Compare MFW to literature-based programs?

lisaha
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:04 pm

Re: set to use something else, now thinking about MFW

Unread post by lisaha » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:38 am

I did Adventures with a 3rd and 1st grader this last year with a 4 year old, 2 year old and baby hanging around too! :) The children loved it and developed a hunger to learn and read more on their own. Even my 4 year old surprised me, he was in and out of the room playing while I taught, often listening in too, two weeks ago he saw a map on US territories and pointed to where MN would someday be and said "This is where we live!" So he heard and retained it! :) Adventures has hands on projects for the art and artsy children (my DD), good read alouds-but not too many, for the children who love listening to stories (DS 1 and 2) but moms who like to read to their children but don't want to do it all day (me), food projects, and some textbooky type books for moms who want a few non fiction books to tie facts into the good historical fiction books-and my children even enjoyed those bc they were mixed in nicely with the "funner" books! :) Now they are pulling non fiction and fiction books out of the library to read on their own. :)

momtogc
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:25 pm
Location: AR

Re: set to use something else, now thinking about MFW

Unread post by momtogc » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:48 pm

We also did ADV with a third grader and no regrets. I've said this on the board before and hope it doesn't get old, but my dd cried when we finished ADV because it was such a great year. We had tried SL in second and ended up sending it back after just a few weeks. It wasn't working for us, wasn't fun, no retention, etc. We loved ADV and I think you and your children will, too.

Meleasa :-)
Mom to Gabi, a fun-loving and happy girl!
MFW 1st, Adventures, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp-1850

Lisa M
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:53 pm

Re: set to use something else, now thinking about MFW

Unread post by Lisa M » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:37 pm

I have a friend who compared SL and MFW, and chose SL last fall because she wanted lots of options to create her day. A few weeks ago she told me she is bagging SL because there is TOO much to do and she feels pressured to do it all.

MFW is streamlined, keeps to the basics, and gives you some warning if a portion of a book may be offensive to some, is inappropriate for older children, or has a section that you might want to restate. I have never found myself at the end of the day saying "Gee, I wish we could just do more school today!" The amount in MFW is just right for us, and then allows time for ample free time for the younger kids, and ample running around to music lessons and sports for the older kids.

Even though I use my own Language Arts options, I highly, highly, highly recommend MFW.
DD 8 yrs homeschool; Junior in PS
DD 2017 10 years homeschool; graduated 2 of 70
DS 2015 Homeschool Graduate; Four year college tuition scholarship
DD 2013 Valedictorian of tiny PS; 10 years home school

Marcee
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Location: The Pacific Northwest
Contact:

Re: set to use something else, now thinking about MFW

Unread post by Marcee » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:38 pm

Llinks to other ideas for activities are nothing like MFW- for example, making Johnny Cakes when you study Johnny Appleseed.

The thing I like about MFW is that while it has similarities to other curriculums it is still fun. Other curriculums that combine CM and Classical start to look more like more of a classical approach the older your child is. As an 8 year old (9 on 9/24) my DD still needs books with some pictures, plus chapter books. Just rote memorization, sitting for long periods of time and listening to chapter books would really frustrate her.

Just my 2 cents.
“A sense of curiosity is nature’s original school of education.” ~Smiley Blanton

Marcee married to Chris (12 years)
DD Keelin (10)
DS Raice (8)

SimplyKim
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:30 am

Re: set to use something else, now thinking about MFW

Unread post by SimplyKim » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:12 pm

My advice is to move on if what you're doing isn't fun or benefiting either of you. Last year was a struggle with my younger dc but this year has been wonderful. And really, when you find your place you'll know it. There will always be the occasional hard day but mostly (only 3 weeks in though) the days are good and the children happy. And they remember what we've learned about! Which is awesome! Granted my children are older than yours so the programs I'm using are different but hopefully this helps a little. Best of luck with whatever you choose!
Married to a wonderful DH and mother to:
DD 13 SL Core 6 & LA, MOH 2, Astronomy, TT Pre-Algebra, Grammar Ace, Wordly Wise
DS 11 & DD 9 ECC, Spectrum English & Spelling, TT 4 & 5,
Everybody Rosetta Stone Italian

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

Input on decision regarding ECC-please share

Unread post by dhudson » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:20 pm

ChildofGrace wrote:For various reasons, I'm considering making the switch from SL to MFW next year. I know that MFW recommends beginning with ECC, and we will have just completed the history cycle, so it does appear to be an opportune time to take a year for geography.

