4-year-olds - Sibling in K

Using MFW Preschool & Pre-K Packages, as well as occupying babies and toddlers while teaching
Jenn in NC
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4-year-olds - Sibling in K

Unread post by Jenn in NC »

baileymom wrote:I was going to start a just 4 yr old and just 6 yr old in MFWK this fall (both boys). Has anyone else done this? I will also have a 3rd and 6th grader (both girls) starting CTG....Any suggestions?
You will probably get lots of helpful replies from been-there-done-that veterans. This board is so helpful!

Another thing you might consider doing is calling the My Father's World office to discuss where your 4yo and your 6yo are developmentally, which program would best benefit each of them, etc. When I first started with My Father's World, I called them several times and they have always been incredibly patient and helpful, not just with answering my questions but also in helping me think of different aspects of the issue that I would not have thought of on my own.

Anyway I have a dd who will have just turned 4 when the next school year starts and so I recently asked a similar question on the board. The particulars are a little different of course but here is a link to that thread in case you want to read it:

Maybe something in there will help you as you look for the best for each of your children!

Also the archives are full of really great threads on each My Father's World program -- if you haven't looked around over there, you might find it to be even more helpful.

I am sending up a prayer that God will show you what to do with the precious little ones He has entrusted to you. Isn't it wonderful to know that He already has a perfectly tailored plan in mind for each of them, and for you. He will show you.
mommy to four boys & two girls... and another boy on the way :)
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Unread post by RachelT »

baileymom wrote:We are very excited about restarting in Aug..right after baby #6 comes along and we make a 23 hr move to Ogden, Utah. I guess I'm just a little overwhelmed.

I read somewhere earlier today that we need to remember to let our little 4 yr olds be 4 yr olds and I agree with that.I think my goal at this point is planning ahead and simplicity.Thanks for your input I soo appreciate it.
When we began K for the fist time in Aug. of '06 my oldest was 5.5 and my younger was 3.5. What we did that year was the full K for my 5.5-6yr old and we included my younger dd in all the unit study activities and even some of the phonics songs and games, but when she was done, she could go play. She was so eager to learn and do "school" work that I did have to find other workbooks for her to do because I didn't want her to have to do the phonics/reading worksheets for K that year.

This year my older has turned 7 and we only have a few weeks left of MFW 1st grade for him. My younger has turned 5 and she has breezed through MFW K with having done so much of it last year. But my older one still likes to study the science topics and do the fun activities.

Below is the beginning of a post by Marie on the message board under "Choosing Curriculum" and the link for the rest of it. It is about teaching PreK and K together, which is what next year sounds like for you with your 4 and 6 yr olds.
  • How to teach Pre-K and K together ---

    If you have two children--one a four-year-old and one ready for Kindergarten--you can combine some of your teaching. Note that this is a slightly different scenario than if you begin with a K and 1st grader (that is addressed in a different post).

    The first year you will use MFW-K as your base curriculum, the second year you will use MFW-1 as your base curriculum, ...
This way, your 4 and 6 yr old children will be together for K and 1st grade unit study years and then when they are in 2nd grade they can join in with the older ones for unit study, while still doing appropriate LA and math!

Posted: Fri May 30, 2008 6:57 am
Here is my experience (in a nutshell). My children are 22 months apart, so a bit farther apart than yours. My oldest is a boy and although he is bright, his development is not advanced in a lot of areas (like writing, reading, etc.), my younger one is a girl and her development has always been ahead of her age. So, when he was 5.5 and ready for K and she was 3.5 she wanted to participate in a lot of it with us. We have followed the plan on the link that Crystal showed you. [ http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?t=642 ]

It has worked out well, because my dd enjoyed having her own year of K this year while he was in 1st grade and now she was ready (at 4.5) to want to read and do the handwriting and everything. The year before, when she was 3-4 yrs old, it was easier to have her participate for a little while and then let her go play when she was "done." I thought she might want to do that this year, but she has been able to complete the K work with no problems before she is "done" mentally and needs a break. So, I would recommend K for your 4.5 yo and PreK for your 3yo.

It is always a good idea to call the MFW office and see what they think!

Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:15 pm
Two years ago my ds was 5.5 and my dd was 3.5 (22 months apart). Although my dd was young, she was in some ways more excited to have "school" time - she still is like that! So, I did a lot of teaching together that year.

We did a "morning meeting" where we did the calendar and 100 chart activities together, coin cup, etc. We also did a fun simple song or greeting game or practiced writing the date on the board, etc. I did a lot of the phonics things here, too. We learned the sounds and names of the letters with the songs and games, we did the short vowel song, things like that. We also did read alouds together for each topic, Bible discussions, and science activities.

We also used our preK package toys (the 4 yr old set). We all liked using the number pegs for math. Of course we also did art and music together, too. The only thing I really did separately that year was the student work pages, my dd wanted to do them (the younger one) so she did lots of coloring and other preschool workbook pages and my ds (the true K'er) and I worked on these together.

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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Unread post by baileymom »

Thank you all for being so helpful.I wish I had gotten involved in this message board a yr ago, I've received wonderful advice from all of you.What a great thing that we can all support and pray for each other.Hopefully soon I'll be able to help another new MFW mom.
Kathi - graduated 1, homeschooling 6, preschooling 2, growing 1

Unread post by cbollin »

baileymom wrote:Did you have the preK package? We only have the preschool toys.
I like the preK package because it helps to work on developing skills that go beyond just knowing your letter name/sounds and number recognition. I like the Bible songs too :) I've used the preK materials to help start the day with the younger kids and help them feel involved with learning and to help me not to forget to give them them their own special time each day. And the booklet with activities help with lots of fresh ideas to engage their minds and bodies when they want to do school and you have to work with an older one.

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Unread post by RachelT »

We still get things from our preK package out and use them. We use the Bible songs a lot and my children's favorite is the stacking number pegs and number puzzles.

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,
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K, Preschool, and ECC

Unread post by my3boys »

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 7:50 am
I am doing k with a 6yo, 4yo and also have three 3yos tagging along. Academically my 6 and 4 yos are at about the same level and so they are both doing the phonics and writing activities - the 3yos are not.

We have 'circle time' in the morning, which includes 100 chart, calendar, introducing the letters and themes, a bible story or object lesson, songs and a story on the theme.

After this we'll have a snack and either work on an activity/craft that goes with the theme or we'll get out the playdough.

Then I do the reading lesson portion individually with my 6yo and 4yo. It doesn't work to teach the reading lessons or do workbooks with both of them together because they compete with each other and it is very distracting. We are also taking 2 weeks on each letter theme. I get whatever I can find at the library on each theme and we really dig into it - this makes it more interesting and challenging to my 6yo. My oldest will be starting ECC and I didn't want to run out of K before we finished ECC, so that's why we are stretching it (I should say that we homeschool 4 days a week, and only take 6 weeks of summer vacation).

I also have a storytime in the afternoon, when we read fairytales and other classic stories. My 6yo will sit in on ECC as well for whatever he is interested in. Next year we will do First and CtG.
gressman9 wrote:This is the first year that I am teaching 6 children and a clingy toddler tagging along. My oldest is off by himself doing dvd school. The next oldest is doing MFW ancients [high school] almost completely independently. The 11 and 7 yr old are doing ECC.

The next two are doing MFW K. This year we decided to go with MFW K so I wouldn't be ignoring them so much....and because I wanted the bible and science and all that fun stuff for them! BUT.....instead I am finding that I ignore the older ones too much and school is taking to long....or the laundry isn't getting done.

I just can't seem to balance all the different ages. I am seriously thinking about going back to just the barebones math and phonics for the little ones. Prayer would be appreciated. I am convinced that this is an excellent K program....I am just not sure it is working for us right now.
Posted Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:14 am by my3boys
You probably just need to tweak the programs a little to suit your needs. I am doing ECC and K as well.

For K we do a 15-20 min circle time while my older child does independent reading. In circle time we do calendar, number chart and cup, flashcard for the letters done so far, and then I read a story or do an object lesson on the theme. I don't give my kids a lot of info. on the themes - I just get short, fun picture books.

