Academics - Question for those who have used this a long tim

cbollin

Academics - Question for those who have used this a long tim

Unread post by cbollin » Mon May 07, 2007 1:37 pm

Michelle in Florida wrote:I am going to used Adventures next year for my second grader and would love to use it throughout their school years. However I have read or feel that is it very light in the Science and such. What I mean is I want to make sure they have a strong foundation in all subjects.

So for those who have used this for several years do you find your children are on the same page as someone who went to a public school (in the same grade). I know that with MFW there is a global view that most Public Schools don't have. I guess I am a little worried about my kids falling behind if we were to stick with it. Some of the books seem really young to me in the older grades and while I know there is valuable info in them I worry they might get bored with it. And I know a test isn't proof either but I want my children to succeed in life too. Maybe my mindset is all wrong. I guess what I need is reassurance that kids following this program have or will get into college.

And on a side note: What makes this program so valuable that you would stick with it throughout the years (besides the biblical approach-I would agree with you on that)?

I really like this program and I want to be able to justify my answers when un-supportive family members question me. hank You in advance
Michelle
Michelle,

Lots of fun questions you ask. I'm wondering if you plan on going to l convention -- you'll be able to talk with them and see the products and see the progression.

I’ve been using MFW since 2003 when God put it in my path. I never know where or how to begin when someone asks me why I plan on remaining with MFW for the long haul. I just start crying and then my brain goes and I sound all weird.

It is an answer to prayer. It is doable. It is well researched and well thought out. The author, Marie Hazell, brings her years of experiences as a classroom teacher, speech language pathologist, Bible translator, and being a mom to this whole program. She isn’t just tossing stuff together. MFW tests their programs with many families before releasing it on the general market. Their kids are smart and getting into college on scholarships!

Ok – science. My dh has a phd in chemistry and spent 12 years a research scientist in a university. We really like how MFW is doing science in the early years. It is a time of exploring. Yes – it is “light” compared to doing 5 days worth of science every week. But it is rich in several ways. You have the student doing hands-on experiments and learning some facts about general science. You add in library books to enrich the lessons. You have your child do the experiments and learn processing skills of science.

If all that you were doing was reading a little paragraph from an Usborne book --- then that would be too light. But, you are reading some basic information, then you do an easy-for-the-child-to-do experiment. Then you talk about the results and draw conclusions. And, then you add to the reading time with library books.

In ADV, the science is related to the Bible study as much as possible. One example: You learn Jesus is the bread of life in Bible. Then in Science – you learn about bread, yeast. AND you can bake a loaf of bread together. (If you need an easy to do recipe, ask over here. I have an easy to do One hour Dinner bread recipe --- easy.) And on that week, maybe, read a fun story together. Maybe that particular book is light --- but you know, with all the work you did making the bread, it balances out quite nicely. See – that lesson is also a home economics lesson.

That year, the science is broad in scope. (Breadth over depth for elementary years.)

As you progress in the years, the science is more and more and more. In the year I am doing right now (Exploration to 1850), I’m waiting for it to be light again in science. It’s still doable. But don’t worry --- your 6th grader will be doing more and more than when they were in 2nd grade. It doesn’t stay at the same level as your children get older.

Same thing with history, and writing, and everything else. It is a gradual increase as each child gets older. But, still written so that a younger sibling will not be lost. The teacher’s manuals give you ideas of how to adjust for younger siblings. In MFW high school programs, it is college prep.

So why am I remaining with MFW for the long haul --- beyond the well researched process? Because I want to train the heart and mind of my children. I want both. MFW has a long term road map for it.

--crystal

Heidi
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:23 pm

hello

Unread post by Heidi » Mon May 07, 2007 2:13 pm

Michelle,

Crystal gave you great advice! She explained it all so well too. There is also Nature Walk/Journaling - my children have enjoyed this part of science the most.
Heidi
FL Mommy of 3 "sensational" kids
Homeschooling since Fall 2004
Child 1: Blue LLATL/MFW 1, Adventures, ECC
Chld 2: MFW-K, MFW-1+ joined Adv, ECC
Child 3: MFW-PK, MFW-K + joined ECC

Julie in MN
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon May 07, 2007 2:39 pm

Michelle,
I hear people say MFW is "light" in science & I have to smile. I brought my ds home to school in 3rd grade & as yet, he had had no science curriculum at all. His 1st grade teacher had gone to the trouble of getting a wonderful grant & new science materials, but they did not have the time nor the classroom obedience to ever use them. His 2nd grade teacher was new & when I asked what they were studying in science at the November conference, she said no one had given her a science curriculum yet, but she did have a book they could read if I thought they should...

