We need some help in picking between these two programs. I'm looking specifically at pre-k (Sonlight) and k(MFW), although I'm also looking at what to use long term.
Cost is a factor, but not a deciding factor. Either program is a bargain when compared to private school and the program would be (hopefully) used for more than 1 child.
Library use also isn't a deciding factor. We have a pretty large library system (about 10 branches) and I'm proficient at using the reserve system.
I've considered doing MFW, but buying some of the SL Treasury books. I'm also open to switching back and forth from 1 grade to the next, although I would like to do it in a planned way and re-use curriculum.
I don't have any advice to offer on this, but wanted to say I love the name you picked! I'll have to write that one down for a future pet's name. :)
Have a blessed day.
I am currently using MFW K with my ds. I think the idea of using this program and then supplementing with some of the books from Sonlight would be a good idea. MFW philosophy recommends reading to your child each day at this age. The K program has a book day where you will read books to your child relating to the lesson. For example, last week we were in Lesson 4-Nest. The recommended book was A House is a House for me. They also give other titles in case of difficulty locating the recommended title.
We love MFW K. It is very hands on, informal yet academic. My ds is learning alot. It is gentle but very effective, and it doesn't take much time to complete each day.
We also use MFW and LOVE it! I switched from Sonlight K to MFW Adventures. What I love about MFW is that it has everything Sonlight has plus more. It is FULL of great books, but also has hands-on activities for my dd that she was missing with SOnlight. I felt like she was a passive recipient with Sonlight, but is now an active participant in her education. She likes it better, too. I have some of the Sonlight books and I read them in our free time. MFW has a focus that SOnlight K did not. With Sonlight, I just read a bunch of random (although really good) books and asked some questions. Now, we do SOOO much more. I do use the library, but use http://www.paperbackswap.com to get any of the books we really like for free and I get my Sonlight books from there, too.
They both are great, but MFW has a little more, in my opinion. I think Sonlight would be good for an older child who has outgrown hands-on activities. But for the younger years, I want to have fun and do things together and not just read all day. That should be a large part of it, but not the whole curriculum.
Good luck with your choice!
Laura (mom to 4)
Hi! I am using both programs. It would be helpful to know how old your dc are and what learning styles they have. I'll let you know what we have done:
When ds was 4 and dd was 2.5, we started SL Pre-K.
When ds was 5 and dd was 3.5, we started SL Core K (for ds) and MFW K (for both).
Now ds is 6 and dd is almost 5 and we are doing SL Core 1 (the 1st 16 weeks... thru Ancient Egypt). Then I plan on taking a break from Core 1 since they are so young, and picking up MFW 1st grade. I am waiting till at least January so that my dd will get the benefit of the 1st grade program. She is the one who especially loves and thrives on hands-on projects. Since she is reading just a bit and can do SL LA k dictation sentences like, "Sam has his bat.", I am hoping she will be able to handle MFW 1. I would like both dc to get the benefit of this great program which sets a strong Biblical foundation and has them writing verses from Proverbs to aid in their character development.
I personally think MFW K is a fantastic program and not to be missed if you have dc that age. Why? Well, if you need phonics, it is a gentle introduction, but even if you don't need it, I love the program. For us, it worked out great to use SL Core K with MFW K. MFW K has the great cohesion/theme for the week, which helped me handle the 'scattered' topics that SL Core K presented. SL is great for giving LOTS of information and lots of great literature, but MFW is better at integrating the material presented (Science, Bible, reading, art is well-integrated).
My ds is a very strong auditory learner who is always wanting to hear/read a new book. My dd is quite kinesthetic, but also loves patterns and puzzles. She loves 'reading' the same picture book over and over, and memorizing it. If I only had her, I'd use MFW for sure. If I only had my ds, I'd use SL for sure. Since I have both, I like using a combination.
I love aspects of both curriculums. I love the cohesion of having a central topic or theme in MFW, with the strong Biblical base and Biblical world-view. I love the wealth of information and great literature that SL has. I am not a 'craft-lover', so it is not my favorite teaching style, but my dd loves it, so I need to incorporate it.
Hope this helps some... let me know if you have any other specific questions!
dd almost 5
I have not used MFW at all but have read wonderful things about it.
I have used SL Pre-k with my girls and we all loved it. I used it when my older dd was about age 3 to 4. I wanted something gentle and planned and this fit the bill for us. That being said I did modify it, some of the stories were not suitable for the younger set so we just skipped those. Over all I loved their Pre-k. For us I don't want something that has bible through all subjects so that was something I considered in my purchase of SL. I liked that I could omit the bible portions of the program and missionary stories and do our own thing in that area. Also adding in their LA and Science is an option but not essential if you want to use it with varying ages or add in a different program to cover those. I did use their LA K for a bit (not that long ago) but opted to go in a different direction for LA.
I do think Pre-k can easily be used for an older child because of the rich stories, especially if you have a child reading on their own. SL's levels definitely stretch higher than they indicate. So that's something to keep in mind.
There were hands on suggestions in the IG if that's something you need, we did not do the hands on much but did our own thing for that. I don't really lean towards things that have hands on unless all the supplies are included, like a prepackaged craft program.
Good luck to you whichever you decide to go with first I'm sure it will be a hit!
~Melissa~ Wife to my hero, Mother to Skylar and Summer.
Expecting Decklin Vai in Jan 2007.
Organ donation has touched our lives.
We use SL pre-K...I love love love the books. All the USborne Science books are wonderful. We also love the missionary stories, bios, and fairy tales. The only treasury we weren't crazy about was the Golden Books treasury because the pictures were missing. However *if* you choose SL buy the WHOLE core because the money you'd save by just leaving that book out isn't worth it.
As far as a "program" for literature at this age, I prefer Five in a Row over Sonlight. For just great books to read on the side, I like Sonlight's books. But I don't consider them school, or a program of any sort, (this is referring only to SL pre-K because they have no themes or discussion questions and the hands on are unrelated to the books- things like learn how to wipe the table, play in the sand, etc.) If you love books and want to dig deep, Five in a Row is far better than SL.
SL is not a school 'program" like MFW is...things don't tie in together. There's no overarching theme. The schedule is worth just about nothing if you ask me. All the phonics and other subjects are just done separately. And you said that you are great at using the library.
Given what you said, I would choose MFW, and just get books from the library like they suggest. MFW is a lot less expensive and since you are great at using the library, it seems silly to buy a program that is nothing *but* reading books.
However in SL pre-K there are a few books that you can't find at the library, and have such excellent cultural content that I recommend you buy them from SL...
Missionary Stories from Africa
New Toes for Tia
The Gods must be Angry
My oldest will be a little over 4 when we start. My youngest will be 2, so she's just along for the ride.
Since we're on the younger side, I'm really leaning towards MFW. I think the themes and the activities will appeal to my dd. I also like having the Bible lesson woven through everything. I just have to convince my engineer of a husband that "gentle", as opposed to "rigorous", is ok for a 4 year old. :)
Thanks for the SL book list. I was actually going to post a question about what books were must haves. I've started checking out a few of the treasury's to test drive as Christmas gifts, but I hadn't really even considered some of the stand-alone books. I also need to check out "Five in a Row". I think the MFW curriculum comes with "Honey for a Child's Heart". Are those books somewhat redundant?