Family - Will MFW work with only one child?

Yodergoat
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Teaching an only child? (original poster)

Unread post by Yodergoat » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:06 pm

Original poster here. I just want to thank everyone (I almost wrote "ya'll") for taking the time to write such thoughtful and kind responses.

Most of the time I am okay... I really am. For the first time in years, I was able to sit in church during baby dedications without fleeing to the restroom to cry. That is definitely progress! But every now and then, I see one of Gail's friends with his or her siblings and it's hard. Her best friend, a boy a little younger who goes to our church and homeschool co-op, has a little brother who was born within a couple weeks of when our last baby was due. I love those little boys, but it's difficult to see those two together sometimes, because it is so close to what our family dynamic would have been. Sigh. I do trust in God's plan for our family, but I do feel the melancholy. I know that those losses grew us considerably in our faith and I am almost certain we would not be where we are in our walk with Christ if things had been "easy" for us.

I love our little family... we feel so very close. When my daughter draws pictures of the three of us together, we're always smiling and she's right in the middle. We're not socially isolated, thankfully. We live right next to my parents, and they keep my 11 year old nephew during the day while his own parents work (he is about to start his first full year of homeschooling, working mostly with his parents at night). Gail is very close to her cousin, but being older, he doesn't always know quite what to do with her. He is an only child at home now himself, with his only brother serving in Afghanistan. We take him with us to our local homeschool co-op when it's in session during the school year. It would greatly surprise naysayers (the ones who say a child needs public school to be socialized) to know that my nephew has actually greatly improved socially SINCE he was taken out of public school, which was primarily for health reasons.

The co-op has been a blessing, with Gail's best friend mentioned above and several other K friends. It's good socially for me, too, even if I don't always feel as if i fit in. We go once a week during the school year. Gail also has friends at church, in Sunday School and AWANA. She doesn't lack for playmates at these places, and quickly makes acquaintances at the park or McDonald's.... but I find she often picks out a child a year or more younger than herself and kind of "directs" their play (a nice way of saying she's a little bossy). I hear that's an oldest or only child sort of thing.

We don't have children over here at our house, besides the afrorementioned cousin. She wants them to come, but I don't feel at ease with guests of any age at home, ever. We live in an older very small (12x65) mobile home, so one is aware of other people being there at every moment. Even the cousin makes me feel tense. Mayhap it's cause I'm not the best housecleaner. On neutral ground I'm very hospitable, so please don't think I'm just anit-social!

Gail and I go to town once a week or so, to the library, thrift store, grocery, errands, etc. She talks freely with adults in town, and they're usually charmed by her amiability. One thing I can see is that outings with her are pleasant and fun, not harried. I see very few others in town who seem to be enjoying shopping with their children as I do with Gail. When my husband is off work (on Tuesdays) we often go birdwatching in wildlife refuges or out in our canoe, and we all love this time just with each other. These quiet and intimate family times are very special to us, and they would be harder to do with multiple children. (William is off on Sundays, too, but we don't go anywhere except church... where we actually end up spending several hours because we're among the first to come and last to leave!)

Sorry to ramble on so. Just wanted to give you an idea of Gail's social life. It seems rich and full to me, so I don't worry too much about that aspect now that I think about it.

Since I posted this, I have been paying extra close attention to adult only children that I know from church. One is always speaking with great fondness of her parents and you can tell they have a special relationship. When asked, she said that she never wanted siblings because she liked having her parents all to herself and had heard from friends that sibling does not always equal "best buddy." Another grown only child comes to church with her parents, sits with them, worships with them, and really depends upon their help in raising her 5 children while her husband travels for his work. This mother's closeness to her elderly parents is something to behold... I told them that they are an inspiration and blessing to me to see how close they are. A 20-ish woman who is now an only (her brother died as a child, before she was even born) radiates love and respect for her parents, who are considerably older than most parents of a young lady her age. I see a special quality to these relationships that I just haven't observed in most other families... closeness, friendship, trust, respect, tenderness. I'm not saying that the adult children who were not onlies don't feel this same way, but by observing various families in church I see something different, something extra special and unique and close, with the families of an only. It is very heartening!

I guess I first posted as a way to get some encouragement from others who have been in this position, and also as a way of introduction. I know that homeschooling an only is bound to be different from homeschooling more than one... I just wondered in what ways it would be different. I'm hoping that the future years of MFW don't assume there are multiple children and thus gear the activities toward a group...?

