MFW - What do you love?

Julie - Staff
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What Sets MFW Apart From Other Homeschooling Curriculums?

Unread post by Julie - Staff » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:31 pm

kalphs wrote:What sets MFW apart from other homeschooling curriculums?
Posted Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:29 pm by 705emily
There are several things that set MFW apart from other curriculum for our family. I will try to list some of the main ones.

1. The entire curriculum is built on a Biblical framework--in other words the Bible is not just added in as a separate subject.

2. MFW is a "hands-on" approach to a "classical" curriculum. The classical approach is utilized in MFW but not merely in an academic sense. There are hands-on learning projects built into MFW that teach and reinforce concepts.

3. The curriculum is designed to be used with multiple ages of children.

4. The curriculum is MANAGEABLE. By this I mean that even when you complete everything offered by MFW's curriculum, which is a LOT, you will still have time for music lessons, doctor's appts., AWANA, and service to others.

5. The curriculum is Literature Rich. MFW utilizes a "book basket" which is scheduled into the curriculum. It provides the opportunity for kids to read many, many books on their own that pertain to the topics being studied. The extensive book list is listed in the Teacher's Manual

6. The curriculum utilizes unit studies. When in Adv. you are studying Christ, the Bread of Life, you will be doing yeast experiments in science, and you will be making butter the way the Pilgrims did it in History. This method of learning connects the dots for kids in a way that non-unit studies don't.

Before I found MFW I put together my own curriculum by trying this and that. It was frustrating! When I found MFW, it was as though I could go Ahhhhhhh! and relax. The Hazells have done so much wonderful work that we are benefitting from! I can truly say that MFW has been a HUGE blessing to our family!

Posted Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:43 pm by cbollin
Now there's an open ended question: Should get lots of fun answers from many different perspectives of it. Should be a fun thread. :) Here's a link to the "super thread" in the archives about what sets it apart from other similar style curriculum
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?t=4098

Honestly, MFW has been a gift from God for my family. Some things that I see that make it work over here:
*easy to use lessons plans.
*each program is designed to be a year in length instead of spread out for long time
*programs that are intended for use within families and that really recognize different stages of learning of the children.
*books that are packaged for you and sold at competitive rates
*enrichment reading that doesn’t require specific titles
*a blend of learning and teaching techniques
*real focus on the Bible as a spine in many of the programs where ancient and world history are the focus.
*hands on projects that can be done and cleaned up easily. Uses normal stuff from grocery stores and occasional hobby/craft store
*and they are serious about funding Bible translation projects with their missions fund.

I have used MFW since 2003. I’m not really all that qualified to tell you how it compares or is set apart from "other stuff" because I’m not out shopping. But I lurk on a few places here and there and noticed something about ECC and MFW in general that I want to share. These are differences and don’t really mean better or worse.

ECC is one thing that can set MFW apart. It is not just about setting the stage for learning history by studying geography. It is about helping you and your children to see yourselves in other parts of the world where God can use you. There are other literature style programs with year long geography. But MFW has a few approaches that are different. One of those program will focus more on the 10/40 window. ECC takes you on all continents. (that’s just something different in the programs. Not inferior or superior)

And also in ECC when you read missionary biographies you have gentle ways to introduce heavy topics at the right stage of learning. So I think that sets MFW apart --- it takes a more insulated approach instead of an over and too early exposure or even isolated approach to it. Some topics need to wait until our kids are a little older and in the context of what God is doing about it through people who are willing to follow Him. MFW provides that balance. That way your children aren’t totally isolated, but you don’t expose too much info at the wrong stage of their lives. But it’s always done in the context of what God is doing and how you can do that too. It’s not just learning about the plight of others.

And when all of that is said.....

At the heart of it from a very personal level and this is not a comparison to any program. God has used the materials and structure in MFW to change my family for the better—not the perfect, the better. The Lord has used MFW to create in our lives the desire to see God's hand in history and current events and to do stuff about it. That’s not just a slogan on their website. It really is happening in our lives even though we aren’t that great or very extroverted types. We still know that we can serve as senders.

MFW has created the opportunities to allow even my husband to read about Christian Heroes and missionaries instead of just reading the newspaper or online comics or fiction novels. (Still does that too, nothing wrong with that). Dad can be involved in MFW teaching.

