Compare MFW to other solidly Biblical programs

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MFW advantages over MOH?

Unread post by gratitude » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:26 pm

JENinOR wrote:What are the benefits/disadvantages of doing MFW? Anyone compared or better yet used both and have an opinion? Trying to make up my mind! We'll be doing ECC either way and looking forward to it.
I researched curriculum a lot at one point. One of the conclusions I came to was it is very easy to do MFW and bring in other resources for fun; but it is impossible to do their curriculums completely and bring in MFW for fun. The reason is that MFW is complete on its own! It has too much to it to use as a supplemental curriculum. Does this make sense? It doesn't need supplementing, but can be easily supplemented - if one wishes to do so - for fun. There is so much to MFW though it is very difficult to even consider adding it to another curriculum.

I did read many parts of MOH Volume 1, for fun, last winter to my oldest. He really enjoyed listening to it. I enjoyed it as a read-aloud. The following are the reasons though that MFW continues, and will continue to be our main curriculum:

1. My seven year old could answer the MOH questions without having to think. One of my main home school objectives, besides faith, is I want my children to learn how to use their minds and think and renew their minds.
2. MFW uses the actual Bible as the History spine for CTG. I rather pull the stories directly from scripture for the latter half of grade school, then to continue using Bible story type books - such as the Bible stories in MOH or a Children's Bible. For the younger ages I love these stories; but I still think scripture directly is best.
3. MFW ties Bible, History, science, writing, reading, hands on activities all together as a unit. I like this fact.
4. MFW uses a grid to motivate me to tie in different types of learning for one topic being studies, while also covering different subjects. I find this to be more motivating for me and see my kids learn a lot from these methods that Marie uses. MOH - felt too segregated to me. A section of read-aloud, a section of questions, a section of suggested hands on activities. It wasn't motivating enough for me as a teacher. I could see myself doing minimal.
5. Again, I enjoy MOH as a read aloud. I enjoy the fact she focuses on Jesus, but so does Marie. So I have kept the books - they have survived my home school curriculum research and were not sold. But I will use them as fun book basket books rather than as a curriculum. Marie TM is so valuable for me!! I hope this helps.

Blessings everyone!

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Re: MFW advantages over MOH?

Unread post by fdjoyce » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:35 pm

I have used MOH I & II. I have used MFWK (2 times,) ECC, & this year 1st & RtR. I agree with the previous post in that MFW is a complete curriculum (& yes you could easily add in parts or all of MOH but it is certainly not needed.). MOH is a history curriculum that you could use as the spine of your school year but would then build additional curriculum around.

Our family enjoyed MOH & like the previous poster we have kept the books & will most likely use them again & maybe purchase the remaining volumes in the future. However, my reasons for choosing MFW are that:

1. I wanted a curriculum that tied together all subjects.
2. after 5 years of building all my lesson plans from scratch (& with now 5 children) I wanted a little less work in research & prep time.
3. Although I released some of the decisions about curriculum I felt that MFW held the same worldview & goals for my children & had similar educational philosophy as we do.
4. Although I really enjoyed MOH I was so ready for a break from it. The authors style is friendly but gets to a point where it is too friendly in my opinion. Kind of syrupy, if that makes sense. Her tone becomes too casual I thought with lots of personal remarks throughout the text which I did not care for although I know some folks enjoy that. I did really like the activities suggested in MOH & the way there are multiple levels of activities. But I think MFW has great activities as well.
5. I like the overall cycle & big picture of MFW & feel that the whole curriculum offers many excellent resources.
6. I appreciate the missions focus of MFW which you will really feel in ECC!

Hope this helps.

Julie in MN
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Re: MFW advantages over MOH?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:24 am

JENinOR wrote:What are the benefits/disadvantages of doing MFW over MOH? Anyone compared or better yet used both and have an opinion? Trying to make up my mind! We'll be doing ECC either way and looking forward to it.
I have MOH-1 on my shelf and tried to add it to CTG once upon a time. I think MOH has some strengths, but here are a few reasons we prefer MFW at our house. I'm sure you can find a MOH board to find out the "other side of the story"!

- Like Carin, we prefer the real Bible over reading an author's retelling. This is huge at our house, just as much for my ds as for his parents.
- And like fdjoyce's comment about the author's friendly tone, we prefer to read history from several sources and draw our own conclusions, rather than read what someone else has chosen to tell children.
- A lot of the MOH "activities" are paper activities, and my dd might have liked some of those but my ds wouldn't.
- MOH is not finished, and this has been the case since I first bought that MOH-1 book back in maybe 2005? I think MFW was publishing about a year ahead of me, so they would have published RTR around the time I got MOH-1 as an extra, and since then MFW has put out programs all the way through 12th grade, as well as additions like Adventures & 7-8th ECC.
- MOH is basically just one class, and MFW organizes/connects/streamlines your entire curriculum if you choose to use it that way.

