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Comparison between HOD and MFW from HOD Board....

hod vs. mfw mfw vs. hod

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#1 MommyInTraining

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 04:13 PM

http://www.heartofda...&sd=a&hilit=mfw

Could some of you MFW users take a look at this for me?

It convinces me that HOD is better for helping my children learn and to become more independent in their learning.

I would love to hear from those who have used MFW extensively to see how accurate these comparisons are. I am familiar with HOD and MFW, but have only used MFW for K and Adventures.

My main concerns about MFW are:

*Telling my children to notebook something without them having the skills to be able to do that.

*With many children, MFW being more dependent on me instead of having the child be more independent with readings and activities.

Thanks so much!

I am trying to decide whether to go with ECC or something from HOD.

#2 cbollin

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 04:35 PM

The first thing to note on that linked thread.... it is written by the sister of the author of HOD.

So if you feel convinced that HOD is better from that post... take it into consideration in the decision you make. It may be that HOD is better for your family.

I have used MFW for 7 years and "julie" (the sister of HOD author) does not do a good job in that post explaining MFW in my opinion based on my real life experiences of using MFW. I really don't want to go into that right now. maybe later...

If HOD is working for you... you may not need to change anything. MFW may not fit your goals at all. You brought up 2 concerns. I'll just type about that.

you said

"My main concerns about MFW are:

*Telling my children to notebook something without them having the skills to be able to do that.
"

Well, at some point you have to teach them that skill. MFW taught it in 1st and ADV. I have found that my 5th grader can do her notebooking on her own these days. she could do it on her own in 4th grade in ECC too. We were in CTG this year. My 8th grader is very independent in all of her stuff.



"*With many children, MFW being more dependent on me instead of having the child be more independent with readings and activities.
"

Many things in MFW -- my kids work independently. I prefer a teaching method that lets me work with and tutor my kids in 3 R's. I use MFW's recommendations on it because it is not time consuming. But I have 30 minutes or 45 minutes to get to my middle child on 3R's that I can easily devote to focused teaching time with her. She is reading. She reads on her own. I listen to her read out loud to me.

My 8th grader is quite independent in her work. used mfw since 2nd grade. I insist we do Bible together. Even in high school levels, I'm so thankful that MFW specficially says do Bible study with your child. I love it -- I've always dreamed that I'd do some kind of serious deep Bible study with my kids in high school that has that mentor thing.. but I'm off topic. sorry.

I'm a weirdo who has used MFW stuff for a long time. I don't guarantee that it is what is right for you.

All of the same reasons that ECC may not work in your family that I've mentioned before to you when you have thought about it using ECC are still there. So, if HOD is working, stay with it. If you think that HOD is not working, you could even wait on ECC until later, and maybe being in CTG would fit better if you think MFW has stuff you like to do in your family? but I might have to scroll back and look at your kids ages these days.

blessings.
-crystal

#3 Lori in MS

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 04:46 PM

She said " MFW teaches to the olders and the younger ones just tag along." I don't think this is exactly true. There is something for everyone in MFW. When they are learning to read, the dc have their own program with K and 1st.

After that the programs differ somewhat. ECC has somewhat of a younger feel with many of its books, that's why they added the middle school supplement which is done independantly by the student. Because it is designed for a wider age range there is a wider range of books, particularly in book basket. It is so easy to tailor the curriculum to fit the child from that list. I love the flexibility in MFW. I can get appropriate reading material for all of my children.

In RTR I must admit Augusta's Caesar's World is geared toward the older crowd. But SOTW is great for everyone. I did not require my 3rd graders on down to listen to ACW, but they did anyway. They liked coloring the pictures that went with it.

In EX1850 to 1850MT there is a 2nd-3rd grade supplement so they have their own set of books. The older crowd does SOTW 4 and others. But again the book basket list has something for everyone.


As far as moving to independant work, MFW does this gradually. In the elementary years, Bible, Science and History is read aloud to the students.
Reading and book basket are independant.

