Choosing K vs 1st - So glad we did K with an early reader!

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:50 pm

Choosing K vs 1st - So glad we did K with an early reader!

Unread post by Winkie »

I just wanted to share my experience in case it might be helpful to anyone else out there.

My oldest ds wanted to learn to read at 4 1/2. Because he loved it, we flew through lessons & he was reading well in just 3-4 mos. I was so surprised!

So the question was what year to put ds in - K or 1st? I finally decided to go with K for 2 primary reasons: (1) He didn't have the writing skills & from the 1st grade samples/archives it seemed like there was a fair amount of writing in 1st. (2) Length of time - K is 1-1.5 hrs and 1st is 1.5-2 hrs. Even though he read so well, he was still a wiggly just-5 yo.

We'll finish K next month & I just received my box of MFW 1 (so I've been snuggling up with the TM for my bedtime reading ;-) Looking through it, I am so glad we waited! He would have been frustrated with the writing. He would have been frustrated with the math.

K was so perfect as our introduction to homeschooling. Both for him as a first time student, as well as me as a first time teacher. As an oldest child, he has perfectionist tendencies - so with K he could build confidence, rather than frustration with a too-challenging program.

Also, the themes seem to gel perfectly with his development. At 5, he wanted to know all about the world & how things work. So a year's study of the created world fit just right. Now at 5.75, he's asking questions about the Bible and God and "what does that mean?" I'm so excited that we'll be studying the Word for his next year - I hope it lays a strong spiritual foundation for him at a time that he's naturally interested in it.

Well, I hope someone else can relate to my ramblings!
6 boys, 1 girl + 1 long-awaited baby sister
Completed MFW from K to Graduation
2018-19 will use US1, and ECC (for the 3rd time!)
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:26 am


Unread post by Ariasarias »

I have been thinking about writing about our hsing experience this year and just have not gotten around to it. We have had a very similar experience to you.

We switched to MFW K in November. I had considered it before, but I thought it would be too easy and not interesting enough for my dd who could already read so well. I am so glad we switched.

It has been such a perfect fit for not only her, but for our whole family. We have learned so much this year and have had so much fun doing it. My 2 yr old feels so included and loves to learn along side of us. Each week I see my daughters' world opened up so much and their understanding of God broadened as they learn about his creation. This is exactly what I was looking for, but I don't think I even could have articulated it last year.

MFW definitely takes into account the developmental level of children -- both academically and emotionally. My dd is a great reader, but she is still 5 and interested in what most 5 year olds are. I am so glad that we chose to do K this year. I still think the reading part of first grade will not be hard for her, but I have a feeling everything else will be perfect and just challenging enough for her.

The other thing I have enjoyed about MFW is that there is enough material, yet I feel like I still have room to add what I want my children to learn or we can go on a tangent and I am not left feeling like I am leaving something out that they have planned. It's just enough.
Thank you so much. I am looking forward to learning more and watching my children grow in Christ and knowledge of His world.
Nicole, wife to Claudio since 1996, and mom to dd (2000), dd (2003), dd (2005), and ds (2009).
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:50 pm

Unread post by Winkie »

Nicole, you made a good point about the littler ones. I honestly don't know if my 3yo realizes that he's *not* in Kindergarten. LOL!
6 boys, 1 girl + 1 long-awaited baby sister
Completed MFW from K to Graduation
2018-19 will use US1, and ECC (for the 3rd time!)
Kim Schroter
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:17 am

Unread post by Kim Schroter »


I think you did the best thing to put your son in K instead of 1st this past year. When my daughter was 4, she was showing much interest in reading, so I started MFW K with her. Then I proceeded to put her in MFW 1st when she was 5. She progressed fine through each program, but I wish I would have waited a year (and did K at 5yrs and 1st at 6 yrs). I was in a hs co-op and had her with the 1st graders, but they were all 6 and 7 and she was only 5! This is when I realized she needed to be in her own age level.

Anyway, this past year, we did not move on to 2nd. We kind of did an informal repeat of 1st. She loves to read and used this past year to advance her reading skills even further.

