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

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
705emily
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:52 pm

Ker who already knows letters and sounds

Unread post by 705emily » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:10 am

mommyto4 wrote:I would really appreciate your input/advice about what I should use for my Ker in the Fall. I have 4 dc who will be in grades 3, 2, K, and also a 3 year old. I already ordered Adventures for our "core" curriculum. For my Ker, I was planning on adding things which I already have.

Anyways, the more I read about MFW K, the more tempted I am to just order it and give it a try. It looks great. I love that I can get through it all in an hour or so a day since we will also be doing Adventures. I also like the idea of less workbooky type stuff.

My reservations are that I already own other things. I did, however, already use these things with 2 other dc, so it's not like they didn't get any use. Also, I have read on some other sites that some have found MFW K not to be "enough" for a Ker who already knows their letters and some sounds (which is my dd). So, I have a little hesitation that she may be bored, not challenged enough.

Does anyone have any thoughts/advice? Thank you in advance.
Melissa
Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 9:03 am
Hello Melissa

I came to MFW last year after using a different K program with my older child. But I wish I would have known about the K program then. I cannot say how much we have enjoyed the K year! It is fun, gentle, bible-based, hands-on and very child friendly! My little boy is reading simple books now. The projects in the science units are ones that you can draw an older child (or even the whole family) into. While your K'er will have his "own" curriculum--it is very manageable to do alongside another curriculum.

I do not think it will be a waste to purchase the curriculum. You can always use what you currently have to supplement. The Kindergarten TM has a list of recommended books--some of which you may already have. I always smile as I hear him tell other family, "We are on R, R, Rock--or K, K, Kangaroo."--and then go on to tell them about what he has learned.

Just had to post our thoughts of K! Have a blessed day!

Alison
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:42 am

Re: Question on reading for K

Unread post by Alison » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:48 am

AuLait wrote:I just ordered the Kindergarten curriculum this morning and was wondering if it would be better to start from scratch with MFW reading program. He knows all his letters and their sounds, so I don't know if he'd be bored reviewing all that again or not.
My son knows all of his letters & sounds, but he enjoys doing the activities. It's building a lot of confidence for him, and he's practicing writing skills. It's more of a game to him then school. We focus more on the character building, Scripture, fun activities, and science/literature books. Maybe you can approach it that way and he'll be more receptive. We're not bored here at all!

HSmommi2mine
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:59 pm

Stumped with kindergarten...

Unread post by HSmommi2mine » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:32 pm

hollybygolly wrote:I'm really enjoying kindergarten and my daughter is enjoying it too, for the most part. The problem is she has taught herself to read WAY beyond what is taught. She's also very good at math so breezes through that. I've tried beefing it up using the suggestions here...she's got a solid grip on all the phonics taught in kindergarten. Her school time is very short, and then she's bored while I work with the twins. She's also not tremendously thrilled with workbooks/sheets, so filling her time with that is not going to work. She wants more school! I don't want to start 1st grade prior to her being 6 (April) due to the amount of writing which is above her. I'm stuck! Any suggestions? Thanks in advance~Holly
What worked for me at that age was to set up "stations". At times it was just around the dining-room table. I would set up activities that she could do on her own and rotate things so that it wasn't always the same stuff, anything messy was on a cookie sheet or mat of some kind. Workboxes are a similar idea, you just put each assignment or activity into a little box instead of laid out on a table. There are lists and lists of ideas out there but here are a few to get you started.


A mat with a jar of play-dough and some play-dough toys.

Construction paper with scissors and glue

A coloring page and crayons

A puzzle

Beads and thread to make a necklace

A scoop of pudding on a cookie sheet to practice drawing letters and numbers

A folder game

An easy book that she can read

A jump rope (to go outside and jump 25 times)

A snack

small paper bags and crayons to make puppets

math/ counting worksheet


I alternated more active things with quieter things and dd was required to go through the activities in order but she could start at any point on the table.
~Christina

Wife to my favorite guy
Mom to 3 great kids

kellybell
Posts: 478
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Re: Stumped with kindergarten...

Unread post by kellybell » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:10 pm

Praise the Lord she's doing so well!

And take advantage of that free time that having a bright student allows. I have two teens who are busy with school work, orchestra, dance, and Science Olympiad and I miss that free time. I have a son who dawdles and can make a 8 AM - 1 PM school day last until sundown! And an 8 year old who is a good solid 2 years behind in language (reading, writing) and requires lots of "hand holding."

And I am slightly jealous of your situation. :-)

Anyway, make a list of wonderful learning things you can do with your K-student ... and do them! Here are a few:

zoo trip
ride bikes at the park
play in the snow
do the paint-it-yourself ceramics shop project
go to the library
make a puppet
then make the puppet show
learn about a passion (ballerinas, dinosaurs, trees, butterflies)
put on a play
write a song
try out an instrument
go to free gym time and tumble
bake cookies
deliver the cookies to a shut-in
invent something
make a book
make pizza
walk through downtown
help an old person hang her Christmas lights
or bring her a Thanksgiving dinner
read books or listen to books on tape while drawing or doodling
do a scavenger hunt in a park, neighborhood, or your own school
play board games (often bright kids can play games for older kids with no problem)

All these things are "school"
Enjoy your bright child! And your short school day. When she is 16 and busy all day, you'll miss the park trips and such.

