Compare MFW to other solidly Biblical programs

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Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:23 am

Compare MFW to other solidly Biblical programs

Unread post by mamaofredheads »

MFW is so easy to use because you just pick up the TM & go!

Also, I'm not sure how much the Bible & history are woven together in any other program like they are in MFW. I'm often amazed at Marie's ability to pull a small paragraph or a couple of pages out of one of the books in the package to make what we read in the Bible make so much sense & help us see the full picture of what was going on in the world at that time.

Although I grew up in church & knew all the "Bible stories" I've never before had an understanding of world history AND Bible history together!. I think I've learned more than my kids have this year. LOL

Finishing week 31 of CTG today!
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Unread post by rachel »

This kind of discussions and information is helpful to me too- even though we're a ways out -- just to mentally prepare.

I would only add -- or reiterate -- that something that I have found unique to MFW is, like someone mentioned, the way that Marie actually helps in the teaching arena: practical ways to explain things or bring them to a level the child can understand.

I've seen many teaching manuals that pull resources together for you but I love this practical help and the way that it seems to be deliverable to children in bite-sized pieces, so it can be enjoyed as well- by both of us- instead of "force feeding." Then, there is "margin" left to explore in greater depth or detail areas of particular interest. Seems balanced to me!
Currently using MFW K/1 and ADV with daughter (2000); 3 Sons (2001, 2003-twins); and baby girl (2007)
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Unread post by 4Truth »

"Balanced" is a key word for me, too.

I looked into another program that just seemed very "heavy." I had looked and looked at it online, I read many threads on other boards about it, and two of my friends used it so I had a chance to look through the TM, as well. It was terribly overwhelming (to me). Now, if I could sit there and read and read and read, I could eventually make some sense of it. But the TMs in MFW are so clear and easy to implement. And it seemed like it would be an awful lot of tweaking and flipping pages and pre-planning and gathering of books in order to do lessons for multiple age groups. It seemed like a LOT of money especially for my kids' ages, as most of the manual wouldn't even get used. (Even the author said that it was best done when the oldest child was at least Logic stage. My oldest was still 9 at the time.)

MFW has really streamlined the lesson planning for me.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Why did I choose MFW?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:37 am
I like thinking thru these kinds of questions. Or re-thinking what I'm doing, I guess.

First off, I should say that I believe it is possible to achieve a good education with any curriculum - or with no curriculum at all - if you are working and learning together consistently.

However, I have chosen MFW because I feel it is the very best way to learn. Why? Here are a few things that come to mind:

1. Families are learning together, and building up one another, so they go further than each might do alone.

2. Students are learning to think, remember, tell back in their own words, write -- basically learning how to learn. I value this so much more than memorize-and-forget methods of fill-in-the-blank. Unfortunately, our society currently values a strong fill-in-the-blank student, so at some points that student may seem ahead of the game, but at the end of the road I feel sure knowing how to think thru and absorb learning will be a broader skill that covers not only more information but includes the values behind that information.

3. I want God to be woven throughout my child's education. This means using the actual Bible in Bible class, valuing the Word as worthy of memorization and copywork, including God in the course of history, God's love for people as a basis for geography, and God's viewpoint as a part of evaluating literature we read.

4. I have a strong bias against learning in bits and pieces, because those can change or be challenged by other people's bits and pieces. I love learning the big picture together, and we feel more curious about the details after that.

5. The challenge in this method comes in a different way, but to me can potentially be tougher. It's narrating and notebooking the general ideas and main points, and getting ready to build on them in the older years, versus memorizing minute details and forgetting the connections. The hardest part may be changing our own view of what we are doing, since we were probably schooled in only one way.

Just some thoughts...

Why you did or did not choose MFW?

Unread post by cbollin »

annaz wrote:I've been looking at another Biblically-based program that looks really good and looks to cover some of the same topics as MFW. Can anyone shed some comparisons on why you did or didn't choose Adventures or ECC?
Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:17 am
We’re all different.

