DELUXE - Do you recommend this for CTG?

Including using "English From The Roots Up," "God & the History of Art," & Composer Studies
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Jenn in NC
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Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:00 pm

DELUXE - Do you recommend this for CTG?

Unread post by Jenn in NC » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:44 am

dascott wrote:I plan to purchase CTG at the convention next month. My question is, should I invest in the Deluxe or use the Basic? I would appreciate any opinions and/or suggestions anyone might have. Thanks so much.

Hi Dedra,

I suppose that the "correct" answer is you will have a rich and full year either way... but I am one of those who bought the basic package, and then regretted it and went back for the deluxe items once I actually had the curriculum in hand.

Maybe it is just a personal preference, but my kids and I have really enjoyed the additional music and the read aloud's especially. I originally thought I would put together their music time on my own, and just use some classical cd's we already have -- that would have been fine but I would never have actually gotten around to it. Having it listed in the TM makes it very easy for me to just pop in the cd and go. Even my 2yo likes it (who knew?!).

And the r/a's are priceless, imo. Some of the best read alouds we have done; and I thought they wouldn't tie in to the curriculum at all, but (at least for us) they have. For example the book Tanglewood's Secret has so much to do with shepherding and who the Good Shepherd is, and in the basic package the kids spend several weeks studying Ps 23.

Just some thoughts from our experience.
mommy to four boys & two girls... and another boy on the way :)
completed K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CTG and RTR
2009--2010 Enjoying Exploration to 1850


Unread post by cbollin » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:49 am

Ditto to what Jenn in NC said.

I'm also glad we did the English from the Roots Up. It is used in CTG and RTR.

And even though we didn't always do all of the artwork in God and the History of Art, it is a great book to use over 4 years of history lessons. It's good information in there for older kids.

I've always gone with the deluxe packages and been very happy that I spent the extra money. It's never felt like wasted money. But don't spend what you don't have. As Jennifer said, you'll get a good program either way.


Jenn in NC
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:00 pm

Unread post by Jenn in NC » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:03 am

Oh yeah! I forgot that EFRU is actually part of the deluxe package. I wouldn't want to be without that either. The kids actually have a ball with it, which totally surprised me. (It is just too much fun to try out those new big words at the dinner table with daddy, you know.)

Also I really like the integration of EFRU with the rest of the language arts program in CTG.
mommy to four boys & two girls... and another boy on the way :)
completed K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CTG and RTR
2009--2010 Enjoying Exploration to 1850

MJ in IL
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Unread post by MJ in IL » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:32 am

I am another to say go ahead and get it all! EFTRU was one of our favorites...even my 2nd/3rd grader! The read alouds (especially Patricia St John) should not be missed. We got behind on art (only finished about 2/3) but my children all learned so much from it.
dd14 enjoying AHL; ds12 & ds10 in RtR & dd5 working through K!
have done K (2X), 1 (2X), ECC, CtG, & 1850MT

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Unread post by dascott » Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:47 am

Thanks so much for everyones response. I was leaning towards the Deluxe Package but wanted to be sure I would use it all. It definitely sounds like I would greatly benefit from it. Thanks again. I can't wait to start this fall.


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Unread post by Lucy » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:06 am

I also agree about using the DEL. package as well. I am like Jenn too in that if it was not schduled I would never get to it. That is what I like about the Del. items too, they are all scheduled for me.
Jenn in NC wrote:And the r/a's are priceless, imo. Some of the best read alouds we have done; and I thought they wouldn't tie in to the curriculum at all, but (at least for us) they have. For example the book Tanglewood's Secret has so much to do with shepherding and who the Good Shepherd is, and in the basic package the kids spend several weeks studying Ps 23.
Jenn, I have never really put this thought together but it is so true. These are such gems.

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

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Music in deluxe package?

Unread post by mgardenh » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:49 am

Julie L. wrote:Do all of you buy or add on the music cd's by all the composers for each level? Have you seen any benefit?
We are getting the Piano wizard program to teach my dc keyboard/piano skills for music and I don't want to have to purchase more music material unless there is a clear benefit. I like music obviously, but have never been musically inclined or taken the time to learn any instrument etc so I am asking this of you who know music or have seen some kind of academic or other plus in your children hearing this music on cds.

