Independence - How does MFW foster this?

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momma2boys
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Independence - How does MFW foster this?

Unread post by momma2boys » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:43 pm

Bought CTG and having 2nd thoughts...a few ??s
abrightmom wrote:It is a fabulous program content wise. I love it and find the plans so rich! My concerns are for the future when my kids are in 6th or 7th grade. I don't think that a 6th or 7th grader should need Mom to read aloud as the mode of learning. I want my kids doing their own history and science reading at that level and working somewhat independently. What I am realizing is that while the plans are wonderful they are Mom driven. I don't see where I could ask my older kids to work independently while I teach youngers. My rising 10yo can easily do his history and science reading without me and I'm questioning how to move forward if the independent learning is a priority for us. I looked at the other Teacher Manuals and the format is the same; mom reading aloud regardless of age or learning level.

How's independent learning fostered and when? Does MFW wait until high school for this? Am I wrong about the history and science reading?

I want to emphasize that I think MFW is a fantastic program. CTG is impressive. I do see the independence issue becoming a problem for me as it is important to me that my kids take ownership as soon as they are able to, especially in content subjects. Most of us learn better when we read to learn and I believe CM recommended children do their own readings around age 9 or 10 though I cant verify that. :-)
Good questions! I certainly don't have all the answers - my oldest is going into 7th but has some learning difficulties that don't allow for too much independence at this point at least. But I do know that he has been doing math and language arts independently (for the most part) for several years already. Starting in 7th, MFW also recommends starting the kids with Apologia's General Science course and this can also be done independently. So, by middle school, the kids should already be doing quite a bit on their own, mixed with family time together in the other subjects. Hope that helps a little and I'm sure that others will have a lot more to ad! :)
abrightmom wrote:Anna,
Thanks for replying. I didn't think ahead to the science recommendations and that certainly ramps up expectations with content and independence. :-)
You're welcome! And I do know the difference between ad and add (at the end of my other post) - ha ha. Oops! :-)
Anna (CO)

Still married to the love of my life
Mom to two boys, 13 and 11 - both adopted and with their own unique special needs

We've done ADV, ECC, CTG, RTR and on to EXPL-1850 this year!
http://www.ChiqBanAnna@gmail.com

cbollin

Re: Bought CTG and having 2nd thoughts...a few ??s

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:53 pm

In addition to Science changing in 7th...(with MFW student driven plans)
Math changes (with student driven plans)
and Progeny Press, Grammar books, and even Writing - all of that becomes "student driven"

thinking points...
Some experts out there say to read out loud for much longer than 6th grade to help them get ready to learn to take notes in college lectures...
I guess in my teaching experience it is more helpful to teach my children to process history and bible content in a mentoring relationship style of learning. I don't think that should stop in grade 6.

In terms of fostering independence... this is my experiences over the last decade. I don't know how much of it is MFW's thinking. and how much is just old crabby cranky crystal's way of doing it. (ooh... fun use of alliteration.. cr cr

I never saw anything in MFW's manual the same style as that other program you like where it says "your child should do this semi independently, and this should be together and blah blah blah" and if I did see that in MFW.. I'd ignore it anyway because my children need different stuff. If I used that other program you like, I'd ignore those notes on that too. Maybe some children can... but maybe that's a weak area for my child?

Instead... I saw it a lot like any other skill in their lives. When was it time to stop holding the spoon for them? When was it time to stop holding their hand in a parking lot? When was it time to stop worrying that she could drive to the middle of nowhere where her Bible study teacher lives on that dark road...? oh...you haven't gotten to that stage where they can drive alone at night have you? fostering independence.......back to academics

with my oldest - independence came in the form of drum roll please..
book basket in elementary
science experiments in elementary (set it up, tear it down,)
reading for fun on their own.
then... when I needed it.... "here honey..... I need to teach your sister some math... how about you read ahead for me in this book and be ready to talk with me on it..."

jr. high..... a little more...
here.. you read this book and then we'll get together for book discussion using Progeny Press guide
here.... read your Apologia science book.... and you be sure to tell me what to add on my grocery list for supplies....
here.... I got you this DIVE cd thing to help on the Saxon books if you get stuck....
here.... try to find out this information for me before you write your paper....

high school...
well... now it's time to say "here you go..... . we'll schedule time this evening to talk about that, but you come and whine to me through the day"
and before you know it.... they're studying independently for CLEP test and ACT exams, and the only thing you read out loud together anymore are the wacko comments on yahoo news...
and yes.. I'm very glad when my 16 y.o calls and says "I'm here safe." or "I'm leaving Miss Patty's house now..." or "I'm going to be later cuz we're stopping at Sonic for a drink."

