Choosing K vs 1st - What skills should be mastered?

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
Susan on the Space Coast
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:02 am
Location: Palm Bay, Florida

Choosing K vs 1st - What skills should be mastered?

Unread post by Susan on the Space Coast » Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:46 pm

What level of phonics mastery for each?
In my experience...

tkbbrl6 wrote:Does a dc begin blending sounds and reading in the K program? I was thinking that it wasn't covered until grade 1 and that some thought grade moved quickly.

I've waited for the K program bec I liked the theme ideas ---but now ds already knows the consonant sounds, short and long vowel sounds, and some of the other vowel/consonant sounds/rules -- he knows /c/ says /s/ after e, i, y, - etc. and is beginning to blend. He picked this up from listening in with older kids and watching a video series we have called ABC the Key.

So, do I get K and go through it from April through Summer and begin w/ Grade 1 sometime next fall or what. I don't want to push ---but I don't want to hold back. Oh, and I had worried about handwriting --but he's copying everything in site ---not always on the lines though.
In my experience, 1st cannot be done until the child has LOTS of time blending letters in short vowel words--a whole school year's worth-or the 1st grade will overwhelm the child. If your son knows the sounds, teach the letter names. Work on handwriting, on the lines, on the one day of concentrated handwriting ("Show me your best writing" day). He'll be making booklets with short stories.

MFWK begins blending short vowel words.

At the beginning of 1st grade, there's a short review of short vowels and then it jumps into the rest of the phonics rules. Again, if there's not a lot of practice with short vowel words, this could move too quickly for a young student.

I know that my youngest picked up reading by osmosis, too. Actually, her thoughts were: If my brother and sister can read, I should be able to, too! I knew I didn't want her to skim over the lessons in MFWK and struggle with MFW1st. I knew from using MFWK three times, that it was worth doing it right. Besides, I didn't want a 10 yr. old going to youth group!

You can do the science and Bible from your other kids' program and concentrate on the phonics with your son--although I LOVED the Biblical concepts tied in with the science. I still say, /B/ /b/ butterfly, God makes all things new!

Hope that helps,
Susan
wife to Tim (22 yrs.), mommy to Emily (17, graduate), Daniel (15), and Megan (13)
Have taught MFWK through 1850-MT; High School

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

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:04 pm

From the things you've posted in the past, it sounds like you're already doing quite a bit of "school" with your little guy. It also sounds like he's at a great place to start MFWK. If it were me, I would wait until fall, but you could certainly start in April if you wanted. I just don't recommend trying to finish it by September. Do you school year-round with your olders?

One really great thing about MFWK (and MFW1) is that the Bible and science is completely integrated in the program. Just something to think about if ds is sitting in on much of RTR - you'd have to choose whether to do it all or only pieces. Having loved MFWK, I wouldn't have eliminated any of it.

I will tell you, though, there is quite a jump between K and 1. I say enjoy MFWK at an easy pace and perfect those early reading and writing skills before starting MFW1.

I highly recommend calling the office and letting them help you decide. I'm just rambling -- they're experts! ;-)
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

RachelT
Posts: 352
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Unread post by RachelT » Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:44 pm

Hello!
Does a dc begin blending sounds and reading in the K program? I was thinking that it wasn't covered until grade 1 and that some thought grade moved quickly.
Yes, K students are able to read CVC words with all the short vowels for the second half or so of K. I noticed last week during K-k-kangaroo that my dd was learning some CVCC words with the "-ck" sound like "duck" and "kick", too. Last summer after completing K, my ds was reading Bob books through the summer. There are even story pages once a week for about the second half of K.

My dd just turned 5 in December. She sounds like your ds. I began K in August, a few months before she turned 5, but she is doing well with it because she had picked up so much last year; however, we may not completely finish K this school year and might pick up that last few weeks of it in the fall to give us some time before starting 1st grade.

I am on Day 123 today with my ds and I can say that it has pushed him this year, but his reading is so much farther along than last May, but he is now 7. Looking at your signature line, since it says your ds is 4. I am thinking that he would really enjoy MFW K next fall before moving onto 1st grade.

There are other threads in the archives about adding more to K if your child is already reading. Doing 1st and K together this year, I can also say that K is very flexible and you can make it work with whatever else you are doing.

Happy reading!
Rachel
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19

http://rachelsreflections-rachelt.blogspot.com/

Lucy
Posts: 444
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Reading but not writing

Unread post by Lucy » Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:29 pm

KristenS wrote:I have been reading the boards and see the recommendations for a K and 1st but not sure where to start. Our DD who will be 6 in the fall, K now: can read 3 letter words, but not writing all the alphabet yet.
Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:26 pm
I would consider giving the office a call as they are great at helping to figure out the level that your kids need to start at.