Here are some more "comparison" threads that might be helpful:

Best wishes as you worry over your children,
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Sheila in OK
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Re: MFW advantages over MOH?

Unread post by Sheila in OK » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:35 pm

Carin's list pretty much sums up why we went with MFW RTR this year, after using MOH vol. 1 last year--especially #4. I wasn't good about bringing in all the other elements *consistently* to make it a well-rounded program. We are only one week into MFW so far, but I am loving it--it has all those elements pulled together for me and I don't have to think about it.
gratitude wrote:MFW uses a grid to motivate me to tie in different types of learning for one topic being studies, while also covering different subjects. I find this to be more motivating for me and see my kids learn a lot from these methods that Marie uses.
And like someone else said, I did get a bit tired of the writing style after awhile since it was our main history source for the entire year. I do think it's a good resource, though--it just needs a bit more added to it to make it a full program.

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Re: MFW advantages over MOH?

Unread post by asheslawson » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:04 pm

I am using both MFW CTG & MOH...BUT - very much like Carin said - I also am using MOH as a supplement. For instance...much of MOH is timeline activities - I just do the timeline already scheduled in MFW. I really use MOH more for supplemental reading - I like the tone of some of the stories - or the stories that may not be covered in MFW that are in MOH - so I use it more like extra, supplemental, or free reading time. I have several other books I incorporate in the same way - I just follow MFW as my main curriculum - it is more complete and offers much more. I'll probably know better how well this worked at the end of this year - for instance....will I buy the vol 2 of MOH? Also - I would not have used it with ECC since ECC is covering many cultures. For ECC - I found TONS of books on different countries and cultures in my tiny library with a sparse selection - I even found a few of the recommended reads from the TM for ECC.

I must say - if we had nothing more than a few good bible story book reads that I already had on my shelf - CTG would be very complete. All that being said - I think it depends on your financial situation and the time you can commit! I love to have more available than I need - we love reading - but still - CTG itself, coupled with your bible is very complete!

Hope that helps a bit - I guess I just really remember agonizing over the expense of CTG or just using MOH - but the final answer is - I would have been VERY dissatisfied with it by itself and I would have been struggling to put together something like David & Marie have already done - so I'm glad I was able to get MFW. However, it is a nice supplement if you find it used for a great price.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD

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Re: MFW advantages over MOH?

Unread post by 4Truth » Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:18 pm

Agreeing with the same list, as well as other comments that have been made.... and not just because this is the MFW board. ;) I've actually been involved in the same discussion on another board, and while I do have dd #2 doing MOH this year, I still prefer MFW. My middle girl is a textbook girl through and through and has begged for textbooks for several years, so I finally gave in this year... but the closest I could bring myself to giving her was MOH. Still, I'm adding to it because MOH by itself really just isn't meaty enough (IMO). Plus she still has to do science and Bible (which MFW schedules but MOH does not), and neither art nor music are getting done at all. :~

Another reason I prefer MFW that hasn't been mentioned is the notebooking pages and maps. I like how MFW provides the student sheets. I did learn just the other day that MOH will soon be selling notebooking pages, but I took a look at the samples and still liked MFW's better. ;)

I also like the easy-to-follow weekly grid in the MFW TMs.

Overall, I'd say that MFW is just fuller, more meaty, and complete. MOH is a nice resource.... but I'm supplementing it from MFW. :-)

one more thing.... I don't like having Wikipedia used as a primary source of information, which is done often in MOH. I don't even let my dd pull up that website. Occasionally *I* will do so, but only if I'm looking for trivial information about something of which I'm mildly curious.... never for something in which I need a reliable source. I like how MFW not only recommends, but includes in their packages, a variety of resources that teach my daughters how to search out multiple opinions/viewpoints and weigh those opinions against what the Bible says, and what our own denomination teaches. It also teaches them to use written information rather than always depending on the internet (which may or may not always be there, and which is subject to change at any given moment). Yes, we parents can and should be doing that anyway, but Marie's done a beautiful job of having it all built in.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

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Re: MFW advantages over MOH?

Unread post by dhudson » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:05 pm

My biggest complaint is that I do not like re-wording or re-phrased Bible stories once my kids are old enough to read. I want them searching and reading their Bible. I want to teach them to be Bereans, to study the Bible for themselves and make conclusions based on their knowledge of the Bible. I want them to learn to question what they hear,read or see in light of what the Bible says. I have even given them permission to test my words against the Bible and correct me (respectfully) if what I am saying or doing doesn't line up and they do. I have learned to really watch what I say! ;)

MFW helps me in that task. The way MFW teaches the Bible is what has kept me faithful to it year after year.

