Placement - What if you've already studied the ancients?

Julie in MN
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Placement - What if you've already studied the ancients?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:24 pm

Where to start
Linda in Mo wrote:O.K. I have pretty much decided on MFW, now where to start. My children will be in 3rd, 4th, and 9th. To this point we have covered from creation to Reformation. So to me the logical next step would be to plan to use the new Am. History program. Then follow the plan from there- doing the two yrs. of American history then going to ECC, CtoG, and finally RtoR.

SO, is this what you would do? My husband wondered if we should start with Geography then go to the American History or just start at Geography and go through the 5 yr. cycle. But I don't think the kids would want to start again with ancient times so soon. It would also bother me for them not to have American History until they were 6th and 7th graders. I also don't think it would be good to start with Geography and then skip two years and go to the Am. History program. Do you? So, Please advise me. Tell me what would work best.
Thanks a bunch
I think your plan of starting with American History would work fine for your kids. Especially since year 4 will have a component from the Adventures program to use with the 3rd grader as needed.

However, I would guess that MFW would recommend you start with ECC :o) It is of course your decision, and I definitely know the pressure to get in some U.S. history. However, here are some reasons I think ECC would be good:

1. Understanding geography is such a good foundation for history. As I heard David explain once, if you are discussing say a war, and you are throwing out all these names of countries, dates, names of prominent people, and so on... it is SO helpful if the kids at LEAST know WHERE you are talking about!

2. I know in CTG there has been plenty of map work, and it has been surprisingly easy & well understood after the introduction to mapping in ECC plus the reading thru of 2 atlases cover-to-cover. I would assume the same might be true of year 4.

3. In ECC you actually pray for all the countries of the world - the modern countries, as they exist today. What a good foundation for hearing about the many conflicts and failures of mankind -- in light of praying for their return to God!

4. In ECC you study the entire book of Matthew - the entire story of Jesus. I think this would be a good foundation for the Bible study in year 4, when you will be studying deeper into the New Testament. And depending on your kids' experience with memory verses -- ECC would be a good motivator for choosing to attempt memorizing the entire book of James in year 4 (which is optional)!

5. ECC does cover the U.S. for at least a couple of weeks, where you learn where states are, alphabetize them for copywork, etc.
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

Linda in Mo
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Unread post by Linda in Mo » Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:39 pm

If I started at ECC as you suggest would you go on to CtG afterwards? I know my kids are really wanting to study American History and would not welcome studying Ancients again so soon. I do think you have some very valid points. I do see a lot of advantages to what you suggest but my main problem would be with not covering American History for another 3 years. I would not have nearly the reservations if I was just taking a one yr. break from our cycle to do Geography then start back on our cycle where we left off but I cannot see us starting it all over again.
I just don't know. I am pretty confused about this.

Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Mar 19, 2006 8:02 pm

I don't know exactly what you've studied, but I think I might go on to American History after ECC - if you've covered the ancients through the reformation thoroughly. You'll be back there eventually, and your olders will enjoy some of it at that time, I'm sure!
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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Unread post by LSH in MS » Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:25 am

If I were you I would not do the Ancients so soon. Even if you did ECC next year, I would skip to the 2 years of American history after that. Then start the cycle over. I plan to use all 5 years with my children once and then will do the same period of history but for logic and rhetoric stages. I haven't figured all this out yet and if MFW writes for high school I may just use that.

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
MFW user for 10 years

Linda in Mo
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still pondering

Unread post by Linda in Mo » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:10 am

Thankyou both for the input. I am still pondering over this but am pretty much decided I will not start at ECC and work through. I am still undecided about whether to start with ECC or Am. History. It just seems like a natural progression to do the new Am. History and use SOTW 3, since we have been using that. The kids are anxious to learn American History. But I do see how a yr. of geography would be beneficial.
I would still like any other input any of you have on this.

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Unread post by LSH in MS » Mon Mar 20, 2006 9:41 am

How much geography have they already had? You could just do some geography as you go along in the Americn History, If your children are really excited about it I would tend to go with that. You could always do ECC at the end of the cycle before you start over with history.

I wouldn't skip ECC altogether. We loved it! My children learned so much about missions and different cultures who believe differently. But I think it would be fine to do after American history. Just my opinion.

