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Sonlight vs. My Father's World for High school


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#1 Mango

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:36 PM

Has this been discussed somewhere?

#2 Beth S

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:13 PM

I have no idea, but it helps to Google it:

http://forums.welltr...-fathers-world/
http://forums.welltr...hschool-anyone/

#3 Margaret in CO

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:41 PM

One thing I would look at--have the writers of MFW actually hsed a child at the high school level? The Sonlight folks have not.

#4 Candid

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:14 AM

I thought we had discussed it recently but could not find it. Do you have specific questions? I'd ask those.

#5 Mango

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:26 AM

Just wondering if MFW is too light. But I was reading the other threads and I guess it depends on the kid. Nervous I'm not going to get her to do all the requirements for college admittance.

#6 cbollin

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:50 AM

Just wondering if MFW is too light. But I was reading the other threads and I guess it depends on the kid. Nervous I'm not going to get her to do all the requirements for college admittance.


((hugs)) for the worries about all of this. I don't think MFW is too light at all. My oldest (middle of 11th grade) got a 30 composite on her ACT last month (without much test prep ahead of time either). We've used MFW since she was in 2nd grade.

MFW has a nice planning guide for college prep.
http://www.mfwbooks....f_Study.pdf?r12
and
http://www.mfwbooks....g_Guide.pdf?r12

They've made it easy on me to do grading and evaluating writing. I think there are plenty of assignments. And if you are way more rigorous in style than I am, there are optional assignments each year to add more (for example.... in AHL, we did plenty of critical thinking as out loud discussion, but some peopel want it all done as essays... or there are extra assignments in Notgrass for more history projects). MFW has suggestions for early college credit too. But they are looking to help student grow each year and by end of high school be ready for college..... they aren't trying to have 9th graders in college work, but have homeschool graduates be college prep.

Margaret brought up the home high school experiences... yes... MFW writers have done that, and have children go on to college. and the pilot families of the program have success college stories.

One of my good friends only started to homeschool when his son was in middle of 10th grade and they ended up being a pilot family for MFW..(eek! imagine that.. start homeschooling in middle of 10th grade, and only use MFW when it was being piloted?). That son is in 4th year of top notch engineering university and did fantastic! He's already got a job lined up after graduation in his engineering field.

There is plenty to read in mfw high school. lots of stuff to do. and if it isn't enough reading.... MFW sells the Stobaugh SAT prep book and that has another 150 books you can read over 3 years or so.

Light parts of MFW: well... Notgrass text is not heavy, but MFW adds to it.

My oldest has done AHL, WHL and is more than half way through US1. the credits are there for strong college prep path. My umbrella school says we have to do PE credit, so I had to add that. I did Fine Arts credit differently than MFW does it in WHL. My umbrella school insists that we have to do more Brit Lit in 12th grade even though MFW did it in 10th grade.... but the 12th grade MFW English credit allows me to add in 2 books that my umbrella school thinks is needed because everyone in this state reads those. (roll eyes)

I really dont' think MFW is light in high school. It is college prep as far as I can tell. My dh has a PHD in chemsitry, so we're academic nerds ourselves. We're liking the syllabus and plans in MFW.

I haven't used Sonlight at all. so I can't compare/contrast. But if you have specific questions about MFW programs... I'm happy to answer how it went in my house.

#7 Momto2Ns

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:58 AM

I'll add a couple more threads for you:

http://forums.welltr...-cores-100-400/

http://forums.welltr...or-high-school/

#8 Donna A.

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

I can't compare with Sonlight high school, but I'm looking forward to doing MFW high school again with dd #2 this coming year. :)

Oldest will be taking the ACT next month, so I can report test results afterwards. In the meantime, she's doing *very* well on her diagnostic and practice tests. The only area where she's getting semi-low scores is in math, but that has nothing to do with MFW. ;)

#9 Mango

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:20 AM

One thing I would look at--have the writers of MFW actually hsed a child at the high school level? The Sonlight folks have not.

