Academics - Ideas for those who want more

Learning God's Story
Post Reply
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 8:29 pm

Academics - Ideas for those who want more

Unread post by caod »

705emily wrote:I was torn when trying to decide which curriculum--MFW1 or Adventures--to purchase for dd age 6, but after reading and re-reading many of your messages--and praying about it--I decided to stay with MFW 1. I think the advice not to rush ahead too quickly is very wise.

Having said that--I would welcome any advice from you all as to how to make MFW 1 more challenging. The Bible reader is something that she would easily read at this point. I have found some other Bible Readers by Carine Mackenzie--that I think will be more of a challenge to her and thus she will still be able to benefit from the lessons--and from summarizing the stories she reads.

I think the suggestions in Honey for a Child's heart are good--as well. I thank you and appreciate all your help!
Irmi (705emily)
I am using MFW1 this summer with my 3rd grader and we are enjoying it. (Her younger sister is doing it so they are doing it together). I am using the bible portion with its narration and summarizing with her. I help her summarize by talking about who, what, where, and those sorts of things, synthesize it and have her write it on her own. After she has done that I go over it with her and she copies it into her notebook.

She is doing it all in cursive and it is a good way for her to practice her cursive. It is basically the same as her sister who is first grade is doing but I am expecting more. It is nice that we can do the bible story together. I have found The Children's Illustrated Bible to be nice to use along with the lessons. They follow very closely and your daughter may be able to read them herself since she is reading so well.

My daughter is not really doing the phonics, but we use the phonics chart provided in the first grade with both girls and are continually reviewing the phonograms as MFW presents them.

Hope this helps and doesn't confuse!

Re: How to Make MFW1 More challenging

Unread post by cbollin »

Just agreeing with Connie and adding on a few things that I usually say:

1. The biggest change for an early reading child will be in the use of the blue cover student workbook. Instead of a phonics instruction, it can be used for phonics review and introduction to spelling. Other student materials can be used as written in the teacher’s manual. The Bible notebook can be used for teaching composition. The Proverbs verses are both Bible time and handwriting. And you can use a Children's Bible as Connie suggestion.

2. Use as many books as possible from the suggested library lists for math and science. Some of those books have project ideas in them to enrich the lessons. For a child who is already reading, you can think of some of these books as “readers”.

3. Work on observational skills when playing outside. Some families will start a nature journal as well. Take the time to ask questions such as “why” and “how” while outside. Let your child think about their answers. You can refer to the introduction of the teacher’s manual for more information on how to do this.

4. Continue to read out loud with your child. My Father’s World recommends a parent resource book called Honey for a Child’s Heart to help you with book selections.

5. Near the last third of the academic year in First Grade program, (refer to pages 193-194 of the teacher’s manual) there is a list of additional language arts activities for creative writing and dictations.

6. Remember to use the “fun” items from the deluxe package, such as music and art appreciation. These subjects help to round out your child’s education. Also, the Pattern Animals and Wooden Pattern Blocks help to add age appropriate critical thinking.

hope some of that helps give you some ideas to work with.
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:00 pm

Unread post by NHMom »

My DD is 6 also and is doing MFW 1st after whizzing through MFWK. She can read very well... chapter books on a 2nd grade level, but I'm doing all of the phonics in 1st with her anyway.

It's helping her in 2 ways (and probably more):

1- she reads great in context, but sometimes misses words when they're just in a list, so it's helping fill in any "gaps" she has reading-wise.

2- It's helping her with her spelling. Most days there's dictation which really has helped her think through how the words are spelled.

Also, she loves the Bible portion with the reader and notebook. I wish I had done that with my older two. I thought they were beyond it by the time I found out about MFW, but in retrospect, they would have benefited greatly.

Hope that helps a little!

Mom to DS 9, DD 8 (using Adventures)
DD 5 (used MFWK, now using MFW 1st)

Unread post by cbollin »

705emily wrote:Thanks for all your help. One additional question.

Would you recommend--rather than doing the basic phonics review--( at the beginning where they simply have to identify the letter that begins each word) to have her spell each word out completely and use the phonics as a spelling lesson?
With my child (who was reading ahead of the game), I'm remembering the very few first lessons (up to day 11) I ended up making it a combination of dictation time amd spelling. Some of the words I knew she did not yet know how to spell even though she could easily read them. The very early days with those lessons are designed for handwriting and dictation practice. Even though my daughter could read the words, she wasn't at the stage of "encoding" (i.e. spelling) to be ready for the multi-syllable words for independent spelling.

