General Ideas for Learning God's Story

If you are using Learning God's Story, please share your ideas with us.
Julie - Staff
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General Ideas for Learning God's Story

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

1st grade book suggestion - The Millers/Proverbs

Posted Thu Nov 10, 2005 3:07 pm by Guest
I've been meaning to post a book recommendation for anyone using first grade. I am using a book called Wisdom and the Millers. It includes short chapters that you can read out loud in maybe ten or fifteen minutes. Each chapter takes a proverb and tells a story about the Miller family and also teaches the meaning of the proverb. It is very, very good and has been a perfect regular part of our school day. It goes so well with first grade with all the handwriting assignments being proverbs. We have also started Missionary Stories with the Millers since we are enjoying the other so much. I am skipping some of the stories because they are graphic but my son has been very inspired by the ones we have done so far.

These books are very inexpensive with short readings that really reinforce what we are trying to do in first grade. I would even like to see MFW add these as part of the package because they go along with the lessons so well.

OK - just wanted to share. These are such an asset to our homeschool.

Posted Thu Nov 10, 2005 5:54 pm by kellybell
Oh, we enjoy the Millers' adventures too! So far we've read Missionary Stories with the Millers (worked great with ECC), School Days with the Millers and we're in the middle of Prudence and the Millers. The stories aren't going to win any awards for literary genius, as they are a bit predictable (therefore, we always keep another "good book" or two going besides the Miller book for reading time). The kids enjoy the short chapters and little lessons.
Julie - Staff
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MFW 1 fun little extra supplies, crafts or activities

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

Since I bought my curriculum already for next year, I think I'll have a little extra money to pick up some go-long little activities or crafts or even neat things to look at (I am thinking of getting a prism for when we learn about rainbows). Could someone help me with some ideas? These could be for the Bible or the science aspects of MFW 1.

I know conventions are swimming with this sort of thing, but I want to go with specific things in mind so I am not wandering around aimlessly. Thanks so much!
Postby Guest » Sun Feb 05, 2006 10:05 pm
Marie has the activities laid out so nicely that there is very little one would need to purchase to have fun with MFW 1st. A globe has REALLY come in handy so you might consider purchasing one. Also, our Children's museum has a store and they sell all kinds of archeological dig kits. There is such an activity in MFW 1 and Marie just suggests burying some things in sand. However, if you have the extra money you might want to purchase one of the neat kits sold in science and/or museum stores. That's all I can think of. Again, we really don't have to add much to enjoy this wonderful curriculum.

Postby Guest » Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:58 am
What a fun thread! We are halfway through MFW1 (love it) and we have used some little extras that weren't necessary, but that did add some fun. I've only got a little time today, but if I think of more I'll post later.

For science:
A globe.

Rod and Staff's 2nd grade science workbook "Patterns of Nature" has been something we've used to expand upon many of the science topics....I can't say enough good things about this. There are many black and white drawings that are suitable for coloring. The pictures are not as overwhelming for my dc as a Dover coloring book (they'd get burned out on a drawing because it was so large). It is well worth the $6 IMHO.

We like the DrawWriteNow books and my dc have often drawn pictures that correlate to our science lessons from these.

A magnifying glass (inexpensive)

I wish I'd have started with a mid-sized blank spiral sketchbook for our science notebook. Instead we used a three ring binder, but we won't go this route when we do Adventures next year.

For bible:
It can be fun to make pyramids, the tower of babel, etc. with Clay. A couple blocks of Sculpey in earthy colors would be perfect. We also used Sculpey to make our volcanoes for science. Or, you can get neutral colored Sculpey (at WalMart) and paint it after the item is baked.

Some nice stickers make illustrating the bible notebook fun .

