Comparing - Can our family really do a Unit Study?

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michelle price
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:26 pm

Comparing - Can our family really do a Unit Study?

Unread post by michelle price »

Guest wrote:Hi, my name is Sherron and I am looking into. MFW. We have been doing textbook & DVD curriculum. The amount of work was unbelieveable and because I sent in the work they had to do EVERYTHING. My ds would cry everyday with frustration. We were both miserable. I have homeschooled for awhile but, have never really taught. The TV did it for me. God has been dealing with me for months to do something elsa for him.

I have been looking into SO many different curriculums and I really like what I have seen on MFW. Just thinking about it makes me a little nervous. Stepping out and teaching. I would have never guessed in a million years that I would be looking into unit studies. I didn't think I could do them. Anyway, this is what I would like to ask.

Bible--I want them to know the stories. Like Noah, Joseph, Moses. Does it cover that? If not, what is a good Bible program like that?

Will it take much planning on my part?

How often do you go to the library to get extra reading books?

How long is your school day? (including language and math)

I am not the type of person to think up stuff for the kids to do. Is EVERYTHING in the teachers manual?

If you have little ones, how do you make it work teaching the older ones?

Art--My dd loves art- (coloring, pasting, cutting) Does it have any art?

History and Science- Do you think it is a strong curriculum?

Sorry for being so long? I just want to make the right decision for us. By the way, I LOVE that missions is a big focus. My mother smuggles bibles into China every year. Again, thank you and God bless, Sherron
Hi Sherron,
I think you would love MFW. We also have tried different curriculums.

I would recommend ECC for your older two and simple preschool items for your younger two. I have a 10, 6, and 3 year old. The youngest participates in activities with the 6 year old. I must admit that sometimes I do put a video in for her to occupy her time. I also buy her a special princess notebook, a coloring book, etc. It doesn't cost much and helps pass her time so she can "do school" and write and color.

The teacher's manual does include all you need to know. There is little prep time except reviewing what you will be teaching.

We went to the library about once a week. I would reserve the books I wanted online. When I went in to pick them up, my 3 would be allowed to pick out a video or a special book and we left. It cut down our time at the library. I also went during the mornings or early afternoon to cut down on lines, etc.

MFW is also designed where you can teach the same material to your two oldest, but required less worksheets etc. from your younger child. Teaching two children the same material will really save you time and sanity.

Exploring Countries and Cultures (ECC) was fun and exciting. Your bible time takes you through the book of Matthew. You also read about people from all over the world and pray for them each week as you study a new country. We also really enjoyed the mission aspect. We read the biographies of Nate Saint, Cameron Townsend, Amy Carmichael, etc. I would cry at times reading to my children at these individuals faithfulness and legacy that they left for Christ.

The art is pretty fun. You make items from the country you are studying. For example, when we did Mexico we made a pinata. When we learned about Indians we made a sand art picture. There are plenty of fun ideas suggested for you to do. There is a planning time on your part to gather the materials. We did our art projects in the evenings or on weekends so daddy was around to help. We made it a family affair. Art is not my strength so I was thankful for the extra adult's help.

If we started our school day by 8am and stayed focused and didn't get distracted we had the bulk of our day done by lunchtime (noon). My boys would have free time and reading in the afternoon. Or we would finish up what we didn't get done. Chores, recess, etc. would be scheduled throughout the day to allow for one to one time with each child.

There is also interesting science projects to do (most items are household items) and these too can be scheduled at convenient times for you.

The beauty of homeschool is you can teach to fit your schedule. You don't have to follow the public school's schedule of days and times. Be flexible and allow yourself to teach when it fits best for your family.

As with any homeschool program there is a time committment and planning, but the teacher's manual is a huge help and cuts that time down significantly. My time was spent teaching, copying, library time, and gathering items ahead of time so our day would flow smoothly.

For language arts we used the primary language lessons available from MFW. For your 5th. grader you could use the next book intermediate language lessons. The books are not that expensive and lessons are short and cover necessary information without doing a ton of work. For writing we used writing strands. Spelling = spelling power which can be used for all your children until they would graduate high school. Spelling takes 15 minutes a day and that is it.

I hope & pray that God will give you wisdom and peace as you make this decision. When we feel weak, tired, confused, etc. God is strong, He will never forsake us, and He is not a God of confusion. I hope I answered your questions. Blessings as you pursue the awesome responsibility and privlege of educating your children.
Michelle Price
Julie in MN
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Welcome Sherron

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Welcome Sherron,
Michelle gave you a thorough response. I just had 2 thoughts to add.

