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#1 MamaHappy

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 10:17 AM

Okay, I know this has been discussed ad nauseum on here, but when I try to do a search, it keeps saying "no matches". Maybe something is wrong with the search function??

Anywaaaay, I'm currently using HOD (Beyond), but seriously considering switching to MFW this fall. Has anyone started out with HOD but then switched to MFW? What were your reasons for switching? How did it go??

I really like the idea of combining my kids, it seems like it would streamline my day a bit. I'm not thrilled with how my boys are separated for every. single. thing. with HOD. And MFW looks a little more...I don't know, flexible I guess. I'm feeling very confined with the HOD guide. But I do really enjoy HOD, the book choices are great and it is very sweet. My son is enjoying it as well. So I Just don't know! I am soooo torn!! :)

On the flip side, has anyone started out with MFW then switched to HOD? Why didn't MFW work out for you??

Thanks!

#2 3boysmama

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 02:31 PM

:lurk5:

#3 mom24boys

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 02:39 PM

I know everyone's situation is different, but my 2 boys are 7 and 5.5 and they are together in HOD (started this year at 6.5 and 5 years old). We do LHFHG left side + storytime and then I up my 7 year old for the 3Rs by having him do Beyond right hand side (LA, math, reading). Does this make sense? Is there any way that you can combine your two (since they are so close in age) in an HOD guide since you've enjoyed it so much?

I don't think you combine in MFW until your youngest is in second grade anyway. So if your youngest is doing MFW K right now (per your siggy) then next year he would do 1st and wouldn't be combined with your older ds anyway.

Just an idea. :001_smile:

#4 JanOH

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 02:51 PM

I've been doing MFW for two years and am switching to HOD next year. My main reason for switching is that I like the way HOD builds skills levels. We've enjoyed our time using MFW but combining everyone just doesn't feel right to me. This year I've had my 2nd and fourth graders combined with my eighth grader for history/Bible and it just seems like a lot of the history has gone over my second grader's head and my eighth grader hasn't been challenged. What I seem to be seeing is that HOD gradually works toward independent work, beginning in Preparing. With MFW everyone is together until high school and then there's this big leap to independent work in the summer between eighth and ninth grades. I had purchased MFW AHL for my soon-to-be ninth grader but in going over the work expected, there is just no way that he'll be able to handle going from me reading all the history together to working independently through the books they have selected so I've had to go in a different direction with him. Part of it is his personality but some of it is the great leap that seems to be created in using MFW for the jr. high years. I'm just not seeing the independence I'd like to see my kids getting as they move through the middle school years.

I may have a completely different story next year at this time after using HOD for a year, so stay tuned :)

#5 Donna A.

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 02:56 PM

I don't think you combine in MFW until your youngest is in second grade anyway. So if your youngest is doing MFW K right now (per your siggy) then next year he would do 1st and wouldn't be combined with your older ds anyway.


Actually, you do combine. Even if the younger one is doing MFW 1st, he would still participate in the older sib's program and you would just do the phonics, Bible reader, and possibly math from the 1st grade program. So it would be teh same as if the younger one were doing any other phonics/reading and math program. Every child always does math and LA at their own level, no matter what program you're doing together as a family.

Here are a few different threads about that from the MFW archives:

http://board.mfwbook....php?f=3&t=7771

http://board.mfwbook....php?f=3&t=8233

http://board.mfwbook....php?f=3&t=2713

http://board.mfwbook....php?f=3&t=3786

#6 Evanthe

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 02:57 PM

I think they are two very different programs. I like MFW, but we will probably never use HOD. I have way too many kids...it's easy to supplement MFW with material I want to cover...MFW seemed cheaper (maybe it's not)...MFW doesn't include LA or Math (so I can keep the kids separate and they can work on independence that way).

I follow TWTM, mostly - especially for writing. MFW is just another tool for me to keep things organized and get everybody on the same page.

#7 abrightmom

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 03:13 PM

I think they are two very different programs. I like MFW, but we will probably never use HOD. I have way too many kids...it's easy to supplement MFW with material I want to cover...MFW seemed cheaper (maybe it's not)...MFW doesn't include LA or Math (so I can keep the kids separate and they can work on independence that way).

I follow TWTM, mostly - especially for writing. MFW is just another tool for me to keep things organized and get everybody on the same page.


