Schedule - Kindergarten can be spread 2 years, BUT many wait

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
Wendy B.
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Re: MFW K ? DD4 is ready, should I start in the fall?

Unread post by Wendy B. »

Doing 3 programs would make me want to cry. :~

I think your plan to do ADV and 1st with your olders and then next year do ECC and K sounds so much easier.

There will be plenty of ways to add in a little bit of school for an eager 4yo with ADV and 1st. They can all participate in the Names of Jesus Poster and the state sheets with ADV. She can participate in the stories and science. If you add in the K handwriting book then you probably have more than enough "school" to keep an eager 4yo happy.

If you find that by her 5th birthday that she really is more than ready to start K then you can add in parts of K at that time.

FWIW my youngest at age 4 was very similar to your dd. I started MFW K on her 5th birthday but should've waited about another 6 months. She hit a wall at lesson 18 when the reading list started increasing in length and we had to do some major adapting to keep moving forward.

Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
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Re: MFW K ? DD4 is ready, should I start in the fall?

Unread post by MuzzaBunny »

I feel like I've said this over and over on here and people must be sick of it, but... This is what we did with my 4 yo dd. She is precocious and easily met all of Marie's K criteria at a very young 4. Because her bday is in July, I knew she'd be young to start K on time, let alone one year early, but she seemed so ready!

After a lot of prayer and discussion, we opted to buy K and teach it half this year and half in her K year. Our schooling was on Tues., Thurs. one week, Mon., Wed., Fri. the next. We did intro through unit 12 this school year. It was PERFECT for us. We were able to grab hold of her eagerness to learn and it was a very soft transition into schooling for both of us. It didn't overwhelm her at all and she did excellent with retention and mastery of new skills.

We have a quick 30 min review every Monday from now until our first day of K on Sept 1st. We'll pick up with Unit 13 then and follow the same T-Th/M-W-F pace.

I'd encourage you to try that as opposed to doing a full K year with a 4 year old. This keeps them on par with their age group so we don't hit a wall as they progress through the grades. (It'll be easier on you too!)
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Re: MFW K ? DD4 is ready, should I start in the fall?

Unread post by spaldingclan »

My youngest will be 5 in July. She followed along with her big sister doing K this year and did quite well. Big sister was 5 1/2 and youngest was barely 4 at the beginning. I didn't push anything with youngest, but just offered her work when she asked for it and was interested. Midway through the year she was doing it all side by side with her big sister. But my expectations were not the same for her at all.

That being said, she will repeat K again this year (the writing, phonics, and math portion) and then do the bible and science activities with big sis in MFW1. My expectations will be more in line with what to expect from a k-er now and that will be an adjustment for her I am sure ;)

So, if you are up for the 3 programs at once, then I say go for it. I like what one person wrote about doing t/th one week and then m/w/f the next to stretch out the program. That's brilliant!
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Re: MFW K ? DD4 is ready, should I start in the fall?

Unread post by gratitude »

Wendy B. wrote: FWIW my youngest at age 4 was very similar to your dd. I started MFW K on her 5th birthday but should've waited about another 6 months. She hit a wall at lesson 18 when the reading list started increasing in length and we had to do some major adapting to keep moving forward.
This is really good insight. Thank you!
MuzzaBunny wrote:After a lot of prayer and discussion, we opted to buy K and teach it half this year and half in her K year. Our schooling was on Tues., Thurs. one week, Mon., Wed., Fri. the next. We did intro through unit 12 this school year.
...on Sept 1st. We'll pick up with Unit 13 then and follow the same T-Th/M-W-F pace.

I'd encourage you to try that as opposed to doing a full K year with a 4 year old. This keeps them on par with their age group so we don't hit a wall as they progress through the grades. (It'll be easier on you too!)
As another mom wrote, what a brilliant idea. It would make sure that we didn't reach the more difficult reading lists, in unit 18, until half way through K.
erin.kate wrote:YOU are so good at what you do that you will get into a groove and find that it was always meant to be since your heart is in it. Even on days when it seems to unravel ... just start fresh the next day and rework the schedule or the time or whatever. It's a fluid process, and that's part of (for me) what makes MFW so adaptable. :-)
Thank you so much for the encouragement erin.kate! I have to tell you that I looked at your blog at one point, and it was so encouraging to me! It was also wonderful incentive & inspiration for me to really try again on my boys handwriting, and help them learn the legibility I know they can achieve. This new work, thankfully, is working. :-)
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K accelerated phonics and then all of K - Would this work?