1. If you just focus on Matthew your first year in ECC, you will still have a wonderful Bible experience. Your children will learn about the entire life of Jesus. And then the following year in Creation to the Greeks, you learn thoroughly about the Old Testament -- all the old stories you mention. Read right from the Bible, plus additional Bible study books. You even add Creation Science and celebrating the 7 Biblical feasts!

I think the foundation in the New Testament is very helpful for looking at the Old Testament stories in a new light. For my youngest, I know they are not going to be as "scary" as they were to my oldest, because he understands the whole picture of what God is doing for us!

2. And, for those of us coming away from textbook-type learning, I think it takes a little faith leap to really believe that your dc can learn more about geography from playing a game than they can from a teacher or a textbook! And that they can remember more about a culture from making something than from reading a text. So if you do jump into ECC, keep reminding yourself that the game is even better than the worksheets <smile> !

Have fun in MFW, Julie

[2010 post on this topic: ... 995#p63985 ]
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Unread post by tiffany »

I have not used MFW yet, but I have homeschooled for 5 years and we've used a variety of different things.

I think this style of teaching will be more rewarding for you as well. I'm so looking forward to the things I will learn along with my kids. I love it that there is a spiritual emphasis woven in as well. There are also some great opportunities for Dad to get involved.

Just keep praying. I believe that God will continue to guide you. And don't be intimidated to do something new. I know everytime that someone tells me I must be Superwoman because I homeschool 5 kids, and how I must have so much patience; it's hard for them to understand that I do it partly because I want to but mainly because God put the desire in my heart. I have flaws like everyone else and I am far from Superwoman. What better way to learn patience than to homeschool 5 kids!
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
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Unread post by momto4boys »

Hi Sherron

Welcome to MFW!! There's not a whole lot more that I can say that the other ladies didn't say so beautifully. But I also thought I might just add a couple of thoughts.

You will be schooling w/ a pre-K. I have a toddler and pre-K along w/ a 10yo ds and 8yo ds. So your road will be bumpier than those w/o the little ones. We finished ECC last year and loved it!! It was a good, easy pace for us. I think if you're making the change from texts, ECC will be a good transition. And there are extra assignments if you feel your 5th grader needs a "little more."

I taught school for 4 years and and after 5 years of hsing I'm realizing HOW MUCH my kids are learning by "doing" and not just using a text book. You'll love just learning along w/ your kids.

And w/ that thought, having the Teacher's Guide is wonderful. Some days, after a sleepless night or whatever, I could just open the TM and know exactly what we were to do. Now it's better to do a little planning yourself, but let's be realistic.

In the TM the Hazells offer a schedule of what your day may look like. They try to finish by noon and let the kids work on projects, or extra curricula activities on their own. This year we're doing CTG and w/ everything we're doing, we won't finish by noon, but w/ ECC you could.

You asked what to do w/ the little ones. That's been a struggle w/ us for the last 4 years. You could have one of your older dc play w/ your 4yo while your teaching an intense subject to the other one....if you're needing "complete concentration time". But if you're working on a map or something easier, have the 4yo color too. I've enjoyed the Lauri toys that MFW sells too. I have play dough, wooden train set, glue and paper, coloring books, puzzles, blocks and more readily available in our school room to occupy my 4yo.

You asked if the History and Science were strong. One thing that I've learned is it's not "what" you're learning, but "how" you study it. With the Classical method and Charlotte Mason method you will do notebooking, narration, dictation and copy work. Your dc will really learn from these forms of matter what the content.

Sorry to go so long. Let me just encourage you that YOU CAN DO THIS!!! It does take time to plan and prepare, but the rewards are so great. I just LOVE learning along w/ my dc. And I love seeing their eyes light up when something interests them.

Wife of 13yrs to Mark, momma to Britton (1995), Brayson (1997), Rafe (2001) and Daniel (2003)
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Unread post by 2Bgracious »

I do love certain aspects of textbook learning and think its good for a classroom...but can be a strain on a family (particularly large families) and it can especially hit you in the pocketbook!

I think you will really like MFW. This will be my first year using it (I've used two other unit studies before...but THIS ONE is really pulled together for you and even sends the additional books you need along with the TM!).