By sixth or seventh grade most of the work is independant. They begin to break off from the family group, gradually moving to totally independant work by 9th grade. (The teacher's manual is written to the student in high school.) My seventh grader did Science, math, grammar, and writing assignments independantly this year. The only things we did together as a family were Bible, SOTW, Exploring American History, and read alouds. I assigned the other history books and World of Science book to be read independantly.

As far as instruction in narration, dictation, etc. There is some instruction in the manual but I found SWB's materials to be very helpful in this regard. That is why we are doing WWE. After it's systematc, incremental instruction, the history summaries are very easy to do.

Edited by Lori in MS, 30 April 2010 - 04:49 PM.


#4 MommyInTraining

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 04:55 PM

*Telling my children to notebook something without them having the skills to be able to do that. "

Well, at some point you have to teach them that skill. MFW taught it in 1st and ADV.



Well, we have done Adv., not 1st. But I don't really remember it being "taught", just to write something about so and so. Maybe I am not remembering correctly?

#5 cbollin

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 04:56 PM

She said " MFW teaches to the olders and the younger ones just tag along." I don't think this is exactly true. There is something for everyone in MFW. When they are learning to read, the dc have their own program with K and 1st.
.


That is one of the statements that HOD makes about MFW that just makes me want to restate that I dont' work for MFW..... sigh...

but.... as a long time customer, I've noticed...

MFW teaches to the family and recognizes that the family grows together. There are assignments that include everyone. there are assignments that allow you to work with just the oldest on hard topics. There are times where you have to let the oldest be a high schooler....There are times where a K and 1st grader need 30 minutes to be in their own program....


-crystal

#6 cbollin

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 04:58 PM

Well, we have done Adv., not 1st. But I don't really remember it being "taught", just to write something about so and so. Maybe I am not remembering correctly?


First weeks that notebooking is done: the manual gives lots of notes, and models and ideas. One example:ADV week 2, Monday notes, it walks you through how to narrate and then how to summarize that narration. A teacher can always go back and review the teacher's notes when it is needed.

-crystal

#7 MommyInTraining

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 05:17 PM

Crystal and Lori,

Thanks so much for your help!

Crystal, thanks so much for always being there to answer my questions:001_smile:!

I really do think ECC could work for us and it is what I am drawn to in MFW right now.

#8 MrsMe

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 05:20 PM

Actually it was written not only by the author's sister, but by many others who have used both. I've used both. I thought the thread was pretty right on in my opinion. And for what it's worth, I love both programs.

I think that HOD teaches independence incrementally. The guides end up walking you through what should or could be done independently (by the codes) to gain independence. It's not that MFW doesn't do this. It's just done differently. HOD being more hand held in what to do independently.

These programs are so similiar that I think many go to MFW because it's easier to combine and it's meant to. HOD doesn't want you to combine too many ages together so it tends to have a smaller age combination. I understand both views.

Narration, they both have information on this. HOD has this in the back of the book including a list for students to follow and for the parent how to guide them.

HOD's writing begins with narration, then writing narration, copywork then a once a week writing in Preparing. So it's incremental as well. The programs and activities slowly build on themselves to get them up to par, not "this is 3rd grade and we need to write now."

#9 cbollin

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 05:27 PM

[quote name='MommyInTraining']

Could some of you MFW users take a look at this for me?

It convinces me that HOD is better for helping my children learn and to become more independent in their learning.

I would love to hear from those who have used MFW extensively to see how accurate these comparisons are.[/QUOTE]

That's a tricky question to answer. I have used MFW extensively (exclusively for 7 years) and have not used HOD. HOD looks like a really great program. However, I don't think that the sister of the HOD program was able to really compare the programs as she hasn't actually used MFW. I am very thankful that she admits her relationship with HOD and admits that she hasn't used MFW.

