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

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
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Re: Struggling reader...should I use K or 1st?

Unread post by gratitude »

I used SL FunTales with my oldest for LAK. He was already reading some, but... the SLK LA with fun tales didn't teach him any phonics. Half way through his K year we switched to MFW. Since he could easily read Fun Tales we went with MFW1. His reading took off like a rocket with the MFW1 review of MFWK. It turned out fine in the end...

However, a quick review trip through MFWK (which I have now done with my second son) would have been worth volumes. It would have given the phonics foundation he needed for MFW1 and for spelling and for overall Language Arts. It would have been a great transition from SLK LA. So in the end his phonics foundation is shaky, and his spelling is going to take a lot of work - hopefully we can pull it together. Thanks to MFW1 his reading is great, but there are holes without the MFWK foundation that his brother has.

I think your idea of a quick paced review - or even a slower pace through MFWK for reading & phonics is a great idea. If she is still trying to remember letter sounds and doesn't know blending (my ds didn't know blending either after Fun Tales) it will give her the information she needs for MFW1, later L.A. and spelling. If I had to do it over I would do your idea.

Baby is down for nap, time to make lunch...
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Re: Struggling reader...should I use K or 1st?

Unread post by jbragg »

Thanks for the replies. I feel better about her starting with MFW K this year and giving her a little more time to get it. It helps to have others agree with you. Then I don't have to second guess myself. :) Luckily I just sold some curriculum on ebay so I'll have the extra money I need to buy the K program. God is good!

Carin, thanks for sharing your experience, it was nice to hear that I wasn't just using them wrong. :)

You ladies are great thanks for the support you offer to those of us with questions.
Have a great day. Jen
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Re: Struggling reader...should I use K or 1st?

Unread post by erin.kate »

Hi Jen,

One of my middle two, going into K with MFW, is a fluent reader. Reads books like Little Women and The Secret Garden. Despite this, I am going to teach her MFWK along with her brother since I think it is so good and a thorough review of phonics is tremendous, whether the child is a struggling or fluent reader.

Just my thoughts. Sounds like you've made your decision, and I think it's a great one!
♥Count it all joy ~
Mae 11, Viola 9, Jude 7, & Jack 6
2015: RTR
2014: CTG
2011: Adventures
2010: MFW First Grade
2009: MFW K♥
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Seriously considering changing curriculum - q's!

Unread post by rebeccal2002 »

gentlestrengths wrote:My 5yo (girl) can read three letter words, loves learning, workbooks, "school time" of any kind, loves, loves, loves working hard. She is so sweet! Is the K curriculum going to be to slow and boring for her? I wouldn't say she is advanced. I am not sure who I'd be comparing her to for that, but I know that some of my other children had "left/right, forward/backward, smooth/rough" sort of concepts before her. My 11 year old was reading 2 months before she was 4. But I don't think she is slow either. I am just wondering if an intro to letters is going to be too dull? What can I do to change the curriculum to help her not be bored with it? Or should she start in 1st?
Hi, I don't have any official help, but I did want to encourage you to call the MFW office and I bet they would give you suggestions. As for us, we also switched to MFW. MFW has been such a blessing to us.
HTH a bit.
Last edited by rebeccal2002 on Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
HS'ing since 2006, MFW since 01/2011 :)
2015/16: ECC (2nd time around w/ 3rd, 6th and 8.5 grader), WHL (10th). Also 2nd half of K and 1st for 6 year old.

Finished K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp-1850, 1850-MOD, AHL

and 4 year old helping!
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Re: Seriously considering changing curriculum - q's!

Unread post by danabogan »

I have been using MFW for 5 years and all families are different with different situations. That is why MFW works so well. I have two in the 2nd year HS, WHL, and two using Rome to Reformation this year. What you will find with MFW is that you can add, take some things away, but overall it is a solid, Biblical curriculum that enhances your child's walk with the Lord. I think you will absolutely love it!!

About your 5 year old. If she is reading three letter words fluently then she could start 1st. I finished the K program 3 years ago with my youngest child, and since then I do the math and language arts on his level and then he just listens to what his older sister is doing. I found with him that we needed to spend more time focusing on the basics because of his cognitive delays. Again, MFW works well to integrate many differnt children with different learning styles. I think you will be very happy when you switch!!
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Re: Seriously considering changing curriculum - q's!

Unread post by gratitude »

If your 5 year old is reading 3 letters easily and doesn't need the very basic early phonics of blending two letters, which is most of MFWK, she should be fine. The first 3 weeks of MFW1 review MFWK skills; is she struggled with those 3 weeks you would know that she probably needs MFWK phonics to successfully do MFW1 phonics. MFW1 is a beautiful program.

