Choosing MFW high school - Family togetherness?

Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Choosing MFW high school - Family togetherness?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:50 am

Middle School Plans and Questions about MFW HS program
Pylegang wrote:I'm trying to think through middle school and high school curriculum plans for my rising 5th and 7th graders. My 5th grader is pretty advanced. We do Bible, science, writing, Latin, and History together. They are only 1/2 a year apart in math and spelling. We plan to read SOTW vol. 3 and 4 as read alouds this summer to put all the US history we've learned into world context.

Okay . . . Now my dilemma: What to do next? I realize that we could do ECC next year, but doesn't that cause my oldest to have to study ancient history two years in a row?

Two concerns:
I don't think I like the idea of my older son studying the same time period for two years.

I also am not sold on having my boys study separately -- even when they're older. They are extremely close in abilities and skills. We have wonderful discussions and we all enjoy the unity similar studies bring us. It also seems difficult to run to programs at the same time. I love how MFW coordinates/ integrates topics across subjects and the fact that your family studies TOGETHER. Why not in high school, especially when you have two kid close in age that have similar skill sets? I'm hoping that you seasoned MFWers can shed some light on my concerns/questions! What level of involvement can/should a parent have for the high school studies? (this coming from a hand-on mom ;)

Any advice and wisdom you could offer?
Hi Angela,
Two of your concerns don't seem that hard to me.

#1 If your youngest has had a complete cycle of history from creation to the present, then I don't think it matters too much which years you spend time on in 7th and 8th. I'd definitely do ECC, but then you could choose the year you've spent the least time on, enjoy the most, or whatever.

#2 If you like to be hands-on, you can be hands-on in high school. It's your school and you know your children's needs best. At my house, I spend more time with my high schooler than most. But he's my youngest, so he's alone in the house otherwise, and I don't like the idea of solitary confinement for him. However, I will say that he's changed from an 8th grader who liked to do everything together to a 10th grader who tolerates doing some things together :) Expect your children to change and allow for their needs to become independent, and you should be fine doing as much together as you like at your house.

#3 is a bit longer conversation. Putting a 7th grader into a 9th grade program is really pushing them. For my particular kids, being accountable for credits is a lot to expect in middle school - we instead put extra time into a shop class with dad, beefing up skills like grammar, etc. It was also a time to get used to textbook math and science.

However, AHL is only half the day. Maybe they could do math, science, and foreign language together? And come to think of it, maybe Bible, too. So that would only be 2 independent subjects. Here are a couple of thoughts on using AHL at too young an age:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=10520
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=6809
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=5060

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Pylegang
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Location: Virginia
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Re: Middle School Plans and Questions about MFW HS program

Unread post by Pylegang » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:14 am

Julie,

Thanks so much for taking time to answer my questions! I like some of your suggestions.

It's funny . . . A few years ago when I discovered MFW, I was not interested in ECC because I wanted to stay on the 4 year history cycle. Now we're nearly finished with a full cycle of history and I find myself intrigued by ECC. I think it might be nice for a change of pace. I like your idea of doing ECC next and then doing whatever history cycle we want the following year. Deciding on *which* year would be difficult to do! Question: is High School WHL an overview course of all of world history or does it begin where AHL ends?

I especially appreciate your thoughts and wisdom about how our children change. It is difficult to imagine our studies changing from the way they now. We have lots of sweet days, and for that I'm thankful! That said: I should definitely remember that kids grow and change! You're right. Their needs will change! I also appreciate your insight about how to stay involved in some studies together, such as Latin, Bible and science. That would probably work out well.

I have read quite a few posts about the High School program, but had not come across the links you included in your message. Thank you!!! --VERY HELPFUL! After reading just a few of the posts, I must say that I agree that it would not be a good idea to combine my kids.

Thanks again for your insight!
--Angela
Homeschooling classically since 2000--DS grade 6 and DS grade 4.


Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
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Location: Minnesota

Re: Middle School Plans and Questions about MFW HS program

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:22 am

Yes, and we did most of Bible as a family, so that's a possibility, too. We had hoped to do all of the Bible together, but kept getting interrupted, so basically it turned out to be all of OT history together, & ds did the prophets, psalms, etc. on his own. Then all of the Gospels and Acts together, while ds caught up on the NT letters on his own. Or maybe you could do hymns & prayers, even.
Pylegang wrote:Question: is High School WHL an overview course of all of world history or does it begin where AHL ends?
WHL starts with Rome. It goes back a little to cover the roots of Rome, and then really gets going at the time of Jesus.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

cbollin

Re: Middle School Plans and Questions about MFW HS program

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:07 pm

Angela,

I have a crazy crazy off the wall suggestion. How about this summer just planning to read SOTW vol 3. instead of 3 and 4.