When we did ECC in 3rd grade, we did an experiment every week, read through two nature books, took nature walks, had many plants we were growing from the different countries, and had two or three notebooks going.

However, I still toyed with the idea of adding more science myself :o) Every morning we charted the weather & occasionally we looked at the weather in the country we were studying. As I look back, it wasn't necessary, but it was a security blanket of sorts, I suppose.

By CTG, you will have more science than you know what to do with! Science programs like Apologia elementary which are written for one school year will be done in half the year, with extra scientist biographies & such added on.

--------------
My son just completed his 3rd year of testing in Minnesota while using MFW, and he continues to keep well ahead of grade level. He has many public & Christian-schooled friends who are 1-2 grades ahead of him, and he is able to easily keep up with them in knowledge of history, Bible, math, as well as writing a good sentence. (I don't recall ever hearing them discuss science :o) I am very confident in the education he is receiving through MFW, and I really appreciate how it is organized so I actually get things done and don't skip over any of the important pieces.

I always suggest my ds share his MFW notebooks with family members when they visit. Ds gets a review, and relatives get a glimpse. Because ds made the geography & history notebook pages himself, he is able to answer most questions people ask about them. And in our other notebook, I place samples of his work in each subject, as well as the table of contents of major texts we used. I don't know anyone who hasn't been impressed when they see the work we've done with MFW.

HTH, Julie
Last edited by Julie in MN on Mon May 07, 2007 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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

kfrench
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 1:03 pm

Unread post by kfrench » Mon May 07, 2007 11:06 pm

Well I looked at the state science objectives for second grade for my daughter it was learning the parts of a flower and parts of tree, learning about seasons. All stuff we covered in Kindergarten. Same with my third grader -- everything she had covered -- and when I looked ahead they had covered just about everything for the first 6 years.

History was a joke we covered enough history in Adventures this year to cover all the history learned in elementary since it is mostly American history. We learned all the patriotic songs and all the important people and probably know more about each one than they will learn in School.

My poor kids would be bored if they went back to school since they have already had all that. My son tells me that 9th grade is just a repeat of grade school American history with a few more details, still boring. Too bad he doesn't see history as we do in lots of interesting stories.

The longer I stick with MFW the more I see the wisdom of their curriculum choices. Short and to the point and spend your time on the fun stuff that they will remember. My kids love all the little easy projects.

Adventures is simple but it covers everything and when I looked at the PS reading list for next year all the titles were one's we read in history this year plus we read tons more.

MFW seems lighter in the early years but then they are using apologia science and I am sure anything missed will be covered in that anyways. when we talked about molecules my kids just looked at me like I was crazy. I really can't see doing Chemistry or something really abstract at this young age and my kids love Science and think it is a reward not a subject. They always want to do the experiments over and over and over and try their own version etc. And we know so much about birds now. It was really cool to go out for walks and be able to recognize birds by their songs and colors and then recognize that we would see the same birds in the same trees and now my kids can recognize birds and tell me about their nests etc. Our favorite is the red winged blackbird I didn't even know they lived in ID but we see them all the time now.
Kris
kfrench

Lucy
Posts: 444
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Unread post by Lucy » Tue May 08, 2007 11:56 am

We love MFW because it is balanced in it's subjects. Instead of feeling like I have to di everyones super wonderful program in each subject it is all in one place and most of the time the bible, science, and history are connected in some way so that the learning makes more sense. We have found that less can mean more if it is done well.

As for science I think it has been enough. You can always add more but it is really hard to trim down another whole program. It has been enough for us. My kids have always loved science because we do so many experiments and have really cool picture books.

In 7th grade MFW recommends they begin Apologia Gen. Science. This is science everyday but still has lots of experiments but, it is a definite step up when you begin these books.

Lucy
Note: I DO NOT teach to the test but did test prep type stuff a couple of months before up through 4th grade, so they would know what to expect and how to bubble in.
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

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

Unread post by MJ in IL » Tue May 08, 2007 12:20 pm

My children have the chickenpox so I have extra time to reply to posts today!

