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Compare Writing with TOG to MFW

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I am using TOG for the first time this year. I find the writing portion confusing and overwhelming. I have looked at the sample writing for MFW and love how organized it appears. I like that it appears to cover all the types of writing assignments we have never done. TOG has English thrown in with it and it that makes it even more complicated for me. I know I can ignore it since we are using something else but I would just like to be able to open a writing curriculum and teach it and cover all the different types of writing. Is TOG as easy as MFW appears to be? Am I just missing it? Is MFW easy and can you get their writing program separately and, if so, would it work with TOG?

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Kathy, I can't give you a comparison as I've never used TOG, but I'll give you a link to a couple of posts I've written about AHL (written when we were in week 4). Scroll down in the following thread and you'll see two posts by "4Truth", the second one specifically about the writing portion of AHL. I had posted here on WTM at the time, too.




Could you use the writing portion of MFW with TOG? Hhmm, I'm not sure how, since so much of it is integrated. At the very least, you'd have to get both the Lesson Plan book/manual and the SMARR Lit Guide to make it work, but then you'd have to skip a whole lot if you were just doing the writing portion of it. MFW doesn't have a separate "Writing Aid" (or whatever it's called) like TOG does.


MFW makes it very streamlined for the student to follow step-by-step directions for the writing and lit portions, which are integrated with Bible and history as well, *as* you go through the weekly lesson plans. Mom or Dad would offer assistance wherever necessary, and there's a scheduled weekly meeting time with a parent, but MFW is written for the high schooler to be able to work fairly independently. Some students would need a bit more hand-holding than others, of course, but the instructions are very clear. Even *I* could do it. :D


Take a look through the AHL sample lesson plans (14 pages shows an Overview, list of materials used for each subject, How to Use the Lesson Plans, grading suggestions, and Weeks 10 and 11 lesson plans and notes), and you'll get an idea of what I mean about how things are integrated... but ALSO see how they've spelled everything out for the student/parent to follow: http://www.mfwbooks.com/pdf/ahlsample.pdf

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I also haven't used TOG, but can share a couple of things about AHL and what I've seen of other MFW years. I saw your post earlier but must have forgotten -- thanks Donna for bumping it up :)


We're in week 8 of AHL. AHL seems to focus on the argumentative essay. I think you could get the Lit & Comp supplement & work through that, if it was helpful to you. It's a sort of streamlined Smarr program. You wouldn't have the AHL schedule, but the Lit & Comp assignments are broken down into daily units. MFW's schedule would tell you which weeks to work on that, and which weeks to work on writing using the prompts in Notgrass (less structured assignments), and which weeks to take a break from writing essays :)


WHL seems to cover "all the other" forms of writing, using Writers Inc. You could get Writers Inc & just go through that. You'd need the WHL guide to have it all scheduled for you. I have read some posts that say the Writers Inc argumentative essays are not as clearly taught as the arg. essays in AHL, so it helps to do AHL first?


US1877 (MFW's third year of high school) seems to have a streamlined version of Stobaugh's writing course, which is likely heavy on using supporting examples from literature, at least from what I know of Stobaugh. But I haven't seen the final version of this year so I can't be sure what you could purchase separately.


All years have a component of grammar review. In AHL, the last "formal" essay that my ds did had the student go through their own essay to look for subjects, objects, etc., and do things like replace pronouns with nouns etc. I like that method of grammar review. Coming up is a review of phrases, which my ds definitely will benefit from. I know by year 3, the 11th grade Easy Grammar Review is used, too.


Does that help?


Edited by Julie in MN
we're in week 8
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haven't used TOG, so I don't know on that part.


Another aspect of writing in MFW AHL comes into play with poetry writing (writing original psalms), and short story/fable writing in the Proverbs work. My oldest just finished her first "fable" writing assignment in Proverbs. The student has flexibility to pick a favorite Proverb and develop her own story to tell it. It was great!


One can purchase just the MFW Lit/Comp guide for the essays and such. But I'm not really sure how it would work away from the rest of the program. MFW AHL is more than just writing; there's the whole English credit in there with the rest of the parts of the program.


Some of the lit. comp is specific to literature selections in the AHL program. Some of the essay stuff is learning to write argumentative essays and how to edit and improve those along the way like Julie was detailing.


Some of the other writing in AHL involves "daily journaling" aspect with Bible reading of the entire Old Testament.


But yeah, MFW is easy to implement. The high school guides are very streamlined and written for the student to do more staying on the syllabus and following lesson plans. So you don't have to sort through pages of planning for them.


(p.s my dd just finished week 17 of AHL and it's going very well.)



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Here are a few things to think about...


1)I used TOG classic, but now use MFW. I might use TOG again some day, but only in a co-op setting with weekly discussion groups. That is what really MAKES TOG, the weekly discussion with a group of high schoolers. We don't have that right now, so MFW is a better fit.


2)There is a progression of difficulty from Year 1 of MFW to Year 4. It gets increasingly more difficult, which is a natural progression as your student gets older. I didn't see much progression of difficulty from year 1 to year 4 of TOG. This is important for some high schoolers.


3)MFW is more student led. Really works on independent skills.

TOG is more Teacher led. The teacher has a lot more work to do in planning what the student will be doing, assigning reading, writing and such.


4)The English/Lit portion of MFW just FLOWS. Everything from, grammar to writing to lit to vocabulary....JUST FITS WELL TOGETHER. The weeks are never overwhelming.


5) My kids LOVE MFW....They groan when I even mention TOG. They have discussed what they are learning in MFW. They didn't want to discuss what they learned with TOG. Like pulling teeth.


I'll think of other things if I can think of them....later...


There are some students I might use TOG with though. I might use TOG for someone who is leaning toward a history or law degree, or maybe an english major.


But we have mathy, science people at our house. ;)





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There are some students I might use TOG with though. I might use TOG for someone who is leaning toward a history or law degree, or maybe an english major.


But we have mathy, science people at our house. ;)



Now see, my dd's favorite subjects are history and lit.... though she seems to love science, too. Doesn't mind math anymore. Can't STAND grammar. :lol:


I think biblical worldview is one of MFW's greatest strengths, regardless of what major they're going into. Very well-rounded, as they make sure the college-ready academics are there, too. :001_smile:

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