Compare MFW to textbook approach & Happy with the switch

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Re: Private School (Abeka) to Homeschool (ADV) & Phonics/Mat

Unread post by TriciaMR » Sun May 20, 2012 7:14 am

We were in the same boat as Melissa. I used Abeka for K-2nd with my oldest. I switched to PLL with my oldest in 3rd. I went through the 2nd grade part of the book and found a few things I felt like she needed review on, and then we started in lesson 83. It was great. We switched to Singapore halfway through 3rd grade. Not always my dd's favorite, but she know how to solve problems, and she will finish 5B this week.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
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Julie in MN
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Re: Private School (Abeka) to Homeschool (ADV) & Phonics/Mat

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu May 24, 2012 11:59 pm

daisylynn wrote:I'm in a very similar situation! I will be watching this post for more info. It's nice to know that others are in the same boat and that we can encourage each other!

I have homeschooled using Abeka from the beginning. I have a 2nd grader, K and 4 year old (who has done Abeka K with his brother the whole year and really excelled!) I am so glad to see this post. I was trying to decide about what math and LA to go with and I think after reading all of this, I will use what MFW suggests. All of my kids are excellent readers and are great in math. I was worried that singapore and PLL wouldn't be challenging enough, coming from Abeka. Abeka is so strong in Academics and I don't want to mess them up. Since my 2nd grader has the foundations of phonics down and can read just about anything you give her, I'm sure she'll be just fine with that.

I wasn't sure if I should switch my boys though since they haven't learned everything in phonics yet. But I figured that I still have all of my old Abeka stuff and can use it as a supplement if I feel they aren't getting what they need.
I'm a big proponent of teaching a thorough phonics program to each child. I'd vote for giving them math and language arts at a 1st grade level next year, not as a supplement but as their primary focus, whether you use MFW-1st or ABeka 1st.

My youngest could already read when he started K. He could have read the end of the 1st grade reader before he even started K. Yet I still enrolled him in public school at the K level, and then he went to 1st grade. Unfortunately, I didn't choose to homeschool, and even more unfortunate, I didn't realize that it was a mistake to have his teachers let him sit out of the reading lessons just because he had already taught himself to read.

I finally brought him home to school in 3rd grade and only then realized that he had learned to read by memorization, which is very inefficient as you get into more and more words. He didn't know the patterns or connections between related words and their meanings, he hadn't worked with the alphabet in order, he didn't have any strategies besides asking (couldn't look things up because he truly didn't know alphabetical order).

So that's why I suggest going through K and 1st grade language arts with every child -- because it's not just about teaching them how to read ;)
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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Abeka/MFW comparison

Unread post by SunshineShan » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:01 pm

We have been debating between the 2 curriculums. I want MFW and my husband wants Abeka. I decided to go online and make a comparison of the two for Science and Social Studies. Abeka had a VERY detailed scope and sequence on their site so I condensed it to just main topics. Hopefully this might help someone else.

2nd grade:
Social Studies- Founding America/Colonial overview
Science- stars, weather, birds, body, magnets, matter, energy

3rd grade:
Social studies- Exploring Countries and Contenents
Science- topography (mountains, oceans, grasslands, rivers, etc)

4th grade:
Social Studies- Creation to Greeks (Using Bible as Core book)
Science-light, air, water, ocean, sun/moon, birds,

5th grade:
Social Studies- Rome to Reformation
Science- anatomy (cells, brain, senses, skeletal) and solar system

6th grade:
Social studies- Exploration to 1850. America (Columbus, colonies, western expansion) & World
Science- creation, classification, botany

7th grade:
Social Studies- 1850 to modern times. America & World
Science- atoms, energy, sound, magnatism, electricity, machines, light

8th grade:
Social Studies- cycle back through but at deeper level and add suplemental material
Science- atmosphere, hydrosphere, weather, the structure of the earth, environmentalism, the physics of motion, Newton's Laws, gravity, and astrophysics.

