4 year olds & early 5's - Start K slowly or wait?

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
Yodergoat
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Conflicted on when to start MFWK

Unread post by Yodergoat » Sat May 26, 2012 5:33 pm

dsnell0331 wrote:Hi, everyone. I've been doing a lot of research these past few weeks, and my heart keeps coming back to MFW. We are brand new to this homeschooling thing. Our children are 18 months, and soon to be 4 years old. My dilemma is this, my soon to be 4 year old seems to be more than ready for the MFWK - although everything I'm seeing says to wait until she's 5.

So, I looked into all of the preschool/toddler offers. We already have a huge majority of these kinds of things - and she seems to be a little bored with them. She begs for more structured learning. She wants "school time". We've been using a very simple workbox system, with little things here and there that I have come up with. She can recognize all numbers (up to 20 for now), recognize all letters, write capital letters, write her name (with a visual to give guidance), and knows most of the sounds that each letter makes - among other skills not listed.

So, I'm at a loss. Do we jump into MFWK? Even if she excels at it, would she even be ready maturity-wise for the 1st grade program when she's only 5? I don't want to push her too far, I don't want to hold her back.

So, then we've looked into Five In A Row. I'm considering using this for a year, just to give her something more "structured", and then the next year starting with MFWK.

Can I have some advice/opinions? I've seen the "Is your child ready" list, and our answer to every question has been a resounding "YES". Thanks for any suggestions, I appreciate it.
I would think that even if she seems ready on the academic side as outlined in "is your child ready for K?" guidelines (as she seems to be), there is more the the K program than just academics. There are great character lessons and Biblical content that is more suited for an older child... and some of these are relatively mature and somewhat abstract concepts like sacrifice for sin, guarding the tongue, "remaining" in Christ (as a few examples of the concepts covered for each unit), and others of that nature that may be above the ability of a just-turned four year old to fully grasp. Some of these may be difficult for even a very bright and mature four year old to really wrap her head around due to how abstract they are, but they are really part of the beauty of the K program. And then as you pointed out, would she be ready for First at five? Adventures at six? (if you stay with MFW)

My daughter had all these same signs of early readiness before she was four, but I am so glad that I waited until she was five to do K... even if only so she could really "get" the Bible and character concepts. And I see now, as I am looking at the First grade materials, that they would have been far too much for her at five years old. I am very new at homeschooling, too... the K program was our first year ever. But as I have read on these boards, I keep seeing over and over again how others say they are glad they waited, especially when the child they considered starting early begins the first grade program at the right maturity level instead of being a year too young.

Have you read the K archives on this board? You may find some helpful posts about starting early versus waiting. Also, some folks stretch K out over two years, which could also be an option for you if you really feel you want to start. But again, I would say that although the program appears simple, there are some deep concepts to explore.

If I were in your position (and I was two years ago, but had not yet discovered MFW), and you want structure, I would do something in the meantime like Five in a Row. But in my case, I chose to just give my child another year to play and explore without structure but with lots of educational toys to use... the last chance for many years for both of us to be free and unfettered by school responsiblities. I'm glad we did.

If you wait, and then do K next year and she just absolutely excels at it because you waited that year.... don't look at it as a waste of time to have waited.... think of it as a chance for her to begin school feeling confident and truly ready. Even if she is reading by then, there is so much more to K than the academics.

If she does K next year instead of this year, your toddler will also be more able to participate in some of the fun hands-on learning. That would be a nice bonus!

Just some thoughts from one who has just finished the great K program.
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!

dsnell0331
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Re: Conflicted on when to start MFWK

Unread post by dsnell0331 » Sat May 26, 2012 5:48 pm

I can't even thank you enough for your response. I think that's what I needed to know. I would be more than happy to just let her play all day, and explore/learn like that, she is the one begging for "school". I do believe we will go with something like Five In A Row, and then proceed to MFW when she turns 5. Thank you.

cbollin

Re: Conflicted on when to start MFWK

Unread post by cbollin » Sat May 26, 2012 5:53 pm

very delicately stepping in on this conversation......

