Choosing 1st grade for an advanced reader

Learning God's Story
Cyndi (AZ)
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Re: Questions about MFW 1st grade

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

It was my impression that you were asking if the phonics in MFW1 would be appropriate, or if you should get another 1st grade program before starting ADV in grade 2. I agree that you want a complete 1st grade program before starting ADV.

The reasons I would recommend going with MFW1 have to do with a lot more than phonics. It is enjoyable for a 6/7yo child and is the right amount of daily work for that age. The Proverbs lessons are wonderful, and the Bible timeline and notebook contain lessons that will be remembered for a lifetime. The Science is fun and can be beefed up with the library books listed in the TM. Same goes for the Math.

MFW1 starts with review, just like any 1st grade program. "OK, little 6yo's, let's remember how to hold the pencil correctly and write your letters the proper way so that they fit on these lines." You have to have that in the beginning of the year. In fact, MFW continues a handwriting review at the beginning of every year.

There's a few times in the program that you change gears. You start in 1st gear - and it feels like you've got a delicate balance of clutch/brake/gas while you're reviewing Kindy skills, then you increase speed and change gears into short vowels and long vowels. Then it changes gears again and adds phonograms and some drawing skills and you cruise along with that for awhile. You can make the phonics lessons "spelling lessons" at this point after you've marked the sounds in the workbook and played around with the phonics/spelling rule for the day. Cruising speed. When that starts to get slow, you change gears and start doing longer stories with narrating and summarizing and illustrating and writing, still adding those phoincs/spelling lessons in. Finally, you hit freeway speed and go along with the Bible Reader and Bible Notebook everyday and reading great books from the library to maintain/improve reading skill.

Hopefully that makes sense. If not, I'm just some crazy lady you don't know. :-)

Bottom line -- any 1st program will start slow and ramp up and you can adjust it to fit your needs. You can go faster on some stuff or slow down and really "drive home" new concepts. (Somebody's gonna hate me for that pun . . . )
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL
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Re: Questions about MFW 1st grade

Unread post by minnesotagirl »


And YES! I was wondering about whether the MFW1 would be the best 1st grade curriculum for my son. :) ADV seems very exciting -- but for next year, not this year. :) I would guess my son and I could make our way through it, but not without some complaints of too much school (on both of our parts! ;) ). I want to let him be 6. ;)

And we will be ordering the MFW program. Super excited, and thank you all for your input! It means a whole lot! I had talked with the MFW office about it as well, but wanted to hear from others who have been through it, too.

God bless your day!
Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

1st gr?..for advanced reader?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

mom3littlekids wrote:We will be new to hs next fall, and thinking of 1st gr, as my son will be 6yo and finishing up K in ps. He is already reading beyond a 1st gr will MFW 1st be challenging for him??..i like the Bible base of 1st gr, and would like to try for our first yr...also have a 4 1/2 you..thinking about MFW at some point..but should i wait until he turns 5?..(bday is in jan)..greatly appreciate any advice!
This recent thread has several parents chiming in about how 1st grade with MFW goes at a pretty fast clip and covers a lot of ground, so even advanced kids don't feel like it's too easy for them. I think you'll be glad you go with your instincts and choose 1st.

I wasn't homeschooling when my kids were in 1st, but I wish they would have had the MFW-1st foundation. My oldest is 28 now, an engineer, and he did well in school, but he still says he wishes he understood some of the rules and reasoning of the English language. My youngest is 17 now and he didn't have any phonics simply because he could already read when he started K. Therefore, his teachers (and I) assumed he didn't "need" phonics. However, I ended up going back and doing phonics with him when he came home to school in 3rd grade, because by then I realized how poorly his memorization techniques would equip him for more advanced reading.

The 1st grade teacher's manual will give you some ideas for making 1st more challenging when teaching a child who already reads well. You can shift the focus to handwriting, spelling, and longer compositions. Your child can read more of the suggested books and do more of the fun extras posted over on the Ideas forum. For those of us who began homeschooling quite a while ago, this was the freedom we were used to -- adapting lessons to suit our individual child, while still allowing them to be children and understanding their learning styles may well still be in hands-on and active ways during the younger years. As I always like to remind nonhomeschoolers, very few of our forefathers, let alone ancient scholars, measured their learning by lengthy days of filling out worksheets. Time for exploration and for reading is one of the treasures in the MFW day, in my opinion.

And of course the Bible lessons never are too young -- my son missed the 1st grade Proverbs work and so I actually used MFW-1st Proverbs copywork for him in 8th grade LOL. I think there's a lot to love in MFW-1st, even for an advanced child, and it's a much better option than pushing him ahead past his emotional maturity level -- which might not seem obvious in 2nd grade but might catch up to him by 5th or so.

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 gr?..for advanced reader?

Unread post by jhagberg »

My six-year-old will do First Grade this fall, and I'm looking forward to including my ten-year-old in the phonics lessons. He is an avid reader, but he doesn't know how to "sound out" new words! I love your idea about the Proverbs copywork for an older child, Julie. I'm gonna do that, too!

