Worldview - Is Adventures adequate for African American chil

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Worldview - Is Adventures adequate for African American chil

Unread post by kellybell »

skyline wrote:For background: I have 4 children - the oldest two will be 8 and 5 in the fall. I am set on using MFW k and really wanted to use Adventures too, but then I looked at it at convention and have some questions/concerns about it.

1) My children are all adopted and are all African American. I had questions about how slavery is addressed, how treatment of Native Americans is addressed - does it sugar coat everything?? Will we have to add in alot of our own resources to teach black history?

2)Looking through their sample notebook - I got the impression that it starts out with a strong American history focus and then begins to cover the States. Does it continue with detailed chron. history?? What year does it go up to? Does it cover through the Civil War?? Does it talk in detail about the war?? I couldn't tell

3)I really love that the bible and science are tied together. And I like the idea of learning the States. But I didn't know if it got confusing to follow the timeline of the history. My other thought was to get both Adventures and add another program to it. Has anyone else done this or would that we American History overkill??

Thanks for your input. I really want to love Adventures but I am not sure it is right for our family
Hi there.

Lately, I've been starting all my posts with big "disclaimers." Here goes...
DISCLAIMER: I've never done Adventures. Nor do I own it.
Okay, that said...

In the three upper level (ie. not K or 1st) MFW programs that we've done, MFW doesn't really "sugar coat" things but does provide resources that I think are age-appropriate for children and are very respectful of their young ages and innocence. I am guessing that Adventures is handled in a similar way. I know that some folks have had issues with OTHER (non-MFW) curricula introducing difficult subjects not only early in the program but also in a not-so-sensitive way. So far, MFW's resources are great for me to either use as an introduction (meaning, I'll get back to the gory details in a few years) or as a springboard (we'll have parent-led discussions based on the questions we have after reading the books).

As for our kids, they are different from yours. None are adopted; they are white kids with both northern USA and southern USA relatives. But, we must discuss slavery with them too. And, our message to them is probably the same one you give your children: with Christ we can be free indeed. And also "hate injustice."

I'm stepping onto my soapbox.

I'm wary about combining any other program with a MFW program. MFW programs are complete and full and adding another program might result in extra work for mom (as she tries to weave the two programs together and decide what to do or what to omit) or in a bogged down program (if mom tries to "do it all"). Usually, I just say to choose one program or the other, and not try to do two programs at once. It's tough with homeschooling because we've got so many wonderful resources. Sigh. What a great problem to have.

Then again, there are people that do the combining thing quite gracefully. I'm not one of them.

Stepping off my soapbox.

Pray about what to do! (I say that a lot too).
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Unread post by cbollin »

Here's a link back to a recent discussion on some of this. I want to make sure you get to read through it, so you know that you're not the only person out there thinking about this.

Here's hoping that Renai will chime back in on this thread as well. :)

Adventures will not necessarily cover much of anything in depth because it is an overview for young children. Also, MFW likes to hold off on some topics until the children are a little bit older than 2nd grade. The more cruel nature of many topics can wait until then.

You'll find a lot of positive books in the book basket about African Americans. A lot of them will be in the book basket that relates to the state study. So, no, there isn't a "black history unit" to be done in February only. We've learned about Benjamin Banneker, Ruby Bridges, G. W. Carver, just to name a few off the top of head this early in the morning. Also, I've noticed book basket books in the fiction listings that have African Americans as the main characters. They have all been family based books.

Similar idea with Native American. It isn't so much that the history gets sugar coated in ADV but rather that we hold off until they are older to deal with the heavier topics. I'm doing Exploration to 1850 with the 2nd grade reading supplement. My 5th grader is not getting a sugar coated history. But I'm glad we waited and didn't tackle all of this when she was only 8 years old. An odd story from my life in all of this. When my grandparents married, it was one of those "illegal bi-racial marriages" from the 1940's of Virginia. He was white. She was 1/4 Tutelo Indian. So, I bring that up in context with my 5th grader, but with my 2nd grader --- we just talk about the fact that "mini'maw" was Tutelo. Also, we bring up the fact that when I was a little girl, black people and white people didn't go to church together. Well, if that were the case today --- our church would be very very small and we would have fewer friends. anyway... nuf about me.

