Classical Education and MFW (Author response)

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Help me decide between Veritas and MFW

Unread post by gratitude »

3froggies wrote:We have down MFW one year. We did ECC, which we really enjoyed at first, but I had a hard time halfway through the year making the games and getting to the library. We also had a baby halfway through the year, though. :)

I am trying to decide whether to use the Veritas Press cards next year or MFW RTR. I definitely want to do multi age teaching for history. I would not use mfw for science or language arts, as we already have plans for those subjects. I will have a K, 3rd, and 7th grader, with a 2 year old in the mix :) Please, could I have your opinion on why MFW might work better for us than using the Veritas cards and using different resources for my different ages? I am leaning more towards MFW RTR simply because of the biblical worldview and scripture that are integrated into the teaching of history. I'm not sure I would get this as much from Veritas cards and books. If the goal is to reach my children's hearts and instill a love of learning and love for the Lord, MFW should be a no-brainer, right? (sorry, I'm thinking outloud here :))

I think my hesistancy is the amount of work for me as mom required (reading, doing the hands-on activities) in addition to having younger ones and a household to run (and a chronic illness). I would love to sit down and read these great books to my older kids, but is that going to be a reality with little ones? (especially my youngest in his terrific/terrible twos :))

I have friends who LOVE MFW, but I just don't know if it will be a good fit for us. I want to stick with one curriculum long term, instead of hopping around. Why is MFW a good fit for your family? Thanks for any input!
MFW is richer.

The above is my short answer. By richer I am referring to depth of the Bible. Veritas & MFW use some of the same books, but the Bible in MFW is much more dominant as a main curriculum source.

My children are 7,6,4, & 2. I used MFW1 for the last half of K and first half of 1st for my oldest. Then we floundered with ADV; not quite ready for that as a first grader - at least for him. Then we tried different things. One thing I tried during this winter/spring (of his 1st grade year) was the Veritas cards. We did most of the first set. There is a lot I like about it. Chronology. Green Press Study was very good. Victor's Journey through the Bible (used later in CTG) is very good. We of course enjoyed the story Bibles.

If I was to compare the first set of cards to MFW 1 I would say that MFW 1 was so much richer. I am not sure exactly how. I think it is the fact that the Bible really is used as History in the MFW curriculum. Or perhaps it is combining hands on activities with reading with drawing, etc..etc. that brings it all together for me. I feel like they covered more ground in Veritas (as far as extensiveness of material & a larger number of facts - that I don't think they necessarily remembered), but learned much more in MFW 1. Does this make sense?

As far as younger children. I Understand! My greatest challenge in home schooling, thus far, has been trying to do it with my younger children. I want my pre-schoolers to have more of what my older children had for pre-school and I want my older ones to have more of what I want to give them for school. I have to give up a little on each end to reach somewhere in the middle. I often read to the older children during nap time. I am trying to motivate myself to have all craft supplies & science on hand this year at the beginning of the school year. My biggest challenge was finding time to gather supplies. I think it would be easier one day, with DH home; even if it took all day.

I hope this helps a little. It is only my opinion, based on my experience. My children seem to only take in so much material, and Veritas sometimes seemed long for them. As well as too repetitive. The same story 6 different ways wore on them a bit at times.

I agree with choosing one curriculum, and staying with it. It feels a bit to me like choosing a school. I wouldn't want to school hop every 6 months, or even every year. I choose MFW (after two years of research - and trying things) for two main reasons: #1: Bible is the foundation of the curriculum & used as a History spine and #2: It works. I actually do the curriculum with consistency, and they learn a ton with the methods Marie uses. As a teacher I really do think she knows much more of what she is doing than I could ever do alone.

Re: Help me decide between Veritas and MFW

Unread post by cbollin »

3froggies wrote:Why is MFW a good fit for your family? Thanks for any input!
I have never used Vertias. looked at a catalog once.

I've used MFW since 2003. Why has it been a good fit? I dont' have 8 years of stories to make into one simple post. So here are some bullet points:

*I would have never known as much as the heart of Bible translation without using MFW
*I liked that prayer for all the world is part of it.
*I wish I could say we're "good enough" to use MFW, but we're not that good of a family -- you know... the types who sit in the front row at church, takes their whole family on missions trips, etc.... so don't be thinking that you can't use mfw unless you're some high and mighty profile types who get the platforms at conventions. kwim?

*I like the research skills that are built into the years.
*I like the geography and cultures
*Ilike reading about people who did stuff with their lives. That stuff is just so part of my oldest daughters thinking, that it's normal to her.

*we like the science approach in mfw (my dh has a phd in chemistry and he doesn't think science is weak in mfw.)

*I like the ease of not having to do lesson planning. I like that.
*I like knowing that Marie has put a lot of research into stuff. I was talking with a friend who had used year 3 of high school and was wow'ed that Marie tweaked enough of a book that I don't want to use that the book is way more usable.

*I get it done and my oldest children know stuff. My oldest is a really book smart nerd kid. My middle gal is slow to average but knows this stuff. and my youngest doesn't really use MFW right now (she has autism and we're too focused on language development and social development to really care if she gets history.)

