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My Father's World vs Heart of Dakota - Adv. vs Beyond/Bigger????


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#1 j_thurm

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 07:53 AM

Has anyone tried both My Father's World and Heart of Dakota curriculums in the Adventures of MFW and Beyond or Bigger in HOD? How do they compare/contrast? If you have I would love to hear some thoughts on them. Thanks so much for your help!

#2 Donna A.

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 11:36 AM

If you do a search on this board, you'll find that MFW and HOD have been compared and contrasted quite a bit. ;) There are some similarities and differences, but I'd say the biggest difference is that HOD is written to individualize to the student, whereas MFW is written to include the whole family.

We personally used and loved MFW Adventures. My girls were 10, 7, and 3 at the time, and all three got a lot out of it. I added extra reading and notebooking for the 10yo because Adventures is written for younger children (but oldest dd hadn't had any American history yet, and they didn't have the upper levels of American done yet), but it was perfect for the 7yo. I had a 1" 3-ring binder for the 3yo as well, in which she used coloring pages, stickers, and help from Mom/big sisters so she could be part of it, too.

I love the weekly grid in the MFW manuals (except K and 1st grade) because I can see at a glance what we're doing that week, and whether and how I need to rearrange the schedule to accommodate other family needs. Then I can skim over the teacher's notes following the weekly grid to see which activities we're going to do (or skip).

I love the year-long supply list at the front of the manual so that I can be prepared well in advance, and then the short list of perishables and appendix pages needing photocopied at the beginning of each week. Easy prep; no surprises. :)

I love the flexibility in MFW. I can prepare, gather, and photocopy *everything* before the year begins (except the perishables needed for science experiments, of course), or I can do my prep on a weekly or monthly basis. All the appendix pages are numbered by week and day so you know exactly what pages to use when.

I love the Book Basket in MFW. They sell a minimal number of either "required" or "optional but highly recommended" books in their Basic and Deluxe packages, and all of those are scheduled in the lesson plans. But then there's the extensive book basket list in the back of the manual (about 400 titles) to choose from AS we have time and interest. I can either purchase some of those titles, or get them from the library. (Marie has asterisked some of the titles that she recommends for purchase, if you choose.) They're listed by week # and topic so that if my library doesn't have the exact titles listed, I can simply get whatever they have on the same topic. I can get as many or as few of the titles as we have time and interest for. ALL of the book basket titles have been previewed (both books and videos) by Marie and her family, and she's noted next to each one the recommended age level and warnings about potential questionable content. This makes my job easy when choosing which titles to put on hold at the library.

I love how they have "math and language arts" scheduled, yet they leave me room to use what I want if their recommendations aren't working for us. But I like their recommendations, too, because they're both time-efficient and cost-efficient. :D

I love the biblical worldview built into MFW. Non-denominational, yet Christ-centered and very focused on the Word throughout. By high school, a student should be able to, or at least learning how to, make his own apologetic for his faith in all aspects of life. He should also have a solid foundation in the Word and understanding that as a Christian, he's put on this earth for some reason other than "self".

I love the mix of textbooks, historical fiction, music, biographies, and other resources used in MFW so that we're not reading from just one person (or publisher's) perspective on how things happened.

I love the variety of hands-on activities from which we can pick and choose based on time, and each child's interest level and ability. I have one girl who's very crafty and loves to do any kind of "project", another who can't stand anything to do with glue and other messy stuff, and another who still needs a lot of help due to learning difficulties. MFW meets each one of their needs in this area... as well as mine because of the step-by-step instructions, as I'm not a crafty mom at ALL.

And finally, I love the mission and philosophy behind MFW... "profit for a purpose". See God's Word for the Nations here: http://www.mfwbooks.com/missions.htm The MFW curriculum was written for this purpose, and for the purpose of Raising Up Generations of Godly Families. (MFW has a long term multi-generational view of things.) This philosophy just makes me love MFW that much more, but long before I knew about GWN, I had decided on MFW after having printed out sample lessons of all the years they had available and reading through them in order. That gave me a glimpse of what we'd be doing and where we were headed from reading through those sample lesson plans/years. I've since researched and/or tried other curriculums (because let's face it, they all have their positives and sometimes the grass looks greener over there :tongue_smilie: ), but I keep coming back to MFW because it fits pretty much everything I desire in a curriculum, and it's easily tweakable for our family needs from week to week, as needed.

With Adventures in particular, I loved how the science went along with the Bible study lessons, i.e., working with yeast and learning about communion while studying Jesus as the Bread of Life. I loved the simple state study that gave us an intro to each state as it became part of our country. I loved the patriotic songs and symbols, and we all enjoyed the bird study, too. It was just a fun year, period. The state sheets can get repetitive, but remember that the point is to introduce each state and a bit of its history to the child. When my one dd got tired of coloring the state sheets, she started outlining and doing her own thing with it. That works for me. It's her notebook.... and that's part of where individual personalities come out. ;)

No, I don't work for MFW, nor am I related to anyone there. :lol: We've been using the curriculum for almost 5 years now, and it's proven to be a great fit for our family. We plan on continuing with it through high school.



