Combining K & 1st - Both plus an OLDER program?


Combining K & 1st - Both plus an OLDER program?

Unread post by cbollin »

EightArrows wrote:I currently own MFW K, 1, and ECC. I am wondering how best to combine a just turned 5yo, just turned 7yo, and 9 yo. Please tell me it's possible somehow!
A lot will depend on your children. For some of the activities in ECC, the 5 and 7 year olds will join in for fun.

Depending on the reading level of everybody, you will determine how much time you spend with the 1 and K. You may find that you will spend concentrated time with the younger ones while the oldest reads from book basket or some other "independent" work. I sometimes work with my 7 y.o. (MFW1) after breakfast -- but before the RTR child gets officially started. She typically is reading something or working a Suduko puzzle or whatever.

It takes some juggling -- but that is just part of one room schoolhouse teaching. Looking forward to hearing other ideas too.
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Unread post by kellybell »


Well, I have just half the arrows you have; perhaps you should be telling us how to manage it all!

I would guess that your 5 yo is ready for K and your 9 yo would fit well in ECC. The question is what to do with your 7 yo.

We did CTG, K, and 1st grade at the same time, so it IS possible to combine K, 1st, and ECC. But don't over do, especially if some of these other five arrows of yours are toddler-sized arrows!

I'd prefer doing no more than two programs a year. If your 7 is a very advanced student, reading comfortably, then you might think about putting him in ECC with the 9 yo. However, I would guess he's not that advanced, simply because he "just turned" seven and isn't "nearly eight."

You could teach K to the 5 and 7 yo's. Yes, K will be "too easy" for the 7 yo in many ways, but the subjects aren't "babyish" because they are things God created and they are things certain adults dedicate their entire lives to studying! The lessons are interesting. Then, next year, teach MFW1 to both of them and after that, they should all be in the history cycle together.

To "beef up" K for the 7 yo, you will want to add some math activities such as those in the MFW1 TM or even get a little workbook. Also, you'll want to add some extra language activities such as reading books to you, some simple Bible dictation exercises, or even PLL if you think he's ready for it. You can add some spelling words too, using the Rod and Staff book that MFW sells if you wish. Or, simply make up lists of about five words a week to learn.

If you are teaching one program, you should strive to do all that's in the TM. But if you are teaching two MFW programs (ECC and K, for example), don't expect to do it all because doing it all is too much! So, it's fine to skip the science in K and do the science in ECC (and have all the kids sit in). Same with art, cooking, etc. There's no need to do ECC science and then turn around and do something totally different for K. Pick and choose, and that way the programs move along at a decent pace and mom isn't burned out.

Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).


Unread post by Guest »

Hi EightArrows,

Good luck with your decision. These kinds are the hardest!

I'm using MFWK right now with the youngest (5 next week) and my 8 year old is enjoying many of the science activities and all of the Bible Study with that program. I think your 7 year old would enjoy the K topics also. I just have the 8 year old read higher level books and also have her do notebooking on the science subjects. Of course both children have their own math and language and reading programs.

I know you don't own it, but have you ever considered the MFW Adventures program? I will be doing this curriculum next year and it might be a good fit for your children, too. Doing the Adventures year will also keep me from getting to the other curriculums before the youngest one is ready for it. It's hard to know what to do, but you know your children better than anyone. You'll make the right decision!

Happy Homeschooling!

Thanks for your thoughts ~

Unread post by EightArrows »

Yes, Kelly, I have some "toddler-sized" arrows (I like how you put that) ~ a 2yo and an infant. I've also got several older ones! I keep looking for ways to make everything work. I do appreciate the "one room schoolhouse" image and earnestly hope to create that in our homeschool.

I know I'll have to beef up and scale down accordingly to juggle everyone's needs. I guess I needed "permission" and to hear that some of you are doing that.

Thanks for your thoughts and I'll be working at it! I so appreciate this curriculum.
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Unread post by kellybell »

Eight Arrows,

Oh, I didn't even think about Adventures. I was thinking of the three programs you already own. If you do Adventures, don't also do ECC, but do Adventures with the two older kids (of the three you mentioned above) and K with the youngest of those three.