As far as going to the library...their "reccomended" reading list seems to be more for "free reading" or "additional reading". In these cases I'm infamous for substituting books if I don't have the ones listed (in the first two weeks of ECC, I don't have any of the reccomended books...but I pulled all of the books I have on maps, mapping, weather, Earth, etc and placed them in the book basket instead...I love to collect books from yard sales, thrift stores, and used book stores). If you HAVE to go to a library (ie, you don't really have a collection of books) then I would think that you would only need to go once every two weeks (once for each country). You might also want to include items you find on the internet.


(BTW, I have a 4th, 2nd, Kindergartner, Preschooler, and toddler this year.)
Linda, TX
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Unread post by Linda, TX »

Hi Sherron,
Just wanted to add some encouragement. If God is leading you, He will bless your obedience. This curiculum would be good for you to use your first year of "learning with your children" instead of being "task master." Part of the homeschooling experience is bonding together as a family. Every parent can feel inadequate at "teaching." Have you read any books on the Charlette Mason or Raymond and Dorothy Moore's philosophies? If God thinks you can do it, He should know :) Trust His lead.
Daughter Dallas (1997) and son Steve (1986)
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Considering MFW

Unread post by Jenileigh »

jahug74 wrote:Hi everyone! I'm Amy...I have 5 kids. 13ds, 6dd, 5ds, twin 1dd. We have been using Ambleside Online, and we enjoy it. We love reading wonderful books. The oldest child will continue with AO, it works well for him, and he wouldn't be doing the same as the others anyway.

As my 3 youngest get older (and we may always have more), I want a curriculum that we can do together. I found MFW, and it looks wonderful. I love the book selections, the price, the teacher's guide, the way it combines everyone, and makes it easy for the next children to join in.

I am only on the fence because of one's advertised as a unit study, and I have not had good experiences with unit studies! I am not very good at planning ahead, at gathering materials, at being told what to talk about but not being given the information to say. We tried others. I know that not all unit studies are the same, but I'm still afraid. I don't want to change from something that is working well for something that I'm going to give up in the end. Which is why I'm hoping some of you can calm my fears and tell me how wonderful and easy MFW is!
You sound so much like me. With FIAR I just read the book each day and tried to ask questions to make my daughter thing but it was never for us what it is for others. Prairie Primer was the same way. It looked so complicated and I just couldn't plan our days from it.

There are two unit studies I have had GREAT success with and MFW is one of them! I know the other ladies will chime in with the specifics but what I love is that Marie has a schedule planned for you. I print that and I use that baby, I check off each subject, each book read as we go through the day. The Teacher's Manual is laid out day by day. Like today, we were making butter and what I needed to teach about butter was scripted right there for me.

We are using EXP-1850 we are in week 7. My oldest daughter is 13 in the 7th grade and my younger daughter is 7 in 2nd grade. I debated about trying to do Adventures with Exp-1850 but now I see why that wasn't necessary. We do our morning together and our evening separate. Starting our days out with hymns together has really been a bonding experience for us. This has been our best year by far and this year is my 8th year homeschooling.

Daughter of the King
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Unread post by TriciaMR »


I'm just using ECC this year, but everything up to now has been scripted... "Read these pages in this book." There may be a "see notes" in the grid (the weekly schedule) that will either give you word-for-word what to say, or an experiment to do, or the details just wouldn't fit in the grid.

The book basket is just a basket of books to get from the library that enrich the topic being covered. At least for ECC.

There are a few things that are not "scripted" per se. In the front of the manual are a few pages that tell you what to do for each subject. For example, for Science, after you read the science pages, the kids are suppose to do a "Science Page." The science page part isn't in the grid.

We did a textbook approach the last 3 years, and are LOVING this unit study approach. You don't have to think much, and there are even listings of supplies you will need each week. Everything is thought out so well.

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

Unread post by cbollin »

MFW is low prep!!!! The manual tells you which supplies to get and which day they are used. All of it has been tested by pilot families who got it to work. and when you feel like you're the only one who didn't get it to work, just ask out loud over here and someone seems to have an idea or two. I know some people buy for the whole year and sort into baggies --- I'm not that great. I get it together the weekend before and read over my stuff for a few minutes.

The planning work is done for us in MFW. I love it!!!!!!!!!

You'll need to get some stuff from places like a grocery store. So I tend to plan ahead about the Saturday before the school week. I scribble down my grocery list and just add anything from the manual to it.

