Choosing K - For a child who is already reading, ideas & encouragement

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
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Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:00 pm

Unread post by NHMom »

Michelle in WA wrote:I'm Michelle wife to an awesome dh and mom to 3 amazing children. A is 5, TJ is 3(he'll be 4 in a month!) and C is 18 months.

DD is reading at about a 2nd grade level. So it will be mostly the "fun" stuff in the activity guide. I'm planning to start the 10 day creation unit on Monday.

Thoughts? Encouragement? Ideas, like do I need to do anything with dd that's reading/phonics related? Hmmmm. . .

[Editor's note: See "the end of this story" below, from 2008.]
I am doing K with my 5 year old right now. She's reading some, so we do the phonics part just for review. She absolutely LOVES the activity section. That alone makes the programs worth while.

My 7 & 8 year olds also like to listen in and do some of the activities. Even if you skip all the phonics, it will still be so enriching in so many ways.

I almost didn't do a specific K program for my dd since she always sits in on the bigger one's school time, but she's gotten so much out of MFW. I'm very glad we are doing it. It's very gentle, but effective. It's totally doable in that not much prep is required. Just sit down and teach :) The character focus is wonderful. I would recommend it to anyone to do.

I hope that rambling helps some. We are just loving everything about K (and Adventures, too !)


Mom to DS 9, DD 8 (using Adventures)
DD 5 (used MFWK, now using MFW 1st)

Unread post by cbollin »


My 2nd child was also an earlier reader at the start of K. But she still had fun doing the phonics workbook things for her handwriting and phonics review. I would call it spelling, but at 5 y.o, it didn't sound right. So, I'd suggest you use the fun little worksheets for handwriting, and fine motor skills.

Also, let her enjoy books both at and below her reading level. It helps to keep things fun.

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Unread post by Ariasarias »

Last year my 5dd was reading like yours is now. I did not do the phonics portion either. I just let her enjoy her kindergarten year.

I did have her read to me everyday and of course I read to her also. That is what helped her with her reading.

I have thought about what Crystal said she did with her 2nd child -- using the worksheets more as spelling and handwriting. That is what I am doing this year with 1st and it is working out very well.

I also wanted to add that my 2dd (turned 3 in March) listened in and really learned a lot. Today she came up to me and said "Mommy, the butterflies are eating the nectar from our flowers." (We live in south Texas. Tons of
butterflies are flying through right now.)

I pray you really enjoy learning about God's creation with your dc!! :)

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:54 pm

K is SOOO much more than phonics.
The science and character issues are perfect for a kindergardener!!!! (and the rest of the family :))

We went through it two years ago with my 5 yo dd and a 2.5 yo dd tagging along. We still talk about all that we learned about God and the world he made. It is such a great way to light a fire for learning in a very developmentally appropriate way. My 2nd dd is so excited to get to go through it next year as a kindergardener.
Nicole, wife to Claudio since 1996, and mom to dd (2000), dd (2003), dd (2005), and ds (2009).
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Unread post by LSH in MS »

In addition to the fiction book suggestions in the TM you can do a general search at your library on the K topics and probably find some simple nonfiction as well. My dc enjoyed looking at the pictures and reading some of them. It's a great discussion starter. You could also work on memorizing some of the verses rather than just discussing them. I love the K program. I didn't know about it when my oldest was 5 so I never had K as my only program. I always have had to do an older program alongside it which meant I couldn't do many of the K activities. SO enjoy the activities while you have the chance.

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
MFW user for 10 years
Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Early reader

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I just thought I'd mention that it does not hurt to do some of the reading lessons even with an early reader. My ds learned to read on his own also, and so the public school teachers (and me) just skipped early reading instruction. Later, I had to go back & reteach some of those things.

Make sure she has the alphabet down in order, for later alphabetizing. Make sure she understands what a vowel is, because those are the big 5 when it comes to later spelling skills. Teach her some of the phonics rules in case she is simply memorizing that h-a-t sounds like "hat" and h-a-t-e sounds like "hate," but not seeing the connection between the two -- because eventually she will need more skills on board when approaching new words, besides memorization. You may find she knows these things, or you may find as I did that these are valuable lessons.

