Library - Must I use it? Small town?

My Father's World uses a Book Basket method to develop a love of learning and enrich all subjects; Independent Reading Time has different goals and methods but there is overlap in book lists and helpful hints
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Library - Must I use it? Small town?

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Jul 08, 2006 3:09 pm

karenhaury wrote:After using MFW K last year I would like to continue on with MFW 1, as well as the rest of the grades on down the road.

I certainly don't mind going to the library, especially in the efforts of trying to save money. But my free time is very limited right now after having recently had a new baby who has had one heart surgery and is about to have another one in a month or two. It would definitely be easier on me right now if I didn't have to worry about getting to the library too often.

Thank you in advance for your help. I really like MFW's curriculums and the forums are a tremendous help!
Big {hug}

To try to answer your question:
1. all the main books that you would use are in the Basic packages.
2. The scheduled optional Read Alouds are available for purchase in the deluxe package.
3. There is an extensive week by week optional library listings to enrich your studies that week and to encourage both a "love of learning by reading" and a beginning time to learn from independent reading.

There is a portion of MFW programs called book basket. These books are library selections and are listed in the appendix of the TM in a similar way to the math/science books in the 1st grade TM, except it is arranged by week.

I typically reserve my books online or at least check from home on the online catalog for my library. The books are ready for me to pick up or even have my husband pick them up on the way home. I also reserve about 2-3 weeks at a time.

Book basket in these upper level programs are a time to allow the child to glance through different library books to get extra information about topics being studied that week. You don't have to get the exact books listed, nor every book listed. It is not expected that you necessarily finish the books from cover to cover. Some of us describe it as a buffet of appetizers and/or desserts to nibble. The main course is the books that are in the basic and deluxe packages.

There have been times that we had to skip the library over the years. During those times, we just used books around the house, Bible, newspapers, magazines, and maybe even an online search (supervised, of course).

The books listed in the deluxe package are called read-alouds. These you can purchase. They are scheduled in the TM. Some people choose to just check them out of the library instead of buying them. However, I found that my library didn't have all of them --- because of the Christian content of some of them. So, I bought them in the package.

hope some of that helps.


Jenn in NC
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Unread post by Jenn in NC » Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:58 pm

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:42 am

I just wanted to add that I live in the middle of nowhere and we have the worst library system here. But I still use MFW and love it. I do go through the TM at the beginning of every school year, and pick and choose a select number of books from either Rainbow Resource or Amazon. Of course it is not the high volume of books the kids could get if we had a good library but I could never afford to buy that many books. It is not an ideal option I guess, but it works for us because there are many, MANY weeks that I just don't have time to go to the library or if I do make the time, they don't have any books that are appropriate. Having even one book on hand for a particular topic makes it so I don't have to stress if the library just doesn't work for us on any given week.

Another option we have used some is a computer-based encyclopedia, like Encarta. It fills in the gaps nicely. There is usually always some sort of multimedia, and that always helps grab their attention. It isn't a good all-the-time replacement for a stack of good books of course but I have been very pleased with it as a stand-by.

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Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:59 pm

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:11 pm

You can also check out the threads for each math or science topic in the First Grade Idea forum on this board. Several of us add extra books titles that we used for each topic, and that would give you more options that the moms have basically screened.

Since they are spread out over the year, if you're going to purchase instead of check-out, you could buy them in batches and not all at once.

Or, put on wish lists . . . Christmas, Birthday, Easter Basket, etc., if anyone asks what a good gift would would be for your children. Just an idea.

The curriculum is awesome even without the extra books, but it is wonderful to supplement with pictures and stories that relate to the topics in MFW1.

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Unread post by RachelT » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:01 pm

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:36 pm

I just wanted to add that although we have a great selection in our library, I still purchased some math picture books. Since we will go through the math topics twice this year (and again for my younger dd) I thought it would be worth it. E-bay is another place to look. And since we are going through the math more than once, we will probably use them more.