I am not sure about your K child but if she is fluently and confidently able to read short vowel books then I would focus on, between now and the beginning of the school year, helping her to write all of her letters and a short sentence (even if she copies it). Here is a sample from a K short vowel story"book" reader. This is almost half way through the year. http://www.mfwbooks.com/nw_can.html

It could be helpful for your dd to go through the K program to build her confidence though, and even if you decide to let her be in K another year that would be alright too. She has a late birthday and so it is hard to know if she may need another year practicing and maturing. If I had it to do again with my daughter I would have had her stay in K one more year. She was just not ready for more phonics.

Another option would be to start with the K and move through several days work in 1 day. If she gets to a point that you need to slow it down you can do that and then as she completes K, move into the first grade program. This would give her more time to practice reading short vowel stories and to work on handwriting practice. MFW1 does move into other phonics quickly after the first couple of weeks of K review and it assumes a child can write all of their letters.

Like I said call the office to get more info and help! Hope something in there was helpful to you as you think through next year.

Lucy

Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:31 pm

zeo2ski wrote:I've been pondering when I should re-start schooling for my oldest, trying to think ahead to adding the younger ones along the way but I gave up on that because there's just no way to know how the littles will learn. So for the oldest I wanted to wait and not push him, but he doesn't seem to agree with that plan! (currently 4.5, almost 3, 17 mos, and 9 mos)

We did MFWK starting last July and finished in September except for science. He knew all the sounds prior to starting from his Fridge Phonics toy, so he sped right through a lot of it. Right now we're working our way through more science with the 4, 2, and 1 year olds and having fun with that, but I think my 4 y.o. needs to be given the rest of the phonics rules...he's a real self learner (taught himself to tell time to the minute by looking at the clock--Roman numerals!--and comparing it to the digital time on the microwave) and recently he's been reading everything he sees. His thing now is that he wants to read his Bible. This morning he read to his brother "This is all that I havEEE told" without struggling, but convinced that "have" actually said "havEE" so I'd like to move foward with phonics now. I know he's ready for more, but in my head I'm still thinking a first grade curriculum is really pushing a 4 year old! So I plan to take it at whatever pace he leads with, but I'm wondering how easy it is to split the reading part of MFW1 from the rest. Is it like MFWK where it is separate but related? Or is it totally integrated? I'm not crazy about moving forward with writing yet because he holds the pencil wrong. But math I'm sure he'd LOVE to do more with, he's a real numbers boy! If nap is usually from 1:30-4:00 and we have a late nap starting at 2:14 it takes him about 20 seconds to figure out that nap will be til 4:44.

So...what do you think? I do NOT want to push him, so until he's 6 (when we have to report) we'll be going on his lead with anything other than me reading to them, art, play learning, etc. and especially writing I don't want to push since he doesn't use a proper grip and he doesn't really enjoy it. Will I be able to work through at least some of the phonics/reading without doing much or any of the writing, or would I be better off finding a separate program for now?

Just to clarify, we would still be doing the MFWK science/Bible along with the MFW1 phonics/reading/possibly some math, then later on we'd go back and do the rest of the MFW1 curriculum when he's older. That way he can move ahead or stay behind on math and language which should be okay since those split off on the 5 year cycle anyway. We'd still do the complete MFWK and complete MFW1, just not all subjects together.
I think this post is a good one to read about whether your child is ready to start 1st phonics. 1st will go much better if your child has a solid foundation of over 9 months reading short vowel words. At first, 1st will be an easy review, but you don't want the child to be discouraged when the program picks up the pace. See if this helps you think it through:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 313#p15618

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

cbollin

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:43 pm

zeo2ski wrote:I did read David's first post there, I think the FAQ of the 1st grade products page. We started MFWK in July, so 8 months ago. He also started blending sounds a full year before that, at almost 3 years old. I know I need to give him the tools to move forward with other phonics rules now, I just don't know if I can pick that out of MFW1 without doing the writing aspect, or if I should find a different phonics curriculum for now (and still do all of MFW1 later).
Welcome to the board!

I would do MFW 1st grade later even if the phonics becomes "spelling" in 1st. I think it would be setting up lots of work on your part to mix/match/blend and all of that. Yes it can be separated out, but hmmm.. I agree with your feeling that something seems out of balance/or pushing too much for right now...