Posted Wed May 01, 2013 8:14 pm by dhudson
I owned the first book but really didn't like the Bible portions. It hit me as more opinion or a retelling than directly from the Bible. We are big fans of the Charlotte Mason idea of reading small portions of scripture and then discussing and/ or writing a narration.
God Bless,
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

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Kindy and 1st Too Easy?

Unread post by mothermayi » Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:28 pm

Thank you all so much for the replies :) . This has been one of my curriculum dilemmas this year. I keep going back and forth, back and forth. :~

Gratitude, you stated,
gratitude wrote:little side note: My oldest tried Bigger from HOD (I noticed HOD in OP signature, so I thought the level comparision might help with the answer to the question) after MFW1 & the books to read aloud were harder but the actual 'writing, science, and drawing' were much easier.

I think MFW fully done is usually much more than meets the eye.
This is really good to know. Your dc did Bigger as a 2nd grader, right? So theoretically, Bigger would be more on level with Adventures, which is also a 2nd grade program. But it seems like MFW 1 prepared your dc so well that the writing, science, and drawing in second grade (Bigger) were easier than what dc did in MFW 1 (if I'm understanding correctly).This is amazing!

You hit the nail on the head when you said it is usually much more than meets the eye. That's my problem. I just can't *see* it when I look at the catalog. I also need to change my thinking and acknowledge that gentle does not equate to lacking in academics. I bought "For the Children's Sake" from MFW and some Ruth Beechick material so it is helping. I was so afraid to go with MFW K because the phonics seemed slow and she was already reading. We were already 1/2 done with MUS Primer. She was doing copywork (about 6 word sentences). My dd is the type that likes to keep it moving and not linger on things once she already knows them. I could hear it in my head, "Mom, this is toooooooo eeeeeaaaassssyyyyy!" (followed by chuckles from her). But the character building and bible looked fantastic! I had such a hard time with it that I just ditched it and went with HOD because I could *see* how to customize her learning. If you notice from my signature, I also went with HOD LHTH for preschool for my younger dd. But then I couldn't get MFW PreK out of my head so I bought that, too :-) . It is very gentle and fun and she is learning a lot from it. It has helped me to see what is meant by gentle learning and I now have a growing respect for it. I also bought the MFW Kindergarten Literature Collection/Activity Guide (my library is horrible) and the animal habitats bc we wanted to do them. Ugh, as you can see, I am all over the place!

This brings me to thinking ahead to first grade for my kindy bc I may need to purchase next year's curriculum this fall. I can't get MFW 1 out of my head, even though I'm still trying to see it for what it is versus the couple of paragraphs in the catalog. But from what I'm gathering from BTDT mom's, MFW 1 serves as a firm foundation biblically and academically. And after completing MFW 1, my student will be well prepared to join her older siblings in the MFW cycle as a 2nd grader (with 2/3 grade supplement). Right?

Thanks again!!
Returning to MFW for 2015!! :-)
ds13 (8th)--MFW EX1850, EG, WWS, PP Guides, TT 2.0 Pre-Algebra
ds11.5 (7th)--MFW EX1850, AOG, WWS, PP Guides, Singapore 5B-6B
dd7 (2nd)--MFW EX1850, LLFT2, Miquon, AAS1
dd5--MFW K

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Re: Kindy and 1st Too Easy?

Unread post by gratitude » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:41 am