My oldest is now 16. If I could go back, I would wait on FIAR until age 5 or 6. and consider Before FIAR for a 4 y.o if literature based is something you want to do. got too abstract too early.... I'm not knocking FIAR (great stories and all of that)... but sigh................. I did it too abstractly too early...sigh................ if I had just waited..... it wouldnt' have hurt anything..... it's experiences from the way I messed up doing it.

Another structured preschool program I saw once at convention.... floweringbaby dot com.

Julie in MN
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Re: Conflicted on when to start MFWK

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat May 26, 2012 6:10 pm

dsnell0331 wrote: She begs for more structured learning. She wants "school time". We've been using a very simple workbox system, with little things here and there that I have come up with. She can recognize all numbers (up to 20 for now), recognize all letters, write capital letters, write her name (with a visual to give guidance), and knows most of the sounds that each letter makes - among other skills not listed.
For kids who beg for school, I really like this quote from a while back. It was posted by a mom who was considering K early...
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."
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 761#p78761
I think letters and numbers seem to a little one as if they are the key to accessing the adult world, because that's when we adults pay attention.

I also think think we parents forget that no learning is ever finished. Just like the 2nd grader hasn't finished his reading skills just because he's learned to read, the preschooler also hasn't finish his hands-on exploration at any one point - there isn't really an end to that learning, either. The MFW Preschool cards give some help, showing us parents many more skills can be learned with simple toys.

I suspect that what most 4s need to work on is things like following a schedule, following directions, building small muscle strength & hand-eye coordination, and noticing more in the world around them (patterns, multiple ways of doing things, how things work - not just what button to push but why). And I suspect that what most 4s really want may be time to explore with an adult :)

I have to admit that I am biased. I am honestly convinced that almost all children learn "better" and end up stronger learners if they get filled up with the concrete for a good long while before they start the abstract. There's always that exception here and there, but that's my most humble opinion ;)

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

dsnell0331
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Re: Conflicted on when to start MFWK

Unread post by dsnell0331 » Sat May 26, 2012 6:24 pm

Thank you guys. And yes, Before Five In A Row is what I was looking at. It looks like I'll stick with my gut feeling, and go with that. Let her have "school", but to not get hung up on it. Looks like in a year, or so, I'll be around in here when we do start MFWK!

Crystal, I'm looking at that floweringbaby website, thanks for that. I have no desire to push her, or move too fast, I'm just trying to figure out the best choice for her. Thank you all for your replies.

Ohmomjacquie
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Re: Conflicted on when to start MFWK

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie » Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am

Welcome! My ds is 4 as well and I feel like he could probably do k we are waiting. One thing we are using to give him workbooks from rod and staff. We are also going to fo lots of reading together and such. Another, curriculum is bright begonias. It has a variety of activities.
Jacquie
2012-13 Adventures
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gratitude
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Re: Conflicted on when to start MFWK

Unread post by gratitude » Mon May 28, 2012 8:07 am

My favorite books for three and four year olds are Sonlight's preschool package P3/4. They have some wonderful literature in it that is very innocent for children. I do personally though take out the fairy tales for that age group. Stories like Richard Scarry, Pete's Pizza, Mike Mulligan, Curious George, Blueberries for Sal, Make Way Ducklings, etc. I wouldn't suggest Sonlight as a curriculum, but their first package really is a favorite of mine.

When my oldest was four we went to the library each week and checked out a big stack of books and read. We went to the park daily. We played in the backyard. We ran errands. My three oldest had 100% mom doing nothing but books, naps, snacks, parks, and the zoo for years. It was wonderful. Enjoy and love them while they are young. She will probably know 1/2 of MFWK when it comes if she is that interested in learning and that is OK. It just means MFWK is easier to do since not all of the phonics activities are required. My now dd5 begged for school at 4. I am glad that I waited. She is now reading some, but MFWK is still great for building a true and solid phonics foundation (I just don't have to do every phonics activity for letter learning and can increase the blends). It just meant more play and reading aloud without a worksheet. Don't under estimate the reading aloud to young kids. It teaches them so much about language, reading, bonding to mom & dad, and eventually leads to them reading on their own.