However, from the samples online I don't get the sense that the actual geography study incorporates much reading aloud together time--it appears to consist mainly of completing worksheets. Since our history read-aloud together time is very precious around here, I am very reluctant to give that up. So, could you ladies fill me in? Is there much cuddle together and read-aloud time scheduled in this program? Also, I would really appreciate hearing what an average day using ECC consists of, if someone would be so kind as to share.
There's plenty of read aloud time. I spend at least an hour of read aloud time a day (I'm doing ECC for a second time with twin 5th graders and an 8th grader). You read aloud Bible, Science, Geography, and then there's the Read alouds in the Deluxe package. In MFW, you do those subjects with your child and so you will read those with your children. My 8th grader still loves those read-aloud times. While we love the read-aloud time my kids really love when I do the hands-on projects with them. They are scheduled and lined up for me in the TM.

If you are looking for more time than that, the Book Basket has tons of book suggestions and you can always read those aloud as well.
ChildofGrace wrote:Thanks so much for your reply!

I do understand that the Bible, Science and actual read-alouds are read together. But because we already read those subjects aloud, I am wondering how much read aloud time would be lost by doing this geography study rather than a history study. Am I making sense at all?
It's not all worksheets. ;) yes, older children get some time to learn some research skills.

check this blog to See the unseen in ECC
http://randiepandie.wordpress.com/

-crystal
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

schoolmom2
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:50 pm

Re: Input on decision regarding ECC-please share

Unread post by schoolmom2 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:20 pm

I'm laughing a little at myself right now, because when you mentioned worksheets, I thought, "Worksheets? We haven't done any worksheets!" So I got out my kids' notebooks, and sure enough, we have done a few! They were just such a part of our study and reading time together, I kinda forgot about them as "worksheets."

My kids are 4th and 2nd, so we do most everything together. The geography time is mostly reading, actually. The World Geography book is a little over their heads, so we have only done a few of those pages. I make up for it with good books from the library, mostly juvenile fiction, and then we discuss, "What did you see in this book that taught you something about -fill in the country name-? Which words did you hear that were new to you? How does the story help you understand more about their beliefs or culture?"

The boys have 20-30 minutes of read-alone time, at least 30 minutes of reading together for fun, and then the read-aloud at night. And that doesn't include the reading we do together in their "textbooks".

lisaha
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:04 pm

Anyone switch from FIAR to MFW

Unread post by lisaha » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:41 am

Melany wrote:I am considering switching to MFW for 1st grade for my oldest. I'm curious if there are others that have used FIAR and how you would compare the two? What helped you decide to switch to MFW? From what I have seen the MFW is pretty much open and go, no planning involved other than making sure you have supplies for the hands on activities?

Would love to hear your thoughts.
I have rowed a week here and there during the summer and once for Thanksgiving. I was going to use FIAR full time last year, but decided on ECC last July. I took out the books I had for FIAR and reference books, sat down to plan the year and decided that I didn't like to plan! LOL! It was way too much work to plan out lessons for the age span I have. To give appropriate work for different ages on the same subject gave me a headache! LOL! It's done for you in MFW! I knew with a baby coming last fall that I wouldn't have time to get to the library for additional books and sure enough I didn't get there at all for months at a time after Emma was born. And then there was the faith factor, thee most important reason I'm homeschooling. The Christian Character sup. was ok in FIAR, but it didn't bring Christ into every aspect of our homeschool day. The Lord is relevant in history, science, ex... and I want books that show how Christ is woven into everything and He is the center of our days. Some MFW books are secular, but most of the books bring the Lord into our teaching day in various subjects.
1. Christ is first in MFW, not in FIAR
2. I don't have time to plan
3. With a few children, I needed things easy and set up for me-open and go
Pray about it! The Lord will lead you, He is faithful!
Blessings,
Lisa
Abby 10
Joshua 8
James 5
Toby 4
Levi 2
Emma Grace 6 months

cbollin

Re: Anyone switch from FIAR to MFW

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:09 pm

I used FIAR with my oldest for her Kindy and 1st year. I don't know if it's changed much since then or not. She's starting 10th grade these days.
We did volumes 1-3 (that's what there was way back in the old day... we didn't do Beyond). Then, that's when I found MFW. I was at a natural end point with FIAR.

how to compare? Well, with MFW you get a real math and real phonics programs, and language arts that's going to need pencil/paper as well as narration. MFW language arts in 1st is not as abstract as I remember FIAR language arts being. I remember a lot of language arts vocab with the books.
You get Bible lessons that are not as uhm... random as fiar was with the "character supplement". I always felt like "bible/character" was an afterthought with fiar when I used it. Like Lisa said, that feeling is not in MFW.