We are proceeding with Adventures in the fall and I'll be using MFW K with my second daughter (she'll be 5! :)

Just wanted to encourage you that you made a great choice!
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Unread post by courthart246 »

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:18 pm

I was in the same boat as you with my now third grader who age-wise would be a second grader. I opted to skip MFWK and go right into 1st. However, I do wish we would have done K.

Even though he was academically ready for first, mentally and physically he was only a kindergartner. While he still keeps up academically I have found that in other things we are having difficulty. I hadn't thought through the ramifications of homeschool gym, kids' clubs at church, etc... He's in the younger class for gym because I didn't want him in with 5th and 6th graders. He will either have an extra year of kids' clubs or will be in youth group at 10 or 11 (don't think I want that either!).

So all of that to say that I think we would have benefitted from the K year, not only because of the "other" variables, but also the curriculum looks so wonderful. I'm looking forward to doing it with my next little boy! You can always supplement as the other ladies mentioned. Best wishes on your decision. And enjoy 4! My 4 year old turns 5 next week. This year went so fast!
In Light of Eternity
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Do MFW K!!!

Unread post by In Light of Eternity »

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:18 pm

We loved MFW K and I'm looking forward to using it as each of my children's introduction to more formal schooling. I started with ds when he was 4.75, just to have a little one on one time with him (I have two youngers) and a very little structure in our day. He was reading at about a 4th grade level when we began and that did not detract from the program one bit! I used the letter books for cutting practice, and it really improved his fine motor skills, which were nowhere near his reading ability. :)

We didn't do the flashcards or the blending ladder but we did do some oral spelling practice and we had lots of time to add in art, music, critical thinking, etc. and never spend more than 45 minutes a day doing lessons.

I highly recommend it!
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Unread post by dhudson »

Chrystal in TX wrote:I have scoured the MFW boards and have seen over and over that even with a kiddo who is already beginning to read, MFW is enough and that reading should be rushed. I think I've gathered that I should just look at the next year as a year to review phonics and make sure that he's strong before we "take off".

I think I've read enough from the experiences of other folks here on the forums to trust the MFW reading approach. However, I am just trying to figure out what I do with the other stuff we've already gotten into the habit of doing. I am one of those moms who is a bit nervous to just use MFW for reading.
Posted: Mon May 12, 2008 10:21 am

My 3 children were all reading by the time they did MFWK so I just added easy reader books for them. I worked on phonics but only as they applied to the books they were reading. I also really worked hard on their read aloud skills, pausing at commas, stopping at periods and inflection. Now, not only can they read books well but are often asked to recite in church or have been able to take large parts in dramas and plays.

They are now 10 and almost 7 yr old twins, and they are all accomplished readers. MFW may seem simplistic but it's very effective. I have had to learn that more is not better, it's just more.

Isn't fun to have such a problem? I love the challenges and being able to see my children's strengths and weaknesses first hand and to personalize their training and education.

God Bless,

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:22 am

All three of my children were reading before we did MFWK. I added other books as needed but my kids had a wonderful year and a great foundation for their elementary years. I did use the phonics anyway as a review which was a good thing as well.

I really wanted my children to learn to love learning and part of that for me was allowing them to move at their own pace but being careful not to over do. ( If you knew my personality, you'd know how difficult that is for me! : )) The amazing thing is that now they do love to learn - they do it on their own !

Posted Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:27 pm by dhudson

In my humble opinion, I think if you are drawn to MFW for the spiritual and character content, start with MFWK. All of mine could read before going into MFWK and it was well worth it to just add in other more difficult reading. I think the life lessons/ Science/ Bible in MFWK is one of the best things I have ever done for my kids. We still use many of the sayings that we learned in MFWK and mine are now in 6th and 3rd.

I think MFWK also sets a love for learning up in your child. It makes learning fun and appealing which is worth it's weight in gold. I have learned that allowing my children to enjoy school has benefited them more academically than pushing them harder. If they enjoy learning, then they want to learn and look for ways to learn on their own. My children are self-starters in the learning dept and it is a blessing and much of that credit belongs to MFW, not to me because I am an overachiever by nature.