The rest of the morning the little ones just play in their rooms or in the playroom, while I do school with my older child.

After lunch I do the K reading lessons with my kids one at a time while everyone else is having 'quiet time' (TV, play by themselves). I keep the reading lessons to about 15min and I only require them to write one or two letters a day instead of a whole sheet once a week.

As far as math and phonics for the little ones, I am finding that my children are learning more with MFWK with far less work and time than my older ds did with separate math and phonics programs. My boys made the connection this week of how to count by tens because of the bundles of ten in the number cup and they can both count to 50. We had started out with workbook curriculum for them last year and there were many tears over how much they had to write and how many pages would be required - MFWK has a lot less writing than most phonics programs. I have found that using a timer and the flylady routines have helped a lot with managing the house - and you can also delegate some of that to your older kids.

We are focusing more on Nature Study as our science for the year, which all ages are enjoying.
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How does this work (placement) ?

Unread post by RachelT »

Bandy wrote:My dd1 (she will be 7.5ish) beginning Adventures in Fall 2011. I would have my then 4 years and 5months old dd2 begin MFW K. She is 3.5ish now and is reading and spelling simple words at this time. I do not do anything formal with her, it is a result of DD1 playing school with her. I actually bought and use the MFW Lauri toys with her a lot. She loves those. I was thinking by the time Fall 2011 comes around, MFW K would suit her very well. ???
Hi Bandy! I have an older son and younger daughter, 22 months apart, with winter birthdays. We began with MFWK for my oldest and my younger dd wanted to do lots of the schoolwork and so she has always been "ahead" of her age academically (reading, writing, knowing numbers and letters, and all of that). She seemed ready for K at 4.5 yrs, but I didn't think she really was ready to be a 1st grader at 5.5 yrs. I ended up calling it Preschool when she was 4.5, but using MFW K. Then, I added in some of my own things the following year so that she was doing some K and some 1st gr. work during her official K year (at 5.5 yrs old), while she was doing most of Adventures with us. Then, when she was really 6.5 yrs and in first grade by her age, I had her do the MFW 1st gr. program alongside of ECC. There are lots of ways to work with a child who is already reading in K. So this is my long-winded way of saying, take your time and even if she is doing work that is advanced, don't feel like she has to skip a grade level.

We are already in the CtG year where she has officially joined her big brother in the cycle, but I have treated the unit studies as something that we all do together from his main program, so it doesn't seem any different to her. We are just doing different reading and spelling work now instead of phonics. I am sure you will figure it out one year at a time! It sounds like things are already going well for you!
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,
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4-year-olds - Sibling in K

Unread post by alisoncooks »

hsmomma wrote:This is probably a variation on an old question but here goes:) I have a son who will be 4 in one month and one who will be 6 starting MKW kindy. My 4yo wants to do everything his 6yo brother does(I also have a 1yo, 11yo and 16yo at home). I know I should start with the youngest and work my way up but how do I keep my 4yo busy with something else while doing phonics work with his MKW brother. I dont want to have it be big brother time because it will be in the morning and they are both really productive in the morning and I would like them working on their weak areas. Do you think having him work on prek independent activities would work? I am worried he will just interrupt with my one on one time with my 6yo...
Mine are 3 and 5 and I'll say that this has been one of the most challenging things for me (so far!).
My little one has done a little of everything:
independent play in her room while I do the "meat" of the lesson with big sis
play playdough or markers at the table where we're working
"doing worksheets" for her school time (extra handwriting sheets or worksheets I've found)
Her favorite has been joining us during craft time and cutting stuff up with scissors. :-)

I've not found the perfect way to combine them yet, but it's working well enough. She does interrupt occasionally, but often she just runs off and plays. Personally, I'm fine with that. I have no solid "school time" goals for her right now.
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Re: Prek and Kindy

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Have the 11yo or 16yo play with the 4yo during your time with the 6yo, maybe?

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Re: Prek and Kindy

Unread post by zeo2ski »

Let the 4 yo sit at the table and participate. He would be able to do lots of the verbal parts and the tactile activities.

Then let him do playdough, look at books, color, etc. during the parts he's not ready for.

