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#1 NorCalMom

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 11:48 AM

I'm seriously considering MFW Adventures for my dd going into 2nd grade. I have read quite of few of reviews on homeschoolreviews.com, in which people complain that the program wasn't rigorous enough for their dc. My dd is advanced for her age; however, I'm not necessarily looking for "rigorous", but definitely challenging. She is reading at a 4th grade level. I'm also wondering how this would work with eventually getting her into the 4 yr. history cycle, considering that TWTM recommends starting the ancients in 1st grade. I will be looking at this at our HS convention, but I would like some honest feedback on this first. Please share your experiences/thoughts. :bigear: Thanks!

#2 Sue G in PA

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 12:10 PM

MFW has several Yahoo groups that might be helpful to you. I don't think they have a specific Adventures group, but Adventures is discussed widely on the MFW Families group. One thing to consider w/ MFW is that it does not follow WTM's suggested 4 year cycle but rather a 5 year cycle that includes one year of Geography (6 yrs. if you use Adventures). I've never done Adventures and never will simply b/c we will fold my younger dc in with the olders when they reach 2nd grade (as suggested by MFW). It looks like such a fun program, though, that I'm a bit sad we won't ever get to do it. BUT, all the Adventures materials are used in MFW Exp. - 1850 and 1850 - Moderns if you have younger kids, so I'll at least get to use some of the books. I'm not sure what to tell you if your dc is reading at such an advanced level. You could do Adventures and just add in more challenging material (take a look at the Exp. - 1850 and 1850-Moderns book lists if you can). Please ask the question on the MFW Families Yahoo forum b/c I'm certain you'll get some great answers. Crystal on this forum (mfwrocks on the Yahoo group!) has used MFW extensively and might be able to answer your questions better than I. Good luck!

#3 NorCalMom

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 12:25 PM

Thanks, Sue. I will check out the Yahoo groups. Love the tagline under your username by the way! :001_smile:

#4 Cadam

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 01:25 PM

I think something to keep in mind is that MFW is heavily influenced by CM ideas so the younger grades are defiantly a "take it slow and fun but get in the academics" mindset. Adventures was created simply because many people struggled with having their oldest children do ECC. It is easier to do ECC with an older child and then bring the level down a bit for the younger children. Parents found that with their oldest children in 2nd grade it was just too much for them.

If your child is advanced enough you could consider putting her into ECC. However if you are doing Adventures in 2nd grade it makes the rest of the cycle line up neatly before High School.

2nd - Adventures
3rd - ECC
4th - Creation to the Greeks
5th - Rome to the Reformation
6th - Exploration to 1850
7th - 1850 - Modern times
8th - Repeat ECC with the advanced suggestions at a higher level

Then you start the High School years with Ancient history and literature exc.

#5 NorCalMom

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 01:39 PM

Cadam,

Let's say we go with Adventures....do you think it would be workable if I supplemented the reading with some advanced readers from another program that follow along with the theme (i.e. some of Sonlight's 2nd advanced readers)? I think that reading is my only struggle with this program (I would add our own math & LA). Everything else looks good.

#6 Cadam

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 01:49 PM

MFW comes with large book lists (many of the books are on the Sonlight lists too , quite often) You might want to ask about this on the MFW forum. With ECC this year the suggested books were great for extra reading. You may find perfect suggestions in the Adventures TM.

#7 bethben

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 01:54 PM

My son did adventures last year. He was reading at a 3rd-4th grade level. It was just enough. There were times when I felt like he should have a little more reading on his level and was able to find books in the book basket list or I just had him read the read alouds. He did read some books lower than his level, but he was able to retain the information better since they were easy to read. The D'aulaire books on American history would be good to read at that level. They are suggested in the book basket list. There is also the "Childhood of Famous Americans" that would fit nicely with whomever you would be studying. Ywam publishing also prints a bunch of books about famous americans (Christian Heros now and then). I think Adventures would be fine. There are lots of books available and it is a good program even for an advanced reader. The program is as rigorous as you make it. We found it to be plenty. I did not think of it as "light". There's enough time to have a really academic program when they're older and the CM approach of MFW has the kids really learning, but not being overwhelmed.