With my middle gal?
book basket in elementary
life skills -- we're leaving for somewhere... here's a quick checklist can you get ready?

jr. high... here's this book... we'll have discussion group at 11 am..
here's an audio cd of the science book you are reading.... I'll stay near by for a few weeks..... Look, Mrs. Hazell made a list of what you are to read today and which experiment.... you follow that, ok?
here's your math book.... look.. Mrs. hazell made a list for you to know which problems to do. I'll be here for the warm up....
here's your list of art history and paint work.....
Here's your bible verse to copy and practice...
but, I'm in no rush now to hand off Bible and history too soon.

I guess to me, it doesn't have to be as mom driven as it might look. I have no problem with the grid being in front of my children and having them check off "I did it!".... I have no problem with some of the books in history being "you read it to me"... there are some that I want group teaching and mentoring opportunity.

oh well... no such thing as one fits all....

that's just how it's worked over here without anyone telling me "this is what you are supposed to do semi independently, or all on their own, or help them..." I watched my children and adjusted as they needed less help.... and even now... as my I watch my autistic child (age 10) working for her independence and telling me "I want to do it!" (referring to cooking sausage on the stove and getting baking sheets out of the oven all by her little self....)

I don't think that using MFW has held them back from growing up. but it's all in how one opts to use something, isn't it?



well... let me answer your questions from different take.
abrightmom wrote:How's independent learning fostered and when? Does MFW wait until high school for this? Am I wrong about the history and science reading?
No.. it doesn't begin in high school.

the biggest transition begins in 7th grade with
mfw lesson plans written to the student in Science and Math.
Also this same year, MFW changes their language arts to Progeny Press, and grammar, and keeps writing. Students are encouraged with parent input to develop their own pace for working in the PP guides in an independent fashion. (find out..do you need audio help? do you need discussion time on daily.weekly,etc basis)

Prior to that.....it's gradual and easy to miss
science - I think (maybe it was me on the board.. but I thought in one of the manuals????) 6th and 5th graders are encouraged to set up and clean up science experiments and of course be writing lab reports.

math - teach together then work in workbook

book basket has a huge goal of fostering independent learning on topics of interest.

Bible memory work and copywork are "independent skills" and go well in workbox kind of organization.
vocab flash cards
playing various games...

Even in MFW Preschool - I've heard David make the case that he began fostering independence in preschool by allowing the student to make some decisions "this toy or that toy?" and then parent picks the activity.


so... I think you have some misunderstandings on science. On History - MFW intentionally doesn't encourage too early independence from the main text in order for parents to help interpret and give any doctrine and stuff like that......

also... here are some of Lucy's older thread with some random thoughts about MFW's take on this stuff
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... nce#p46135
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... nce#p67164
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... nce#p63925
might be others... but good enough to get MFW's take on it....
oh wait... there's this in the FAQ

  • Each year of our multi-age family cycle for grades 2-8 is designed to meet the needs of both elementary and junior high level students. Your 7th and 8th graders experience higher educational challenges while remaining a part of family learning.

    The 7th and 8th graders will continue to join the family teaching time for Bible, history, music, art, and read-alouds. As they are able, students transition from parent/teacher-taught lessons to parent/teacher-guided independent lessons in science, math, and language arts. This self-directed learning teaches independent study skills, preparing students for high school and college. To make this transition as easy as possible:

    Science and math courses include daily lesson plans written to the students so they know which pages and which problems to do each day to complete the course in one school year.
    Math courses also include step-by-step solutions for all textbook problems and tests, as well as an instructional CD for each lesson.

    To help students learn long-term planning, we suggest the parent/teacher or the student make his own schedule for completing language arts workbooks. Building a schedule using the table of contents is one easy approach.

