will come up. They have samples online for all the different levels.

We have used it for 3 years now and have been very happy with it. They also include a world map at the beginning of the year to pinpoint countries featured in news stories. You also get about 6 educational posters a year that are really good.
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877

Thanks for your input!

Unread post by Guest »

I appreciate all who took the time to respond.

I am going to Convention and am planning on going to David Hazell's workshops. That will probably answer most of my questions. I also do get God's World already. I just don't use it as well as I could, I think. I only get it in the young version right now.

Thanks again - I really can't wait to use MFW next year. Trying to hang on through the end of this one!
Julie in MN
Posts: 2910
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

The inquisition?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

MFW does not go into great depth during the elementary cycle of history. For one thing, there is just so much a kid can absorb. And basically MFW's method is to provide a framework -- this event happened, and then this happened... It's a framework for the child as well as one for the parent -- to put events into place in your mind (at least it was for me!) and then to add thoughts or delve deeper using the library and such. I have done this many times as I have taught MFW -- adding info about my own perspective as well as introducing my son to the idea that different folks have different perspectives. I look forward to his reaching adulthood with a broad understanding and no big surprises :) Well, I guess I'm digressing...

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Critical Thinking

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

shera wrote:I am thinking of using MFW next year but I'm not sure if it will fit with our family's goals. We would like our children to be independent, critical thinking people. I understand independence is a gradual thing and critical thinking needs to be developed. How does MFW help facilitate these? What types of interactions/questions with the books are used? If it matters I will have a 6th grade, left brain learner and a 4th grade right brain learner (In other words they are total opposites) and I am looking at Rome to Reformation.

Dear Shera,

Critical thinking is more caught than directly taught at this age. Young children develop the ability to think critically as they get older. Up through 6th grade this is primarily done through narration (retelling of history, Bible, science, read alouds readings) and discussion with the parent/teacher and written summaries. For instance in Rome to Reformation as an adult I was able to see clearly when the reformation happened that the development of the printing press in 1456 was instrumental in the spread of information about Martin Luther (1517) and other reformers writings. I am not sure my kids would have seen how these 2 events fit together without a little discussion. Another example is when you are reading aloud one of the historical fictions or biographies, let your kids ask questions, ask them what they think about this or that, or what they think will happen next. You do not need a list of questions to weigh you down as you discuss the readings, you as the parent/teacher listen to what they learned and then help to fill in the major people or actions that they may have missed. So directed parent/teacher discussion and retelling with your kids will model critical thinking for them.

I also found that Intermediate Language Lessons (English for 4-6 grade) taught my kids to think critically with discussion of poetry, selections for study, and picture study. This book does provide questions to help direct the conversation as well as vocabulary to help build understanding.

Also the discussions had around the dinner table with mom and dad about all kinds of things will help to develop these skills. Kids are more literal concrete thinkers and mature in this area just as they do physically as they get older. This is why young kids will ask why over and over again--even though you have told them over and over again they may not really be able to understand the why. This scripture comes to mind, "Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." We keep teaching the scripture to our children even though they may not be able to completely comprehend it yet and make all the connections. They will one day--the ah, ha moments will come. Critical Thinking is a process that is taught over time.

Once children enter 7th grade (about age 12) at this point we begin more independent work and have chosen recommendations the integrate teaching critical thinking skills. It is at this time that most children are moving into a new stage of learning and thinking and have developed and matured in their thinking ability. This will vary among students and so parents/teachers will still guide and coach children as needed into independent learning.

The three avenues that MFW uses to do this is through the Apologia Science Series (Dr. Wile offers a lot of critical thinking about the scientific process), language arts--Progeny Press and grammar study, and Saxon math. Progeny Press studies break a book down helping students to look at vocabulary, literary analysis and terms, questions both concrete and inferred, and offers a section on looking at the book through a Biblical perspective. For math we recommend Saxon WITH the D.I.V.E DVD-ROM, which teaches each lesson to the student. Both the science and math packages from MFW come with lesson plans created by MFW for the student follow.

Hopefully this helps you some.
Julie in MN
Posts: 2910
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Critical Thinking

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Critical thinking probably has a lot of definitions but I agree with Lucy that elementary aged kids start by imitation more than study. They just don't have the life experience to compare many things. But here are some ways that I see critical thinking in our years with MFW.

1. I like that MFW pretty much always uses more than one book to study something. The different books will present things in different orders, and with different emphases, so MFW has to juggle a few out-of-order in order to make this work, but I think it's worth it to get our kids hearing from more than one author right from the start.

2. I also like that MFW firmly grounds kids in the Bible. It's not just random verses, but a full sweep, sometimes line-by-line, always knowing exactly where we are reading from in the Bible and the context. Then there is a standard against which to compare things as more and more is added alongside during the upper years. This creates more understanding rather than rote learning.

3. Bible and History with MFW are meant to be done as a family up through 8th grade. I like the adult leadership, and particularly the parent leadership, in terms of leading kids through thinking about what they are learning. Even a tentative, "Didn't we read about him last week? Let me see, where was that?" has helped my son see how to think through things and evaluate them. I've always felt that I don't so much have a lot of knowledge to offer my kids (although that's grown through homeschooling), but the really valuable thing I can teach my kids is the confidence that they can figure things out; MFW has supported the building of this skill.

4. Learning in the K-8 years is not filling in blanks with MFW. It is reading, creating, thinking through what to write on a notebook page, and generally engaging the brain rather than zoning out, IMO.

5. Learning in the 9-12 years with MFW is almost completely involved in critical thinking, with almost all writing assignments engaging the thought processes of comparing and analyzing, and almost all readings in history correlating with literature and more, to get a more 3-dimensional view. Yes, there are more relaxed readings and assignments, but hopefully those just add more knowledge base for the more in-depth things focused on apologetics, worldview, and analyzing/arguing a point of view.

You can, though, add in more materials from other places. I posted one set we used a few years back, You Are The President, Great Decisions Series, by Nathan Aaseng (near the end of this long post): ... ary#p53269 My older dd did some Critical Thinking Press "thinking skills" things, and my younger son (my MFW student 3rd to currently 11th grade) did the CTP "critical thinking" (logic) with his book club and may do the high school MFW logic elective if he has time. But critical thinking "in practice" through modeling and having conversations with parents, as well as learning to write out one's views, seems to me to have longer-lasting effects.

Sorry it takes me so long to say something. &) HTH,
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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