Academics - First review weeks at a faster pace?

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Academics - First review weeks at a faster pace?

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Sep 11, 2005 9:23 pm

Rives wrote:I still seem to be having trouble getting into the groove with mfw1. It seems too easy at this point for my 6 year old. She reads well so the phonics information is really not necessary. Will it pick up for those of you who have done it before??

I welcome any suggestions. Maybe dig in depth to the science more? We do love animals and stuff around here.

Thanks, Rives
I picked up the pace in the early goings. I had my 6yo do the reading sections up to day 30 or so quickly. The other activities/art were added in there too.

Now as we approach somewhere around day 41 in the book we seem to be more in tune with the material. My 6yo is still not having trouble reading the words or sentences in the workbook but she doesn't mind that it is "too easy" or "too gentle". She enjoys making the Animal Tales books.

I would encourage you to hold off a bit on adding any history reading -- history makes a little more sense when they are a little bit older. (I did the same thing with my oldest, btw.)

To beef up the program a bit, add more books from the reading lists in the back of the TM. Don't jump too far ahead or condense too much of the material. Work on writing skills a bit. Consider using the phonics section for teaching spelling instead of just reading.

I think that if I had started with MFW with my oldest I would be saying the same things you are. But the activities are very age appropriate. We switched back and forth after MFW K and before MFW 1, but interestingly enough I realized that around day 40ish of MFW1 we were at the phonics equivalent of the other programs I had tried.

Last edited by cbollin on Mon Sep 12, 2005 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.


MFW1 being too easy

Unread post by momtomom » Sun Sep 11, 2005 9:55 pm

I began MFW1 in Late-August with the same concerns about it being too easy. Here are some things we did:

We completely skipped the review of the alphabet.
We doubled up on other things in the reading section until it got more challenging.
I also have her read an extra story from a reader.
I have my child spell out words I dictate to her on a completely separate piece of paper.
She is enjoying doing the Animal Tales books.
I am doing the art portion at double speed as well so she will be ready to illustrate the bible notebook.
Everything else, bible lesson, activity, science, math etc. I am doing at normal pace.

So, am in two different sections of the teacher's manual. It seems to be working well for us. She is an older first grader, so I am batting around the idea of finishing at a quicker pace then moving straight to adventures. I am not going to push it though. The bible history portion of the curriculum is so informative that we are just having fun this year and solidifying phonics.

Happy learning,

Donna T.

the work is easy for my son...

Unread post by Donna T. » Mon Sep 12, 2005 4:24 pm

We are on day 20. The work so far has been very easy for my son but we are still going to take it at the pace that is scheduled in the IG. I am not really concerned that it is too easy because I've poured over the TM and I think the pace will pick up soon. I'm just trying to enjoy our relaxed days right now knowing that someday I'll look back on them with wonder that we really had so much free time! We are going "all out" with the books on the reading lists and spending lots of time doing all of the math activities and science stuff.

We sort of attempted to add in history but my son asked me to just focus on bible history right now. He loves history anyways and has a great foundation from our K curriculum but he really wants to just focus on the bible right now. I was very thrilled because it was evident that he understands that the bible is indeed a history book. So, our days are like one big Vacation Bible School. I think it is making a big difference in his little life to take a slow pace and to really focus on the bible... two weeks ago, he prayed to ask Jesus to save him and next Sunday, he is getting baptized. I know it's not just MFW but I do think that going at this easy pace and filling our extra time with lots of bible stories, conversations about what we learning, and how bible history is so interesting has helped him to grow spiritually. So, I plan to just continue to let it be easy and I know it will pick up eventually.

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Unread post by Rives » Mon Sep 12, 2005 7:49 pm

Thanks so much for all of your encouragement. We will keep plugging along and enjoying the slow pace for now. She just loves to play as well, so I guess these are the years for that sort of thing!!!!!

Mother to Rosemary 8, Stuart 6, and Dorothy 4


Unread post by Guest » Mon Sep 12, 2005 10:35 pm

The 1st grade phonics is also too easy for my 6yo (July b-day). She is reading quite well at this point. As she does not demonstrate boredom though (and she does not), the review is a positive thing IMO.