And you'll want to get to the library for EXTRA reading. The required reading is in the packages. Library stuff is enrichment and you don't have to get the exact titles to make it work. If you dont' have the exact book in some programs, then you can't do that study. Well, that's not the case with MFW.

In terms in does the manual tell you what to say? For most stuff, yes.. On Bible it usually doesn't, because they want you to teach that to your children based on what you believe. It gives you the scripture to read together, but you can read from your own preferred translation and I just use my study Bible notes to tell me what to say.

have you seen some of the samples of the manual? Here's the link to ADV manual so you can see how it is all set up and planned out for you. Well, some of it does help with what to say on the Bible lessons on that sample. :)

and sample for ECC

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Taking the plunge-ECC-??

Unread post by 4Truth »

blessedwith4 wrote:I am blessed to be homeschooling my 13yo ds, 11yo dd, 8yo dd and a sweet little baby girl thrown in to make everything more fun, LOL! This is our third year homeschooling and I have never used unit study type things before. In fact, they scare me. :~ I will tell ya'll, I am NOT a crafty mama. Nevertheless, MFW has always been pulling at my heartstrings saying "Pick me! Pick me! Oooh pick me!!" I am going for it this year! I have decided to do ECC and just discipline myself to make this curriculum work for us. I know my children will love it so much.

Any other helpful hints for a newbie? Did any of you start off not being a crafty mama and were you able to make this work? Or are you ALL those fun, crafty, cooking mamas? Oh noooo, don't tell me that, LOL! Thank you for any tips or encouragement you can give. :-)
I'm not a crafty mama at ALL, but I have a couple of girls who are, so I make myself do it. Although I didn't before we found MFW. Marie gives step-by-step directions for everything, as well as a short list of consumables needed for the week at the beginning of each week's lessons. All I do is follow directions. Easy peasy for non-craft moms! And now that my oldest dd (the craftiest of us all... no wait, that doesn't sound right. The artsy one... oh, never mind) is older, she can "direct" some of the projects for me.

Seriously, just follow the directions. Once you get your manual, sit down and read through all the teacher notes at the beginning. Flip through the Book Basket list at the back of the TM so you can see how that list is laid out. Then read through the first couple of week's lessons. It'll all make sense then, and what doesn't, will come together as you get going. I promise. :) Don't try to tweak or add too much, especially at the beginning. There's always a learning curve to any new thing. You (and the kids) need to find your comfort zone and everyone needs to know what the routine is before you go trying to change or tweak anything. So, just follow the directions. Marie's done all the hard work for us. 8)

Also be aware that in those teacher's notes at the beginning of the TM you will find a list of supplies you'll need for the whole year. Go ahead and make sure you have those on hand. Then look at the beginning of the first week's lessons. (Or the first two weeks, however often you run errands/do your shopping.) There's a short list of consumables needed just for that week. That's all you have to do.... check that short list prior to the start of each week and make sure you have the consumables on hand, and you're good to go!

Photocopies... there's not nearly as much photocopying to be done in the 2nd edition of ECC as there was in the first. Still, you'll want to double check that, as well. If any copies need to be made of anything, that would be listed there with the short list of consumables at the beginning of each week.

For your 13yo... yes, I'd get the Passport and flag stickers. The flag stickers are used in weekly assignments/notebooking, and the Passport is, well, just a neat thing.

Pray. Pray over your children, and pray for the year. And keep praying.

And most of all, have fun! :-)
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
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Re: Taking the plunge-ECC-??

Unread post by 4Truth »

cbollin wrote: The cooking projects tend to be one item every 2 weeks using recipes that have been tested and all of that. Then there were times that I just went to the store and bought it or picked up something at an ethnic restaurant.
You could also check out the nearest metro area to your home for ethnic festivals. Like when we did RTR, we went to the Renaissance Faire. There's also an Oktoberfest in the fall which is on the German theme, which I want to do this year (doing ECC this year). Oh, and my family heritage is German, so I want to make the most of that. I know that there's some kind of festival with an Irish theme, as well. Things like that.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
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Re: Taking the plunge-ECC-??

Unread post by BHelf »

I'm not a crafty type mama, but I want to be. My kids enjoy crafts so much....I just don't! Well, that's isn't entirely true--I enjoy them but I'm lazy and I'd rather just do a workbook page and get it over with. :)

That being said, I've looked over quite a few weeks of ECC so far and I plan on doing every single fun crafty type thing in that manual. Even if I don't wanna! I want my kids to enjoy the school year and learning as opposed to last year when we onlly did a few of the "fun" activities cause I was just trying to get school done. Shame on me.