We've done it like that when my boys were 2 and 3/4 and again now when they are 3 and 5 (and there are 3 baby girls throughout that time also...we do most of school during morning nap!). The younger boy, even as a new 2 yo loooovvved "doing school" and singing the songs. For a long time he just listened and then one day he decided to sing and he knew the whole a-a-apple song already. This year he's 3 and he likes to join in and do everything the 5 y.o. does, but I'm ordering MFW's preK manipulatives for him to use when it's something he can't participate in. They sell a good package. By participate/join in, I don't mean the little guy is actually learning the skills you're teaching to the older one, but they are becoming familiar with the alphabet through this exposure and more importantly the two kids have fun together. Oh and the little one can actually do and benefit from almost all the science, Bible, and character stuff. :)
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Re: Prek and Kindy

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Here is Marie Hazell's idea for teaching preK & kindergarten together, over several years:
If your 4yo is not going to do K next year, you may need to adapt it a bit, but I think it should give some good guidance.

Also, some good experiences are in the archives for including preK:

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

newbe how to combine 4 and 5 yr old??

Unread post by cbollin »

ruppster02 wrote:Hi, We are new to homeschooling, My daughter turned 5 in January and will start K this fall an my son turned 4 in January. Im very excited to start this fall but im wondering if there is a way to combie them or if i should wait till the "family Cycle" begins in 2nd grade (if im understanding this correctly). I know that my son would love to be involved in K with my daughter, he loves to do his letters and numbers, knows sounds and is beginnig to write, he loves to do "school work" but im just afraid that pushing him to do all the K curriculum would not be in his best interest. Not sure what my question is here..lol...what would be best in this situation??
Welcome along!

While waiting for some new chime in with ideas and experiences from others, I'm remembering an archived thread that has some ideas from the MFW author shared about when they are one year apart... WAnted to share that with you. here...it's a little hidden, but I found it..


Welcome to homeschooling.

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Re: newbe how to combine 4 and 5 yr old??

Unread post by robertb10502 »

I have 2 that are a year apart..... Here is what I did.....'09 - '10 K with older one and preschool with next one. He joined his brother for everything but phonics and math. '10 - '11 all of 1st grade with older then k with younger one. Younger one only did math and phonics of k because he had just done the rest so he tagged along with 1st for Bible and science. '11 - '12 2nd grade adventures with older one. 1st grade phonics and math and Bible. We doubled up on bible verses this year because the handwriting is done with the Bible verse. Then he tagged along with his brother for everything else. Also have one in preschool this year. Then next year we will do ECC with 3rd grader and 2nd grader and I will have another one in K and one in preschool. It works out where they can do some stuff together....then as they get older they will do more together. Hope this helps some.
-Samantha- wife to Robert - mom to Christian, Riley, Eli and Annie.

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Re: newbe how to combine 4 and 5 yr old??

Unread post by gratitude »

robertb10502 wrote:It works out where they can do some stuff together....then as they get older they will do more together. Hope this helps some.
This is very similar to what I have done with two who are 21 months apart, but only one grade apart. For example, this year for 2nd/1st ADV was our main program and then my first grader did all of his phonics and math with MFW1. When my second was in K he did all of his phonics and math with MFWK and then his Bible, etc. with MFW1. We did a few K projects that year, but not very many. Next year they will finally be in ECC together. Hooray! They will still have LA and math at their own levels though. My 3rd born is coming along in the same way. She did a lot of ADV this year and with it Pre-K and now K phonics and math. Does this make sense? Next year she will do MFWK phonics and math and join in some on ECC. I will do her K Bible and literature too.
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Re: newbe how to combine 4 and 5 yr old??

Unread post by ruppster02 »

Thanks everyone, I appreciate you taking the time to help out this newbe :)
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Re: newbe how to combine 4 and 5 yr old??

Unread post by Dusenkids »

Welcome. I had a 4 and 5 yo last year. Same thing in a couple years when my 2 and 3yo are ready. I plan on doing the samething with my 2 and 3yo b/c it worked out so well. My 4yr joined in for everything except phonics. Math was a strong interest for him so I didn't tell him no. This year he is joining in on 1st with K phonics. Adv will be together with seperate phonics and probably math at that point too. So basically what the others have said. Very doable and fun. I think they like someone "in their class" to work on stuff together :-)
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Re: newbe how to combine 4 and 5 yr old??

