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

Dusenkids
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:13 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Kindergarten or first grade?

Unread post by Dusenkids » Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:01 am

If it helps, you may find that your son will like to join in the activities so that you can do some school during the morning. I have a 4y and nearly 3y tag-a-longs. They love the science/history/bible actities!!! If you keep it simple, that can be their "preschool". That will also give you more time in the evenings to spend as a family. Math, LA, and then family time. Just a thought, hope it helps.
Martie
Married to Nathan 15 years
Mom to 8 boys ages 12 to newborn
Have used Kindergarten to Modern

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Kindergarten or first grade?

Unread post by gratitude » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:44 pm

Posted by gratitude » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:42 pm
My son could read some when we started MFWK, and I thought of rushing it. I am really glad that we just took his K year to enjoy MFWK and give him the great phonics foundation he has. 6 months ago, when he was still 5, I think MFW1 would have been too much work for him. His handwriting at that point was neat, and he was reading fairly well for being ready for MFW1 by January; but I am still glad we just stayed with MFWK at its regular pace. He is now really ready for MFW1, and I know he will enjoy it.

Oh, I just read all the rest of the posts. It looks like you decided with the K. Enjoy!

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Kindy and 1st Too Easy?

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:11 am

mothermayi wrote:I'm new here but it seems like this question keeps popping up: Is kindergarten and/or 1st grade too easy for my student? For those of you that have been there done that, please help me understand how K and 1 are academically stronger than what appears on the surface. I have RtR and it is very full and its academic value is easy to see. I couldn't see it in the kindy program... it seemed more like a PreK program on the surface. I'm sure there is more to it than I got from it considering I didn't actually use the program. But I can't help notice the question of whether it is enough seems common. Please help me to understand :) . TIA
I've used K and 1st and I'm on unit 6 of K a second time around. I have zero early childhood teaching experience...other than that....but I can tell you my point of view.

I can see why some people think K is too easy. Personally, I like to have a relaxed and gentle start to formal schooling. Also though, I've noticed that many who say that haven't actually done the entire program. They look at the surface or did the first few units, which of course are easier, and make a judgment without actually experiencing it. They assume the child is basically learning the letter sound and how to write that each week without understanding that the letters of each unit are just a framework to set the real phonics work into. Here is my experience with it.

The phonics is somewhat slow moving, but I don't have a problem with that. By the end, the child is reading CVC words very well. To me, it really isn't about how far into reading the program takes the child, but rather the strong foundation in blending it gives them. By the end of the program, blending two sounds together is very natural for the child. That strong foundation is built. Then, in first, they very quickly learn all other phonics rules. Before the recent new edition to first, it moved very, very fast in the phonics. I felt like we were being left in the dust, but in reality, my son was handling it just fine. I was being left in the dust. He brain was well prepared to handle it because all the blending sounds were so ingrained and were second nature to him. I was AMAZED. My understanding is that it's been slowed down just a bit and more review added. But, it still contains all the same concepts....I haven't looked all that closely at it yet. ;)

My son was a "late bloomer" when it comes to reading. He also has an Oct b-day which is perfect because it puts him on the older side for his grade level. Anyway, when we started 1st, he could read CVC words and blend, but it was not fluent yet and he complained and complained about reading. It was a real struggle day after day after day. About halfway through, he really started to enjoy it. He started picking up his Bible reader and reading it on his own outside of school time! He would come back to may and say, "I already read that!" LOL!! By the end of 1st, while he still struggles in confidence (and we are working on it), he tested into a high 3rd grade reading level.

I agree that on the surface the phonics looks a little behind, especially in K, but I assure you by the end of 1st, you really see the awesomeness in it! I admit, I almost jumped ship for something else after K, but I decided that the best program to follow MFW K phonics was MFW 1st phonics. I'm SO glad I stuck with it. It was so good and my son is doing so well in reading!

