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Cross-Post....I know I am poking at a sacred cow..

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and I wish I had a pseudonym under which to ask this...


But I am really asking for my own info NOT to be mean...


Does anybody else think that MFW seems rather basic...Ie the 2-8 rotation seems way too basic for a 6-8th grader, and the high school rotation seems really basic for a high schooler.


I realize that MFW is making full use of all the resources shown, and that they require depth of discussion and lots of essays in high school. But I still can't see, in looking at the samples, and in looking at the materials, that it's college (like university, scholarships, and maths and sciences) prep.


...OK there it is. Please be nice! I really really am looking at MFW for next year for my kids. I would really really like to find a Christian "full curriculum" that my dh could agree to and that I would not feel the need to tweak. And that is why it has to be rigorous...otherwise I will stick with my other plans.


PS the high school seems better than using the 2-8 rotation for a 7-8th grade...so I'd like your thoughts on it for 7th and 8 graders too.

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If all one did was to look at the samples, I can understand your concern.


but with the products in front of me.. I don't see the concern. One of the best ways to see it - is to go a convention and look not just at the books, but at the finished student notebooks.


If that's not possible.... maybe some of my ramblings might help? I'll try.


I guess some of it would be what one hopes for in a college prep sequence. In the jr. high years, a lot of what MFW is doing is helping jr. high students (logic stage) be in logic stage. That's a whole other post about jr. high... I can ramble on that too...



high school.... and mfw...

Then in high school, the program kicks up. My oldest is an academic nerd/geek. She is like her dad, who has a PHD in chemistry. I went to a top university and only have a bachelor's degree. So I'm the dumb one in the family. (that's a joke I'm making about me.... I graduated from a university that is one of the top 15 in the nation.)


I just got the US1 program the other day - that's year 3 of high school. It is for upper high school. I would not use it with jr. high - even with advanced kiddo.


What kinds of things do you want to have as part of your way of college prep high school? I'd be happy to tell you if MFW has it, or if you would have to add that in small ways, or maybe look at something else. Everyone has different goals and ways to do them. that's good.


AHL and WHL - ok.. I'll take the flame suit here... Notgrass is not college prep. ok. there (flame me....) It is high school. But that doesn't mean than AHL and WHL aren't college prep.


In AHL, the students are learning the argumentative essay. That's rhetoric skill level. Students will have to learn that skill. There are only 5 of those essays that are graded in the program. For some of us on the Hive, that is not enough. I think it would be very easy to require more from the SMARR/Literature Supplement. More are listed. 5 are assigned and graded. But those essays aren't the only graded writing either.


In term of quantity of literature in those years - it will be subjective. I like that they read the entire Bible, plus quite a bit of classic literature related to history. Additionally - and this isn't seen on the sample, in AHL and WHL there is a section of English credit that is "free reading". In order to accommodate a wide variety of readers in high school years, free reading has several options: "easier' historical fiction that the student will probably finish, and/or use the Stobaugh SAT Prep book and pick and choose among 150 classic novels.


College Prep continues as the students read a lot in those years and begin to write responses to the literature. There's the critical thinking and writing. There's the increased responsibility in the student staying on the syllabus.



US1 - BJU text and the CLEP prep book. history is good on that. US 1 uses Stobaugh's literature stuff. He is a college prof who really wants to prepare homeschooled students for college.


anyway.... I'm confident that MFW has a lot of the right ingredients and that my child is getting a strong program. I did AP courses in public high school and ended up at a top school. My dh went to same university and then to a top university for his phd.... We're pleased.


anyway... storms are hitting my city. I need to hit send....


but.. I know on MFW's board there have been several reports that some people are doing the "send them to community college full time in 11th grade route" and they used AHL and WHL in 9th and 10th and the student is doing fine.



I know one of their staff (and it shouldn't matter) only used MFW for in high school (he started homeschooling his children when one child was in the middle of 10th grade... straight from public school). His son is in STEM major on full ride scholarship and keeping the GPA up.


It's just these people aren't on forums over here....