We have used MFW for several years. My older dd didn't get the beneift of starting with it as the Hazells hadn't written it all yet! We plan on staying the course here. I have used other curricula and will stay because:
- The biblical focus you mentioned, not just a subject added on
- I have learned how to use MFW with different ages and it works well for our family!! I enjoy the mix of individual and group subjects.
- My children really like school with MFW and I think that helps them stay focused on learning.
- I trust their company, focus and suggestions.
- I had a great 1st impression. This may be tangential, but my schooling is in speech and language, like Marie's. When I first met at a homeschool conference, it set the stage for a nice conversation. I knew we must think a bit alike b/c I had many of the books they had at that time.

That said, I do not use everything the Hazells suggest for math and LA.

I do standardized testing with my children every few years, they all did this year...we haven't gotten the results back yet. General opinion from the kids was as I expected (math more difficult for dd, spelling for ds...) but no one enjoyed the social studies section. As an administrator, I had the benefit of reading though the questions and I feel we are covering ss with a totally different focus...and I'm OK with that irregardless of how they do on the test. Questions were not really history based, but community based, if that makes sense. There were too many questions about social issues and economics and too few in history and geography, in my opinion. No one had complaints about the science section. I use results to confirm (hopefully) what I see as strengths and weaknesses. So far, I have been blessed to be able to share good testing scores with skeptical family.

In our family, the socialization aspect of homeschooling seems to be a central theme. Skeptics have appreciated the weekly cleaning help my dd can provide; help with outdoor chores/situations we can help with at a moment's notice, if necessary; the letters we write on Fridays; our participation in sports/activities that ease relatives' pain of not going to school functions; and I tend to conveniently leave projects/notebooks out when visitors come. The children enjoy sharing and friends/family usually enjoy listening:) I'll tackle the next 2 concerns -- no prom and dissecting -- in a couple years. I like to take it a step at a time!

Two last thoughts on advanced planning...1) Find out your state's (or college choice's) requirements so you know what you are working towards. 2) It really helped me to loosely chart out all my children after talking with David last year. I made columns for school year and rows for each child with grade and very general science, hx, LA and math boxes. I even have my dd3 fit in through 7th grade in hx and science. It didn't take long and may not stay exactly the same, but it gives me a big picture to work with. I can confidently say when asked about a topic, "Oh, we plan to cover that in ___th grade."

Have fun at your conference!
Molly
dd14 enjoying AHL; ds12 & ds10 in RtR & dd5 working through K!
have done K (2X), 1 (2X), ECC, CtG, & 1850MT

kellybell
Posts: 480
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Unread post by kellybell » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:22 pm

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:59 am

Right now, my dc are ages 6, nearly-9, 11, and 13 and if I have to give grades to them, they are in 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 8th, although the two older ones are really young for their grades with their summer birthdays. Before we homeschooled, the two older ones went to a Christian school in town and did fine there.

Since we've brought them home, their test grades have increased. So, instead of staying at about the same percentile, they have increased. Yeah. Last year was the first year we tested our son (the nearly-9 year old). He learned to read with MFWK and 1st and did just terrific on his standardized tests. My K took a standardized test too, but she didn't do as well, yet still above average. There were some concepts on the tests that we hadn't worked on very hard (such as "middle sounds of a word"). Another thing that surprisingly tripped her up was money -- when we work on money skills, we use real money and in the test there were just pictures of money and she got confused because she hadn't worked with anything but real coins! How funny is that? Her test was "just for fun" and not submitted to anyone. I wanted to give her the practice.

But all that is just academics. Here are the real results:

1. The kids are eager, or at least willing, to learn.
2. They are not burned out with academics; their load is reasonable.
3. They have a heart for other people, people that are not like us.
4. They know their countries and capitals quite well. They participated in a geography bee last year and did fine. They didn't move on to state (the boy that won this "school level" bee ended up getting fifth place in the USA, so the competition was tough!).
5. They really enjoy good stories. The older two are starting to have "favorite authors" that they look for when they go to the library. Their peers in public school are into the Goosebumps and other trashy (IMO) series, but my dd's are looking at what CS Lewis, Patricia St. John, etc. wrote. They aren't afraid of good writing even though it is sometimes tough.
6. They know how to find information in the encyclopedia, the internet, and the library. And, they are hungry for answers to their questions.

Okay, they have great test scores. Not all kids do though. While I'm happy (one less thing to stress about) that their scores are good, I'm happier still that they are growing into the young men and women that they should be!

I know this isn't really the answer you were after. MFW is working for us and I believe it will work for high schoolers too (and we've got a high-schooler next year!!!!).