Kelly
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

jasntas
Posts: 471
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Need help/advice on where to start (long)

Unread post by jasntas » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:15 pm

saed75 wrote:I like the character education portion of the K program, but since ds is so far advanced in math as well as already knowing his letter sounds I don't know if purchasing it would be a wise use of our money. Besides, I already have HWT for handwriting... we just haven't started it yet. I also bring him along to the art classes I teach, so he gets plenty of that, too.

I will try to call the MFW office next week and ask them, but I'd love to hear more suggestions, too! Thanks again!
Don't forget to consider their maturity level as well. My dd turned 6 in Feb and is probably more than ready for 1st academically and mentally but I don't want to push her too far and then have to back up. Did that with my first of whom we now suspect is dyslexic on top of all the pushing we did early on. (Talk about frustration on both sides. Poor kid.)

Anyway, K is geared right where a K'er would be with maturity and academically. Then 1st and so on. I have supplemented my dd with additional math as well as reading as she is a bit advanced in math as well. Not quite as far as your ds but she can easily add and subtract to 10, count by 2's to about 16, 5's to 100 and 10's to 100 and is learning her math facts. (Her choice). We also started the money counting before we ever reached our 100th day of school. (You start the year counting popsicle sticks or beans or whatever for each day, write the # on you 100's chart until you reach 100. Then start with a penny a day, trade it in for a nickel, then dime and count each day.) We just reached $1.00 on Friday. This task seems simple enough and I thought my dd would easily tire of this activity but she has enjoyed it.

You could easily add in a math program or just buy inexpensive math books at places like WalMart, Target, Dollar stores, etc. My dd enjoyed Singapore K 2A & 2B (Early Bird). It was more than just addition/subtraction. It introduced money, days of the week, months, measuring, weighing, etc. in a hands on way but it does take a little extra time because it's not just worksheets. It suggests a lot of hands on stuff but very easy to implement. And the worksheet portion does not overdo it.

I understand your concerns but one of the things I like about MFW is that it seems very easy to tweak to fit your situation. Again, this is just my opinion. I’m obviously a bit biased toward K. You do what works best for your situation. Just enjoying the conversation. :)
saed75 wrote:jasntas - I enjoyed reading your reply and all the things you've been doing with your dd, too. I picked up Earlybird 1A as well. He had already started asking me math questions and putting our pattern blocks together and naming the new shapes (like hexagon) so I thought his own "school" book might be fun. Even though he was only barely 3, he already knew every concept it tried to present. That was when I discovered he already recognized his numbers through 15 and knew what 1 more and 1 less meant. After that, I stopped trying to find workbook style stuff and just answered his math questions as he asked them. I hope you don't take all this as bragging... I only mention these things because I don't know what kind of workbook/curriculum/whatever I could get that would keep him engaged. He really absorbs and then utilizes math at a dizzying pace!
Posted by jasntas » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:10 pm

Ye, I felt K might be a better fit with a math supplement for your ds because his reading skills seem to be about where my dd was last fall when she officially started K. I was tempted to go with 1st but I'm so glad I didn't. She has so enjoyed K and it had the right amount of writing for her. I can't remember if I stated this earlier but I understand 1st has a lot more writing than K. So that's where I was coming from on that. But with some modifications he may do just fine with 1st. Every child is different so what worked for us may not be what works for you.
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

momtogc
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:25 pm
Location: AR

Re: Need help/advice on where to start (long)

Unread post by momtogc » Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:23 pm

Hi,

We used MFW-1 and it was very good. The Bible study with timeline and the memory verses were wonderful along with some very special and memorable hands on activities that both of your children can probably enjoy. Have you looked at the online sample lessons for both Kindergarten and First Grade on the MFW website? These might give you a better idea of what to expect in each.

The MFW catalog says that the first grade program "may be used by any student who is ready for first grade reading". If your son already reads well at a K level then he will probaby be okay with MFW-1 but like others have said, I would call MFW and discuss it with them first.

You might consider using the placement tests on the Singapore Math website to determine if your ds is ready for that program yet. If not, then the Complete Book of Math recommended for MFW-1 might be a good fit.

I hope this helps in some way and I wish you the best as you make a decision! :)
Mom to Gabi, a fun-loving and happy girl!
MFW 1st, Adventures, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp-1850

erin.kate
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:38 am

choosing between kindergarten and 1st

Unread post by erin.kate » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:23 pm

KrisC wrote:We are starting MFW half way through the year, I just got our packages. I'm looking at the kindergarten and wondering if I made a mistake.

My daughter will be 6 in June. She knows all her letters, the sounds they make, and can read most words with soft vowel sounds. She's got a good grip on numbers up to 30. She's also writing quite a bit. She likes to write words and make up how they're spelled. She writes signs and hangs them up. She's halfway through the Kindergarten ZB workbook. So, I don't know. I'm afraid to unwrap the worksheets.

What do you all think?
I think that while the K program can seem light, it is really exceptional in phonics instruction and in instilling a framework for a love of learning. As a former Kinder public school teacher, I think that it goes above and beyond teaching children to really learn to READ at this level--it is more than simply the 26 letters and the sounds they make--the blending is taught effectively and systematically, which is often not a skill that is taught until first grade.

