Review: My Father’s World Curriculum — 29 Comments

  1. Hi Michelle! Great post! I know that I already will be using this curriculum just from conversations that we have already had regarding it and your high recommendation of it, but I just have one other question. Do you purchase the basic or deluxe package?

  2. What a timely post. I have had several families asking me about the curriculum as well, and now I can just point them to your blog! I had read your blog over a year ago but then *lost it* in cyberspace. But I found it again recently and it has been such a source of support to me. I have 5 children (my oldest is 9 and my youngest is 8 months) and I don’t have a lot of real world encouragement or support, so reading your blog lifts my spirits when I am feeling overwhelmed. Thank you!

  3. I am going to use MFW this year for my highschool student and i might use it for my ohter ones just not sure yet. I am very excited. I might be contacting you if I get stuck.

  4. It’s funny, I’ve been writing about My Father’s World on my website, too. I haven’t used the curriculum, since we are now at the very end of homeschooling after 24 years. I have heard nothing, but rave reviews from people that are using it. It reminds me of the reception of Sonlight when it first came on the scene over a decade ago. I am so thankful for the developer of homeschool curriculum like this one. They are doing a great service to God and families.

    Michelle, I believe you are going to have a lot of visitors coming to your site to read your review on My Father’s World. It is an excellent review that really helps the reader understand the way the curriculum works.

    Julie Simmons, Best Homeschool Buys

  5. Thanks for this post! Most people just say how much they love the curriculum but you really tell us why. This confirms my choice to use their curriculum. I also love their mission, which is to help with Bible translation.

  6. Thanks for posting. I did use MFW Kindergarten & MFW ECC this year (2010-2011) & LOVED them. The program provides a great foundation and still left room for tweaking if that is your thing. Sometimes I don’t have time to do that or don’t have enough knowledge – but others have been fun for me to tweak – for instance – I have a stepmom from China so we had fun embellishing with some beautiful costumes, pictures & postcards with our names and their chinese meanings. However, it is very complete & needs nothing added to still be a fun, challenging curriculum (except as you mentioned, language arts & math). I am a first time homeschooler this year & found myself looking at everything. I continued looking this year – late into evenings & have even visited friends & pored through their teacher’s guides. I have found nothing that would work better for us & will stick with this in 2011-2012! I am curious to know what you did use for phonics, Emily, for your younger ones. My daughter is a fairly strong reader after MFW K – but still needs 1st grade phonics. As much as I want to purchase it – my schedule is really tight & she enjoys working with her big brother’s in the 5 yr cycle. I am active in several volunteer projects every week and babysit some children before and after school – so it would be LOVELY to teach from one curriculum this year if possible – for my budget & my time! Loved your site – thanks for posting!

  7. Hi Michelle, I’m wondering how “messy” this curriculum is? I don’t like disorganization or clutter and have always felt that unit studies were more for the crafty moms :) I like the house clean once school is finished and always file our school work, art projects, etc in their special place for safe keeping. I also like a structured teacher’s plan that is designed for someone without an educational background (the how-to-teach tips are very important). I finally went with ABeka for all three kids last year, and I felt it was our smoothest year to date. I didn’t have to make up the lessons myself or piece things together ahead of time. However, I did miss the classical approach of previous years. I feel like I spend my summer holiday still in school due to all the researching! Help!

    • Hi Tanya, it sounds like we have a lot in common! I, too, like to have everything in it’s place, not a fan of time-consuming “busy” craft projects that get thrown away, and I put great value on having the structure already laid out for me. I’ve found My Father’s World to suit us perfectly on all three of those. After school, we don’t usually have much mess to clean up; mostly a matter of having the kids put their books and papers away, putting the box of pencils back on the shelf, etc. There are some hands-on projects, but I don’t find them to be messy, and I engage the kids in helping clean up after we finish. As an “organizer” you will probably enjoy the notebooking. The teacher’s manual tells you exactly how to set up your notebooks and what to put on the divider labels, etc. I keep my kids responsible for filing their own papers away in their notebooks. This next tip is not in the MFW guide, but just something we do… our children would find it very tedious to file daily, so I give each child a filing drawer, the plastic ones you can find at Walmart/etc. They put their papers in the drawer daily, and every Friday, I have them take the papers out and file in their notebooks.

