6 year olds - Do you call them kindergarteners?

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
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wisdomschool
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:16 pm

6 year olds - Do you call them kindergarteners?

Unread post by wisdomschool » Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:52 am

Summer birthdays...
gratitude wrote:For those of you with summer Birthday kids, especially boys, do you consider them in the grade they would be in with the cut-off (very young), or on the older side for a grade?

Many moms suggested when he was 4 1/2 to wait a year with a summer Birthday until he was six before starting school. Since ds7 wasn't quite ready at 5 (MFW K would have been great; I wish I had it back then), I did consider last school year his K year (age 6). We used K for both Awana and Sunday school. It seemed to work out. It is allowing he and his brother to share Sunday School this summer which is fun (K / 1st class). He is tall though for his age. I have also heard with sports I might need to put him up to 2nd. Academically we are somewhere in - between the grades at the moment (1/2 way through MFW Grade 1).

I go through this every year when my oldest ds Birthday comes around, even with home schooling. Looking for a settled answer. Any experience, comments?
I think it depends on the readyness of the child. I've loved that my older two had fall/winter b-days so they were a bit "older' when they started doing "school".....

My third child was born August 15th and here in Missouri you "must" be 5 by August 1st to enter a "public school" as a kindergartener (private school can choose to let you in). Based on her closeness to her older sisters age(they are 20 mo. apart to the day!) she "came along" with her older sister as she did MFW A-Z (she was 4 y.o. most of that time) that gave me the opportunity to really see if she would be ready to be a "kindergartener" the next year or to wait a year further. She was ready! Even though I am not a pusher, and would of gladly waited that extra year--she really was ready.

Now as she is almost 6, it's hard to believe that she would only now be going to school (if she were going to public school) She is also taller than her 7 1/2 y.o. sister. I wouldn't want that to make the decision (she was ready for the education or she wasn't), but no one would think she was just now a kindergartener.

Then there is my 4th child:) he just turned 4 July 8th, and I have a very hard time thinking of him as a kindergartener next year--we'll see:)

Not sure if that helps, but I know sometimes it's nice to see what others have done.....
Blessings,
Debbie
Momma & Teacher to my super seven:

Kanen-6th
Abia-4th
Charis-3rd
Tobias-1st
Elijah-3 y.o.
Micah-2 y.o.
Eden-3 mo.

Kelly1730
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Re: Summer Birthdays..

Unread post by Kelly1730 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:09 am

I have twins sons who have a July b-day. If they were in school, I would not have started them in K until they were 6.

We did do K at 5 at home because MFW's K is very gentle and they needed the structure that it brought to their days. So we did K at 5, 1st at 6, ADV at 7, ECC I considered 2nd/3thd and now going into CTG I label them third grade if anyone asks:) They just turned 9 and I consider them to be "third grade" for anything that I have to say what grade they are in.
Blessings,
Kelly
Mom to 6
Mimi to 8
MFW K, MFW 1st, Adventures, ECC, CTG, RTR ,EXP-1850, 1850-MOD, Ancient History and Lit 2016-17

Julie in MN
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Re: Summer Birthdays..

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:32 am

gratitude wrote:O.K. I have to ask. I go through this every year when my oldest ds Birthday comes around.
I didn't homeschool any of my kids in K, but just to relieve your worries, I can tell you about my oldest son. He's a working engineer now, so the end of the story is that it's all going to be fine for your child :)

Oldest ds turned 6 the July before he started kindergarten. He was a sharp kid academically, and in the early years his teachers would sometimes give him extra reports and such. But at age 5, he just wasn't ready to sit in a chair or to do things without mom or have things be marked wrong. He was so busy that I asked his doc once if he might be hyperactive. Then at age 6, he was just ready to sit down and do school. I always say that all his busyness went from his body into his brain at age 6.