Unread post by gratitude »

leeandrea wrote:I'm Lee, mom to 6, and have been homeschooling for 6 years now, since my now 14 yo was in 3rd grade. This will be our first year using MFW. I'll be using ECC for my 7.5, 10 and and 12 yo, K for my 5/6 yo and still figuring out what to do with 14 yo (first year of hs).

My dd who will be using K this year knows the various sounds some of the letters make (s says /s/ and /z/) and can read cvc words using the letters she knows. We've never been very consistent with her reading lessons. I know that with consistency and review, she's going to pick up the rest of the sounds quickly. She's anxious to read, and I think K as scheduled will move a little slow and frustrate her.

What I'm contemplating doing is taking just the reading portion of K and speeding it up through the summer since I can give her school time all my focus with the rest of the gang being on break. I would do 2 letters a week and use Fridays for review/games/tactile activities. Once I finish up with the 26 letters, we would begin the rest of the program starting at the creation unit and do the 26 thematic units and the math activities as written using 6 days per lesson. We can use the theme letter for review, and the theme names and word list words for handwriting. She'll be learning cursive, so having her practice writing the theme's letter each unit would also give her review. Depending on how her handwriting progresses, she could also copy the words to remember. And of course, she can spend time practicing reading. She tagged along for FIAR books and really loved doing book-related activities, so I just know she's going to love MFW K :)

I know I might be missing something that a person with experience would be aware of. If that's the case, I would rather find out now before we start :-) . Thanks for anything you can share on this idea.
You have a lot more home schooling experience than I do, but I have used MFW K!

I can understand the reasons of why you would want to do MFWK over the summer while the rest of your children are on break. I have heard though that ECC & MFWK go very well together. I am planning for that exact combination in 1 1/2 years, but I won't have the high school student.

The challenges to what you are thinking of doing would be the following:
MFW is a unit study. Thus, the letters for each week actually tie into the thematic units and character lessons. Could they be done separately? Yes. It will lose though the continuity built into the program.

My second ds, who is the one who has gone through MFWK, knew the following when he started: all of his letters, all of his letter sounds, a little blending, and could read a little. MFWK at the regular pace was still highly beneficial for him. We didn't do every activity in the reading section (yellow pages) since he knew his letters and letter sounds. I did so all of the phonics though, and it gave him a great foundation. I think I read that David Hazel said the length of time spent on reading in K is to give them so much time with K reading that when it picks up in Grade 1 they can do the work. MFW1 does move right along.

So I guess I wouldn't recommend your plan. I am sure my ds could have zipped through the yellow pages and reading section in 2 - 4 months. At first I actually thought of doing just that plan. Then I realized how much we would lose if I zipped through it. I also realized that MFW1 would be more work than a 5/6 would necessarily be ready to sit down and do. So I took it at the speed written. It was great!

Re: K accelerated phonics and then all of K - Would this wor

Unread post by cbollin »

Here are some ideas that I shared once upon a time to beef up the Kindy phonics lessons for Kindergarten age students ... 179#p47744

I've heard of good stories of people just using the phonics, or just using the themed units. But, my brain is racing around for phonics at fast pace then go back for units. I'm sure it can be done (it's your home). Not sure on the benefits.

Carin mentioned about ECC and K going well together. I think they are thematically connected in that Kindy is This is God's world, let's learn about Him and what he made. ECC is This is God's World now go into all the world. There are plenty of times that we'd naturally review a topic in Kindy program that happened in ECC. Then didn't "line up magically" or anything like that. But criss cross and review. I liked being able to use some of the books in ECC to have a quick map or quick page from A Trip Around the World. (or another trip) for things in Kindy.

You certainly can do what you are planning. I'm just not in the same camp that it's important to speed through phonics to get to read and leave behind the opportunities to work more on handwriting and spelling and copywork. If you block schedule the phonics and get it done, what do you plan to do for language arts/phonics during the rest of the year?