Another difference with MFW vs. FIAR shows up in "book basket" vs. "book lists". With book basket, you can have other titles than the ones on the MFW list and MFW will still work for you and work very well. They are extra reading after you do your main assignments that come from the package books. With FIAR, if you didn't have the exact book, you had to move on to the next lesson and just go on in life. I had that happen in volume 3 a lot. I remember that now. I went over the university library at the education department to try to find some, and used Interlibrary loan. And then realized, well, ok... I don't get to do those lessons. With mfw, any enrichment reading is that - enrichment, but not a specific required title.

something similar? The way art appreciation is approached. In mfw's 1st grade, there are 2 books from Come Look with Me series. So, if you're familiar with the "art" day in FIAR, the Come Look with Me books work in a similar fashion. You get some art appreciation plus language arts development with the paintings. Difference? fiar the art comes from a specific story you are doing all week, and in mfw, the art is a separate book. Also, mfw 1st contains art instruction. I don't remember that in FIAR. I tried to add that.

I sound like I'm down on fiar.. I liked it a lot! used vol. 1-3 many years ago. loved seeing the titles again in MFW as well. But I remember the veterans moms of the time telling me, that yes with fiar you need a separate math program instead of what fiar does and you of course you need phonics and how to read and how to write.

MFW gives you Bible, character, phonics/spelling (whichever you need for your child's reading ability), language arts development (narration, copywork, summaries, sequencing, etc etc). They give math, science lessons on general science topics with experiments. As parents we are encouraged to read aloud. So, you can use the book titles in fiar for that.

Yes, I remember planning with fiar. MFW is more open and go and pre trimmed. What I remember with fiar is that I had to learn how much was too much for the day in a social studies topic, and had to learn when to quit the lessons. I've never had to do that in mfw. Yes, you check for supplies on hand. Yes, you have to be active teaching from mfw 1st.

I like that's it all in one manual. When I did fiar, I had my fiar book (which I liked), another book for Bible study, another book for math, another program for phonics/spelling/writing. and 2 younger children under my feet including the special needs stuff. I sure was a lot younger in those days. I could never deal with all that now.

I don't intend to paint MFW as some perfect solution, but wow.. after typing all of that out.. can I just say "God, thank you for telling MFW's business manager to just step out of the booth and ask me if he could help me that day in 2003 at the convention.,"

Keep praying, Melany. I know MFW is an answer to prayer for my family. I trust HIM to show you what he has in mind for your family.

and welcome along.

-crystal

Wendy B.
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:27 pm

Sonlight vs. MFW - not as deep?

Unread post by Wendy B. » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:10 pm

spunkytigrr wrote:I am just curious to hear from anyone who has used both MFW and SL... how they compared... I have heard that MFW is "easier" or not as deep. I like the idea that MFW leaves more room to supplement if you want to, and that I wouldn't be weeding out material b/c there is too much to go through, but I just wanted to hear from anyone who's had a chance to use both and what you thought! Also, are the hands-on activities in MFW more like crafts or more like science experiments or what? Thanks! :)
I used SL with my older kids (current ages 21 &20)......specifically Cores 1,2,3,4 &5.

I have used MFW K, 1, ADV with my youngers. I'm currently using ECC.

MFW is not "easier or less deep" it is DOABLE! Doable is important.

For us, SL was mind dumbing reading. Reading until my throat hurt and someone was nodding off....sometimes that someone was me. We never finished a core. We could just not get it all done. This meant that we wasted money on materials. My oldest son totally lost his enjoyment for reading while reading SL's readers. He is 21 and still does not read for pleasure. It was too scheduled for us since SL micromanages your day. Every book is schedule to the paragraph that you read. Every. single. one. I could never keep up and was often behind within weeks of starting a core.

SL is a great company and their choices of books are top notch. I often (still) purchase books from them. We really enjoyed their science selections and I still purchase science books and supplies from them. For us, the whole program was just too much. Too many good books, too much time, too much money. SL is no longer an option for us since I would not be able to combine my younger kids, and there is no way I could complete 2 SL cores.

When I talk to someone who plans to use SL, I encourage them to use a core when their child is at the older end of the recommended age range. I also encourage them to plan on using the 4 day schedule.