Anyway, I think most of us modify, beef up, scale down all the time. MFW programs (the four I've seen at least) seem to be "just right" with about the right amount of work (ie. doesn't gloss over and doesn't bog down with busy-work) at about the right level.

If you had just one homeschooled child (or perhaps twins on the same level?) AND no other big obligations (ie. a once-a-week co-op or cottage school or a grandparent living with you that requires shuttling to many doctor appointments, etc.), then you would probably follow the program in the TM exactly. However, few families fit that mold and most of us are in the business of beefing up, scaling down, substituting, etc.

Anyway, I like the "one room schoolhouse" feel too, where the big kids are helping the younger ones and lots of learning is going on. It's nice to have a bookbasket with a long middle-school level chapter book as well as a kindergarten level book on the same subjects.

Let us know what you figure out. It's fine to tweak!
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
Sue in MN
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Unread post by Sue in MN »

In the Choosing Curriculum Archive, Marie explains how to teach K and 1 at the same time. Basically, you teach all the K program the first year adding the language and math from the 1 for your 7yo and then the next year you teach all the 1 adding 2nd grade math and language for your then 8yo. So you would be teaching all of ECC, all of K but only part of 1. Go to the archive as Marie explains it much better than I.
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Unread post by MJP »

I have 6 arrows. The oldest two, 10 and 12, do Creation to the Greeks. The 5 year old does K, and the 7 year old floats between the two. The toddler is sometimes involved, sometimes playing quietly with Playmobile figures, and sometimes riding through the room on his horse. The baby, well, her job is to be cute!

All this to say, I am thankful for a program we are enjoying and learning from as a family that is covering a lot of academic ground in a reasonable amount of time. We do skip some science, but I am ahead in the read--alouds, and even worked in a couple of extras. My eldest does the phonics bingo and some instruction with the K child. Melissa (MJP)
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How do I juggle K AND 1st and an older program?

Unread post by niki »

radiomom wrote:This fall I will have a second grader who is probably more like a first grader in terms of reading. I would like her to try to do ECC with her older sister to ease my load, so I only have to do the K with her younger sister. There's also a 3 yo to keep things interesting.

Or should I just do the 1st grade program with her instead (and in turn improve her reading)? Wouldn't this be a lot to juggle? I've seen a lot of posts say you can do K or 1 with one of the bigger ones, but what about doing K and 1 and ECC?
Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:23 am
I think as long as you're teaching your "other subjects" (phonics and math) at your dd level, she would do fine in ECC, actually she would love to be a part of ECC. I think you can tailor it to meet her needs - remember that's one of the joys of hs'ing - we see the needs and can find a way to meet the needs of our dc. I think you're on the right track.

All we can really do is lean on the Lord...and not our own understanding.
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Unread post by RachelT »

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:01 am

I know that MFW is designed for younger siblings to do K and 1st in addition to what the older siblings are working on. My first idea is that when I look at your signature it says that Emily's bday was 11/00. She must be the "2nd grader"? Well, here in Indiana, I think 1st grade would be the "normal" level for that dd to begin with.

I am guessing that others would say that she needs to go through MFW 1st if she isn't reading independently. I think others with more experience will write in with their ideas, as well.

God will guide you!
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Unread post by LSH in MS »

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 10:39 am
I am doing RTR, 1st, and K. It can be done but it takes some planning and figuring out when to do what. ECC doesn't take as much time as RTR so that will help.

Basically what I would recommend is to do the language arts and math of each program (K and 1st) then pick one of the programs to do completely with both children.

So if you did the complete K program with both children (which is what I would recommend if they have never done MFW before), you would only do the LA and Math of 1st.

Then the next year you would do the complete 1st program with the younger one and your older child would join in with the family cycle programs (CTG).

Also realize that sometimes your younger children may want to participate in a science or art project in ECC, so they would not do the K science that day. You pick and choose which you want to do with the younger ones from ECC and K.

