Siblings - Giving each child their own Math/LA -- even twins

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RBS in OH
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:34 pm

Re: Trouble in twin-land

Unread post by RBS in OH » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:32 pm

Hi Trish,

Just wanted to say that "You can do it!"--teach at two seperate levels.

I remeber being a bit bothered, uneasy, sad at the thought of teaching my twins at different levels at the first time I noticed their learning paces differed (which happened to be phonics too). We took a month off of proceeding with the lessons for dd, so that I could back up and reteach for ds. That month got them back at the same level, but dd was and still is stronger in the reading dept. We just don't emphasize the academic strengths/weaknesses much when there are bigger differences. And yet as they get older we are trying to notice the different strengths that God has given to them individually.

Since we've been using MFW, I actually do grammar and math separate anyhow now. And I'm very content about it now, especially since this is MRW's recommendation. It gives me more one-on-one time with each and they were on different levels for math last year. And this year we will begin Spelling Power and I know that they will be placed at different levels. We try hard to productively fill in the time for one while I'm working with the other--book basket, math facts, Complete Book of Animals (during ECC),..This year I think I will fill in with a language study and typing instruction (We're going to try the free on-line one you shared). I suppose this gets easier as they get older and more independent. It would be a little more challenging with your younger guys, but I think you only mentioned doing 1-2 subjects separately.

One thing I've learned to do that helps when we are all working together: I tell them that they need to raise their hand when they know the answer to a question, and I will call on the one who raises it first, BUT I won't call on that one until they both have their hands raised. So we start: I ask ?; wait until both of their hands are up; I call on 1st one who had hand up to answer; that twin answers aloud; THEN I ask the other twin if the answer given was correct. This works for us because both are required to think on their own and want to try their best to answer correctly and the one who raised their hand second still gets a chance to "shine".

Other times I just call on ds to give answer. I often have to remind dd that she needs to remain quiet as I asked Ben to answer, not her. (We get that same one twin "tending to rely on the other" thing going too.) And sometimes it's just their eager/more-laid-back personalities playing out.

Twins sure are fun and interesting, huh? We LOVE it, as I'm sure you and your husband do too!
Rachel

ds(14) 8) and dd(14) ;)
We've enjoyed ADV, ECC (2 times), CTG, RTR, EX-1850, 1850-MOD--and now AHL this year!

tiffany
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:56 am

Re: Trouble in twin-land

Unread post by tiffany » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:22 am

If it were me, I would be highly motivated to keep them together. I mean, keep them in the same basic program at the same pace, so they will be finishing together. My new readers have always liked having Mom to themselves especially if they are self conscious about a new skill or their abilities.

I've had 2 boys go through MFW 1st grade and it took them both one-and-a-half years. Which I think is totally fine. Look at that Bible reader at the end, that is some tough stuff! What I would do if it were me is start on the review portion of 1st grade and then take breaks as you go through to reinforce concepts. During our break times, we've used Explode the Code, and Happy Phonics for games. This gives you an opportunity to try some different formats to fit learning styles and to help out the slower student without having to abandon your primary curriculum. You could tell your faster student that Explode the Code is great handwriting and spelling practice, if he thinks it's too easy or you could start him at Book 2, if that works.

Remember they are only 6. You have time. For many kids, reading is more of a 1st & 2nd grade thing, not just 1st grade and you're done. I had one child that didn't start reading lessons until they were 2nd grade age. Library books could be good too. You could probably find some Level 1 readers that vary in difficulty enough that they would suit your kids, but still have the same level printed on the front.

I would try to make it fun for them to work together. Emphasize the fun and togetherness, instead of thinking about slowing one kid down or speeding one up. I think some games would be great!

Hope you find a great solution to your situation!

Postby tiffany » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:06 am
I thought I would add a bit to my original post.

When I said I would be highly motivated to keep them together, I was wanting to give suggestions for ways to fill the time while you stretch out your basic curriculum.

Your slower student is actually probably at average or typical for his age, especially for a boy. While your faster child could do more advanced work, I don't think that is necessary.

Anyway, like I said no twins here, but we have dealt with competition issues before, scholastically, even at different age levels. I actually taught a 5 & 7 year old with another program at the same time, because there was enough difference in abilities, and it worked out fine. I'm sure twins puts a whole new twist on things.
Tiffany
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877

MFW-Lucy

Re: Trouble in twin-land

Unread post by MFW-Lucy » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:01 am

Dear Trish,

I have a couple of thoughts that I would like to share with you in general about learning to read.