The US states overview is done in chronological order as they were admited to the union. So -- it is not a break in the flow of history.

The Civil War is not given a full study at this age. The year 5 of MFW, 1850-MT will have plenty of Civil War.

Here is a link to the sample pages of the ADV teacher's manual.
You can look at that to see how much time is given on any topic. It's not super clear what year ADV ends at from that sample. But it ends with Alaska and Hawaii becoming states and that was in 1959. However, I'll say this again -- it is at a 2nd grade level and is overview. There will be plenty of time to learn the rest of those details in the upper years when it takes 2 academic years to cover it.

just my long ramblings...

Brenda in PA
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Unread post by Brenda in PA »

Our 2 youngest children, ages 8 and 7, are from Haiti and we are nearing the end of our time with Adventures. You must keep in mind that Adventures is not an in-depth study of American History. That comes later in years 4 & 5. We have found Adventures to be a really nice and gentle overview of American History that focuses more on the geography of the United States. You can choose to cover any of the history topics as lightly, or as deeply, as you would like to. That being said, we have been very open and honest about slavery and have covered it on a level that our children can understand and deal with it at their ages. We have not sugar-coated it in any way (we just don't believe in that) but neither have we exposed them to anything that we feel is too much for them to handle. Obviously, as they mature, and when we reach years four and five, we will study slavery on a deeper level.

You mentioned the possibility of combining Adventures. I think that would be a mistake. Adventures is more than enough for the ages of your children. We were considering switching next year but, after reading the Hazell's explanation for studying countries and cultures before going in depth with history, have decided to continue with MFW using ECC next. We will then continue in the cycle of MFW.

I'm wishing you the best as you make your decision.

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Unread post by caod »


We are just ending Adventures. I will see if I can help you with an understanding of how it is laid out. It needs to definitely be viewed as an overview of the history of the United States. Each state is introduced and studied as it chronologically joins the union. Key Americans and inventors are studied along the way. The timeline is used; however, it is a very simple timeline. Just enough to give them an idea of the progression of growth. You do not add every state to the timeline. Only most of those key people and key events.

It is important to note that when it comes to history it is learned primarily though the books recommended. Native Americans are studied and identified as you look at the differnt states since in most cases those were tremendous issues as the pioneers began settling the country. At the beginning of the study most of the study with Native Am. is studied. There is a book included in the package specific to Native Am. The book Squanto is a read aloud which is a very informative read aloud.

It does cover the civil war, but not in great detail. Again, much of what you will learn will be in the books that you choose to read. For instance: books about Abraham Lincoln will give you an understanding of his convictions, books about slaves who ran to freedom, the underground railroad, famous names that I can't think of right now are all included. We read all of those and had really good discussions at our house about that part of history. I learned a lot. It would be a case of taking that as far as you wanted. When some of the Southern states are studied you will read books about famous African Americans in those places, Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver.....again, I can't remember.

I think you need to keep in mind that this is an overview of Am. History. It doesn't go into commentary or in depth about any one portion of history but is designed to give children a big picture. In my opinion it was a very balanced and informative picture of our country. I considered it very appropriate for the ages of my children. We learned detail in a very interesting way. I consider the books instrumental in understanding the aspects of history that you are talking about. How much you go into it will be up to you.

You can email me if you have more specific questions.

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Unread post by niki »

We are just finishing up the civil war, and I too have 2 African American children in my home. :) The coverage of slavery was very minimal, and the most we encountered it was in our book basket with some of our Abe Lincoln books.

Mine are younger but do enjoy the book basket with their school aged siblings and we just left out the word black and had some discussions on "buying and selling people" and why that's wrong. They also loved the animated video of Abe Lincoln that very gently approached the subject.

