- Reviewed on Sunday, January 15, 2017
- Grades Used: 10th for a 9th grader
- Dates used: 2016
This is for the 10th grade program from MFW, which concentrates on World History, Bible, LIterature, and Writing.
We began using the MFW 10th grade program for 9th grade, as my son had already read and studied what is covered in the 9th grade program.
We used it for about 3-4 weeks before realizing it was not a good fit. Overall, our impression was that it was just simplistic.
1. The Notgrass history textbook reads as if it were for 6th graders. The vocabulary, and the way it is written is simplistic to the point of being offensive. I realize that the textbook is not really the meat, it's the spine. The meat is added through the non-fiction books, the Bible study and even research papers. However, the book has to be read daily, and it was a complete chore for my son who was used to much more meat, vocabulary, side-bars, information, and background info from the Calvert texts he had previously used.
2. My son was extremely frustrated by the way the BIblical content was "woven" into the Notgrass Textbook. We are familiar with weaving biblical stories into the narrative especially for early civilization through the end of where the Biblical account ends. However, the Notgrass book didn't do it in a way that made sense. The student will be reading and studying about a time period and / or topic and the book completely stalls, and spends an entire chapter on Biblical history *and* theology. And again, the Biblical sections are topics that he learned in approximately 4th or 5th grade. I looked through both volumes.
3. Some of the literature selections were re-writes/abridged versions. If I recall, more than 2/3 of the English LIterature was abridged. IMO these are well chosen books and the original should have been used. There is no reason a 10th grader cannot read the original of ANY Of these books.
MFW and Notgrass make up for the simplistic textbook prose by adding Primary Sources, and they of course are challenging to read. But I cannot understand why the textbook is written the way it is. It makes it uninteresting.
We stopped and signed my son up for numerous other classes, and we are very glad for our choice. I think MFW teaches the kind of independence and critical thinking that, in the end, the student would be college-ready. But it was just a frustrating bore for my son who has been used to challenging work, original editions, meaty textbooks, and the material itself was mostly not new.
I would recommend this program if your student enjoys learning independently, and if they don't mind a gentle intro to World History, and a lot of abridged books. It's just not super challenging. (with the exception of the studies on Primary Sources.)
Since I couldn't sell it locally and would lose too much shipping it, I plan to save it in the closet just in case we need it for my younger daughter. However, I would likely use it for 8th grade, or maybe 9th depending on where she is in her needs / level / learning.
- Reviewed on Saturday, August 6, 2016
- Grades Used: K
- Dates used: 2016
I'm sorry to say that MFW K was a waste of money for my son. This curriculum was far too easy for him and it did not contain nearly enough work. To be honest, I was nervous about purchasing it, but the people on the MFW forum convinced me that this curriculum is "enough" and that less is more in the beginning, so to speak. Well, unfortunately, we had to learn the hard way that this is simply not the case for every child, and that I disagree with this philosophy being a one size fits all.
While I do love the bible concepts in the curriculum, I was a little surprised to find that they expect a 5 year old to understand scriptures from an adult bible (considering how basic everything else is.) With that in mind, the concepts are just that - concepts. I've had to supplement the bible portion with a complete separate curriculum (the bible study guide for all ages) to ensure that he's actually learning the bible and not just biblical ideas.
I had to replace the phonics entirely because my son was already reading. MFW does offer suggestions for children who are already reading, but my son was just beyond this level no matter how you approached it. We started using progressive phonics, and he's happily moving right along, at his own pace, without any issues at all.
The math was basically non existent. There was about one basic work sheet per week. They do suggest that you purchase a simple math book at some point, but we ended up jumping right into Singapore Essential math, and he's literally doing 10X the amount that was included in MFW K with that, and to be honest, I don't even feel like he's doing all that much now even.
The science concepts are OK. Being that the majority of the information comes from library books, I am able to add different books to make it more interesting. That being said, I'm not sure what I've really paid for (the book list?) since the information is coming from the library and other sources.
I also replaced the handwriting with a separate curriculum (a reason for handwriting.) MFW just did not provide very much handwriting practice at all. My son is interested and more than willing to do the work, so again, why hold him back?
I'm even supplementing the "book basket" list - which was a major selling point of the curriculum for me. There were just SO many other popular childrens books that I want my son to read that were not on that list. I went ahead and printed a copy of Sonlight and FIAR's book lists as well as the Caldeott Metal winners list so that we would have more to choose from. It's not that the book list was "bad", it was just so heavily tied into each unit (which I suppose people who are really into unit studies might like) that it left no room for other kinds of books.
I don't necessarily think that this is a "bad" curriculum, I just found it to be way too light. I don't think that this would have bothered me so much if they were more upfront about that. I almost feel like the people who subscribe to MFW's way of thinking feel that education before the age of 7 or 8 is harmful or something. The way they were talking, they made me feel like I was doing my son some kind of a disservice by not letting him "play longer." Well, we're currently spending about an hour to an hour and a half per day on school - that leaves him with many many hours (too many hours if you ask me) of free time to play. I just didn't like that they tried to stuff every kid into the same box.
I think that this curriculum could be good for a preschooler, a child with a learning disability, or a child who just isn't very interested in academics. Otherwise, I would recommend planning your supplements ahead of time if you're going to use this.
- Reviewed on Monday, June 20, 2016
- Grades Used: Kindergarten
- Dates used: 2015
We switched from MFW to ABeka in the middle of the school year and I plan to continue using ABeka at least through elementary school. While my son liked the MFW lessons, they were just too easy for K. In fact, I honestly thought they were appropriate for preschool level. The way they teach reading was difficult to understand (in my opinion) and the math just wasn't anywhere near what K math should be. I ended up printing out worksheets off the web for a while before purchasing new curriculum.
That isn't to say that MFW is bad. They are fun and very child friendly, very Christ-centered and have lots of suggestions for activities. However, I feel like I can search for activities or YouTube videos on my own to add to lessons. The "meat" of the lessons are in the worksheets, especially math, and I feel that is really lacking in MFW.
- Reviewed on Thursday, February 4, 2016
- Grades Used: K-1
- Dates used: 2015-2016
We love it.The wonderful thing about homeschooling is that you can tweak it as you see fit. I added more to kindergarten daily lessons such as youtube videos when it said to present things on lessons.I also used kids encyclopedia.We had no problem moving on to first grade. We did not complete the entire kindergarten program before moving onto first as my son was already reading short vowel readers,and was not reading before beginning the program and had no preschool. He is reading well now and sounds out everything. He is on task with math, we tested him using Harcourt math our first grade public school uses he is doing very well. We will continue with my fathers world.