7th and 5th do 1850MOD, which features SOTW vol. 4 and Presidents Study and State Study Overview. And... do individual state history study. I don't know if/how VP does any of that.

then 8th and 6th in ECC.

9th in AHL, 7th (listen to what Julie said... ) CTG to keep them somewhat thematically connected and invite the 9th grader for some hands on stuff such as feasts, or building tabernacle. The 9th grader will have a pamphlet on Tabernacle... CTG has way to make model of one.

Julie covered the why not together at that close of an age... I'll add my own thoughts --- it's about maturity and truly being in different stages of life and learning cycles. They just have such different needs as they get older. you find new ways to connect as a family so that history isn't the connector... and then the whole high school transcripts and all of that.... It's hard to explain in internet words.... They just need different stuff.

how hands on? Julie said it well.... something happens in 10th grade to them... Now don't get me wrong - there are times that I see my daughter needs direct instruction to complete an assignment. She's not totally forced to learn on her own - but she has to try and then ask... I'm always here.
A fun way this week that I was more hands on in her school? We just finished reading Pride and Prejudice, and there is this assignment at the end of it all. They read the book, have an ongoing assignment with character development. "MOM! There's not enough sample for me to go by!"
ah, ok... let's look up spark notes on this book and look how they get into describing characters. You may select 2 or 3 of the characters that you are to write about and model 2 or 3 of them based on the spark notes way of doing it. don't copy it word for word..
then the rest of them she had the idea. So she needed more of my time to help get over writers' block.
There's a second writing and processing assignment in that novel. giggle.. I promised her I wouldn't post her essay. The assignment was to write your own thoughts of marriage and how to find a spouse based on how things went in the book and other sources.... let's just say I wouldn't let her turn in a one sentence essay of "I decided I'll just stay single. " and we talked and talked it out... she turned in a very funny satire piece.
my dh has done more in hands on with the chemistry teaching and/or labs. (that's his work so that's fun for him.)

so you can make it as "independent" as you want, or do more with them, and even have different balancing points.

-crystal

mandolin
Posts: 21
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Re: Middle School Plans and Questions about MFW HS program

Unread post by mandolin » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:05 pm

I really appreciate this answer Crystal - I have been considering what to do in later years with my 7th, 5th,and 2nd graders - which part to start with in the cycle and I think this will work perfectly for me as well. I also have three high schoolers in the mix, so this is really a help in organization. Thanks so much!
Mandi
widow, remarried now 5 years to wonderful hubby
Loving MFW!
ECC with DSons 11 and 13, MFW 1st with DS, 8
homeschooling for 13 years

cbollin

MFW high school

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:02 pm

pinkchopsticks wrote:I have been using MFW for my children. My oldest will be starting HS next year and I am exploring all our options. I really like the look of AHL. My main concern though, is that this seems to be a very independant program. I am concerned about my dd's ability to follow through with all the material. I know there are weekly meetings with the parent, but I am still concerned with how I am going to keep tabs on what is being accomplished. Also, are you all pre-reading all the HS books? I really like to discuss what is being learned. Can anyone give me some pointers on how this has worked for your family.
Thanks!
Pink
I know there are plenty of people on here and you'll get a wide variety of answers. Some of us are using it with oldest and don't have time/energy etc... Others are using it 2nd time with next kiddos. and there are some with youngest..

me - oldest using it.
I'm definitely not pre reading everything. I don't like to read.

Instead, I use answer keys provided.
I use the topic headings. I've been known the skim the encyclopedias a bit. that's at my brain level.

I've used online spark notes for novels to get the point.

math, science - answer keys, etc.

Bible - now that I can read and keep up. I mean, the actual Bible readings. I didn't bother with a book in WHL called Church History in Plain language.

oh.... here's something in retrospect that I wish I hadn't been a cheap skate about. in WHL, one of the devotionals used, Experiencing God. I wish I had purchased a copy for me. Why? my daughter is writing in her copy and doesn't want me to read her journal. I respect that. ok. But now I don't know how to talk about that book without a blank copy of it...... I have the adult version from when I did it a few years ago, so I know the book sorta.. just not the teen edition.