It's reassuring to hear the stories of others who have been there... thank you so much. And for those who responded who are on a different path but gave such good insight, thank you also!
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
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Re: Teaching an only child?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:13 pm

Yodergoat wrote:. I'm hoping that the future years of MFW don't assume there are multiple children and thus gear the activities toward a group...?
We've only done the first 4 years, but I've never had the thought, "This would be better with more kids." It fits our 1-on-1 situation very well.
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

rjsmomma
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Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:14 am

Re: Teaching an only child?

Unread post by rjsmomma » Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:42 pm

Just wanted to chime in here as a mother of an only. Our reasons for us having an only have been vastly different from yours, but even though it was our decision (at first), in the end I have had the same feelings as you when seeing larger families and the longing for more little ones to hold.

My only is now 12 years old (man, I can't believe we are almost at the teenage years!!!), and she has never stopped asking for a sibling. Probably because we talked so much about trying again once she was old enough to understand and then after a few years of not being able we talked some about adoption and foster care (our housing situation prevents us from doing so at this time. Praying that this changes at some point), so she had really been looking forward to this and then it didn't happen. She really enjoys going to friend's houses that have younger siblings and she plays almost as well with the younger siblings as with her own aged friend. (I had to laugh when you mentioned that the reasoning may be to 'control' the play time, because I think that is the very reason my dd likes the younger children as well:) LOL!!! At the same time, once she gets home from such a play date, she usually enjoys quiet time by herself:) We too have her involved in many different activities to make sure she has plenty of time around others (we live in the country and have no neighbors), but she does like time at home as well.

As for homeschooling an only child... MFW does look different in the home of an only vs. in the home of my friend (that uses the same year of MFW, but has 3 children using it). There have been times that we've gotten together to do an activity like the Mexican Fiesta (during ECC) so that would be more fun for my dd, or did a game or craft together. We no longer live close to them so we don't get together with them as often as we would if we were still living 5 min apart. We do tweek the curriculum some to fit our family needs (though I think most families probably do), but all-in-all it really does work for us, and dd loves MFW :)

Having an only isn't something I had planned on (even though we waited quite a while before trying to have more), but it really has worked well for us too. Like you said, there are many things we do together as a small family that might be a lot more stressful if we had many children. DD is well 'socialized' having no problem making instant friends at the water park or library, and talks well to children and adults alike, so really I don't think being an only has hurt her in any way. Still, if I could change things, I would still rather have had more children.
Shannon Meyer
DD - 13 years old - 7th grade
Used MFW for K, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and now 7th:)

Julie in MN
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Re: Teaching an only child?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:42 pm

Yodergoat wrote: I'm hoping that the future years of MFW don't assume there are multiple children and thus gear the activities toward a group...?
I have older kids, but when I brought my youngest home to school in 3rd grade, his siblings were in 12th and college, so he's really been an only as far as using MFW goes. I just wanted to join the others in saying that doing MFW without a group is still great. I mean, my son and I still make up a group, so none of the games have been a problem. We sometimes even pull in dad, nephew, grandparents. But just my son & I did any group things together & both enjoyed them. My ds is very social, but he doesn't really care how old the person he's talking to is, just as long as it's "someone."

I would say that teaching an only is different in general, rather than specific to a certain curriculum. You do have to adapt what you hear, what you read, and what you remember from your own education. I'm thinking of things like:

- If your child doesn't recall the answer to every question, just remember that in a larger group, each child would get to zone out on some of them or have an off day. If he is a bad cook and keeps skipping ingredients, remember that in a group everyone might designate him to just read the recipe or something. So let him make some mistakes.

- If your child balks at doing a lot of paperwork or reading or whatever, just remember that he doesn't have the peer pressure that would cause him to "accept" that lot in a larger family or group. You might need to create some occasional peer pressure in some way (an outside class, yearly testing, inviting another child over, etc.). Once I had my ds e-mail his essay to his adult brother for some non-mom feedback :) Or, let go of some things for now.

- Since you're just teaching one, there is no reason you have to push forward for the sake of the rest of the class. And no reason why you have to stay behind on something that he already gets. I don't listen to my child in every case, since sometimes he thinks he gets something and I don't, but if *I* feel certain that he needs more or less time, I have a lot of freedom with one child at home.