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
MFW user for 10 years


Unread post by cbollin » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:00 am

One other place to get some insights would be to call the MFW office and ask their input. Sometimes on the phone you can get more ideas.

The TM for year 4 does include suggestions for gearing down for younger siblings.

So -- this is my suggestion. You've been exposing them to maps and names of countries along the way in SOTW. At least in a gentle form. You could add in a little extra geography on Fridays (MFW schedules 4 regular days and 1 light day) or in the form of book basket or just a game or two. Keep it kind of informal for now (like Lori suggested).

I keep leaning toward doing the year 4 and year 5 program and then going back to ECC at the end of that cycle because they have been studying history chronologically already. And of course, you would decide after ECC what to do then.

just my .02

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Unread post by Lucy » Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:21 pm

HI Linda,

With the ages of your children I would take a break from the cycle do a year of geography with ECC and then continue with years 4 and 5.

There are 2 reasons that I think this would be the best plan for you. The first one is the ages of your kids. I think that your giving your 3rd grader one more year will have him get more out of years 4 and 5. Although there are supplements for 2nd and 3rd graders it will be more work for you and since your oldest is only in 4th grade there is no reason to have to do that. Just remember that these programs are being written with the thought that families have done previous years and so the approximate grade level of the oldest child would be 6th grade for the year 4 program. This does not mean that it can not be done with younger siblings but the program was designed with the thought of progression. It also does not mean that you have to have done the other MFW years to go into another year. I really think your 2 would get more benefit from those 2 years if you wait a year.

I also think that your kids will have a better understanding of all the places mentioned and talked about in the year 4 and 5 since, although it is American History, it does cover what was happening around the world at the same time. ECC also covers geographical terms which can be reviewed as you cover the next 4 years.

A third reason I have just thought of is to give you an easy introduction to MFW. It is by no means a hard curriculum to follow but compared to years 2-5 ECC is a bit lighter and so would give you a good year to become familar with such things as the book basket and scheduling.

You need to do what is best for your family but these are my thoughts based on my experience with MFW and with the year 4 material that we have used this year.


wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

Linda in Mo
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Unread post by Linda in Mo » Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:48 pm

Those were some very good thoughts. You know its funny I had made up my mind. I "knew" my plan was the best one and then my husband mentioned the other plans. So, for the benefit of him I decided to post this question fully prepared for everyone to agree that doing the new History program would be best. Well, clearly I was wrong. I hate to have to admit that to my husband. First time ever I was wrong! Yeah right!
I am going to ponder over this and pray about it some more but I really can see the merit in doing Geography first. But if I do decide to go that route I would move on to American History after ECC.

Lucy, I very much appreciate your opinion. Especially since you are using the pilot program now. I think you had some excellent points and am glad you shared those with me.

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2nd grader - Already in a history cycle, can we start RTR?

Unread post by Lucy » Sun May 18, 2008 11:23 pm

KIN wrote:My son is in first grade this year and we are using a classical rotation as our guide for school. I am currently studying the Ancients with my son, and did a year long geography study during K. Would I be O.K. to start Rome to Reformation next fall? That is what I had planned on doing - even using SOTW and Apologia's Astronomy book. Would it be too hard for a 2nd grader to use? I would also fold my next son, who will be in K, for science and history (mostly as exposure, not that I feel he would remember tons). Or, would you recommend a different approach? Also, is there any benefit to switching to Creation to Greeks program yet this year? Or, would I be fine to start with RTR next fall? Thank you for your help!
Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:59 pm
MFW has a very light cycle, in respect to Classical, during the first 3 years. K is an over view of the world God created, followed in first grade by a year in bible stories/ ancient history, and then a year of American history. This first run through does not focus on wars or mummies or the immorality that so characterizes much of history, especially ancient history.

MFW strives to be age appropriate also in the amount of time spent in school. These years require less hours in school than the years that follow.

RTR is suggested only to be done with children in 2nd and 3rd who have older siblings who are doing it. This is so that you can keep the family together but by no means that you would cover the whole program with a 2nd or 3rd grader. It is simply to much school for that age child.

So I would suggest that you take a break from ancient next year and do Adventures with your 2nd grader. This would also be a lot more fun and doable for you K child (I would consider using MFW K as well--excellent program and only about 1hr-1 1/2 hrs a day).

The following year start the 5 year cycle with ECC. This way you will have both of your kids starting Creation to Greeks together too.