      If you liked Abeka, it was a smooth fit for your family and it worked with your children’s learning styles, please don’t let my review dissuade you. Every family is different in what works best for them, and Abeka is a solid curriculum with a good track record. If you feel that the Lord is leading you to something else though, I would reassure you that My Father’s World works very nicely even for organizing junkies like us! :-)

  8. Hello! Michelle,
    I read (and loved) your review when you first posted it. Now, I’ve read it again after ‘researching’ various curriculums for next year. I have five children (2 – 11 years) and will have my sixth in about 2 1/2 months. In the past we’ve put together our own curriculum. Yet, this year, I thought it would be wiser to have something more ‘planned out’ for me. :) I’m really leaning towards getting MFW family cycle. I was wondering if you thought it mattered if we started it at year 3 or 4 instead of the beginning. We’ve already been doing history chronologically and have covered the earlier years very recently — yet not much of the later years. The younger ones always start ‘wherever’ everyone else is and then later the years are repeated anyway. Yet, if I start from year 1, my oldest will never get to the later years. What are your thoughts on that?
    Also, I was curious what you’ve been using for math.
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Bridget, Congratulations on #6! As to MFW, I think you’d be fine picking up wherever you’ve left off in your history studies. The only thing I’d suggest is that you try to get in the year of geography, Exploring Countries and Cultures. ECC was our first year using MFW, and it provided such a wonderful foundation for all of our history studies. Even if you don’t personally get to finish out the MFW family cycle through Modern History with your oldest, they will get to study those same time periods in high school, but that year of ECC is so wonderful and memorable, I would strongly suggest you don’t miss it.

      For Math, we use Math U See starting in about third grade. We go straight to Math U See Beta, skipping Primer and Alpha. We’ve just recently decided to switch to Teaching Textbooks beginning in Pre-Algebra. We haven’t experienced Teaching Textbooks yet, but it looks great. For K-2, we focus on “real-life” math concepts and memorizing math facts. I’ve used a number of tools and books that have helped us with those years, but no formal math curriculum. Let me know if you’d like more details on things we’ve used for math in the early years.

      God Bless,

  9. Thank you so much for your answer. It’s good to know about the importance of the ‘Exploring Countries and Cultures’ year as I wasn’t sure whether it would be worth the time for my older ones. I think we’ll do that this year. I’m really excited about having most everything planned out for me this time around.
    I’ve always heard great things about Math U see, yet never have tried it myself. We’ve also never used a formal math program for the early years. We have used Saxon and recently Switched on Schoolhouse. It’s ‘funny’ that you mention Teaching Textbooks as that’s what I’ve been wanting to start this coming year as well. My oldest really wants to continue using the computer vs. book/paper and I like that they have a ‘tutor’ for every problem.
    Thanks again.

    • Oops! I also meant to say Congratulations on having your new baby boy. I’m also having a boy (it will be five boys and one girl). :) I’m sure you’ll be pretty busy for awhile getting things ‘in order’ and won’t read this for some time … but still, hope all is well with your family.

  10. Thanks, Michelle! I am hoping to try this next year. It’s great to read how well it has worked for your family!

  11. So glad I found your blog!! I just started using MFW this year and your thoughts and reviews of this curriculum match up to what I have been telling my friends about it. We are using the multi-age cycle as well and I did not buy the kinder or pre-k for the same reason and its working well for us!

  12. Hi Michelle. I am trying to discern what the best long term (unless the Lord changes direction in the future) curriculum for our young growing family. I have a 4 year old, 2 year old and 6 month old. My question/concern is that if I start MFW with my 4 year old and by the time she’s in 4th grade and my son joins in for 2nd grade on the cycle then he will miss the Adventures in US History and the ECC year. Those seem like important foundations before moving on to the next years. Have you encountered this with the ages of your children? Any ideas? I would have already purchased both those years of curriculum so I guess I could do them with my son but that wouldn’t be in alignment with the cycle. I’m a little stumped : ) I’m sure there’s a simpler solution but seeing as how it’s 11 pm and I’m sleep deprived it seems like a huge brain buster : ) Thanks again for all your help always and your wonderful ministry on this blog. You have been a “virtual” mentor to me as a young mom trying to raise my children in a Christian home and coming from a non-Christian home myself. So thank you thank you!