So, some of it I had her spell (first sound) and other parts we dictated.

The other thing I remember is that I didn't expect every word on every page in the workbook to be learned in 1st grade for spelling. Some children are more ready than others for any spelling at this point, so make sure you keep it at their level for now. There were plenty of times where my dd would just read the letters out loud to lay a foundation for spelling rules.
shera wrote:Crystal
What is the difference between spell and dictate? I thought they were the same thing?
Perhaps dictation is not the best fit word for what I was describing when referring to spelling words. I don't know what would be. The original question that I was answering (or trying to) was very specific to the first grade program in terms of the first couple of weeks of it. Not in terms of dictation for the whole duration of their lives.

So by my definition ---
spelling: child writes (or tries to anyway) on her own without help
dictation: child writes down the letters or words that I call out.

So for words like elephant --- I didn't expect her to know how to spell that word without some help (she was 6 years old), so I would use it as a quick teaching moment. We'd talk about syllables, and every syllable needs a vowel, and then I'll just tell her the spelling so she could practice it correctly with a model.


Unread post by cbollin »

shera wrote:Thanks Crystal that helps alot and makes sense.
You're welcome Sarah.... I was thinking a bit on the whole spelling issue. Couple of things come to mind with a first grader who is already reading....

1. if you are using mfw 1st to teach a child to read, please don’t think that you also have to do spelling with that child. I want to make it clear that I was teaching spelling to a 1st grader who was already reading. You have permission to not work on spelling .

2. I was not using all the words in the mfw 1st grade blue workbook as a spelling list. Instead, I used it as a time to lay a foundation for spelling rules and hints and guidelines. So, I had no expectation that my dd would learn every word on the page each day.

What kinds of spelling rules did I work on with her? The same things that are covered in steps 1 and 2 from Spelling Power’s list of How to Study a Spelling Word. Those steps are “say the word” and “visually study the word”
While looking (i.e. visually studying the word) we worked on:
The vowel sounds that were there
Things like breaking a word into syllables
Looking for patterns, suffixes, etc.
Looking if the word was spelled exactly as it was written or if there was something odd about it.

So, if you use the 1st grade materials with a child who is already reading and you decide to start spelling, I think it is worth saying that perhaps the goal is not to turn the blue workbook into a spelling list, but use it to build a foundation for strong spelling skills.

Last edited by cbollin on Thu May 31, 2007 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:26 am

Unread post by Ariasarias »

I was very much in the same situation with my dd. She too was reading very early. I was wondering if I should skip 1st, but I am so glad we did it. It has not been hard for her, but has helped her lay a good foundation and has given her much confidence. It also gave her more time to think about things she enjoys and explore more. For example, her latest craze is the Opera The Magic Flute. These past three weeks she has been planning how she is going to put this opera on with her cousins this summer. She has been drawing outfits, choosing outfits, typing cast lists, creating the narrator's part, making signs -- in other words she is putting into practicing much of her spelling (even though it seems like she asks for every other word to be spelled :)) and writing. I am glad she gets to have time to enjoy this.

Things I did in 1st to "challange:"

1. Filled her book basket for science with lots of interesting books that she read herself, some we read together.

2. After Christmas when there were no more suggested science books, I also encouraged her to choose topics she was interested in and I would get books on that topic that she could read.

3. I changed the reading chart to say spelling chart. I never really did much more than the TM said in this area. I just called it spelling. I didn't really test her. But I did see that although she was such a good reader, some words were a challenge if read without context -- so it was good review and I think an excellent intro to spelling.

4. When she wanted to, I let her use her real Bible to read the story. She would look it up and read most if not all of the passage.
Nicole, wife to Claudio since 1996, and mom to dd (2000), dd (2003), dd (2005), and ds (2009).
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 4:29 am

1st Grade Math ???

Unread post by rxmom »

jasntas wrote:My dd is LOVING math. We do plenty of games and I read most of the suggested books and more. She is also doing the math workbook pages. A LOT of the math workbook pages. She does 2 a day (1 front and back page) and wants more. I'm going to run out of pages. I'm trying to leave some for the next time around but I don't think there will be many left. I've tried to use math pages out of other various workbooks but it's hard to find pages that line up with each subject. Not to mention, she already knows everything she is being 'taught' so far.

I've been debating on whether or not I should just move ahead in the program or stay on track and just use all the pages. Either way we would probably have to move on to another program before the end of the year. Is there a plan c or something else I'm not thinking about? I know she might need to slow down later in the year and I'm ok with that, too.