This one single skill, reading, is so very crucial to the mastery of all other subjects. I had thought about skipping the alphabet review (first few weeks). I'm so glad I didn't, as she LOVES practicing her handwriting and her motor skills have improved so much that she exhibits pride in her work.

I add some required reading (she chooses from several level-appropriate books), we snuggle and she gets the practice she needs to improve fluency.

It's such a delicate balance of wanting our children to be challenged, but doing so without squelching the love of learning. Of course, it helps that we're the Moms and we know our kids best!


Unread post by Guest » Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:32 pm

Hi. I am doing mfwk with a 4 and a 6 year old. Although the phonics is to "easy" for my 6 the rest of the program is wonderful. For us, this is a year for me to work on improving my relationship with my 6 year old (which has had many rocky patches) and set good school habits for the later years when the work load increases. The character development are all things we really need to work on. The phonics and math skills will come in due course. I am so thankful God led me to use the K program and have a more relaxed and nurturing year.

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Enjoy life!

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:32 pm

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:21 am
Honestly, so what if school is only an hour a day? We get to enjoy life!

We use the word lists as spelling lists, too, and we play the Leap Frog Spelling Bee game. She loves to play war with cards, or play store, as well as other educational games, and she reads to herself off and on all day.

I know she could handle more difficult material, but I had to ask myself, "to what end?" As long as she's learning and growing and developing physically, emotionally, and spiritually, then we're on the right track. I have to agree with adding more activities and stretching in other areas instead of just focusing on academic strengths.

I'm glad that God has given you peace about how to best teach your very special girl.


Need advice

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:26 am

blazingacres wrote:We have been using the curriculum for a few weeks......both Kdg and 1st grade. My five year old LOVES the kindergarten curriculum and is thriving. However, while my 6.5 year old enjoys the science projects for both Kdg and 1st, she is bored with cutting/pasting sentences, writing words under the correct pictures, etc... She reads very, very well, and is very mature. She learns quickly and retains what she learns.

I knew it would be very easy for her (it is a repeat of what she was doing in Kindergarten this past year in public schools) but I am not one to push ahead, rush learning, or want a child to be several grades ahead.......I just want them to be little girls and love learning. However, she has started saying things like, "Mom, this is too easy." "Mommy, can I have harder ones?" It is evident in her penmanship that she is bored and not enjoying it. She just loves learning at home and is eager to start lessons each day. I sure don't want that to change due to sheer boredom with the repetition. I've supplemented with several craft or science projects I found online and she enjoys those a lot.

I don't know whether to push ahead......we've not gotten to the Bible journal yet (she will like it), try to cover it faster and move on to Adventures, skip what she already knows, or what!!?? I'm hoping as we progress, I see more challenging work for her, or she is never going to sit for this for the duration. Any input would be appreciated.
What day in 1st grader is the 6.5 year young student on?

You might go a little faster if that's where she is and perhaps end up starting ADV later in this year.

just from a chit chatty point of view, that sounds like a very advanced Kindy public school that taught all necessary phonics in Kindy and taught that much math so that most or all of MFW 1st is review for her. The pace and level in MFW 1st grade does change after the initial few days of review. But even so, some children are ahead in reading skills no matter what you do. (been there, done that).

sorry, just myself distracted there. Which day are you on? We all might be able to brainstorm some ideas to hard the worksheets you already have to be "harder" to help your child. It could be as easy as you have her stop cutting the words, and writing them without the world to look at. Or it might be a touch more than that and have her spell other things. Sometimes we do have to speed some review lessons. Sometimes we have to tell our children gently that right now it is ok for it to be easy while mommy learns to teach 2 students right now, and she could do her "independent work" (like cleaning, or something like Rosetta Stone to learn a new language) or other real life writing activities such as "make greeting cards" for shut in's in your church, or something other than workbooks. If she is advanced in reading, you can encourage her to participate in a read a thon to support missions.


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Re: Need advice

Unread post by baileymom » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:16 am

My son was much the same way at the beginning of 1st (after MFW's K). But I did make him stick to it and complete the pages. And then there even came a few days, where we had to stop, and really soak in the new info in 1st. I think a few weeks into 1st (like K), it really starts to move along. A few times, I did do what Crystal suggested, and made the actual workbook pages "harder".