Here are a couple of other things to consider:

1. Adventures is only used for the oldest child. This is why it was created.
2. Any years that 2nd or 3rd grader does in the 5 year cycle will be repeated in 7th and 8th grade, fully and completely. This relieves you of having to be concerned if they are getting it all the first time.
3. MFW really strives to create programs that are age and family friendly. Having your older child do Adventures is having him do a program that was created for oldest children who are in 2nd or 3rd grade. It is only a 2 1/2 -3 hr day as compared to 4 hr programs above them. Again this would also be more adaptable for your K child joining in.
4. This last one does not apply to you unless you have other kids coming behind these 2. Years 4 and 5 have 2nd and 3rd grade supplements from Adventures because it is definitely too much for younger elementary kids.

I know that you will have other questions that spring from this and other posts so please feel free to ask more. Also the MFW office is always happy to help customers make a plan.

Welcome to MFW.

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Can you tell me why RTR and above are not appropriate?

Unread post by kellybell » Sun May 18, 2008 11:25 pm

KIN wrote:RTR is exactly what I would plan to cover next year, even using SOTW 2 and Apologia Astronomy. In fact, these are the ages for which SOTW was designed. Can you tell me why the RTR and above are not appropriate?

I'm just not following why it is too much? Are there worksheets? Too much reading? We are doing SOTW I this year - supplementing with lots of library books, along with Bible, First Language Lessons year 2, Science Living Learning Books, SWR and RightStart math. My son is reading chapter books. I guess I just don't follow why it is too much, when RTR is exactly what WTM recommends for 2nd grade? I must be being thick headed. :) I'm also planning to continue having my 2nd son listen in to science, history and Bible, as he is doing this year at 4. My goal is to follow the 4 year history plan 3 times, the first in grades 1-4, the second time grades 5-8 and again in grades 9-12. Again, what is it that is too difficult for a 2-3 grader in these subjects? Thanks so much for your help ladies, you are giving me a lot to consider.

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:10 am
You're wise to think about these things now (vs. in August, when the rest of us tend to think of these things...).

I agree with Lucy that RTR can simply be "too much" for a younger child, even a bright, chapter-book, inquisitive younger child.

MFW tries to pick the best books for each year to accomplish the purpose of the program. So, in addition to SOTW, which is a "younger" book, you are also reading things like certain Usborne books (a bit "older" than SOTW, IMO) and Streams of Civilization, which is a high school history book. The parent draws from these sources and presents them to her children in a way they can understand it. Also, we are reading Augustus Caesar's World and Galen, Gateway to Medicine, which I consider to be about 5th grade level (how do you really put a level on a book???)

We are currently doing RTR right now with a 2nd grader (he just turned 8, so he's an older 2nd grader), a 5th grader, and a 7th grader; we've also got a kindergartner. RTR is "just right" for us as a family, but I can see that certain things go over my son's head (and he's a pretty bright kid, a lot like your son, reading early, reading lots, hungry for knowledge). My older two girls are "getting it" a lot more than my 2nd grader, but I know that he'll get it again in a few years, along with his little sister (she listens in and enjoys hearing the stories, but I don't think she's retaining much of it -- she knows the gory stuff like Galen studying the innards of gladiators injured in battle, etc.)

I would also recommend doing ECC first. It has such a good missionary focus. To me, there seems to be two kinds of learning in ECC: lots of facts (the kids learn the locations of 100s of countries and learn about several different biomes) and lots of "heart learning" where children see over and over the depravity and hunger for Christ in this world. They get a good "feel" for how people of this world live (which tends to be in fear or in Christ).

I think some newcomers to MFW think that MFW is "light" because it doesn't take all day and it doesn't require you to buy $400 worth of extra books each year. MFW is NOT light. It's enjoyable and it's not a huge stress or a big time-consumer (you'll still have time for dc's karate class, soccer team, piano lesson, or scout group). However, MFW is a really complex program where kids learn to scout out information, where they develop a heart for the people God created, where they enjoy learning.

Yes, my ds (the 2nd grader) is hanging in there with RTR and he "gets" a lot of it ... on a 2nd grade level. However, I look forward to him revisiting it later when he can understand a lot of what is going on at a deeper and more meaningful level.