Last edited by gratitude on Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Seriously considering changing curriculum - q's!

Unread post by mamamouse »

I personally might do Kindergarten at a quicker pace instead of jumping to 1st grade at age 5. We've done MFW 1st grade twice now, and while it starts off slow, it really ramps up quickly. I had one son who was really proficient at reading cvc words (three letter words), but about 1/3 of the way into 1st grade, he started struggling with the reading. How is your 5 yr. old with writing? 1st grade has quite a bit of it. Somethings you may want to consider :) .

I hope that I helped you a little. We've been using MFW for four years, and I know if I had to switch, I'd be lost lol. BUT, MFW is so open/go that it really is simple to implement. Have a great time with it! We really enjoy it!
MFW CtG with my zoo crew~Ds11 and Ds9. Dd5 is tagging along while using MFW K~Dd 9 months is learning to walk using the walls and furniture...getting into EVERYTHING.
Julie in MN
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Re: Seriously considering changing curriculum - q's!

Unread post by Julie in MN »

gentlestrengths wrote:My 5yo (girl) can read three letter words, loves learning, workbooks, "school time" of any kind, loves, loves, loves working hard. She is so sweet! Is the K curriculum going to be to slow and boring for her? I wouldn't say she is advanced...
For your little one, I think you'll find a lot of us have used K for K aged kids, whether or not they could read. Often they are good little memorizers but can still benefit from a solid foundation in reading lessons.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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Re: Seriously considering changing curriculum - q's!

Unread post by Ruby »

here's a few more things to consider:
the 2nd edition K manual has two pages on how to use the K program with a child who is already reading. so that is adaptable to your 5yo. and the author says that MFWK is much more than a phonics program-it's also handwriting, practicing fine motor skills by cutting and pasting (and other activities), and the math sheets will also help with handwriting skills and practice counting to 100, and then there's also all the age appropriate Bible learning and activities and the great intro to hands on science and nature activities, and because they are all written into the manual itself, your child is getting an intro to creation science of sorts and will be taught that God made these things, instead of what some people are passing off as science. you know the stuff i'm talking about, those books we have to be careful of the wording because of the evolutionary content. so it's safe.
if you do buy the K program, or just the basic set, there is the 30 day return policy, if you decide it's not enough for your 5yo.
try mfw for a year, test the waters.
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Re: Seriously considering changing curriculum - q's!

Unread post by gentlestrengths »

Wow, thanks for all the great input!

I do think I am going to start in in K. I was thinking if I started her in 1, then, next year she'd have to do Adventures....and maybe she'd be too young anyway.
So I think I"m going to get the K for her, and just supplement if she is reading better by then anyway.

I am excited for my kids!
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advanced Kindergardner???

Unread post by Buttercup78 »

ruppster02 wrote:My daughter is 5, she will be 6 the beginning of january 2013x. I was planning on doing MFWK with her this year but im beginning to question if its going to be way to easy for her, she already knows all letters, how to write them, all letter sounds, vowels and can read most step1 books. she knows her numbers how to count to 100. there are some math things that she doesnt know that i know MFWK covers, fractions, clocks, money ect. Im just afraid most of MFWK will be review and she will get bored. Has anyone been in this situation before and what did you do for your child?? I also have visited the page for "how do i know my child is ready for k,1st ect" and i can answer yes to all the k and 1st grade questions?? (except of course will she be 6 by sept 1st)help?? ideas??
In my opinion, if she will be 6 in September and you can answer all the questions in the "Is my child ready for 1st?", then she is probably ready for 1st! Have you looked at the samples of 1st? That might give you a better idea of the content if you've never seen it in person.

If she never did K, I wouldn't worry about it. You've obviously been teaching her all along! Personally my Mom and Grandma taught me to read when I was 3, never sent me to Kindergarten, and I when I went to 1st grade, they wanted to promote me to 2nd!
ruppster02 wrote:Thank you! I will take a look at that link. She will not be 6 in sept, she will be 6 in jan 1013 :) thanks for your insight :)
I was assuming 6 before September, not January. I would call the office!
Nikki, Mom to:
R (1991) 2012 Graduate
J (2003)

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

S (2013)
E (2014)

We have used K, 1st, Adventures, ECC and CTG - Starting K with my little guys in 2019!

Re: advanced Kindergardner???

Unread post by cbollin »

welcome along..... you know how it is on forums... ask for opinions and you'll get them. and we will not agree....

I think very differently and this is my opinion and experience. Call MFW office on it. She won't be 6 until January. she doesn't sound ready to me. I sometimes wonder if the tiny checklist on mfw's ready list really misses the point at times. hmm....