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie »

My younger two are 18months apart.we will follow the similar pattern as others. I'll also have my oldest but at least I have one more year til then LOL
2012-13 Adventures
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1st, K, AND PreK question...

Unread post by Julie in MN »

mdhorton wrote:I'll have a 1st grader, K'er, and PreK'er starting in the fall. We have not currently been using MFW, so we will be doing as much of 1st and K curriculum as we can, so we don't miss any of it!

What I'd like to know is this: How does your day flow if you have a 1st, K and PreK student? Not looking for specifics from the curriculum....but what is your day like? I'm talking about general routines. :) Thanks for any and all feedback!
Well, I'm not an expert, but I can find some archives to start the conversation and bump you up.

Marie Hazell's guidance on using K & 1st

Her advice for teaching preK & k

Experiences teaching k & 1st

Combining preK & 1st

Hope you find something good in there
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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Re: 1st, K, AND PreK question...

Unread post by lea_lpz »

I think the recommendation would be to use MFW 1st as your core, which should take about 1.5 hours, and the do the math / Lang. for your k'er using mfw k, and that should take 30-60 minutes, and 15 minutes with your preK-er using the mfw preK package. Then all kids do the mfw1st activities and read alouds. If I had extra time, I would do the MFWK bible portion, too.

Here's a link for your specific question:

So you would likely do mfw1st deluxe, MFWK basic, and the 3-5 year old preK package.
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Considering MFW K

Unread post by lea_lpz »

sweetgrace wrote:Should I also be considering MFW Pre-K for my 3.5yo come fall? If so that will put him at 4.5 to start K correct? That might be too soon perhaps? I'm trying to wrap my mind around trying to combine my two oldest, thank you!
If you can swing it I would get him the preK package and do that for at least a year. I feel like with the index cards, we've been able to really get a lot out of them. My son know all his colors, shapes, and can recognize and rotary count to 10. He's also getting a lot of fine and large motor skills control, so I feel he'll likely have an easier time than dd when beginning mfw k. They seem simple and fun, but you'd be surprised how much these activities prepare your preK-er for future necessary skills to be able to do k Lang & math. Plus, my son enjoys getting a set time to do school with just me. It's his time.

As far as what to do with a 4.5 year old. In my opinion, I think it's best to follow the public school cut off date in your state, so I would wait to do K at 5.5, but that's just my opinion :). You could start him I
at 4.5 in mfw k if according to the website he meets being ready and just do k a little early. Another option...spread k out over 2 years, completing 1/2 the first year and half the second. In fact, this could enable you to do the whole k program vs just doing Lang & math because you could spread each day over two. People spread it over two years in a lot of different ways, but skim the boards and you'll get some ideas :). If you search the board, you'll find some threads on this. I think at the end of this year you'll get a feel for what he will be ready for. I think the biggest indicator of whether to start k will be your child's ability to be willingly and cheerfully able to do seat work and a genuine interest in learning to read, write and learn math concepts.

Remember that a younger sibling can still be leaning and doing a lot because they'll join the older sibling on a lot. So, even I'd you do 2 years of preschool, he'll still be joining his big sister and that'll be the core curriculum for both. Also, the preK index cards vary in the challenge they present, so I can easily see my ds doing more challenging activities that we haven't tried this year.