On occasion over the years, he'd complain that we had caused him to be mismatched with his friends' grades. However, his very best friend was *two* years older, so he wouldn't have been in the same grade, anyways (and interestingly, he was also old for his grade). Another interesting thing is that he delayed *himself* another year after high school by going into Army Reserves training, so he was actually 20 when he started college.

Julie
Last edited by Julie in MN on Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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RachelT
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Re: Summer Birthdays..

Unread post by RachelT » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:06 am

Hi! I have a summer birthday, and although I am of the female gender I did fine, but was younger than almost everyone else in my classes. My parents waited with my younger sister who has an August birthday and did not start her in K until she was 6 - because of me! I don't remember this, but apparently I cried and cried for the first weeks of K!! If only my mom had known about homeschooling back then!

My husband's birthday is next week, in late July and he was also young - didn't turn 18 until after graduating from high school. Looking back on it, he thinks that he was a "late bloomer" who didn't feel like he was that smart, but probably just needed more time to develop. He did well in high school, but even better in college and graduate school. We both think that he needed to learn how to teach himself and when he figured that out, he learned even more.

My children were both winter babies, but now that I'm a parent, I would give a summer baby more time to grow! Even if he is tall for his age, I would keep him where he is comfortable. My daughter is tall for her age and has a birthday in December.

Rachel
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
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Mommyto3boys
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Re: Summer Birthdays..

Unread post by Mommyto3boys » Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:18 pm

I too have a son with a summer birthday (early June). I was planning on him waiting a year for his K year, but he really wanted to do K. Last year went pretty good with him. With MFW K there wasn't a long time he had to sit and he loved to listen in while coloring or doing a project with his big brothers in RTR. This year he is moving on to 1st but depending on how he progresses (especially with reading) will determine if he has a second first grade year.

HTH,

Debbie in NC
Mom to 3 ds (11, 8, and 6) and 1 dd (3)
Done MFW Adventures, K and ECC, CTG, and RTR with K
Starting EX1850 next week

NJCheryl
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:08 pm

Re: Summer Birthdays..

Unread post by NJCheryl » Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:37 pm

My oldest has a June birthday. She started in the PS system, so she was a "young 5" in kindergarten. If I had felt she wasn't ready, I would have waited a year, but she was ready. I definable think it depends on the child, and you need to follow your gut feeling on whether or not your child is ready, or would benefit from waiting for a year.

momtogc
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Location: AR

Re: Summer Birthdays..

Unread post by momtogc » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:06 pm

My daughter and I are both August birthdays and even though we are girls I think waiting another year would have been beneficial. With my dd, I ended up waiting until she reached 5.5 to teach reading because she was not ready at age 5. It probably would not have hurt for her to wait a whole year to start.

I wish my parents had held me back a year. I never felt like I was as mature or as intelligent as other kids in my school. I didn't have a sibling until I was 8yo so I never had the benefit of older kids in the home to learn from either. Even now I don't feel as mature as other people my age. Perhaps in the homeschooling realm this would not be a problem since you teach to the child's level of ability.

Even so, a lot of my homeschooling friends started their boys a year later if their birthdays were in the summer months. Everyone I talk to says that it is good for them to have that extra year to play and mature and develop readiness. And the bonus is you get to have them at home an extra year before they go off to college. :-)

HTH,
Meleasa
Mom to Gabi, a fun-loving and happy girl!
MFW 1st, Adventures, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp-1850

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

Re: Summer Birthdays..

Unread post by gratitude » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:09 pm

All of these answers are helping me. Thank you!

Julie, your description of your son describes mine exactly. He has always been sharp academically too, but he couldn't sit down at 5 when I tried A Beka with him at that point. After 6 weeks I gave up. At age 6 he suddenly was ready to sit. A school setting at 5 would have been upside down for him. He loves homeschooling though, and during this past year he has been progressing steadily. He also at this point would do fine in a school setting, but I am very glad that he is home schooling instead!