From using MFW my kids have on their own said things like "China is a beautiful place with beautiful people. I'm going there someday and tell Muslims that Jesus loves them." (quote goes to my 9 year old.) It's helped my oldest (age 12) think about money that she finds --- she doesn't ask anymore how much of this money should I keep? She says "this is God's money, what does He want me to do with it today?" She’s been challenged to think about using her talents with crafts to help missionaries and local ministries. She’s donated money to help print Children’s Bibles in another language that will be used in that country’s public classrooms.

I don’t think any of that would happen with any other program. She didn’t learn that as part of a kids finance program. It came from using books and other MFW resources. Honestly – she has David Hazell to thank for some of that. My oldest listens to his workshop CD’s and pays attention. That’s something that sets MFW apart from some programs --- God gifted our brother in Christ to talk about stuff like that and he does. God gifted our sister in Christ, Marie, to write a really good and easy to use low prep program!!!! As goofy as this might read in cyber space, I feel like MFW just helps me stay focused about big picture thinking with homeschooling. It’s not just a tool for getting school done with kids. It’s a tool for me too to grow.

When it comes down to it, what has set MFW apart in my eyes from all of the other stuff around me that my friends use and like is that we get to learn a lot of really good academic stuff, have fun with simple projects, read lots of books, and have learned to love the Lord more as a family and that we get it done in our real lives. I like that I don’t have to do any lesson planning. I like that the things used for language arts and math and science are strong programs that don’t overtake our day.

My autistic daughter is learning to read this year. Two days ago, while I was in the midst of trying to decide if MFW K would be too hard for my special daughter, she picked up the K manual and read the words on lesson 4 out loud and clear:
If I stay in Jesus I will have much fruit.

That's what sets MFW apart from the other curriculum --- even in the most simple of ways the word of God is interwoven into the program so that even those with severe language disorders will have the chance to hear and see God's word. Those without those language problems get to hear it too. But I want her to stay in Jesus and have much fruit. I think God was saying “Remain here” one more time to me. I really feel that with MFW, I am staying in Jesus and I will have much fruit. and that might sound and read all sappy and weird, but I really feel that way.

Bible and character and worldview are not tag on in MFW. Is MFW the only curriculum that can say that? I don't know. Maybe there are others that are like it. But God called me to use MFW to get it done. HE placed them in my path in 2003 and I remain there with my kids – growing in the Lord.

Posted Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:13 pm by MJ in IL
For me... I was hooked when ds12 (then much younger) declared that his Bible notebook (in 1st) was the best part of school.

Now I think I appreciate the big vision MFW has. I know that this past year I realized that I didn't really just use a curriculum with a nice mission project. I was funding a great mission by using a wonderful curriculum!

Just tonight my boys were cleaning off the top of the dryer and I overheard them trying to figure out what to do with the loose change... Ds9 encouraged ds12 to put it in the "blue Bible pig" (our fund for Bible translation) rather than collect it for the fair this weekend.

I have used several other curricula and MFW fits our family the best. I get to read aloud with my children, do unit studies within a framework (I can go off on loooong tangents otherwise) and have time for life skills. Most importantly, MFW focuses on Bible and character without skimping on the academics.

Posted Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:26 pm by 4Truth

Well, as the pp mentioned, it's MANAGEABLE. I'm very guilty of overwhelming *myself* with getting off on a tangent and trying to add this or that... but I always, always, always "default" to just MFW and then we're happy again. We make really good progress when we're just doing MFW as written and not trying to tweak or add too much. And the kids are happy, too, because we're actually doing school, and they love the way MFW teaches history. And "manageable" is one key element that I was looking for when I found MFW in the first place.

Thus, I like to call MFW "balanced". It's a very nice mix of a little classical, a little Charlotte Mason, just enough hands-on, just enough reading... but lots of Bible. We wanted more emphasis on Bible than most other programs offer, and we didn't want a curriculum that primarily teaches the publisher's own doctrinal viewpoint. We wanted the emphasis to be on God's Word alone (not that of Denomination XYZ), and on Jesus Christ.

And I like the overall scope & sequence of MFW... not just the history side of it, but the Bible side of it, too. I don't know, I guess you can get "history" anywhere, but not so integrated with biblical discipleship as with MFW, from what I've seen. With MFW, there's a pattern of "discipleship" in the program which kinda' goes like this:

In preschool, the child learns to *enjoy* spiritual things through music and hands-on activities.

In Kindergarten, the child is introduced to the Creator and all that God created, including him or herself (while learning to read).