Posted Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:08 am by dhudson

Imho, do MFWK. All three of mine could read when they did MFWK. I played some of the phonics games and added in other phonics and reading but I really wanted the Biblical foundation that MFWK gives. I also wanted my kids (at this age) to really learn to love learning. I wanted it fun and enjoyable so that they would want to learn more, and so far it's worked. From a parenting stand point MFWK helps them memorize such great principles that I wanted all of mine to get them so that could expect that behavior standard.

I've also found that the younger child often wants "their own school". I think that putting the 5 and 6 yr old together, at this stage, might bring undue pressure on the 5 yr to meet the standards of the 6yr old.
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Unread post by JoyfulDancer »

Posted: Wed May 14, 2008 8:41 pm

I am using K with my 5yo ds. He is very bright (takes after his mom!) and was already reading a little (through no fault of mine) before we started. This is a kid who was correcting his older sister as she was going through K and 1st, and who just answered one of her 2nd gr. math problems that she couldn't get (boy was she mad).

K has been fun for him, and very encouraging. He feels good that he can read all the words by himself so easily. His big difficulty has been fine motor, especially drawing and writing. At the beginning of the year he could barely draw anything recognizable. Today he did the whole letter writing page pretty well, and actually drew pictures to go with the sounds. His writing has improved so much. I'm really glad we are just taking it easy and using the time to really work on his writing. I also use the Handwriting Without Tears Pre-K/K materials as some of his hands-on writing practice. His favorite is the wet-dry-try slate.

I do read to him a lot, and have occasionally had him read from a reader to me, but nothing too high-pressured. We enjoy learning the science topics and he does a lot of the ECC projects with his big sisters. It has been a very nice year. 1st would have been way to overwhelming for him, especially all the writing.

Just my 2 cents. HTH,
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Unread post by Andrea »

my3girls wrote:my dd is already reading cvc words - and some 4 letter words. i like a lot of things about mfw, but am afraid we would end the first year without her really learning anything new when it comes to phonics. Has anyone used mfw k for an early reaader? thoughts?
Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:01 pm

We did MFWK last year with my dd. She was also reading CVC words and a little beyond that before we started. She still enjoyed the program very much -- even the letter cards, the cut-and-paste worksheets and all of it. I just didn't want to push her to read beyond that level. I wanted her to have the desire on her own. We did the art projects, math, the science stuff and covered some subjects deeper than what was in the TM with library books.

In fact, I learned a lot! It was a well-rounded and enjoyable year for a five-year-old. We will begin MFW First next month and, after looking over my TM, I am SO glad we didn't try that last year. Although she could have done the first grade phonics last year, she would not have been ready for the rest of the program. Now we have another great year to look forward to!
Cyndi (AZ)
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Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:52 pm

I'm just chiming in as another MFWK user with an already-reading child. My dd was reading independently before MFWK and was not bored or "unchallenged" in the least. She turned 5yo shortly after we started, and she just loved it -- all the coloring, cutting, and writing was just what she needed.

And she loved the whole theme, learning about God's wonderful world. We still have our flashcards from the program posted on the schoolroom wall like a wallpaper border with the badges right underneath them -- the character traits are too good to miss. It looks so "simple" at first glance, but when you work through it you see what a wonderfully rich program it is. I think you and your dd would love it.
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Unread post by LynneH »

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:25 pm

I've been doing MFWK with my 4 & 6 year olds this summer, and we absolutely love the curriculum. They are both advanced readers, but they are learning so many good Biblical character lessons from this curriculum.

My eldest actually attended ps K last year. When we decided to hs her this year, I ordered MFW1. I was so impressed with it, I took a look at MFWK online to see what we had missed because of being in ps for K. I loved the topics of MFWK and ordered the teacher's manual only, which is what we are using.

