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July 18, 2012

My Father's World 1st vs Heart of Dakota Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory

I have been drawn to Heart of Dakota ever since I found out about the company.  However I have also always wondered about My Father's World.  I wondered if MFW would be a better long term fit for our family to combine all the ages.  Should I be starting with My Father's World so that we are on track with their scope and sequence if we think that will work better in the future.  Heart of Dakota also looks wonderful for the older years even though I would have to separate my kids.

We have used Heart of Dakota's Little Hearts for His Glory last year and have the Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory that I have looked through. (We have done a couple days of Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory but not a whole unit.)  We have the Kindergarten Teacher's Manual for My Father's World that I have looked over but I thought it would also be beneficial (or just to get it out of my system) to look through the My Father's World 1st Grade set.  So I decided to order MFW 1st grade and make a final decision for this year.

I thought I would share what I have come up with as a comparison to two companies.  (At least for the younger years.)  Now remember this is just my opinion.  I have used LHFHG from Heart of Dakota and have not used but looked over thoroughly My Father's World 1st grade.

My Father's World 1st Grade

Heart of Dakota Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory

  • MFW 1st - You have to pick activities daily.  Worksheet listed if applicable.
  • HOD Beyond - Daily hands on activities telling you exactly what to do.  Worksheet list if applicable.
  • MFW 1st - Integrated into curriculum.    You can not slow down without having to stop the entire curriculum.
  • HOD Beyond - You pick your own program and go at your child's pace.  Emerging Readers set scheduled with questions in the appendix when you have completed phonics.
  • MFW 1st - Read the Bible story from the Teacher's Manual from the ECV (English Contemporary Version).  I would prefer to either read directly from the Bible (King James or New King James) or from a story bible. Just my opinion.  Some hands-on activities throughout the year.  Proverbs are the memory verses and you are told to apply to your life but there are no examples or suggestions.
  • HOD Beyond - Read from your own Bible.  Devotional book scheduled.  Memory verses with application suggested and sometimes scripted.
  • MFW 1st - There is a book suggested but not included in the "core" package.  When you have the book you then choose which poems you would like to read.
  • HOD Beyond - Scheduled throughout the week with the poems in the appendix.
  • MFW 1st - You pick books from the book Honey for A Child's Heart.  You would either go to the library to get your selections or purchase them.
  • HOD Beyond - There is an option to purchase a book pack from Heart of Dakota.  The books are scheduled by genre so you can pick any book you would like to read.  There is a loose reading schedule to follow with some additional information to teach the genre.
  • MFW 1st - You choose activities from the science books that are scheduled in the curriculum.  There are some optional activities in the Teacher's Manual as well.  There is a library list of books in the back corresponding to the science topics.
  • HOD Beyond - It ties into the history topic (or attempts). ;)  You have a science textbook that is your spine that you do not read straight through but read a page here or there based on the topic you are working on.  There is an experiment or activity for each day that science is scheduled.  There are no additional books scheduled and it would be somewhat difficult to plan adding in topical books because there is not a set topic at any certain time.  It changes each day you have science.  So in other words there is not a scope and sequence that you can see for science but everything is covered if you compare it to other curriculum at this age.
Curriculum as a Whole
  • MFW 1st - Notebooking/drawing/coloring a large part of the curriculum.
  • HOD Beyond - A lot of activities and seem to be more variety within the activities.

I would say over all I like Heart of Dakota's Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory more.  I like that I don't have as many choices to make.  The scriptedness (is that even a word?) of the program does feel a bit confining but I would rather have it there then have to come up with things on my own.
I do prefer the topical approach to science in My Father's World 1st better because of the option to add in more books.  We have a lot of Usborne Beginners books on numerous topics that would be nice to add in.  It wouldn't be impossible to add in more reading to the science in BLHFHG but there isn't the same flow.
I hope that I was somewhat unbiased as I stated what I could see as differences and that it gives you a good feel for which program would be a good fit for your family.  There are other things that can be compared but I tried to stick with the details that you would really need the lesson plans for.  I wanted to share an insiders view based on the over all look of the programs but not necessarily a personal experience.  I hope this is helpful!

Do you have experience with HOD or MFW? 
I would love to hear your personal experiences!


  1. Found your blog via a pinterest search for HOD. We are considering HOD Beyond for next year. This was helpful as I always think MFW would be good too. Now I see it wouldn't for my family.

  2. Anonymous6/30/2013

    Thank you SO much for this post! I am torn between the two also and this is very helpful. Were you able to tell by looking at the HOD science whether there is any nature journaling? Also, I read another person's review on HOD where they said the Bible is integrated throughout each subject and is heavily talked about in each area studied. Is this your opinion also? Thank you so much! Polly

    1. Hi Polly! I don't recall there being a lot of nature journaling in HOD's BLHFHG. It is hard to look at it and know what all is covered for science because of how the guide is laid out. In MFW you have a science topic weekly and with the new grid layout would make it very easy to see what is going on throughout the year. In HOD the science is tied (very loosely at times) to the history topic or reading for that day. There is not a way to see for the week what will be covered unless you read through each science "box" and then a lot of times the individual days do not have anything to do with one another. I hope that helps give a little bit more insight into the science. I apologize I can not remember if there was much for nature journaling. Thanks for commenting! I will comment on your other question on that post so that others can read my response there.

    2. On the Bible portion of HOD, yes it is integrated within each topic (loosely again sometimes). There is also a devotional book that you go through a couple times a week and one memory verse a week. I personally looking back would have liked more actual Bible reading which I am hoping to do this coming year with everyone. You could easily add that in. Definitely don't feel that any TMs are it, you can always add in or swap out. Make it work for your family!

  3. This was super helpful. Thanks for taking the time to do it!

  4. Jamie, I am so glad it helped!