I got lost,
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Re: K accelerated phonics and then all of K - Would this wor

Unread post by DS4home »

I don't see any problems with your plan. Giving her a kick start with the phonics and learning to read this summer while you have the time to focus on it, might be just the right timeing for the two of you. Then doing the whole K program unit by unit this fall, and beefing up the phonics already covered will make for a fun Kindy year. It will be automatic review, which could be good since you will be going over it pretty fast this summer. There are many ways to build on the letter of the week for those kids who are already reading, some of which you are already thinking through. I think you'll do great and have fun doing it :)

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Re: K accelerated phonics and then all of K - Would this wor

Unread post by leeandrea »

Thanks for the feedback. DD will be K. After trying to schedule out the phonics lessons at a quicker pace, I've decided to wait until after summer break and do K as written. It would just be too much to do during "break" and the stuff I'd probably skip would be the fun stuff, the games. I don't want to do that. The schedule is one of the main reasons we are using MFW this year, I need to periodically remind myself of that :-)


Preschool idea?

Unread post by cbollin »

littlemama wrote:Hello again, first of all I just have to say what a blessing this board is. I am getting great ideas from reading old posts and it is really helping this tired Mama's thought process. Thank-you all for your input.

When My DS was 4 we were going to put him in preschool, but when it became obvious that he was ready to learn to read I figured the price of reading curriculum was cheaper then preschool. Rather dramatically we went to homeschool. DS did phenomenally at reading and now at 6 1/2 reads almost at a 3rd grade level. We did no writing as I could tell he was not ready till K. What a blessing it was to teach him to read, but during our K year there were quite a few times when I wasn't sure if I was pushing him too hard or dealing with an attitude.

Forward to now DD4 seems just like her brother and looking at the MFW K program which we now own :-) I am sure she would do wonderfully, probably could even learn to write. However, I don't want to push her too fast and don't want the concerns I had with the last child, so after extensive skimming of the K teachers manual during every nursing session I can, I have come up with an idea. I am curious to know what those of you who have used the K program think.

We school four days a week. One day we would do the Day 1 activities from the K teachers manual, I would also be teaching her the songs and games that reinforce the sounds of the letters. Other days we would play with the preschool toys, do Bible Science and Art with the 1st grader and read books to go along with the Letter of the week--which would be the letter of the week/unit.

Then next year we would do the K program minus day one, with more of a focus on blending skills as opposed to learning the sounds of the letters. I recognize that we will run short in days, but I am sure I can come up with something, or we could start 1st grade. What I am curious to know is if you think doing this will take away from her K year? It seems to me that it would help her have a sense of "I'm doing school" without pushing too hard and saving my sanity during a baby year. Did I mention that the idea of fully schooling two kids also has me feeling overwhelmed. I would love any thoughts/concerns you might have.

God bless you!
I know that feeling of schooling more than one makes me feel woozy.

There's always "you can try it and do whatever you want" kind of thinking. So be encouragement to know you can ignore whatever I think.

if it were me for me..
if I did the "do day 1 stuff" this year...
I would probably make it easier on me and end up repeating many of the day one things the next year, maybe with kicking it up a notch or something. That's just because my brain is easily distracted and I need it easy.

I would probably rethink it for me as
this year: do a letter a week, listening for beginning, middle and ending sounds in everyday words. and a lot of lace and link letters and learning lower case letters. I might even do it in alphabetical order instead of "MFW learning to read order". Or not. I don't know. finger tracing of letters, and chalk and finger paints. They only get to be 4 once in their lives...

In other words, I'd stick with preschool and maybe go with some themes, and invite her to join in any fun projects that older sibling is doing. I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't search your previous post to know if your 6.5 y.o is doing ADV next year or something like that. But if he is doing something from MFW (1st or ADV), then include the younger sibling in crafts, Bible work, etc. so she is "doing school" and it can be relaxed.
read to her a lot each day.