MFW has been doable for us. We have completed MFW 1 and ADV. I felt the book basket selections allow us to pick and choose selections that are appropriate for our family. We can read through them as fast or slow as we want. I can choose to purchase them or borrow from the library as I see fit. I can complete a "core" within a year. I can get school done in the mornings, and the kids have the afternoons to pursue their own diverse interests. I have been able to focus on developing la/math skills without having history take over our day since using MFW. MFW is so much more developmentally appropriate for young children than SL. I look at some of those SL books from the early cores, and I wonder why I felt the need to read those books to my little kids! My 9yo is so much more secure in his faith after using 2 levels of MFW then my olders were after using 5 years of SL. The difference in this very crucial area is dramatic.

HTH
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.

cbollin

Re: Sonlight vs. MFW

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:31 pm

spunkytigrr wrote: Also, are the hands-on activities in MFW more like crafts or more like science experiments or what? Thanks! :)
I know I'm confused... blame it on the rain.

The science experiments are science experiments.

The hands on activities can be crafts, or demos, or cooking project. Some things might involve non craft activities.Some involve some paper models once in a while. Some are games. You have a variety depending on the year and such.
They are simplified so that they are doable - in other words, you get stuff that's been practiced by other families to get it right. There is always an easier way to do something, I'll do that. :) I did the Sand Art once by going to Michael's craft store and buying these $1 sticker sheets that you pull back, and then pour the cheap color sand on them. Other people might do it more sophisticated than that.

After using MFW for 8 years and counting, I'm not yet convinced that it lacks meat, or depth. Narration is a tool for going as deep as the parent wants to go.

doable is the first thing that comes to mind on hands-on. and variety.
-crystal

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Sonlight vs. MFW

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:02 pm

spunkytigrr wrote:I am just curious to hear from anyone who has used both MFW and SL... how they compared... I have heard that MFW is "easier" or not as deep.
Oooo, those of us using MFW don't like to hear that :~ ;) :-)

Well, the easier part is good! But deep? Different programs advertise "deep" in different ways. For some, it means the stack of books is very deep! For some, it means mom is reading an encyclopedia before teaching, or asking 1,000 questions to be sure every detail is covered. With MFW, I think age-appropriate learning means that learning actually goes deeper.

Here are some more conversations along those lines:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2927

spunkytigrr wrote:Also, are the hands-on activities in MFW more like crafts or more like science experiments or what?
Thanks! :)
I know exactly what you are asking here, because I read the ads too. I see one curriculum says they are "very hands-on, because we have science experiments" and another is "very hands-on because we have crossword puzzles." It's all so confusing. But rest assured that with MFW, "hands-on" means hands-on. It means things kids get to do with their hands --- cooking, making a tinfoil boat float, and putting spots on dad to reenact the plague of boils. And something unique I think is that MFW tests all these activities with many families, decides which are doable, and schedules a realistic amount of time in the teacher guide to do these things. Oh, and different families get into the hands-on to different degrees.

More conversations on comparing:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4098

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

kaiakai
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:41 pm
Location: Virginia
Contact:

Re: Sonlight vs. MFW

Unread post by kaiakai » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:01 am

I might not be qualified to answer this, since I haven't used either, yet, but I have recently spent a number of hours reading forums and reviews on both and comparing both.

I'm not sure HOW much reading there actually is with SL. I keep hearing that it is A LOT, but we do love reading here. We also love doing crafts and hands on stuff, and it sounds like there is considerably less of that with SL. They say, "you can always add stuff on," and I guess they even have a list of suggested activities, but I only have so many hours in the day.... yeah. MFW seems a little more do-able. And as mentioned, if it doesn't seem like "enough" (which I have never actually heard of MFW- I have heard people saying that they have heard that rumor, but never seen one actual post anywhere of someone saying that they used MFW and it wasn't enough) you can always add on. Or read books from the SL list.

The determining factor for me was (I should note that I was *mostly* looking at K and 1st grade packages) that as much as I think that SL is onto something good with exposing the student to secular material and in that providing a "spiritual immunization", it seems like they start with that right from the get-go. I would prefer that my children get a solid foundation in God's word and THEN start learning about other stuff, and I like how MFW integrates the Bible studies and immerses the young student with no room for confusion (again, this is my impression of it having not yet used it). On that same note, the only hesitation I have had in making my choice was that in Cathy Duffy's review of MFW she said something about how the view of world history might be a little skewed by the amount of integration.

I considered using MFW for K, then later switching, but then I kept coming across threads where people were saying just the opposite.

I saw another thread somewhere on rating curriculums by their level of 'difficulty', and on a scale from 1-10, MFW ranked one place towards more difficult than SL. Obviously this was just the impression of three or four people, nothing definitive or scientific, but I was still a little surprised by that.

