Combining K & 1st - Experiences teaching them together

Posts: 207
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 9:26 am

Combining K & 1st - Experiences teaching them together

Unread post by LSH in MS »

Jennifer F wrote:I read the sticky on teaching K and 1st together (I'm looking ahead to the fall) and am wondering if anyone has done this and how it worked out for you. Thank you.
I am using the K program with my 6 and 4 year olds. It has worked out very well. My 4 year old is average and my 6 year old was a little slow in learning to read. He finally got it during MfW K!

I did the Calendar, skip counting etc., Phonics lessons with both of them together, but I directed it at the 6 year old's level. He needed the repetition in learning to recognize the letters and sounds.

My 4 year old just listened in and played with MFW preschool toys.

The K activities are great. Even my 2nd grader loves them. I got a lot of simple non fiction books to go along with the reading selections.

Next year I will be doing the complete 1st Grade program with my 1st grader, with the younger boy joining in on the activities. My 5 year old will be doing the phonics and math portions of MFW K because he didn't get it all this time. I think it will work well. MFW curricullia is so well laid out and easy to just grab the book and do it.

BTW I don't know if you have older children, but I do and we are also doing Creation to greeks this year. We didn't do all of the K activities for this reason because they joined in with their brothers on some of that.

Even so, They have learned a lot and have enjoyed it. This curriculum is the most easy to implement that I have ever used. I have felt very successful in teaching all of my children whereas last year I felt my younger children were falling through the cracks.

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
MFW user for 10 years

Unread post by Guest »


Hi. I am teaching K and 1st together this year, just as Marie has outlined in the sticky that you read. It has worked very well for us. The 1st grade phonics and Bible Reader/Notebook were perfect for my oldest dd, and we have been very happy with the entire K curriculum. The great thing about MFW is that is so easy to adapt to each child. I was able to find many easy readers for my older dd that went along with the K topics, and also covered some things a little more in depth with her with extra books or websites. All in all, I have been extremely pleased with MFW in general and our decision to teach K and 1st together. It has been nothing but a positive experience for us.

Jennifer F
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 2:39 pm

Unread post by Jennifer F »

Thank you. It's very helpful to get positive feedback from someone who is doing what I want to do soon. I'm excited to try MFW and really hope it works well for my family too.

Thanks again.

Wife to Shawn for 9 years
Mother of Victoria, age 5; Christine, age 4; Nathan age 3; and Gabriel is due 4/11/06

Combining K and 1st, what exactly to do with 1st

Unread post by cbollin »

babybryte wrote:We started this week! I am combining K and 1st. I used the author's suggestion on the Choosing Curriculum archive and bought the K Deluxe and 1st Deluxe.

I do have a question though.

For the 1st grader, I only do the Phonics and Math, right? I don't read the Bible stories, right? Will he use the Bible Notebook this year? I am confused on what exactly I do with my 1st grader in the 1st grade manual.

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:41 pm
This is a common question that arises from that sticky. I hope this is the right answer.

The Bible Reader, the Bible notebook, the blue student workbook are all part of the phonics program in first grade.

I think it is the Proverbs memory verses and possibly some of the additional Bible activities that you hold off on doing until next year because you are doing the K Bible program this year. (That's the science and character pages in the K manual.)

Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Unread post by Lucy »

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:00 am

Yes Crystal is right about using those items from MfW1. It is confusing because everything in MFW1 is united around the Bible for phonics. Your K child may enjoy hearing you tell or read the bible stories in MFW 1, too.

Since the Proverbs are memorized and used for bible and handwriting practice in 1st and you will not be using them this year, I suggest using the weekly theme in K to memorize just like the K student is doing and have her write this for handwriting practice each week on age-appropriate paper. You will also discuss bible verses each week that relate to this theme. This will be the "Bible" part of your year.

Please ask more questions if you do not understand.

Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Trying to figure out what to do together, etc.

Unread post by RachelT »

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 10:16 pm
Hi Melanie! We are about 1 year behind you in age and curriculum (my kids are ds, 6.5 and dd 4.5 - will be 5 in 2months). I've felt some of your frustration with trying to figure out what to teach to everyone, what to do individually, etc. Hugs!

