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Topic: Feedback on anyone using/used MFW curriculum?

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Subject: Feedback on anyone using/used MFW curriculum?
Date Posted: 4/8/2009 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2007
Posts: 137
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HI!

I'm researching what we will be using next year, and I'm feeling drawn to MFW. I have for a few years, but I haven't made the jump. I started out using Sonlight, and I've slowly become much more eclectic.  I like the freedom that picking and choosing gives me, but I really like the comfort of having a pre-planned schedule, too. Just not so intensive as Sonlight.  SO I'm wondering if anyone here has used the MFW curriculum can give me any rating on their experience? I know that each family's experience will be unique and you really can't compare, but I'm hoping to get some feedback such as, what worked/didn't work for you, what you liked, and what you didn't.

This year I started out using Story of the World and it just became drudgery for us, so I'm a little hesitant to go with such as history-based program. Though I really LIKE history, so...maybe that's why I've been drawn to MFW. I'm not sure about the science portion. I was planning on using Answers in Genesis' science curric next year. Already bought in full, thanks to the Homeschool Buyers Co-op.  So would I be wasting my money, do you think, with MFW when I likely won't be using the science portion?  If we do go for it, I'll probably start with the Adventures in My Father's World, since my oldest is 3rd grade level, but if we do start MFW, I'd ideally like to continue with it through the 5-year cycle.

Any thoughts?? :-)

Debby

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 5:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/28/2007
Posts: 191
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Hi Debby,  I also have resently been drawn to MFW program.  Next year I will be teaching 2 6th graders and a 9th grader.  I went back to reviewing MFW after a saw they were one of the favoite picks in the Old School House Excellence in Education Awards where the parens/teachers choose their favoites.   They one under core curriculum, Charlotte Mason, Unit Study , History, Geography and Bible catigories.  (This is from a 2007 magazine).  The most often pick were Sonlight and Tapestry of Grace.   Not knowing what grades your teaching, I myself think it would be easy to suppliment or use another Science curriculum.  I really like the AiG and other good creation based science programs and I like the Christian world view that you get with MFW.   And, since I would not be able to offord Sonlight this is something I may be able to manage.  Most of the books they use I already have or are on my what list, plus there is not that much consumable products involded.   I just received their new catalog which shows more about  the HS program.  One of the best things for me, since I might be teaching three kids next year with one of them in high school,  is that the lesson planning is already done.  So far I have most set up my own lesson plans with various books and programs.  Let me know if you find out anything more.  I'll try to watch this thread.  Melita

Date Posted: 4/9/2009 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/15/2008
Posts: 6
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Hi Debby!

I am also attracted to the MFW curriculum and I wish I could afford to at least order a few books from them right now - I love to support family-run HS companies!  So far I just try to get a few of their supplemental books because they sound great.)-:  Not that this answers any of your questions, but I just checked out HomeschoolClassifieds mentioned in an above post and there was some MFW stuff on there!  Under Unit Studies, if memory serves (I wouldn't count on that!!!).  I'll be watching this post, too!

Lynn

Date Posted: 4/9/2009 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2007
Posts: 237
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I've liked what I've seen too, but they don't have curriculum out for my teens yet.

But I do intend to show it to my daughter for my oldest grandson, who turns 5 this summer.

I'll keep watching this thread to see opinions of those that have used it...

Date Posted: 4/9/2009 5:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2007
Posts: 137
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Chandra,

It looks like, according to the new catalog I just got in the mail, that they've finally gotten a HS curriculum put together.  I know for the last few years I've been hearing that one was in the works. So maybe you should check it out! :)

I've gone through all the reviews about MFW on HomeschoolReviews.com, and it really does look pretty good. I'm close to being sold. Now if I can just wait patiently enough until the end of June, when our homeschool convention is...