So, Ok… I’ve wanted to do this for almost 2 years since that post was on HOD's board. I've been scared to do. I don't care if someone uses HOD or MFW or WP or ACE or BJUP.

Let’s see this comparison from the eyes of me. Who am I? I’ve used MFW for 7 years. I am not related to the authors of MFW. I’m not an employee. I receive no compensation. No kickbacks, bribes, extras or anything from MFW or other people for anything I post. I am only going to comment on the MFW parts that she mentioned and then go get my flame suit on.



[quote]Hi gals! Well, let me first say that I think both MFW and HOD are written by strong Christian homeschool families, and even though I use HOD and am the author's sister, I feel that having both of these Christian programs available to homeschooling families is wonderful. I have not used MFW, although I've looked at it quite extensively. [/quote]

I agree with you that I am thankful that there are several strong Christian homeschool programs out there. Alright! I haven't used your sister's program. But I have used MFW. let's see if my perspective helps you to see the unseen, even if you had a surface glance.


[quote]I have used each of HOD's programs so far, which up to this point have been for ages 7-9. I think it is hard to say MFW is meatier than HOD because HOD is just coming out with Preparing... which is targeted at age 8-10, so it's really not in the same age-range as MFW's older programs to which it's being compared. My thinking is that of course MFW's programs look meatier, because they're for older dc! [/quote]

From my perspective, both MFW and HOD really encourage age appropriate materials and truly recognize that age of child is important.

Good job to both of you. I don't think one is inferior to the other one either. They are age appropriate. Like that about both.


[quote]However, I do think that the 2 companies are very different in their philosophies, so it is really a matter of finding what suits your philsophy best.
I'll point out a few of the more major differences in philosophy and design between these 2 truly excellent companies to show you what I mean.
MFW teaches to the olders and brings the youngers along. HOD does the reverse and targets the age listed on their guides and then beefs up with their extension pack for the olders. [/quote]

(in Family Feud announcer voice!)
Survey of MFW users says: X.
grin.
MFW teaches to the family and recognizes that families grow together. We learn in our homes. No one is dragged along or forgotten in MFW. But the point is this --- MFW doesn’t neglect youngers. HOD probably doesn’t neglect olders either. (edit to add: when I read HOD statement that HOD just adds in reading packets for olders, I'm left with the mistaken impression that they "tag along the olders". So I doubt they do that to be honest. internet review communication is hard, isn't it?)


[quote]MFW teaches to larger age spans within each guide to encourage the group learning concept. HOD targets smaller age increments to really hit children's developmental level.[/quote]

MFW teaches to the family and has assignments for all, and for advanced. It's possible that it is missed because of it is discussed in the intro section of the manual and then abbreviations are used in the grids. So it's easy to miss that at a surface glance.


[quote]HOD is very much of a literature company, so there is more emphasis on that, while MFW really doesn't cover literature study unless you add Progeny Press guides. At HOD literature study is formally taught and scheduled, while MFW uses the book basket for reading.[/quote]

Well, narration and Charlotte Mason techniques for reading comprehension are effective to cover literature study prior to middle school . Middle school is when Progeny Press is added. But literature and reading comprehension is done in elementary -- just not with something like PP.

Additionally, what HOD’s author’s sister didn’t say is that MFW recommends Writing Strands and that much of the literature study comes in that form too – by learning to write a plot, with good character, etc.

MFW is very literature rich. Book basket is for enrichment reading in history, science, art/music.
There is also a general reading list at the back of each manual to use for reading time and to narrate and discuss together and just enjoy.

It's not that MFW leaves out reading comprehension, it is done from a different style.


[quote]HOD is about teaching kids to read with discernment and use the Bible as their moral compass in living their day-to-day life, while MFW seems to have more of a missions focus. [/quote]

I think she needs to rephrase that, as it sets up this premise up wrongly as if these are one or the other.
MFW does teach to read the Bible as moral compass. In addition to that, MFW also has a missions focus. MFW provides character and missions. It's done through Bible, Proverbs memory, character lessons, biographies, character rich fiction. Line by line study of the scriptures.
MFW has both.