-crystal

LSH in MS
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Re: MFW high school

Unread post by LSH in MS » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:57 am

I understand how you feel as I have 6 children 9th grade to 1 year old. I was worried too, but AHL is really working for my oldest. He does everything on his own except some of the lit and writing. I wish I could be more involved but I am glad that MFW is designed so that you don't have to be. I do not preread the books.
Lori

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

cbollin

Re: MFW high school

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:03 am

pinkchopsticks wrote:Thanks for the feedback Crystal! I was looking for reassurance that this is doable! I want to be involved in my dd's schooling, but also need to be able to balance the needs of my others as well. What have you thought about the writing assignments that are included with AHL?
Pink
I like the writing assignments. I think they guide the student on what to work on. There's a rubric for grading. AHL - you have those 5 biggie essays. Then, several smaller things for history, and then some other English assignments that aren't the argumentative essay. I'm fine with it. I like the variety of writing in WHL too.

just for discussion... here is what is part of composition in MFW high school
FAQ, MFW Website wrote:In Year 1, Ancient History and Literature, composition focuses on the argumentative essay. The Ancient Literature Supplement with Grammar and Composition instructs students step-by-step how to write a strong five-paragraph argumentative essay. Five unique argumentative essays are written during the year to help students improve their skills. Detailed instruction explains how to write a thesis statement and format each of the five paragraphs. Grammar lessons related to this type of writing are included. These essays draw from what is being studied in Bible, English, and history to help students mature in their understanding and ownership of a Biblical worldview. One essay prompts the student to compare and contrast the gods' motivations and relationships in Bulfinch's Mythology to that of the Living God. As students think through and write this type of essay, they cannot help but grow in their understanding of their God. Students also create original psalms and complete less structured essays on history topics.

During Year 2, World History and Literature, a traditional research paper is written during the first ten weeks. This project includes research and bibliography note cards, footnotes, and a bibliography. The student also learns to write ten other types of compositions in response to literature read during the program. Writers INC provides instruction for the research paper and other assigned compositions, and serves as an excellent resource on language usage.

In Year 3, U.S. History to 1877, American literature is analyzed from a Biblical worldview using reading and writing assignments in the American Literature Supplement. The Progeny Press study guide for The Scarlet Letter also includes assigned essays. In addition, grammar review is included using Easy Grammar Ultimate Series: Grade 11.

Year 4, US History 1877 to the Present, includes one semester of modern American literature and one semester of speech. Each classic novel read from this time period is analyzed using a book review included with the lesson plans.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
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Location: Minnesota

Re: MFW high school

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:11 am

I'm glad you two were chatting, because I wasn't sure whether you wanted independence, or you didn't want independence. Anyways, I think you can see now that AHL can look the way you want it to in your home.

At our house, it's my youngest who's been using AHL and WHL, so I probably can be more involved than most who are using it. Each year, we've tried to do the Bible as a family, and I've chosen one major text to read aloud. Because there is so much info overlap, just reading one text can start conversations that thread in and out of the other books being read more independently.

As for prereading the ones we don't do together, I'm with Crystal in that I don't do it all. I tell my son that I already did high school ;) So I read The New Answers Book, Unwrapping the Pharaohs, Gilgamesh, Bulfinch, and Iliad (audio) - 5 books spread out over the year. I like to read :) If I wasn't actually reading with him, I might pencil in places I wanted him to stop and recognize what happened, who somebody was, etc. I did not read PDL, Daniel study, Bubastes (audio), Eric Liddell, Odyssey, the Encyclopedia, or Notgrass. I could still check in with him on those by using the titles, headings, topics listed in the manual, etc.

Me: So, the chapter is called XX. What did you learn about XX today/this week? ...
Oh? And when did that happen? Why do you think he did that? Remember when we learned about that in CTG? ...

I should also mention that there are times when I can't be involved at all, and at those times, if I were planning things myself, the entire education of my child would have come to a halt without Marie Hazell laying it all out for us LOL :)

So there's another family for ya!
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

momonthemove
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:02 pm

Re: MFW high school

Unread post by momonthemove » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:28 pm

I don't start high school for 2 more years. I know it looks independent, but who is to say you cannot have a daily meeting? Why only do it once a week? Make daily check in something you do......and as your dd gains moere confidence, maybe you don't meet daily.

:)
Deb
Wife to a wonderful husband of 18 years.
momonthemove to 3 wonderful children, 12, 8 and 5

http://jibberjabberx3.blogspot.com/

cbollin

Re: MFW high school

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:08 pm

momonthemove wrote:I don't start high school for 2 more years. I know it looks independent, but who is to say you cannot have a daily meeting? Why only do it once a week? Make daily check in something you do......and as your dd gains moere confidence, maybe you don't meet daily.