- Remember to laugh a lot and make jokes and point out silly things, like when you missed the cup while pouring water. Kids in larger groups get that from one another and the adult's role becomes more of a moderator; however, kids sitting at home with a serious mom like me need that stuff. I even have a tape of Diana Waring where she says that teaching kids to tell jokes is a form of early public speaking.

- If you have a boy, remember to let him be a boy. He can still be a student, but I am always reminding myself not to make my son into me. That probably applies to having an only girl, too.

- Try not to skip all the social stuff because it doesn't seem practical with an only. We did the debates in ILL and had dad or sis be the judge. Some of your cooking projects can go to neighbors or be done when family is visiting. Doing things in a group is rewarding and it's important to character development; it's even a job skill. But I think when you just have one, it's easy to say, okay, we see what they're saying, we don't need to do it. Make yourself do it lots of the time, even if it's just you two.

- Independence is a goal for all of our children, but it looks a little different when we're talking about homeschool & 1 child. Whenever you hear about developing independence, take a second to reevaluate how that fits with your only child's different lifestyle. Maybe it will not require any change, but possibly it will need to be adapted a bit. Going off by yourself in a noisy household with a lot going on and instant noise when you step out into the hall is much different than going off by yourself in a quiet home. It's not bad, it's just something to keep in mind when you set your plans for independence.

- And notice things that are particularly good for your only child. You can encourage a lot of service, because you have more time in your day to stop & bring brownies to a church funeral. The letter writing which is scheduled on Fridays in some years was a great way for my son to keep in touch with others. And we had the time to make some of his projects unique, like the time he made a PLL essay into a Power Point presentation on the parts of his cat :) I'm not saying you have to do a ton of re-thinking, but notice that there are some opportunities already built in (or posted on the Ideas boards!).


My son taught me all of these things :)
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

morningirl
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:32 pm

Re: Teaching an only child?

Unread post by morningirl » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:02 am

Hi there, I'll be teaching my only daughter in Kindergarten this year :) I would like more children, but I took a medication in high school that has made it difficult. Nonetheless, I pray that God will overcome that bless us with another baby one day.

My daughter is SO social and I worry that she won't get enough interaction being at home instead of public school, but we attend a great bible study program, church, and she goes to AWANA's, so I'm hoping that's enough. I'm also hoping that homeschooling becomes a great bonding experience for us. I definitely can relate to feeling like I don't qualify as a parent because I "only" have one of my own. It's been a hard feeling to deal with, but it is what it is for me and I'm trying to accept it.

I'll pray for your upcoming school year, and if you ever need to chat with someone who's in a similar situation feel free to email me :)

AnneMarie
AnneMarie in SC
mom to Liana

Renai
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Re: Teaching an only child?

Unread post by Renai » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:13 am

I know it's been a long time since I've been on the board- about 1.5 years I think!

We also went through secondary infertility. I had always wanted 4 children. When we went for walks and my husband and daughter were ahead of me holding hands, I would see a vision of a smaller child holding his other hand. We never knew why we couldn't have a child (my first was conceived from an assault). Anyway, we stopped trying and just accepted it (well, me, kind of, but always had hope). Having worked in different schools- public and preschools- and tutored one-on-one, I was ok with homeschooling my only.

When I pulled her out of preschool (financial reasons), I asked my very social daughter what she liked most and she told me "dress-up." So we dressed up often :-) . That says a lot about this non-girly girl mom. We also had park days and field trips with the homeschool groups at times, but that became less and less as the homeschool groups became less active. I made sure to get together with friends sometimes so she wouldn't be lonely. Funny though, being lonely was not a complaint for her until she was older- around 9 or 10. Although she did often mention wishing for a sibling. I always told her it's in God's hands, and he's the one she'd have to ask.

MFW can be done with an only easily. I've done K, 1st, Adv., ECC, and will be starting CTG, but don't remember anything that would have been done better with a group. Oh, there was a suggestion about putting on a play, but it was one of different suggestions of a project to do. When it mentions different field trips, it's a lot easier to actually get out of the house to do them! Spontaneous trips are easy to do, and fun!

One of the cons (sometimes seen as a "for") is you don't have anyone to compare to. You know, when you're wondering what you're child "should be" doing. Or, as in our case, there is a learning disability, you feel that you've failed your child in some way. There's no other child there you're doing 100% with to help you feel better ;) . It's like, I can't even teach one child... we homeschool moms are pretty hard on ourselves anyway. Having just one child, and then having something "go wrong," can make us really hard on ourselves. Just remember, God has us just in the place we should be at the time. There can be learning issues with one child or 10. That's just the way it is. It just may be easier to notice the issue with an only a bit earlier because there are no other children to share the attention.

