Special Needs - Placement & Using MFWK (author response)

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
Marie
Posts: 407
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:30 pm

Special Needs - Placement & Using MFWK (author response)

Unread post by Marie » Thu Jan 13, 2005 6:21 pm

Beth wrote:My two daughters are both special needs and have different learning methods. I am trying to find a program that I can easily adapt to both of their needs. Do you think MFW -K could do this?
Also, would the peg board and number peg boards be good with the K curriculum?
Beth
Author: Marie Hazell
Date: 4/23/2004

MFW-K works well with children who have special learning needs. The program is multi-sensory and very sequential. The hands-on way of teaching science works well, too.

All of the learning toys in the preschool package can be used for K children when appropriate for the child. The pegboard and number puzzleboards & pegs are great for fine motor, sequencing, etc. besides teaching the numbers 1-10 and how to count out that many objects.

my3boys
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:50 pm

Placement

Unread post by my3boys » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:54 pm

armywife03 wrote:I was going to do MFW K and 1st this year...but ended up starting with another curriculum. I have felt the whole time that it is not right for our family. After using it for three weeks I feel that way even more. I wish I had kept my MFW to begin with :(.

Anyways :)...I have a question about where to place my dd (8). I was originally going to use MFW 1st with her. Due to autism she is behind...she is high functioning so she is making excellent progress. She knows alls all her letter sounds and short vowel sounds and can read some three letter words(not very many)...she seems to have a hard time blending the sounds together into a word. While she knows her letter sounds....she sometimes has a hard time hearing them in the word. So that is an idea where she is at now.

Where would I place her...MFW K or 1st? I am not concerned with her age since she has autism...I don't want to fit her into a grade level just because that is where she is suppose to be. Thanks!
Summer
Hi Summer,
My ds is almost 7 and about he's about in the same place as your dd regarding reading - he also is having a hard time picking up writing. I am using MFWK for him and my 4yo ds. It is going well. It will be mostly review for him, but there is lots of blending and writing practice which is what he needs. I also will include readers for him as he is ready for them. You can go as deep as you want into the themed lessons in order to make them age appropriate. I've enjoyed the freedom this year to be able to have more story times with them and sing songs - these are things i didn't feel i had time to do with my older ds when he was in a more rigorous program.
Alison
Mom to 3 busy boys ages 11, 8, and 6
finished K, First, ECC, and CtG - currently using RtR

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:10 pm

Hi Summer,

Nice to see you again. How easily can she read this short vowel story from the K program (about lesson 19 of 26)
http://www.mfwbooks.com/nw_can.html

If that is a struggle, then maybe doing K might be the better fit, even if you change the pace a bit.

I'm using it with my 6.5 y.o on the spectrum and leaving some little notes as I go along for each unit. The notes are in the K Ideas forum under each unit. Maybe I'll pull them together at the end of the year into a quick to find single thread or something if I'm still around and posting. ;)

My kid seems to do a tiny bit of blending but seems to know a lot of words visually too. We're teaching her to speak with PECS so that's not a surprise. kwim?

If your child is not blending easily, hmmm.... Some people use it faster with an older child and then start 1st grade a little later in the year.

You might also consider calling the MFW office about reading placement -- maybe out loud brainstorming would help too???

-crystal

pjssully
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:05 am

mfw 1

Unread post by pjssully » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:37 pm

Hi-- I would also lean towards the K program. We are doing the 1st grade program with my twins and it looks like after the first few weeks, it going to move fast!! My twins could read pretty well. However, it seems that MFW 1 is going to be just right where they need to be--a few weeks of review and then right into phonics/reading etc.
pam

RedTulipMom
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:23 pm

Is age 6 a good time to start kindergarten?

Unread post by RedTulipMom » Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:58 pm

cbollin wrote:My youngest dd is PDD NOS. age 6 and using MFW Kindy.
So would you say that age 6 is a good time to start kindergarten? i was thinking the same thing. Even though luke went to the special ed pre-school for age 3 and 4. Next year he will be 5 and will be at the kindergarten age if in public school, but i was thinking of starting and finishing him one year behind. i was thinking of making next year another pre-school yr and doing the MFW Pre-school package of lauri stuff along with another pre-school program and then when he is 6 doing MFW K. I feel he will be more ready at 6 than 5.
cbollin wrote:We are learning Bible truths this year and who God is. Even though she still has some delayed echolalia going, there is no greater joy than to hear her repeating the Biblical themes in MFW K. And then to hear her repeating them in context too --- wow!!!! We did some lessons outside with leaves, and sun and apples and trees --- she remembers it and wants to do them again. And she'll say her lesson themes while playing. I like that. She needs the review to lock the information in.

You can see those themes on this link
http://www.mfwbooks.com/k_theme.htm
Wow! thats awesome! thanks for sharing that. I imagine my son will need the review as well.
cbollin wrote:It is hard at times to know for certain what she understands about all of it. But I love the simple hands on stuff that MFW K activities provide. I’ve even left extra ideas on the k forum for what I do with my kid. You might want to look on that part of the forum in each unit to get a better picture of how I'm adjusting in the units for her.
I will be interested to see exactly how interested my son is on the hands on stuff. he does seem to like it at his school. He did really well with his at home OT, ST and DT and listened well to the therapists too. I am thinking he will really enjoy the hands on and i hope i am right. i will definitely check out the K forum for your posts..thanks.
cbollin wrote:I like the structure in MFW K for my daughter. I loved seeing the light bulb go on today when I knew that she knew place value. Sometimes people say that MFW K is light on math. I’m not in that camp to be honest. Instead, I say it is not overwhelming and yet covers all it needs to cover for Kindy.

