Compare MFW to textbook approach & Happy with the switch

Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 7:57 pm

Compare MFW to textbook approach & Happy with the switch

Unread post by mom2boys »

Mom23nMO wrote:We are totally new to MFW. We have always used the textbook approach. However, it was recommended to me (by a learning center) that we try unit studies. Mainly for my oldest's benefit. He has really struggled with the fill in the blank type thing. He is a great kid. Very hands on, loves to build, create,play the guitar, and his most favorite thing is HUNTING. Probably typical boy.:) (Too much info.?! )

Anyway, I had looked at a few other unit studies, and they were either overwhelming, or I had concerns about some of the reading material. Then... I was at the homeschool convention and walked right by the MFW area. Didn't really even pay much attention. But when we got home there was a catalog in my convention bag. Wow! Checked it out, and here we are!

Have been a little nervous, but I'm really getting excited. It really seems doable. (Is that a word?) The kids are excited about doing something different. We will be doing ECC with a 3rd, 6th, and 7th grader.

Looking forward to a great year,
Welcome Lisa,

We finished ECC last year with two boys (2nd & 5th at the time). They both loved it and learned so much. Your boy sounds a lot like mine. I think you will have a great year. This board is a great resource if you have any questions.

Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 2:13 pm

Unread post by donnagio »

I am new too! Just ordered ECC for my 11 year old boy who sounds so much like yours. The workbooks were" killing "us! At least killing our love of learning and school! I went back and forth between knowing I needed structure and wanting to use unit studies and hands on learning.

I had heard a little of MFW from some people using it and all, but what actually got me interested was the catalog in a card pack, from which I checked out the website. It is funny. I have gotten other really nice catalogs with beautiful pictures and paper and all sorts of things, but there was something about the simpliciity and sincerity of MFW that caught my heart. I love that the Hazells lived in Russia and are committed to Bible translation.

Also the message board reflects so often what I am looking for, and everyone seems to have a healthy, balanced attitude, wanting to teach not only excellent academics, but more importantly, a love of their Savior. The greatest commandment is to Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. I see both these in this curriculum, philosophy, and the support. The main thing, I think, is that there is such a priority on the Bible, on having a heart for the people of the world to come to know Jesus. It is not an extra subject put in as an afterthought, but the entire study is rooted and grounded in that purpose. That was really the deciding factor for me.

Well, we will be praying for you all, and hope you will pray for us. I know there will be ups and downs, but feel really good about starting the year, and am looking forward to taking the journey with you all!
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:46 pm

Unread post by lisa062797 »

Welcome to the board, Lisa!
We have done MFWK and First, and we will be doing Adventures this year. We have not been disappointed thus far. My oldest is also very hands on, and we have both loved the curriculum so far!

There is a great wealth of info on this board, so any questions you may have, ask away!

From another Lisa. :-)
Lisa in MN
Wife to Nick
Mom to
Vincent (11) Completed MFWK, MFW1, ADV, ECC, CtoG, RtR, and currently in EX1850
Andrew (6) Completed MFWK, and currently in 1st
Isaac (4) Currently enjoying MFW preschool toys
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 11:24 am

Unread post by scmlg »

I was in your shoes last year being new to MFW. Let me assure you that it was our best year. It was my 4th year homeschooling, we were with a textbook approach, but WOW, did we have fun with Adventures. We learned so much, read sooo many wonderful books, and just enjoyed it thoroughly.

WELCOME to you all!
Mom to 3 boys. Curtis, 11, Kyle, 9.5, Colton 3 years old. Live in Amish Country, Ohio.

Finished Adventures
Finished ECC
Finished CtoG
Working on R to R and a bit of preschool time
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:02 pm

Just starting MFW and home schooling

Unread post by Terri's3 »

It is so exciting to read all the wonderful comments about ECC. We are starting this new adventure with so much excitement that I cannot even believe it to be possible. I have pulled my 2ND, 4TH and 6TH graders out of public school and will be using ECC for all three of them this year. Not only am I thrilled to be doing what I believe God is calling me to do but I believe God lead our family to MFW.