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I think personally that "poking at sacred cows" is really something different than it appears. In a fairly superficial way, some conversations are judged as if folks are "jumping on" anyone who criticizes certain sacred cows, when in fact I see those folks as just clarifying things that aren't being described correctly. The clarification may be come across as a bit heartfelt since we're talking about our children, which obviously homeschoolers take very seriously.


Things have changed a LOT since I started homeschooling a high schooler 10 years ago. Back then homeschool curriculum were few and far between, so it was basically do public or Christian school at home, or use something that's very loosely put together. As a newbie coming in with a 10th grader, I felt great appreciation for homeschool authors, however imperfect. I mean, Beautiful Feet was like 25 pages for the year; Konos high school was like 1,000 pages for the year; neither one was meant to tell you what exactly to do each day or to guarantee acceptance at Harvard - that was your job and you were homeschooling because you wanted to do that job.


Okay, off my soap box. I'm not picking at you, I just think there is a lot implied in that title.


Back to your question.


I've used MFW with my youngest from 3rd to 10th grade. Obviously I'm pleased. I'd describe myself as a bit of a bookworm, I did go to college, graduated summa cum laude, phi beta kappa, and all that. I'd describe my youngest as smart but not as hard working, good-natured but not always willing. I also have raised a public schooled son who got a fairly lame education and managed to excel in college; he's now an engineer. I also raised a dd I brought home in 10th who is a very difficult child with Aspie tendencies. And overall, I've just lived long enough to see many folks who pushed their kids and touted their own successes, but sometimes their children or even their families crashed and burned. So keep background that in mind.



PS the high school seems better than using the 2-8 rotation for a 7-8th grade...so I'd like your thoughts on it for 7th and 8 graders too.

I'll just respond to this one for now.


In 7th, my son did 2nd semester of EX1850 and 1st semester of 1850MOD.


In 8th, my son did the rest of 1850MOD and one semester of ECC.


I have no problem whatsoever calling those 3 complete and challenging for those grades. You aren't very specific, so I don't know what you're seeing that doesn't seem challenging. Have you looked over the sample grids for those programs? Now, we did delve into some topics at our house (which I usually posted over on the MFW "Ideas" board). But often I had to skip other things in order to do that. For instance, my son really got into the stock market and the national debt and we did some extra "recent history" things (if that's not an oxymoron), but then we didn't get to all of the recent art history and music study even though we had liked seeing those developments alongside our history study -- we just couldn't do it all, so we could either do it as written, or we could sub things in and out.


One thing that might be different than you expect is that MFW is not a 3-hour-history program. It's very balanced. 7-8th graders don't just step up history studies, but they are adding higher science, more language arts, and often foreign language. My son also had time to do a sort-of "shop class" with his dad, plus go to the orchestra, try an outside class, etc. If we had lived out in the country with no other distractions, then I feel we could have done every last thing suggested in the MFW teacher manual and had very full days, as well.


The only 2 I have not used in 7-8th grades are CTG or RTR. I cannot say if they would be "enough" for someone. I think that I am a person who could always spend another 30 hours a week delving into writing assignments or reading literature, or mentoring my son through using a science textbook, so I don't think I'd have any problems whatever I used. I also think I would love to have those years in CTG & RTR just to do the fun stuff -- the things we didn't have time for in high school, and which are probably more memorable than some things raced through in high school. Since there are folks who spend their whole careers studying just one period of time, in one country, you can imagine that we never cover every single thing so there is always more out there.


But of course the advantage of MFW is that there is a basic structure, a solid framework, with a regular dose of real, child-appropriate methods of learning, and it's very well planned out for you. If an activity is suggested in the daily lesson plans, then all the time that is needed will be set aside, along with materials needed, so you won't skip it and you won't have to fit it in by schooling until 8 pm. And it's not just how long Marie Hazell's kids took for the project, or which projects worked for her kids -- it was all pre-piloted, post-piloted, and tweaked along the way until it seemed just right for most families. Not all families, of course, but most. The basic framework of a sound education, which will truly get done, which will actually be completed to the end of the cycle, and which can always be decorated to suit you.


I don't know if anything helps, but grandson needs to be put to bed :)


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Exactly! Thanks Crystal. I know I can count on you for an intelligent answer (now I know why...you are smart!) LOL.