:)
good point..and tagging on...

in my house, we have daily check in, (did you make your bed... oh come on, do the laundry... do you need anything for chemistry... do you want any explanation of anything?) and then weekly check going over things more in depth. This year, chemistry labs especially have been "just do them all on weekend with your dad" (he has a phd in this stuff and she needs a bit more instruction on some parts.)

I noticed this year in whl, oldest had a few times where she didn't understand something and was more willing to ask for more explanations when needed - or even a few times, she called/emailed the mfw office for some help or even a suggestion that might help future students understand something little that she didn't get.

pinkchopsticks
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 11:35 pm

Re: MFW high school

Unread post by pinkchopsticks » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:45 am

Thanks for the input ladies! Crystal...the overview of LA was helpful. Julie...I like the idea of taking one of the books to read together and then prereading a couple others for discussion.

I like that MFW allows me flexibility on my involvement level. I am a bit worried about how much responsibility dd can handle. Right now I am finding she does not take the initiative to complete all her work without me really being on her about it. The idea to start her a couple weeks early and walk her through things is great.
Pink

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
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Re: MFW high school

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:28 am

pinkchopsticks wrote:Right now I am finding she does not take the initiative to complete all her work without me really being on her about it.
Let's just say there was a learning curve at my house, and it involved plenty of summer hours, which continued to be put off until I put my foot down on August 1st. It was a hard lesson: High school work just doesn't go away.

Good news: He gets it now and 10th grade is going well so far :)
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

cbollin

MFW separate or SL together?????

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:14 pm

beatrice7 wrote:I am trying to decide whether or not to purchase two different levels of MFW for my (next year) 7th grade and 10th grade sons, or to go with Sonlight's 100 American History in Depth, which I can do with both sons together. My dilemma is two-fold:

1 - I did MFW's Rome to Reformation, my first year of MFW, with my youngest son this year. I chose it because, for the first time, I couldn't find a curriculum that would work for both of them at the levels that they both were. I chose MFW because it looked to me to have all the great things I liked - without being so overwhelming in the million books and too many writing projects department. I also liked the music and art education that came along with the deluxe package. We have loved it! It's been perfect for us - challenging, comprehensive, fun, and interesting - without being overwhelming. This is the first year I've used a Bible curriculum that didn't make me think, "I could come up with something better than this," and it was VERY well-organized, as well. So, I'd really like to do the next sequential year with my youngest son. The only down-side was that I really missed being able to work and discuss (and have them discuss together) literature and history at the same time with both sons. I mean REALLY missed it.

2 - I decided to have my 9th grader go through SL's core 200 this year, because it just looked like a really great core (and it has been - with a few notable omissions) and it covered generally the same time period as the Rome to Reformation MFW that my younger son was doing. I thought this might at least give us a chance to discuss some of the same topics, and it did - a bit, but not as much as I would like. In addition, this left my eldest working pretty much on his own. I realize this isn't necessarily a bad thing at his age, and he's had to learn to schedule and keep up with work without me working out every detail for him, and that's good. But these are some pretty weighty things he's reading and thinking about this year and the next few years, and I feel like I need to be there to help him think about this stuff and work through it a bit more than I have been this year.

So, those of you who have been through some of the upcoming MFW highschool - if I go with MFW for my eldest, I'm looking at doing US History 1, since he just covered the same stuff that is in MFW's World History and Literature. It sounds like this is pretty challenging, but I think he's up for it. Has anyone ever done this before? Taught MFW jr. high and MFW senior high courses at the same time, and if so, how did it go? How much time did you feel like you needed to spend in discussion and help with your highschooler(s) and did you feel like you had that time? In a nutshell, I want to have my cake and eat it, too. I want to go with the MFW curriculums that appeal to me, but have the cohesiveness in my home school that I've had with both boys.

If you're still reading and up for commenting on my dilemma, any advice, comments, or thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks in advance!
Welcome to the forum!

For the last two years, I have had a high schooler in MFW high school and a middle schooler in the 5 year cycle programs. My high schooler does the reading and writing assignments on her own and we find time to discuss together. Sometimes through the writing assignments she begins to think through. We use the MFW "conference" idea in the high school program to schedule sit down together time and talk and talk. She loves to talk. And then throughout the day, she likes to talk.. so she'll dart in here and bring up stuff.... Usually it's a 5 minute here and there thing and she's learned to wait a moment for me to be available.
today... she darts in and asks... "mom.. why did they think the whole separate but equal would work?" "mom.. did the phrase commie pigs come from the book Animal Farm or was that already in use when the book was written?" (can you tell we're in the 1950's?)

