I cannot find any reviews for MFW High School... anyone use this?
I am considering Ancients next year.
I have used several of the elementary programs and loved them..
There aren't a lot of reviews, if any, because this is a fairly new program. I think it's only a couple of yrs old. There have been discussion about some of the books, but those are fairly long. Did you have specifics that you were searching for, or just some general ideas?
I think those that have continued w/ it have been pleased. The only thing I've heard is that it's a very FULL program. But, good!
There are a few people here using it, and I'm sure that they will chime in.
My oldest is in AHL (ancient history and literature) this year. We're enjoying it.
I like how it ties history and literature to looking at it from Biblical point of view. So, it's not just reading myths, but really taking the time for the high school student to read something like Homer and stop and reflect on the student's own life with anger, rage, and emotions and living for glory of others. Then, comparing it to what the Bible has to say about it.
I love how MFW encourages parents to keep up with the Bible reading each week so that you are a Bible mentor and discipler to your child and help them process the books and the scriptures. Love that scripture memory is encouraged from Proverbs, Psalms and a mishmash of verses that are ones that have special meaning to the student instead of a pre arranged set. I like that a lot more than I thought I would.
Of course you end up reading the entire Old Testament. I am certainly willing to use scripture and daily reading plans for my own quiet time, so it's not a huge time thing on me ;) My dh had never read Warren book, so he and dd go through that. I like how my dh put it: it's not a heavy read, and it's important for a child to think about these topics even if we don't like his writing style on it. (ooh, that's the hot topic about the program that's sure to get an uproar from certain popular people around here)
Love the English /writing assignments. It's just laid out what to do so I feel confident as a parent. I wish I had this level of instruction and help when I was in Honors and AP English in high school! Love the encouragement of creative writing through Psalms and Proverbs. Like the argumentative essay and instruction.
my daughter is able to follow the daily lesson plans on her own. She's growing up and wants to be older now. I don't have to read everything to her. MFW schedules a once a week conference. We enjoy that.
History: I'm glad AHL is not just and only Notgrass. (have to be careful on this forum if I say much more....)
I've enjoyed it. My daughter likes it. She's challenged in her reading skills with doing Homer, but not overwhelmed. MFW gives several notes in the lesson plans how to scale Homer back if needed. So, MFW doesn't leave you without help.
any specific question?
THANKS so much for the replies!
I guess what I am wondering the most is how heavy the reading is, with all the "old" literature. I am really trying to figure out if reading those books are necessary? They look like they would be so boring. However, I DO want my dd to be educated and to be able to know false and truth... not that she doesn't already, but she would certainly never pick up a book like Homer on her own. Are they difficult to understand.
Based on your review, it does sound like there is quite of bit of hand holding which is very good!
Any insight would be great:)
We too are using AHL for my son, and I am agreeing with everything Crystal said about the program!!! In fact, the gentle guidance in the TM is exactly why we switched from Sonlight. MFW just doesn't throw an assignment at the student blindly and leave the 'how' to them or mom and I also like how they 'use' a variety of books for the history like Notgrass and Unwrapping the Pharoahs, instead of just one history spine rigidly adhered to. I understand the hesitation reading the ancient books----but Notgrass makes it easily doable. So far, I am noticing what an incredibly balanced curriculum this is, not crammed too full with reading like some and not too over-the-top intellectual or focused on Classical to ruin the fun.
If you've used and loved their elementary stuff, then you'll probably like their hs stuff too.
We have only tried their AHL (year one). We tweaked it a lot and dumped half the literature, as I didn't feel it was appropriate reading for my young 14 yo...even with the deliberate worldview training. It's one thing to read a few snippets and see the contrast and be informed; it's another thing to be fully immersed in it. KWIM? But that's just us. If you don't mind your dc being immersed in the ancient literature, then I will say that I do think MFW handles the worldview training quite well. It's very meaty and quite a lot of reading for one who doesn't particularly like to read or struggles with such a thing...(I'm thinking this may effect some boys possibly?) It's tough enought just to read through the entire OT for the year.
Also, I would be one who disagrees with some of their Bible picks, specifically the Warren book, as I would like to see more of a Gospel-Driven book rather than a Purpose-Driven one that twists the scriptures to build a POV, but that's just me. MFW's use of this one book is enough to give me pause as to the unknown of the rest of the program, unfortunately. It's a widely known controversial book. Period. Google it. With that said, this book is only used briefly within the guide, and I do think MFW has good intentions with it, although I think they could have chosen better for that subject, IMO, knowing the strong controversy over it.
