Conventions & Expos - Help "seeing" MFW!

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kellybell
Posts: 478
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Conventions & Expos - Help "seeing" MFW!

Unread post by kellybell » Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:39 pm

CindyLou wrote:Hi everyone -
MFW won't have a booth at our convention! So not only will I not get to hear / see David Hazell's workshop about how MFW is a combination of Unit Studies, Charlottte Mason, & Classical homeschooling styles from a Biblical point of view, but I won't be able to SEE the curriculum, ask questions, and get a feel for how it works!

So...to those of you who are already using MFW....just exactly how does MFW curriculum combine these methods? Obviously, I understand the unit study portion and that the curriculum is also Biblical. But how does the Charlotte Mason and Classical part fit in?

Also, is there a way to get a "sample" of the various MFW curriculum? And a scope & sequence chart? Although I was mostly interested in seeing the Kindergarten & First Grade curriculum, my husband was hoping to view and to be able to ask questions to better understand how the multi-age 5-year cycle works before we commit to this curriculum. For example, our state requires yearly testing ... will our children have gained the necessary knowledge EACH YEAR in order to pass the testing? Or does it take the full five years before the child has the complete understanding / knowledge necessary for state testing requirements?

We really WANT to know more about MFW - from all of our research, it SOUNDS like the best fit for our family, but we had hoped to attend the workshops, see and touch the curriculum, etc.... Any suggestions? Input? Thanks in advance....
Oh CindyLou, how disappointing.

Let's see if I can give a few points on how MFW combines those elements you mentioned. I'm sure there's a lot more than I am mentioning here, but here are the things I can recall right now...

1. Classical. While we aren't learning to speak Latin or Greek, we are learning the Greek and Latin word roots. Also, we approach history chronologically.

2. Charlotte Mason: Cover many subjects in short time periods before the child burns out. (Math is sort of the exception to this - math just takes longer). Work hard in the morning ("structured mornings") and get done before "unstructured afternoon." Living books vs. "twaddle." When you are done with a "school" book do you want to throw it away (or kindly shelve it but never refer to it again) or do you want to read the book over again. Living books usually are written by an expert on the subject area (be it birds, or whatever) whereas textbooks are often written by committees and not always by experts. MFW uses books that you want to go back to again and again. Charlotte Mason also recommends dictation and copywork, as does MFW. Charlotte Mason recommends nature hikes and nature notebooks, as does MFW.

3. Unit Studies. This means tying in various subjects to one theme. So, when you learn about Brazil you also learn about rain forests, Brazilian art, Brazilian music. When you learn about Egypt, you learn about the plagues in the Bible in Exodus, you study the structure of pyramids, as you learn Egyptian history. That's what MFW does from K on up. Some unit studies out there take it farther, so that your spelling, composition, etc. are ALL tied together. MFW still has you doing a traditional LA and spelling, etc.

4. Bible. Sounds like you are comfortable with the biblical basis for MFW curricula. It truly is woven in to the entire program.

Hear that squeaky sound? That's me stepping onto a soapbox for a moment...

We do the SAT test too. I don't sweat it though. I think I'd be nervous if we were at the low end where the state gets interested in how we are doing. However, we're gloriously average and it feels great.

Before testing I tell the kids that the testing is really "testing mom and dad" to show us if we need to spend more time on a particular subject, etc.

Also, it helps to be realistic as homeschoolers. Generally (I know some exceptions) we don't "teach to the test" as the public schoolers (and many private schoolers) do. The tests were designed for public school kids and public school textbook writers design (and market) their texts to FIT these tests. It's the tail wagging the dog! We can expect that our scores might be less in certain areas (hey, WE'VE not covered Rosa Parks yet & that was the ONE question on a recent history test). I know some people using certain mastery math programs see their test scores are lower than they had hoped simply because they've not worked on certain concepts yet. That's simply what happens when a curriculum doesn't fit a particular test.

Also remember, that SAT scores are simply ONE tiny piece of what you'll use to measure success. YOu'll also consider the work you've seen and how your children are getting along with others, how they are sparkly and interested in things and not burned out, how they share their things with others, how they don't say, "I can't play with you because you're in SECOND grade." So, take the testing with a grain of salt.

