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Those-who-love-planning, can you help me decide? MFW ADV or SOTW 2?

Amy M

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For a while, I have planned to use MFW ADV in 2014 (we school according to the calendar year). But now I'm thinking about using SOTW 2 in 2014, and then starting ADV in 2015. We used SOTW 1 this year. I will use MFW--already own the programs for ADV-RTR--but I'm wondering if it would be better for our family to wait one more year for MFW, sad as it would be for me, since I was highly anticipating it this year! Could those of you who love planning look at my family's line-up and tell me wwyd in my situation???


I'll give year, then the "grades" of my children for that year, then my line-up for the two options I could do for that year.


2014: 2nd/K/toddlers: Either ADV or SOTW 2

2015: 3rd/1/pre-K: ECC or ADV

2016: 4th/2/K/pre-K: CTG or ECC

2017: 5th/3/1/K: RTR or CTG

2018: 6th/4/2/1: EX1850 or RTR

2019: 7th/5/3/2: MOD or EX1850

2020: 8th/6/4/3: ECC again or MOD


2021: 9th grade!!! 7/5/4: Oldest leaves MFW cycle, start high school level ancients, not sure which curric. MFW or TOG or other? youngers do either ECC or use another curric like TOG all together in ancients with 9th grader.



So in either set-up, I'm using MFW's cycle. I'm just wondering whether to start this year or next. Another note--while I say grade level, my children all have birthdays in April, so they are on the young side of their grade level. My ds1 will turn 7 this coming April. So if I use ADV, I'd be starting with an old 6 and 4-year old in February. I have looked at the manual and know my 6-year old will have no trouble with ADV. But one positive of waiting another year is that my ds2 could then do so much more with it (being in 1st grade then), so I could include him more and let the package count for both. If I do it this year, ds2'd probably miss much of it. Also, if I wait a year, ds1 could read many more of the book basket books (and I have a lot of them!) But if I wait a year, I wonder if it would be too easy for ds1.


Here's one major question: Do I want to repeat the year of geography, and have 2 years of geography (especially repeating it with ds1 in 8th grade) or do I want to do a full history cycle 3 times? If I do SOTW 2, I really like that progression better--SOTW 1, then 2, then ADV, then geography in 4th, then repeat history cycle in logic stage grades 5-8. I don't really like skipping from SOTW 1 to ADV, although it's not that big of a deal to me.


Originally I liked the 1st setup better, because then all of my kids are together for ancients when ds1 hits 9th grade. Otherwise (if I bump MFW back one year doing SOTW 2 in 2014), if I had the others do ECC while ds1 does ancients in hs, (which I do think is important that they have at least one year of ECC--this would be when they're in  grades 7, 5, and 4), then they are studying separate topics, and I loved the vision of everyone discussing the same things around the family table. But dh says they'll just make connections and have great discussions anyway regardless of if our high schoolers are more independent doing their own separate studies.


I'm not sure I want to base my decision now on what might happen 7 years from now, kwim? Maybe the youngers could skip ECC and do just the history of the cycle, or do ECC and jump into RTR while older does that year. Just don't know what I'm going to do so many years from now.


One more thought: MFW seems to be revising their TMs one per year. If they continue at this rate, every year they would put out the new revised TM about two months after I had started it--if I started ADV this January. For example, this year their new ADV manual is coming out in March 2014. That would be annoying... If I wait a year, I can be about 9 months behind the revisions. 


Not sure what is best...


So what would you do in my situation? Do you like the first set-up better or the second?


(I realize that if I choose SOTW 2, I'd have to replace Bible, science, art, and music as well, but I'm not too worried about that.)



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a few more planning thoughts...


from other threads and posts, I get the idea that you'd like to wait as along as possible in your family to introduce information about other faiths.  in sotw 2, you'll have intro time on Islam.  That might be something that becomes part of your decision. (or maybe not)


I agree with your dh on the high school thing with family time.  It was knitted together no matter what we did in school.


in mfw chronological cycles....  it's generally thought of as "first grade covers from beginning to around 70 AD.   ADV does a quick start at birth of Jesus and then jumps to 1000 AD, then jump to 1600's. 


My oldest has told me several times over the last few years (she's in 12th grade) that she really appreciated doing ECC again in jr. high.  It's helped with history and maps in high school.


I obviously can't decide for you...  but...  I'm not seeing a lot of reasons for you to change your mind from plan 1.  But neither plan is "bad".  Like you said, if it were plan 2, you'd have to add in stuff to SOTW. 


not sure any of that helps... but maybe something in there will help as you think and plan.