Yesterday we read, How to Make Apple Pie and See the World and then we made the pie. It was a wonderful experience for all of us and a real treat for the kids to eat pie before lunch. It was a fantastic first day. Blessings and encouragement to all just beginning this new adventure with us.
Posts: 986
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Describe a traditional textbook curriculum

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:28 pm
I've used a textbook curriculum for the last 3 years, for K - 2nd. (I will be using ECC next year and am so excited). It is a very thorough curriculum, and if your children transition back into private/public school, it will be similar (or if they are transitioning FROM private/public school, they would relate to it).

[In the textbook program:] There are tests (depending on grade level) for Phonics/Language, Spelling and Math. As you get into 3rd and 4th grade, there are tests for history and reading. It is very textbook/workbook style. And it comes from something having been written for private Christian school.

It has a TM for Math, then a TM for Phonics/Language/Spelling/Reading/Poetry/Activity Time (which is History, Geography, Health and Safety, and Science, Art and Music and you alternate through things), and a TM for Writing and Seatwork.

My daughter has 7 or 8 readers this year (2nd grade), a History/Geography book, a Science book, a Health & Safety book, a writing workbook, phonics workbook, language workbook, spelling and poetry workbook and "seatwork" workbook. (We use Math-U-See for math). The readers have pretty good stories, and often talk about character issues. At the younger ages, the writing, phonics, language and reading are all intertwined and relate to each other, something I liked. (If you are studying the letter "e" in phonics, you are writing the letter "e" in writing.)

I "grade" my dd (as per the TM) for Reading (there are no "tests" for this), Spelling (there are tests), Phonics/Language Arts (again, tests), and Math (MUS has tests). I believe in 3rd grade, you start "grading" seatwork, too.

So, that's kind of what it is like.

I am glad to be switching to ECC next year. My little boys will be 4, and I hope they will "join in" for some of the hands on projects, book basket, and geography, even though they are little (they love having me read to them already). As it is with our current curriculum, there is no way, and I don't think you can combine subjects to teach multiple children at one time (which is one of many reasons why I'm switching).

We start school at 8:30, have a 1/2 hour recess in the morning, 1 hour for lunch and cleanup, and my dd is usually not finished until 3:00. It is very time intensive.

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:45 am
I am using a traditional textbook program this year. And, while my dd has learned to read and write, the writing and intensity of it has burned her out. Next year we will use ECC. I think it will be fun (hands on stuff - dd LOVES that!) and gentle, and she will learn more about God's heart for the world and her (that's most important).

Anyway, the other day at our home school support group, one of the ladies mentioned you don't have to be real rigorous until 7th/8th grade. You want to make learning gentle and fun so they are not burnt out by 7th/8th grade. Then, to prepare for college (if they're going to college), you need to step it up. Now, you may have to be "more rigorous" in one area for a little bit, like phonics until they can read well, but you don't have to be that rigorous for everything.

It will be different than what you are doing now. Your children will still each have their own math, language arts, and readers (if you want them to read aloud to you) that you will need to work individually for each one. But, the rest you will do together, requiring only what each child is capable of doing. For example, for a science project, a 5th grader might have to do a full report, where your 2nd grader just needs to draw a picture of it and write one sentence about what she learns. For filling in a map, your 5th grader would be required to label all the countries, mountain ranges, rivers, bodies of water and major cities. A second grader would probably only label the countries and bodies of water. The TM will guide you.

Really, it will be okay. I've never heard of someone homeschooling fail to teach their children. God is gracious, and will even use our weaknesses.

So, while I haven't used MFW yet, I am confident that God is the middle of it and will use it. (He's even used our "traditional textbook" program, too.)

Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:17 am

Switched from textbooks to MFW

Unread post by mom2woii »

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:11 am
I used textbooks for K a long time ago for my oldest son. The following year, I switched to unit studies.

The main reason I switched to unit studies was that when my ds and I were reading about the 1st Thanksgiving---there was only a paragraph written. I wanted him to know more than what the one paragraph offered, so we ended up going to the library for books. And so my love for unit studies was born at the point!

As far as biblical content -- both are very good. The main reason I use MFW Adv with my dd is for its biblical content that is interwoven throughout the curriculum.

Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:00 am

Re: Switched from textbooks to MFW

Unread post by GoodCat »

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:47 am
I used textbooks for 5 years. K trough 4th. I really like K and some of the phonics of 1st and 2nd. It is a good thorough curr. and bible based. However, it is very work book heavy.