Anyway, here is something I wrote to someone else recently.
  • Last year I tried to do most teaching together because my younger dd was just jumping in with her older brother for K and I didn't know how much she would be able to do. This year I made a schedule or routine so that I could plan for teaching them together and separately. Here is how it usually works out:

    1) Breakfast, devotion, chore time
    2) Bible and read aloud (together)
    3) Calendar math binder (calendar, 100 chart, etc.) (together)
    4) DS 1st grade Reading, writing, phonics while DD has "choice time"
    5) DD K phonics, writing, activities while DS has "choice time"
    6) Break
    7) Math at the same table, but DS doing 1st gr math and DD doing PreK/K math (although we sometimes work together on the same concept with manipulatives)
    8) Activity/other (project, music, art, science, etc.) (together)

    This works out so that we do most things together, but phonics/reading and math. I am following the sticky note under choosing curriculums called “teaching PreK and K”. Last year, that is what we did and now we are in year two of the sticky which is combining K and 1st. It has helped so much to have individual time with each of them.

    “Choice Time” is what I created to give them guided choices in using their “free” time while I am working with the other one. I will give them some choices for the week and they can choose something from that list each day or I might give them a choice of two or three things that day to do. So far choices have included: computer (educational cd-roms or internet sites like, coloring, play doh, Wedgits, play kitchen, lacing alphabet, number pegs and puzzles, etc. We have a computer center in our school area and my dh hooked up little speakers that have a headphone jack so the sound isn’t distracting the other dc and we are all still in the same room.
I would suggest going to the archive section of the board about choosing curriculum. There are two sticky notes from Marie about how to teach either beginning with PreK and K or K and 1st. Basically, it's how to teach two children who are only one year apart in the MFW curriculum and this might be helpful for you, if you haven't looked at it before because you are basically one or two years farther into one of those two sticky notes.

A problem I have is that although we did K science last year, it is so well integrated into the K curriculum that I don't want dd to miss out on those connections, so we are doing both K and 1st gr. science most weeks which means 2 topics, but I am trying to only pick the really best books for each of them, and we may not read as many books for each topic as we did last year. Usually we just do one science experiment that we all do together and the 1st science doesn't really have to take a lot of time. Projects vary; we do 2 of them a lot of the time, but then I feel like we won't have to do it again the following year, if we have other things we want to do.

I hope some of these ideas help to get you thinking about your options!
Julie in MN
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 10:26 pm

If you have to set aside projects during your specific "school time," then they can easily be kept on the back burner as family activities for the future. You may find you want to do something with the kids evenings, weekends, summers, etc. Kids won't realize you are reinforcing their lessons :o)

At first I felt that everything in a unit study must be organized & done together -- at the same time -- as one big "unit." It was KellyBell who made me realize that doing something later is called "review" and sometimes helps a lot with retention!
Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Does the 1st grade go by the same routine?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

JohnsWife wrote:I understand how the routine is set up for MFW-K, and what the 6 days are comprised of. Does the 1st grade go by this same routine?
Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2008 2:33 pm
MFWK has a light day called "book day" on the 6th day of each unit. MFW1 has "exploration day" every 5th day, written to be on Wednesday. You can adjust them to coincide as needed to fit your schedule. That's probably not much help; just know that you can make the curriculum fit your life and not have to make your life fit the curriculum.
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:52 pm

Unread post by 705emily »

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:20 pm

I am teaching MFW1 and K now as well! We start our day--usually around 9:00-9:30 and are done by around noon. (That includes at least one break!) We start our day with prayer and pledges--although we don't do them all every day-- and we usually read together from a read-aloud. I then start my 1st grader on her math, and work with my K'er. I then work with my 1st grader on her Bible and then she does RS German while I finish with my K'er. We do science and art together.

I'm sure you will LOVE MFW! Welcome!

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:30 am

There is a routine mentioned in the K manual with various calendar things. The K calendar activities help us quite a bit in transitioning into more formal instruction time.

*I always keep in mind that routines may have to change. What works for this set of weeks, might not go well in a few months. That's ok. I've seen classroom teachers who mix things up a bit as well.

*When I have to work with one student individually, it helps if my other child has a clear idea of what she can or cannot do for a few minutes. I don't make them stay in the "school area" during that time if they don't want to. Some times it helps if they do and some times it helps if they don't. :) When I need to work with one of them I just try to give very limited options to the other one for play or a chore, and tell them that in 30 minutes it will be her turn to work with me.

