My Favorite Curriculum
When I began homeschooling 3 years ago, I was looking for the perfect curriculum for every subject. In my first year I was so full of new ideas and excitement. I wanted to try everything and boy, did I. I had a separate program for Bible, geography, history, art, art history, music, science, math, grammar, spelling and and and………..
You get the point. I had a lot to cover in one year. It was a perfect recipe for disaster. Did I get it all covered? No way! I had visions of nature studies, studying historical art pieces, reading classic novels and beautifully written pieces of writing but instead I was frustrated that I couldn’t meet up to the standards I had set for myself.
So when the first year of homeschooling was under my belt, I had to rethink my way of homeschooling. As a homeschooling mom, you know what that means. It means hours of looking at catalogs, searching the web, talking to other homeschool moms and even calling many curriculum companies. I was trying to figure a way to get perfect curriculum in all subjects! As I was searching I remembered someone mentioning “My Fathers World”. I had looked at it before but it was one of those pre-package curriculums and that was not what I wanted. I wanted to put together my perfect plan of curriculum on my own BUT I kept going back to “My Fathers World”. After hours and even weeks of deciding, I purchased this pre-package curriculum. Why would I do what I said I wouldn’t. I discovered that My Father’s World was the closest thing I could find to my perfect curriculum all in one package. So let me explain why I love it.
First, I love the philosophy of this program and how they put the heart of child first. That is what drew me to the program first. So let me go through the program and explain how it works. It combines the methods of Charlotte Mason and classical education.
My Father’s World has many one year unit study type programs starting with kindergarten and all way up to the high school years. We started with the Exploring Countries and Cultures program. This program is designed for 2nd-8th graders.
It is a multi-age unit study: The program is designed to be used with more than one child at a time. This is a big time saver! I teach all the subjects together except language arts and math.
Strong international focus: In Exploring Cultures and Countries you visit a country every two weeks. You learn about the country’s geography, ecology, and cultures. You spend time learning about the common religions in each of the countries you study.
Integrated Bible content: In Exploring Countries and Cultures you spend the year reading the book of Matthew and memorizing many verses from Matthew. You read about missionaries from the past and present. You learn what God is doing in other countries and you are shown how you can pray for each country specifically. It teaches a wonderful biblical worldview.
Geography: You do plenty of map work each week and with that you learn plenty of mapskills. Older students can do research projects as they study each of the continents. You play games to learn the names of all the countries, oceans, capitols, and continents. You make a passport and you place a flag sticker in your passport as you “travel” to each country. There are hands on activities such as cooking and flag making. You learn new geography terms every week which the student keeps in a journal.
Science : You spend the year studying habitats from all over the world. You spend time taking nature walks and keeping a nature journal.
Reading: There is plenty of living books provided with this program! My Father’s World does something called a reading basket. Everyday the children read books you have selected from the library or have purchased. The books are all related to what you are currently studying such as rain forests. You may have many subjects to chose from some fiction and non-fiction. There is a read alouds included in the program. The read alouds coincide with the country you are studying. In ECC the read alouds are true stories of missionaries.
Art and Music The program has plenty of art projects based on the countries you are studying. There is also a CD with ethnic music from around the world.
Language Arts, Math and Foreign language : They suggest certain LA and Math programs but you can add whatever you choose.
Now let me tell you the pros of this program: I love how it combines the methods of Charlotte Mason and classical education. It is a perfect mix of both of these philosophies. I love the journaling and the nature studies. The teacher manual is a huge plus. It so well laid out. Each week is laid out on a grid and then additional informational is given for the planned activities. The TM tells you what needs to be photocopied for the week and what extra supplies are needed. The supplies are easy to find items. The TM gives a list of books you can check out at the library or purchase for your reading basket. The TM is so easy to use, generally this program is an open and go. The bible is my favorite portion of the program. I love the memory verses. Easy to do but challenging. I love how it tells you to pray specifically for each country. You learn what challenges missionaries face in the field. I love how you can combine your kids for so many subjects. It turns learning into a family time together. I love the biblical worldview that is taught throughout the program. The crafts are easy to do and fun. I love how you can chose you own math and LA. The program is designed to be done 5 days a week and Friday is a light day. It can easily be turned into a 4 day week by combining Friday’s plans into other days of the week.
Now let me tell you the cons of this program: I felt the science to be a bit light for my taste. We did add more science to the program. My Father’s World is coming out with an updated version for ECC and it looks like they have added more to the science. You have to be okay with having everything all laid out for you. For me this was a plus since it is done so well. The music was not my favorite, a bit too kiddy for us. In the other programs of MFW the music is done more to my taste with classical music. We felt the read alouds to be a bit dry. We did add some of our own read alouds. If you don’t live near a library with a decent selection of books it would be hard to incorporate the reading basket idea.
My Father’s World is coming out with a new edition of Exploring Countries and Cultures. The science looks improved. There is less photocopying, and there is a nice supplement you can order for 7-8th graders.