9th grade:
Social Studies- Ancient History & literature. Egypt, Greece, mythology
Science- Biology. body systems, classifications of species, the chemistry of life, ecosystems, and genetics

10th grade:
Social Studies- World History & literature. Rome, crusades, renesance, reformation, world wars, etc. Literature: pride & predjudice, tale of 2 cities, beowulf
Science- chemistry

11th grade:
Social Studies- US History to 1877.
Science- physics

12th grade:
Social Studies- US History 1877 to present and Economics
Science- advanced biology

2nd grade:
Social studies- Founding America/Colonial overview
Science- human body, plants, animals, earth, space

3rd grade:
Social studies- America Heritage (people- columbus - mlk,jr)
Science- human body, plants, animals, oceans, weather

4th grade:
Social Studies-Overview of America founded through Gerorge Bush
Science- Insects, plants, matter, birds, energy, astronomy

5th grade:
Social Studies: Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe
Science- plants, animals, energy, light, minerals

6th grade:
Social studies- North and South America, colonial times, slavery, presidents, topography
Science- invertibrates, plants, space travel, force, matter

Social Studies- World History overview, Creation to 9/11.
Science: life science, plants, anatomy, birds, mamals, insects, ecology

Social Studies- US History. Columbus to George Bush
Science- earth and space, soloar system, geology, fossils, oceans, weather

Social Studies- World Geography (religions, customs,industries,etc)
Science- chemistry, geology, fossils, motion, light, electricitry, magnets

Social Studies- World History, Babylonia, Rome, middle ages, Reformation, America through present.
Science- biology (plants, animals, people)

Social Studies- US History, 13 colonies through Barak Obama
Science- chemistry

Social Studies- American Government & Economics
Science- physics


Re: Abeka/MFW comparison

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:29 pm

welcome along.
Thanks for sharing all your hard work!

if it would help with details.. maybe this section of the archives would help? I wish it were less conversationally written of course....

I'd like to clarify a few things...if it would help to see the unseen.... You did a nice list with condensed topics (and doing condensed style is hard.)
some things jumped out a bit at me that you might want to know a few more details as you decide? I'm not intending it to be nit picky. I'm hoping it is helpful to help see the unseen. Thank you for doing a nice list.

The science in ADV (which on your list is called 2nd grade) is directly related to the Names of Jesus study. The science does cover a variety of general topics in chem and physics and other.
The social studies is not just colonial overview. It goes way beyond that topic. an overview of 50 states is covered. But it much more than colonial. I'd like to gently suggest a glance at the table of contents of the sample to see how it goes past colonial and revolution, into westward expansion, all states..inventors. ... manual.pdf
However, I completely understand why anyone would think it was only early colonial based on the short description on mfw's website with phrases of early history. :)

I like to describe the big picture of the science in CTG scope and sequence as:
upper elementary aged general science topics in Physics, Ecology, Botany, Astronomy, Biology, and some physiology as well. Order of topics is determined primarily by "days of creation".
Additional topics are in science of Pyramids and some history of science. Inquiry and discovery via introduction to Scientific Method are included.
Students will learn from reading text, and library books, and from many hands on learning projects.
Optional nature walks and journaling will extend the student's learning experience, as well as increase observation skills
Science is scheduled for 2-4 times per week in an appropriate time frame box for the age group.

science in 7th grade.
MFW recommends Apologia General. Students in 1850MOD who are younger than 7th grade study those topics that you listed.
MFW"s programs are not "grade level" specific the same way as classroom program is. As a family, you can have students in a program in different grade levels. So that could get confusing with how the science can be different.

the 10th grade WHL program has more than that for literature. but.. that doesn't matter..

Another area to consider? Bible.
here are some links on that ... ntegration

I just wanted to add in a few details if it would help you see more and help you and your husband decide. MFW was authored by a classroom teacher. Several other staff at MFW have worked in public and private schools. MFW is used in some private schools out there. I don't know if y'all got to see MFW in person at a convention or not. But sometimes seeing it like that helps.