BTW this would work very well because ECC and K go beautifully together studying animals etc., and CTG and 1st go together as well because of the Old Testament\Israel history study.

We are doing Year 3 RTR, LA and Math from 1st, and LA and math from K. I chose to have my 1st grader join in with RTR for science and history, although I do go over the Bible portion with him from 1st. I couldn't handle 1st grade science and RTR science, although this would be easier with ECC.

We are not doing art and music this year although we are doing the read alouds. Maybe we can get to it when I am back to only doing 2 programs. Don't feel like you have to do everything. Learning will happen and they learn a lot from each other.

I've tried a lot of different things as far as scheduling But I like this the best:

We start with RTR BIble and history reading with everyone. K and 1st love doing coloring pages or playing quietly while we listen.

Then the older ones do independant work (Math, Spelling, Reading, Bookbasket, Latin). During this time I teach the K stuff and 1st stuff one at a time with each one. After that I go back and finish with the older ones.

This obviously does not work perfectly but I feel like I have been able to accomplish a lot more with MFW than I could with other programs because it's so easy to use.

Update Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 5:02 pm
I am currently doing 3 programs. I do the phonics of K, phonics and Bible from 1st, and all of RTR. All of my children are making an Astronomy notebook for science. The younger ones listen to SOTW cds for history, and they all particiapate in RTR's Bible. I do the Bible and memory work from MFW 1st with my 1st grader.
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Unread post by Heidi »

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 3:57 pm

At the beginning of the year, I had a preschooler. Now he is doing MFW-K. He joins in alot with ECC so we do this in lieu of the science in MFW-K.

As for ECC for my second grade child - many of the book basket books are at all levels.

For science - Wild Places is for the younger ones' reading levels (I let my daughter read alot of this during our geography time) and also gives a simple overview of the subject for all the family; whereas the DK Science Encyclopedia is a higher reading level for the older ones (my oldest son reads a lot from this) yet the details are wonderful for the whole family as well. Both have wonderful pictures and small enough captions for the drawing and writing assignments for all levels.

For geography - there are two level atlases and several levels within each as well, plus one workbook for older students. The TM is detailed about what is for which level and how much to expect from this or that level as you go.

We (me included) take turns reading from all the above, every day we do MFW.
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Unread post by Lucy »

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:00 am

When an older program is being done in the home along with K and 1st, you will find that your younger kids will want to participate in some of those activities as well. So let them listen and look at books that interest them and join in where they are interested as well.

If you do K, 1st and ECC, you will find that the science in first is not united like it is in the other 2. Your 2nd grader will enjoy science in either one but if you choose to do 1st with her the best choice would be to have her do as much of ECC as she can with her older sibling. She would not do any of the advanced packet (research work) in ECC. So if you used MFW 1 it would be for phonics and math if she needs that too. The rest would be done in ECC.

You may want to call the office to discuss whether you need the language arts in MFW 1 for her. If she is still not reading well, you may consider this for her. You will find that both of your older kids are going to enjoy some of the science in K as well and so they will all want to join in with those projects sometimes and sometimes it may be the other way as Lori mentioned and you will skip a K science lesson to have all do an ECC science lesson. I liked the way that Lori(in MS now! :) ) talked about this and for a true 1st grader this would be the case, but since she is actually a 2nd grader who just may need an extra year of reading, I would use ECC as the 2nd grader's primary curriculum along with MFW 1 phonics, if you decide that she needs this. Of course as Rachel pointed out she is a young 2nd grader so you know her maturity level and what she can do. Again I would call the office to get their input on her need to do MFW 1 or not.

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Unread post by Lucy »

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:30 pm

Remember, if Emily needs to spend most of her energy learning to read for most of this year, just let her do science in ECC and bible and crafts and do not worry about all the geography stuff if that is too much school for her at this point. The most important thing for her is that she learns to read and feels comfortable and confident with that. Do not worry if she does not get to do all of ECC. She will return to it when she is in 7th grade and fully doing the program.

