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If you had no library access and a limited budget (let's say you could afford to purchase around 10 books per year from the book basket list in addition to the deluxe package), would you still use MFW? I'm particularly interested in ECC, but also any of the elementary levels. Thanks!


ETA: Forgot to say if you would not use MFW without the book basket, what would you use instead?

Edited by TXBeth
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It's hard for me to imagine that situation, so I'm mostly bumping this for you.


because I've used it for so long, I'd still use MFW in that situation and order some books - probably from Jan Bloom of booksbloom.


if it were me...I'd be on the phone to MFW asking how the hazells homeschooled when they lived in Siberia and then Moscow with no English libraries. clearly they didn't have the book basket list back then :)

I've heard that that mfw staff families have to drive about an hour in either direction to get to a decent library. It's once a month trip for them. The library in their town is small so they go somewhere else, and yes that means out of county fees and gas. Certainly as former missionaries on the field, they have some tricks up their sleeves to homeschooling away from good libraries.


on the other hand, if I didn't already have and like mfw... probably use HOD with full packages.

or go textbook for most stuff and some SOTW, and find a way to have more money for reading material.


Book basket isn't about the exact titles - it's more about allowing children the freedom to not finish a book that isn't to their liking, and it's about letting them read on their own for more information on a topic, and it's about enjoying books.


so I'd look at ways to meet those objectives.


I know the year we moved to this city, it was hard on me to get to the new to me library. I was fine with just a few books in CTG. We had plenty to do in life and lots of books around the house on all kinds of topics, and ways to print internet articles and such.


glad to be back in the swing of book basket, although heading in week 18 in ex1850 and just max'ed out my library card ... do I really need all of these books? LOL amazing how it all changes from first child to next child.....



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I think so? I read this last night, and held off posting to think about it.


ECC is a good geography program. If you get the full package, you get some good books, some good missionary stories. The kids will learn mapping and geography, which is the goal. The book basket definitely adds the fun, though.


I think it would be hard for me to do any homeschool curriculum w/out library access. We are a one-income, on a budget family, too. Could you do as Crystal suggested, make a trip to a library every few weeks? At ours, I can request books on-line from home. If you did that, and just went every few weeks, would that work?


If not, one of the things on my list to buy would be a cookbook for kids-with a focus on foods from other countries.


I've never used it, but what about paperbackswap? Used books from amazon/ebay?

Edited by Mallorie
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I probably would not use it because I feel the book basket adds a certain depth to the program that you wouldn't have without it. There are so many good books listed that I couldn't imagine choosing just 10.


I have no idea what I would choose instead though because I feel library access is essential to our homeschooling experience since we thrive on literature rich curriculum.

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Just speaking from Adventures, I would still use it. The book basket is gravy. It would be hard to do any homeschooling with absolutely zero library access though. And I'd also try scrounging around the Amazon marketplace, half.com, and other places for used copies of books that might stretch your budget more.

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Hi there, I think I can answer your question because what you described it just like our situation. We are using MFW ECC and we live overseas, therefore no English-libraries. If I don't address any thing you're curious about, let me know and I will try the best I can according to our experience.


What we did was buy a whole bunch a books (used on homeschool classifieds and on this program for each country and for the different ecosystems). I bought them all for less than $100 total, each costing sometimes $1 and sometimes $5 for the country books. Now looking back at what we use and what is practical for shipping overseas, I would have saved even more money if I had purchased just a couple books for each country--like one read-aloud and/or one picture book, and then a couple books for the science component, like one on desserts and one on forrests, etc.


I should have bought the Teacher's Manual and read it first and then would have been more educated on what books I could buy used for the program.


Even if I could not have purchased any of the books for the book basket, I bought one large book by Kingfishers called People Around the World and Usbornes World of Animals that give the kids a good overview of the way people live and the kinds of animals in each continent, etc. (Used these were between $12 and 15 on the swap board here.) The kids have also enjoyed some seek and find animal books that divide them by ecosystem (the Great Animal Search sold as part of the Deluxe package) and the Complete Book of Animals have been fun for both my 1st grader and my 4th grader enjoys them too. I've also looked up what we've studied in the Properties of Ecosystems book online and made little posters with the kinds of animals and plants in each ecosystem. It's been fun, but very simple. And by simple I don't mean "not challenging" but easy to implement and we got a lot out of it.


I'm not crafty and I don't have many outside resources to depend on, but I believe it is a very rich program, even when I don't get to all of it and I rearrange the schedule to work into our lives. That's the beauty of it, you can make it fit your family and schedule--I've learned that from the ladies on this forum who have helped me tremendously. And really, the program is full and complete even without the book basket, that is icing on the cake that makes the "taste" richer but is not completely necessary if you can't use it. We have loved the missionary biographies and using the globe and the geography games. I love it when we read about a place or hear it on the news and the kids say, "I know where that is!" and continue talking intelligently about some aspect of the lives of the people or the kinds of animals there.


Concerning additional fiction about each area--there are chapter books suggested for read alouds or additional reading for older students. I would suggest getting a few of these but you might already be covering your read-alouds with another language arts or literature program. Not having the TM for ECC ahead of time, I scoured Sonlight and other programs lists and bought a few of those books used as well. I don't think I spent more than $5 each on any of these books except for the Kingfisher and Usborne books.


This "book basket use without a library" was what kept me from taking the step of buying MFW for several years, but after much conversation on forums like these and the MFW forum, research, and prayer, I'm very glad we took this step. I'm looking forward to next year even more because I love history and we'll be starting the 4 year cycle. Can't wait! HTH!!

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We did half of Explorers to 1850 last year and only added minimal book basket books. It is fine as is without adding a bunch from the book basket. I think we only did maybe 4 books total but we had a very difficult school year last year with my youngest being diagnosed with ASD. My dd also really disliked MFW and we wound up not finishing and switching to HOD. I really miss the book basket this year though oddly enough now that we actually have a bit more time for extras.


There are some books astericked in the book basket that are MFW top recommendations. I tended to just pick from those for the few titles we did do.

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I must really be missing out. I haven't used book basket at all going through EX-1850. This is my first year with MFW. I just have so many other things to get done.


However ...I like CBollin's point about fostering the love of reading because my kids read fiction books of their choosing from the library. They really don't like my "assigned" books from their curriculum b/c they view reading books as something that should be enjoyed leisurely and not for academic reasons.


My 5th grader is also doing Geography through Literature using Holling Clancy Holling books (4 books covered here). 7th grader is into some Princess Diaries series of books which covers the lives of queens/princesses throughout history. Ironically, these books are academic and I have no clue how she got into them.

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