Family Size - Is MFW-K possible with a large family?

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
cbollin

Family Size - Is MFW-K possible with a large family?

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:36 am

my3boys wrote:I am looking for a program to do with 5 children - three 3yos, a 4yo, and a 6yo (all boys but one). I would like to see the 4yo and 6yo beginning reading by the end of the year (they know most of the letters and their sounds). Other than that I just really need to keep them busy and engaged. Right now my house and furniture are suffering from their boredom - we have really long winters and lots of time has to be spent indoors.

Would MFW K be appropriate and easy for using with 5 children together at these ages?

[editor's note: see the end of the story below]
Sounds like a small classroom to me :)

There are instructions in the MFW K TM for classroom teaching as well as homeschooling "just one" K student at a time.

-crystal

tiffany
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:56 am

Unread post by tiffany » Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:44 pm

Yes, I think it would work to teach Kindergarten to them together.

The Kindergarten can be scheduled with breaks throughout your day. You could save projects and such for that nap time you still have. There is a lot included in the MFWK program.

With your active group, it may be good to find some non-school type activities to burn off some energy. Locally, our YMCA offers a homeschool gym and swim. Our parks and rec dept. offers a number of physical activities. You could also just go to the park when it warms up. Depending on the size of your town, you could pick a different park each week to visit, or bundle them up and have them go outside.

There are also physical activity books written for families with games and such that can be done indoors. Maybe someone could help out with a suggestion. I do not know what to recommend for that.

I guess I'm trying to say, wear them out a bit. You could also spend some of the non MFW time training them to do simple chores. Or get some building type materials that allow them to be creative without making a huge mess, like K-nex or magnet type toys.

Short field trips, like the zoo, fire dept., children's museums are also ideas. Sometimes a family membership is worth the price if you plan to be frequent visitors. Again this depends on the size of your town.

I know boys can get a little crazy. Sometimes I feel like I have pirates living in my house.
Tiffany
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877

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

Unread post by HSmommi2mine » Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:09 pm

Sounds like a good plan. You noted that only one takes a nap. Frankly, I would go nuts. :) may I suggest "room-time". All my kids are required to spend 90 min. in their rooms looking at books or listening to tapes. It took a while to get them use to this but it restores my sanity and is so worth the trouble of getting them to do it. My oldest is allowed to play in his room, my middle one is only allowed on her bed because she is destructive and my little one still sleeps.

I think you will love MFW for your crowd.
~Christina

Wife to my favorite guy
Mom to 3 great kids

MJP
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 9:25 pm

Unread post by MJP » Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:42 pm

I second room time! I have seven children, although not as close together as yours. Room time helps calm everyone down, and they are excited to get to see each other again afterwards.
Melissa
Wife of 1 for 18 yrs. Mom of 7--ages 1-15--1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th and 9th grades & (one on the way)
Psalm 16:8
Currently using--1850 to Modern Times
Previously--MFW K , 1st, CtoG, RTR, Exp. to 1850

my3boys
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:50 pm

I wish!!

Unread post by my3boys » Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:28 pm

Three of these children are not mine, but I have them here 9 hours a day M-F. I don't really have enough rooms in my house to give alone time to everyone at the same time (especially child-safe rooms). The 3yos have napped until recently, but they've all started to crawl out of their playpens and tag team me. My 4yo is not trustworthy enough to allow out of my sight either. So, since I can't be everywhere at once, I've just decided it might be easier to have 'read-aloud time' after lunch. The three daycare children will be going to school a year from September, so I have one more year of full time work before I can just concentrate on schooling my own kids. I'm trying to structure it so that it will be as unstressful as possible.

Lucy
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Unread post by Lucy » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:38 pm

Hi my3boys,

As I read your post I have questions about your 4 year old and why you are wanting him to be able to read by the end of the year. Maybe he is ready but many 4 year olds especially boys are not ready, although he will be able to join in many of the activities in K he may not be ready to for all of the reading and writing activities. So I guess I just do not want you to be disappointed if he is not reading or reading well by the end of the year. He can join in all of the other K activities this year, but doing the reading , writing, and math work next year for his own K year. See the following link that shows how to use K with pre-K and K aged children.

http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?t=642

You will see that Marie also suggest that you consider purchasing the Pre-school package which would be good for the 3 year olds as well as your 4 year old to build reading, writing, and math readiness skills. It comes with a small booklet that give you over 100 activities that you can use with the 6 toys included in the package. These activities are meant to be done for 10-15 minutes a day.

