My Father’s World Question

by Fiddledeedee on May 18, 2010

I need to pick the brains of the homeschooling community.  With just a little over a week to go before the Florida Homeschool Convention (and to say I am EXCITED would be a gross understatement) I’m rethinking my curriculum plans.

I was going to continue on the course with Accelerated Christian Education.  However.  I got a gander at My Father’s World when my SIL, Trish, bought a bunch of it at a recent used curriculum sale.

She’s letting me peruse through it, and OH MY GOODNESS, I am torn.  I love A.C.E. because everything is already put together for me.  But I really love the idea of doing more hands-on activities for Social Studies, History, and Science.  And I want to add more literature to our studies next year.  My Father’s World has a pre-planned schedule, which looks easy to follow.

Even for me.

I am thinking about sticking with A.C.E. for Math, English, and Spelling (which MFW doesn’t cover), and adding the study starting with American History, even though my oldest is going to be a 5th grader.

I know that doesn’t make sense unless you’re familiar with MFW.  The basic premise behind MFW is a literature based, Bible based, curriculum that allows you to teach all of your kids in a group setting.  And then you “cycle” through a 5 year study.  Thankfully, there will be a MFW seminar at the convention.  I’ll be in the front row.  Taking copious notes.

I have two questions to pose. Jensen will be starting Kindergarten.  (I know, please pray for me.) I’d like to use a curriculum with him, and am wondering if any of you have any experience with the My Father’s World Kindergarten program?

Secondly, if you’ve used MFW, how do you like it (from a teaching perspective as well as how the children have enjoyed it)?  In other words, are any of you in therapy because of it.  :)

Thank you in advance for any insights!!!

Now, I’m off to watch “Lost”.  Has it occurred to anyone that the series FINALE is on Sunday night????  All I can say is that it had better leave me with a warm fuzzy feeling.

{ 20 comments }

1 Inna May 18, 2010 at 7:48 pm

We’ve tried MFW K and it wasn’t a good fit for us.

It requires a lot of prep work and most of the books weren’t available at our library. Their phonics program was really boring for my daughter who was already reading.

We enjoyed the books that came with deluxe package and used the ant farm and butterfly garden, but sold everything else.

2 jennifer May 18, 2010 at 7:52 pm

I love My Father’s World. Last year was our first year officially homeschooling, we started our son with first grade, so aren’t familiar with the K curriculum. They give you a huge list of books (and our library had most of them) that go along with what they are studying-even math. It really helps get the concept across of what they are studying instead of just facts. I really liked the lesson plans, it was great to have it all planned out, but left plenty of time for reading and exploring.

3 Tanya M. May 18, 2010 at 8:57 pm

I used the MFW K-5 program last year for my son’s pre-school. I thought it was a little too easy to be a K-5 program. However, I do like their book selections.

You might want to check out a book program called History Through Literature. They are a little pricy, so it would be nice to find them at the library or on ebay. We read the books, but didn’t bother with the actual program.

http://www.amazon.com/Stories-Pilgrims-Margaret-Blanche-Pumphrey/dp/1150836415/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274237435&sr=8-1#noop

http://www.amazon.com/American-Pioneers-Patriots-student-teacher/dp/B003C52HL0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274237522&sr=1-2

http://www.bfbooks.com/s.nl/it.A/id.425/.f?sc=17&category=11

I found them last year at the FPEA Convention. We read a few pages to the kids every night. This is their special story time and they consider it a punishment if we fail to read them.

We kind of “primed” them for it last year by reading a couple of the Little House books. While we read them we followed along by doing things like smoking chicken wings when Pa Ingalls smoked his meat for preservation. We also did things like make butter by hand, etc.

Then we started reading some of the History Through Literature books this year. They don’t even consider this school, yet we have been teaching them American history all year.

For hands on Science be sure to check out the Apologia Exploring Creation series. http://www.apologia.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1

Also look at Supercharged Science.
http://www.apologia.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1

I’ll be the one limping at the convention since my knee surgery isn’t scheduled until June 4th ;0) Hope I do as well as you!