Unread post by cbollin » Sun May 18, 2008 11:26 pm

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:13 am


I think you are asking good questions to see if MFW is the best fit for next year or maybe in a few more years (the second time through chronological history). I don't think you are "thick headed" at all. {hug} It is just difficult to try to explain some of it without the actual books in front of us and a good cup of coffee.

You may be able to use RTR to meet your family's goals. It isn't so much that it couldn't be used, but rather if you want to leave a lot out and not go for the full package. The content and depth level is geared more for the second time through chronological history.

RTR is more than Apologia and SOTW vol. 2. Those books are suitable for your oldest. (I think they fit a varied range of ages and abilities -- not just 2nd grade.) And so will many of the other books used in science (The Body Book, The Human Body for every Kid, the roman empire).

You would also have to decide when and how you want to discuss topics in science such as human reproduction. That is covered in RTR as well. MFW uses some gentle books for that, but you have to decide on that.

RTR also uses Streams of Civilization and Augustus Caesar's World as "spines". These are better used with children older than 2nd grade. They were not written with a 2nd grade student in mind. Another part of RTR is in the middle ages study, you get into a lot of church history and martyrdom with Trial and Triumph. Some of us don't want that part at 2nd grade level.

How much memory work do you want for Bible verses? RTR begins to work on memory work in passages rather than just selected verses. Again, some 2nd graders don’t have any problem with that.

Some of the read alouds are just better done when the child is older. Bronze Bow and Twice Freed and Door in the Wall. And the Galen book. I'm just glad that my oldest was in 4th grade with these books. I would have preferred she was even one year older.

And then there is God and the History of Art. This is published by How Great Thou Art, and they don't recommend this book below 10 years old.

It is not just the time frame of history that is the issue. There is more than SOTW to consider. In fact, you don't use SOTW until you are ending your Rome study (somewhere around week 12 I think)

You can adjust the amount of writing in any program to fit your child's ability. And also with book basket --- a lot of this can vary in ability.

There's a lot of time to decide on things like this. Keep asking questions.


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Unread post by melinda » Sun May 18, 2008 11:27 pm

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:41 am

If you are thinking in the classical mindset, then RTR would be a perfect fit for a 6th grader, going through the information for the second time (because you'd study Rome in 2nd, 6th and 10th grades, right?). It's taken me a little time to realize that classical is great info, but if I want to do it with MFW, I just have to wait. I've enjoyed MFW and the enjoyment my children feel when they study. Even I considered CTG for my 1st grader this year, but then what would I use for 5th grade?

In all my zeal and eagerness to have the best-educated kids, I had forgotten that they are just young children and waiting is not that big of a deal. We are using MFW Grade 1, introducing the historical elements of a classical education, and are truly enjoying our year. I hope you find what works for you!

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Unread post by 4Truth » Sun May 18, 2008 11:28 pm

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:10 am

Melinda's post is along the lines I was thinking, too. MFW includes soooo much in their lesson plans that if you eat all the meat when the child is 7 or 8, what will you feed him when he's 11 or 12? Sure, you can hang onto MFW and use it again at a deeper level when the child is older, but when I tried to use ECC (which is recommended for 3rd grade and up, I believe?) with my 6 and 9yo's, I ended up having to do most of the work *for* my 6yo. Sure, she would've gleaned from it had I continued it with my 9yo (and I probably should've)... I'm just thinking that you may end up having to skip more than you realize by using RtR with a 2nd grader, when you don't have an older child to be working it with. SOTW by itself is written for 2nd graders or thereabouts. But MFW includes a LOT more than just SOTW. kwim?

If your heart is set on it, of course, it's your decision. Just realize that the Hazells with all their experience have been pretty accurate in what grade levels they assign to the different packages. At least that's what I've discovered so far. Every child in MFW does their own level of math and LA anyway, so you'd be fine to continue what you're doing there. I just know that with my oldest, who was a very bright, early reader, enthusiastic learner, and seemed like she could do anything I set in front of her.... I discovered as she grew that there were a lot of deeper concepts in life that she just wasn't prepared for. A child can be academically ahead and very enthusiastic (like my Kayla was at that age), but there's still maturity level in the bigger world/life concepts to consider. THAT is why MFW waits until later on some of this stuff.

Continue praying about it. You have some time before next year... or even spring HS conventions if you're planning to buy there. I'm still a little undecided as to which level we're doing next year, too, but I hope to make a decision (and have money!) by convention time.