If the relaxed MFW Preschool package is "too relaxed" to use all by itself.. one suggestion? it's a Charlotte Mason, Classical, Unit Studies approach for preschoolers. It will get you ideas for each day to do and will not conflict with any of the educational materials and activities in MFW preschool package. But it might give you ideas and themes to do. It assumes you'll have some kind of "toys" to use and flexible.

in all seriousness, if I had the ability to do preschool at home, using both MFW preschool educational package with the structure of Flowering Baby manuals, is a route I would have tried. What Martha and her mom Carolyn put together is soooooo much like the quality preschool programs that my youngest attended, but designed for homeschooling moms to do. I sound like a commercial for them, I know... I dont' work for her. And I know the struggles that many newer to homeschooling/preschool mom talk about each year with just not knowing what to do. Not taking anything away from what MFW has with the preschool activities and toys... those are very important in early childhood development. If you use Flowering Baby, definitely add in some Bible from older students stuff and use the MFW Scripture memory CD. Flowering baby doesn't have any Bible lessons that I know of. Even if you use the scripture memory CD as one song per week to start the school day in song and prayer.

just one opinion out there.

I have no answer to the question about doing day one in one year and days 2-6 in other... can it be done? probably... is it a good/bad/indifferent idea? i have no idea.

But even with a child eager to learn, I look at age first.

shutting up now.....because I'm needing to eat supper.


Re: Preschool idea?

Unread post by cbollin »

littlemama wrote:Thank-you Crystal for your thoughtful response. I still haven't decided what to do for preschool. I am leaning towards a more gentle approach which includes MFW preschool toys and including her in whatever she desires that her brother does in the MFW 1st grade program. I am leaning towards this mostly because I feel that she needs to grow up emotionally more and that perhaps I need to work on obedience, wining, listening and such more. Though I do struggle with feeling like I am robbing her of something that I gave DS when he was ready--a love to read! He reads voraciously and I love that starting reading early opened that world up for him.

I am curious to know if a child who is already reading would find K too easy. I know I am not to start her on a full K program, and am very excited to use the preschool toys, but I just can't let go of reading. Please pray for wisdom!
Some will find it easy, but still want to do it. Others will have an attitude problem. I think it's easy enough to tweak the phonics to become language arts and then let them enjoy the activities.

Without using a reading program, my middle and youngest daughters learned to read before K age. I didn't even know that my middle daughter could read. I mean, good grief, the kid was barely talking and was in speech therapy and they didn't know what was up? We got MFW K, and she was looking at the worksheets and read them to me. huh? so, I used it anyway. Youngest kiddo? how did my autistic child learn to read before she was "taught"? I don't know. probably just a visual thing or something.

anyway, a long time ago, I wrote down specifics for using MFW K with kids like mine:
this is for phonics ... 179#p47744

this is for those first 10 days in the program where people roll their eyes and say "MFW is too easy" ... =25#p51585

I don't know which way you should go. I just know what I did and why. your mileage will vary.

Julie in MN
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Re: Preschool idea?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I am a very strong advocate of better-late-than-early. My oldest was a smart little guy but I didn't start academics until age 6. Reading books aloud to him just seemed more age-appropriate and valuable in terms of modeling how we experience what we read than preparing him to read all by himself. It worked out well, since he's a working engineer now :)

And I'm in favor of going through K and 1st reading & phonics lessons even to a child who is reading well, because I think those early readers are relying on memorization and would really benefit from a foundation in the basic skills. My youngest was like that -- reading before K and had missing skills that I didn't realize until I brought him home in 3rd.

However, as you've probably seen while you peruse the archives, there are folks who start K at age 4. For example,

I have a 4yo grandson right now, and I think the K experience at his age would be different than the K experience he would have at age 6. But K could be started at 4. I might call the office, because I get the feeling from Lucy's post here that they have some guidance in that regard:

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Re: Preschool idea?

Unread post by mamacastle2 »

I can tell you what we did. My now 5yo was ready to "do school" last year at 4, even the writing portion. She was the kid who learned her letter names all by herself and was always asking, "How do you spell ------?" and writing notes to everyone in the family. But I didn't want to push her or have her sit more than necessary, etc.

So I decided to start MFWK and spread it out over 2 years. So last year we did 2-3 days of school a year, following the program exactly, but obviously each unit took us 2 to 2 1/2 weeks to finish. My goal was to be done with Unit 13 by May. We also did MFW preschool toys and activities and included her in our CTG stuff as well as reading aloud to her, etc. We actually finished Unit 14 by May. We took the summer off, and this year we started with Unit 15, doing it 4-5 days a week. I know we will finish early, but after that I intend to do some of the phonics-type things I like, as well as lots of readers. And of course we still include her in all our RTR stuff.