Interesting thought.....

#10 TechWife

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:46 AM

We're in the middle of WHL & it's our first time using MFW. I think it is very appropriate for a high school student. We used Sonlight at the lower level cores but haven't used it at the high school level. I've been impressed with the depth of the reading that MFW has scheduled - the church history book used in WHL is not lightweight at all! The lit & writing assignments are very good as well. I've had to add a bit to the writing because there were some things that were taught in AHL that my son hasn't learned, so I added in some other materials, but completing the MFW assignments. If you start MFW high school with AHL, you won't have that issue to worry about. This is our favorite year of history yet!

#11 Donna A.

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:09 AM

Just wondering if MFW is too light. But I was reading the other threads and I guess it depends on the kid. Nervous I'm not going to get her to do all the requirements for college admittance.


I *assure* you that MFW is college-prep. It's not the 8-hour day that WTM would be, but why should it have to be? I have a friend who's done WTM/TOG/SWB recommendations/classical college-bound education since Day 1, and my dd's composite score on the ACT diagnostic (completing every portion of the test on time) was the same as my friend's two high schoolers' scores the first time they took the real thing. Both of those kids have taken it several times in order to get above a 30... and that's with a strong classical (WTM type) education behind them! That just proves to me that long school days and college level work ("cream of the crop") during the high school years does NOT guarantee extremely high college entrance exam scores.

I mentioned above that my dd's weakest area is in math, but that's always been true since long before we found MFW. We did try Saxon (which MFW recommends and sells), but it ended up being a bust for us. Part of that is just because we're a math-phobic family, and I think to do well in Saxon you have to *think* like Saxon. We don't. But dd has no interest in becoming an engineer or doctor, anyway, so no big deal. ;)

The kids of MFW author are all doing well in their chosen post-high school path, as far as I know. Last I heard, anyway. They've graduated... 5 already? Or is it 4? I can't remember their exact ages, so not sure if they just have one left in high school or two. (They have 6 children altogether.)

Also, as I've been looking at college requirements for high school work, I realize that my dd HAS done everything they require for admission (and some scholarships).... and then some. :) I'm not nearly as afraid of the college process now as I was three years ago.

#12 Candid

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:06 PM

Just wondering if MFW is too light. But I was reading the other threads and I guess it depends on the kid. Nervous I'm not going to get her to do all the requirements for college admittance.


Rigor! That's always a tough subject on a home school board. As far as I can tell every home school mom thinks their program is rigorous (okay, there are some exceptions, moms who know they have a child who struggles in one or many subjects, but the rest of us, we all think it).

There are some good ways to compare programs.

The simplest is to begin with the book list. If possible try to compare apples to apples: Ancient History to Ancient History, American lit to American lit, and so forth. What I would look at is amount of material covered and level of material covered. So a program that reads true classical literature will get a higher rigor level than one that reads historical novels of the time period. For history books, look at how the book is rated by other sources: Rainbow Resource springs to mind. But you can also look at the publisher of the book as well. I'd be more impressed by a curriculum that used history books that were from the University of XX press than Usborne books or DK books. But you'll want to take a good look at some of the books to confirm this impression.

Next. move onto looking at samples, what do they ask the student to do each week? By this I don't so much mean the number of pages read which you'll already have a handle on from the first stop, book lists, but instead what kinds of questions do they ask the student? What do they provide to you the parent to "grade" those questions? How do you know if your child is thinking and applying what they've read. Do they educate you at all, provide thoughtful remarks to you in terms of a range of answers? Or do they just have fill in the blank or short sentence answers? Does your child already know most of the answers without even reading the material?

Grab your copy of the WTM and look over what SWB suggests at this same level. How do programs compare?

I've had parents who have told me that they think their child is doing high school work even though the books their program uses are used is used by other programs in upper grade school levels. I agree that an older student can do more with a text than a younger child, BUT I doubt if when compared to a student using a text more appropriate to their age they will get as much because the text won't provide as much information.

