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Using MFW with other programs? Or just too much?


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I am looking at SO many options for next school year. We are currently using (and liking) R&S English and WWE. We also do a lot of read alouds.


I'm not the biggest fan of MOH this year and BFSU Science is fine (learning a lot, but need to prep ahead of time). Math is very good. We are using Singapore, with LoF on Fridays. Lastly, we also use Spalding for spelling and that's working out pretty well. They are learning a lot.


From what I see in the MFW catalog, it looks like a great spine curriculum. Ideally, if this program is really great, I would like to use it throughout my children's high school years. The thing is, I like R&S English, WWE, and Spalding. I'm really not willing to part from these programs, but how could I work it into MFW? I will be calling the company too. I have a series of questions for them.


I'm hoping I could substitute their recommendations for language arts, at least the writing, grammar, and spelling, with Spalding, R&S , and WWE.


Do you think the addition of these programs will make the day way too long rather than using their recommended ones? WWE and R&S English don't take us too long - about 15-20 min each. Spalding takes longer, especially at the start of the week. Monday is the longest at about an hour, otherwise, it's about 20-30 minutes.


I'm really hoping MFW is the answer for all the years of homeschooling, which would help them to prepare for college. So much less to think about if we just stick with MFW, and supplement when needed.




Edited by bfw0729
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That is so awesome to hear! I'm not kidding. I could actually use MFW every year through H.S. I just hope it's rigorous enough to prepare them for college.


I have another question. MFW uses a book basket to encourage reading  more books than their recommended ones. Do they offer a book list of great classics? We love to read aloud and I would love for the kids to listen or read books that are not part of the MFW packages. I noticed there are many classics missing in the upper grades and I hope MFW offers a list of additional good read the kids or I can do.


I certainly hope MFW is the answer and I don't have to spend so much time researching if we should or should not have a spine curriculum in our education. Ugh, so much work!



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agreeing with others..  those are just recommendations on lang arts and math (foreign language), not requirements to make the program work.   even their staff have the freedom to not use those, and former staff influenced their changes to wws in middle school.    so use what you want for language arts and math. 



you asked if it will make the day too long:

f the time frames you listed for how long it takes you to get language arts done, it should fit just nicely.  except on Mondays.. that might feel very top heavy of a day.  I've noticed over the years our mfw mondays seemed heavier so if language arts is an hour plus..  can you do your heavy spalding day on Friday instead?   That would be something to look at and adjust as needed.   But to help out feeling the day: mfw suggests time boxes in elementary for spelling to be 15 minutes, reading about 15 minutes or so, English (as in language lessons for today) 15 minutes..    so it sounds like it is on track to work with what you have.


you may find on some days that you need to skip an assignment here and there to not have 2 lessons of copywork that turn into busywork.  (if you copy the memory verse from mfw, do you have to also do some copywork from one of the other books? maybe not.)



In high school years the English credit is more built in but still room for some flexibility on some aspects of that.   math - use what you want. foreign language, electives.. all up to you. not some person in a office somewhere.


I sometimes feel like the lone customer who did use their stuff. I hate shopping so I just used it and made it work.  (and yes, my oldest is doing well in college and used mfw from 2nd grade until end of 12th)

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Oops, your other post came through while I was typing.  


Yes, there is a "classics reading list" in each manual.  Those are not specifically scheduled in the grid to allow you to pick and choose what you want them to read during "reading time".  (reading time is on the grid, but what to read is left up to you)

You can choose to use another classics list if they left off a favorite of yours.  So they build in plenty of ways to individualize the reading time.   Those lists are organized by general reading level.


That is separate from "book basket time".  Book basket time is for reading books that are thematically connected to other studies.   Those book basket lists are organized by week of the year.  But again, you pick based on what your library has.  A hint from long time user?  If your child doesn't want to read a book you picked out... let them put them down.  We all do that in book store.   They list about 300-400 titles in each year of the program.  You don't have to read all of those. 


I really do think my oldest was well prepared for college using MFW almost all the way.  2nd grade through 12th.  We didn't even do dual enrollment or AP.  She is engineering/computer science double major with math minor.  been on dean's list each semester in college.

Edited by cbollin
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I am so excited about these responses! It is such a huge relief.


I just want to make sure, but the book basket recommendations are related to the history topic at hand, right? You mentioned that there is also another book list they recommend that includes the classics? So the teacher manual provides two separate lists, right?


Thanks and so exciting!

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in the grades 2-8 programs, yes, book basket is related to history and science, sometimes music/art history as well.  It's organized by weeks.  For example, Johnny Tremain is historical fiction set in time of American Revolution, so that book will show up in book basket list when that topic is studied.   The list will have fiction, non fiction.  think of it as a big ole buffet to enjoy.   Also, they share a little bit of info about the book and maybe some age/grade suggestion.  If there's something to have a preview heads up, they'll include that as well, (example.. this book will discuss this belief system, so preview for that).  


The classics list is less detailed.  It's basically grade level novels and stories.  It's a separate list. Not always related to history/science/bible/etc topics.  goes from early readers to about jr high. 


Since they have so many books on those extras, they encourage library use to keep costs down.  Certain books have an asterisk next to them.  People without good libraries nearby sometimes will hunt for those asterisk titles in the book basket list on amazon or other used books options and have a book or two per week. 

I have good memories from when kids were younger about having my rolling cart filled.   I was so much younger. 


if you try it, I hope it works out for you like it did for us.  My youngest has so many learning challenges with special needs, I struggle getting mfw to work for her.  I hate shopping.  I'm not looking forward to making my own lesson plans for her.  I felt quite secure in having a lesson plan to buy and done for me. plug and chug and got it done.  enjoyed life. mostly.

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Just an FYI since you sound like somebody who loves to read to your kiddos!  I have JUST done Adventures for MFW (2nd grade) but we go through the read-alouds way faster than they schedule. I knew that would be the case, so I simply bought (mostly used) a bunch of books I knew I wanted to read aloud this year and put them on the shelf. Many were from the Sonlight read aloud lists and some were just ones I wanted to get to.  We start the MFW books on schedule, finish early and simply read one of the others I have waiting.  When it is done, we typically have time for another or go back to the next MFW.  The read alouds for MFW may or may not "line up" with the history/geography, but I try to sorta do it at the right time of year.  The book basket is something that totally has to do with what you are studying.  My 2nd grader reads all the time and my kinder is also loving Adventures, so we use book basket as mostly picture books or "shorter" read alouds and read them during lunch or morning time.  Lots of reading, but that is how we are doing it.  Next year with ECC and a 3rd and 1st (who will be a strong reader) I may do book basket the way they suggest...allowing them to read what they want and look through the "buffet" and taste what they want.  :)  


Also, I have THREE different book baskets in our living areas.  One is our morning time basket (bible, manners books, character books, "The Children's Book of...." series, etc.), one is MFW-related, and one is other interest led stuff.  Right they are interested in space exploration (astronauts, rockets, space shuttle, etc.).  Sometimes that one is not as full, but when they get into something I just load it up!!  


Enjoy MFW!!  We sure are!!!

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