Comparing - Literature-rich (MFW) vs literature-based

Julie in MN
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Comparing - Literature-rich (MFW) vs literature-based

Unread post by Julie in MN »

What made you feel MFW was the best fit for your family?
Peanutplus5 wrote:I am curious as to what made you feel MFW was the best fit for your family. On other forums, it seems that the main reason they chose something else is that the book basket is a "hinderance" to some who have used MFW. I understand that but I'd like to hear reasons "beyond" that.

Is there a place where I can read more in depth about MFW's philosophy without having to buy the workshop CD's?? I need to go back and look at the homepage... haven't been there in a few months... I'm getting so confused. Can anyone put it in simple terms?
dd (19) dd (11) ds (9) ds (7) ds (2) ds due June 29th
You might read thru some of the archives about choosing MFW & find some insight from different types of families:

For me the difference is mostly
(1) A do-able, planned out curriculum, that has been test-piloted by many types of families, with exact amounts of time allowed for,
(2) A curriculum that includes all subjects, including art & music,
(3) And probably most of all, a curriculum that has a clear worldview that prioritizes teaching my children about God through-and-through.


Finding a happy balance
Blessed wrote:I fell in love with booklists.....they were all books we wanted to read to our children. It was also all scheduled out for me.....just no related hands-on stuff. Thought I could pull that off on my own. Well, I did to some degree. But it cost $$$ to add-on....I'm just getting tired....and feel like I'm either doing too much or not enough. I would love to find something where I could find a happy balance.
Posted Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:31 pm by Julie in MN

The only SL year that we did was 7 or 100 or whatever it's called now (American History). It worked for my goals for that particular child at that time -- with adaptations as you have mentioned.

When I found MFW, it was much closer to meeting my goals and I never had any second thoughts. I wanted something that read the real Bible line-by-line, not in bits & pieces. I wanted something that taught in several ways, without expecting kids to learn by only reading stories or just doing huge, random unit study projects. I wanted solid academics with a firm worldview, not worldview via Bible verses tacked onto the bottom of workbook pages.

I think it's helpful to look at what you want, not what the curriculums have. Because truth be told, comparing curriculums is just going to send you in circles. You are wonderful parents who have chosen to school your children yourselves. If you clarify what your goals were in making that choice, a curriculum will just be a tool for working on those goals.

Well, just my random evening thoughts :o)
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 DS4home »

I really appreciate how MFW has only 1 grid with all subjects accounted for. Other programs have a grid for Bible/History, another grid for LA, and another for science.

Julie put it well with her concise 3 points! MFW is, simply put, do-able!

Celebrating our 30th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS+College Grad), & Bethany(11th)
2020: high school US Hist.1
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1
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Unread post by TammyB »

I have looked around extensively. I have wanted to purchase extras (and have almost done so a few times), but I honestly don't feel they would keep my son's attention.

The bottom line for me is that I salivate over books. If I could afford it, I would order every book package. No kidding!

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Unread post by shera »

The reason I am looking into MFW is because I want something with more Bible/ character building and something more age appropriate. My dh thinks in early elementary reading, writing and arithmetic are the important subjects and you can add any other subject for fun and interest. And it sounds to me like MFW does just that.

I am looking at MFW because it appears to me that other programs have a lot of depth in them in the early yrs even. I think that MFW has better programs in the younger ages (k through 2). Well take what I am saying with a grain of salt. At this point I haven't decided farther than that.
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Unread post by annaz »

I am doing MFW1st and adding another program. I LOVE both of these programs. In the next few years I will be at a loss on how to proceed, however, one thing that is vital to have for myself as a mom-teacher is scripted lessons that also contain discussion questions. I also like MFW's bible integration. It all comes together to make sense.

So for me it's two things...I NEED teaching help and I need bible integration. MFW offers that. Let me also mention that I enjoy the fullness of covered topics. MFW does ART and music as well. That really rounds it out.