Jenn in NC
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:00 pm

Unread post by Jenn in NC » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:24 pm

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:05 am

We are starting our fourth year with MFW so I'm not "seasoned." But I can say that my kid's scores have done nothing but go up each year. I'm not a "teach to the test" type, but we have to test every child age 7 and up every year in my state. So I get a lot of testing feedback on where they are at academically compared to their peer group (whether I want it or not). And they do very well, every year.

Oh, one more thing :) I do think I heard somewhere that the Hazell kids score very well on SAT/ACT type tests.

Susan on the Space Coast
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:02 am
Location: Palm Bay, Florida

Unread post by Susan on the Space Coast » Sat May 31, 2008 11:29 pm

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:56 pm

I have a child who has done all of the 5 yr. cycle and is a 7th grader now.

I think b/c the programs have built on each other (longer days, more advanced assignments as they got older) my DD should have no problem with completing college assignments.

She is doing the science this year by herself (as a 7th grader) and it's a great experience for her to complete this on her own--she doesn't like it--being dependent on her tests to show me how much she knows. But I also take into account her work in the book, experiments, and how well she can answer the study guide--all great skills that she's being taught so early.

We're also doing 1850MT and we're doing outlining and writing from an outline. She's doing quite well with that, but my 4th grade DS will have another chance to get this skill down before going to high school.

You'll notice as you go through the cycles that it will increase in length and depth.

cbollin

MFW all the way through to then end of the 5 year cycle?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:06 pm

ShanMom wrote:Have many of you used MFW all the way through to then end of the 5 year cycle? What has that been like? What are some qualities about the program that you have appreciated the most?
Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:57 pm

This was the first year that year 5, 1850-MOD, was on the market after its pilot year. So there are some of us who have been there, but not all of us hang out in cyber space.

What are some qualities that I’ve appreciated the most? Where to begin with that?? Bullet points
*ease of use
*strong academics
*love book basket
*love how the programs flow
*love the connect the dots with history and what God’s people were doing
*love that as the child gets older the work level grows with the child.
*I can get it done in my real world
*and most of all – the spiritual growth in my family.

I have 5 years of experiences to condense. Maybe I should just fast forward to recent times??

In 2003 when we started using MFW, I had no idea what changes would happen in my family as a direct result of using a curriculum that is all about “seeing the world through God’s eyes and living according to that knowledge.”

My middle daughter could barely speak. She was 4 years old and had already been in speech therapy for 1 year. The doctors weren’t sure what’s up. Here we are now and she’s 9 years old. She can talk now and has just recently (last month) been discharged from needing speech services. Here is the fast forward moment.

A couple of weeks ago, when we were studying about China in post WW II era, I sent my 3rd grader (the 9 y.o) off to read book basket while teaching the world history to my oldest (6th grader). She had a picture book about China. She comes back to me and says “China is a beautiful place with beautiful people. Can I visit there someday?” The next week, as our family was doing the family style prayer and devotions that are a part of MFW’s year 5 program, she asks me, “How many Muslims are there in China?” She wanted to pray for them. And it wasn't part of the lesson either. :) Of course we can do that, sweetie :)

Same kid…. She still has some delays. I’ve been worried that the Bible lessons in MFW (and especially this year) would be over her head. But God has been so faithful to communicate to her even when I think the academic side of MFW seems so hard. MFW’s programs are so rich and yet so gentle. My daughter, who couldn’t talk at age 4, is at age 9 asking for a Chinese Muslim people group to pray for. One of the things we learn in 1850-MOD is how to pray scripture as part of our family devotion prayer time. You’ll understand when you get there. My 3rd grader is a prayer warrior. Yeah, God is using MFW’s programs to help with that.


Oldest daughter –6th grade. This is a kid who loves to read. She loves book basket. How has she grown? We read all of these YWAM biographies and other Christian stories in MFW and those stories have impacted her. She wants to do things in her Christian walk. Last year she participated in a read-a-thon to raise money to translate Bibles. This year she found some money one day and just wanted to donate it. In MFW we read “secular” history and then “Christian point of view” history side by side. Well, a few weeks ago, The Weather Channel had a special about how the weather affected the battle at Dunkirk. She watched this very secular program and her comment was, “How could anyone watch this program and not see that God was there. It’s just too many 'coincidences.'"

My youngest – don’t know yet. Her special needs are high. Looking forward to seeing what God will do.