Thank you,
Julie L.
I think there is great benefit to getting the music Not only do my dc enjoy it but it touches on the artistic side of my dc. It helps them to see there is more to academics then the 3 R's (which are really important). Also in the later years you study the composers and the music of the time period you are in. So you get music history along with learning about music. All good stuff in my opinion. Not required but I think it is good for them. They are also able to recognize the music and composer when they hear it in a video or store or where ever.
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


Re: Music in deluxe package?

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:59 am

I don't play music. I don't know how to teach it. And don't want to pay for lessons. I've looked at those video programs and end up not using them or whatever. We end up on online games like Oswald the Octopus, or Little Einsteins and learn more on instruments. LOL LOL

I enjoy introducing classical music to my children as part of fine arts. It's "academic" in the sense that we are increasing their variety of education. Sure, we know how to enjoy listening to K Love. But what about the history that got us to where music is today and why so many accomplished musicians have to learn how to play those classics. Or how vocal students still learn those pieces. Some of them even do Flash Mobs version in food courts to Messiah. wow! then, it all connects why the King stood up and why that is still done today.

You might find these Vox master series in your library and/or use other resources to introduce classic composers if the price is too much for you.

I like that we learn how to listen carefully for instruments and gently learn various tempos and even hear common music.

In the 1850MOD year, it really does become music history as we progress through modern music history and hear how it all changed. We go through the years hearing variations of how musicians were treated and thought of, and how music was for the rich and famous, but the musicians were poor. We hear how some songs

It's music history appreciation and done in a very simple, easy to do. plop it in the CD player (in home or while driving around). No stress on me. At home, they can move around and dance with it. They can play or color or sit and listen.

My kids get an appreciation for various instruments other than electric guitar and piano and drums. Nothing against those, but they need variety and doing the simple route of enjoying a few minutes with the CD's each week has paid off over the long run. It gives a gentle break in the day. We play it again while doing art sometimes. No pressure to perform.

I am very glad we have done the music in the deluxe package over the years. Ask for them for Christmas presents if you have to.


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Re: Music in deluxe package?

Unread post by gratitude » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:15 am

I taught classical piano for nearly a decade so I am a bit biased on the end that exposing kids to music such as Mozart and Bach is a good idea.

I am not sure how much music history MFW ties in, but music history is a wonderful way to understand many things about time in Europe & America from 1650 - present. Any exposure to music history will give a deeper understanding of history for those time periods, and is often a reflection of the way society changed over that time period; particularly in relation to God and the church.

As for the CDs. I do play some of these types of CDs in the car to my kids. I want their ears to become accustomed to other types of music, that I once spent a lot of time playing. It is only one type of CDs that I play in the car. I am though, on occasion, slowly introducing them to Bach & Mozart & Beethoven, and then plan on introducing the rest. I will probably add in a music History unit when we get to 1650 - present, but I am sure whatever MFW does is more than enough exposure for most people.

Oh the benefits:
Listening to Mozart requires more parts of the brain than most activities.
Playing the piano does too.

It has value, but is only a part of an academic education.

Julie L.
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Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:20 am

Re: Music in deluxe package?

Unread post by Julie L. » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:12 am

Okay, you all have convinced me. I guess if time is running short I will just play it in the car or while they are eating or something.

cbollin wrote:or move it on the grid from Tuesday to Friday.

It's about 15 minutes once a week, sometimes less.

You could even start the school day with it for some variety.


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Re: Music in deluxe package?

Unread post by Kelly1730 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:31 pm

Agree with the other posters that I'm glad the MFW has included classical music in our curriculum, I know that it is something I would "want" to do but having it in the lesson plans and on my shelf makes it that much easier. We usually play our cd's at lunchtime and I love when they hear a music piece playing when we are out and about and say "hey, I know that, it's Bach!" or something like that;)
Mom to 6
Mimi to 8
MFW K, MFW 1st, Adventures, ECC, CTG, RTR ,EXP-1850, 1850-MOD, Ancient History and Lit 2016-17


Classical Music Studies

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:09 pm

Erna wrote:Has anyone here opted out of this part of the deluxe package? Do you feel your child is missing out? If you have done the studies, do you think it is a disservice not to do them in the grand scheme of things. I would say that my children liked moving around to the music in K and 1st but am wondering if I want to continue it in the future. My children didn't seem to keen about listening to the stories of the composers. I imagine we could borrow a CD from the library instead for the odd song to highlight instead. I'm one of those people who like to do everything a program has to offer but I wonder if it is worthwhile to continue sometimes. Have your children enjoyed the composer studies? (I guess this can depend on a child's passions too.). I understand the value of music appreciation also. So, I am torn on this at times.
in the grand scheme of things, it is optional and if they dont' do it in elementary, it's ok.