Remember because of her age, too, you may let her join in more with the K science, bible, and crafts if that is more interesting to her. She is right on the edge for the age appropriateness of those activities and may find them more fun than the other this year. It will be fine if you wait a year for her to really join her older sibling in the family cycle. You know her needs the best.

Another thought is to have Dad do the bible in ECC with all of you in the evening which would be only one bible for you to do during the day.

Hope this helps, if not please let us know what you are thinking and how we can help you feel like you can do this with Christ's strength!

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:24 am

Taggin on a bit to Lucy's comments...

If your 2nd/1st grader child needs to focus more on finishing learning to read, she can still join in with older siblings in ECC, but just not everything in ECC. She can pray for people groups around the world, play the geography game, look through picture books of each country, help with the cooking projects and be a big part of ECC. Then, the next year, she'll be ready to go to CTG in 3rd grade. And you'll come back to all of ECC later.

Work with this child to strengthen her reading skills.
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Unread post by Heidi »

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:46 am
I am in agreement with Lucy and Crystal on this one.

Here are some things that might help that I have done this school year to strengthen my 1st/2nd grader when we began ECC . This is long, so - please bear with me. These have come from a year of alot of prayer and looking for answers. I have spent much time working with my 1st/2nd grader this year. I have also included little notes on my 4/5th grader and my pre-K/K'er who also are around and how I incorporate all them.

During regular "reading" time:
1) I had her make color picture phonics flashcards using the reading chart from the first grade - one per day. (You can buy them from Diane Craft's website.) I would love to see Marie make some already prepared"right brain" phonics cards that match her wonderful reading chart - lovely like the alphabet flash cards.

2) Using "right brain" strategies borrowed from Dianne Craft's stuff - I have her hold the new picture flash card up, have her keep her head level, she must look up at it until she can close her eyes and "see" (tell me about) the colors, the picture and the phonics rule. We review the old ones, making sure she can still see them too.

3) Had her read from readers: we used the Bible reader from first grade (we had done this the year before so we have one), easy readers from the library like Dr. Suess early reader books, McGuffey's primer - excellent - I also borrowed this from the library, I also used readers I had on hand from another curriculum. I would love for Marie to write additional readers for each of the new introduced phonics rule and incorporating the old ones.

4) My oldest reads very well, so he is expected to read 30 pages per day from books on the shelf in addition to ECC. My youngest is just learning to read, doing MFW-K. He is almost done with "u" and only does about 2-4 lessons per week with very little writing.

During ECC Bible time:
1) She began with 1-4 verses. She is now reading 4 or more verses from the Bible that came with Adventures. She works on orally narrating this back to me and I am training her to "make and see movies" in her head as she reads and listens to others read (right brain strategy).

2) She loves doing the Window on the World and the Heroes of the Faith stories - which I read, even to my older child.

3) She enjoys all the missionary stories during read aloud time (we do this as the last thing before bed while they color)

4) She copies the verses - but, this year we are not doing dictation.

5) My oldest reads the rest, and is always the last to narrate since he needs no help in this department. I ask him the "why" questions to develop his analytical study of God's Word. My K'er is beginning to participate during ECC Bible time in oral narration quite well - though he is often restless.

During ECC science:
1) At the beginning of the year, the small sentences with easy words - I let her read a few of these; Wild Places is great for this. She is up to reading most of this for us now. Even reading up to 3-4 paragraphs of the Living World Encyclopedia.

2) She joined in looking at all the book baskets books, and again I let her read a few small sentences from the easier ones and we have increased as she has progressed.

3) She happens to have great fine motor skills and loves to draw, even if writing is laborious - so she only does two drawings each week from the readings, and I expect her to copy 2 sentences about the subject (not compose it). I let her color them in during read aloud times.

4) She loves and does all experiments. I do not expect reports.

5) My oldest reads the rest, but also only does two drawings each week - but is expected to copy or compose 4-5 sentences of information. My youngest loves the picture books and is every-other-day with us or not. On the not days - he usually chooses to be close by anyway.