In 1st grade, the child grows by practicing reading from their own Bible reader which they themself create with drawings and short narrations. They also get an overall "bird's eye view" of the Bible at their own level, and learn obedience by memorizing verses from the Proverbs.

In 2nd grade, the emphasis is on the names and characteristics of Jesus; that is, getting to know the Saviour, the Son of God. Oh, cool, I just thought of something... think of the first 3 verses of John, which say: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. Well, there you have it... the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God. That's very similar to the pattern of "discipleship" we see taught in K-2nd grade. Let's call that Discipleship Cycle 1.

Okay, moving on....

Then you have another cycle of discipleship for a more mature child. You begin learning hymns with ECC and that continues through the years, but ECC is being reintroduced to Jesus our Saviour through the book of Matthew. You also learn more about why Jesus came as you study other countries, cultures, and people groups, and praying for those outside our own little world. You learn a lot of geography along the way, too. LOL. It's world geography, but it's not just geography.

In CTG and RTR, you're being reintroduced to God's Word through the study of the Old Testament and Jewish feasts in CTG, and the study of the New Testament and acts of Paul in RTR. You also see how the whole OT is really foretelling and pointing to the coming of the Messiah, which event happens near the beginning of RTR, right where it belongs in history as Caesar was reigning and Rome was becoming more powerful every day... just like it says in Scripture.

Then you begin a real focus on servanthood... doing something with all that knowledge of the Word that you've been learning all along. In Expl-1850 you study and memorize the book of James; you continue a study of church history that began in RTR; and you see how some key people in early America used their faith to do great works for the glory of God.

(Sidenote here... understanding church history is really significant to understanding what led up to the founding of America. I don't think you can fully understand one without the other.)

Then 1850-Modern continues a study of hymns, and the example of good works from many Christians of the past. The James study in EX1850 and the study this year really speak directly to the heart and mind of the student who is now approaching teenhood.

That's Discipleship Cycle 2. See the pattern? In both cycles you have: 1) the world and our purpose in it; 2) the Word of God, our authority and guide for life; 3) Jesus our Saviour, who He is and what He came for; and 4) servanthood. Each cycle is geared to the appropriate age group as the child grows and matures.

This cycle will repeat in high school, I'm sure, as the 9th grader will read through the entire Old Testament, and I believe he'll read the entire New Testament later on. They are strongly encouraged to use part of every day for service opportunities to those around them (servanthood), and they also should know by that point how to give an apologetic for Creation science against evolution, since all of the elementary years were spent studying science from that viewpoint.

That's what sets MFW apart from the rest. :o)

Posted Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:19 am by dhudson
I agree with all of the ladies above. I am going to just add this, the knowledge and understanding that my kids have of the Bible and their place in the world is what has set MFW apart for me.

For example: After reading about Amy Carmicheal and India (ECC)my little cute as a button 5 yr old daughter ( she's 7 now) started praying about becoming a missionary to India and she's still praying about it 2 yrs later. She daily looks for ways to tell the world about Jesus.

My quiet shy son (5 at the time) knew that Jesus was the Light of the World and that he was like the moon reflecting Jesus light (MFWK) so he was willing to go to Mexico and hand out leaflets and tell perfect strangers in a bustling marketplace about Jesus.

My oldest son led my youngest son to salvation one night as the were talking after having memorized the Roman road to salvation (RTR).

I could talk about the academic excellence, which is true, or how well my children test, how much we enjoy learning as family which are all true but in the end it all comes down to how God uses MFW to contiunue to grow my children into Godly young men and women who have a heart for the peoples of the world.

Posted Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:40 pm by Happy2BMotherof3

You've gotten a lot of great responses. I just wanted to say that MFW has been a HUGE blessing to our family as well. I love how the Bible isn't just ....like a separate subject. It's interwoven throughout the curriculum as well as part of history because it is history (most important part of history). My kids LOVE MFW and it's fun for them. It has been a perfect fit for our family. I feel as though the Lord led me here and I am very greatful for this curriculum.

I first started out with Sonlight when I first began homeschooling. The first year was nice because I really enjoyed reading to my little daughter (4 at the time). She also enjoyed listening to me....it creates a special bond. Well after purchasing the next level from Sonlight I felt like something just wasn't quite right......like something was missing.... there wasn't a balance....I was doing all the reading of a lot of books (while losing my voice in the process). It just seemed a little too much and wasn't balance out very well. MFW has been that perfect balance that I was lacking. So it has been a breath of fresh air. School is more enjoyable, I get to keep my voice (while still enjoying reading to my kids....no overkill), and it doesn't take us all day to get done. It's right at their level and it's FUN!