We do the Bible lessons, literature, crafts, science, math and creative thinking activities, and we've learned so much. My dc ask to homeschool everyday, and I am seeing the MFWK character lessons in their actions, speech and thoughts. I am so glad that we chose to go ahead and do the MFWK curriculum, even though both dc are reading.

Michele in WA
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Unread post by Michele in WA »

3littlechickies wrote:I really want to do SOMETHING MFW this year as I have been poring over these boards and have been overwhelmed by the posts about the spiritual aspect that MFW has brought to so many families (which is really what drew me to MFW in the first place). I could do Adventures and let my Ker get what she gets, or I could do the K program and Adventures and have them be seperate. The last choice is really not my favorite, as my oldest has many ADD/concentration issues and does not work well alone yet, so we really need to combine as much as possible.
MFW K is much more than phonics and math, and is a big springboard for the spiritual aspect that you are looking for and drawn to in this curriculum. Definitely worth doing with your 5 year old, and in my humble opinion, even your second grader would benefit from it. If you do not want to do two programs, you can use K as is and add more in-depth library books on the science subjects for your 2nd grader. Have both of your children read what they can at their level, and do whatever projects you can from the TM. I don't think they will be too young for a 2nd grader, but you could use your imagination (or the board here if you are like me and lack creativity) to do some different projects. There are lots of books to choose from in the TM, and your library will probably have most of them.

But, really, the character training and Bible lessons in K are too wonderful to miss! You could then go on to Adventures with them next year, or try 1st grade. Another program to buy, I know, but so full of Bible.... again, too wonderful to miss. Keep in mind 1st grade only takes a couple of hours at the MOST, so you could do 1st and adventures together if you needed to.

Above all, pray. God will give you the right answers!
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Unread post by wisdomschool »

Mrs. Lilac wrote:Hi there, everyone! I'm excited to be joining the MFW boards! :)

I have a DD who is 5-1/2. We've been doing an Advanced K LA program. My DD has been pretty bored, always asking when things will start getting harder. I recently skipped her forward into the readers that are scheduled for the end of K, and she read them without a problem. I also printed the Bible reader sample page from MFW 1 and she read that without a problem. She's doing very well in her math, handwriting, and spelling as well. I'm certainly not saying I have the next child prodigy on my hands, but she's definitely not being challenged enough by WP K. :)

I am thinking about ordering MFW 1 to start with her in January....I did call and speak with someone at MFW, and they were very kind and tried to be helpful, but I definitely got the sense they frown on moving ahead of grade level. I certainly don't want to push her, but I don't want her to continue to be bored and then start dreading school.

What do I need to know to decide if MFW 1 would be a good fit? I want her to be challenged, but I certainly am not trying to be the pushy mom and work her into the ground. :) Any feedback you have would be so much appreciated! :)
Hi Mrs. Lilac,

I have a daughter who just turned 6 y.o. and is she is doing MFW A-Z("K"). This daughter is my second oldest, and she was not quite 4y.o. when her older brother started MFW A-Z. For the first part of our school year she came along in everything her brother did(and loved every minute of it!). However, it was clear that I need to work more with my oldest, and have my 4y.o. "wait"(even though she could "do" the work, and "enjoyed" it...that was the advice I got from the office at MFW--I can't say that I completely agreed with them about having my daughter "wait", and my husband didn't see how we would even make it her being 5 y.o. before officially starting "school" with her.....).

Fast forward, we did have her "wait" on "school"(meaning us "not" doing school with her), yet she learned plenty in the mean time, she learned sign language, began learning spanish, helped with her little sister and little brother, began to learn to sew, and to do dishes, helped with laundry, played with friends, took ballet and tap, still napped :)

She does think that alot of what she does now is "boring"(because she remembers doing it "all" when her brother did), however, we have taken this opportunity to work on her attitude/obedience.... also, since she can do so much on her own it actually works better with our current family dynamics.... She is just now "learning to read", and doing very well, (though she taught herself to write and spell and do math). She loves art.

Something I have found that makes me very glad that we did have her "wait" is that even though she "likes" to do school--and often wants things to be harder, she also wants to "just play" some days.....