What about things like Starfall.com
to just "play" and learn at the same time?

that might help to hold things off for a while in starting MFW 1st, but not hold him back from his desire to learn more about reading. It could be something that simple?

-crystal

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

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by gratitude » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:35 pm

I was once in your shoes. Let me see if I can help you avoid all the pitfalls I fell in to.

Hmmm...

I think someone else's idea of doing MFW 1 later for spelling is a good idea. He will probably be reading by 6, and it will be learning spelling rules rather than learning to read. (Hint: If you are weak on spelling rules, brush up on them; I missed 90% of them my first time through MFW 1).

Hmmm...

The problem I had finding a good phonics program for my just turned 4 year old (3 1/2 years ago) - who could count, add, knew basic phonics, read 3 letter words easily, read by sight words like 'close', etc. etc. - was the bottom line of handwriting. He taught himself all of the above and I was stuck. He was still 2 years away from being ready for handwriting, or much of it. I really feel for your situation!! My, then just turned 4 held his pencil wrong too; he couldn't hold it correctly until age 6 and then we started handwriting, phonics, etc. Oh, I could have really used help to help him reach his potential!

So what can you do:

All the phonics programs have handwriting that I have ever seen. You could do one orally, but then he has missed the handwriting. You could though fill in handwriting later more easily than you probably think. I think though that is what I would suggest. I did math orally from ages 4 - 6 and it was a great decision. He learned a lot, liked it, and it gave him a solid math foundation. The problem though is it really integrates later. So I guess I would suggest doing a phonics program orally. You do the handwriting. He does the blends. Pick one you like that doesn't go too fast (MFW 1 does go fast).

I ended up giving my son 2 more years of play and figuring out things on his own. I sometimes feel like I missed windows when he was ready, and the window has gone. Other times though I feel like he got what he really needed which was play, and then when he was ready for sit down work we started.

These kids are a joy to teach, and will take you for a ride. Also difficult, they don't fit curriculums or boxes very well. If I told you how much curriculum he has done since he started 1 1/2 years ago it would sound unhealthy; but we only do school 2 hours or so a day. I could go on and on. Plus he figures out a ton on his own all the time. Well all 3 of my oldest do. My just turned 4 is figuring out reading & spelling too. My 2nd is reading. My oldest is working on learning many basics we never did, and reading at about a 5th grade level... oh help, it increases daily.

My sons favorite book at the moment is David Downs Pharaoh Book - my husband happens to be reading (the one used for MFW high school). He goes around and tells people facts from it. We don't even encourage this, this is the direction he goes at age 7. He is interested in what dad is reading, and the next thing you know he is reciting it. He also though loves Winnie the Pooh - his favorite movie. It is a really strange mix to teach one of these kids. He also regularly asks for David Hazel's Consecrate My Life Unto Thee series, and recites from that too.

You could also start memorizing Bible verses with him. You might be amazed in the next couple of years how many verses a kid like this can memorize easily in a week. It is really difficult to challenge in this area.

Someone told me recently though that God gave your child the mother he needs.. so enjoy!

I hope something I said helped even a little. I just could relate to your shoes... I was one of these kids once and now I have 3 of them, home schooling will be exactly what your son needs; I wish someone had home schooled me.

zeo2ski
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:38 pm

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by zeo2ski » Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:33 pm

Thank you Carin, thank you thank you! Phew. Yours sounds so much like mine (I'll tell you, my almost 3 y.o. is not like that). There's so much I could do with him during these next couple years, and like you said I want to catch the windows, but mostly want him to play. That's why I'm so conflicted on this!

Thanks everyone for the suggestions too. I was thinking something primarily oral and visual, but I hadn't thought of me doing the written parts, that's a good idea. I'll check out starfall but I don't want him on the computer very much. So it sounds like finding a different phonics program would be the way to go? (I do still plan to go back to MFW later when he's actually age ready for the whole thing.) Any suggestions on what programs would work well for that? A friend showed me bits of Abeka and that looked like lots of flashcards and such, and if I recall correctly Christ Centered Phonics also has tons of flashcards. Others I should check out?

cbollin

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:47 am

zeo2ski wrote: So it sounds like finding a different phonics program would be the way to go?
Given his age, I'm not sure on that. I'm sure someone will mention a workbook or something, but he's 4 years old. I think other methods are more age appropriate.

He might just need to have you tell him a word here and there as he is reading and then mention a rule for it in context.
(the e in HAVE is a quiet friend of the letter V. E doesn't say anything in that word. it's there to keep the V from ending the word.)
ask him to repeat the word correctly and listen to you say the sentence.
if he gets easily upset about it, gently work on his ability on that.