The other thing to do is lace beads, cheerios, or lacing boards like the Lauri toys for fine motor skills. It does help a lot when they reach MFWK if they have fine motor skills developed for handwriting.

Lastly, play is the work of child hood. Isn't one of the great blessings of home schoolings the fact that are 9 year olds and younger still have the time to spend hours in play developing creativity, emotional development, social development, and intellectual development? I personally love what these extra play years have given to my children; a great gift of inestimable value that children had for centuries to develop their inner world before going external. Enjoy these precious years!

God Bless.

momonthemove
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Re: Conflicted on when to start MFWK

Unread post by momonthemove » Mon May 28, 2012 9:32 am

I have a 5 year old who will start MFWK this summer. (We school year round and take breaks when desired) She is my youngest and BEGGED all last year for school. We started with HOD's LHTH and in the end we scrapped it and read and played. She wanted school like her brothers, but really wanted to "play" school more than anything.

Now, we are a year older and her attention span and ability to sit is much better. I wouldn't change it for the world!

Good luck!
Deb
Wife to a wonderful husband of 18 years.
momonthemove to 3 wonderful children, 12, 8 and 5

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BHelf
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Re: Conflicted on when to start MFWK

Unread post by BHelf » Mon May 28, 2012 8:28 pm

I love FIAR (all of them) and MFWK. I could offer a different approach to consider. :)

Maybe do both? But over the next 2 years for a Pre-K and K year. Maybe one week do a week of MFWK, the next week pick a FIAR book that possibly corresponds to the science topic/letter/whatever you learned in K. (Or just a book you like, if one doesn't go with it.) This way she gets both of the curricula choices you like so much, you aren't pushing her into 1st grade work too soon but you are also not waiting completely on the MFW part.

Again, just something to consider. :)

Brooke
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com

afelton
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Re: Conflicted on when to start MFWK

Unread post by afelton » Mon May 28, 2012 8:50 pm

I agree with these ladies to wait another year. Read, play and do the FIAR and/or MFW Pre-K and then start MFW1 next year. I don't think you will regret it. :)
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blessingtree
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Re: Conflicted on when to start MFWK

Unread post by blessingtree » Mon May 28, 2012 10:50 pm

I'm in the exact same boat! here's what I decided for my 6 yo and 4yo. I bought MFW1 and Rod and Staff prek/k workbooks for my 4 yo, they actually are their kindergarten workbooks, but are right on level for my 4yo. That way he has structured school time too: phonics, cutting and pasting, tracing, all that good stuff! Then I will start him in MFWK next year and big brother in ADV. I just thought you may be interested in what another mama did in your situation.
Blessings!!
Ashleigh...
Married to best friend 11 years and counting!
Mommy to two precious little boys: Baker (6) & Bear (4)
MFW 1st grade in fall 2012
Rod and Staff pre-K/K Fall 2012

cbollin

Youngest Ready for K, What to do?

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:25 am

kristywr wrote:My youngest is ready to start Kindergarten. I'm thinking of starting her in January. She's 4 and starting to read. She is growing bored quickly with the preschool work I've been giving her.

My son is doing Adventures. Daughter sits with us during Bible, learns paraphrases of the memory verses, and joins us for science and history.

What do you guys think? Should I get a separate Kindergarten curriculum for her? Should I just pick and choose? Help! :)
I like the idea of letting her join in with older sibling in Adventures. And when January rolls around, go ahead and start MFW K with her and see how it goes.