:iagree: with this for the most part. HOD is amazing....beautifully planned....rich. However, combining is extremely tricky with a large family. You have to be willing to keep your children separate. That is sensible if they're far apart age wise or you WANT to separate them. HOD is very full and structured as well....

MFW is more flexible IMHO and makes it easier to combine children. The Book Basket gives you lots of ideas for enriching the content at varying levels. I think using MFW (if you want something planned) gives you the flex needed to add in things you want to do or tweak the schedule. I find it IMPOSSIBLE to tweak HOD's schedule without losing my mind....because each two page spread in HOD is one day. If I miss something on that day then I'm flipping around in the guide for every subject. I adore the guide and the layout on paper but I find it does NOT work for me in real life. I didn't realize that until I tried it. I also find that it is so structured and FULL of content that I have NO flex.....I like flex and I want flex because there are other things I want to do.

If I were to choose a pre-planned curriculum it would likely be MFW but it's looking like we're going to be doing our own thing here....:001_smile: HOD still makes me swoon though and I'm very disappointed that it is not working here....I may get to use it with my littlest who is too far removed from the older kids to join them for school down the road. I may get my HOD fix then....

#8 joyfulhomeschooler

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 03:25 PM

I don't know if my post will help you or not... but I plan on using MFW for my two oldest because they are so close in age. We are using MFW 1st right now for LA & Math for my dd5.75 ;-) and Adventures for the both of them on everything else. I find it really easy to make MFW fit our life, our schedule, and just basically everything. If you want to expand on something and carry it over to the next week, or skip it and add something else in it is very easy to do this. I would definately recommend using the bookbasket EVERY week though or you lose some of the richness. Also I find that adding other activities in via internet searches helps to strengthen the learning experience and this is very doable with MFW becuase it is so well planned that you have the time to plan for the extras.
I can't really comment on HOD because we haven't used it... but when looking into it I just didn't feel comfortable combining my kiddos where the website and authors said I should. I will most likely be using it for little man though... many years from now lol.

Best wishes in your decision... you can always go back if it doesn't work.

#9 Evanthe

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 03:39 PM

If I were to choose a pre-planned curriculum it would likely be MFW but it's looking like we're going to be doing our own thing here.....


I tweak so much, that one day, I will have created my own curriculum. :tongue_smilie:

#10 blessed2five

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 03:57 PM

I've been doing MFW for two years and am switching to HOD next year. My main reason for switching is that I like the way HOD builds skills levels. We've enjoyed our time using MFW but combining everyone just doesn't feel right to me. This year I've had my 2nd and fourth graders combined with my eighth grader for history/Bible and it just seems like a lot of the history has gone over my second grader's head and my eighth grader hasn't been challenged. What I seem to be seeing is that HOD gradually works toward independent work, beginning in Preparing. With MFW everyone is together until high school and then there's this big leap to independent work in the summer between eighth and ninth grades. I had purchased MFW AHL for my soon-to-be ninth grader but in going over the work expected, there is just no way that he'll be able to handle going from me reading all the history together to working independently through the books they have selected so I've had to go in a different direction with him. Part of it is his personality but some of it is the great leap that seems to be created in using MFW for the jr. high years. I'm just not seeing the independence I'd like to see my kids getting as they move through the middle school years.

I may have a completely different story next year at this time after using HOD for a year, so stay tuned :)


Janet,

I am in a similar situation to you. We used MFW this year with the ages you see below and I felt the same about the workload for a 3rd grader vs an advanced 8th grader. I started to add work for the older two but then wondered if I was giving too much busywork? I like the looks of MFW AHL from what I have seen and heard on line and I am planning on using that with my ds next year. However, part of me wonders if it will be too much for him also, especially the reading. I don't have AHL in hand but plan to get it at convention.....I think:confused: I'm curious to know what you are going to use instead?

I'm glad I'm not the only one with this concern. I really liked MFW but am planning on veering away next year with my middle dd into HOD Preparing. I think it will meet her learning needs exactly where she is at instead of her just tagging along with the older two.

My dd 4 just started MFW K and loves it. I'm not sure what I will do with her as far as staying with MFW or switching over to HOD.

I am looking to next year as a kind of test year with HOD to see if I like the learning and teaching styles better than those in MFW. Part of me loves the idea of a scripted schedule like in HOD but the other part of me fears it because the flexibility in MFW's schedule was something I really liked. However, maybe that was because I was combining three kids :001_smile:

Edited by blessed2five, 07 May 2011 - 04:03 PM.