I wouldn't worry about those "windows" things. :) really, don't worry about it.

Get the Scripture memory CD from the MFW Preschool package for 4-5 years old. (Hide 'em in your Heart)

Read out loud to him.

Have him create stories and tell them to you.

I really wouldn't run out and get a phonics program or workbook. Not to sound too braggy here, but I learned to read before starting public school and it was all without curriculum or mom and grandma having a program. I figured out sounds, they helped me when I had one wrong. I have a very strong academic background.

Math: games, games games, concepts concepts concepts. What you are doing is working. Read Math literature books. Cook together. Get a tape measure and let him measure everything. Find puzzle books, find hands on puzzles.

-crystal

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

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:39 am

gratitude wrote:I ended up giving my son 2 more years of play and figuring out things on his own. I sometimes feel like I missed windows when he was ready, and the window has gone. Other times though I feel like he got what he really needed which was play, and then when he was ready for sit down work we started.
I really want to dispel the fear that there is a window for learning the symbols for words and amounts, and that that window will go away.

Reading and writing are just tools. These tools are only useful when you get to the point of needing to communicate or to find out more information through written material. Young children are not to the point where they must have written material in order to learn. They are still under the tutelage of adults who know more than they do, and surrounded by a world that they have not fully mastered, so there is plenty to learn right at home.

A gifted child like Carin's and maybe the OP's will surely want to know how to read and write sooner than most kids, because his desire for academic knowledge will surpass what his parents are able (or have the patience) to teach him orally or through hands-on exploration. Reading isn't the *only* way, but he probably doesn't have an oral teacher like Socrates at hand to continue to teach him without much reading/writing :)

However, advanced learning can and has been done without ever reading and writing, without paper or pencil, and without curriculum -- learning far beyond what an even extremely gifted 4yo is able to reach. Your little preschoolers are learning and can continue to learn much. You can encourage that in many ways besides teaching phonics. Even if they are not learning this one abstract skill (that involves symbols, that represent sounds and amounts...), they are in the discovery stage, they are explorers, they are testing the world they live in, they are readying themselves for reading more about how other people have thought things through -- by thinking them through themselves, first. They are learning plenty and I doubt any worried parents can hold them back by missing a 3yo window!

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

zeo2ski
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:38 pm

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by zeo2ski » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:31 am

I do appreciate your insight and ideas. I'm not looking for ways to entertain this child and keep him busy and learning, he WANTS to learn to read his Bible on his own. I gave examples of other things he's taught himself to paint a picture for you of what he does without a curriculum, with me answering his questions along the way.

But I do not know phonics rules to teach him--the only phonics rule we learned in elem. was "i before e except..." so I need some sort of manual to base my teachings on. I do have a degree in Early Childhood Education, but the focus was on how to teach children rather than what to teach since it was not a elementary teacher certification program.

When I said "complete phonics program" I meant something that goes beyond the short vowel level found in MFW K. Does that make sense? I'm obviously new to homeschooling and I don't have the lingo down ;). Whatever method or program we end up using at this point I will not be doing ALL of it. I was thinking about MFW1 because it is designed to be used after MFWK. When I look at the sample pages online, it looks like you could just do the phonics portions of the daily lessons, but since I cannot see the entire book, I thought I'd ask the people who have seen and used it.

cbollin

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:43 am

[quote="zeo2ski}] he does without a curriculum, with me answering his questions along the way.[/quote]
and we're just saying, that' working for learning to read too, and you can answer his questions along the way in simple ways by telling him the word he is stuck on.

Feel free to get MFW 1st grade manual and glean as much as you can to answer his questions along the way.

-crystal

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

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:05 am

Some of the less bulky things I used when trying to help my son:

websites:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/taylor/taylor143.html
http://www.dyslexia.org/spelling_rules.shtml

book:
Handy English Encoder Decoder

And I do like the idea of getting MFW-1 just for guidance. You'd probably be using it eventually, anyways. I haven't used it, though, so I don't have a great idea of how it would be used as a reference. I just remember thinking I wish I would have used that instead of the many bulky references I used when I brought my 3rd grader home to school.

My youngest had taught himself to read before K and I was not as wise as you about providing guidance along the way. Neither his ps teachers nor I gave him any K-2 reading guidance, since he already knew how to read well. Honestly, I hadn't even noticed my preschooler was reading :~ I wasn't looking for it, , since I've never done any academics with my kids before age 5 1/2 or 6. Guidance as he taught himself to read might have kept him from so much memorizing.

