Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My Father's World High School

homeschool curriculum program developed by My Fathers World

We have used MFW for high school for two years now, 9th and 10th grade.  I was very impressed with the 9th grade Ancient History and Lit.  However, this year, the 10th grade World History was a little disappointing for me.  I guess it depends on what you're looking to get out of it.  Angel is an avid reader and we were disappointed with some of the literature choices for 10th grade.  There are so many great living books for world history and I just felt the program was a little light.  I did supplement with some suggested Beautiful Feet Literature and I feel that strengthened the program.   Angel is enjoying it. 

Here are some reasons for our MFW choice along with my perceived strengths and weaknesses:

The high school level is written to the student and allows for independent work.  I had a kindergartener and 1st grader last year that consumed much of my teaching time.  So being able to allow Angel that independence was a plus for me, not only last year, but this year as well. She is learning to take ownership in her education.  We do touch base on a weekly basis as recommended.  I correct her papers and have the final say in grading.  

MFW provides a Biblical worldview and the 4 high school levels provide a complete history rotation.


9th grade Ancient History and Literature
10th grade World History and LIterature
11th grade U.S. History to 1877 with Government, American Literature, and Biblical Worldview
12th grade U.S. History 1877 to present with Economics, English/Speech, and Bible


We pulled Angel out of public school at the beginning of 6th grade and did a 3 year overview of history in 6, 7, & 8.  But we really wanted her to have another go around before graduating.  And I love how MFW went through the entire New Testament in 9th grade and the entire Old Testament in 10th grade!  Also, the Bible study mixes with the history study, which makes perfect sense in our world.  

MFW satisfies 3 full credits, one each for English, History, and Bible for 9th and 10th grade.  You really only need to add math, science/health, foreign language, and fine arts and/or any other electives you choose.   

I feel MFW has a strong English/literature program in 9th grade.   Angel learned how to write an argumentative paper the 1st or 2nd week of the year and then followed up on various essays throughout the year.  MFW also provided a grading rubric for scoring the essays, which I thought was wonderful!  The literature included great classics such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Cat of Bubastes, The Iliad, The Odyssey, etc.  

As mentioned above, I didn't feel the literature was as strong this year in 10th grade, primarily in the beginning, during the study of Rome, but it was certainly adequate.  There are just so many great books for that time period.  MFW does state there is a means behind their madness.  "In weeks 3-10, 'Literature' is optional because students will be writing a research paper.  Some students may find that researching and writing a thorough research paper will require all of their time. However, strong readers should add literature to these weeks as well....", which is what we did.  The lesson plan does provide book lists if you choose to add.  And as I mentioned, BF has some great resources for this time period as well.  

MFW also includes geography/map work in their high school programs.  As well as requiring the student to complete a timeline.  Typically Fridays are a lighter day to allow the student time for a service project.  Angel had a regular volunteer position at our local historical museum last school year.  This year we opted to add more reading and do other things.  The program allows for this flexibility. 

At this point, I don't think we are going to continue with the complete MFW program for 11th and 12th grade.  However, I do plan to use several of the MFW recommended resources such as the BJU U.S. History as a spine.  Though we are not super fond of textbooks, I think this one looks excellent and we've used BJU in the past with good results.  Again I plan to supplement with BF literature because we already own it and Angel enjoys it.  I also plan to add Government this fall for 11th grade and Economics the following year for 12th grade, much like MFW does.  I'm looking at Lightning Lit and Comp by Hewitt Homeschool for English and I'm working on a Biblical worldview choice to meet our needs as well.  

Overall, MFW high school is a very solid program and I would recommend it for many of the reasons listed above.  I saw much improvement in Angel's writing skills over the past two years.  Some of the literature was quite challenging.  The lesson plans are wonderful!  Most of the work is done for you so it's basically an open and go program.  Also, the Bible integration was exactly what we were looking for.  

I'm looking forward to upcoming book sales and conventions as I start to plan for next school year!

Disclaimer:  I am in no way affiliated with My Father's World.  I received no compensation for the above review.  I'm just a homeschool mom looking to share what has or has not worked in our family :)

Update (2-2-2013).... We decided to go with Beautiful Feet U.S. and World History rather than BJU U.S. History to keep on with the literature base rather than textbook.  So far, it's been wonderfulThe Lightning Lit & Comp is also great.  It's a good supplement that compliments the literature from BF.  

We used Exploring Government by Ray Notgrass.   Angel is currently reading through Never Before in History, which is a MFW and Sonlight recommendation.  She's enjoying it.  

We did go with the MFW worldview study for 11th grade and I'm so glad we did.  Angel finished Thinking Like a Christian and is currently reading Assumptions that Affect our Lives by Dr. Christian Overman.


13 comments:

  1. Now that you've used BF, would you use MFW 9 and 10th or BF? We're trying to decide for my daughter next year whether to use BF or MFW WHL. MFW just seems like SO much. Any opinions would be great!

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  2. Hey Dominique, that's a toss up ;-) I think it depends on what you're looking for. I LOVED the New and Old Testament studies MFW offered our dd. I also saw drastic improvements in her writing with MFW. I didn't feel MFW was too much at all. The lesson plans are really laid out well and wrote to the student. With that said, if your child is well rooted in scripture and doesn't need guidance in writing, I may choose BF. We love the BF literature. Their guides offer some thought provoking questions and are biblically based. However, they are not as structured so I think it really depends on your student. If you are considering BF, I would definitely recommend joining their Yahoo Group. I have found it to be a wonderful resource and sounding board to ask any questions or clarify concerns that I have.