Another thing was that I downloaded a couple IG's from SL and while I know a lot of people like how everything is laid out and scheduled, but the word Wendy used- micromanage- seems appropriate. (Of course it is all still flexible,right!? LOL) "Too much" is another thing I have read a lot about SL. THey give you so much to choose from that it is overwhelming- of course their suggestions are all so good that it is hard to leave anything out.


(sorry if I've rambled; I hope this was a little helpful)
~Kai
http://thecatinthetree.blogspot.com
Mom to Kiira (5) and Hana (2)

cbollin

Re: Sonlight vs. MFW

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:38 am

kaiakai wrote: if it doesn't seem like "enough" (which I have never actually heard of MFW- I have heard people saying that they have heard that rumor, but never seen one actual post anywhere of someone saying that they used MFW and it wasn't enough)
(sorry if I've rambled; I hope this was a little helpful)
I like your "rambling". :) I'm enjoying listening.

in order to provide some other side of the debate insights. I've been on some forums where people do say it wasn't enough for them. Usually, as you learn more about that person and their philosophy and goals in education, it's more of the person likes to have school for more hours a day than what MFW designs its programs. Or the person doesn't understand that part of school time in the "MFW way" of doing things, means time for school and service projects. Or the person hasn't yet learned when enough is enough for the age of their oldest child. They expect each day of a program to be like a full buffet meal to be eaten in full. When, all we need is proper portions over the days and weeks.

Then, you hear other people chime in saying things like I used such and such and never got it all done anyway. Use MFW and the plan is a realistic amount of daily work.

so there's the "newbie" point of view and the "veteran" point of view and that plays a lot into how the amount is perceived.

It's like that children's story where the family thinks they don't have enough people or animals in their house.... so they get a little too much more, and finally, send away all the extras. They end the story with the amount they started with and realize that indeed it was just the right amount.

I think MFW is like that --- it gets trimmed and decluttered so that just right is what you have.

thanks for listening to me ramble.

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

Re: Sonlight vs. MFW

Unread post by erin.kate » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:42 am

cbollin wrote:It's like that children's story where the family thinks they don't have enough people or animals in their house.... so they get a little too much more, and finally, send away all the extras. They end the story with the amount they started with and realize that indeed it was just the right amount.

I think MFW is like that --- it gets trimmed and decluttered so that just right is what you have.
Amen. From one relative newbie to a veteran. ;)
♥Count it all joy ~
Mae 11, Viola 9, Jude 7, & Jack 6
2015: RTR
2014: CTG
2011: Adventures
2010: MFW First Grade
2009: MFW K♥

lisaha
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:04 pm

Re: Sonlight vs. MFW

Unread post by lisaha » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:58 pm

I like that with MFW I can get most everything done even with 6 children of varying ages. I had a newborn during the school year last year and we completed ECC in May. I could work ahead on days when things went very well, and only do a few things on days when we were too busy with everything else in our home, but catch up easily on anouther day when all went well. We could be done by noon. All of the books I needed came with it, so when I couldn't get to the library for a month, the children didn't suffer, and when I could get to the library there are extra books they can read in the book basket about what we are doing, but it wasn't required so the children flipped through them when they were intrested and left them when it they weren't intrested. If we missed music or art bc of a fussy baby, the other things they did felt like they got alot of great info and they often reread the books on thier own so I knew they got so much that it was ok when we didn't get music or art done. But the art was easy enough that my DD started teaching the younger kids the art on her own and she just turned 10! :) I haven't used SL, but we didn't have time for anymore reading then we had in MFW!

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

Re: Sonlight vs. MFW

Unread post by gratitude » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:03 pm

I have been intending to come to this thread...
We have used P3/4, P4/5, and K (or now A), and own 1 (now B) of SL. We also did SL LA K, Science K, and parts of Science 1.
We have completed MFW 1 & K, and are currently working on MFW 1 & ADV.

MFW definitely isn't easier. In some ways it is harder academically. It requires 'doing'; whereas SL required cuddling on the coach a good portion of the time. MFW takes various angles to each topic. For example, in MFW1 I would read a Bible story, then my ds would read the Bible story from the Bible reader, narrate it to me, summarize it in his Bible notebook, draw a picture of the story, and put the time-line figure on the time-line. 'Doing, instead of only reading'. In addition, one or two days a week would be a short hands on project to go with the stories being studies. For example, making a pot from Cornstarch & flour or drawing an ancient map. So by the end of a week the student has read-aloud, been read to, drawn, done a hands on project, done a science project, summarized, narrated, etc. This is first grade! It only increases from there.

