Books - Why are there so few for this curriculum?

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
Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Books - Why are there so few for this curriculum?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:26 pm

LaMere Academy wrote:I'm thinking about buying Adventures and for my 1st and 2nd graders. But is this really all we need? Is there no literature/history reading for this curriculum? I'm just lost on how this works. Are we supposed to use the library for our books?
Thanks!
~Becky
Hi Becky,
To answer your questions:

If you purchase the "deluxe" packages, you will receive several family read-alouds. You will also have "living books" to use throughout the curriculum. And as you mentioned, there are extensive lists of library books for "book basket" as well as a list of suggestions for independent reading. This allows you to vary these books depending on your library, your family's interests, and your children's reading levels.

Have fun!
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

nehschooler2three
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 8:43 pm

Unread post by nehschooler2three » Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:37 pm

Becky,

We are using adventures (and k too) and I agree with the above post! It is a wonderful program, my ds LOVES it ! We are having a great time, also remember to add your language arts and appropriate math in, also. We are not doing a foreign language, but that is also an optional add in. I cannot say enough good things about mfw! Their customer service is wonderful and their curriculum is awesome! The best thing is being able to use the library to keep expenses low.

Book basket is a wonderful time when they get to sit with books that are relevant to the history/science topic for the week and read what they want. there are several posts below explaining this concept. Very easy, once you understand it!

I hope you love this curriculum as much as our family does!

Jill

Lucy
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Unread post by Lucy » Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:36 am

Hi Becky,
The core books are the ones that are actually scheduled and the other library books that you use for book basket and reading books are used but not in a scheduled way, like you have to finish or use certain books. This is freeing because if you just can not find a book then it does not ruin your whole lesson and you do not feel behind if you're not finished with a reader yet. Anyway we really like all the literature without all the pressure to read every book cover to cover.

Have a great year in MFW.
Lucy
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

Sue in MN

Unread post by Sue in MN » Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:10 am

Welcome to MFW! I know that you got your questions answered but I just wanted to welcome you and share my initial reaction to your title.

Currently, we have 65 books sitting in Book Baskets just for MFW curriculum. We are using Rome to the Reformation this year but our Book Basket always looks like that- filled with MFW books. So unless you have a really bad library system near you- there will be no shortage of books.

Lucy
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Other book lists become unnecessary

Unread post by Lucy » Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:36 pm

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:20 am
Hi All,
Just a quick note about the book list. One thing that I do like about MFW is that many of the books you will see on other reading lists will be on MFW's weekly list. I have also come to find that over the years I just stopped looking at all the other lists because I have found I can trust the selection of books for content very well with MFW. This is not to say that other lists do not have good books, but it just became too much to always be looking at lists since I already had so much to choose from with MFW.

Just my experience over the past 6 years.
Lucy

doubleportion
Posts: 201
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:27 pm
Contact:

Will mfw be enough?

Unread post by doubleportion » Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:50 pm

pjssully wrote:Will mfw be enough-will my kids learn enough?
I think you will be happier with MFW. There is definitely some cross over with books. When we are coming across books in our Book basket that we really love, then we purchase them to add to our collection. And we are a family who loooooves books. Even my 2 yr old is a voracious listener/reader. He will listen to books until you wear your voice out from reading to him (we generally stop him around #12) LOL!

The difference for me was that they were already previewed by MFW, who I think have more discernment akin to our family standards. I also like that I didn't have to buy those books in the Book Basket list. And when there are ones which are over my daughters head, I haven't wasted my money on a book that we won't use -- way more secular or more mature than what I wanted to expose my dd to. When she is exposed to some of those topics etc I want her to have a strong foundation in THE TRUTH first.

We have actually found more readers just perusing our library.

Finally, I found that my dd was retaining more history the way that MFW does it with text, living books, timeline, crafts etc all tying together. And I did not have to spend all night staying up figuring out my lesson plans for the next day. I didn't have to flip back and forth through all the TM trying to figure out how all this actually fit together. MFW takes the best of living books and coordinates the information in a much more coherent manner, IMO. MFW is so much less work for me, so much more fun for my dd and we are seeing the difference in what she is retaining. And we love that it is so Bible centered!!!!

