Schedule - Can I teach MFWK units out of order?

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
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Rebecca in Ohio
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Schedule - Can I teach MFWK units out of order?

Unread post by Rebecca in Ohio »

Interested in doing some activities first
vickie wrote:Does MFWK have to be done in letter order? The beginning letters used in the teachers manual seems to fit with fall. Also, my son wants to learn about "J for Jewels".

Thanks for your replies.
Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 6:40 pm
Vickie Hi!
Generally it is better to do MFW K in the order suggested because the phonics portion builds on what you have already learned, but I think that the occasional mix-up of letters is no problem at all. We actually started with the Letter J for 2 reasons. One was that my ds's name begins with J and also because there happened to be a diamond exhibit in town at that time. In starting with J, we couldn't do the complicated phonics activities that come with that lesson (ie the spelling and blending) so we just focused on the sound and knowing what the letter looked like. Later on, towards the end of MFW K when J actually appeared in the rotation, we just did a couple of those extra activities that we had missed along with the next lesson.

My one thought is that if he is interested in jewels to just go for it while the interest is there. That may be what hooks him. So, go ahead, give J a try, and see if he wants to continue with the rest of MFW K after that. If not, give it a break for a bit.

Just as an aside. I have a relative who is doing MFW K very loosely (did I spell that right?) with her dd5. They are totally not doing it in order at all because her dd has no desire to read/blend or to sit and do much of the work, so they go by interest. They even change some of the topics to what is of interest to her dd. For example, instead of doing Insects for I they studied Indians and Pilgrims in November - and that was how her dd learned about the letter I.

Gotta go, crisis in the bath tub upstairs.
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Can I teach the letters out of order

Unread post by LSH in MS »

momof2 wrote:Hi,
Can I teach the letters out of order from the way they are listed in the book? I know with unit studies you can often teach in any order, but since because there are reading lessons included, I'm wondering if teaching the units in a different order would be confusing to my child as he's learning how to read. Any input appreciated!
You need to do the letters in the order in the book. The phonics lessons for each letter build on each other.

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Unread post by momof3nKS »

I first did MFW K 2 years ago. By the time we learned the 2nd vowel, my dd wanted to learn the other 3 vowels "to help her read better" were her words. So, I taught the other 3 vowels sooner than they were suppose to. We survived.

BUT--Yes, each lesson does builds on the one before. It wasn't a problem for us, but it might for some. Just something to keep in mind.

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Why are the letters introduced out of order?

Unread post by kellybell »

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:18 pm
Well, I'm no phonics expert, but from doing K twice I can see that easier to say letters (S, A, M) are introduced before harder to say letters such as X, Z, and Q.

Also, I noticed that K doesn't have similar sounding letters one after the other, instead similar letters are a few weeks apart so that the child can get the first sound "down" before learning the next sound. So, I and E aren't one after the other, same with D and T, or M and N.

It also seems like common letters are introduced earlier than less common letters, making it easier to put together lots of words earlier in the year.

The lessons also are grouped together with themes. The three farm animal units (horse, goat, and cow) are together followed by four wild animals (zebra, elephant, penguin, and kangaroo). Astronomy (sun and moon) and animal life cycles (butterfly and frog) are two other themes. It's nice having the child's brain in a "farm mode" and being able to build on it with several lessons (lessons = 6 days) in a row. And, it's a good time to do farm field trips, etc. So, if you choose to do the units out of order, you'll see that you break up the themes,

But the bigger problem will be that the reading sheets for a particular lesson will contain some not-yet-introduced letter sounds. So, if you do lesson 10 in order, you'll see the sounds from lessons 1-9 which the child should know. If you lesson 10 out of order, you'll run into sounds the child doesn't yet know well yet.

MFWK is best done in order.

Even if you plan on introducing letters a bit early, I'd do the letters in order. My dd knows the letter sounds from the /a/ /a/ apple song. Although the only vowel we've "studied" is A for apple, she is able to do some sounding out with the other vowels. Yippee. But, we're waiting for the other vowels to "teach them."

If doing the activities at the right time of year (apple picking, butterflies) is the issue, just study butterflies and apples when they happen in the year and postpone the seasonal activities for an appropriate time. So, study apples in the spring and pick apples in the fall with a one-day review of apples before you go if you wish.

I hope this answered your question and didn't muddy the waters.
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Unread post by kfrench »

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:43 am
Changing the order of units with the phonics worksheets will matter most on how well your child knows their sounds.

If they know them then the order shouldn't matter that much. If they don't they might have problem with the letters they haven't learned. But do keep in mind that the alphabet song which uses the sounds of letters is sung at least twice a week and alphabet song twice a week so after a few weeks they should pick up the sounds depending on age and developmental readiness.

But each activity unit could be done as a separate unit when ever you wanted to do it. So really it is up to you it is a very flexible program.
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Can I swap weeks?

