Since you aren't getting many responses (probably because not many have gotten here yet and are online), I can give my little survey of 3 children raised in my home, one of whom has done MFW for a long time.
-- has done MFW from 3rd to 10th so far. He has had to test every year in MN, although he is my least likely kid to care about testing. He does have college ability, I think, but folks on this message board know that I coddled him in terms of not making him use a pencil too much (he types his work now) and reading aloud to him into the upper grades. He taught himself to read before kindergarten but has never liked to read. Humans are so complex! I think this kid just read because he wanted to be a part of the adult world?
Anyways, this student used MFW and did well on the Iowa Basics test from 3rd to 8th, often getting "post high school" scores, with maybe one or two areas that were more average (or often he just needed a particular testing skill). His last Iowa Basics in 8th showed "Grade Equivalent" scores of 9th grade at the lowest and many said 13+.
Last year, he took the PLAN test, which is the pre-ACT. This year he took the PSAT, but as Crystal mentioned the scores aren't back yet. These tests are no longer compared with all students (public schools use other tests for that). Only the students who want to take this test (usually because they are looking at college) will be compared on these kinds of tests. The PLAN score card has lots of numbers, but in essence he got:
- 20 out of 32 total
"At" college readiness in reading (I told you he doesn't like to read!)
"Above" readiness in English, math, and science
And again, this is my kid who just doesn't push himself very much, so I am pleased with the MFW results.
This is where I hope Julie might tell her story about how her oldest son used "inferior" curriculum and still did well in college. It might help with the perspectives and fears many homeschoolers have that somehow they have to pick the perfect curriculum.
-- yes, public schooled. We live in a pretty inferior school district, a shrinking tiny first-ring suburb that accepts expelled kids from Minneapolis. My oldest was a little bit sheltered by being in the "challenge" classes through elementary and middle school and making friends with those kids, but he was rarely challenged -- still being taught the difference between too, to, and two in high school. He didn't take any advanced science past the usual 3 high school sciences. He also missed out on a whole year of high school geometry because he was pulled out for Algebra I & II at the college when in 8th grade, and when he decided to come back to ps math in 9th, they only had a sort of "geometry for failing kids" which was coloring shapes when he tried it, and otherwise said they combined geometry with other things.
In the end, he was accepted to all colleges he applied for, graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with honors as a petroleum engineer, and was offered several jobs. I think the lesson there is that curriculum is not the most essential thing. But you do
have to have some things that stands out. My oldest was a good test taker, he wrote an enthusiastic essay (and accepted writing criticism from mom over the years), and he had some college math programs during high school that stood out (alongside some really lame math on his transcript).
- might as well throw in my 3rd child, just to show the full range, and reinforce again that it's more than curriculum. She was doing fine in public school until she wasn't able to transition to high school, so when she failed 9th grade, I brought her home. We battled it out for at least 4 years at home, I still haven't given her a diploma at age 24, and she may never go to college. However, the best thing I did for her in high school was to try to work alongside her and teach her how to learn as best I could, and most of all I had her go through the entire Bible. My dd has her issues, but when I look at most of her friends who did go on to battle it out at colleges of one sort or another, I do think she is one of the more stable in her worldview. If MFW had been available for her at the time, I think there would have been some more benefits in terms of teaching her responsibility, and getting in that Bible and worldview without so much of my time being spent planning (and I would have been calmer when she didn't cooperate, because I wouldn't have invested so much of myself in every detail).
Well, sorry so long, but there's my little 3-kid survey