I learned with my ds not to push too hard and not try to move him along too quickly. Now I'm having to learn what to do with my dd. Not sure exactly what that is yet. Oddly enough, she is right on track with her phonics and reading which is where I thought she would be ahead. Does anyone have any advice? Has anyone else had this type of problem? TIA
I would not consider this a problem but a blessing :) That's awesome that your daughter loves math...We love the first grade math, too, especially the games and books. That "hands-on" learning is the best at this age.

I personally think that if your daughter is truly ready to move on then you should do so....the beauty of homeschooling...after you have finished the first grade math (even if it is early) then maybe you should consider using the Singapore placement test (if Singapore is the math you will be using) and find our where she will start there. My son (now 9) also finished his first grade math by December and we tested and placed him in Singapore 1B and he has done very well since then. We slow down if a topic needs further practice and speed up if needed also. My current 1st grader has just started last week and is enjoying math. My oldest is in Singapore 5B and doing well (he went to ps for 1st gr.) Enjoy the flexibility of homeschooling....have a blessed year!

Blessed beyond measure...Lovin' MFW in SW VA
ds (14) ADV, ECC, CTG, RTR, EXP to 1850, 1850 to MT, Coming Soon...AHL!
ds (12) 1st grade, ADV, ECC, CTG, RTR, EXP to 1850, 1850 to MT
dd (9) MFWK, MFW1st, EXP to 1850, 1850 to MT
Posts: 987
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: 1st Grade Math ???

Unread post by TriciaMR »

I think I would focus on memorizing the addition and subtraction facts and get those real solid.

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
Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Re: 1st Grade Math ???

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

At her age, I would focus on the math games. Memorizing addition and subtraction facts. Playing store, counting money. Telling time. Skip counting - 2's, 5's, 10's, 3's . . . More math games. Measuring for cooking. Cooking - temp and timing. More math games. Dice games are awesome. Really use those cuisinart rods and shapes.

All of the hands-on stuff at that age is what cements concepts. Workbook pages are a dime a dozen. (*gasp* did I just say that?!)

If Math gets done in 10 minutes per day, then that's OK. She's 6yo. It's all good.
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:37 am
Location: Southeast Texas

Re: 1st Grade Math ???

Unread post by beaglemamma2008 »

rxmom wrote:I would not consider this a problem but a blessing :) That's awesome that your daughter loves math...We love the first grade math, too, especially the games and books. That "hands-on" learning is the best at this age.
I agree with this. You're laying a great foundation with the hands-on and making it just plain FUN, plus you don't want to let her burn herself out.

But if she INSISTS on adding to her math lessons :-) , you could always get the Singapore 1A and 1B books. The topics line up very well with MFW 1st, so it would be easy to combine the two. Plus then you can start 2nd grade in 2A.

Another option may be the RightStart games?? (You can google it and find video examples to see what they're like.)

Or you can just enjoy taking it easy for 1st grade! It's always good to leave them wanting more! :)
Jennifer, mom to:
Hannah, 8. Finished and loved K, 1st, & Adventures. Currently loving ECC.
Millie, 5. Finished Pre-K and K "lite." Currently playing her way through K "for real."
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: 1st Grade Math ???

Unread post by jasntas »

We have already started doing math facts a couple of times a week with a cd. She loves the cd and will go around singing the songs (correctly). :) We also have the little booklet to go with it so she can follow along visually as well. (My ds has always had a hard time with his math facts so he listens in and follows along as well. It's been good reinforcement for him.)

We have also been enjoying the skip counting cd that Julie mentioned here not long ago. The cd is called One Hundred Sheep by Roger Nichols. It has helped to reinforce those 2's, 5's, & 10's, all of which my dd already knows as well. I think maybe it is time to start on the 3's and up.

I told you she is doing A Lot of math. ;) :-) I know it's not really a 'problem' but as I still feel pretty new to hs-ing, I'm not always confident on how to proceed. Thanks for all the advice. I'm thinking we are going to stay on track, do what we are doing and when it's time to review, start with Singapore. If she needs to slow down, we'll do that, too.

Thanks again. :-)
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

I am getting an itching to....

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Mexmarr wrote:start Adventures!!!!!

But... my 2 girls are still in the first half of K and 1st.....

It is super easy for both of them, and the day's lesson goes so fast and easy. And I find myself going back to Adventures and wishing I could just do it NOW! It looks so fun!