During ECC geography:
1) She has great difficulty with remembering names of places - so the geography game is quite a challenge for her - but, she enjoys participating. I do not expect more.

2) She enjoys all the worksheets - so I let her do these - just not the advanced ones.

3) She enjoys drawing the vocabulary from A-Z book and copying the definitions. She colors during read-aloud times.

4) She loves cooking, crafts, and book baskets about the countries - so she does these as we do science.

5) My oldest does reads the rest, does well with the geography game, loves the worksheets, A-Z vocab., cooking, crafts; and has only just now become ready for the advanced workbook. My youngest loves the music, and cooking - and hangs out nearby or not for the rest.

Other ECC stuff:
1) She does Russian
2) She loves Wee Sing Around the World
3) We all do music, cooking, crafts, experiments and Nature Walks in addition to going to the library and field trips together on Fridays.
4) We are not doing spelling, PLL, dictation, writing strands, only half the science drawings and writing, half as much HGTA and Russian.
5) She loves 30 minutes twice a week of How Great Thou Art "I Can Do All Things" (which can be continued from Adventures).
6) We make and use right brain flashcards for math facts and drills.

Other notes:
1) I had my daughter tested for auditory processing disorder after I read and did the informal home tests as suggested by Diane Craft in her article "How to Tell Why Your Child is Struggling" at the HSLDA site. She struggles with phonics, names, sequences, expressing herself verbally was like pulling teeth for her, etc. She hears fine, but is now receiving one year of speech-language therapy for this processing disorder.

2) I began two week ago doing Brain Integration Excercises, and so we dropped all writing except for science and geography

How has she progressed?
She is currently nearly finished with McGuffey's first grader (to develop her language deficit, I require she know the definitions of the words as well - she draws the definitions of the ones I have chosen for her to define after printing the words). Yesterday, she was reading the left sides of the pages of DK's Forest from the book basket right along with her older brother reading the right sides. She is now reading at 2nd grade level! Her oral narration is much better, but still a struggle and a long ways to go. I usually end up offering her suggested answers as though I were a talking multiple choice quiz - this allows her to demonstrate she knows the answer, but models for her how to speak it.

I hope this is helpful. For us, we learn every day new ways to improve and how to better streamline for accomplishing more with less. I am always impressed with how well thought out and flexible this curriculum is. It really is written for many levels, abilities and learning styles.
FL Mommy of 3
2008- MFW-K, (CTG and MFW-1 this fall we hope)
2006-7 - ECC /MFWPK & K
2005-6 - Adventures/MFW 1st/MFWPK
2004-5 - MFW 1 /MFWK/toddler underfoot
2003-4 - Blue LLATL/toddler/baby
Kim in MI
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Unread post by Kim in MI »

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:12 pm

We are doing MFWK, 1 and RTR this year with four kids (and two toddlers).

We do the phonics, math, Bible, and some science from the first grade program. I love the Bible reader especially and the Proverbs verses have been great especially for this particular daughter - a lot about making good choices (listening to advice, being kind, etc.).

Sometimes she sits in on the reading for RTR and occasionally she does some of the science with us, but I totally have let that be as she is interested. I do try to get the first grade science books that are recommended and she often reads these on her own.

When my 2nd daughter was in first grade, I only did the phonics with her and she joined her older sister for Adventures. I now regret that I did not do the first grade Bible portion with her too. (She did read the Bible reader independently.) I don't know if this is helpful, but this is what we do.

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K, 1st and ECC

Unread post by SandKsmama »

livingfree wrote:K, 1st and ECC - Has anyone done all of this together? Is it even feasible? How much time would I be looking at each day? I have 5 year old doing K, an 8 and 9 year old doing 1st, they need the phonics and reading instruction, and I have an 11 year old that I was considering doing Ecc with.
Thanks, Christi
Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:25 am
I did K and ECC, then 1st and CTG, and then K, 1st, and RTR. It's definitely a step up in the "crazy" department, but still doable. Especially since you have an 11 year old doing ECC.