Currently we do a week's worth of "school" in a week's time, but we do not "do school" every day.....She is looking forward to beginning 1st grade, and she will begin just as soon as she finishes "K"(not waiting until summer or fall).

On the other hand just to point this out--our next daughter won't turn 5 until the middle of August, yet she will begin her Kindergarten year by the beginning of August(in our state you would "have" to be 5 "by" the 1st of August to attend school, and our church follows those rules for what Sunday School class you're in etc....)

My older two children have later b-days, so this will be our first time have a "young" kindergartner, but that is just how it will best work out for this child and our family dynamices.....

I just thought it would be helpful to share my story(that it is okay for them to wait--even if they don't want to/want more to can be very good in the long run!) But I have come to learn and accept that family dynamics can play a big part too, and that's okay(I wasn't sure it was for awhile.....) If my daughter had been my oldest or an only child or the youngest(with the others being quite a bit older) our desicions regarding "school" for her would have been I encourage you to take into account the family God has given you, and all you need to do right now as well as asking questions, agreeing with your DH and prayer.

God bless you as you learn the best thing for your daughter,

P.S. Please be encouraged that you don't need to be like anyone else, and if you find that starting t hat your dd in 1st here soon is the best desicion for her and your family be confident in your desicion--you can always change as things go along if you find something that's not working....
Momma & Teacher to my super seven:

Elijah-3 y.o.
Micah-2 y.o.
Eden-3 mo.
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Unread post by dhudson »

Just another story...

All three of my children were 5 when they did MFW 1st and did great and continue to do very well. They are ahead of grade level so we've had other issues to deal with as well.

Here's some questions we have had to think about:

In social settings do you put your child in their grade level or age level? (we put them in age level)

Are you okay with your child graduating early?

If you plan on putting them in a traditional school setting what will you do with a child who may not be emotionally ready for that grade level even if they are academically ready?

Some of their handwriting was horrible at that age but we just allowed them to move ahead at their own pace in penmanship. Other than that, all three of mine did very well but we kept a very close eye on them and allowed ourselves the freedom to slow down as needed. We still allow ourselves that freedom as a matter of fact. We evaluate how our kids are doing physically, spiritually and academically fairly often so as not to get beyond their abilities.

...Just to clarify - none of my kids skipped a year. They did MFWK and then moved into MFW1st. I don't think skipping info is ever a good plan but keeping them challenged by moving at their pace is a different story.
God Bless,
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002
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Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:14 am

Unread post by Mommyto2 »

Here's a little of my experience. My dd now 6 1/2 is in the middle of MFW 1st. It is very easy for her but we are not skipping ahead.

I don't want my 16 year old going to college. So I thought down the road to what my pushing ahead would mean. I also don't want a year of what do I do now because she is not ready to move ahead but has finished with what she should and I would be stuck.

She has taught herself to read well above grade level. We have pretty much stopped the Complete Book of Math because she was so bored. But we do most of everything else. This is also a challenging year for us in other aspects so that is what we are working on.

Dd is very independent and strong willed. What a blessing this will be as a grown woman. I know she will do great things. However it doesn't sit well with listening to mommy and doing what I tell her as a six year old. We are working on that.

She plans meals, she is working on a easy, large scale crosstitch project. She writes postcards to friends. She was working on a quilt but we put it away for awhile. She will begin piano lessons after Christmas. She sorts laundry. She watches education TV (netflix has a lot if you know how to look). And she plays a lot. I can not keep her in the house even when it is freezing outside. Lastly, she sits in and listens to most of her older brother's ECC work (geography lesson and all the stories), sometimes she does his science with him if she is interested. She can do any of his art projects she wants to but doesn't have to do them. She usually does them.

At the end of the day a lot of learning has taken place. Some how this child seems to teach herself.

I hope this helps. I know it is hard not to keep giving our kids harder stuff to learn when they seem ready but easily doing one thing and ready for the next thing are not necessarily the same.

Good luck.

mom to ds 9 and dd 6
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Unread post by mgardenh »

I have a very bright child. She could do everything in MFW 1st when she was five but we did not skip a grade or the lessons even if it was boring.