*Give yourself time to adjust to all of this. You’ll hit lots of little speed bumps that will make you slow down. But it’s ok. You’re going to do fine, just like the rest of us.

*when my oldest was 1st grade or so, we use to always start the school day with a song (usually on CD) just to start off doing something together. Some days we still do that routine with the hymns study in the upper years. Other things have been to start some lessons during breakfast time while we are already together. It's going to look different in different homes. But the idea is that what has worked for us has been to start with something that is either fun or just a natural part of the day where we are all together and enjoying it.

*consider getting Todd Wilson’s Homeschooling Cartoon books. That way you’ll know that everyone has days just like that and you’ll just be one of us, but you’ll have something to laugh about when it happens.
a link to those cartoon books

Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Unread post by kellybell »

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:46 am

As for keeping one occupied while you work with the other, here are a few ideas:

1. Create a box that only comes out during school time full of fun crafts and activities that can be done alone such as stickers and paper, crayons, etc. If you have the room, throw in a box of legos or tinker toys.

2. Accept the fact that often messy activities have the most staying powe (why is that?). So, perhaps allow play-doh, painting (the thick colorful paints hold my kids' attention much better than little watercolors), and even playing in a big bowl of water with an egg beater.

3. If you allow it, this is a good time for some screen time. Throw in a video for a half hour or allow a computer game. You can even do drill work during this time if you have something like Quarter Mile Math or Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing (my 6 year old does that, and that's the adult version -- I hear that there's a kid verion too).

4. Take school outside when the weather allows. Let one child swing and slide while you review phonics with the other.

If you rotate these suggestions (and rotate the goodies in each suggestion -- legos today and paint tomorrow) you should have plenty of ideas to keep them happy.
Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Unread post by RachelT »

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:21 am
Hello! I am teaching K and 1st this year! The difference for us is that we did not begin doing both at the same time. It has been a bit more challenging this year to combine and keep track of what I'm doing in which program. I am assuming that you are following this note on the MFW board under "Choosing Curriculum..."?

How to teach K and 1st grade together—MFW’s recommendation

I can’t remember, do you have older children (2nd-8th graders)? It looks like that would make a little difference in omitting some of the activities, but not much. One suggestion I have is to buy or make a lesson plan book. I was an elementary music teacher before having children, but I think this would help you, too. I use the little post-it flags, like some of the other readers above. I have one in the K manual on our day of the reading plan (yellow pages) and one on the unit study page (white, information about the Bible/science topics and activities like "penguin"). In my 1st gr. manual I have post-it flags on the yellow math page (more like a grid), the day we are on (like Day 113), the proverb for copywork, the math book ideas, and the science books ideas.

Anyway, I use a lesson plan book that has room for writing what I need to do with both children together and what I need to do with each child individually (reading/phonics and math). I combine teaching most things to both of them (even if they are review of the science topics from last year), except their reading/phonics and some math. I read aloud together our K science fiction/non-fiction books about each topic, all the Bible lessons (1st grade and K), memory verses, Books of the Bible, science or math read alouds for 1st, 1st gr. art and music, 1st science experiments and animal patterns on Exploration Days, 100chart, and calendar math. Sometimes they can even do the same CBoM worksheets, but sometimes not.

I think it's pretty easy to follow the 1st grade plan each day and then check on the math pages and use the other 1st post-it flag areas as needed. In K, it's basically the yellow pg (phonics) and the white page for unit study. I think the thing that is tricky is how to work with a 6 day schedule and a 5 day schedule at the same time!

What I did in the beginning of the year was to skip K on every 5th Exploration Day in 1st (we were doing a co-op). But now, in order to finish them at the same time I am going to do K Day 6 activities (lighter day) on that week's "Exploration Day" in 1st gr.

Another thing I have done is to print off a blank calendar page for each month of our school year and keep them in a folder. Each month or two I use a pencil and mark on each school day what day in each program it will be: “1st gr Day 1” and “K Sun Day 1”. This helps me to plan around field trips that we take out of town, co-op days, holidays, etc. and it gives me an idea of where we are headed.

I really think you will get the hang of it. In time, a lot of this will become routine. I hope you can find some strategies to help yourself so you can feel good about this! It will be a really great year! I think that the post-it flags, a lesson plan book, and a blank calendar will help you to feel prepared.