Last edited by cbollin on Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Abeka/MFW comparison

Unread post by Stephc » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:51 pm

Having done both A Beka and MFW! I'm going to add my 2 cents..... ;)

I was raised on A Beka. Went to Christian school all my life and, except a year in ACE and one in Alpha and Omega, it was all A Beka all the time. I even went to their college for a year. So it was a given that when I started to homeschool I would do A Beka. I wish I had gone with MFW from day one and stuck with it.

A Beka is very fill in the blank. Not too big on independent thought or creative writing. The books are beautiful. I believe I got an excellent technical education. But I want my kids to know Jesus' heart and to love walking with Him. Having come from an A Beka background and being on their campus I can say that they are definitely a Christian company. But there is just an authenticity missing that I get from MFW. I feel like MFW' goal is to get kids to think like Jesus, to love Him, and to give an answer for the hope that's within them. With A Beka there is much more a feeling of "do this because I say so" and, having been immersed in the culture there, I know that appearances are very important. I just.....don't want my kids wrapped up in what a textbook company tells them is right per their extra Biblical standards (not that personal, extra Biblical standards are wrong! But they are just that--personal, not gospel). I want my kids to think independently and be courageous enough to dive deep into Gods Word and see what it says for themselves. To get their standards and beliefs from God himself.

Anyway, I hope I've just given an honest review from someone who's REALLY been there, done that. Whatever you choose your kids Can thrive because it's about so much more than the curriculum. Best wishes for your choice!

Postby Stephc » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:29 pm
Oh my. After Julie's post I went back and read and I now see hat your point was to help others. YOu were not asking for advice. So take my post with a grain of salt! &)
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Re: Abeka/MFW comparison

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:11 pm

Hope those comments help your dh see some more angles.

I think your scope & sequence might be helpful for lots of folks who worry about whether they are covering all of the typical "school" topics while using MFW. Not only hubbies but sometimes school districts or umbrellas want to see those kinds of things listed out. Thanks for sharing all your hard work!

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: Abeka/MFW comparison

Unread post by SunshineShan » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:27 am

Hey Crystal, Thanks for the additional info. The science for 7th grade I did forget to specify about the older/younger group. I have a bunch of little ones coming up after my oldest so that's what I was focusing on. They will be doing the younger science.
For the h.s. literature I just wanted to show that some of the same classic books are used as you would in public school. Not an extensive list.
2nd grade Adventures, 50 states. Good grief! How on earth did I leave that out! Whoops. My bad. Thanks for adding that.

Steph, Your A Beka summery is spot-on. I taught elementary at private schools for 4 years before having children, as well as attending a Christian school growing up. That is one of the big reasons I want to use MFW. When I taught I loved the Lord and my students. Cried my eyes out the last day of every school year. But I did not have the extra time to work with the struggling students or those that were bored because of being ahead. I dread seatwork and when I taught they had so much trouble thinking outside the box and literature was not an interest of theirs. Their big questions were "What do I need to learn to pass the test?"
My trouble is that my husband works in the school system. He is not a teacher but everyone knows he homeschools and he feels like Abeka has a long-standing reputation. He is open to MFW IF I can show him that it overall measures up to A Beka. Which it definitely does! I think it surpasses!

Thanks all for input and encouragement!

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Re: Abeka/MFW comparison

Unread post by jer2911mom » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:58 pm

rjsmomma wrote:Would it make your dh feel better if you used ABeka for part of your children's education? If you used ABeka for Math and Grammar/Writing/Spelling, and used MFW for Bible, History, and Science, using the lit list to round out their language arts. MFW has suggestions on what to use for LA and Math, and they are awsome programs, but they could easily be sub'd for ABeka if that would make the decision easier.
I have a friend who does this very thing with her 3 children and it seems to work very well for them.