My husband and I --- ok, my dh isn’t one of these strong Christian men types. (He’s a believer, just not strong in his walk.) I love being able to give him the read-alouds and being able to include him in the Bible time of MFW. That’s hard to say out loud on the internet, but I’m so thankful that MFW is helping that way. Me? The impact of MFW on my life? If it weren’t for MFW’s lessons plans and well researched program, I don’t think I would still be homeschooling. The last 6 years of my life have been busy with getting 2 kids to special needs therapies and still trying to teach the oldest and still be around. MFW has kept me on the path. Using MFW has helped me to remember that my life is on loan and that it is about service for the Kingdom. I would have never imagined that, from using a curriculum, our hearts would grow to think about Bible translation and missions so much and to be able to do things to help locally and globally by serving as senders. You can read some of that on my blog if you want
click for that

Now some Academic Highlights, because MFW is about both growing as Christians and strong academics.

I love the language arts recommendations. Each grade section of PLL and ILL continue to grow. The 6th grade lessons are really good and cover a lot of material.

6th grader really seems to know her history and Science. She’s starting to enjoy writing a bit more this year. Not always, but the more I learned to back off and stop expecting too much, she began to enjoy writing. Imagine that???

3rd grader --- she loves the state study in MFW this year. She’s learning President’s names. She gets out books used in previous years of MFW just to read them again for fun. And some of those books have games and activities in them that she remembers playing and wants to play them again.

They both love the science. My dh and I like that it is not overwhelming. He holds a PHD in chemistry.

I really like that the academics are thought out and grow with the child.


Well…. That’s too long of a post and I'm not sure if it answered your question at all.
-crystal

Lucy
Posts: 444
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Unread post by Lucy » Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:07 pm

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:12 pm

I know this is can sound a bit cliche but I have to ditto all of Crystal's reasons for staying with and continuing to love MFW.

I think over all for us, in a nut shell, it would be the consistent biblical world-view that is well presented in every year without sacrificing an excellent academic program all in cased in a very easy to follow plan.
Bible is never an add on but a central part of our learning throughout the whole program as we see how God's plan fits into all of history.

My daughter is in the first year of high school and I have not been disappointed with the continued commitment to a biblical world-view and strong academic focus along with easy to follow plans.

Peace and grace,
Lucy

Susan on the Space Coast
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:02 am
Location: Palm Bay, Florida

Unread post by Susan on the Space Coast » Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:09 pm

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:46 pm

I don't hang out very often but I've used the entire cycle, and have started again with my oldest doing ECC twice. I have 3 children, with one doing the 2nd/3rd grade supplement for Ex1850 and 1850MT. I've loved how each can get out of the program what they are capable of doing.

I started looking for a program years ago that could take me through the important topics in history and science in an orderly way. I was thrilled to find a curriculum that has the Bible interwoven every step of the way! That's a big deal!

I tell people that I invite over to look at ALL of my books, that I've learned along with the children, and have been encouraged to deepen my faith and walk with the Lord--starting with what to do with Dinosaurs in the MFWK program (raised in public school, I didn't know what to think), to reading the incredible faith in the missionary biographies, to seeing God's hand in all of history. I guess I sound like a commercial for MFW, but that's the part I can play in helping to get the word out about MFW, and contribute to the kingdom of God!

I agree with my good friends Crystal and Lucy about the love we share for MFW. The message board is an added bonus to be able to get encouragement and advice along the way.

(With a lump in my throat) finding MFW is the best thing that could ever happen to my homeschooling and my Christian walk. I'm happy to tell people which curriculum I use, and hope to catch them at the beginning of their homeschooling journey.

Welcome to the family!

Julie in MN
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Does each level step up?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:21 pm

LA in Baltimore wrote:I was glad you let me know that the programs step up a bit after ADV.
I assumed they did, but hearing from the actual users is always better than making assumptions.
* Does each level: ECC, CTG, RTR, etc. step up or just the initial jump?*
Since we'll be moving from ADV to CTG (unconventional, I know, but necessary at this point) will we see a dramatic change?
1. I would say that *in general* each year in MFW has more in the history department. A big part of that is the fact that we *know* more about each year of history as we head closer to our own times. That also means kids need to keep track of more details in their minds, so more notebooking and such is scheduled. But there are always a variety of books used -- from Usborne illustrated books to use of textbooks for extra bits. So you never feel like there is a complete change.

2. I would also say that I've noticed with each family it can vary. I felt CTG was more of a step up with the real Old Testament being a major spine, as well as The Children's Homer near the end of the year; but I've heard others say that CTG was less work than ECC with all its mapping and such. Either way, you can chat on the boards & find helpful hints that might work in your family (e.g. we read the Old Testament at night with dad, which lightened our school day during CTG).

