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Elizabeth86

Anyone here use MFW

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I'm honestly not sure what made me take a look at it, but I did and LOVE the idea of the family learning cycle.  I haven't taken a close look at the language arts that is added on and such.  Just wondering what others thought about MFW.  Do you add on the language arts they suggest or you own?  I don't have any questions really, just if you use it, tell me more.  Also, I never really considered what I would do with my younger ones, but I would just be concerned about them having to learn history not in chronological order.  I mean, that's just what it like being the second or third, right? sigh.

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I'm going on memories for this post.  My oldest used mfw from her second grade year until 12th grade. Middle used from pre k until grade 12 (however the pre k back then was not the program they have now).  youngest tagged along for a while, but with significant intellectual disabilities she used other things past age 8 or so. oldest did well in college and has a job and a life of her own. so mfw didn't ruin her.  middle gal is in community college working to the best of her ability.  mfw didn't ruin her either.  random thoughts from more than a decade of successful use: I didn't worry about the everyone gets 3 cycles of history thing.  I was able to fill in just enough info for middle gal that all was well no matter what year she was younger sib.  so, yeah, as you said, that's what it is like with second, third, etc.  Mom has taught the  info.  younger kids have seen the timelines, maps and may have even helped with a craft or art project along the way.  Even someone like me who needed to teach each child at a separate time in history but from the same books, still did fine.  It was just impossible to try to teach middle (who has lots of disabilities and challenges) at the same time with oldest (who was talkative and impatient and super genius).  But with the same lesson plans and books, I knew I could start history with oldest and learn everything I needed to summarize and teach middle from the book.  In a way, that was good thing because middle enjoys learning history even now, and I think being chilled about it with her helped with that.

  I liked that mfw offered "do this, do that today" and left plenty of room in the afternoon to find those individual learning times on what they wanted to learn (either related to history, science, or not).  stuff got done. book basket was helpful.  most projects were doable and I'm type who doesn't worry if it doesn't look blog worthy. I also don't get too uptight if things didn't go well because part of creative development (and therefore critical thinking) is learning from doing and trying again.  I really liked the style of lesson planner they used.  I stopped caring that some people said it was too light when I could look back a decade and knew our results.   I never thought it was light to begin with.  But I was in the homeschool mindset that in kindy through about 6th grade ish, school was morning, and "independent projects" in afternoon. 

You asked about language arts.  My answer is yes, no, sorta kinda.  Spelling Power: I tried, but oldest has one of those "dys" learning problems that means something for that disorder would have worked in spelling with her, but spelling power did not. aye aye aye. I don't blame spelling power for her issues.  sorry, got to move on here.   Writing Strands (which is what mfw currently is using, just with a new look and name but with almost no content change).  used it. definitely love/hate relationship with it. tried. didn't like. stopped using it. tried again.  I like the style of assignments.  Oldest also struggles with organizing thoughts (she's an electrical engineer/comp sci person with adhd and autism.)   So, writing was torture until she went to college. We even tried IEW with her.  I was sure my oldest would get Cs in english comp in college, but something clicked when she was 19 and she got As.  Maybe it was tutoring and visits to office hours.  Maybe it was hearing peer ideas.  I don't know.  But if you don't like writing strands, that is what MFW offers just in a new fancy look and title!.    MFW wasn't recommending writing with skills until after my middle was in high school which means I didn't use it.  Middle gal has language disabilities but curriculum did not cause or solve it.   The other language arts at the time was Serl's PLL and ILL.  MFW has rewritten those.  My youngest was in the beta test group for those grades 2-6 versions of those. (technically, mfw's 5th and 6th grade language arts books are not fully based on Serl's ILL).   We clicked with that style of general language arts as well as the built in language arts from unit study.  I really like the current MFW version of those books.  Found it easy to use. not overwhelming. not workbook.  Grammar: I don't know what mfw recommends currently without opening a tab to check.  We did what they did when they sold it.  Oldest and middle did fine on ACT with English and Reading. (and oldest did fine in science and math too especially given her college degrees in those fields)

It's weird realizing how many years the same curriculum publisher worked for us.  There is no perfect for all. plenty of people try and don't like mfw and it doesn't work.  I think the best thing was just having someone do the work of "do this today. do that tomorrow.  check out some or all of these library books and enjoy them as you wish. here's one or two projects.  try this for science."   not every book was perfect for us.  you get the idea that my school bookshelves looked like a mfw sales floor.  doesn't mean everything was perfect or that we agreed with each book. it was good enough. glad I used it even in high school.  I wish I had something like mfw that is put together for me to do with my youngest (who has autism with intellectual disability).  mfw is too hard for her past adventures.  I think if I had something like their plans, I'd feel like we did a better job with youngest.  but maybe I"m just in a pity party mood or something.

there's my summary story at the end of my homeschool teaching career. yeah mfw.

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We used MFW Adventures thru 9th grade. I hope to use it all over again with my youngest who will be ready for Adventures next year. I think they did an excellent job tying all of the subjects together and making it affordable by including a list of books by week of study and maturity level with summary reviews to expand on your studies, but they aren’t necessary to the program, so there’s no guilt if you have a busy week and can’t get to the extras. I also like that one of the days is very light so you can include other things like those nature walks, music lessons, or extra opportunities that life brings.

MFW didn’t have the same language arts offerings as they do now. I used a variety of different publishers over the years. There’s room on the schedule to write in your own plan. I’ll consider their Language Lessons and Writing Skills for Today for the youngest though. It would be nice to only have to do LLfT three days a week.

