5 yrs old or younger - Ready for 1st?

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5 yrs old or younger - Ready for 1st?

Unread post by jasntas » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:03 pm

Using 1st Grade with a 5 yr old
cookislandmommy wrote:Has anyone done MFW 1st Grade with a 5 year old?

My daughter is halfway through Hooked on Phonics K - she will have finished it all by end of the year. She is also doing HWT at the moment...

I have had a look over MFW K & I am concerned that it may cover educational stuff that she already knows & may get bored.

I have had a look at the sample of 1st Grade. The child examples look quite advanced in terms of the handwriting the child produced in the 1st Grade Notebook.

**I have been trying to decide between MFW & Abeka. But i really want real living books & I don't want her schooling to be too "heavy" & workbook based, that is why I have been looking seriously at MFW.
The Carters
I was here about the same time last year asking this same question. The advice I received is the same advice I am going to pass on to you. Let your K'er be a K'er.

My dd was 5 1/2, could read cvc words, knew how to write all of her letters, had completed Explode the Code book 1 and Singapore Early Bird math 2A and most of 2B when we started MFW K. Even though K was pretty easy for her, she thoroughly enjoyed her K year with MFW. Now that she is in MFW 1st, she is really enjoying it as well. Her maturity level is so ready for it but looking back there is no way she would have been ready last year. I have not regretted my decision to just let her be in K and do all the fun stuff a K'er gets to do. There is more to MFW K than just the phonics. So much more. :-)

BTW, if you feel you need to beef up K both Crystal (cbollin) and I have posted some ideas on how you might do that. Here's the link:

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.


Re: Using 1st Grade with a 5 yr old

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:32 am

Welcome along! Cook Islands, wow! I saw in another thread you mentioned something about overseas, so I am guessing with your screen name it is in south pacific near there.

I would consider holding off on starting MFW's 1st grade in your case because of the writing demands at this point and you're saying she isn't quite ready for that. It may not be the case that she would need to wait a full year before starting MFW's 1st grade program however. It could be January or next year sometime. (I'd say spring, but I mean Northern Hemisphere spring when I say it. I need more protein this morning to convert it. )

I have used MFW K with a 5 year old who was already reading. I found it helpful for picking up on spelling, and learning to do more copywork. I think the Bible and science parts can be a lot of learning for 5 year olds even when they are reading. Tammie already linked to the thread where I mentioned my beef up ideas.

But it doesn't sound like you're interested in doing MFW K at a quicker pace and then starting 1st in a few months. If that's the case, I'd consider doing a bit more of what you are doing, and be sure to start working on some "copywork" so the child gets used to writing more than in in HWT. Read to your child and ask her to "narrate" what you are reading. Ask basic questions about the stories you read (who, what where, when, why). Do crafts from the stories you select to work on increasing fine motor skills. But if you begin now to narrate stories, it will help the student be more ready for the writing in MFW 1st grade. You may still have to help your child with learning to write down their thoughts. You might see if you can find books similar to the ones listed on K reading list to use for fun reading time and cuddle up time. I'm not sure on that. I'm going to look around on the board for MFW's answer about using MFW overseas and post that link....

Here are some guidelines that MFW offers on their 1st grade page for helping to determine readiness:
  • If your child has not successfully completed My Father’s World From A to Z kindergarten curriculum, please take some time to determine if your child is really ready to begin first grade.

    * Does your child know the 26 letter sounds (consonants and short vowels)? Letter names are not as important.
    * Is your child generally able to print alphabet letters correctly? Is he generally able to place letters accurately on kindergarten-sized lined paper?
    * Can he easily read short words such as “hat,” “pig,” and “men” without your help and without any accompanying pictures? (Was he taught how to blend sounds, not just memorize words?)
    * Is he developmentally able to sit long enough to copy 4-6 short words on kindergartensized lined paper without complaining or becoming tearful?
    * Is your child mature enough to sit cooperatively for 20-30 minute segments for structured school activities? (My Father’s World First Grade will take up to 2 hours each day to complete.)
    * Will your child be six by September 1? (Mature five-year-olds about whom you can answer yes to all of the above questions may be ready to begin first grade. We do not recommend beginning first grade with a four-year-old, even if he appears to be ready.)

    If you can answer “yes” to all of the above questions, your child is most likely ready for first grade. If not, we recommend that you begin with My Father’s World From A to Z kindergarten curriculum.

    It is important that your child has a strong foundation in beginning reading skills before he starts first grade. My Father’s World From A to Z teaches 26 letter names and sounds, handwriting, sound blending, reading short vowel words, and reading simple stories with short vowel words. The skills taught in kindergarten—especially reading short vowel words fluently for many months—give a child the foundation needed for success in first grade. My Father’s World First Grade quickly reviews these skills in the first three weeks of school and then moves on to new skills at a rapid pace.