When I first came to MFW my over all summary was school is definitely more doable, my children are learning a lot more, we cover less facts and less information - but at that same time the information we do cover is far more in-depth and far more deep. Instead of skimming the surface they are really learning the depth of one topic covered over an entire year. I felt like with SL we skimmed topics, and they can not remember so much of what we skimmed!

I loved the P3/4 books in SL (except for some of the fairy tales). I loved most of the P4/5 books (there are some I considered age inappropriate for Pre-school, but they are still great books - maybe just for a little older), I loved most of Core K (all but one book was great, but again I found 4 -5 to be age inappropriate, in my mind, for K). For Core 1 there are a number of good books. We ended up not using the Core though as curriculum. Too many of the books were introducing topics that I wanted to wait until 3rd or 4th grade for.

Most of all though it was at this point that I realized how important it is for me to have Bible integrated with History and used as the History spine. MFW does this. I didn't want to teach world history without the Bible. As a curriculum it didn't work for us. I needed more of a 'curriculum' for our school time, and I saw the books as more 'reading' time; if that difference makes sense? With the 'curriculum' of MFW I feel like they learn a lot, like they would in school. Then we can also still have our great 'reading' time. The few things I do/did love about SL books is that my children really do have great vocabulary, imaginations for writing, & reading comprehension from using their literature for pre-school/K. We also still read books from them, and my ds loves their readers. Again though this 'reading' time is a part of MFW, and they list literature books in their TMs & deluxe packages too.

MFW is so much more Bible based, Jesus Christ is at the center, it is fun, easy to complete (not easy academically), easy to do (not easy in terms of work), and great academics. It is the education I want for my children all wrapped up in a nice TM that is well organized and easy to follow. I feel like I am beginning to sound like I could write an ad for them... 8[]

We LOVE MFW! :-)
Last edited by gratitude on Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:01 pm, edited 6 times in total.

705emily
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:52 pm

Re: Sonlight vs. MFW

Unread post by 705emily » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:28 pm

I have taught MFW K and 1st twice each, Adventures, ECC, CTG, and will be doing RTR next year. Since being led to MFW--I have no desire to look elsewhere. MFW meets the needs of our family so well! The kids are happy learning, I am happy with the manageability of MFW, as well of the Bible-centered-ness of it. I love how easy it is to prepare--how the TM is set up, and for the weekly recommendations of books for the "book-basket"--listed in the back of the TM. This curriculum makes me feel like I CAN homeschool! We all love the hands on "kid-friendly" approach! We love the opportunities for ministry that are provided. MFW provides a fantastic framework for our homeschool. It is so rich all the way around. Can you tell we love MFW?? :-)
Irmi Gaut
MFW K, MFW 1, Adventures, ECC this year!

'And my God shall supply ALL your needs according to his riches in Glory!'

marsha617
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:59 am

Re: Sonlight vs. MFW

Unread post by marsha617 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:24 pm

I used SL Pre-K (what it used to be called) the first year we homeschooled. I loved the choice of books in that program. In fact, I still have many of them today I read to my younger ones. I ended up using the theme schedule offered on SL Preschool Yahoo Group because I wasn't liking the layout of SL's IG. I looked ahead to Core K and thought to myself there was NO way my 5 & 6 yr. old boys would sit through half of the books listed. So we went on to Five in a Row and Winterpromise until I came to MFW.

Since beginning MFW life is good. :-) God is good! I do not see us ever switching to anything else. Here is why:
1. Bible integration is very important to us. Bible is not tacked on but integrated into all subjects.
2. There is plenty of reading as with SL in the form of parent-led readings (Bible, history, and science), book basket, student reading practice, and read alouds.
3. Hands-on activities are fun and interesting.
4. The TM is extremely user friendly. I bought a program mentioned above and put it away in a matter of weeks because nothing made sense. Talk about disappointing. It happens. The next year we used MFW Adventures - like I said, life was good. :-)
5. The MFW office personnel is easily accessible. Someone always answers during business hours to answer any questions or concerns.
6. No problems with shipping my materials. Good service.

For my family I don't think we would be content with only readings all the time. We have been very pleased so far. Pray about your decision too.

Marsha
Andrew 10
Nathan 8
Ryan 5
Josh 2
Yes, we have ALL boys. Life is fun and always interesting!
MFW since 2008; CTG this coming school yr.