One example: The simple hands on place value teaching is so foundational to learning more math. My daughter really understands what is going on with counting by ten’s and one’s from just using only the math in MFW K. When she grabbed the “tens bundles” today and dragged me over for extra practice (yes she did!) and started counting first the bundles 10, 20, 30, 40,
Then added the sticks 41, 42, 43, etc.
Wow!!! I knew she knew it and more than that --- she's liking it. I never thought she'd want to do lesson time with me for some extra social time. God is good!!!!
wow! sounds like she is really enjoying it and learning. i am nervous about math and whether it will be easy for my son to pick up. he does know how to count up to 16 and recognizes his numbers which is a good start. Do you plan on using the Singapore starting in 2nd grade?
cbollin wrote:I like that it is not a ton of reading to her but still includes reading time. (easy to add more for kids who want more). We’ve been able to find alternative titles for some of the longer books that MFW uses because with MFW, you don't have to have the exact titles on that reading list to make the program work. And we use library books for non-fiction picture book information for the science.
do you feel some of the book choices are above her level? Does she recognize letters yet or know their sounds yet?
Luke still loves picture books and i havent even tried reading him chapter books, but he will sit for short books so far.
cbollin wrote:I’ve found the activities have been doable with her with lots of leaning on the Holy Spirit to help make the analogies. My youngest didn’t progress in skills as much as I had hoped in her preschool years (compared to her older sister who was just language delayed). But I’ve seen lots of good fruit this year using MFW K with youngest.

I don’t know how the programs compare. Maybe all of that is in the other program too. All I know is that God led me to use MFW and it remains answered prayer.
-crystal
I am 99.9% sure after reading your post and other posts on this board and praying some more that MFW is the main program i will be doing with my kids. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer so thoroughly and sharing about your daughter who is also PDD-NOS as well. I really appreciate your insight.

cbollin

Re: Is age 6 a good time to start kindergarten?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:30 am

RedTulipMom wrote:So would you say that age 6 is a good time to start kindergarten
For some kids, yes. I know it was the better thing to do for my kid. Several others I know who don’t homeschool their spectrum kids also like waiting the extra year to start Kindy. At 5.5 my daughter still needed more work on play.

Agreeing with Dawn (dhudson) that you still fold your second child into the 5 year cycle when that child is in 2nd grade. My middle child was in 2nd grade when Oldest was in year 4 of the cycle. Worked fine. The age spread on my older two is 3 years and it worked fine.

Math questions.
I don’t know what I will use with youngest for 2nd grade for Math. I hope to use Singapore to start because I like that program.

My middle daughter, 4th grade, was not on the spectrum. But she was borderline there. She ended up with just communication issues/auditory processing. She has done well with Singapore. My oldest used Math U See and I just knew it was not going to be a good fit for my second child to use it. Math U See is either a love it or indifferent to it program. My oldest used the entire elementary sequence, finished a year and half ahead (in other words, she was in middle of 5th grade and finished with Zeta book). Then we began to use Singapore with her. She started in 4B. I don’t think there is a one and only one math program for spectrum kids at all. MUS wasn’t going to work for my middle child with auditory processing issues. You’d think after using the entire elementary sequence with oldest, I should have lots of warm fuzzy feelings about it. Others like it and it might be different for Luke.

Reading Level questions
Some of the books in the MFW K Literature Day selection are above my daughter’s ability to focus for that long. It is too much language for her to comprehend. According to her most recent evaluations, she is in the 3.7 year old range for receptive language. But has a bunch of splinter skills and is already doing early reading.

So, we’ll either find a similar themed library book for the times that a book is over her attention span. Or if there is a Reading Rainbow video or Weston Woods Video reading of the story that MFW recommends, we’ll get that. But it’s attention span issues. Great Example from Lesson 6, T T Turtle. One of the MFW recommended readings is the Tortoise and the Hare. I found the easiest Level 1 reader of that book and got the Reading Rainbow DVD of the story. So, she watched that several times with her sisters throughout the unit. And we played fast and slow games. But the story that we used to teach the Bible theme I Don’t Quit, I Perservere, was a book someone on this board had found, called Oops A Daisy. That is a story that can be acted out as you read it. And it was the book to use with my girl.

Also, on some of the books, we get the audio CD of it along with the picture book itself. We have an awesome library in town. But I've found that my dd likes to listen for the turn the page signals and enjoys the book that way. And then she can hear it over and over and over again. But then she'll bring the book to daddy and let him read it too. So I guess some units we change the book, or we'll add more action to the reading, and sometimes we enlist audio/visual helps for it.

That’s one of the nice parts about the day 6 of the unit Literature Day – you can change the book if needed.

So to help a bit with where my dd is – she can sit for a level 1 reader of Tortoise and the Hare. She can sit for longer picture books, but not for the longest kinds. And if I can get her actively involved in the story it is easier. Usually it takes us 2 or 3 introductory readings to get her involved, but sometimes less when her sisters will help me teach her. And I think the repetition helps her for comprehension so that we can have a fun literature day at the end of the unit, even if we read the book several times in the week.

My daughter can read short sentences out loud. She definitely knows her letters, sounds, names, is already trying to blend unknown words.

Hope some of that helps a bit.
RedTulipMom wrote:thanks..that really helps. Before i run off..do you think at 2nd grade she will be old enough to hear right straight from the Bible? Can i use a kids type bible or is it an adult bible only ?? just wondering?
I tend to use a younger printer Bible for our Bible study to help my kids understand more. MFW lists the verses to use and read and you can use any translation.

-crystal

cbollin

Grade level rambling...