#3 j_thurm

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 01:01 PM

Thank you, Donna for the time and effort you put into your response. It was very thorough and extremely helpful. Thanks so much!

#4 bunnytracks

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 11:33 PM

I have never used HOD but I did use MFW ADV and we really enjoyed it!!!

#5 sweetbaby

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 11:28 AM

Donna,

Just wanted to say that your review was awesome. I'm really looking forward to ADV. with my youngest. We haven't used the earlier years (wished I had learned about MFW sooner) but we are in our second year of MFW and loving it. :)

#6 mafi39

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 11:52 AM

Thank you too donna for the awesome review. My children are in first grade and I debated long and hard on whether to use mfw. I decided not to use it because at the time, I thought it was expensive :) I have pieced together my curriculum and have probably spent more than if I had just bought the deluxe package like i wanted too. I should have listened to that gentle nudging from the Lord. I have the teachers manual for 2nd grade ( it was given me) and i love it! I will use mfw next year for sure and not doubt the program again! It has everything I want in a curriculum (hands on, biblical worldview, multi-age ability). Teaching my children in the ways of the Lord is most important to me and if it does that, then it has my vote!

#7 i.love.lucy

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 12:00 PM

sorry, i have no caps due to a mishap with a cup of coffee and my keyboard -

hmmm.. just about everything donna loved about mfw i love about hod. the biblical worldview is awesome, the booklists are top notch and i trust them implicity, and everything weaves together seamlessly.

i have not used mfw. i do not have a combining issue as my dd was in 3rd last year, and my son in pre-k. i was pulling her from school mid-year and so wanted to really focus on getting her up and running. i was scared and unsure and needed a pulled together curriculum with a charlotte mason style and lots and lots of reading. i chose bigger and we loved it.

each day we started with bible - scripture memory and great story and character building. then we read history and did projects and even tied the bible time into the character of who we were studying - as bigger uses a biographical approach to studying american history. then poetry, science, geography, vocabulary, all was tied with the history/bible - and the author gives you the key idea so you aren't scrambling to figure out how to make the connections.

i also like that i am able to chose what i want to use for lang arts and math, although i initially went with the hod recommendations. i have since found my own fits for those two things that are better for my particular kid, but i feel like i can trust everything that carrie recommends because of her heart for god and her thorough research. the book lists have been outstanding - we use dithor too.

we moved on to preparing this year and into little hands for my son - pre-k again this year. i love it and have no desire to look elsewhere.

it might really boil down for you on combining kids and how large the span is. it sounds like maybe mfw does this easier - not sure. i know a lot of moms use hod to combine i just can't speak to that.

good luck in your search. visit the hod boards too - some really wonderful ladies there and carrie-the author, and her sister julie-editor are there everyday answering questions.

#8 Devotional Soul

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 12:09 PM

Thanks for that review, Donna. I look forward to using Adventures in the future!

I read a long thread at homeschoolreviews.com with moms who have used both MFW and HOD, comparing the differences between the two. MFW has weekly grid schedules, HOD has daily schedules. MFW focuses on the book of Matthew, HOD focuses on many different scriptures that relate to the history themes. HOD focuses more on biographies, MFW is a general overview. MFW science stays with one theme for a while, HOD science changes daily. That's all I can remember right now. HTH!

#9 j_thurm

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 12:23 PM

Do you happen to know where that is on the site? I would love to read it but wasn't able to find it. Thanks!


Also, thanks, Amy for your review as well!

Thanks for that review, Donna. I look forward to using Adventures in the future!

I read a long thread at homeschoolreviews.com with moms who have used both MFW and HOD, comparing the differences between the two. MFW has weekly grid schedules, HOD has daily schedules. MFW focuses on the book of Matthew, HOD focuses on many different scriptures that relate to the history themes. HOD focuses more on biographies, MFW is a general overview. MFW science stays with one theme for a while, HOD science changes daily. That's all I can remember right now. HTH!



#10 Devotional Soul

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 12:44 PM

Here's the thread (it's 5 pages!):

http://www.homeschoo...d.aspx?id=58711

Thanks for the HOD review, Amy, we must have posted near the same time. I've gone back and forth between the two for a while now and it's nice to hear reviews about both.

#11 cbollin

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 01:00 PM

MFW focuses on the book of Matthew,


just to clarify something that not be all that important in the big picture...

In one year of MFW, called ECC, one part of the Bible focus in studying the book of Matthew. That year, in addition to studying the entire book of Matthew, MFW also uses Window on the World for prayer focus, and has character traits from Hero Tales (which is a history/geography tie in too)

In the program that the original poster is looking at, ADV, the Bible focus in the Names of Jesus.

on mfw's board, I wrote a longer list of what I've noticed in MFW's "scope and sequence" of Bible throughout the years. here's that post
http://board.mfwbook....php?f=8&t=3149

MFW or HOD? Which one is God calling you to use?