mothermayi wrote:Your dc did Bigger as a 2nd grader, right?
We tried HOD for the fall of 2nd grade. Then we came back and did ADV for the rest of second grade, which was a much better choice for him! :-) What I found with ADV was we began making progress again with writing (PLL), book basket (love to learn and read to learn), and the creative freedom I need as a teacher. HOD has a different scope and sequence for writing so that is part of the reason. It starts off heavily focused on oral narration then has quite a bit of drawing for note booking in Bigger (at least the parts we did), and then starts actual written narrations in Preparing. The main difference with MFW in that area is Marie starts early written narrations and drawn narrations in MFW1. A different approach, and for us personally the MFW approach works better in this area.
mothermayi wrote:So theoretically, Bigger would be more on level with Adventures,
The programs are difficult to compare for levels since the scope and sequence for teaching writing and phonics is different. The Pioneers and Patriots book used in Beyond is used in ADV; so often those two will be compared. Beyond though is really more of a first grade program and Bigger is more of a 2nd grade program. The confusing part though is that since HOD doesn't start written narrations until Preparing the writing comes earlier in MFW (MFW1), but the spines for history (such as in Bigger) are more difficult than the spines in ADV. The literature in ADV though is comparable with the read alouds in the deluxe package, and the books in the book basket are also very comparable to the Bigger level. So I guess I will share a little more of the story with you. &) After ADV I decided I wanted to do ECC with a 4th and 3rd graders, which I will have this fall, instead of a 3rd and 2nd grader (young 2nd at that). This gave me a gap year. So I tried HOD again to fill it. First Preparing and then CTC. Well....Preparing my oldest found too easy after ADV. He thought the drawing was too simplified (Drawing with Children that MFW sells that goes with the old MFW1 TM is so very good). The note booking was beginning written narrations in Preparing, and this too was easier than what he was used to from Primary Language Lessons and ADV note booking. So we went up to CTC (fortunately he absolutely loves to read and all of the HOD books became a 3rd grade book basket that he read one at a time). For CTC we were finally on par with his abilities. Then the challenge became how scripted it is for word to word of what to put onto the note book pages. The prayers were scripted too. I guess at this point I gave up. I am not trying to give negative reflections here on HOD; I respect the company and the work being done and love the book choices for book basket for MFW. For us though it didn't work. I also dearly missed the missionary focus of MFW and the MFW approach to Bible and the Biblical world view integrated into this curriculum. So that greener grass is done for us. 8| God has been working on my heart a lot about the need for a spirit of contentment in home schooling and to put all of my Trust and eyes on Him so that we have steady consistent progress. Our second attempt at HOD though wasn't so much about curiosity as a thought that it might work to fill a gap year. I saw your other thread and said, "Hooray!!!". I am out of time, but perhaps I can post on the other thread later. So happy for you; I still wanted to answer your question here though. Blessings for your school year.

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Re: Kindy and 1st Too Easy?

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:38 pm

Carin, you just never know who, other than the OP, is needing to hear something. Thank you so much for explaining so clearly why HOD did not work for you. I have been leaning toward the same thing you have...delaying ECC a year. My kids are so sensitive and I feel my oldest would do better if he was a year older before hearing the missionary stories. HOD has always had my eye and I was thinking it my satisfy my curiosity and bridge that one year gap. But, I can absolutely see what you mean about the writing. I have already realized that my oldest is writing a lot more than many in his grade. We are using WWE (some). I started him at WWE1, but realized it's almost below him. For the copywork, he could definitely move to WWE2. His writing skills are really good. Thanks to MFW 1st, which is awesome for that.

Also, everything you said about contentment and loving that Biblical integration resonated very strongly with me. I feel the same way. I can't imagine not having it so well integrated. I love MFW in general, but it's the Biblical component that I cling to with all my might. I know that if we are not purposeful about teaching Christ to our children it can easily slip through the cracks with the focus on skills and such. So, I need that constant reminder and I appreciate it so much.

Anyway, I loved reading your post. :-)
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Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
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Unread post by manyblessings » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:51 pm

graceandjarrod wrote:Hi,
I am wondering if anyone on here has used HOD and if so what the differences between the two programs are? I have heard HOD has more character development and that the Bible is more about developing the child's personal faith. I have also heard that the books are more living books than MFW. If you have experience with Heart of Dakota will you share your opinion?
I used HOD for a few years, and I used ECC and K. What I can say about HOD is that each guide has a narrower focus of age ranges, so if you are wanting to combine a wider range of ages using one program, HOD is not designed that way. There is a focus on skill development from guide to guide, meaning that it's not really okay to skip a guide, unless you find you placed your child very incorrectly to begin with.

MFW I believe has a bigger focus on the world and missions, while I do feel that HOD focuses on personal faith. However, those things really go hand in hand, in my opinion. Another big difference is that HOD does not go along with the delayed grammar approach because it starts formal instruction in grade 2 with a fairly rigorous, traditional program. I would describe HOD as an eclectic approach, while as MFW is described as Hebraic Classical, as well as using a lot of Charlotte Mason methods, as you probably already know.

The best thing to do is to pray, take a look at samples of both, call their offices and ask questions, pore over their websites in the places where they describe their approaches, and that way see what fits your family's needs better. HOD was what my family needed at a different season of our lives, but MFW fits perfectly with the direction God is leading us now :)
Mom of 4 adults, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 son-in-law, 1 in 1st, and
3 in heaven 8/11/06, 8/18/10, and 9/13/13
Married to my soul mate since 6/20/09
2019-2020: ADV

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Re: MFW vs. HOD

Unread post by allgrace » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:38 am

Thanks, I tried out HOD for only a short time. I missed my kids learning together soooo much! I also missed MFW. I am sticking with MFW the whole way!
"Sanctify them by the Truth, your word is Truth" John 17:17
Dd6: MFW K
Ds 4: VOD
Ds. 2: being very active😜

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