Mother of 4 boys...
Expecting my first grandchild this summer -- another boy!
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Re: 1st gr?..for advanced reader?

Unread post by mom3littlekids »

Thanks so much!..i think we could all benefit from doing this program for 1st glad to hear it can be "advanced" a little for those who are reading well. It puts me at ease to hear from those who have been there, since this is our first time!..i like the idea of this gr because of the Bible base, so good to hear its not just for those still learning to read.
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Re: 1st gr?..for advanced reader?

Unread post by SarahP »

My boys who are 6 1/2 right now did First last year and are doing CTG With big brother this year. They are very good readers as well - one just finished Charlotte's Web and the other one is reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle. They both are able to do the CTG Old Testament reading with assistance on some of the harder words.

First is a very good program and it is very easy to add books to keep their interest and maintain growth in reading. We have not done Adventures, but that could be another option for you. But like others have said the phonics foundation is very helpful.
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Re: 1st gr?..for advanced reader?

Unread post by lea_lpz »

I would second doing 1st with your 6 year old and hold off on doing mfw k until next fall 2014-2015 when your older child is doing Adventutes or start at 5 and go slow, covering may e 3 days a week or so instead of 5, so he finishes the curriculum at 6 1/2.

We are finishing mfw k and loving it. We have 7 units left only and are looking foreword to doing mfw1st soon :)

I think you'll have a great year.

My ds, who's turning 4 in June will be continuing the preschool package from mfw, some work books from Rod and Staff and join his big sis for most of mfw 1st but Lang & math instruction.

It's enough to keep him busy and I have been very impressed with his progress doing this. We spend about 15 minutes working one on one on preschool time, doing a workbook page or two and doing an activity from the index cards using the mfw toys.

We'll do mfw k next fall when he's 5 :)
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)
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Re: 1st gr?..for advanced reader?

Unread post by kbircher »

HI! Sorry this is a little late, but I had a very advanced Kindergartner (we tried public school for one year, then decided to pull her out for first!) last year, who was reading on a third grade level. I went ahead and ordered the MFW first grade (the older version since it was last summer!) I didn't want her to miss the great Bible curriculum! We had our big box day and I almost cried. It was so basic. She would have died of boredom, I had to send it back. We got Adventures and have had an amazing year! Now I'm pretty sure that my next daughter will use MFW first, she's a little more carefree, and not big on sitting down and learning yet! Just sharing our advanced reader experience! Good luck!
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Re: 1st gr?..for advanced reader?

Unread post by mom3littlekids »

Thanks so to hear any experiences..good or just really torn on what to do for him..?..hate to say, but not sure if MFW will be a good fit..trusting we will be lead in which way we should go. :~
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Re: 1st gr?..for advanced reader?

Unread post by kbircher »

I have really enjoyed MFW as my framework. It's wonderful. I supplement and change up as needed, (which wasn't much for adventures) I like the classical approach, so we use first language lessons, and a little writing with ease for language, handwriting without tears we just added for some extra practice, and we're using all about spelling which is great for basic phonics review too ensuring she does understand the basics which can be a problem with early quick readers! Good luck!
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Re: 1st gr?..for advanced reader?

Unread post by mothermayi »

There are lots of moms on that have used MFW lower levels that may be able to help. Also, call MFW and express your concerns. They can help with placement. I found them to be fair and they didn't try to "force" my dd into a lower level based on age. They really took time to understand my dd before giving their suggestion for placement.
Last edited by mothermayi on Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Returning to MFW for 2015!! :-)
ds13 (8th)--MFW EX1850, EG, WWS, PP Guides, TT 2.0 Pre-Algebra
ds11.5 (7th)--MFW EX1850, AOG, WWS, PP Guides, Singapore 5B-6B
dd7 (2nd)--MFW EX1850, LLFT2, Miquon, AAS1
dd5--MFW K
Bret Welshymer

Re: 1st gr?..for advanced reader?

Unread post by Bret Welshymer »

It's great to hear all of the experiences and suggestions offered on this thread. Our author, Marie, includes a list of suggestions in the first grade Teacher's Manual for children who are advanced readers. Here is a quote from one mom who used First Grade with a fluent reader:

I could never say enough good things about My Father’s World First Grade. It is deceptively simple. So many times, I read that moms fear it will be too easy, too light, have too much phonics review. It’s not too easy. It’s really not, even if you have a fluent reader.

The incremental experience with narration and copywork through the Bible stories, Bible Reader, Phonics Workbook, and Bible Notebook is a challenging and excellent preparation for Adventures in U.S. History. The Proverbs teach so much character and goodness to this budding age, and they gave me a medium to polish my daughter’s penmanship. The math will teach your child to think mathematically and through a variety of sources...hands-on, manipulatives, worksheets, and living books. Super. My daughter LOVED the experiments and keeping a little science notebook.

The most beautiful part is that my daughter has a rooted understanding of Bible history in ways that most 6- or 7-year-olds don’t have the deep pleasure of knowing. She loves Jesus and the Bible because of MFW. Without question, MFW ignites a desire to know God and shine like Jesus.
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