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

Re: Sonlight vs. MFW

Unread post by gratitude » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:59 pm

705emily wrote: This curriculum makes me feel like I CAN homeschool!
ME TOO! :-)
marsha617 wrote:1. Bible integration is very important to us. Bible is not tacked on but integrated into all subjects.
2. There is plenty of reading as with SL in the form of parent-led readings (Bible, history, and science), book basket, student reading practice, and read alouds.
3. Hands-on activities are fun and interesting.
4. The TM is extremely user friendly. I bought a program mentioned above and put it away in a matter of weeks because nothing made sense. Talk about disappointing. It happens. The next year we used MFW Adventures - like I said, life was good. :-)
5. The MFW office personnel is easily accessible. Someone always answers during business hours to answer any questions or concerns.
6. No problems with shipping my materials. Good service.

For my family I don't think we would be content with only readings all the time. We have been very pleased so far. Pray about your decision too.
I completely agree with all of these reasons! This has been our experience coming from SL as well.

rxmom
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 4:29 am

Re: Sonlight vs. MFW

Unread post by rxmom » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:35 am

Hi and Welcome!

I personally do not think MFW is "light" or "easy" but rather I would describe MFW as:
steeped in God's Word, rich, challenging, lots of great reading, fun, easy to do hands-on projects that truly enrich learning,
no twaddle, good, sound science with manageble #/type of experiments...I could go on but will stop there...MFW leaves time for other life activities such as piano, dance, soccer and mom to go to the gym...

My husband and I agree that WE are learning as much as the kids and we never had this great of an education in elementary or high school. We are both college graduates and feel that academically MFW is strong and more importantly its foundation and "heart" in centered in God's Word...every letter of this curriculum is written from that perspective...our kids are getting something we never received at home or school: A solid foundation in critical aspects of the Christian faith as viewed from the bible and the history of God and His people...

Best Wishes...picking curriculum is tuff as there is lots of good stuff out there but just keep PRAYING....
Delcey :)
Blessed beyond measure...Lovin' MFW in SW VA
ds (14) ADV, ECC, CTG, RTR, EXP to 1850, 1850 to MT, Coming Soon...AHL!
ds (12) 1st grade, ADV, ECC, CTG, RTR, EXP to 1850, 1850 to MT
dd (9) MFWK, MFW1st, EXP to 1850, 1850 to MT

momtogc
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:25 pm
Location: AR

Re: Sonlight vs. MFW

Unread post by momtogc » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:03 pm

We used SL for a couple of months one time. It was too much reading, reading, reading.... almost overkill. We love to read but it seemed that's all there was to it. Even their customer reviews talk endlessly about how much fun the reading is, how much their children love the books.

If you read MFW reviews you will hear about how the curriculum has helped to mold Godly character, how Christ focused it is. I never hear that about SL and that is the first thing that turns me away. Also, some of the books in MFW aren't necessarily read aloud; the child looks at the pictures, read the captions together, discuss what you are learning - active learning, not just sitting and listening to Mom's voice for half the day. (Does that sound mean - I don't intend it to be. Just saying...)

On the surface, if you compare the *quantity* of books that come with the curriculum, MFW might not have the same number so I can see where one would think MFW doesn't "stack up" against SL. However, quantity does not equal quality. MFW has enough depth to it that my child has learned and grown even in the year that we did a MFW curriculum that wasn't our favorite. I am often astounded sometimes at what my child gained through the MFW studies. It's been just enough. Having too much to read can be overwhelming to young minds, and again it seems to be all about the reading.

Hands-on with MFW-1 were things like making a shepherd's bag (easy enough even for me and I don't sew), baking Hamantashen cookies. In Adventures dd wrote with a quill pen and berry ink, and we made a wigwam with construction paper (messy and fun!) In Exploring Countries and Cultures many of the hands-on came from an art book but some were related directly to the study. Those are just a couple of examples of things we did; there is plenty to keep little hands busy and to reinforce learning. Add to that some read aloud books (not too many) and extra books as desired and you get a very thorough curriculum. There are science activities that are fun, enjoyable and great learning experiences.

We have no regrets in using MFW. I feel that my dd has a well rounded education. I hope this helps. Be sure to look at other online reviews. There are many people who love SL and can give you their comparison.