*it includes a lot - timelines, notebooking, book basket. It's not just a history program with other subjects sold. It's an integrated as much as possible program so that some subjects blend together and reinforce each other.

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Re: Help me decide between Veritas and MFW

Unread post by leeandrea »

I'll share my experience with VP. I haven't actually used MFW yet, this will be our first year using K and ECC, so I can't compare.

I have a few years of their TMs/Cards. I purchased the OT/AE and 1st Bible program when my oldests were going into 4th and 2nd grade. It was a little much for my 2nd grader. For our family, I find that VPs age recommendations and what my children are actually up for at that age don't quite line up. I didn't find VP flowed well. The cards have a summary of the event, just the facts...without having a good understanding of history already (which I didn't when we first started VP), it was choppy to me. Like there was nothing stringing all the events/facts to each other. Each event/topic felt isolated, the cards and TM don't explain how one event relates to another. The resources don't all do that either. I've seen a schedule where VP is lined up with SOTW, so you can use SOTW to connect the dots, but the programs don't line up sequentially and don't overlap on which do you let lead? VP literature is good, the resources (cultural atlas for young people, etc.) are good resources. The VP materials themselves just seemed really dry I guess. I think the VP approach is to imprint the facts/events, then when the child is older, they can fit the pieces together. I think that makes history really boring, and it shouldn't be.

Last year (2010/2011), we covered ancient Egypt/Greece using TQ guides. My oldests last year were 8th and 6th grade. Since I still had the cards and TMs, I used the cards that fit with our studies and had them do the worksheets that go along with the cards just to get something down on paper. For instance, when we got to the Olympics in our TQ guide, I'd copy the Olympics worksheet and put the card out for my DDs and check the TM to see if there was an interesting project or good writing assignment. I also used some of the writing assignments from the TM (key word outlines, etc.) to give them writing opportunities. VP worked great as a resource for us, but not as a "spine."

I just wanted to share what I know about VP. I love the catalog!

And an aside to anyone reading all my replies, yes I have gone through a lot of different curricula since we started HS'ing. &)

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Re: Help me decide between Veritas and MFW

Unread post by gratitude »

leeandrea wrote:I'll share my experience with VP.
I agree. I think you summed up my experience with VP very well.

Oh, I can relate to having a &) . My DH was very patient during my two years of curriculum research, back and forth, final decisions, etc. I am very Happy where I have landed. Having God's peace about my home school journey / choices is the best part.
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Re: Help me decide between Veritas and MFW

Unread post by TrustingHim »

leeandrea said everything I came here to say. The only thing I would add is, it spends WAY too much time in one time-period. We used VP with our oldest when she was in 2nd grade. When I pulled the books out in January to get started again, dd said (though tears), "MOM! Are we EVER going to get out of Egypt?!?" :-) We abandoned VP and did Unit studies with Konos the rest of the year. DH jokes she knows what it's like to be an Israelite wandering through the desert after trying MOH in 1st and VP in 2nd.

And, leeandrea, you're not the only HS mom that's jumped from curriculum to curriculum. There are PLENTY of us out here! ;) No worries!
Wife to an exceptional DH for 17 years
Mother to 2 Girls; 14 and 11
Used: EX-1850 & 1850-MOD both with the 2nd/3rd grade go-alongs and ECC with 7th/8th grade go alongs
2014/15: Ex-1850 & AHL
Psalm 118:24
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Re: Help me decide between Veritas and MFW

Unread post by praisefor3 »

My experience is a little different. We started using VP Bible and History our first year of hsing when my son was beginning 2nd grade. I quickly found doing both the history and Bible cards confusing. We dropped the history and then floundered among a few history programs for way too long. Finally we began MFW when my son was beginning 6th grade. During that time we had continued with VP Bible. So...when we started MFW we continued doing VP Bible along with MFW. This has been perfect for us. I LOVE VP Bible and have found it very different from what we get from MFW. So far I haven't found the same depth of Bible facts in MFW as in VP and I haven't found the depth of Spiritual growth opportunities in VP as in MFW so it does not seem like we are duplicating at all. We will definitely do the same thing with the next child but this time I won't be floundering around looking for history! Again, let me clarify that I use VP Bible, not the history. This I do think would be confusing to do with MFW.

Posted Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:35 pm by praisefor3
Before we used MFW, I pieced together our curriculum choices from several different vendors/companies. Many things have changed in my curriculum choices since that first year beginning with a then 9th grader and 2nd grader. One of the few things that has not changed has been my use of Veritas Press Bible cards and program. I love those cards and the accompanying worksheets and projects (probably because most of the "projects" are not hands on/crafty projects which are not my strength). We took 7 years to complete the whole Bible instead of 5 but each year I added on the next piece of the program, bought the cards, tm on cd, etc.