I hope I haven’t given you TOO much information for more information overload! Write back if you have more questions!

Posted Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:52 pm by RachelT
I found my schedule from that year on my computer! :) Here it is:

15-20 min of Bible, where I read aloud our 1st gr. Bible story
15 min "Morning meeting" - we always sang a song (learning days of the week, months of the year, seasons, etc.), did 100 chart and calendar activities, etc.
30 min 1st gr. reading/writing with older
30 min. K phonics with younger (maybe 20 min.)
15 min snack break
15 min. play outside or read aloud
30 min. math activities (we did find a lot of the math read alouds to go with the 1st gr. math topics)
30 min. Projects for science or art or music time

In our case, we had done MFW K the year before, so we did most of 1st gr. together (Bible, science, art, music) instead of both, after a few weeks of trying to do that! Don't try to do two of everything, you won't need to!
I hope this helps you!

Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

1st and K

Unread post by RachelT »

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:15 pm
Our 2nd year (the school year we just completed), ds was in MFW 1st grade and dd was doing K (she really should do K this coming year, but she had done so much she was ready at 4.5 and it worked out well).

This year we went ahead and did all of the read aloud time, Bible readings for 1st, Proverbs discussions and memorization, calendar, 100 chart, science, music, and art together. My dd even stayed involved in a lot of the math activities and math literature read alouds and she did some of the CBoM (Complete Book of Math) pages, but not always the same ones as my ds. I also had other preschool math workbook pages for her to do.

We did have separate time this year for phonics/reading/LA and math. I would work individually with ds for 1st reading, blue phonics workbooks, Proverbs copywork, and Bible notebook. I worked individually with my dd on K student work pages and math.

We also did some of the K activities again because they were fun, but I wouldn't always make my ds (the 1st grader) participate, especially if they were crafty. We'd done most all of them last year, but my dd loves making things!
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:26 am

Great 1st Day!

Unread post by mikesherry »

I was getting so anxious about starting school again and really dreading it. I'm not really sure why but I was really nervous. We started today, doing 1st and K together (my 2 year old was sleeping so it was a little smoother....) We combined everything but the reading lessons and my K did all the calendar/math activities for 1st grade with a little extra help. (i knew she would want to.)

We had such a fun time doing things together and I think the girls really bonded too. It was totally relaxed and not stressed.

I LOVE this program!!!!!
We will be starting this fall with a 3rd grader, 2nd grader and 4 year old and a 1 year old and a new baby arrival in Jan or Feb.
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:23 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Starting a 1st Grader and a Kindergartner SOON

Unread post by NCJessieRN »

mezzogirl wrote:So, basically, just wondering is MFW really this user-friendly. And, what y'alls daily schedule/routine looks like (especially for K and 1st graders).
Welcome! I did K and 1st this year and it has been amazing. (We are actually still in process since I had baby #4 2 1/2 months ago.) It works great. What I would do, is work with my K dd and my son would have computer time (he could only play educational games). K took me about 45 min. Then I would work with my 1st (1hr- 1hr 15min) ds. My dd loves the Bible stories and would listen in. She would sometimes play edu. games on the computer while I worked with ds. I would do "school" from 9:00-11:00 b/c this was when baby #3 was napping.

I just got back yesterday from the NCHE convention! It was AMAZING! I would encourage you to get all of David Hazell's talks. You can order from MannaRecording dot com. I think the CDs are $6 and MP3 $4. They said the MP3 will be available in three wks. The titles of his talks are:

"Exposed, Isolated or Insulated: How Should We Homeschool Our Children?"
"Homeschool: Is It School at Home or Family Education?"
"Developing Independent Learners."

All 3 are so insightful and blessed me tremendously! I LOVE MFW and it has really been an answer to prayer for our family!
Jessica Noy
Elijah 10
Abrianna 9
Joseph 5
Moses 4
Hosanna 1
Shepherd 4/2013
Michelle in WA
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:30 pm

Re: Starting a 1st Grader and a Kindergartner SOON

Unread post by Michelle in WA »

Hi! We school year round by default. It started because we took lots of time off after baby was born last May. We continue, for now, because it offers some structure to our day and flexibility to our lives. During school time I do not answer the phone or use the computer. This helps keep us on track.