Do they delve deeply into some of the topics like some other programs do? Not sure. If not, is it necessary to go that deep for a full understanding of some of the subjects? Just a thought I'm still pondering through.
P.S. What really helped me with MFW was listening to their convention tapes I bought and their philosphy. They're fantastic.

Unread post by cbollin »

Peanutplus5 wrote: Is there a place where I can read more in depth about MFW's philosophy without having to buy the workshop CD's?? ...
That's a open range question. Help us narrow it down a bit to answer your question a bit.... There are several of us on this board who can talk and write about MFW philosophy.

Where do we start.....

MFW at its very core is all about helping to Raise Up Generations of Godly Families who see history and the world through God's eyes and live and act according to that knowledge. While strong academics is a part of MFW, helping us homeschoolers to remember to be doers of the word is also important.

General differences in programs that are "literature based unit studies" and "literature rich programs" (MFW) is in how the books are used. There are some books that overlap in all of these programs. MFW uses them differently with different goals in mind.

Also, some programs can be done by secular homeschoolers. MFW would not work for them. Bible is not a tag on in MFW.

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MFW is a true Unit Study

Unread post by Lucy »

Hi Stacey and all,

I know it is hard when looking at different programs. I think you have gotten some good feed back so far.

There is so much in this topic that you may consider asking several questions in different topics to get more responses. You may want to do a topic on the teaching philosophy of MfW. You also may want to ask for input on the year MFW year you are getting ready to use.

I know how you feel when you say you still feel like a newbie because until I found MFW in 2002, I felt like every year I was kind of starting over. I had found some things I liked but to be honest the only thing I kept after moving to MFW was the math and I switched to Singapore 2 years ago after using something else for 6 years (I never thought I would do that). We will finish our 5th year with MFW this year.

Crystal and Julie have already done a fine job of laying out some ways that MFW stands out from other curriculum that on the surface may look the same. I would reiterate that each year in MFW is very age appropriate and that in years 4 and 5, because these are late in the cycle and they are meant for families who oldest child would be in at least in 5th and 6th grade if they had been using MFW from the beginning, they have added 2nd and 3rd grade supplement lesson plans. After a child is in 2nd grade you put all your kids in the same multi level program together using of course grade-level lang. arts and math for each child.

MFW is an easy, low-prep unit study with some hands-on activities to enhance learning. They are based on a Charlotte Mason and Classical philosophy with a strong biblical world view. (I do not know about all other programs, but some, although rich in literature, are NOT unit studies and although they have bible it is not integrated into the other subjects.)

Let me emphasize that MFW is an EASY LOW-PREP unit study. As much as possible subjects are tied together which allows you to cover more subjects in a shorter amount of time.

I know I have given you a lot of info. I was trying to help give you a picture of MFW. Maybe this will help you decide on what questions you need to ask. I hope some of it is helpful to you.


Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:38 pm

One important difference that I found is that MFW is a unit study. The other program is not. So MFW tries to connect as much learning as possible around the years history, bible, science, art, and music as well as incorporating read alouds that go with the years topics.

They both use lots of literature and as one poster mentioned many of the same books are listed in the T.M. book list but they are not required to all be read but give kids an opportunity to choose books to learn from within the context of what is being studied that week in the above areas mention. The purpose is to encourage a love for learning and reading.

The other difference which was also mentioned is bible. It is never just an add on to the program but as much as possible relates to the other subjects being studied. It is interwoven through out the program to help us all see how God hand is in all of history and the world he has made.

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

Unread post by Omma »

Hi! I'll let others explain more about comparing these programs from a philosophical point of view. I'll just comment mainly on the format. It sounds like MFW's format of the TM would be ideal for you, since you really did not like 'jumping around.' I think you will be very happy when you actually get your hands on a MFW TM. It is spiral-bound and quite orderly, and the whole approach is very thematic and 'cohesive.' If you want your homeschool life to be simplified, MFW will help you to achieve that goal.