3. All programs are written to be adapted for different ages. So each family's experience in a particular level may vary a bit.

Here is an example of the step-up: The State Sheets are used in Adventures and then again in EX1850-1850MOD.
- When you learn about a state in ADV, that is your history lesson for the day, as well as your book basket topic. (The same is true for the supplement for 2nd-3rd graders in EX1850-1850MOD.)
- However, students from grades 4-8 who are using the state sheets will only use them as a *portion* of their history lesson for the day. We are near the end of EX1850 & have been studying the French Revolution and other history topics. On some days a state is added to the union or a new president takes office, so that is assigned for notebooking IN ADDITION to other history topics. You might compare the sample of 1850MOD to your ADV grid & you will definitely notice a difference!

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

donutmom
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:41 am

woo hoo!!

Unread post by donutmom » Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:25 pm

We had our evaluation done this afternoon (requirement in our state), and I just wanted to celebrate our "official" end of the school year. Woo hoo, oh yeah, dance along with me. . . . . (now I know you are picturing this rhythmic moving. . . cool, keep imagining that! Cyber world hides the fact that this body has no sense of rhythm whatsoever 8[] )

But I really wanted to just say thanks to MFW! The evaluator commented on the variety of writing in my son's portfolio. She said she likes the writing in her curriculum (I won't name it), but it's always the same type of assignment. She was impressed with all the different types of assignments. Any doubts whether MFW recommendations are enough!! That's all we used this year for our LA! And that was only using the first 3rd of ILL--we came to PLL & ILL a year "behind" and have just plugged away at it. Most of the samples in the portfolio were from ILL lessons, with one sample from WS.

So join me. . . . woo hoo, MFW is cool, it's great. . .

Dee

Oh yeah, evaluator liked the other ECC stuff in the portfolio, too!!! :)

cbollin

State testing for MFW users

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:33 pm

joyfulhomeschooler wrote: I am new to MFW and am planning on doing adventures with my 2nd grader paired with taking it really slow through the first grade program with my k'r and the k'r joining in adventures when she wants. So when we start ECC I will have a first and third grader in the program. I know the first grader won't get as much from ECC as the third grader and then she will cycle back to it in fifth grade... what I am wondering is how this works out with State testing? Unfortunately Oregon requires state testing starting at grade 3 and I don't want her to be behind in those areas because she will be waiting until fifth grade to really learn the stuff.

What have been others experience with this? How do other MFW students do on state testing?
you might want to look through these older conversations from users in a variety of states and situations.
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2705
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2004

generally though on standardized testing.... they aren't really testing for social studies or science topics as much. it's more of 3 R's. You might find that in the MFW sequence - some things like "grammar vocabulary" might be on a standardized test in 3rd grade, but isn't covered until 4th grade in MFW stuff. That's not really a big problem though.

I remember people's stories.... I remember the stories Fly2peace told about math testings, and Paige when she lived in NC and had to test.. and all those stories Julie has about testing....and and and... here...
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3280

and on that thread... remember, MFW strongly recommends doing drills in Singapore..... ;)

and then I got to thinking about Oregon and testing
http://hslda.org/laws/analysis/Oregon.pdf

but in general --- homeschoolers in all curriculum do really well on those elementary level achievement test. We are tutors.

-crystal

Lainie
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:33 am
Location: Tualatin, OR
Contact:

Re: State testing for MFW users

Unread post by Lainie » Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:08 pm

We've been homeschooling in Oregon for three years (Washington County) and although we have our children tested every year... we have never had to send in their test scores. I have them tested and save all their info just to cover us in case someone takes over that office and changes requirements.

As far as the testing itself, we do not do practice tests or prepare in any way. They just take a California Basic Skills test once a year and have done very well every year.

That's been our experience with homeschooling in Oregon-- not sure if this is of any help.
Lainie (Oregon)
"Sanctify them in truth; Thy word is truth" John 17:17

Have completed 1st, entire 5 year cycle, and all high school! Whoo hoo!
Have graduated one with MFW, 1 dd- junior, and 1ds- freshmen
http://mishmashmaggie.com/

SandKsmama
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:43 pm

Re: State testing for MFW users

Unread post by SandKsmama » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:28 pm

I am in NC, where we have to test every year once a child is 7 years old. I've used MFW all 5 years that we have homeschooled, so my oldest has tested 5 times while using the MFW program, my 9 year old has tested 3 times, and my 6 year old tested this year for the first time (this was sort of a "practice run" for her).