    To complete your curriculum for 7th and 8th graders, add:
    Apologia science
    Saxon math
    Language arts
    Progeny Press Study Guides – one each semester
    Writing Strands
    All-in-One English Series followed the next year by Applications of Grammar
    Spelling Power (if needed)

abrightmom
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: Bought CTG and having 2nd thoughts...a few ??s

Unread post by abrightmom » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:27 pm

Please forgive my typing errors as I am finger typing on the iPad! Too tedious to edit.
cbollin wrote:thinking points...
Some experts out there say to read out loud for much longer than 6th grade to help them get ready to learn to take notes in college lectures...
Crystal,
Good point. I am not advocating no reading aloud. I foresee always reading something aloud as a family.

cbollin wrote:I never saw anything in MFW's manual the same style as that other program you like where it says "your child should do this semi independently, and this should be together and blah blah blah" and if I did see that in MFW.. I'd ignore it anyway because my children need different stuff. If I used that other program you like, I'd ignore those notes on that too. Maybe some children can... but maybe that's a weak area for my child?
Again, I am not wanting to compare MFw to other programs. I did buy it this past weekend. I would venture to guess that children grow in their independence at different rates and it is okay. I intend to be purposeful about it as I find my teaching responsibilities overwhelming. If my older students can take ownership of as much as possible that helps all of us. I do not intend to be totally disconnected.....
cbollin wrote:Instead... I saw it a lot like any other skill in their lives. When was it time to stop holding the spoon for them? When was it time to stop holding their hand in a parking lot? When was it time to stop worrying that she could drive to the middle of nowhere shelby county where her Bible study teacher lives on that dark road...

My oldest can easily read his own history and science now. So, I am pondering this. I agree that WHEN a kiddo is ready for independence cannot be scheduled or scripted.
cbollin wrote:with my oldest - independence came in the form of drum roll please..
book basket in elementary
science experiments in elementary (set it up, tear it down,)
reading for fun on their own.
then... when I needed it.... "here honey..... I need to teach your sister some math... how about you read ahead for me in this book and be ready to talk with me on it..."
Okay, THIS is a good list. In CTG I could do the following to ramp up independence in my oldest child (10 in fall):
1. Assign him the job of leading science experiments including reading the notes and texts to set up.
2. Use book basket in some way. I am not sure about how to do this. I'd like to have a form of accountability here.
3. I think we could take turns reading aloud for the history readings. I could also assign specific BB readings and ask for a narration; maybe assign a certain number of pages and write it on his assignment sheet.

cbollin wrote:jr. high..... a little more...
here.. you read this book and then we'll get together for book discussion using Progeny Press guide
here.... read your Apologia science book.... and you be sure to tell me what to add on my grocery list for supplies....
here.... I got you this DIVE cd thing to help on the Saxon books if you get stuck....
here.... try to find out this information for me before you write your paper....
Increasing independence in jr high:
1. Progeny Press.
2. Higher level science that they read on their own. Are they doing it all on their own? Is there a parent kiddo meeting for accountability?
3. I don't understand this. Do the jr high kids write papers? Is there help to tell me how to teach them how to,do this?

cbollin wrote:jr. high... here's this book... we'll have discussion group at 11 am..
here's an audio cd of the science book you are reading.... I'll stay near by for a few weeks..... Look, Mrs. Hazell made a list of what you are to read today and which experiment.... you follow that, ok?
here's your math book.... look.. Mrs. hazell made a list for you to know which problems to do. I'll be here for the warm up....
here's your list of art history and paint work.....
Here's your bible verse to copy and practice...

but, I'm in no rush now to hand off Bible and history too soon.
Crystal, Do you write up a list for your child for the week? See, I don't fly by the seat of my pants and I would easily NOT train well for taking ownership of learning.
cbollin wrote:I guess to me, it doesn't have to be as mom driven as it might look. I have no problem with the grid being in front of my children and having them check off "I did it!".... I have no problem with some of the books in history being "you read it to me"... there are some that I want group teaching and mentoring opportunity.
Is history always Mom driven? How do the older kids (6th -8th) have higher level learning?
cbollin wrote:I don't think that using MFW has held them back from growing up. but it's all in how one opts to use something, isn't it?
Agreed. This is why I am asking. I am really not very good at teaching and I have to be shameless in asking for help.


I think MFW is wonderful. Thanks for thinking thru my questions. I'd love a Mom to take each MFw guide and give me a bullet point list for how they use the guide with varying ages; how they step up expectations at each learning level. I would love to use it and not feel like my middle school students aren't stepping up in their skill work. Content should be a context for skill building and I'm trying to figure out how it works in MfW.
-Katrina-

DS15, DS14, DD12, DS8

abrightmom
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: Bought CTG and having 2nd thoughts...a few ??s

Unread post by abrightmom » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:33 pm

Crystal,

Your second post REALLY helped! And thanks for sharing the FAQ blurb. I am going to ponder this today as I continue reading the CtG guide.
-Katrina-

DS15, DS14, DD12, DS8

cbollin

Re: Bought CTG and having 2nd thoughts...a few ??s

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:50 pm

I'll try a few of the questions.....