I'm not sure what you are using in preschool level. the other idea is to talk about ways to "beef that up a little" for a few weeks to see if some fresh ways to use it might help. Some of it will depend too on helping her fine motor skills to continue to develop. I had 2 children who learned to read before they officially started their kindy year. It just happened. But I still waited for the rest of their lives and bodies to catch up to be "kindy ready". They were in group preschools, and just around oldest sibling.

so.. want to talk about ways to freshen up preschool things? what are you doing, if I can be nosy?

-crystal

Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Youngest Ready for K, What to do?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:09 pm

I have an "advanced learner" dd who could read fluently and do math at a young age. I even gave thought to starting her in a 1st grade program at 4yo. :~ (I'm so embarrassed about that now, but there ya go - it's the truth.)

I did start her in MFWK at 4.5yo and went through it as written. She was already reading at a 2nd grade level and could write, but not neatly. That was the big issue - all of a sudden she started writing neatly on the lines and I thought I was a marvelous teacher, until I realized what had happened was that she turned 5yo! Her body needed a little more time to catch up with her mind. I'm thankful that God gave us a gap year during 3rd grade to slow down and get her into an age-appropriate "grade."

If your dd can sit for a Kindy lesson on top of hanging out with older bro during ADV and can hold her pencil and write on the lines, then I would say go for it with MFWK. But I'd go slowly and not rush into MFW1 too young. Getting a jump on the cycle isn't necessarily a good thing. PreK is a good time to work on pencil grip and control, dexterity, eye-hand coordination, brain pathways, etc. I'd rather be ahead on those kinds of skills than on reading and math.
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kristywr
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Re: Youngest Ready for K, What to do?

Unread post by kristywr » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:22 pm

Thanks for the insight, I appreciate it.

She is an eager learner and I'm afraid that by moving too slowly with too much repetition. She did a a year at a Christian preschool last year and now this year we've already completed 75% of the Sing, Spell, Read, Write curriculum. I'm also including a variety of arts/crafts, Bob books, phonics work, Victory Drill, lacing cards, clock work, patterns, counting, thinking skills, opposites, etc.

She does those activities in addition to learning a simple memory verse each week, sitting in for Bible, history and science with my son. Plus she's learning some spanish along with him.

So any ideas are welcome.

lea_lpz
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Re: Youngest Ready for K, What to do?

Unread post by lea_lpz » Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:20 pm

My dd is doing MFW k at 5 but we started early, last April and do MFW k only 3 to 4 days a week. You've probably already read this, but many families have stretched over 2 years doing units over 2 weeks or more. It is also nice because it gives you time to complete all activities and add stuff in or go on rabbit trails. For example, we are generalizing the goat, horse, and cow unit to incorporate the harvest season and farm life more broadly and will be spending 6 weeks on it, completing about 3 days of MFW k a week and adding in more fun stuff. Sometimes spread one day over two days or repeat the math routine and get more practice by repeating activities. Like if we did day 3 language over 2 days, we might do the ABC song a letter review one day and and the match game the next. Then maybe the math routine plus the day 3 worksheet, number cup and the next day a hands on math activity or game to reinforce the concept we're working on.

I wonder if there is a thread on stretching k over 2 years?
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)

Julie in MN
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Re: Youngest Ready for K, What to do?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:21 pm

lea_lpz wrote:I wonder if there is a thread on stretching k over 2 years?
Here is one, but warning: Many of us decided it was better to just wait (I like waiting until about age 6, more about that here: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 024#p92024 )

If you do go with 2 years for K, the K Ideas board will be a great blessing to you. It's pretty much the fullest of the "ideas" boards around here :)
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewforum.php?f=10

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

lea_lpz
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K, 1, or make my own?