And it is really geared to be taught to one child at a time.

As the children get older, the amount of what they are expected to know and do greatly increases. The amount of writing practice is crazy and the spelling is very overwhelming. They were supposed to copy a list of over 30 words 2-3 x's each day with vocabulary words. And the thing that my children really didn't like was that they just sat and worked in workbooks all day. There really wasn't much interaction (after 2nd grade), and hardly any hands on.

I also was having more children and needed something I could do with them all. Something where we could be together and learning together.

So I switched to MFW 2 years ago. We did ECC and 1st. And we are doing CtG this year.

Its amazing how different MFW is. We love MFW. It was everything I hoped it would be. The children really started enjoying school. They looked forward to it (at least parts of it). They were learning so much more because we were doing it together and doing fun crafts and stuff to reenforce what we were learning. And all the children could be a part of it. They still have some work to do out of books, but its more reasonable and at a better pace. It lets them be kids a little longer. I like that :<)

We also love the way MFW teaches geography first and then History - chronologically. We love that. I've actually been learning so much with my children. And we love how the bible is a text book for learning and is woven in all we are doing !!

We are still using their math. It was working and you have to do some kind of book with math anyway, so we stayed with it.

I think thats about it. I'm sure I've forgotten something. If you have any questions for me, just let me know.
In Christ,

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:21 pm
I'll just give my 2c too. I used textbooks with my older two for 5 years. K5- 4th grade. They both learned to read well and had beautiful handwriting. I really like the math and still use it for all my children. I also still use the k5 for my younger children. Mostly because I'm familiar with it and owned it and it works for teaching phonics.

However, by the end of the 4th grade year, I was experiencing and seeing some problems with Abeka.
My children started lying about doing copy work (Abeka has a ton).
They didn't enjoy school at all.
My oldest daughter got very stressed trying to do her best but having so much expected from her...and not doing well
It was getting harder to teach multiple children.
Also... even using a curriculum that should teach good writing and required them to write reports... my children struggled with it and my daughter never really got it.

So all that being said... in the 2006-2007 school year I switched us to MFW. I was very nervous because I had only used textbooks and it was a good program and very reputable.

After the first day of ECC my children couldn't wait for daddy to come home so they could tell him about school that day. They loved it!!! They couldn't wait for more. They kept saying how happy they were that we switched from Abeka to MFW. They were now enjoying school and I was able to do it with all of them at the some time!! How exciting.

And I still remember the first spelling power "test" my daughter took. She started to get anxious again and shaky. I told her its okay. It not graded. She just does her best and she'll learn to spell. When we were done, she asked me if that was it and I said yes. Know she loves spelling and tests at a grade or two higher then where she is. They also have stopped trying to lie or get out of work. And they enjoy school. Not every single thing, but most of it. And the last thing... my two older ones are enjoying writing and being creative. And doing so much better now that its gentler for them.

This has just been our experience.. Take what you can and leave the rest :)
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:35 am

MFW Compared to Public Virtual School

Unread post by AES »

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:57 am
You have received some really encouraging responses thus far. With my 18 year old, I can see the holes in her education and wish I could go back and give her the tools she needed to foster a life-long love of learning, in comparison to simply learning in order to pass an exam. MFW makes this so easy to do.

But, you wanted a comparison between MFW and a virtual academy (VA). This is just my opinion, and I haven't done either for very long:

*MFW allows you to teach more than one level at a time. With the VA, you are expected to teach different levels of everything, even art. This does not allow a parent to combine children at all.
*MFW has everything in one teacher's manual. With the VA, I have a teacher's manual for every subject, and if I don't have a manual, I have on-line instructions for those subjects.
*MFW has a Biblical worldview, the Bible is integrated throughout, and character training. The VA has no Bible, but does at least mention God, and Christian, a couple of times. For science, everything is taught from an evolutionary perspective.
*MFW is doable and manageable. It allows the family time to pursue other activities and enjoy life. There is no need to wait for teacher contacts (ours is biweekly), sit in front of a computer for Live Lessons (ours is optional), and you can explore other topics as you wish.
*MFW is transportable. You can take some books with you in the car, pop in the music CD, etc. I personally will not take a teacher's manual, a textbook, and one or more student books. It's just too bulky.
*MFW allows you to teach to your child. With the VA, the curriculum is too inflexible to meet the needs of children with different learning styles.
*MFW includes hands-on activities to reinforce what the child is learning. With the VA, certain activities were suggested, such as a making a fort, but then the child would do exercises I did not think reinforced much.
*With MFW, if you need help, just ask! There is the office, this message board and even yahoo groups. With the VA, your main contact is your teacher.
*MFW builds in the intensity of its academic programs. The younger grades are designed to foster a love of learning (veterans-am I right about this?). With the VA, it's the same set-up year after year, just with more being expected of the older grades.
*With the VA, I do not like the math (I think it is a grade behind), the language arts, or the way the curriculum teaches art (and I have a fine arts-oriented child). This may also depend on the particular curriculum the VA is using, because it does vary.
*I think the history would be better by making a timeline. And I think notebooking would help reinforce information, too.

With all that said, I do think the science is ok, but my daughter is not particularly science oriented. And in our case, we will be using it again next year for 3rd grade. There are a few resources I do enjoy. However, I greatly agonized over our decision to use the VA again. I really wanted to combine my girls in Adventures, but one will be going into MFW-1st instead. I still plan to combine them, just not as soon as I thought.
There has been so much to consider, and in the end, it was decided that given our circumstances, it was best to not combine them for the upcoming year.

Praying for you to have God's clear discernment for your family,
Amy E.
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:55 pm

Thinking through the switch from textbooks

Unread post by mgardenh »

Posted: Sat May 31, 2008 9:51 pm
Welcome to the board.

I know MFW first but I'm not familiar with Abeka. But here are some general suggestions.

Write out or think out what you want for DS. Goals, ways you want to teach him. Do you want text book based or MFW which is reading, narrating, hands on and some text book and work book (a combination of things).

What are you looking for in a curriculum?

Then look at each curriculum and do what you are doing here -- ask questions.

Oh yeah most importantly pray.

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:01 pm
It's ok to be scared. It's scary to me to teach my dc, particularly english/grammar/spelling. But I feel confident with what MFW has given me to teach DC. I have learned a lot already about phonics, grammar, and spelling.

Ever feel like you're going to school again, relearning everything? I certainly do. So it is scary at times. But God is with us guiding us helping us with everything we need. Even grammar and spelling.

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:13 pm
My DD (almost 7) who has great difficulty writing want to create a science joke book with illustrations. This is to say I have followed the lanquage arts recommendation for MFW 1st and dd who has great difficulty wants to write and illistrate a book. I think that says something about MFW.
DH to Laurel
SAHD (mostly) to
Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
Have used MFW, k, 1st, Adventures, and ECC, CTG, RtR
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 9:25 pm

Compare writing assignments

Unread post by MJP »

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:06 pm
I have taught with and still use a workbook here and there. However, at the first grade level, the primary focus of the language book we used is to write a sentence, starting it with a capital and ending it with the correct end mark--. ? or ! Seriously. You can easily do that alongside MFW. In fact, MFW will teach that.

You can also dictate a short sentence here and there toward the end of the year. Just take cues from your child. They really do progress at different rates at your ages especially (even within the same family!). In essence, in the first grade curriculum they are doing book reports in the Bible notebook. They read the selection, write a summary and draw a picture.
Wife of 1 for 18 yrs. Mom of 7--ages 1-15--1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th and 9th grades & (one on the way)
Psalm 16:8
Currently using--1850 to Modern Times
Previously--MFW K , 1st, CtoG, RTR, Exp. to 1850
Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 542
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

So thankful that MFW isn't workbooks!

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Because of our impending move to Colorado, I'm not ordering ADV until we get settled in a new house (to be named later). My dh will be starting his new job in Denver on Monday - wow! He'll be doing a lot of commuting at first, waiting for our house here to sell.

So, while dd and I are hanging out, we're doing "school." I have three different workbooks; one is a Pre-School devotional/Sunday School type thing which is actually very good even though below her level, one is from the "hooked on" camp, and the other from the "brain quest" camp. It is plenty of material to keep us covered in all subjects for a few months, and I believe God lead us to exactly what to use.