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What does a day in MFW look like compared to Abeka??

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:55 pm

darrenandamyse wrote:I have twin girls both going into 3rd grade. I was looking at the 1yr program. What does a day look like? We have been using Abeka. I have liked the layout of teaching for that and then the kids do the workbook pages for the day. But they need more hands on visual/audio stuff. Anyone switch from Abeka to MFW. How was it the same/different?
I used Abeka through 2nd grade with my oldest, then switched to MFW when she was in 3rd (we started with ECC, since the "history" portion of Abeka had covered a lot of US history up to that point, and I didn't want to repeat. Plus we have to do 4 hours of school a day in our state, so I didn't want to have to think of things to add).

It is different in the sense that in MFW activities are planned in the lesson plans, there are less workbook pages, you use narration to make sure they grasped the concept, and uses more games to teach concepts. I love how it uses living books, and the book basket list is an amazing way to enhance a program. (Abeka doesn't give you any library lists.)

Not much is really the same between them. It is a different feel - especially using narration to make sure they understood. I love that I can combine my kids into one level once the younger one has reached 2nd (until the oldest is High School). That was one of the reasons I switched from Abeka. I didn't see how I could get it all done with 3 kids. (My oldest is mildly dyslexic, and worksheets were a big struggle for her.)

What I love about MFW is Bible is part of it, not an extra add on. And that I was able to improve my relationship with my dd even while doing school. Check out my blog below and click on the "ECC" label on the right hand side, and you can read how our transition went that year.

I hung out on these boards for about 6 months before starting ECC, so I really felt comfortable with the program.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

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Re: What does a day in MFW look like compared to Abeka??

Unread post by MelissaB » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:14 pm

Hi, Amy,

We used Abeka from Pre-K (age 2 yrs.) through Second grade. We "eased into" MFW when our oldest was in 3rd grade by using MFW for Bible/History/Science/Art/Music, and cont'd using Abeka for Math and Language Arts.

Abeka is an excellent curriculum. As my husband has told me, "This is a good curriculum. And this (other) is a good curriculum. You can't make a bad choice here." :)

Basically, you'll schedule your school day just like you do now. The main difference will be that the Bible, History, Science, Art and Music subjects will be done mostly together. Instead of working separately with separate workbooks and tests, your girls will do most of those five subjects' assignments together.

MFW can be completely individualized, if your girls want to work separately. But one thing we love about this curriculum (and I can't express this sufficiently - you just have to experience it for yourself, really :) ) is the closeness that developed during our first year of doing MFW.

MFW gives a very rich, deep study in history, Bible and science that I haven't been seen in any other resource.

For example, in ECC - by playing the geography game 2X/week, our oldest daughter (then 3rd grade) memorized almost every country & its capital on every continent. (!) That's huge to me. And she can name most of them even today, two years later.
Not only did she learn the geography very thoroughly, but she understood the history and cultures of the people who lived there; what type of ecosystem the parts of the continent has (that's the science); what animals live there; and how the country's history affect its people today.

Did you study any Canadian history in 3rd grade? We didn't when I was in school. But ECC has a little bit of history for every major nation across the continents. And along the way, you read a biography about a missionary that spread the gospel to that continent. (The biographies are fascinating! Filled with adventure.... you'll love them!)

MFW isn't watered down. It doesn't offer a shallow understanding of a lot of areas. Instead, it provides an in-depth, rich study . . . and it's incredibly interesting all the way through.

Our children both love it. As parents, we love seeing all they learn.

That's why we've chosen MFW. But again, both curriculums are a good choice. Whichever decision you make, your daughters are going to have a great education.

God bless,
Melissa B.
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

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Re: What does a day in MFW look like compared to Abeka??

Unread post by darrenandamyse » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:39 am

WOW ladies, this looks so great. I just had my girls tested and they are both audio/visual and movement/touch learners. Abeka wasn't cutting it for us anymore. Sounds like this will be really great for them. My husband and I are both really excited that the bible/Lord is really involved with the learning process.