Beth

#8 NorCalMom

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 01:55 PM

MFW comes with large book lists (many of the books are on the Sonlight lists too , quite often) You might want to ask about this on the MFW forum. With ECC this year the suggested books were great for extra reading. You may find perfect suggestions in the Adventures TM.


Thanks! Now I can't wait to get to the convention to check it out more thoroughly. I wish it was sooner.:crying: I'll visit the MFW forums to see what more info I can get.

#9 neesek

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 02:11 PM

I used Adventures last year with my ds who was in 1st grade at the time. I chose it primarily for the history because I wanted to give him a light overview of American history before starting the ancients. Overall, I really liked the program, and I would not hesitate to recommend it for a 2nd grader. Having said that, you asked for an honest opinion, and there were parts I did not really like.

1. I was not crazy about the science in the program. I did love the way that the topics lined up with the Bible portion, but if I were to use it again, I would probably supplement the science portion.

2. The state studies got really old after a while. This is one of the most common complaints I have heard about the program. At first we enjoyed them, but by the end of the year we had completely stopped doing them. I just used the days scheduled for a state study to add in more depth about what we were studying in history, for example, we spent several days more on the Transcontinental Railroad than were scheduled.

Other than that, I loved the program and I would not worry about it not being rigorous. You can easily beef it up if you find you need to by adding more reading. The book basket suggestions are excellent, and you could always add in the readers from Sonlight 3 if you wanted.

For my ds, it did just what I wanted it to do. It gave him a general introduction to American history in a fun way. I am constantly surprised at how much he has retained from it, even a year later.

HTH!

#10 Omma

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 02:35 PM

I just wanted to second that the MFW Adventures book basket list is really wonderful! I especially like the recommended books for the States Study. There is often an author's note to show the authentic nature of the narrated account, PLUS all the great pictures!!

We added Winterpromise's AS I to MFW Adventures, and it's really been a fabulous year. I wouldn't have changed a thing.... even though I've been used to using Sonlight. My 6 dd, in particular, has really benefitted from all the hands-on activities. My 8 ds, OTOH, has had plenty of history info. He has really enjoyed, and has a good handle on, figuring out the timeline of American history after doing these programs. For example, what was the timeframe of the invention of the telegraph and Morse Code, related to the use of the Pony Express and the stagecoach to deliver messages, and what inventions were available to use in which war, etc! He has definitely been challenged this year, and my dd has enjoyed herself and learned lots, as well!

So I would recommend MFW Adventures, plus getting add-on books/materials from either SL or WP, if you wish.... and plan on having a great year! :)

Brenda

#11 Annie Laurie

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 02:35 PM

I'm going to use Adventures this year with a 2nd grader and 1st grader. My 2nd grader is reading at a 5th grade level and 1st grader at a 4th grade level, and I feel that it will be plenty of reading. There are a ton of suggestions in the back of the TM for book basket, some might be on the easy side, but they're still building fluency, so I'll check them all out of the library and have them available. I'm also adding in SL readers, and anything else we find that they want to read. I don't think everything they do has to be rigourous, history for us needs to be fun.

#12 NorCalMom

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 02:52 PM

You could do Adventures and just add in more challenging material (take a look at the Exp. - 1850 and 1850-Moderns book lists if you can).


Sorry, Sue. I went back and read again that you had suggested supplemental reading also. I just keep going on and on...:)

#13 NorCalMom

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 02:55 PM

We added Winterpromise's AS I to MFW Adventures, and it's really been a fabulous year. Brenda


I went to WP's website and couldn't identify where this was at. Would you please elaborate? Thanks.