When Marie Hazell wrote My Father's World Kindergarten she made a decision to only work on short vowel words and sentence reading (with a few sight words). The reason for this is that a large group of students need to have a lots of repetition at this simple level to develop a firm frame work for how to read before adding other phonic combinations and sounds.

With this in mind what your son is experiencing sounds quite normal. We would suggest spending some time practicing with only short vowels, helping him to become fluent and confident in reading short vowel words and books. The MFW First Grade will teach all of the other sounds that you mentioned when he is ready. The first 3 weeks of First Grade will review only short vowel sounds, words, and sentences, but you may begin now with what you have to help him be ready when you start school.

You have had lots of good ideas and advice from the other moms on in this thread and I think that one of the best ideas is to teach them separately for language arts and math. This is our recommendation also at MFW because if prevents comparison and also allows you to focus on each child catching individual needs more easily.

If you have more questions, please ask or call the office at 573-426-4600.

Lucy

RachelT
Posts: 352
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Re: Trouble in twin-land

Unread post by RachelT » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:40 pm

Hi Trish! I just wanted to add a couple of things. First of all, I'm married to a twin! I think it was good for them to be in different classes in school and I think it would be helpful to teach your twins separately in math and any kind of phonics/reading/language arts. The twins will be aware of having some differences, just like any other siblings, but I'm sure you can talk about each person having different strengths and weaknesses. My husband's perspective on his childhood sounds like he was the later bloomer of the two and he knew it and they compared themselves to each other, but they weren't in the same classes until they were older which helped. Then, my dh went onto do very well in his undergraduate and even graduate studies. His brother did well, too, but did not go to school for so long. My dh improved his grades at each level. He and I think it's because he learned how to teach himself. They really compared themselves on the ball field, with my dh getting "cut" from the teams for 2-3 years in late elementary/middle school. But they practiced together all the time, pitching and catching and by their senior year they were the #1 and #2 pitchers in their county. So twins can work together and even help each other develop their skills! Even if the twins don't compare themselves to each other, other people probably will compare them, but that's just because twins fascinate people.

Another thing, my children are only 22 months apart and my older one has more challenges with his schoolwork, while my younger one is advanced in most areas. We end up doing as much as we can together and it works! We really do most subjects together, even handwriting, but we do separate math and phonics/reading/spelling/language arts. Now, they both know more about dyslexia and that my son is dealing with his different ways of learning. It is not a secret that he is dyslexic/dysgraphic, but I do have them in different programs especially for the most difficult areas for him so that they are not competing to see who can pass the other one. They will be doing different spelling and reading.

HTH,
Rachel
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19

http://rachelsreflections-rachelt.blogspot.com/

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Trouble in twin-land

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:44 am

Lucy, Thanks for your comments. I will work with them separately on those subjects. My husband and I talked about it. He said since there is some review at the beginning, start with that and then slow down if he needs more review before going on to the long vowels and vowel teams. I also think the way that MFW 1st teaches sounds and letters will help him more.

Thanks Rachel! We've done school for 2 days, and so far we've done the Math and Phonics time separately. I'm even having them do the scroll sheets that they're working on separately, because if I don't, one is constantly looking at seeing where the other one is in completing his. Or, if I say, "Oh, that's a very good "D"!" the other one will want to see it. But, it is going well, just taking a bit longer than I would like...

-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
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

HSmommi2mine
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:59 pm

Re: Trouble in twin-land

Unread post by HSmommi2mine » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:22 am

Maybe get another phonics program (something inexpensive like The Ordinary Parent's Guide) for Trent and do that with him separately. For him you treat the MFW reading as spelling and Charlie does it at a slightly slowed down pace that matches his reading abilities.

The only similar experience I have had was when my 6 yo dd was on track to pass her 10 yo brother in math within the next 18 months. She was thrilled when I added an entire extra math program to her day... ;) Going deeper and hitting things from a different perspective has kept her interested and learning, but let him get to Algebra first (thank goodness, because she is going to love algebra and it is the bane of his existence).

I am all for enrichment and separate programs.
~Christina

Wife to my favorite guy
Mom to 3 great kids

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Just curious

Unread post by TriciaMR » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:52 am

Mom2theteam wrote:Trish, I was just reading through old threads and was reading about your twins being on different levels. I have 2 sets of twins, boy/girl who are almost 3 years old and boys who are 7 months. (I also have a son who just turned 5) I'm worried about this for my toddler twins. He is already so far ahead of her in language development. She seems to be on the slower end of normal while he is advanced. Also, he seems to "get" a lot of stuff that goes over her head still. He has known his colors and shapes for a little while now, but she is only just picking it up. They are both going to be tagging along with my older son in K whenever they are interested and doing a little pre-school stuff too. (This is our first formal curriculum.) We will see what happens, but I think I'm going to be facing the same issue at some point. I hope it is going well for you and that the boys are being understanding of each other.
Well, right now I pretty much teach them math and reading totally separately.

