Loving MFW K but concerned about MFW 1st

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Loving MFW K but concerned about MFW 1st

Unread post by busyMichaela » Thu May 03, 2018 1:05 am

We've had a great year of MFW K with my son...we started it at age 4.5 and will finish at age 5.5. He seriously LOVES home school :) Glancing ahead at MFW 1st, it seems harder/faster/quite rigid ?!?! I'm concerned it might squelch his love for learning, with the amount of writing/seatwork. Especially for age 5.5 to 6.5. (but there's really no need to repeat MFW K when he's got it down). Has anyone modified MFW 1st for a younger boy? Or used something else for a transitional year? I would love to hear ideas!

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Re: Loving MFW K but concerned about MFW 1st

Unread post by manyblessings » Thu May 03, 2018 10:00 am

I haven't yet, but how about taking it at a slower pace? Like taking a year and a half to two years to finish 1st, so that he will be 7 or 7.5 by the time he gets to 2nd grade. The slower pace may give him the time he needs to grow into it, and be less stressful.
Mom of 4 adults, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 son-in-law, 1 in 1st, and
3 in heaven 8/11/06, 8/18/10, and 9/13/13
Married to my soul mate since 6/20/09
2019-2020: ADV

Julie - Staff
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Re: Loving MFW K but concerned about MFW 1st

Unread post by Julie - Staff » Thu May 03, 2018 10:27 pm

How wonderful to hear that your son loves homeschooling!

I like Lourdes' idea of spreading out 1st so he will reach the intended age level of 7 by 2nd grade. I'll just reinforce that with a few ideas below. But first there are a few things I'd like to confirm:

1. It sounds like he did well with K. I would want to be sure he did well with all parts of it, including blending sounds (little ones are great memorizers but we want to build phonics skills for future success), printing letters correctly, reading short vowel words, and willingly copying 4-6 words in one sitting. It does sound like he's doing fine, but those are our typical 1st grade readiness questions.

2. It sounds like he's finished K already, so no room to stretch that out a bit longer at this point.

3. It sounds like you're waiting until fall for 1st grade, so he will be a bit older when he starts, which will help.

With that in mind, it makes sense to move on to 1st grade but to go at your son's pace. It's true that kindergarten is an introduction to school while 1st grade is designed for children who are 6 at the start and developmentally ready for a 2-hour school day. However, there is lots of fun in 1st grade, and it is possible to spend two days on each lesson, especially in the beginning of the school year, while you wait for him to mature a bit next year. Here are some ideas:
  • There are lots of literature ideas (in the appendix and in Honey for a Child's Heart) so you can spend time reading wonderful stories together.
  • Math is taught in hands-on ways, since that's the way young children learn best, and extra time can be spent on the fun math activities.
  • Be sure to enjoy the nature exploration scheduled every week.
  • Add field trips to museums, parks, fire and police stations, etc., since those are learning experiences.
  • Enjoy all the scheduled hands-on activities.
  • Spend time on the music, drawing, and art appreciation.
  • Expand on science topics using library books.
  • Play all of the “Active Games” in the “Reading Games to Practice Reading Words” in the appendix (scheduled on Fridays).
  • Take extra time to reinforce letter formation.
These things could slow him down enough that he will be a bit older when he begins the more advanced sections, such as writing in his Bible Notebook. You can remain flexible and possibly take a total of 3 years to finish 1st and Adventures, if needed.

Blessings as you allow your son to be a 5 year old for a bit longer :)

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Re: Loving MFW K but concerned about MFW 1st

Unread post by busyMichaela » Sun May 06, 2018 3:47 pm

Thank you, Julie and Lourdes! I really appreciate your feedback :)

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Re: Loving MFW K but concerned about MFW 1st

Unread post by ruthamelia » Thu May 10, 2018 1:13 am

Hi there- Just wanted to chime in since you specifically asked about something for a transition.

My daughter finished the kindergarten materials around the time she was 6, and I could tell that she wasn't ready for the pace of first grade. I did use some materials to give her a few months of extra practice with blending and cvc words before moving on to first grade-- there is no shortage of options out there and many things would work well. I used Explode the Code and Pathway Readers with the workbooks. I think it really made a big difference. Once we started the first grade material, it went well for a while- I really appreciated the first month or so that reinforced handwriting, consonants, and short vowels. There was one point where the pace became too much and I actually saw some regression, so we sort of went on hold, did lots of review, such as things previous posters have suggested, the reading review as written in the first manual, and some of the reading games. After about a month of that she was back on track and we picked up where we left off. It has been about 15 months since she finished K, and will finish 1st next week.

So, I can't say we did a 'transitional year', but it certainly worked well to use other things to maintain progress until she was ready to continue on with the phonics pace of the first grade materials. As for your concern of seatwork/writing, it didn't feel heavy to me in the beginning. If the writing did seem to be a lot, it was easy to space out the Proverb copywork over 2 or 3 days.
Kids in school: 15, 13, 11, 8, 6, 4, 4
We have used: K, First, all Investigate years
2018-2019: First, ECC, AHL

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Re: Loving MFW K but concerned about MFW 1st

Unread post by Poohbee » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:38 am

My son wasn't too young when we did MFW 1st grade, but he is autistic and also has a very short attention span. I spread both MFW K and 1st over 1 1/2 years for him. It allowed me to slow down a bit and do less work on any given day, because he couldn't handle doing everything scheduled for 1 day. MFW 1st is very adaptable! You could definitely slow it down, take more time for it, and move at your son's pace. MFW 1st is a wonderful year of hearing and reading the fantastic Bible stories, along with learning foundational phonics, reading, and writing skills.
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2018-2019: Adventures with 9yo boy

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