I like how MFW's david hazell once described the stages of learning.... "pre school - mom feels smart and can answer the questions"... by high school "parent think.. oh boy... "
LOL.. that described my feelings on her observations in today's WHL lesson.

oh.. I have US1 and US2 on the floor next to me. Haven't done them yet. We'll start those in a few months with 11th grade. My middle child will be in 1850MOD.

I like how the reading and writing assignments in MFW high school help me to have the discussions without me being on top of all of the reading in the high school. I like the idea of a one day "focus" time for a good hour or two conference. That becomes a check point in the week. Daily grading works better for me in 15 minutes a day...

I have the time to be available for those darting in and out questions. I have the time for one day a week (sometimes it's Friday... sometimes it's Saturday) for a conference.

Then, I can teach my middle gal who needs more of me, but slowly needing less.... and even some time for youngest (who really isn't in an mfw program right now... unschools plus special needs therapies)

it helps that my husband does some of the grading and check in point on daily stuff.. or some of the conference things once in a while....

One thing that has surprised us in using high school and middle school MFW this year.... (whl and ex1850) is how much during 2nd semester topics were related. There were times I felt that we were more connected in history than I thought we would be.... I expect that to continue a little next year now that I've seen how it works.
beatrice7 wrote:Crystal - thanks so much! Really helps me to feel better about doing the two different curriculums! Anyone else out there who has done US 1? How challenging did you find it in the context of teaching multiple levels?
I don't know if there are a lot of online chatty types who have done US1.

From the looks of the program.. most of it would be about the same on the parent as in WHL and AHL... . weekly conference. However, in US1... there is one option for parents to read through the lesson plans for Thinking like a Christian and doing more discussion from that. MFW recommends that 45 minutes of the weekly conference be with that section. I've done prep work for the lesson 1 and it took about 10 minutes of prep work. (2 minutes of me praying.. God please help?) followed by about 8 minutes or so to read through the prepared lesson plan and not panic)

-crystal

beatrice7
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:10 pm

Re: MFW separate or SL together?????

Unread post by beatrice7 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:17 pm

Okay, that helps. I think I'm getting closer to a decision and feeling pretty good about going with the two levels of MFW. Re: your first comment - now that I'm getting into high school aged kids, seems like the number of people home schooling drops off dramatically when you get to the high school level. Is that your impression? Or am I just not looking in the right places? Thanks again.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: MFW separate or SL together?????

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:49 pm

Hello,
I've enjoyed reading through your conversation here. I just chimed in to say that if you really missed doing things together this year, it's not impossible to do some things together using MFW. Maybe there will be a way for them to do an elective together, or to do one subject or another. We also like to do Bible as a family, and we've done that together in high school. I wrote a few of the things I've done with my son during AHL here, which is more possible at my house because I'm now teaching my youngest:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 631#p84631

But I will agree with Crystal that my son, who is very social and didn't like independence up through 8th grade, is now wanting to work on his own most of the time in high school. I mean, he likes having me read some of the books I mentioned while he eats, or having me explain a math lesson when he's stuck, but for the most part he is starting to become his own man now in 10th grade especially.

The one thing I feel a bit worried about is a 10th grader in US1. I know you said you covered a bunch of the World History topics this year, but has your son read the Bible for himself? Did he get enough history background to understand modern history in the context of both God's plan and mankind's journey? Is your son solid on different kinds of writing? Maybe he's fine on all counts, but I just thought of checking in on that.

HTH,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

cbollin

Re: MFW separate or SL together?????

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:29 am

beatrice7 wrote: Re: your first comment - now that I'm getting into high school aged kids, seems like the number of people home schooling drops off dramatically when you get to the high school level. Is that your impression? Or am I just not looking in the right places? Thanks again.
It seems that way online at times. I know in real life in my city, it's not the case when I look at the yearbook and graduation ceremonies and sports leagues.... or looking at who attends convention locally...

I just think online chat gets less.

and with MFW and high school chat... those programs haven't been on the market as long to have as many people in them (hundreds versus thousands or multiple thousands). So to take a smaller base to start with and then knowing only a tiny fraction go online in the first place. it kind makes sense. With MFW programs, it was this academic year that US2 was on the general market. The people before that were pilot families and they seldom seem to be internet talking types :) I know some of the MFW staff might have had a high schooler and jr. higher at same time, but maybe not with the last 2 years. there would have to be a 3 or more years gap in children's ages. hmmm... that could explain it a lot now that I overthink it. hmmm....

-crystal

beatrice7
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:10 pm

Re: MFW separate or SL together?????