Unread post by Poohbee »

Theresa in MN wrote:I am beginning Kindergarten with my 5 year old this next week.

I am wondering if it is important to their understanding and mastery to follow the curriculum as outlined or if I can swap weeks so that things can correlate better according to the season of year we are in. I would like to teach this more seasonally For example: studying Ss sun, Mm moon, Ww water, Tt turtle and Vv Vegetables in the summer and Aa apple, Ll leaf etc. in the fall.

Would this work our should I follow the program as outlined?
Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:27 pm
One reason that mixing up the units in K wouldn't work is because the letters of the alphabet are taught in a certain order, and the phonics lessons keep building on what has been previously learned. Aa Apple is the 4th or 5th letter unit taught, I think, and it is the first vowel that is encountered. After learning the previous consonants (s, m, and l, for example), your child will be able to start reading simple words and syllables, such as sam, sal, etc. Each unit builds on the previous one, adding the new letters and sounds to the phonics and reading practice.

I live in ND, so we're neighbors. :-) Our seasons are pretty much the same in MN and ND, so I certainly understand your desire to teach certain units at certain times in the year. However, it is workable to do the units as scheduled and still glean a great deal from them, even if they don't fall at an ideal time of year.

For example, as I planned our year, I realized that we would be studying farm animals (Cc cow, Hh horse, etc.) during the dead of winter. I wanted to take my dd on a field trip to a farm, but I did not want to do it in the freezing cold. So, we went on our field trip to a friend's farm in September, when the weather was nice. We saw their cows, donkeys, horses, chickens, etc. I took a bunch of pictures. Then, later in the winter when we studied those units, we looked at our pictures and remembered our field trip to the farm.

So, if you just look ahead at all that you will be learning during the year, you can plan field trips and activities accordingly, and your child will probably remember those special things when the time to study that unit finally rolls around.

I think it is important to keep the units in order, though, for the phonics instruction.

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:04 pm
Agreeing with Jen. If you are using MFW K with a child who is not reading, don't mess with the order of the program.

Do field trips whenever you want to do your field trips. To prep a bit before the field trip, you can use bits or pieces of some of the activities or books from the science sections. Then do the full unit and all activities again later when you come to it in the program.

In each unit, you will have alternate activities for each unit so you can substitute a bit if needed. Example in the A A apple unit --- the visit to the orchard is called alternative activity if in season. But most of the unit activities come from grocery store apples :)

Take pictures of field trips and review them in the unit.

You can do the butterfly garden at any time without it having to correlate to the Butterfly unit. Take pictures. In fact, we have 2 chrysalids and 2 almost there, and 1 who met a sad issue.... But we are in the moon unit. But a fun time of year to do the butterfly garden. That's the one big seasonal activity, but we're just doing it now instead of waiting until whenever :)

Also, the alternate activities in each unit will help if you start at different times of year. Example -- if you start in winter and are doing the sun activity -- you don't have to try to make raisins over several weeks, you can do one of the alternate things such as a weather chart and just eat some store bought raisins.

So, MFW K is not seasonally dependent on start time. But I think it best to not change order of the program if you are using the whole program. I can imagine the hypothetical case where someone is using the only the science/character portion of MFW K in a co-op setting for and only for science and maybe then it wouldn't matter (but maybe it would for some of the character and Bible lessons??) But for individual instruction where you are using the complete program (even with an advance kid who is reading), I'd say keep with the order.


Just make mental notes to bring up later

Unread post by Guest »

Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:06 pm
We too are in the moon unit and have one chrysalid. My husband brought home a caterpillar and the kids fell in love. I keep thinking, "But we are going to do that unit later". But you guys are so right, they will remember (and if not my 100's of photos will remind them :P). These little ones are constantly learning things.

I'm just trying to make mental notes (or note on my files) of what they learn so I can bring up those times when we get to those units. Have fun with K! I feel so blessed to have found MFW!

Can the order of the MFW K units be changed?

Unread post by cbollin »

psalm126mama wrote:My dd has mild developmental delays and as much as I really, really did not want to supplement anything I am going to need to supplement with a separate handwriting curriculum (or I don't think she will be able to keep up with the handwriting requirements in 1st grade). But the letters in Handwriting Without Tears are introduced in a different order than they are in MFW. Can I change the order of the MFW K units? Or has anyone had experience doing 1 letter in MFW and a different letter during handwriting time? Was this confusing to your child?

Thank you,
C. Lynn
If you are using MFW K to also teach how to read, don't mess with the order of the units.
If you are using MFW K for just bible/science stuff, some units can get mixed in order or at least kept in some close groupings (you'd want to do sun and moon together, farm animals together.)