Hope you have as much fun as we are having!
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Library kits that go along with library stories

Unread post by Winkie »

Posted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 1:03 pm
We've recently started with MFW1 and when I was reserving my library books for math online I discovered that our library has "kits" available for some of these books. For example, we'll be using "Missing Mittens" next week and I got a kit that includes the book, an activity sheet, and 8 cloth mittens. It's like getting free manipulatives, and they go along with the story too!
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Julie - Staff
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Science Notebooking idea for Exploration Day

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

henryteachers wrote:We're using MFW 1st grade and on exploration day, when we finish up the science topic, I've been having my daughter fill out a notebook page, found here:
It has worked really well, however, we'd like some variety. Do any of you have notebook pages from the web you could share with us that you like or could you describe one for us to use on exploration days?
Postby tkbbrl6 » Sat Jan 13, 2007 9:30 am
I've gone on Microsoft Word or Microsoft Publisher and made up quick simple lines/boxes and added clipart - like when we were doing experiments where we mixed different liquids I found one of a crazy looking Sci prof holding beakers/test tubes so I pasted it in.
Esther wrote:I am thinking of trying to help my child put together a science notebook; has anyone done this before? I would appreciate any ideas/photos etc that you might be able to provide.
Postby dhudson Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:13 am
We track and keep results from our science which I placed in their history notebook with a new tab marked for science. In 1st grade there were more drawings than there were anything else but I think they are so precious. I would then write out the pertinent information for them, as they were doing a considerable amount of writing already.

My oldest, 10, keeps and entire science notebook which is separate from anything else and is quite detailed but he is a very science minded kid.

Postby Cyndi (AZ) Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:14 pm
My dd did a science notebook, and it's a precious keepsake. The thing that's so cool about the science notebook is that it is all stuff she learned for the first time. Her drawings are adorable, and the labeling is just precious. I'm so glad that we did it. She loved being a "scientist."

We just used one of those cheapy spiral bound notebooks, and it worked great.

[Editor's note: More great ideas can be found here: ]
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Field trip idea

Unread post by kellybell »

Posted: Thu May 10, 2007 10:41 pm
Field trip idea:
Nature hikes and such when studying "Things Outdoors" etc.
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Unread post by RachelT »

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:33 pm
I am in the last few weeks of our first time through MFW 1st grade and I have an idea about music. We use the Wee Sing Bible Songs book and cd a lot. I like it because I can sit at the piano and play the tunes or the children can listen to the cd.

There are a lot of fun songs that talk about the Bible stories that we have been reading in 1st grade. I can also say that we learned all the books of the Bible this year through learning the songs of the books in each testament.

Make a joyful noise!
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I'm shopping--Need ideas for extras for CtG and 1st grade!

Unread post by 705emily »

For MFW1 we enjoyed the Old Testament video series by NEST Entertainment. We also did the Old Testament lap book by Homeschool In the This went along WONDERFULLY with our lessons!

NakiainNC wrote:My church has those NEST videos! I can borrow them anytime I want, but I had forgotten until you mentioned them Thank you!
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Re: I'm shopping--Need ideas for extras for CtG and 1st grade!

Unread post by cbollin »

I'm trying to think back to 1st grade from a few years. Access to Magic School Bus videos for science would be nice [plants or water-related].

Fun stuff to teach math hands on if you need it. Ideas are in the manual, but if there are games that you've wanted for math, you might consider that.

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Using "Wisdom and the Millers" w/ 1st grade...

Unread post by TammyB »

my3sons wrote:I saw this as a recommendation on the ideas board. We read and loved "Missionary Stories with the Millers" and so I am thinking about purchasing this book to go along with our study of Proverbs. I am just curious- for those who have read this book, is it a good supplement to first simply because it is about Proverbs or does the book have stories that focus on the same verses we learn in First Grade?
I don't remember if it addressed any of the same verses, but the general principle of following God's wisdom as outlined in Proverbs is the theme of the book. Excellent, excellent book! We love it!
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Re: Using "Wisdom and the Millers" w/ 1st grade...

