Compare MFW to other unit studies

Lucy
Posts: 441
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Compare MFW to other unit studies

Unread post by Lucy » Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:56 pm

Compare MFW to other unit studies with activities
I used other Unit Studies before MFW. I found it to be too much work for me. I like that MFW is laid out for me and comes with good spine books and an extensive library list already looked through for me:)

I also did a search to find discussions about other Unit Studies on the General Board. Instead of me reinventing the wheel here are some comments I found.

Excerpts from Ginger:
"Your post caught my eye as I was leaving, so I thought I would share a few thoughts. I have a little girl much like your son :) I have also used several Unit Studies for over 8 years :) I have a love/hate relationship with them LOL. There is much planning/library trips/searching through books to find material to present, etc. But, memories are made. I have bought most of the books in some programs, little by little. We love to read them on the couch, but the busy dd has a hard time being still for long.

I found/use/love MFW because it is a lovely combining of the gentle ideas of Charlotte Mason, the clear and consistent covering of history in order, and some fun hands-on activities to give school that spark of excitement. Pray about your decision and you will find the right fit for your family "Blessings~


By Amanda:
"I haven't personally used another Unit Study, but my sister did this year with her 2 school aged children, and while she loved the idea of it, all the planning and preparation required by her was overwhelming to her, and like you said, she did find that she got so into the 'planning' part, that the plans didn't get executed as often as they should have."


Hope this helps you.
Lucy
Last edited by Lucy on Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

kellybell
Posts: 475
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Unread post by kellybell » Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:58 pm

A friend of mine (who discovered she's really not a unit study type) loaned me her Unit Study for a month or so to look at... It was an older edition but I'm guessing it still has the same flavor.

The activities were amazing. They all looked like fun, but they also looked like a lot of work for mom. They wouldn't have worked for me simply because I like to do ... everything (although I'm learning not to) and I would've done every activity on subjects I like (and probably would've skipped entire studies I didn't care for). I can't imagine the energy it would take to plan and carry off some of the programs. For moms that can do it, more power to them -- I'm sure their kids are having a blast while learning. However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing for me! I would burn out in about a month!

I liked how MWF has a weekly schedule. This helped me keep my pace, so I don't get bogged down on something (or you could breeze through something too quickly to give it enough attention).

Also, MFW isn't SO unit-study-ish (is that an adjective???) that it ties everything (spelling, etc.) into the unit. So, while MFW recommends some neat spelling and writing resources, you can easily plug in your own favorites if that works better.

I also like MFW's chronological history (after the year of ECC geography). I guess you could use a timeline and jump all over and the kids could "get it" but it makes more sense to me to teach it chronologically.

We're really enjoying that the Bible itself is a centerpiece of our history. It's not just that the Assyrians captured the Israelites, it's that they were meanies and doing it to others too! It all ties together so well!

So, MFW gives our family just the right amount of "unit study" but it doesn't burden me. It's all planned out and it doesn't take much energy.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Guest

Unread post by Guest » Mon Sep 12, 2005 10:22 pm

This is EXACTLY why MFW is the perfect fit for our family. As the Hazells say, we have to be able to do school "in the real world." I don't feel burned out at all with MFW. It just fits us soooo well.
Blessings,
~Toni~

kellybell
Posts: 475
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Compare MFW to other types of unit studies?

Unread post by kellybell » Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:35 pm

pjssully wrote:Just wondering if there are any people who have used other unit studies and then switched over to my father's world. What was your reason for making the switch. I need to decide. Any feedback?
pam
I've always used MFW (except for one do-it-yourself year) so I have no direct experience with other unit studies. When we decided to homeschool, we soon found Sonlight and Weaver to be the "top two" for us, we went to convention, saw MFW, got confused by finding something else, went home empty handed, prayed, and have been MFW fans ever since.

Here are some of the things that made MFW better for our family:

1. I don't think I could handle two big programs at once for different aged kids. I can handle a big (Adventures and beyond) MFW program alongside MFW's K or 1st grade because K and 1st are quick and easy (but effective).

2. MFW does such a great job of integrating Bible into their program.

3. MFW is less expensive. We buy the deluxe packages and they are less than other programs. The packages contain the books you really need as well as those you will use over the course of the year. For the remainder of the books (those you read through once or don't really "need" to have), we rely on the library. Works for us.