Here's why. My feeling is you don't want to skip something that they may not know (like a particular phonics rule or something else). My dd was reading at 4th grade level when she was in first (could read it but we didn't let her). She may know everything but one little thing and I did not want my dd to miss it. For dd it was fun all the activities and especially the science part. So we got lots of library books for her.

Also this is a life lesson. Some things in life are easy some things in life are hard. SO rather then making it hard I wanted my dd to experience things that were easy and some harder things. DD is going to have to go through life doing lots of easy things but things we must and have to do. DD will also do lots of harder things the she must and have to do. So I tried to use this to teach her that.

I could say more but I've said enough.

Posted Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:54 pm by mgardenh
One thing to consider is her writing ability. Much more writing in first then in K. That being said I am in the camp of not moving a child ahead. Most people know my feeling on this but I haven't said it in a while. While some things in K will be easy other things will be hard. It is a good lesson for kids to learn.

Just because a child has the skill for something doesn't mean they are emotionally or spiritually ready for things. With your concern it doesn't sound like she is ready for the Bible part yet and that is ok. Have fun with K and enjoy your year. I don't think you will regret.

Your the teacher and you know best. Pray and see what is best for your child. This is just my opinion.
DH to Laurel
SAHD (mostly) to
Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
Have used MFW, k, 1st, Adventures, and ECC, CTG, RtR
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Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:16 pm

Unread post by wisdomschool »

Hi again,

I just wanted to agree with Mike on the not "missing" something.

Another reason I haven't let my daughter move forward or "skip" is because of not wanting her to miss any foundational thing! Though everything so far seems to come so easily and naturally for her(reading, writing,spelling,math, music, art, foreign language.......) I esp. don't want her to "miss" an important concept in reading, and then need to go back and start over etc.....a solid foundation is necessary to hold up any good thing!

Momma & Teacher to my super seven:

Elijah-3 y.o.
Micah-2 y.o.
Eden-3 mo.
Posts: 20
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Location: Missouri

Unread post by mamanamadee »

racegirl wrote:Although she'll be kindergarten, I think MFW first grade might be more appropriate for her since she's already reading three letter words.
My "advanced" K dd started this school year already reading cvc words and short words with consonant blends and digraphs. As far as reading level, I am certain that she could have handled 1st, but, praise God, I listened to the MFW recommendations and those on this board who said to start with K. She really loves her K lessons, and has learned soooo much through MFW K. AND she would not have been able to do the writing in 1st, even though she could do the reading.

MFW K is such a rich and precious year. And it has been very low-stress, which makes it more enjoyable for all of us. I think that there is plenty included in K even for "advanced" K-age kiddos. Based on our experience, my vote is for MFW K, along with anything she is interested in and able to do with the older kids' program. My K dd has done a lot of the art and music (and even some of the geography and science) lessons with older dd in ECC. It really hasn't been so hard to combine K with ECC. There is a lot of good advice on this board about doing just that.

2010-2011 preparing for MFW CTG in the fall
2009-2010 MFW 1st and pre-K/toddler toys
2008-2009 MFW ECC, K, and pre-K/toddler toys
dd12, dd7, ds3
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Re: Placement Questions For 1st Grade

Unread post by RBS in OH »

C.T. wrote:I am considering ordering the First Grade package for my 5 year old daughter. Every aspect of the program looks very appropriate given her abilities and interests. The only part that I am somewhat concerned about is the bible portion. I wonder if it is just too much above her comprehension level.

I had considered using MFW K, but she is beyond the phonics portion as well as the math. The science and bible focus would work well however. It is looking like my daughter is placing in parts of both the K and 1st grade programs! Suggestions?
Hi there!

My "gut" feeling is to encourage you to place your dd in K. It probably wouldn't hurt her to go with 1st, but consider the pros of holding off a year. This is based on my personal experience and let me explain why.