I have used three curriculums, and I understand what you mean about not wanting to keep switching because then you might have 'gaps'. I have enough curriculum to last me three or four years because I overbought and changed my mind so many times about what we were going to use next. This is to my shame. All of this and I only have 2 dc, ages 7 and 5.

So, I would certainly advise you to pray and not overbuy your curriculum. Try to wait until you can make a sure decision and just go with it for the year.... then reevaluate how things went at the end of that year and go from there.

Learning from tough experience,

Literature-rich vs. literature-based

Unread post by cbollin »

Peanutplus5 wrote:
cbollin wrote: General differences in programs that are "literature based unit studies" and "literature rich programs" (MFW) is in how the books are used.
What is the difference? I am clueless!! :(
Here's what I think I am saying. I hope some of this makes sense.

From my experiences with literature-based styles, you start with historical fiction or other "living books." You enjoy the book and then you have to have questions and guides and other resources to teach the facts.

With a literature-rich style (like MFW) you start with the facts and then use the historical fiction books and other living books to add in the flavor of history and to help develop a love for books. You teach and then enjoy books. Not each book has to be quizzed on this way.

Ever watched a sporting event on TV? You have 2 styles of commentary. You have the play by play action (the facts) and you have the color commentary (all of those silly little fun things about the players and their families). Well, both are important for helping to experience the whole of the game. Literature based programs are like hearing the color commentary first and then the play by play action later. Literature rich are hearing the play by play and then color commentary last.

If you start with the color commentary, you might miss the game details or have to spend a lot of time having someone review it for you.

If you start with play by play, you can pause (thanks to all that cool technology we have) and add in the color commentary. Just dont' forget to un-pause the tv.

Another analogy.
Imagine taking a field trip with your students: you could just show up and enjoy the trip and the sights and smells. But you can get so much more out of the experience if you prep a bit before the trip.

Literature-based: It's like taking a field trip and just being told to go here and then go there and bounce around a bit. As you get to each place you pull out a tour book to explain what you are doing. In essense the field trip becomes the lesson and the how to teach it. You better have a bunch of questions and answers for the teacher so she can pull all the cool facts together.

Literature-rich: You start with teaching the facts (narrataive textbooks in MFW's case) and then add in the enrichment with historical fiction and other style of living books. In essense, when you have the children use narration and notebooking they have the facts more cemented in their heads. Then when they add in the living books -- it helps it to come into full color.

Back to my field trip analogy..... you give the lesson first from the tour book and then go visit the place. So instead of the "field trip" being the lesson, it is the extra and the enrichment of the lesson.

Anyway... that's how I felt from using a literature-based program compared to using MFW style.

One of the reasons I like to use MFW is that it gives me the tour book (narrative texts) and then puts me on the field trip (living books). MFW gets me from here to there without leaving out the fun stops along the way.

Another reason I like MFW has nothing to do with how living books are used. It has to do with the fact that MFW does not tack on Bible and worldview as a side dish.

Also -- I like the notes in the teacher's manual. It's not just a tack on at the end of a grid.

As others have mentioned, pray about it. The Lord knows you and He cares about all things. I know MFW is an answer to prayer for my teaching style and thinking style and it helps me to get it done.

Last edited by cbollin on Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post by Peanutplus5 »


I want to start something and continue with it so that my kids don't have large "gaps" in their learning. I know it seems like I am trying to figure it out before i get my curriculums but I have all this time on my hands BEFORE the new baby gets here and I am really trying to gather as much information now because in 2 more months, you can forget it! haha!

I don't remember if I said this before or not but I did NOT enjoy school. I made good grades because I could memorize things for a test and then I just forgot them. I never applied myself because noone ever made things interesting enough for me to want to. I was always bored in school... even in the "honors" classes they put me in didn't spark anything in me. I also didn't start off wanting to hs. So all this is SOOOOOOO new to me. Especially the terminology. And NOONE in my family homeschools!! (not to mention, they are not super supportive)

All that to say, I feel like I am learning greek but I am so overwhelmed with it all that I don't even know what questions to ask and how to word them. I have read lots of books on HS and they have helped but I am a hands-on person and sometimes need the *word pictures* to help me "get it." It makes me feel dumb but I really appreciate you taking the time to word things the way you did. That makes so much more sense! I am actually looking more forward to MFW because of this. You described how I "think" my kids and I will like to learn. I will now concentrate more of my efforts on MFW.