Posted Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:30 pm by TurnOurHearts
I would like to add that MFW gives an amazing framework for people of differing personalities to be able to use and be successful. You don't have to be Type A to make MFW work for you. Or Type B or Type Z! You are given wonderful possibilities with each new day. If you choose, you can follow the plan to the T. If you'd rather not, you can mix it up. You can tweak. You can personalize. Or not. :)

The ladies and gentlemen on this board represent a wide variety of personalities, lifestyles, preferences, denominations, family size, etc., etc. My sister & I are one example: She's Mrs. Creative. I'm Mrs. Just-Tell-Me-How-To-Do-It. She's got book lists that could stretch from NC to California (okay...I'm exaggerating a bit). I'm doing well if I preview the book list in the back of the TM the week before we need the books. In MFWK, she & her dd did a mural of Creation on the ceiling (with posters)! We cut out the 7 day numbers & glued them on green construction paper as laid out in the directions.

I tell you that to convey that we are BOTH using MFW with GREAT success! Her way works for her family. My way works for mine. And we BOTH love MFW.

That's just one aspect of MFW that stands out for me, in addition to EVERYTHING that was mentioned above. :)

Posted Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:02 am by HSmommi2mine

The most important things to me

1. open and go

2. Biblically integrated

3. hands on projects

4. classical

These are very big deals for me.

cbollin

Knowing that you will be biased toward MFW...

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:04 am

4littlehearts wrote:Knowing that you will be biased toward MFW... I am going to ask you this question anyways. We did ECC this past year. I will have a 2nd and 5th grader next year. I know that I have mentioned before that neither one has had a good basis in American history yet. It has come down to MFW CTG or Winterpromise American Story 1. I come here knowing your bias and so I am asking you if you were to make a commercial for MFW, why would you choose it over my other option. I am not out to bash Winterpromise because obviously I am highly considering that route, but I know that you have chosen MFW for a particular reason. So what you choose it?

The constant draw of CTG, is the Biblical perspective and missions focus and integrated Bible. Another draw for me is that Winterpromise American Story incorporates many picture books and books that I think my dc will understand better at their age. I am not so sure about CTG as far as that goes. My dh just leaves these decisions up to me and sometimes they can be very overwhelming. There are so many good options out there that it makes it hard to choose.
I think MFW does this too with books like Ancient World (picture based and internet linked for other fun things)
Ancient Egypt - the pics in there were good and had kids in costumes
Victor Journey - adds just a little bit of Bible history pictures. the 2nd grader doesn't need more than the pics and captions.
We had picture books in book basket on Egypt, ancient Greece, Trojan Horse (which is plenty for 2nd grader who doesn't have to do Children's Homer)

so which is more appealing to you:
God's Story, Part 1 (ctg) with some side facts added on local/us history just so grandma doesn't think her grandkids are missing it
or America's Story (wp) and you have to build some Bible now that might not be related. (maybe it is .. but I dont' know either way)

neither is wrong.. they are different paths.

so you asked for commercial for MFW:
I still dont' feel like doing a full ad copy that will pull your heart and mind to just do MFW...

*I've enjoyed MFW's customer service and shipping reputations.
*I really like that I have yet to hear in cyber space of people being able to use MFW secularly. I've heard people change Bible from what MFW has scheduled. But I don't hear people using MFW secularly.
*I like that it's Bible, history, science, and a whole bunch of other each year. I'm not bashing other programs,just saying, I work better with MFW's model on it instead of buy a history theme, now buy a science theme in elementary. too much on my brain! just someone choose one, I'll do it.

I like that when we did CTG, we got it done, and still had time for learning our new city, new lives, and had time for archery, ballet, speech therapy and mowing that yard....trips to the zoo (which ironically has an Egyptian theme in Memphis... )

If the main reason that you were looking at any other program was to do a year of part 1 of US history, then you have options to stay with MFW:

I mentioned the take advantage of light and independent Fridays and holidays route. I've done that route when my oldest was in ECC before ADV was written. It all turns out ok. it really does.