So without too much complaining, I have to share that I miss Marie!!! Where's my plan that ties it all together? Where's my suggested time limits? Where's my book lists? Where's my Appendices??? Maybe I'm going through this season to be thankful for what I've got and never take MFW for granted again. If I didn't have the last two years to rely on, I would be so lost. And I am so grateful that we don't sit around working on worksheets everyday in MFW. I have to rip the pages out to avoid overwhelming or frustrating my dd, and she got so burned out after an hour yesterday until I realized it was because she'd been sitting at the desk doing page after page after page. I had to rethink everything and fit in reading and craft time (and I'm so not crafty). But we can do this. And when it's finally Adventures Box Day for us, you'll hear the Whoop! all the way from Denver!
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL
Posts: 122
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Re: So thankful that MFW isn't workbooks!

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »

I met David at the convention, listened to his presentation of MFW plus took his workshop, loved every single thing I heard....then panicked about unit studies and caved in to a text/workbook curriculum instead. Silly me, live and learn.

The workbook curriculum I did go with was NOT a good fit for my dd (or me for that matter). And I looked over my lesson plans the other day for her K year and, sheesh, she might need therapy someday. ;o

So I completely understand how much you must be missing Marie and MFW at the moment. May this season of commuting and workbooks end quickly so that you can get back to life in our Father's World.
A proud adoptive mom of 4 children,
I invite you to join me THE WISE WOMAN BUILDS HER HOUSE
Posts: 986
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Starting a 1st Grader and a Kindergartner SOON

Unread post by TriciaMR »

mezzogirl wrote:1. Is MFW as easy as it appears? I have looked through all of the books, it just seems so straight forward. In the private school, where I taught this year, they used Abeka. We had the curriculum guides, so it was easy for a teacher (or sub) to follow in the beginning, but digress from as needed. kwim? MFW seems much friendlier to me, though. Will there be surprises that I haven't seen, read about, or heard from y'all. It just looks 'too good to be true.' KWIM?

2. What does your daily routine look like? Here is what dh and I are thinking for our family, we realize this is just a guide:
6:30 kids usually wake up
7am breakfast, followed by getting dressed, playtime, etc.
8am Family worship time (or if dh is at a meeting, etc. just us. We are church planters, so the office is in our home)
8:30-10:30 a.m. start 'school'. Since I have two, I will work for a few minutes with one, then the other.

Dh and I have looked through the curriculum and think that we easily will be done by noon each day even schooling both of the kids. They both LOVE to learn and enjoy anything education-related (at least right now), so we are trying to capitalize on this season!:) We just really desire to continue to instill the love for learning that they already have.

So, basically, just wondering is MFW really this user-friendly. And, what y'alls daily schedule/routine looks like (especially for K and 1st graders).

One of our main reasons for homeschooling, apart for personal convictions, is to slow the pace of life down and have time with our kids to minister together, since church planting is so all-consuming. We are so excited.

So, what can y'all share with me? I am a newbie....
I came from Abeka home school curriculum for 3 years, to ECC this year and LOVE it. It is very straight forward, but also gives more flexibility. I haven't done MFW"s K or 1st or Adventures, so I can't tell you, but there have been no surprises in the ECC manual.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:28 pm

Switched-On Schoolhouse

Unread post by momofsix »

jtcarter14 wrote:Anyone here have any experience with SOS? I have only used a little bit of Abeka and MFW. I am thinking about using SOS. I'm looking for more independence for my older kids during school and dh is wanting them to have more tests. Having the baby makes it difficult for me to have everything be so parent oriented. We chose to home school to have more time with our kids, but I don't want to spend every waking moment with them. I'm being brutally honest here!
I would encourage you to make your choice of curriculum for what fits your goal as a family ... Worldview? Character? Bible-based? MFW is all around balanced and meets these three criteria for me. But they are NOT lacking in the academic department either. No you can't stick your child in front of a computer with it but it's definitely not teacher overkill either. I love how well MFW is put together and its ease of use!! Very teacher & student friendly.
Elissa in MN (really mom of 8 ) 3 boys: 16, 10, 7 & 5 girls: 13, 11, 5, 4, 1
Using: God's Creation from A to Z, Exploring Countries & Cultures, World History & Lit, Math-U-See, Sequential Spelling, Rod & Staff English...and more
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:43 pm

Re: Switched-On Schoolhouse

Unread post by SandKsmama »

I just wanted to say that I have a baby who is 2 months older than your baby, and lemme tell ya, this has been a TOUGH school year!! We do as much as we possibly can cram in during his morning nap time, and then the rest is when he's awake, and that is VERY hard, b/c he either wants Mommy's attention, or he's so cute that the kids are totally distracted by him, and don't want to finish their work!! I *totally* understand where you are coming from with that!