It's tricky handling one like this, though. First, you have to teach them things they already seem to know. For example, make sure your child gets to work with the alphabet a LOT when he gets to K, even though it seems easy; otherwise, alphabetizing will forever be a bear! But on the other hand, the teacher enthusiastically pushing my ds ahead into reading Narnia and other long books that he was "capable of" by 1st grade made him really dislike reading and sick of school. We went back to picture books in 3rd grade ;)

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

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

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:31 am

Oh, how I hesitate to post this . . . praying for wisdom . . .

My dd started sounding out words at 18 months old. She was reading children's books at age 3. She read at a second grade level at age 4. She could do double digit addition and loved anything in a workbook. I was ready to start with MFW1, but was privileged to talk with David Hazell and went with MFWK instead. I don't have to give you his reasons, they're all somewhere on this board. You won't find anyone on this board telling you to go ahead with a complete phonics program with a new 5yo. Your child has an entire lifetime to learn and grow and be smart. He has one year to be Four - to play and imagine and be crazy and read just for fun and investigate whatever his heart desires.

I taught ALL of the phonics lessons in MFW1 to my dd, who was reading at a 4th grade level. I didn't even realize that I was teaching spelling rules at the time. Yes, I beefed them up, but I followed the age appropriate plan. I was able to quit teaching spelling at age 8 (on recommendation) because she aced Level G in Spelling Power, which is about 7th grade level. She knew how to spell because she knows phonics rules, and learned them at an age when she was capable of retaining them well.

My dd lives her life 90mph with her hair on fire. She is imaginative and playful and busy. She reads a ridiculous number of books every week. I did not "hold her back" by letting her learn on her own instead of feeding her lessons written for an older child. I did not miss a window.

You probably think I'm bragging, which I do not mean to do. I will brag about MFW and the terrific content, and about David Hazell and his incredible advice. I'm so thankful that I was able to use it. There are plenty of people on this board with gifted children who use MFW effectively. It works well with advanced learners. I understand you're not looking to use the entire first grade program and just want advice on phonics. My advice on phonics is to read a lot of really good books aloud to your child and let them hear phonics in action. All of them will learn far more by listening and following along in a good book than they will by marking vowel sounds and consonant blends.

That is my story and my opinion, for what it's worth. I hope it came across in a loving tone and not a high-and-mighty position. I only wanted to encourage you to let your children be little because it goes by so fast.
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

maritime momma
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:23 am
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by maritime momma » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:33 pm

I have been reading all the posts in this subject SO intently - for those of you who posted in my recent Preschool Activities subject, you know that I have been contemplating appropriate preschool activities for my 3yo and wondering when to start MFWK. After my Preschool Activities "conversations", I felt confident to lay-off the idea of workbooks and more structured curriculum and just focus on play-based learning. This current subject thread has really solidified and confirmed my decision, thank you!

I am anxiously awaiting my MFWPreK package, as well as the hands-on play materials from HWOT (I got the Get Set for School for my own bedtime reading sake since I think I will eventually use it). Yay.

Personally, it was kinda tough love to read all your comments telling me to slow down and hold-off, but I trust and respect all the wisdom and experience around the "table" here. I'll certainly opt to learn from your (sorry! ;) ) trials than make the same mistakes! (heee hee thank you) Please continue to share your stories, comments and suggestions.
"While we teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life's all about." ~unknown
Audrey: Happy wife to Jason of 9 yrs, DD Clara - 3 (MFW PreK) & sweet newborn DD Renée, born April 1

cbollin

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:37 pm

Cyndi (AZ) wrote:That is my story and my opinion, for what it's worth. I hope it came across in a loving tone and not a high-and-mighty position. I only wanted to encourage you to let your children be little because it goes by so fast.
I hope my posts come across the same way.
maritime momma wrote:I'll certainly opt to learn from your (sorry! ;) ) trials than make the same mistakes! (heee hee thank you) Please continue to share your stories, comments and suggestions.
just wait until you hear the story of my mistakes with math with my oldest and almost putting her in Algebra I in middle of 6th grade. what was I thinking!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!

oh.. I can't believe we haven't linked to a thread about extras to do with the phonics in MFW K to help eager learners...

there are several people on that thread with important extras to do with the Kindy phonics.
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 179#p47744

-crystal

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

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by gratitude » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:07 pm

Hi again zeo2ski!

You are gaining some good wisdom and advice from those who have gone before me. I like Cyndi's story. It comforted me to know that someone else did 1st/2nd grade phonics with a child reading at a 4th grade level, and as a consequence can spell. It is exactly what I am doing now, so thank you! The one challenge you have of course though is that you have already done MFWK, in two months, and your son is age 4. So what do you do until MFW 1 age?