[quote]HOD looks at every aspect of your day and balances that all in one guide. MFW hits your history, science, and Bible and gives suggestions for the rest for you to add in as you feel best. [/quote]

Hmm… no. That’s seems a little misleading.... MFW gives solid recommendations in math and language arts and it is scheduled on the grid. By the way – MFW and HOD both recommend and sell separately language arts. And they both sell and recommend Singapore Math.

They both look at every aspect of the day and balance it in one guide. This is something that is the same with these programs. MFW puts theirs in the intro of the manual then uses abbreviation in the grid. They give you a schedule to fit in all in.

[quote]HOD focuses on formally teaching your kids language arts skills like written narration, oral narration, dictation, notebooking, etc. so kiddos can eventually take these over on their own. It includes lessons on these areas written right into your daily plan and spends time "teaching" children to do each of these skills well. MFW is more general in its instructions. [/quote]

If MFW got more specific in its instructions, Marie Hazell would be teaching it to your child. MFW is specific, but narration is an art not a science.


[quote]HOD incrementally moves kiddos through skills in each guide working toward the goal of more independent readings/learning CM-style. MFW retains the read-aloud to a group format throughout its guides as the primary method of instruction.[/quote]

That didn’t happen to my kids and we’ve used MFW for 7 years now. Oldest is in 8th. I love having read alouds.
I can't explain it -- but I've done MFW "by the book" for years and that just didn't happen.

[quote]The read-alouds in any HOD guide are meant to be at or slightly above the child's listening level, so they aren't needing to be paraphrased. MFW readings are targeted to the older audience and the little ones are brought along.[/quote]

Not true of all books in MFW. Augustus Caesar World is above heads in some cases. But wasn’t it Charlotte Mason who advocated

"Don't be afraid to challenge your children with above grade level books; read good literature aloud. "

One thing that I think is a CM influence is the use of quality literature. That is a big part of our family's school. I have really liked the above-grade-level read-alouds for my kids. It's been a gentle way to stretch my average kid.


[quote]HOD includes literature study every day and the Bible is integrated throughout almost all subject areas with direct application to the history being studied. (Entire Psalms will be memorized in Preparing.... It uses and studies the entire passage from Scripture once you get past LHFHG.) HOD is systematic, manageable, and deep in its Scripture study. I am assuming that MFW is deep in its Scripture study as well. [/quote]

Yes.. that's right. and I'm so glad these programs have that in common! yes!!!!! yes!!! happy dancing.

[quote] Both are definitely designed for the family setting. However, HOD has a lesson plan layout of a day at a glance that may remind you of a teacher lesson plan book. That feature may give it a schoolish feel, but is also what makes it open and go. MFW uses the common week-at-a-glance format. [/quote]

To each her own. I like the grids.

[quote] I, for one, am thankful that there are excellent Christian companies like HOD and MFW. I think that the decisions on which one is right for your family comes down to your philosophy and which one fits you better. It is not a matter of better, only more suitable for you. As you can see these 2 companies approach learning in 2 very different ways. How blessed we are to have both of them for excellent Christian homeschool choices![/quote]

Well I absolutely agree with you on that! No such thing as one size fits all.


-crystal

Edited by cbollin, 30 April 2010 - 05:37 PM.
bbcode


#10 cbollin

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 05:30 PM

Actually it was written not only by the author's sister, but by many others who have used both. I've used both. I thought the thread was pretty right on in my opinion. And for what it's worth, I love both programs."


you're right... the thread linked to is much longer than the first post.... I just figured that is what popped up on the screen first, and thought the original poster was asking about that specific post, not the thread in general.

HOD is a program that I've thought about using too. I like how it looks, but my oldest was too old when I found it so I didn't change. Like a lot of it.