Unread post by beaglemamma2008 »

We just wrapped up our first grade year and used Wisdom and the Millers as a read-aloud. Honestly, I think there were only three verses in Wisdom and the Millers that were also covered in MFW 1. However, my girls still got excited every week when I would pull the book off the bookshelf!
MercyMamma wrote:Do you need to read the other books first or no?
I assume you mean the other Miller books? If so, the answer is no. They all stand alone. We had Wisdom and the Millers and Prudence and the Millers on the book shelf for 1st, and we're saving Missionary Stories and the Millers for ECC. (I'm a perpetual planner! ;))
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Creation Museum reviews & info on crowds

Unread post by momem3 »

momem3 wrote:Today we are headed to local Creation Museum! We live about 20-30 minutes from Petersburg [Kentucky]. This is our second time going. I am hoping it will not be as crowded on a Thursday as it was on Saturday. I will let you know! We actually had to skip parts of it last time since it was so crowded and we had 3 little ones. I think during the week is less crowded since there are less church groups. I do know they have a petting zoo during the summer months so we will probably have to check that out today too. :-)
Went to Creation was very fun. Surprisingly, pretty crowded for a midweek day. The kids really enjoyed the Dinosaur Den, walking around the gardens, and checking out the petting zoo. There is a TON of reading inside the museum so if your kids are young, like mine, you might want to skip ahead of large groups when available.

My son was very disappointed since we had to skip out of the Dragon video. Baby was trying to crawl around entire seating area and I did not want to disturb everyone else trying to watch the video. Next time, I think I'll leave baby at home!
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Library Day?

Unread post by Ruby »

kacairo1 wrote:How do you deal with the constant turn around with library books? Do you spend one day a week at the library or do you get a bunch for a couple weeks? Many times I have library books coming from other libraries that I've requested, so I feel like I'm at the library all the time--a great problem, but would love to know how other people handle it. :)
in reply to how often do other moms go to the library-
what i try to do is go once a week or every other week. i try to request books a week ahead of time but our library system is well stocked and i usually get what i need in one trip. i don't have the time to look through the books so i tend to just sweep the section into my tote bag, then check through them at home. we are only allowed to check out twenty books at a time and we go through them in a week, two weeks if they are really good. but three weeks is our max allowed check out time. ruby.
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What was your favorite "add on" to MFW First Grade?

Unread post by erin.kate »

Smoakhouse wrote:I know first grade is complete, but did you find any other items that you "added in" that just went perfect and added a lot to your studies? I making my wish list for next year!
We added The Jesus Storybook Bible and plan on that again next year, too. I sometimes read the Bible story in the TM from A Child's Story Bible by Vos ... that's a favorite in our family. A cash register is a must for math. I also had eleventy billion types of art/craft supplies on hand for the Bible notebook. My daughter LOVED to be creative with the drawing/illustration. Sometimes she used tissue paper, oil pastels, cream chalk, watercolors, glitter paint, colored pencils, pom poms, glue, feathers, colored wax paper ... you name it. We had a fun large basket full of things for her to make each notebook page extra special and fresh.
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First Grade Proverbs along with Wisdom & the Millers book

Unread post by Yodergoat »

We have the book Wisdom and the Millers by Mildred A. Martin, and I have read it aloud to Gail in the past. She was quite young, so I don't think she remembers much of it. So I plan to read it again during First Grade, using it to enhance our study of Proverbs.

I thought I would give a description of the book and its values, so you can see if it would be a fit with what your family believes
The book is a collection of 26 short stories which are easy to read aloud. They are not great literary works, but are Christ-centered and wholesome. Children are seen as a blessing from God and the parents are honored and honorable, which is so rare in books! I think some might claim that the family is "too perfect," but there is a touch of realism in that the children must receive godly instruction because they are like real kids who fight, complain, envy, get bored, balk at chores, are tempted to lie, hesitate to share, etc.... but without any of this being glorified or accepted. Again, so different from most other books for children! The family seems to be Mennonite or similar, but the book does not espouse specific doctrine other than mentioning that their church does not allow three-wheelers (all terrain vehicles) and it is obvious in their family that drinking in any form as well as smoking are sin. (This surprised my daughter, as her Nana and her other grandfather smoke, and she has seen her Papa drink a beer, and "Aren't they Christians?" so we discussed this.) They are very conservative, obviously, and are wholesome and endearing characters. This family gathers for nightly devotions and they eat meals together. The parents use the Bible as a means of instruction. The family does use spanking as discipline, but it is presented as a loving method of instruction in that the father says, "It is not fun to get a spanking, but sometimes it is necessary for learning wisdom." It is not actually used on the children in any of the stories that I recall, although it is referenced as in, "If you had not been honest about this, I would have had to spank you." (I'm actually glad to see spanking used in a book as a form of instruction and not just punishment.) The children do attend a Christian school, and a few of the stories take place at school, but school is not glorified in a way that might make homeschooled children feel bad. There are several other books in the series as well, and I have found them to all be enjoyable but at times a bit serious... in several of their stories people are injured or die in accidents, and in their book of missionary stories there is much danger and death. This could bother sensitive children. Most uses of this in anything other than the missions book are usually used to demonstrate that sin and rebellion can have sad consequences.