I have to run....but I have more to say about science and math in K and then more on 1st too......
Heather
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

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Kindy and 1st Too Easy?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:03 am

Mom2theteam wrote:I've noticed that many who say that haven't actually done the entire program. They look at the surface or did the first few units, which of course are easier, and make a judgment without actually experiencing it. They assume the child is basically learning the letter sound and how to write that each week without understanding that the letters of each unit are just a framework to set the real phonics work into. Here is my experience with it.
This is a very good point. Folks do seem to think that MFW-K just teaches the letters, don't they :)

I also think that these days, there are a lot of folks just chomping at the bit to teach their kids the wonderful world of reading, because reading seems like the doorway to learning.

My personal opinions, based on raising 3 kids, observing a lot of kids as a tutor, and just chatting with public school teachers and tutors over a couple of generations:

1. Early readers are often memorizing, because that is what little kids are great at. I have one of those, and it's a hard habit to break, even though it isn't going to serve them as well in the long run. If a child is truly academically bent (and asks about words even I don't know), then understanding the sounds, especially the variety of vowel sounds and vowel combinations, is a good sign they are ready for more. Otherwise, I think spending kindergarten (which originally was a social experience only) learning just CVC words is genius :) Not only is it a solid, unbreakable foundation reading -- it also allows time for character and faith to be a part of their day, it keeps the subject matter at their emotional maturity level, and encourages them to find academics fun and successful.

2. Hands-on learning is real learning, and actually could be the best kind of learning during those early years. And there never really is enough of it. Biographies of folks like Thomas Edison describe years and years of this kind of learning. My oldest son only did hands-on learning until he was 6, then he learned to read easily (public schooled), and now at 28 he is a working engineer who reads dense scientific stuff and gives presentations on new methods in natural gas. I am a fan of spending more years in unstructured exploration, not less.

Oops, off my soap box now!
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

jasntas
Posts: 471
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: Kindy and 1st Too Easy?

Unread post by jasntas » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:56 am

I was one of those that pushed my first child and I tried a very vigorous program for him his K year. What a mistake! Long story short, I sent him to pub school the next 2 years thinking I wasn't capable. I realized, after helping in the classroom, that I had been pushing way too hard. We started hs'ing again his 3rd grade year and my dd's K year. I used MFW K with her and she and I had a great K year and it was a wonderful introduction to school for her.

I really can't honestly comment on the MFW 1st program as she actually didn't complete it because I discovered that year that she was/is dyslexic. So it did not fit her as she needed a different phonics approach. I loved the 1st program but it actually moved too quickly for my special learner. My dd loved her Bible reader but struggled due to her difficulties.

It is my understanding that MFW 1st actually teaches 2 years of phonics instructions in 1. That is not light in my opinion.

I don't think that was much help but there it is. :~ :)
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: Kindy and 1st Too Easy?

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:16 pm

jasntas wrote:It is my understanding that MFW 1st actually teaches 2 years of phonics instructions in 1. That is not light in my opinion.
I think this is sort of true. Many K programs teach both short and long vowels and some simple blends like "sh" and "th." MFW does not teach those things till 1st. So, in that way, I think it definitely does more phonics in 1st than most programs. I definitely don't think MFW 1st is light on phonics! Just the opposite in fact.

Okay, I'm back....more comments on the program being "too easy"....

The math is MFW K is hands on math. I didn't get it and I ended up adding Singapore. Now, I get it much better and I realize it is enough. I'm much happier with it in the newer edition. (Remember, my first time through was with the older edition.) K math is easy. It's so easy to teach in real life. The 100 chart and place value activities really give an awesome foundation. Utilize that 100 chart for all sorts of learning about numbers, skip counting, odd/even numbers, addition/subtraction of up to plus 3, and others I'm sure I'm forgetting. The 100 chart is important. Anyway, I don't really have a lot to say about math except that it's just not complicated in K (or 1st) and doesn't have to be formal. Their young brains grasp a stronger understanding of math by doing it rather than seeing it...if that makes any sense....

The math in 1st...You know, I'll be honest, I got Singapore for 1st. But, again, I just didn't know how to get from point A to point B and needed help teaching it. Now that I know more, I don't think you need anything more than what is included. And again, the newer edition is much more direct about math. I'm not sure if I'll need Singapore the next time around. What is included is enough.