We are in our second year of My Father’s World. We are presently using the Rome To Reformation program. We are loving this program just as much! We plan to stay with My Father’s World for the long road maybe even all the way through!
|Korey, is our, no twaddle (great books), Charlotte Mason devotee and she homeschools two precious children. Her first-born has already flown the nest, and is away at college. She is also a part-time nurse. She loves science, spending time with her family and the splendor of the Lord.|
We also use MFW and love it! We have done K & 1st so far and will be starting Adventures (tweaked to our country) in this coming year. :0) I enjoyed reading your review. :0)
I am also using MFW. This is my first year homeschooling.
We are in first grade. I love it. it is easy to use.
Thankyou for posting your blog about MFW. We are looking at using it this year starting with the ECC that you described so well. You answered a lot of my questions and for that I thank you!!
Need A Nap2 says
We’re thinking about using MFW too, thanks for the review. We’re especially interested in being able to use the same curriculum for all 4 children (eventually). Thanks!
.-= Need A Nap2´s last blog ..Review – Busy Mom’s Bible =-.
My children and I love MFW too. We’ve used K, ECC and the first year of HS- Ancient History and Literature. Oh, and I almost forgot we’ve purchased both preschool toy sets. All my children LOVE MFW but because of the economy, we can’t afford to buy it this coming year. :'(
That’s a real bummer since I also felt that it was our perfect curriculum choice. I’ve pieced together my own curriculum and tried packages and nothing fit like MFW.
Who knows, maybe the Lord will provide for us at the last minute and we can enjoy Creation to the Greeks next year after all.
Thanks for your review I enjoyed reading it.
Thanks for the review. I did MFW K this year with my daughter & also did ECC with my son. K was excellent & she is reading well & is even doing tons of math in her head, which I did not expect since I thought it seemed light on K math. ECC was great – I keep wondering if I’m making the right choice – I originally wanted to do Sonlight – but the cost was too prohibitive. My library is small – but I still find good reads on the subjects – just not always their recommends; plus I am blessed with a great collection of books of my own. I really love the chronological history. It just makes sense to me – I know that it isn’t a must – and I’ve read how SL does theirs differently, but I really enjoy learning it in order. I love all of the extra ideas too – so many that we can’t do them all – but I like having the ideas. My kids enjoy it & they are really learning so much. I can’t help but keep weighing whether there is something better, but thus far – I can’t find anything that looks like a better fit for us.
My son is two months into his 4th grade year and I’m switching curriculum (as I have for the last two years). Still trying to find the right fit. I have ordered the ECC program and it should be here in 3 days or less. I’m so excited and really hoping this is what is going to fit for him and our family. I will have more kids in grades closer together eventually and it will be nice to teach to the group. Thanks for sharing your review! P.S. Do you know where we can see the lists of the recommended books for the reading basket online?
WOW! Thanks for the great review. I plan on using this to explain everything to my husband (your compact review makes sense of all of my months of research). I’m really excited to be using MFW this year. My story is like yours (2nd year homeschooling) – the first year was fun but I tried too hard to make it “perfect”. I’m looking forward to having it all “put together” for me 🙂
Clarinda Rana says
Hi Korey! Thanks for laying down pros and cons. I am planning to homeschool my 3kids as soon as I find the books needed for the curriculum. I have the MFW( Kindergartn) Teachers Manual and curriculum (my friend lent it to me) but I don’t have the books and other materials yet. I live in Sydney, Australia and we don’t have it here. Im jist looking for second hand or used books as it is what our budget permits. Ive tried looking at ebay but havent found complete set. Pls let me know any site. Thank you.
dena bartlett says
I am currently using MFW kindergarten with my son and we both love it. I just got MFW first grade in and I can’t wait to get started. I will probably go with MFW all the why through.
Amanda alh says
Could someone advise me if a first grader could do ECC with her 4th grade brother? I can’t afford to buy two separate complete programs. I know we will need math and language to be separate. (And I know I need phonics for the 1st grader.). Any advice would be great! Thank you!
Kathleen K says
Amanda, that just depends on where your 1st grader is in maturity and skills. Our youngest did ECC in first grader! We did ECC 2 years ago with then 7th, 5th, and 1st grade boys. The youngest enjoyed it just as much as his brothers. Remember, while MFW is wonderfully and completely laid out, you still tailor it to your own child’s needs. The 1st grader didn’t keep the notebook like the older ones did but I made sure to have plenty of coloring pages on hand (google coloring pages of children in their native country costumes for ideas). I would certainly do it the same way again.
Yes thank you for the review on MFW. I keep going back to this for next fall and will probably supplement with SL readers etc. You make it sounds so good and doable!
Thank you for this review! We’ve used MFW K-2 and have LOVED every bit of it. I, too, was thinking of writing my own for next year but know I would fall into that trap of perfectionism and over doing it. Thank you for the motivation to move forward and stop searching elsewhere. This looks like it will be another great year for us.