I would follow Crystal's advice, and try to add in a few things. More reading, maybe some science notebook pages, extra copywork...things like that. And there's always things like Starfall and the Super Monkey Math website, and more reading...
Kathi - graduated 1, homeschooling 6, preschooling 2, growing 1

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Re: Need advice

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:05 am

I always read about "Day 17" being the big shift in 1st -- have you reached that point yet? For instance: ... 313#p28312

Maybe you could condense until you get to day 17? :~ :)
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Re: Need advice

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:01 pm

Julie in MN wrote:I always read about "Day 17" being the big shift in 1st -- have you reached that point yet? For instance: ... 313#p28312

Maybe you could condense until you get to day 17? :~ :)
I agree. I'm wondering what day you're doing, too. There's another "kick it up a notch" at 36, and another at 57. I agree that there are lots of ways to use the worksheets to make them fit your child's level.
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Re: Need advice

Unread post by blazingacres » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:18 pm

Thanks everyone. We are on day 19 & my daughter was happier with the work today. I guess I posted just when I was going to see an improvement. She already knew the vowels and how to indicate short or long vowels, but she enjoyed marking the paper. She knew about silent E, but had never marked it out, so she found that fun. She is liking making the's right up her alley. She loves illustrating.

We do cards each week and take them to the seniors at that senior center........I feel like we do a good job of supplementing for her. We read an abundance of material with her and let her read to us. It was just the worksheets.........she likes a good worksheet, but had a hard time swallowing the ones we just did. I will say, the public school here is outstanding. People scramble to get into this school district (it is small), and looked at us like we were crazy for deciding to homeschool when we were 'in district' funny! It's not all about curriculum, and though they do a good job in that area, there is so much more we want for our children.........well, you all know all of that already, don't you??

Thank you for the info about days that things seem to take off a bit, I'll be looking for those. I think we'll just keep going as we are & see where we land in a few weeks. It's too early to make big changes.......I just want her to love learning, so I want to stay on top of it.

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Re: Need advice

Unread post by dhudson » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:52 am

Remember to add reading books that are at her level. I added in readers from the library or bought a few to keep my interested. We still did the wkshts as I wanted them to have a good foundation in phonics but kept it short and sweet. IMHO, I would not allow her to complain about pages but just tell her that as soon as she is done with those she can do the next fun craft or whatever she enjoys. I have found that stopping the complaining early has really helped now that they are older.
God Bless,
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Re: Need advice

Unread post by RachelT » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:10 pm

In the beginning of MFW 1st grade I had to let my 6.5 yr old dd do more than one phonics lesson per day. She wanted to do that and could. Then, later on she slowed down to the normal pace and took more time illustrating her Bible notebook. She also read extra books, since a lot of it was review for her last year. I am still glad that I didn't make her be a "2nd grader" when she was 1st grade age. She is ahead of the curve, but it's easier to add in extras than remediate (which is what I am doing with my son). I also added in games for matching sight words, spelling, Bananagrams, etc.
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A Few Questions Regarding 1st grade

Unread post by MelissaB » Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:12 pm

kewkew34 wrote:We are planning on starting 1st in April after taking a week or two off after finishing Kindergarten. I knew there was going to be review at the beginning of first but I was hoping to get some advice.

1- Is there any way to speed up the first few weeks of first? My daughter is bored with K which is why we are trying to move faster and get to 1st. I felt we had to go with first because I don't feel either of them are ready for Adventures. How do you make these beginning weeks challenging and fun for someone who can already read and is going to get really annoyed by writing her letters over and over again, plus have to blend sounds which they both know how to do?

Tabitha sort of picked up the Bible Reader the other day and read the last story, no problems. I am thinking of having her use the words to make sentences or something. Even for spelling, the first several weeks at least, are really too easy for her. I was using a 1st grade spelling list last year for spelling for her and she was begging for harder words ("like elephant" she would tell me). I am definitely going to have to figure out something.