I’d like to point out some obvious, but important differences. It might be something that is a light bulb moment for someone. So here goes....
*MFW is preschool through high school. Some of us are already past the age for the other program you mentioned.
*MFW has ECC, which is a year long program devoted to learning geography and current world cultures. Let's not forget that people live today too and places still exist even if they are called something else.
*MFW teaches world history in more than one year to cover events from creation through modern.

Now the more subjective part of me.
This is *not* a comparison of MFW to any program. This is just why I like MFW. That seemed to be part of your question as well. Why do you like MFW? Or in my case, why have you stopped shopping for other programs? Maybe that was a different thread yesterday, but it is all tied in so much. You saw that thread, right? Content with the greener grass of MFW?

Anyway…. Since it seems to be a common question right now, here are some reasons that I continue to click with MFW and don’t really have a need to shop around.

*programs are piloted before release to the market. Thank you pilot families for working out the kinks.

*ECC as a foundational year before starting a cycle of world history. I liked that my child and I got to know about the people and places around the world and to develop a heart for seeing them through God’s eyes. I wanted a year program on that instead of a just blending geography and map work into history. I want to my children to know about people and places today as well as knowing about history. Both are important.

*I really like that the Bible is used as a spine and that other world history is taught alongside once they are old enough for secular history. With MFW, you’ll do more than just weaving Bible stories in and out of secular history. You read the Bible. You don’t just read “about the Bible”. I like that it grows with the stages of learning. In first grade, it is Bible stories in a phonics based reader. Then in CTG you read a lot of the Old Testament. Then in High School ancients, you will read the entire Old Testament.

*Low to no planning to do with a MFW teacher's manual. It is laid out for you. I like the design of a grid and then daily notes. Maybe 5-10 minutes per week to just glance over what we are doing.

*It doesn't bother me to have to add the occasional item to my grocery store list. 99% of the time what is needed is already in my house anyway.

*There is a simple materials list as part of the weekly design. Again, very low prep on my part!

*I like the detailed notes that Marie gives us.

*I don't mind going to a library and being able to return books. I like that MFW packages the required books for the program. But I like the flexibility of book basket.

*I like a combination of texts, living books, and hands on stuff. I like that it is a combination of learning styles.

*I like that it is about developing a Christian worldview, not just a program with good Bible stuff. You have inductive Bible study meets discipleship stuff, plus memory work. And seeing how people lived their faith. I like that.

*I like that the Bible in Adventures is integrated directly to the science in Adventures. Other years it is related to history.

*I like the State Study in MFW’s programs. And doing a large research project on our state.

****I like the missions emphasis in MFW because that helps to have discussion in our family about living for God. It is not just head knowledge, but service and discipleship. To me that is a key thing. MFW has helped our family to carry over all kinds of discussions to our daily lives. Talking about missionaries (and Bible translators) and how to support them was not a part of our daily lives until we were using MFW. Sadly, our family might otherwise just shove those things in a box and put God in one box and the rest of our school day in other box and then dismiss school. With MFW, that changed for the better.

*I like that the MFW Singapore daily lesson plan is a separate guide from the rest of the manual. Very convenient for families with more than one child in Singapore, or a child who starts in book B of whatever level, or moves through at their pace. It might seem “inconvenient” to some, but I think it is a blessing that way to have the math lessons scheduled separately.

*MFW is working for us. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When everyone around me was buying a Honda minivan, it didn’t fit me. I bought a Mazda because it fit me. MFW continues to work for me and fit what I want to do. It is an answer to prayer. Because MFW feels like a gift from the Lord, I am content.

I need to stop now. After 5 years, and using the following programs: ECC and Pre K, CTG and K, RTR and 1st, EX1850 and currently in 1850-MOD, I can confidently say MFW is a really good program.

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Here's why I stuck with MFW

Unread post by 4Truth »

Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:42 pm

I had looked at another program pretty hard a while back. Here's why I stuck with MFW:

-- It appears more difficult to do with multiple children unless they're all or about the same age. So I would have to buy 3 separate programs for my group.