I am a looong time user of MFW (this is our 5th year, and we've used MFW K, 1st, and all the history cycle), and we love it...never looked elsewhere, etc. But, this year, I got so frustrated with trying to do school with the baby, I strongly considered something I could just hand the kids to do (like Switched-On, or Lifepacs, or *something*).

When I told my dh what I was considering, he helped remind me why I chose MFW in the first place, and I realized that I would never be satisfied with those "others", b/c MFW has everything that we want for our kids. So, I had to step back, and pray, and find some peace in this season that we're in. It is NOT perfect, and no, we're probably not doing as wonderful a job on our history notebooks this year as we have in the past, but they ARE learning (a LOT!), and they ARE growing in the Lord, and in relationship with each other, and those are the priorities. One of the beautiful things about homeschooling is that our children get to experience family life as it happens, not just in bits and pieces at the end of the day, but all of it. They get to cherish their baby siblings and experience each new milestone. That is a wonderful part of their education as well. (preaching to myself here!)

Anyway, I'm rambling, but I hope I've encouraged you a little bit - you are not alone!! We really aren't MFW supermoms LOL. I think sometimes we imagine how school happens in other homes, and we think it would be so perfect in comparison to ours. Wouldn't it be great if we really could see into each other's homes, just for a little bit? I think it would cure all of that!! LOL
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!
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:45 am

Re: Switched-On Schoolhouse

Unread post by jtcarter14 »

Amanda, that was very encouraging to hear! You sound just like me but more calm and at peace. It's good to remember that the kids are learning things they wouldn't by being around the baby all day. Another good thing for us is that we will be doing ECC again. In fact, that's what I think about every time we skip an experiment or something like that. We will do it next time around. I really do love MFW, and it's really looking like nothing else would satisfy in the end. The only question is what will we do if we keep having babies!

Thank you all for your responses!

Ds (9) Started ECC 10/09
Dd (8) Started ECC 10/09
Dd (born 5/19/09)
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:30 pm

Re: Switched-On Schoolhouse

Unread post by sojen »

Thank you for that beautiful post. My soon to be three year old son takes even more attention away from me now than he did when he was a baby. We totally have difficult school days, but your post just brought tears to my eyes. It's the end goal, not the journey that I have to remember.

From our read aloud today:

"Knowing in part may make a fine tale,
but wisdom comes from seeing the whole."

(Seven Blind MIce, Ed Young. ECC India)
Jen in GA
mom to dd 11, dd 8, and ds 5
traveling through the medieval world with RTR.
Slowly starting kindergarten with my little guy.
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:29 pm
Location: Missouri

Re: Switched-On Schoolhouse

Unread post by mamanamadee »

I just wanted to add a little . . .

I have used 3 subjects of LifePacs this year with dd12--Bible, Science, and Language Arts--all "below" her current "grade level". For our family's needs and the goals I had for this child, it has been a good fit. Having said that, I cannot wait to be done with them and get back to MFW next year. I feel like she has learned some important study skills and maybe even retained some information, but I cannot imagine using them for another year. And I know that she will learn so much more next year in CTG. So, I guess my point is, while MFW is my absolute favorite curriculum, using something else for this year has had some good points as well. I'm just glad to be coming home!

As long as you and dh are praying and letting God lead, you can't go wrong. ;)
2010-2011 preparing for MFW CTG in the fall
2009-2010 MFW 1st and pre-K/toddler toys
2008-2009 MFW ECC, K, and pre-K/toddler toys
dd12, dd7, ds3
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Letting go of the school mentality...

Unread post by alisoncooks »

I just wanted to share a little...