Anyway, I am rambling again. I just want you and the others to know how much I appreciate your time. I started this thread thinking that there was no way that I could think MFW would be best. I am now convinced that there is more to MFW than I realized and will definitely spend some time finding out more about them.

Thanks again, :-)
Stacey ** wife to my Prince Charming, Joe

Mom to:
dd (19) dd (11) ds (9) ds (7) ds (2) ds due June 29th
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Applying what you learn

Unread post by annaz »

Crystal, your analogies on literature rich and literature based are fantastic. If I only had something to apply what I learned to, whether it was living books or a good field trip, I would have gotten so much more out of my schooling.

A good field trip meant nothing to me unless I learned first, then was able to "see" it, to read something real about it.

I can relate to what you're saying. I knew I loved MFW for what, ....... reason # 1,000,000,001! LOL!
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Unread post by MJP »

I'll give this a try. My husband thinks everyone looks much happier since we switched to MFW. He works next door (our business) so he is in and out a lot and has a good feel for our day. I think we have a lot more fun.

I love our notebooks. Now what we learn one year is not quickly forgotten, because the children have beautiful notebooks to peruse.

I have seven children and needed a program that I could really combine with. My children continually say that "together time" (our term for MFW) is their favorite part of the school day. I also can't believe how much we have learned.

I am tired of searching for the "perfect" curriculum. There will always be something new. MFW does all the things I wanted SL to do. (I have not used WP). I don't have to be the queen of white-out anymore (I looked for something new the day one of my children asked, "If we have to use this much white out, why don't we just read something else?)I am pleased with MFW's Bible focus and integration (We love the Scripture memory!), the "do-able" projects (I'm not crafty!), and the great books....even book basket. I am just now starting to get into the book basket. I dragged my feet a little in this area. I did buy some Henty and Bethlehem books in case I couldn't make it to the library, but I am now enjoying book basket. The kids LOVE it!

We had a new baby that cried for 6 weeks (She is better now!), serious colds that wouldn't go away, chicken pox (Yes, all seven!), and a complete upstairs remodel this year, and I am still going to complete the curriculum around the end of June. We will enter our third year of MFW in the fall. We have found something to stick with. I am not sure exactly what you are looking for, but perhaps our experience will help you. I agree with the post that proposed prayer. That should always be our first step.
Wife of 1 for 18 yrs. Mom of 7--ages 1-15--1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th and 9th grades & (one on the way)
Psalm 16:8
Currently using--1850 to Modern Times
Previously--MFW K , 1st, CtoG, RTR, Exp. to 1850
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Remembering that less is truly more

Unread post by Peanutplus5 »

Thanks Melissa. This truly does help. We are on baby number 6 although the oldest is on her own and we travel, too. For example, we were gone the whole month of December to a different state with my dh's job. Funny, that never occurred to me... I could bring MFW with me much easier and use a library wherever we are... hmmmmmm

Anyway, we are always having interruptions. Not that everyone else doesn't but that is so what I want! something doable that I don't have to feel guilty about not getting it all done.

I think the hardest thing to remember in any situation is that a lot of times "less truly is more." Not that MFW offers less of an education but it sounds more doable. And for me, it's easier to "add in" than "leave out" ESPECIALLY if I have paid for the books! haha!

So all that to say THANX! Hearing your story is very helpful! And thinking about your dh helped too. My dh is home 90% of the time and we so LOVE our family time together like taking the day off on a whim and going to the zoo or the park or wherever! And I have to remember that's a big part of our life... living life!