-- When I considered the "beefing up" materials to buy a program for my middle child and beef it up for my oldest, there just wasn't much to the beefed-up portion at all. My oldest has already read most of the books in the "beefed-up" package, anyway, thanks to MFW's book basket.

-- It would take 3 or 4 years to cover American history, where you get one really FUN year of Am. history with younger kids in MFW Adventures, and then two years of it in-depth at the end of the history chronology.

-- It is more expensive.

-- There's a lot to cover in world history... a LOT.... so doing one "overview" year of world history after several years of American history just wouldn't cut it for me. We learned soooo much of the New Testament and early church happenings while doing Rome to Reformation. I'd hate to have not had that.

I like to refer to ECC as "missions-focused world geography and cultures". One could also call it "God's Word for the Nations" (which just happens to be name of the Bible translation ministry that MFW supports)/ Anyway, the other program doesn't have anything like ECC, as far as I know.

-- My girls like MFW.

-- My dh likes MFW.

-- I like MFW. ;o)

Editing to add: more reasons are popping into my head, such as the amount of Bible memory work in MFW, and the emphasis on serving others. Not too many curriculums -- or even a lot of modern churches, for that matter -- put much emphasis on serving others. We live in a self-focused world, but MFW has a very different perspective on that.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
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Comparing MFW

Unread post by dhudson »

Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:27 am

I haven't used HOD although I've looked at it. So, I'm just going to speak from the point of view of having used MFWK with three kids who have totally different learning styles.

MFWK uses all the senses to teach reading, you sing the alphabet using flash cards (a a apple, b b butterfly etc to Mary had a Little Lamb) and distinctive songs and games. You make clay letters and then trace them with your fingers. You write letters by first tracing them into the carpet or sand box and your Bible and Science all reinforce the letter of the week. I have found that each of my children liked and learned better from different aspects of the program but they all got what they needed from it. MFWK also sets the kids up to be able to go into MFW1.

You can break it into as many different parts of the day as you need. When I first taught it I had a K and 1 year old twins, the second time I had a child in ECC and twins in K and it was feasible to do. Also, the character traits that they learn in K is reason alone to choose it.

Can you tell I feel strongly about MFWK? Thanks for letting me have an opinion.
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Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:54 pm

I have not used HOD so I'll just speak to a few aspects of MFW that might come into question when comparing the two.

For one, I loved that MFW uses missions to so beautifully emphasize the act of serving others as believers. And I love that the bible is integrated into virtually every aspect of MFW, which reinforces use of the bible as our moral compass in living out every aspect of life.

I also like that all subject areas are covered with MFW, but with flexibility. Because let's face it. Language arts and math are VERY difficult subjects to package (and "sell" or pitch) as "one size fits all" subjects. As such, I very much appreciate that Marie makes reccomendations based on her background and credentials, and personal use of the materials with not only her own family but with many pilot families as well before releasing each level of MFW. As for music and art, these too are suggested and placed on the weekly grid. Nothing is left out and yet flexibility is worked in. That works great for us.

I like that the language arts lessons of written and oral narration and dictation are effective, concise and even structured but not "formal" in nature ("formal" for my kids translates to dry).

I sooo enjoy book basket. This one aspect of MFW has been key, key, key in instilling a love for independent reading in not one but three children thus far. And they not only develop a love for reading but they also LEARN so many things independently via book basket. My children are VERY independent readers and I truly believe it is because of the time they spend in book basket, pouring over books that are below, at and above their reading level (I love to find non-fiction books that are above reading level, that have interesting photos with captions. This tends to draw my kids' interest and thus they are willing to try to read and comprehend vocabulary words above their level).