    • Hi Andrea! I never used Adventures (or K or 1st), but my understanding is that Adventures has much of the same content as Exploration to 1850, except 1850 has extra material that makes it suitable for older kids. 1850 sells a supplement for younger children which contains many of the same books as Adventures, so they really seem similar. The books will be scheduled all in the 1850 teachers guide. So, your younger children will not miss out on that content.

      With ECC, your second child would eventually go through ECC (if you are still using MFW by that time) when they are a little older, probably 6th grade. It would be a five year cycle that would be repeated, with young kids joining in every few years, and older ones jumping off as they reach the high school years.

      I also have to add that you may very well change your mind before then, and that’s okay! After six years using MFW, we felt compelled to change it up this year and are currently using History Revealed. We may eventually go back to MFW, but for now this is where we are. So don’t worry too much about the years to come, but try to just focus on this one for now. :-)

      God bless!

  13. I’d like to know how often you read out loud to your children…as a group and how often do they read alone…considering the different age groups. For example, I that for 3-8th they read Christian Heroes: Then and Now…they are 6 read alouds. It says family read alouds. Does that mean that you read this to all of them regardless of age? Mine are 6,8 and 13. (I can’t let my 13 year old read to them.) Do you have the oldest read it to himself and the younger listen to you only? Is it okay to read it to all of them? I struggle with how much I should help.

    • Hi Jenny, when we used MFW, I did read those books aloud to the whole family. Actually, even the high schooler would often join us for those family readalouds! Even though the older ones were capable of reading them alone, reading together was (and is) just a very special family activity. The Christian Heroes books are wonderful and I’m so glad we got to experience them all together as a family! ;-)

  14. I use MFW & I have a son who is going into second grade & one who is going into first grade. MFW suggest that I buy Adventures in U.S. History for my second grader & then next year have both boys do Exploring Countries and Cultures next year. I don’t understand the point of buying Adventures in U.S. History & only having my oldest use it. I was thinking of skipping Adventures in U.S. History & have my second grader start with Exploring Countries and Cultures. Then next year both of my boys can do Creation to the Greeks Deluxe Package. I would appreciate your wisdom. Thanks, Rachel

    • Hi Rachel! I did not use Adventures (nor K or 1st), since I started with MFW when my oldest was in 4th grade, so I can’t speak with experience here. But, I think the reason they recommend Adventures this year is that it is really designed for that age group. The other years are geared towards a little older, but still work well with 2nd graders who are tagging along with older siblings. Somehow the dynamics of older and younger kids together, the group discussions, etc…. It just works! :) Your plan would probably work well too, but your oldest might find it more enjoyable to use Adventures next year.

      Another thought, although I know this isn’t what MFW recommends. I wonder if, since your children are close in age, you might be able to include your younger child in Adventures next year as well? I probably would have tried that if I had used MFW when my oldest ones were that age. Then just use separate reading and math, etc. I like to do as much as possible together as a family, and I probably would have had a hard time using two core programs at the same time.

      Also with our experience, Creation to Greeks was our least favorite year. In that respect your family may find it to be an all around more enjoyable experience to hold off a year on that, and get used to the family cycle dynamics with ECC.

      Hopefully someone with experience using Adventures will weigh in. :)

  15. Hi,
    Thanks for your review! I’m strongly considering using MFW ECC next year for my advanced 3rd grader to-be. I also have a more “on par” (not advanced) 1st grader to-be. My older has done 2 years of American History with HOD and my younger has done really no history so far in kindergarten. I’m just wondering, do you think I’d be able to stretch the ECC curriculum to include both my 1st and 3rd graders? I’m worried about it being too much for my younger but it seems like it would be easy to tweak certain things for her. I’d love to get her mind more God-centered, too, like my older is.

    My other concern is that the following year they’d both start chronological world history (while my younger still hasn’t learned American).I’m concerned that learning about Greek myths, wars, etc., might be too much for an immature (what would then be) 2nd grader… if we continued with MFW after ECC…

    Hope this makes sense! I’d love to know your thoughts!

    • Hi Jamie, I always included my K & 1st graders with our MFW family studies, and it worked well. One thing I appreciated about MFW with regard to the heavier content, they would make a notation in the teachers guide warning of it in advance. You can review the books ahead of time and determine if you want to go there or not with your child. My kids don’t really become bothered by that sort of thing, but I know other children are. It’s good to be aware to determine what’s best for your family.

  16. Hi! I know this is a few years old, but I just found this! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’ve been recently looking for something just like this!