We just finished a year of K & 1st. Now we are doing 1st & ADV. Totally doable in the time you have alloted if there are no interruptions.
Michelle, momma to
A (01) completed 1st, ADV, heading into AHL (gulp)
T (02) completed K, 1st (doing something else for now)
C (05) (doing something else for now)
T (08) completed K, doing 1st

Teaching two kids at once....

Unread post by cbollin »

Leah OH wrote:I am really struggling to teach both 1st grade and K together, even though I have read the post on MFW about teaching two grades together. My DD is in 1st grade and does fairly well with my having to help both of them at the same time, but my DS (K) is not adjusting very well. If I don't give him my undivided attention the whole time, I seem to lose him and he just wants to go play. I know part of this is him just being a boy, but I wonder if he just needs more of my attention to help him more. I have thought about breaking up our day and doing the main parts of school with my kids seperately so that I can work with just one at a time. Has anyone ever done this and how did it work out for you? I would appreciate any advice anyone has!
I know I tended to start with the youngest and "get done" with individual stuff, do "group stuff" and let the youngest go. Then do "individual stuff" with oldest. worked for several years that way with oldest and middle and they were 3 years apart.

when a kid starts Kindy at first, remember that you are developing routines with them and tweaking along the way. You can do it. I know I work when I can with youngest and gave up the dream land that anything will be done in a group other than playing and some crafts. Yesterday was a great day of frustrated in my house. I was ready to work with youngest (she has autism and well... yeah...) I was starting out with some sensory stuff (playing row row row your boat with her) before moving on to her MFW 1st grade workbook. Oldest and middle were outside in my new backyard with a fenced backyard none the less....

boom! Oldest comes running in: MOM! the frisbee sent sailing across the fence. It (school time, not the frisbee) went downhill from there. no... we couldn't find the frisbee in the neighbor's yard either. many hours of frustration later.....

hang in there :)
Amy C.
Posts: 200
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:12 am

Re: Teaching two kids at once....

Unread post by Amy C. »

I know how you feel. I am doing ECC with my two oldest together and K with my Kindy. They are all boys. The first two days were very stressful and frustrating. Then it seemed to get better and we found ourselves in a pretty good routine and then, life happens in the mist of it all, you know laundry is pile high and the kids are complaining that they have nothing to wear, irritable, allergy-sinusy kids, gallbladder US appt. for me, etc., etc, etc....Just fill in the blanks for your life. So our schedule and routine have been upset this past week. I spent a lot of time getting my oldest two caught up so my Kindy got left to himself a lot this last week. When I was ready to do his schoolwork with him, he did not want to. He wanted to keep playing. He is all about playing anyway.

I felt very badly that I had been kind of ignoring him, but then he points to the letter of the week and tells me what it is and what words start with it and then I think, well maybe he is learning something. I also saw how we were talking about the letter and its sound and the number of the day in the mist of our life, like at the eye doctor's office, around the table at dinner, last night when we went out to dinner, etc. My older boys have been reinforcing his letter and number as well. So I look back and think that maybe it has not been as bad as I thought. He is learning. It just may not be in the structure that I think it should be and maybe it does not look exactly like I think it should.

Maybe you could just gently "teach" him while he is playing. Like draw the letter of the week in the carpet while sitting beside him...talking about what starts with that letter in his room....what toys he may have that start with that letter...counting toys up to the number of the day...making the letter with clay....learning in fun, play ways. My son has Leapfrog Letter Factory dvd that he loves so we utilize that sometimes. I thought that he would join in more with the fun stuff of ECC, but he has not been that interested. He has cut out paper dolls with us and has drawn a few pictures when the older two are drawing, but that is about it, and I don't force him.

He is a young 5...birthday in I already had in my mind that I would go with the flow. He is also my third and I am seeing how quickly they grow up so I am trying not the stress too badly. Now I am not saying that I don't want him to learn. I do. It just may look different than I think it should sometimes. He is a different child than my older two personality and learning wise so I take that into consideration.

Boys and girls are different. Although I don't have a girl, I have friends who do and I have observed the differences. I also have a friend who had 3 girls and then a son came along. She was shocked at the difference between all of her girls (even with all of their individual differences) and her son.