Also, the time we spend together in read alouds is PRECIOUS. This is where I often gain wonderful insight into my children's hearts and minds, based on the questions and comments that our read alouds evoke in them. The other thing I love about MFW read alouds is the fact that it has opened my eyes to the amazing potential in my younger children. Wrongly, I assumed the read alouds would be too advanced for them and thus they would not be interested. I was dead wrong. We completed ECC this past year and had purchased the missionary stories. My then 4 and 5 yo's were just as excited and yearning for read aloud time each day as my 8yo dd was. When we learned the countries of North America and came to Guatemala, my 6yo exclaimed, "Hey, that's where Cameron Townsend translated the bible into an indian language." I had no idea that he had processed that much. And when we studied David Livingstone, this same child asked very poignant questions such as, "If he was a daddy, why did he leave his family for very long times before seeing them again? He was sharing the good news, but didn't God want him to see his family too?" These questions are just a few examples of what arises from all of my children, younger and older, when we spend time together in rich living books.

Okay, and now I've babbled enough. Hope this insight helps you or anyone else that might be considering MFW, whether for K or another level.

Posted Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:07 pm by Toni@homezcool4us

Just wanted to add another perspective for what it's worth. My friend uses HOD and she recently posted on her blog that the one thing she dislikes is the history (not sure what level she uses; she has a 3rd grader and does the older child add-on). According to her, the the old text selected by the author is difficult for her children to understand because information is not always presented chronologically and that info is often too brief in presentation. Again, this is just one person's perspective (not my personal experience as I have not used HOD), but it could help guide others who are making comparisons in what to look for before deciding.
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Re: Help me choose!

Unread post by TammyB »

Mrs. Lilac wrote:I am about to have "MFW or HOD?" tattooed on my forehead! It is consuming me! Is there anyone who has done both or knows someone who has done both who could provide and insight into this choice? I'd be doing MFW Adventures OR HOD Beyond with my DD. I chose wrong last year as far as curriculum and I SO don't want to do it again! Any help you can offer is so much appreciated.
I have used Adventures (last year with a 2nd grader and a K). My family really loved both its states' study and history; the bird study was also a huge hit. :)

I wish I could compare the programs for you, but I just don't have any experience. Truthfully, if I had to do it all over again, I would still go with Adventures. My son was desperate to study the states, and he would have been sorely disappointed if the study had only included history. I think introducing young elementary children to their country, what their country is like TODAY, is extremely beneficial to them. Not only is it foundational information, but it also provides them with a greater sense of the diversity of their country's people and the environment around them. I love that each one of the states means something to my children. Missouri, Nevada, and Louisiana are not just ambiguous names. They are very specific places with very specific identities.

Another consideration is that another year of American history follows in some programs. That may not be a problem for you, but after we completed Adventures, my son was ready to learn about other places in the world besides America. In fact, after he completed first grade, he told me that he wanted to study each of one our country's states, then he wanted to learn about the countries of the world, and then he would be ready to move on to learning about the ancient Egyptians and Romans. (He told me this before he knew anything about the scope and sequence of MFW. Go figure!)

The tough thing about message boards is that they are generally frequented by people who are having success with a particular curriculum provider. It is hard to get an unbiased opinion. I do firmly believe that if we will allow Him, God will direct us in our curriculum choices. Our emotions may sway from time to time about what we have settled on, but there should be an underlying confidence that we are using what we feel we should. (Last year when we used Adventures, I knew without a doubt that God had directed me to. So, when I hit a rough spot, I could rest in the knowledge that God's choice was always best.)

Ask God to give you rest from the turmoil the impending decision is giving you and to give you His clear guidance in His time. Blessings to you! I'll be praying for you!

One more thought....Perhaps if you share with us what didn't work in your last curriculum and what you are looking for, we would be better able to determine if MFW is what you are looking for. :)
Jenn in NC
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Re: Help me choose!

Unread post by Jenn in NC »

Just wondering if there is a convention coming up in your area where you could spend some time with the books in hand? Sometimes that clears up a lot of questions.
mommy to four boys & two girls... and another boy on the way :)
completed K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CTG and RTR
2009--2010 Enjoying Exploration to 1850

Re: Help me choose!