Julie mentioned that you could jump out of sequence route:
so that would look like
5th and 2nd: Ex1850 with younger supplement
6th and 3rd: 1850MOD with younger supplement
7th and 4th: CTG, and jr. high student uses jr. high science and does some reports from Streams
8th and 5th: RTR:
9th: AHL - it really will be ok to do CTG and RTR in jr. high and start high school in order. , and 6th in EX1850 as full program
10th: WHL, 7th in 1850MOD
11th: US1, 8th in ECC at jr. high
12: US2, 9th in AHL

looks nice on paper, but
oh wait a minute... you have younger children after the 2nd grader.... dont you? you have 4 little hearts? are there 2 younger children and maybe more in the picture?


maybe all you have to do is add in some simple fun things in CTG to just briefly touch on US history - take advantage of holidays and library books, and all of those cheap or freebie lapbooks out there to build a little something, or during "reading time" use some books on US history during the weeks when book basket is a chore at your library. then, as a family you will have covered these topics and they'll become more part of your conversations for those younger ears.

-crystal

erin.kate
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:38 am

Re: Knowing that you will be biased toward MFW...

Unread post by erin.kate » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:23 am

I have poured over WP's website and catalog and their marketing department is genius. :-) What I do hear over and over and over is that their TM is choppy and that there is no fluidity to the learning and that the books can be at inappropriate levels ... recommended for a first grader but more on target with a fifth grader. (ETA: We have decided after this thread and through more prayer and soul searching to drop the idea of WP science. We are going to be thorough and intentional with a light Friday of nature, living science stories, art, and hymns instead.)

The awesome ladies on this board will tell you that I have had such a time deciding on what to do next year with my 2nd grader ... but ultimately we have decided through prayer and by simply setting it all at His feet. I encourage you to think about what your kids need, what you want out of your home school, what your husband's heart says, and then give it all up to the Lord ... he will guide and provide for your children.

MFW and WP are at their core so very different, IMHO. The one thing I cannot walk away from with MFW is that the heart of this program from K-12 is Christ. Bible is not a subject. It is MFW. It is not an afterthought. It is revered and that is something that cannot be trumped by fancy catalogs. I am a grass-is-greener-curriculum-drooler to a fault, but I am always led back to MFW. When my children go off to college, or to their first dance, I want them to have a deep love for Jesus first ... He will carry them through life ... math, reading, writing ... those things are important, but I want the souls of my children to be fed by their love for Jesus and His Word first and I believe that the rest will naturally follow ... AND MFW is excellent in its presentation and choice of materials. This is not to say that academics are light in MFW ... not at all ... it's the opposite in fact ...

No curriculum is going to be absolutely perfect but the overreaching philosophy or hopes for a program/publisher might help you in your decisions. Lots of prayers for peace in your decision. I know how trying it can be to feel unsure. Best to you!
Last edited by erin.kate on Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
♥Count it all joy ~
Mae 11, Viola 9, Jude 7, & Jack 6
2015: RTR
2014: CTG
2011: Adventures
2010: MFW First Grade
2009: MFW K♥

jbragg
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:52 pm

Re: Knowing that you will be biased toward MFW...

Unread post by jbragg » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:16 am

I haven't used CTG or American story, but I have used MFW 1st and WinterPromise Hideaways in History. We started with WP this year. The TM wasn't very helpful just basically a grid and a few website ideas not much in the way of helpful notes. Hideaways was suppose to be for K and 1st but it was way over the heads of both my kids and not at all interesting to them. It was a little choppy as another poster had said and the order of somethings didn't make sense to me. I tried to tweak it because I spent a lot of money buying the whole new program, but in the end it wasn't really going to be their program anymore because so little of it appealed to my kids. I think some of the books will be good for book basket as they get older so I don't feel it was a total waste, but it put a lot of stress on the first part of the year.

I had thought about MFW this time last year, but didn't do it because I was worried about doing both the K and 1st programs at the same time. Hindsight is 20/20. It would have cost less and been more fun if we had started our year that way. After a crazy first half of the year I got MFW 1st to give it a try. It was my answer to prayer. I squeezed it together some to get it all in starting part way through the year, but even that was more fun and laid back then WP. The MFW TM is so helpful and my kids really enjoyed it. There was less complaining because my son just doesn't do school without a little complaining. :)

I also like the fact that Bible is a major part of MFW. It was more of an after thought with WP to me. They had you drag out a lesson for a whole week that we finished in a day or two. I loved that MFW 1st is all about the Bible and my son prayed to accept the Lord a few months after we started with MFW 1st. I have no way of knowing that he wouldn't have any way, but I can't help but think that being totally surrounded by the Bible in all that he was learning didn't help him to see how awesome the Lord is and his own need for a savior.