Meleasa, thank you for your experience! I ended up waiting until he was six, but haven't felt entirely comfortable with the choice. I am a bit of a rule follower. I know what you are talking about though. My best friend in school was a July Birthday and I was October. She always seemed a lot younger to me when we were in school & college, although we were still great friends, and still are to this day.

Thank you also for your homeschooling friends experience.

Overall this thread is really helping me start to feel more comfortable with our starting K last summer when he turned six, where we are at now, where we are going, and with my ds who tells me he is now in first grade! :-) It also takes the academic pressure off of me that I was starting to feel, and don't want to feel. The last thing my ds7 needs is me 'pushing' school.

ALL of the answers are bringing comfort to my uncertainty over summer birthdays.

SandKsmama
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:43 pm

Re: Summer Birthdays..

Unread post by SandKsmama » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:35 am

Ya know, I just realized something about myself as I read this thread - we are coming up on our 6th year of homeschooling, and I've really let go of the whole grade level thing! Wow....it only took 5 years:-). I "call" my kids whatever grade they would be in if they went to brick-and-mortar school, but they work on whatever grade level they need. This means that my 9 year old (January birthday) is "4th grade", but is doing 5th grade work in some things, 3rd grade work in some things, 4th grade work in others. My *almost* 7 year old (August birthday) is "2nd grade", and again, is doing 2nd grade work in a few things, 3rd grade work in some, etc.

I think my point is, don't worry about if they are supposed to start school or not - watch your kid and their own readiness! I had one totally ready to go at just turned 4 (granted, it's a girl and the 3rd born:-). Another, not ready at all until age 6. We'll see with the baby - he's got a few years! :-)

hth! Just a little ramble from somebody who has been there:-)
Amanda, Wife to a great guy since '99, SAHM to 4 fabulous kids! DD(7/96), DS(1/01), DD(8/03), and baby DS (3/09)!
Used MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, Ex1850, and currently using 1850-Modern!

RB
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 9:14 am

Re: Summer Birthdays..

Unread post by RB » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:42 am

We've taken a similar approach as SandKsmama. I really like this quote from Understood Betsy, which makes me so glad that we homeschool and don't need to fit everyone into a neat and tidy grade:
  • "Why--why," said Elizabeth Ann, "I don't know what i am at all. If I'm second grade arithmetic and seventh-grade reading and third-grade spelling, what grade am I?"

    "The teacher laughed. "You aren't any grade at all, no matter where you are in school. You're just yourself, aren't you? What difference does it make what grade you're in? And what's the use of your reading little baby things too easy for you just because you don't know your multiplication table?"
That said, with our dd with a late August b'day we have considered her the grade she squeaks into (almost 9 will be 4th), but if it had been our son with a summer b'day we would have done the opposite. I think it depends on the kid where you want them for age/grade based activities. It's nice that at home we don't have to worry about the exact label.
Last edited by RB on Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
R.B.
dd 15 dd 14 ds 12 ds 1
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Missy OH
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Advice for young 1st grader

Unread post by Missy OH » Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:19 pm

Amy C. wrote:I am posting to ask your advice about what we should do next. My youngest ds turned 6 on July 10. We did MFW K this past year. I debated about starting him in K last year because of his birthday and because of the fact that he has always been a little delayed on all of his milestones. He was late sitting up, talking, crawling, walking, etc. Not terribly late but enough that I feel like he might just need a little extra time to develop/mature. I do see him maturing. He did okay with K, not knocking it out of the ball park but not striking out either.

If he had gone to ps, I would not have started him in K last year because of maturity, but with us homeschooling, I thought I could tailor it to his abilities and slow down when needed. My problem is that I am not sure he is ready for 1st. He really needs more practice in reading and learning to read, and he is not writing well enough to copy a whole Proverb. He would write his letters in MFW K but needed a lot of "encouragement" to get it done. So I guess you can say we persevered, slow and steady wins the race.

