Warning, this is a long one…
My Father’s World
Founders: David and Marie Hazell
Years we’ve used:
Adventures in US History (2nd-3rd)
Exploring Countries and Cultures (3rd-8th)
(Please scroll to the bottom to see update on Creation to the Greeks)
My Father’s World provides curriculum for preschool through 12th grade. It is designed so most siblings in elementary and middle school can share a program. Unlike A Beka and BJU, all the activities are geared towards the home environment – this isn’t a classroom curriculum.
The main core puts Bible, Social Studies and Science into a unit study. The parent then chooses appropriate math, language, spelling and electives, which can be purchased from MFW or somewhere else.
The instructor’s guide goes week by week. Each day’s work is included in a chart format, then more detail is given in the following pages for that week. Occasionally paragraphs to read to the child are added in to explain a topic. Warnings are included if sensitive subjects will be approached, along with suggestions on how to handle the topic for each age group.
An extensive library book list is provided for each week to supplement the curriculum.
Marie’s Review (Mom):
In a Nutshell:
We LOVE My Father’s World!!! It’s not perfect but it’s very well thought out. The girls are receiving a well-rounded education and a heart for God. It is a little on the pricey side, but when you consider the curriculum can be spread across siblings and studied together, it’s not bad.
- Unit study – this really appeals to me and enforces the concepts. For example, India is covered in geography, then the culture is covered with the read aloud biography. Or learn about Mt. Everest in Geography, and then in science cover mountain eco-systems and animals. Discuss yeast in the Bible, study bread and yeast in science, then bake some of your own bread.
- Ability to use across multiple grades. This is what originally drew me to MFW. We did Adventures in US History last year for 2nd and 3rd, and are now doing Exploring Countries and Cultures for 3rd and 4th. Next year will be Creation to the Greeks for 4th and 5th.
- Charlotte Mason, Classical, Lit Based, Unit Study… all rolled into one. Tons of living books, nature walks, arts and crafts, cooking, notebooking, worksheets… there’s weekly activities that you can tailor to connect with all learning styles (if you’re a die hard for one particular method, you may not appreciate this).
- The library list. I love this! From picture books to novels to non-fiction, I feel like a kid in a candy shop when we go to the library. I have my list, but I also find so many more tasty treats lining the shelves! Here’s a picture of the books and DVDs I found for the 2 weeks we studied China and oceans. And yes, we read all but one!
- It’s not overwhelming (unless you make it so with too many library books!). Fridays are light, so we can use those as catch up days, or field trips, or read more books or cook new recipes…. the possibilities are endless.
- Bible, Bible, Bible! God’s love and Word is woven throughout. God created all and loves all. We are to be the light. My girls are in awe of the amazing things that missionaries have done and continue to do for Christ. Their hearts are being filled with God’s Word and commands to go out and be witnesses. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a generation of missionaries being churned out by this curriculum. A part of me wanted to be honest and put this in the CONS, because as a mother this both thrills me and keeps me awake at night talking to God. Enough said.
- Although I have read reviews stating otherwise, this curriculum program REALLY needs access to the library. If using the library doesn’t work for you, an alternative resource needs to be used (such as a used bookstore, internet, etc) or you should consider another curriculum. At times, I will go to the library and find all the books I need on hold or checked out. I can usually find at least a few, but it does limit how much the kids learn about that topic. I either use the internet or we go without and do something else.
- I really wish it had a little background info to go with some of the reading. A literature guide, etc. What is a _____ that the main character is using? What does a _____ tree look like? We use the internet a lot to look things up, but it would be nice to have more in the guide.
- The science. I love the way it’s integrated in as a unit study, but I feel it really needs supplementing. Much of this year’s science is beyond the girl’s comprehension, making it boring. The instructor’s guide tells the parent to adjust the reading to fit the child, but if we did that there wouldn’t be much science left, so I read it all. We’re using BJU’s 3rd grade science too, and between the two I feel we have a solid program.
- While we all loved last year’s worksheets, we haven’t used a lot of this year’s. I think they work better for the older age range of the curriculum. I can imagine the opposite happens, too – families with children in the older ranges probably don’t appreciate the coloring pages as much as Lainey does (my kinesthetic learner).
Will we use it next year:
Probably. I have researched multiple curricula extensively, and the only other one I keep gravitating towards too is Sonlight. We’ll see, but I am leaning towards My Father’s World mainly for the way Bible is woven so well throughout.
Grace’s Review (4th grade): The Christian Hero books are really good. I like Kingdom Tales too. Last year, I liked the science experiments. The ones this year are okay. I liked the worksheets last year, but not the ones this year. I like to do my own doodling, I’m not really into coloring the pictures. I like all the books. I would be excited to do My Father’s World next year too. I just wish they had added all the Christian Hero books in!
Lainey’s Review (3rd Grade): I love it. I love the science experiments the most. I like the coloring pages, and the reading books are really interesting. I like everything, there isn’t anything I don’t like. The books about the missionaries [Christian Heroes: Then and Now] are the most interesting. I liked learning about all the states last year.
Christian Friendly: Yes!
Sensitive Readers: There are some book sections/topics that are inappropriate for younger students, but the instructor’s guide gives you ample warning and guidance on handling it.
Update on 2/2/2017:
I was very, very hesitant to try Creation to the Greeks. I’ve never had any interest in Ancient History, and wasn’t very keen on spending an entire year on it. I also wasn’t very encouraged by the sample plan provided on the website – it looks sort of, well, empty…
I really felt the Holy Spirit encouraging me to stick with My Father’s World though, so I went ahead and bought the curriculum. We’re almost done with week 20 (out of 34). I’ll list below my thoughts, in random order:
- The history is light. We have a great library but I couldn’t find much on Ancient Egypt in an age appropriate range except mummies, mummies, mummies… I am sick of learning about mummies.
- I found some amazing looking history books on CBD that I can’t wait to read. They should arrive in the mail tomorrow. I know many disagree with me, but I still stand by my opinion that this curriculum needs supplementation for history.
- Everything that we are covering that doesn’t have to do with mummies is fascinating. All that boring Old Testament history? I’m now putting it together with world history. Light bulbs are going off constantly in my brain, making the Old Testament world come alive. That’s why… precedes a lot of my thoughts when I’m going over this stuff with my kids. I might be learning as much as they are!
- My kids hated notebooking on blank pages. It was such a battle that I chose not to fight it. Just this past week I found some pretty ones online, purchased and downloaded them, and wow! Granted we’re only 4 days in, but they are loving notebooking and retaining so much more.
- The Bible and read alouds are fantastic. The Holy Spirit, the love of God… it’s all over this. This may come across as strange but I truly believe the founders have a special anointing and it comes across in My Father’s World.
- I don’t like the science book. It’s way too wordy and goes over and over a point until we’re all confused. I paraphrase and cut out 1/2 the words without leaving any information out. The experiments are pretty good though, and they’re learning. Had I to do it over again though, I would choose a different science curriculum. I like BJU science and Apologia.
As of right now, I am pretty sure we will continue on and use Rome to the Reformation next year. With some supplements! I am drooling over Tapestry of Grace, Sonlight and Heart of Dakota, but I don’t think we’ll make a switch, at least through middle school.