-crystal

#11 ~Summer~

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 05:40 PM

That's a tricky question to answer. I have used MFW extensively (exclusively for 7 years) and have not used HOD. HOD looks like a really great program. However, I don't think that the sister of the HOD program was able to really compare the programs as she hasn't actually used MFW. I am very thankful that she admits her relationship with HOD and admits that she hasn't used MFW.

So, Ok… I’ve wanted to do this for almost 2 years since that post was on HOD's board. I've been scared to do. I don't care if someone uses HOD or MFW or WP or ACE or BJUP.

Let’s see this comparison from the eyes of me. Who am I? I’ve used MFW for 7 years. I am not related to the authors of MFW. I’m not an employee. I receive no compensation. No kickbacks, bribes, extras or anything from MFW or other people for anything I post. I am only going to comment on the MFW parts that she mentioned and then go get my flame suit on.





I agree with you that I am thankful that there are several strong Christian homeschool programs out there. Alright! I haven't used your sister's program. But I have used MFW. let's see if my perspective helps you to see the unseen, even if you had a surface glance.




From my perspective, both MFW and HOD really encourage age appropriate materials and truly recognize that age of child is important.

Good job to both of you. I don't think one is inferior to the other one either. They are age appropriate. Like that about both.




(in Family Feud announcer voice!)
Survey of MFW users says: X.
grin.
MFW teaches to the family and recognizes that families grow together. We learn in our homes. No one is dragged along or forgotten in MFW. But the point is this --- MFW doesn’t neglect youngers. HOD probably doesn’t neglect olders either. (edit to add: when I read HOD statement that HOD just adds in reading packets for olders, I'm left with the mistaken impression that they "tag along the olders". So I doubt they do that to be honest. internet review communication is hard, isn't it?)




MFW teaches to the family and has assignments for all, and for advanced. It's possible that it is missed because of it is discussed in the intro section of the manual and then abbreviations are used in the grids. So it's easy to miss that at a surface glance.




Well, narration and Charlotte Mason techniques for reading comprehension are effective to cover literature study prior to middle school . Middle school is when Progeny Press is added. But literature and reading comprehension is done in elementary -- just not with something like PP.

Additionally, what HOD’s author’s sister didn’t say is that MFW recommends Writing Strands and that much of the literature study comes in that form too – by learning to write a plot, with good character, etc.

MFW is very literature rich. Book basket is for enrichment reading in history, science, art/music.
There is also a general reading list at the back of each manual to use for reading time and to narrate and discuss together and just enjoy.

It's not that MFW leaves out reading comprehension, it is done from a different style.




I think she needs to rephrase that, as it sets up this premise up wrongly as if these are one or the other.
MFW does teach to read the Bible as moral compass. In addition to that, MFW also has a missions focus. MFW provides character and missions. It's done through Bible, Proverbs memory, character lessons, biographies, character rich fiction. Line by line study of the scriptures.
MFW has both.



Hmm… no. That’s seems a little misleading.... MFW gives solid recommendations in math and language arts and it is scheduled on the grid. By the way – MFW and HOD both recommend and sell separately language arts. And they both sell and recommend Singapore Math.

They both look at every aspect of the day and balance it in one guide. This is something that is the same with these programs. MFW puts theirs in the intro of the manual then uses abbreviation in the grid. They give you a schedule to fit in all in.



If MFW got more specific in its instructions, Marie Hazell would be teaching it to your child. MFW is specific, but narration is an art not a science.




That didn’t happen to my kids and we’ve used MFW for 7 years now. Oldest is in 8th. I love having read alouds.
I can't explain it -- but I've done MFW "by the book" for years and that just didn't happen.



Not true of all books in MFW. Augustus Caesar World is above heads in some cases. But wasn’t it Charlotte Mason who advocated

"Don't be afraid to challenge your children with above grade level books; read good literature aloud. "

One thing that I think is a CM influence is the use of quality literature. That is a big part of our family's school. I have really liked the above-grade-level read-alouds for my kids. It's been a gentle way to stretch my average kid.