Having a book that is a collection of stories, like the "20th Century Children's Book Treasury," is another good way to have a variety of good stories to choose from for read aloud time. We read an assigned page or two out of "Things Outdoors" each week about our science topic, but we like to get other pictures books on that topic from our library. So even a combination of different resources works for us!


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Unread post by Michelle in WA » Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:15 pm

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 1:42 pm

I just wanted to pipe in and suggest 2 books for science. Usborne has several nature study type books. My favorites for MFW1 are the Usborne Children's Encyclopedia and Usborne Pocket Nature (ISBN 9780794503468). Both are available in mini sizewhich is perfect for little hands. They are internet-linked to activity sites that can add to your study. If I could only have 2 books for science this year, these would be it.

Jenn in NC
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For those of you in small cities

Unread post by Jenn in NC » Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:43 pm

my3boys wrote:We aill be ordering ECC for my 9yo ds for September. For those of you in small cities, did you find your library had sufficent books for ECC off of the book basket list, or do you wish you had purchased some.
Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:25 pm
When we did ECC, I found that my small town library (it barely qualifies as a library, really) had almost nothing on the book basket list. But the one thing my library did have was lots of kid's cookbooks from various countries. Usually there would be a good bit of culture and some history mixed in with all the yummy recipes.

My kids loved these books, and all the recipes and pictures and our foreign food nights and all that! Some of the recipes we still make. Some others we didn't particularly care for but even that was fun.

I am sure there is a lot more that could be said about the various books on the list but that is what comes to mind at the moment.

We loved just about everything about our year with ECC. My boys were in 4th and 2nd grade at the time and we had a K'er tagging along. It was great fun for them, and I loved how it opened their eyes to other parts of the world. Great year.

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If we have a not so good Library

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:35 pm

GLPerky wrote:Which brings me to my next question. If we have a not so good Library, is MFW even going to work for us? Thanks for your input and time.
The library is a delicious option offered by MFW, but if it isn't part of the basic package, then it isn't absolutely required. I will say that at our house, we loved the library during ECC but we didn't use the library a whole lot during some of the other years. Although, we do have a house full of books :~ Here is a brainstorm list of ideas, in case one or the other might work for you...

(1) For K, well, I wouldn't say that a library is absolutely essential. I am "afterschooling" MFW-kindergarten with my grandson and we haven't done the literature portion. Of course, he is also getting public school K, but at home we just read books together without matching it up his public school or to the MFW-K units (which he loves, he just doesn't choose the books so far, maybe later).

If you really want the literature in K, and if you don't have a good library, you might want to order the MFW-K literature pack, so you would have 26 books - one for each unit study:

If you aren't able to do that, then books you have on your shelves or the library shelves will be fine. In fact, I would say that most libraries will carry a lot of the MFW-K books, no matter how thin the library selection is - the K list includes some very standard children's books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Make Way For Ducklings.

Another option is to order a book with a lot of typical children's stories. MFW used to sell one called "20th Century Children's Treasury." which has over 40 stories, so even if you don't choose to read all of them, you will likely find some you enjoy. You could also wait until you get your manual, and then choose some of the literature in there and order a few.

Lastly, there are many "favorites" posted around the board by various K families over the years, and that might give you more options to look for at your library. You might try
the K Ideas board
the Book Basket board

(2) For Adventures book basket, I haven't done that level myself but here are some threads that could help you out:

Ideas if you have a poor library (look for posts by Marie Hazell and Kelly Bell):
Ideas if you don't want to use the library:
Maybe take one book and make it a bigger part of your year:
Library FAQ from fellow users at various levels:

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What to do for readers/readalouds when not using library

Unread post by MelissaB » Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:54 am

ktburgh wrote:I'm struggling with the fact that MFW doesn't include LA books for readers and read alouds after 1st grade. I don't want to have to depend on going to the library a couple times a month to get our books and would like to just purchase some so we just have them to read and re-read.