Praying that God will direct your choice. :-)
Meleasa
Mom to Gabi, a fun-loving and happy girl!
MFW 1st, Adventures, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp-1850

Renai
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:48 pm
Location: New Mexico
Contact:

Re: Sonlight vs. MFW

Unread post by Renai » Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:08 pm

I used SL prek and K. Well, actually only got through to almost half of K before I stopped- I didn't think my dd was "getting it." What drew me to SL were the books, as I'm a big reader, and my daughter loved for me to read to her. Another problem I had, besides the perception that she wasn't getting it, was that as a bilingual homeschooler, I needed a enough flexibility to do readings in Spanish (even translations of recommended books were fine with me). I couldn't do that with SL. It was all their reading, all the time. And if I bought the core, there wasn't a lot of money left over to get some in Spanish.

We got led to MFW, and by the end of the school year, I'd scraped up enough money to buy it. My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed it. What I found interesting, though, and I point out to people all the time, is that the same great books that are included in SL, are the same ones (plus more) that are suggested book basket books in MFW! I wasn't going to miss out on those books after all! And I had the option of choosing which books to read in which language without having had invested a lot already. And which books I actually wanted to read anyway.

My daughter is in the 5th grade and still remembers things we did in MfW K and 1.
Renai
Wife to Enrique
Mom of two dd- 9/99 & 1/11

Bilingual homeschool
2004-05 SL
2005-2012 MFW
2012-2013 K12
2013-2014 dual-language charter
2014-2015 MFW Ancients/young'un- MFW preschool, reading books

http://creativeplaybilingual.blogspot.com/

rebeccal2002
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:00 pm

Re: Sonlight vs. MFW

Unread post by rebeccal2002 » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:08 pm

When I think of all the frustration that I experienced using SL for our first 4 years...but I didn't know about MFW at the time. Now SL is well thought out and I appreciate all that the company has tried to do, it just wasn't for us and I feel it took me too long to realize it. My kids were frustrated with all the reading aloud I had to do and resented the sitting still they had to do! MFW just works so well for us and ALL of the children are able to handle it and my voice doesn't go out on me anymore. :) I also appreciate that MFW is more innocent. We're doing ECC and all the books are appropriate for all ages (now that doesn't mean that some of things don't just go over the younger kids heads, but I don't have to worry that something I'm reading is going to upset someone. Some of the missionary books have rough endings (they die), but my DH reads those aloud after my 3 yo is in bed. :)

HTH, you got a lot of advice here.

Rebecca
HS'ing since 2006, MFW since 01/2011 :)
2015/16: ECC (2nd time around w/ 3rd, 6th and 8.5 grader), WHL (10th). Also 2nd half of K and 1st for 6 year old.

Finished K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp-1850, 1850-MOD, AHL

and 4 year old helping!

Captivated
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:25 pm

Re: Sonlight vs. MFW

Unread post by Captivated » Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:14 pm

I used Sonlight for 10 years before switching to MFW. We used Adventures last year. We loved it so much!! Such a great easy year. My kids loved it.


Pros of MFW:
- Fully integrated Bible and History
- Enrichment activities built in (I do the ones I want and skip the rest) but not too many of them
- History is lighter than Sonlight -( I majored in history in college, I love history so I loved Sonlight. Problem is, Sonlights HEAVY history focus. I want to make sure the kids have a good solid history base but 60 to 90 minutes of history READING each day is a lot more than I was willing to do with more than one child. I'm tired.)
- easy to double up days if I get behind.
- Really good book choices for history
- Teachers manual is soooo easy to use and not gigantic!!!
- strong missionary focus
- logical progression through history, science and bible.
- BEST thing about MFW is their book list they have in the back of the manual. It is listed by week and has hundreds of ideas of books to had for enrichment. This is meant to be taken to the library and used as a jumping off point to go deeper in a subject if you want. They include movie ideas too!!! This has been FUN!! I find MANY SL books on this list and can just pull them off my shelf. :)

Cons of MFW:
- Doesn't include readers ( I just used my SL readers - easy peasy)
- Read-aloud - not very many of them (again, just picked the best of the best SL readers)
- lighter all around
- doesn't come with everything - but again, I have sooooo many books I haven't felt we've suffered
- no notes about books in TM

Pros of SL -
- great history program - prob the best out there
- GREAT books - best book lists out there
- HUGE teachers manual
- buffet of options
- strong mission focus

Cons of SL:
- heavy focus on history. IMO too heavy when there is so much else we have to cover too.
- so many books (how can this be a con? Only that we don't have time to do them all and I get behind and beat myself up)
- teachers manual is so cumbersome
- buffet of options leaves me feeling like I've got to do everything.
- read-aloud so stinking much.
- Science is too random.

Bottom line - I love them both. MFW is just a little more doable and I can take the parts I love from SL (the readers and read-alouds) and add them to MFW so I feel like I'm getting the best of both worlds.

HTH
Amy

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