Anyway, we don't supplement, we use the MFW program as written, and my kids have always tested VERY well. Yes, even on science with the "depth" vs. "breadth" approach :-). Yes, even when they had only had geography the year we did ECC. I really, really wouldn't worry about it! Your kids will do fine!
Amanda, Wife to a great guy since '99, SAHM to 4 fabulous kids! DD(7/96), DS(1/01), DD(8/03), and baby DS (3/09)!
Used MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, Ex1850, and currently using 1850-Modern!

s_duguid
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Albany, NY

End of Year Testing

Unread post by s_duguid » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:00 am

abutler36 wrote:I am new to MFW and was wandering how kids do on the year end testing compared to other curriculums out there.
We've used MFW for the last 3 years since starting HSing. I've administered the CAT and PASS tests. My daughter scores very strongly on them. Not sure if can be specifically attributed to the curriculum or her strengths academically to begin with.

One thing I will say is . . . this year (we tested last week) she seemed to breeze through the math section. We've only used Singapore, and the concepts just "clicked" this year for her. Math is NOT her favorite subject, but after the testing she looked at me and said, "Wow! That wasn't so bad!" :-) I love that Singapore teaches how to use numbers in real situations, meaning the child learns the math facts and then uses them in practical ways with story problems or in units such as liters, meters, dollars, etc. I love the mental aspect and the solving with bars. My dd doesn't "freak" out anymore when she sees story problems. ;)
Sue, married 20 years and mother to 3 (only homeschooling one):
TJ (18), college sophomore
Drew (17), high school senior
Victoria (12) starting 1850-MOD in fall
  • completed Exp_1850, RtR, CtG, ECC, ADV

cbollin

Re: End of Year Testing

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:55 am

Another aspect on it is at high school level.

I have a few friends who have used MFW at high school levels for several years as test pilot families of the programs. Their kids did great on ACT's and got academic scholarships from those scores. I know several who tested MFW's high school year 3 program with the CLEP option and ended up with college credit from that.

so, they are testing well at those levels too. They just don't cyber chat.

-crystal

Julie in MN
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: End of Year Testing

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:31 am

abutler36 wrote:I am new to MFW and was wandering how kids do on the year end testing compared to other curriculums out there.
As far as testing, there are a couple of things that you might mean here.

If you mean "a test that is exactly for MFW," then no, there isn't a test provided in your materials. Well, there are a couple of focus areas tested, such as spelling levels, math reviews, 7th grade grammar, ECC geography, etc. But as homeschoolers, we just know from conversation whether our children are learning. I did enjoy keeping things in a 3-ring binder which showed not only all that we did but how much progress was made over the year.

If you mean you live in a state that requires standardized testing, or you want to do standardized testing with your children, then there are lots of options available. However, these tests do not need to be done at the end of the year. We have to test in Minnesota and our local group does it in April; however, if we use the PLAN test next year it will be in the fall. So you can use standardized tests at any time during the year. There's a good thread with different options for standardized tests:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2004

And finally, if you just want to evaluate your kids yearly, I love a book by Teresa Moon that is called "Evaluating For Excellence." It's very broad and involves parent observation, with extensive lists of skills. I used it to make goals for the year when my son was younger, and it was nice to see our progress at the end of the year in those areas.

HTH,
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

dhudson
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Re: End of Year Testing

Unread post by dhudson » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:45 am

I have had my oldest tested every year since 3rd grade and he has scored extremely well in all subjects. My twins tested last year for the first time and they tested really high in reading and LA . In math, my younger son did well above average but my daughter was bored with testing by then and "made a pretty pattern" :~ with the dots and didn't score well at all. (That happens when you don't even read the questions)

Overall, my kids consistently score well above average and usually land in the 90+%. We have used MFW since pre-school and use the majority of their suggestions. Is that what you are looking for?
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

dhudson
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

A Small Brag for my Kids and MFW

Unread post by dhudson » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:07 pm

Okay, a small brag for my kids and for MFW. I have used MFW all the way though pre-K till now. We have done every year MFW has, other than high school, and used MFW for teaching reading while just adding in a few Abeka readers for book basket. I have never used any other reading programs or phonics programs and my kids have done well. My two youngest (8 - almost 9) were just evaluated and their reading was at an 7th grade level and their writing was comparable. The evaluator was very pleased and surprised at their level of comprehension in both out loud reading and silent reading. She said she didn't often see kids that were good at both skills and could competently answers all the questions and clearly state (narration and summary) what the point of the story was. My oldest (just turned 12) was tested through the highest level the evaluator had and scored 100%. :-) Okay, maybe more than a small brag!