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:01 pm

Mexmarr wrote:We start our school year in Jan. My oldest is 8 and just moved into 3rd.

#2 is only 11 months younger, and I have NO IDEA what grade to call her! She is unique. First, she was a preemie and born completely blind. She has since regained enough vision to read large print, if she holds it within 6 inches of her eyes. She will not get any more vision and there is no "cure" for her problem. She has some odd quirks that I had blamed on the above, but had to realize that it was much more than that. Final diagnosis - aspergers syndrome (a high functioning form of autism.) This daughter is VERY bright, and gets around exceptionally well, considering. But she is super clumsy, and her 4 year old sister is passing her up in physical abilities that require coordination.

So, then comes school. We are still doing kindergarden, and are in lesson 20. But we are only doing the phonics/writing aspects. Her handwriting is atrocious, and she can't stay in the lines, but I overlook that at this point. We skip some aspect of the phonics that are super easy for her, and mostly do the reading, blending aspects, which she still needs help with. So is the a Ker?

Now add ECC to the mix! She follows along and does it ALL except the writing aspect. And she gets it. I do R&S English with my oldest, all verbally, and started including her, and they are on equal level. We are working through a K math book, to learn to write the numbers and to work on the visual aspects.And it is challenging. (It is a Singapore K book.) But she says stuff like "if one hour is 60 minutes and we are leaving in 1 1/2 hours, that is 90 minutes."

What grade is this child in???? I have NO CLUE. I think that I am going to go ahead with first grade (again, phonics/reading only.) and when she is done, I'll just plug her into the cycle and pick a number.
opinions will vary...

this is one way to think about it...
My oldest and middle: They are the "grades" based on age of how it would be in group school setting based on what it was in the state where we started.
Youngest - we delayed her Kindy entrance by a year. So, she's in the grade number one year behind.

I don't call them their grade based on ability or reading levels, but on age stuff. It usually only matters for small talk, or Sunday school class anyway. I have to put something down on the umbrella school list too.

so, if it were me decision for me?
3rd grader oldest
2nd grader for next.

use the ecc stuff... and everyone at appropriate level in language arts and math

looking forward to hearing other variations.

Mexmarr
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:26 pm
Contact:

Re: Grade level rambling...

Unread post by Mexmarr » Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:45 am

That is pretty much my way of thinking, Crystal. Just one difference that I didn't mention. My oldest would actually be in 2nd grade, based on her birthday. So, starting our school year on Jan, I techinically have her 1/2 a year ahead. I'm thinking with my 2nd, I would consider her what she actually would be in public school, which would put her 2 years behind her sister. I think that will be less stress for keeping up as she gets older. And if she takes off, we can always tell her she will skip a grade. That would be much better than holding her back, if she just wasn't ready for highschool at that point. I don't think that it makes that much difference till highschool anyways.

I remember when I was in school,. (I was homeschooled) being asked my grade. I answered, "Well, in math I am .... and in English I am..... and in....." I think I have 4 different grades, lol. After that my mom made me just give whatever grade I would be in in a public school. :-)
Misty, Wife to a wonderful man! Mother to:
Rosy age 8 - 3rd grade, ECC
Gracie age 7- K and ECC orally (legally blind, Aspergers)
Lizzie age 4 1/2 - waiting to start K!
Andy age 3
Rebekah age 2
Ruthie born March 31st

Completed 1st and Adventures

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Grade level rambling...

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:07 am

I'm all for keeping them in the younger grades. As I like to say too often :) my oldest started K at age 6 and he's doing fine at age 27...

I also have a sister who started public school K at age 4 (it was the norm in California, where we were at the time, and then it wasn't the norm when we moved to Minnesota), and I always felt her age was a big reason behind (a) why she didn't think she was good in school (she's an RN now, after being surprised to find in her 20s that she was a perfectly good student), and (b) why she got in SO much trouble as a teen -- granted we were in the 60s/70s generation of trouble-makers, but that sister was over her head :~

I know it's hard if girls are bigger than their classmates & such. But I just think their lives are easier if they tend to be the oldest one in group situations, rather than the youngest.

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

cbollin

Re: Grade level rambling...

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:18 am

I'm glad Julie chimed in. I was thinking of asking her out loud how she did it with her son who was starting MFW program in January, but didn't change grade number until fall. Julie... didn't you do that for a while and do you have any advice from that point of view/experience?
I think it will just be easier to change grade numbers when the majority of students in your area normally change it. but that's just what I do. Our home school year changes usually in June not August? I had some years in the early years where new curriculum would start in April or March.

a little bit of snarky attitude in me this morning about the homeschool response of "she is ___ in this subject and ___ in that subject".... Before I homeschooled my children, and I was asking homeschoolers that kind of question all I was really asking was small talk answer about their age with school stuff. I was never asking anyone to prove they had a smart kid, nor was I caring about curriculum materials. So I always appreciated the home school kids who would just answer with simple answer and polite.

-crystal

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Grade level rambling...

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:41 pm

cbollin wrote:I'm glad Julie chimed in. I was thinking of asking her out loud how she did it with her son who was starting MFW program in January, but didn't change grade number until fall. Julie... didn't you do that for a while and do you have any advice from that point of view/experience?
Yes, my son followed the public school pattern all the way. We follow the ps calendar and grades (fortunately youngest has a November birthday, so I'm totally comfy with him starting K at age 5/almost 6 and continuing to label his grades that way).

But we did change MFW years in January, at least from 2006 when dh got sick, until high school. That wasn't a problem at all. I really don't think my ds even knew the difference, except maybe when ECC was involved. The rest was just "doing the next year of history." And we changed science pretty much every semester, since MFW schedules it that way from RTR on.