Unread post by lea_lpz » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:37 pm

clarinetlaj wrote:Hey all,
I have 3 kids 4 and under. My oldest is currently doing sonlight preschool with kindergarden LA and readers. it has not been as wonderful as i anticipated and she seems bored much of the time ( i think because the books are over her head) although i do love the books and am happy to have them in my library.

we are going to switch in the winter when we finish this curriculum up and i am torn in two directions. I LOVE the Christ centeredness of MFW but it just looks so....easy for my daughter. everybody seems to be saying "dont rush dont rush" but i dont understand why not if she is ready? she can read (although we are still working hard on phonics) and has always loved to write letters and numbers.....for fun!. she recognizes her numbers up to 20 by site and has memorized some skip counting by 2, 5 and 10s. So to sum it up, i am wondering if i should just create my OWN curriculum of stuff i think would be interesting and challenging, do K "beefed up", or skip to 1.
Hmmmm... Your post is looking lonely. You know your child best but mfw philosophy on early childhood education is to introduce education gently, leaving children time to play outside, play dress up, bake cookies, etc, and enjoy themselves. With 3 young children, I would likely chose to spread mfw k over 2 years or just waiting until the child is 5. Just because a child can learn to read and write, in my humble opinion, doesn't mean they should. I think you could find more productive learning opportunities fora 4 year old.

MFW pre-k has some great activities to prepare children for k and the level of difficulty varies, so you could easily challenge a k'er with these activities.

Before Five In A Row has wonderful activities to gently introduce a child to Bible, narration, math, social studies, science concepts, art, drama, etc. There are a ton of online resources for BFIAR and the boards are active so you can expand them of you had the time and interest.

Rod and Staff preschool workbooks cover a broad range of skills a 4-year old should master before K and includes a Bible reader and color book. Also, the books are very affordable and excellent quality.

I would also suggest doing a lot of fun things that constitute learning, such as going on hikes, frequent trips to the park, pool, library, etc. You could spend time doing crafts, baking, making play dough together and investing in quality toys that encourage imaginative play. I'd also suggest having them get a routine down and learn to do chores and be able to do self care tasks independently, like make their bed, feed pets, get themselves dressed,etc. If your budget allows for it and your community offers it, consider having your child do an extra-curricular activity or two a week. This is also learning. At 4, my daughter did a dance/gymnastics class Cubbies. Both were very useful for developing her listening skills, social skills, and confidence. Gymnastics did wonders for her coordination and body awareness.

Maybe to gain a better understanding of the approach mfw uses and why, you could read For the Children's Sake. MFW sells it as part of their mfw k deluxe package. You could try to check it out from the library or your church library if you don't want to purchase it yet.

Some mfw k users have spread mfw k over 2 years. You could probably find threads on this, but generally speaking the idea is doing it at the pace is 2-3 days a week. One example someone shared was 2 days a week at 4 and 3 at 5. This is actually neat because you have the opportunity to do all the activities and ideas you might find on the message board or on blogs. Or you have more time for extracurriculars and field trips :).

Also, mfw k does have suggestions to make mfw k challenging for students that can already read well as does this board. Check out the mfw k archives. Also it gives your child to work on their fine motor skills and mature. Most 4 year olds who can read and write struggle with penmanship and coloring. Also, they are probably not old enough to grasp the Biblical truths of mfw 1st. MFW 1st uses a lot of art in the Bible notebook and completes 2 years of phonics in 1 year, so that phonics instruction is completed by the end of 1st.

Also, don't hesitate to call mfw personally. They are very helpful and prompt in returning calls. They could talk it with you more.

Ultimately, pray on it. If God has called you to homeschool as you missionary, he'll be very faithful in helping you make the best choices and gently nudge you when you need it ;) (my own experience).
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)

clarinetlaj
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Re: K, 1, or make my own?

Unread post by clarinetlaj » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:10 pm

thanks for that helpful reply. i need to think/pray on it some more for certain....it just seems so different from how i was raised to say that if someone is capable of doing something they should still hold off...not wrong, just foreign to me. i will also check out some of the rod/staff ones for my daughters

lea_lpz
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Re: K, 1, or make my own?