This year my next child is in 2nd grade and although we are loving MFW and plan to continue the program, VP Bible is something that I will continue as well. The amount of Bible history that my son learned in a relatively easy, relaxed manner astounds me and I am loving beginning and reusing the program now with my next child. It takes very little time to incorporate. Having said all that, while we do readings to accompany the program as recommended on each card from various books (Victor Journey, Children's Illustrated Bible, Streams of Civilization, etc.) the books that I chose NOT to use even though I owned them were the Greenleaf guides. I, too, thought these were WAY above the academic level of my students, at least when starting the program in 2nd grade. I chose never to go back and add them in even though they were "doable" in later years. Their value, to me, was far less than the cards, sheets, and readings from the other books. I will say, too, since I talked about VP...I don't have my 2nd grader do any of the writing for the worksheets. We do them orally and I fill them in for her as I want this to be about learning Bible history, not practicing writing. I also never required my last child to memorize the order and exact scripture references of every card as VP directs. Although this time I plan to do a little more of this, it still won't be part of the "test".
Christy - Staff
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MFW and the Classical Approach to Learning

Unread post by Christy - Staff »

For many homeschool families, the Classical approach to learning means the Greco-Roman concepts of grammar/memorization, logic, and rhetoric in 4-year cycles. MFW uses the Hebraic Classical approach – knowledge (Discover), understanding (Investigate), and wisdom (Declare). The Hebraic view sees God as the central point of the universe whereas the Greco-Roman view places man at the central point.

We lead families directly to the Bible.
  • DISCOVER God’s Truth – His Word, His Way, and His Love
    INVESTIGATE His Word – How He Interacts with man and history
    DECLARE His Sovereignty – Reaching to all mankind
For me personally I love how this approach opened my eyes to all that God created and orchestrated from the beginning of creation until modern day.

How has MFW’s Hebraic Classical approach helped your family grow their Biblical worldview?
Christy Callahan - MFW Customer Service Team Lead
Wife to Mike (homeschooling dad)
Mom to 5 blessings and foster mom to many
Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Re: MFW and the Classical Approach to Learning

Unread post by Julie in MN »

MFW-Christy wrote: How has MFW’s Hebraic Classical approach helped your family grow their Biblical worldview?
INVESTIGATE: When I started using MFW, I was bringing home a 3rd grader and so we were in the Investigate stage. I found that already by 4th grade (CTG), my son appreciated that we were reading the actual Bible (not a summary) and then reading “history” alongside. From fun facts in Usborne to more mature narratives in Streams, this was the familiar stuff he heard about at science museums and on TV shows, always mysteriously separate from our life of faith. By reading them together with Biblical history, he could see that events in both really did happen alongside one another. That was exciting for me to share with my son at a young age.

DECLARE: Then when he reached high school and the Declare stage, he grew in his “worldy wisdom,” yes, but I most enjoyed seeing him blurt out his deeper thoughts. For example, he liked reading a couple books where he saw adults were taking their faith seriously and making an effort to put it into action (New Answers; What Am I Here For) -- he admitted he had been wondering if adults really thought and acted on the things they said, as he entered a more adult world of work etc.

He didn’t like literature and blurted out disgust with the childlike behavior of Greek “heroes” compared to the heroic (if imperfect) behavior of Biblical heroes, and I valued having the chance to work with him to put his “wisdom” into words that revealed Jesus’ loving concern rather than his disgust :) Yes, it was a year of agonizing and pulling my hair out and never getting completely where I wanted him to be, but it could be one of the most valuable things I’ve tried to do, I think.

BACK TO DISCOVER: I got to cycle back to the Discover stage when I started using K/1st as afterschool fun with my grandson. What a delight to focus on important things, using the young mind to memorize words that affect our lives, rather than naming parts of speech or presidents or school bus routes. I remember his 1st grade Thanksgiving because we printed out a pretty fall page to list 100 things we were thankful for; after all the rest of us were out of ideas, he asked if he could run and get our kindergarten materials so he could remember even more things we could be thankful for. That is a big discovery :-)
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
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Re: MFW and the Classical Approach to Learning

Unread post by MelissaB »

Exploring Countries & Cultures was life-changing for us. The world suddenly grew exponentially. Our hearts began to love and care about people we'd never met, in different lands. And we have a different viewpoint of what our role is and what really pleases God (i.e. faith, and a heart that obeys him; rather than an American-style viewpoint of whether or not you teach Sunday School, for an example. :) ).

The same was true for Creation to Greeks and Rome to Reformation. (I'm a Christian, and I knew nothing about the Reformation!)

The U.S. History was far beyond what I ever learned in school. We didn't learn about the battles and the wars (simply what year, what battle, and who won); we learned the different elements of what caused the wars, how the leadership approached them, and what the long-term effects of those battles were. It was amazing! Now that we've more fully studied the tremendous sacrifice these first settlers made, we more deeply appreciate living here. The U.S. History in the Investigate phase doesn't hide the nation's mistakes throughout history; it brings all of the truth to the light, good and bad, noble and disgraceful.... We learn from both. :)

We never knew learning could be so rich. Our daughter has retained so much of what she learned during the Investigate courses. We could NEVER, NEVER have given her as rich of an education in the fields of geography, history, world cultures and Bible as she's received in the MFW Investigate cycle.

There is a peace in knowing that GOD is really the one in charge .... MFW's curriculum doesn't teach that; it shows the evidence of it.

We're big fans of MFW. Is there any question why? :-)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4
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