What I did was have my oldest start with anything she could do independently - math, English, Latin, etc. Then I had my 1st grade guy work on a little math, while I did K with my youngest. K does not take long at all, so it worked here. Then I'd send the youngest to play and do 1st with my middle one (the oldest was still working on the independent stuff during this). When 1st was done, I'd send him off to play with the youngest, and then move on to the oldest.

Cyndi (AZ)
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K and 1st, how long?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Keer wrote:I'm trying to get my plans for next year lined up. I will have 3 kids doing Year 4 (7th, 5th, and 4th grades). I will also have a 1st grader and Ker. (I'll also have a 2yo who is into everything. ;) )

I tried to follow the post about combining K and 1st, but I didn't understand it very well. &) *IF* I don't combine, how long does each one take, approximately? (Just looking at ballparks. ;) ) Thanks!
I taught one child with no others in the house - totally different situation!!! :-)

MFWK took 45-60 minutes. Up to 90 minutes if we read a lot during school time.

MFW1 took about an hour. It could take up to 2 hours if you spend a long time on projects or reading during school.

Those numbers are not additive when you're combining programs, though!
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

Re: K and 1st, how long?

Unread post by cbollin »

The combining K and 1st post:
I have always assumed that it is more talking to those who don't have older kids in the picture.
The first year of the combining doesn't really combine a lot. Well, think of it like this:
that first year, you have to give both children a lot of what they need to help them in phonics, language arts, math, etc. So, it is going to take a good portion of both programs. But, neither program has to be super time consuming. You are going to go scaled back versions of the K activities because you have to teach from EX1850 as well.

Try to picture the combining of K and 1st grader like a color mix in a rainbow.
there is the yellow band, the green band and the blue band.
You start with your K kid and give the K kid 15-20 minutes to do both math/phonics from K. Now, you get the first grader to join for "green time" and do some scaled back K activities together. Now, your Kindy kid is done. Invite that kid to join in other parts of the day with first grader and older kids, but they don't have to.
Now, you're in the blue band of the rainbow mix and working with first grader for Phonics/Bible/language arts and math. This can be done right after Kindy time, or later in the day depending.

Older kids in EX1850 might be able to help get some things done with younger kids such as helping first grade get math done while you work with Kindy kid in the "yellow zone".

So, you combine by scaling back the K activities and using the already integrated Bible/phonics stuff in first grade. That part is combined for you. Science for first grader -- can either do the science in first grade on "light Friday", or let the first grader join in some of the things in EX1850 science.

Time wise with scaled back K activities, it probably won't be a full hour. I've been known to get the activities done in the evening as a nice break in the evening.
Time wise with first grade: up to an hour to do everything

Remember to let the older kids have some independent work, or be helpers.

I know it sounds very complicated and hard to read. If the only things that the Kindy and first grader get done are language arts/math and then join the older siblings for some stuff, that can work too. I've done scaled back Kindy stuff all year.

I stopped making sense a while back...... You might want to call their office if the combining post doesn't make sense for your situation. It might not be the ideal fit for your situation.

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Re: K and 1st, how long?

Unread post by Keer »

Thanks, Crystal! That actually sounds a lot like what we do right now - I just move through the kids to do the stuff I need to do with with, and they have stuff they do on their own. "Scaling back" is the key I think...I was worried that the recommendation is to do the whole kit and caboodle with them both. Yikes!
teaching ds (10th), ds (8th), dd (7th), ds (4th), dd (3rd), and dd (K)
keeping ds (3yo) and dd (1yo) out of trouble
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Question about combining...4 kids, 33 months apart

Unread post by Joyhomeschool »

finley3001 wrote:I have 4 kids that are all 33 months apart. We've been doing K this year and are planning on starting 1st in July. By that time my son will be ready to do K. I've seen the posts on combining K and 1st but my question is about the following year when my twins will be ready for K. So should I do K next year will all 3 boys and do 1st with my daughter or should I only do K and 1st next year and the following year do Adv, 1st, and K?
Sounds to me like you have a 1, K and Preschool group going right now. I would do that.. BUT I'd involve your Preschoolers "some" in the K stuff. Have them color a page that goes with the letter and listen in with the story and do some activities.