I have a 3 and 5 year old and we are doing MFW K this year. This is what I do with my 3 year old...
He participates in the following with MFW K:
1) Simple language activities, such as singing alphabet, singing A-a Apple Song, tactile letter activities, tracing laurie letters and saying words starting with the unit letter, and alphabet match and bingo
3)Read Alouds
4) Activity-to the best of his ability and with my help he is able to participate in most of the activity time. Each unit the activity time varies, but you cover art, science, social science, hands on math, geography, baking / cooking, and music regularly through out the year
5) All Book Day activities, which is why I don't do preschool those days

For his preschool time:
1) We chose I activity from 1 of the 5 section per unit, omitting this on book day, from the mfw preK package index card with corresponding preK toys. These our his special preK toys only for preschool time. The cover, Thinking Skills, Language Development, Math, Fine Mother Skills, & Large Motor Skills. It takes us about 5 minutes.
2) We do 1 work book page days 1-5 each unit. I use the About Three's Rod and Staff series, but anything for a preschooler that is simple would work. This also only takes about 5 minutes.
3) Before Five in a Row-we row a book a weekish, again, days 1-5 of each unit, so none on day 6; I pick simple activities to do with the book we row since he is doing other stuff with his sister, so this only takes me about 10-15 minutes. Occasionally, the book we row will go perfectly with the MFWK unit, and then we might do more, but then my K'er will join us.

1) K'er and I do math and more advanced language alone while my preschooler plays or watches a cartoon-this takes about 30-45 minutes
2) Preschool time, typically about 15-30 minutes, is done individually so we can work one on one and so big sister doesn't show off. This is her break time.

This year we spend about:
1)30-60 one on one with k'er
2) 15-30 one on one with preschooler
3) 30 mun- 1 hour together doing MFW K as core (mostly the fun stuff)
Most days days take us 2 1/2 hours, but we also do 15 minutes of Spanish (both kids together)

Hope that helps you get an idea of how you might be able to combine them together.
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)
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Re: Considering MFW K

Unread post by sweetgrace »

Thank you for your time! This was fun to read and gave me a great idea about what this next year is going to look like for us. This looks really do-able and laid back which is the atmosphere that I want to create.
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Re: Considering MFW K

Unread post by lea_lpz »

Me again...;)

Don't know if this is helpful, but this is what I am planning for my dd's 2nd year of preschool.
And just to let you know, I initially thought of starting mfw k at 4 and doing it over two years but at this point, don't think he'd have the patience to do the worksheets, the fine motor skills to do the handwriting, cutting, or coloring involved, or the understanding to really get the Bible concepts (he joins us now, but I think he'll benefit from repeating it again at 5).

1) partipate in mfw 1st when appropriate (Bible stories, science, art, crafts, social studies, nature walks,
math games and hands on math activities, math and science literature, Devotion time, music, art appreciation) (30-60 min.)
2) MFW preK toy activities at a more advanced level (5 min.)
3) Rod and Staff preschool series for 4-5 year olds (10 min.)
4) Handwriting Without Tears Pre-k book and sensory activities (5 min.)
5) Singapore Math Early Bird math book A (10 min.)
6) Five In A Row vol. 1-3 (1/2) or Wee Folk Art preschool companion guide (30)

Here's a link for Wee Folk Art:

http://weefolkart.com/content/homeschoo ... ion-guides

I suspect we'll expand preschool one on one time to 30 minutes for preschool activity & workbook but because FIAR & WFA are both age appropriate for my dd, and MFW1st doesn't have any specific literature read alouds, we'll be using this for our read alouds for both children, spending maybe a half hour.

Technically I could re-row BFIAR with just my ds, because much like the MFW preK package, you can repeat the books and do the activities at a more advanced level for a 4 year old.

Then I will probably be working with ds 30-60 minutes a day on mfw1 one on one.

Our school time for both kids will be I'm guessing 2 1/2 - 3 hrs.
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)
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Is this giving my little daughter a complex?

Unread post by yvonneh »

bethinga wrote:I've been using MFW K with my son this year. He just turned 6 in Oct. My daughter was 3 when we started, and just turned 4 in Feb. Without any coaxing, but always with welcome arms, she's been following along with everything, except writing and reading. For writing, I have her trace a giant sized letter with many colors, making a "rainbow letter". For reading, she just runs off to play. She's very involved with everything else: calendar, counting, science, crafts, Bible, stories, etc.

Lately, she's been sad because she cannot read and write. She actually writes her name, and can write many letters (large and squiggly, as they should be for her age), and can read some 3 letter words, with help (knows all letter names and sounds). I tell her often how well she's doing for her age, and that ds couldn't read or write when he was four, either; that she's right where she should be (and actually doing more than most newly four year olds I know!). But, it doesn't seem to make her feel better.