Yes.. that's right. and I'm so glad these programs have that in common! yes!!!!! yes!!! happy dancing.



To each her own. I like the grids.



Well I absolutely agree with you on that! No such thing as one size fits all.


-crystal



Thanks for taking the time to compare Crystal. These two programs are really hard to choose between.

#12 Sue G in PA

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 05:59 PM

So difficult to compare MFW and HOD b/c BOTH are such terrific programs in their own way. Honestly, I think it is a matter of what fits each individual family and perhaps even what fits each family at any given point, if that makes sense. While MFW may work for one family one year, it might not the next for whatever reason. This is what I have found with us. Of course there are some for whom MFW just fits and they stick with it. I adore MFW (have used K and 1st and some ECC) and my dd13 will be using the AHL program for 9th next year. However, we are going to be giving HOD a try next year for a variety of reasons. One was that several of my kids haven't had but "pieces" of history here and there and I wanted to give them a full "overview" and Preparing Hearts does just that. I also felt very spiritually drawn to HOD. Can't explain it really...I just got a very peaceful feeling about it. And, on a more "technical" note...HOD's "box" format schedule really appealed to me in a way that MFW's "grid" format did not. That's a personal choice...not a statement about which is better. KWIM? I think that if I could make my own program and use what I love about HOD and what I love about MFW...I'd have the perfect curriculum!

#13 cbollin

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 06:10 PM

. I also felt very spiritually drawn to HOD. Can't explain it really...I just got a very peaceful feeling about it.


happy dancing!

Isn't there something about peace that passes understanding?

glad to hear the update.

-crystal

#14 cbollin

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 06:18 PM

Thanks for taking the time to compare Crystal. These two programs are really hard to choose between.


hi Summer,
I know a while back I prayed for you while you were investigating, and was pretty sure MFW wasn't the one you were to use at that time (even if I like it). And then I remember you didn't. I don't know why. I guess I just remember your name and the autism connection. My youngest is on the spectrum. Not a day goes by that I don't wonder if MFW will keep working for her or not. Part of me sometimes thinks.. is there a HOD program right for her and can I do it and MFW's RTR with middle gal next year? I don't know.

I'll pray for your decision and trust God to let you know the plans HE has for you.

and praying for you as well Terri. If ECC is what He has in mind, I'll pray that He makes it all work.

-crystal

#15 ~Summer~

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 06:25 PM

hi Summer,
I know a while back I prayed for you while you were investigating, and was pretty sure MFW wasn't the one you were to use at that time (even if I like it). And then I remember you didn't. I don't know why. I guess I just remember your name and the autism connection. My youngest is on the spectrum. Not a day goes by that I don't wonder if MFW will keep working for her or not. Part of me sometimes thinks.. is there a HOD program right for her and can I do it and MFW's RTR with middle gal next year? I don't know.

I'll pray for your decision and trust God to let you know the plans HE has for you.

and praying for you as well Terri. If ECC is what He has in mind, I'll pray that He makes it all work.

-crystal


Thanks Crystal, I really appreciate your words. I think I have made a lot of curriculum choices that are NOT how God was trying to lead me for my children. I am so stubborn, and I always have to learn the hard way. I wish I would stop doing that:tongue_smilie:. I pray things go well with you teaching your dd with autism. I have found that no program fits my dd to a T, and I have to customize and adapt everything. But essentially, any program works with her if I tweak it to her level, and change my expectations.

#16 MrsMe

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 08:36 PM

Thanks for taking the time to compare Crystal. These two programs are really hard to choose between.


Oh good grief! Isn't that the truth? Every year, it kills me.