Stacey ** wife to my Prince Charming, Joe

Mom to:
dd (19) dd (11) ds (9) ds (7) ds (2) ds due June 29th
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Unread post by Lucy »


Remember you can always add more books to book basket to enrich whatever you are studying. You are not limited to the ones that are listed in the TM and if you cannot find one of the books listed for book basket that is o.k. since those books are never specifically assigned by name or page number in the T.M. I know many people use other lists to order more books from (although as Crystal has said they are a lot of the same books just presented and used in a different way).

Great job Crystal on your analogies and explaining the differences in lit. based and lit. rich. Excellent!!

Love in Christ,
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
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Our year has been a joy.

Unread post by niki »

I'd like to add from an experience I had this afternoon. It's Friday, (hooray - our light day, a day for friends) my friend and her kids came over for lunch and fun. She brought some math curriculum for me to browse, we talked about our upcoming convention INCH, and our whole shopping game plan :)

She saw my MFW catalog and asked me about it. I smiled thinking back over our school year (we only have 3 weeks left - hooray) and there wasn't a time where I pulled out ADV and I ever heard a moan or complaint about school. My kids have really enjoyed this year, and the last years with MFW. Sure, some days it was hard getting them rounded up for school in the morning, or doing math, or even PLL at times, but thank you MFW, our year has been a joy.

I hope this will give you a flavor of MFW - it's delicious.

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Unread post by ChristyH »

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:44 am

I do have some experience here. We switched this summer from a literature-based program to MFW. I will say that this switch is the best thing we have ever done in terms of schooling. My children like school and "I" like school again. Everyone is retaining more and enjoying it.
My DH even commented on how much the children talk about what they are learning.
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Unread post by bethben »

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:18 am

We are sticking with MFW. We did like the literature program, but ds really needed more than just a bunch of good books. He needed to DO stuff and not have to sit through more reading with his wiggly body. I like that MFW has activities scheduled and gives enough time to do them. I don't have to think of hands on stuff for my love to do stuff guy. I liked that Adventures included mostly picture books in the book basket. Yes, ds can listen to longer chapter books, but he's still 7 and still likes picture books. It made it easier to include my 3 year old.

I just didn't want to spend most of the school time reading. I wanted more hands on learning and the notebooking and hands on projects has really helped ds to learn and experience history, not just hear about it. I guess if I had a lot of girls who like being read to and didn't get squirmy, I might consider it, but having experienced the difference, I would still stick with MFW.

I also liked that I didn't have to add Charlotte Mason touches like the art and the music (among other things). It was all included for me so I didn't have to look beyond the TM for what I felt was more well rounded of an education.

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our experience

Unread post by my3boys »

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:34 pm

I've used 4 levels of a literature program and both that and MFW are wonderful programs and I don't think you can go wrong with either. I think probably if I only had one child or 2 very close together I would have continued and not gone looking for something else.

Literature programs have a HUGE amount of reading aloud to be done by you - the reading also covers a lot of material. By the third one, my ds was beginning to have trouble retaining all the information that was being read to him. I think if you added notebooking it would help with this (but that is not included in the program).

I also never fit in electives like music and art - I bought them, but they're not in the schedule and they didn't get done.

I do plan on using Western Hemisphere at some point when all my kids are ready for it and possibly one of their highschool cores.

Now for MFW - I love their schedule and guidebook so much more! EVERYTHING is included - math, math drill, nature study, art, foreign language, vocabulary, music, science, LA, copywork, bible, history, and more. It is more structured which some people may count as a negative, but it helps you be organized and get it done without missing a thing - that's a BIG positive in my book.

Lessons are short and school is done by early afternoon. There are activities that help kids think about and narrate what they've learned (the notebooking is my favorite) and this helps them remember the material.

With MFW the read-alouds and readers are not included in the package for the most part - which means that I have the flexibility to choose my own, which I love (you just have to remember to plan for and include readers and read-alouds :0)). It is easier to combine a wider age range of children with MFW.