Thanks so much for your help, and I will be reading that blog :-)

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Re: What does a day in MFW look like compared to Abeka??

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:00 pm

We did bju last year and started mfw adventures this month. There's not the hours of worksheets. Interest, it's real books, projects and my little ones can join In a lot! We both love it. I really wish I'd looked into mfw years ago when it was suggested to me!
2012-13 Adventures
2013-2014 ECC & K
Mom to:
Chelsea (9) Hunter (5) Natalie (4) & Alison July 2013
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Re: What does a day in MFW look like compared to Abeka??

Unread post by CindyLou » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:12 pm

My children attended a private Christian school last year for 1st/2nd grade using Abeka. They learned alot, and became very confident readers (can't say enough praise for Abeka phonics), but oh, so, much, busy, work!!! My daughter loves workbooks, so she didn't mind, but my poor son - crying, trying to finish the day's worksheet in order to play recess outside, often never managing to get everything done. I was able to talk the teacher in allowing him to bring the worksheets home and we'd complete them at night so he'd have time to play with other kids at school, but everynight the tears flowed and it took us HOURS to complete what my daughter could do in like 15-30 minutes.

So, we're homeschooling this year using MFW Adventures. What a difference! I can add on workbooks for my daughter to her heart's content, but my son now LOVES school - he loves reading (and being read to) so we utilize our local library quite a bit. We're so very happy they both seem to be enjoying history (which they didn't have much of at school last year). And they BOTH love ART and SCIENCE and NATURE STUDY - and anything that involves hands-on projects or field trips! I'm enjoying it, as well. Math is the only subject he still loathes - but we recently found Teaching Textbooks and he tested into 3rd grade and now thinks he's playing math games on the computer. So ALL is well in our home school!

I'm glad that Abeka's phonics (and math) is such a good program - they truly did learn and have become very confident readers (and spellers) and are reading well above grade level, but the amount of Abeka's worksheets "busy work" was just overwhelming for my son's learning style. MFW is a much better fit - not to mention much more fun!

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LOVE Adventures!

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:10 am

Hey everyone! Just wanted to share. We started up last month with adventures. I have to say I LOVE it! I love that my 2yo and 4 yo can join in much of it. I love that it's all laid out for me and that it's real books and not workbooks. Oh yeah and my kids sit and listen to "God Bless AMerica" over and over and over lol They sit and sing to it. SO cute!

I'm even loving the spelling power. My dd has speech issues and other spelling programs weren't working AT ALL. With this she goes through the steps (independently most days !? )and usually gets them right the next day. This year has been SO different than the past 2 with our workbook format. We are in the middle of week 4. I SO wish I'd used MFW when I saw it 2 years ago but I'm thankful that God has led me to it now and am looking forward to coming years of K and ECC next year.
2012-13 Adventures
2013-2014 ECC & K
Mom to:
Chelsea (9) Hunter (5) Natalie (4) & Alison July 2013
See MFW in action @

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Re: LOVE Adventures!

Unread post by Melany » Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:27 pm

We are in the middle of our third week with Adventures and loving it too!

This is my first year with MFW and like you I wish I had made the switch sooner.

I love that younger brother (just turned 5) and baby sister (2) can also participate in different things too, like the name braceletts and the WWJD braceletts. My 2 yr old sits and colors on paper while the boys do their art or practice writting letters, etc. and she sits with us while we read on books. It is so much fun!


My Fathers World Vs. Rod and Staff

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:59 pm

staceyhoff1976 wrote:Has anyone here used Rod and Staff, and how do you feel it compares to My Fathers World?
Welcome to the forum!

Thought I'd try to get some of the conversation started to help you as you decide what's best fit in your family for your style of schooling.