I know the Lord led us to MFW and if He has led you to it also, He has His reasons. We are sooooo happy with MFW and will never even consider going back. I don't think you will regret your decision. :)
Edie

shawnswife
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:04 pm

Unread post by shawnswife » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:31 pm

We have also switched to MFW and I have not been sorry for one minute! The kids like it better too and I think they're learning a lot more. (IMO just reading all the time gets kind of dull.) I think you'll be happy with the switch! Blessings to you! :)
Jennifer F.

Wife to Shawn since 1997
Mom to dd (2000), dd (2001), ds (2002), ds (2006)

Using RTR and MFW K (2011-2012)
Completed parts of CTG and Story of the World (2010-2011)
Completed ECC and MFW 1st (2009-2010)
Completed ADV and MFW K (2008-2009)

kellybell
Posts: 475
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Unread post by kellybell » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:42 am

MFW is not enough. (Okay before you strangle me...) Sonlight also is not enough. Nor is Abeka, Bob Jones, Ambleside, Lifepacs (well, we all knew that, right?), Diana Waring, Weaver, ...

What IS enough is MFW and a loving family that takes a hike now and then, goes to the community playhouse, kicks a soccer ball, visits grandma when she is sick, worships together, scrubs dirty toilets, has a lemonade stand and gives the money to a missionary, goes through cancer together, cooks, paints, cleans, digs, cries, giggles, reads the Bible together, rides bikes, etc.

When you do MFW you'll have time for "enough."

You get the picture. SL is great for some families and God has led them there. And MFW (Abeka, Bob Jones and maybe even Lifepacs) works for others. Honestly, I've seen homeschoolers take a perfectly terrific curriculum and make it dull and lifeless. I've seen other homeschoolers take a lifeless and boring worksheet (with eraser marks from the last kid) and make it come to life. Sometimes I think we all get a bit too wrapped up in curriculum and its "enoughness."

The "enough" comes in the unique things your family does to round it all out. And the "enough" also comes in how it the curriculum is presented. Does mom toss the TM to the children and say "read it while I talk on the phone" or does she read the books and make the crafts and cook the foods with them (mistakes and all).

You cannot have "enough" if you are bogged down with read-alouds, worksheets, tests, etc. It's a balance.

Oh, and I guess that wasn't your question, was it?

Yes MFW is plenty. You'll have a rich year.

I'll step off my soap box now.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

dhudson
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Do any of you add in the suggested books?

Unread post by dhudson » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:55 pm

3froggies wrote:I am looking into RTR after taking a break from MFW for a year. One of my reservations is that it almost seems like there are not enough books, particularly read-alouds. There are 4 read-alouds for the year for RTR? It almost doesn't seem like enough. Am I missing something? Does anyone who has done RTR or CTG, etc. add the supplemental books that are suggested at the end of the book to add more? Thanks! I really want to try to make this work for us!
We always add in books from the Book Basket list. For instance, we just listened to "Number the Stars" which was a book basket book and it added a lot. I love that when I have time (and money)I can add in extra books but when we don't then I am covered. I often go through the TM at the beginning of the year and buy the asterisked books and add them in when appropriate. The great thing with MFW is that they give the parents the option to add more books with the library as my resource and only buy what I can afford.
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Do any of you add in the suggested books?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Yes and yes :)

The reading is probably more than it looks. It's probably going to be more towards "enough" than you realize. Augustus Caesar's World is quite lengthy, and then Story of the World is read at a pretty good clip. Don't forget that you'll be reading portions of the New Testament, too. Plus of course the read-alouds in the deluxe package and other support books.

But the reading list in the appendix adds plenty more for those who devour lots of fiction, especially (and there is nonfiction, too). I remember we added a read-aloud called The Apprentice. Some other possible experiences are here, and you are sure to get responses to your question from current users with everything fresh in their minds!

http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2760
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2845

P.S. Not everything you read must be history-related. Having time for some of the classic children's novels is always nice.