They all were highly placed in their dictation and writing skills and could competently and quickly do the tasks she asked. She kept moving the difficulty of the skill level of the tasks and they all finished grades higher than their age level.

My point is, though, that MFW works and works well. It looks simple but has much depth in that simplicity. I think that is one of the lessons that MFW has taught me through the years, that just because it looks simple does not mean that it lacks being academically rigorous. It is a strong program and can produce academically strong students (caveat to add that I am speaking of children who do not have other learning or personal challenges). I have seen it work with my kids and work in the children of my friends who use it. Not only can they be academically strong but it is my humble opinion that they will be Biblically and spiritually strong (without other learning challenges) through the use of MFW which for us, is far more important. We are so grateful for the education that MFW helps us give our kids.

Stepping down from my brag and from my soapbox now!

Postby dhudson » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:38 am
sandi wrote:Did you use MFW for language arts too?
I use PLL/ILL as my main LA. I have a more classical bent so I add in other grammar elements. Some use manipulatives/games to add in grammar but I just add in another program. My oldest has used Writing Strands and has done very well with it as MFW suggests. I have used a supplement with my younger ones this last year but will now move them into Writing Strands.

My oldest started out in Abeka English before I found MFW recommendations so I didn't use them with him but have used MFW recommendations more with my younger two with great result. What I love about PLL/ILL is the dictation, use of English language and how they make English approachable as well as teach a real understanding of the English. I wanted more formal grammar earlier so I added them in but still had PLL/ILL as my main curriculum. I do the same with math - I use Singapore as my main curriculum and then add in other things for drill.

I do add in a Latin program currently as my Foreign Language. We have done Rosetta Stone Spanish and have had great results with that using MFW guidelines but my oldest finished the program and we wanted him to do something else before he did them again in high school.

I specifically spoke to reading because in the original post that was what the OP asked. The reading and writing section on the test were together and narration and dictation were what they used to evaluate writing. We learned how to do that first in MFW1 and then in MFW History/Bible and PLL/ILL.

MFW is an academically strong program and can be used with great success.
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

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

Re: A Small Brag for my Kids and MFW

Unread post by gratitude » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:32 pm

Wonderful! I am thinking of switching since the phonics I have been using with MFW have been phenomenal! Your testimony is wonderful encouragement. Their spiritual growth and foundation in the Bible is the most important element to us too. I liked hearing of your success in the essentials and academically.

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

you need to read this and be encouraged!!!!!

Unread post by sandi » Tue May 01, 2012 11:49 am

Let me start by saying that I have four children. The child I am focusing on here is the oldest. He is 15 and in the 10th grade. I have used mfw since he was in the second grade. I didn't know about it until then.

I had my son take the act in April. He scored very well and I am very proud of him. I am saying this not to brag, but to encourage you. My Fathers World has been such a blessing to me!!!!! I can see why now that they focus on certain areas and not on others. NO NEED TO WORRY!!!!! Use their language arts and your child will do good!!! He scored the highest on the English section. I am sorry that I spent so much time wondering if I was doing the right thing for our family. It really has been the right thing!!! I will enjoy doing this more with my other children and not be so uptight that its not enough. I know one thing now, It is enough!! Don't add anything to the program and enjoy your children. I am glad that I have done this with my son and will continue to do so with him and the others.

You might consider this post silly, but I wish that I had someone tell me earlier not to fret. IT REALLY DOES WORK. Most importantly is the focus on Gods word. He is learning to love God more and understand his hand in history that I never knew at his age.

Thank you mfw for all your hard work and commitment to this curriculum and most of all to Gods word!!!! :-)

Once again this was not intended to say look and at me or my son. This is too encourage you that the program works and that God is soo faithful even when I am not! There have been alot of days that we missed because of migraines and He was faithful to fill in those gaps for me! My youngest is four and I can't wait to use mfw all the way with her with NO DOUBTS!!

Use that language arts ladies it really is good. ;)
His Child,
Sandi

ilovemy4kids
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:08 pm

Re: you need to read this and be encouraged!!!!!

Unread post by ilovemy4kids » Tue May 01, 2012 11:59 am

Yea! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I know this is not to say, "look at my son", but hey, he did great so I'm saying to your son, "CONGRATULATIONS!" He's earned it and so have you!

Blessings,
Sandra

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests