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#1 mumkins

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 07:43 PM

What made you choose one over the other? Have you tried and left one, or both? Why?

#2 Alison in KY

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 06:56 AM

Never tried MFW. I chose HOD because it was cheaper and I liked some of the book selections better. HOD Beyond is going great for us. As far as reading goes, you will have one read aloud, then one history reading, then one science reading.

OF course if our next HOD package doesn't work as well, then I'll really be looking at MFW:001_smile:

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#3 mumkins

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 07:43 AM

We are doing beyond right now, onn unit 2. I like it so far. But next is bigger with another one in little hearts, then beyond and bigger again with another starting little hearts going through. I'm looking for less US history. I want my kids to have a god knowledge of US history. But I think 1 year is sufficient instead of 3. I really like HOD. But I'd also like to teach them all together.

#4 razorbackmama

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 09:36 AM

I chose MFW over HOD simply because I can combine my children easier. If I had fewer children it would have been a tougher decision.;)

#5 Cadam

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 10:12 AM

MFW fit our needs better. They are similar but MFW just works best for us based on the style of the program and the ages of my kids. I really do like HOD though, MFW just fits us. There are many many threads comparing the two programs and it always comes down to personal preference.

#6 wisegal

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 11:56 AM

What is HOD? I am currently considering MFW because I have 3 age groups I am dealing with. What are the differences between HOD and MFW?

#7 mumkins

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 12:08 PM

I read somewhere that HOD (heart of Dakota), was relationship with Christ centered and MFW was missions minded. Would that be a fair thing to say?

#8 Donna A.

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 01:09 PM

I read somewhere that HOD (heart of Dakota), was relationship with Christ centered and MFW was missions minded. Would that be a fair thing to say?


Well, first of all, I don't know how being "missions minded" isn't "relationship with Christ centered."

Second of all, the only year that has a really big focus on "missions", per se, is ECC. Exploring Countries & Cultures is a study of world geography, cultures and people groups, with a missions focus. Learning how to pray for people around the world and their various needs, while reading about the lives of those who've gone before us in their walk with Christ and service to Him, absolutely HAS to be "relationship with Christ centered" or it just doesn't work.

The focus in MFW -- from Kindergarten when the student is learning where he came from and the world God created for us to serve Him in, to high school when the teenager is critically thinking about his purpose on this earth and Who we're here to serve (our Lord and the people around us) -- is certainly very Christ-centered. Christ is the center of *everything*, and MFW teaches that.

#9 Julie in MN

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 01:37 PM

What made you choose one over the other? Have you tried and left one, or both? Why?


I see this subject come up a lot. But it doesn't seem like many have done both programs -- mostly looked at one and chose the other.

Have you opened sample lessons from both sites? I decided to do that today, and here's what I saw as differences -- coming from the perspective of a 5-year user of MFW. I didn't know which HOD to pick, so I chose the one for ages 8-12, called "preparing."

1. "Preparing" is a one-year trip through world history. MFW has much more of a "classical rotation" feel to it, spending 4 years to go through world history. This allows for a large amount of Biblical history, too. The Old Testament is so long that MFW had to separate out Rome into a separate year, even tho many ancients go from creation to Rome, because that's the time of the New Testament. Also the history book that is listed on the HOD sample isn't familiar to me -- "Grandpa's box."

2. The Bible focus wasn't clear to me. The sample page has reference to "creation to Noah" at the top, but many of the verses are from Ephesians (New Testament), and Psalms is in there, too. Maybe this sample lesson is a fluke? MFW takes a chronologic trip through the entire Bible while studying ancient & middle history, and then does some specific studies on basic topics of faith in the more modern years.

3. The HOD Bible included scripted lessons to read to your child, and I saw a few one-line summaries of Bible stories for timelining etc. The MFW 5-year cycle that I've done has us read the Bible itself. I use my own words to discuss it.

4. The science was the arctic tundra in the sample. I'm not sure if that has a unit-study type connection to anything else being studied. Maybe this year of HOD tries to include the entire history of the world PLUS the entire geography of the world?! I would say MFW travels through science in a specific sequence (a year of geography biomes, then a year of creation fun/experiments/a biography set during the ancients, then two topics a year after that). But all science does sort-of repeat itself in all programs...

5. It looks like HOD does more with grammar & literature study in the early years, while MFW recommends waiting until middle school to dissect reading & grammar. Although it looks like you have some flexibility with choosing language arts in both programs.

6. The two-page spread for day 1 is of course different than a MFW grid. The MFW grid to me is more specific as to the topic of the day and the time increments. MFW has been tested through pilot families to show me that it is always a do-able amount of work for most family situations, and I think their grid reflects that research. I felt a little more unsure about how much etc. on the 2-page HOD spread. But of course I'm much more experienced with MFW. Oh, and this is just a little thing, but I also like that MFW's grid is blank for me to write in math & English lessons (the HOD sample repeats the same recommendation every day in the sample, but hopefully that isn't repeated for the whole year).

7. It looks like both might include art & music?

8. To be honest, I couldn't find where you could compare the cost & number of books included in HOD. I could put a package in my cart, but couldn't see which books were in the package. Maybe it's just me. Anyways, here's one MFW package that my son did in 4th grade, if you want to compare to "Preparing": http://www.mfwbooks.com/ctg.htm#basic

Edited by Julie in MN, 15 May 2009 - 01:42 PM.


#10 Michelle My Bell

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 01:39 PM

I read somewhere that HOD (heart of Dakota), was relationship with Christ centered and MFW was missions minded. Would that be a fair thing to say?



I would actually agree to this. I have used MFW for 3 years in the past and am currently beginning HOD.

Michelle

#11 happyWImom

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 02:45 PM

We are using MFW 1st right now (after false starts with many other things!) and I am loving it. I really like what they are teaching about the bible, books of the bible, etc... Plus, they copy verses on special paper, which we display, work on their own bible notebook, and most of the crafts and things are centered on that. We have stopped doing a separate bible lessons, so it's great to have it integrated. Also, I am really liking what they are doing with teaching reading/phonics. There are workbook pages every day, that my dd thinks are fun, even though she is reading pretty well on her own now. It's a nice reinforcement. The science is just enough for us right now also. I can't say enough about MFW 1st grade!!

That being said, we are planning on trying HOD next year, using Beyond Little Hearts. I had gotten a used MFW IG for Adventures, but in comparing HOD & MFW, I decided Beyond Little Hearts seemed like a much easier program to teach. After next year, we may go back to MFW.

Hope this helped.:001_smile:

#12 sweetbaby

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 05:23 PM

Well, first of all, I don't know how being "missions minded" isn't "relationship with Christ centered."

Second of all, the only year that has a really big focus on "missions", per se, is ECC. Exploring Countries & Cultures is a study of world geography, cultures and people groups, with a missions focus. Learning how to pray for people around the world and their various needs, while reading about the lives of those who've gone before us in their walk with Christ and service to Him, absolutely HAS to be "relationship with Christ centered" or it just doesn't work.

The focus in MFW -- from Kindergarten when the student is learning where he came from and the world God created for us to serve Him in, to high school when the teenager is critically thinking about his purpose on this earth and Who we're here to serve (our Lord and the people around us) -- is certainly very Christ-centered. Christ is the center of *everything*, and MFW teaches that.


:iagree:We are using ECC which is definitely missions focused but also Christ centered. They go hand in hand, IMO. I also have CTG sitting here and it is definitely Christ centered.

#13 mumkins

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 10:17 PM

Thank you everyone for answering.

I know that missions and relationship with God aren't seperate. Just where more of the focus lies. I also don't know from experience, just read it somewhere and asked about it.

#14 Sue G in PA

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 11:02 AM

I have used both. We used MFW ECC a bit this year and it didn't go over well for our family. Great program, well laid out, but not a good "fit" for our family. I still LOVE MFW K and will use it next year for dd4. I like it better than LHTH from HOD although LHTH is really cute (possible geared more toward younger than 4). Just my opinion. We are probably doing Beyond next year, though, b/c I really felt drawn to HOD for my kids that are staying home next year. I do know what you mean when you say more "relationship w/ Christ" focused although MFW certainly does teach that as well. It's just a "feeling". It's hard to choose when both are so good. HOD is also laid out a bit "simpler" for me...I like the little boxes where each activity is clearly spelled out. It's visually more appealing to me and easier to follow. Again, just my opinion. I can't recommend one over the other so I would just say, "pray!". God will lead you to the right one!

#15 Tree House Academy

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 11:07 AM

1. "Preparing" is a one-year trip through world history.


True...but then the later programs (Creation to Christ and the ones yet to be written) take you through the 4 year cycle much slower. Preparing is just an overview before starting the 4 year cycle.

#16 lotsofpumpkins

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 12:52 PM

We are going to be using HOD's Beyond for 1st/2nd graders because I wanted to cover American History and it was cheaper than MFW Adventures. I'm considering switching to MFW for the following year though, to do ECC. I have 5 children, so I'm still debating this some (one MFW program for everyone vs. multiple HOD programs). But for this year I've decided on HOD and I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes with my children. We are doing our own thing for most of the math and LA suggestions in HOD, so it wouldn't matter if we switched to MFW a year from now anyway.

#17 alilac

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 02:06 PM

What made you choose one over the other? Have you tried and left one, or both? Why?


I chose HOD over MFW. I did MFW K, part of 1st and part of Adventures and just found HOD to be more engaging. Meaning I got more discussions out of my dd. MFW we did the work, but with HOD, she talked about what she was learning.

I also enjoyed both bible, but HOD trys to add in an application to the verse, so kids can better see how to apply bible verses as opposed to MFW reads bible verses, which IMO, were somewhat too long in Adventures. Verses in HOD are a bit more age appropriate; they're not quite as long. HOD is more character bible learning and MFW is more reading the bible in general.

We found MFW1st moved too quickly and just didn't have enough variety. I mean the brunt of the program in 1st is Phonics (and all bible) and if you get "off" in phonics, it throws the entire program off, whereas HOD has reading, but it's a separate subject and if you need to stay put for a bit it doesn't screw up the rest of the program. MFW1st tries to do all of phonics in the first year. We loved MFWK though. That was beginning reading, but MFW1st really got into almost 2nd-3rd grade level phonics. It started out okay, but after awhile my dd got frustrated. It was just too fast.

We liked Adventures, but HOD just engaged my dd more. Also while MFW's crafts are good, I was constantly saving yogurt cups and plastic bottles which we didn't use. I found myself buying soda just to get the bottle. HOD's crafts are more home-friendly. I think I had to get one item for crafts with HOD, where with MFW I found myself buying a bunch of food-related items to have the container. Plus I don't really like to cook much and MFW has some cooking crafts.

I trust HOD more as far as content, because the author doesn't get into the gory stuff till later grades. It's very age appropriate. Some of MFW Adventures books were dry. I don't mind the book basket, but I'm one that if it's not scheduled, I don't do it. So HOD schedules reading and MFW doesn't (book basket). You can get MFW's books at the library if you wish, I always chose to buy them. We have a crappy library. But alot were no longer available.

They're both good, it just depends on your likes/dislikes. And remember that it's always easier to beef something up than to dumb something down for the youngers.

Edited by alilac, 16 May 2009 - 02:08 PM.


#18 Donna A.

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 02:34 PM

I trust HOD more as far as content, because the author doesn't get into the gory stuff till later grades.


Well um... neither does MFW. That's one of the reasons a lot of classical folk don't like it. ;)

#19 mnllj7

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 08:58 PM

I love Heart of Dakota, IT is a great curriculum very Christian worldview. It is great, we are using Preparing hearts for His Glory with my 4th grader. We Love it... nancyt.

#20 coffeefreak

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 09:39 PM

They're both good, it just depends on your likes/dislikes. And remember that it's always easier to beef something up than to dumb something down for the youngers.


:iagree:
A good friend of mine uses MFW so, while I've never purchased it, I have looked through it. It has just never fit our needs. HOD is going to be perfect for my youngest next year, but not for my oldest. You just have to look at both, visit their forums and go from there.

A previous poster was frustrated with HOD's website. I find all curriculum sites a little frustrating. I'm a catalog girl myself. If you're having a hard time navigating the site like a previous poster said, I would order a catalog. You'll have it within a couple of days and maybe it will be a little clearer.

Blessings!
Dorinda

#21 birchbark

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 12:01 AM

If you're having a hard time navigating the site like a previous poster said, I would order a catalog. You'll have it within a couple of days and maybe it will be a little clearer.


Good point.

I have done a lot of research on both these programs. FWIW, I have seen a lot more converts to HOD from MFW than vice versa. BUT, that may just be because HOD is newer.

#22 ChicoryChick

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 06:18 AM

Hi mumkins!

Recognize you from the HOD boards! :D

Ever since my oldest child was little I have loved the look of MFW, but due to financial restraints, I was never able to afford it. Last year I decided I was going to take the plunge and get my dream curriculum with our tax rebat. Since we were ready to start our 4 year cycle over (and had no interest in doing ECC) I ordered the CTG TM & books to go along with it. I had already decided to use this program for my 2 oldest children (3rd & 5ht grace) and was looking up things about it when I came across HOD and decided to take a peak at it. I loved the looks of the LHFHG program and decided it would be prefect for my K & 1st as I really couldn't afford to get the K & 1st from MFW. Preparing looked interesting, but I didn't want to get behind a year in the cycle and give up my dream curriculum. I kept being drawn back to Preparing and as I was preparing to use the MFW for the coming year I just couldn't get excited about it like I was. As I continued to pray about it I finally felt convicted to get Preparing and use it for my girls instead. MFW truly is a wonderful, Christ centered program and it is perfect for some families, but I believe God led me to HOD because it was better suited to my teaching style and approach. I think I would have still had a good year if I had used MFW, but for us I think HOD was the better choice for us at this time. If Carrie doesn't continue through high school with her guides, I will probably switch to MFW then as I love the looks of the Notgrass history programs.

#23 Cadam

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 12:03 PM

I trust HOD more as far as content, because the author doesn't get into the gory stuff till later grades. It's very age appropriate.


This is a hallmark of MFW as well. They are very conscious of things being age appropriate as far as content. They err on the side of caoution and letting the parent choose wether or not a suggested resource is the best for each child.

They're both good, it just depends on your likes/dislikes. And remember that it's always easier to beef something up than to dumb something down for the youngers.


For me it is easier to pare something down for the littles then to try and add a bunch of stuff for the big kids; so I would have to disagree. To each his own.

A few things that influenced my decisions were: My oldest is older than the highest level HOD program. I want to use one program for all my kids together. I like the layout of the TM better, I prefer the weekly grid so that I can move things around as wanted. I want to choose my own LA and math to fit my kids. I know I could do that with HOD as well, but the MFW program is built that way. MFW is more closely tied to the classical ideas and CM isn't really my thing. HOD stays much more CM where MFW gets more classical in flavor as the years go on.
Of course all of that might make someone else prefer the HOD program, they are just difference in preference.

Edited by Cadam, 17 May 2009 - 12:12 PM.


#24 cbollin

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 01:52 PM

I read somewhere that HOD (heart of Dakota), was relationship with Christ centered and MFW was missions minded. Would that be a fair thing to say?


I don't agree that it gives complete information about MFW. It implies that MFW doesn't do "character" when it does.

So, here's my question when I read that: Does that mean that HOD leaves out missions.?


MFW is Christ Centered, character and missions. Even in ECC (which is a year about go into the world) there is still lots of character study. It's blended and balanced. It's not a singled out focus issue that leaves one out. I know some happy HOD online users like to say that MFW is only missions, but I've used too many MFW programs and experienced differently. I just think the happy HOD users on the HOD boards aren't quite sure how to describe ECC when they didn't use the whole program but switched early, and the lack of missions in HOD is something they noticed. I'm not sure they intended to imply that MFW lacks character, but that's how it gets read by others from time time. However, MFW is very character and Christ centered and missions. It's all in there.

Also, sounds like MFW and HOD both wait until kids are little older than K or 1st to introduce gory stuff. alright! I'm happy that more than MFW does that. :001_smile:

-crystal

#25 cbollin

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 02:06 PM

For me it is easier to pare something down for the littles then to try and add a bunch of stuff for the big kids; so I would have to disagree. To each his own.


Agreeing with Christina ;)

I'm glad that in MFW there are age appropriate assignments for multi-grades so that I don't have to "beef up" for oldest, or pare down too much for middle kid.

I have to also disagree that when you use age appropriate and age level materials that it means "dumbed down". It's not dumbed down if it is at their level, right?

With MFW it marks "advanced" assignment, "everyone", or "younger student". Some of the programs have a specific substitute lesson (at right age level) while older kids have tougher stuff. I like that older kids aren't forgotten on learning skills while learning history/science. It's all about skills and learning new info too.

like Christina, to each her own......

-crystal

#26 Donna A.

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 02:34 PM

With MFW it marks "advanced" assignment, "everyone", or "younger student". Some of the programs have a specific substitute lesson (at right age level) while older kids have tougher stuff. I like that older kids aren't forgotten on learning skills while learning history/science. It's all about skills and learning new info too.

like Christina, to each her own......

-crystal


:iagree: The thing is, one really can't compare ALL that MFW teaches against ALL that HOD teaches because HOD is both newer and has far fewer years completed, particularly for older students. In that sense, it's a bit like comparing apples and oranges. You can only compare up to about 4th or 5th grade, and I don't know that Carrie plans on even writing any high school programs?