Although only two or three of the Proverbs in the book exactly match the ones to be studied in First Grade, there are many that can apply to the same principle.
Last edited by Yodergoat on Thu May 31, 2012 3:02 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: First Grade Proverbs with Wisdom & the Millers book

Unread post by cherona »

I'm not using First this year. But I just wanted to say how much our family loves the Millers books. We have them all and the girls ask to hear them over and over. We did our own study of Proverbs last year (basically read a chapter a day then discussed it) and we pulled stories for each chapter from the collection of Millers books and it was a great study. The stories really helped the girls relate to the proverb and remember it.

It looks like the book will work nicely with MFW First! :)

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Looking for more Bible activities for MFW?

Unread post by Smoakhouse »

I have started collecting ideas on Pinterest. You can check out my Bible Board at
There are several other MFW users on Pinterst as well. If you need an invitation, feel free to send me a private message with your e-mail.
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Why not do calendar/100 day chart on Exploration Day?

Unread post by jasntas »

Brendainnj wrote:Well, I know the's to allow more time for the "hands-on" activities--BUT, to me part of the fun of the 100 day chart is celebrating the 100th day of school! It's not actually 100 days if we skip a day each week . Same with the calendar...we just have to go over 2 days the next day. Now I know I can do what I'm comfortable with, just kind of wondering what others think. Hopefully, this will be my biggest problem this year 8|
If I remember correctly (been a couple of years now) exploration day is sort of more of a cuddle time and, well, exploration time. Not really 'seat work'. And I could see that being a possibility if you're teaching K to your oldest. BUT...we did the calendar/100 day chart every school day as I had an older (who actually did them with us, too). So no biggie if you do it every day.
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Re: Why not do calendar/100 day chart on Exploration Day?

Unread post by Poohbee »

We didn't do the calendar/100 chart on Exploration Day, and it worked out fine. I know that typically, in public schools, the intention of 100 Day is to celebrate the 100th day of school, but we just used it to celebrate reaching 100. We read books about 100 day and did the 100 day activities, but we weren't really celebrating the 100th day of school...we were just celebrating reaching 100 on our chart. And that was fine. It was nice on Exploration Day to take a break from the usual school activities to do something different, like reading our book that day and doing activities for the book. We also listened to the classical music CD and did the Cuisinaire Rods book that day. My dd liked having that day be a bit different from the rest, just as my older dd likes having one lighter day during the week in the 5-year cycle, when we don't do every subject.

In any case, I can see it both ways, and it works out either way that you do it.
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Re: Why not do calendar/100 day chart on Exploration Day?

Unread post by Mom2theteam »

We don't do the 100 chart on Exploration Day. We will celebrate getting to 100, not the 100th day of school, just like we did in K. I don't get confused on the days in the TM v. days on the chart. I actually use it to help me keep on target with the math pages because it has the number of the day in parenthesis in the math section. So, it helps me remember where I'm supposed to be there. LOL.

I think it's skipped because it is supposed to be a different type of day with no seat work. It is supposed to be relaxed. (We often use it as a make up day and do the 100 chart because we missed a day prior to it. :~ )

BUT, as you said, you can do whatever you want. It's your school. :-)
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Excellent phonics game for K-2

Unread post by Brendainnj »

My first grader has been kind of bored with the reading sessions...not because they're easy but because she likes everything to be "fun", lol. I found a new game to add to MFW's suggestions--it involved rolling dice to spell a word. The site allows you to customize your dice by entering your own "words" or parts of words on the six sides of the dice, then print, cut & tape them together. (BEST PRINTED ON CARDSTOCK) Actually the site allows many variations, not just words so it's really pretty cool for all ages. Just scroll down to phonics for the word/letters option. You can print them with or w/o the dots, allowing more "points" for harder blends or dipthongs.