When my dd was around 8, I had a suspected miscarriage. Later, a friend announced her pregnancy- she was at 3 months- the same as what I would have been at the time. I was devastated. It took me almost 2 years to be ok, but I only really felt that sadness when I was around her. When her daughter turned 2, we talked about it, and I could fully rejoice with her and that 4th blessing... Funny though, it never occurred to us that I actually WAS pregnant and COULD GET pregnant again. We can be a little slow sometimes, lol! When dd was 10.5, we found out we were pregnant. My little one is now 5 months old.

My older has had 11 years as an only, and it's been great. We're so close, she could finish my sentences. I could grunt, she'd know what I want, lol! She has a bit of a temper, but she can come back and apologize (or not), and we can talk and be ok with one another again. So, even though I'm technically now a mom of 2, I've had an only for 11 years, so thought I'd chime in. Sorry if it seems a bit random!
Last edited by Renai on Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Renai
Wife to Enrique
Mom of two dd- 9/99 & 1/11

Bilingual homeschool
2004-05 SL
2005-2012 MFW
2012-2013 K12
2013-2014 dual-language charter
2014-2015 MFW Ancients/young'un- MFW preschool, reading books

http://creativeplaybilingual.blogspot.com/

homemama
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Re: Teaching an only child?

Unread post by homemama » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:11 pm

:) I'm so glad that I just ran across this thread! It has really blessed me in a positive way. I have an "only" ds 10 yrs. (No real reason for an only except that I married late in life and we waited around too long! :-) )
Anyway, I'm an "only"myself and now have an "only". In a way, it's been good for ds since I can relate to have grown up in the same way.

Anyway, to shorten my story a bit, I'm deciding to return to MFW. I have been worried also about doing the curriculum with an only, but this has encouraged me. :) I had read a thread earlier (another forum) about avoiding programs that could combine kids 8| My ds still says that he wants to do ECC, so if others have used this with an only, I should be able to also.

Thanks for all the encouragment, ladies! :-)

homemama

Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Re: Teaching an only child?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:44 pm

homemama wrote:Anyway, to shorten my story a bit, I'm deciding to return to MFW. I have been worried also about doing the curriculum with an only, but this has encouraged me. :) I had read a thread earlier (another forum) about avoiding programs that could combine kids 8| My ds still says that he wants to do ECC, so if others have used this with an only, I should be able to also.
My 9yo dd *just* finished ECC and we loved it! I think I said earlier on this thread that I never once wished we had more kids for any of the activities, etc. It worked great for us and we had a blast! (And, WOW, did she learn a lot!)
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used MFW from K through WHL

mlhom4him
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Re: Teaching an only child?

Unread post by mlhom4him » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:51 pm

I don't get on here very often but did tonight. I don't have long to write......

I too know the infertility issues!

But I can tell you that it is possible to homeschool with only one child. I am doing it! She is loving it!

Mary Lou

1974girl
Posts: 78
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Re: Teaching an only child?

Unread post by 1974girl » Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:21 pm

God had an only child, too! God didn't need more because one fulfilled HIS purpose. Maybe your dd will need more quality time, one on one, to fulfill His purpose, too. You never know what is in store for you or your DD down the road. I am married to an only child who is quite happy he is the only child. He liked having all the attention. : ) I thought he'd like a big family since he didn't have that but noooooo. He was done after 2 girls. What? You don't want to try for a boy? Nope. He wasn't used to noise. Think about it, he made all the noise in the house and you never think that you are loud. So, when he actually did have 2 loud kids, it was a bit overwhelming. So we homeschool in a world of 4-5-6 kids with our two. : )
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
Mama to Leah (14) and Annalise (11)
Used from Adventures on and finishing final year (1850-modern) this year
"When you teach your children...you teach your children's children."

Cyndi (AZ)
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ECC- Maybe, I can actually do it this time! Help!