Our top goal as Christian parents is to train up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Since you think that your dd may have trouble grasping the biblical concepts in 1st, then back up a year. These truths are so foundational to our children's education and in shepherding their hearts. We are learning so much from the Bible portion of ADV--and sometimes I wish that I would have started with 1st this year to have benefited from the spiritual training there too. MFW does an excellent job of aiding us parents in teaching these things in a fun, memorable and clear way.

Academic success is wonderful and we should strive to encourage our children to do this as best they can for the glory of God. But that doesn't mean that we have to put too much on their plates or push them beyond their individual abilities. This may not apply to you at all, but I'm just sharing what I've been learning. I have boy/girl twins who are doing well in ADV, but my son needs more "hand-holding" sometimes and can tire out much more easily and is a bit slower at almost everything. Overall, he is doing well, but I think a year of maturity could benefit him.

We want our dc to get the most possible out of each year--spiritually and academically. Looking back, what would it have hurt for me to do 1st this year and have a more gentle beginning to their "formal" education? Yes, even for my dd.

That said, if you go with K you can still continue to teach her more phonics (and I hope this doesn't sound confusing). I don't regret teaching my kids to read early. It gives them such a boost! Then repeating some phonics later in 1st will only reinforce and bolster her reading skills and confidence.

Remember, these thoughts are influenced by my personal experience. And I'm constantly being reminded of how important our relationship with the Lord is--a desire that I want to be transferred into my dc hearts.

God's blessings to you as you seek his guidance in this.

ds(14) 8) and dd(14) ;)
We've enjoyed ADV, ECC (2 times), CTG, RTR, EX-1850, 1850-MOD--and now AHL this year!
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MFW Kindergarten Reading ?

Unread post by OtterMommy »

shaffer96 wrote:I am really interested in using MFW for my daughter for Kindergarten next year, but my dd is already reading and we have already started a phonics program that we love. Does this mean that MFW K would not be a good fit for her?
We just finished MFW K with my son who was reading (not fluently, but well enough). He, honestly, got bored with the worksheets and would often do a whole week in a day. BUT, he loved school. We didn't do all the activities, but he loved the ones we did! The character, science, etc. made him more interested in the letters, etc. The other threads here will give you more ideas, too. He still gets out his flashcards and sings the song. We also still use our butterfly house all the time. He did love the "blend ladder" where you use the foam puzzle to make words with the vowels. He would do that for fun. I think going through the program gave him more confidence in reading and helped him understand word formation better. He also got quite good at spelling since we modified some of the activities to be "spelling tests".
Wife to the best
Mom to ds (6), dd (5), dd (3), and ds (4 months)
MFW K and 1st
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Choosing Advice Please - K or 1st Grade?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

sibbis wrote:I am so glad to have found MFW! I am so excited to get started with my dd (8) and ds (5 1/2). I am going to do ADV for my daughter and am trying to decide between K and 1st for my son. I have a friend who has used MFW and she expressed concern that my son is too advanced for K since he knows almost all phonetic sounds, is blending those sounds and is starting to read. I have read rave reviews of the K program and think review is always a good thing during these foundation building years but I want to hold his interest as well. He definitely needs time to develop his fine motor skills more so I am concerned that the amount of writing in the 1st grade materials might stress us.

Any advice and direction is greatly appreciated!
DD almost 8
DS 5 1/2
Hi Sarah, welcome!
I haven't taught homeschool K/1 but I'm a huge "better late than early fan" and started my kids in public school when they were 6 or almost 6. They are adults & teen now, & I can say that I'm still happy with that decision.

Here are some good threads from folks who've been in your shoes and chosen to do K. You can read thru them while you're waiting for folks to be home this weekend: (above)

Okay, maybe that was overkill :~ There are families who choose 1st, too ;)

HTH, Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Re: Choosing Advice Please - K or 1st Grade?

Unread post by cbollin »

Hi Sara,
Welcome to the board!