We started MFW with Adventures so we started with American History then the geography year before Ancients. If there are younger children tagging along in the Modern Times years, they offer a younger supplement since there is a lot of war that year.
I think themed learning works well. MFW has you build a timeline, so you can build on that every year seeing where the events fall.

We enjoyed using MFW and would use it again.

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wanting to add more information on the language arts now vs. then. In grades 2 through 8th ish so it makes more sense what mona and I did compared to what is offered now.  hope this long post helps see the unseen.  just adding details of what and how things changed and stayed same. not arguing. just wasting time at keyboard. 🙂   Lang Lesson for Today grades 2 and 3 is basically a rewrite of Serl's Primary language lessons which is what mfw suggested for long time. things along lines of how to address envelope are updated in those books. color photos when possible. that style of language lesson was designed in mind for use 3 days a week in mfw using Serl. It just wasn't obvious with scheduling and number of lessons. So they did add lessons to make it easier to do that in LLfT vs the old reprints of Serl.   Lang lessons for today grade 4: that was strongly influenced from Serl's Intermediate Language book.  grades 5 and 6 some influence from Serl's book but also another one.   So it's very similar from then to now.  but basically LLfT is PLL and ILL as far as grades 2-4 go.

Spelling: still same from back in my day (2003-2017). Rod and Staff (spelling by sound and structured) in grade 2, spelling power after that. 

Writing:  back then it was called Writing Strands.  The mfw "writing skills for today A, B and C levels" are Writing Strands level 3, 4 and 5.  Writing Strands went out of print from original publisher. The mfw book is same content just new name and look.   I really thought mfw had done a new writing program, but I got those books when they were released and realized oh wow. this is writing strands down to almost all of the same corny humor jokes.  LOL. with that said the change from then to now is that "writing strands books" (Writing Skills for Today) stop at level 5, and then go to WWS in middle school. So that part is different.   But you can use any writing program, or any spelling program, etc. that you want.  It's recommended to make it all fit and work out. But if you use something else, it's ok. just like Mona said. she used other stuff. and there's room to in plans to modify as you want. 

Grammar: back in my day, 7th grade did All in One English (Garlic Press publishers) then Applications of Grammar in 8th.  Now, All is One was dropped because the grade 6 LLFT has a lot of grammar/parts of speech (well, ok it starts back in grade 4, but last sections of grade 6 were intentionally designed to get ready to do Applications of Grammar in grade 7.     grade 8 now is Easy grammar ultimate.  that was new from my time.   

also new: recommendation and selling of of  specific supplements such as dictionary and thesaurus.  addition of world mag and world kids.  maybe new ish?  I remember it being around in the catalogs when oldest was grade 7.  but adding younger.  hmm.. I don't remember.   maybe?

New: cursive handwriting workbooks come and go at MFW.  

not new is using 2 progeny press guides each year in grade 7 and 8.  but that doesnt' matter if original poster is talking grade 2 or 3 student.

I agree with all Mona said above. Those younger supplements in EX1850 and 1850MOD made it easy to "do equivalent of doing Adventures" with a younger sibling who had older sib in those programs.  So in those years it really worked to start in whichever year family was in.  and if student goes from mfw first and joins in RTR with older sibling, there is continuing on time line  as well (from end of NT to jump to RTR).   that stuff tends to work itself out.   I just had some time to kill and thought I'd ramble more on it. 

 

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As I was thinking about My Father’s World, I wanted to come back and add that I haven’t purchased anything from them for a few years, but they email me  at least once a year with a few words of encouragement for homeschooling and our family and invite me to call them if I would like help or would appreciate prayer in any area of our life. They follow that up with a personal phone call and always leave a message with encouraging words and an offer to prayer. I appreciate that they do this and I feel like I’m not just a customer to them. 

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I've used several levels of MFW...All Aboard the Animal Train, Kindergarten, Exploring Countries and Cultures, Creation to the Greeks...  We are not using it this year, because one of the kids who was using it is working at a high school level (and I usually put high school together myself) and I didn't really have the money to spend on MFW for just one kid.

We enjoyed it.  My dh is thinking he wants our youngest (ds4) to just use MFW when he starts "school", because dh is really impressed with the program.

We didn't use the LA portion for ECC and CtoG.  I put together our own LA.  After homeschooling for 10-11 years, I have so much junk on our bookshelves to pull from that I didn't need to buy their LA stuff, but I'm sure their LA is fine.

It's very convenient!  You just open the TM, grab what books you need and get moving!  I'm trying to plan our next round of school (for 5 kids) and it's a mess trying to plan everything on my own.  I do miss just opening the TM and it's all ready to go.  

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We have used parts of it in different years.  One year I used it for just history, another for history and Bible, another for history and science.  I loved it when my children were younger and we did a LOT of read alouds and notebooking.  This year, for my kids' 7th and 5th grade years, I had to move away from the "family style" learning for history and science and give them more independent work.  It because exhausting and frustrating last year for me to be the one reading everything while they fooled around and threw markers at each other when they were supposed to be paying attention and working on a notebooking page.  A lot of the readings, my DD could have done on her own, but then I would still have been reading them to my DS and it felt silly to do that.  So with sadness, last year I decided that we were done with that style of learning.  They both moved on to their own history and science this year. They've always been separated for language arts anyway.  It's been a good move for all of us, but I do cherish those years of reading on the couch and putting together beautiful notebooks.  

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