I know 1st is supposed to be review the first 3 weeks, but I really feel like he needs more than 3 weeks review. So, my thoughts of late have been that maybe I should camp out in the "learning to read short-vowel sound words/stories and writing letters" arena until he catches up. That could be in a few weeks or a few months. Then start MFW 1st when he gets those things under his belt a little better. Has anyone done this with your child and do you think it is something we should look into or should we start 1st and just take longer to review if need be?

He wants to know when we are going to start his "new" school work (meaning 1st). I think he is ready to move on to something new in some ways. He is my entertainer and likes to be entertained himself so I don't think repeating K would be an option.

I would like to say at this point that this in no way is a negative toward MFW. We love MFW and think it is great! This is just about what would be the best thing to do with this particular child. I am wondering maybe that I should have not started him in K until this coming year, but we did and now I am wondering what to do from here.

We are also wondering if we "hold" him back in school should we hold him back in Awana and starting cub scouts. He has been looking forward to it for a long time. From everything I have observed, I think he is about 3-6 months behind maturity-wise in a lot of things. He eventually gets it. It just takes him a little longer. He wants to do what his older brothers do and he seemed so interested in doing school. At the time, he was kind of in between prek and K, and we chose K, so....now here we are.

Just needing some seasoned advice on where to go from here. We are expecting a baby between now and Sept., and I would like to make a decision on what to do in the fall. TIA for any advice you can give.
Amy C.
My dd turns 6 Sept 1st. I will have her finish the last few units of MFWK and then she will spend some time practicing reading cvc words. I will probably will not start MFW1 phonics until January. I will begin her with MFW1 math at the beginning of this school year. I will add handwriting practice for her. You could also do the science. The last part of MFW1 will carry over to 2nd grade. I will do this in place of PLL until finished adding in Spelling. I like the Draw Write Now series.

Another idea would be to write the proverb in portions daily until finished. There really isn't serious writing in the curriculum until much later in the year where they begin writing very short narrations in their Bible notebook.

Blessings,
Missy

TriciaMR
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Re: Advice for young 1st grader

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:43 pm

Amy,

Your son sounds like my Charlie... Like today, he decided to make the Lauri letters jump around and over and on top of each other instead of just laying them next to each other. He likes to provoke his siblings into laughter. He will say, "I can't do this!" or "This is too hard!" but if we slow down and take a breath, he can. I, too, often think his silliness and wiggles are covering for either not knowing or not wanting to try.

Sometimes I think this is a test for me and my patience, not him and his learning... :)

{hugs} My boys are only about 3 weeks older than your son, so it sounds like we're at a similar place. We actually waited for our boys to start Cubbies until they were 4 (definitely weren't ready at 3), and had them do Cubbies last year for "K." I wasn't sure they were going to really do okay with school K, so I didn't want to move them up to Sparks. I will mention I have a friend who has twin boys who are just 2 months older than my boys, but maturity wise they seem about 6-9 months older than my boys. But, talking to their mom about it, she thinks its because they are the "oldest" kids in the family.

-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
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gratitude
Posts: 677
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Re: Advice for young 1st grader

Unread post by gratitude » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:16 am

Hi Amy,
My recent question that I posted last week may help you some. It is Summer Birthdays [above]. I received some great answers to some of my concerns regarding my oldest ds summer birthday.

I also thought I would share why this coming year is '1st grade' for Awana & Sunday School for my July 8th Birthday ds who just turned 7.

My reasons of not starting K when he was 5 are a little different than your reasons for wondering if it was too soon, but I think it will still apply. Intellectually he was more than ready at 5. However, he wasn't mature enough at 5 to do school work. Truthfully my second ds5 is barely mature enough to sit and do some at age 5 (he is a good reminder of why we did what we did with the first). My first ds two years ago was bouncing. He had speech hesitation his brain was moving so fast. He couldn't sit to do handwriting. His energy was much too high. I could read books to him for an hour (with him having very high comprehension), but anything else pushed him too hard. After six weeks of 'K' 'life happened' and forced the issue of what I was already thinking. 'K' needed to become 'Pre-K', and we just needed to move forward. It was solidified when we tried to start 'K' Sunday school at 5, and emotionally he wasn't ready, so we put him in the Pre-K class and he loved it.