It works in Internet Explorer :) [Using another browser] the letters do not line up in the correct place on the die. Print may need to be resized; just do print preview before & make sure it's lined up properly.
Julie in MN wrote:That sounds like a fun idea even for taping letters onto the dice we have around the house. We like games over here, so thanks!

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Parent Bible Reading

Unread post by lea_lpz »

As I go through the teacher's manual and have been preparing for next year, I have felt inspired to read the Bible along side my dd. I am going to start a Bible reading plan on your version, Eat this Book: One Year Bible with daily Psalm and the reading the Proverb of the day (match it to what day if the month it is). I would go through the OT then the NT. we won't always be on the same story, but I would also like the sense of accomplishing this along side my 1st grader!
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Reading practice - on Skype!

Unread post by maldrich »

With 7 children, I've been having trouble with finding time to read one on one with my first grader while also teaching older kids. This year, my Mom suggested that she Skype with my son to do his reading in his Bible reader. I am so excited! My mom lives 1,000 miles away from us and I often wish that there were ways that she could be more involved! Now she can! 30 min. every day, on Skype. I just ordered an extra Bible Reader and had it sent to her address so she can follow along with the stories he is reading. I'm thinking I might add some of his word lists to this as well. Yay for grandparents participating from afar!
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Re: Reading practice - on Skype!

Unread post by lea_lpz »

That sounds so sweet. I am glad your son can both spend time with your mother and practice reading.
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Exploration Days Idea

Unread post by dawajw813 »

Someone suggested doing an "exploration day kit" for the days we do exploration days. I think it's a great idea. All this is a simple kit with "essential" exploration tools in it. I will be using a large pencil holder - the kind that you place in a 3 ring binder. The contents will include a magnifying glass, a small ruler, a small sewing tape measurer, a pencil, markers (this will be exploration kit only markers), a pencil, ziplock bags to collect his specimens in, a mesh net for catching bugs, and his observation journal. The journal will be too large to place in the kit, but it will be required of him to bring it on our outings. I'm sure as the year progresses we'll add more things to the kit.
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First Grade Reading Chart, and other confusions...

Unread post by Mom2theteam »

bethinga wrote:Can someone tell me what purpose the First Grade Reading Chart serves? I'm suppose to show it to my son tomorrow. I know he's going to ask me, "what is this for?" It looks almost like the periodic table from chemistry class. I can see how it might be a good guide for me as the parent/teacher to color in the blocks we've covered, so I can keep track. But, what is my child suppose to be learning from it?
The reading chart: I had the EXACT same question when we hit it last year. People responded by saying they use it for reference and they color in or check off the sounds as they are taught. It still made me scratch my head. I just didn't really get it. :~ But, I laminated it (because I wanted to be able to erase if I needed to...marking on the original just seemed to final to me) and we started checking off all the sounds as we learned them.

