I am looking at My father’s world to use for history because of the worksheets (my kuds like them) and the hands on projects. Can anyone compare mfw to scm? I like how simply and living book filled scm is. Can’t decideKarenParticipant
Well, we don’t bother with too many projects for History. (Mainly because I forget to check the page online that has the link for the projects.)
MFW uses Story of the World as their spine. We started out using SOTW, and while I loved the maps and coloring pages, I was less enamored with the spine. So that was our reason for switching to SCM.
So, in order for my girls to keep quiet, they need something to do- enter Draw and Write Through History. I buy the book appropriate for our time in History, then a couple days per week, while I’m reading, my girls pick one thing out of that book to draw. It guides them step by step. It is a bit difficult, and last year, I had to keep pausing reading to help them, but this year, it’s going much better.
I make them pick one of the things from the book, and if they choose to draw the same thing over and over, that’s fine for me. I think there are about 8 different things to choose from. There is also a “narration” written in cursive to copy for each section of the book. I only make my oldest copy that.KaylaParticipant
I feel like everyone in my area uses MFW. For me, the paper and the projects is a huge turn off. Everytime my kids do a crafty thing about what they “learned” they don’t actually have any idea what that craft was for, just that they did the craft. For me the cost of MFW for how much I know I wouldn’t use isn’t worth it. I love SCM and I love that if I don’t want to use a book I don’t buy it, and that doesn’t mean I lose the package deal price, or that I have to buy them all new. I guess I feel like I would rather go on Pinterest and find a crafty thing to add if I want to than have them planned and pod for and not use them.2Corin57Participant
I like MFW a lot better than SCM. For one, I don’t like SCM’s 6 year history cycle. Too drawn out for my liking, so the 4 year cycle appeals to me more. I also love their ECC program, and I prefer teaching geography before history. I think it gives a more concrete foundation to what is an otherwise abstract concept for children.
I also like their projects, and how the science is tied into the history. Some people like worksheets, some don’t. I don’t find MFW all that heavy on worksheets honestly, nor do they come across as busy work in the older grades, because they are essentially notebooking/narration sheets and mapping activities. It’s not like the busywork cut/paste activities in K/1. Also, they’re typically only one day a week.
I think MFW is better in that it is specifically designed for a multi-sensory approach, whereas SCM is largely auditory, and you have to make it visual/tactile etc… Also, the TM in MFW specifically says the hands on projects are optional, so if you don’t want to do them, then don’t 🙂
I also like MFW’s book basket suggestions better. I find they have a wider variety of books to choose from for living books. Some of SCM selections are a little more obscure/harder to find (especially as a Canadian).2Corin57Participant
Also, while SCM is cheaper overall, MFW is VERY easy to find used, for often half the price (or less) of retail, and it also retains an excellent resale value.KeriJParticipant
I’m with Karen. I love to use the book list from SCM and then add the Draw and Write Through History books for a hands-on aspect. We also have a membership to notebookingpages.com. We got it when it was on sale. So we often use those pages for written narrations. For me, doing it this way rather than using a packaged curriculum, provides a lot of flexibility.
You get living books, copywork, drawing, and notebooking in a flexible, simple format.AimeeParticipant
It’s definitely going to depend on your preferences. I did MFW for 6 years. It gave me the security I needed when I started it. Back then I wanted open and go, everything planned, some hands on once in a while (if I was in the mood), note booking pages already planned so I had something for PA portfolios at the end of the year. We loved it for five years, but when I started over with ECC and a new batch of kids, we found it rather dry and boring. Too many info books, not enough stories. I became a slave to checking off the boxes whether we were miserable or not. I was ready to branch out to something more flexible with even more good literature. This is just where I’m at. MFW was what I needed then – and it was delightful.
Although, I didn’t really know about SCM back then. Now I prefer an even more CM approach (but sometimes mixed with a relaxed approach). We all need to do what works for us and realize it may change in the future!jenni33Participant
While I have not used SCM yet, I can comment on MFW. MFW is a delightful curriculum. We have only used Creation to Greeks and Rome to Reformation. They were both very good years.
For my children, the hands-on history projects are what made it fun and engaging. I really like that Creation to the Greeks uses the Bible as its spine. And you end up reading quite a bit about the Isrealites in this year of the cycle. However, MFW is lacking in language arts, which from what I can tell, this would be where SCM is truly Charlotte Mason style. You can employ narration, copywork and dictation with MFW just like you would need to for SCM, but MFW’s recommendations for language arts are more textbook style- Spelling Power, and Progeny Press guides for literature. However you wouldn’t have to use them. The really nice thing about MFW is that the entire school year is scheduled for you day to day. SCM’s history guides do not do that, they are only scheduling your history and bible reading, at least as far as I can tell from the samples I’ve looked at here online.
For me and my disorganized personality, I find a completely scheduled day wonderful because it eliminates the need to make decisions about what I’m using and when to use it. Lesson planning is my weakness and I don’t mind admitting that I need help with it.
The other drawback for me with SCM, is that is a very long history cycle- 6 years I think. MFW packs world history into 4 years which is much more do-able. I’m not sure that my daughter could handle doing so much old world history year after year.
We have made the switch to Heart of Dakota and we couldn’t be more happier. It is almost completely CM, except for their additional scheduled language arts. I have chosen to keep the additional language arts to a minimum, and that is what makes our day almost entirely CM. We just started studied dictation, we are orally narrating history and working on it with science, and also achieving written narrations as well. My daughter is doing great.