The science in K is what you make of it. Each letter is tied to a science topic. You can dive as deeply into that as you want to. We dug pretty deep because my son loves science. He really, really enjoyed it and learned a TON.

The science in 1st is hands on and age appropriate. Again, you can dig deeper by reading more library books on the topics. We didn't dig very deep in science in 1st because we focused on getting my reluctant reader reading fluently. ;)

History is totally unnecessary in K, IMHO.

History is ancient Biblical history in 1st and covered very well including a timeline.

One other note about 1st, the Bible notebook REALLY helped develop my son's writing abilities. He learned basic sentence structure and punctuation. He learned reading comprehension and narration. It was really good and beneficial. The copywork helped with the same as above and also with handwriting.

K is perfect for a gentle but strong foundation building start to formal schooling and 1st is definitely not too easy. My son came out of first being advanced in reading and writing. But more than the academics, the character development and Bible foundation was invaluable. We homeschool so that we can impart a lot more than just academics and these programs do that in a deliberate and tangible way. They are wonderful.
Heather
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

4monkeyz
Posts: 101
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:46 am

Re: Kindy and 1st Too Easy?

Unread post by 4monkeyz » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:21 pm

There have already been many great comments - so I just want to chime in with how much we loved 1st! :) With my first child, I didn't really "do" anything formal in the way of phonics and he really struggled. I think it was a combination of him not being 100% ready and me pushing him too hard. But I also think we needed a better phonics approach.

Now with my second child I used MFW 1st and she is reading light years ahead of where her brother was at the same age. Granted every child is different, but I really do think the phonics in MFW 1st is wonderful and realistic. My dh and I discovered MFW at the Midwest Homeschool Convention last year and were drawn to the idea that teaching a child to read should be teaching them in order that they can read the Bible and then share with others. What a wonderful goal! My dd loved her Bible notebook and Bible Reader. I confess, I had a few tears when she first started reading in her Bible Reader and it gave me goosebumps every time I heard her reading a Bible story.

The overall program expectations are realistic - from science to math and everything in between. I loved the hands on math approach - the daily calender and occasional worksheet fits our family perfectly. I wasn't too sure about using the Usborne books for science, all my friends are using Apologia, but I was surprised how much I liked it - an open and go science text that is also easy and fun. MFW 1st (and even Adventures!) is a complete curriculum that we loved inside and out. :-)
Andrea ~ Mother of four little monkeys (jumping on the bed!), Wife to one incredibly amazing man & a Daughter of the King.
  • Adventures & First 2012
    ECC & K 2013
    CtG, First & K 2014
    RtR & First 2015

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Kindy and 1st Too Easy?

Unread post by gratitude » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:38 am

My two middles did MFW K. They both knew alphabet, letter sounds, basic math, count to 100, and read a little when they started it. I found it gave them both a solid phonics foundation that is stronger than my oldest phonics foundation; my oldest started with MFW1 as a reader. MFW K I think over all is a better program for 5.5.
Mom2theteam wrote:I've used I've noticed that many who say that haven't actually done the entire program. They look at the surface or did the first few units, which of course are easier, and make a judgment without actually experiencing it. They assume the child is basically learning the letter sound and how to write that each week without understanding that the letters of each unit are just a framework to set the real phonics
I agree with Mom2theteam on this and like how she worded it so well!

No, MFWK and MFW1 are not too easy for a 5/6/7 year old. Even one that is reading could learn much from either program; especially MFW1. Even a child who has been hearing Bible stories can learn much from the foundation MFW1 lays for the Bible being a historical record and putting a time line on the wall. There was a time in America not so long ago when speaking of Noah, Moses Exodus, and Creation as historical fact was in school books and a normal part of life. Today many church going Christians don't understand it in the same way. I think MFW1 does a suburb job of laying a basic Bible history foundation like an old American school text would have done. When done with ADV and the timeline stretches down the wall from Creation to Noah to Christ and through so many events from the OT to Leif Erikson and George Washington and Abe Lincoln etc. it is teaching a child the events of their identity as a Christian & American...then ECC goes out into the world. This set up, in my opinion, works and has much value laying a foundation that is much greater than the 3 Rs. It teaches a child so much!