Anyway, MFW was written by missionaries who lived and served in a communist country for several years. They've *had* to do *everything* together as a family for most of their lives, not singling out separate age groups for academics. Conversely, HOD was written by a classroom teacher of many years, so the concept of age-segregated teaching is very familiar to Carrie. (Though Marie, author of MFW, has also taught in the classroom quite a bit.) Yes, both authors are homeschool moms, and that's fantastic! It takes a lot of time and prayer to write curriculum around raising and teaching your own children at the same time. But these authors have different backgrounds and experiences, and it's only natural that those differences would come out in the writing and organization of the curriculums they're writing. Neither one is "wrong". They're just different, and God's using them both.

Another observation: Marie's children are also much older than Carrie's children, and she's therefore walked a longer journey as a parent and writes her curriculum with that in mind (high school & college years and beyond). That may be at least partly why she's written the curriculum with the oldest child in mind first rather than the youngest... but includes age-appropriate activities and readings for younger children, too, because we don't want to leave them behind. They're part of this family, too. ;)

Thus, with high school and college in mind, MFW is a very "long term" curriculum and is written accordingly. This does NOT mean that I'm implying that Carrie doesn't have a long term goal in mind... not at all. But as others have pointed out, MFW is a bit more classically minded for the older student, as is evidenced by what Christina/Cadam has shared here and many ideas that were also shared in a recent thread on this topic. But MFW is ALSO very focused on one's "life purpose" as a believer, growing in their walk with Christ, and learning how to serve and be ministry-minded as part of one's whole life. It's this blend of academics and service-oriented goals that draws my dh and I back to MFW over and over again.

#27 pandemonium

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 07:18 PM

I've used both, and I strongly prefer MFW. It was easier for me to follow, and seemed more well rounded. I love the Hazell's approach to education

#28 coffeefreak

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 12:32 PM

:iagree: The thing is, one really can't compare ALL that MFW teaches against ALL that HOD teaches because HOD is both newer and has far fewer years completed, particularly for older students. In that sense, it's a bit like comparing apples and oranges. You can only compare up to about 4th or 5th grade, and I don't know that Carrie plans on even writing any high school programs?

Anyway, MFW was written by missionaries who lived and served in a communist country for several years. They've *had* to do *everything* together as a family for most of their lives, not singling out separate age groups for academics. Conversely, HOD was written by a classroom teacher of many years, so the concept of age-segregated teaching is very familiar to Carrie. (Though Marie, author of MFW, has also taught in the classroom quite a bit.) Yes, both authors are homeschool moms, and that's fantastic! It takes a lot of time and prayer to write curriculum around raising and teaching your own children at the same time. But these authors have different backgrounds and experiences, and it's only natural that those differences would come out in the writing and organization of the curriculums they're writing. Neither one is "wrong". They're just different, and God's using them both.

Another observation: Marie's children are also much older than Carrie's children, and she's therefore walked a longer journey as a parent and writes her curriculum with that in mind (high school & college years and beyond). That may be at least partly why she's written the curriculum with the oldest child in mind first rather than the youngest... but includes age-appropriate activities and readings for younger children, too, because we don't want to leave them behind. They're part of this family, too. ;)

Thus, with high school and college in mind, MFW is a very "long term" curriculum and is written accordingly. This does NOT mean that I'm implying that Carrie doesn't have a long term goal in mind... not at all. But as others have pointed out, MFW is a bit more classically minded for the older student, as is evidenced by what Christina/Cadam has shared here and many ideas that were also shared in a recent thread on this topic. But MFW is ALSO very focused on one's "life purpose" as a believer, growing in their walk with Christ, and learning how to serve and be ministry-minded as part of one's whole life. It's this blend of academics and service-oriented goals that draws my dh and I back to MFW over and over again.


I LOVE how you've explained this Donna! You're right on!:hurray:

#29 lovetobehome

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 08:45 PM

This is a great thread. I have used both, I am back to MFW. I really love them both. It just depends on what is a better fit for your family. I used MFW K, 1, and Adv, then left and tried a million other things. I bought HOD (every level) and I love it! But I think I do tend more to the classical, and appreciate that in MFW. Plus, MFW allows us more flexibility in how much reading we want to do....we can add more with the book basket, which is awesome. There were other factors, which I don't have time to get into now, but I will just leave it at this: they are both wonderful!
I am glad to be back with MFW! We skipped ECC and CTG (ECC because I wasn't interested in the protestant missionary focus; an CTG because we had covered that time period very thoroughly already), and just started RTR 2 weeks ago. I am also thankful for those here who encouraged me to come back to MFW!


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