I posted a while back trying to decide on curriculum. I did look at Tapestry of Grace that someone suggested, but her goals don't fit mine. Biblioplan, Truthquest, History Revealed were all suggested too, but they don't fit what we want. I've been researching and reading the boards here and at all three publisher's sites particularly posts on comparing the three. And reading blogs that I have found. So now I have some questions and concerns. :-)
HOD - some of the activities in the lower levels seem twaddlish (is that even a word?) to me (masking taping letters on the floor), plus my children just don't get into rhymes and fingerplays. The devotional used in Little Hearts seemed to stretch to really make the point for that week. I do like that I could do phonics at my child's pace. And I guess it bothers my dh and I that the authors won't give a statement of faith on their website. I can gather some of what they believe, but it still bothers me. In the upper levels/high school will it help me discuss things with my children (other beliefs, old earth vs new earth, creation vs evolution, worldviews) or will it just tell us what is the right one? I like that all subjects are included.
MFW - Phonics in K - My 5yr old is memorizing our Dick and Jane books. She knows a few letter sounds, but I'm concerned the K program may move to slow for her. I would use ECC with my 12, 9, and 7 yr olds. I have read that some feel the MFW using books that are "sanitized and cleaned up". They do give a statement of faith, and I like that they support Bible translation. I have read where some children were bored with the country study in ECC (same thing for each country all year), state sheets in later years being the same thing and getting old. Now as far as high school, will it help me discuss things with my children? I had read one mom's blog that she felt she couldn't really discuss indepth without reading the books her son was reading. And the same question I asked about HOD: (other beliefs, old earth vs new earth, creation vs evolution, worldviews) or will it just tell us what is the right one? Again, I like that all subjects are included, except for science in high school. I do like the fact that the entire Bible is read the first two years of high school and then concentrated areas of study plus spiritual disciplines in later years.
SL - I really like the discussion guides and the fact that they look at subjects from all sides and let us decide our own view on things. I don't really have a problem with most of the books used and could just delete or sub those. I like that they try to use books for other views by authors that hold those views (like Catholicism from a Catholic author, new earth from a new earth author, etc.) whenever possible. I don't like that science isn't integrated with history and Bible, I'm don't know what I think of their Bible, and don't like that music and art aren't included as in the other two.
So, help me here. Answer my concerns and questions. Up until some questions and concerns were raised, we had pretty much settled on MFW. I don't think I could go wrong with any of the three, but I want to figure out what best fits what we want.
And dh and I have prayed daily lately over this and just think the next step is having our questions and concerns addressed by those with experience with these programs.
"Now as far as high school, will it help me discuss things with my children? I had read one mom's blog that she felt she couldn't really discuss indepth without reading the books her son was reading. A"
I have found the opposite to be true for the vast majority of the high school books. One exception has been Church History in Plain Language. on that book my dh reads it or scans it and he does that book.
everything else? answer key and spark ntoes if needed. ;)
answer keys make it easy for discussion.....
This post was edited on Apr 10, 2012 07:01 PM
I can't really help answer your questions, but I do have something else that you might want to consider. I believe it is easier to combine students with MFW. If you choose to do SL or HOD you will likely have more "programs" going at the same time. Now, sometimes it's easier to combine students, but sometimes when you combine it means that the program can totally miss the mark for one of the students, BUT it might be easier for you to have them combined. With SL there is a LOT of reading, so having multiple programs at the same time might make things a bit crazy. With HOD there isn't as much reading, and in the older student's guides there is more independent work, so it would likely be easier to implement than SL.
So, I didn't answer any of your questions... sorry! But, something else to think about. Anyway, I don't think you can really go wrong with any of the three though. They are all very good choices. :-)
I knew I'd get a response from you. :-) Do the high school levels allow you to teach your beliefs and views or does the curriculum tell you what is the right way?
Are you able to address any of my other concerns about MFW?
I think if you search the main forum at HOD, a lot of your questions about HOD will be answered. For instance, here is what the author posted when someone asked about the Bible portion of HOD:
"For the Bible portion of our programs, we go right to the Bible as the source for all teaching and deeper analysis, so we do not represent a certain denomination in that area of study. We do use several Christian Liberty Press books for the history portion of "Little Hearts..." and "Beyond...", which do have somewhat of a Reformed Protestant slant. Our devotionals used in our early programs have also been chosen to be very Biblically based, rather than doctrinally-based. The Eggleston texts used in "Bigger..." were written by a Methodist minister.