Anyhow, you can do it! We've already done the "draw the continents on an orange and peel it and try to make it flat" activity....I hate all things sticky! Seriously hate sticky. If I can do that, I can do anything this manual throws at me!
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
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Re: Taking the plunge-ECC-??

Unread post by HSmommi2mine »

I am totally not a craft person! I am a card-carrying member of the No-Fun-Moms-Club ;) The craft things in ECC are simple and everything you need is outlined in the TM. Don't be afraid of it. A few times we didn't get to something because of an extra busy week but I just moved on. Don't let curriculum bog you down.

If you don't have a sling for that baby I would recommend one. A sling was wonderful when I had our youngest.

Wife to my favorite guy
Mom to 3 great kids
Amy in NC
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Re: Taking the plunge-ECC-??

Unread post by Amy in NC »

I just have to say that I found the crafts that could be finished in one sitting to be the most appealing to me.

I loved the idea of the pinata, but wasn't able to pull it off. While it was drying the cat attacked it, the balloon burst, and the whole thing caved in on itself. I got caught up in the thrill of making it ourselves. I can't remember who made the gorgeous one that looked like the Earth with the individual blue and green pieces of tissue paper glued to perfection. Well, I have to admit a bit of envy over that one, but I got over it. It's just not my forte.

But we had lots of fun with many of the other crafts. We all still wear our tye-dye t-shirts from our Africa study and the kids made Brazilian carnival t-shirts that they still wear. Those sound hard, but they weren't. We had a kit for the tye-dye and they just painted with fabric paint on the others. Some were like 10 minutes easy. Cut a straw a certain way and glue some feathers to it. Totally easy and lots of giggles as they tried to blow through it.

Married to ♥
Rob♥ for 18 yrs
dd(11.5), dd(10), dd(6), and ds(3.5)
Completed Kx2, 1st, Adv, ECC, CTG, & RTR

Re: Taking the plunge-ECC-??

Unread post by cbollin »

I'm not a craft type. I toss stuff together and call it close enough. My oldest likes crafts. Most of the stuff in ECC is doable or I found ways to simplify stuff. There was one idea for a desert sand painting thingy. I found these $1 stickers and $3 sand packets at Michael's store. You peel back the sticker and pour the sand on it. So, I would look at the idea and make it work if needed. One idea (and it was optional) was to make wire thingies. So, we used pipe cleaners. Quilt pieces: we used scraps of paper.

Here's a link on my blog for some of that

The cooking projects tend to be one item every 2 weeks using recipes that have been tested and all of that. Then there were times that I just went to the store and bought it or picked up something at an ethnic restaurant.

after hearing Amy's pinata story.... (hug) bad cat.

pinata substitute:

I took an idea that KellyBell posted.
Decorated a paper bag
and filled it
tie a string. get a broom handle.
KellyBell recommended a Nerf bat. ;) I didn't have one, so we used the broom

It was quick, simple and fun. I should have posted a pic.

I also liked Kysha's idea with the gift bag and red/green/white paper on it. The link to that one is in the ECC ideas forum on Mexico thread. cute. easy. But I didn't try it.

our Brazilian carnival thing: we used felt squares, decorated with feathers, glitter glue. and made them for the Rainforest stuffed animals instead of for us. I do need to post that pic somewhere. :)

just to make sure...... I'm glad those types of perfection craft people can do all they can. They are talented and should post those pictures too. I just meant that I recognize the lack of my gifts/talents in that area, but it doesn't stop me from doing crafts. :)

So, even when you have a less than picture perfect time, ECC can be fun. Make it simpler, keep the fun :)

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Re: Taking the plunge-ECC-??

Unread post by 4Truth »

Okay, I am 8[] at Amy's cat! I could see the same thing happening here... :~

I can't wait to get to all this! So glad we're starting on starting Monday. I'll have to actually learn how to post pics on my blog... never done that before. Anyway, it's definitely time to do ECC around here. My 10yo asked me the other day when we were talking the other day about what we're studying this year, "What's geography?" Explained. She says, "Oh, I thought that was Geometry." %| (Her sister's doing geometry right now. She does math on DVD so 10yo listens in sometimes and heard them talking about latitude and longitude in a math lesson.)