Unread post by lea_lpz » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:05 am

I get that. I just feel like their are more important areas of education a child could focus on at a young age. Some kids learn to read at 4 and others at 7 and it's all within the range of "normal", but statistically, it all evens out and the kids who read early don't perform better than the late readers do by middle school. I have been through rigorous, academic schooling myself, but I was a late reader (7) and did not take off academically until I was ready at around 9. If you would have told my early elementary teachers I would end up graduating from Berkeley and go on to graduate school, I am sure they'd be surprised. I had my head in the clouds and wanted to continue to play, watch the clouds roll by, make home made tortillas with my Nana, not be stuck in a classroom all day. In high school I was taking AP and Honors courses as well as doing concurrent enrollment at a community college, tutoring, volunteering, and working part time. Obviously this isn't the case for your child (being on the latter end of normal spectrum), but it's more about the fact that waiting until a child is developmentally ready, not only academically but emotionally and physically, should be considered, because in the end, I don't think you would be holding a child back by waiting until they are really ready if it's not going to give them "an edge" in the long run anyhow.

I have a child turning 4 who could probably start K in the fall, because this past year he's sat in on mfw k and picked up a lot. But you know what, his little body and spirit haven't caught up to his mind yet. He could learn to recognize all his letters and sounds and probably even read, but his printing would be really bad, and he would be too silly to really grasp the Biblical principles taught in mfw k, and his mind would wonder a lot. I kind of liken it to potty training. Could I have taught him to potty train at 1 1/2 to 2? Yeah, but it would be a long process of timers, me pulling the pants up and down, and getting him on and off the potty or dealing with cleaning a child's potty, wiping him, buttoning up the pants and telling him when to go. So, I would be making a huge amount of effort and be "trained" to know when my child had to go. Or I could wait until he was 3, and my child could follow body cues to know he had to go without reminders, pull his own pants up and down, use a grown up potty and clean himself. Voila-one week later a trained child! I think of it like that. Could he do mfw k this year or even last? Yeah. Would it go a lot smoother if I wait until he's 5? Yes!

Consider this. Let's say your 4 year old is ok with 1st grade level work. Ok. Will your 6 year old be ready to advance to 4th grade level work as well as handle the reading content meant for a more mature child?

Also, consider what your reasons for homeschooling and your vision for homeschooling are. Is doing 1st with a 4 year old complimentary? If it is, go for it. It might be, but you might find it isn't, or that you haven't really crystallized what your homeschool vision is, and the next year, you could focus on that instead of jumping in feet first.

Another thing to remember is, what's motivating you? If it's because you think it's the best option for your child, awesome, but as a homeschool mom myself, I have made some decisions based in wanting to prove to others homeschooling was a viable option and gain approval from disapproving family members instead of doing what was right for my family. I drove us crazy last September through December as we proceeded to do every activity under the sun I could sign up for, to prove my kids were properly socialized. Even despite the fact God laid it my heart early on when I sought his wisdom to cut back and prioritize what I wanted to do we could accomplish our goals, doing things well and joyfully. I learned the hard way and ran around like the Mad Hatter. Was art class, music class, sports, dance, gymnastics, scouts, and AWANA good? Yes. Was I doing good things with my kids? Yes, but they weren't good all at once. The good is often the enemy of the best and a month in, no one was enjoying any activity. I've now committed to doing only 2 activities a week as far as extra curricular, structured activity is concerned. Of everything we were doing, over a much needed 6 week break during Christmas I asked the kids to chose what activities they wanted to keep. We also eliminated extras in our school day and stream lined. This has vastly improved everyone's moral :)

I hope this doesn't come off as condescending and that you make the choice that works best for you and your child, even if that is starting 1st now. I just thought I would share what little experience I have and take that with a grain of salt. I'm just wrapping up my first year ;).