2- I am also wondering if there are any threads out there or if anyone would care to share advice on how to organize the first grade materials. I had organized Kindergarten by separating the papers into folders by letter unit, but am not quite sure how to go about organizing for 1st.
Hi, Karen,

I haven't used the newer version, so I don't want to steer you the wrong direction. However, have you looked on the "Ideas - Learning God's World (1st grade)" board? Here's a link:

And here's a link to the archive for the older version. Even though they're different, you'll probably be able to find good ideas on organization:

You might start with the "General Ideas" option on each board. There are a lot of organization ideas there.

Enjoy! It's a precious year, and it goes by fast.
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

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Re: A Few Questions Regarding 1st grade

Unread post by kewkew34 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:16 pm

Hi Melissa,
Thanks for the links. I had already looked in the Ideas boards and couldn't find anything in regards to organization. I had forgotten that their were the archives as well (didn't scroll down far enough). Still looking. Thanks for the help.
Karen-Wife to Harold for 7 yrs
Mom to
Steven-21 grad of PS, Floyd-19 working on GED, Krystal-16 lives with her dad and in PS
Tabitha-6 started K Aug 2012
Amelia-4 1/2 tagging along in K
Hannah-3 Pre K and Letter of the Week
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Re: A Few Questions Regarding 1st grade

Unread post by Erna » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:21 pm

Organization - I would just organize it by week. I have done this using a binder as well as file folders. The binder or file folders will work for organizing future years as well. I prefer the file folders now because I have to prep materials for three homeschoolers (eventually four).

I'm not sure how to answer the other questions ... Maybe MFW could advise you in that area?



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Re: A Few Questions Regarding 1st grade

Unread post by kw4blessings » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:03 pm

Hi. I just pulled my 1st manual out of storage to see if I could remember how it went (and I only did it a year ago, eek). I have the old manual (until June when I upgrade!) so I'm not sure if the new one is in the same order from the beginning. But, looking it over, I would think you could condense the handwriting letter practice from the first two weeks into a few days. I wouldn't skip doing it, though. The scroll they make at the end of the practice is really special. My dd LOVED it. The Bible could be condensed as well, but is foundational to the 1st program, so def. don't skip that either. I personally think all of the MFW years are so adaptable that you can easily speed through the things that are easier for your child or prolong the harder parts if necessary, you just have to tweak a little for your situation.

For organization: I kept all of the student sheets together and pulled them out as needed. We made a ntbk for the Proverbs sheets, with page protectors. Everything else, we were able to put in a folder with pockets. I think there are more student sheets now, though, and maybe I'll use a binder this next time around? First seems to come mostly organized for you with the Bible ntbk and workbook.

Have fun! I'm really looking forward to repeating 1st with my 6yo in the fall. My daughter and I loved it last year. I even learned so much about the Bible!
Kelly, blessed mama to
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Re: A Few Questions Regarding 1st grade

Unread post by Yodergoat » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:37 pm

I also agree that the beginning section of review can be greatly condensed. We did! But we did do the handwriting scroll as a keepsake and a project to get us back into the school groove after a break. As far as a child feeling annoyed about writing the letters over and over again for the scroll, it goes by quickly and is just such a small part of the day. I emphasized to my daughter that when the scribes were copying scrolls, they strived to get them as perfect as possible. This was to encourage her to be very neat, and it worked! If there is something else they feel is just too easy to be done, just skip that part and enjoy the shorter days at the beginning. It will begin to pick up after those first few weeks. If you feel the phonics lessons are just too simple, adjust them into spelling lessons if needed, or add more words with similar phonics sounds to add some challenge, or let them use them in a sentence for some language arts or whatever you need to do to make it more challenging.

I have to say that the Bible portions of first, the timeline and that Bible notebook are WONDERFUL!

As for organization, there was not as much of this needed as there was for K. I just kept the student sheets in order in the box they came in and pulled them out by week to put in a folder as we came to it.

One fun thing we did for First is that I bought a Bible story book with good illustrations at a thrift store and we cut out many of the pictures to use in the Bible Notebook, just to vary it up from drawings. It was fun to use them creatively and to make sort of "3 dimensional" layered pictures for the notebook.

Have fun with First and adjust it as needed. It is a very forgiving program and easy to fit for your needs.
kewkew34 wrote:You said you did condense the beginning of 1st. I was wondering if you could share some details on how you went about that.