I'm just saying.... if you aren't looking for it like it was in another program... it isn't there. I'm sorry that put your on the defensive. some programs have different style of notes. I was just saying those kinds of things aren't in MFW the same way.

trying to pull the questions that you had in blue....

you wrote
Increasing independence in jr high:
1. Progeny Press.
2. Higher level science that they read on their own. Are they doing it all on their own? Is there a parent kiddo meeting for accountability?
3. I don't understand this. Do the jr high kids write papers? Is there help to tell me how to teach them how to,do this?


#2 science.... I'm sorry... what? I clearly do not understand that question. It is the parent's job to grade and make sure their children do their work? Are you asking is this a place on the lesson plans to say "parent please check"? Not in jr. high.... If I don't understand the question, I'm sorry.
#3. yes.... and no on the help.

Crystal, Do you write up a list for your child for the week? See, I don't fly by the seat of my pants and I would easily NOT train well for taking ownership of learning.[/i]
I copy the grid and highlight it and say 'work on this while I go to work"


Is history always Mom driven? How do the older kids (6th -8th) have higher level learning?
- parent led discussion, various review questions. some independent research.

MelissaB
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Bought CTG and having 2nd thoughts...a few ??s

Unread post by MelissaB » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:50 pm

Hi, Katrina -

One idea we used: our oldest dd read part (or all) of the material aloud each day. By 4th grade, she was reading most of the material on her own. I would join her as often as I could so we could enjoy our time together, but she could have done the entire year independently without a problem. :)

Maybe your two oldest could take turns reading the material aloud to one another, while looking at the pictures together. That would improve their reading comprehension, and prepare them to work completely independently in the near future.

We loved CTG. It is a wonderful, rich curriculum, you're right. It was one of our best years.

Hope you enjoy it, too! :-)
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

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Bought CTG and having 2nd thoughts...a few ??s

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:47 pm

Katrina,

My oldest is going into 7th grade. We've done MFW with her since 3rd grade, starting in ECC. One of the things I see is I don't want her doing History and Bible without me there discussing it with her, even yet. My dd is very sensitive, and I want to guide her a little bit in seeing the hand of God in history, and especially when we went through RTR and the Roman gods. That was very, very spiritually challenging for my dd. We went through 6 months of her struggling with her faith and "how do I know I'm not praying to Jupiter" kinds of questions. I was so glad to be there with her and to understand the context of her questions and guide her to God's word in helping her with that. EXP1850 was a good year last year. And me still reading (or using Story of the World on CD) the books to her (plus my twins) was fine. We could stop and discuss something and see it in context of the bigger picture that she might not see without me reading it to her. (Plus, I got a great history education last year, too!) This year as we cover 1850 to Modern Times, I again want to be there as we learn about the Civil War and other issues - to guide the discussions and make sure she gets the bigger picture.

But, my dd is also dyslexic and I haven't required her to do "lab reports" in 5th-6th, or set up science experiments yet (I have control issues with messes in my kitchen ;) ). This year I expect to still be assisting my dd a lot, but I will also be expecting her to at least attempt to try things on her own before coming to me. She has learned to knit some by getting books from the library, and some other crafts too. She is getting to the point of reading the directions for board games, and then teaching her brothers how to play them (their birthday was this weekend, and they got some board games). I didn't make her do that, it just happened.

So, some things we will try this year: Science, with me being her study buddy before tests and her lab partner; math, with me there to help with the warm-up and answering any questions; All-in-One English - again, I'll be available to answer questions; PP guides - maybe a discussion group type thing (I haven't gotten that far with my planning); Apples spelling (which she has already started this summer).

I have friends who want their kids to be "completely independent" in their school work by 3rd or 4th grade. And that's a fine goal for them. For us and the dynamics of our family (2 are dyslexic), I know that's not a reasonable goal. Things I've gradually added to help my dd get the idea of doing things more herself:

Math drill on the computer
Typing
AWANA
Knitting, crocheting and other crafts she is interested in
Copy work
Gradually writing her notebooking pages (the dyslexia makes spelling a big challenge, so we used to do double dictation, now I go back and correct her spelling) herself
Book basket
Reading (reading for herself, having her brothers read to her)
Piano practice (at first I helped a lot, now she has moved beyond my ability to help her)
Greek & Latin Roots (The Greek roots she had more help from me, but the Latin Roots she pretty much did herself.)

