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History - Should I consider MFW or Sonlight if I already own other programs?


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My youngest child will be starting 9th grade in a few weeks. I have previously homeschooled 3 other kids through high school, so I expected it to be easy to decide on curriculum this time around. But I'm struggling. With the first 2 kids, I used Tapestry of Grace for history/geography, and I liked it but it was SO teacher intensive. With the 3rd child, I used a combination of things - some Notgrass, some TOG, and some History Odyssey. That was fine, but I missed the feeling of continuity I had when using the same program over the high school years with the other kids. So now I'm undecided. Part of me feels like now would be a fine time to use a teacher intensive program, because I only have 1 child to work with, but at the same time, the appeal of MFW or Sonlight with the days laid out for the student is also appealing. 

I know this is a vague request for input! Sorry. But if anyone has pros/cons on the programs, I'd love to hear their input. Thank you so much!

Shelly

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Keep in mind history is pretty self-directed at my house so I might not be the best to reply, but I really wanted something laid out for us at one point, too... I think as long as you have a plan for high school, it matters less if you use the same program all the way through.

What do you/ your DS like that you already own? What do neither of you want to use?

I don't think Sonlight is particularly cohesive across the years- it would easy to drop a year in somewhere. I think MFW does have world and US history/ government spread out of two years each, if that matters to you.

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3 hours ago, MamaSprout said:

Keep in mind history is pretty self-directed at my house so I might not be the best to reply, but I really wanted something laid out for us at one point, too... I think as long as you have a plan for high school, it matters less if you use the same program all the way through.

What do you/ your DS like that you already own? What do neither of you want to use?

I don't think Sonlight is particularly cohesive across the years- it would easy to drop a year in somewhere. I think MFW does have world and US history/ government spread out of two years each, if that matters to you.

 

Thanks for the feedback. I was very structured with my older kids when it came to their high school history, but I thought it could be more self-directed for kid #3 who loved history. I had an overall plan, but the lack of cohesion bothered her as much as it did me. Maybe it was really her, and I'm projecting that on to myself! 🤷‍♀️ She actually started college as a history major, but has since changed to English. I'm going to have to think on that!

As far as what DS likes, he liked Mystery of History through middle school, but he doesn't want to use the same text books for high school. I can respect that. What do we own? More than we should; haha. Although most of what we have on hand is more elementary/middle school level, as we relied heavily on library books through high school when we could. Curriculum wise, we have Tapestry of Grace, Mystery of History, and some History Odyssey. 

Maybe my actual problem is a bit of burnout. I've been online this morning looking at MFW, Sonlight, Beautiful Feet, and Heart of Dakota. I'm feeling restless!

Thank you for the input. Off to think some more. :cool:  

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I used MFW through high school for my two oldest.  One graduated a couple years ago and the other will be starting his senior year in a few weeks.  MFW worked great for my daughter.  She was good about being self directed, although I had to make sure to check up on her.  There is built in Friday meet with parent times each week that helps.  My son needs me to be a bit more hands on, especially 9th and 10th grade.  Overall, I have been very happy with MFW.

With that said, I have switched to Biblioplan for my youngest.  He just needs much more interaction from me, and I just really wanted to switch things up a bit.  I am not sure if it is the best idea,but if it doesn't work out I can always switch back to MFW.

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If you already have TOG, I'd go ahead and use it. You can decide how much you want to assign. I give my history lovers the reading and geography assignments and then we have discussion day on Fridays. It's still teacher intensive one day a week and I do try to keep up on the teacher background stuff, but we can still have a good discussion just using the questions when necessary. I think it's possible to just have the student read the general information and then just follow the assignment pages for their level. I've used Sonlight before and I'm not sure it's much less teacher intensive than TOG.

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I'm not much help, but I will comfort you that EVERY year has been, "I bought X last year.  I bought it for a purpose.  It's good quality.  I'm considering buying Y for a similar niche.  Should I?"
Rinse.  Repeat.

This year I am reminding myself that there is no perfect curriculum.  That I bought what I bought because I knew it would work well.  Imperfect application will happen with all and not magically come together with a different curriculum.  

That said, sometimes a particular curriculum can present challenges to a family that is unseen.  Tapestry can be very demanding.  We used it for a couple years, especially with my oldest.  At the time I was flipping from a year of Sonlight.  At that time, I was unhappy with Sonlight's focus on fiction and felt there should be more "meat" to history than what I was pulling.  I chose ToG because it was intense.  It ended up not working in a later season because I felt guilty for not using many of the materials.  In other words, they say it is a spread feast - pick and choose.  But I have a really hard time NOT choosing something guilt free.  I picked up Sonlight for a few of my children last year because I wanted a "lite" year with feel good fiction and discussion.  It's interesting how seasons change.  

 

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