What have MFW elementary users done for this? I've thought about just purchasing readers/read a louds from Queenshomeschooling or Sonlight but would like some guidance. This is the only thing that is keeping us from going with MFW. BTW we have our 1st child entering kindergarten in the fall and one more 3 years behind, so I know we wouldn't run into this for a few years. The reason why I really like the idea of MFW is because when #2 gets in to school she can just join in the Family Learning cycle.
Hi, kt. In the back of your Teacher's Manual (when you receive it :) ) is a long list of book recommendations listed per each grade. And as I'm sure you already know, there's also a list of book recommendations for each week of the curriculum. MFW has placed an asterisk beside the books they highly recommend.

Just a note... We've learned that we can re-check the library books online, which allows us to make our library trip only once a month. ;)
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Re: What to do for readers/readalouds when not using library

Unread post by hsm » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:54 am

I was going to mention the same thing Melissa did. You could purchase the asterisked books so you have them on hand.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that MFW does sell a kindergarten literature package. I bought it for my kindergartener and it is wonderful. Even my older children enjoy the books :-)
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Re: What to do for readers/readalouds when not using library

Unread post by TriciaMR » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:57 am

For grade-level readers, I really like Pathway Readers and Abeka Readers. I often pick them up used at used curriculum fairs. I have two dyslexic kids, so I like having them read to me every day to make sure they are progressing.
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Re: What to do for readers/readalouds when not using library

Unread post by ktburgh » Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:36 pm

Thanks, ladies! I really want to try to have everything we'd need on hand just so we wouldn't have to rely on the library except for "extra" books since our biggest library is an hour away. I'm glad the hear that they asterisk the more highly recommended books so that way I could just try to purchase them used before the start of the year. I was thinking of going with an entirely separate LA curriculum when we'd get to 2nd grade, too, and then use what MFW recommends to supplement when we do get a chance to get to the library so it's good hear your recommendation of Pathway and Abeka if we'd decide to go that route :)

Just to confirm, though, the readers/read alouds that are recommended are based on what they'd be learning in ECC, right?

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Re: What to do for readers/readalouds when not using library

Unread post by gratitude » Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:58 pm

The books in the appendix are listed by week and correspond to what they are learning that week in the curriculum. For example, in the appendix of ADV will be books about American History listed or in the ECC appendix are books that go along with the country of the week or geography in general. These books are listed for a number of purposes. The main purpose is book basket. Book basket is an opportunity for students to look at books 20 minutes a day, or for avid readers a pile of books they can read that week (I have both types of children / learners). These books can also be additional read aloud books for the week or month. Marie does asterisk her favorite books or videos for each week in the appendix. If you are purchasing the asterisk books would be the first to purchase. You will also find a number of books listed by Sonlight or Heart of Dakota or Beautiful Feet listed in Marie's appendix. Her book list is very extensive and very good. There are 300 - 400 books listed in every TM.

Another part of the appendix is a list by grade level. These are books that could be used as readers. They could be read by the student and narrated to you or they could be read aloud to you by the student. I have them read aloud to me until I see them so interested in reading and have a solid grasp on comprehension that coming to tell me about what they read is a natural part of their day. My 10 year old does not read aloud to me but shares what he is reading on his own periodically throughout the day; sometimes this leads to some good discussion moments. My 8 & 7 year old both read aloud to me each day for approximately 15 - 20 minutes. They each read one story out of their Pathway reader each day and one story out of their Bob Jones reader. I don't use the reading work texts with either program. I do like their readers. A Beka has good readers as well. MFW1 Bible reader is also quite good to lead a child into reading through a book that is meaningful and thoughtful.