I often see parents who say things like. "They are learning so much more than I did," or "The kids in the local public school don't do anything like this." While those things might be true, it is also true that some children are getting truly exceptional educations and I would hope if you ask this question that is what you are looking for. So look beyond your close examples for the stellar examples to emulate.

Now, obviously, every child doesn't need as rigorous an education possible and many programs can get a child ready for college. BUT my goal is to provide my child with the best education possible for him (or her, but I have two boys). This may vary between the two because they have different interests and talents, but my job is to challenge them wherever possible.

One good thing about this kind of comparison is you can see the range of options out there and determine what is best for your family.

To compare programs directly here's a post that does so as part of answering another question: http://forums.welltr...n/#entry4544473 I think I would flip the lower two, but I have not made a recent comparison as I suggest above, so I could be wrong. I would also add that I think the Omnibus program is probably equal to Tapestry as is a well done WTM inspired program. .

#13 cbollin

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:05 PM

agreeing with much of what Candid is saying that in addition to subjective stuff... good to check samples and check against some kind of other standard. I agree with what she's saying...

one thing in Candid's suggestion will be harder to do with the samples that MFW has online. and that is to get a good feel of what all is done on a day in the sample grid. For example, you can't see the questions for the AHL lit/comp guide. Those aren't shown. they are based on the SMARR high school ancient guides. They have vocab, recall questions, and critical thinking questions as well as essay topics. answer guides are given.

Also, another thing to consider when looking at programs will be the goals and objectives of the program. MFW is not trying to make 9th grade be the same as freshman year of college. Rather they build each year so that by end of graduation of high school, the students are ready. College prep is more than using college level books. I personally don't object to my 9th or 10th grader having a colorful reference such as DK for one resource in the mix as long as it is one reference. I guess because I've used MFW at the younger grades and seen the differnece in the level of usborne book in younger years compared to the ones in the high school years... it's easy for me to know it's ok.

reading list.... that's not going to show completely on mfw sample either. in addition to reading the entire OT in AHL, and the package books shown... mfw tells the student to read for a certain amount of time each day in other books. Those can be "easy" read, or "classics" depending on the student. They provide a list of "easier" historical fiction, as well as suggesting using Stobaugh's SAT prep book. so that's another one of those thngs that the grid sample doesn't show the same way as you will feel when using it.

oh oh oh oh... this this... "What do they provide to you the parent to "grade" those questions? How do you know if your child is thinking and applying what they've read. Do they educate you at all, provide thoughtful remarks to you in terms of a range of answers?"

that has been one of the nicest things that MFW has done to help me... various answer keys and guides. (with exception of Church History in Plain Language, but I read the book over Christmas break so I'm good). and if I didn't like or have enough, other stuff was easy to get as needed for that. But yeah.... they provide a lot of helps on grading. part of that is shown on line sample. love that part...

One other thing to consider and this is not always easy to find out on forums. How are students doing in college who used a program? You might meet a parent online who is still hanging around, or they have younger sibs... y'all remember Julie in MN? She use to post here a lot, then her husband passed away... Well.... she's used MFW in high school and her son is currently 11th grader taking 2 dual enrollment courses this semester and doing very well (edited to correct number of classes). I mentioned in an earlier answer about my friend who piloted MFW.... I'm not kidding that son has near 4.0 as a college senior. has a job lined up already. so they are being prepared.

look around, of coruse... compare and contrast.... try to see the materials in person if possible. but with the samples on mfw.... you just can't see the full day with all resources and that's a little frustrating

the one thing that I don't think is "super rigor" in AHL is notgrass. I'm glad MFW adds to it. ;)

and I like that it grows each year... but everyone has differnet philosophies on it.

I just hope that helps if you get frustrated on the online samples not showing a "sample day", but instead shows an overview of the materials and grid... it's not trying to show sample day for 6 hours of work, but highlight big picture of written to student.


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