And as Crystal and the others have said, enjoy reading at her maturity level not just her skill level. Have fun!

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
Michelle in WA
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Re: Early reader

Unread post by Michelle in WA »

Thank you for your encouragement. I have actually thought about using the handwriting pages and I think it would be a great idea. Thank you for confirming my thoughts. DD loves to write, so I'm sure it will be fun to have her do some directed practice.

We often take turns reading books. I'll start a page & she'll finish it. Sometimes she wants to continue & other times she doesn't, that's fine by me. Sometimes she wants to do all the reading & I feel left out that I'm not reading TO her very often. They grow up so fast!

Julie, Thanks for this reminder. We used another reading program with her, and after 25 lessons she had it figured out. She is very visual, knows her ABC song (we use it for handwashing), I think she knows her vowels. (might work on that).

Well, I'm off to start day one of creation. Thanks ladies!
In Light of Eternity
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Ideas: K with a child who is reading

Unread post by In Light of Eternity »

mrs_mike98 wrote:My DS#2 will be 5 in August. I still think K would be great for him, even if he's reading and doing basic addition and subtraction... He's a young and wiggly boy, and definitely not ready for the writing required in 1st.

I've seen other posts mention doing K with a child who was already reading, so I thought I'd ask what sort of modifications (if any) you did to the program? Anyone else in this situation? :-)
Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 4:09 pm

I have an early reader and love doing MFW K. We don't do the phonics, although we've just reached the word lists and I may do some informal oral spelling practice with them. We do use the worksheets for cutting and handwriting practice--nothing advanced about those areas. :)

I'm adding a very little bit of Charlotte-Mason style extras like picture study, drawing lessons (Draw Write Now), singing time at the piano, and the MFW K deluxe classical music CD. We do a little K-level critical thinking stuff. We check out all of the book suggestions in the TM (and on the message board) that our library carries, and we do read alouds from other books (just finished Little Farm in the Ozarks). We do some memory work from poems or related Bible verses and play around with Decimal Street from MUS Alpha.

The preceding paragraph sounds like a lot, but we don't do all of that every day. Lessons are never longer than 60 minutes a day. Mostly we work on building routines and learning to be nice to our siblings. I also give him lots of unstructured play time.

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:18 pm

When I did K with my 2nd dd who was reading, I pretty much did the program as written except when it came to phonics. Then we used the phonics worksheets for cut and paste (increase hand strength) and/or more handwriting practice. Sometimes (not always) I would let her write the words on those cut and paste sheets. It didn’t bother me that K took less time because phonics was just one part of the program. It was Kindy – it shouldn’t take all day.

She still was ahead of the curve in reading skills even though we didn’t push her into a 1st grade phonics program at that age. Praise God! This is my child who has mild special needs and was delayed in talking. We often said “she’ll learn to talk from being able to read.” She had other “school lessons” that were specific to her special needs (i.e. outside language therapy). And because of her special needs, I incorporated a lot of the speech and language goals into the science/character activities. The lessons were already in MFW -- my eyes were open to it because of the therapies she was in. Things like sequencing, predictions, and other language arts components beyond phonics -- they were in there. In fact, that part of the K program was hard for her. But God was so faithful – He used those lessons to meet her needs in that area. The progress she made that year in language development was incredible. And to have the blessing of it being related to growing in Christ -- well… anyway… I’m tearing up too much to be coherent.

She loves books so we expanded “literature day –- day 6 of the unit” -- to be everyday. We would get as many of the selections as possible -- even though you only have to use 1 book in each unit. She read more short vowel readers -- specifically the ones from a different program that her sister had used.

These days on the boards and other cyber space places I tend to remind people about the Music CD and Alphabet Cuisenaire Rod book and to remember to do those on “light and independent day in K” (i.e. literature day). The music CD was around when I did the K, but not the alphabet book. Shhh... we use it now because it's fun.