#14 Kisa in CA

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 04:50 PM

We did Adventures in 3rd and used the book basket a lot. I don't think I would have been happy did we not use a ton of additional books fro the library. If you assign reading from the book basket and add writing, narrations etc you can easily beef Adventures up to the level you want. If you're happy with the amount of work, then you can leave book basket to a set amount of time a day without requirements. I was happy with adventures because it got done! It was not too much and was easy to add assignments to it. Since I also had a K'er they had fun with it. Supplementing with Sonlight readers is exactly what I have done! Now, for Ancients I'm supplementing with the Winter Promise Ancients readers. You might check out their American History readers too. I LOVE that they schedule them for you. That might be a nice add-on for MFW Adventures. I'm not sure how Sonlight readers will line up against Winter Promise, but it's worth a look.

This year I am doing ECC, which has been really great. I would not do ECC with an oldest child any younger than 3rd. They just miss so much. If you start the 4 year cycle in 5th you are done in 8th, which is my goal. If you start in 3rd you have an extra year in 8th, which would be fun to choose a Winter Promise themed unit or maybe even Sonlight.

I'm happy with MFW because it keeps variety going throughout the year. Always new books, read alouds, etc.



Anyway, HTH!
Kisa

#15 Kisa in CA

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 04:54 PM

Hi Lisa,

I see you are having problems finding the WP American History readers right? They are in the LA section. Check out 2nd, 3rd, 4th grade LA and you will see varying a sets of readers.

HTH!
Kisa

#16 Omma

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 06:37 PM

I went to WP's website and couldn't identify where this was at. Would you please elaborate? Thanks.


Sure!

You've probably found it by now, but it is: American Story I. We also have really enjoyed the American Story readers that others have mentioned. Our family liked the easy readers for American Story, too, as they have great pictures!

Brenda

#17 NorCalMom

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 08:00 PM

Thanks Kisa & Omma for your input! I appreciate your help. :)

#18 Tabitha

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 08:36 PM

We did MFW Adventures for 2nd grade in 2006-2007. We enjoyed it, and we enjoyed the readings. The state portion was just coloring sheets, and the science was okay.

This year we are redoing American History with Heart of Dakota www.heartofdakota.com in their Bigger program for 4th (we just started last week). I've heard lots who have used Adventures and then this, and most (if not all) prefer HOD due to it having more Biblical content in all subjects and also for it building up more character traits vs. what MFW does.

If you aren't set on MFW, you might be interested in HOD. I do think it would be good to look closely at both of them before buying one or the other. See what books they both use that interests you, etc.

We just used MFW ECC this past school year, and while the info was nice we got bored with the same line up day in and day out. One thing I had a hard time with in MFW is all the copying needed to be done. If I couldn't get out to make copies, we got behind. I also found it hard to do the library...so opted to buy the books we wanted to use.

Just food for thought, if you want something a bit more hands on and with more varied actitives you might want to consider HOD, too.

#19 NorCalMom

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 08:44 PM

Christina (Cadam),

As always, your posts are very helpful to me. I tried to give you some rep, but the board wouldn't let me.:confused1:

And thank you to everyone who has responded. These decisions are much less stressful when I'm able to bounce questions off someone else and receive such great replies! :thumbup:

#20 Tabitha

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 08:59 PM

Just remember if you aren't sure...wait and don't buy stuff just yet. Wait until you are sure. Deals can be nice at the conferences but you can always find things on forums as well, also for a nice price. Make sure you are ready, with no doubts, and then go for it. There are so many nice programs out there...it would be great if we could do them all.

Best of luck with deciding what to do, and do let ya know what you figure out!

#21 NorCalMom

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 11:45 PM

Just remember if you aren't sure...wait and don't buy stuff just yet. Wait until you are sure. Deals can be nice at the conferences but you can always find things on forums as well, also for a nice price. Make sure you are ready, with no doubts, and then go for it. There are so many nice programs out there...it would be great if we could do them all.

Best of luck with deciding what to do, and do let ya know what you figure out!


Thanks for your responses, Tabitha! I'm heading to the convention in July and will make a final decision then. I just really wanted some feedback from someone other that the seller. For sure, I will be posting our lineup when it's complete for further input. As a newbie, I welcome it!:)