I haven't used much of R&S. MFW sells the R&S 2nd grade spelling book. I've used that once. So, not much to compare there. uhmm.. some people use R&S language arts and still use MFW for rest.

Part of comparing the programs is more about style of school than anything. I'm guessing R&S would fall in the "textbook" category. While hoping someone chimes in with fresh perspectives, I'd like to link you to a "super thread" with an index for some previous discussions on how does MFW compare to this and that. check out the category on textbook/workbook

MFW blends texts, with unit studies, and a touch of classical and few other elements in there. MFW will connect subjects as much as possible. I think R&S would be more of what you study in history and what you study in English or Bible may or may not connect. One of the things I've appreciated with MFW is how it's a blend of best ideas. I like that MFW blends in good programs but isn't the sole author of the texts used.

Not sure that helps any or not. They are such different approaches to school time it's hard to compare without some more specific information that you'd like to hear. What grade levels/ages are you looking at? That might help narrow down the questions?


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Re: My Fathers World Vs. Rod and Staff

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:23 am

We used rod and staff for first grade reading and phonics. Now using mfw for third grade. The biggest thing is the style. Rod and staff is primarily workbook based. The reading has a reader then a workbook page for each lesson. It is a good solid program. Comparing it to mfw. Mfw is much more hands on, real books to read instead of text books and workbooks. The style is really different. Main thing is to decide what type of school you want to have for you and your children.
2012-13 Adventures
2013-2014 ECC & K
Mom to:
Chelsea (9) Hunter (5) Natalie (4) & Alison July 2013
See MFW in action @

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Re: My Fathers World Vs. Rod and Staff

Unread post by gratitude » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:48 am

I am currently using both. It is possible to use both, and pick and choose which subjects you want from both programs.

They are very different programs over all. MFW focuses more on classical and Charlotte Mason methods. Rod and Staff was written for private Mennonite Christian schools.

MFW (I have used Pre - school, MFWK, MFW1, and ADV):
*Hands on Learning / Activities / Cooking
*Marie Hazel writes her own student sheets, but also pulls different books together for learning. These books include the Bible, reference books, Usborne, and literature.
*Hands on science
*Unit studies that pull together Bible and History or Bible and science.
*Recommends Language Arts and math resources and builds some of the Language Arts into the program. If wanted Rod and Staff could easily be used in place of the recommendations.

Rod and Staff (I have used English 2, English 3, Phonics grade 1 and 2, Reading Grade 1, Math Grade 1 and 2, and Reading/Bible Grade 4):
*Text book / Work book style.
*Integrates Bible into all of their English and Reading program. Integrates character building into their grade 1 readers. Integrates character building and Bible into all of their English / reader lessons and many of their assignments. Works from Genesis through Revelation in their Grade 1 through Grade 4 Readers then starts a Bible study using the Bible as the text book in grade 5.
*Starts students at age 6 and goes thru 10th grade / age 16.
*We are not Mennonite, but we have found the Bible in the program to be very solid and grounded and my ds9 is learning a lot from their 4th grade Bible.

For us Rod and Staff has been a nice supplement to MFW. They both have provided very different elements to our home school. Rod and Staff is very traditional, and their math has given the back to basics drill that Singapore lacked (I use both math programs, but not every problem in R&S). MFW gives very different hands on elements that Rod and Staff lacks. Rod and Staff gives us grammar; MFW gives us Bible verses to copy. Rod and Staff spends more time on phonics than MFW1, but MFW1 does phonics very efficiently. When I finished MFW1 phonics with my oldest I found continuing phonics with Rod and Staff into grade 2 helped with his spelling. Very different programs and very different approaches. I have not used Rod and Staff for history or science. I like to have history and science more hands on and literature oriented. I guess the question to ask is how do you want your home school days to look. Some families go entirely hands on learning for all subjects. I like more of a text book approach for LA and math, and not text book for history and science. I like Bible to be integrated in all subjects; other families do not want it integrated everywhere. Some families go entirely text book for all subjects. I guess the questions to ask is how do you want to spend your days and try to figure out if you want more of a hands on approach, text book approach, or a mix of the two?