Edited by alilac, 30 April 2010 - 08:38 PM.
typo :)


#17 lotsofpumpkins

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 09:05 PM

Thanks for your comments Crystal. We are HOD users here; I actually dropped the guide last year and just read the history books at my own pace. Now we are giving HOD a try again for our new school year: Bigger for 2nd and 3rd graders, and Little Hearts for the kindergartener (but the other children join us for all the read alouds).

I am definitely considering MFW ECC for 2011 when they start 4th, 3rd, and 1st.

My main concern with MFW is the book basket. We have a tiny library and I rarely find what I am looking for. So, I tend to shy away from programs that recommend library trips!

Anyway, thanks again for your response to the HOD/MFW comparison. I had read that post on the HOD boards before and I'm glad to hear the other side of things!

#18 cbollin

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 09:56 PM


My main concern with MFW is the book basket. We have a tiny library and I rarely find what I am looking for. So, I tend to shy away from programs that recommend library trips!


one work around...in that situation if you end up trying MFW
some people buy some extra books depending on budget. either using SL, HOD list (and others) or just look for some of the **ones in book basket and get those. or used sources and all of that. I like that with MFW all of those extra library books -- you don't have to use a specific title to make the program work

crazy side note on tiny libraries.... the little town where MFW is located, doesn't have a big library. The authors and staff families apparently drive to the "big city" library about an hour away. They pay for out of county cards and then go about once a month. I can't imagine doing that. But it's just the way it is in that town. I was surprised to learn that in one of their workshops at convention one year. I just figured they had a good library since they live in a university town.

anyway...
well.. I need to go back to a tornado watch tonight..... I wish I had bought that weather radio... find flashlights... nah. I'll just go to sleep.

-crystal

#19 Brindee

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 10:27 PM

So difficult to compare MFW and HOD b/c BOTH are such terrific programs in their own way. Honestly, I think it is a matter of what fits each individual family and perhaps even what fits each family at any given point, if that makes sense. While MFW may work for one family one year, it might not the next for whatever reason. This is what I have found with us. Of course there are some for whom MFW just fits and they stick with it. I adore MFW (have used K and 1st and some ECC) and my dd13 will be using the AHL program for 9th next year. However, we are going to be giving HOD a try next year for a variety of reasons. One was that several of my kids haven't had but "pieces" of history here and there and I wanted to give them a full "overview" and Preparing Hearts does just that. I also felt very spiritually drawn to HOD. Can't explain it really...I just got a very peaceful feeling about it. And, on a more "technical" note...HOD's "box" format schedule really appealed to me in a way that MFW's "grid" format did not. That's a personal choice...not a statement about which is better. KWIM? I think that if I could make my own program and use what I love about HOD and what I love about MFW...I'd have the perfect curriculum!

I'll be doing the MFW AHL with my dd next year as well.

I was praying a lot as I searched for curriculum for her. I was really looking for something on the Middle ages, cuz we skipped past that era, cuz we did 2 years of Ancient, and it's just how things ended up. But, I ended up deciding to go with MFW AHL because of the same feeling that you had for HOD. It was quite interesting, and I was very glad to see what you wrote! :) The Science (Biology 101 DVD's and lots of reading and other activities) fell into place as well, and when it was recommended to me it just felt right!

Those reasons are why I am sooo excited about next year for dd! I think it's going to be a very good start for her highschool years! I'm going to keep praying, that's for sure, because I don't want to get slack on following through with things God led me to! He knows what's best for our children!

Anyway, thanks for sharing! :001_smile:

#20 hmschooling

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 11:04 PM

Actually it was written not only by the author's sister, but by many others who have used both. I've used both. I thought the thread was pretty right on in my opinion. And for what it's worth, I love both programs.

I think that HOD teaches independence incrementally. The guides end up walking you through what should or could be done independently (by the codes) to gain independence. It's not that MFW doesn't do this. It's just done differently. HOD being more hand held in what to do independently.

These programs are so similiar that I think many go to MFW because it's easier to combine and it's meant to. HOD doesn't want you to combine too many ages together so it tends to have a smaller age combination. I understand both views.

