- Reviewed on Friday, August 30, 2013
- Grades Used: 1st-3rd
- Dates used: 2012 - 2013
This review is for MFW Adventures. For our first year to homeschool I could not have been happier with our choice. I learnt a lot and it was at just the right speed for a newbie. However, once the year was over, I definitely wanted to make some changes and had some things I loved and also had some critiques. For us, the science was too shallow so half way through we switched over to Apologia. Likewise, while I loved the kids learning bible verses and the names of Jesus, we will switch off to a more in-depth bible study in the years to come. We did enjoy all of the read alouds and the book basket is really the crowning glory of MFW. I would order several from the library, lay them out and let the kids peruse and choose as they wanted. The book basket definitely helped peak their interest in the time period we were studying. I did find that about half way through when we switched over to studying state-by-state that the teachers' manual was a lot less informative and quite honestly we got a little bored of filling our state after state sheet. I made it more interesting by using printouts from the U.S. Mint State Quarter website and found a video that had 10 minute snippets about each state. I don't think the kids learned much about each state as it got overwhelming going over every single state bird, state flower, state motto week to week. But I appreciated the overview of US History. We'll see in the years to come what they remember and learned.
- Reviewed on Sunday, January 20, 2013
- Grades Used: 2nd
- Dates used: 2012/2013
This review is for Adventures.......I was so excited to start this new program. I don't know if I would repeat it with another of my 2nd graders however. The pro's are that the lessons are not very long. We can finish a week in 2 days if needed.The science is fun and engaging yet simple for your little ones to grasp. The 50 State pages where fun to color and the Art is great and really goes into how to draw and color wheels. Some of the read outloud books were great.The cons are that some of the read out loud chosen for this year were too long for some of the books. I love on the banks of plum creek but to read it outloud was too much for my 7 year old son. I finally gave up in the middle of Farmer Boy and found some books at the library from this author geared more to this age group.This happened with several of the reads out louds through the year. I spent more time in the read outlouds than we did with the schooling itself every day. On top of the read outlouds, you have other stories to read in history and in pioneers book as well. Then you have a book basket too. This is alot of time to read to someone. As the year goes on the teachers manual has less and less in it for that day. Which is okay toward mid year. I did not like that there wasn't a Bible devotion for each day of the week. Even a few lines would be okay come midweek but there would be some days that you would just go over the memory verse and that would be all for that day. Yes there would be other mention in other places but I like my Bible to be Bible time. We have 4 under 7 and it is tough to make the trips to the library for the books needed for the book basket. I would often just find my own to match what was being taught. Despite all of this I am going to order the 3rd grade year because I like that I can teach the kids all at once. I have also seen good reviews about that year as well. It looked to be better put together than this years.I am hopefully anyway :)
- Reviewed on Thursday, November 22, 2012
- Grades Used: 2nd-5th
- Dates used: 2012
This review is for Exploring Countries and Cultures , year one MFW. We have been using this wonderful curriculum this year. I am one of those Moms who had really tried so many curriculum with my 3 children, and yet failed to find something that really worked for us. Until we tried MFW. MFW has a philosophy of trying to get the best education in the least amount of time, with the least amount of stress. And so it has been an answer to us.
A bit of history- We are the kind of family that love unit studies and Charlotte Mason, so we first tried to put it all together alone, which was too much work for me, then we tried Weaver, which we really do love, only, I find it's not as "open and go" as I'd like and I still have to gather lots together to do it.
MFW has combined the best of these fun types of hands on learning, BUT made it all so much easier for the parent. I think the Teacher manual is the key to this.
With each level comes a Teacher Manual. I open it, and can look at a glance at the weekly spread and see what is ahead. On the right, are more detailed notes where needed, for each day. You order a pack of student notes (if you don't buy the whole Deluxe or Basic set) and these are marked with the day they are used. They are packaged chronologically by use, so the one on front is always the next worksheet we use. No scrambling around for notes or copying.
I think it is a good investment to order the Delux package. Do the calculations, even if you own a book or two, and it is usually cheaper anyway. We have loved all the books that we have used and have especially enjoyed the geography link to the Christian books included. Additional supplies that are needed are really not crazy, like I've seen in other curriculum, they're basic things. I also appreciated that the package came with the globe, and the map, because that meant no rushing around finding things.
Do not get too worried about the "Book Basket List" I really wished I had access to the list before I purchased, as I was unsure we would be able to get the recommended books ar the library. Honestly, I see the book basket list as an added extra, we owned a number of the books, and keep our eyes peeled for the others, but you can use any title related to the country or science that you're doing.
Our children have also enjoyed MFW more than other curriculum and asked if we could stick with it. That says something! I think some of the activities are a little challenging for my 2nd grader, but I use my discretion and omit the things I think she can do at a later level.
As a Mom who has an auto-immune disease to contend with, amongst the normal stresses of life, I have found MFW to be the answer. I can manage it, even on a bad day, or just assign some things for another day, which is easily managed.
Lastly, this review is not for the other subject material offered by MFW, such as Primary and Intermediate Language Lessons, Singapore Math and Writing Strands, but I would like to add that I think these choices mesh wonderfully with the MFW philosophy and have also been a big plus in our homeschool. I plan to review them elsewhere.
- Reviewed on Friday, July 6, 2012
- Grades Used: 4th-8th
- Dates used: 2005-2012
Wow! Breathing a huge sigh of relief that we made it through all 5 years of this curriculum! It has been intense, but definitely well worth the effort. It's amazing the depth of thinking about past and current issues that my children have grasped.
MFW is a Bible-based, in depth look into the history of the world. In general, most of the books used are from a Christian perspective, but there are a few tossed in the mix which the MFW authors will warn you are from a humanistic or evolutionary standpoint. I'm glad about their warnings and the fact that they are not afraid to include these, because we've had some interesting discussions that will help the kids think through, "What is my worldview? How can I explain it to someone who differs from me?"
Up to this point, I've been reading most of the books aloud to the kids. I'm looking forward to starting over again next year with C&C, and having gone through the whole course once, I'll be more equipped to tailor the curriculum to my needs and the kids' learning styles. All of them would benefit from reading most of the material on their own, and that would save my voice for the more enjoyable read alouds. Since I feel like I'm rambling, I'll include a pro/con list to sum up my review:
-Excellent foundation in history/worldview
-My kids and I LOVE history because MFW teaches it through interesting stories and there's little emphasis on memorizing dates and boring rote facts
-The whole family (me & 4 kids) can do this together
-Strong emphasis on the Bible
-MFW is written by a couple who were missionaries to Russia for 20 years, so it has a bigger picture of world history (it's not just US history)
-I love the biographies and read-alouds!!!!!
-Science, history, art, music all tied together
-Includes a weekly checklist
-Very teacher- and student-intensive (it can be hard to know what, if anything, can be cut out, and doing everything is difficult, especially when you have several kids doing it)
-My youngest daughter says, "Don't use the States & Capitols songs! You'll regret it!" There were a few books or CDs that we didn't really care for. But you can sometimes find substitutes for those, such as a book we had that taught the capitols of every state in a very fun way.
-The weekly checklist
I can't really think of any other cons!
I included the weekly checklist on pros and cons. It's great to have someone else tell me what I need to do (saves a LOT of time in planning). BUT the checklist can often feel very burdensome, like a To Do list that MUST get done every day or I've failed as a teacher. So this year, I plan to make my own checklists.
Looking forward to starting it all again!