Still on my soapbox, aren't I?

One of the biggest blessing my dh gave me when we pulled the kids out of their rigorous Christian school is when he said, "Hey, let's aim for average kids." He meant academically, not morally or spiritually. In other words, it would be great for all four of our kids to excel in all subjects, but it's not realistic. So, we look for areas where the kids are behind academically and adjust our time to help where they are behind... Perhaps discuss testing with your dh and ask what is acceptable to him. Is it fine to have a child hit the 50th percentile? Is it okay if your kids are at the 20th percentile in a few things? What is a good goal? Where do you worry? Where does the state jump in and get in your face? It's a personal thing that should be prayed about.

JUmping off the soapbox...

Anyway, "surf" the http://www.mfwbooks.com website and you'll see that there are samples of the TM. After you take a look there, perhaps the moms on this board can fill you in on how MFW works. Maybe we can explain what the samples don't.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

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

Unread post by Heather (WI) » Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:59 pm

Kelly, I love your description of how MFW fits all these areas--thank you!! It was excellent!!

The only thing I thought of was in the classical section, I think we can add that we read lots of good "classical" literature (like Homer, etc.) that can go in that category.

GREAT job, Kelly--thanks again!!
Love in Christ,
Heather (WI)
MFW user since 2004:
ADV, ECC, CTG, RTR,
and starting Ex-1850 in Aug. 2008!!

CindyLou
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:46 am
Location: Bonney Lake, WA

Thanks everyone!

Unread post by CindyLou » Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:06 pm

Thank you so much for your descriptive replies. From all my researching, this truly seems to be the best curriculum that fits perfectly with what we're looking for - STRONG biblical worldview throughout the ENTIRE program (not just an added-on bible study); a mix of the best of Charlotte Mason, Classical & Unit Studies approaches; RICH (but not overwhelming) in literature, geography & history (in chronological order); and easy to follow lesson plans / teacher's manuals for me (a first time homeschooler scared to death to be doing this!).

Just how easy are the teacher's manuals / lesson plans? Will I still need to do more in ways of planning & preparation & record keeping? Again, it would be nice to see before buying, so I'm just going to have to take everyone's word for it - I truly do appreciate your input!

Thanks in advance....CindyLou in WA

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

Re: Thanks everyone!

Unread post by Heather (WI) » Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:37 pm

YES, you summed it up perfectly !!

About the teacher manual lesson plans--VERY EASY to follow--not much prep at all. Have you seen the sample lesson plan pages on the site?? That is exactly how they are. MFW makes your life SO MUCH simpler!! ;o)

I know you won't be disappointed!! ;o)
Love in Christ,
Heather (WI)
MFW user since 2004:
ADV, ECC, CTG, RTR,
and starting Ex-1850 in Aug. 2008!!

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:41 pm

Cindy,

MFW accepts returns within 30 days with invoice if in usable condition, except for the music CD & shipping.

record keeping: some of us find it easy to just use the TM's as the main source of record keeping because you can just write the date and child's name on the boxes in the daily grids. You don't want to keep every single worksheet, but you can certainly keep representative samples through the year in K. Take photos of the projects and "scrapbook" that for more filing. I don't know WA state laws (check with HSLDA on that).

Cindy, I think you'll do fine. We all went through those first year nerves of doing it right and learning the ropes. The Lord got you through the paperwork with your children's adoptions and He will be there for homeschooling too. :) {hug}

Angela&Boys
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 10:52 am

Purchasing recordings of Mr. Hazell's engagements

Unread post by Angela&Boys » Fri Jun 16, 2006 7:11 am

I attended Mr Hazell's speaking engagement -- Combining Classical, CM, & Unit Studies... and purchased the CD to boot! If you can afford it, it's well worth it. I believe they're about $7 each plus shipping.

This is the company who recorded and transferred the FPEA Convention's speakers in Orlando: rhino-technologies.com

Have a blessed day,
Angela
wife to Greg
mama to...
Alex (20), Aaron (13), Ben (9), & Noah (3)
Exploration to 1850 ~ 2010/2011

cbollin

Conventions - Suggestions if MFW is not coming nearby?