P.S.S. The cost is totally flexible, according to your budget, your needs, and your library and book stores available to you. I love to get my manual at convention and then shop for books on my book basket list -- whatever I find may be a hidden treasure, even if I haven't researched it in depth. I also go thru my house for books I've been wanting to read. Others may prefer to purchase a package of some sort from one of the many homeschool vendors these days.
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: Do any of you add in the suggested books?

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:04 pm

3froggies wrote: Am I missing something?
(looks like we were all typing at the same time!)

book basket. RTR has about 350 titles of books in that. You can let the kids read those to themselves, or you can read some out loud with them. Or both -- whatever works in your family with how much reading out loud you like to do. That's part of the program. I found that with all of the reading aloud with history books -- Augustus Caesar world, Story of the World, and then more... and Astronomy book, and the occasional read from a book basket book --- we were fine. Maybe the question is more along the lines of "but wait a minute..... nothing is in the manual for "read aloud" after week 25 --- so now what?" (well, ok... that was my thought when I did RTR the first time. You probably didn't think that.. But I did the first time around. ) In CTG -- extra read aloud is hidden in the program as stuff shifted from history/science/deluxe read aloud. anyway

I remember in RTR -- during Beowulf.. we grabbed some of those book baskets book on audio book and listened. I get tired reading too much. Shakespeare weeks -- wow! because there wasn't a book from the deluxe package to deal with reading out loud, I had a bit more energy in me to read out from some Shakespeare. So once you hit around week 25 or so when the scheduled deluxe read alouds are done in RTR -- it's easy to grab something from book basket list that is of interest in your family and read it out loud as needed. Lots of titles in there.... or depending on what you do for "reading" --- grab something of interest from the general reading list at the very back.

hope that makes sense. I'm worn down a bit today.....

remind me again...... why is there this rumor on the internet that mfw is light?????? I'm wiped out. ;) 8[]

-crystal

dhudson
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Re: Do any of you add in the suggested books?

Unread post by dhudson » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:45 pm

Joyhomeschool wrote:Highjacking here:
We are considering adding in a few books and maybe purchasing a few like above poster. Can you tell me approx what it costs you to do this?
I don't have a number as it depends on what is available from the library, if I can find it at my local used bookstore, and how many I buy! Just to be perfectly clear, MFW is a very full curriculum on it's own but I have a houseful of readers so I use the book basket to fit those needs. The great thing about MFW's book basket recommendations are that they have been read by MFW staff and I can trust the books to be appropriate for my kids.
Last edited by dhudson on Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

705emily
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:52 pm

Re: Do any of you add in the suggested books?

Unread post by 705emily » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:27 pm

We also devour books in our home--and the list at the back of the MFW TM is fantastic! I too--scour the house for relevant books--look for used copies on amazon or in used book sales, as well as utilize our very small library! :)

Blessings!
Irmi Gaut
MFW K, MFW 1, Adventures, ECC this year!

'And my God shall supply ALL your needs according to his riches in Glory!'

3froggies
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:45 pm

Re: Do any of you add in the suggested books?

Unread post by 3froggies » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:31 pm

Thanks so much for everyone's input!! :) I definitely get a better idea of how it works!

my3boys
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:50 pm

Re: Do any of you add in the suggested books?

Unread post by my3boys » Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:01 am

I purchase the book in the booklist that have stars beside them and we borrow the rest that we can get from the library.
Alison
Mom to 3 busy boys ages 11, 8, and 6
finished K, First, ECC, and CtG - currently using RtR

Wendy B.
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:27 pm

Trying to decide on MFW?

Unread post by Wendy B. » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:56 am

starryiz929 wrote:This is our first full year homeschooling. I'm using a textbook based curriculum this year, and while it is thorough, we don't enjoy it! I've been looking at MFW and Sonlight for next year and I just can't decide! If anyone has used both, can you give me a comparison?

I want a curriculum that is thorough, but doesn't consume our entire day. The library trips MFW will require don't bother me much, our library has a system where I can reserve the books online and then just go pick them up. But if there are no teacher guides for the book basket books, you do you assess reading comprehension in your child? Or does the rest of the curriculum do some of that?

