5 year olds - Choosing Pre-K or K

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
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5 year olds - Choosing Pre-K or K

Unread post by TriciaMR »

dltenhaken wrote:This is our first year of homeschooling and my 5 year old ds who will be 6 next month is just not interested in learning to read at all. He does love for us to read to him, and we do everyday. But, he just refuses to do any more phonics. I am thinking about postponing the formal teaching with him and concentrating on reading to him and playing educational games with him.

I could really use some more ideas and encouragement right now. Thanks and blessings to all of you wonderful hs mommies,
Lori in Ohio
My dh and I were talking about our boys (twins) the other day, and thinking we probably wouldn't start doing K with them until they are 6. My dd started K when she was 5, but she was ready. (We tried doing Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons when she was 4, but got to lesson 42 and just decided she wasn't ready yet.)

We can tell our boys are "developing" slower than my dd. Their language has come later, and fine motor skills seem slower at developing. I do 1/2 hour of "preschool" with them (they are now 3 1/2), where I read to them 1 children's book, and then we do scissor skills one day, coloring the next, lace-up cards the next, alphabet lotto, and then Lauri puzzles another day. Then, at the end of our "time" I get out the wooden puzzles to do. Some days I just sit on the floor and play trains and mega blocks with them.

I think it is okay to delay boys a year. I have a friend who was a kindergarten teacher, and she often said it was better for the boys to wait a year. Not all boys, but most need that extra year to get all the play out and mature just a bit.

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Unread post by shawnswife »

Hi, Lori. I just thought I"d share some info that I learned that has been very helpful for me. There are educators who believe through research that many children, and especially boys, are not ready for reading until much later than schools begin teaching it. It is not uncommon for a boy to not be interested in reading or really struggle with it until he gets labeled with a learning disability by the age of 7 or 8. All he really needed was another year or two to develop and then he would take off. If you are interested in learning more, there is a great book called "The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook" by Raymond and Dorothy Moore. I highly recommend it as it really helps take off the pressure to teach certain things at a certain age.

Best of luck to you!

Jennifer Fernandez
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my ds

Unread post by my3boys »

I have a 6yo ds that is not reading yet. We have done the alphabet for the past 3 years. He finally knows all his letters and letter sounds and can sometimes put words together. He has a meltdown when asked to read anything though. I think all you can do is wait until they want to do it and are ready to do it. One thing that has helped is the leapfrog products - we have the fridge phonics, word whammer and the letter factory movies. Sometimes I'll 'catch' him spelling out words on his own during play time.
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Unread post by LSH in MS »

TurnOurHearts wrote:If I'm not mistaken, on of the Hazell's children was an older reader...somebody correct me if I'm wrong. :)
I believe they had one child reading the Chronicles of Narnia at age 5 and another that didn't read until 8 or 9. They both were very successful in later years.

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reading question

Unread post by dltenhaken »

Thanks ladies for all of your encouragement and ideas, they are much appreciated. Eli seems to be a self driven individual and I am just going to have to forget all of my by the book, schedule keeper, right on the line attitudes and go with want he is interested in and not what I want...I am tired of fighting with my precious son. Boy, I knew this wasn't going to be easy, but to be honest, I really didn't think this hs stuff would be this extremely hard. Help me LORD! Thank GOD for his strength when I am weak and for all of you wonderful ladies who have encouraged me.
Please pray for us.

In HIS amazing grace,
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Unread post by lyntley »

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:34 pm
Lori, I think you have a great idea. It never hurts to wait especially with little boys. It's so important for these early years to be filled with exploring and natural learning. It's wonderful that you read often. It sounds like you are on the right track to me.
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my $.02, if it's not too late

Unread post by donutmom »

Maybe it's too late to respond here, but I will anyway!
My son also had no interest in learning to read last year ("Kindergarten" year--5 years old). He'd get frustrated so easily & nothing clicked. He'd much rather build legos or trains or any kind of activity that didn't involve sitting still for more than a micro-second! After "beating myself up" over this, I finally accepted the fact that I needed to wait. I tried again toward the end of the school year, but that didn't work either. So we just kept up reading to him. Sometimes, I'd challenge him to make a certain letter out of legos--I'd give him a flashcard of the letter. He thought that was fun. I did let him play on a website (starfall.com) that has some fun activities with the alphabet and letter sounds. To him it was fun play time & occasionally things seemed to sink in a bit. It was tough to not do--letting go of the "what a child should be doing at this age" mentality.