I think that you could even involve your 4th grader in helping you to play some of these activities with them while you are working with your 6 year old for phonics and math lessons. You may find that your 4th grader will even enjoy a science experiment or 2 from MFW K.

I too think that the MFW office will be very helpful in giving you direction as well if you are able to give them a call. Hope this helps as you form a plan.

Lucy
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

Lucy
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Thanks for the link, Lucy

Unread post by Lucy » Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:01 pm

my3boys wrote:This is pretty much what I had planned, except for the third year I will fold them in with their older brother instead of doing Adventures.

My 4yo is very interested in the letters and their sounds - he can say and copy most of them. I don't plan on doing any real reading with him unless he begins to make the connections on his own - which I suspect he might in the next year.
Hello again,

Yes, that all sounds good. Folding kids who are in 2nd grade and above in with the older siblings program is exactly what is recommended.

Every week (lesson) there is a special literature day and activities to go with that book in the MFW K program. The books are all listed in the TM along with the activities for each lesson/theme. I always encourage those using MFW K to try and get all the recommended books for the week and enjoy those along with the science topic books all week. Then on Literature day do the activities with only one book. Marie Hazell(author) suggest her first pick, but list others in case you are unable to find them at the library. These books are coordinated with the weeks theme and are meant to be found at your own library.

Hope those thoughts help you as you are planning your time with your little classroom:).

Lucy
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

my3boys
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:50 pm

box day

Unread post by my3boys » Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:23 pm

Hi, I just wanted to say that we got our curriculum boxes today - it's always so much fun to open the boxes and go through everything. We'll be starting in April, so I have some time to read through everything - I'll have a hard time waiting!

my3boys
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:50 pm

MFW with a whole crop of littles plus big kids

Unread post by my3boys » Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:45 pm

CLJY wrote:We have been blessed with 5 ages 5 & under: 5,4,2.5 twins, and 9 mos.
While I have been teaching our six other children since the beginning, now that I have this really cool crop of little guys coming up I am looking for a programmed curriculum that would be rich and fun and allow me to enjoy every moment I get with these pumpkins. However, I also have six older kids I teach, so it can't be so time consuming just yet because I just don't have all day to do it with just the little guys. Thanks so much!
Carolyn
I am doing K with 6 children ages 2.5-6 together and it is going very well. Only the older two do the reading lessons and I add songs and fingerplays for the littler guys (I also stick to picture book selections with fun stories). K for us is only taking 20 min. for our circle time and then 20 more min. with the children doing reading lessons. I only have one older child (a third grader), he is doing ECC and that is taking a few hours for all his schooling - probably will take you a little longer with extra children, but may be a good place to start.
Alison
Mom to 3 busy boys ages 11, 8, and 6
finished K, First, ECC, and CtG - currently using RtR

baileymom
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Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:33 pm
Location: South Carolina
Contact:

Am I doing the right thing with my young boy K'er?

Unread post by baileymom » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:10 pm

Mom2theteam wrote:We received our K material and started out pretty well with the intro. Then, Christmas came and have had some set backs since. Anyway, so we have been trying to get through unit 2, but have been struggling. I'm having a hard time getting it in. Some days we are able to do our activity, but by the time it's time to do the reading/workbook stuff, my 4 younger kids are demanding my attention or just being too distracting to get it done. My 3 year olds (young 3) will follow along with the craft or activity we do, but when I present info and show pictures and stuff they can't sit still long enough. Even the activity they can only handle for 20 minutes or so. By the time we are done with that and ready to move to the reading work, they are just over it. I give my 3 year olds something quiet to do while we work. They love the Lauri toys and do look forward to that. But, my 3 kids are very close and do everything together. Zack, the 5 year old, enjoys the Lauri toys as well and feels left out. (I do let him play with them later or even for a few minutes beforehand like today.) They want to be with us. So, trying to get the twins to go in the playroom or something while we work results in a tantrum from the boy and tears from the girl. On top of that, often my babies wake up before we are done and need to nurse. We are very behind on the reading work for /m/ moon. We are totally done with the activities and today finally did lesson 3 of the reading. We skipped activities today and just did reading/math work instead. So, here is how it went:

1. nursed my baby twins, 10 months, while reading 2 books to all 5 kids on the floor in the family room. (10-15 minute) Then, I put the babies down for naps.
2. Set all 3 kids up at the table with Lauri toys. My oldest did Tanagrams. I helped them and also gathered materials for the reading lesson. (aprox. 10 minutes)
3. Recited our "theme verse" with all 3 kids
4. Sang the /a/ /a/ Apple song with all 3
5 The twins were still playing with their pegs, but starting to get a little distracted
6. Zack and I got out his notebook and started on our calendar and 100 chart. This was really tough because he was getting distracted by the twins building tall towers with the pegs. They were getting more and more restless and making it very hard to work.
7. Then, I gave in and put the twins in front of the TV so Zack and I could get this done. He complained that it wasn't fair.
8. Once we got the other 2 occupied with the TV, we were able to complete our lesson. And, he seemed to enjoy it.
9. About 15/20 minutes before we were done, the babies woke up. They were content, so I left them in their cribs. But, before we were finished, they started crying. I let my 3 year old daughter go up and give them some toys from their toy bin. They stopped crying and we finished quickly. The last few minutes had me stressed a bit to hurry up and get my babies. If the toys hadn't worked and we weren't so close to being done (5 minutes or so by the time they started crying), I would have had to abandon the end of the lesson.

I don't want to resort to putting the 3 year olds in front of the TV. I'm not against TV, but this is not what I want for this time.

On top of all the distractions, we have issues with my son. My son turned 5 in mid-Oct. So, he is a young 5 and technically would be in pre-K still this year. But, he only misses the cut off for K by 2 wks and really is above all the pre-K stuff I found. So, I went ahead with the K program. He complains any time I tell him we are going to do school. He doesn't want to do it. And, he has a VERY hard time with the handwriting. Just completing the calendar and 100 chart is a major struggle for him. I don't mind if it's not perfect, but he does. I don't mind continuing to guide his hand for a while longer, but he doesn't want me to. The thing is, through all his complaining and struggle with handwriting, he actually is picking up the sounds really well. He is picking out the beginning sounds of other words now and is able to identify more than just /s/ and /m/. And, he always seems to have fun with the activities other than the handwriting.

So, I'm just confused as to what to do. I have read over and over not to push them. I'm fine with going slow, but this is too slow. I feel like this slow isn't going to be good in the long run. It's is going to hurt the continuity of the program. I'm willing to find other ways to get it all in. Normally, I have about an hour free in the afternoon when all the kids are either napping or having quiet time. I could give that up. But, I'm having a hard time giving that up if I'm pushing him too early. (I need it for sanity with 5 kids 5 and under including 2 sets of twins, toddlers and nurslings) I'm struggling to know if his reluctance means I should back off for a while and that is causing me to halfheartedly push forward. Help! Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!!
From another Mom of Many...do NOT give up your Quiet Time. You need it.

From another Mom of Boys (2 school-aged), pack it up, and start again next year after he is six. Read, color, Read, play with play dough, Read, draw, Read (practice narration), watch Sesame Street, Read... ... ...

From another Mom of Many...make a schedule/routine NOW, so when you start real school next fall everyone will know what to do, and when to do it.

From another Mom of Many...the 'one room school house' idea is the only thing that I have found that works here. It's the only way I know what everyone is doing (and that everyone is safe).

From another Mom of Many...schooling year round eases the feeling that you 'MUST get this done this week.'

From another Mom of Many...learn to school with Distractions. Dirty Diapers. Nursing. Noise. Getting juice. Correcting pencil grasp. Wiping noses. Breaking up squabbles. Answering the phone. The door. Texting hubby. Potty breaks. Snow. Swimming. Etc. ...you and the children. Don't take it so seriously, and when the day just seems shot, pack it up, and pick up where you leave off tomorrow (goes along with schooling year round).

:::::: I could go on and on, but that's a good start. Let me know if you want to know any specifics.
Kathi - graduated 1, homeschooling 6, preschooling 2, growing 1

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

Re: Am I doing the right thing with my young boy K'er?