I do Bible Lesson (I don't call it a "Bible Story" because it's not a story, it really happened) together. I do any science activities together. They sit in on the oldest's History and Science. I let them play with the Pattern Blocks together. If it is a math activity (like this week, we're on "measuring," so I let the work together to measure stuff, which makes it more fun for them) we usually do it together. But if I do a worksheet out of the Complete Book of Math, it is separate.

So calendar time, number of the day, and that stuff I do separately. One of them got the hang of it at about number 25. The other one didn't get the hang of it until about day 45. But even now, we do it separately. Same with the Phonics Workbook, Bible Reader, Bible Notebook, and handwriting pages. They like the one on one time with mom.

-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
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

MFW-Lucy

Re: Just curious

Unread post by MFW-Lucy » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:16 pm

Hey ladies,

Just to encourage you even with twins who are on the same learning time table we generally recommend teaching math and language arts separately. So you are right on track by doing this.

Lucy

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: Just curious

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:10 am

Trish, Seems like you have it worked out. It sounds like most things that go along with twins, double the blessings, double the fun and double the work. :-) And, I like not calling it "Bible Story." I think I'll steal that idea from you. ;)

Lucy, thanks for chiming in. It's nice to know what the WMF recommends. :-) I think that sounds like a good plan for individual attention and being able to really work at each child's level and style of learning. I'll definitely be keeping that in mind for my twins. It will be a little while though. My older twins have 3 years till K and my younger twins are still just 7 months. Obviously, we have no idea if they will track together on development or not. Right now, one is competing to be my earliest walker. And, the other is going for "most easy going baby." ;)
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Anyone teach two kindergarten students together?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:28 am

Fenni wrote:Are there any threads about that? The two girls are 5 and one is not my child.
Thanks.
I haven't done MFW K, but I have twins... My suggestions:

Do any Bible, science, history, crafts, games, songs, etc. together. Even the number of the day worksheets and counting can be done together. (I had a "circle time," and we would do days of the week, months of the year, calendar, counting, etc. all together.)

Do any phonics individually. I also did handwriting individually at that age. Math has been hit or miss doing my boys together. In K it worked well to do things together. In first and second grades, something went okay together, somethings not. This summer we've been doing math together again.

-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
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

lea_lpz
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:00 pm

Re: Anyone teach two kindergarten students together?

Unread post by lea_lpz » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:58 pm

Agreeing. I don't have two k'ers, but I have a ds, 3, who tags along, and we basically do what previous poster said, like I work on phonics and and math worksheet pages with my dd individually. My ds, 3, may stay at the table if he quietly works on his own things at table, like a preschool toy or coloring page, or may take a break from school and go play in his room or watch cartoons. Then we will switch and I'll work with him some days on his "preschool" time for a half hour. I think you could easily do this with two k'ers. My guess is school would take an additional half hour for MFWK (not any additional things your adding to the program), so might take about 2 hours.
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: Anyone teach two kindergarten students together?

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:04 pm

TriciaMR wrote:Do any Bible, science, history, crafts, games, songs, etc. together. Even the number of the day worksheets and counting can be done together. (I had a "circle time," and we would do days of the week, months of the year, calendar, counting, etc. all together.)

Do any phonics individually. I also did handwriting individually at that age. Math has been hit or miss doing my boys together. In K it worked well to do things together. In first and second grades, something went okay together, somethings not. This summer we've been doing math together again.
As a mom of two sets of twins, this is what I would plan to do also. This is also what we do for our tag-alongs. Neither of my sets is ready for K yet, but they tag along in the above subjects with their older brother and then they do their own thing or play while I do phonics and math with big brother.

Depending on how well they are catching on with the phonics in K, I might do some of it together, like the blend latter worksheet where you say the word and they pick the vowel and write the first and last letter in. Also, my manual (still older) has instructions for teaching a classroom instead. I would probably modify some of that to fit 2 students and do a combo of separate and together. BUT, I would only do some together if it was working out well and both were picking it up at the same speed. Otherwise, I would do it completely separate. The same goes for math.

I'm sure there is going to be a little bit of trail and error. You'll find a system that works well for them. :)
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

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