4 Tanya M. May 18, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Oops, I used the wrong link for Supercharged Science. It should be:
http://www.superchargedscience.com/

5 Bev May 18, 2010 at 9:21 pm

We began using MFW this past year, our 4th year of homeschooling. It has been a godsend for us. It took the guesswork out of scheduling assignments for three kids in three different grades. My 1st grader was already reading, so the 1st grade curriculum was a little boring to him at first. But, we ended up skipping through to the 2nd half. In retrospect, I should’ve just let him join in with the other kids as a “2nd grader”. So, with that in mind, it will depend on what your Kindergartener is already doing. There are some great forums at the MFW website, you should check them out. :)

6 Katie May 18, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Hi DeeDee! I’m a long-time reader and love your blog! I’m coming out of hiding now because I just have to tell you how much we love My Father’s World. My son went through K last year and it was a great fit for us. He’s a reluctant learner and we were new to homeschooling so it was a blessing to have something easy, fun and pre-planned. He learned the basics of reading so simply. My daughter went through K this year with similar results, while my son went through 1st. He’s reading very well now. I especially loved how for both years the Bible was the history and core subject, with everything fitting into that. We also considered the book lists and activities optional and just kept it light and fun. Now we can’t wait to get into Adventures.
They have not come to my homeschool convention yet, so I ordered some of their cd’s. We love their philosophy, vision, and support of missions.
Praying you find what is best for you.

7 Elizabeth May 19, 2010 at 2:56 am

No clue since I don’t plan on homeschooling. Several friends do & I know they mix curriculums. One is even into unschooling. As far as your kids are learning & passing whatever benchmarks the state may require, then use whatever stuff you want & supplement with what you want.

8 Christine May 19, 2010 at 4:51 am

Hmm, I looked at MFW for history only. I remember thinking it looked so great (online) that I ordered a used copy.

Within an hour of looking at it, in hand, I knew there was absolutely no way I could use it. (I didn’t like the schedule and would have had to re-work that, and there were some other issues as well.) (For the record, I did not like ACE either, but I used it for almost 1 year.)

However, it sounds as if you already have a copy in hand and you are quite pleased. I would tell you to go with your gut. You have to pick a program that will work with you AND your, individual, kids.

(I suspect Jensen will throw you for a loop.)

Could you do a day with it? A trial run with what you have / can borrow? That would probably be the best.

BTW, I believe MFW has a yahoo group.

9 Beth May 19, 2010 at 6:07 am

We just used My Father’s World for the first time this year and I plan to use it next year. We started with “Creation to the Greeks” and next year will be doing “Rome to the Reformation”. I love the way they put History in chronological order, right along with the Bible. I also enjoy the literature approach to learning. We used to use Sonlight, and didn’t care for many of the books we got (at a huge price), so I like the fact we can just go to the library and pick out their reading books. The schedule is nicely laid out too. The only thing I didn’t like is their Science. We only use MFW for History and Bible. Their Science is similar to Sonlight- not very structured and you feel rather scatterbrained after trying to do it. So I HIGHLY recommend Apologia Science. Add I chuckled to read your post because we are going to try (for the first time) ACE for the kids English and Social Studies. I just got back from our convention and it looked good. I am hoping it will teach our kids to be more responsible and do some independent work. One question I have, though, is does it work with a wiggly, easily-distracted kid? My middle one is brilliant, but can’t sit still very long. Praying God will give you clear direction and may you be greatly encouraged at the home school convention! =)

10 Allison May 19, 2010 at 6:36 am

I used MFW last year with my son. He needed a slow start to school and this gave him just that. Like some others said I felt like it was an easy kindergarten and reminded me more of a K4 curriculum. We did Bob Jones Kindergarten this year. I did not have trouble getting the books from the library. (He he your stories and the library)

11 Dawn May 19, 2010 at 6:53 am

Dee dee, You might find this site very helpful. I know I do. It has reviews on every curriculum that is out there. So nice!!!!