Anyway that turned out longer than I planned. :) I know that my experience is different than what you are talking about, but I felt I should share. You can take all that I said with a grain of salt. I am so blessed that we switched to MFW. I already ordered Adventures and we can't wait to start in the fall. God will lead you to the right program just keep seeking Him.

Have a blessed day. Jen

erin.kate
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:38 am

Re: Knowing that you will be biased toward MFW...

Unread post by erin.kate » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:15 am

4littlehearts wrote:I appreciate all of your lengthy replies to my questions. This is a really hard decision for me. You almost have me convinced that MFW is what we should be doing. I am sure that I can add in American history along the way. I have always been drawn by MFW mission statement/view toward the world and would hate to miss out on some of the readers incorporated in this program.

This is an option I've been tossing about. We never really finished MFW ECC. We got halfway through, but I really wanted to study something different next year. I should have kept on schedule with it. I think that maybe I could give my youngest a little more time and use WP American Story this year. I figured I could use MFW ECC for Bible and the read-alouds at bedtime so we will not miss out of my favorite part of MFW. Then, maybe the next school year we can use MFW CTG. The only problem with that is my ds will not finish the whole cycle. He will miss out of MFW 1850-modern. What do you think?
Everyone has their own feelings of course about this, but I'll throw out mine. ;)

I feel about home school curriculum like I do about choosing a private school for our kids, if I had to ... I was moved from school to school because my mom always wanted to try the next thing ...
so, I went to a Baptist school, then a traditional Christian school, then Montessori school, a Waldorf school, public school, a tiny elite Christian school, public high school, then a beautiful Catholic college.

I would not want to switch from MFW to WP back to MFW to HOD to BF to this or to that. KWIM? There is so much more to MFW (and I can only speak for MFW) than just the book selections ... it's the way the material is presented and builds on each year, the philosophy, the worldview, the cohesiveness to the layout. I might always add to MFW with snippets of something ... maybe WP science, or BF geography, or Queen CM studies ... but our core will remain the same so that our kids are free to learn and engage, rather than learn how to learn a new program when we swap.

Maybe I'm just unique in that I want more consistency since I never had that luxury as a child. :-)

Hope this is helpful. I'm sure that no matter what you choose you will make it beautiful and your year will be wonderful. You already care so much and that is a part of home schooling that can't be bought. ;)
♥Count it all joy ~
Mae 11, Viola 9, Jude 7, & Jack 6
2015: RTR
2014: CTG
2011: Adventures
2010: MFW First Grade
2009: MFW K♥

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

Re: Knowing that you will be biased toward MFW...

Unread post by abrightmom » Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:37 pm

erin.kate wrote:MFW and WP are at their core so very different, IMHO. The one thing I cannot walk away from with MFW is that the heart of this program from K-12 is Christ. Bible is not a subject. It is MFW. It is not an afterthought. It is revered and that is something that cannot be trumped by fancy catalogs. I am a grass-is-greener-curriculum-drooler to a fault, but I am always led back to MFW. When my children go off to college, or to their first dance, I want them to have a deep love for Jesus first ... He will carry them through life ... math, reading, writing ... those things are important, but I want the souls of my children to be fed by their love for Jesus and His Word first and I believe that the rest will naturally follow ... AND MFW is excellent in its presentation and choice of materials. This is not to say that academics are light in MFW ... not at all ... it's the opposite in fact ...

No curriculum is going to be absolutely perfect but the overreaching philosophy or hopes for a program/publisher might help you in your decisions. Lots of prayers for peace in your decision. I know how trying it can be to feel unsure. Best to you!
:) Agreeing with Erin Kate here....WP's catalog is be-yoo-ti-ful. However, unless something has changed within their plans (themed programs), then Bible is "tacked" on and it isn't meaty. What I have seen in their plans are fluffy devotional materials versus study of the Scriptures, memorizing the truths of God's Word, applying them across the curriculum, etc.

Anyhow, that isn't to say that you can't use a WP themed program and study the Bible simultaneously. Of course, you can! MFW gives you a better overall Unit Study approach and equips you to reach a wider age range. The Book Basket is also to die for with MFW. I LOVE it.