Plus, as an adult, I didn't always learn "independently" for college or career. I don't know how many times I was in a co-workers office/cubical drawing stuff on a whiteboard trying to solve a software problem - just needing someone to bounce ideas off of. Or when I learned a new programming language, often several of us would decide to tackle it at the same time and we'd read a chapter each night, and then the next day at work discuss the possibilities of what we learned. Or how I learned how to test my software to make sure it was working correctly - from an older, more experienced co-worker walking me through it, learning from her mistakes. Even in History, Social Studies type classes, and Science classes we had study groups and lab partners and such. Many of my college programming classes required that I work on a team. Sometimes I was the one who didn't understand and one of my classmates explained it to me. Other times, it was the other way around. Or, how many times I had to go to the office hours for help in getting something. I would get 3/4 of something, but just need the professor to tie in the other 1/4 so I could get the big picture of how it all fit together.

I've read some homeschooling books about how you're cheating your children if they're not "learning independently" by 4th grade. Sorry, I don't think I am. In fact, with my dd's dyslexia, I'd be doing more harm than good. I would also be depriving her of my wisdom. I think kids need an adult to guide them through those tough history lessons.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

abrightmom
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: Bought CTG and having 2nd thoughts...a few ??s

Unread post by abrightmom » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:25 pm

Melissa B.,
THANKS for sharing! Good idea about reading aloud and taking turns with it. We call it Popcorn Reading (someone else's idea that we adopted).


Crystal,
You have been a TREMENDOUS help to so many thru the years. You consistently go the extra mile.


Trish,
Wow! THANKS for fleshing this out for me. My brain has a lot to chew on. You have given me a new perspective on working in a group/on a team. I did NOT think carefully about this up until today. I clearly need to pray some more and take my fears and worries to the Lord. May I admit that when I look at my HOD materials I feel crazy, like I will miss something special with my kids? I KNOW that I can read any (HOD) book I want to with them and put every.single.gorgeous.resource on our shelf or in our Book Basket. Despite praying a lot and with my husband I can't see clearly! I went to convention on Saturday specifically to look over the MFW TM's and the sample notebooks. I LOVED what I saw and decided to move forward with CTG (this is the way I'd been leaning for some time; saving ECC for a little later). It meets so many of my desires for our school and how to study Ancients! Oh, it's lovely and I love the books, even Streams. Anyway, I happen to see my HOD guides and books and feel panicked. I remember why I like HOD so much and I look at this multi-teaching TM (the CTG one) and start to panic. It overwhelmed me by nightfall on Saturday. Clearly, I need to pray more seriously and take my issues to task (to the Word). Thank-you so much for taking time to talk thru the questions and concerns regarding independent learning. I need to evaluate my perspective on this and figure out if I really WANT the level of independence I think I do and WHEN it should come and HOW it should be acquired. There is clearly more to this whole issue than I realized. I re-read your entire post and it's chock full of wisdom.
TriciaMR wrote:I've read some homeschooling books about how you're cheating your children if they're not "learning independently" by 4th grade. Sorry, I don't think I am. In fact, with my dd's dyslexia, I'd be doing more harm than good. I would also be depriving her of my wisdom. I think kids need an adult to guide them through those tough history lessons.
The above quote is especially important as I realize in this moment that I do want to guide my children through the history lessons. We've only enjoyed "fun" history up until now (other than tough Bible stories but I've been there with them to discuss). Honestly. THIS is a light bulb moment for me. I WANT to read and discuss and interact together and enjoy Bible & History discussions as a family.....

Wow. Tears are truly welling as I ponder this. Time to feed my kiddos. We missed lunch ;) .
TriciaMR wrote:Katrina,
I'm glad my post helped. I felt I was being "bossy" (that oldest child thing) in what I wrote, not giving wisdom.
-Trish
-Katrina-

DS15, DS14, DD12, DS8

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Independence - How does MFW foster this?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:10 pm

More conversation on the topic of independence and MFW can be found here:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3047 (Independence - Assigning work to do independently)
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 018#p44018 (Independence - Nervous about 7th grader and independent learning...)
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Questions about MFW and the cycle

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:23 pm

shera wrote:I am pretty confident that I will be using MFW RtR this coming school year. I will have a 6th grader, 4th grader and a 4yr old. I have a few questions about MFW in general, the cycle and the Bible.

1. How does MFW encourage or lead up to independence? It is my understanding high school is done independently with parental meetings. How are the children encouraged to build up to this skill?