You didn't mention anything about her ability on composition. I would NOT rush a 5 year old into first grade who isn't easily composing stories on their own with proper penmanship and spelling. and I mean as in no help from you.

There is a section in the Kindy program to beef it up for 5 year young children who really aren't "advanced" but just have a little bit of facts early. I know with my children who were ahead in some academic skills still enjoyed the kindy program. I used the phonics for copywork, spelling and penmanship. why push? I didn't see that need. I'd look at age first! I found it so easy to tweak the phonics for spelling. ... 179#p47744

and even the first unit on creation, I tweak on the "learn letters step" ... =25#p51585

It might be easier to start with Kindy... even if you work through it in less than a school year and then move into mfw's first grade.

I'd call MFW and talk with them on this. They will be able to pick up the subtleties and help you to fine tune the decision. You might even hear the stories of the author's decision with her youngest to put her into 2nd grade when she was 5 and how that was a BAD decision in their family.

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Re: advanced Kindergardner???

Unread post by albanyaloe »

I am not claiming to know the MFW K program, but just wanted to tell you that we've just ordered it. I've been asking the same questions, and half-doubting myself at times. My dd turns six in Oct 2012, can read level 1 books, do math addition sums to about 8, and several other "academic" things, but I was not sure I wanted her to miss out on K. On the other hand I did not want her bored.

Mostly, as I said in one of my posts, my dd is needing Mommy-school time, reading books, doing fun stuff, which is found in the MFW K programs. Also, having read the Moore books, I don't want to push academics too soon, especially at the expense of other areas of development, like character. I trust that she'll get it all the academics eventually, considering she "absorbed" most of that from very little teaching and a few workbooks, filled in haphazardly.

What really comforted me with our choice to go with K, was a statement, (I think I read it on the First Grade page) about how fast the Grade 1 curriculum moves. Now, I've been there with my other children, and would rather not frustrate my child. A lot of posts on the board seem to vouch for "beefing up K" rather than starting 1st.

Hope that encourages you, and all the best with your decision making.

Our first year with MFW, doing ECC 2012, Our 7th year of HS'ing
Joel 11 yo, Emma-lee 8 yo and Shelley 6 yo
We're from Sunny South Africa!
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Re: advanced Kindergardner???

Unread post by Yodergoat »

I agree that this might need a call to the MFW office for placement help. Also, you might want to read the many posts about this in the Kindergarten Archives section of the forum... there have been lots of folks in your situation, and many went ahead with K and were so glad they did.

You asked for the thoughts of those who have been in this situation with their children. I haven't been in the exact same situation with my child (although I mention her below)... but I was in a similar situation myself when I was kindergarten age. I was a very advanced reader well before entering kindergarten at public school (long chapter books written at adult level). And I could write well and could easily count to 100 and well beyond. But I was just a little kid in other ways, and still needed that year of kindergarten to learn other things. Unfortunately, it wasn't the good quality Bible learning that MFW offers, as I was in public school. But there was still so much for me to learn! And it gave me a great boost of confidence when I got into kindergarten and realized, "Hey, I'm already quite proficient in this reading/spelling/counting stuff! That's great! I won't even have to worry about that aspect of it. Now I can concentrate on learning that which I do not yet know." (And that's really how I spoke and thought as a K'er, to give an idea of the advanced reading skills.... but I was still just a wee little kid!)

The phonics and math portions of MFWK are only a part of the program... and they are a part that can be easily beefed up or made more challenging using the ideas in the archive. Or, even if it is all just "review," that would not necessarily mean that your daughter would be bored. There is so much more to learn in K besides the letters and numbers! There are great science activities, book suggestions and crafts and also the wonderful Bible and character lessons... which are entirely age appropriate for a child your daughter's age. She is still a kindergartener in all other aspects, it is just that she already knows how to read and count. But still emotionally a kindergartener, right? And physically a kindergartener who may not be ready for the amount of writing and seat time in MFW First.

I'm doing MFW First Grade right now with my daughter, who turned 6 in March. She was advanced in some ways before K... great vocabulary, deep understanding and knowledge of science concepts, good listening and narration skills, knew all her letters and sounds and was an excellent writer (but not reading). There could have been some temptation for jumping into First with her. But it would have been a mistake in our situation. I really believe that First Grade is written on a level for 6 or 7 year olds. Although the first bit is some gentle review, it will pick up quickly, and each school day will last longer than a day in K. I fear it might be too much for a child younger than 6. And oh! What we would have missed as far as fun and character lessons in K! And besides that, my daughter knew there was such a thing as kindergarten and had been looking forward to kindergarten... she would have felt very let down if we skipped such a milestone year. ;)

Just some more thoughts as you make your decision.
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)
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Re: advanced Kindergardner???