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:54 pm

homemama wrote:I NEED encouragement and help! I taught in ps for 9 years previously. I've been homeschooling for the last five years. I have switched programs constantly trying to find a good fit. :~ No,I'm not proud of that, but I want to totally not hurt his ed in any way. It's clear that he is wiggly, distracted alot (possibly ADHD), but 10 yrs. and is not horrible behaved, but just spoiled, wiggly and needing me to change the way I do things with him. I've been knowing this, but putting it into practice is a different story! ;) I read about all types of curriculum and I get more confused and my previous PS experience doesn't help either. I wish I could just come over and visit you all and talk! :-)

I have kept starting and restarting ECC for awhile, but I have kept the books (DS WILL NOT let me sell this again ;)
So, I consider this a good sign from God that we need to use this and I need to wrap my previously brainwashed brain around it. :-) Everything in me tells me that this is good! However, I keep trying to return to total textbooks and I know this would be a better fit. I do think ECC is a great program, don't get me wrong! It's just hard for me.

Now, for a question.... DS is not an accelerated learner, at all. I don't think all the advanced activities would work for him. Since I have skipped around a good bit, he is behind some. I do think he's a late bloomer plus Mom has been inconsistent. Would it be o.k. to just use what we can of ECC for this year?? I was thinking about not using Singapore math or Spelling Power.

Please help and PRAY FOR US! Thanks from the bottom of my heart. ;)
homemama
I'm going to ramble and sip coffee . . . it's Saturday and I don't feel like cleaning just yet . . . these are *my opinions* . . . grain of salt time . . .

I did ECC with my only child, a girl, last year. We had a blast!!! She was 8/9yo, 3rd grade. Sounds like your son is a 4th grader. Perfect age for ECC! Seriously! The activities are great for that age of child.

The "Advanced" items in the TM are not for brainiac, amazingly smart "oldest" or "only" children. The advanced items are for 7th/8th graders. Just don't do them with your 10yo. Seriously -- don't do it to yourself. "Well, we could do a few . . . " Just forget it. You may start out wanting to do them, then half-way through the year, once you you've hit stride and relaxed, you'll say, "Oh, forget it, we don't need to do these."

Singapore Math and Spelling Power are suggested by MFW because they are good curricula that don't take a lot of time or prep. If something else works better for your ds, then use the something else. You don't have to do every "suggestion." You're the teacher.

Teaching one child that you love more than anything is very different than teaching a classroom full of someone else's kids. I know 5-6 moms that quit teaching at ps to homeschool their own. They all say it is much more challenging. But, really, your child is going to be better off because you are teaching him. Accept that, please. ;)

I just went to the best hs moms meeting the other night. We all talked about our curriculum and how our days go, etc. Underlying theme -- you have to teach in the way your child learns or you're going to be miserable and feel like you're failing. Wiggly children wiggle while they learn. Mine does. All the squirming and falling and pencil tapping and eraser clicking and spinning around in the chair is *helping* her learn. I can either let it make me totally outside-of-my-mind crazy, or I can embrace it and know that these movements are cementing the facts in her brain. She's quite capable of behaving like a proper student when she has to - she goes to co-op, Sunday School, AWANA. But when she's memorizing her AWANA verses at home, she's spinning in circles. I'm not exaggerating.

Don't go all textbooky on your ds. He's too busy for that. The book basket list in ECC is awesome!!!!! Especially the cooking books - "Cooking the ___ way." There is tons of country info in those books. Read fun stories, picture books, not textbooks. You'll thank yourself later.

The cool thing about committing to MFW for ECC in 4th grade is that if you do continue with it, your child will complete the 5 year cycle just in time for high school. ECC does a wonderful job of not only teaching geography (play the geography game!!!! don't skip that!), it also helps people develop a true heart for people all around the world. Learning about different regions and cultures is a great foundation to learning history. Now that we're in CTG, my dd is always referrring to her world map to understand the "where" of what we are talking about happened. It is so cool.

Well, my coffee cup is empty . . . I don't know if any of that made sense to you, but it was fun chatting. Your turn now. :-)
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

Julie in MN
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MFW for Jr High

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:58 pm

faiths13 wrote:Hi, Im thinking of using Exploration to 1850 for my son who will be in 7th grade this year, with Apologia General Science.

Im wondering if MFW is a good curriculum to use if I am only using it with one child? Also, Im wondering if Exploration to 1850 will be enough work for a child that age. He is an advanced reader, but he has done and liked SOTW. I have read in other places that it wouldnt be enough for a 7th grader. Thanks!
I have done the whole MFW middle cycle with my youngest, and his siblings are way older so he was an "only" during that time. It was a really nice family time for us, and I could tailor it to his interests and work on his weaknesses as well.