Our own family background is from a small-town Reformed Church upbringing in quite a Dutch community. So, we have very conservative roots! My husband and I actively participated in a more contemporary Reformed Church in the city where we lived for 13 years before recently moving to a more conservative Evangelical Free church. So, our background is Protestant with Calvinistic leanings."
cbollin:I knew I'd get a response from you. :-) Do the high school levels allow you to teach your beliefs and views or does the curriculum tell you what is the right way?
Are you able to address any of my other concerns about MFW?
last question first... maybe a little later... :)
The curriculum does not tell you what is the right way. In AHL and WHL it is been parent discussion on anything. Also, I listen to my daughter and her thoughts. They schedule Bible reading. some questions to process. a few books here and there to think about. and then stuff to encourage you to put your faith in action.
I haven't used US1 yet... it's sitting here waiting to start. As I glance through the "worldview" stuff.. it is more framework vs this is what you must think about this topic.
but basically... it's parent directed on that. even on something like "end times" while reading the book of Rev. they have a pamphlet that discussed 4 different Christian points of view on all of it. to compare/contrast and discuss. not which one is "right".
I'm seeing the clock and should sleep... I talk too much...
ok.. who needs sleep? This is a choppy answer. quick stuff...
If Kindy moves too slow. I did Kindy with 2 of my children who were already reading. It was nice to use it. I turned the phonics into spelling and handwriting. The rest was nice for the age. I have a long post on mfw's board about beefing up the Kindy program in phonics. The new 2nd edition manual has several pages in the appendix on how to beef it up... I wouldn't worry on that too much if they are having fun at age 5 and enjoying it.
Sanitized and cleaned up.... hmm. I wish I knew which specific book that meant. If it is the history story book in Adventures, then there are some sentences that feel cleaned up a bit. But then again, I realize it is cleaned up for the age appropriateness and that the source text was from 100 years ago. I can't answer that because I don't know which book you heard that about. that book in ADV isn't intended to go into every detail on slavery, etc....
Repetition and Boredom.
Ok, we have 50 states in the US. Some info is going to be repeated. But it doesn't have to take long to do those sheets. We changed things up a little by using them as decorations. My children actually like the state sheets. we're weird.. we liked it. Fun intro.. one or two facts (usually the goofy one).. color the bird and flower. sticker... and if they hate to color, you can ask them to color just the bird or just the flower, or use stickers or something... don't forgot to the use the link in the manuals about the state sheets... goes to their message board to hear bird calls,etc....
ECC – "but we do the same thing. How boring is that? " I hear that a lot on the internet, but then I ask questions and I get the idea they aren't doing the fun stuff that is different. Part of the country learning is to learn that things are similar and yet different. When I as teacher got antsy, I made breakfast from the country we were visiting. Or I'd make some decorations. Or do some of the extra crafts or ideas that we were skipping in other countries. We got more music from library. Or I got silly and we played passport guard and money exchange and did that fun stuff.
The structure didn't bother me. I guess I”m the weirdo out there. yeah.. I'm the weirdo...
Next question. Oh dear I have to go back and read what you read on HOD. Oh.. I think the discussion is there, but not “you must believe this”.
On old vs. young... MFW has a statement on this and I think it kinda reflects the Bible as a whole in MFW
here.. from their FAQ file on their website
What view of creation science is presented in Creation to the Greeks?
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.
"see" y'all tomorrow... I should be in bed now...
edit to add: as I drifted asleep, I thought of something.. there is one book in high school that I thought was "consider this on this limited topic"... it was New Answers Book...
This post was edited on Apr 11, 2012 06:39 AM
I am currently using MFW K & Adventures. I like MFW much better than HOD(tried LHTH(both my kids didn't like it), LHFHG (great year with my dd) & a bit of BHFHG(driving me nuts after the first few lessons)), but that's just us.
MFW K - the only thing that we're really doing is the phonics/learning to read. Perfect for my son. If your child is already reading some, then this will be boring. I didn't feel like gathering info for science. He sometimes follows along with sister for science and we already did Abeka K science.
MFW Adventures - we are really enjoying this program. My dd & I do like the state sheets and do not find them boring. I am glad that it's just an overview. If it was more in depth, I probably wouldn't like it as much. The activities are fun (much more than HOD's activities - dd didn't like those so we skipped them). I think we skipped a few but we do most. I love the weekly grid. I know what to except during our week. We use a different math/LA than the ones suggested by MFW.
I am waiting to do ECC when my dd will be 10 yrs old. But am looking forward to using that program. One family in our homeschool co-op is currently using this and loving it.