Lots of options. But probably Crystal is right that most folks ask "what grade" when they really mean "what age" -- so aligning those a little bit clearly is probably what is most helpful. (And I don't think it hurt to let the label fall on the young side, in my case.)
cbollin wrote:still rambling...

I found out after moving here to TN, that my oldest would be in 11th grade this year if she has been born in TN instead of IN. (she was born about 1 week before this state's cut off). I'm glad to have her as "oldest" in her grade peer group (church stuff) instead of youngest. I even had the option when we moved here to call her "9th" instead of 8th.. I thought about it for a bit... ooh.. she could do ahl and be a year ahead of Julie's son.... ooohhh... LOL LOL. glad I didn't.
:-) Oooh, I would have loved that! But I would have pestered you a lot ;)

But really, I have a niece born in July 2000 and a granddaughter in October, so they are 3 months apart but a grade apart in school, and really it would be better if they were both in the younger grade. You'd guess that the one in the younger grade was more mature and academically advanced, which I think is at least partly because she's got the confidence of being one of the more mature in her group and things coming easier to her in the younger grade.

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

RedTulipMom
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:23 pm

Re: Grade level rambling...

Unread post by RedTulipMom » Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:23 pm

I have a son that is 7.5 yrs old and highly functioning autistic. His birthday is in June so according to state rules he is a 2nd grader right now. I have been back and forth all year whether to call him a 2nd grader or a 1st grader, and just recently have decided to call him a 1st grader and let him be the oldest in the group at Sunday school/church stuff due to the fact that he is barely starting to read right now. We had him move into the 2nd thru 5th graders group for Sunday school in the beginning of the year and he has been unhappy because they are expected to read out loud and he really can't yet. Just last week i told the sunday school teacher i want him back in the prek-1st grade group for the rest of this year because its where he feels comfortable. In many areas my son is very smart, but is behind in some areas. He is currently doing MFW 1, but the thing is when he was 3 and 4 he went to two years of public school special ed preschool. Then at 5 he went to our churches Kindergarten and even had his K graduation ceremony. So last year when i started homeschooling him i started with him as a 1st grader, but actually did the HOD K program, but i called him a 1st grader all year. Then starting this year i called him a 2nd grader but did the MFW 1 program....it is only very recently that i decided to start calling him a 1st grader, that way he can stay an extra year in his Caravan group at church without moving up, and he can go back to the youngers in Sunday school, and any co op classes we can have him a year younger too.. Fact is...i have a nefew who is only 4 mos younger than my son and due to his Oct birthday he is a 1st grader this year and not a 2nd grader. My cousins son is a month younger than Luke and born in July and homeschooled but due to dyslexia she "held" him back a year and he is a 1st grader this year also! So from here on in i am calling my son a 1st grader and not feeling a bit bad about it, because the truth is IF i ever did decide to send him to public or private school i would want him to be the oldest in his class so it wasnt as hard so even if i send him to highschool i think i would rather send him a year later. If your daughter is aspbergers give her the extra year...and dont feel a bit bad its best for her!!! :-)
Karen
wife to Michael
Mom to:
Joey 23 (homeschooled 5th grade thru end of highschool)
Luke 7
Anna 4
Clare 1

currently using MFW preschool and MFW 1

Joyhomeschool
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:11 am

Re: Grade level rambling...

Unread post by Joyhomeschool » Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:09 am

I have sorta the same problem as my 6yo whizzed through K and 1st in 18months. So he "should" be doing first this school year but he's doing sorta 2nd. I call him 1st grade for church and other purposes but he's using a 1st math (MUS Alpha), 2nd grade spelling, doing half of PLL part 1, and a 1st grade handwriting. My DD on the other hand was the same way but I let her be a grade ahead in SS and now she is way behind these kids emotionally. Anyway, I think you should pick material for her based on ability and for other purposes call her what grade she fits in with best emotionally. I figure it would probably be better for a kid with challenges or an advanced kid to be a year behind her "peers" age group (or her school grade level) if it was the right setting for her maturity level. Just my humble opinion
Vicki
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2

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

Using MFW K with a child on the spectrum?

Unread post by Poohbee » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:27 pm

mshanson3121 wrote:My daughter is soon to be 5. She has ASD (high functioning/Aspergers). She is an extremely literal child - so things can mean one thing, and one thing only. Once she's learned it that way, that's that. She's really struggling with the whole idea that letters say sounds different than their name. She is sooo visual as well, and has a phenomenal memory. She already knows many sight words, and I think she's going to be more prone to learn to read via sight words, than phonics.

I'm thinking ahead to later this summer when we start K. I've been considering MFW K. She loves worksheets, so I know she'll enjoy doing those, as well as hands on stuff. My son will be 8/grade 3, and maturity wise he's definitely younger, so we could still do the Bible together, probably the art, music and science, too.

Thoughts? Has anyone done MFW K with a child on the spectrum? How did it go?
Hello!
My 5-year-old son (he'll be 6 in May) is on the Autism spectrum, as well. I am doing MFW K with him right now. It is going well. Of course, there are some things we need to tweak because of his attention span and interests, but it really is the perfect way to ease him into formal learning. Of course, I may be a bit biased because I had done MFW K with both of my daughters, and I just love this curriculum!