I am teaching MFWK again (taught it last year to my oldest, Mae) beginning in July to my daughter, Viola, who turns 5 tomorrow, sigh, and also to my soon-to-be adopted son, Shaw, who turns 6 on paper July 27. I am starting them both in MFWK because I think it has tremendous merit. Viola knows all of her letters, sounds, short and long vowels, and she reads short 3-letter words and she has a desire to read more. That said, she also could use some time with handwriting and the activities are really fun and full of teachable moments (dinosaurs, ant hill, butterfly garden, vegetables ... all so neat). I still want her to be little and revel in "school" a bit before moving onto MFW1 (which I am teaching right now to my oldest). Being on day 84 in MFW1 I can say that it would be far too much for Viola ... the phonics moves fast and is done well. The copywork would be too advanced for her right now (she could probably do it, but she could do it much more deliberately and skillfully in a year) and I would hate to tweak that aspect since having a stack of beautifully written Proverbs is so special (very cool for the child to see their progress from the first week until the end). Also, the Bible notebook might be a little more difficult since they go on to summarizing and narrating the story in a short sentence ... synthesizing that much information is a skill that comes with time as their little brains mature ... and then being able to draw and illustrate the idea they formed. It's lovely to watch the learning unfold.

Mae is 7 now ... she turned 7 on Thanksgiving (so we started MFW1 when she was 6, almost 7) ... and she is thriving with MFW1, with some effort at times, but she had MFWK as a strong foundation to spring from ... not to say that where your daughter is at is not at the same level as being finished with MFWK, but just something to think about, since it is more than just the letters and letter sounds and such.

You could also supplement each week with more good books and hands-on activities. For instance, when we did the moon, we did an amazing project where we made a homemade puffy paint moon (messy and huge and SO fun) and got lots of cool books from the library on the moon. I added literature from Five In A Row on occasion ... so for "A apple" we read How To Make An Apple Pie and See The World. We learned about Johnny Appleseed, we made an apple pie, we learned whole/half/quarter, we talked about where apples are grown and we visited an apple orchard and went picking in the fall (then used the apples to make applesauce and said pie), we investigated the parts of an apple with coloring pages and by cutting up apples and having apples for snacks, etc. We extended the learning a lot to spice it up here and there and eventually started to add more handwriting and Miquon Math (again, super hands-on with cuisinaire rods) as she became more capable and ready for more. Anyway, MFWK is so wonderful. I have loved it immensely and there are countless ways to enrich it while not losing the purpose of MFWK.

Another option is to speed up MFWK as long as she is excelling as you are learning and start MFW1 when she shows the most readiness ... on her terms, so-to-speak. I know that I get stuck in this mindset that we have to start and stop the years with a "school year" in mind, but that's not the case, really, and other moms on this board do a fantastic job of living the learning. I am still refining that skill.

I also love, as with all of the MFW years, how seamlessly and brilliantly Jesus (not just Christianity and God, but JESUS) is woven into the curriculum. The way it is presented in K is just right for that 5/6 year-old range and it creates this bridge into MFW1 where Bible is more historical and there is timelining and a bit more complexity, though no less lovely.

Just my thoughts and maybe you're thinking, gah, she's crazy! :-)

You know your daughter best of all ... but I hope our experience helps as you pray over your decisions. I know how weighty making the best choices can feel when it comes to educating our own. Ultimately, you can't go wrong with either ... if you started with MFW1 and decided you need to slow down or start with K, then you have that in the wings, too. Blessings!
♥Count it all joy ~
Mae 11, Viola 9, Jude 7, & Jack 6
2015: RTR
2014: CTG
2011: Adventures
2010: MFW First Grade
2009: MFW K♥

tangomoon
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 4:03 pm

Re: choosing between kindergarten and 1st

Unread post by tangomoon » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:35 pm

We have had such fun with the themes and Biblical truths in MFW K. We do tweak the phonics for my DD who is pretty much where your daughter is from the sounds of it. She still enjoys the (adjusted) activities, and is getting very proficient at the short vowel words. I'm introducing a few of the other phonics rules now very, very lightly as we run into them, but our main focus is really getting good at the basic short vowel words. MFW 1st introduces phonics rules quickly! My DD isn't ready yet for the handwriting required in 1st, but by fall it should be better. We're taking each unit as a way to review correct formation of the letters. The 100s chart, calendar and coin cup almost seemed too simple at first, but they've really helped build my daughter's understanding of place value and numbers. Those are continued in 1st grade, too.

One thing that you could consider is going through it more quickly, the way it suggests in the front of the teacher's manual as the suggestion for completing it in one semester for 1st graders. You'd be able to get all the great introduction to the Biblical truths and character through the theme, and then be ready to start 1st in the fall, or whenever you finished.

For us personally, I'm really glad we didn't skip it. It has been right on target with my DD's emotional maturity and she has enjoyed it greatly. When 1st grade comes in the fall, she'll be much more ready for it then.

But if you decide to go with 1st, that's ok, too. :)

KrisC
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:03 pm

Re: choosing between kindergarten and 1st

Unread post by KrisC » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:50 pm

Thank you so much for the replies! Well, I have the MFWK all boxed up on my floor here, and I've ordered MFW1. And I'm still wondering if I made the right decision! lol.