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:55 pm

momto2bears wrote:MFW is not coming to Utah. I think I'd really like to use this curriculum with my son who will be in kindergarten in Sept and my preschooler ( 3). I'd really like to see this package in person and actually get to look through it all. Anyone have any suggestions?
Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:52 pm
Several ideas:

do you know someone locally using MFW and she could show you her materials? Is there anyone on this board who is in Utah and the two of you can meet off board?

MFW allows you to return most materials within 30 days with invoice. (music CD are an exception) Call their office for details. They ship really fast. You would pay the shipping costs, however. But that's usually cheaper than many convention fees anyway.

If you want to hear more about the MFW programs and philosophy before all of that, convention workshop recordings are available. It's not the same as seeing the product, but might help you to find out if MFW's ideas of education are the same as you want to do.

Just a few ideas, I'm sure others have more.

--crystal

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:56 pm

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:50 pm

Crystal's ideas would of course be ideal. Meanwhile, there are lots of other conversations in the archives that might be on topics of interest to you. Best wishes in your search to meet the needs of your children,
Julie

4Truth
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Decisions

Unread post by 4Truth » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:30 pm

nagada wrote:I am kinda new to HSing. I was HSd for a couple grades growing up and have decided we will start HSing DS1 who will be 5 next month. Can't afford to go to the convention in April to see it all for myself. I am very strongly leaning toward MFW. I love everything that I have read about it.

Here's where I'm struggling - if I like MFW so much, why do I think I need to look at something else every time someone mentions it? I'm afraid of being wrong. DH is only now warming up to the idea of HS but $ is a big hinderance if I bought a curric and then it didn't work.

Is it OK that I feel this way when I am just starting out (researching, etc) and have never actually seen any of the curriculums?
Perfectly normal, and welcome to homeschooling!

My suggestion would be to print out all the sample lessons from all the years of MFW and read through them in order to get a "bird's eye view", so to speak. I did that when I was trying to decide about MFW, and that was very helpful in making my decision. It helped me to "see" not only the year I was considering using at *that* time, but also to see where MFW was going and what we'd be studying in future years. At the time, I couldn't see it in person either, so that was the closest I could come.

I didn't know about the conference talks done by David and the many CDs/tapes/MP3 downloads available. I've listened to several of them since then, but hearing them at the beginning would've probably sealed my decision a lot sooner. You can find a thread about them near the top of the "Choosing Curriculum" Archive forum here http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=3234

While you're there, take some time to peruse the discussions in that forum.
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewforum.php?f=8

So maybe you could take some time to listen to some of the conference talks and read over all those sample lessons with your dh, while praying for the Lord's direction. Don't forget that prayer is the most powerful tool we have... and the Word of God, of course.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 9th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

kw4blessings
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:56 pm

Curriculum expo

Unread post by kw4blessings » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:26 pm

wsterk wrote:It looks like mfw will not be at our state convention this year. I noticed that you will be at a curriculum expo in warrenvilile, il. What is that exactly? Can I go and purchase materials? Does it cost anything to get in?
Hi. I noticed your post looking lonely, so I thought I'd try to point you in the right direction. :) I don't know anything personally about the expos, but if you go to this link on the main website for MFW (https://www.mfwbooks.com/wps/portal/c/s ... nventions/), then click on Curriculum Expo at the top, it will open a box that gives you all the info. Looks like it's free to attend, you can purchase curriculum that day to be shipped to you for free, and they are offering 10% off of curr. packages to new customers. That's a bonus! HTH!
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!

wsterk
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:43 pm

Re: Curriculum expo

Unread post by wsterk » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:55 pm

Thank you! I somehow missed that link! Very helpful and I will attend! :)

hsm
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:09 pm

Re: Curriculum expo

Unread post by hsm » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:18 pm

I am debating on going to this as well. It is in my neck of the woods too! For those who have gone to these, do you find it worth it if you already know you are going to purchase?
Lori-IL
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6

MelissaB
Posts: 369
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Curriculum expo

Unread post by MelissaB » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:38 pm

We purchased our curriculum for this coming school year (1850-Mod) in January, but I still attended the curriculum display in our state last month. :~

I like to talk with other Moms who use MFW (in person ;) ). And I like to look at the next year's curriculum and get familiar with it, in case I want to order it this coming January.
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

4Truth
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Expos

Unread post by 4Truth » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:21 pm

annaz wrote:Why has MFW chosen to do their own Expos as opposed to attending some of the main conventions? All the smaller cities loose out and for us, I can't drive 2 hours just for MFW. :~

I see the offering of deals is really good! :) Very happy about that. I was just bummed because they're not at my convention this year and they always have been. :( But I also understand that there's costs involved and it looks like what you save in going to the conventions, you're passing to us?