With my son, I only do MFW K 2-3 days a week, so we are moving through it slowly. He has therapies 2 days a week, and I don't do it on his therapy days. So, it takes us 2 weeks to do each unit, but that is okay. My son, like your daughter, pretty much has a photographic memory. You show him something once, and he's got it. He knows all of his letters and many of their sounds. In fact, he taught himself to read earlier in the year. He also knows numbers into the hundreds. So, the reading and counting portions are not a problem for him. He does struggle with fine motor skills, so writing is a challenge for him. He also needs practice in sitting for short periods of time and concentrating on his work without getting distracted and running off. My goals for him are to internalize and understand the character lessons (Words to Remember) about Jesus and to practice writing and increasing his attention span. We usually work on our MFW K work for about 30 to 45 minutes on the days that we do it.

He is able to do all of the worksheets and does well with them. Sometimes he needs a bit of help or prompting when he's doing them. Some of the hands-on projects he will do, but others, not so much. Sometimes it depends on what kind of day he is having as to whether or not he will be willing to try something new. For example, for tactile activities, he loves writing his letters in a salt tray, but he does not like writing letters in pudding or finger paint. He does not like his hands to be messy.

When we started K, he latched right on to the Creation unit! He loved that! It helped a bit when I found an app on his iPad that told the Creation story. I try to supplement with technology now and then, because he is really motivated by his iPad. He learned the 7 days of Creation and loved saying them. When we made the Creation book, we used stickers or I drew the items on the page. He isn't an artsy kind of kid. My daughters both drew the pictures and made their own books, and Jacob's is different. However, he still loves reading his Creation book!

With the writing, I make sure he has plenty of practice writing the letters in a salt tray or on his iPad with his finger before I ask him to do it with pencil and paper.

These are just a few tweaks I've made for my son. They're not big changes. MFW K is a great program to use with kids with special needs because it is very hands-on, the lessons are short, and it can easily be adapted to meet the needs of the child. Since your daughter is having trouble learning the letter sounds, in using MFW K, you spend 6 days on each letter unit. That will give you lots of time to practice and reinforce the sound that the letter makes so that she can learn it.

I wish I could think of more specific examples for you, but that's all I can think of for now. Please feel free to PM me if you'd like. I wasn't sure how my son would do with MFW K, but I have been so pleased with his progress and with his ability to attend and especially to remember and understand the character lessons for each unit. I love MFW K!
Jen
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2018-2019: Adventures with 9yo boy

Sweetpetunia
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 4:50 pm

Re: Using MFW K with a child on the spectrum?

Unread post by Sweetpetunia » Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:58 pm

My son doesn't have an official diagnosis but what he does have looks very similar to PDD-NOS. All three times I've used MFW K, I've used it following 100 Easy Lessons and it works very well. 100 Easy Lessons, like MFW K emphasizes teaching letter sounds before names to avoid confusion. I understand that it's not unusual for children to get confused when taught letter names first, whether on the spectrum or not. I know that doesn't help you now, but maybe you can file that away for future reference in case it's ever needed. Maybe you could call or email the MFW office to see if they can help out out. My understanding is Marie Hazell specialized not only in early childhood education but special needs as well? Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, like Poohbee said, there's a lot of repetition for each letter so your daughter may be able to grasp the idea of letters having sounds as well as names. We also went through K slowly with my son because first he was going to a very good special ed preschool and later, to therapies for his language delays and food texture issues. I think that was good for him. He probably needed the extra time to review all the letter sounds and blending.

I'd say to make sure you take the time to do the fun stuff in the curriculum. Children learn so much easier when they're not rushed and are allowed to have lots of fun while learning. My family has used MFW K three times so far- the first time was with my second child. She has ADHD and probably what some call stealth dyslexia. The second time was with my son. The third time was with my go-getter third daughter who never let me skip school and loves to be read to. She zoomed right through K and dove right in to the first grade curriculum once she was done. I think the gentle Charlotte Mason approach can work so well for a wide variety of children and their needs. :)
Mom to 9~ 5 on earth & 4 in heaven:
S-22, N-18: Graduated
^i^ '01
E-12: CtG
^i^ '05
^Peter^- 6/21/06 http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/peterjames
^i^ '06
G-8: CtG
A-3: AAAT
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Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
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Location: Minnesota

Re: Using MFW K with a child on the spectrum?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:54 am

I wanted to be sure you see this thread on special needs and MFW. There is a section on K & autism:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 714#p43714

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

got2catz
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:26 pm

Success with K - special needs

Unread post by got2catz » Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:39 pm

My 6 year old, doing first grade this year- creation a-z last year- has made incredible strides this last year! This is truly amazing considering
1) he was a preemie and has sensory processing disorder which means his attention span is measured in negative numbers
2) he has had surgeries on both hands to make his index finger into a thumb (he was born with wonky thumbs) so fine motor/writing is a HUGE issue for him
3) he was in the hospital for 6 weeks last winter on a ventilator due to a cold- he tends to do this, just not usually to this extreme- and could barely walk when he came home, so we had a MAJOR break in the middle of our school year and in fact didn't finish creation a-z until mid-August!

Now, he will definitely not win any penmanship awards, but he made HUGE strides over the year and now that he hears creation a-z going on "in the background" with his brother, it is amazing what he has retained! Great curriculum guys!
klewfor3 wrote:"Job well done!" to you and your ds!! Your little guy sounds like an absolute trooper and your post encourages me to keep going on my "bad" days. Thanks.

manyblessings
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:24 pm
Location: Nevada
Contact:

Is 7 too old to start K?

Unread post by manyblessings » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:49 pm

lee2 wrote:
Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:03 pm
I have a just turned 7yr old with ADHD and some growth delays. We've used the MFW PreK program with him. He's been tagging along with my other kids in hist/sci etc. He can do some adding and knows his letters and can even read some short vowel words. His handwriting needs work. I think he can actually sit long enough now to do the physical writing and activities in K. But is he too old for it now?
I think that the beauty of homeschooling is you can do whatever meets your children's needs best. They are not on anyone else's timetable, you are teaching your children as individuals.