Unread post by beatrice7 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:23 am

Crystal, nice to know I'm not the only one who overthinks stuff! I didn't know the MFW US History was so new - that helps some things make more sense. It looks really great, though, I still have some questions. See my reply to Julie...

Hi Julie! Thanks for chiming in! Since we started our Homeschool using The Weaver curriculum, then moved to Sonlight, and now are looking at a move again to MFW, the boys have always had a really firm background in looking at all their subjects from a Biblical Worldview - and that's how I was raised as well by my two teacher parents (though not homeschooled) so I really don't know any other way to be. And the SL History of Christianity that my 9th grader did this year, was a further intense grounding. Plus all those past curriculi we've done involve tons of reading and writing - so, he's used to that - despite the fact that his leanings are more math and science oriented. So I'm not worried about him on that score.

Thanks to you and Crystal, I'm feeling better about splitting the boys up in terms of levels - they're just really close, and I think some of that closeness has come from doing all of these years of schooling together. But my brothers are really close, too, as are my Dad and his brother - so it's probably just something genetic in our family and I should quite worrying about it! You're both right about them growing up - my guy is definitely growing into "his own man" and I'm sure will continue to do so.

I just want to check in one more time re: concerns about the "having a 10th grader do US1". You're the second person I've seen make that comment on these discussion boards. Are you using it right now? Do you think you can put your finger on what exactly gives you pause about that? Is it just the stuff we have already mentioned - or are there some concepts, amount of work-load, etc. that makes you think it would work better for an 11th grader?

cbollin

Re: MFW separate or SL together?????

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:51 am

I think it's about the amount of work and level of topics. I know it doesn't seem like a lot of difference between 10th and 11th grade in age... but it's almost like a "lower classman" vs "upper classman" approach. that might be an abstract way to explain it... but there's just something in the book choices and design for them... it says "this belongs in your upper class man years".

It's amount of time in reading and level of work. My oldest is in the "oldest" age range for her grade. I can see from glancing through US1 that I'm glad we didn't jump ahead a semester or year. It's like she needed to have her life get a little older to make it make more sense.

I know some of the worldview materials in US1 says for 11th or 12th. that tends to me something to me.
I have memories of my friends who wanted to put their younger children into a program (not necessarily anything with mfw) with older sib, or with their friends.... and then would withdraw. A 7th grader into a 9th grade literature... or an 8th grader with 10th grade sib in a "worldview".... they just weren't ready.

it's that kind of feeling... they might be able to do the work... but they aren't ready yet..... Or like me (rather advanced academically back in my time) when I was in college.... I shouldn't have signed up for an elective at the 400 level when I was still just a junior..... It was designed for either seniors or first year graduate students. I wasn't ready yet.... I had to drop the graded option to avoid the F on my transcript and turned it into an audit only class...

sorry it's not a concrete answer.... but I'm thankful that my daughter is 11th grade for US1 and that she time to grow up another year and learn more....

-crystal

beatrice7
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:10 pm

Re: MFW separate or SL together?????

Unread post by beatrice7 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:11 pm

Crystal, thanks for the thoughtful response. What you say makes perfect sense - I had some of the same experiences in my own education that you have had and I do know you're right - it's not always necessarily about intelligence or ability - sometimes it's all about maturity. I have found that to be true as the 9th grader has gone through the SL 200 this year. Certainly he was able to do all the reading and work and comprehend it all - but it seems like it's harder for him to extrapolate across subjects and into real life. The curriculum can only take him so far in developing that ability to see everything with the eyes of Christ. It's not that he isn't growing in that area, but it seems like he still really needs a lot of help and encouragement from me and his Dad along the way, to keep those eyes open. It's almost like, at this age, home schooling becomes almost exclusively about discipling on my end.

Which brings me back to my original concern about leaving him on his own so much...and I'm coming to the conclusion that the problem this year was that, it being the first year my two guys were using different curriculums, I wasn't really sure how to schedule the time that my older son and I needed for discussion and review of the things he was working on. I think if I'm more organized and intentional about that next year (and the rest of this year!), things will be better for everyone. I do the best I can, but it's not the first mistake I've made in our home school - I'm sure it won't be the last...so cool to know that God will redeem all my mistakes!

So what do you think? If we DON'T do US1 next year, we can't do World History - it would really be almost an exact repeat of what he just did in SL this year. Ancient History? We've done lots of Ancient Hist. over the last decade - one of our favorite periods of time - but it's been a few years since the last time we reviewed that period. You're just finishing that one up, right? How's it been? Again, thanks so much - this has been outrageously helpful!!