(((HUGS))) So hard to decide when we want the very best for our children! :o)

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Unread post by LSH in MS » Sun May 18, 2008 11:28 pm

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:41 am

I am doing RTR with my 4th and 3rd graders with 1st grader listening in.

I have to adapt it for my 3rd grader, but my 4th grader does it as written.

If you did RTR you would probably want to adapt it somewhat for 2nd grade by

Reading Roman times (Usborne) and reviewing SOTW 1 instead of doing Augustus' Caesar's World. Choose the book basket books listed for younger children to use as readers\ read alouds. EX Detectives in Togas, Triumph for Flavius, etc.

For Science you would mostly use the Body book and How the body works with additional books from the library.

I am only on week 7 so I cannot comment on the middle ages, but it would be similar (focusing on SOTW 2 and Astronomy).

The schedule is nice and the integrated Bible is nice, just realize that you would have to adapt it to fit your child. If you have other children who would use it later it might be worth it. Only you can know that.

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Unread post by Lucy » Sun May 18, 2008 11:29 pm

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:51 am

What great responses you have received from the other ladies on this topic. I too agree that you are asking good questions.

MFW does not follow a pure classial model so as I had mentioned in my first post we do 3 rounds through history but not as indepth the first time.

I think I would agree with waiting but, if you feel after all the info. and prayer that you will go for RTR, you could then the following year go back to Advevtures (American) instead of years 4 and 5, and then begin with ECC the following year. Years 4 and 5 add not only U.S. but world history and is a lot of information for children younger than 4th grade. Again it is not only SOTW that is being used. This would of course bring you back to RTR a little sooner but with so many years in between I do not think it would matter.

Hope we are helping you!

Julie - Staff
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Just finishing 2 years of Intro to World History

Unread post by Julie - Staff » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:52 am

Jennifer in Holland wrote:I love the strong Biblical emphasis going through Creation to the Greeks and Rome to the Reformation, but we're just finishing 2 years of Intro to World History and really can't imagine spending another two years going through it again so soon.
Posted: April 2008
I have done both Core 1 Intro to World History and Creation to the Greeks (well, we are on about the last 6 weeks of CTG right now). They are totally different programs.

In CTG the Bible is your history spine. Your kids will get lots of biblical history, and they will learn how it fits into the scope of everything else that was going on then too. I love how biblical history is integrated with world history in the MFW programs. The Old Testament has really come alive for my kids this year. They are coming away from CTG with a feeling that all those bible stories are not just stories -- they really happened!! And they are excited about it like never before.

This is not to say that you should start with CTG -- just that if/when you do cover that year with your kids, it won't be a repeat.


What if we've already done Ancients?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:30 am

Blessed wrote:If dd(9) already has already done the Ancients part of MFW (albeit with another program), would we begin with Year 3 of MFW-Rome to Reformation OR should we still do ECC first? I know she'll enjoy ECC, but I'm concerned she'll be bored if she finds herself doing Creation to Greeks again? Am I worrying for nothing?

I need something that will help me to combine my kids and will offer more variety in order to add that spark into younger ds' eyes. I am tired of feeling like I'm not doing enough for him or that he is missing out, and that dd is not getting what she needs. I need some guidance in saying here your older can do this, but your younger does not (and that it is O.K.). Does that make sense?

Trying a new curriculum is a little daunting to say the least. I am very appreciative, however, of all those who respond in trying to help me find a balance. May God bless you and keep you.
Mom to 2 beautiful gifts from God, dd(9) and ds(7)
My suggestion is to call the MFW office and speak with some of them directly. They are really helpful on the phone to walk and talk through options and able to help personalize it for you.

My opinion is to go with ECC for the 4th and 2nd grader as base program. (I'm not sure what the 2nd grader will need in terms of finishing to learn to read. That's a separate issue.) ECC will really be foundational to understanding where in the world places and people are and helping to develop a love for all people.

After that I would go with Creation to the Greeks instead of Rome to the Reformation. Yes, there would be some repeat, but just consider this year as overview to the ancients. You don't want to miss how MFW uses the Bible as a spine through ancients and getting to understand Old Testament.