#11 abrightmom

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 04:14 PM

I tweak so much, that one day, I will have created my own curriculum. :tongue_smilie:


The way you run your homeschool is very inspiring to me....MFW ECC has always been a program I wanted to try....still uncertain if my kids would handle it! Your MFW/SL hybrid is lovely....you use MCT :001_smile:...you use WTM writing....you use Apologia and A Child's Geography. Those are all programs I am highly interested in....

I have NO idea what I am doing or what we will do. :lol:

#12 Evanthe

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 05:55 PM

The way you run your homeschool is very inspiring to me....MFW ECC has always been a program I wanted to try....still uncertain if my kids would handle it! Your MFW/SL hybrid is lovely....you use MCT :001_smile:...you use WTM writing....you use Apologia and A Child's Geography. Those are all programs I am highly interested in....


:lol: Our homeschool just can't be normal. :tongue_smilie:

#13 JanOH

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 06:17 PM

Janet,

I am in a similar situation to you. We used MFW this year with the ages you see below and I felt the same about the workload for a 3rd grader vs an advanced 8th grader. I started to add work for the older two but then wondered if I was giving too much busywork? I like the looks of MFW AHL from what I have seen and heard on line and I am planning on using that with my ds next year. However, part of me wonders if it will be too much for him also, especially the reading. I don't have AHL in hand but plan to get it at convention.....I think:confused: I'm curious to know what you are going to use instead?

I'm glad I'm not the only one with this concern. I really liked MFW but am planning on veering away next year with my middle dd into HOD Preparing. I think it will meet her learning needs exactly where she is at instead of her just tagging along with the older two.

My dd 4 just started MFW K and loves it. I'm not sure what I will do with her as far as staying with MFW or switching over to HOD.

I am looking to next year as a kind of test year with HOD to see if I like the learning and teaching styles better than those in MFW. Part of me loves the idea of a scripted schedule like in HOD but the other part of me fears it because the flexibility in MFW's schedule was something I really liked. However, maybe that was because I was combining three kids :001_smile:


I've decided to do Sonlight 100 next year for my upcoming freshman. I had used it previously with my oldest and only needed to update the IG and a few of the books. I just think the level will fit him better for next year. I just can't imagine him going from Johnny Tremain this year to the Illiad next year (especially when the Progeny Press Guide was a real challenge for him). I love, love MFW high school programs (I've used World History and the first American/Government Year) but I know that they are very intense in the reading and writing. This kid just isn't ready for it and I don't want to make school a constant drag for him.

I'm hanging on to all my MFW resources just in case HOD doesn't pan out. The only thing I'm really worried about it the uncombining I'm doing. My 9yods will be doing Ctc because that's where he fit. My 7 yo fit perfectly into Bigger and my 5 yo fit perfectly into the first grade part of Little Hearts so I'm going to try to run three guides. I've been pouring over them and in fact have started Little Hearts already and we are really enjoying it. The feeling I'm getting so far is that it's a bit more Charlotte Mason style than MFW. The read alouds and history portions are shorter each day which I think is what makes it possible to run more than one guide. Ctc is really very independent and as I've been working with the Bigger guide I can see that there are parts of it that I can make independent just because of the personality of my 7 yo.

One of my motives in switching out of MFW was also the dynamics between my 7yo and 9yo. My 7yo is a very quick learner and very enthusiastic and my 9yo is a bit more deliberate in his style so when we are doing activities together my 9yo tends to let younger brother take over whether it's saying verses, narrating for history, project, whatever . . . I really needed something completely seperate for those two!