Boys typically have shorter attention spans especially at Kindy age. I don't expect my 5 year old to focus too long of a time on anything. I try to teach in short lessons and move from one thing to another without spending way too much time on one thing. If I don't, I lose him. And I try to make it fun - like play. And I look for ways he can learn when he takes the initiative, like when I am cooking dinner, and he walks up to me and wants to know what words start with a particular letter or he shows me a letter magnet and tells me what that letter is or asks what letter it is.

Just when I think he is not learning or that he is not retaining something, he proves me wrong. One day at lunch we were eating soup that he really wasn't crazy about eating. Of course, like a good mother, I bribed him by telling him that he could not eat cake until he ate all of his soup. So after he sat there a few minutes he took one bite and he told me that he had eaten one more bite because one was the number of the day so that was all he had to eat since that was the number of the day. 8[] Of course, this made me laugh and gave me a satisfaction that he was learning. BTW, I did make him eat all of his soup after I chuckled at his response.

So, I know this is a long post. I hope something in it helps and encourages you. I know that the thought crosses my mind every now and then when we are having a really bad day that maybe my kids would be better off in public school, but then immediately I know that is not true. I heard once that even on our worse, most stressful day, our kids are better off with us than in school all day because we are their mother. We love them more than anyone else does or will. I see what my friends' and their children go through with all that goes along with public school, not to mention the fact that they would be away from us and with strangers for the majority of their time. How can we fulfill Dueteronomy 6 in our homes if our children are away from us the majority of the time?

I will pray for you. Keep pressing on. You can do it!
Amy C.
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:43 pm

Re: Teaching two kids at once....

Unread post by Jami »

This year I have been teaching my first grader first thing in the morning and it only takes us 30 minutes and then I do ECC later with my 3rd grader.

Last year I was doing Kinder and ADV and tried to teach both at the same time and this is much easier for all of us. Any crafts and science, I do later when my baby is napping and the other boys can also participate.

Kinder and First both take such a small amount of time that it works to do them at two different times and have the one child who's not doing school play independantly.

The beginnning of the school year is a little more stressful until you find what schedule works for your family. Good luck!
Jami - AF Wife

8th, 5th, 3rd, 1st, Pre-K

2014/15 ECC
2013/14 1850MT & 1st
2012/13 EX1850 & K
2011/12 RTR & 1st
2010/11 CTG & K
2009/10 ECC & 1st
2008/09 ADV & K
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: Teaching two kids at once....

Unread post by jasntas »

Since you asked for any advice, here's mine.

I have my attentive dd in K and very distractible ds in 3rd. Opposite from you and not the same age span but maybe you can glean something from what we have been doing that has been working for us. After we do the initial stuff together (pray, pledge of allegiance, This is My Father's Word song, calendar, weather chart and number of days we've been in school) I send my ds (the older one) off to work on the computer (educational game, typing program, etc.) while I work with my K'er. When she is finished with her main stuff (20 minutes or so for her) we then trade. She then works on the computer (again, educational game), watches a learning video, plays with puzzles, etc. Then we come back together for the Bible, science, reading portion of K. We will begin ADV on Monday and did the above during the summer with the core subject with ds but the following is what my plan is after finishing the daily K stuff. We will then do ADV together and my dd can do as much as she wants then go and play.

Even though they are technically "playing" on the computer or whatever they still see it as part of a structured school day. And, for my two, it seems to be enough computer/video game time that they don't usually want to play the non educational type games later and are ready to physically play.

I don't know how much that may help you since yours are closer in age but maybe it will help spark some ideas for you.

Btw, I totally understand your frustration. I attempted to hs my distractible ds in K and ended up sending him to ps for 1st and 2nd. I didn't learn how to work around his personality the first time around AND I was using an aggressive K program that was too much for him. I should've gone with my gut and gone with MFW then as I know he would have loved their K program. He actually loves it now as he tags along with his sis. But we pick up and move on where we're at. This time around has been going much better as I am learning to be more flexible.

So be encouraged. MFW is a great program and you can do it. Hang in there.
Last edited by jasntas on Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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.
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Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Re: Teaching two kids at once....

Unread post by RachelT »

Hi Leah! You can do it, yes you can! (Trying to cheer you on!)

I remember teaching 1st and K a couple of years ago. It was overwhelming at first because instead of having one great program (like the year before when we just did K) there were two and I felt like I needed to do as much of everything as I could! Eventually, I simplified it and did all of 1st and just the parts of K that I needed to cover or wanted to add in, since we had all gone through it the year before, my youngest included, (she mostly needed the phonics that 2nd year). So, I can't remember if both 1st and K are new to you? I would say just do not feel like you have to do every single activity from both, for starters.