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: MFW separate or SL together?????

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:37 pm

beatrice7 wrote:So what do you think? If we DON'T do US1 next year, we can't do World History - it would really be almost an exact repeat of what he just did in SL this year. Ancient History? We've done lots of Ancient Hist. over the last decade - one of our favorite periods of time - but it's been a few years since the last time we reviewed that period. You're just finishing that one up, right? How's it been? Again, thanks so much - this has been outrageously helpful!!
If it's been a few years since you've been through the Ancients, that might be a great choice. There is a lot of apologetics there that will be useful in adulthood, where the complete Old Testament is read alongside other ancient texts.

I also am not sure that World History looks exactly like SL200. I suppose the Bible portion is the biggest duplication, and he probably definitely wouldn't need to read the church history book :) But there is SO MUCH to "world history" that I would love to have another year to delve into more things. I'd have my son read more of the literature that is excerpted in the British Lit or the Purple Notgrass documents book. I'd try to do a fine arts credit (like I think Crystal's dd is doing?), or at least listen to all the hymns that you read in WHL. I'd do more Shakespeares, watch some Teaching Company lectures about the Middle Ages, read some Albert Marrin books about the World Wars... Of course you want to take advantage of the MFW planning and accountability, but I think there's enough structure there to make subs not too hard?

So, I see merit in doing either year, depending on your son's needs in the 3 subject areas :) I haven't received my US1 yet (it's scheduled to arrive tomorrow, yay!), but I'm personally glad my son did Notgrass this year as prep for the BJU textbook next year.

Fun chatting,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

beatrice7
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:10 pm

Re: MFW separate or SL together?????

Unread post by beatrice7 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:25 pm

Hmmm, Julie, you've given me a lot to think and pray about! REALLY good ideas about subs for the World History unit - I also like the idea of going through the O.T. again in the Ancients...

cbollin

Re: MFW separate or SL together?????

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:03 pm

beatrice7 wrote:So what do you think? If we DON'T do US1 next year, we can't do World History - it would really be almost an exact repeat of what he just did in SL this year. Ancient History? We've done lots of Ancient Hist. over the last decade - one of our favorite periods of time - but it's been a few years since the last time we reviewed that period. You're just finishing that one up, right? How's it been? Again, thanks so much - this has been outrageously helpful!!
what do I think in general... uh call mfw office and ask to speak their senior consultant named Bret and talk plans in person with him on the phone about some of this. I think there's a balance of "repeating" topics with the tug o war game of "credits on transcripts" and a mix of "what do I really want each child to do before the end of school?"

I'm embarrassed to admit that I misread the ages of your children. Even though it's very clear you said 7th and 10th for next year, I saw it as this year. even when you repeated it... how did I misread that? hmmm.... I don't know. if my brain clicks with any ideas...
beatrice7 wrote:Crystal - no worries! You've given me great advice. I think I may call MFW - or, I have a hunch there are a lot of other people out there with some of these same questions - and since these h.s. curriculums are relatively new to MFW - I'm wondering if someone with MFW might not want to speak to some of these questions here. I'm new to this - is there a way to request/suggest that?
call them and ask. :)

This time of year, convention season, they are on the road a lot. It's easier on them to talk on the phone rather than having a "perfectly written" message board answer. It's one thing to have a ditzy customer like me babbling about the program. But they need to have "good answers" when it's on board. One of the things that MFW likes to do is to provide personalized help on the phone in real time. So even if they don't have chime in time, do call them. And if it helps, ask for someone who has used the specific program. It might be someone who is at convention this weekend and they might have to call you back.

yeah.. I'm with you... I wish some of their staff had time and energy to chime in with some of it. Even if they said "you know.. this is what my work hat off"... or "this is with work hat on"... I know Bret W has chimed in a few times. Call their office and talk with them in person. They do enjoy that level of one on one personalized real time help.

-crystal

cbollin

Problems with high school

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:08 pm

ilovemy4kids wrote:Thanks for helping once again. My son has done AHL and WHL with MFW and has done well with them. We are very pleased academically. It's a great program!

The problem comes in here.... Both children have stated that they miss being schooled together. They miss the continuity of studying the same history and literature which is what took place until my son started AHL as a freshman. Before that we had always used TOG, Sonlight, or MFW. Our son is actually suffering a true diagnosed depression from feeling "isolated" from the group study (I did [another program] with dd and her friend which meant dd and I had a lot of time together.). We know that we must do American history this coming fall to keep our son on track. I simply can't decide if it would be best to continue with MFW and just have dd do the years out of order (the two us history/govt/economics years first, then the AHL and WHL), or to just put her in AHL and him in US and hope for the best. I had considered going to [another program], but that won't work either because of their government course.