Can I just say how thankful I am to be homeschooling, and for the very straightforward way that MFW does things, and for all the help they provide us? :)
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
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Re: Taking the plunge-ECC-??

Unread post by blessedwith4 »

Well, this thread certainly got interesting, LOL! I would have never thought of a decorated paper bag for a pinata. I will have to come to this message board quite often for ideas! :-)
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New here...hesitant to take the plunge

Unread post by gratitude »

the4Rs wrote:We have homeschooled since the beginning. My daughter is going into 3rd, my son into 1st this next school year.

We have tried HOD for preK, K, and 2nd. Each time we scrapped it. Just didn't fit our flow as a family. I have a day care and frankly reading outloud from various resources all day long was a lot of work on me as the teacher. Also, not that I am knocking HOD...but there were many times that neither my daughter nor I could find the connection they were trying to tie between subjects and history.... flimsy at best. My daughter just didn't like it.

So why would I keep going back to it time and again? Well I loved the way it tried to weave God into the school day. We have opted to do a more textbook approach which suits our lifestyle quite well. But we also want to instill a godly education in our children and honestly with textbook we just do it, get it done and move on...rarely do we have opportunities to weave God into our daily discussions as we learn.

I love MFW approach to missions.... but frankly I am very hesitant to purchase because it makes me think we'd scrap it because it is too much on me.... but I know we want more for our kids for school and somehow Bible does not seem to be something I want a textbook for...I want living breathing discussion... does that make sense? We do talk about our faith through the day but I know we aren't teaching it like we want.

Also, while I love textbooks, we are planning to expand our family. Having textbooks for so many grade levels seems daunting to me, but we want to continue to homeschool when we bring them home. Can you tell me, based on my concerns, whether MFW would not be a good fit for our family? If not the whole program, is it possible to do the Bible portion only??
I have a lot of respect for Carrie's tying God into the curriculum, but it didn't flow well for our family either. The connections were often a stretch.

MFW is very different than HOD. So in that way your experience would be very different. It isn't as much reading aloud, and has the student sheets, so in some ways it might be a balance between your HOD experience and text books.

MFW ties a lot of Bible into its programs. The Bible portions are my favorite parts of MFW.

With a 3rd grader and first grader you might do MFW1 and ADV. This would take around 3 hours a day. Does that sound doable with your life style? Your days would include:
*Teaching your child to read with MFW1 phonics that includes a Bible reader and a Bible note book and time-line for Bible history (creation - Revelations). It is a beautiful way to teach a child to read and the phonics are wonderful.
*Hands on activities in MFW1 and ADV; the ones you feel you are able to get done with the day-care.
*Bible in ADV - names of Jesus; absolutely wonderful.
*Short history readings in ADV, but not everyday
*Student note book for phonics in MFW1 and student sheets in ADV for note booking and all 50 states.
*Hands on science (mostly, a little reading) in ADV.
*Book basket, library books, for the children to look at.

So yes, MFW would give you the Bible discussion that you are wanting. If it would work with day-care I do not know since I have not run a day-care. I would think that it might work since it focuses on short lessons.

I hope this is helpful.
Last edited by gratitude on Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: New here...hesitant to take the plunge

Unread post by cbollin »

part of me wants to say... you can do it...

the other part of me says... MFW is not what you want. Nor is any literature approach. Maybe you need a tweak in textbooks?

sorry.... I know this is mfw's board and all of that.... but you'll have to figure out how much time can you devote each day to reading/teaching? you're going to be really busy expanding your family and running a home based business....

there's nothing evil about textbook approaches. That MOTH family... Maxwells.. they use all textbooks. kwim?

I just deep down don't think any literature approach is right for this coming season for you. doesn't mean it wouldn't ever work.....

Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: New here...hesitant to take the plunge

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I had mixed feelings on reading your post, too.

I mean, you can continue to use some textbooks alongside MFW -- math, language arts, maybe even science. So the big thing to think thru is whether your family can realistically set aside a couple of hours a day to teach your child Bible and history, and to help them learn in child-appropriate ways that include reading, hands-on, and praying together. I do think it's ideal in elementary and middle school to give your child a teacher, and to teach from your family's point of view rather than some textbook author's. However, I also know that we don't live in an ideal world, yet :)

How much time do you think you could set aside?
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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Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:38 pm

Re: New here...hesitant to take the plunge

Unread post by the4Rs »

Can I just say that I appreciate all of your honesty and not trying to "sell" me on MFW. Thank you.