So last year after he just turned six, we started Kindergarten. He was ready. We did SL LA K in the fall (similar to MFW K academically), and started MFW Grade 1 in the winter at 6 1/2. He started Awana in February and loved it (Sparks - K - 2nd class)! He was in a K/1st class for Sunday school and did well. The only thing that was not as bright of experience was a 1st grade swim class / swim free-time after the lesson. He loves to swim, but being the youngest didn't work out that well for his personality. He is a natural leader, and somehow kids know who is oldest and tend to designate them as the leader, and the youngest kid isn't looked at too kindly if they try to lead the older ones.

I personally like the idea of all ages mixing. It is one of the reasons I was drawn to homeschooling. I find though with 'graded' activities his age does seem to matter weather it is a great experience, not as good, or even a poor one.

I would add that you know your child and what he needs best. I tend to teach slightly lower than my kids potential. This is what works well for them & for me and keeps us happy. In this area though I really do think every family has to find what works best for their home schooling journey.

As you will see from my question last week I am not completely comfortable with my decision to have my ds on the old side. Yet every mother I ever talked to who had their summer birthday boy on the older side was so glad that they did, and every mother I spoke to with a young summer birthday boy regretted it later (highschool / college).

Last note from my experience as a piano teacher (8 1/2 years). 5 year olds were never ready for lessons, 6 year olds were barely ready, and by 7 or 8 they really were ready to sit down and learn. Just an observation from the years I spent teaching grade school - high school students.

As for your situation. It sounds like slowing it down and waiting until January for MFW Grade 1 is a good idea. The Bible reader for MFW Grade 1 is wonderful! It does move along though. As for other activities I know our Awana puts K - 2nd together. It sounds like yours is different than that. I would put him wherever he is able to fully enjoy and engage in the program (same for scouts). I think it is worth something to have them really get the most out of their school work or activity, rather than feeling like they aren't quite able to do it, or only get 3 /4 out of the potential of the program or school work. I think this though since it is what we have found that is working for our ds, now 7.

Blessings. :)

Missy OH
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:36 pm

Re: Advice for young 1st grader

Unread post by Missy OH » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:01 am

I wanted to agree with the boys being on the older side for grades. All of my boys are. I started them in K the year they were already six. I started my oldest dd before she was really ready for MFWK. She learned her letters, but couldn't blend, and her handwriting wasn't quite there. I decided not to move her up a grade and called it K2. She was completely fine with it as we made a big deal.

Just another idea.......

Blessings,
Missy

momtogc
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:25 pm
Location: AR

Re: Advice for young 1st grader

Unread post by momtogc » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:34 pm

I don't have a boy but my daughter was very similar - she has an August birthday. I want to encourage you to do what you think is best for your son. With boys it's not unusual for them to be held back a year. There isn't a stigma really of being a year older in a grade, especially within homeschool circles. You will find a lot of boys in homeschool groups, and even in Sunday School class or AWANAs (we are heavily involved in AWANAs - dh and I are both leaders) who are all the same age/same grade having all been started a year later. One year we worked in children's church and ALL of the boys had started school a year later so they were all the same age. They seem to do so much better when they are given that extra time for maturing.

So, my thoughts are, since you already did K, can you fill the coming year with meaningful play, hands-on, reading instruction and read alouds that build on what he knows but hold off on actual first grade academics until the next year? Some fun things we did in K were My Body by Teacher Created Resources. You draw a big outline of the child's body, color the internal organs and muscles (we did one per week), glue them to the outline. You can leave off any that you don't want to discuss. I think MFW has a similar book scheduled later so you might want to consider that.