I guess I’m saying –- just remember that phonics is only but one subject for a K aged child. If they have that part down, great, you don’t have to spend much time on it. Then you can go longer with the fun science and Bible and math and music and other stuff. Remember that family education at home isn’t limited by our school time.

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Unread post by niki »

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:08 pm

I love the idea to have literature day every day. As I was going through my TM, I didn't even want to miss the "alternative" books. So, even though my K'er will be doing book basket with the olders (she always has been), I really want to give her some attention that she'd love with adding the x-tra literature!

And if it's too much for her on a given day...oh well, we can make it a bedtime book or something! I can hardly wait for school to start -- what's wrong with me, I could hardly wait to be done 2 weeks ago!!! :)
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Unread post by RachelT »

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:28 pm

I did not have an early reader this year when we did MFWK, however, I completely agree with Crystal,
She loves books so we expanded “literature day –- day 6 of the unit” -- to be everyday. We would get as many of the selections as possible -- even though you only have to use 1 book in each unit.
We bookworms did this naturally, too. We are blessed with a wonderful library nearby (and my mom and stepdad work there!) so we are frequent patrons. Anyway, we all learned so much just by reading about our K science topic each day. We would just get a stack of books each week and read most or all of them during the unit. We used non-fiction and fiction books and there are suggestions listed on the K board for additional books for each topic.

We used lots of pictures books and although I read them aloud, you could have your dd do more of the reading and it would still be fun.

Our library has an online catalog, which was helpful because many weeks I tried to look up the science topic for upcoming units a week or two in advance and I could place holds online for the books that I wanted to look at or use. If I did this a couple of days before I knew I was going to the library (for storytime), then by the time I got there I had a whole stack of holds to pick up and I didn't have to go looking through all of the children's picture books for each title!


Posted: Mon May 19, 2008 1:53 pm

Hello! I would agree with others that doing MFWK would probably simplify your plan for you K'er! I have taught MFWK the last two years and it is such a great curriculum! You would also be able to use MFWK with your 3 yr old when it is time, so it won't go to "waste" either. In fact, the first year that I taught MFWK to my oldest, he was 5.5 and my dd was 3.5 when we began in August. My younger dd learned all of her letter names and sounds that year from just being around and participating as she wanted.

The science/Bible topics are interesting and fun and especially since you are teaching two older children from another curriculum, you can focus on the hands on math, phonics (yellow pages), and the Bible/character lessons and just do the hands-on crafts and science projects as time allows - you don't have to do every project. But there are a lot of fun ideas there!

Have a great day!
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Unread post by hollybygolly »

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:03 am

I started Kinder. this year with my 5 year old twins, one who was already reading quite well, and the other who could read short BOB books independently.

They love it and have not been bored once. I usually just go quickly through the phonics part and use it as review, and then do an extra read aloud. The Bible truths in kinder. and the science part are definitely things you don't want your son to miss. Perhaps you could use the phonics time as review too? By the way, even though my kids know their sounds and all, they LOVE singing the short vowel song and the A-B-C song and they love the blend ladder. Hope that helps...
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Unread post by LSH in MS »

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:58 am

If he already knows it, skip the phonics lessons, just do the worksheets for review to make sure he's got it. Spend more time on read alouds, and the K activities. Get some read alouds and book basket books on his interests or just read a lot of books to him on the K topics.
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Unread post by Mommyto2 »

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:16 am

I agree with LSH. Don't double up, just get more read alouds from the library. Do what he wants with phonics and skip what he doesn't. Spend more time on what he does like.

Get more science books on the topic. Make more crafts. Play with more bugs... (that's what my kids love).

Enrich the rest of the program to fit your needs. K in not just about readiing. In fact, we usually fly through phonics and spend most of the hour on other stuff.