My children are the reverse of yours, older ds and younger dd. I also have found that there really is a gender difference for many children and a lot of the girls do seatwork work easily and actually enjoy it! The difference in my two is like night and day. Part of this may just be normal active behavior for your ds, but it seems even worse compared to your dd and how she quietly sits and does her work. Does that sound right?

It actually helped me to teach my two with as much group instruction as possible. I would read the Bible stories, read-alouds, fun math activities or books, art, music, science all together - mostly from one curriculum, not both. But then I would let them have a "choice time" where I would let them choose from some other educational activities while I worked one-on-one with the other,mostly on their math and phonics. We just began using workboxes this year and those could be used in the same manner. Okay, I just read the post below and it's very much like someone else described. This worked pretty well for us, but we have had our fair share of frustrations. My ds still has a harder time focusing in on what we are doing and I'm always trying different things with him.

I hope something from this helps. Hang in there!
Rachel :)
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19

Teaching K and 1st Grade

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

OtterMommy wrote:I know Marie wrote about this, but I didn't find the answer to what I am wondering... My son is using MFWK this year and my daughter has been doing all the activities with us (when he does worksheets, she works on Rod and Staff workbooks, Kumon books, etc.). So, for next year I was hoping I could include her with all the 1st activities, but teach the phonics section of MFWK to her and get the worksheets for her, too. Would this work? She's not ready for 1st grade, but I don't think we need to repeat all the "unit" activities from K with her. Is 1st flexible enough to include her?
Dear Ottermommy,
Maybe this is the post that you already read but just in case I thought I would give you the link for How to Teach Preschool and K Together. This one gives you a 3 year plan that is slightly different than How to Teach K and 1st Together.

Here is the recommendation for the 2nd year:
  • The next year (K and 1st)
    [If you are starting here, use this plan instead: ]
    1. Teach MFW-1 as written to your 1st grader. Let your K child join in the Bible, science, art, and hands-on projects. The year's focus will be the Bible stories and science topics in MFW-1. Use the Deluxe items in First Grade this year with both kids--Honey for a Child's Heart (to select literature), Drawing with Children, Come Look with Me, and Introduction to the Orchestra.

    2. For your K child, purchase a set of kindergarten student materials and complete just the reading and math portion of kindergarten.
Here is another link in the archives of folks who have taught K and 1st together or like you preschool and K and then K and 1st, I do not think all of it will apply for you, but that you may glean some others' experience.

Hopefully that helps to clarify it for you too but if it does not please keep asking and others may also join in with their experiences as well.

Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:16 pm

Re: Teaching K and 1st Grade

Unread post by wisdomschool »

Just wanted to chime in that we are currently following MFW plan for teaching this way....last year my 2 daughters (20 mo. apart) were in K and pre-K and this year they are in 1st and K're just does the 100 chart/calendar stuff and the reading writing from MFW A-Z (as we did the activities etc....from K last year!)

Blessings on your journey!
Momma & Teacher to my super seven:

Elijah-3 y.o.
Micah-2 y.o.
Eden-3 mo.
Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Re: Teaching K and 1st Grade

Unread post by RachelT »

Hi! I pretty much followed the plan that Lucy posted above the year my oldest was in 1st gr. We had just gone through MFWK and I didn't want to repeat all of it with his younger sister, but did the K worksheets, flashcard and alphabet song, etc. (I LOVE the K A-Z cards and the song!) She was able to participate in the 1st gr. activities really well, but did not do the Bible Reader, phonics workbook, or Bible Notebook. I think this is very doable for you. I would also wait until your younger one is truly in 1st gr. to do the MFW 1st gr. work. Although the beginning of MFWK is review, it speeds up with lots of more advanced phonics rules and writing. Especially if you already have MFWK this year, getting another set of K student sheets would be the only thing you would need for her.

Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:52 pm

Re: Teaching K and 1st Grade

Unread post by OtterMommy »

I ordered the K worksheets and MFW 1 this week! We are excited to start! My son keeps asking when he gets "new school with the Bible reading"! Thanks for the help!
Wife to the best
Mom to ds (6), dd (5), dd (3), and ds (4 months)
MFW K and 1st
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