But don't worry, I WILL finish what we are doing first.
It sounds busy and fun at your house! If you have extra time and an eager learner, make sure you do all of the things with your kids ghat you've dreamed of. With my youngest in high school now, I really miss having time to do more art appreciation, singing, poetry, nature walks, prayer journals, notebooking, fun experiments, and all those field trips we loved :(

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
Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Re: I am getting an itching to....

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Mexmarr wrote:I just started the Blend ladder wit ht the 2nd, and she started putting letters on say, "and if we put this letter here it says.... And add that one it says..." And the other day she asked how old someone was, and I said that she was 3 years younger than me, and dd #2 said, "Oh, she must be 27." How did she know 30-27? I know I didn't teach it, lol.
Sounds similar to my dd. She loved the blend ladder -- at first I wanted to tell her that she could only play with letters that we'd studied and then realized that I was being crazy. I let her make all kinds of sounds and words on the blend ladder because it nails down the phonics lesson -- which nails down the spelling rule! I think learning all those phonics rules in MFWK and 1st, even though she was already an advanced reader, is why my dd is such a great speller today. There's value in all of it!

ADV was my favorite year to teach. It is truly awesome. You don't want to rush into it or rush through it. I agree with Julie - enjoy all the nature walks and flower picking and puddle stomping and zoo trips and museum trips now. (Much busier trips with taking all of your kiddos, but still worth it.) I've come to realize that I've got to find the fun in what we're doing NOW, and not look so much to the future. Enjoy the moment -- that's my resolution this year. :-)
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

Re: I am getting an itching to....

Unread post by cbollin »

Cyndi (AZ) wrote: I agree with Julie - enjoy all the nature walks and flower picking and puddle stomping and zoo trips and museum trips now. (Much busier trips with taking all of your kiddos, but still worth it.) I've come to realize that I've got to find the fun in what we're doing NOW, and not look so much to the future. Enjoy the moment -- that's my resolution this year. :-)
and playing in the snow
and making your own cocoa on the stove (not from a mix!)

My "baby" is almost 9.... no need to rush out of Kindy and First....(they grow up fast and are in older stuff so fast.... I mean, she tries to drive the mini van now)

go re-read Caps for Sale
or The Snowy Day

make some snowballs together and decorate the wooden fence with them....

enjoy the hush that snows brings to the outside nature walks....
observe how the smoke rises very differently from chimneys right before the snow..... it's different... it's not old wives tales either.... there are changes in the atmosphere... are you taking time to observe it all.

I'm all for quality academics, but at the same time.....
quoting my high schooler here "watching my little sister enjoy the snow is almost as much fun as playing in it myself"

Posts: 364
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Has anyone done an accelerated first grade?

Unread post by MelissaB »

far above rubies wrote:Yes I'm talking about the same little girl who didn't start to thrive until we began to do 2 lessons a day of MFW K. She's on the older side (in our state, the age cut off is Aug 1st).

I need to pick things up, at least for phonics. When K, it was very easy to just double up on lessons each day. Before I do anything crazy with first, as it's more intense, I wanted to see if anyone has done an accelerated pace and how they went about it.
The great thing about homeschooling is that we can follow the Lord as he leads us in each of our children's education.

If you feel your sweet girl getting bored, you could set a timer and let her do as much work as she can within that time frame. If she's sailing through, wonderful! Then, later, if she needs to slow down, that's O.K; you'll be ahead anyway. :)

And you could always add to the Book Basket, spending more time reading each day about whatever science topic you're covering that week. :-)

You've probably already done this, but another idea is to be sure to ask your husband what he thinks. It's amazing the insight my dh shares when I take the time to ask him.

Mostly, enjoy first grade (especially science!). We still cherish many sweet, wonderful memories from our first grade year!

Have fun!
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
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 10:45 am

Re: Has anyone done an accelerated first grade?

Unread post by ruppster02 »

Hoping to maybe give some insite for you. My daughter was 6 in January and we are currently going thru MFW K this year, and we LOVE it :) And same as your daughter, mine always wants more. We could seriously complete the weeks worth of papers in 2 days,

To give her the extra work she craves, I have used web sites to print off math sheets for her, she loves to read and is already reading at a 2-3 grade level, so she reads to me, to her brothers, and to herself ALOT (im doing a supplement reading program with her, she is actually on the 1st grade level in this and loves it), we practice her writing, do crafts, I get workbooks at walmart and she does them, anything educational to fill her craving . So have i done an accelerated 1st grade? no (im already wondering what next year will look like for her/us) but i can use these ideas to fill her craving for next year if needed :) Just some thought for you :)
Post Reply