Narration, they both have information on this. HOD has this in the back of the book including a list for students to follow and for the parent how to guide them.

HOD's writing begins with narration, then writing narration, copywork then a once a week writing in Preparing. So it's incremental as well. The programs and activities slowly build on themselves to get them up to par, not "this is 3rd grade and we need to write now."


I agree....I've used both and I think the info in the review is spot on.

I also find my kids enjoy school with HOD more than MFW b/c the books are targeted to them, where they are in skill levels (listening, writing, activities, etc), and we are so blessed with our one-on-one time that isn't just the dreaded 3R's! I love having Bible time and history time with each child! And, we all have fun sometimes with the art and science from each other's guides. HOD has blessed our family beyond measure. I also like NOT having to depend on a library to make the program "feel" complete. Not that MFW isn't complete without the bookbasket, but if we're all honest, it's a necessary "optional" part to make it really full. Although yes, it can be left out. My kids were just bored to tears with the dry (IMHO) books in MFW and the repetitive nature of the work each week. It felt like the same thing over and over but with different words. We find HOD to have so much more variety. I also like having more things planned in that are not only planned, but the key point/focus is noted for me, and it's on level for my child without tweaking!! I also prefer the box layout as a previous poster mentioned....MFW's grid was not well-liked here. And for the K and 1st guide, I HATED having part of the lesson in one section, another part in another section. MFW is a good program, but it didn't work for us at all.

#21 Momma H

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 08:08 AM

I just wanted to add that I think it is really smart of MFW to have all of the aspects of English separated from the history, science and bible.
There are so many aspects of English (grammar, writing, spelling, narration, dictation, copywork, literature studies etc.) and so many different ways to teach all of the above. In addition, all kids learn at such a different rate and enjoy or don't enjoy different parts of English and math. If there were an English (or math for that matter--all of what I am thinking applies to math as well) program that was included in the package I would probably not buy it. History is so much easier to teach many different levels to.

I would rather summaraize history (I did not really feel I had to do this but IF I did) or make sure I had my additional books for the youngers or olders than have to teach two completely different levels. (or even manage, not to mention BUY, two different levels)

Also, I have said it before and I will again. I think MFW does a great job teaching some "same but different" material. I am referring to countries in ECC, they are all countries but they are different countries. For a little while I thought (in ECC) "this is getting repetitive". The more I thought about it: How else are they supposed to teach something that is the "same but different"? You need to cover basically the same information of all of the countries (or presidents or states ETC. which we have thoroughly enjoyed, but could get redundant) and so there is kind of a format for doing that. They give different additional activities to change things around so I took advantage of that and changed my attitude! If they were to mix things up and not use a format to teach that different information, I would feel chaotic and like I did not learn all of the aspects of each country. It would not feel maybe as repetitive but it would not feel cohesive.

:001_smile:All that to say, I think HOD is probably a wonderful company. They do seem very similar to MFW. I will plug for the grid system. I like to double up on our work some days so we can do an activity the next day or I feel I can tweak our days a little. MFW is very doable for me that way! It makes me feel like I can control the flow (it is amazing how much I do this).

I have found that I work well with a framework that I can still control but still gives me guidance. I don't enjoy scripted curriculum and I did try HOD for preschool with my little guy and I did not like the scipted feel. I also thought he would love the songy rhymy things that taught the letters but he most decidedly did NOT. I thought it seemed like a pretty great program but he was not into it.

I really don't want to ever insult another curriculum and I hope I did not. We get protective when we find something that really jives with our families! It is truly a blessing that we have choices.:lol: For whatever reason, one or the other just "feels right". For me MFW feels right. Kudos to anyone who enjoys HOD.
Stacey

Edited by Momma H, 01 May 2010 - 09:19 AM.
incomlete sentence!


#22 Splash

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 08:57 AM

I just wanted to say thank you, I have found this discussion very helpful in understanding these two programs.


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