Unread post by gratitude » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:24 pm

baileymom wrote:From another Mom of Many...do NOT give up your Quiet Time. You need it.
5 a.m. alarm was my inspiration from God last year, and a blessing beyond measure for my prayer life, marriage, quiet time, Bible, and sanity.

From another Mom of Boys (2 school-aged), pack it up, and start again next year after he is six. Read, color, Read, play with play dough, Read, draw, Read (practice narration), watch Sesame Street, Read... ... ...
I didn't start until my oldest was 6 and I am grateful, it gave me a little more time being a parent before I dove in.

From another Mom of Many...make a schedule/routine NOW, so when you start real school next fall everyone will know what to do, and when to do it.
Great Advice!

From another Mom of Many...the 'one room school house' idea is the only thing that I have found that works here. It's the only way I know what everyone is doing (and that everyone is safe).
I have my main floor organized for school and play; it is the only thing that works to know that we are doing school & they are safe.

From another Mom of Many...schooling year round eases the feeling that you 'MUST get this done this week.'
I Agree 100%. It also allows for days when someone has a great inspiration of their own they want to accomplish, and I can let the rest go so they can. It also allows for the days of illness, life, and it just isn't going to happen today. My goal though is to have some things done by summer so that it is a lighter time of the year in the morning.'

From another Mom of Many...learn to school with Distractions. Dirty Diapers. Nursing. Noise. Getting juice. Correcting pencil grasp. Wiping noses. Breaking up squabbles. Answering the phone. The door. Texting hubby. Potty breaks. Snow. Swimming. Etc. ...you and the children. Don't take it so seriously, and when the day just seems shot, pack it up, and pick up where you leave off tomorrow (goes along with schooling year round).
It gets easier, and then suddenly you realize that you really can home school with a baby, toddler, and preschooler and that since you don't know anything else that it is possible. In my case they also have moved onto 1st, K, pre-school and toddler which is easier.
You have been given great advice. From a mom of 4, I second all of it.

Oh, I will add that I too tried to start Kindergarten school when my oldest turned 5 in the summer of 08. I was half way through a pregnancy (difficult pregnancy) and had a 3 & 1 year old. It lasted 6 weeks. I decided that we had always talked about starting K at 6, due to his summer Birthday, and thus decided to wait until he was 6 after all. It went so much better! Even with a 4, 2, & 9 month old it was easier than the previous year. Mostly because he was ready. I am SO GLAD that I waited.

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: Am I doing the right thing with my young boy K'er?

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:38 pm

Kathi, thank you so much!! I really needed to hear several of those things. I'm so glad you said not to give up my quiet time. I was feeling guilty for holding onto it so tightly. But, I do feel I need it. Thank you for validating that. I really can't do it very early in the AM. I actually really want to, but I am truly not a morning person. I turn off my alarm without knowing it and sleep right through. It is a problem when we have somewhere to be. :~ I have to put my baby monitor across the room or I'll do the same thing. :( For now, the afternoon quiet time works best for me.

I was also starting to think about year round school for the exact reasons mentioned. With the Lord's blessing, we are not done having children yet. I feel with having a large family and so many littles running around for a while, taking the pressure off of doing it within the "school year" would help a lot. I'm definitely going to discuss that with my husband and pray about it.

If we pack it up for this year, how do we begin next year? Do we start at the next unit or start over? If we start over, how would I go about the first two units since I have already used the workbook pages for those? I am very inclined to do this, for several reasons. I'm just not sure how my husband will feel about it. Even though he is on board with homeschooling, he is having a hard time actually getting the idea of it and not expecting it to look exactly like public school. At this point, Zack isn't technically behind, but he definitely isn't ahead and a lot of 5 year olds are ahead of him because of going to preschool or already being in K. A lot of the working moms my husband works with talk about their 5 year olds reading and doing things mine definitely doesn't do. It's hard for him not to feel our son is behind. Then, he has a tendency to think it's because he isn't in "school." (All of those kids are in preschool and most in K because Zack only misses the cut off by 2wks. I actually think it's probably a good thing though.) He believes very strongly in us keeping them home for spiritual reason, but is concerned about the academics of it. I'm afraid he is not going agree to hold off for now. I'll start praying now. :-)

One of the biggest reasons I wanted to go ahead and start was to get a routine going. I'm not great at them. But, I really feel strongly we need one. So, I will sit down and see what I can come up with that does not include school, but lots of reading and crafts instead. I think waiting will be very good for the 3 year olds also. 6 months makes a huge difference the younger they are. Hopefully, things will go more smoothly with them then also. We will work on their skills for playing quietly in the mean time. ;)

Thank you!!!
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

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

Re: Am I doing the right thing with my young boy K'er?