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Re: My Fathers World Vs. Rod and Staff

Unread post by Buttercup78 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:43 pm

I am another one who uses R&S for Language Arts/English and MFW for everything else. I don't start R&S LA until grade 2, though.
Nikki, Mom to:
R (1991) 2012 Graduate
J (2003)

S (2005)
E (2006)
J (2009)

S (2013)
E (2014)

We have used K, 1st, Adventures, ECC and CTG - Starting K with my little guys in 2019!

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Re: My Fathers World Vs. Rod and Staff

Unread post by staceyhoff1976 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:49 am

Thank you all for your responses! :)

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Re: My Fathers World Vs. Rod and Staff

Unread post by kerby » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:41 pm


I'm another who uses R+S for some of the 3 R's along w/ MFW. I really, really like the math! I tried several different ones and this gets the job done SO well. It works for my dc. I will NOT be switching again!

I also use the spelling. I like that they use the words in context w/in the lessons so it's not just memorizing a list. And, it doesn't take a long time to do, usually.

I also like their K workbooks. These are great to add on to K or 1rst for some extra fun if your dc want them. I know some dc want to sit and work like their older siblings so that's a nice thing to add if you want or can. The newer ones that are coming out w/ would be great add-ons to the ECC program, too. They are focusing on biomes.

As pp said, I like to use something a bit more typical for the 3 R's, but MFW adds in the fun and togetherness w/ the content areas that are flexible. And, the Bible teaching is wonderful!!
In HIS hands,

4 Blessings - 2 graduated
K, 1rst, Adv, ECC, CtG, RtR, AHL

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Re: My Fathers World Vs. Rod and Staff

Unread post by albanyaloe » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:36 pm

You've had great replies and although I don't have much to add, I wanted to add a few points about the advantages or disadvantages of R&S. Of course, we all know, in HS, a disadvantage to my family, may work out to be a plus in your family!

Yes, the 2 curriculum use very different approaches, unit study versus traditional textbook. They are both Christian curriculum. Rod and Staff is a Mennonite company, so it is conservative Christian Anabaptist. The wonderful thing is, as with MFW, all the books are Bible based, and you don't have to screen your children from anything, not even in the science, and especially not in the readers. ( I seem to recall a bit of teaching in the History that could offend Catholics in higher grades but that was all I ever found) There Bible course is excellent in my opinion, we used it on and off as a supplement in our OT study, but I added lots of pictures for my younger children.

We've had lots of success with the Math at various stages (until we discovered Singapore, we thought that it was as good as it gets) I was happy with the all round, back to basics approach and a very detailed Teacher Manual, as well as all the added bits of the curriculum like blacklines, speed drill book and flash cards, at a reasonable price.

The English is probably their most popular course, used widely in HS. It starts in Grade 2. Actually, as with PLL, it could mostly be done oral. It starts off gentle, but gets much more intense with grammar than PLL, such as parts of speech, which I feel is a bit unneccesary until later. I like all the scriptural references and the practical uses of English, as in PLL.

I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this, but the other difference is that R&S is more difficult to do with multiple children, at least for me, compared to a Unit study approach. Each child has their own level textbooks, for each subject. Although, I honestly think some subjects could be combined and taught to a few children, with one textbook.

Generally R&S provides a lot more work than needed, in other words, they offer very thorough practice in every subject. Great if your child needs that, but so much so, that you would do well do leave out several exercises in the books, especially if your child gets concept, or they may feel it is overkill!
Lastly, the books are mostly hard backed, and very durable, so they can be re-used. Many of the subjects have workbooks to fill answers in, but mostly you need to write the answers in a notebook.

HTH some more.
Our first year with MFW, doing ECC 2012, Our 7th year of HS'ing
Joel 11 yo, Emma-lee 8 yo and Shelley 6 yo
We're from Sunny South Africa!