There is a difference in the way Bible is taught as well - with MFW it is fully integrated into the other subjects. The only thing that I don't think I will care for is the apologia science and eventually both programs use this.
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Location: New Mexico

Unread post by Renai »

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:13 pm

We started out with another preK and K. Then I found MFW and have done 1st, finishing Adventures and will move into ECC next year. Actually, it was the ECC that drew me to the curriculum in the first place. Although I like the 4-year history idea, I also wanted dd to have some American history in the beginning. I also wasn't keen on introducing the various gods and goddesses that other curriculum get into when discussing ancient history (dd also wasn't too keen on it either), and liked the idea that in MFW the first reader is the Bible.

But, of course, like you'll hear most say, I didn't want to miss the great books. Dd as well is a listening sponge and loves to be read to. So, I spent time going through the catalogs, comparing the books MFW uses (not including book basket, as those are only listed in the manual). I was pleasantly surprised to find that through the course of using MFW, we would be reading the same books; this was just comparing the books MFW lists as required. I even had a chart set up on Word listing books that looked like MFW didn't have. I drove myself crazy.

Then, I got the Adventures manual. Just looking through week 16, most of the books I had looked at are suggested for book basket, or included with the package. So, I wouldn't be missing anything! And, I could decide what I wanted to read, when. And, I wouldn't feel guilty about not getting to or not liking a book that I purchased. And, (like all my sentences beginning with "and"?), I was also pleasantly surprised to find out I have a great library :). Although, I will be requesting some math related books suggested in first grade.

So, that's our story. What was the question again? Sure hope I answered it, lol! I've told bits and pieces of our story, but this is the first time I've written it all out.
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Unread post by mgardenh »

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:34 pm

I used something else for k and 1st and then switched to MFW 1st before getting through the other 1st.

My number 1 reason: With 1 kid in first grade, we could not get it done in a day most of the time and although they say you can use the same program with two kids, my dd's are three years apart and it is not recommended with that age difference. I thought there is no way I can do 2 cores with dd's.

Reason #2: You read and read and read and read and read and did I mention you read a lot. Don't get me wrong I love to read and I love the good books but I felt a lot of the books cover things over dd head at k and 1st or things just not appropriate for her age. DD loved to read but she dreaded school. With MFW she enjoys school, she loves the activities, and we get done every day and have not but once not got a day done before noon. Before we were taking the whole day and still not finishing.

Reason #3: The focus on the Bible as a valid history text which it seems most of the other "Christian" curriculums don't seam to really advocate or use as history. I mean it is a Christian view we want our children to have so why not use the Bible as central to history?

Reason#4: The character development my dd was not getting with the other bible portion (not trying to be offensive just what I saw). I personally thought the book for bible portion too boring and complex. I love the simple memorize a proverb and apply it to life. The character development with MFW - awesome and terrific. My dd has grown by leaps and bounds.

Reason #5: Affordability. MFW is affordable.

I could go on but I won't.
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Unread post by henryteachers »

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:42 pm

We love the hands on activities, notebooking, book basket, and Charlotte Mason ideas of MFW. But love the great books of other programs that we can add in. We also love adding SL's science DVDs to use with the science experiments that are in MFW lst grade and Adventures.
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Unread post by Happy2BMotherof3 »

Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:21 am

I have used both. I found out about MFW through the forum for my first curriculum.

I loved reading to my children....and it is good...but it was just too much everyday. My voice was going all the time, and it seemed we'd take forever with school. Most of the books at the K level were not appropriate or were over my kids heads. I would recommend some of the books that were in the K level for my son who is 9 but not a 4-5yo. He would comprehend it better than a 4-5 yo would.

I also felt there was something missing. Sure I enjoyed reading to my kids...and thought the books were great, but something was just missing. That wasn't till I found MFW and started using it that I realized what it was. It was everything MFW is.... The strong bible based curriculum, the art, the music.

The price is way too expensive....when all your getting is books.....and having to add too many things in with it to fit.