You'll probably get similar opinions because a lot if mfw users are more on better late than early side if the fence. Other boards are more inclined to push, having the expectation that children master 1st grade level work by the end of pre-k. I just really, and again, this is just my opinion, and everyone has one, is it's a race to no where.
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)

clarinetlaj
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Re: K, 1, or make my own?

Unread post by clarinetlaj » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:05 am

i didnt take it as condecending at all....it was helpful!!

weareborgswife
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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:44 am

Re: K, 1, or make my own?

Unread post by weareborgswife » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:19 am

You have been given some wonderful input so far, but I wanted to share my experience and a friend's. My daughter will be turning five in May, last year she begged to have her own school work, so I purchased K and when fall came we jumped in. She already knew the names of many letters and their sounds, but her fine motor skills were not what she wanted them to be. She was upset all the time because her letters looked funny (her words). She was so frustrated she asked to stop... And we did. Over the last few months she has worked on her own to learn to write letters, and wants me to write the hard ones on the white board for her to copy. She will be 100% ready in the fall.

When I was teaching (PreK), there was a variety of levels of reading by the end of the year represented, but comprehension among the more advanced was also varied. One girl moved up into K, reading and doing advanced math worksheets, but she couldn't discuss what she had read, explain what she was doing with math, etc. I have also read many articles on limiting things that use the eyes at young ages, as they need time to mature for tracking purposes.

My friend's daughter was very advanced, she moved through curriculum quickly, and by age 8 she was doing 5th and 6th grade work... But she hit a wall and burned out. Again comprehension of what she was reading, got to be too much. Your daughter has years to study and work in academia but only so much time to be a child and play, developing her imagination, exploring as she feels she would like to. My youngest is directing her learning now, and she loves it... Before it was a daily struggle.

We have used some Before Five In A Row, and will be using some from Volume 1 over the summer, as we school year round. I know the desire to get started... But they are only young once!

mommaklee
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:40 pm

Re: K, 1, or make my own?

Unread post by mommaklee » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:56 am

What jumped out at me was:

"My daughter is 4"
"She is bored"
"The books are over her head"

In that case, it would be best to keep things simpler for the time being. Four and Five year-olds don't need "formal schooling" the way older children do. There is so much to learn right around you. Can you go to the park and name the trees beyond "oak" and "maple"? Do you know the names of the birds in your neighborhood? In the E-Elephant week, you could talk about Africa, find it on the globe, watch a video from the library about animals in Africa. In the H-horse week, you could visit a farm and see the horses. You can do as much or as little as you want. K offers flexibility to let you add in things without it being over whelming. In 1st, your daughter would need to be writing multiple-sentence story summaries, unscrambling words to make a complete sentence, etc. Those skills are rather advanced for where you daughter is, though it is unclear where she'll be this winter.

A few K worksheets and lots of real life learning will enrich your daughters life much more than being "advanced" academically.

You also said, "she recognizes her numbers up through 20"- Kindergarten works on numbers up through 100. Now, by winter, she may be there, but then you could do math games and stuff.

You said, "she can write her letters and numbers and likes to do it for fun"- that's great, K not only works on individual letters, but also in beginning to write small words.

With your first, it is understandable that you are eager to go forward as much as possible, it's exciting to see what lies ahead. On the other hand, it may not be best long term.

The other thing I would say is something may look simplistic to you, but it may still be enjoyable for her.
Jenn

Wife to Jacob
Mama to DS (9), DD (8), DD (6), DD (5), DS (3), and DS (1)

2011-2012: MFW-K, Adv
2012-2013: MFW-K, MFW-1, ECC, plus lots of printables!
2013-2014: MFW-1, CtG

clarinetlaj
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:01 pm

Re: K, 1, or make my own?