MFWK is fun stuff. Just remember to keep it light and fun and un-schoolish, and a 4yo who is ready will do well with it.
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Re: Preschool idea?

Unread post by littlemama »

Thank-you for ladies for your input. What a blessing it is to have so many ideas on hand to consider. And so consider this... DD4 was asked "Would you rather do school and learn to read or play with toys and dolls with Mama." To which she brightened up considerably and replied, "Play toys and dolls with Mama." Perhaps it would be best to enjoy her as a child without rushing things too much. It is encouraging to know that should she continue to glean scholastic knowledge on her own MFW K would still be a fun and challenging curriuculum. (Thank-you Crystal for tips to modify the curriculum should she learn to read)

God bless you all!
Mama to four beautiful children-6, 4, 2, and 2mths
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New to MFW-plan on using K and 1st

Anyone delay starting Kindergarten? Or done K in 2 yrs?

Unread post by cbollin »

Melany wrote:I have read many times on here of people starting Kindergarten with their 5 year olds and sometimes even 4 year olds, but I'm wondering if anyone delayed starting their child until they were almost 6?

I think I have also seen someone mention spreading K out into 2 years. Has anyone done that?

I guess I am just trying to figure out what to do with my youngest son. Whether to keep doing preschool stuff with him or to actually start Kindergarten.
My youngest did an extra year of group preschool. We delayed her Kindy year until she was 6.5. It was exactly what she needed. Granted, she has autism and I was in no rush. In spite of severe delays in 2 way communication, she was already reading by the time we started MFW K. I still used it. And grade wise for church stuff... she's is still a year less than her age would otherwise have her listed. The homeschool system doesn't care about that ;)

Julie in MN (and she knows her life better than I do)... her oldest son never homeschooled and if I remember her posts correctly.. he didn't start public kindy until he was 6?

What kind of things are making you lean in the direction of letting him get a year older? or a semester older...

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Re: Anyone delay starting Kindergarten? Or done K in 2 yrs?

Unread post by Buttercup78 »

My answer is yes to both! With my now-9yo, he was so eager to start so we started K at age 4-1/2 and stretched it out over 2 years. (Easy to do if you divide the lesson into 3 days per week). We actually just started K with my 5-1/2yo today! I was going to wait until July but he INSISTED that we start NOW! This is the child who would not sit down and do "school" (preschool stuff) at all. He is a hands-on, wiggly, active boy. I had the R&S ABC books for him and in 6 months he got through about 1/2 of ONE book. Just not interested. So I knew I should wait but I got all his K stuff along with all our other curric. for 2012-2013. Today went great. He kept saying, "When can I do pluses??" (Addition) It took us probably 30 minutes for Day 1 and it was just right for him. I love how you get a little bit more each day until you're up to full speed. My 9yo was watching longingly and said, "I remember that. I wish I could go back to Kindergarten!"
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R (1991) 2012 Graduate
J (2003)

S (2005)
E (2006)
J (2009)

S (2013)
E (2014)

We have used K, 1st, Adventures, ECC and CTG - Starting K with my little guys in 2019!
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Re: Anyone delay starting Kindergarten? Or done K in 2 yrs?

Unread post by lea_lpz »

We are doing MFW K and just started about a month ago. We do it 4 days a week instead of 5 and will be doing some holiday unit studies too, which means we wil end up finishing next end of May. However, if my dd seems to need more time (the Christian preschool she was at recommended she do pre-k instead if K this fall) we will only do it 3 days a week as taught and than add an extra day week were we could do some extra activities and review letters / phonics some more. My DD just turned 5 April 15th. If K takes 2 years, she'd be 7 and 4 months at start of 1st grade. It doesn't bother me. I get the feeling she'll more than catch up when she is ready because it'll all click! Right now the pace is just right for us at 4x a week but we are only at Ss Sun, day 5, and so if around the time word blends start she seems like she is not able to keep up we will spread it out over two years. I actually think that'd be nice because we could go on little bunny trails in subjects my kids like a lot, like dinosaurs, or take some time to row some books from FIAR. :)
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Re: Anyone delay starting Kindergarten? Or done K in 2 yrs?