-crystal

#12 j_thurm

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 01:09 PM

Thanks so much!

Here's the thread (it's 5 pages!):

http://www.homeschoo...d.aspx?id=58711

Thanks for the HOD review, Amy, we must have posted near the same time. I've gone back and forth between the two for a while now and it's nice to hear reviews about both.



#13 hmschooling

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 01:38 PM

http://www.heartofda...&t=1446&p=11109

http://www.heartofda...ilit=mfw#p25004

Here's some other posts comparing the two. I find the first one especially to be rather unbiased as the poster writes many facts, not just personal opinion. I didn't read all of the 2nd, just that it is specifically asking for an HOD vs. MFW comparison.

I'm sure there are more on the boards and I know there's a great one written on a general homeschool forum somewhere if I could just find it...

#14 Tidbits of Learning

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 02:23 PM

http://www.heartofda...&t=1446&p=11109

http://www.heartofda...ilit=mfw#p25004

Here's some other posts comparing the two. I find the first one especially to be rather unbiased as the poster writes many facts, not just personal opinion. I didn't read all of the 2nd, just that it is specifically asking for an HOD vs. MFW comparison.

I'm sure there are more on the boards and I know there's a great one written on a general homeschool forum somewhere if I could just find it...


The only thing about the first link and the first post is that my3sons is the author's (HOD's Carrie Austin's) sister and I think that needs to be pointed out before reading the comparison.

#15 Wildwood

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 02:44 PM

.

Edited by Wildwood, 21 October 2009 - 02:50 PM.


#16 Devotional Soul

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 03:05 PM

just to clarify something that not be all that important in the big picture...

In one year of MFW, called ECC, one part of the Bible focus in studying the book of Matthew. That year, in addition to studying the entire book of Matthew, MFW also uses Window on the World for prayer focus, and has character traits from Hero Tales (which is a history/geography tie in too)

In the program that the original poster is looking at, ADV, the Bible focus in the Names of Jesus.

on mfw's board, I wrote a longer list of what I've noticed in MFW's "scope and sequence" of Bible throughout the years. here's that post
http://board.mfwbook....php?f=8&t=3149

MFW or HOD? Which one is God calling you to use?

-crystal


Thanks for correcting that, Crystal. I mixed up Adventures and ECC...I guess I still forgot after reading the catalog a million times. ;)

Edited by Devotional Soul, 21 October 2009 - 03:21 PM.


#17 jewel7123

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 01:24 PM

While this thread compares and contracts the many differences of MFW and HOD's philosophies, etc. I didn't really read if Beyond and/or Bigger teach the same history as Adventures. I know that Beyond and Adventures both use American Pioneers and Patriots....is that where the similarity ends or do they for the most part, teach the same time period in History? What about Bigger versus Adventures? If you do Adventures could you move on to Bigger or would everything have already be covered in Adventures? Thanks!

#18 lovetobehome

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 01:47 PM

I used Adventures several years ago, and I am now using Bigger. They cover the same time period, but in different ways. I like them both!

#19 jewel7123

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 02:15 PM

I used Adventures several years ago, and I am now using Bigger. They cover the same time period, but in different ways. I like them both!


Have you ever done Beyond? So adventures is more like Bigger than Beyond?

#20 lovetobehome

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 08:56 PM

I couldn't really say; I haven't compared them that closely. I did once own Beyond, but didn't look that closely. Many curriculum companies choose to cover American history thoroughly in the young years, to avoid the heavy/dark topics in ancients and more recent history. Another reason for sticking with Am History is to inspire kids by looking at American heroes (where it is so easy to look at the positive, and those seeking God's will in some manner), also to help them grasp history better---the theory is that since it is 'close', it is easier for younger kids to grasp. I am thinking TruthQuest (3 years of American history), Beautiful Feet, and I would say MOST public school/traditional curricula. HOD is not alone in that. And MFW, too, delays the 4 year cycle until kids are older and more mature (though MFW does a beautiful job in their 1st grade curriculum of teaching just Bible history and in a very age-appropriate way--we have used it twice so far).

I was a purist, though, I wanted to do the 4 year cycle, so I began doing ancients in K. It was a disaster for us. My son became so fearful, so confused about gods/goddesses and the true God. Because that time period is covered so well in the Old Testament, we were studying OT Bible history, and while there are some great stories, there are also some heavy ones. When we got to the point of him begging me not to open the Bible because he was scared, I decided it was time to do things another way. (we were trying/using TOG year 1, then Greenleaf, then Sonlight)
It was then that I went to MFW and did K and then 1st and Adventures. I am sure I tried some other things in there, too, but those we did use and complete. I love that MFW and HOD are so age-appropriate. They take into account the maturity, spiritual development, too.


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