Academically MFWK &1 go together. Moms complain that MFWK phonics are too slow & MFW1 phonics are too fast. One actually leads into the other. Those complaining about K usually haven't done 1 (1 was our first MFW program). Those who complain about 1 often didn't do K to set up for the speed of 1 OR their child isn't quite ready for the speed of 1.

MFWK phonics spend a year on two letter blends. I believe ABeka K phonics does the same thing. The year of two letter blends and reading and spelling 3 letter words lays a foundation. My oldest read his first 5 letter word at age 3. He never got that foundation. He also did SL LA K for the first half of K before starting MFW1. SL LA K did not give him that foundation. We have had to do a lot of work on basic blend understanding for 2nd & 3rd grade spelling (he reads at a h.s level & spelling took time & is finally taking off). I know if I had done MFWK phonics with him at that gentle slow pace for 5/6 it would have integrated at a different level that would have helped for later spelling. I see that foundation in my other two and Marie teaches it in a way that really integrates into a child as a first learning experience. I know when she used it in a school she was able to catch up the worst readers to the best readers being taught by the school's favorite K teacher. Having taught it twice I see the academic merit of taking the time & patience to teach a phonics foundation the way she does.

MFW1 is not easy. Copying an entire Proverb has stretched my 6/7 year olds. Writing for the Bible notebook has stretched them. Learning to draw detailed birds and lions and parrots was so good for them with Drawing with Children. Drawing in the Bible note book was good for them. The science is just right for this age group. Stretching without being overly simple.

I have taught MFWK twice and MFW1 twice (3rd time this fall). I am pleased with the results spiritually & academically (we have to test in our state: and for those expectations their MFW education far exceeds standards). The Bible though was the best part.

A little side note: My oldest tried Bigger from HOD (I noticed HOD in OP signature, so I thought the level comparision might help with the answer to the question) after MFW1 & the books to read aloud were harder but the actual 'writing, science, and drawing' were much easier.

I think MFW fully done is usually much more than meets the eye.

Happy 4th Everyone!

Poohbee
Posts: 394
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: North Dakota

Re: Kindy and 1st Too Easy?

Unread post by Poohbee » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:57 am

This has been such an interesting thread to read! Many wonderful things have been said about the phonics and reading in MFW 1st. I just wanted to touch a bit more on the math.

I LOVE the math in MFW 1st! Now, I'm speaking about the older edition, but my understanding is that Learning God's Story is much the same, with maybe a few more math worksheets added in the student sheets.

The things I love about math in MFW 1st are the math literature books and the hands-on activities. There are so many math-related children's literature books available on the market today. Marie has listed a bunch of them in the appendix of the TM. Often, once you start a formal math program, you don't take time for those math lit. books. Math becomes more about getting the workbook done. However, there is so much value in the math literature books and in the hands-on activities! The TM and the Complete Book of Math have many wonderful suggestions for hands-on activities.

So, the way I scheduled math for my kids in 1st...for example, in a particular week we might read a math lit. book as an introduction to the topic on Monday, do a hands-on activity on Tuesday, do a page from Complete Book of Math on Wednesday, read another lit. book on Thursday, and do an activity from the Pattern Blocks activity book on Friday. On the days we read a lit. book, that was math for the day. On the days we did a hands-on activity, that was math for that day. Kids don't always need to do workbook pages or worksheets to show that they are learning their math.

So, don't overlook the perfectly age-appropriate, wonderfully gentle-but-effective hands-on and literature-rich methods in 1st grade math!

By the way, we did MFW 1st math as written, and then my dds both moved into Singapore 1A in 2nd grade. My oldest just completed Singapore 5B and is ready to move into Saxon 8/7 for 7th grade. The math in K and 1st work well to prepare your kids to start Singapore in 2nd. Take advantage of the time in K and 1st to put off a formal math program for more natural, hands-on learning in math.
Jen
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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