You can add books and make small adjustments to make anything work like a CM day. With MFW, employ their book basket lists to make your weeks filled with more living literature, and make sure your children are doing oral narrations. For reading and literature, I think MFW’s selections are fine, but you can also add some books from SCM’s reading list that are available here on their website. If you want hands-on projects scheduled for you, MFW does that, but I don’t think SCM does. You can always find plenty of that sort of thing in other books from Rainbow Resource, or on a homeschooling website like CurrClick, or homeschool blog. I’m sure if you googled it, you’d get a million results.
Bottom line- any curriculum can be supplemented with living books and if that’s the only thing you are concerned about, I think both MFW and SCM will give you plenty of options. You will just need to decide between a completely scheduled day of all of the subjects plus notebooking and hands-on activites (MFW), or only history and Bible scheduled for you (SCM).
I am considering making a move to SCM for high school, using the SCM organizer, but we’ll see if I can get a handle on lesson planning or not!
Thanks for your replies. Very helpful. I have been praying and I think God is showing me that my kids do well with hands on activities. I used the first history cycle of scm, but they needed more activities. I wasn’t using coloring pages though. My kids are young too, so maybe scm will work when they are older. We are doing mfw adventures right now and my kids love the books and activities, even my two year old likes the stories. I will probably just have to take it year by year.?BethanySParticipant
A search comparing MFW and SCM brought me to this thread. Grace, I would love to know what you chose and your thoughts now. I think I would like the flexibility of SCM, the simplicity in the sense of doing basic narration, copywork, art journals etc rather than lots of projects and activities. We are coming to a close with MFW K and I’m learning a lot about CM and the SCM site (we will also be starting CC in the fall so I’m reading about the CC/CM blend which resonates with me), but the 6 year cycle does intimidate me. I definitely want something with a family learning plan as I have a 6, 5, 3 yo and a baby.
Well, I prayed a lot and looked at all the years of MFW and looked up the books they use on Christianbook.com since you can preview them on there. That was helpful for me. I have decided to follow SCM for individual studies because I think it is more age appropriate (I used to be a public school teacher, but have learned more about how children learn since homeschooling and I wouldn’t follow public school standards now) and SCM for enrichment because I love it. I like CM and I want my kids to feast on ideas. I have seen how it is really good for them and they are growing. I am doing Truthquest for history, but I might combine it with SCM, I’m not sure yet. If you want to talk more let me know. I’d love to help if I can.
Hi again Bethany S,
I just wanted to update you. After planning on my own some, I realized that planning is stressful for me, I end of distracted by it and felt that I was taking time away from my kids. I second guessed myself about what was best and felt like I was working too hard. I realized also that I was trying to plan something that was very similar to MFW. So…. I am back with MFW knowing that I can always tweak if needed which I learned is easier for me. And I have time to focus on my kids.AdaParticipant
A search comparing the two led me here. I keep going back and forth with MFW and SCM. Both are such wonderful programs it makes it difficult to decide. Grace, your realization that the planning was stressful has hit home for me. We are either about to start ECC or start ancients with SCM. Deciding is rediculously difficult!LauraNthreeParticipant
Same. Same search! LOL It is really tough to decide. I literally have a box of the deluxe ECC (purchased used from an acquaintance) and the SCM ancient egypt guide here in my office. I am NOT good at planning- nor do I really want to. I’m very disorganized, scatterbrained, etc. I suffer from memory issues. Soo, sounds like MFW would be a good fit. Also my children have had very little geography as of yet. (They are 11, 8, 6, and 3) On the other hand, I love literature and have been a fan of SCM from the beginning. I have a bunch of their digital resources on my hard drive from attempting to implement an SCM year back when my six year old was an infant. (That did not go well) I think that God has been leading me towards MFW and I’m just getting pulled back towards SCM because it’s appealing to me on some levels. (Ohh, shiny! haha) However I will keep praying about it. Reading through this thread was helpful. Thank you!
It is hard to decide! I looked over the curriculum with my husband and we have been praying about what our kids need now. They are almost 9 6, 4, 21 months, and newborn. After writing down what is important for them to learn we decided that for us history wasn’t important for them to learn now, at least not a curriculum. Bible, character, spiritual training, God’s heart for the world (missions), having time to serve and do reach out to our neighbors and do ministry with our kids, habits, individual interests( my oldest has loved airplanes for years. He always asks to learn more about flight for science. I want there to be time to explore that and have that be part of his school)and the 3 rs, are what we feel God has for them to learn now. So we are doing MFW ECC as part of our geography and missions curriculum. We are just going to read various history books (continuing with American History) and have the Bible be our history curriculum right now. We are probably not going to follow a formal history curriculum until our oldest is in junior high. It really helped me to write down what we felt God was showing us and give myself permission to follow it and not worry that it is very different from other family’s homeschool. I also feel like God wants me to trust him with planning. I think it was stressful because I wasn’t asking God what to plan, but trying to copy what other people do. But, I do think MFW and SCM are both awesome and if that is what I was led to do I would do it and enjoy it. And who knows, maybe when it is time to use a formal history curriculum we will use SCM or MFW.
So I would say to pray about what your curriculum should be and follow it and use SCM and other curriculums as resources whether that is just a book list or following it completely. God will show you what your kids need at each age.
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