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

Dear Mrs. Lilac,

You have received some good feedback here from other moms.We know there are many choices out there and that it is difficult to know which is the best choice. For more information on My Father's World and the options for your family, we would be happy to speak with you hear at the office to help you understand better how MFW works and about those options. We may be reached at 573-426-4600.

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Unread post by DS4home »

Mumkins wrote:What made you go with MFW instead?
I used the HOD for preschoolers. My dd was so eager to begin school like her older siblings, so I got that as a filler for her until she gets a little older to start Kind. She enjoyed having a book to do that was "hers", but we never actually finished it. She basically outgrew it before the end of the year. I switched to more challenging things I had on hand for her and some on-line stuff.

Anyway, my take on it ... I found it really hard to follow the block pattern that the curriculum is layed out in. I know it sounds silly, and I thought I'd get used to it eventually, ... never did. :~ I guess my brain only works in grid patterns, like what is written in MFW :-) I just always felt lost or scattered, and didn't know which thing to do next! Possibly because of that underlying feeling, I didn't think the curriculum subjects flowed very well together.

And like I said, by the middle of the year the same games and ideas just kept getting recycled over and over and over again. Keep in mind this is just the preschool book, I don't know what the older books entail.

I was already set on using MFW all the way through, so my opinion is obviously biased. I would say the whole experience just gave me one more reason to love MFW! I love their TM, the grid schedule, the simple teacher notes, the flow of subjects in unit study fashion, the Charlette Mason influence of short lessons and copy work, the classical way of teaching history chronologically, and best of all the way the Bible is central to everything!!!!!!!!!!! I just think MFW is the best curriculum out there! I promote it to anyone who asks :-)

Celebrating our 30th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS+College Grad), & Bethany(11th)
2020: high school US Hist.1
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1
Tracey in ME
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Location: Litchfield, Maine

Re: Compare?

Unread post by Tracey in ME »

I saw that my 13 year old was too old for their program (at least at the time). Plus, I just can't imagine NOT combining my children...that would be SO FREAKY and confusing to me! :-)

Other than that, it looked alright...but I am set on MFW. I know what to expect, and I know that everything can be realistically done (usually by noon!) with MFW. We're hooked!
- Tracey
Mother of six (16, 13, 9, 7, 4, and 15 months)
2006 - Present - My Father's World
2001-2005 Sonlight

Our blog:
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Re: Compare?

Unread post by BostonMom »

We used MFW ADV and ECC, but decided to try HOD this year, knowing that we could jump right back into the cycle with CtG or HOD's CTC.

Basically, as a previous poster said, it comes down to philosophy. Combine or target the age group. I do like that my kids have done some independent learning (science, for example, was completely independent--I had no hand in it at all), but I also think that now that my younger has matured a little more, he would enjoy learning with his siblings. Both programs are Bible-centered and very easy to use. They also use some of the same books.

Actually, now that I think about it, HOD is great for a mom who is a bit Type A, and likes to "check" things off each day. MFW has a little more flexibility with the weekly grid and not quite so much packed into a day. As far as content, you can't go wrong with either.
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Re: Compare?

Unread post by tiffany »

... Just suggesting that you consider family size (and future family size) in your decision. I have accomplished so much more for all my kids with this curriculum than I ever thought possible, and I don't feel I've left anyone out.
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877
Posts: 159
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Re: Compare?

Unread post by tiffany »

With your family size and the prospect of more little blessings running around, I would consider the long range planning and figure out how many different levels you would need to do. I would never give up the combining of 2nd-8th graders! !! It is a lifesaver and really helps with family bonds as well. I'll be praying for you as you make your decision.
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877
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Re: Compare?