Unread post by gratitude » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:17 pm

Mom2theteam wrote: For now, the afternoon quiet time works best for me.
It is great that you found a quiet time that works. I could never make the afternoon work, but I can get up early. If afternoons work, then that is the time it will be a blessing for you.
Mom2theteam wrote:At this point, Zack isn't technically behind, but he definitely isn't ahead and a lot of 5 year olds are ahead of him because of going to preschool or already being in K. A lot of the working moms my husband works with talk about their 5 year olds reading and doing things mine definitely doesn't do. It's hard for him not to feel our son is behind. Then, he has a tendency to think it's because he isn't in "school."
I felt the same way from the time my oldest was 5, until he was about 7. He was 'behind' the other children, in some areas (reading/writing), since we didn't start until 6. He was way ahead though in Bible, science (just some of the books we read aloud), and other areas. It is really hard to look at the whole picture, but it helps if you can. You might be amazed though at how much more ready a boy is at 6 or 7, and how quickly they do catch up to their peers. At this point at 7 it would be very difficult to place exactly where he is at. He just wrote down a four sentence story today on his own. I believe this is advanced for 1st grade, and maybe even for 2nd (?). The point being that waiting to learn to write until 6 didn't hurt him at all.
Mom2theteam wrote: One of the biggest reasons I wanted to go ahead and start was to get a routine going. I'm not great at them. But, I really feel strongly we need one. So, I will sit down and see what I can come up with that does not include school, but lots of reading and crafts instead. I think waiting will be very good for the 3 year olds also. 6 months makes a huge difference the younger they are. Hopefully, things will go more smoothly with them then also. We will work on their skills for playing quietly in the mean time. ;)
Hang in there. You have a lot of little ones, and I can imagine how very busy you really are.

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: Am I doing the right thing with my young boy K'er?

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:36 pm

My son is definitely ahead in Bible. I don't know what being ahead in science would be. LOL. But, he is very interested in learning Bible and science type info. Right now, his big focus is on dinosaurs. Thanks for reminding me that reading isn't all it is about. I'll gently remind my husband of that too when we talk about this.
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

samandsawyersmom
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 10:07 pm
Location: Northern IN

Re: Am I doing the right thing with my young boy K'er?

Unread post by samandsawyersmom » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:49 pm

Hello!

I have a son with a early "late" birthday also. His is late September which is not far off the cut off . . . .anyway. . . .I had started him in the spring because his preschool teacher was saying how ready for K he was even tho he was still 1 1/2yr off from ps K. So of course as his mom I totally thought he was a super smart little guy and as far as the verbal stuff and most of the bible he understood most of it. Just couldn't get the writting. So. . . .I put it away for 6 months and we are doing great and are on Week 14! He likes school and doesn't mind doing it. . .I say that because what 5yr old wouldn't rather be playing? We are doing well but I still have my reservations as he is only 5yrs old yet. So I might just finish MFWK and then take part of next yr doing lapbooks, working on phonics etc till the first of the yr and. . . .well I just don't know yet????? :~ :~ Don't want to push him to far ahead that he suffers socially!! ;)

Shout out for my kiddo!!!
We are also doing a math workbook cause he wanted to and he did a whole page of addition to day!!! That was 13 problems total! 6 didn't even have any pictures just numbers!!! And he didn't even use his fingers, much!!! LOL!! :-)

Not sure that I helped at all but just wanted you to know that you are not the only one out here that is in this situation or at least a form of it!!! ;)

~Stacey
Wife to my wonderful husband 8yrs
Mom to 2 wonderful sons 6yrs and 4yrs
2012 pre-school and MFW 1st
2011 K

MelissaM
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:52 pm

Re: Am I doing the right thing with my young boy K'er?