When we first started MFW my library was small and a drive into town. I mostly ordered asterisk books for ADV. I also ended up ordering a number of Heart of Dakota books that year for my oldest to read with ADV. We ended up with a very full book basket that worked well. So it can be done without a library. Now that we are in the city and I have run out of book shelf space and I want to save finances and my 10 year old is an avid reader that I cannot keep up with I am finding the library and Marie's book list invaluable. I think the value to buying is the re-reading. I know they have learned a lot from books they have re-read or we have re-read aloud. I think the value to a book list and a library is the interest that comes with a new book to look at and pore over and see the pictures or read the text; ultimately the purpose behind book basket.

I hope something I said is helpful to you!

The K literature pack is wonderful. My third born had the benefit of it, and she really enjoyed it very much. My older children did too.

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Re: What to do for readers/readalouds when not using library

Unread post by extrafor6 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:11 pm

We did ECC last year and are finishing up CTG now. Just to let you know what we personally do...
k-1st grade readers are Abeka and there is also the Bible Reader for MFW 1st
2nd and up readers are Heart of Dakota or Sonlight recommendations
(we do not necessarily use readers that match up with subject being studied, but you certainly could by looking at HOD, Sonlight and the book basket books)

Read-alouds for the five year cycle are included with the Deluxe Packages. Also, I go on (which sells used books) and try to find as many of the starred books from the Book Basket list as I can and purchase those. Typically one Thursday a month, Better World Books has 40% off 5+ used books. I just ordered 19 books for RTR for $52 including shipping.

Hope that helps a little. I also like having most things on hand and then using the library for extras.

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Re: What to do for readers/readalouds when not using library

Unread post by ktburgh » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:23 am

Thanks, Stephanie :) All these posts have been so helpful. I didn't realize the read alouds were included with the Deluxe packages and have never heard of, thank you!

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book basket in a small town?

Unread post by manyblessings » Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:53 pm

allgrace wrote:
Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:42 am
We have been enjoying the book basket and using our library. But now we are moving to a much smaller town. There is a county library and city, but I am wondering if it will be hard to find books. I have never lived in a small town so maybe I am just making a wrong assumption. Can anyone share their experiences? There are about 18,000 people in the town just to give you an idea, which I know is probably not small to some. I have only lived in major cities though!
I don't live in a small town, but is it possible the town has inter-library loan? Meaning, could your local library request books from libraries in nearby towns or the nearest major city, then you would pick them up at your local library?
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Re: book basket in a small town?

Unread post by Fly2Peace » Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:55 pm

I think it just depends on your library. Ours is a small town. Under 7000, but we have a GREAT children's library. Better than many in cities. AND, keep in mind, while book basket is great, and adds to the curriculum, you COULD do it without it at all. Many missionary families do! Also, our children's librarian is so good at offering other options, or authors. I have never felt that I was shorted in our small town library. :)
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Re: book basket in a small town?

Unread post by allgrace » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:01 pm

interlibrary loan is probably and option. Yes, good to know that it could have an excellent library like your town flying2peace and I know we could do it without the library, very true. I am just so used to getting books every week or so.
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Re: book basket in a small town?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:29 pm

You don't have to find the *exact* books in the list. You can search by subject and topic and see if you can find others, if they don't have them.
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Re: book basket in a small town?

Unread post by arosemalone » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:21 pm

I live in a town of about 8,000 people. Compared to several of the towns around here, this is "the city." In this predominantly rural area, I can usually find at least a few books that are on the book basket list, or substitute other books on the topic we are studying. Sometimes I buy recommended books online to build our home library. Interlibrary loans are an option, but shipping is a cost, so I would rather buy the book than pay for postage to borrow it two or three times (if we like the book and want to read it again.)

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Re: book basket in a small town?

Unread post by akoldenhoven » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:20 am

Not sure if your library has the option, but many have online versions of the books to be checked out as well. In some areas, you can also visit one of the bigger city libraries and become a member. If so, they may well have the online books options (not the same as having the book, but in many cases better than nothing) that you could access from home once you have your membership.
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Re: book basket in a small town?

Unread post by allgrace » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:18 am

Thanks. The library seems to be bigger than I thought and they have interlibrary loan and ebooks. :)
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