Unread post by lea_lpz »

I'm new to homeschooling and MFW, and have just started K (we're beginning unit 6 Tt Turtle), but for what it is worth, if I were in your position, given the choice to either do K with an older k'er or skip K in lieu of 1st, I would chose K. Here's why:

1) your child will still be 5 for the first 1/2 of the year and will have been placed as a k'er at public school

2) Despite what some say on reviews MFW K is not light or a pre-k program; it is a comprehensive K program and will teach everything normally taught for K math and language

3) There are many threads as well as examples in the teacher's manuel that make suggestions for tweaking MFW K for k'ers that already can read. Sight words become spelling words, and read alouds from book list have beginning reader recommendations, so your child might read a book out loud to you. Your child could further challenge themselves by copying the weeks verse instead of just memorizing.

4) The Bible / Character qualities are really not to be missed! Having your K'er understand the nature of God and Christian character qualities before beginning your adventure through the Bible well better prepare the child, I feel, for reading and understanding the Bible. Plus, the lessons in Bible have really been a blessing; my strong willed daughter really needed that to become more obedient

5) Did I mention how fun MFW K is? The art and science activities are a blast! Book day is always interesting and I have yet to be disappointed with book list.

6) Plus, being able to spend only 1 - 1 1/2 hrs on school let's us have another year to have time for unstructured play, field trips, art & music classes at our YMCA, etc.
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)
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Re: advanced Kindergardner???

Unread post by gratitude »

I have been in this situation, but my oldest turned 6 in the summer and then started K in September. So when I switched to MFW1 he was 6 1/2. This would be like you waiting until next June. He was 1/2 way through Kindergarten.

I am in this situation again with dd5. I started MFWK in April. I will finish it when it finishes during K and then move directly to MFW1. She could be just turning 6, a little younger, or a little older. Yes, she knows the things your dd does. I love MFWK phonics and I want her to have them for later spelling; so we will go through them probably just faster since with their knowledge in MFWK I tend to only do a portion of the phonics that I think will benefit.

My second born reached MFWK in February of his K year, and he would have been 5 since he didn't turn 6 until the spring. He was ready for MFW1, but he wasn't emotionally ready for 1 - 1 1/2 hours of work a day. If you want the truth I gave him 6 months off and started again in September at 6 1/2.

For all 3 Kindergarten curriculum, weather SL LA K or MFWK, was condensed and put into months instead of a year. They knew a lot of it so I spent 1/2 hour a day covering what they didn't know, which was about 1/3 of either program. I have been supplementing MFWK math too for my dd5 in your dds position.

I don't know if this helps or confuses! But I tend to look at what my children need and teach to them, rather than teach the curriculum as scheduled.

I haven't done MFW1 with a five year old. My boys didn't have the attention spans at 5 to do a program like MFW1. My dd5 even I don't think would enjoy it at 5. Maybe you could condense MFWK until January and then start MFW1 at 6.

Ultimately though you know what your dd can handle, how much writing of sentences she can handle, how much she is ready to read, how much she can listen to. If you pray about it I am sure you will know the answer.

Blessings for your decision,
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Re: advanced Kindergardner???

Unread post by kewkew34 »

I just wanted to say I am in your exact same position. My daughter is 5 and will be turning 6 in January. She has been reading for over a year. She knows all her letters/sounds and can sound out words while reading, plus she can sound out words to write them. Same with the math. She can count past 100, count by 10s and 2s. She actually knows a bit of beginning fractions, time and money.

BUT we are still going with Kindergarten. I am going to be beefing it up a bit of course (I didn't check the links Crystal left, but I am sure they are ones I have read, plus info in the TM). But I felt there was no way she would be ready for 1st. She would not be ready for the writing expected of her. I feel she definitely needs the added year to improve her writing before that added requirement. Granted, she is also looking forward to helping teach her 2 year old little sister things this year.

I really want her to have this foundation and really didn't want to miss the Bible portion in K. Having read through the TM I really think we are going to love it.

Oh, I also am supplementing the math with Singapore Kindergarten Math Essentials A and B.
lea_lpz wrote:I am not sure about essentials version, but we' ll be doing Singapore Early Bird Math B, which really complements MFW K math, but the A version is more preschool, so you may want to go with B only. Just a tip ;)
Karen-Wife to Harold for 7 yrs
Mom to
Steven-21 grad of PS, Floyd-19 working on GED, Krystal-16 lives with her dad and in PS
Tabitha-6 started K Aug 2012
Amelia-4 1/2 tagging along in K
Hannah-3 Pre K and Letter of the Week
Harold III- 1
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