I will have a 3rd grader, so I think we'd do Adventures. And a 1st grader....probably.....she's struggling with K work right now so I might get the MFW Kindergarten for her and take it easy....she's only 5 this year. Thanks!
I used Sonlight 1-5 with my older children. I'm not exactly sure how that corresponds to their new levels but the last year we did was Eastern Hemispheres. We have done MFW K, 1st, Adventures, ECC and are currently doing CtG.

Sonlight micromanaged our day. Every book was assigned by page and paragraph number. For us, it was too much reading. Honestly, I fell asleep more than once listening to the kids read. My eldest child was an advance reader, and he totally burned out with SL reading program. However, the selections for readers were excellent. Pay attention to their time expectations and if you have a slow working child or multiple children, plan on adding to that time limit. There was very little time to add in any extras such as crafts, etc. By the time we were done with school, the kids did not want to look at anything that was remotely educational. Sonlight's science was awesome. The book selections were good and having all the supplies was a major time saver. I think in the years that we did Sonlight science there was only 1 book that we didn't enjoy. The history selections for the younger children were a bit too detailed. I enjoyed them but I now cringe at the thought of sharing them with my younger children. Language arts was a mess but it has since been completely revamped.

MFW's bookbasket concept has been a great addition to our school routine. Instead of having every book scheduled, we can use this time to explore topics of interest. Since our reading books are not scheduled, we are free to work through the books of our own choosing as fast or slow as needed. My younger kids will often be found sorting through the bookbasket books during non-school times and days. Science in K, MFW 1st, and Adventures was a good fit for us. ECC's science was a stretch for my children and Genesis for Kids has been a complete bomb at this house. The spiritual growth in my younger children has been amazing. The names of Jesus poster from Adventures still hangs in their rooms and is absolutely precious. Adventures has been one of my favorite homeschooling years. MFW's LA is a good fit for my younger daughter but my younger son has needed a different program. We are currently attempting to transition him to ILL/WS but plan on keeping him with an O-G spelling program. It is easy to sub in a different LA or Math program with either SL or MFW. However, MFW's LA selections do mesh extremely well with the rest of their program which is the reason I am hoping that this transition works for my son.

HTH. Best of luck with your decision!
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.

starryiz929
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:41 pm

Re: Trying to decide on MFW?

Unread post by starryiz929 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:34 am

Thank you for sharing your experiences with both. That is what I worry about with Sonlight.....I looked at friend's IG for it and it says like read 2 pages of this book, then 1 page of this book...then 3 paragraphs of this book! My kids wouldnt like that....we get to reading and they want to keep going!

My son likes to read....but he is a little picky about what he reads. I dont want to deter him from reading bc I make him read books he doesnt want to. I like the book basket idea of picking and choosing.

Thank you for helping.

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

Re: Trying to decide on MFW?

Unread post by momonthemove » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:43 pm

This is our 3rd year homeschooling. When we made the decision to homeschool, I spent an afternoon at a friend's house looking through her SL. She loved it and used it from the beginning with both of her boys. I thought it looked great, but I was hesitant. I love schedules and plans, but all the extra reading just concerned me. I am a very concrete thinker/learner. So, while living books are great, I wanted something in between all living type books and some concrete factual approach. LOL (See this was all about me!)

So, our first year we went with more of a textbook approach. It worked well but I think after that year I was better prepared to really find our stride.

The second year we did Heart of Dakota. I was so drawn to the bible and the easy open and go format. I had several friends using that and they seemed to love it. It was worth a shot. For several reasons, it didn't work for us. :( I have 3 children spaced apart far enough that we would never be in the same guide. That overwhelmed me. Plus, we ended up doing our own Language Arts, Math and reading. So, it wasnt that helpful of a guide in the end. My oldest son did Preparing and he too it seems is like his momma and wants things presented a bit more concretely. So, the books that were more living books/autobiographical books...made the poor boy's eyes roll. LOL I knew that would not work for him long term. And, neither of my two boys really preferred all the crafty type art things.