Unread post by netpea »

Hi Mumkins, I am using Adventures this year as our main program this year. It was getting hard for me to run 2 programs because my oldest will not work independently. With MFW it is easier to combine. I like both of the programs.
- Lee Ann
Using ECC for 2010/2011 with a 3rd and 5th grader
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Location: Virginia

Anyone switched to MFW????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unread post by Pylegang »

mommyintraining wrote:We tried to implement our new schedule today using HOD Little Hands to Heaven, Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory, and part of Preparing Hearts for His Glory. I know it was only the first day, but it made me not look forward to any more. Now I am questioning whether I should have went with MFW ECC so everyone could have been on the same page. Ughh.

I don't want to be a curriculum jumper (which I am). But, I also don't want to stay with something and be miserable. Today was hard to keep up with and the baby isn't even out yet! In about a month, I will have a newborn added to the mix! I don't really know what I am looking for. I guess someone to tell me that MFW would be so much easier to deal with. Any thoughts?
Mommy to 6 beautiful blessings-10, 8, 6, 4, 2, and one due in about a month!
I have not ever used HOD, so I'm not sure that my thoughts will help. But . . . I thought I'd post anyway! :)

I've looked at HOD in the past and it is my impression that HOD works best by purchasing packages that fit the age/stage of your children. I assume you needed all three of the HOD packages to fit the various stages that your children are in.

I only have two boys, but it seems that ALL of my close friends have 5 children. :) MANY of these moms try to stream line things as much as possible. For so many of us, life is very busy. With a new little one on the way, the dynamics of your home will be changing very soon. Easy, straight forward and simple would probably be a good thing for you!

We're using MFW for the first time and we LOVE it!! In the past I've used most of TWTM recommendations and we used the Veritas Press Scholars curriculum last year. This has been my FAVORITE year so far! I love having the ability to chose the Language Arts and Math, and I LOVE having my boys study the same things in history, bible & science. I am thoroughly enjoying how so many different parts of the MFW curriculum are interwoven and connected across subjects.

You could use ECC for all of your children. Maybe it would be a help to have your whole family be on the same page. KWIM?

Best wishes to you!
Homeschooling classically since 2000--DS grade 6 and DS grade 4.

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Re: Anyone switched to MFW????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unread post by lisaha »

I would pray about it for sure. I have 5 little ones from 8 to 1, and we are using Adventures in MFW. The start was tough, it was taking us a very long time to work through a day. Now we are getting done in 3-5 hours depending on how much extra help the kids need in math, LA's, etc. But we aren't doing everything the manual says to do. We are doing what I think we need to. I spend two hours every Sunday requesting books from the library and going through the manual to see what I should add or subtract for the week. This isn't a big deal for me and our week goes smoother if I'm open to those days that are tough. I hear ECC is more intense then Adventures too. But I do like having all the footwork of lesson planning as a whole done for me. I like having a list of books for me to request from the library to go along with what we are studying and my DD picks up tons from these books.
Pray about it, God will lead you.
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:43 pm

Re: Anyone switched from HOD to MFW????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unread post by SandKsmama »

First, I know there are folks on the board that have switched from HOD to MFW, or tried HOD for a while and come back to MFW.

I tried it last year with my 5 year old, b/c she had already finished MFW K, and wasn't ready for MFW 1st grade yet. I realized just HOW much I love MFW. I love that I never think the hands on activities are "random"; I love that the readings and activities seem well thought out, and are age appropriate; I love that it's EASY to combine my 3 kids, even thought they are far apart in age and ability.

