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MFW AHL writing/literary analysis....

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Sorry, I am really pondering, and trying to figure out what to do with my son next year. He is finishing up writeshop 2 and a little Jump In thrown in for good measure. :) I am planning on starting him in AHL, even though he will be in 10th grade. Is there enough writing and literary analysis included over the high school years, or do I need to supplement? Is the writing/ English course considered college prep? I was debating adding in Teaching the Classics, and Windows to the World, or something. Highschool makes me nervous. I only have 3 years left. :001_huh: :eek: Do I need to add or do anything else besides, math, science, and electives??

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I was hoping not to be first! This isn't complete,, but hopefully will get conversation started.


AHL and US1 - heavier on literature analysis than WHL and US2. This is design of the author so you don't burn out in the high school years. Use of mfw adapted guides from SMARR (AHL) and Jim Stobaugh (US1) for those. As well as other things.


WHL - feels lighter on analysis, but has more reading. so it's a how much vs. a how deep.


US2, first semester... read 9 novels and do "stobaugh style" novel review where they write novel summaries to analyze character, plot, worldview. 2nd semester English is speech.


In addition to the assigned books in AHL and WHL (which includes reading the entire Bible), there is time for "free reading". Some books are suggested for lighter reading, or you can do classics list, or in our case.. we're doing free reading... fluff, novel series -- whatever my dd likes.



AHL concentrates a lot of argumentative essay. other writing includes poetry study and less formal writing with history essays.


WHL - concentrates on writing via Writer's Inc. assignments vary. There are other writing assignment in the lesson plans that aren't in Writer's Inc. one example would be the plot summary ,and character analysis on some novels. And essay on marriage after reading Pride and Prejudice.


US1 writing... I don't know... I haven't done that program yet. I get the idea it's from the Stobaugh stuff.. but I haven't stared at the plans enough yet.


US2... I have the materials.. haven't done it yet.


In terms of college prep? One of my friends helped to pilot MFW programs. His son is in 3rd year of engineering university, (on full scholarships wowzers!) and gets comments from his profs that he's a good writer.


and "lisa m" on mfw's board only did AHL and WHL before her child went community college in 11th grade... here is her story as of October



my oldest is only 10th grade. she's done MFW almost all her life... took psat in fall... scored 95 and 97 on critical writing and reading... so something is working? I don't know..... she's only 10th grade, who knows what will happen in college? Her writing is getting to be fairly good.



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I agree that the writing in AHL and WHL is enough on its own for the average student. (I haven't used US1 yet.) You can always take an assignment deeper, as needed, which is the way I handle any writing program.


AHL writing spends a year focused on the argumentative essay, as I'm sure Crystal already said :). There's a little variety in there, and the history writing gives a break from the English essays, but I think the essay is a good thing to spend a year on, at any age.


WHL writing spends 8 weeks on a research paper and then covers all the different kinds of writing in Writers Inc. Again I think it's enough, with room to go deeper according to each student's needs. For instance, one writing assignment in WHL was to write a letter to the editor of the "Wittenburg Times," either for or against Martin Luther. My son's letter fully met the criteria, but I decided to expand the assignment for my off-the-cuff youngest, and had him read some current letters in our local online newspaper and write another letter with some new "mom" requirements. However, if I had been teaching my older dd, I'm sure her first letter would have met all my requirements, and I would have had her delve deeper in some other area where she needed it.


As far as literary analysis, I think that means a lot of things. I get the feeling that Marie Hazell puts worldview questions first, next she prioritized exposure to literature (without overkill on analysis, like a Teaching Company lecture on Shakespeare suggested high school teachers do to ruin students' desire to read Shakespeare), and then she covers literary analysis in various ways along the path from 7th to 12th (e.g. character sketches when reading Pride and Prejudice). Although that's just a personal observation.