We started out SLOWLY this year, and it has been much better--not easy, but better. I actually just used some homemade letter flashcards, and we worked on sounds (amazingly, he had learned quite a few by playing at the computer). Eventually, we'd put 2 letters (consonant & vowel in some order) together. Once he started to be able to do this he got a bit (now I didn't say a lot!) more excited (and I don't think that is the right word, but at least he'd give it a go) about trying. I made sure we did a few minutes each day, because he seemed to lose it so quickly. And if it went too long, he'd get so frustrated he couldn't think. This approach seemed to work best for him. He was just focused on reading, without any writing involved. Eventually the minutes increased, and I could bring out some phonics work, and we added in writing.

He's still reading very slowly and much prefers playing to reading, BUT he's reading. We see improvement; yes, only a little at a time, but it is there. We do try to plug away at it a little each day--some days he gets a whole lesson done and other days he doesn't. He does not get frustrated anywhere near as much, so that is great improvement. (And mom doesn't either--which helps tremendously!!) I've found he does better late morning, so I try to work with that. I have had to learn to be exceedingly patient and accepting of where he is at reading-wise. But I've told my husband several times over the past months that I'm so glad we stopped last year. It has been so much better this year. And he's actually gotten out his reader a few times this month on his own, almost looking excited to read it!!

I will add that he loves math. Even last year when he didn't want to do phonics, he wanted to do math--he couldn't read the directions, but he wanted to do it. So though I had to read (& still do) the directions and problems, we let him take off with that. I added that to say if there's something he loves--whether math or science things or something, don't think that it's a "all or nothing" approach. Let him have fun exploring what he enjoys--even if it's a pile of legos!

Home schooling has many challenges. For me, one has been letting go of all the ingrained ways that school "must" be done; accepting my kids as God made them to be and meeting their needs where they are and not where someone else says they should be. Course there's the challenge that when you "get it all figured out" (OK, that never really happens) for your child, the 2nd one comes along and you definitely see God made them the exact opposite of the first. So all you learned is like dust in the wind, and you start all over!

I will pray you aren't discouraged by your very typical little boy! You are not alone. You may be asleep after this long rambling, but you are not alone! I do hope that it can encourage you a little bit at least.
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Here's our plan! PK - 1st

Unread post by hsm »

HSMom03 wrote:MFW 1 for oldest son (will be 6.75 yrs when we start).
MFW Preschool for 2nd son (will be 4.75 yrs when we start - will add devotional, really fun craft/activity book, 2 rod & staff preschool workbooks, read-alouds... he can also participate in 1st gr. activities - bible, science, etc - as he desires).

Is it crazy that I am not starting MFW K w/the 4.75 yr old, even though he "appears" to be ready? I am planning on using MFW K with him next year, but probably with the advanced reader suggestions (I believe that K & 1st both have suggestions for advanced readers). Ideally, I would use MFW K to teach reading but I really think he will pick that up this year. Don't want to miss out on MFW K for a 2nd time though. I do think MFW K would have been perfect for my oldest this past year even though he was an older 5-year-old who was already reading at the beginning of the school year.
Sounds like you have a great plan! I don't think it's crazy to not do K this year. I started K with my ds when he was 5.75 years old and it was perfect. Academically he could definitely have done K earlier, but he needed time to mature. He is thriving in K. We are almost done with it and it is amazing how much he has learned. Have fun and enjoy your sweet ones :-)
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Re: Here's our plan! PK - 1st

Unread post by HSMom03 »

Thank you so much for your thoughts! I greatly appreciate it :). It is great to hear of your success with waiting on K. I think it is what we should do as well (even though he could handle it now), but I am a big doubter so I am grateful for the reassurance! We will definitely have fun this year. Enjoy your sweet ones too!
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Re: Here's our plan! PK - 1st

Unread post by Wildflower »

Hi HSMom03,

We have chosen to start MFW 1st with our daughter 6yrs 9mths and MFW CtG with our son 12yrs 7mths. I think you have a great plan. I just wanted to mention what we were doing so you didn't feel like the only ones on that wavelength. I think it is easier to extend a programme than to simplify it and I know my kids naturally extend themselves when they are interested.