Unread post by MelissaM » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:55 pm

baileymom wrote:pack it up, and start again next year after he is six.
I haven't read all the responses, but this is what I was going to say too. My dd is an Oct birthday and she made the ps cut-off by a few days. She wanted to learn to read and seemed generally "ready" so we started her in K at 4, almost 5. I now wish I had waited - she's doing fine, really well in most academic subjects, but boy it would have been so much better to start her a almost 6.

Now, I'm doing the K program with my middle kid, a boy. We started in Aug; he just turned 6 last month - he's flourishing, and I can see that he definitely would not have been ready last year (even though I considered starting it with him then).

Definitely wait till next year, give all those babies a little time to get bigger and more in a routine!

HUGS to you!

(Oh, fwiw, we always do the cal/hundred chart, then the "yellow pages" and THEN the activity. We always get in the Bible lesson, we almost always get the science or project - but if we're going to miss something, I'd rather it be a science experiment or art project that we can do at another time when we have a few minutes or a rainy day or whatever, then miss the phonics or math portion. YMMV, of course.)

More (((HUGS)))
:)
Melissa
DD13
DS10
DS5
DS2

cbollin

Re: Am I doing the right thing with my young boy K'er?

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:14 pm

definitely do not give up quiet time/down time or whatever.

for something completely different...

when you decide to continue with pencil/paper writing, may I recommend you consider not having a beginning pencil writer do the number on the 100 chart itself? It could be the "teacher's" copy, and then let him practice on dry erase with markers, or in a salt try, or shaving cream on the bathtub wall. same with calendar. Finish the lesson, then give him the option to write his numbers later on a different calendar (a real calendar, or print one from online somewhere) when you have to work/hug/feed/change one of the other children. In other words, save up those "independent practices" for after the lesson.
lots of them are available online.
http://math.about.com/od/countin1/ss/100s-chart.htm
http://donnayoung.org/math/100-number.htm

just adjust them to be one row of the number you are practicing. In other words, you don't need him to fill in 1-100 all the time. One row of the number of the day is plenty. I just linked to things called 100's chart so you could print them, cut the rows as you go along... does that make sense? also, he can pick which of the practice boxes he likes the best, cut that one out, use glue stick to paste it on a blank 100's chart and build it as you go along.

and calendar practice after you teach the lesson, and he needs independent work when you change/feed/etc
http://donnayoung.org/calendars/blank-calendars.htm

but again, teach the lesson actively, demonstrate, move along to phonics. The math can be done as a group as part of waking up routines or breakfast.

work on fine motor skills with the link and lace and other lace toys before doing too much with pencil. (play dough, using scissors, tracing with a pencil around the objects in the Lauri shape set and cut them out)
he probably could use more time to be more ready for Kindy and it will not hurt him to wait.
hoping your husband can get to a convention and meet other homeschooling dads who have experience with part time h-s teaching to help erase the school room thoughts. I know David Hazell has a workshop for Dads. It goes beyond the "oh we need to help", to guy to guy talk of the stuff that helps and how to do it.

hopefully you and your dh can sit together and see if there are ways to do some one on one teaching in the evening for some of the Kindy stuff too. I know we just had supper and night school over here. long day, while I slept a lot.

work on developing routines and structure. Children that age do enjoy knowing what's coming up next. of course, we all have to be flexible for real life. But can still give some routine and security in what happens next.

Give yourself plenty of grace as you get back into school after a longer than scheduled break.

(((hugs)))

-crystal (I only have 3 children though with youngest with autism.... so I have no advice of 5 children, or twins)

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: Am I doing the right thing with my young boy K'er?

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:07 pm

Thanks everyone. I spoke to my husband. I was pleasantly surprised that he is totally fine with us waiting a little longer. He said, "if he isn't ready, he isn't ready." He also liked the idea of year round school. It seems as if he may be slowly coming out of the classroom mindset. So, we are going to shelf the curriculum till fall. I told Zack tonight. I was a little surprised he told me he wanted to do school. But, he wasn't really upset and didn't try to convince me. I think he likes doing the crafts and activities. I'm going to work on getting us on a different routine and incorporating a lot of hands on craft type things to work on his fine motor skills. We will work to better implement more structured environment, which I really want and feel we need, and prepare all the kids for the official start of school this fall. Thank you, Ladies for your advice. I'm a little sad, but relieved at the same time. I think this is going to be the best decision for us.