Debby

Date Posted: 4/10/2009 7:21 AM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2006
Posts: 6
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I used Adventures this year with my 7 and 9 year old.  I liked parts of it a lot -- the history, etc.  I felt the Bible and Science were a little weak.  Bible had a good idea behind it, but I wanted a little more on a daily basis for my kids.  I started adding in more reading from a Bible story book (I have 2 little guys, too, who haven't heard all the stories as often as the girls), and before I knew it, I had dropped the MFW Bible.  Then we dropped science, because I felt like it was somewhat random, and hard for me to follow --although it looked good to me when I previewed it.  It seemed too choppy or something.  I was still loving the history, but even there I got bogged down when it began the state study -- couldn't quite get into it then, because that, too, seemed choppy.  Anyway, part of the problem, I think, was my own life and preferences at the time, and I still really like MFW and the approach -- I think maybe I should have gone with ECC for my girls.  I finally just quit with Adventures and am currently trying to sell my set.  I am wondering whether to go with ECC next year, or just admit that I am eclectic and always will be, even though I really want a program!

Date Posted: 4/10/2009 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2007
Posts: 237
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Kristen,

That sounds a lot like our experience with A New World of Adventure by Learning Adventures. We had studied the Ancients using their A World of Adventure and loved it, but we got bogged down doing the state and presidents studies for ANWOA, I was already subbing Apologia for their science, and my own Bible lessons too. The material was just too young for my teens.

So we are looking for something literature based to finish up American History with. I have a friend that is letting us borrow the IG to Sonlight 100 starting next week. I'm considering doing it and then the Civics/Government or 20th Century one next year.

Subject: MFW
Date Posted: 4/15/2009 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 3/7/2008
Posts: 114
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I used Adventures with a 2nd grader and a Kindergartener.  We loved it and they learned a lot.  The K child just participated as much as reasonable.  I think many reviews say that the science in MFW is weak because they don't schedule the weekly nature walk that is advised in the program.  We had many discussions based on our observations.   I too like having the basic outline but being able to add to it through the "book basket" concept.  I will be starting ECC soon and plan to use MFW through the cycle.

The only thing we didn't like from Adventures were the readiings from Exploring American History.  I ended up checking out individual biographies of the individuals covered instead of that book.  It is not used that often so it wasn't a problem to replace.

Date Posted: 4/15/2009 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2007
Posts: 137
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Matthew,

Thanks so much for the feedback! What didn't you like about the Exploring stories? Are they too dry for so young a student? I've seen, on other reviews of MFW, that others have had the same complaint about that book. 

 I noticed, looking ahead, that Hero Tales is used in...ECC I think. Which is funny because we used that for Sonlight K, but it was WAY, WAY too over the heads of a K level kid. So I ended up posting (and quickly sending out) the book on PBS, actually!! And now to find out I might use it again next year! I think it would be a much better fit for a third grader or up. I never have understood why Sonlight thinks it's a good book for K.

I'm going down to the Cincinnati Homeschool Convention tomorrow evening to walk through the vendor hall. I'm so excited to be able to spend some time at the MFW booth to go through all the materials in person.  I won't be buying anything yet tomorrow, though. Really.  :) I have the CHEO convention in Columbus at the end of June to look forward to, when I'll be buying my curricula for next year.

Oh, which brings me to another question for those of you who have used MFW before: if I find a used set for sale, do you think it's worth it to buy it, piecing together my own books from other sources and the library, or does the TM include page references specific to editions that come with the package. Not that the price from MFW is really that bad, but I HAVE seen a few listings of Adventures for sale used, so I'm curious.

Thanks!

Subject: I've used MFW
Date Posted: 4/16/2009 2:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 1
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Hi Debby,

I've used MFW for K, Adventures, ECC, Rome to Reformation, US HIstory 1 and 2 and am about to use Creation to Greeks for my 5th grader next year and am pretty sure (but haven't completely decided) we will use Ancient History for my 2 9th graders. I could probably answer  a lot of questions unless its 1st grade. That was not a fit for us.