I've used MFW K twice with my children who were ahead of the curve in reading when they began the program. I started the K program with my middle daughter right after she turned 5 (she is 11 now), and she surprised me by opening to the back of the student worksheets and read all of the short stories. I didn't know she could read. She was in speech and language therapy still learning how to talk effectively. needless to say, we were blessed that this part of schooling (learning to read) was done for us. I loved using MFW K with her when she was 5 and 5 1/2. It gave us time to work on fine motor skills, and having a time to enjoy being five. We enjoyed it. She remained ahead of the curve in reading in first grade.

My youngest daughter has autism. We delayed starting MFW K with her until she was 6.5 years old. Alas, she was still reading when we started the program.

I decided about then to write down a bunch of simple things I did with my daughters to use MFW K with an early reading student who isn't a first grader yet for all of the writing and longer school day. I can link to that post and there are several other great moms/dads on here who have added in other little things in that area ... 179#p47744

If your son is only 5 and is not a student who is already writing, you can use MFW K. He is not too advanced for all parts of it. Maybe some of the ideas in the above link will help to kick it up a notch on those "reading" activities so you have a balance to the school day with using ADV and K with your children.


Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:33 pm
Location: South Carolina

Re: Choosing Advice Please - K or 1st Grade?

Unread post by baileymom »

I have a DS who is 5 years 7 months and is almost in exactly the same spot academically as your son, and we are just starting Kindergarten. I also waited unti my older son was 6 before starting K. It is slow moving at first, but it really picks up after a few weeks. And, like you've heard, there is quite a bit of writing in 1st, which will only frustrate your son, if he is not ready. The science/craft activities and literature selections in K will keep his interest. Don't skip it, I promise you will not regret it.

P.S. There are quite a few of us MFW families doing K and ADV this year.
Kathi - graduated 1, homeschooling 6, preschooling 2, growing 1
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: Choosing Advice Please - K or 1st Grade?

Unread post by jasntas »

Last fall when my dd was 5 1/2, she started the MFW K program and my then 8 yo ds started ADV. We all loved both programs. :-)

My dd already knew all her letters, sounds and was reading cvc words. She had already completed Explode the Code book 1 and Singapore Earlybird Math 2A and most of 2B. I have to say that I do not regret starting her with MFW K even though she completed it pretty easily. She would have totally been stressed out with MFW 1st, mainly due to all the writing. I think it would have moved along too quickly for her as well. We just began 1st this summer and she is really enjoying it and is now ready for it.

I originally wanted to start her with 1st as well but the advice I got from the MFW office and this message board advised against it and I am glad I took their advice. I think the extra time to learn to have a daily routine and gently introduce the child to school is not a bad thing. K is written for a child that is at the K maturity level and 1st is written at that maturity level.

K is a great program that teaches some wonderful Bible principles as well as phonics and math. The math is such a super gentle intro that you and your child don't even realize they are learning. Yet I personally was amazed at what my dd learned. And these were concepts, etc. that she didn't learn with Singapore Earlybird. (My ds does use Singapore for the higher grades and I really like it, btw.)

If you think it's too easy for your ds, you can always double up. The TM gives advice on that also if the child is ready for it. I doubled up in the beginning but I'm glad I slowed down and just added a bit here and there.

Crystal and I give advice as to how you could beef up K if you so desired. You can read about our ideas here:
Find the posts by cbollin and jasntas. This may not make a lot of sense if you don't have the TM but maybe it will help.

Just one opinion. HTH :)

(Wow! I must be slow. In the time it took me to write this, you have had lots of other replies. ;) )
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:09 am

Re: Choosing Advice Please - K or 1st Grade?

Unread post by sibbis »

Thank you all so much for your replies. I knew I would get great help on this board! I am going to go with K because my intention with homeschooling is to move gently with both my kids so they continue to develop joy of learning. It's hard sometimes because there is so much pressure to always be moving faster and working ahead of age and "grade." I find this sentiment among many homeschool parents as well. I will have to keep reminding myself of my purpose for choosing this path!

Looking forward to sharing Adventures and K with many of you on the boards!
DD (almost) 8
DS 5 1/2
Looking forward to our first year with MFW - ADV & K!

"Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother."
-Lin Yutang
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