His 8th grade year, 1850MOD, will be very full with all the outlining and such that is added.

His 7th grade year, with EX1850, will gradually ramp up, and end with a state report project that can go as deep as you wish. As you learn about the American colonies, he can read more in the City on a Hill book if he's interested. When you start learning about states and presidents, there is no limit to how much you could learn about them, and his president notebook pages could be longer if he has a lot to tell about. If he's an advanced reader, you may be using the book basket ideas a lot, to add more fiction or nonfiction, as there is a ton available for that time period, and the EX1850 manual will give you some guidance as to the topics, the general reading level, and the general time frame that matches up.

Kids in those grades are also ramping up science, math, and English, so you don't need to feel like history has to be a hugely weighty subject. But I think EX1850 offers quite a bit.
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

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

Re: MFW for Jr High

Unread post by wsterk » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:36 am

Another addition would be Progeny Press book study. I did 2 of these this past year and they are a great resource for reading. I plan to add 1 or 2 of these as well. Thanks!

good question. I will have a 7th grader as well in EX1850. I would love to hear what others have to say as well.

Amy C.
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:12 am

Re: MFW for Jr High

Unread post by Amy C. » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:26 am

We are doing EXP1850 this year. I have an 8th grader, 6th grader, 3rd grader, and 2 y/o. MFW is truly multi-age. You can make it as indepth as you want or keep it as simple as you want. We have felt that my 8th grader has had a full year. With history, in particular, there are notebooking summaries almost every day (could do one every day it you chose to) as well as state and presidents notebooking sheets. Of course, you can adapt your expectations for these based on your child's ability/age level. Expect more from your 7th grader than you would a younger student, for instance. As Julie mentioned, there is a state report at the end of the year. The book basket recommendations are there to enrich the subjects being taught. As an avid reader, this will be a good resource to dive deeper into the subjects he is learning.

But there is more than just history. My 8th grader is doing Saxon math, Apologia Physical science, and grammar. There would also be Writing Strands and Progeny Press guides. My children are also memorizing the book of James (all 5 chapters). This is part of their Bible in EXP1850.

We have chosen to do coop classes this year so in addition to MFW, my 8th grader is taking a speech class where he has to prepare and give speeches for class, and he is taking a state history class where he is learning state history and is required to write 2 book reports. In light of this, I am not sure I will have him do the state history report MFW has scheduled. I might, though, since it will be different than a book report, and he needs to focus on writing this year in prep for high school. I had him take this class, not because I didn't think MFW was adequate, but because I wanted someone else (homeschooling mom who has graduated her children and has taught this class several times) to evaluate my ds's work and writing. I felt I needed an objective eye for this. I have been pleased with her feedback. Also, with several children over a wide age span, I wanted to make sure this particular subject met high school credit requirements for our state because we are counting this as a 1/2 credit for high school. I am just juggling a lot with more than just an 8th grader so I didn't want to miss something.

I find it interesting that others feel like MFW is light. I guess it is what you make of it. I don't know??? I haven't seen it as "light". We used a different curriculum prior to switching to MFW 4 years ago. This particular curriculum had tons of seatwork and writing (in every subject). I had heard a few reviews about MFW being "light", but I was at the point that "heavy" wasn't working for us, and I was ready for a change. I haven't found it to be light. A different approach to learning, but not light. As a matter of fact, I quite often get complements on my children, not only their behavior but also their intellect/knowledge. MFW is an enriching curriculum that allows our boys to be well-rounded. They are able to pursue other interests as well.

Just my perspective,

Postby Amy C. » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:01 pm
I have been thinking about my above quote this afternoon. I feel that I came across as bragging. While I am proud of my boys, we have our struggles like everyone else. My point was that I feel that MFW is more than adequate, and it gives us opportunity to explore other interests as well. I guess this has been a little fresher on my mind this week since hearing a comment another hs'ing mother made to me comparing MFW to their previous curriculum. And when I read this:
faiths13 wrote:I have read in other places that it wouldnt be enough for a 7th grader.
I guess I just felt that I needed to give our experience with it because I have heard/read some of those same things. I wasn't trying to rant nor brag, and I hope it didn't come across that way.