I originally chose K for all the reasons you all have replied. I guess it comes down to the fact that I already have some things in place for her (Reading, Handwriting, listening to Story of the World with her brothers, church and a church youth group, lots of read alouds, Girl Scouts, dance, Grandpa day, Nana day, lol ...). But do want her to have something well rounded.

The other thing is that I also just ordered MFW (the 1st year, geography) for my 3rd and 5th grade boys (9 and 10 1/2 years old). We just started homeschooling in September, and we've been doing Writing, Grammar, Math (Saxon for one and A Beka for the other), handwriting, Spelling, and Story of the World. They are all nice programs. Even though the First Language Lessons are labor intensive for me (all one-on-one with each of them), I feel like it's giving them a really solid base, and I can move to something more independent for them next year. Looking at the pile of books for the boys, I know it's going to be a challenge to keep them going with math, language arts and the new MFW program.

Anyway, all of this is to say that I think that I would not have had the time to really invest to get the most out of the K program for my 5yo DD. And I would have ended up feeling terrible. This way, I can start her on the first grade stuff, and we can really take our time and not feel like we're in a rush to keep her on schedule.

Thanks so much for the replies! Feel free to let me know if you think I'm off track.

Looking forward to getting to know people here!
Kris

cbollin

Re: choosing between kindergarten and 1st

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:59 pm

and we look forward to getting to know you as well. (((hugs))) and welcome along. Most of us find that we like chocolate. Coffee is optional.

You might want to call the MFW office and talk in real time with some of them. I know you'll get lots of opinions. Here's mine. If she is not spelling the short vowel readers that she can read, then I think MFW K is the right place for her for a while and wait until fall to do 1st grade.

Here are some simple things to beef up the Kindy program with the worksheets to use for more spelling and handwriting practice. Don't feel like she has to take 6 school days to do a full unit. She might enjoy 2 lessons a day to get through a "unit" in 3 school days. Here's that link. take a look at what I left (cbollin) and also at what Tammie (jasntas) and others have left for ideas to kick it up a notch when reading is ahead of the curve, but everything else says... Kindy.
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 179#p47744

also, I enjoyed how much Kindy and ECC (that's the geography year) seem to "go together". I found that Kindy had a lot of introductory geography in it too. It was a fun year when my 7th and 4th graders were in ECC and my youngest was in MFW Kindy. My then kindy gal was ahead of curve in reading (in spite of her autism), but had a lot of benefits in handwriting and spelling in Kindy.

Also, the math in MFW K, works on place value, which is very important to really get down as a foundation. Also, coins, clocks, patterns and all of that are introduced. So if you do use MFW K, it would be ok. But if you have a ton of resources you are using to meet all of those needs, then you don't need duplicates. You might just wait until fall to do MFW 1st.

-crystal

Poohbee
Posts: 394
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: North Dakota

Re: choosing between kindergarten and 1st

Unread post by Poohbee » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:17 pm

I would really lean toward doing MFW K with your dd. My dd will turn 6 next week. Like your dd, when we started MFW K this past September, she already knew most of the letters and the sounds they make. She is doing really well with the reading that MFW K has introduced. She likes making up her own math problems, so the math portion of MFW K is quite simple for her right now. However, my dd still loves to just play! So, the time required for MFW K is just right for her (about an hour to an hour and a half), because when she finishes her K work, she can just go off and play. Play is still so valuable for kids at this age! I also love the character lesson that she learns each week about Jesus. My dd has an amazing spiritual insight for her age, and the prayers she prays are amazing! But, the lessons she is learning about Jesus in K are perfect for her age and are wonderful building blocks for her spiritual growth.

My 4th grade dd is doing ECC right now, and my 5yo dd joins in on some of ECC, such as the art, music, and country coloring pages. So, along with MFW K, the parts of ECC she does, and just having time to play, my kindergartener's days are quite full, but they are just right for her. As Crystal mentioned, ECC and MFW K go really well together! For instance, we recently finished learning about Kenya in ECC, and at that same time, my K'er was learning about elephants in K. I know that there has been some other overlap with some of the other countries and the K lessons, too. It's so neat when those connections occur.

You mentioned that you feel you maybe wouldn't have time to devote to K to get the full benefits from it, but really, K takes less time to teach than 1st, and it is less intense. So, by doing K with your dd, it will be a nice way to ease into using MFW with all of your kids...ECC with your older boys and K with your dd. You might find the transition easier if you use K instead of 1st.

As others have mentioned, it may be worth giving MFW K a try with your dd. You can either supplement quite a bit or go a little faster if she seems ready for it, and you can start MFW 1st when she finishes K. It really is a beautiful and rich program that is not to be missed! This is our second time through K, and I absolutely LOVE it! My dd loves it, too. Just one more opinion for you.
Jen
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2018-2019: Adventures with 9yo boy

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: choosing between kindergarten and 1st

Unread post by gratitude » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:29 am

1. How far is she in her reading program?

2. Is she reading short stories with 3-letter words easily?

3. Can she blend some?

4. Can she spell 3 letter words?

If the answer to 1. is only a little ways, and the answers to 2 - 4 are no I would go with K.