I taught 1st grade for 5 yrs. before becoming a SAHM. I have that typical school-teacher problem of collecting and "hoarding" (printouts, patterns, interesting activity ideas, worksheets, lesson books, Mailbox issues, etc.)

I've been de-cluttering and cleaning in an attempt to get our house totally spotless and as functional as possible before starting school next week (ha! I can dream). I don't know what possessed me, but I climbed into the attic (I was up there for something else, but I get side-tracked easily 8| )...Where was I? Oh yeah, ;)....

Anyway, I dragged out all my teaching "stuff" (boxes of bulletin board graphics and borders, crates of idea books, and binder after binder of worksheets that I'd saved). I found it pretty easy to put many of the books in the "give-away" pile... and I have a stack of papers 1 foot tall that is going to the recycling bin (or the "fun to draw on" pile for my youngest).

But the big A-HA moment came when I was going through some coin counting worksheets. After much see-sawing on whether or not DD could use these this or next year, I came to this realization:


So the worksheets got dumped into the recycling bin. And that helped me re-attack the "save" pile with renewed vigor, haha. SHE DOESN'T need THIS MANY worksheets! For me, this was a lesson on trusting the curriculum/method (MFW) and on the power of our one-on-one instruction (who needs busy work? countless practice sheets?!)

Wowwww... that was liberating/freeing! :-)
Married to DH since 2000, with 2 sweet girls (2006 & 2008).
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Re: Letting go of the school mentality...

Unread post by Poohbee »

Hi Alison!

I, too, was a public school teacher...5th grade for 4 years. I totally understand where you're coming from. I had so many books in my file cabinet that I used with my 5th graders. Just 2 summers ago, I finally got rid of a whole bunch of teacher books and Mailbox magazines...sold them on a rummage sale. Got rid of all of them, and perhaps they'll be a blessing to some other teacher, but I realized I won't need them. I had many of the same realizations that you dd will not need all of those worksheets and "enrichment activities" I used with a whole classroom of students. In fact, my dd is going to be in 5th grade this year, and the history we'll be learning is completely different from what I was teaching in the public school...ancient history (from a Biblical worldview) vs. American history (from a secular worldview). So, realizing that, I am glad to "let go" of many resources I used in the public school. It truly is quite liberating, isn't it? Congratulations! :-)
happily married to Vince (22 yrs)
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Re: Letting go of the school mentality...

Unread post by Abfritz »

I was never a school teacher in the school system, but I understand how easy it is to just do "school" the way everyone else is- only it's just at our kitchen table. I'm trying hard to keep myself from that and remember that one of the great things about homeschooling is that we do what works best and not just what we think we're supposed to do.
far above rubies
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ECC- Maybe, I can actually do it this time! Help!

Unread post by far above rubies »

homemama wrote:I NEED encouragement and help! I taught in ps for 9 years previously. I've been homeschooling for the last five years. I have switched programs constantly trying to find a good fit. :~

I keep trying to return to total textbooks and I know this would be a better fit. I do think ECC is a great program, don't get me wrong! It's just hard for me.

I'm sooo unfamiliar with this way of learning and I know you all are great at this! :) Please help and PRAY FOR US! Thanks from the bottom of my heart. ;)

You remind me a lot of me, especially when you mention how you keep going back to textbooks.

I do the exact same thing. We started off with MFW our very first year of homeschooling. Then we jumped here and there, leaning mostly on text books.

And for some reason, we always return to MFW.

Even over the summer, while we loved ADV and I decided we weren't doing ECC and I can't remember why. But now, I can't imagine NOT doing it. It's been a great year so far.
And even I, still brought in some text books because I was worried my children weren't getting "enough," or that we were going to have gaps and holes or what have you, in Science or History/Geography.

Well, now that we're into our 2nd semester, we're ditching the textbook "supplements" (don't know why I thought they were needed to begin with?) and following the suggestions of MFW, and again we're loving our freedom and flexibility.

One thing to bear in mind with unit studies, is that (I believe) it has a cumulative factor. The thing about textbooks is that we can measure what they're learning in an objective way. When we don't use tests, it's more subjective.

And I'm an objective truth kinda gal.

Just for giggles, we flipped through the pages of our notebooks so far and it's making us all realize just how far we've come (we're entering week 20), and all that we've learned.