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Next year question

Unread post by dhudson » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:53 am

mamabear23cubs wrote:I am really enjoying MFW ECC with my 10 yo 5th grader. Last year we hit along the lines of ancient history and my daughter is almost done reading Story of the World volume 1. I am thinking about skipping MFW's Acient year and go straight into the Rome to the Reformation package. I don't think I would need English from the Roots up but I like how it's about Greek and Latin. I can do the Greek part over summer and move into the second half when we start the Rome to the Reformation package. It has the science I want to do with my oldest and that is why I want to use it.
Just looking for opinions about skipping a year since we already hit on some ancient stuff last year with another program.
I wouldn't. CTG is a foundational year for RTR. CTG also looks at history from the point of view of the Bible. It brings cultures in as they touch the Bible times and the Israelites lives. It gave us a new and different perspective on when things happened and made the Old Testament come alive. CTG also is my favorite year with all the feasts and festivals and showed us how God was preparing the Israelites for Jesus even though their ceremonies.

Thank you for serving our country and sacrificing for us. God Bless You!
God Bless,
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

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Re: Next year question

Unread post by mgardenh » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:53 am

You can always e-mail the MFW office or call. They are great about helping you decide what is best for your family. My opinion would be that it depends if your previous program used the Bible as the core of history and you feel your children have a good Christian worldview of history then you are probably good to to RTR. You know what's best for you family and God will give you wisdom and guidance. Praying for that for you
DH to Laurel
SAHD (mostly) to
Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
Have used MFW, k, 1st, Adventures, and ECC, CTG, RtR

Julie in MN
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Re: Next year question

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:35 pm

mgardenh wrote:My opinion would be that it depends if your previous program used the Bible as the core of history and you feel your children have a good Christian worldview of history then you are probably good to to RTR.
This would be the most important decision-maker for me, as well. SOTW-1 is not used in MFW's ancient history -- the Bible is the spine. So, as children begin their journey through the history of the world, they are grounded in the beginning of history -- God's creation and how man fell away from God. They see the Bible as historical alongside a typical history sequence.

But if my child had had a good grounding in the beginning of God's history, then RTR would definitely be a good choice after ECC.

As far as starting English From the Roots Up in RTR, here's a post in the RTR archives that might help:

I'm sure you'll have a great year, whatever you decide!
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: Next year question

Unread post by mamabear23cubs » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:12 am

thanks for the replies. After looking more into it, I could use some of the ideas/books from that last curriculum when we do the year after RtR. It seems to work out because we be doing American History right before we return to the states.

Posted Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:15 am by mamabear23cubs
My family is going to continue with MFWs for the fall. I just ordered Creation to Greeks and Fist Grade. I will have a 6th, 2nd, and 1st graders for the fall. I was going to skip and go to Rome and the Reformation but end the end we are going with Creation to Greeks.

BTW, we did have a good year with MFWs ECC and a so so year with MFW K. I hope we have another good year with MFW.
Mama to a handful of children and married to a US Sailor.
2011-2012 MFW's RtR for everyone along with MUS, FLL, WWE and ACE

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Questions about the Cycle CTG thru Modern?

Unread post by TravelBug » Fri May 20, 2016 9:57 am

gratitude wrote:
Fri May 20, 2016 9:46 am
We loved using MFW for many years. I am thinking about coming back to it in the fall for the rest of High school. I have been praying a lot this winter and spring about what direction the LORD wants me to take for the rest of our home school years. I need manageable days with my youngest who has special needs. I have some questions as I try to follow His lead and make some decisions.

My older three this coming fall will be in 7th, 5th, and 4th grades. This puts all 3 of them in the cycle. When we did ECC they were in 4th, 2nd, and first. Last school year I did do ADV a second time with my two middles who at the time were in 3rd and 2nd. All 3 have used MFW1. The middle two also did MFWK. So all 3 have experience with MFW.

We do a lot of Bible in our home so much of the material in CTG would be familiar to all 3 of them. This doesn't mean we shouldn't start with CTG, I just wanted to include that information. My oldest did do Creation to Christ with Heart of Dakota for 5th grade. He would have liked MFT CTG better since in CTG Scripture was the spine, instead of a book.

None of them have done any RTR history, but the older two boys have listened to Diana Waring volume 2 in the car. My oldest has read most of MOH volume 2.

Their American History for all 3 is Adventures and my oldest's extensive history reading that includes more books then I can list. The older boys have listened to most of Diana Waring volume 3 which is world and American history combined. A similar idea to MFW's approach to history in the last two years of the cycle.