If the answer to 1 is 1/2 the book and yes to the rest of the questions I would go with 1st.

The phonics in K really are quite good. My second son who did K has a much stronger spelling base (since it has spelling) than my 1st grader who didn't do K with MFW. I am making up for it with my older son, but my second son really has received a very strong base for 1st grade reading/spelling work. FYI: My son who did K also knew all his letters, letter sounds, and a little reading of 3 letter words when we started it. To take that in account I only did about 1/2 of the yellow pages for reading each week. I focused on what he needed, and was actually thankful that the work load was lighter for him since he knew some of it. He also blended all the letters each week with the ladder from the beginning at his request. So the program can be revised a little for a K who has a strong letter foundation. The base he now has though, at the end of the program, amazes me.

spaldingclan
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:50 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: choosing between kindergarten and 1st

Unread post by spaldingclan » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:05 pm

I just thought I would chime in with my 2 cents and our experience.

I am just about done with K with my 6 year old (turned 6 in January). I must say it has not been academically difficult for her. However, I would do it all again. Here's why:

1. I love love love the gentle approach to teaching phonics. It has reinforced everything she kind of new before making it all solid for her now. Also, stuff I thought she knew, she really didn't.

2. The quality of her writing has improved quite a bit. She could write all of her letters before, but now it is so much clearer and she really spends time making them all look just so.

3. Bible, Bible, Bible! She is learning so much about God's character and His love for her. It's such a sweet, sweet introduction to The Word and living it out every day.

4. Memorization. I discovered that she does not memorize the "Words to remember" as easily as her 4 year old sister does. We have taken time to come up with ways for her to remember things, and just had the time to spend on this subject.

5. Math concepts. We hadn't worked on this at all in any formal way. Now she is learning about addition and subtraction and what the symbols look like, how much a nickel is worth verses a penny or dime and adding them all together. She is learning about the value of things, measurements etc...

6. She is learning to read without tears or anxiety. There is truly no pressure at all. The progression from one lesson to the next is so gentle as to hardly be noticed until weeks later she is reading everything she sees. When did that happen?

We have chosen to double up on some the lessons so we will be done here in a few weeks and then we will move right into 1st grade. My goal was to acquaint us all with school at home, a schedule and making it fun. I want her to love school and learning. I think we have accomplished these goals.

I mentioned at the beginning that the K program was not academically difficult for my dd. The surprise was that this allowed us to really perfect what she had only a loose grasp of. When we finish this program she will have a very solid foundation in place to then move forward with confidence.

So, that's been our experience. No matter what you do, MFW is amazing, and you and your children are going to love it. I think since she has older siblings that going straight to 1st will be easier than if she was the oldest. The foundation set in K though is something I wouldn't want to miss, but that's just me:-)

Looking forward to doing this together!

Kim

Oh, and I like coffee:-)
Kim
**Stars of Grace Academy**
happily married to dh since 1995
mom to 3 outgoing daughters:
dd1 age 14: Freshman at PS
dd2 age 6 1/2: currently in MFW1, finished MFWK
dd3 age 5: currently in MFWK
http://thislittlehouseschool.blogspot.com

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

What level do I need for my son? First timer here...

Unread post by gratitude » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:28 pm

mdhorton wrote:Hello there! I would love any and all feedback on choosing the appropriate level for my son to begin his first year of homeschool this fall. He will be 4 yrs 9 months when we start in the fall. I have already purchased the Kindergarten deluxe package and it looks FANTASTIC and just what we want school to look like for our family!

Only, my son has been reading for a year now, and when we do basic online reading assessments, he tests in the 2nd-3rd grade level of reading. He is FAR beyond cvc (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and seems to have higher than age level understanding as he reads aloud to me and great comprehension as I read aloud to him. He is writing all of his letters well, though still needs practice. We love MFW and want to stick with it--but do I need to get the 1st grade materials for him instead of going with K level?

NOTE: we also have a 3 yr old daughter who is just as excited to start school time--and she knows all her letters, most of their sounds, and wants to learn to write now...so K level materials actually look best for HER for this fall.

I'd love your feedback--and if you need additional info before offering your suggestions, just let me know! Thanks a million!
I think he would still enjoy the age appropriate science, Bible, hands on activities, character lessons, etc. for each unit and for the first 10 days that follows the creation story. It sounds like you won't need the phonics. How about the math?

He is actually reading at the reading level of ADV, but I wouldn't suggest that for 4.5 years. A little FYI ADV can be used later with a reading level far beyond 2nd/3rd grade.

I did MFW1 with my oldest when he was reading about a 2nd/3rd grade level. I still thought the program was very valuable to go through. The 'meat' of the program for us wasn't learning to read it was going through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. I was glad though that he was 6 when I did it for K/1st. Now he is doing ADV while reading at a 5th grade level. It gets easier to do programs that are age appropriate and continue to progress in LA, math, & reading at their own pace. It was one of my struggles though for K & 1st since they are written for a child who can not read. My ds was reading at 4.5 too at a K/1st level. If I had found MFW sooner though I am sure by calling the office the advice I needed could have been given.

I think I would call the office and see what they say.

cbollin

Re: What level do I need for my son? First timer here...

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:18 am

Agreeing that you might want to call MFW office and talk with them.