So, I looked and looked and looked. I prayed and prayed and prayed. I kept looking at the MFW website. I didn't know anyone but one person using MFW. She lived in another state so I couldn't look through her stuff. Then, I saw a special "open house" type thing at a local hotel 45 minutes from me that would be a MFW thing. I could go and look and browse. It was in 2 days. So, I moved things around, found a sitter for my 3 year old, and took both my boys (then 2nd and 6th) with me to the MFW display. I spent over an hour looking through things. (I would have stayed longer but had to get oldest back for soccer.) I had both of my boys look and they were interested in MFW.

What I fell in love with first was the high school stuff. Having a 6th grader I knew I wasn't far from that so I looked through it too. ANd, I fell in love with ECC. I called hubby and he said buy what I wanted. I did and left with my curriculum.

We have had a WONDERFUL year in MFW ECC. It is a balance to me of what seems more unit study approach and more factual info and activities from books I would consider spines. My now kindergartener joins us when she wants. She has her own things she is working on. She was too far ahead for MFW Kindergarten but not ready for MFW 1st so I pieced together things for her and it is working great. HOwever, if I had another one, I would start a 4 year old with MFW K. And do MFW 1st in Kindergarten if that child was similar to the one I have now.

As far as the book basket...we don't use it well. Our library is limited and I find it a pain to try to order from other libraries because things come later than I need. So, I find 3 or 4 books that I really want to use each year and purchase those. My kids have TONS of other books that are not related to our curriculum and they are avid readers. Plus, my oldest is working on research and we spend a lot of time looking things up about the countries we are studying. Then we use that more as a "book basket" thing.

Boy....did I ramble! LOL Hope it helps some.
Deb
Wife to a wonderful husband of 18 years.
momonthemove to 3 wonderful children, 12, 8 and 5

http://jibberjabberx3.blogspot.com/

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: Trying to decide on MFW?

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:01 pm

I have not done both, but I strongly considered Sonlight and was pretty much decided on it and then found MFW. So, I really started digging around more and more to be sure. In the end, I decided that Sonlight would be too much reading for us and not enough hands on. I realized that I wanted a curriculum that has Bible in every subject woven throughout the curriculum. I didn't want it to be it's own subject and that be that. I got the impression that while Sonlight is a Christian company and does have Bible, it isn't woven throughout in the same way. Our main purpose for HS'ing is the minister to our children's hearts. Education is important, but their soul is so much more important than anything else. So, I wanted a company that very clearly puts the Bible in the forefront in our HS'ing experience and MFW does that. We also wanted a more relaxed program and something that we could use with a large age span of children because I have 6 kids. So, we choose MFW and have not regretted it nor have I ever wondered if we should have gone with Sonlight. MFW is clearly where God wants us.

I encourage you to think about how you want your day structured and what you and your children would prefer as far as style (like a lot of reading or more hands on). Then, I encourage you to pray over both and ask God to lead you where He knows is best. Allow Him to give you peace in what you decide. Good luck!

P.S. I just wanted to say when I had time to go back and read what you wrote (because I didn't before I hit submit), I really enjoyed reading your story of how you got here. We started with MFW right from K. We have done K and almost finished 1st. I tend to second guess myself a lot. :~ (I choose to stick with MFW for the same reasons I said above and also our age spans are too great and I'd be using several guides at once as well.)

Anyway, I know exactly what you mean about wanting the mix of styles with text and living. We feel exactly the same! I love living books, but need the more concrete stuff too. I'm glad to hear you are enjoying ECC. I really can't wait to do them all. I'm SO looking forward to Adv. next year and ECC after that.

Also, I appreciated what you said about the book basket. It is the only hesitation I have moving forward. I planning to try to make it work as best as I can, but we also have a small library and I'm not wanting to do a lot of driving to other libraries. (We have at least 2 others within an hour that we could join, but both are at least 40 minutes away.) I'm very much looking forward to seeing how book basket all plays out when we get to it. Thanks for mentioning it. :-)
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

starryiz929
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:41 pm

Re: Trying to decide on MFW?