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:23 am

We did the same kind of thing that Lori is saying. My 2nd dd was already reading when she did MFW K. We spent a few minutes on the phonics worksheets by beefing it up to make it more writing and "pre spelling" and less "learning to read" for her. We usually would read a book or two a each day of the unit with her. We were able to spend more time in the fun parts of K.

My daughter continued to learn how to read no matter what I did. It didn't hold her back.

If your child is using MFW K phonics when they are older than K age, I think the recommendation is a little different. I think then you end up doing 2 or 3 letters per school week. But I don't think that is the situation you are in. You'd lose too much in the science and fun stuff if you did that with a K age child.

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Phonics needed for Advanced 5 year old?

Unread post by kellybell »

Michelle in CA wrote:My son will be 5 in August and will be starting K in the fall, and my daughter will start 2nd grade. My son absorbed a lot over the last two years as his sister completed MFWK and MFW1. He knows the alphabet and the sounds they make. He can identify almost all letters. He can read books that are written with short vowel sounds (Bob Books). I feel he is slightly advanced for MFWK, but not ready for 1st grade. Should I use a different phonics program for him? Any advice?
Posted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 10:50 pm

My son started MFWK right before he turned five and is now finishing MFW1. Like your son, he could read Bob books before starting kindergarten. Something "sparked" and about two months into kindergarten, he was reading easy chapter books (such as Magic School Bus chapter books). I let up on the kindergarten phonics. However, I noticed that he was doing a fair share of guessing on his words and we've done the phonics in the MFW program and that's helped him rely on phonics instead of just context and picture clues. Meanwhile, he continues to read above grade level. I am really glad we didn't skip the phonics.

Your son will enjoy the phonics activities in MFWK and it will be a nice, unpressured time to work together to review. The MFW phonics plus a nice supply of books so that he can read, look at pictures, be read to, etc. would give him a great reading program.
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Unread post by Winkie »

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:28 pm

My oldest learned to read at 4.5yo. We started MFWK just after his 5th birthday. Basically, I started with the whole program, then dropped stuff off according to his ability/disinterest.

We still did the daily worksheet (he likes worksheets) but skipped/zoomed through the other phonics activities. He didn't like me to sing the songs, so I dropped that after a few weeks.

I got enough library books for each topic to read a new one each day but that was the only "supplementing" I did. We loved our K year!
Michelle in WA
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Unread post by Michelle in WA »

Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:36 am

My dd was also reading well when we did K. I just skipped all the phonics stuff. She loves to write so finding things for her to practice handwriting was not hard. We didn't do much comprehension practice. I just let her read when she wanted to. I also encouraged her to read to her sibs. They love it!

The weekly topics were enough to keep us focused and the Bible truths were great!

She's doing 1st now. We use the phonics portion to practice reading and show me if she needs to learn a different "rule".

Reading is not the only part of being in K. Having fun learning is a big part of the foundation for lifelong education.
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Unread post by TammyB »

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:14 am

I absolutely adore the character lessons in K. We are wrapping up lesson 8, and I am already seeing fruit in my daughter. Recently I overheard her say, "I won't quit. I'll be like the turtle and persevere!" Gotta love that.

We are also thoroughly enjoying the science. My daughter LOVED the games we played week before last about the five senses. My almost eight year old even asked to join in on some of them.

My daughter's reading and math skills are advanced, but I am still finding K to be a perfect fit for her. All of her skills are improving, particularly her handwriting.

Another thing that I have enjoyed about K is that it has taken the pressure off of me to "push" my five year daughter whom I strongly suspect is gifted.

Once you get the hang of the manual I think you will definitely enjoy using the program.
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Unread post by Fenni »

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:20 am

I wanted to comment about what I heard from David Hazell recently. You asked why do K with a child who reads at a 2nd grade level? The answer "because they are only 5 once!" They should get to enjoy being 5 and K is so appropriate for a 5 yr. old. David will tell you that he pushed his oldest until the child was burned out and still doesn't have the love for learning that his other children have. He will tell you that most homeschool parents are in a rush with their oldest child and he will tell you to relax. I would call him about placement of your young child.