Welcome along. I used MFW K with two of my children who had advanced in "reading" skills but somehow were still the physical age they were. LOL. There are easy ways to use hidden lessons in MFW K for those students who understand some reading early on.

I do not think it is a wise decision to use MFW 1st grade with a 4 year young boy. He isn't ready for that much school work each day, nor the writing required. His body needs to develop to be more ready to be successful in the program. You said he still needs practice writing letters. 1st grade assumes they are easily writing sentences of 4-6 words without it being a tear filled session for child or mom, and done in a short amount of time. That will be so much easier if you just wait. It's like potty training... sure, you can start at age 1 year, but if you wait until 2.5-3 years old, it's quicker and better all around.

I personally do not think it is a wise decision process to base a program primarily on the "reading skill" level of child. Look at age first. Knowing letter sounds and names and all of that is cute and all,but not all that important at the ages of your children for life long learning habits and enjoyment of reading. Don't forgot all of the other wonderful things they get to do at these ages and how much fun all of that is. Enjoy reading to them. Tell stories. Have them tell the story to you (narration), ask them to change the ending. Draw a picture. tell the story to their stuffed animals. Act it out for everyone. (early public speaking skills).

but then again, I'm old school and old. But I support your decision to use MFW K in spite of his early skills in reading. I don't think it will be a wasted decision. Somewhere around here are some posts how to specifically beef up selected sections of MFW's K program for those kids.

-crystal

Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Re: What level do I need for my son? First timer here...

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:27 pm

If Vince Lombardi could look at professional NFL players in the eyes and say, "Gentlemen, this is a football," then homeschooling moms can teach phonics to 4 year olds that already know how to read. Lombardi wasn't putting them down. He wasn't starting below their level. He was building a foundation of basics in order to get them to improve their skills. Phonics build a foundation of basics; the basics of language, the basics of spelling, the basics of reading and using vocabulary words. Phonics is not something that needs to be taught to get a kindergartener caught up to the reading level. Phonics is a building block, the cornerstone if you will, of language arts. MFW teaches phonics effectively and rapidly in both MFWK and MFW1 and both are valuable programs.

*thump, thump* . . . stepping off soap box now . . .

I second the recommendation to call the MFW office with any placement questions. And I can assure you that your ds will love the themes and games and age appropriate teaching in MFWK. It is an awesome program! Sing the songs, use the blend ladder, do the basics, have fun. He's only K for 1 year. Enjoy it.
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: What level do I need for my son? First timer here...

Unread post by gratitude » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:44 pm

I wasn't as clear on my first post, but I wouldn't advise MFW1 for a 4.5 year old either; too much writing for that age.

I really think you could continue progressing with the reading, and find plenty of depth and fun in MFWK (without the phonics) for him. You could still do the writing part of the reading section, plus the math, plus everything else. It is a very rich, fun, plentiful program for this age group. I think you will really enjoy it. Best of all, like all of MFW, it focuses on God.
Cyndi (AZ) wrote: Phonics is a building block, the cornerstone if you will, of language arts. MFW teaches phonics effectively and rapidly in both MFWK and MFW1 and both are valuable programs.
Too true, too true. I did MFWK with my second ds who could read some too at age 4.5, and when we started it at age 5. I always say I wish my oldest had gone through MFWK phonics. My second son is an awesome speller; I give the credit of his full on spelling abilities to taking a year to go through MFWK phonics.
Cyndi (AZ) wrote: I second the recommendation to call the MFW office with any placement questions. And I can assure you that your ds will love the themes and games and age appropriate teaching in MFWK. It is an awesome program! Sing the songs, use the blend ladder, do the basics, have fun. He's only K for 1 year. Enjoy it.
You will love it... What a wonderful place to give a first introduction of school to your child.

Buttercup78
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 7:05 pm

Re: What level do I need for my son? First timer here...

Unread post by Buttercup78 » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:44 pm

Cindy, that is the best answer I have ever seen to this oft-asked question!

Another point I thought of is that if your child is reading going into Kindy in ps, they don't bump them up a grade because of it - they're still Kindergarteners! There is so much more to a "grade level" than reading level.
Nikki, Mom to:
R (24) 2012 Graduate
J (12)

S (10)
E (8)
J (5)

S (2)
E (born 11/14)

We have used K, 1st, Adventures, ECC and CTG
http://myfathersworldinpa.blogspot.com

Yodergoat
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: What level do I need for my son? First timer here...

Unread post by Yodergoat » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:20 pm

I haven't even started using MFW yet, but I do remember what it was like to be an advanced reader at a very young age. I could read and comprehend books far above the level of my peers, but I was still a Kindergartener in other ways. I know I would have loved MFWK and would not have felt insulted or silly going over the phonics portion even though my reading skills had far exceeded what is taught in the program. I would have liked playing with the tactile letters just for the sake of play and seeing how many combinations I could make.

I think it would still be valuable to use the phonics portion and blend ladders and games, especially if younger sister is joining in. If your son thinks that is a little too simplistic for him, you can tell him it is mostly for his sister and that she will learn best if she sees him willing to do the activities as well. Mayhap he could read the books you get to go along with each unit aloud to the rest of you? Or you could find many facts-based books for each unit that are at his advanced reading level and let him enjoy reading them on his own. That way it wouldn't seem like his reading skills are going to waste... he will be learning about the topic at hand and honing his reading skills, while maintaining a solid foundation in phonics as he "helps his sister" do the blend ladders and such.