#14 JoyinIndo

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 06:21 PM

I tweak so much, that one day, I will have created my own curriculum. :tongue_smilie:


:001_smile: Just think about your future....all this tweaking now could mean a big payoff for you some day...you could make a lot of money with your own curriculum. :)

I personally have not yet used either MFW or HOD, but do have MFW ECC and MFW CTG curriculum from a friend to look over.
I have been putting together my own curriculum for the past few years, and while there are some things I really love that we are using (WWE, FLL, WT, etc), I am going to being using HOD for my kids in the fall, and I'm really excited about it.
I have tried combining my kids for history 1st, 3rd, and 4th (similar in style to MFW) and I just always feel like no matter what I do, someone isn't getting what they need. So *for me*, HOD sounds like a breath of fresh air. No more lurking thoughts of whether or not I covered everything, or kicking myself at the end of the week, thinking that we missed this or that. But, that's me. I do not like to plan, I constantly second guess myself, and am really not all that creative. With 2 preschoolers in the mix, I need my olders to be doing some independent work, and I need to spend some focused time on the to-be 2nd grader.
A major drawback for me with MFW is the amount of supplies needed and reliance on the book basket. Living overseas, neither of these things are an option as we have no Wal-mart, craft store, or library. As I looked at MFW, I just knew that a lot of the hands-on activities would never get done.
As I look at the activities in HOD, they seem more do-able, less mom intensive, and just more simple overall. That's a plus for me.
So, all that to say, I'm going with HOD for peace of mind. We'll see how it goes. :)

#15 MrsMe

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 06:59 PM

I only have one kid, and MFW is clearly for combining ages after Adv in it's book choices. We had several we couldn't use just because they were too advanced, so they were wasted.

I think HOD uses all aspects of learning skills. And it has projects in almost every subject. HOD also uses more Christian book publishers and that's a big deal with me. I thought HOD's books were also a lot less dry on very on-level.

On the other hand, we loved Kingdom Tales!

#16 home'scoolmom

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 07:31 PM

Okay, I know this has been discussed ad nauseum on here, but when I try to do a search, it keeps saying "no matches". Maybe something is wrong with the search function??

Anywaaaay, I'm currently using HOD (Beyond), but seriously considering switching to MFW this fall. Has anyone started out with HOD but then switched to MFW? What were your reasons for switching? How did it go??

I really like the idea of combining my kids, it seems like it would streamline my day a bit. I'm not thrilled with how my boys are separated for every. single. thing. with HOD. And MFW looks a little more...I don't know, flexible I guess. I'm feeling very confined with the HOD guide. But I do really enjoy HOD, the book choices are great and it is very sweet. My son is enjoying it as well. So I Just don't know! I am soooo torn!! :)

On the flip side, has anyone started out with MFW then switched to HOD? Why didn't MFW work out for you??

Thanks!


Since you have two so close in age, you should be able to easily combine in HOD. It's written for dc as close in age as yours to be combined, you shouldn't be running two different programs at any stage. If I had just two I'd be using HOD no question. I use it and I have eight. Part of MFW's strength is in combining, but you can combine in HOD just as easily with your two.

MFW probably would provide more flexibility however since HOD's lesson plans are more detailed. So if you desire more flex and less scripted and detailed lesson plans that would be a consideration. :) It just depends on what you want in a program, you can combine easily in either one.

#17 Hebrews3:13

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 07:57 PM

I have been trying to decide which of these two to do, or maybe neither for over a month. Some days I lean more one way, some days the other. Sigh. I pour over these posts and glean things, but have yet to come to a decision.

I am set to do MFW for my oldest. Thanks to AO I know she can handle the independence and reading/writing. She has already read several of the choices and they will be re-runs. That decision was the simplest.

For my youngest I finally decided on FIAR. She is beyond MFW K at this point, but I do not like how MFW first moves so quickly in some of the phonics/reading (we owned it at one point). I considered HOD, but I decided I would prefer a trial run of it with only one child. So I think this is a nice option with Math, etc. added in. I didn't want anything too heavy, as I have this terrible tendency to push.

It seems youngest DD and my son are just a little too far apart. They are about 3 years and 4 months and it is like a lifetime. They love to play together and are best friends, so I really hate that in the future they will be schooled so separately. I just see no way around it. Their skill sets are not even close to similar. I did consider that they could continue to do Art, Music appreciation, and Nature study together.

I already do most things separately with the 2 of them with my oldest working mostly alone, so using HOD seems like a viable option. I like the book choices, etc. in it more than MFW. My one reason for pause is the lack of flex. That is a sticking point and I am afraid I will get into it and feel totally claustrophobic.

I have always pieced things together and done my own thing. Even with AO/ CM help I picked and chose. Some things I veered from their suggestions. So I am concerned I will not be able to relax and work it as written.

My DH wanted me to get something more planned, more scripted since I end up spending a lot of time doing my planning, etc. If it were him they'd probably be doing PACES or something workbook-like for everything. He is about simplicity.