Unread post by starryiz929 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:39 pm

I love reading everyone's response. So very helpful. :)

Mommy22alyns
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:08 pm

Re: Trying to decide on MFW?

Unread post by Mommy22alyns » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:35 pm

I've used both. I used SL for Rebecca's 2nd grade year. I really didn't like it. The LA was horrible and I ditched it halfway in for more concrete teaching (R&S, WWE). The books really were all over. We hated the history spine, Child's History of the World. It was painfully boring. Rebecca still has an aversion to it. She doesn't remember anything else from that year, whereas she still remembers things from doing SOTW before that!

I found MFW last year, 3rd for Rebecca and 1st for Sylvia. I put them both in Adventures and everybody loved it! More activities, more experiments, great mix of books... the girls learned and retained a lot. I used a ton of SL books in the book basket, so you can still get some of the best from SL while using MFW.

This year we're in ECC and again, we love it! I'm looking forward to CTG and beyond.

Ohmomjacquie
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: ohio
Contact:

Re: Trying to decide on MFW?

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:12 pm

Postby Ohmomjacquie » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:10 pm
Hi! We came from BJU last year which is nothing but worksheets/textbooks for most subjects. this year with MFW has been amazing! We are absolutely in love with MFW! All of my kids can sit and listen to the stories, do the crafts and activities and my oldest is much happier. School used to be a battle daily for us. Now she is excited for her MFW part of the day.
Last edited by mtmom9107 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Wendy B.
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:27 pm

Hard time deciding! MFW vs. Sonlight

Unread post by Wendy B. » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:37 pm

mtmom9107 wrote:I had pretty much decided on using Sonlight and now i'm starting to doubt my decision, sorta. One thing that worries me is the questionable material that they will occasionally use and even though they explain in the IG some of what i've heard about certain books in the upper cores doesn't sit really well with me. I'm fine with some because I do want my kids to be presented with other sides to an argument, and be I guess "well-rounded" so they are not getting out into the world an encountering these things on their own. I'd rather they learn how to distinguish right from wrong in many areas. For example; I want them to know about evolution and OEC, but to be primarily taught YEC.

One thing I really like about SL is their IG's and that you get all the books you will be needing. I'm not sure about the book basket thing with MFW. Our nearest library is 45 minutes away and it's not great, so that puts us 1 1/2 hours from a good library. I think I would wind up spending a lot of time and $$ on Amazon buying books since using a library isn't really a great option for us. Plus then wouldn't I have to schedule in those books myself? Also, is there a way to see this book basket list prior to purchasing? Or is that pretty much something that you see after purchasing the curriculum?

I've kind of looked at the MFW guides online and I noticed more hands on activities, which appeals to me.

Another concern is that I've heard that in the multi-age cycle gets really light for 7th and 8th graders. It's quite a while before we're to that point, but I guess i'm one who really wants to pick a curriculum and stick with it.

I've read the SL vs. MFW threads on the SL forums so those obviously have a bent toward SL. So I guess i'm asking the same questions here, obviously expecting (and wanting!) a MFW bent to the responses. For those of you who just love MFW and/or those of you who have used both MFW and SL could you please give me your experiences, likes/dislikes, etc. Thank you!
Laura

F.Y.I. My oldest will be in K this fall and then I have a 2 year old and we just found out we'll be expecting another in November!
I recently answered a similar question regarding my family's experience with SL for the older children and MFW with the younger children on this forum.

It is easy to work around a library issue especially since you have already discovered SL. I use my SL books for bookbasket. There is a lot of overlap between the recommendations in both SL and MFW. Bookbasket books aren't scheduled; these books are available for the children to explore on their own.

My older kids were completely burned out of SL before they reached 7th/8th. Our last year of SL was Year 5 (Eastern Hemisphere) when my eldest son was 5th or 6th and by that time he was completely turned off of reading. We are currently doing CtG with a 5th grader and 2nd Grader. I can honestly say that thus far, each year just gets better and better with MFW. For me, eliminating the stress of attempting to keep up with the IG of SL has done wonders to my personal enjoyment of homeschooling. There is balance between "school" and free exploration of topics of interest.