Unread post by gratitude »

My oldest is a summer Birthday and we decided to start him as he turned 6, rather than a year earlier. We hadn't found MFW yet at that point, but I think MFWK would have been a great gentle way to start. He already was reading some, but I wouldn't have wanted to start MFW1 when I started him at just turned 6. He really was wiggly with pencils until his 8th Birthday. Now at almost 9 he is doing great with writing, reading, and spiritually. I am glad he had that extra year to just be a boy. I started my second at 5, but I only did school 2 - 3 times a week for MFWK so he could have another year of primarily play. So I did stretch it out from April of Pre-K through his Kindergarten year.

So I guess it is yes to both!
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Re: Anyone delay starting Kindergarten? Or done K in 2 yrs?

Unread post by lea_lpz »

One reason I have thought that maybe I will MFW K in two years is not necessarily because my dd won't be able to do the K program but rather from looking at MFW 1st I don't that she'll be ready at 6. She gets distracted so easily and it hard for her to sit still, pay attention, so I'm not sure she'll be there yet. MFW 1st is a lot more challenging it seems like from the samples than what you might guess based off MFW K their 1st grade program would be like. When I first purchased MFW K I did not anticipate homeschooling more than 1 year and figured MFW K would be about the equivalent to pre-k at the Christian school she was at and we would have her start K at 6 at a k-8 Christian school later, but now am considering homeschooling long term. Anyway, even if your child does seem like they can do K in a year, you might want to consider if they'll be ready for 1st at 6 or Adventures / family cycle at 7. Iny case, we are taking it a day at a time but I really am not sure she'll be ready at 7 to have a 3 hour school day including 1 hour independent work at 7. Then again, a lot can change in a child's maturity mentally / physically in a year. My ds, who is actually very bright and picks up on so much I "teach" him indirectly while working with ds will be able to do K in a year at 5, but you know, with a June birthday and the state I am in raising K cut off to 5 by Sept. 1st, who knows, we might do K in two years for him even if he's "ready". I
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Re: Anyone delay starting Kindergarten? Or done K in 2 yrs?

Unread post by Melany »

cbollin wrote:What kind of things are making you lean in the direction of letting him get a year older? or a semester older...
The things that are making me lean in that direction? I have so many thoughts.

We are currently using the FIAR curriculum and he does do pretty good about sitting and listening to our Bible story time and then the FIAR story when I do school with his older brother, and he has participated some days in the discussion that we have. He really seems to want to "do" school when big brother does, but then when it comes to actually doing something he is all over the place. Some days he can sit and draw a picture or work on practicing writing his letters and other days he becomes so frustrated and just wants to give up if something isn't working like he thinks it should.

I know he wants to "do" school and I have no problem with letting him tag along again next year and continue working on his preschool workbook that I picked up for him at Sam's club, but to actually have a consistant, do something every day, I just don't think he is quite ready for that yet. I don't think he has the maturity for that yet.

My older ds was 6 when we did what we consider to be K grade for him, and I just think that maybe I need to do the same with younger ds too.

He turns 5 at the end of June and our plan is to start our new school year the middle of July, so he would be a very young 5 yr old. He is my super active, super hyper, all boy little boy. I fear that I would grow frustrated with trying to get him to settle down and really focus and try to do school time with him. Right now he is welcome to sit with us when we older son and I do school and he can join in and participate, but if he can't sit still or if he is unwilling to participate right now then that is fine too.

I think I might be rambling now, not sure if any of this makes sense or not.

Re: Anyone delay starting Kindergarten? Or done K in 2 yrs?

Unread post by cbollin »

I might look into the MFW Preschool activities section then. Daily consistent use of the Activity Cards might be a tool to consider for a little while. When older sibling is doing math, then you can have the younger one select a toy for math project today. Then, find a corresponding activity card for that toy (educational hands on learning device. giggle...)

Now they are both doing math. and it doesn't have to be workbook.

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Re: Starting on K on Wednesday, excited and ?

Unread post by lea_lpz »

weareborgswife wrote:My youngest turned 4 in May, and has been working through one of the "Comprehensive Curriculum K" workbooks- she HAD to have schoolwork like her brother and sister.... we have had the K curriculum for a few months and she really wanted to start, but I told her not yet, so she says, "Oh I have to finish my workbook first!"... Well she finished it, and her siblings are off to day camp (spending the night at Aunt's house for 4 days), so I told her we would give it try this week while she is an only child.