There will need to be tweaking and that's fine, but I've learned not to even worry about what they're learning until the end of a month, semester, year, etc. and see what all they know then.

So, yeah, just jump in and don't look back. If you *must* cram ECC into a certain time frame, it really isn't that difficult to merge two weeks every now and then. I've had to do that a couple of times this semester. I just had my 5th child in July and we've had some weeks in which we got behind, so I just combined a couple of weeks and we were caught back up. And sometimes, a country is so much fun, that we WANT to do that anyway.
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]
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How do I break away from the textbook?

Unread post by TriciaMR »

scampbell2003 wrote:Second unsuccessful homeschool year here. Feeling like a failure at the moment. But I do know and see my dd growing despite my faults. So back to my question. I need convincing that my dd does not need workbooks and readers and a full set LA program in addition to MFW. My first yr homeschooling was last yr went with traditional BJU but had a baby in the middle and we never really finished 1st grade.

For 2nd yr and 2nd grade being this yr., I ordered MFW ADV. We started out with a bang and full excitement from me of course. Except I ordered ABEKA for LA and Math instead of going with suggestions just cause I wanted to make sure she doesn't miss anything. So I tried doing ADV plus ABeka LA and Math as well. School was taking all day because I have the distractions of a baby and 5yr old. I really like the traditional workbooks and all but what happened is that is all we have been doing. That and Bible quizzing. So my dd 7 is miserable because of all the handwriting and papers she has to do, it takes even longer to finish school and we are both disliking this yr. She is very bright and would be thriving if not for my personal issues. I am thinking of just starting back up where we left off in ADV. But how do I know what my dd needs for LA from Abeka in addition to what we are doing for LA already in ADV so we are not taking all day?

How do I get it together? I am so inconsistent. I feel that God has lead us to homeschooling but i will be schooling 2 in the fall or sooner. I have slid by with my oldest but know I can't with my middle. He is just starting to know his letters and sounds; speech issues due to needing tubes have lead to him being a little behind. So any advice? I really could use some prayers. thanks:-)
Here's my story... I did Abeka K-2nd (and then Math-U-See for Math instead of Abeka's Math), and it's a great program. (Shhh, don't tell anyone - I still use the readers as 2 of my kids are dyslexic and I need grade-level readers for my own confidence that they really are advancing.) Then I switched to MFW in 3rd grade using ECC, using all of their LA recommendations, but stuck with MUS for another 1.5 years for Math. As I gained experience in teaching, I felt more comfortable judging my kids abilities and progress. For me doing narration was a big help - making sure they tell me what they learned after reading. Also, my state requires testing, and my oldest has done great, so that gives me more confidence. (We don't have to start testing until 3rd grade.)

Everything in Abeka's LA for 1st and 2nd is in PLL (which is really your 2nd & 3rd grade English). I think Abeka pushes writing (and a LOT of writing) too early, and parts of speech, and diagramming and etc, all too early. I was going to do Writing Strands in 3rd grade, but I waited until 4th, and that was perfect. My dd is dyslexic and has writing issues, so waiting and being gentle in 3rd grade was a biggie.

For me, the best thing for me was just to go full on with MFW and their recommendations (we even do Singapore math now), and remember do allow for abilities and interests in my kids. (My only exception is Spelling Power - with 2 dyslexics it just wasn't a good fit. We use All About Spelling for that).

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
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far above rubies
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Re: How do I break away from the textbook?

Unread post by far above rubies »

I could've written your post and thanks to Tricia for commenting. :)

I've gone back to textbooks so many times, especially in the area of LA and Math. This was the first year we started off with all of MFW's recommendations, switched temporarily to textbooks, and the joy of homeschooling was sucked right out of our home, so we've returned to SP, ILL (by dd's request), and ditched the "formal" Reading program. There'll be time for that later.

I also think that when I added a new baby this year and tending to a now 3 year old, I somehow saw my 4th grader as being older than she actually is. ;)

We also have yearly testing and it can be stressful. Now that we're well into the 2nd semester, I'm really realizing that MFW really is enough! Even Science! Everything is integrated so well.

The way I started off, was just to give it a semester and reassess then. :) Or, if you're more comfortable, give it a month, and see what happens. :)
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]
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