I have also heard nothing but negative reports about WP's teacher's guides. I've read numerous accounts of Moms feeling like the books were scheduled without having been read, reviewed, or thoughtfully folded in to the overall plan. It's a very disappointing track record because the IDEA of Winter Promise is drool worthy. :-)
-Katrina-

DS15, DS14, DD12, DS8

jbragg
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:52 pm

Re: Knowing that you will be biased toward MFW...

Unread post by jbragg » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:35 pm

4littlehearts wrote:If you have seen both MFW book basket list and the resources they list to further the study of WP in their teacher's guides, could you give me a comparison. Obviously after using ECC and part of Adventures I know what the book basket lists are like for MFW, but having not seen WP I have no idea of the comparison. I have seen their samples, but it is really hard to tell just the little bit of a sample you do see.
I have only seen the Hideaways in History teacher's guide from WinterPromise. They only offered book ideas from the "You wouldn't want to be..." series ("you wouldn't want to be a sumerian slave" is one title) to add to what we were already reading. They also gave a few website ideas, but I never had much luck with them still being current or interesting. As part of the program we were building hideaways that had to do with what we were studying (though that was pretty loosely related at times) and they did give you a tip or two on how to do it or make it more simple or add a little more detail. They did warn you about a few things in the stories of great people series that they included that were questionable or you might want to skip. In the beginning of the guide they give you a few different ways that people have used the program and there is a section on how to use narration with your child if you haven't done it before. I didn't feel like it gave me to much more help than a grid to follow.

I looked at the American Story 1 samples and they seemed pretty similar. It did seem to have a few book suggestions, but still not as much to it as MFW IMO. Seeing the samples doesn't give you very much to go on though.

I don't know if that helped at all but that was my experience with one of the guides.
Jen

4littlehearts
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:05 pm

Re: Knowing that you will be biased toward MFW...

Unread post by 4littlehearts » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:55 pm

Thanks Jen, any information helps. I do know that the book list for MFW is pretty extensive at least in ECC, the whole back section of the book being devoted to just that. We love the library and have a pretty good library system so I love to have lots of ideas for great books in the manual. Thanks again!

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

Re: Knowing that you will be biased toward MFW...

Unread post by gratitude » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:11 pm

erin.kate wrote:I would not want to switch from MFW to WP back to MFW to HOD to BF to this or to that. KWIM? There is so much more to MFW (and I can only speak for MFW) than just the book selections ... it's the way the material is presented and builds on each year, the philosophy, the worldview, the cohesiveness to the layout. I might always add to MFW with snippets of something ... maybe WP science, or BF geography, or Queen CM studies ... but our core will remain the same so that our kids are free to learn and engage, rather than learn how to learn a new program when we swap.
I agree with Erin.kate on this. For me I didn't want to go back and forth between SL then MFW back to SL back to MFW with some WP and HOD thrown in; oh, I am sure I could add some others like Mystery of History & Apologia! Ugh..

I guess I am trying to add that I understand the desires I had that made my curriculum decisions difficult. It took me awhile to make a final choice. The answer to the prayer was always the same though: go with MFW, it is the best choice for my kids. So here we are, peaceful & happy at MFW. :-) I researched their curriculum up through High school before I made a final choice. Like Erin.kate said though it seems to me that it does help to choose a core program, like a private school choice, and then stay with it for the consistency of learning. Like Erin said, you can always add some to it as you want; even though I so think it can also stand on its own.

One of my doctor's wives home schooled 6 children from K through 12th for each one. Her best advice was to pick a curriculum and stay with it in order to not confuse the children, and to make sure the consistency is there so everything needed is covered. For her she used ABeka. The advice though was good. I listened, and then took another 8 months to finalize. So far, so good.

Oh, the main reason I choose MFW is that Jesus Christ, The Word, The Bible, etc. are at the very heart of this program. I could never find a private school this good. I don't even think I could find another home school curriculum this good. Jesus, Bible, & academics. Wow. Marie Hazell's notes are wonderful, so helpful, and lead every step of the way. Thank you Marie Hazell! :-)

Blessings for your decision.

Millie
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:03 pm

Re: Knowing that you will be biased toward MFW...