I would also just enjoy reading books, exploring outside, playing games, and other activities together. There are many activity type books to be used with a 3 yr. old if you think you need one. Check homeschool catalogs and get some titles to preview at the library. Take her alongside you in your daily activities. enjoy this precious time of being 3. btw, the MFW preK package comes with a neat little activity guide for lots of refreshing ways to use the Lauri materials. also, Kumon makes some great little books that are age-appropriate for a 3 yo to work on fine motor skills.

Early readers are generally self-taught and don't need phonics lessons. gently stated...why rush?
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Unread post by JohnsWife »

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:15 am

My 5 yo started K this year and she already knew most of the kindy skills. She is blossoming with her reading but has enjoyed Kindy so much. She is already working on 1st grade skills, actually math and LA are probably what the ps here end at with 1st grade. But I am happy to do 1st grade with her next year because I personally feel her maturity level doesn't doesn't match her school skills. She needs the character building for a 5 year old, not an 8 year old.

Anyway, I wish you the best with whatever you decide for your dd. You are her mother and can best judge what she needs.

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:03 pm
susieinms wrote:No, Hannah has no one else to play with. We live very rural, and there is no way that I can pay for preschool. She is so different from her siblings. They were all very content even when alone. Hannah has always been a high demand child, even from infancy.
Ahhh, yes my dear niece has always been like that as well. She is an only child and has had several great aunts, mom's friends ect around her. She was very precocious. She does have some friends her own age but she was a very early talker, very clear speech and a vocabulary that I still do not possess. My sister had quite a time keeping her busy.

I live out on a farm in a rural area so I know how hard that can be. Do you have a MOPS group near you? It is usually 1-2 times a month and they always have scholarships available. It is getting warmer and that always seems to help my girls enjoy their time.
Cyndi (AZ)
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Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:53 pm

Usually a child like this will hyper-focus if they find their passion. My dd has a passion for cooking, and will play with her dishes and pretend cook for hours. She has done that since before 3yo. She still does it, plus she enjoys the Food Network, playing with dishes in the bath, reading cookbooks and helping in the kitchen. She loves to help bake something and wrap it up to give away.

Is there a particular area of interest where you could steer your dd to take up some of her time and give you back some of yours?
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Unread post by Lucy »

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:52 pm

Just wanted you to see some archives that may also help you see why those who have kids that are reading when they hit K age still choose to use the K program. Within my this topic you will see one post that has many other links as well. Hope some of this will help you as well.

I think I would wait a year to do MFW K if you could because although you do a lot of activities with her now, it is probably mostly considered playing games and read aloud from mom to her.

She may do fine with it but then you have to decide will she be ready for MfW 1 so early. I just think delaying one year would allow you to move on to the next level and not try to figure out what to do next between K and MFW1 as it is a step up in the amount of phonics and writing that is covered.

You can easily use MFW K over a 2 year period, making her a young first grader but more the correct age. The reason I think this is important is that once you begin formal phonics instruction (which is what is in MFW-K, it just only covers short vowel words) you will want to continue it.

These are just some things to think about.

Someone mentioned David and Marie Hazell's children (owners of MFW). Their youngest was reading well when she turned 5 and they had not taught her how! From their own experience they would encourage age appropriate science and biblical concepts and a short structured school day even for a very bright child. This is the primary reason to still use MFWK with a reading child. We can not assume that because kids are reading well that they are ready for high level thinking or longer school days.

Hope some thing in here helps you as you try to figure out what will work best for you daughter.

Cyndi (AZ)
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Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:46 pm

I've admitted on this board before that when I first looked at the K program online I thought it would be far too easy for my dd. I was a little hesitant to order a 1st grade program for a 4.5yo, though. I discussed it with David Hazell and his reasoning on teaching age-appropriate material convinced me that not only was MFWK perfect for my dd, but that the philosophy of MFW was exactly what we needed.

