When I started using MFW it wasn’t from marketing gimmicks about lists of reasons. It was a step of faith because I had not heard of MFW until I saw it at convention and then I just knew within a heart beat. Been happily using MFW since 2003. MFW was an immediate answer to prayer at that convention.
1.Another way to know if MFW is right for you is to listen to some of their workshops at conventions or go and see the booth at convention. I realize the convention season doesn’t start for a few months, so let me suggest looking at this thread so you can order some workshops with the big picture overall philosophy of MFW
Please read through the list and keep asking the questions of which one would be good. I think Expose, Isolate, Insulated is a great one. I think Becoming a Family of Eternal Purpose is really good. I think What should Christians in 21st Century be teaching their children? is an excellent talk. The 2007 version of that talk was titled Classical Education in the 21st Century and remains the number one post convention best seller of all homeschool convention workshops that were recorded by Rhino Technologies. If you are into the idea of Classical Education from a Christian worldview, then get this talk in some form, or call MFW’s office and ask them to explain a lot of it to you on the phone. (then get the rest on CD) MFW is not all day long super sized Classical education. MFW blends Classical with Charlotte Mason influences, with unit study, built on a Biblical worldview. (in other words, if the ideas of TWTM sound neat, but not doable in your real world, MFW might be the ticket because MFW knows how to be a tour guide through Classical Education and homeschooling. They do the work so we can enjoy the journey.)
2. Agreeing that a lot of it comes from someone knowing what they want to do in their homeschool. Only when you know that stuff do any of the lists out there make sense. If you don’t have some ideas about schooling, then those kinds of lists are just marketing tools of any company to make you want they are offering. You might need some trial and error between programs to figure it out even after you pray a while.
Praise God, MFW gives me what I need, and I want what they are giving.
I need a doable program with lessons plans already done for me. There are some things out there that are overwhelming to look at. One program on the market expects me to wade through 50 pages of potential lesson plans for just one week??? Yikes. MFW isn’t like that. Phew.
I need a program with strong Biblical worldview integrated into it with an emphasis on helping to disciple my children through various stages of life and learning. It’s not just a Bible program that you can buy separately. I like that.
I need a program that has blend of teaching styles and learning styles and isn’t afraid of a textbook once in a while.
I need a program that allows me not to introduce some sensitive topics too early to my child. I don’t want them sheltered forever, but I don’t want them exposed too early to some stuff. I had to drop the reading list from one of the programs you mentioned because it wanted me to read books to my Kindy age student that are better suited when she was in 5th or 6th grade.
I want a program that has lots of optional reading from library. I like buying packages of books to have enough and then go get more at library. But not feel like I have to have the exact books on that list. That is MFW.
I don’t a program that is all day long academic machine. I want strong academics without overkill. MFW definitely provides strong, efficient academics.
3.How to know if MFW is not right for you?
Do you want a secular program In other words, I can’t imagine doing MFW secularly. If you want a secular program then MFW is not for you. go get something else or you'll be unhappy.
The other side of that: MFW has Bible interwoven into the whole day. Some people don’t want that. They want a Christian program, but MFW seems like too much to them. I don’t know why because I’m not in that situation. I’ve heard it on other forums where people say “MFW was just too much Biblical worldview.”
(and that doesn't mean they are any less of a believer. They just want something else to use for school.)
(side note on that: I love that MFW does not teach doctrine. That's my job.!!!!)
Do you hate hands on learning even if your kids like it? Well, MFW has low prep hands on learning a few times each week. It is low prep and easy and fun. Hands on stuff really helps with retention and gives you some fun time together. It's not going to overwhelm your day.
Do you think that homeschool must take all day? Do you want your elementary age children to school all day for 5-6 hours per day and do a ton of worksheets? Then don't bother with MFW. MFW incorporates a lot of Charlotte Mason influences one of which is getting done earlier so that you can have productive afternoons and time to pursue other things. You can add whatever you want to add to MFW, just get done with school and service first.
Does the phrase “raising generations of godly families who see the world through God’s eyes and live according to that knowledge” draw you in or push you away?
That phrase is MFW’s vision statement, mission, purpose whatever they call it. But they are serious about designing curriculum to help families impart a Biblical worldview and have time to serve together as a family. .
Do you object to a blend of instruction styles? MFW is rich in literature, but is not sit around all day and read.
Does the idea of using a textbook once in a while when needed make you want to hide? Well, MFW uses a variety of books and some of them are text style. Not everything in MFW is wrapped in pretty little bows and ribbons and shiny foil wrapping paper. But Box Day is still fun day. You don't just sit around reading a text all day either. :-)
That’s enough for now. I need to teach my children before continuing to fellowship on line today. Thanks for letting me hang out over here.