They have already studied "slavery" in regard to the Israelites in Egypt, so that was helpful because their minds have already been open to the idea of slavery, and most of all, God's view of slavery. I don't know how you want to approach it with an 8 y/o but I wouldn't let that keep you from using Adventures, just seek God as you open that door. It's a tough subject no matter what race. MFW presents it in a way that you get to decide where to go and how much to share about slavery in the US, I agree with other posts that it is age appropriate.
Praying for you.


Strong Tower Academy
DD 6th DS 5th DD 3rd
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Unread post by TommyGirl »

I don't have a lot to add to what others have said. We will be finishing ADV in a few weeks with a 9 yo and two 6 yos. Everyone said it very well that it is a gentle introduction to American History. We have thoroughly enjoyed it.

We are considering adopting an African American(s) so I have thought a lot about this very issue as we have been going through the Civil War unit. For me, my favorite part has been book basket. There are many age appropriate books in the library that talk about slavery and tell the story from the point of view of an African American. They are gentle, but also truthful. It has been very helpful for us to discuss slavery after we read a book. My kids eyes have been opened to how horrible it was, but yet without a lot of the details that they are not ready to handle yet - especially if you have a very sensitive child, as we do!

I also agree that ADV is quite enough in itself. You can add more read alouds or book basket books if you want more content. That is very easy to do. We read faster than the RAs are scheduled, so we have been able to add a lot of books.

I hope you have peace in your decisions. God is a very good and faithful guide.
Tiffini - Mom to Riley (10), Twins Isaac and Eva (7) (currently using ECC, have used 1st Grade and ADV)

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

Ditto on all the above posters. :)

MFW does an excellent job of presenting info and letting the parents decide how deep to dive. Our librarian was an excellent resource for me. She pulled the books she could find & let me choose from them. I felt we got just what was right for our family.

I will say that from the readers (Squanto, etc), I thought the reading portrayed a historical balance. You saw (with the Native Americans) that many settlers/pioneers were mean and hateful, yet the stories centered around characters that treated all men & women with a Godly respect. IMO, this showed the "good" side of the issue. Sugar-coated? No, I don't think so, because they didn't ignore the bad. Neither was it glorified or overly detailed.

I have had a couple of things this year that I would say I had to re-word or screen (mostly from Exploring American History), but I think any family would have to do that with any curriculum because we all have specific sensitivities.

Paige in NC
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Thank you all

Unread post by skyline »

Thanks to all that responded. I posted right before we left for our Easter trip to my mom's and just now read all your responses. Alot to think about and pray about - thanks again
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 1:03 pm

Unread post by kfrench »

Adventures covers a lot of differant aspects of African american history, you will cover alot of things if you read the suggested books in book basket. We have read about Rosa parks and segregation, one book was about a black man registering to vote and then their church getting burned down. It didn't go into detail but did empasize doing the right thing and the strength that the african american's had to have, RUby bridges goes really into segregation and tells about the mothers yelling inappropriate things at Ruby and threatening to poison her. BUt it also tells how her mother told her to take it to GOd. SHe also prayed for all the white people as she walked by them each morning. I think it was great for showing a little girl trusting in GOD. ALl the stories show african americans in a positive light. and show the stuggles they went through. One story was about how at the hospital all the white patients were see first and that they wouldn't operate until the parent paid for it even though the girl was unconsious. HER uncle had to give up his saving so she could get her operation but in the end he finally saves enough for his own babershop. Adventures is also full of other stories showing perseverance and trust in GOd and people that suffered while trusting GOd and persevere in the end despite hardships.

I have Black stepson and we lived in the south for a while so he knows about prejudice but my younger one's don't remember. The girls are very emotional about someone being treated wrong because of their skin color. It has also led to conversations about being kind and a friend to the person that is "different from everyone else" even if the others then make fun of you etc. They have actually gone out of their way to do this and are great little missionaries.

I don't remember the war being talked about in detail. Just some of the famous people in the war nothing about the dying and death.

THe book basket is the heart of Adventures and we have loved all the books.
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