Realistically, this fall I could devote about 2 hours uninterrupted to education in a block of time. I can teach some when the kids are up and moving around but it is more difficult. That is why I have been teaching my eldest to be more independent in her work. She does great independently...but the problem with that is that she is so independent, I hardly have to do much to "teach" her and therefore am losing a lot of one on one time. Although I am thankful she can work so well on her own.

Just realizing that as my two age, and if we are able to bring our other 3 home sooner than later... I'm not sure how much I can handle textbooks knowing that 4 out of 5 would need direct heavy involvement with me. But I suppose they would need that no matter what. I had a list of what I thought would work for us this fall, just trying to figure out how to include more Scripture and Bible and faith into our daily routine in a seamless fashion.

I looked at MFW at a convention 2 years ago. I did buy Adventures but sent it back right away. I think I panicked. lol But I do hold MFW in high regards and wish you all the best as you finish out your school year.
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: New here...hesitant to take the plunge

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Well I think 2 hours might be do-able for your goals. You might even get by with less this year during Adventures, but the next year in ECC it would be more like 2 hours to really do Bible and Geography, without skipping important things like the game :) And those 2 hours would fold in the new siblings, because they would be 2 family hours. It would be good to have the system in place the year before, too.

I am a big stickler to school hours. I personally think the best way to achieve your goals here would be to have two specific clock hours that you set aside for this (barring emergencies with the little one, etc.). When I first brought my son home to school, we started a morning routine so he knew what would happen, and when. Then within the time frame, I might change things up and do games or a quick phy ed or something, but it would still be teacher-led school hours. And if I found that *I* had extra time, then I would try to use it on school things -- correcting papers, organizing notebooks, preparing for upcoming days, and so on. I had to discipline myself to do school hours, as well ;)

Again, I really agree it's ideal to "teach" Bible and history to young children. Yes, she is picking up academics independently, but as you said, the faith component, and even just the deeper understandings of history and people and life, need some guidance, I think. I applaud you for making an effort in this direction.

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

Re: New here...hesitant to take the plunge

Unread post by cbollin »

yes.. if you have 2 hours.. yes.. mfw can get done in that time with the reading. I'd bunch up the direct teaching time and "get those done", then some independent work.... talk over lunch....
Any of the "deluxe" read alouds - treat as optional, or bed time/weekend reading.

MFW has suggested "time boxes" for subjects so that you can move along if you have a tight schedule of how much teacher time... it could fit in that time slot. I know I can't teach out loud for longer than that either. nice little intro in the manual for juggling ideas.....

((Hugs)) if you end up trying MFW and need ideas on tweaking and getting it all in there.... chime in...

Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: New here...hesitant to take the plunge

Unread post by carlamom2ansnm »

Okay, I am not in your exact situation at all, but I have similar issues. I have a 9, 6 and 3 yr old and this has been our first year of homeschooling. Through the year we have become much more dependent on the text book type stuff. This is exactly what I DIDN'T want with homeschooling, but time is of the essence around here. I own my own consignment sale business (and I did in home daycare for 5 years so I totally understand the issues there LOL), and my life gets insane for about 5 months a year. The rest of the time it's like any other normal, busy, family. But those 5 months have been difficult to get the learning in and we have fallen back on the textbook type things

...and yet I kept being drawn to MFW. I finally ordered it and we'll start in the fall. I'm definitely no expert on it since we haven't even started it LOL, but here's what I've noticed with it from examining [every square inch of] my shipment. I'm actually going to be saving time by doing this because it truly is all laid out there for me. I ordered the delux package so all my books are here, the TM is laid out nice and crystal clear. I can still fall back on my textbook style for Language arts and Math (I'm using CLE and MUS...both very independent for my kids), but I can be involved the way I want to be for history, science and Bible. My husband can take time in the evening to be included in a project if we want. I can use one of the books as a bedtime story if I want. I see the MFW as very flexible in a crunch time type situation and definitely not overwhelming. I loved the time frame that is included in the TM. It gave me realistic time limits that I should be able to expect out of my kids. It made me realize how much stalling OR wasted time [haven't committed to which one yet] they've been doing when they're left for more independent work. I could become MORE involved and get them working through things much quicker than they are right now LOL.

Good luck in your decision! Good luck with the new, enlarged family! Prayers for you as you go through this time :)
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