We have been homeschooling 6 yrs, nearly all our daughter's life and at times we have expected too much from her. I just find that I should put the time/energy into more age appropriate things so that she builds confidence and loves the learning process rather than dread it, which I think could easily happen if I rush her ahead.

I don't think its crazy I think it is great that you don't need to jump ahead and I wouldn't want to miss MFW K either. Like you said there are suggestions and plenty to move ahead with advanced readers. I love the whole K and 1st approach.

All the best Id love to hear how it all goes.

Warmest wishes.
Renelle, homeschooling in Australia.
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Go ahead with MFW K?

Unread post by MelissaB »

HSMom03 wrote:I have an almost 5yo, who is really ready for MFW K. Right now for him I have MFW Preschool, Rod & Staff Preschool, and an excellent craft book. We haven't finished those things & he is also really enjoying big brother's MFW 1 activities. I can't help but keep thinking that now might be the best time to start K with him though. I think it would be so fun to go through it with him at just the right time, instead of when he is a bit ahead of the program. Plus if I wait until next year, I'd be attempting MFW K & Adventures w/an infant (and preschooler)! Is that realistic?! I'd love to know! ;) However, should I really leave these preschool things unused, make another purchase, and start something new, somewhat mid-year? To complicate things further, I already own a K Math & LA, plenty of read-alouds, children's Bibles/devotionals, preschool art books, etc. but have always wanted to use MFW K. I did a printable preschool program with my oldest & could even go through that with my almost 5yo if I wanted to. I'm afraid if I wait on MFW K though, I'll miss the boat again. It does sound like I have plenty of materials over here though! Just trying to justify the purchase, or not. I don't know, what would you do?
Sounds like us Homeschooling Moms. So much wonderful curricula, we don't know which one to choose. (We did three different math curriculums one year b/c I couldn't choose - Three! My daughter was in tears by the end of the year. :~ )

You'll re-use MFW K with your younger two eventually, so, financially, your decision is fine either way.
1. As far as whether or not to start early, here are just a few thoughts:
2. The MFW preschool curriculum seems designed to encourage brain development, which will have long term benefits.
3. I think it's fine to start MFW K early. I try to keep in mind, when Ive started one of our girls on a curriculum early, to remember not to set a check-list of goals for them to achieve each day. If I do that, it can get a little stressful. :) If we're starting early, I let them go through it at their own pace.

K is such a fun curriculum! If you decide to do it next year, there are several hands-on (easy, easy!) activities each week that your future pre-schooler can easily join in on. (Tracing letters in rice, sound games, etc.)

I think you will enjoy it either way you go. And there are pros to both ways. My husband once said to me, "This is a good option. And this (other) is a good option. You can't make a wrong decision here!" And i think that's true for your decision as well. :)

Enjoy loving your little ones!
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
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Re: Go ahead with MFW K?

Unread post by DS4home »

I would say that if you keep coming back to the thought that, Now would be the best time to start Kindy, then go for it.
Trust your instincts, it may very well be the Lord speaking to your heart about His timing for this particular child of His.
If his birthday is coming up soon, maybe that would be a fun announcement/present to give him. You get to start Kindergarten now!! :-)
I like Melissa's advice to let him take it at his own pace though. He may start off strong and then need to slow down in the middle of the year, and that would be ok.
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Re: Go ahead with MFW K?

Unread post by kw4blessings »

Looks like Melissa and Dawn have given you some great thoughts. I agree that if you keep thinking about it and feel like you can handle K along with 1st, go for it! K is such fantastic stuff and you'll have it for the younger two.

I also wanted to mention, though, that if you do wait, K and Adv together are very doable, even with a preschooler and infant in tow. I did exactly that last year and it was a great year! ;)
Kelly, blessed mama to
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Re: Go ahead with MFW K?

Unread post by HSMom03 »

Great advice ladies! I think you are right, that the Lord just might be gently nudging me about this particular child. He is READY & BEGGING. Could actually be in K this year if in PS. Glad to hear the K activities are pretty easy, and that K & Adv are doable with a preschooler and infant in tow! I think I just like to stress myself out every now and then! ;)

Too funny MelissaB, I've tried a lot of math curricula too! Love your DH's advice too, so true :-) .
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