I remember that my interests in Kindergarten (public school) were similar to those of my peers, but because of my reading abilities I was able to delve deeply into topics that interested me. Let's say we were learning about the letter L and our teacher read us a simple story about lions. I was just as fascinated by lions as my peers, because of course I was still a little kid even though I could read "grown up" books. Later in the week at the school library, while my friends might look at picture books of lions, I would get a long and detailed factual book (like National Geographic or something) and learn all I could about lions. I might also ask the librarian if she had a story about lions, and she (knowing my reading level) might bring me Born Free by Joy Adamson. Then I would read parts of it aloud to my friends! (Not recommending that Kindergarteners read Born Free of course... I can't remember what sort of content that book had... just giving an example I recall.)

Think of the possibilities! Besides, K just looks like so much fun that it would be a shame to miss the rest of the program just because he already excels in one aspect.
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

MFWK with an almost 6yo reader

Unread post by gratitude » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:26 pm

asl wrote:I would love to hear from some of you who have used MFWK with your reading child. Did they enjoy it or were they bored? Did you supplement? If you have also used the first grade program do you feel your child would have done well with it?

My dd loves to read (picked up her Meet Felicity book and was reading it and talking about what she read.). I don't want her to be bored with learning a letter a week when she can read books such as the one mentioned. However, looking at the themes I know she would love them. I am torn because I want her to love school and not be bored! I want her to enjoy it and desire to be a life long learner.

I would appreciate any insights you may have...I was going to order the first grade program on Sunday, but started researching again and am still wavering between k or 1.
Amy
I tailored MFWK last year to my 5 year old son who was reading some, although not as advanced as your dd. He wasn't bored at all, and it was plenty of school for his maturity level (this will vary with different children). The tailoring I did was I did skip the learning of letters. However, I did all of the phonics & blending for later spelling & to develop a stronger reading foundation. He loved the badges, activities, Bible, and reading. I loved the character lessons. The hand writing was plenty for his age. The math taught him a lot, and today from it he is adding numbers in his head.

I think MFW K is better for a 5/6 than MFW1, but I have only taught boys so far and I know there are some differences that I plainly see in my dd4. Yet, I don't plan on starting her with MFWK until she is 5 1/2. Why rush childhood? Yes, she might be reading. She already knows her alphabet & sounds & reads an occasional word for me or sign in public. So it depends on what type of mom you are as far as when you want to introduce content. Personally, I don't really want Homer in CTG to come too early; but that is me.

carissa
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:33 pm

Re: MFWK with an almost 6yo reader

Unread post by carissa » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:19 pm

My oldest was 5 when we started MFW-K, and he was already reading on a 2nd or 3rd grade level. Although we didn't use the phonics, or the math, we LOVED having MFW-K to guide us through our weeks, giving us structure to what we were studying. The kids learned SO much about the world around them, about God and His love for us--and how we should act in response to that. They still remember the verses and songs we learned that year, the activities we did, and many of the facts we learned about plants and animals. They love it when we're at the library these days, and they run across a book we read that year. I'm SOOOO glad we didn't skip MFW-K just because my son was beyond the phonics instruction. It is chock-full of wonderful books, experiences, and Bible lessons that were a huge blessing to our family! I should add, we "supplemented" in the sense that we got lots of great books at the library. We are blessed with an incredible library system here, and I was able to search and find additional children's fiction and non-fiction for each week's topic. Some I'd read aloud, and some ds would read to himself (or to his younger siblings). When you have an advanced reader, the extra books can really beef-up your studies with minimal effort. I feel like I was able to tweak MFW-K to be just right for my kinder without spending a ton of time each week to do so. And my then-3-year-olds had a great year tagging along to boot! Hope that helps as you make your decision.
Carissa in Michigan
Wife to Steve for 21 years.
Mom to ds Brendan (10), ds Caden (8) and dd Sydney (8).
We've done MFW-K, ADV, public school for 2 years, and now considering ECC :)

erin.kate
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:38 am

Re: MFWK with an almost 6yo reader

Unread post by erin.kate » Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:45 pm

I wavered and wavered on this very topic this summer. My oldest middle child turned 5 in February and is a fluent, exceptional reader. She just read The Secret Garden, and she has impeccable comprehension. But, she's 5. Just 5. Completely agreeing that I don't want CTG to come to early, either.

This year I will have two in MFW K ... the daughter I just mentioned and a newly adopted son from Ethiopia (leaving in 5 days to bring him home!) ... and I am doing MFW K with both. The MFW K Lit books are just not to be missed and I love that she can read them to her new brother or to her littler brother (2). My son from Eth will do as much of MFW K as he can without speaking English, but we will meet his needs where he is at and as the year goes on he will get more and more from each week. Again, the activities and Bible are just so special. Truly love this year of MFW.

We finished MFW1 in June and there is quite a lot of narrating and writing, so depending on how advanced your daughter is in that respect, MFW K might be the best option. My daughter who is 5 and a very good reader still needs a lot of hw practice, math foundation, and time with good children's literature ... not to mention the cutting, pasting, singing, and simple childlike quality to MFW K that just cannot be retrieved if skipped.

