6+ year olds - Modifying MFW K to a faster pace

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
Yodergoat
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: How to accelerate MFWK?

Unread post by Yodergoat » Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:02 pm

I'm about to have to accelerate it a bit, too, if I want to finish by summer as we planned! (We're on Insect.) We've been drawing the units out too long and only do 4 days a week because of co-op one day a week, but we spend 6 or even 7 days on each unit if we like the topic. I could imagine that if it has been going too slowly, a child's attention could wane, since the program is already pretty slow and gentle.

So I think we're going to try our best to condense the remaining units into those 4 days that we do have each week, instead of 6. She could certainly do all the worksheets in one day if I gave them to her that way (she wants more worksheets). We'll still do all the worksheets, the suggested science experiments (even if it means multiple ones in a day), and will definitely combine the blend ladder days 1 and 2 together (we already have been anyway). I guess what we will "skip" will be book day... but we do books every day and spend one of Daddy's days off doing nature walks or at least driving around the wildlife refuges and such. Then we will combine two of the lighter looking days together. Basically we're not going to leave out any content, just combine the things together to make a more intensive, more challenging, longer school day and do each unit in 4 days.

We tend to add in some extras also, which has made it a little more challenging for Gail. She works on additional handwriting by keeping a "journal" each school day and does a few pages of Liberty Math K. She actually asked to do this. It helps her get her "worksheet fix." ;) I think that if we only did what was listed in the manual exactly as written each day, she would get restless and lose attention (especially concerning handwriting). Nothing at all against the program, it is wonderful... it's just her... she wants things to be harder. :~
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!

far above rubies
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Re: How to accelerate MFWK?

Unread post by far above rubies » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:08 pm

Oh goodness, if we're able to just make it through the reading lessons, I'll be happy, happy, happy! :-)

She's my 3rd, so I've definitely done the "school by the rules" thing and have learned to really enjoy the children. They grow up so entirely too quickly. But I also want to give this a fair shot, as well. She really does want to learn to read, but her attention span is just so short.

Right now, we're totally skipping the science lessons, which is weird because I figured she'd LOVE the hands on science things and she does enjoy the ones we do.

She enjoys the phonics lessons, too, it's just those worksheets that really get under her skin. LOL

I figure we can finish out the school year and if she can't read at all, we can just do a quick 12 week review, using ACE's program or even CLE's (I own both and have used both--they don't even start teaching phonics until 1st grade anyway...)

I really do think MFWK is perfect for her--I may ditch the worksheets for awhile and do an am/pm lesson, just 10 or 15 minutes each. I think she'd really like that.

And as for sounds, she gets the sounds of the letters, but is still struggling to blend them together. I think this is where I'm afraid of losing momentum. She's easily distracted and I wonder if we just focus on phonics for now, with some sprinkling of science/art here and there, if that'll be the best thing.
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]

Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Re: How to accelerate MFWK?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:15 pm

far above rubies wrote:She enjoys the phonics lessons, too, it's just those worksheets that really get under her skin. LOL
Can you adapt the "worksheet"-ey-ness of it all? I was thinking of putting the pages in a page protector and using wipe-off markers, which somehow seem more tolerable to kids than pencils. Or just doing the lesson on the marker board itself? Or, I don't know, acting out the answers?!

I know writing has to be faced %| but what if the pencil factory was out of business for a while, what other options could we use?

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

far above rubies
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:31 pm

Re: How to accelerate MFWK?

Unread post by far above rubies » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:47 pm

Ooooohhhhhhh...... she does really, really, really enjoy writing on the board!!!

Perhaps I could even work that in as a reward type thing? If she pays attention during the lesson, she gets to write on the board? Or we can just do the lesson from the board?

And yeah, what is it about magic markers that just make everything so fun?
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]

gratitude
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Re: How to accelerate MFWK?

Unread post by gratitude » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:26 am

What a great idea Julie has for you!

I had my ds8 do all of his math either orally or on the white board when he was 6 & 7. (He spent quite a while with a pencil allergy).

I also never had him do work sheets to learn reading. It wouldn't have worked. We did it all orally. I asked the questions and he pointed and answered them. The pencil came later.

Just seconding Julie's great idea.

cbollin

Re: How to accelerate MFWK?

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:48 pm

I think it's on about page 12 of the TM a slight idea of doing 2-3 units a week is given for those in the first trimester of first grade age.

depending on the situation, you might gain some ground by doing something over the holidays like playing starfall.com, or games on pbskids.com. I might not wait until January to restart something, but it might be in all fun ways with games and videos that promote phonics learning. did you get any fun phonics toys for Christmas to play with... leap frog, that kind of stuff? (or whatever the latest and greatest is)

I'm glad you said that you know your child is not being defiant when just dancing to her own beat with worksheets. I have children like that. I know some speakers out there think that can never be the case. kinda sad really. but I digress.