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Back to MFW!

Unread post by karlafoisy » Mon May 06, 2013 10:30 am

Hello all,
So, my kids did online school this year, and i feel like it was a complete waste of a year. They never learned anything well. They glimpsed over tons of topics, but didn't really absorb anything. I fear their math skills have diminished, because we had to keep pushing them to move along before they really understood the topic at hand. With that said, I would like to [choose a math program] (and of course, go back to MFW for everything else).

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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:11 am

BJU Press English

Unread post by Joyhomeschool » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:13 pm

scrapper4life wrote:I noticed that from 2nd grade on I need to pick Lang Arts curriculum for my ds. Has anyone used BJU press 2nd grade English after doing MFW K and 1st? I am just wondering how the transition went. I plan to take a look at scope and sequence of both later on but thought I'd put a feeler out for some real world feedback. Thanks!
I noticed you hadnt had any responses yet on this thread. This summer we tested out BJU English 2, 4, and 6 after always using MFW english. Obviously only my 2nd grader went from MFW 1st to BJU. BJU was HARD for him. Its a lot of memorizing and writing. He didnt retain much if anything. We ditched it and went with MFW plans and are much happier and he is retaining a lot more. BJU is very solid but IMHO was a lot of work to reach the same ends as MFW english does.
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2

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Going from BJU to MFW

Unread post by kw4blessings » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:54 am

Tigress wrote:I presently have two children I homeschool. I also help homeschool my nephew via FaceTime. The 3rd grader does distance learning with Bob Jones University (DVDs). I teach the the two first graders. Plus I have a toddler running around. We spend up to 7 hours a day in school. I love the program and the level of education it provides. However, we are burnt out. My son has lost his joy of learning so something as to change. I have never done anything but BJU so I am a little worried about leaving my comfort zone. So I was hoping some of you season users could help ease my fears and help me see if MFW will be a good fit for my family and nephew. So far from what I understand of MFW I like. I like the classic education method and some of Charlotte Masons ideas.

I am a little confused how I teach my rising 2nd graders and rising 4th grader at the some time. Do they take tests?

Are there lots of crafts to get a point across? My kids are not much into crafts. I end up doing all the work. So that part concerns me about unit studies type curriculums.

I hate asking this question because I really do not care about standardized testing but because of Uncle Sam I must. Those that test your children, do they test well using this curriculum?

Have any of you come from a traditional homeschool type teaching and change midstream and the children did well?

Thank you in advance for your help. May the Lord bless you for your kindness.
Hi! Welcome to the board. I can't answer all of your questions as we are just about to begin combining students and we don't do testing. But, I can tell you that MFW does a great job of keeping the joy in learning! We rarely spend more than 3-4 hours on schoolwork each day. We spend a lot of time outside and playing games (many of them learning games, but don't tell my kiddos! ;) ) Now, next year, I will have a fourth grader, so I imagine we'll be spending a little more time on written work next year.

As far as combining goes... you'll combine all of your 2nd-8th graders for Bible, History/Geography, Science. There are often instructions on how to tweak each subject for youngers and olders. (7th-8th do their own separate science curriculum). Each child does math and LA on their level. The Lang Arts that MFW recommends is very Charlotte Mason style and conversational. We often do it orally for my 3rd grader who isn't super fond of writing.

I'd encourage you to give MFW a try for a full year. It will definitely take some getting used to as the style is very different from a terxtbook/computer curriculum like BJU. There are projects and crafts built in, but not too often and, although you get a lot out of completing them, I feel like you could leave them out and still learn plenty! I can't say enough great things about the gentle style of MFW. My children are learning a ton, but we don't feel like we spend all day "doing school". MFW helps to make learning a lifestyle.

I'm sure you'll get some more replies from more experienced moms who can answer your other questions. Blessings! :-)
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!

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