Thanks, Crystal! You make me feel better about the revisions every year. I was wondering, since they did K, then 1st, and this year ADV...


Good to know your daughter's thoughts about repeating ECC. I'm not crazy about devoting 2 of 12 years to geography and other cultures, but we do think it is important, and could maybe do a little more apologetics with the older students.


At first, I thought for sure you must be thinking of someone else in regards to introducing other faiths to my children. ?? I wouldn't say "as long as possible." I did use SOTW 1 this year, though we didn't necessarily go in-depth much into other faiths; my children are well aware that there are other faiths, especially considering we are missionaries. But then I wondered if you're referring to my review of Tut's Gift, in which case, I guess I still haven't gotten my point across there. It was not that I necessarily had a problem with my children knowing that the Egyptians worshipped false gods; it was that the book encouraged children to cheer Tut on in restoring polytheism. But anywho....


Hmmm, thinking. I wonder if plan 2 might be nice for my firstborn, but not as nice for the following children. Thanks for reading that epic post, Crystal--on Thanksgiving too! You're awesome. ;)


(Edited bc ds1 somehow managed to hit enter before I was done! If he had tried, he couldn't have done that!)

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oops..... old age I guess. face palm on me.  actually duh on me.. if you're using sotw 1, then of course... you don't wait until logic stage to gently introduce other ideas. (I prefer to wait until logic stage.. that's all I meant by as long as possible.)  oh well.   happy thanksgiving to you as well.   I think I had your name mixed up..  that's right.. you're missionaries and using sotw 1..  well..  then ignore the heads up on sotw 2.. call it old age and lack of sleep on my part.


the good thing is?  you're looking at 2 good options.  hoping others chime in with thoughts on which will work better for the season.



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the good thing is?  you're looking at 2 good options.  hoping others chime in with thoughts on which will work better for the season.


There cannot be a more humble poster on this forum than you, Crystal!  :thumbup1:  Thanks for keeping me company on this train of thought I'm riding. 


:thumbup: DH said the same thing. "Looks like you can't go wrong..." Aaah!

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OK, I went over to the MFW FB group to ask the same question, and everyone who responded said to wait a year for ADV! I'm surprised. The more I've thought about it, I made a list of +'s and -'s for each option, and got more positives for the 1st plan (doing ADV this year--not waiting.) It lines up well for my other kids throughout the years. The FB group isn't really saying why, except that we'll get more out of MFW if we wait, and that ECC might be too hard for a 3rd grader.


Is this true? I looked at the TM for ECC, and saw that it has a lot of reading, with geography and science scheduled several or all days of the week, especially the first 4 weeks. Does it slow down after the first few weeks? And am I supposed to do all the readings for science (excluding the "advanced" parts) for a 3rd grader, or just the Book of Animals?

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You really can't go wrong here.  We did ADV when the girls were in 1st and 3rd grades.  Sylvia kept up perfectly.  She did ECC as a second grader and it wasn't too hard for her at all.  She didn't do any of the "advanced" assignments.  I allowed her a lot of leeway when we did Properties of Ecosystems.


I wouldn't even factor in MFW's revising of the TMs.  Except for CTG, all the changes are  minimal in the  cycle years.

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We did SOTW 1, then 2, then adventures. SOTW 2 to adventures was a nice transition as far as time period. My advanced 8 year old is getting everything out of the program. My 6 year old is enjoying it, but a few things go over his head.

Well, I'm glad to hear from someone who tried this other track I'm thinking about! Let me ask, do you plan to stick with MFW? Would it bother you that your dc2 would do CTG in 8th grade, and then ancients in 9th again? That was one of my hang ups, as well as how my dd3 and ds4 don't hit the supplements together well in the SOTW2 option. They're only 11 months apart. So when you map out a history cycle for the future, dos that affect your decision, or do you just go one year at a time?
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So, just to put my 2 cents in...I am thinking more about just Adv and what grade level it best suites...


Personally, doing Adv, I feel it is more of a 2nd grade curriculum.  I wouldn't want to wait till 3rd do it.  So, I would go ahead with that next year.  If you wanted to take a year off of MFW, I would do it for 3rd between Adv and ECC.  However, history study wise, it would make more sense to study SOTW 2 and then Adv. verses going back in time after Adv.  So, I don't know....I probably put more emphasis on the appropriate grade level for Adv than the time line because you will start at creation again in CTG and go from there. 


Those are my random thoughts!  :D

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