I'm sticking with MFW for good. It's a good fit for our family. :D My kids love it too. That's important. The price is also much more reasonable.
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Has Anyone Switched to MFW?

Unread post by goatsandadonkey »

Blessed wrote:Our children are 9yo and 7yo (4th grade & 2nd grade this year). We have currently covered from Creation to Ancinet Greece. We've read alot and I've tried to add in hands-on stuff to supplement, but I still don't think they've quite gotten the same thing. We never did the Feasts of the Bible for example. And as for our Intro to World Cultures, we LOVED all the books we read but aside from map work (locating the countries on the map), I don't feel we really got an introduction to the cultures themselves. We did alot of reading, but I was at a loss as to how to bring the cultures alive or have enough time to do it b/c we had another book to read. Anyway, I'm just uncertain as to what to do. Any wisdom would be greatly apprecieated.
Last year with my DS6 and DS4 was pretty good, but we just got really worn out by the end. There was so much to read! And we stayed on the same topic FOREVER! And I really wanted more hands-on stuff, but couldn't come up with it all by myself (keeping with my DD2 and new baby boy).

I initially planned to do MFW this year as a transitional year. But I am feeling like we are going to want to stick with MFW because it just feels better to me. We're only on Day 2, but it just seems so gentle and friendly to me.

Just my experience..
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:22 am

Has Anyone Switched to MFW?

Unread post by perkins7nac »

I wrote a post on the yahoogroup for families who use MFW just yesterday. I posted the subject there as: "Why I am grateful to MFW." Posted on yahoogroup:

"I've been pondering something, and I wanted to share with you ladies here. I am so grateful to the MFW curriculum.

I was using another program for primary learning when my older kids started school and felt they were not getting the point of the basics -- maybe it's better to say I felt my kids were frequently distracted by a desire to get back into an interesting storyline and wanted to rush through the 3Rs without really focusing on the skills they were supposed to be retaining.

While I love good stories, when those stories seemed to distract the kids from learning the skills of reading, writing and arithmetic, my DH and I really began to get frustrated.

I cannot express how grateful I am to MFW for their emphasis on solid foundational learning -- and for their brilliance in finding a way to: 1) make it doable, and 2) make it fun and interesting without the theme distracting from the basic skills! I think it's such a fine line -- to blend the right amounts of fun with the important skills of learning to read etc and to keep it to the right amount of effective work.

Btw, I want to be sure I'm not misunderstood ... I am not trying to disrespect the other approach or to say they do not have a good curriculum. They really do -- but it wasn't a good match for us for primary learning. (I hope I've expressed this well ... I'd hate to be misinterpreted.)

But that's really not all. Right now, we are in a major shift in our family -- changing emphasis on how we make our living, and I really do not have the time to devote two or three hours per child individually to their schooling. The kids are working in our business, as well, and they need to be able to do their school work and still have adequate time and energy to be of help in our family business and still have a little time to be kids. It's just such a blessing to find a ready-made curriculum that offers all that, too.

Just feeling overwhelmed with gratitude and I wanted to express it. Thanks for reading."

I hope this gives you some food for thought,

Karen Perkins, mom to five kids ages 14 to 6
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 9:14 am

Unread post by RB »

Posted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:46 pm

Someone on this forum said that MFW is what they'd hoped their other curriculum would be. That is exactly our experience, too!!!

On the day I was trying to explain Buddhism, Hinduism and the Indian caste system to my 5 and 6 y.o girls I put the manual down and never looked back. As we studied Ancient History they had been asking questions like, "Mommy, if people believe in those other gods how do we know that Jesus is real?" Good questions for older kids. Truth was becoming jumbled for them b/c they were plain old too young.

It took several months to find MFW, but this has been a wonderful year!!!! Before we ordered Adv and 1st I heard a David Hazell CD and loved the philosophy behind the program...biblical foundation, the best elements from classical and Charlotte Mason, book basket, not pushing too hard too soon, the list goes on and on.
P.S. In all fairness, there are great things about both, it just wasn't the best fit for our family.
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