Then next year you'll have a ADV, 1, and K's. Then I'd do the activities with 1 and ADV whatever works for the Ker's and then do the rest of K with them. Following after that you'll have 2 in ECC, and 2 in 1st. Then it will be smooth sailing as all will be in the following year together.
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2
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Re: Question about combining...4 kids, 33 months apart

Unread post by wifeof1mom25 »

I know where you're at! I had five children in 4.5 years, but within that I have 4 children in 31 months. We have used MFW from the start, and dearly love it. That being said, I do make modifications to fit our family. I take what I have gleaned from talking to David Hazell about our circumstances and temper it a bit based on our family style, goals and what I can do well.

I would advise taking it slow with those 3 younger boys and not pushing them or skipping much at the K,1st level. My twins really needed the 1st this year and my I'm-worried-about-if-he-will-ever-write-and-read-well twin son is thriving.

I hope this helps a little.

In Christ,
B/G twins-7
DD-almost 6

Re: Question about combining...4 kids, 33 months apart

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

Each family has to work to figure out how to make sure that each child is receiving what they need each each year without over doing it. We do talk with quite a few moms who have children close together and believe it or not they do at some point use 3 programs. With that said they do not use every hands-on activity and science lesson from all programs.

Since the K and First Grade programs include all the language arts and math you will use these portions to teach each child. Once your first child reaches 2nd grade you begin inviting the younger children to join in as much as they are interested in the program (Bible, history, science, hands-on activities, etc.). When you have K, 1st and an upper program we recommend omitting the 1st grade science and most of the hands-on activities since those subjects may be done with the older sibling(s). Since your son (2nd child) has just participated in many of the K lesson activities this year he will join his sister for science and hands-on activities in 1st this year. The following year he will join in Adventures science and activities while he uses the language arts and math from 1st graded. The twins will begin K and join in as much as they are interested in Adventures. You may choose to omit the other K weekly activities or only choose a select few each week. The literature activities are always a good K activity to add if possible. Some weeks you may be able to add a few K activities and others you may not.

This year, invite your preschoolers to join in with as many of the K and First activities as they are interested in, but wait until the following year to use the language arts and math in the K program . Unless you think your 2nd child is not ready for reading and writing and would benefit by waiting until age 6, go ahead with K this year. By next year you will be a pro at teaching the K program :) . Remember that even if they are all in the same year it is recommended that you teach reading/language arts individually to each child.

I hope this helps you as look to the next 2 years. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office at 573-426-4600.
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Considering MFW

Unread post by 4Truth »

happy2bmommyof3 wrote:Hi, I am considering switching to MFW. I have been considering going to my own Charlotte Mason program for the reasons of combining and affordability with using library resources (we have a great library system where I am), but in my research MFW keeps coming up and I like the affordability of the program as well...still trying to figure out how it works...

I will be wanting to combine a 4th grader and a 1st grader. Is that easily done? I will also have one in K...not sure if she could be added in as well.
MFW has books, activities, and educational videos for a wide range of ages from ECC and up, so that makes it very easy to combine multiple ages. (Flexibility is a key word in MFW!) Your K and 1st graders would just do the phonics/reading and maybe math portions of their age-appropriate programs, and then do the parts of ECC (or whichever year you start with) that apply to them as part of your "group work" with everyone together. So they would listen to many of the read-alouds, the Bible readings, books and videos from Book Basket, participate in the cooking activities, many of the crafts/hands-on activities that come up, and some of the science (especially nature walks which are scheduled every week). And yes, your K and 1st graders can have their own 3-ring binders for notebooking in the history program, too. The student pages in MFW are wonderful for really personalizing their learning, since each child will have their own ability and style preferences to put their own special touches in it. :)

Sometimes you'll have a younger child who just isn't interested in, or doesn't have the attention span for, listening to everything you're doing with the older child. That's okay. It's age-appropriate. You know best when it's a character training issue that needs dealt with vs. a normal age issue. ;) When this happens, younger child can play with some manipulatives like what MFW sells for that age group, play dough, do a coloring page, etc. or just play. There will be times when your K and 1st grader play together while you work 1-on-1 with the 4th grader, but I would still try to include them as much as you can because there's a good bit they can do along with older siblings in MFW.