I really believe that the author of HOD has a wonderful heart for the Lord, and has a great program, but for our family, MFW is soooo much easier to implement, and just meets our needs perfectly.
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!
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Re: Anyone switched from HOD to MFW????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unread post by paliz »

I switched from HOD to MFW. After looking at our situation I knew I couldn't handle 2 or 3 programs as I would have. I'm doing ECC with my 2nd grader and 4th grader right now. I'm not sure what all you want to know but I have made that switch so I'll answer what I can.
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:52 pm

Re: Anyone switched from HOD to MFW????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unread post by OtterMommy »

Hi! I see the days we took off for the holiday make this a late response, but here goes:

We switched after doing LHTH and LHFHG. The program was a bit "silly" for me. I don't like finger plays and dramatic stuff every day. It also seemed too "choppy" for me. I appreciate that everything is included with MFW. I didn't see the point in all the other activities with a phonics program just tacked in. I wanted more of a focus on the basics (reading and math, mostly) in the beginning.I am liking MFW K so far. We went with K because my son was still 4. He is using it as a review, but still really enjoying it! Also, my 3-year-old joins us and is learning so much! MFW fits me better which enables me to be a better teacher. Because of that, my kids are learning more. We do supplement with another Bible, Bible memory, music, extra math, etc.

However, I gave my HOD stuff to a friend with 4 little ones (4 and under) who loves it! She likes being able to split the activities up throughout the day. She likes acting things out with her kids (mine act out stories they hear on their own...without my help, thankfully!). Her two oldest girls do most of it together.

Oh, I also just couldn't get into Reddy Fox in the beginning, so that hurt us some! I have loved the books suggested in MFW (helps that we own many of them and have a great library 2 blocks away).

PRAY about your decision. Every time I questioned doing MFW, the Lord would clearly (and often in ways my husband found humorous) lead us back to MFW!

Wife to the best
Mom to ds (6), dd (5), dd (3), and ds (4 months)
MFW K and 1st
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:28 pm

Re: Anyone switched from HOD to MFW????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unread post by kerby »

I had tried to use it but it didn't flow well for me. I looked at trying it again this yr but would have needed 3 programs, 1 w/ the extension. This would have been waaay to expensive. My dc were just not into all the finger plays and things either. As the pp mentioned, they do a lot of things dramatically on their own, too.

As for set-up: I MUCH prefer the weekly grid to the daily layout. I like looking at the week and seeing what we need to do. If it's a week w/ appts or other activities that I need to work around, I have the flexibility to move around a bit w/ MFW. This is not so easy to do w/ HOD because of the daily layout. So, it all boils down to preference.

I started to use MFW a few yrs ago and stopped for different reasons, one of which was being new to hsing and all that it entailed. %| W/ 4 dc, 3 who were hsing - 1 of which was learning how to read - and still learning so much myself, I thought it was too much or not a good fit. Little did I know!!! &)

Now, I am back w/ it, and using 3 programs! 8[] But they are so easily modified and put together. I am able to see the bigger picture now plus the benefits of all that I have learned along the way. This is such a nice way to make things easy on Mom and keep the dc together. I am hoping that by using MFW and continuing to do so, that I will reap the rewards that others have commented about. If not completely, I know that I have done what I could do and the rest is in HIS hands. HTH
In HIS hands,

4 Blessings - 2 graduated
K, 1rst, Adv, ECC, CtG, RtR, AHL
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:28 am
Location: WA State

MFW compared to HOD

Unread post by mommyintraining »

shawnaandmatt wrote:I have a 6.5 yr old son, a 5yr old daughter, a 2 yr old son and a baby on the way. We used MFW K this year for the older 2. We really enjoyed our year but I can't help thinking that my oldest was not challenged enough and could have done so much more. My daughter on the other hand learned sooo much! I would like to keep them together as much as possible - our lives are sooo busy as it is.

Can anyone give me a simple comparison of MFW and Heart of Dakota? They both look great. Thanks!
I have tried to use HOD, but, in the long run, it seems that MFW is going to be best for "keeping the family together"!

You can read a bunch of comparisons between the two over on The Well Trained Mind message board. It has been talked about ad nauseum over there!

I have used MFW K and Adv. and am hoping to start ECC soon. I wish I would have just went ahead and done ECC last year instead of trying to do HOD. It really depends on how many children you have and how well you like being scattered around on different grade levels.

If your 5 yo is ready, I would say go ahead and put them in MFW 1 together and then move them into ECC together.

Congratulations on your new baby! We just had a new little guy in Dec.!