    If you are teaching the kindergarten curriculum to an older child you may use a modified schedule to teach three days of work each day. This would allow you to finish the kindergarten material in about three months and then go directly into My Father’s World First Grade.[/i]
welcome along

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Re: Using 1st Grade with a 5 yr old

Unread post by lisa062797 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:09 pm

I agree with Crystal. My oldest started K when he was 4 and went into 1st at 5. I did a formal preschool program that he was getting bored with prior to K, so I decided to jump right into K. He did really well and we loved it, even though from the preschool program he had already learned all his letters and such. It is such a fun year, even if they know the basics, they will still love it, and it's a great introduction to school!

BUT, being so young going into 1st, he did struggle with the writing part of it, and looking back, I would have taken a bit of a longer break between K and 1st. This is the age where even a few months can make a huge difference. Not only the writing, but the pace of the phonics in 1st can be very overwhelming if they're just not ready to take it on yet.

I did not do a formal preschool program with my second, who just started K this year at 4 yo, as well. Now, he will be 5 in a couple of months, so he is at the "older" end of 4 than my oldest was when he started, and I'm already seeing a huge difference in readiness! When we're done with K, I will definitely be looking closer at making sure he's ready to take on the workload of 1st, knowing that he's on the younger end.

All that to say, even if your child has the phonics basics down, I still highly recommend going through MFWK. There are just so many fun things that kids this age will love, and it sets a good biblical foundation for the years to come. The pace may seem mild for your child, but that is just what they need at this age. I'm not saying this is the case for you, but for myself with my oldest, I assumed that since he was smart enough, he should be able to handle more, forgetting that he was still just a 5 year old (I still do that sometimes even now!). Just an example from our first day of K last week, when we had to cut out the number for our creation poster...ds was having a really hard time cutting the number out and wanted me to do it. With my oldest, I would have prompted him to do it, but now I know better...he IS young for a K'er, so I just did it for him, knowing that his coordination skills will improve better with AGE with this one, more so than with PRACTICE.

Anyway, sorry for the long, rambling post. I just wanted to share my experience with starting at a younger age. I hope you found something helpful in this mess. LOL!
Lisa in MN
Wife to Nick
Mom to
Vincent (11) Completed MFWK, MFW1, ADV, ECC, CtoG, RtR, and currently in EX1850
Andrew (6) Completed MFWK, and currently in 1st
Isaac (4) Currently enjoying MFW preschool toys

Posts: 8
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 2:11 pm

Re: Using 1st Grade with a 5 yr old

Unread post by MercyMamma » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:41 pm

I'm doing 1st with a 5 year old. I know that its not for everyone, but for my daughter, at 4 last year she was ready for K and did well with it. We are doing 1st and so far she is enjoying it and right on target with the learning level of things. If she struggles we'll slow it down of course, but trying to do K with her this year would have not been enough for her at all. Her favorite part is the handwriting pages, lol.
Christy, mom to Lucy, Julia, and Esther
starting 1st in the fall

Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:37 am
Location: Southeast Texas

Re: Using 1st Grade with a 5 yr old

Unread post by beaglemamma2008 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:00 am

jasntas wrote:I was here about the same time last year asking this same question. The advice I received is the same advice I am going to pass on to you. Let your K'er be a K'er.
I completely agree with jasntas.

My daughter was in the same situation as yours when she was 5. She had completed the Kindergarten level of HOP, so was really beyond the reading portion of MFW K. I chose to still do the program because it just looked so fun, plus I fell in love with the Bible and science part as soon as I saw it! We ended up tweaking it a little by continuing with HOP (completed 1st and 2nd grade during her K year) instead of doing the language arts portion of MFW K. I didn't realize until the end of the year, though, that I had inadvertently omitted handwriting by doing it this way! :~ So if you choose to do what we did, that's my one word of caution! ;)

I would recommend reading some people's blogs to see what MFW K is really like. My link is in my signature, or you can google MFW Blogroll to get to Lanie's blog and find tons of others. I think you'll find that the program is still AMAZINGLY full even without the language arts. We certainly felt that way!

And as for 1st, even with my dd's good reading skills, the writing portion was still a challenge for her. Some of it was my fault because she didn't get the handwriting practice she needed during K (oops!), plus (much like me!) she just has a hard time being concise. She'll narrate 'til the cows come home, but to summarize . . . uggh!!!

Just my 2 cents. I'm sure you'll have a great K year, whichever route you choose! :-)
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."


Julie - Staff
Posts: 1037
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:52 am

Threads on "Let your K'er be a K'er"

Unread post by Julie - Staff » Sun May 01, 2011 12:09 am

Choosing K vs 1st - So glad we did K with an early reader!

Choosing K - For a child who is already reading, ideas & encouragement

Choosing K vs 1st - Why is MFW-K not be missed?

K -or- 1st - Help choosing for child who is reading (author

Readiness for 1st - A young 6 year old

Readiness for 1st - Evaluating whether child is ready?

MFW 1st grade is working its charm on my dd.... now that she is a 1st grader!

Placement - I chose 1st and should have chosen K - Help!

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