This is what I was wondering. I just want to know if it's enough to prepare my dc for university entrance and put them in the running for scholarships, such as my states Bright Futures scholarship, or any academic scholarships in general. If God has other plans for their life, that would be fine with me as well. But getting them as ready as I can is my goal.


I will re-read your post so I can understand well what you are saying. Are you saying that, in a nutshell:


MFW high school is very college prep, even for entrance into top universities (although this is not necessarily my goal for my dc), but with a little bit of minor tweaking namely:


For free reading, choose challenging books along with Stobaugh guides

Add more Rhetorical essays


Did I catch that correctly?

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This was extremely helpful. All i reallly needed was a few testimonies of fairly driven homeschool moms with bright children, who aim for college entrance. And a few testimonies of the kids actually doing well.


I like how you also pointed out your own personality and your dc's different experiences and personalities. That's a big help.

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well sorta...


It depends... on what they are going to study.

Reading more books and doing more essays might help a student. For others, it won't matter. The real question is when it comes to college entrance, is your student going somewhere that he wants to go and is providing the program for his interest and study. Do they know how to study and take notes and get themselves up in the morning? don't forget those skills for college prep...


I went to public school in the 1980's. Took 2 AP courses - calc and English. did good enough on my SAT (this was before the essays existed). but I didn't get a 1600 either (back when 1600 was top). I didn't read all the time. not a fan of reading at all. I did some writing. I wasn't that good at it either. I was admitted based on test scores (and grades GPA that stuff). I know we didn't do this much work when I was in school. But I do have memories that how Notgrass is used in MFW is how my "honors" or "advanced" world history class was taught.


MFW has plenty of reading. If a student is interested in Harvard or Yale and interested in humanities... maybe more of the "stobaugh" way will benefit with reading a classics novel a week. I think that's over the top!


I think MFW has plenty of writing too -- we're going to begin to work on timed essays and I haven't seen that in MFW program. My daughter will struggle with timed essays. But then again, she might end up at a university that doesn't do anything with ACT/SAT essay. She does well after several drafts, but the timed essay? I am not looking forward to that. she had some OCD and ADHD tendencies..


Some colleges will look at transcripts and test scores. SAT/ACT, CLEP/AP, Some places don't do anything with CLEP tests. Others will see that as indicating strength in the student.


I think I'm doing a poor job on explaining the "stobaugh" stuff. He has a SAT prep book with practice in critical reading and essay for SAT. MFW sells this book and modifies the use because most of the skills are in their curriculum already. Even Stobaugh agreed that MFW has a good path and helped them to be sure their modified way of using his materials still met strong path.

That book includes an extra reading list. I think 1 novel a week is over the top, but that's his recommendation in the SAT prep book. My daughter likes to read -- but she doesn't like "classics lists". So she's done for free reading? ready?? my advanced academic kid: ready? The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan..... and S. Collins triology. Ranger's Apprentice.... ok? She enjoys reading. Right now... in WHL, she's "forcing" herself to read Pride and Prejudice, b/c it's part of the school work.


My dh had way more AP credits than I did. He didn't read all of those either classics either. He was a sci fi reader geek in high school. like father like daughter... they were racing each other on the Robert Jordan books.


MFW uses some of Stobaugh literature guides in US1. So you would not add those in to have strong college prep. There really is plenty of literature analysis.


I was a business major - human resources management. dh was a chemistry and math majors (phd in chemistry).


Start with the basics in the first two years. As your child begins to say "I want to be a ________" or "I really want to attend _________ " or "I want to study _________" then, begin to individualize to help meet that need. More than likely, it will not be by adding more essays or novels.


I know others on the HIVE prefer even stronger path than MFW has so that's why I mentioned the "classics" list and "a bit more writing is there if you want it".


The big thing is that you don't want to overload them. Let them have time to have a part time job, or friends, or extracurricular. community service... all of that is part of well rounded high school time and will help them in college life as well. Time management skills are more valuable than making a longer list of novels read or 7 essays instead of just 5 in a year.



Edited by cbollin
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