If it were me teaching my child, I would start off to find ways to keep the program in order. I would add in HWT later in the year for extra practice. There are a lot of tactile and sensory things to do in MFW K with handwriting so that there is handwriting every day. Some days are with pencil, other days are more similar to what an occupational therapist would do (salt tray, shaving cream, tracing on textured letters)

I know when my youngest (she has autism) was in MFW K, she did not have a huge problem doing MFW K while also getting occupational therapy and that OT used HWT workbooks.

In MFW K, I think it is helpful to know upfront is that it is not expected that the student master writing the letter S during this first unit of letters. S is one of the harder letters to form, and therefore gets a lot of practice all year. It's essential to get the letter early in the learning to read stages due to frequency of use. But the handwriting will come. Practiced with tactile methods. Do some hand over hand help. trace is fine for a while. Also offer specific out loud instructions to turn the curve and turn back... Start with making the letter very big in the air with your arms and fingers. Stand up and do it together while talking the instructions for making it. It's hard to learn about the switch in the middle. So, use the "script" somewhere around page 37 of the manual.

Then, at another time of time (or even wait a few weeks, or stagger it some way), you can also do HWT workbooks or methods if you see a need and it will help. This will be true in MFW 1st grade as well. Also, if your student in MFW 1st needs more time to do a worksheet (especially the Proverbs handwriting sheet) it is ok to spread it out over the week in my experience.

The biggest hurdle is the paper difference HWT and MFW. it's the 2 line without a mid point reference vs. the 3 point that includes a mid point reference. My youngest had to go slower with handwriting. I waited a year to start Kindy so she was 6 when she started Kindy instead of just turning 5 or 5.5 or whatever. Given her mild developmental delays, it was a good thing to do. And we modified 1st for her.

just my opinion and how it worked for me. I'd encourage you to also call MFW's office. I know they have some staff with various understandings of mild delays and all of that.

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Re: Can the order of the MFW K units be changed?

Unread post by sarah »

I ran into the same exact question because we are supplementing with HWT. My son was previously behind in fine motor, but has caught up for the most part I think.

Anyway, after asking a couple of my HSing friends, I actually decided just to keep the MFW order the way it is intended and do the HWT lessons in the order they are intended. Here were the thoughts I had after hearing opinions:

1. Learning to switch modes and learning to write a different letter than they are reading is actually good for their brain.
2. The HWT letters in K are in a specific order for a reason (frog jump capitals, letters that start in the middle, etc). In other words, they are grouped together in order to teach your child certain cues that help them learn to write. Thus, changing the HWT order is not a great idea from what I heard. You probably already knew that.
3. Thus, I didn't really want to switch the HWT order and felt that the units in MFW were probably in some type of order for a reason. For example, we are on L- Leaf and it is the perfect time of year for us to go gather our leaves that are falling and talk about why they change color. If it was the dead of winter, it wouldn't be impossible, but it wouldn't be as convenient. Of course, I know these types of variables may vary vastly across the country so maybe it is or isn't much of an issue but so far it seems to make sense.
4. I think it actually has helped my son to do handwriting sorta separate during a more focused time so he learns to form letters correctly from the beginning. I mean he does the MFW handwriting stuff, but it really isn't enough practice for him. He is eager to learn to write letters so I figure I might as well teach him. Of course, we are early in the program so maybe there is more writing later. I too worried it might be confusing, but I don't think it has been confusing for him at all. I think if your child didn't know most of their letters it might be, but not otherwise. We only do the actual HWT lesson and workbook page one day a week because that part really can be done fairly quickly, then my son uses the HWT paper to practice the letter he learned everyday for a week. We are still on capitals.
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Question about the Kindergarten Units

Unread post by Yodergoat »

kewkew34 wrote:I have a quick question. Is it possible to do the Kindergarten units out of order? I did want to mention that my daughter already knows how to read at a 1st grade level so we are not really doing the phonics anyway. We have been going through Kindergarten really slowly. We aren't going slowly because the content is too hard or too much, it's just with the baby (who just turned 1 in Feb) it was just so hard to get to lesson time sometimes. Plus I had already planned on taking 2 weeks per letter/unit because we have playgroup on Tues and co-op on Wed.

Anyway, I have the chance to use a "The Earth" lapbook which has a section about water/oceans/water cycle and it also talks about rocks and stuff. I thought it would be fun to go straight from Water to Rocks. Is there any reason this wouldn't work? Thank you.
If you are not following the phonics lessons, then I see no reason why it would be troublesome to rearrange some units. I did the same thing during K because we had a good chance to study a unit out of order because I had the materials for a future unit at hand that week. It caused no problems, except that on the handwriting sheets the numbers were out of order. No big deal at all for us!
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Re: Question about the Kindergarten Units

Unread post by kewkew34 »

That is what I was figuring. Thank you.
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Re: Question about the Kindergarten Units

Unread post by Mom2theteam »

I Agree with the above. :)
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