    Blessings to you in your decision,
    Melissa

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  3. Thank you so much Melissa. I am already on their group. I would love to private message you if you are also.

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  4. Hi Melissa, thank you for sharing this wonderful review of MFW and how you made it work for your daughter! We missed AHL, and now my daughter is in 10th grade. We did purchase everything for WHL, but after looking at the lesson plans, she is asking to do something else. She says it is overwhelming and had too much work. How did your daughter handle it? My daughter is not lazy, by any means. She reads like it's going out of style, so I was shocked that she was put off by the amount of work involved. I have also been told by others that for my 8th grade daughter, we can actually begin AHL this year for credit and stretch it out for 2 years to ease with the transition. Since you've had experience with both years, what are your thoughts? Thank you so much for anything you can share!

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  5. Jackie, you know your students best. MFW does not need supplement by any means. It's a very meaty program. The lit in WHL is less books, but some of them are intense. British lit is difficult for some. Also, keep in mind, it's three credits as written so you really only need to add science and math. Maybe MFW is not your dd's style and that's OK. Have you looked at Beautiful Feet? They have an ancient history course and a world history course at the high school level. Maybe this would be more appealing to your dd?

    Regarding splitting AHL into 2 years, I have not heard of this, but again you know what's best for your child. My only concern would be depending on your state laws. If you need to meet a required number of hours per school year, splitting it into two years may not allow you enough work to meet an hourly requirement.

    One of the beauties of homeschooling is being able to meet your child where they're at regarding strengths and interests. Consider praying about it and let God lead your decision.

    Blessings,
    Melissa

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  6. Thank you for your detailed and helpful response, Melissa! After talking it over with my daughter in detail today, she's decided to give it a go....hooray! We have looked at a few other curricula and although they are also great, we really appreciate the Biblical worldview focus with MFW. Choosing another curricula would mean that we had to add in our own Bible and English, which would be too much. We are going to see how it goes and pray that the Lord would guide our days and help her see what He wants for her. I would love to hear how your year turns out for your family. God bless!

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  7. You're welcome Jackie...please check back and let us know how your year goes as well!

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  8. HI Melissa! My son did BF Early American and World History as a 9th grader this year. He loved it. I planned to continue with BF until he graduated; however, in looking over a friend's MFW AHL, I really loved the integration of Bible and English. English wouldn't be too difficult to add in, but loved the tie in w/ bible. Thoughts on a way to combine the two? If we did BF alone, my 7th grader would be joining us in on BF Ancient's study (so much easier to have them both in the same time period!), but then also considered maybe MFW Creation to Greeks, but he wasn't sure if it would be too juvenile. Would appreciate any feedback. Thanks so much!

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  9. Hey Jennifer,

    My rising 7th grader will actually be using the BF Ancient guide in the fall. I just received it and feel it could easily be used for middle and high school because it's divided as such.

    Regarding MFW, that's a tough call. We really liked MFW Ancient, but I wasn't crazy about their World History and ended up supplementing with BF. I will not be using MFW the second time around. As you mentioned, literature is easy enough to add. I really liked Lightning Lit and Comp as an English supplement to BF.

    As far as Bible, I feel reading through the OT is optimal while studying Ancients. The BF Ancient guide does include a study of Genesis. You can also find numerous OT reading plans free online. A couple other options may be a book like Genesis, Finding Your Roots by Ruth Beechick or The Greenleaf Guide to Old Testament History or TruthQuest Beginnings. Any of them would give you a great bible study to add to the BF guide.

    Does that help?

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  10. Melissa,

    Hi! I'm curious to know what you suggest instead of MFW? What will you be using this round? I still haven't decided on a curriculum and the school year is closing in fast!

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  11. Hey Jennifer,

    I've been thinking about that, but don't have anything set in stone. This fall, I will have a 6th and 7th grader. I'm currently undecided as to whether my 7th grader will make two more three year passes though history or one more six year rotation. I do know she will be using Beautiful Feet's Ancient History Intermediate guide in the fall. I'm thinking our 6th grader may make one four year pass and one three year pass through history, but again, it's up in the air. I really love Beautiful Feet and know I will be using some of their guides throughout. Other things of interest to me at this time are Ambleside Online, Sonlight, Veritas Press Omnibus, and possibly Notgrass or Heart of Dakota.

    I have made the decision to split these two students in the fall. Even though they are very close in age, they are extremely different in their learning style and abilities. We will most likely stick to the same time period, but each will use their own program/books. I'm still working through the details.

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  12. Hi Melissa! Thank you so much for your feedback! Your suggestions are very helpful. We just got our books delivered for high school and I pieced together the books the 7th grader will need. Curious to know, will you be using the maps strictly from the Bible Atlas or will you print your own? I thought about looking into Knowledge Quests ancient history maps (my fellas do not love drawing them freehand, but definitely like an outline)since they have maps that align with Streams of Civilization, which BF uses as well.

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  13. This is a great question Jennifer! I will play it by ear and see how it goes. Our dd likes to draw so she most likely will want to draw her own maps. She's also going to work through mapping the world using the Classical Conversations Challenge A model. My son on the other hand would rather not draw his own maps and I will most likely print something for him.

    Blessings to you in your academic year,
    Melissa

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