So where do we start if we return to MFW in the fall?

I thought of CTG. My second would then have 5th - 8th thru the cycle in order.
I thought of RTR since none of them have had any focus on that era and I like the science in it.
I thought of Exploration to 1850 as I was under the impression there are some skills in Modern to prepare for High school composition and then the other 2 could cycle back to CTG and RTR for middle school. I also was thinking it might be his only chance for World / American History combined.

I also just started the Fossils / Evolution for science for my oldest for 6th / 7th grade from Answers in Genesis and would like to continue it for his 7th grade science. I was planning on Apologia Physical for 8th science. Is that going to work to skip Apologia General? He will be doing Saxon 7/8 for Pre-Algebra for 7th as well.

For things like Progeny Press that are not on the grid do you just put them on the grid? I was planning on doing WWS for 7th before I felt led to explore MFW again. Does that replace Writing Strands on the grid?

I look forward to any insights from those of you who have used the cycle. Does it matter where we start?
Hi, gratitude. My opinion as just another homeschool mom: I think the MOST important year of middle school history is RtR because it simply isn't covered deeply at the high school level (I haven't used WHL, yet, but I have seen the S&S and see that RtR seems to cover that time frame with a lot more depth than WHL) and it's just such an important part of history.

The second thought I have is if you feel like your son got a good understanding of Reformation History. I don't believe MOH 2 covers that (I believe that is covered in MOH 3). I'd definitely take a look at the S&S of RtR to double check that you've gotten those important historical reformers! If not, I would just start there to finish the cycle but do understand that there will be overlap with Roman History.

The only reason I'd start back with CtG for your oldest is if you want to enjoy the Feasts or if you really love the new science (I do!). Perhaps you just enjoy OT like me and want to re-live CtG. No harm there!

Your oldest will be required to cover Modern History in High School so I wouldn't be terribly concerned about fitting that in if you want to start back with CtG.

Does that help you to think things through?

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Re: Questions about the Cycle CTG thru Modern?

Unread post by Poohbee » Fri May 20, 2016 9:56 pm

Hello gratitude!

Having now completed the cycle one time and having done every year of MFW, K through 1850MOD, I was intrigued by your questions and thought I might offer my experience from one time through the cycle as we gear up to start our second time through. Your question about where to start in the cycle is a tough one. There are a number of things to consider, and you've provided great information about what your kids have already covered. I've been rolling it around in my mind for a couple of hours now, and I have a few questions, ideas, and suggestions for you.

One question: Have you talked to your kids, especially your oldest, to see where their interests lie and what they might like to learn next year? As my kids get older, I try to give them more input into various aspects of their education. I ask them for their opinions and try to take that into account in my planning, especially as they get closer to high school. I always tell my 14 yo daughter that it is HER education, and I want her to take an interest in helping me choose subjects and curriculum. Ultimately, the decision is for you to make, but it is nice to have the kids' input, too.

My first inclination was to suggest you start with RTR. It seems that your oldest, in particular, has had quite a bit of study and reading in the CTG period, and since your younger 2 will likely be able to cycle back to that, I guess I would probably suggest skipping CTG for now. I do love the fact that the Bible is the main history text in CTG, and learning about and celebrating the Biblical feasts was extremely special, but in your situation, perhaps your kids have had plenty of study in that era of history? If you want to celebrate the feasts, you could always purchase the book Celebrating Biblical Feasts and just do that as a family on your own. The feasts are often weekend things, anyway.

So, back to RTR. You said you like the science in that. If you would happen to do RTR, I would recommend trying to have your oldest join in on the human body study, even though he has his fossils/evolution study he will be doing, particularly if you will be skipping General Science. The last 4 modules of General Sci. cover the human body, and even though I have not yet used Apologia Biology, it is my understanding that it does not contain a study of the human body. So, unless your oldest has already studied human body, I would recommend he get a study of that in some way next year.

The thing I think was most valuable about General was that it taught my dd how to write a really good lab report. I like how Dr. Wile really leads the student through writing a thorough lab report in the early chapters of the book. The other really valuable thing about General would be the human body study, since they won't get that in Apologia Biology. So, that would be something for you to consider. Otherwise, you should be fine to skip General and head straight into Physical. We've only been through each course once at our house, but these are my observations of those two courses.