But I can't help wonder...our convention vendors are dwindling every year and sometimes I wonder if they're being phased out due to our state's cost, or the trucking business rules, or the fact that it's becoming too costly in general. Just curious and bummed.
Well, MFW is still coming to our conference every year (at least so far, yay!), but there have been complaints to the directors of our conference about fewer and fewer curriculum vendors coming each year. The (directors) posted a reply on our Facebook group saying that they had "invited them [curriculum vendors] early and often, but due to their business model, they didn't feel it financially beneficial to attend." So it may have something to do with how much a vendor makes in sales when they do attend a homeschool conference, kwim? Maybe the sales at some locations make it worth it, and some don't? I know that neither TOG nor HOD come to our conference. But then there's one other lit-based curriculum provider that always has their booth right across the aisle from MFW's booth, and I have to chuckle because there's hardly EVER any customers in that booth.... whereas the MFW booth is pretty busy most of the time. ;)

I'm sure it's also partly dependent on what's being charged to rent (MFW's booth is pretty big). I don't know what hotels or other facilities charge for vendors to come and reserve a room for a day or weekend, but I would guess it's not free, either.

MFW gives a lot of discounts in different ways, so I've never thought of them as passing any costs on to us where homeschool conference vs. other facility is concerned. I mean, I'm sure ALL businesses pass many (or all) costs on to the customer in some way, but I doubt that has anything to do with MFW's appearance at a conference vs. hotel expo. That's just a guess based on their history, though.

And maybe the reason has nothing at all to do with anything I've said here. :~ :-)
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 9th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

MFW-Lucy

Re: Expos

Unread post by MFW-Lucy » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:10 am

Hi Annaz,

Local convention organizers do their best to provide homeschool families the best convention possible bringing great speakers for attendees to hear, but for vendors it often means an exhausting travel schedule running from one end of the country to the other week after week. Often there are as many as seven events on a single weekend. My Father’s World crosses through some cities like Nashville and Indianapolis several times in one year.

Keeping these facts in mind our convention plan for 2014 allows our customers to enjoy their convention speakers and simplifies our travel plans. To bless our traveling families we have chosen to attend only 15 homeschool events this year but we have organized Curriculum Expos in 20-30 cities, most less than one day drive from our home office. Our Curriculum Expos are free, relaxed opportunities to experience a full display of our curriculum in cities where we are unable to attend a convention. A staff family will be on hand to answer all your questions and take orders. Everyone is welcome.

We hope to see you at a Curriculum Expo, but if you are unable to attend, please take a look at our website or request a catalog online to view our curriculum (enrichment items only online). You may also preview our curriculum by ordering it and having the opportunity to preview it for 90 days. Currently we are offering $7.95 shipping for orders over $35.00. Returns will be accepted when received within 90 days from the date of purchase in new, undamaged, and resalable condition. Shipping costs are not refundable.

If you have more questions, please let us know!

annaz
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:34 pm

Re: Expos

Unread post by annaz » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:30 pm

Makes sense. I had a friend who did this and it was exhausting!

Hopefully you'll change the travel schedules from year to year so you are able to attend our convention here and there. Although Phoenix in July is insane. :-)

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Expos

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:22 am

I helped at the Minnesota convention last weekend and was chatting with some of the staff. I wanted more details, and I thought I'd share.

Apparently the Expos only require one staff family (there were 2 staff from Missouri at our convention, plus 4-5 of us helper moms). An Expo would take basically one day (rather than at least 3 for our convention plus 2 travel days, because they have to set up a day early, do 2 days of convention, and by the time it ends and we pack up, it's late on that third day). Expos can also be during the week, and can be set up in locations that make sense with other trips, without as much back-and-forth.