ETA - Crystal, thanks for the tips. I've tried putting dots on the page and having him trace them, but even that doesn't go well. I like your idea of me doing it and having him practice later. Thanks!
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

cbollin

Re: Am I doing the right thing with my young boy K'er?

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:56 am

Mom2theteam wrote: I'm a little sad, but relieved at the same time. I think this is going to be the best decision for us.
It's ok. You'll work on "school" until fall. Just not necessarily with a Kindy program. (((hugs))) and hi-fives

When my little girls (they get old so fast) were preschool ages, they actually attended preschool outside of the home. preschool days at those 3 places were all structured about the same idea:

*check in and free style play for a few minutes to say hello and wander around the room
*circle time with songs and stories. (maybe you could use the Wee Sing Bible Songs from MFW preschool)
*play time revolving in some way about the story you read or song you sang -- lots of activity stations with playdough, art work, building toys. So, there was some direction from the teacher like "ooh, we read a story about the 3 bears.. maybe you could paint a scene from the story? or tell what you think happened next. Or, take the shapes from your Lauri kit and trace some of them to make the house. or do those writing stations with the numbers and letters.
*Clean up clean up, everyone everywhere.. clean up clean up everybody do your share. (did I just quote barney?) and school toys/learning materials are put away
*wash hands and have a snack
*maybe another song or story depending on the day
*play outside until parents show up for pick up. (oh wait.... you can just let them play a bit until a timer goes off for lunch)
(those who stayed for extended day, got lunch and a nap!)

That's school structure time at this age. So, Zack is going to do school, but it might not be with Kindy materials just yet. give him a "graduation ceremony" to promote him to Kindy before you start in the fall.
Mom2theteam wrote:I do have a question: Can you give me an idea of about how much time I should be allowing for craft/activity type stuff at this age (3,5). About how long do you suggest for each thing before moving on? I can learn that by trial and error, but an idea going into it would help. :) We did Play-Doh today for about 30 minutes. That seemed to work well.
I know my daughter's schedules in group preschools were designed to occupy, educate and involve them for 2. 5 hours (that includes line standing time and potty breaks and pick up and drop off and snack and wash hands)

some of the children tended to have their minds and bodies wander during circle time and it didn't bother the teacher too much as long as they stayed on the circle time carpet square or circle or triangles. I'd guess (my memory is fuzzy) that was a 10 minute time frame at tops -- but circle time included interaction time with stories and singing and questions and the typical "you know my cat likes to lick her fur to get clean" comments that had nothing to do with what you were reading.

"directed free play" - was about like you had 30 minute thing.

When I did some preschool structure at home, I tried to keep "directed by me time" limited to 30 minutes. Usually in three 10 minute spurts. That way I covered my part and then they had more "self directed" "independent" or self motivated loosely structured play time. and of course I used more TV and DVD than you want to do but then again when you are dealing with autism in preschooler..... But personality wise and time management wise, I'm not the type of person who did a super fixed schedule of everyone. so my time box frames were flexible, and yet we manage to be places on time.

oh oh oh .. and don't forgot that "school time" should include meal prep time with them at this age. They can set the table, get a small small small pitcher to pour water for themselves (rule of thumb: as much as they are able to clean up so that mom isn't exhausted) make sandwiches. and clean up the dishes themselves.

That is real school/education in my opinion. I've used used picture placemats that show which side of the plate to put the forks. bought them at a fancy homeschool vendor, but I bet those things are available other places too. it is called the Set Right Placemat (I got mine through The Etiquette Factory at a homeschool convention) but you can download similar ones and make your own as part of school time! not sure about the laminating though..... hmmm... it says it's 8.5 x 11 ish size , so maybe a page protector could work? I don't know.
http://www.allfreecrafts.com/kids/placemat.shtml

you guys are going to be great. Like your dh said, if you need more time, it's ok.

-crystal

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

Re: Am I doing the right thing with my young boy K'er?

Unread post by gratitude » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:56 am

Mom2theteam wrote: I'm a little sad, but relieved at the same time. I think this is going to be the best decision for us.
I made the exact same decision in the fall of 08 when my oldest had just turned 5. After 6 weeks of 'school' it was obvious we need PLAY.