*skip the Story of series.... some people don't go for the "classical music radio station announcer voice" that's ok. It's was perfect for my oldest. Not always for me. Strangely enough, when my middle gal was just coloring something, she caught one or two things said. eh?
*go with one small library biography on the composer instead of listening to the story of CD.
*while listening to the music, get out the old ideas from the Kindy activity listening sheet.
*make a short page of something interesting from the composer's life.
*One idea I'm toying around with for next year for middle gal: spread the Story of cd over 10 days in much smaller segments. Just enough to have a quick break for something to do.

You could set it aside until you need a fine arts credit in high school and not worry about it until then.

Yes, music study is great and all of that... but if you take a break for a year or so, it's ok.


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

Re: Classical Music Studies

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:37 pm

You can also hang onto the materials (maybe listening once in a while) and use them in EX1850. The composers are scheduled again when you get to the actual time in history that they lived. I really appreciated that opportunity for review.

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: Classical Music Studies

Unread post by jasntas » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:51 pm

Well, it is an option and if you don't feel it fits your family I think it is fine if you don't use it. I have not yet been able to implement the art programs for 1st or ADV. It sounds like you have been using the music studies but are just thinking about dropping that part of your studies. (I didn't want to imply that you haven't tried them, unlike me with the art.)

All that to say that we personally have loved all the music studies. My ds even noticed that we didn't do a classical music study this year with ECC. I reassured him that we would this fall. He has proclaimed that he loves classical and he even recognizes Tchaikovsky when he hears it. (The study we did with ADV). He may have never been interested in classical if it wasn't for the exposure he has had with it through MFW. He really didn't even mind listening to the composer stories. But that doesn't mean it's for everyone.

I really like Crystal's idea of breaking the stories down into smaller, bite sized segments. I think this would better suit my upcoming 2nd grade dd.

I just wanted to give you a point of view from a family that has enjoyed it. I most likely would not have considered continuing with it if we had not had good success with it. And if interest wains in the future I could possibly still drop it.

I will say that we did not enjoy the music as much in the K and 1st packages as we did with the ADV package. We did use them but it was not scheduled the way it is in ADV and the upper levels which did make it a little harder to implement.

We did do the art appreciation books from the deluxe package of 1st. We all loved them as well.

Now if I could just implement the art programs. (And they are scheduled.) :~

I'm not sure if any of this helps. I felt a little like I was rambling. Sorry.
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

Missy OH
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Re: Classical Music Studies

Unread post by Missy OH » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:28 am

I dropped the biography cd and just played some of the music in the background and told them a little about the composer. They learned to recognize the composer's music and appreciate it enough that they don't dislike classical music. I think using the biography cd's in highschool is a great way of getting your fine arts credit in.

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Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:48 pm

Re: Classical Music Studies

Unread post by Erna » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:06 am

They tend to enjoy just listening to the music and moving to it. We watched a bit of the Nutcracker Ballet and had a tea party in ADV that went over really well with my girls. I think it was more the biography that went WAY over their heads and my be better suited for when they are older. So, maybe the suggestion to keep them for later is a better idea for our family while just playing the music when they are younger. Maybe listening to the CDs of the biographies while driving in the van would be a better way to listen to them also.

Thanks for your thoughts. :o). I don't want my children to miss out on valuable study tools because I never know what each one will be in the future but I think the option of doing it later is great! (Why didn't I think of that? I guess my view is narrow as I think of the "now."). I can see the value in the studies then as opposed to now. We can just enjoy the music, give tidbits of info about the composer, and do other suggestions shared in this thread. Thanks everyone!

(It was interesting that art was mentioned as one that was harder to get into ... Those were the studies we couldn't get enough of at times.)

Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Re: Classical Music Studies

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:14 am

I thought I should add to my post above that we always loved the MFW classical music studies over the years. That was one of the treasures of having a "complete" program for us. It was just enough (3 per year) to be refreshing. And there really are some familiar, well-loved songs in there. When we went thru the music the 2nd time, during EX1850 when we came to the years the musicians actually lived, I wrote some notes on the Ideas board for the songs not to miss. For example,
Oh, and I see I mentioned on that link the book basket suggestion, Lives of the Musicians. Those are shorter biographies, and my library had the book on CD.