Here is my question- I plan to take it slow and work through K over the next two years mixed in with Before Five in a Row and Five in a Row- (what I used with my two older kids, because I hadn't heard of MFW :)). What kind of schedule would you follow if you do it over two years? I was debating on doing every other week MFWK, with a week of BFIAR/FIAR? Or would it be better to do 3 days a week MFW and just add in some of the FIAR books- reading every day, but doing activities 2 days a week?

Hmmm...I've actually given this thought a lot of consideration because I contemplated doing MFW K over 2 years for my daughter, who is 5, but might just need to go slower pace, for various reasons, she's a busy body, she isn't really able to focus for long periods of times, she needs a lot repetition to have things stick otherwise she tends to forget what she learns, and there is a possibility of a learning disability, which we'll be testing for come Fall. So, first off we are planning to finish MFW K by the end of May, but we started April 16th, the day after her 5th birthday, so that we we could do school only 4 days a week during the school year, and over the summer, we'veO been doing school only 3 days a week (so spending 2 weeks on each unit) since she does a day camp 2 mornings a week for the summer, but if it seems like 4 days a week is too fast, we will slow it down so we work at her pace. But right now, we are doing a unit over 2 weeks, and 2 weeks per unit is what your proposing right?

Here's what I like about it: :-)
1) It seems like we (me, ds, and dd, the k'er) all remember the art, Bible, and Science as well as the read alouds better as we had a day in between to let things sink in more
2) I feel less presurred to finish everything in one day for assigned day because if we don't have time to do it all, we spend tu or th afternoon (or saturday for that morning) wrapping up the lose ends, which for us is usually MFW K activity section, read alouds, and Spanish (We are using La Clase Divertida, Level 1)

Here's what I don't like: :~
1) Although we seem to remember the everything else more, it seems like the day in between is not as good for my dd to recall the language and math section as when we did it 4 days in a row-but really this is the only problem we're having, and that could be remedied

I think if you did MFW K 3 days a week and wanted to incorporate BFIAR / FIAR you could, and probably do simple projects on MFWK days and meatier stuff on the other 2 days. My concern would be will she need the math and lang. those days to do well, but if so, you can do fun stuff, like some more multisensory letter practice or every day math.

A week on a week off seems like it could potentially derail the MFW K math / phonics learned in previous week, but you could, again make every other week a review week for math and phonics / lang.

You might find though that you don't really need the BFIAR / FIAR to extend the program into 2 years. You could just have more time to get really in depth with the units, trying all the suggested optional activities, doing all the read alouds from book list you can get from the library, and checking out the ideas archive and trying some extras other moms did. After all, if you do MFW K 3 days a week and spread the intro. into 3 weeks, you'd still only have 28 weeks a year, so plenty of time to go on some rabbit trails, doing more with each unit.

Of course, you can try it out one way, see if it works, change it if you need to, that's what is great about homeschool....To spread K over 2 years will mean you have more time to really savor it, so sounds like a blessing to me. ;)
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)
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Re: Starting on K on Wednesday, excited and ?

Unread post by MelissaB »


It sounds like you have older children to teach in the future, too. How much time can you allot your PreK/Kindergartner each day once everyone's full-time in school, plus activities?

Being familiar with MFW, but not Five in a Row, I wonder if any of these ideas would work?
1.) Doing BFIR this year, and MFW K next year.
2.) Doing just BFIR and FIR.
3.) Doing just MFW K over two years.
4.) Doing BFIR this year; MFW K next year - with 30 extra min. set aside each day to enjoy the FIR books, without focusing on the academic teaching part of it.

Whatever you decide, it sounds like you have a very bright little girl and teaching her is going to be a joy!

Enjoy! :-)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4
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Re: Starting on K on Wednesday, excited and ?

Unread post by weareborgswife »

Thanks for the input, she announced to me tonight that she wants to wait until her brother and sister come back to start school - which is totally fine with me, was only starting because she expressed interest- I am not one to push my kids ahead (sometimes I should probably push a bit more- my husband usually helps me out in that department ;)).

As far as time to commit to her... my other two will be starting ECC this year- last year I had all three of them doing different things for the most part and it was crazy. The need for some combined learning (which is what flowed best with us) is why I am switching to MFW.