I also cut a huge paper pyramid out of that butcher paper and hung it on the wall. Once a week we cut out pictures of food from magazines and placed them in the correct section and talked a lot about eating healthy (not that we do, but we talked about it. : )) We played store and learned a little about money. I used The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading and that worked really well. It takes just a little bit of time per day with the student sitting next to you as he learns to read. There are some fun phonics building activities in that book.

We painted a lot. I think painting with fingers and with paintbrushes helps build small motor skills and that can lead to better handwriting...I think - I'm no expert on this, jmo. I wouldn't worry over handwriting too much. Can you let him trace letters in sand/cornmeal, etc?

We read all kinds of books. I mostly did read aloud and sometimes really big titles, other times fun picture books. I can't remember the titles but will try to find a list that I had and send it to you if you'd like. We went to the library weekly. That library (we have since moved) had hands on crafty things to do. Last but not least, I read to her directly out of my Bible, almost daily. We read entire books and even now, several years later, that is one of her favorite reading times. And we did AWANA verses weekly, too. What I did was have her write them with a crayon, then I cut them out and put them on colorful construction paper and hung them up so she could look at them. You could write them for him at first, maybe have him do some later in the year?

I don't know if this is something you would want to do or not, but it's an option. I've always heard that if you are going to hold them back a year, that you should do it early. They won't really remember it later or be as affected by it as they will if you get to fourth grade and realize that he needs that extra year, kwim? Also, keep in mind that as time goes on, when people ask him what grade he is in, you don't have to use grade level. He could always say, well I'm doing nine year old work or I'm doing fifth grade math, fourth grade LA, sixth grade science....and so on.

My main thought is this - you know your own child so much better than anyone else. You know what he's capable of, his strengths, his weaknesses. Don't let curriculum or tradition dictate what you need to do for him. Don't let satan confuse you. Follow your heart, the guidance that the Holy Spirit gives you because ultimately, you are raising up the person God wants your child to become so He will give you the right answers. With this advice and others, take what works, throw out the rest. I know you will choose well.

((Hugs))
Meleasa
I'm sorry if this is too much information! I didn't mean to ramble on so much! :-)
Mom to Gabi, a fun-loving and happy girl!
MFW 1st, Adventures, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp-1850

Amy C.
Posts: 203
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:12 am

Re: Advice for young 1st grader

Unread post by Amy C. » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:20 pm

Thanks sooo much for everyone's response! I am really going to commit this to prayer and really consider what would be best for my ds including keeping in mind all of your thoughtful responses. Thank you all for taking the time to respond!

Amy C.

SandKsmama
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:43 pm

Re: Advice for young 1st grader

Unread post by SandKsmama » Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:33 pm

Just wanted to add my experience - my son was young when we finished MFW K and were ready to start 1st, and like yours, not really ready for the amount of writing, etc. But I knew it wouldn't have worked to go back and repeat K, SO, we did MFW 1st grade at 1/2 speed until he was ready to go full speed ahead. I think it was about a semester, and it worked great! I broke up the Proverbs writing into little chunks each day, instead of the whole verse in one day, and that worked well too.

For my daughter, she just was NOT ready for MFW 1st grade, so I wound up going ahead and letting her sit in on the MFW year the older ones were doing, and then just doing math and phonics with her. She did Reading Made Easy and Math-u-see Alpha. Worked beautifully. Just another option to consider.

As for what "grade" to put him in for Scouts and Awana, I think only you can really answer this. It's so hard to think how it will affect them down the road. My oldest daughter just turned 14, and I SO wish that we had held her back a year in everything when we started homeschooling (Sunday school, etc). I think it would have been so much better for her. But hindsight's 20/20. My 9 year old is actually a year ahead in those things, but he is very mature and ahead for his age. It's really individual. I'll pray that God will give you the perfect answer for your son!!
Amanda, Wife to a great guy since '99, SAHM to 4 fabulous kids! DD(7/96), DS(1/01), DD(8/03), and baby DS (3/09)!
Used MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, Ex1850, and currently using 1850-Modern!

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