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R&S Phonics compared to MFW 1st


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Does anyone have experience using both Rod and Staff Phonics and My Father's World 1st Grade? I am currently using R&S and I think it is excellent. It is thorough and I think it does a good job of teaching the rules. However, I would really like to use MFW with my next child. Does anyone know how it would compare to R&S? I love the looks of MFW 1st, but I don't want to end up losing any of the excellence in phonics instruction by switching. Does MFW 1st take the student as far as R&S does in 1st and 2nd? I feel that R&S moves pretty quickly and yet their program is 2 years long, so I'm wondering whether MFW 1st really takes the child as far, provides adequate review, etc.  Thanks for any specific comparisons you can give.

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I haven't done R&S to compare... so I'm just bumping this for you.


I've done MFW first grade (older version, but I also have the revised manual... long story. I prayed for revisions for years and had to have the book.. anyway. I'm sentimental)


A piece of the puzzle that I know of is that in 2nd grade MFW recommends R&S spelling... so I'm thinking there might be a good match on it.

mfw first grade current edition:  they definitely added in more ways to review and reminders to review and how to do it.  it was a common complaint on the old edition that people wanted more guidance on that part so they did it.


hope you get someone who has done both to compare/contrast. mostly wanted to bump the thread for you.



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We're doing MFW 1st now with my 6.5 yr old DD.  The phonics portion moves quickly with not much built in review in terms of worksheet after worksheet, so it's up to you, the teacher, to slow down or keep going depending on how your DC is progressing.  It DOES cover pretty much everything a child needs to know in order to read fluently but it does not drill the concepts page after page.  So I had to take frequent breaks from the phonics portion and reinforce with Explode the Code or other phonics practice/games, etc.  And I'd find that after a few weeks had passed, the new phonogram or concept just learned had time to "settle" in her head, and we were able to get back to the student workbook.  The neat part about the program is that the student reader book is an easy to read Bible.  So my DD got super excited to be able to "read" the Bible by herself.  I've been happy with the phonics.  The pages are not cluttered and that's important for my right-brained, visual daughter.  Good luck!

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Thought I'd join the conversation again. needing a break from chores and this is a way for me to relax talking about stuff I liked.


MFW recently did a major overhaul of first grade.   I've taught from original twice.. and for weird sentimental reason have the new manual too.  aww.. I'm weird. I know.


revised edition includes "reading review" starting in week 3 and is scheduled.  This is not extra or new worksheets however but using the student workbook previous pages.  They give instructions in week 3 how they suggest to use the previous pages for review, etc.  But agreeing with marylandhsmom.. it's not pages and pages of drill. it reminds me of how my youngest daughter's piano class is...  short pages, and we are expected to repeat the same  pages each day at practice..  it's like that.


In original edition, they did not schedule review, but mentioned it in the intro and well, I usually forgot to check for games, etc.  until I made myself a chart of "do this today or else!"  giggle.


Phonics review Games were in the original and are still in the revised.  But in original, again they mention it intro..  in revised they schedule to use the games from the appendix. (use household supplies kind of games).   So that's another built in review, and thankfully!! they mention it once a week on their so called light and independent Fridays, and even are kind to put the page number of the manual appendix for quick find.  that must have been in mind for people like me on days like today... 


Pace in original is quick (in other words, I'm agreeing with marylandhsmom).   Pace in revised was slowed down somewhat, yet still covers all phonics before end of the year.., and the order of some phonograms was revised slightly.   One of the most common complaints about original was how fast it was paced in phonics.  So that changed a bit.


to this day, I never figured out what to do with the included "reading phonogram chart".  I didn't find an explanation in the new manual either, but I could have easily missed it too.


I should shut up now and go watch new episodes of ncis and ncis -la  :)

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I originally used the first edition with my oldest. They have revised it quite a bit...just as Crystal said.  I have the revised edition and plan to use it with my next kids who will start 1st around March-ish.  I can't wait!


Anyway, I haven't used or even looked closely at R&S phonics. Though, just as Crystal said, MFW recommends R&S spelling for 2nd grade and my second grade son is doing great with that.


I absolutely LOVE MFW 1st.  I've used MFW K, 1st and Adv.  I think we are leaving MFW next year, but I will definitely be using MFW 1st for all 5 of my younger children.  It's awesome.  The phonics is very solid and the program over all is just wonderful.  I tested my son when he finished the program and he was reading on a high 3rd grade level.  He still preferred easy readers, but it turns out he has some vision issues which makes the bigger words easier for him.  He definitely can read higher level books. 


Bottom line, I know nothing of R&S phonics, but I love MFW phonics and my son has a great phonics foundation.  He can decode anything!  :D

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