That all said, SL's science was awesome. The books were interesting, and having all the supplies was a major time saver.

Best of luck with your decision!
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.

unitlovinmama
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:58 pm

Re: Hard time deciding! MFW vs. Sonlight

Unread post by unitlovinmama » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:08 pm

Book Basket books are only a suggestion. Your "Book Basket" can be books on any topic the kids are interested in at the time. They don't all have to do with what you are studying. I tend to fall into that trap, thinking everything needs to go with the unit. Not so! So in answer to your concern regarding the library, I don't think that is an issue. If you are starting with the K program, you can always purchase the kindegarten picture books supplement, full of great classics. No matter what, it's great to have your own personal library of books your children love just for the sake of enjoyment.
-Stephanie, HSing for 5 yrs, first year with MFW 2012-1013 (ECC).
Wife of 12 yrs, mama to three crazy but amazing kids (9, 7, and 3)
"May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us..." Psalm 90:17

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Hard time deciding! MFW vs. Sonlight

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:15 pm

I think this is the thread that Wendy mentioned:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 608#p93602

I did use SL one year, or at least part of it, and I've used MFW for a long time, so I'll try to throw in answers, too.

1. You want kids to be "well rounded."
I think MFW waits a little longer to introduce kids to some things, and MFW makes sure kids are solidly grounded in their own faith alongside of learning about other faiths (e.g. the Bible is a core historical book in CTG/RTR as well as AHL/WHL in high school). But on the other hand, I do think MFW students are exposed to a variety of authors, rarely reading from just one point of view. And MFW students do read and study a range of other viewpoints. Starting in ECC, students begin learning about people around the world who have other beliefs, get a brief intro to those beliefs, and pray with their family for them. In that year, students also experience the fun of different traditions around the world, and God's love for all His children, so my son tried to wrap a sheet in a dhoti, made hummus, and wrote haiku. Then the next year, while children are going through the Old Testament in CTG, they are also exposed to mythology and fables and such, but they are also reading the real Bible in an orderly fashion (not jumping around), so there is natural comparison. The New Testament is a focus in RTR, but students also learn about the rise of a Roman emperor in detail (Augustus Caesar's World), and learn specifics of Islam when that comes up in history using some cards from Voice of the Martyrs and such. The Hazells were missionaries in Russia for 8 years and they definitely have a world focus.

As for YE/OE, that is up to the family. Marie Hazell has a note in most of the manuals, I think, about her own beliefs but her desire to not divide Christians. It might be this one, which I copied from the CTG FAQ:
  • As a company we hold to a literal 6-day creation and this belief is reflected in our programs. We also understand this is a topic of debate in the Christian community. Our goal is to hold to our beliefs without excluding anyone from using our curriculum. This is a decision that each family and ultimately each person needs to make. The Bible is handled much in the same way. Scriptures and other books are provided, but interpretation is left up to each family.
2. You like the idea of all the books included.
Each family is different, so I can just tell my experience. My dd used SL-7 or 100 or whatever it's called now, American History, for her US history requirement in high school. I ended up dropping the assigned literature because sometimes it was very young (like Dear Mr. Henshaw or Maniac Magee) and although I do believe in some fun reading, I didn't see a reason to "make" her read a certain fun book that she wasn't interested in. And then for the more age-level reading, it just got to the point for me that I didn't feel she was learning more than 1-2 facts from reading hundreds of pages, and we just didn't need that much assigned reading, so I focused on fewer and more depth.

3. For 7-8th grade, it somewhat depends on what year your family is in at that time. ECC and 1850MOD have MORE than enough for those grades. If your student ends up in other years during 7-8th, it varies, but all students will be adding more advanced science, math, and grammar. My son also did a sort of "shop class" in those years, so we were glad to have a little wiggle room for that. I feel happy that my son's education has been more than history class all day.

I hope that helps a bit. So much to think through!
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

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