I have one daughter who could not grasp letter sounds at age 5, so she basically did Pre-K and K level work from age 5 through 7. She learned to read at age 8 1/2 and in her case she sped up in learning after that. Now she is 18 and graduating high school. I'm so glad I was able to meet her where she was rather than her being forced to fit the public school timetable.
Lourdes
Mom of 4 adults, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 son-in-law, 1 in 1st, and
3 in heaven 8/11/06, 8/18/10, and 9/13/13
Married to my soul mate since 6/20/09
Past: MFW K, ECC, AAAT, VOD, GCA, LGS
2019-2020: ADV

MelissaB
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Is 7 too old to start K?

Unread post by MelissaB » Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:44 pm

Hi, Lee2 ~

No, 7 is not too old to start K. In fact, many children (esp. little guys :) ) don't read well until 8-10, and they grow up to read and write perfectly well. Over the years of our homeschooling, I've talked to many Mommas whose children have learned to read later. In many cases, the child who learned to read later became the family's best writer or most avid reader.

So, no worries, Momma. He will learn to read. Start him where he's ready. Be patient, and he'll take off soon!

Enjoy the journey!

God bless,
melissa b.
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

lee2
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 10:42 am

Re: Is 7 too old to start K?

Unread post by lee2 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:42 pm

Thank you ladies for your replies. Your words are very comforting. I get so hung up on age/grade thing. Even in the MFW K manual says "for 5-year-old" and I start feeling that old panicky feeling. So I was trying to decide if I should just go ahead and use MFW K or try to find another curriculum that used colors or letters instead of "K" because of its age designation. I feel more comfortable about using K now. Bless you both!

Mom of two boys
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:36 pm

Questions before I order my K Curriculum

Unread post by Mom of two boys » Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:59 pm

Hello, I'm new to this board! I have a 4 1/2 year old with high functioning autism, ADHD, dysgraphia (writing disability) and motor dyspraxia. I'm planning to start homeschooling him in August, after he finishes up his last year in a special needs preschool. This curriculum appears to be a great fit for him because it looks like it will meet him where he's at in the area's that are a challenge for him (writing, paying attention) and not demand too much. At the same time, I can easily supplement in his area's of strength (reading, science, possibly math.)

That being said, I'm not really sure if I should order the basic Kindergarten package or the Deluxe. At first, I thought that the only part of the deluxe package that I wanted was the butterfly garden, so I figured I would just add that on to the basic package. However, after doing some research on the cuisenaire rods and the alphabet book, I kind of want to purchase those too. While reading a review on the cuisenaire rods, I discovered Miquon Math (which uses them as well), and now I'm all confused about how I want to supplement math. I really like the Miquon, and it makes me feel really good about purchasing the cuisenaire rods, but I read that it's supposed to be used as a supplement to a core math program. Well, I'm not sure if MFW is considered a "core" math program. I'm getting the impression that it is not. I was originally thinking that I would start him out with the Math U See primer, but I'm having trouble getting past the cost of their manipulative blocks. Not only that, but if I'm going to invest in Math U See, then maybe I should skip the cuisenaire rods all together. I'm not sure that we would really need all of those different kinds of manipulative blocks. Then I wonder if maybe it doesn't make sense to invest in Math U See at this age. But on the other hand, I strongly suspect that my son is going to end up in a math/science/engineering type field, so maybe it does make sense to just dive in and embrace that. I just keep going around in circles with this, but I'd really like to figure it out so I can start ordering.

Also, on a smaller note, can anyone give me their opinion of the writing work in MFW K? I was thinking that I was going to order some kind of basic (preschool level?) workbook from handwriting without tears to give him a little bit more practice that is more on his level, but the only workbooks I can find look like the ones I already bought from the dollar store. Am I missing something? At this rate, I'm thinking I might as well just make them myself.

Also, I should add that my son is a little bit more interested in formal academics than other children his age (aside from writing.) He started asking me to do sight word flash cards with him at age two, just to give you an idea.

If anyone can help me to make some decisions, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you!

ruthamelia
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:34 pm

Re: Questions before I order my K Curriculum

Unread post by ruthamelia » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:58 pm

Mom of two boys wrote:
Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:59 pm
I have a 4 1/2 year old with high functioning autism, ADHD, dysgraphia (writing disability) and motor dyspraxia. I'm planning to start homeschooling him in August, after he finishes up his last year in a special needs preschool. This curriculum looks like it will meet him where he's at in the area's that are a challenge for him (writing, paying attention) and not demand too much. At the same time, I can easily supplement in his area's of strength (reading, science, possibly math.)

That being said, I'm not really sure if I should order the Deluxe. After doing some research on the cuisenaire rods and the alphabet book, I kind of want to purchase those too. While reading a review on the cuisenaire rods, I discovered Miquon Math (which uses them as well), and now I'm all confused about how I want to supplement math. I really like the Miquon, and it makes me feel really good about purchasing the cuisenaire rods, but I read that it's supposed to be used as a supplement to a core math program. Well, I'm not sure if MFW is considered a "core" math program. I'm getting the impression that it is not. I strongly suspect that my son is going to end up in a math/science/engineering type field, so maybe it does make sense to just dive in and embrace that. I just keep going around in circles with this, but I'd really like to figure it out so I can start ordering.

Also, on a smaller note, can anyone give me their opinion of the writing work in MFW K? I was thinking that I was going to order some kind of basic (preschool level?) workbook from handwriting without tears to give him a little bit more practice that is more on his level, but the only workbooks I can find look like the ones I already bought from the dollar store. Am I missing something? At this rate, I'm thinking I might as well just make them myself.