4. We subscribe to the "less is more" philosophy that MFW seems to follow. MFW resources (such as Spelling Power or ILL) are inexpensive and easy to use, so they don't take up much time or money or brain cells in preparation. The things MFW recommends get right to the point and lack "fluff."

5. MFW includes some already-thought-out hands on projects. My kids like these projects but I am not good and creating them. So, the TM already has them (and for most of them, we've got the needed items already at home).

6. I like the MFW community here on the board and knowing that if I really needed to talk to someone about MFW, I can pick up the phone and speak to someone that really is connected with the program, not simply a "rep."

ANyway, in all fairness, you should post on other boards and see what they say.

Oh, and don't forget to PRAY. God knows what will fit your family best! And, he wants to answer that prayer.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

birthblessed
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2006 2:29 pm

Unread post by birthblessed » Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:36 pm

I used other unit studies for 4 years and now have switched to MFW. It was less expensive, fewer books, more Bible centered, more integrated learning (instead of just reading) and more Charlotte Mason inspired. The "deluxe" included music and art, which was sorely lacking in our previous programs.

TurnOurHearts

Unread post by TurnOurHearts » Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:27 pm

Hi Pam ~

Truly, His ways are NOT my ways. To be very honest, in looking at My Father's World, I was a bit of a snob (I hate to admit that...). It didn't seem to have as much 'professional gloss' as I saw with other programs. Could it be as good? Then I began to pray about what I wanted for my children. What is my heart-cry for them? Simply this: to know Jesus as closely and intimately as is earthly possible. That may sound academically irresponsible, but I don't mean it that way at all. In My Father's World, I have found the curriculum that I believe will shape, first & foremost their foundation in Christ; all the while, the program is so rich academically! I could not be more pleased with our decision.

Hands down, I think our greatest responsibility as parents is to ask God for wisdom where our children are concerned. He is not in the business of failure. Pray & seek God. Trust that His plans are for your good, not for your harm. Then rest. Rest in His goodness & provision.

A fellow sojourner,
Paige in NC

MJ in IL
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 5:23 pm

Unread post by MJ in IL » Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:36 pm

Pam-
I also have used several other programs and, for the most part, really enjoyed them with my oldest.

I agree with the others about amount of time, the stretch to do SL with more than one child, easy hand-on activities and especially:

...more Bible centered, more integrated learning (instead of just reading)...

I love the Bible focus and not having it just as an added subject. I also prefer the MFW manual to flipping all the manual pages for History/LA and Sci. I also appreciate their mission mindedness.

Someone also mentioned on an earlier thread (birthblessed maybe?) questioning the wisdom in introducing more mature subjects at an earlier age, which was an issue I had with other programs, too...I felt I had to pre-read all of the books before using them...with 2 avid readers now (and one coming up), I don't have that much time!

All in all, I was certain God led me to MFW as when I found them at a convention, I was not looking for any curriculum. I had totally passed by their booth several times, as I had many of the books they had and was happy with what I was using. I stopped to pick something up for a friend and ended up buying the K package. The rest is history!

Pray...sketch out what you want in your curriculum and how each one fulfills your goals...and pray some more! Some of the reasons I may love MFW may not be key issues for others. Also, I bought a couple of David's tapes that really impacted me. I especially liked one on becoming a family of purpose.

In Christ, Molly

hollyjay
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2004 5:56 pm

Unread post by hollyjay » Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:49 pm

We started with a literature-based program with our younger two and quickly became overwhelmed with all the reading. It seemed like all we ever did was read.

We found MFW quite by accident, prayed about it a lot (I'd never heard of it before, never met anyone who'd used it, nor had I ever even seen it. All I saw was their little catalog). We switched to MFW and it was a breath of fresh air. We've used it and loved it ever since!

I love how MFW integrates Bible throughout and you don't have to buy the science separately. I love the easier pace and the less is more approach that someone else mentioned. But I still use literature for readers and extra read-alouds.
Holly Isaac,
wife of Jason (20 yrs),
mom of Allison (17), Kirsten (14) & Heather (12)

Homeschooling with MFW since 2004. We've used ECC through 1850-Mod Times.

txquiltmommy
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:12 am

Unread post by txquiltmommy » Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:54 pm

I have had a wonderful experience using literature with my dd, who is a strong and voracious reader and can sit endlessly through read alouds. She doesn't enjoy crafts and would prefer to read about how a science experiment is "supposed" to work rather than actually doing it.