http://www.homeschoolreviews.com/default.aspx

My husband and I use A.C.E. with our 3 teens. My sister uses Sonlight with her 3 daughters. I have friends that mix and match everything. Whatever works for you:)

12 Mrs May 19, 2010 at 8:31 am

Well, you know I’m a die-hard KONOS fan (used it for 11 years) but I have to admit that I eyeballed MFW because of its scheduling! It looked to have the same philosophy as KONOS of great books and hands-on activities, but I loved the daily schedule. KONOS has since made a few of its units more user-friendly, but not all.

Remember, you don’t have to get every book on every reading list. If you can’t find it, skip it. Trust God with your homeschool – the book will be there if He wants it to be!

I also echo the plugs for Apologia if you find the science isn’t meeting your needs.

Above all, ask yourself if MFW meets your philosophy of education. The goals for my children are 1. Godly Character 2. Love of learning, and 3. Excellent academics. KONOS fit that bill, but I suspect MFW would have, too. My secondary goals, since we are on a tight budget, is that it had to be for more than one child or for more than one year. I think with MFW you ARE able to teach multiple ages together.

13 Brooke May 19, 2010 at 9:53 am

I LOVE My Father’s World. For our family it has been a very good fit. We started with Kindergarten and I never looked back.

I like having my week laid out for me in a grid. Makes it so easy to understand. (some weeks that is more important than others)

There is minimal prep work for me. As much as I love homeschooling, I don’t want to spend all my time getting school work figured out. I have one or two other things that demand my attention!

I feel free to tweak! We usually end up doing all the History in one day. I start reading and the girls won’t let me stop!!! They love History! So another day we do all our Science in one day. It works for us. I also used the memory verses we needed to memorize for church intead of the one MFW lists for the week. Little things, but they work for us.

Math – didn’t love all the work book for 1st grade. I ended up printing math work sheets off a website. That made me happy. When it came time to use Singapore Math I was hesitant, but trusted them. I’m glad I did. The girls are learning to do math in a more mental way instead of relying on fingers and toes which is why I wore sandals until 5th grade (ok, 6th grade). Seems a little strange to me, but they are getting it and I’m seeing it working in their little brains. (That’s the most amazing feeling for a mother/teacher!!)

Book lists – there is a huge list of books that you can get at the library. It’s not meant for you to get every book on the list, just the ones you can find or are interested in. Don’t get overwhelmed.

I do buy the deluxe package each year. Even after adding all the misc. things I need, I still pay less for a years worth of school books that I would pay for a SINGLE month of tuition at our local church school. Plus saves me having to go look for those resources elsewhere.

For Kindergarten, I didn’t end up using all the materials provided. We averaged about an hour a day. They already knew so much from story time at the library, Leap Frog videos ( I LOVE those – my youngest could tell you all the sounds before she could tell you the letter names!) and just living with a mother that provided a constant narrative. (they don’t call me Babbling Brooke for nothing) Also, when the second child was doing Kindergarten, she did what she needed from the stuff but mostly did 1st grade activities with her sister. That’s the fun of MFW. Jensen will be able to join in with the older girls for a lot of their school work. Will he understand it all, no. But you will be surprised at how much does stick!

I can’t end without a mention for the fabulous customer service they provide. When you call, you are speaking to people that are intimately knowledgeable of the materials. That helps so much! Shipping has always been fast and I feel like they are looking out for my best interests….last year when I ordered my materials it was in Jan. They called me asking if I’d like to wait a few weeks to get it as they were adding more material for the upper grades. I didn’t need it so I had them send it on it’s way. How many places would call you and give you that kind of an option!