Also, I should add that my son is a little bit more interested in formal academics than other children his age (aside from writing.) He started asking me to do sight word flash cards with him at age two, just to give you an idea.

If anyone can help me to make some decisions, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you!
Hi- I'm going slowly through K right now with my 5 year old and really enjoying it! Here are a few thoughts about details you mentioned:

1- although I needed to be convinced, the math in K does meet all needs. It just follows the MFW philosophy of short and effective lessons. I have been surprised at how many concepts my daughter has picked up by doing brief daily activities like putting the date on the calendar every day and filling in a hundred chart. The same principles you could get from a workbook are fully incorporated in brief daily activities. I don't see anything wrong with supplementing with something if your child is interested, but it is not required.

2- As far as your question about writing, there is copy work with letters and numbers and some writing of words. I'd like to add another thought for you to consider, though. Writing takes a lot of muscle strength and coordination, and many kids at 5 or 6 (or 4 1/2) may not have those yet and writing will be a struggle. I am actually doing very little of the writing in the K curriculum because my daughter is left handed and I want to wait a bit longer to make sure she has the strength and coordination to learn the skill well the first time. Is there a need for your son to learn how to write right now? I've been learning a lot lately about writing from the Peterson Directed Handwriting website; you may find some useful information there. If you still want to find something to improve writing skill, consider a whiteboard or chalkboard on a wall or easel to practice on a vertical surface instead of horizontal as it helps build muscles, prevents early development of bad habits, and of course can be used over and over!

3- I haven't ever used Miquon, but I am glad we got the cuisinaire rods and alphabet book. The music CD has been great too! We have regular dance parties in the living room- my one year old is addicted to the polka!!

4- Some thoughts about autism etc... "High functioning autism" means different things to different people, so if my comments don't fit your situation please toss them out the window! My 12 year old nephew is on the autism spectrum where aspergers used to be- very intelligent, organized, diligent, amazing memory, but has challenges with social and sensory issues. So how do you feed that mind that craves, soaks in, and retains vast amounts of learning, but has skill set challenges? Part of the answer lies in deciding what your goals are. The beauty of homeschooling is that you don't have to fit your unique child into the artificially determined grade level mold. Challenge them where they need to be challenged and wait for them to be ready for other things. Reading chapter books at age 5? Fine- go on a hunt for age appropriate literature! My 5 year old and I are enjoying (me reading to her) The Wizard of Oz right now, but my nephew could have easily read it himself by age 6. Doing double digit addition in their head and fascinated by patterns in math? Great! Find something to feed and challenge that math ability. Handwriting is hard? Do work orally, use letter and number stamps. I think everything in the K program (and any other level of MFW for that matter) can be adapted in all these ways without too much effort. Book basket is probably the easiest way- stock up at the library and let them feast away!

Hope something in there is helpful as you make your decisions!

Ruth
Kids in school: 15, 13, 11, 8, 6, 4, 4
We have used: K, First, all Investigate years
2018-2019: First, ECC, AHL

Mom of two boys
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:36 pm

Re: Questions before I order my K Curriculum

Unread post by Mom of two boys » Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:46 pm

Thank you! This was really helpful to me. I don't know anyone who is homeschooling, so even just hearing an opinion helped to bring me some clarity. I think that I figured out why I'm having so much trouble here. *I* love the cuisinaire rods, and I think that they look so great - so great that I wanted them to be great for my son, but they're probably not. When I honestly look at it, in my heart of hearts, I know that what he needs is a math curriculum.

As far as writing goes, I guess I'm kind of anticipating him falling behind very quickly, but not necessarily gaining the ability to catch up. His fine motor skills are not very good, and he's been in OT since he was 14 months old, slowly progressing but still very delayed. I've been reading many positive reviews on Handwriting Without Tears, especially from parents of children with writing difficulties - so I think that maybe I'll *try* it, and see what all the fuss is all about. There's no reason that he needs to learn how to write next year, but I guess I'm just feeling like a little bit of extra practice is going to help in the long run. I do mean a little bit. His hand gets tired after a few letters, so this is really going to be a slow process. I have actually noticed that he can write better on a chalk board. He drew a decent looking rectangle on my chalk board the other day, but I previously didn't even think he was capable of drawing a rectangle at all, so there's definitely something to that - I'll look into it more, as well as anything that I can do to help him strengthen the right muscles.

As far as the packages go - I'm going to go with the basic and use it largely as a spring board for his interests. He doesn't like dinosaurs, not extremely into bugs, he actually has a sensory aversion to music, the Cuisenaire rods and book are out, and I'm going to purchase a "real" globe haha, so I'll just buy the basic package with the butterfly garden, because I do think he'll really enjoy that one (he's obsessed with science.) But you're really right about deciding what my goals are. When it comes down to it - my goal is really to feed his interests and to help him to learn enough to get by with his limitations. I don't expect him to necessarily ever have good handwriting, but if he can at least fill out a form as an adult, then that'll be enough to get by on. When he first started in Early Intervention, things really did not look good for him. He couldn't talk, couldn't communicate at all, and just sat there spinning wheels and throwing fits. Once we got him an ipad and fed his interests - he was talking and READING within 6 months. Now, he's potty trained and functioning in group settings without an aide. At this rate, he'll probably be in college next year lol. So, I guess that my goal has always been to stimulate his interests - and it has been beyond successful.

And yes, I'm totally excited about the book basket! Here's the best part - our town is starting construction on a BRAND NEW LIBRARY THIS SPRING! I've been following the project updates and local news articles and everything. You know I'm a homeschool mom to be if I'm THIS excited about a library lol.