Enter two wiggly, giggly, hands-on, highly active and super creative boys...........

Last year was my first attempt at using two programs at one time, which was necessary in my previous program, and it was a very rough year for us. I found the workload overwhelming, I struggled to keep up with the reading, and my sons really had a hard time with the format. (They are not strong readers and do not enjoy sitting still for long and challenging read alouds.) In an effort to make it more enjoyable for them I tried feverishly to gather hands on activities, coloring sheets, lapbook projects, etc. Adding that to my plate was just too much. It also impacted the amount of quality time that I could spend with my dd on her work. Last Spring I switched the boys to MFW Adventures, and it has made a night and day difference in our household.

For us, it boiled down to learning styles and personalities. My boys love DOING things with MFW. They look forward to the simple activities, they love adding pages to their notebooks, they love the art curriculum, they have a ball with the science, they take great pride in the Jesus poster, and the language arts is a MUCH better fit. I love it too! I enjoy reading to my kids, but I need for that time to be productive and bring closeness.

Last year I found myself on the couch for hours (literally!) at a time fussing constantly at my kids to sit still, pay attention, and LISTEN! I felt guilty if we skipped books or got too far off schedule because I felt like I wasn't getting my money's worth out of the program. Ultimately, I did abandon their schedule and do my own thing with the books, but the planning that went along with that seemed to defeat the hefty price I had paid for the instructor's guide in the first place. Some of the reading material was so far above their heads I wasn't sure if they were really "getting it", and I had nothing to show for our year but a stack of books. One of my favorite things about MFW is the notebook approach. We have a wonderful, varied, creative record of what we are doing together. We frequently add extra pages to our notebooks because my sons both enjoy journaling, drawing, preparing a recipe or finding a simple craft that ties in with what we are studying. The book basket has done wonders for their desire to read and spend time with books. MFW has been a GREAT fit for both my boys, and I see us sticking with it for the long haul.

I think the programs I have used are both great programs, and I must say I have received excellent customer service from both companies. I personally find MFW much more enjoyable to teach, especially in the younger years. I also think the needs and preferences of my sons are more "typical". Dd is more unique and takes bookworming to a whole new level. :) Both programs fill a need in our household and bring great blessing. We have harmony, thanks to the balance provided by MFW. I'm thankful for choices! :)
Brooke
dd (14)
ds(9) - ECC
ds(8) - ECC
and one on the way in December!

Ariasarias
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:26 am

Unread post by Ariasarias » Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:35 pm

I used another unit study for about 2 months and switched to MFW. I love the book but it was a little laborious and dry. We love to read all day, but it didn't work well. It was not cohesive. I really love how MFW revolves around God's word. We still read all day, but there is more purpose. For K, MFW seems to fit better developmentally too (at least with us. I did have a young 5dd too.)
May God lead you.
Nicole, wife to Claudio since 1996, and mom to dd (2000), dd (2003), dd (2005), and ds (2009).

Lucy
Posts: 441
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Unread post by Lucy » Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:30 pm

When I first started out I was introduced to literature unit studies by some friends but really felt in the early years that I could never justify spending all that money when I could get most of these great books at the library. I also felt that my daughter who was a late reader would not benefit from all the readers that would be required. When my daughter was a bit older and reading much more independently I excitedly ordered my first literature unit study feeling that finally we could do a real year. Up to this point I put together my own units of history and science and used a hodge-podge of other curriculum. I felt we needed to get more serious and to start really tracking with a company. I was also tired of making up all my own stuff.

After 8 weeks I was very behind and my kids did not like it. It proved to be too much for us. Mostly I think it was the amount of information and books that we were expected to read. My daughter who had just really began to like reading was showing definite signs of burn-out from the long reading she was supposed to be finishing each day. Now for those kids who devour books it is great, but for those who have a moderate enjoyment and do not read very fast yet I think it could be burdensome. There are some books we skipped.