Unread post by clarinetlaj » Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:07 am

thanks for all the advice everyone :)
we are actually returning our other curriculum (long story and alot of reasons, but im glad) and we will be going with MFW K. i am very excited about it! I will be adding hooked on phonics to complement, but not out of a need to push her forward faster, but out of a desire to bless her love of media based learning (its exactly how her computer entrepreneur daddy is wired). I am VERY happy and so glad to try something a bit more fun for everybody ......although im sure i just horrified a few of you that i am adding dvds/computer game learning to this lovely course lol :-)
thanks again
amanda

p.s
here is the pin board i put together for this year.
http://pinterest.com/clarinetlaj/my-fathers-world-k/

lea_lpz
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:00 pm

Re: K, 1, or make my own?

Unread post by lea_lpz » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:12 pm

Yeah! Glad to hear you'll be doing mfw k. It's such a sweet kindergarten program; I would hate for people to miss it :)

We use Starfall and it was actually recommended by someone on the board. It's a great complement to what we are doing and let's her do some practice independently.

I'm not familiar with hooked on phonics but a lot if us use computer based learning resources. And I did add some stuff to our k year, such as Singapore Math Early Bird Math Book B, Handwriting Without Tears workbook and manipulatives, Bob Books, and La Clase Divertida level I. Honestly, looking back, none were necessary. We really don't use HWOT much any more although in the beginning we did, and the math workbook pages were only ok. I liked the mfw k ones better and may e should have done more hands on math suggestions instead. We're using Spectrum K as review right now and it's great. The Bob books are not as good as the mfw k short stories because they use words specifically already done in the blend ladder and word list (another awesome detail if Marie's fabulous work). Even with the HWOT manipulatives, they are nice to have but pricey and could have just hone with the multisensory suggestions that were in the teacher's manual and very affordable. And although we have fun with Spanish, we could have stood to wait a year or two. I would recommend the program though.

I'm not opposed to adding more stuff in. Just sharing for me, I found that my add in's weren't really that critical and at the end of the day began to make us feel burnt out. We really found mfw k as written to be just right as far as school time and difficulty level were concerned. Dragging on longer, and we both became tired, and trying to do more advanced concepts than what material was being presented also was a bust.

Live and learn, right? Sorry to bug and over kill! I just am going through a process if reflection as we prepare to finish up in the next 6 weeks and I begin prep for mfw 1st and think of what we will be doing as far as extras, extra curricular activities and what my goals for the next year are for my children's spiritual, character, social, emotional and academic growth are and reflect on how they have grown, what worked, what didn't.
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)

mothermayi
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:51 pm

What to do with a 4yo who wants to learn to read?

Unread post by mothermayi » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:09 pm

Jessie410 wrote:I am planning on starting my son with the K program next year when he'll be 5 and have been working with him lightly on some more pre-school-ish stuff lately. However, he has been asking me when he gets to learn to read. When we read books together all he wants to do is talk about letters and will get frustrated with me if I'm busy and can't read him something because, as he says, he "doesn't know how to read right yet".

So my question is, is it too early to begin a slightly more formal reading program? I say formal because I am terrible at putting anything together myself, especially with a daunting task like teaching to read, but I definitely don't want something intense. Are there any programs out there that are a super slow/gentle intro appropriate for an eager/bright 4yo? I love the look of MFW K because the phonics portion looks so simple and sweet for a beginner, but is it too early for that? I guess I wonder if I should go ahead and get the K program here in the next few months and just see how he does with it, unless there is another curriculum out there that would be even more gentle/introductory than MFW K.
When will he turn 5?

I don't think there is a perfect age for learning to read. I believe it is more about desire to learn. I really like MFW K as a beginning to read program. It is slow and gentle and hands on. Is he ready to begin math, writing, science, etc?
Returning to MFW for 2015!! :-)
ds13 (8th)--MFW EX1850, EG, WWS, PP Guides, TT 2.0 Pre-Algebra
ds11.5 (7th)--MFW EX1850, AOG, WWS, PP Guides, Singapore 5B-6B
dd7 (2nd)--MFW EX1850, LLFT2, Miquon, AAS1
dd5--MFW K

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