But all this is if you want to draw your kids into classical music. For that purpose, another idea is attending a local orchestra like ours in Minnesota, which puts on wonderful young people's performances for like $4. They also have curriculum for listening. And one thing that they do there to draw kids in is to show them classical music in the movies. Or focus on composers who wrote orchestras specifically for the movies -- John Williams is a favorite (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, etc.).

And then again, music and art are extras, optional, and could be explored as a high schooler, college student, or adult.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs


Re: Classical Music Studies

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:16 am

Mom2theteam wrote:We aren't there yet. Starting K in the fall, but this is a great question! I admit, I'm struggling with the whole idea. I'm not really into classical music. :~ I'm going to try what is included with the K program. I'm hoping we will all gain an appreciation for it. I would really like to gain an appreciation myself. But, as of yet, I never have. But, it is a good point that you never know what one or more of my kids may really enjoy. I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out in our family. :-)
from the other side of the cycle (as in we at least gave it our best effort to do the music and composer study in all cycle years)..... begin to think of the music study as a journey.... in the Kindy and 1st years and maybe into ADV, there's a time to enjoy and explore and move to the music. There are lots of studies out there that talk about music helping with development. ok.

now, in the CTG RTR ex1850 1850MOD years, you're going to move into a history and study of classical music and then enjoy how music history progresses from "classical" to jazz to modern. It's a long term thing going on in mfw with it..... you get the music history, composers, and all about instruments, and overall music appreciation. we get the hymns study in there too.

hope that encourages a bit -- I never listened to classical music growing up. I listened to Country and Western, and then hit the rock scene near late 70's early 80's. I remember in 7th grade having a "music appreciation" mini course as part of electives. Yes, the band director of the jr. high school did a lot of music history and appreciation, but it was so focused on the Beatles. Then, there was the Bill and Ted's excellent adventure movie.... well... ok.. but.. remember when they brought Mozart into modern times and he sat down at the mall and jammed out? Well, it can be like that.

and if all else fails.... just go watch and listen to Joshua Bell. talk about a head banging classical violinist. ;) Josh is my age (early 40's) and was a child prodigy. I was never "into" classical music until I listened to him interpret the classics. dang! we would have had to move from bloomington ,indiana when "Professor Bell" moved back to teach.


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Re: Classical Music Studies

Unread post by Dusenkids » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:42 pm

I have just started K this summer with my oldest so I don’t know how involved it is in later years. But I thought I would share why I am trying to include so of the classical music in our school time. The reason I started was more from personal experience (or lack thereof). I went to college and had to take a musical arts class. Long story short, I struggled! %| I rarely heard those songs. I had never heard those names. And goodness knows I could not spell them….why that was important, I'll never understand…anyway. Some of them I kind of liked, if I wasn’t cramming for a horridly long test. Others, no :~ . I want my children to have this experience. If they hear them in a college class (if they decide to take that path) I want them to enjoy it, not panic. It also helps them decide what they like to listen to or not.

And why I want to continue studying at least some of it. The kids love it. They love to dance along, color, build, be silly with these songs. And a lot of times, they have heard clips of a song on TV/radio. “I didn’t know that was a famous song!” I don’t care if they love it. I don’t care if they know every name with the correct spelling, hometown, or musical influence…sorry, bad memories went flying through my head again… I just want them to have the experience. I’m keeping it fun, not stressful. If it doesn’t fit in our day, it doesn’t happen. If there’s extra time and we are in the mood, we have a music party. I guess I consider music a bonus at this age. :) Just how we are handling music right now-from a K perspective. HTH
Married to Nathan 15 years
Mom to 8 boys ages 12 to newborn
Have used Kindergarten to Modern


Re: Classical Music Studies

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:53 pm

after reading Martie's story... I had to add similar experiences with art history and art work.

try to do those Art History post cards and such. I was in college, did summer abroad for my sophomore level Italian class. I was a business major among art history majors. I at least knew to look up when we were in the Sistine Chapel. That was it. I stood next to the Pieta, and had not a clue what that was.

even if it is just a little bit of exposure and names and places/events/ titles of music/sculptures..... do something over their educational life.

I don't remember what I didn't know at the Louvre. Ok.. I knew the Mona Lisa. that was it. rest of the museum? eh? I didn't know. (that was from my high school days on a trip to France)



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