I am praying for wisdom here...

I guess I will share my story of what I have done, where I think the pitfall were, and hopefully you can make a wise decision based on everything you have read from ALL the posts!

I think all of my kids read their first sign in public at age 3. They could recognize all their letters at age 2, etc. Math was similar.
My response was: What do I do? Mostly because of my own self-education prior to school age left a huge phonics & consequently spelling hole in my own education.

What I did with my oldest (which is where you are at):
* I let him play at 3 - I read to him a lot and he read his first book to me one day in the kitchen.
* I let him play at 4 - I read to him a lot and did some math orally for fun.
* I tried school right after his 5th Birthday, and his handwriting wasn't there, so I let him play - I read to him a lot. We did some math orally for fun. We did A Beka Bible for Grades 1 - 6. He loved the art & hearing all of the Bible stories.
* At 6 we started with handwriting and flew through a basic intro K phonics in a month or so, and then did MFW 1 for the rest of his Kindergarten year, after 3 weeks into MFW 1 I finally found out where his reading level was - about grade 2. A year later, at age 7, it is about grade 5 reading level, and we are doing more phonics for spelling.

Strengths of this course of action that I took:
* He too is going about 90 mph, bounces through life, and has idea after idea after idea. He still figures out a lot on his own by asking questions. He taught himself multiplication and division and negative numbers and fractions before it showed up in math. We still haven't reached fractions & negative numbers in the math book.
* He loves to be read aloud too. So for ADV we have already read all the deluxe books, the Laura Ingalls series (which he is starting to read some on his own to himself), and the Beautiful Feet American History books. (Can you see the challenge of following curriculum patterns)? I cannot keep up with all the information he is able to absorb, recite back to me, and discuss. He is begging me to finish the Pioneer book, but I have been trying to follow the very well laid out and well organized program. Then in the car, when it is quiet, he will start telling us endless information he learns from this reading. The reading aloud at young ages is definitely worth it.
* He loves to play, imagine, make up things, and loves to build. He found this love of building by not doing curriculum at age 3 -4, in some ways. He is fascinated by architecture.
* Well the greatest strength is we spent the curriculum time on building his faith. That is a whole other story.

Pitfalls of the course of action I took:
* I didn't know any phonics going into home schooling. I had holes in my early education because I was at a 2nd grade reading level (or higher) when I started school. When I did MFW 1 for his K year I didn't know enough spelling rules myself to teach it. All the rules are there, I can see that now. I didn't see it when we did the program. If I had printed out a list of spelling rules from the internet it would have helped me see the spelling rules laid out in the phonics of the program.
* We are now doing Rod & Staff spelling Grade 1. He is learning a ton of phonics, and so am I! I cannot help thinking that this would have been easier to do with a child reading at a lower level. I loved Cyndi’s story though. It made me think that maybe it won't matter in the long run, and those we haven't missed anything by doing this later. The word lists though can come up with words he hasn't seen, and it forces him to sound them out. This is invaluable practice for later. I can not help thinking though that it would have been helpful to have a lot of practice in this area for spelling & later vocabulary development (this opinion comes from my own experience).

The strategies that one can take with a child like yours (this comes from my piano studio that I used to have being 80% gifted children - it just happened):
1. You can go through the material faster - the results can be varied. Sometimes it can leave holes even for a gifted student. If it is their strength they will fill in the gaps, but not always.
2. You can test to see if they know material, and then skip what they know - the results can be varied, since it too can leave holes. If it is their strength they will fill in the gaps on their own, but sometimes can miss 1 or 2.

The biggest challenges:
1. To teach to where they are at since it will typically cross over 1 - 5 grade levels in one area.
2. To not leave holes in their education. These kids deserve to not have holes in their knowledge, in my opinion. Too many end up with holes in the foundation of a subject because they were able to zoom through the early days.

Solution:
1. I haven't tried this yet - but it seems to me that teaching to them when they are ready and able to go at the pace of the material would have material advantages, instead of flying through it and missing 1/2 of it. When it is challenging enough to teach them how to work, to prevent laziness. When everything comes easy there is a tendency to want life to come easy, and life isn't easy. Children who have to work hard in school, I would think learn some really strong character traits.

So you could go down the road I did:
Let him play, read aloud to him, let him figure out reading on his own, and teach basic phonics later - when he can already read - to fill in the hole for spelling. You could do this with MFW 1 (I encourage a list of spelling rules, if you aren't a strong speller).