Back to the MFW cycle. The problem I see with you doing RTR and then EX1850 is that your oldest would miss out on the 2nd half of the American history study of the Presidents and states. Now, he did already do those in Adventures, so he has covered them at least once. And, as TravelBug said, your oldest will get modern history in high school, so you probably don't have to worry about that.

I would say, my favorite option is for you to start with EX1850 followed by 1850MOD so that there is continuity with the American history study, since it has been a few years since you've done ADV, and it will be a few years before your oldest does American history again. Also, my feeling is that many of the books and resources used in the last 2 years of the cycle are more challenging and better suited for older students. Of course, it works well for younger students to join in, but some of the books, such as Building a City on a Hill in EX1850 and the Children's Encyclopedia of American History in 1850MOD are really well-suited for students in the upper range of the recommended age span. That is just my opinion. Also, you alluded to the preparation that 1850MOD provides for high school, especially as far as composition, etc. is concerned. I believe that is true. I haven't yet used the newer recommended writing resource Writing with Skill [which includes similar outlining], but I know that there is a great deal of creating outlines and writing from an outline using the Story of the World vol. 4 activity book, so that is definitely good prep. for high school composition.

It just seems that it would work quite well for you to do EX1850, then 1850MOD, and as you mentioned, when your oldest starts high school, cycle back to CTG and RTR for your younger two, and then maybe you could do ECC again with your third for 8th, since it will have been a number of years since that child has done that year. That would be my personal recommendation for you. For science, if it turns out that you really want to do the astronomy or the human body from RTR, it would not be hard to sub out science from EX1850, in which half of the year is spent on animals and half is spent on Botany. My middle dd and I loved the Botany study, so if you haven't done that, I highly recommend that. If, perhaps, your kids have learned quite a bit about animals, you could easily insert the astronomy study or the human body study instead, as each is done for half of the year in RTR. Just another idea for you.

In regards to Progeny Press guides, Julie MN has posted on some thread how she did it with her youngest son, and that was very helpful to me. I followed her pattern. She, and we, did a PP guide 1st quarter, focused on grammar with those resources 2nd quarter, a PP guide again 3rd quarter, and finally, grammar again 4th quarter. Now, with the new writing and grammar resources, that might be different now, but it definitely works well to do a PP guide during a quarter (roughly 9 weeks) of the school year. You do that twice, and that is great. The other quarters, let your student enjoy free reading.

[Yes, WWS replaces Writing Strands on the grid.]

I hope I've helped a bit, but ultimately, the decision about where to start in the cycle will really come down to what do you want your kids to study, what do they want to study, and what do you feel will be best for all 3 kids involved and best for you, as the teacher. You really can't go wrong, because you'll cover much of it at some point, and there will always be gaps in our learning. We can't teach them all there is to learn. However, it sounds as though your oldest, especially, is a voracious reader, so that will serve him well, and he'll fill in any gaps on His own.

Just keep praying, and the Lord will guide you! I will join you in prayer! God is so faithful! He'll show you just the right path for you and for your kids.

In Christ,
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2018-2019: Adventures with 9yo boy

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Re: Questions about the Cycle CTG thru Modern?

Unread post by gratitude » Sat May 21, 2016 12:15 pm

TravelBug wrote:Hi, gratitude. My opinion as just another homeschool mom: I think the MOST important year of middle school history is RtR because it simply isn't covered deeply at the high school level (I haven't used WHL, yet, but I have seen the S&S and see that RtR seems to cover that time frame with a lot more depth than WHL) and it's just such an important part of history.

The only reason I'd start back with CtG for your oldest is if you want to enjoy the Feasts or if you really love the new science (I do!). Perhaps you just enjoy OT like me and want to re-live CtG. No harm there!
You just inspired me to look at the RTR and WHL table of contents. My understanding was that WHL goes much deeper into the material as the third sweep through the NT and that part of history. It would be interesting to know from someone who has used both if they see WHL taking the information to the deeper level and thus making RTR unnecessary for now. The first half of WHL looks similar to RTR.

I was thinking more in the Exp1850 to 1850Mod since the world history in both I thought was different then the world history in Highschool. Whereas, the USA portions are USA only in High school. Perhaps someone who has used both can help me understanding that portion.

Thanks for the RTR thoughts. They did give me something to think about.

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