Worldview - Multi ethnic awareness in MFW?

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cbollin

Unread post by cbollin »

wisdomworks wrote:Ethnic diversity and awareness is a huge value for our family. It is very important to us that our children see images and learn history through the eyes of people of color and not just through a european or anglo lense. As I am learning about the MFW curriculum, I'm wondering if there are others with these concerns and how you have found this curriculum to meet your needs?
I have that concern too. Especially since we go to a church with a variety of ethnic backgrounds in spite of living in Southern Indiana. Oh the blessings of living in a university town!

Here are things I've liked about MFW when it comes to that: (no particular order here nor an exhaustive list either)

*ECC (Exploring Countries and Cultures) --- helped us to see all people through God's eyes. You learn just so much about so many people in the world.

*the whole idea of book basket (enrichment readings) --- they are filled with all kinds of books. This year when I was in Exploration to 1850, we had awesome books from basket with a variety of ethnic groups within the US.

* US history is taught in the context of world history in the upper programs.

* MFW uses more than just one book to teach history. So it helps to balance out when a book is not ideal or gets too bias. There is going to be bias in written materials, but MFW tries as much as possible to provide balance in those things.

* and, some topics are not introduced too soon because of the child's age. You don't get into the gross details too young.

Not an exhaustive list, just off the top of my head. Looking forward to hearing others as well. While we wait for others, here's something to read from the archives where David Hazell, of MFW, explains some of the approach that MFW takes with US history.
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?p=6901


--crystal
Mollyzagrodny
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 12:11 am

multi-ethnic awareness

Unread post by Mollyzagrodny »

* MFW uses more than just one book to teach history. So it helps to balance out when a book is not ideal or gets too bias.

Crystal, could you clarify which books you are referring to - I'm thinking of Adventures specifically. I just received my order, and the spines are both from Christian Liberty Press. Are you referring to the supplements recommended for each week - the book basket content - or something else?

Molly, starting Adv this Fall.
TurnOurHearts

Re: Multi ethnic awareness in MFW?

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

wisdomworks wrote:Ethnic diversity and awareness is a huge value for our family. It is very important to us that our children see images and learn history through the eyes of people of color and not just through a european or anglo lense. As I am learning about the MFW curriculum, I'm wondering if there are others with these concerns and how you have found this curriculum to meet your needs?
Growing up & living in the South, I have found that I have to take a very proactive stance on cultural awareness/diversity. My sister & I grew up being taught that all people are the same on the inside - lost, scared, broken and in need of a Savior. Many in our community/state/region were not. There is still much hatred & ignorance, even within the church buildings.

That said, MFW has been more than adequate thus far, and I don't see that changing. I have done K, 1st & ADV. This year in ADV, we learned about Native Americans - the way they were forced/killed off the land they had long inhabited. We learned, with age-appropriate books, about slavery and how the African American population was mistreated. In my opinion, I had a virtual smorgasbord of information. As with most of what I've found with MFW, I was able to choose the direction our conversations went. I felt the freedom to lead my children in the way my husband & I believe we're called.

The only text I had any mild difficulty with in ADV was Exploring American History. Because of OUR particular beliefs (which I realize are NOT the majority), I felt some of the text was slanted a little too far to the providential side. This was a very specific issue & was easily dealt with by my reading the (very) short history segments ahead of time. In this way I was prepared to talk with my children appropriately. Even still, I believe MFW has researched what is out there & available and they have chosen what they believe is the best. That goes a LONG way with me after using 3 of their programs.

In a nutshell, this stuff is easily adaptable. They give you super books, excellent framework, and you do with it what you will.

HTH ~
cbollin

Re: multi-ethnic awareness

Unread post by cbollin »

Mollyzagrodny wrote:Crystal, could you clarify which books.
Well, I think Paige said it just great about the books in Adventures. We did the same thing with the same book. But, with adding in book basket, we are able to give a fuller picture.

I was mostly referring to the general point that you are not teaching from one and only one book. In EX1850, when we had Building a City on a Hill, we also had Story of the World and book basket. We had George Washington's World and STory of the World. And always -- book basket. Coming from several sides of it, you got more than one picture.

Off the top of my head, I remember in EX1850 this year learning about the Alamo, Texas indepedence and Sam Houston. Story of the World gave a different portion of the story than Exploring American History. Both together gave more of the story. Then we added in a book from basket time that even gave a more flavor to the important role of women at the time.

I hope that makes sense.