Some ideas that have worked for my child and worksheets when she was that age. (before that, let me say, 3 years later, these ideas are paying off in attention span and following directions, and this is my child with autism. I don't promise quick fixes.)

*instead of following the letter of the law with Marie's instruction, follow the spirit of the lesson. On those sound discrimination pages, you can use bingo card stampers, or stickers, or just use the Lauri letters. I permitted my daughter to do then in any order instead of having to be up to down, left to right. She put a green stamper on the pictures with the target sound, and a purple stamper on the pictures with other sounds, and we made silly sounds for You Got It, and "neh, try again!"

yes, there were times that she did them wrong to hear "neh try again" but I could tell she knew she was getting it wrong because of the smile on her face.

*blending sounds- did a lot of that on PBS phonics based shows, and just being silly with the letters. I'd hold a letter and oldest would hold a letter and we'd bump our sounds and say it together.

It really is ok to be creative in approach with the program (just like you said). She might need to know that she "has" to do the worksheet by instructions with the dry erase marker, then she can do whatever she wants with the sheet and be creative. Make it more hands on instead of just and only pencil on those worksheets. Would she dance across the room and put the sound discrimination pictures in a bowl marker with the target letter, or just on the floor if it didn't have the target letter?

what about ideas like that?

would she do one line "the right way" on the penmanship worksheets, then one line a creative way? then one line "proper" and then the next line any way she picks - proper or freestyle?

When my youngest was 6 and in Kindy, she still had a few short attention span. She has autism. I'd like to suggest that you look for ways to have specific times of day to work on phonics lessons and set a timer. Slow build up over the next few months. These days, my daughter can work on task for 15 minutes straight with a 30 second break to start the next task. We have to stop after 45-50 minutes of concentrated work. There are times that we "bribe" her on a worksheet with a tangible reward - a sticker, or a glass of milk. and slowly take away the rewards with just the pleasure of having finished the task.

-crystal

far above rubies
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:31 pm

Re: How to accelerate MFWK?

Unread post by far above rubies » Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:31 pm

Oh yeah, those sound like some great ideas! My son has autism (Aspie) and he's the exact opposite with attention span. We actually have to set a timer for him just to give him a time limit. Otherwise, he will spend HOURS on one task. Once he gets focused on something, there's no distracting him. Good grief!!

I can't wait to implement some of these ideas. We're taking off a week at the moment. :)
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]

far above rubies
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:31 pm

Update on accelerating MFW K

Unread post by far above rubies » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:43 pm

So, I just thought I'd try it out--we're doing 2 lessons a day. Yesterday, we did Days 1 and 2, today we did Days 3 and 4. I didn't use the math page or the drawing page and I'm letting her practice writing her letters on a little chalk board we picked up from an old-one-room school house museum. ;)

I also told her if she could show me that she could pay attention, I would let her write on the white board.

WOW! What a difference! I think the little reward and dumping the pencil for awhile helped, but the acceleration is also helping. It's really perfect now. I wonder if she was perhaps a little bored. I did mention that she's a creative little thing.

I think she really did need to pick up some momentum.

So today, she finally got those blends and read her first words! She was beyond ecstatic, which is plenty reward, I know, but I'm very excited for her. :)

Thanks for all the input about this. :) We're gonna keep moving forward. :)
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]

Yodergoat
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Update on accelerating MFW K

Unread post by Yodergoat » Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:13 pm

What a happy update! How wonderful that she is at home, where her teacher can adjust her learning to exactly what she needs. And how awesome that MFWK is so able to be customized. :-)

The first word is a great moment!
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!

far above rubies
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:31 pm

Ker is reading (yay)

Unread post by far above rubies » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:21 pm

Ker I wrote about a few weeks ago is just blooming left and right! I never thought that an accelerated pace would actually do the trick. :) We're beyond excited for her and I love watching her eyes light up when she realizes she can read.
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]

Julie - Staff
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Re: 6 year olds - Modifying MFW K to a faster pace

Unread post by Julie - Staff » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:32 pm

From the introduction to the Teacher's Manual for first grade, Learning God's Story:
  • If you are teaching the kindergarten curriculum to an older child, you may use a modified schedule to teach three days of work each day. This would allow you to finish the kindergarten material in about three months and then go directly into Learning God's Story (first grade).

cbollin

How to condense MFW K?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:34 pm

mshanson3121 wrote:Thanks to the input from my other thread, I do think we'll go with MFW K. I think we'll probably start first of December, or right after Christmas.
However, I'm going to need to condense it, so that we can complete it by the second week of June, and we need to do a 5 day schedule, not 6 (I'll be introducing the topic with the story time/day 6 activities on Monday, and "teaching" Tues-Fri). Any ideas on how to do this? My son is already reading, but could use refresher on blending.
I'll think out loud with you and everyone.....