I could go on and on….but I won’t. Go see them in the Vendor Hall (I’ll be there getting Creation to Greeks!!) and attend the seminar. You will know if it’s right for you. ;)

Let me know if you have any other questions. I’ll be happy to babble on some more! :D

14 Nancy May 19, 2010 at 10:34 am

I haven’t used MFW but I am a HUGE fan of the “one room schoolhouse” method. We used Classical Conversations this year and I LOVE not having different levels of everything. (Just math and reading.) Plus the kids learned a lot more by listening to older sibs stuff. Doing history, geography, Latin, and science together saved a ton of time and was so much easier than trying to do completely separate lessons for everybody. Of course I expect the older ones to “master” material and the younger ones don’t have such high expectations but I was HUGELY surprised by how much they could do when they saw mastery modeled for them.

15 Need A Nap2 May 19, 2010 at 11:10 am

Have I used MFW? Not yet, but we decided to buy it at the convention we went to in April. Why? Because our oldest will be 9 and next one is 7, but then the next ones will be 5 and 3. I can’t handle them running 4 different directions and needed something a little more organized! :)

We chose to keep our 2nd daughter on Math-U-See and after seeing it at convention we’re going to move our oldest from Saxon to MUS too. We chose to keep our 2nd daughter going in Shurley English and decided to move our oldest back from Growing with Grammar to Shurley English. These are 2 areas that MFW doesn’t include just recommends and provides a schedule/supplement.

I looked at the reviews and forums. We made the plunge (most $ we’ve spent on homeschooling). We’ll see this fall!!

Our going-to-be-5 this summer son doesn’t know his letters but does pretty well on his numbers. I chose Christian Liberty Press preschool program because it introduces upper and lowercase letters together. I liked the workbook pages that the child HAS to follow directions (like color the apple YELLOW, instead of red). I think my son needs (lots of!) work in this area. :)

16 Jen May 19, 2010 at 11:30 am

Can I just say, I can’t believe you just posted this! I have happily used MFW for two years now, and I was just wondering why no one else talks about it. But clearly, many of your readers are very happy! It has been a godsend for us, too.

I will say if you are considering using “Adventures” it may be a little young for your oldest. We just finished up “Exploring Countries and Cultures” and that may be a better fit for your girls. We had a great year and you can find some highlights on my blog.

I did K last year and it was good. I agree, you may need to beef up phonics. But we really enjoyed the hands-on science and Bible. You could also just let Jensen sit in with the girls and do whatever Phonics you like for him.

Good luck!

17 Marybeth Whalen May 19, 2010 at 2:46 pm

I am considering homeschooling my 10 yo (5th grade) next year and I have decided I will use the MFW program with her if we do. So glad to see you considering it as well! It sounds like a great program and these comments have been helpful to read!

18 Shannon May 19, 2010 at 6:57 pm

We are starting to homeschool this year and we bought the MFW Kindergarten Curriculum. I went to the big curriculum fair here for North Texas and was able to compare all the curricula and decided that MFW would be the best for our son all together. We are supplementing with Abeka’s phonics system too, just to reinforce the phonics and I will probably pick up Math U See for him too because he’s super tactile.
All in all, I really liked the fact that the Scripture was integrated into all of the activities instead of being separate.

19 Virginia May 25, 2010 at 7:51 am

I didn’t know you used A.C.E. I used that in school.

I’ve heard great things about MFW, and for the past two years I’ve been saying “Next year I’ll do it.” Then next year comes and I compare the price of mish-mashing curriculum with MFW and find it is soo much less expensive. So I still mish-mash.

There are TONS and TONS of great hands-on curriculum. Check out http://www.rainbowresource.com I order all my curriculum through them and it’s wonderful. (and orders over $150 ships for free!)

20 Mer May 27, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Go with My Father’s World! My friend has actually been homeschooling my kids (yes, you read that right….my) for 2 years using MFW an it’s AWESOME. Before this my oldest (who was 7 at the time) did A.C.E. The two don’t even compare. He LOVES MFW….he can’t stand A.C.E. Have so much fun at the conference….I am so jealous….Florida and a homeschool conference and wine coolers…and a jacuzzi….seriously, can it get any better?

Oh…and Sonlight has a good Kindergarten curriculum. I don’t think my friend liked MFW kindergarten.

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