Several weeks later, I did discover it's usefulness. First, my son enjoyed checking off the sounds. It was a way to show how far we had come and how much more he had to go. He liked that. We also used it as review. We would quickly go over all the sounds with a check next to them. I put our chart out where he could see it daily. As we got even farther along and he started writing his summaries, I noticed him referencing the chart to figure out how to spell a word. It turns out, it is a good reference for him to use for spelling. Even though I didn't understand it at first, I was very glad I'd gone ahead and started trying to use it. My son is doing Adv this year and I still have the reading chart out where he can see it. We use it for reference for spelling still. :-) (I do wish MFW would have more of a blurb about what the purpose is and how to use it as well as an explanation of how it is organized. BTW - on the left side of the chart, under the vowels, it shows how each vowel sound is spelled. The short vowel sounds are at the top and the long vowel sounds are at the bottom. On the right side, the picture and one way the sound is made is in the top box and under it are the other letter blends that make that can make that sound.)
bethinga wrote:A couple of other things I'm confused about: Calendar and Weather charts...
My curriculum (the new edition) just says to have him tell the date each day from any calendar and circle it. In reading older first grade threads and blogs, I've seen others' calendars, where the child is writing the month and writing in the days, and there's even a weather chart mentioned. I see nothing about a weather chart, unless that comes later. Am I missing something, or are those things not included in the new edition?
Calendar: You can do it however you feel is best for your child. I found printable blank calendars online and had my son fill in the day every day like in K. My son needed more purposeful calendar work. But, you could use any calendar and just circle the day or point it out or whatever you think your child needs. With my current K'ers, that will probably be enough by 1st, especially because they heard my older in both K and 1st. They get the calendar better than he did.

I haven't looked for the weather chart suggestion in the new edition of 1st grade...I used the old edition, but already own and have looked a lot at the new version for my upcoming kids. In the old edition, it just gave you the suggestion to make one at some point. There was no other direction on that. I wouldn't be surprised if it's scheduled in now because they have a lot of the math much more scheduled. But, you would have to look ahead to find out.
bethinga wrote:Finally, are there some parts of this curriculum I can skip without it affecting the rest of the year? For instance, last year, in K, we skipped the 100's chart after awhile. My son could already count to 100, so I made it more challenging by having HIM write in the numbers (which wasn't required in K), and by week 3 or 4, we'd decided to just count by 2's, then 5's, then 10's, so we could finish it sooner.

This year, I may have him practice writing his numbers once a week or so, but I might toss the 100's chart. He also knows how to count money. I think if we play store and other money games once a week or so, that might be enough, and maybe we could skip the coin cup? Thoughts?
Skipping: You can skip whatever you want. You make the curriculum work for you. You don't work for the curriculum. If you don't think your child needs the 100 chart, skip it. (It isn't something I would skip even if it was review, but that's just me.) After a while, even though we still did our 100 chart, we did not do the number of the day sheet. We did not do the coin cup in K. We don't work on patterns or colors on our calendar in K and I skip patterns completely in 1st. My kids know patterns and colors by K and don't need it. My point is you are the teacher. The curriculum is a tool to use, but is not a set in stone. Keep in mind, I now have a 2nd grader and twin K'ers.

I realize now that I wish I hadn't skipped a few of the things I skipped. I didn't do the straw (wooden sticks) bundling in K and I stopped the bean sticks about halfway through in 1st. As I said, we didn't do the coin cup. My son is fine and he is fine in math (he is in Singapore 2A and does well), but I wish I'd stuck with those. With my current K'ers, I'm being more purposeful about those things which seemed unnecessary or redundant with my oldest. They only take a few minutes. So, keep in mind that these things are beneficial to solidifying some basic ideas even if they seem like review or redundant. That said, again, you are the teacher. You decide what your child needs and what is just busy work for him.

Hope that helps! MFW 1st is an awesome program. Have a wonderful year!!
bethinga wrote:Thank you for answering in depth, Heather! That really helps me! :) May I ask, if your son is doing fine in Math now, why do you wish you'd continued with the beans and sticks? Do you feel he needs those facts more solidified? Just curious, in case I do decide to skip it. Yes, it is hard sometimes for me to break out of the curriculum, even when my instincts are telling me to try something different, because I get nervous that I'm skipping something that will later turn out to have been very important.
The reason i would do the sticks and beans is exactly what PP said [ HTCWW2K below ]. It really helps solidify place value. It also instills the importance of 10's. As I said, my son does fine, but sometimes we are doing something and I feel like he could grasp the importance of 10's and place value just a little better. It has not held him back, but I think it could be more solid in his mind and would help sometimes if he had done those things, even if they seemed redundant.

The coins, I think it helps with many things, not just money.

Bottoms line is these are foundational skills and you really can't teach and review them too often early on. They are SO important. Anything that helps cement it in their minds is great, especially if it only takes and extra couple minutes. :-)
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along
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