My thought is we could do MFW sort of the way we did Sonlight. Read all of the literature selections aloud... apparently I do cool "voices" when I read, and discuss things more than we have been. I could even do the history work myself so that I could be up on what they are studying for history. I'm very pulled to Sonlight also, I love the books! But, I really like the way MFW has the tests, worksheets, grades, etc... It makes life so much easier. Plus when considering going back to Sonlight I realized that they would be together for only 1 year anyway. There is NO WAY that dd could do core 400 for govt the following year at age 15.

I know that with MFW you are supposed to start at AHL, but dd is quite capable, I think, of doing the work. In fact we already did the book assumptions, and the Never before in History this year. It was quite a full and wonderful year. She would miss out on some of the writing instruction from the first two years, but we could cover that material on our own. She does a good job of writing anyway. I also know she would miss out on the Old Testament reading for the first two years. She is very, very strong in her faith and personal walk with the Lord, so I'm not too worried in that area.

I thought about just doing something else together as a family, but we really don't have time. Here is why....
Son - Eagle Scout very active in scouts, varsity football team, varsity track team, National Homeschool Honor Society....
Daughter - American Heritage Girl - VERY active, volleyball, cross country, track, 1/2 marathon and 5 k runner (aiming for an athletic scholarship) plus she runs a business which requires some travel

Their other subjects for fall will include:
son - Advanced Math, Advanced Biology (Human Anatomy - online live through redwagontutorials - was supposed to be physics, but he's still in his Alg 2 book and we didn't want to risk him not being ready - had a snafu with Alg 2!) Game Programming, and Portuguese level 3

daughter - Alg 1, Biology ( online live with Redwagontutorials), French 1 and Art II (both through veritas press online academy live classes) plus she wishes to do the Rod and staff English 8 book (she seriously loves Rod and Staff English - I don't get it???)

So, this means that IF we are going to have together time, it is during school time, which they are both expressing they miss greatly. Any thoughts or other suggestions?
Blessings
Sandra
ok... that's a full schedule...

1. in US 1, the student and parent together develop a Bible reading schedule. That's not the only thing in bible that year... but it is one piece. Could your son and you and daughter read from AHL Bible reading schedule together and be connected in that? do those in school time.....
ilovemy4kids wrote:Is the bible reading schedule that you develop for all year? I haven't seen the guide that closely....tried to see at the conference, but I was working too at my daughter's booth
yes, the "build a bible reading plan" is for all year in US 1.

2. in AHL, you might recall there was a "free reading time" for students needing to fill out the English requirement? Could you read those out loud as family?
ilovemy4kids wrote:I could read them out loud to dd, but son wouldn't have time to listen because of his US History work...
one of the options in AHL for "free reading time" is to use historical fiction.. the other is to use "any classics".... so read the books from US 1 for that?

3. make sure your son is getting whatever meds are needed for any physical effect from diagnosed depression.
ilovemy4kids wrote:Currently working on that one....
((hugs)) on the right meds to work together. and all of that... btdt ((hugs))

4. Then, each day or a day a week... set aside a time not for "history", but for current events study. have them together for 15 minutes of daily together in current events.... Afterall... today's events are tomorrows history levels?
ilovemy4kids wrote:Finding that 15 minutes is the problem....to find that, I'd have to take out something else from his regular school work.... Son takes meds already to help with concentration....long story....brilliant kiddo (as his test scores etc... reflect), but his brain works differently.... so he takes a LONG time to do work.... math is about 3 hours a day... however, I do like this idea and will think more about how to make it happen....
the current events could even be at breakfast, or lunch time together or something...


whaddya think of that?
ilovemy4kids wrote:I think you are amazing!
the other option is to do what you are thinking and just try to see if it works in your family to have them both in US1. Even if it is not the recommended mfw way.... with God all things are possible.. and sometimes HE makes things work out. and your family might be the exception to the generalization given the whole big picture of all things.

crystal
Last edited by cbollin on Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ilovemy4kids
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:08 pm

Re: Problems with high school

Unread post by ilovemy4kids » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:25 pm

Crystal,

Thank you so much.

We have decided to go ahead and do both in the US History to 1877, although I'm a bit nervous about the decision. My husband made the final decision. It has been a prayerful decision over the past few weeks. So, following his leading, I'm going to give it a go.....

Going to pray for wisdom to teach to them both, and to be able to juggle schedules to make it work.

:)

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