I am figuring on having them do the scrolls, I don't want to omit that. I am going to have them write the letter in print and in cursive. And I will be expecting neat handwriting. I just don't see having them write in the workbook and the scroll. Hubby and I just think it seems to be a bit of overkill. Even writing the beginning sounds of the words will be a piece of cake for them. (One of the signs I knew Tabitha was ready to read at 2 1/2 was that she was spelling out C-V-C words out loud and in sign language), so figuring out the first letter should be no problem. I just feel funny skipping all those workbook pages and am trying to figure out how to work the schedule so we are still doing the other things listed for each day.
I honestly can't recall how we condensed it... sorry that I don't have specifics. :~

I think one way we did it was just by going through those beginning days at a much faster pace, doing several days' worth of work in one day. We did both the scroll and the workbook, but we did them quickly.

Just use your instincts on this one, don't force yourself to stay in one place for too long and feel free to move quickly or move on if needed. It does sound as if your older daughter is far ahead of the phonics, not sure how to handle that.
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Re: A Few Questions Regarding 1st grade

Unread post by kewkew34 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:48 pm

Thanks again. I decided to try to contact MFW and see what they suggest.
Karen-Wife to Harold for 7 yrs
Mom to
Steven-21 grad of PS, Floyd-19 working on GED, Krystal-16 lives with her dad and in PS
Tabitha-6 started K Aug 2012
Amelia-4 1/2 tagging along in K
Hannah-3 Pre K and Letter of the Week
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Re: A Few Questions Regarding 1st grade

Unread post by froggiemomof3 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:46 pm

We are in the midst of 1st right now(week 23 tomorrow) and I am finding it difficult to challenge my son. He is reading at like a 5th grade level.

I am really focusing on him learning to narrate back to me the stories I read him and he reads. I am also focusing on getting him to get a short narration of a sentence that summarizes the whole story. He is very detail oriented and likes to retell the entire story in detail. At this point we are doing 2 days of work each day because it is very easy for him. He needs to practice his writing so the Bible Notebook gives him a good opportunity to do that each day. We use a different Math and Science than what is with the curriculum and have added Spelling.

I am just striving to show him all the new phonics as they come up just to insure he really does know them all. I have come to realize that when the curriculum isn't challenging enough for my son he gets bored and our days get very hard to complete.

I would definitely see what MFW suggests to you because though it is a great curriculum, it will be tough to keep plugging through if she is bored because it is too easy.
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Re: A Few Questions Regarding 1st grade

Unread post by MelissaB » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:08 pm

kewkew34 wrote:Well, I contacted MFW via the contact form. My husband suggested I call, but I have a harder time explaining what I am trying to say over the phone. Does anyone know how long it usually takes them to respond. I sent the message yesterday.
Hi, Karen,

They've always been prompt when I've contacted them in the past. If you're starting in April, you're probably looking forward to getting the curriculum organized and ready. If you don't receive a response pretty quickly, you might give them a call.

Sometimes, even if you don't know the right questions to ask, they have spoken with so many moms with questions over the years, it's almost like they read our minds when we call. I think they understand "Homeschooling Mom" speak. ;)

Enjoy First Grade!
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

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Re: A Few Questions Regarding 1st grade

Unread post by Cici » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:25 pm

CONDENSING: We do 2 days in one day.

I need to be done with MFW First by July/August, we will then start Adventures! This is my first year homeschooling, my 6 year old daughter started K @ 4 in an all girls private school. I mistakenly chose to piece together my own curriculum last July with Ambleside only to realize that I'll let the experts do that for me ;) MFW has been a Godsend! My daughter LOVES it, I LOVE it! It's sooo much easier than wondering "am I doing enough," then of course doing more (than you really should) to compensate that insecurity.

Anyhow, I think if you do two days in one & change it to spelling like everyone else suggested, it'll be great! They'll have more time to read since they'll be done with "school" pretty quick. My daughter is always reading. She also has more time to practice Violon & Ballet etc... It's amazing that "school" takes less time to complete, but I feel like we absorbed so much! I love the way the bible weaves in and out of everything. The hands on projects are great! We don't skip anything! We do the program, as written, I trust MFW's knowledge & experience.

Have fun with MFW First Grade, it's so much more than just phonics. :)
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