Or:
* You could do what I did with math. I did it orally for fun, on the couch, when I thought of it. I would ask questions, he would do mental math, and I would write the answers. He thought it was fun. It didn't hurt his 4-year-old, 99% of the time imaginative play. Who knows maybe it inspired his really incredible 3 dimensional trains, outdoor, Lego, etc. etc. creations.
* You could do with phonics, what I did with math. Once or twice a week, you could sit with him and have him do some blends. He can learn phonics when he is ready. Without pressure, handwriting, pushing and give him 98% 4 years old, imaginative play time. Phonics can become part of learning to read, instead of what we are doing... hmm... You asked about phonics programs. I would never suggest doing one in its entirety at 4. What I did with math though would never distract from early childhood play or imagination. He liked the questions, and if I had known then what I know now about phonics and curriculum I would have done the same with phonics. Some work book time on the couch for fun.

Last sharing of stories:
I started MFW K with my second son when he turned 5. He is currently spelling at a second grade level, and reading 3rd grade words on occasion. So I am going to be left with a similar situation. I have started Rod & Staff Grade 1 phonics with him. I am glad he has had all the time to play. I can see with Cyndi how it hasn't hurt him any to wait. He loves to play above all else. He is so young. Yet, starting phonics for K feels closer to when he was ready, then 6 or 7 with my oldest.

I hope you gain something from this thread that helps. The younger years are so priceless. But don't feel badly if you decide to teach a gifted child information they are ready for, just make sure it is developmentally appropriate (for example, don't force a 4 year old to write if he isn't ready), and I think you will do fine. Don't push and make it fun. It wouldn't have hurt me to have some guidance when I taught myself to read, and I don't think it would hurt your son to give him guidance. Guidance is comforting to a young child, and makes them feel secure & like the parent is there to help. It is actually a bit frightening to teach 'everything' to ones self when you are 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7. After 7 I think it was fun.

P.S. Thank you for starting this thread. God is using it for me to take more responsibility for my children's education. This is a topic I have avoided for a few years. It has been uncomfortable & embarrassing for me to have people comment on my children's intelligence since they could walk. I usually entirely avoid this issue on the board. Thank you!! :-)
Last edited by gratitude on Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

cbollin

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:13 pm

zeo2ski wrote:I'm not big on labels so I won't say he's gifted or advanced or anything else, he is who he is. And like many of you shared, I too was in all the gifted programs from elementary through college; graduated 3rd in my highschool class, 1st in college (early childhood).
I knew I liked you! yep... same page.... I knew it.

it's just so much of the "stuff" out there for "more phonics and being able to answer his questions" is written for older student to use. but yes, find something and take the time you need to learn how to answer his next questions on it. there has to be a really good title of a book on it in addition to whatever we've thrown at you at 90 miles an hour.

maybe if I see a really cool title along those lines this weekend at our local convention, I"ll post again on another thread...
Last edited by cbollin on Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

TriciaMR
Posts: 1001
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:28 pm

zeo2ski wrote:Okay lets start over. Hi.

We've been doing play based learning since my child was born 4.5 years ago, then did MFW K from July-September which taught DS how to work with short vowels. Since then, I've hesitated to teach him more rules of when letter combos say a certain sound--when he asks for help with a word--because I myself am unsure of what things are universal rules and what are exceptions. I am not interested in pushing a higher level of difficulty on him, but I would like to be able to answer his questions with accuracy so that I'm not setting him up for confusion later.

We are not sitting down and doing workbooks. The kid skis past a trail sign and reads it out loud as he's going, he reads road signs as we drive, reads recipes, milk cartons, age appropriate picture books, anything he comes across that he wants to read. As long as it's a regular short vowel word he's able to read it, but the world is not all short vowels ;) Giving him accurate answers to a question he asks will not interfere with his play.

Anyway, thank you for all taking the time to talk through this with me, I do appreciate it.
You might want to look at Samuel Blumenfelds's Alpha Phonics for yourself, then, so you can learn all the phonics rules... There's no workbook or anything.

Someone else, recently somewhere on this board posted a link to a website that had all the rules on it - thephonicspage.org might be a good resource for you.

(BTW, not everyone who didn't learn phonics is a bad speller.... I was reading by the time I was in preschool, and I was still a good speller, too :) ... I only remember learning 2 or 3 phonics rules in all of elementary, so it was a big challenge learning to teach my dd, as she is dyslexic and needs direct instruction.)