I just wanted you to know that I felt sad too, I cried. I also too felt a huge relief.

2 1/2 years later I can not imagine not having waited until he was 6. It was one of the BEST home school decisions I have ever made.

The year in-between, BTW, prepared me as much as it prepared him for really doing 'school' work together.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Am I doing the right thing with my young boy K'er?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:12 am

cbollin wrote:preschool days at those 3 places were all structured about the same idea:

*check in and free style play for a few minutes to say hello and wander around the room
*circle time with songs and stories. (maybe you could use the Wee Sing Bible Songs from MFW preschool)
*play time
Good description, Crystal! But you forgot something :) My grandson always tells me about his day...
and then we lined up
and then we went to the gym
and then we lined up
and then we lined up
and then we lined up

Seems to be important -- better do it at home :~
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

MelissaM
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:52 pm

Re: Am I doing the right thing with my young boy K'er?

Unread post by MelissaM » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:45 am

and then we lined up
and then we went to the gym
and then we lined up
and then we lined up
and then we lined up

8[] 8[] 8[]

I actually wish we had practiced lining up a little bit when my kids were very small. I had to stop them from mowing people down in the church hallway, more than once. I always apologized, "Please excuse them, they're homeschooled, they don't know how to stand in line!" :-)
:)
Melissa
DD13
DS10
DS5
DS2

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: Am I doing the right thing with my young boy K'er?

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:17 pm

Thanks Ladies. It is good to know I'm not alone. I feel a little silly because I did read about this happening to many other moms who started about when I did. I was hoping I wasn't making the same "mistake." Ha, ha! That is okay. I did know we might have to wait. I'm okay with it. I think you are right about it preparing me as well. I totally feel like a fish our of water right now. I think I need to work on my skills as a teacher, time manager, and herder of cats...oops, I mean kids. :-)

Crystal, thank you so much for that description!!! I really can't even begin to tell you how helpful it is to me. I have no experience in early childhood education and have had a really hard time getting a handle on what I'm actually supposed to do. People keep telling me to get on a routine. I know we need one that includes more than meal times and sleep times and I really want one. I just don't know what to do! :~ The full curriculum of MFW K was really helping me with that since it laid out what I was supposed to do. (When we did it of course) So, your schedule helps me a lot.

As for the lines, I actually have mine line up to go out to the car. I say, "Okay, line up at the door." I need to work on it more as I do see the benefit in them being able to stand in line, especially as we get more kiddos in the line. ;)
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

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

Re: Am I doing the right thing with my young boy K'er?

Unread post by tangomoon » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:25 pm

Just wanted to add that I normally write the numbers on the 100s chart and calendar, too. My K'er helps by telling me what numbers to make. We've just begun (in Week 17) some additional number practice by putting each day's coin cup amount (that begins in Wk 16) and the numbers for the date on a whiteboard. She's ready for that now - at the beginning of the year it would have been too much. :)

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

Re: Am I doing the right thing with my young boy K'er?

Unread post by carissa » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:30 pm

Heather, it sounds like you've already gotten some great advice. We had our boy/girl twins when our ds had just turned 2. I don't have two sets of twins, but having one set, I wanted to just chime in with a few thoughts.

First, give yourself lots of grace!!! You don't want to have a pity party, but honestly God has given you a very full plate with so many "littles" at once. What a blessing for sure, but as one of my friends with 6 children said to me when mine were 5 and 3, "You are still 'in the trenches' with them needing so much from you all day." ((Hugs))

I think waiting to start full-on K is a great idea. In my experience, and as other moms have said, boys tend to be slower to develop the fine motor skills needed for writing. I don't know of many boys that were early and avid writers. It's okay to wait. Another benefit for waiting is your older set of twins will be 4 years old during your first year, rather than three. They'll get more out of it, and it will probably be an easier and more pleasant year for all of you. I don't want to be discouraging, but at our house three was the hardest year. Terrible Twos sounds more "catchy" than Therrible Threes, but it was definitely the Therrible Threes for us, lol!

Just relax and enjoy this year. Reading to them, doing playdoh, coloring, and other preschool activities will be wonderful prep for next year and will provide activities and a bit of structure to your days.

Blessings,
Carissa
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 :)

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