Best in your decision.
♥Count it all joy ~
Mae 11, Viola 9, Jude 7, & Jack 6
2015: RTR
2014: CTG
2011: Adventures
2010: MFW First Grade
2009: MFW K♥

maritime momma
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Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada

Re: MFWK with an almost 6yo reader

Unread post by maritime momma » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:51 pm

Just wanted to say that I have enjoyed this thread. Our eldest will be 5y6m the Septemeber she will begin MFWK (2013). Now, at 3y6m, it is too early to tell, but she already has a lot of phonics understood. Regardless, I *will* wait begin, instead of doing MFWK when she is 4y6m. I just have to keep reminding myself... heehee (and you ladies sure do help!). Thanks!
"While we teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life's all about." ~unknown
Audrey: Happy wife to Jason of 9 yrs, DD Clara - 3 (MFW PreK) & sweet newborn DD Renée, born April 1

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
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Location: Minnesota

When kids teach themselves to read...??

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:18 am

zeo2ski wrote:I'm struggling to make a decision on what to use this year! My oldest just turned 5 a couple weeks ago, and he would be starting K in public school here this year, but we don't have to report in my state (NY) til age 6 so no pressure for this year. We started MFWK last summer just before he turned 4, and ended up zooming through the phonics part of it (he really liked the workbook pages) since he had known all letter sounds for 1.5+ years before we started. He was blending short vowel words very well a year ago, and really wanting to read more. I gave him a few rules from Noah Websters blue book and he took off and is now reading--or trying to read--everything.

The problem is he's memorizing a lot of words by sight as well as guessing after sounding the first part of the word. I'm wondering if this will lead to challenges later on; will we need to undo it in order to build back up with the proper progression? I'm confident he could handle MFW1 now, but I don't really want to put him further ahead for subsequent years. I don't mind doing a year of something else or repeating a year of MFW to stall at whatever point we need to slow down.

We never finished MFWK science/character lessons--I got burnt out with the library borrowing (I had 3, 2, 9 mos, and 1 mos olds when we started and we have to drive to the library, but mostly the interlibrary loans would never come in on time, or we'd run out of renewals by the time we were ready to use it) and it didn't occur to me to just buy the book til I saw that MFW sells the package now. So I'd like to repeat MFW K this year taking it slow and letting my 3 yo join in, but I wonder if I should work through a separate phonics program with the 5 y.o. or just wait til next year when he does MFW1. Thoughts? Or just do MFW 1 this year? He is mature and wanting to sit and do school all day but he's perfectly content to have it be all read alouds too! I can answer yes to all the questions MFW asks about being ready for 1st, he can easily read the story of David and Goliath that the Bible Reader is open to in the MFW catalog, math wise he's very ready, plus he would get the K literature/character lessons when little brother starts K in a year or two, so he wouldn't be missing out on that either way.

ETA: I'm thinking out loud in this post, I really don't want to to 1st grade yet, but my concern is do I need to add some sort of phonics in the mean time to keep him from teaching himself the "wrong" way?
Several of us on the boards had kindergarteners who taught themselves to read, as well. And many of our kids still did kindergarten when they were kinder age (mine was in public school). So we're right there with you on that. There are threads we could link to for ideas on using K with readers.

As for adding more phonics, I think I might just start out the year as written. Lessons in the basics have value, I think. I agree with your wanting him to revisit the things he already knows with understanding, rather than memorization. Because the child is moving from the concrete world into the abstract, it seems to me that just sitting for a while & allowing repetition to sink in is the way to do that -- things like using the alphabet until it's really a part of him, and reading short vowel words until he really internalizes what he's doing.

Some kids will insist they already know what you're teaching, while others will just have fun with it. If you have a kid who objects, then I wouldn't necessarily decide that a 5yo knows what he needs, but that child might especially like some of the ideas from the boards for changing things up, or adding a fun computer activity. And lots of time on the wonderful K character lessons and science study.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Wendy B.
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: When kids teach themselves to read...??

Unread post by Wendy B. » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:44 am

zeo2ski wrote:So I'd like to repeat MFW K this year taking it slow and letting my 3 yo join in, but I wonder if I should work through a separate phonics program with the 5 y.o. or just wait til next year when he does MFW1. Thoughts?
This is what I am doing with my new 6 yo. She is almost ready for MFW1 except for writing.

We are doing the parts of MFW K that we missed when she was tagging along with ADV. So we are doing the science and character lessons. I am doing first grade math (we use a separate math program) and separate phonics. I am using 100 EZ lessons since it is something that I already owned and have used with my two older children. I had also thought about using All About Spelling during this time but decided to go with something that was easy for me. I am also doing a lot of fine motor skill work with her.

My overall plan is to continue with MFW K's science and character lessons, our first grade math, and 100 EZ lessons until next April. My goal is to start MFW 1 with her, she'll be 6.5 yo at that point, when her older brother starts CtG. At this point MFW 1 will have a lot of review so she can focus on the writing aspects of the curriculum.

Since you already own Noah Webster's blue book. How about using that? Each day work through a short list of words from the book or review some words that he has memorized or guesses.
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.

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