One thing I've had my younger gal do at times during "group work" that might be too much for her is to watch an age-appropriate educational video. It might be one we already own (Signing Time or LeapFrog, or this week it might be A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving). Or it might a video that we got from the Book Basket list that's related to the topic we're studying in history or science, but it's animated so younger child doesn't realize she's still doing "school" even though she's not at the table with older sisters. ;) One example I'm thinking of is the Nest videos... they have a lot that pop up on Book Basket from time to time. Magic School Bus or Reading Rainbow are good, as well.

We've scheduled our days a couple different ways over the years, depending on the season. *My* preference has usually been to have us all do our "together" stuff first thing in the morning, then the older ones who can do more independent work go off to do their stuff while I do 1-on-1 work with the younger one. At other times they've done their individual work first while I work with the younger, and then we come back together later for our "together" stuff. You'll just have to figure out which way works best for you. If you have an early riser who needs their love bank filled early in the morning, that might be a good time to do that child's 1-on-1 stuff before bringing everyone together for group work. Or, you might have one who naps in the afternoon and find that to be the best time to do group work. It'll look different from one family to the next, but either way, I find it easier than having to go back and check/followup on every subject for every child individually because everyone's working separately. (By necessity, each child will always have their own level of math and LA, of course.)

Not sure if any of that is what you're looking for, but that's how MFW multi-age learning works at our house. :) I think David actually has a conference CD where he talks about this topic, too. Let's see... Hhmm, the one I'm looking for isn't on the Workshop CDs page of this site (which is here, btw: ) The one I'm looking for is called "Multilevel Teaching at the Elementary Level" and is listed in the Archives on this page: But I see that when you link to Rhino Technologies, it says that title isn't found. ?? MFW staff know anything about this?
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:55 pm

choosing MFWK and 1st

Unread post by mgardenh »

fearnot wrote:Hello, I'm ready to get ECC for my 5th grader, but I am still hesitant what to do for my almost 6 yo and my current 7yo (will be 8 in July). I have not done formal phonics w/ the youngest as my 7yo has struggled all year and I was focusing on him. That is why I am considering MFWK for the 6 yo and MFW 1st for the upcoming 8yo (although we did "1st" this year, he is still barely reading.)

So here are my questions: Can I do 3 different MFW programs at once? If I have another phonics program, is it worth it to get MFW K and 1st for the Bible/ character and other activities? Are ECC activities/ reading too much for a 6yo and 8yo struggling reader? Should I use MFW phonics and supplement w/ the other phonics? What about Math? (Sorry, I know these are A LOT of questions!)

I am not interested in pushing the youngers to fit into ECC alone. I have already gone down that road with my older children (they were pushed hard academically in a private classical school). So I want my younger (and older) kids to *have fun*, be kids, and meet Jesus everyday. I was going to just use the phonics and then group them in w/ ECC for activities...but now I don't know. :~ I have an ADHD/Kinesthetic child that may need something more "active". ;) Any advice/ thoughts greatly appreciated!
You might, If it were me, call the MFW office. They would be able to help you know where your 7 yr old would fit best. You can do all three it will depend somewhat on your older child doing ECC. If they are able to do independent work then while they are doing that you can work with the K'r and the First grader. You could have the first grader do the K'r stuff with younger and then have him also do the first grade work to get up to speed. You know your child best. These are just ideas
DH to Laurel
SAHD (mostly) to
Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
Have used MFW, k, 1st, Adventures, and ECC, CTG, RtR
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