Anyways, if you're looking for the grid to guide and have everything laid out nicely for you, step by step, and you trust MFW to guide your student independently with their teaching and suggestions, then you'll probably enjoy the program. I, OTH, found myself wishing we had gone with something else for Ancient studies. I probably would have enjoyed their year 2 a bit better, but I'm sort of "afraid" to go there again and spend the money, KWIM? I don't really care for their some of their Bible resources in that year either, and would feel the need to oversee everything that she's reading, which would defeat the point of independent learning... (sigh).
MFW would probably be the only lit *program* that I would consider, though, if I was looking for one. Although, with their use of so many textbooks and encyclopedias, I often wonder that it can really be considered a lit program. I think of it as more of an expensive textbook-unit study program that guides you through corrolating literature. LOL! For me, it's practically impossible to use a MFW without much tweaking. There's always something.
Just offering another POV...
"I guess what I am wondering the most is how heavy the reading is, with all the "old" literature. I am really trying to figure out if reading those books are necessary? They look like they would be so boring. However, I DO want my dd to be educated and to be able to know false and truth... not that she doesn't already, but she would certainly never pick up a book like Homer on her own. Are they difficult to understand. "
That's a trick question, isn't it? Is any book really necessary versus another one?
Epic of Gilgamesh: it's a condensed poetic version. Done in 4 lessons. It's over and done so fast, you don't have time to be bored it in. It's what? 44 pages?
Cat of Babustes: that's a Henty book, adventure book set in ancient Egypt. The first part has some boring parts to describe lots of things (but that's part of the good part of the book as it details history too). Then, it really picks up on the adventure.
Homer, Iliad: Marie Hazell (mfw author) states in the manual that if parents are sure it's too much for their student, to use any other book on anything. Or to use something like Black Ships of Troy. You know, some of the chapters are long and we use the free online librivox recording of the Fagles translation. It is expected that most students will do this book, but it is one that MFW specifically in the lesson plans says, ok, switch if needed.
Homer, Odyssey. (I'm not checking my spelling LOL) we're not there yet.
MFW test piloted the program with many levels of readers. The authors have one child who is a slow, struggling reader and she was able to do the program. Between Cliff notes, and audio books, and things like that, it is doable. It's college prep high school level, but not college level.
In terms of the doubt casting on MFW's overall integrity with the PDL book -- well, after seeing how the book is actually used in the program, I don't understand why people get their internet undies in a wad about it. It's not like the book is done in isolation of real scripture study. But it always gives Christians something to fight about. (My interpretation is better than yours!)
but to each her own. After using the book as it is written in the plans, I just don't understand the internet fear out there. I mean there are parts of the Notgrass book where I disagree with how the Notgrass family interpreted scripture. I can still use the book.
Here's what MFW says about a lot of this because I think it is important when discussing the philosophy of a curriculum, it is equally important to hear their side of it in addition to personal preferences of those who don't like the program or do like the program. Then you can make up your own decision with your husband about what your philosophy is and whether or not MFW fits. It is doesn't, that's ok.
example: why study any of this?
ooh, and their response to the PDL book
Here's my take. If someone (random person) doesn't want to use that book, then drop the book and you probably aren't going to miss too much. I think that person should at least see the table of contents and discuss those things with your child. the book is more about practical ways to get along with others than it is about real Bible study, which is why MFW doesn't use it for Bible study.
The other book that has some confusion internet information about AHL from time to time on this forum is the book Taking the Old Testament Challenge. The book that MFW uses is not a John Ortberg book. It is a book written by Judson Poling and it has no mention of Ortberg. It is only a basic reading comprehension questions of passages in the Old Testament. That's all it is: you just read this passage, stop and think a moment, what does it say....
There are no answers in the book, and not really any commentary or doctrine either. Some of the commentary will be just a historical fact.
But that's the "controversy" surrounding it. I know the Hazells and Welshymers personally and really know their heart and love for the Lord. I've watched them, been in their houses. They're the real deal with wanting people to follow Jesus and not follow a person.
This post was edited on Dec 23, 2010 10:52 AM
Nancy wrote:and would feel the need to oversee everything that she's reading, which would defeat the point of independent learning... (sigh).
well, that's ok and all of that. don't get me wrong on this....
But that's not really what MFW intended to imply with Independent. I think they made it clear that it is a parent mentor guided curriculum even in high school.
The independent part is that we don't read out loud to our children, and that the children follow the syllabus. There's a weekly conference to discuss all of the literature and to read their journals and all of that. I've found it takes me about 1 hour each week to keep up on being debriefed on what my daughter is doing in AHL by reading the literature and comprehension guides and the OT challenge questions. Then one hour a week to have special focus time with her.
truth be told though, she usually comes in many times per day and shares with me or makes comments.
no such thing as one curriculum for all and everyone has different needs. so I'm not saying your experience is wrong, or that you should use MFW. I'm just saying "wow.... totally different experience over here and I didn't tweak it."