Open and go sounds nice. I guess I just need to DECIDE and commit to do it as written for one year. How bad can it be? At least then I will have done it and will know better next time, or will I? :lol:

I know this has helped none with your decision. I can commiserate though. This year has been the worst for making curriculum decisions EVER!

Best of luck!
Laurie

#18 silliness7

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 10:48 PM

I've decided to do Sonlight 100 next year for my upcoming freshman. I had used it previously with my oldest and only needed to update the IG and a few of the books. I just think the level will fit him better for next year. I just can't imagine him going from Johnny Tremain this year to the Illiad next year (especially when the Progeny Press Guide was a real challenge for him). I love, love MFW high school programs (I've used World History and the first American/Government Year) but I know that they are very intense in the reading and writing. This kid just isn't ready for it and I don't want to make school a constant drag for him.

I'm hanging on to all my MFW resources just in case HOD doesn't pan out. The only thing I'm really worried about it the uncombining I'm doing. My 9yods will be doing Ctc because that's where he fit. My 7 yo fit perfectly into Bigger and my 5 yo fit perfectly into the first grade part of Little Hearts so I'm going to try to run three guides. I've been pouring over them and in fact have started Little Hearts already and we are really enjoying it. The feeling I'm getting so far is that it's a bit more Charlotte Mason style than MFW. The read alouds and history portions are shorter each day which I think is what makes it possible to run more than one guide. Ctc is really very independent and as I've been working with the Bigger guide I can see that there are parts of it that I can make independent just because of the personality of my 7 yo.

One of my motives in switching out of MFW was also the dynamics between my 7yo and 9yo. My 7yo is a very quick learner and very enthusiastic and my 9yo is a bit more deliberate in his style so when we are doing activities together my 9yo tends to let younger brother take over whether it's saying verses, narrating for history, project, whatever . . . I really needed something completely seperate for those two!


This is how it is in my house too. My 7th grader hides behind the 8th grader whenever I put them together And my 5th grader hides behind the 3rd grader whenever I put them together. They also work at such different speeds. The faster one gets so impatient with the slower one and then the arguing about who touched who first or who looked cross-eyed at the other. {insert pulling-hair-out smilie} Combining doesn't work here. None of us like it. Well, maybe the 5th grader did. He really would like to just fly under the radar completely.

And I'm going to be doing Bigger and CtC in the fall too. It's like we're twins. :001_smile: But my littlest will do Little Hands and my 8th grader is going to do Rev to Rev. I wish I could have just put him in CtC and beefed it up for him because of the cost. Ack!! I'm going to have to mortgage the farm.:tongue_smilie: But we're going to try MFW for highschool and they start out with ancients so I figured that wouldn't work so much for him to do ancients twice in a row. But I'm planning on him being 85% independent with his work. Haven't gotten my guide yet so I don't know how much tweaking will be needed to make that a reality.

To the OP... I haven't used either program. So grab your salt shaker. :001_smile: I think part of people's preference for one over the other is the combining issue. I hate it and have lengthened my over all school day to avoid it. Others love it and make compromises in other areas to get combining to work. Most probably fall somewhere in between on the spectrum. You might not really know which you like better until you just try both out.

I had all but decided on MFW for my younger kids after I decided on MFW for my highschooler. I figured it would keep things simple. Then I went to talk to a friend who I knew used it and loved it. She kept going on and on about how great it was for combining. She just thought it worked so well. She was so happy with it. Then she said, "but in a perfect world if I hadn't needed to combine I would have used Oak Meadow." :confused: Her comment completely turned me off MFW because of the fact that I already know that I HATE to combine. Certainly there are other factors involved in educating our children. But to combine or not to combine seems to be a big one.

Good luck with your decision.

#19 MamaHappy

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 05:06 PM

Oh wow, I didn't realize there were so many responses! Usually I get a notification in my e-mail inbox when there is a reply, but I didn't receive a single notification for some reason. Anyway, thank you! :)

I've talked with dh to the point of driving him crazy and I've prayed and prayed about it and I really feel at peace with just staying with HOD. I have this feeling that I would regret leaving. I think I'm feeling this way partly because of my yearly spring burn-out, lol. :) I remember going this this same thing last year at this exact time, lol.

I do love so much hearing everyone's experiences and stories with curriculum. :)


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