Mommy to 6 beautiful blessings!

DS-New little guy! :)

2010-2011: ECC , MFW 1st, preschool and toddler packages

We have used in the past MFW K and Adventures

Re: MFW compared to HOD

Unread post by cbollin »

shawnaandmatt wrote:Can anyone give me a simple comparison of MFW and Heart of Dakota?
On other forums those MFW vs. HOD threads are seldom simple to compare. I wish there were some way to do that. Usually on other forums we get talking back and forth on the minute differences and it never seems simple.

disclaimer... I've never used HOD. I just read a lot of from happy users of it. so realize for that bias while reading my post.

Part of me wants to say "mfw gets more classical than HOD", and encourages a "mentor/discipling approach" in the home using a blend of CM and classical. HOD is more "CM classroom" but in the home. but that isn't simple and sounds too wordy and fancy.. hmm..... me overthinks it.

Among the biggest differences that I have picked up from listening to lots of very happy HOD'ers and very happy MFW'ers.... in other words, no one is trying to bash the other program or anyone who uses either one, but we'll just trying to explain how and why one works in our families. It's like trying to explain why some people prefer a Honda minivan over a Mazda minivan.

*MFW has both character study and missions focus. both.

*apparently grid format of lesson plans vs. daily 2 page spread of boxes--- this is a big issue to some people because those stylistic differences can be important in implementing a program. I love my grids!

*approaches to reading comprehension are very different in these programs. in Elementary years, MFW uses a wide variety of reading (recommends you get it from library in classics in children's literature and gives you a list to select)... and is less formal about it without workbooks. You use narration techniques to assess for reading comprehension in MFW. Then in middle school years, MFW recommends Progeny Press guides for literature analysis. And I think Progeny Press guides are good for providing specific questions to help digest specific books. So that's a big difference. Additionally, MFW recommends part of reading comprehension and lit. analysis comes from teaching writing. Some of those skills are covered in creative writing lessons in Writing Strands.
HOD - they use their own program for reading comprehension which doesn't fit my style of enjoying reading in young years. I know on HOD's board, the sister of the author of that program tried to say that MFW doesn't do any reading comprehension or lit analysis until jr. high --- that is not an accurate reflection about MFW based on my 7 years of using MFW. It is that the approach is very different. In MFW, you can use a more formal reading program if you wish.

*MFW is easier to combine in certain age groupings. MFW is written for the family and assumes the family grows together each year. however, in certain stages of learning, MFW realizes that children in high school need to be on their own pace, and that children in the learning to read stage need to have their main materials to focus on. So, no one is dragged around in MFW.

*MFW seems to try to allow for parents to mentor their children in many subjects while gradually increasing "independent" learning in elementary,. then more transitions in jr. high, until final transitions in high school. We are of course never fully independent in our learning.
This gets reflected many times in the choices in language arts programs and how they are taught as well as needing a few extra minutes (not hours) of mom/dad time to coach. from listening to the happy HOD'ers -- those cyber friends of mine prefer different approaches to shift into more independence sooner. the jury is still out on that one. But I really get the idea that is something that makes one or the other really click with a family but we're just not good at saying it yet online. But then again, you can use whatever language arts you want in MFW in elementary years.

*MFW gives helps on narrations, dictations, memory work, etc. Encourages "discipleship" approach with many topics. I get the idea that HOD approaches it differently? hmm. dont' know what that means. sorry.

*MFW has high school already. HOD is younger.

Things that are really good about both programs:

HOD and MFW are both written by Christians who really want to help other Christians homeschool succeed and do well. Both are Christ centered. Both want good academics and godly kids. Both like and recommend Singapore math (grin). Both like to tag on the vast majority of language arts as separate instruction, but still have some "unit study" feel in some aspects of language.

reasons I stay with MFW: God put it in my path and I have a peace using it. very doable in my real world. May the Lord lead your decision. It's nice to have Christ centered materials.

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