I think the extras you're looking at could be safely put off until you see a need, or notice something you might want to sub (avoiding the add-add-add syndrome). My own son might do one of those in 11th instead of one of the books or something, since he is fairly resistant to thinking about certain things in literature, but so far I'm just letting him get a tad older first - at 16 he's almost there :). I should add that he does "get" literature, as evidenced by the mom who runs his boys' book club and says he gets more than most, so I would say that MFW has adequately prepared him for literature over the years. However, he does resist over-analysis of author intention or author technique, and he's just going to have to accept those methods if he's going to score as well on the ACT reading as he does on the math...


Hope that adds something and doesn't just repeat :tongue_smilie:


Edited by Julie in MN
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Thank you both! I am convinced MFW should provide you both with a bonus! :D Thank you for taking the time to type all that out. I put in a call to MFW today, and talked to a highschool specialist, then showed my husband. I was concerned it wasn't enough for highschool, wasn't sure what would be though :confused:. He took one look, and at first he thought all the books were for 4 years of highschool. When I told him it was just the first year, he laughed and said he thinks it will be enough, and then some. :D so glad I can finally sleep at night. Curriculum research was literally keeping me awake, and I was dreaming about it. :lol:

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I agree with you! MFW should give me something.. Maybe I should print your post and show it to them at a convention and see if they'll buy me supper. :lol: something... I've been brand loyal for almost a decade. Even my grocery store gives me something for buying a lot. maybe a free CD, or a book, or something... I can dream, right?


I'm glad your husband realized that about the programs... just feel like typing to destress a bit from this morning.. (almost not allowed to vote because the election judge can't read the difference between Crystal and John... almost in 2 different car wrecks... and all of that by 9 am!. I just need the clicking sound of the keys to calm down.. so I'm going to type this just for funn.......


AHL is a one year program. It can be used by either 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th graders.


WHL is a one year program. Suggested for use in either 10th, 11th or 12th.


US1 - one year programs. for either 11th or 12th


US2 - one year for 12th graders.


Well.. God is good... no car wrecks happened. :001_smile:

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Oh yay! I'm glad they responded for you...I was holding out for them! :lol:


I just want to add this...


I personally find MFW perfect for high school. With my ds's long math and science lessons, and all his extracurriculars, MFW is the perfect fit for him. But having said that, I know that there are some children out there that could handle more. There just are.


If you start MFW and at some point in the year you are not finding it enough for your particular student, it's very simple to add something in. I added in some extra history readings from Spielvogel's Western Civ text...mainly because I have it...but also because I was feeling like Notgrass wasn't enough actual history for my ds. He usually only reads it on Friday's (MFW schedules a light Friday) so it was a very easy addition and is not at all time consuming. I also didn't schedule it every week...just where it fits in with what he is learning in MFW. ;)


I was also very tempted to add in a grammar book of some kind, and plan to do that next year with WHL. My ds happens to be very strong in grammar so I think a light year is fine, but I wouldn't want to go too long without digging into grammar on a daily basis again. So, next year it's back to some form of grammar book. Nothing super time consuming, just something to keep the concepts fresh.


So, all that to say, I think MFW is great for high school...but is also easily tweaked if you feel the need to add into it, or even take from it. I personally love, love, love the schedule! At the beginning of the year I filled in his schedule with his science, math, and electives, then handed him the entire spiral-bound schedule book (which is actually written TO him) and he took ownership of it. It's been wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. :D

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I cannot add to what Crystal and Julie have already said about MFW AHL and MFW in general. My dd did AHL last year and loved it! It was THE perfect intro. to high school for her! She learned sooo much, and it was a thrill for me to see her knowledge growth AND the smiles at the same time (mostly)! :)



We did not do the other things through MFW. Just the AHL. We did our own programs for math and science and electives (Just so you know, you can use your own thing on those).



Funny trivia: I have cousins who are twins, and their names are Crystal and Julie! Made me chuckle to type the names here! :D

Edited by Brindee
Added info. about my cousins
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Funny trivia: I have cousins who are twins, and their names are Crystal and Julie! Made me chuckle to type the names here! :D




yeah, the day got better... :) plenty of smiles, laughs, fun exercise class. and some good laughs from Andy Griffith show..



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