Just thought that helped me understand the differences.
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

romans8x28
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:35 am

Re: Expos

Unread post by romans8x28 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:58 am

One thing I'd never thought of that someone was talking about in a FaceBook group is that a lot of conventions make you pay for the entire convention to see the curriculum hall. So, expos are good for some families since they are free.

Of course, that doesn't help me since we plan on going to our convention and can't make a long mid-week trip to an expo. :) So really, MFW can't win for losing.... And I'll just hope they go to our convention next year. Or I might "have" to go to their Vision Weekend since Baby will be weaned by next year. :-)
Rhonda is teaching:
Girl - 9, Boy - 7, Girl - 2, Baby in September!

2011-2012 - K-1st Ed.
2012-2013 - First-1st Ed.
2013-2014 - Adventures-2nd Ed., K-2nd Ed.
2014-2015 - ECC-2nd Ed., ECC & First-2nd Ed.

4Truth
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Re: Expos

Unread post by 4Truth » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:46 am

romans8x28 wrote:One thing I'd never thought of that someone was talking about in a FaceBook group is that a lot of conventions make you pay for the entire convention to see the curriculum hall. So, expos are good for some families since they are free.
This is an issue. I know I wouldn't have been able to go at all some years if our membership fee to the homeschool group didn't cover convention fees.
romas8x28 wrote: And I'll just hope they go to our convention next year. Or I might "have" to go to their Vision Weekend since Baby will be weaned by next year. :-)
There ya go. ;)


[ Editor's Note: More on Vision Weekend here: http://www.mfwbooks.com/wps/portal/c/sc ... ionweekend
And conversations about Vision Weekend here: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12584 ]
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 9th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

annaz
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:34 pm

Re: Expos

Unread post by annaz » Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:28 am

Julie, the weekly thing definitely makes sense as does all the tear up/tear down time. There's always issues that we don't realize, which is why I asked. And again, it all makes total sense.
Romans8x28, Our convention this year (maybe last) now offers a lower fee just to hit the vendor hall and not the convention itself. It's a particular day and hours though. But still a fee.

This is just the year I really wanted to look at MFW at the convention. WHAAAAAA! :-) Timberdoodle isn't coming either. WHAAAAAA!

:-)

MFW-Lucy

Re: Expos

Unread post by MFW-Lucy » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:10 pm

Hey all,

For those of you are interested in seeing the curriculum but are unable to attend a convention or Expo where we will be, taking advantage of our 90 day return policy is an option.

Give us a call if you have any questions about what to order and once you have received your order give us a call about any questions you have about the curriculum package. Returns will be accepted when received within 90 days from date of purchase in new, undamaged, and resalable condition. Shipping costs are not refundable. CD's and DVD's cannot be returned if opened.

There is no restocking fee and no fee to shrink wrap items that have been opened like Student Sheets. Complete information can be found on our website about returns (or exchanges), https://www.mfwbooks.com/setcnt/returns.

Blessings,
Lucy

MelissaB
Posts: 369
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Expos

Unread post by MelissaB » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:20 pm

MFW wasn't at our state's hs convention either, but, just to note, the MFW display in Little Rock was very nice. It was in a quiet, spacious area of a hotel. There was coffee brewing, and there were tables where we could sit and look at books and make financial decisions about the curriculum without feeling rushed. :-) They had a play area set up for younger children near the tables, too. All of us MFW moms sat and drank coffee and shared our experiences with homeschooling and using MFW, while our children quietly played right there beside us.

Very nice. :)
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

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Expos

Unread post by gratitude » Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:18 pm

It sounds very nice Melissa.

Does anyone know if there is a list somewhere of the places / states MFW is doing expos in?
annaz wrote:Here:
https://www.mfwbooks.com/setcnt/SCHEDULE

If you click on the state, it'll tell you if it's an expo or convention.

They're not in your state gratitude. :(
Thank you for the link!

You are right Annaz; they are not in our state at all! In fact the closest expo is a 16 - 20 hour drive! I already ordered this winter, but it will feel strange to not see MFW if I go to the state convention that they always attended. Plus, last year I enjoyed 'looking ahead at the books'. I do understand their choice though to cut down travel for MFW families; completely understand.

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