2. How does MFW encourage critical upper level thinking?

3.I think I understand the concept of the book basket. Is this also the time they do independent reading? Or is that something different?

Thanks
Shera,
Welcome...

To answer 1... In jr. high you add Apologia Science and then with Saxon math, you can add in the Dive CD for them to be more independent. I also have my kids do Rosetta Stone, study their AWANA verses, do math drill on the computer, and any copywork on their own. I also had my dd (in 7th last year) to try to do her English and Writing assignments more independently.

2. Not there yet, but they do have an elective. Plus math develops critical thinking, too. Hopefully someone else will chime in.

3. Book Basket is different than independent reading. Book basket is like a buffet - enjoy what you want, maybe read a little of this or a little of that, or maybe enjoy the whole book. Independent reading is more "assigned grade level reading." I have dyslexic kids, so I require them to read out of grade level readers to me. Other people assign classics listed in the back of every TM.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

4Truth
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Re: Questions about MFW, the cycle and Bible

Unread post by 4Truth » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:03 pm

1. How does MFW encourage or lead up to independence? It is my understanding high school is done independently with parental meetings. How are the children encouraged to build up to this skill? Individual style and independence in notebooking assignments, copywork (they must focus and make sure it's right... "Copywork should never have a mistake!"), science activities/following directions, math, much of their grammar work which can be done independently, older siblings helping younger siblings, chores and activities separate from "school work", additional research, reading, and writing or notebooking assignments to children as they mature and are able, following the assignments labeled "Advanced" on the grid (sometimes it's a note by Marie in the pages following the grid where she says, "You might have an older child do this...." While the main readings of the day are parent-guided and discussed with one another as a group, there's still a LOT that each child will be able to (and should) do on their own separately from your "group" time. Especially after about the 6th grade. There's a couple of CDs available from conferences where David has talked about raising independent learners and teaching them responsibility... One called "Exposed, Isolated, or Insulated: How Should We Educated Our Children" is available for purchase on this website at: http://www.mfwbooks.com/products/M50/105/0/0/1 There's another one specifically titled something about "raising independent learners". You might call the MFW office about that one.

2. How does MFW encourage critical upper level thinking? Throughout the curriculum, MFW uses many different resources from authors of different backgrounds. As we go through the years, we're consulting these different resources every day and learning that not every one has the same viewpoint. Only the Word of God is 100% accurate. We must be critical thinkers in everything we do... and read. MFW also teaches the process of doing research and writing reports in multiple ways. You will run across many instances where Marie tells you in the notes to "discuss this with your pastor" or "explain this according to your church teachings" or "use discernment" in some way. Or, when the student is in high school especially, "discuss this with your parents or pastor". You really don't see Marie giving you all the "right" answers. MFW is not about giving you all the answers, but about giving you the resources and skills to be able to find the answers yourself and draw conclusions. (This is why there's an emphasis on the Argumentative Paper in 9th grade.)

3.I think I understand the concept of the book basket. Is this also the time they do independent reading? Or is that something different?
They may do independent reading during "Book Basket" on the schedule, but there's also a box on the grid for "Reading". You may assign reading as needed, too, or you may use an independent "Reading curriculum" if you want. But when you get to 6th or 7th grade, you'll see that MFW recommends using the Progeny Press lit study guides at that point.

When I was schooling my girls together, I would often gather some Book Basket books (picture books, non-fiction, atlases or historical resources, etc.) and put them in a pile on the table, then tell the older girls to look through them all and find something they didn't already know. Then they had to notebook what they'd learned, and that could be in whatever form they wanted: a written narration, an illustration, a tracing of a picture from a book, a poster, or whatever they wanted. I would also sometimes assign a biography to an older child and have them write up a summary about it. (Oral narrations are always done with younger children, but you transition gradually from copywork to dictation to written narrations each year. You should keep oral narrations going, too, though. This is in keeping with both Charlotte Mason and WTM methods.)

In addition to the "free reading" in Book Basket, which are always related to the topics being studied each week in science, Bible, history, or art, there's also a list of classics by grade level at the back of the TM.

**** Be sure to read Marie's teaching tips, scheduling ideas, and "how to use the curriculum", notes at the beginning of the TM before starting, and RE-read them again throughout the year as needed. Also be sure to check her notes on the specific daily assignments following the grid for each week's lessons. You'll see on the grid sometimes underneath an assignment that it says "see notes". Highlight those if necessary to make sure you don't miss them!
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

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