The Kindy program is set up as 6 days worth of material per unit. It's not a 6 day schedule per week.

The first ten days will be easier to condense. 2 lessons per day, so you do an overview of creation in 5.
Then, consider doing the idea with the condense of just doing "2 days" in one for a few weeks until you get to some blending... then it might work better to just do it in 5 days per unit and enjoy literature day (or whatever the current name of that is...) blended into day 5.

There are 166 lesson days in the program. There is a brief idea in the Kindy manual for those who use Kindy as the "first trimester of first grade year". sounds like you do 2 or 3 lesson days per day with older student.

hmmm... thinking out loud.... the "day 6 story day" is more of a summary day instead of an intro the topic day.... I'm not sure how that would feel to use it to intro a topic. It works nicely as a summary day. I probably would start with the "day 1 intro the topic day" on Mondays and go in order.. blend in the lit day on th. and friday if needed.

I think it will work out without too much tweaking. But, the only thing I'm not easily seeing is using the summary day as day to intro it all. hmmm... maybe it's just brain isn't seeing it because I didn't try it that way. maybe others see it differently?

-crystal

cbollin

Re: How to condense MFW K?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:02 pm

mshanson3121 wrote:The reason II wanted to do day 6 on Monday is because we don't do much for school at all on Mondays, and that will also be his OT therapy day. My son gets very overwhelmed from the weekend, so Mondays are kind of a day off. I figured it'd work nice to have Monday as story day.

I will be skipping the creation unit, as my son is very familiar with the story, so that leaves the 26 units, which HAVE to be done in 26 weeks (in other words the 6 days have to be condensed into really a 5 day week), due to my work schedule. (I babysit for a family whose children are in school, so our homeschool HAS to follow the public school schedule to coincide with days I have to babysit full days). I can't school over breaks or into the summer.
ah... ok.. I have ideas to consider...

on Monday... do day 6 but as a review of the previous week/unit.

so first week you do MFW K
Monday: no mfw stuff.. just regular monday work
T, do day 1 and 2 of K (unit 1 (some of the science activities like watching grapes become raisins take into the next unit anyway.. so it's all good)
W day 3
TH day 4
F day 5

then next week
M day 6 of unit 1
T - F: do unit 2 "days 1-5" finding which day of week is best in your schedule to do "2 lesson days"

some things you'll condense and it'll go fast with him.
Since he is reading, you do not have to finish all of units in order to start 1st grade in the fall. Get as far as you can with weeks. If you start first week in January and go through 2nd week of June.. that's about 23 weeks, take a week off for spring break.. if you only get 20-23 or so units done, it will be ok since he does read.

You might find that after you get a groove going.. then you'll do a full unit on T/W, then next unit on TH/FR, and use Monday to review just one of them lightly.

But, since he is reading already.. I wouldn't worry if you don't get all 26 units done. I know I didn't get all of them done with my youngest that year. It was a weird last couple of weeks of school that year as my husband lost his job, and was hired by new place in a new state and we.... packed up school and moved.... 2 months after daddy moved,, but.. let's just say... youngest didn't get to the final units.

I should hush and let others talk... :)

I hear ya on therapy day. the day we have speech therapy... ugh.......... it's just.. well.. yeah.. I get it... I remember when it was speech and OT on same day... (((hugs))

-crystal

lea_lpz
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Re: How to condense MFW K?

Unread post by lea_lpz » Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:57 pm

Day 1 is pretty light so could be condensed into 2 days. I think day 3 is also usually lighter, so you could do something like:
Monday: book day
Tuesday: day 1 & 3
Wednesday: day 2
Thursday: day 4
Friday: day 5

I actually have heard others say if they have a day they need a light day, they just always make that book day. In fact we might just start doing that with Mondays too because Monday we have to finish school by 10:30 so we often end up doing a half day Monday and a half day Tuesday since we struggle to start right at 8 am. I don't think what day you do book day matters too much. But if like Crystal said, you begin school on a Tuesday (first day MFW K) then book day would always be on Monday following days 1-5.

Other combos could work,too. Like doing 2 days every day or 2 days twice a week, etc. if he's already a reader an advanced K'er. We're on the other end over here, so with our love of doing extras and my dd going at slower pace for Lang and math, breaking our math and Lang over 2 days actually happens a lot. But we have time. If we can do 4 days a week from Jan7 to May 30, we'll finish by then, but if we stick to doing about 3, like lately, well, maybe we'd go into July.

I think it all depends on how much time you are realistically able to do, like how many days a week, how many hours do you want to spend on school, and what pace can your kid work at. For us, more than 2 hours becomes a stretch. So combining days will make it longer, but you can always skip some of the easier activities. The teachers Manuel has some suggestions for that :)
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)

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