To make matters worse, ds doesn't understand this concept either, and is quick to point out when she's done something "wrong". I tell them both its not wrong, but exactly as a four year old should be doing it (and discreetly ask him not to do that), but neither of them really "get it", and her feelings get hurt. I'm afraid she's always going to feel second best, or never "caught up" to him. She is really VERY smart, but I don't know how she'll ever realize her potential if she's always "behind" him.

I'm also not sure how to approach school next year. She's still younger than I chose to start K with ds (my preference is the year she's 5, turning 6), yet I think she could do it, and would probably be reading and writing by the end of the year. I'm also SURE she'll follow along with first grade, and that will probably end up being the bulk of what she does, just because she'll want to do what brother is doing.

As I see it, here are some of my options:

I can do 1st grade with ds, allow dd to follow along with whatever interests her, and wait until her "5 turning 6" year to do K with her. It would be her 2nd time going thru the K curriculum, just with more skills, so maybe a gap year wouldn't make it seem like too much of a re-run (since we will have just completed ds's K year).

I could do the K curriculum with her again, but this time, with the worksheets. She'd still want to follow along with 1st grade activities, but I could devote the first part of the day to just her. However, a lot of K would be a repeat for her. Although, it will have been a year, she may grow tired of the same letter song, or some of the activites we've already done.
(If she's still not ready for the worksheets, I'd be wondering what to do with her the following year, and I doubt a 3rd time through the K curriculum would be fun for her.)

As a third option, I even thought of doing [a different] preK/K with her. It'd be reviewing the same letter sounds as we did this year, but with different activities (A is for Adam in this program, for example). Then, I could do her real K year the following year with MFW, and it'd all be new again after a break (and she could do the worksheets by then).

Whatever I choose, I want her to be doing something of her own that gives her a sense of accomplishment, to boost her confidence. And, in addition to whatever I do with her, she WILL follow along with ds's 1st grade. She just will, bc she wants to do everything we're doing.
I think this is a problem common to most siblings. The phrase I hear often in my house is "It's not fair!" My girls are all spaced far enough apart that they have not felt inadequate next to their other sibling, but that doesn't mean there isn't still competition. I agree that you need to get her a pre-K curriculum for next year so she has something that is just her "own" that big brother isn't doing. I think that will go a long way in helping her feel more confident.

Hopefully other moms who've actually homeschooled kids close in age will chime in for you, though. :)
wife to Pete since 2002
born again believer since 2005
mom to 3 dd:
--elizabeth, 9
--abigail, 6
--faith, 3
ECC 2013-2014
Learning God's Story (1st) 2013-2014
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Re: Is this giving my little daughter a complex?

Unread post by lea_lpz »

My kids are two years apart. I think what you have described as common although dd will not make negative comments about my younger child's work and will typically say he did a great job. He still wants to be 5. He wants to read. He wants his own hundred chart. He wants to be able to join a scouting troop. Plight of the youngest, I guess.

I would do a pre-k routine that you could do in 30 minutes with your youngest, and let her join her older brother in mfw1st if she wants in everything but language and math and not have your older child present for pre-k time. My ds only joins us for mfw k games, songs (A-a Apple, ABC songs), and multisensory activities. He doesn't do math, phonics, reading, word blends, or worksheets.

I do this so I can:
1) give my undivided attention to my dd
2) avoid having him get upset attempting something he's too young for
3) keep that fresh for k his go around

I don't have my dd at pre-k time so that:
1) pre-k time is our special time together
2) older dd can't distract us or answer questions
3) oldest can't tease and call it baby work
4) give dd a break

So, my 3 year old gets an hour break every day to play, watch cartoons,play starfall or sit at the table quietly with a color book, preschool toy or book without talking or inturrepting.

My 5 year old will usually watch a 30 minute episode of Sophia the first.
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)
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Re: Is this giving my little daughter a complex?

Unread post by Mommy22alyns »

It sounds very familiar to me, and I'd just do what's best for your DD. Rebecca can be a little critical of Sylvia and I constantly have to point out that she's 2 years older.
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