Unread post by Millie » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:32 pm

MFW was the first curriculum recommended to me when I first started looking into homeschooling. Being the obsessive-compulsive, must-research-everything-available type that I am, I spent two years trudging through the "shinier" catalogs and shoved the MFW catalog to the back of the file. Fast forward to decision time. I had completely decided on WinterPromise. I loved the look of it, the idea, all of it -- I could even deal with their shipping "issues." My oldest was starting to read and we were 10 months from her official Kindergarten year, so I decided to purchase the Language Arts Program from WinterPromise to try it out and keep her busy, and then order HIH for her K year. Oh, my! Obviously I'm here, so things didn't go so great. Here are a couple of things (among many) that made me crazy. The typos. Too many to count. Scheduled pages on the grid not matching up with what we were supposed to be doing. I had to check ahead in the grid every week, find the right pages, and correct the grid. Maybe my expectations are unreasonable, but when I'm paying that much money for a program, I expect it to have been proofread and checked over. I was spending so much time fixing what was supposed to be saving me time that I pulled out my catalogs to research different programs... again. There was no way I was going to drop several hundred dollars into HIH and risk dealing with the same problems.

I was drawn back to MFW and ordered the K program. We are halfway through and LOVE it!! It is so seamless and cohesive and my daughter loves it. We will start MFW 1st as soon as we finish K, and I'm already looking forward to future, peaceful years with MFW. I don't want this to sound like WP "bashing," but I think it's important to be aware of what you may be dealing with. I still think they have a good concept for their curriculum, but I think they just grew too fast and didn't take the time to examine and fix the details that make a big difference to people like me. Oh, and the shipping from WP... order EARLY -- along the lines of 2-3 months before you want to start.

Just my experience, hope that helps!
Millie

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

Having 2nd thoughts.

Unread post by gratitude » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:21 pm

HSMom03 wrote:I've been wanting to switch to MFW for a long time. Now that it is finally time to order I am having 2nd thoughts.

Someone talk me into MFW 1st Grade! :) Really though, how do you decide? I have enough unused curriculum around the house that I wouldn't really need to buy much for this upcoming year. I would probably just buy math and some fun stuff. I don't know which direction to take.
What are your top 5 goals for your child's first grade year?

Will MFW1 help or hinder you meet those goals based on what you know of it?

What do you enjoy doing most together for teaching / learning? Hands on, reading books aloud, playing a game, etc.?

What does your child not know now that you would like them to have a year from now?

Are they ready to read? Do you want a Bible reader? Do you want Bible history as your first history? Those three things MFW1 does well.

I honestly hope this helps & isn't confusing.

I always hear moms of graduates say to enjoy the process and not get too caught up in worry of the end point since they do learn. My oldest is only 10, but having always home schooled I would agree with them.

Ask God what is best for next year, and He will open your eyes in His timing.

HSMom03
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:13 pm

Re: Having 2nd thoughts.

Unread post by HSMom03 » Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:32 pm

Thank you so much for your thoughtful/helpful questions. I am pondering the answers. I think I just have 2 great plans and can't really let go of either one of them. Hoping to hear from God! If I can quiet myself for long enough...

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Having 2nd thoughts.

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:05 pm

I'll just mention that my grandson already goes to public school full-time, so no curriculum is "needed" for him (and plenty of expense is already invested, as public school costs add up). I also have tons of curriculum around the house -- my kids say I have more books than the library.

However, I still have gotten MFW-K and MFW-1st because there is thorough back-up coverage on basic skills, and even more so because there is character and Biblical education that my grandson and I both cherish. Marie Hazell is gifted at making lessons exactly at the target age level, lifting the child up to reach a level of understanding and wisdom that he is capable of. Last Thanksgiving, we were making a list of 100 things we were thankful for, and my grandson ran to get his MFW notebooks to find more things to thank God for. Well worth the time and investment at my house, even with schooling fully covered already.

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

HSMom03
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:13 pm

Re: Having 2nd thoughts.

Unread post by HSMom03 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:36 pm

Julie-Thanks for sharing! :)

I was all set on MFW1 for the longest time for this upcoming school year, and then I started looking at other things and started to question myself (or just wanting to do everything!). I am strongly leaning towards MFW right now. As you (Julie) mentioned, age-appropriateness seems to be a HUGE strength of MFW's. Also, I just read on another forum somebody saying that MFW is the most FUN homeschool program they have ever found anywhere. This pretty much describes how I was seeing it! That's one of the major draws for me, I just want to have fun with my kids. MFW seems to make that so easy for the mom, and then add to that everything else MFW is good at (Bible, academics, etc.) and I just don't think it gets any better than that ;) .

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