I started homeschooling using Konos which was fun till the baby came along. Then we switched to Sonlight. I loved Sonlight but I had a daugter who needed more hands on and not just reading (she has some learning disabilities.) MFW has been a great fit for us as it has a lot of good reading but also hands on activities. It just seemed to fall in the middle of the two I had used and liked. I am excited about the hs as it teaches them to be independent learners. My dilema there is just between 2 good choices--MFW and some classes taught at our local co-op.

I have to say though that I am a pick and choose type person for homeschooling. I often did not use MFW's science options as we had GREAT science classes at our co-op. Plus I liked the elementary Apologia so we did that a couple years. Next year for Creation to Greeks, for example, I may use Science 4 Kids chemistry and biology which I already have because of getting for my older girls. (I save everything to re-use). This year I will only buy the Teacher's Manual for CtoG because we have all but 3 of the books from our last year of doing sonlight before I made the switch. But if we do the HS program I will probably buy the package. Many years I have researched prices before the convention and just bought the TM and then bought the books where I could get them cheaper. They say they discount for buying the entire package and know they do but I am a good shopper and can *sometimes* get things cheaper (or borrow from a friend, etc.) So it all depends on the year and circumstances for me in terms of how I buy it but it has been great for our family.

Hope that helps. You can email me directly if you have any more questions. This is actually the first time I've been on this forum so I'm not likely to see questions here. Oh, there is also a MFWfamilies yahoo group that is very active and can answer many questions.

Nancy

Subject: more feedback
Date Posted: 4/17/2009 8:55 AM ET
Member Since: 3/7/2008
Posts: 114
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So did you see it at convention?  Your thoughts now?

Much like you found with Hero Tales for a K child, I thought the stories in Exploring American History were too advanced for my children.  They were unalbe to narrate back what I had read.  We easily replaced them with children's biographies and posted the book here where it was quickly requested.

I agree with Nancy as for buying used.  You can save $ but it will take time to complie all the resources you need.  Do not buy ECC used since a new edition is coming out in May.  Personally I purchase the basic package new, then add the deluxe items from the library or PBSwap.  Since I plan to use MFW long term, I have most of those items already on my wish list.

 

Date Posted: 4/17/2009 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2007
Posts: 137
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Thanks for the info. I just signed up for the yahoo group (and also one specifically for Adventures).

Nancy, you hit exactly why I've been drawn to MFW. I personally REALLY loved Sonlight. But after about a month, I realized that it was teaching to MY learning style (reading lots and lots of books) and not necess. my kids. They needed hands on. So then I looked into KONOS, which looks like SO MUCH FUN, but in reality, I'm a sit on the couch and snuggle up with a good book kinda girl. I do LOVE doing crafts, but I have to motivate myself to follow through. (I have lots of half-finished craft projects around here.) In reality, I know that I would just shortchange my kids because "mom doesn't feel like getting all that together today". Kind of why we tend to shortchange music and art projects, even though they really were/are my favorite subjects -- once the "academics" are done for the day, I just feel - done - let's go have lunch and then the rest of the afternoon for activities. The crafts are the first thing that gets pushed aside.

So it seems MFW is a good mix of the two. Unit study, hands-on activities, but with good books to read.  I sat at the MFW booth for a good 40 minutes or so last night, reading through the TM and looking at some of the books. I am just about sold on it.  No, I think I *am* sold on it -- I just need to decide about the buying the package deal thing.  Looking through the TM, it doesn't look like science is too much that I couldn't add on or swap out with the AiG curriculum as needed. The Exploring book does look a bit dry, but I'll probably give it a go. We have a great library system here in Columbus (#1 rated in the nation actually) so I can always find the individual bios if I have to. (And thanks, Matthew, for that suggestion.) In fact I probably could just buy the TM and get all my books from the library, but I also like having everything all lined up here and ready to go...

What are your thoughts on the Primary Language Lessons books that MFW suggests using? They look VERY old, which isn't of itself a bad thing, but if any of you have used them, did they hold your kids' interests? I'm currently using a mix of Sonlight, generic Phonics work texts, and A Reason for Spelling for my LA.

Thanks! :)