Just felt I needed to clarify. :)

Amy C.

asheslawson
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Re: MFW for Jr High

Unread post by asheslawson » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:25 pm

Just jumping onto this - a little late, I guess. I don't think it is light - unless your particular child just needs more - but what I find is that I can always branch off of what we are talking about and give him a research type project to do, and extra reading. My son is also going into 7th - and we will also be in EXto1850 next year - with his 3rd grade sister tagging along. We ordered the 2 PP guides recommended for that year. I think it is going to be very thorough for us - because there are always topics we get interested in and want to delve into deeper - but rarely have the time to squeeze more in!

He has really learned so much more than I expected since we began with MFW - he was previously public schooled, till 3rd grade, then we started w/ECC in 4th. He seems to be strong at critical thinking and well grounded in defending his faith. He really loves history and the bible and he is improving in core subjects where I felt he was not getting enough from public school. Just my .02!! ;)
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD
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Yodergoat
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MFW with an "only" child?

Unread post by Yodergoat » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:08 pm

manyblessings wrote:Hi. I am a mom with a large age gap between my youngest children (my children are 21, 18, 15, 14, and 1). While my baby is not technically an only child, due to the age gap by the time she is "school age" the teens will be done with school. So, unless the Lord blesses us with another miracle baby, our little one will be homeschooled alone. I know how well MFW works with a group because I used ECC years ago with the older three children. I would like to know if anyone here is using MFW with one child, and if so, how is it working out? My husband and I really like MFW and feel it may meet our goals for educating our youngest. In fact, I can't wait to buy the toddler toys again (my older kids had them and loved them!)
*waving hand* I am using MFW with an only!

I had the same question when I first came to this board (except that my daughter is actually an only child). Others who have taught onlies or who have taught with a large age gap like yours reassured me that MFW does fine for only children. And so far, in my limited experience, it has! I wonder if that discussion was put in the archives? [ http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 882#p75717 ]

We began with K, did First and we're now a little over 1/3 of the way through Adventures, and it is going very well. I know we haven't entered "the family cycle" yet, but I can't imagine that there will be any problems due to homeschooling an only child. I can only imagine that I will be teaching an only for the rest of our homeschooling years, since it is not likely that we will have another child, due to my reproductive history. Unless of course God has other plans for us that we can't even fathom... but if He does not choose this for us, I think MFW will be fine for the future of our only.

I am thankful that we chose MFW for our only child. :-)
Last edited by Yodergoat on Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

Brendainnj
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Re: MFW with an "only" child?

Unread post by Brendainnj » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:17 pm

Welcome!! We have only used MFW-K, 1st, and now starting Adventures w/my 2nd grader. BUT, she too is an "only child" due to a big age gap--my older 2 are 21 and 23. I'm finding that she is my greatest challenge...not sure exactly why but I have my ideas. (It doesn't help that I'M older & really thought I was DONE when my older 2 finished!)

With my older kids, we combined a lot of subjects. The younger caught up & moved ahead of her brother, so they ended up graduating together. They always sort of "spurred" each other on...both were competitive. I guess to me it felt more like a class when there were 2 of them...now it seems more like tutoring. But you will have an opportunity for a special closeness when it's one on one time.

Hopefully someone else can offer up a bit more wisdom specifically related to MFW...I really just wanted to say HI & welcome! :)
~Brenda~


Mom to: Jadyn, Amber, Adam
MFW K 2011-2012
MFW 1st 2012-2013
Adventures 2013-2014

manyblessings
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Re: MFW with an "only" child?

Unread post by manyblessings » Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:46 pm

Thanks to both of you for the encouraging words! That is just what I was wanting to know, that others had confidence in using MFW with only one child. I too feel challenged due to my age ;) but God knows what He is doing :-)
Lourdes
Mom of 4 adults, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 son-in-law, 1 in 1st, and
3 in heaven 8/11/06, 8/18/10, and 9/13/13
Married to my soul mate since 6/20/09
Past: MFW K, ECC, AAAT, VOD, GCA, LGS
2019-2020: ADV

MelissaB
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Re: MFW with an "only" child?

Unread post by MelissaB » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:38 pm

It will certainly go well. Snuggling on the couch for Bible, history and science then doing projects together (or with an older sibling?) will be every bit as special with Mom as it is with Mom plus one or more.

Right now, we travel 45 minutes once a month to meet up with another family doing the same MFW we are (Exp.-1850). We have the benefits of both worlds: snuggling and learning and exploring history and science together; then playing colonial games, doing science experiments, and eating dried corn (so good!) with friends has been a great blessing.