I was thinking of lightly using the math in MFWK, and having her start MUS Primer in September 2013 when she would be officially starting K. She is already familiar with it because of watching the DVD lessons with her siblings, and it seems to be something she will like to do.

Other option I thought of tonight is to have her work through the beginning Explode the Code books combined with the rest of BFIAR and some FIAR until May, so she can work on her fine motor skills, letter sounds... and then start MFWK...

Because she is still working on her fine motor skills (she is a bit of a perfectionist and gets upset if she can't "do it right")-
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Re: Starting on K on Wednesday, excited and ?

Unread post by lea_lpz »

I think that doing BFIAR / FIAR with some age appropriate additions is good, otherwise I could see MFW K while doing the 5 year cycle, and adding FIAR would be to much. I am doing BFIAR with my 3 year old, but that's just so he can have some school time at his level and time for me, so my dd's participation is optional, and because he's on the younger side we keep the activities simple. I could see where you could make the activities more challenging for an older child, though.

I will be doing for pre-school next year, when ds is 4, MFW preschool toys, Rod and Staff A-F books, and FIAR or repeat BFIAR at a more advanced level. If you don't have the preschool toys and that's within you budget, I think they'd be very helpful for large & fine motor skills, and the index cards provide very challenging activities to do with the Laurie toys, and the CD is great intro to scripture, is catchy, we just listen in the car with a rotation of other CDs, but it's amazing how much they learn where normally they'd just be sitting. Also, if you aren't familiar with Rod & Staff, they have individual series of work books for kids 3, 4, & 5 that are affordable and teach school readiness skills. My ds wanted his own worksheets to do, too. All and all, we spend 30 minutes on preschool now, and will probably do 1 hour next year (15 R&R, 15 preschool activities, 30 BFIAR or FIAR). I think an hour would be doable for you considering you will have the older two kids doing family cycle for both preschool and K. If she's already pretty ready for K she will likely be able to breeze through it in an hour :)
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)
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Re: Advice for those who have slowed K down or set it aside

Unread post by gratitude »

lea_lpz wrote:My daughter is struggling with the phonics / language of MFW K. I plan to review the basics over our 6 week winter break, just alphabet recognition and sounds, basic number recognition, etc. through games and starfall, hoping that if it clicks that she'll be able to move forward, but if I have to slow it down or set it aside, here are the ideas I have about that right now...

1) continue with original plan of 4 days a week of school covering 1 whole day per day, finishing by end of May
2) spread 1 day over two, covering two days a week total and probably not finishing until maybe next year before winter break
3) continuing with MFW K at planned pace but omitting the more advanced language activities and repeating it next year
4) setting MFW K aside and doing wee folk art well continuing with some of the more basic stuff from MFW, like math routine and the easier language activities,handwriting, etc. and working on basics with math and language and picking it back up again next September or next January we're we left off, so Unit 15, and we spend a semester on it -or-
5) above but picking up from beginning (unit 1) next fall but going at 5 day a week pace to finish by end of year (in 34 weeks, so not consolidating the 6 days per unit into 6)

Which of these makes the most sense? For those of you who have spread K over 2 years or who have began it and then put it aside, how did you do it and what worked for you? If you set it aside, when you picked it back up did you start where you left off or start over again? What did you do in the in between time?

I just want to have some time to mull over it and figure out what possibilities exist if I slow it down? Thanks and would appreciate some suggestions, sharing experience, etc.
I haven't slowed MFWK down; I hope someone comes along who has. I have though done MFWK both times though starting in April, with time off in the summer. Each time I just picked back up where we left off. Both times I found the summer break actually helped in skills being ready to move forward more than they were in June.

I am fairly relaxed about K. I start it in April of Pre-K partly to give me extra time. We often do MFWK 3 to 4 days a week. I also often put days 5 and 6 together. I find the skills keep building even without it being every day and with the break part way into the program.

Working on the basics during your 6 week break sounds like a great idea. It is always amazing what 2 more months of maturity will do for school work. You might be really surprised what she is ready for in September. I would just keep going at whatever pace you think she can do and continue at that pace through the program rather than repeating it; BUT you will know best on that since you actually work with her each day & will know better than I if repeating it would be helpful.

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