We went rather quickly through MFWK, especially after she turned 5yo and started writing much more clearly, but she learned so much and we both treasure that year. The character traits were perfect for her stage of life and she flourished with the light workload. We also added LOTS of books.

We are finishing up MFW1 this spring and have just loved it. And I am hugely indebted to David for assuring me that it would be better to wait a year before starting it. DD would not have gotten nearly as much out of it if we had done it last year (if she had retained any of the true moral lessons at all). We will start ADV this fall. She will be ready. I hope that answers your question a little bit.

Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 11:41 am

I also used MFWK with a child that was already reading, and it was a perfect fit for her. The TM is so good, it's like a guide for a parent on how to teach a five year old about life. That one program, in one hour per day, will teach Bible lessons, character traits, math, logic, science, handwriting, early phonics, motor skills, and probably more that I'm forgetting right now. We loved it. My voracious little reader wasn't the least bit "bored with it."
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Phonics, Phonics, & more Phonics

Unread post by Lucy »

jamesandjennie wrote:My 5yo son just started MFWK. He is SO ready to read. He was actually fussing at me all summer that I should be doing reading lessons with him because he wants to read. We started some months ago with a reading program, but we both got frustrated. He is very bright, but like to do things HIS way. He would want to skip over a page, or, "No, I don't want to learn S, I want to learn M." You get the idea.... so I decided to take a break for a while. School time was becoming a discipline and obedience issue, and I didn't want to sour him about school from the start.

Now we are in the full swing of school, and he is really enjoying it. This is the problem- he already knows all of his letters and most of the letter sounds. It doesn't look like MFW K is going to progress fast enough in reading to satisfy him (or my husband). In my craziness, I bought still another phonics program. I also bought some BOB books. Here is where the problem is- using all this mish-mash of phonics programs means different letters are being used at different times. I don't want to confuse the poor child before he even really gets started.

The bewildered mother of a stubborn (but sweet) 5yo boy
:) Jenn
I would not make him do all of the phonics activities in MFW-K for sounds he already knows for the first 5 lessons and spend more time on the literature activities in those lessons. It is recommended that you only do literature activities with one of the books, but since you will not need to be spending the time with him on the phonics activities for letters he is confident with, you could do more of the literature activities as well as the extra activities during those weeks. You may find that you can spend only a few days on those first few lessons and slow it down once you hit lesson 6 where the blending activities begin.

Learning to read is important but it is only one aspect of the K year and I would hate for him to miss out on all of the other fun activities in K just because he already knows some of the sounds in the first few lessons. The K bible, science and literature will also be great for your 4 year old as well. You may even have your 5 year old help to "teach" the sound to your 4 year old or at least tell him that you are covering the sound for her. Just a thought:).

I will be praying for you and your family as you work through what is best for your family and your son.
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
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Unread post by Mommyto2 »

I just want to chime in to say that if your ds is ready to learn to read, he will do it almost all on his own while you go through the K program. My dd knew all her letters and letter sounds and was starting to sound out 3 letter words at the start of K.

I decided to just go with the program as written. Weeks went by when she was ahead of the phonics and she seemed to teach herself to read ahead of the program. However she still struggled making the same mistakes with certain letter sounds.

By doing the K program as written it allowed her to teach herself to read at her pace. Then when she had a plateau the program sort of caught up to where she was and then she went ahead again.

I was skeptical for a long time about K when you have an almost reader or a reader at the beginning. We just spent a lot of time on science and joining in with her older brother's Adventures. We had a lot of those little paper books available for her to try to work the sounds out on her own during nap time/quiet time in your room.

At the end of the K year she was ahead of the K curriculum in reading but we had a great year, she knows how to read simple books, and we never had one crying day over learning how to read.

In hindsight I wish I would not have been so stressed about it. The program is great and at the end of K your child will be reading. What more could you ask for?

mom to ds 9 (ECC) and dd 6 (1st and the fun ECC stuff)
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