In the meantime, as you already surely know, kiss and smooch on those plump little cheeks all that you can... Our girls are growing up so, so fast.

Enjoy. :)
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

Joyhomeschool
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Re: MFW with an "only" child?

Unread post by Joyhomeschool » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:36 am

The only issue I see is when you repeat the cycle. With several you're repeating the cycle with other children the next time around. So even though the oldest has read the books before they are focusing on different advanced books and activities. If I were to do MFW I would purposely wait to start K at 6yo instead of 5yo.

My oldest DD did ECC in 4th grade and will finish the last year in 8th grade. So my advice, just don't repeat the cycle. :-)
Vicki
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2

Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: MFW with an "only" child?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:45 pm

I have been homeschooling my only dd with MFW for 7 years now (since MFWK), and I'm thrilled to have a program that fits our family so well. The Biblical worldview and history cycle is why I originally chose MFW, but there are many, many reasons why we've stayed. Even projects that say they require playing a game or acting something out can easily be modified to teaching an only. It also provides a lot of excellent bonding time and Biblical discussions.

I do have to disagree with Vicky -- I'm not arguing, just offering a different viewpoint. My dd did ECC in 3rd grade and is so excited to repeat it in 8th grade. She absolutely loves geography and we had an extremely enjoyable year that year. Since she was on the youngest side of the scale, she did not do many (most) of the advanced activities and we ended up skipping World Geography completely after a few countries to save for when she is older. She is a very advanced student, but it is not difficult to challenge her with how MFW is written. For instance, she was able to correctly label and spell over 100 countries on a blank world map at the end of ECC -- I would like for her to be able to add to that number in 8th grade as well as label mountain ranges and rivers. God made a great big wonderful world, it would be nice to understand what is outside of our little box. It will also have a bigger impact at age 13 to learn about the different religions of the world than it did at age 7.

Another great thing about homeschooling an only is that the school day goes by so quickly. You have lots of time to fill with other projects and interests, or just plain play. As an older mom myself, I understand the pressure to keep up with the youngsters, but the blessing of being able to have a flexible schedule and revolve around only one child's activities I believe makes things easier.

I hope that's encouraging. Hopefully Julie will chime in as well about her experiences with her youngest. :)
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

Julie in MN
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Re: MFW with an "only" child?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:03 pm

Hi ManyBlessings,
(and waving to Cyndi, too :) )

When I brought my youngest home to school, he was 8 (almost 9) and his siblings were 17 and 20. He did ECC that year (3rd), and it was a wonderful year, wonderful memories. We continued with MFW all along and it has been such a blessing to our family. Having just one student most of that time is probably why I posted so many things we dug into on the various "Ideas" forums here.

Here's a thread with more experience of MFW & onlies: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1882

I would just add that jumping right into ECC in 3rd (rather than delaying until 4th) meant that my family had some wiggle room when family crises came up. We ended up taking 1.5 years for RTR. ECC was different each time at our house with one student, described in this post: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 808#p80884

Enjoy!
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

manyblessings
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Re: MFW with an "only" child?

Unread post by manyblessings » Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:46 am

Great! Thanks for linking the other threads too. I have never taught just one child because my older kids are so close in age to each other-even when my son was in K, his first sister was a toddler right behind him joining in with some activities :) I really look forward to doing it all over again :-)
Lourdes
Mom of 4 adults, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 son-in-law, 1 in 1st, and
3 in heaven 8/11/06, 8/18/10, and 9/13/13
Married to my soul mate since 6/20/09
Past: MFW K, ECC, AAAT, VOD, GCA, LGS
2019-2020: ADV

jhagberg
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Re: MFW with an "only" child?

Unread post by jhagberg » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:26 pm

Yes, I am doing MFW with an "only"...sort of. My oldest went to HS at age 15, and my second was only 7, so we started MFW at that time. He is now 10, and the next boy is 6 (K), but they won't be really learning "together" until they are 8 and 12. The same thing will happen with my youngest, so I've basically got a whole string of "onlies"! :-)
Joyce

mlhom4him
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Re: MFW with an "only" child?

Unread post by mlhom4him » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:23 am

I do MFW with an only. Works great. Keep going all the way through! Have her repeat ECC. She will get different things out of it each time she goes through the program! The second time it will be harder than the first time as a country report is required.

Mary Lou

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