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

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

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by gratitude » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:26 pm

I have over a decade of teaching experience. It is my life & teaching experiences that has brought many of my posts, and I guess sometimes saying too much.

I could really relate to zeo2ski shoes. I didn't get phonics either as a child. I can completely appreciate her desire to answer the questions. It took me 3 years to find the answers to those questions. Every program I looked at left me more confused with the differences and lack of clarity. I was trying to help her not go through the frustration.

Zoe2ski, If you look at a spelling rules list and a phonics book or two, you will have the idea and easily be able to answer your sons questions without doing the books with him.

Blessings!

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

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:46 am

To jump back to the beginning and pretend that I never got on a soapbox (converts are the worst to deal with, you know - I'm a "start-early advocate" turned "late start is better") . . .

I think it's a positive thing that so many of us are willing to say, "it's ok to go slowly - you're still going to get there." But my advice to the original poster truly should have been to call the MFW office. They are so helpful and capable of discussing this topic without feeling like they're stepping on eggshells or toes. And the original poster is probably thinking, "I just wanted ideas to fill in the gap." :~ I like being compared to one of the ladies around a kitchen table, where the conversation grows and spins off and everyone gets to chat and share. Sometimes I share too much, though.

Those refrigerator letters are awesome. There's so many great toys for kids these days, it's crazy! Are you all into watching videos? The Leap Frog videos are incredibly well done. Letter Factory, Talking Word Factory - we had 4 of them, I think. They contain tons of phonics rules and teach them in fun ways with easy-to-remember songs. I highly recommend watching them together. Just an idea.
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

maritime momma
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:23 am
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by maritime momma » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:02 am

I personally love the message board and am so attracted to MFW just because of the fact that we have this forum to learn and share with one another. I think it's fantastic that "we" (haha, funny how I consider myself part of the "we" after just a week or so - amazing, isn't it?!) are all so passionate about homeschooling and our children and helping others that discussions get heated. If we didn't really have our hearts into it, we would just let it all slide. I love the passion that radiates from this board.

I look forward to many more discussions with you all as I embark on the homeschooling journey! MFW would be so different for me without it.
"While we teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life's all about." ~unknown
Audrey: Happy wife to Jason of 9 yrs, DD Clara - 3 (MFW PreK) & sweet newborn DD Renée, born April 1

zeo2ski
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:38 pm

Re: Start MFW 1 now???

Unread post by zeo2ski » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:44 pm

gratitude wrote: Zoe2ski, If you look at a spelling rules list and a phonics book or two, you will have the idea and easily be able to answer your sons questions without doing the books with him.
I didn't realize til just now, that this is what I am really looking for--something for ME to learn the rules. I guess I need to browse through some books and see what is really in there...I wouldn't want this kid doing workbooks crossing out letters or whatever it is. You all listed a lot of books and sites that might work, so I'll be checking those out. I've heard of Sam Blumenfeld's primer, and also wondered if the Noah Webster one might be something that would work, but I was afraid those books would have stuff I'd have to sit down and show DS the book. Now that I know it's just me that needs to learn the stuff, I can see how those would work just fine. Sheesh, thanks for sticking with me through this thread, took a while to come full circle!

You've given me some more to be prepared with for later on too; it hadn't even occured to me that phonics and spelling were so interwoven, but duh they have to be !? And good to know about finding a list of spelling rules before starting that too.

cbollin

Struggling reader...should I use K or 1st?

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:30 pm

jbragg wrote:Hi everyone. We have just started using MFW this past year and I started half way through doing MFW 1 with my son.

I included my daughter in the other activities, but kept doing the LA and reading that we had started the year with for K. She still struggles with remembering all the letter sounds and she doesn't seem to really even get how to sound out words even though we have been practicing all year. We used the FunTales Sonlight readers this year and she pretty much just memorized the story by the end of the week. I thought she was doing ok, but she was trying to read me a story the other day and couldn't even seem to remember simple sight words like the, and, is etc that she had been remembering by the end of the year. My plan had been to start her on MFW 1 this year, but I really don't think she is ready. Should I do K at a quicker pace to help her with her reading and phonics? Any advice would be great. Thanks. Jen
I agree that she doesn't sound ready to start 1st. I like your idea to do K at quicker pace, get some more experience with blending and remembering the sounds.
I've enjoying watching my children play on starfall.com, and enjoy tv shows with phonics lessons on it. I just blanked on every title even if I can see the characters. blame it on the sun in the mid south. my brain!

-crystal

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

Re: Struggling reader...should I use K or 1st?

Unread post by jasntas » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:45 pm

Leap Frog or Word World are both good shows.
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

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