--crystal
4Truth
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Re: multi-ethnic awareness

Unread post by 4Truth »

cbollin wrote:I was mostly referring to the general point that you are not teaching from one and only one book. In EX1850, when we had Building a City on a Hill, we also had Story of the World and book basket. We had George Washington's World and STory of the World. And always -- book basket. Coming from several sides of it, you got more than one picture.

Off the top of my head, I remember in EX1850 this year learning about the Alamo, Texas indepedence and Sam Houston. Story of the World gave a different portion of the story than Exploring American History. Both together gave more of the story. Then we added in a book from basket time that even gave a more flavor to the important role of women at the time.
This explains very well one of the MANY reasons we chose MFW. I had gotten completely and utterly frustrated with the slanted view of history no matter which curriculum we were looking at. Whether it was secular, Reformed Christian, Independent Baptist... didn't matter. If you compare SOTW (secular) and Rod & Staff (Mennonite) and Exploring American History (Reformed/Presby), side by side on the same subjects, you get an interestingly different explanation of the events and people. (MFW doesn't use R&S, but I've compared it with the other two books and thought it an interesting comparison.)

When you buy everything from one publisher, you are going to get that publisher's viewpoint and that's it. Just as dh and I have been looking for balance in our church and denominational teachings in our personal life, we've been looking for balance in our homeschool curriculum, as well. We feel that MFW is very balanced in many different areas.

And as the others have said, the Book Basket choices add a lot of variety, too.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
Christy - Staff
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Why Does MFW have an International Focus?

Unread post by Christy - Staff »

God created the entire world and everyone in it, so we believe studying God’s incredible world – all the different civilizations and cultures – is vital to a biblical worldview. What’s been the most exciting part of our international focus for your family? Has it inspired your family to take a mission trip? Are you more aware of those around you and their needs? Have you started a community service project? Has God placed a love for others in your heart?

See more on our website here - http://www.mfwbooks.com/wps/portal/c/ab ... obal-focus
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manyblessings
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Re: Why Does MFW have an International Focus?

Unread post by manyblessings »

MFW's international focus has inspired us to support a missionary in Blantyre, Malawi. It has been a blessing communicating with him and seeing what God is doing in such a far away part of the world, how needy people are being served with food, education, clothing, personal care items, Bibles, and evangelists. We're blessed to be a part of it. One vision we have is to have a guest room prepared in our home that will be available for visiting missionaries. Another is to take a mission trip ourselves. This call and God's leading us back to MFW have gone hand in hand, and I am so thankful for that!
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Yodergoat
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Re: Why Does MFW have an International Focus?

Unread post by Yodergoat »

It was MFW's international focus that cemented our decision to use MFW when we were exploring curriculum choices before Kindergarten. Specifically, it was the magazine description of Exploring Countries and Cultures which caught my attention. I recall reading the description to my husband and telling him that I was so glad to see a curriculum company which "gets it" and understands that the "rest of the world" (apart from the United States) is not just a set of facts to be learned but is made up of people for which we should be praying. Learning that MFW supports Bible translation was another confirmation for us, as we are believers that every people group should have access to the Bible in their heart language.

I fear that American Christianity is currently so "me-focused" that although our churches do teach and preach that we should be carrying the gospel into all the world, many people consider this command to be a side issue... a nice "bonus" after we have gotten our own issues in America resolved. But a love for the people of the world is a crucial part of a having a Christian worldview!

We don't know if God has a plan for our family to physically participate in missions work. For now, we try to live a very simple debt-free life (old cars we pay for with cash, living in a small older mobile home so we have no house payment, etc) so we can have an open hand in missions giving as God shows us various needs. (This lifestyle and lack of any debt may make it easier for us in the future if God does call us to work in a mission field.) After going through ECC, not just our daughter but our entire family has a better grasp of "who" it is that is receiving our prayers and support. We understand more about their culture, their traditions, their spiritual and physical needs... and not just their location on a map. This has spilled over into our teaching at church in Sunday School and Awana, as we teach children about the people beyond the borders of our own land and how all people everywhere have a need to know Jesus. That happens to be the theme of my lesson for a large group time this coming Wednesday with 3rd-6th graders.... that all people have value and worth in the eyes of our Savior, and should have value in our eyes as well.

I am so thankful to have MFW there to reinforce what our family believes about this. Love for people around the world just oozes out of every pore of the MFW curriculum. One can tell it is not simply tacked on as an afterthought, but is at the very heart of all they do.
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TriciaMR
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Re: Why Does MFW have an International Focus?

Unread post by TriciaMR »

The international focus has given my kids an interest in what's going on around the world.

This Christmas break, my husband and daughter will be taking a missions trip to Honduras.
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