I decided we needed a change or I too was going to crash and burn. I switched to MFW not knowing if I would stick with it but finding that immediately it was doable and that we felt successful in finishing our work as well as enjoying it.

Here is what I did not realize about the literature program we were using: It is NOT a unit study at all. So I felt that although it was all good it was too much of a good thing. Too much history, too much science, too much geography and the bible was not connected in any way. I came to realize that what I loved was the literature. Unit studies are usually full of them so equated that with unit study.

Now that I have been with MFW for over 4 years I can see that uniting together makes learning easier as well as time effective. It is a good balance of academic subjects with out being too much.

I love that there is the choice for my kids to read history readers or other good books that may interest them. I like the book basket idea of giving them some choices and independence in their learning and time to discover things on their own in books.

If I had it to do all over again I would start with MFW.

I have found it easier to add more books than to have to adjust down the program and feel that we are missing something. As my kids have gotten older we have not done as many of the hands on activities but it is nice that at least they are there if we choose to do them. My kids always like the cooking ones.

This has become too long but after using several different curriculum I have found that MFW has been such a great trusted resource for me year after year.

The Lord will lead you for what is best for your family and maybe like others you will mix the 2. In the early years that is probably easier to do. But He will make it clear to you. He longs to be found and He already has the best in store for your family.

Blessings to you,

Lucy
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

DS4home
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:32 pm

Activities

Unread post by DS4home » Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:59 pm

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:19 pm

I like the amount of activities MFW plans. It's not too much and not too little. I am the type of person who gets a little overwhelmed with too many choices. When looking at another program, I saw 14 activity choices (not even including science!) for just one week! For me that is just too much. Too much time wasted looking into each activity before school so that I could make a decision on which ones I might want to do.

Dawn

my3boys
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:50 pm

Compare

Unread post by my3boys » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:37 pm

Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:19 pm

I've gone back to another website and looked at curriculum several times. I think it looks really great.

There are only a few years of it done though. It also looks like it would be harder to combine wider age ranges - it's mostly for grades 4 to 8 I think.

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:43 pm

Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:51 pm

I looked at the other website briefly just for fun this afternoon to see if there are some big-picture differences between the programs that I can see.

Here are some key things I’m seeing that might help you along the way to decide what kinds of things you might/might not like. Maybe someone else has used it and can actually compare from experience.

*book 1 starts with Egypt and goes to the time of the reformation.

MFW's history programs start first with a foundation of World Geography and cultures. Then in the history program the sequence is:
Creation to the Greeks.
then Rome to the Reformation.
Exploration to 1850
1850-Modern Times

Anyway... after having taught history the way MFW breaks it up, I’m glad I didn’t follow an Egypt to 1600’s schedule with a 4th grader. But, that is because I was interested in teaching more than just unit studies in history. I want to teach chronological history and add the fun unit studies along the way.

*cost – I’m not sure that it is cheaper than MFW. The teacher’s manual is $90-100, but does not include the student pages or timelines. Now you could say that the other program has a lot more student pages (most of it is related to the unit study style of language arts and grammar). And it is order one set of student pages per student. And then you have to order a game that goes with it and then find the books. and I'm not sure if they do timelines?? I didn't stay on the site all day :)

As you noted, MFW sells the books that it schedules. And MFW uses separate books for many parts of language arts instead of it all being related to the unit study. Those MFW recommendations can be used with more than one student. Just add plain notebook paper.

So, uhm… the cost may not be as big of a difference as it looks because with the other program you have to add several required things. Start to add all of that up.

*from the online samples of the other program, I wouldn’t be able to use that to teach in my real world. We’re all different. But I like the style of MFW's lesson plans.

*I prefer to not have all of my language arts and spelling lessons related to a unit study.

*looks like AWOA offers history based unit study. MFW blends unit studies into Chronological history – classical ed meets Charlotte Mason meets unit study on a biblical worldview foundation. MFW uses the Bible as a spine to cover ancient history from chronological perspective. The fun unit studies of Egypt, and Greece are added in MFW.

-crystal
Last edited by cbollin on Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

professormommy
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:18 pm

Unread post by professormommy » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:46 pm

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:22 pm

I did one year of another unit study and now have done 3 levels of MFW this year (K, 1st and ECC--still in progress).

I think the other program was wonderful!!! BUT, and for me this is one of the keys, I had such a hard time with the projects. They were more time-consuming and more difficult in the gathering of items--BY FAR!!! If I had only one child like author, it probably would not have been so difficult for me. She markets it for primarily grades 4-8, and that's pretty much okay, maybe a bit much for 4th and struggling 5ths.

Also, she takes a LOOONG time to get the next volumes out. In contrast, MFW is completing a new program every year and will go from PreK through HS. And you would will have to modify up and down to do other than 4th--8th.

Both are Christian, however they are quite different. In my view,
one is history-based, while one (MFW) is Christ/Bible-based---those are my words and characterizations, not MFW's. I prefer for my family the Bible-centered approach that MFW gives us. I also like the mission-mindedness of MFW.

This is just me!!!! Individual results may vary. =-)

Lorelei
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:42 am

Unread post by Lorelei » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:48 pm

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:27 am

I've used both and liked the content just fine for the most part. One thing I'd specifically like to address that impacted me is the layout of the material.

The other program was laid out in a day-by-day fashion whereas MFW offers a new chart for each week, showing all the assignments in nice rows and columns, with additional notes, information and supplies lists, etc. on the following pages. This is the perfect amount of structure for me. I get to see the big picture all on one page with the suggested schedule, but it allows me the flexibility of "tweaking" things around if necessary. On the contrary, I found myself getting frustrated with my previous program if I was unable to complete some of the assignments for one day. I'd need to mark them somehow and remember to go back to them but often forgot about them because of the "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" factor.

I've been homeschooling for 19 years now and have often said MFW has all the best elements of what I've seen over the years. Just for the record, my 8yo DS and 10yo DD thoroughly enjoy using our MFW material and come to the table asking what they "get to learn about today."

cbollin

Is MFW a Unit Study?

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:57 pm

Robyn in TX wrote:I'm a newbie, looking and liking what I see in MFW. I did a unit study based on the Bible for first grade. We enjoyed it but I am looking for something else this year as we might be leaving the country in the middle of the year. Anyway, I was wondering how MFW is considered a unit study? How does that work? I would be starting 2nd grade with my dd and using MFW ADV. Thanks for your help!
MFW is considered a partial unit study approach in that some topics are studied together across more than one academic subject area, and it includes hands on projects that are part of it.

However, MFW doesn’t use the theme for unit study in all academic subjects. In other words, things like language arts and math will *not* be related to the history/Bible or Bible/science unit studies. For example some other unit study programs will have you do a unit study on horses and then all of your vocabulary and spelling words will come from horses and then you’ll count the horses, and multiply the horses, etc and just beat that horse to death until you know everything there is to know about horses and never want to see another one again.

Instead, MFW adds in thematically related topics when it makes sense. Examples: In CTG, when you are learning about Moses it makes sense to study Ancient Egypt and Pyramids. Or in Adventures when you are learning that Jesus is the Light of the World, the science will be about the stars and universe. And MFW schedules it so that you aren’t bogged down and stay in the unit for too long so that it stops being fun.

MFW is not a “pure unit study approach” for the whole year, nor the driving force behind the program. In other words, MFW is not just a bunch of unit studies schedules each year. The unit studies are there to help with retention of the material learned in Bible, history and science topics. And some times there will be a unit study in the curriculum that isn’t related to everything else, but is a great time to study that topic. I like that MFW does that with a short “stand alone” unit for Thanksgiving during the Adventures year.
-crystal

my3boys
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:50 pm

Did you leave another unit study to come to MFW?......

Unread post by my3boys » Tue May 19, 2009 10:12 pm

Tracy in TN wrote:If so, could you tell me why and if you are glad you switched? What do you like about MFW that makes it better in your opinion? Just when I think I've decided, it changes. :-)
Thanks,
Tracy
We did WP AW the year before we started MFW. We found it to be overwhelming - there were piles of things on the schedule and a ton of books and materials - we only used half of what I had bought. I thought my kids would love all the activity books and crafts, but after a while it was drudgery because there was just so much. MFW has a much more manageable, easier to follow, well balanced schedule that we have found very enjoyable.
Alison
Mom to 3 busy boys ages 11, 8, and 6
finished K, First, ECC, and CtG - currently using RtR

sandi
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:35 pm

Re: Did you leave another unit study to come to MFW?......

Unread post by sandi » Wed May 20, 2009 9:04 am

There are books I am not comfortable with. That is one of the very reasons that I love mfw. I know that they read all their books that they recommend for book basket! I can just hand my 13 year old one of the books in the book basket and not have to read it first. That means alot when you are trying to homeschool, take care of baby, and do other things that God has called us too. I just would never have the time to read everything.

Hope that helps you. I know it's easy to be tempted by that shiny catalog but, mfw is just an awesome program. It is very well balanced and teaches God's word which is the most important thing!
His Child,
Sandi

faithmom
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:24 pm

Re: Did you leave another unit study to come to MFW?......

Unread post by faithmom » Wed May 20, 2009 1:31 pm

I used one year (American Story I). I thought it would be literature with a few more hands-on things and a slightly easier level. I did not feel that the year of study flowed smoothly, and the books, well, I don't know, we didn't learn as much as I'd hoped. The hands-on seemed mostly to be paper crafts. The schedule for the kids to work alone never seemed to gel.

This is our 6th year homeschooling with various types of curricula. I only wish I had started MFW sooner. It has suited us perfectly. Bible isn't just added on, just the right amount of study that flows really well, do-able art projects that the kids have enjoyed. MFW is very well-rounded and easy to use. The kids have specifically told me they do NOT want to switch curriculum EVER. (Good thing since I wasn't planning to).

Just my perspective. ;)
Irene
Married 20 years
ds-13, dd-11, dd-9, ds-7, dd-3, ds-1
Used ECC, CTG, K, 1st
2010-11 Using RTR and 1st

my3boys
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:50 pm

Re: Did you leave another unit study to come to MFW?......

Unread post by my3boys » Wed May 20, 2009 11:48 pm

WP is a christian curriculum. They use MOH as their spine and their ancient history focuses on the Old Testament/ancient Hebrews similar to CtG. I bought one of their reader packages for my 10yo to go along CtG. I also like their timeline resources. Overall MFW is a much more coherent program.
Alison
Mom to 3 busy boys ages 11, 8, and 6
finished K, First, ECC, and CtG - currently using RtR

RobinF
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:52 pm

Re: Did you leave another unit study to come to MFW?......

Unread post by RobinF » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:54 pm

Reasons I prefer MFW

1. If you use their core, language arts, math and science you could have at least 4 IGs and that is if you don't have mroe than one la program.

2. My boys prefer the book basket approach. They like to pick one book and read through it.

3. I like that we can substitute our own LA easily into MFW.

4. I didn't feel like it was coherent and the lay out was confusing. I spent more time reworking things to make them fit for our family.

5. Much of the "hands on" aspects we skipped, because it just didn't work for our family.

6. I feel like MFW resonates with our family and a personal desire to raise children that are mission minded. Also we want to raise children with a Christian/Missionary world view. I feel that MFW offers that for my children. The Bible in MFW is integrated and it is truly a study of the Bible not just cute devotionals.

We love some of the books so there are things that I appreciate but as a whole MFW is a better fit for our family.

cbollin

Is ECC What We Need?

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:25 am

blessedbeyond wrote:Hi, We are new to HS this year. Our girls are 6 and 9. That is, 1st and 4th grades. We started the year with AWOA and that did not work out. The content was way to deep for dd6 so we put it aside. We are now doinf FIAR the girls love it but I am having to add alot of extras for dd9. What I would like:

1. Something that both dd6 and dd9 will be able to understand and process
2. Something that is laid out and planned for me. I am spending a huge amount of time each week trying to pull together extra resources
3. Something that will have us in The Word Of God throughout our day. Even in AWOA the bible was touched on but I would like to really be focused on it
4. Something with hands on projects, other than lapbooks and notebooking. My girls love history projects and science experiements
5. Something we can stick to so I dont have to do anymore searching!!!!!!!!!!!!!
6. To present our history in a chronilogical format. We are doing the very early years of American history now because that is what the girls were interested in, but we are doing it very slowly using alot of American Girl books and Biographies. We are just finishing our study of Native Americans. I dont think it would be a problem to start with ECC next year and then the history cycle after that. By then, dd6 will be 8 and I think more able to handle and process Ancient history.

I have been looking at going with the ECC deluxe package so that I will basically have everything I need at my fingertips. We visit our library every week so I dont mind adding in some resources, I just dont want our week to depend on it. Does this sound like ECC? Also, on average how long do your days with ECC take? Thanks for any advice.
MFW and ECC definitely provide much of what you mentioned you are looking for. I might even say, all of it.

Younger children have lots in ECC that they can be invited to join in and participate in for Kingdom impact, hands on activities, and family style learning. Edie brought up that first graders still need their own level of learning in many things from phonics, composition, reading, math, etc.. With MFW 1st, you have the ability to give a first grader the right level they need and still be able to invite them in for "dessert" time in ECC. That way they can leave if it gets over their head and you know that you've given them a full day's learning in first.

If you're looking at next year -- 5th and 2nd.... yes, those ages will combine easily in MFW and ECC. There will be times where you'll keep talking to the older child and the younger one can run off for a bit because you are working on the advanced assignment. But you'll have the balance and it's all planned out.

-crystal
Last edited by cbollin on Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

Amy C.
Posts: 200
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:12 am

Re: Is ECC What We Need?

Unread post by Amy C. » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:27 am

Hi! Welcome to HS and to the MFW board! :) I am new to MFW this year. We started ECC in August. We are loving it! I believe it would meet your criteria. ECC is for 3rd-8th graders and 2nd graders with older siblings in the program. So, if you are planning the switch to MFW next year when your girls would be 2nd and 5th, they could do ECC together, each with their own level of LA and math. If you are planning on starting prior to that at the ages of your girls, then it would be ECC for your oldest and 1st grade for your youngest. Of course, a call to the MFW office is always a good thing. They can talk with you about what you are looking for and give you advice, but I believe ECC would be what you would start with in the 5-year cycle, and I believe it would be a good fit to what you are looking for.

My ECC days (including LA and math, lunch and other short breaks as needed) usually last about 4-5 hours - give or take, but I am also hs a Kindergartener using MFW K. I have two in ECC. Some days are longer than others. Fridays are usually shorter (because MFW is a 4-day a week curriculum with a light day). However, sometimes we use this day to catchup on anything we did not get to earlier in the week so it varies. We do not follow a rigid schedule. Not letting things get too strung out time wise, we take the amount of time we need to finish what we are doing. Sometimes that means going a little longer in some subjects. There is a suggested schedule in the front of the ECC teacher's manual, though, that you might find helpful.

HTH in some way! :)

Amy C.

cbollin

Re: Is ECC What We Need?

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:03 am

blessedbeyond wrote:Just wanted to say that yes, I am looking at this for next year. So girls would be 2nd and 5th. How much teacher prep and planning is involved? I teach my children all their subjects so the teaching time is not a matter just wanted to know how much time to prepare for lessons.
on a weekly basis.....

With 2nd edition ECC, the prep time is 5-10 minutes a week? maybe? I know with first edition -- there was a little bit more prep work at the beginning of the year, but 2nd edition took that away and you just buy a student packet per kid and it get that initial time down to minutes.

basically my big prep time in ECC/MFW is: go to the library about once every 3 weeks to gather enrichment reading. The MFW manual includes titles so I don't even had to figure that out.
I shop once a week for my regular groceries and household needs - so I take 1-5 minutes to make sure before leaving the house that the weekly supply list (which is all written out for me in the manual) is taken care of. Special note in ECC -- I also enjoyed a trip to a craft store for supplies for crafts. Again, the prep time was so minimal as MFW lists that stuff for me. Sometimes I'd just grab the TM and out of the door to library, grocery, craft.

So, my prep time in ECC -- gather enrichment reading, and normal supplies.

I really am an open and go type of person with MFW. On my good weeks, I at least spend about 10-15 minutes on Sunday night reading the week's assignments. But I get lazy or get on the computer and do something else. I just go down the grid and use MFW recommendations and I don't plan stuff! My time is for teaching.

When you get the manual, you'll want to spend some time reading through the introduction before you start school that year.

i don't want to say there is no prep time involved at all -- but it is really not very much time needed for prep at all. Gather your supplies and have them ready so you aren't running around the house like I did this past week looking for a pencil sharpener.....LOL even have one of those weeks?

-crystal

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