Thank you again for your help! Now I can actually get this stuff ordered and start going through it soon. SO EXCITED :-)

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

Re: Questions before I order my K Curriculum

Unread post by Poohbee » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:09 pm

Hello! Welcome to MFW and to homeschooling!

Your son sounds a bit like mine in some ways. My boy is on the autism spectrum (diagnosed just before age 3), and he will be 7 in a month. Like yours, mine was language delayed and went through Early Intervention. We got him an iPad and the app Proloquo2Go to help with communication. He loves anything that spins, particularly ceiling fans and other fans, and he has since he was born. He's been in therapies since he turned 1...first PT, which he no longer needs, and currently ST and OT. Writing and fine motor are a bit of a struggle for him. He taught himself to read when he was 4 and reads very well. There are so many things...simple things...that I wasn't sure he would ever learn how to do, such as riding a bike or even just spitting so that we could start using fluoride toothpaste, but he does those things now. I thought potty training would be horrible, but he was actually really easy to potty train. It took awhile, especially night time, but he's done so well!

Well, all of that to say, I think I know some of the things you're feeling in regard to homeschooling a child with special needs. We have used MFW from the beginning. I have 2 daughters, ages 14 and 11, and my son, who is 6. We started my oldest with MFW Kindergarten back in 2006, and we've used every year of MFW except high school. My son has a May birthday, and I wasn't going to start him in kindergarten until he turned 6. I was going to do an extra year of preschool-type work with him, but when he turned 5, he just seemed ready, especially since I know that MFW K is a gentle introduction to formal learning. Yes, I did have to tweak the program a bit for him, to meet his needs, but it was certainly easy to do, and MFW K was a great fit for him!

My son is a whiz with numbers...he can count to 100 and recognizes and can read numbers into the thousands, but I did not supplement the MFW math curriculum for him. My goals for him in kindergarten were that he would learn about Jesus and learn the character quality for each unit; that he would learn to sit and focus for short, and then gradually longer, periods of time; that he would learn to follow directions; and that we would work on his writing as he was able. Everything else was gravy. There is no need to push kids so hard when they're so young. And, really, there is no need for a formal math curriculum until they hit 2nd grade. Now, of course, if you truly feel that it would benefit your son to use a formal math curriculum, then by all means, that is what you should do. But, as Ruth said, MFW K contains all of the math skills that a kindergartner needs, and it is very gentle. I love MFW 1st grade math, because it is the very best way for young kids to learn math...through hands-on activities, math-related children's literature, and an age-appropriate workbook. I would recommend waiting until you get MFW K in your hands and can look through it before you add a math curriculum.

I did order the K Handwriting Without Tears for my son. However, I have used the workbook very little. The things I do like in that program are the little chalk bits and the chalkboards. The small chalk bits helped my son with his grasp, and he loves writing on the chalkboard. For the first 3/4 of kindergarten, my son wrote his letters in a salt tray with his finger, on a chalkboard, on a white board with dry erase markers, or using a tracing app on his iPad. He did very little paper and pencil writing early on. As I said before, writing is a struggle for him. He tires easily. So, to add more handwriting was just overkill. MFW K and MFW 1 include more than enough handwriting practice for a child who struggles with writing anyway. However, to let him write using a variety of different materials really helped my son.

My son was absolutely not artsy and did not like drawing or coloring when he was in kindergarten. So, whenever it required him to draw something, we used stickers. For coloring, we sometimes used those dotters (like bingo dotters). I just adapted the activities so he could do them. When he learned the sounds of the letters, he wasn't always able to make the correct sounds, but I just took him where he was at, and we kept moving on. If there were certain sounds he was having trouble with, I told his speech therapists, and they worked with him on those sounds. I didn't want to hold him back in his learning just because he couldn't make certain sounds and couldn't write very well. We just kept moving forward.

I started my son in MFW K in Aug. after he turned 5. We did K for 1 1/2 years, only doing it 4 days a week because of his therapies on the 5th day each week. He finished MFW K in Jan. of this year and started MFW 1 (Learning God's Story). Again, we are doing it only 4 days a week, so I am planning on taking 1 1/2 years to finish. Already, I am having to adapt it for him. There is more writing than he can handle, so I have to skip some of it, but he is thriving in MFW 1. I've even been able to start some basic art lessons with him using an Usborne I Can Draw Animals book, and he is doing so well with it.

I just wanted to encourage you that you CAN homeschool your autistic son, and MFW is a wonderful curriculum to use! It is multi-sensory, and it is easy to adapt to meet each individual child's needs.

Also, I want to encourage you to meet your son's needs, but not to overdo in the "school" department. My son can sit for about half an hour, with a jump break on his trampoline at some point, then we take a 5-10 minute movement and snack break, and finally we finish up his school work in another 30-45 min. That's about all he can handle, and then he's ready to be done with school so he can go play. Your son is young at 4 1/2 almost 5. There is no need to rush into too much formal schooling. Let those early years be nice and gentle as far as learning goes. Enjoy MFW K, and enjoy getting started on this wonderful journey of homeschooling!
Jen
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2018-2019: Adventures with 9yo boy

MelissaB
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Questions before I order my K Curriculum

Unread post by MelissaB » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:35 pm

Hi, Mom of two boys. We have two girls. :)

As a "seasoned" homeschooler :), may i offer one thought of advice? You might purchase just MFW, look at it thoroughly, and, if it isn't sufficient, then purchase additional items/curricula.

When we did MFW K, I didn't expect MFW K's math to be sufficient. We purchased a separate math curriculum, and were going to use MFW K kind of as a "supplement." :~

However, once we started MFW's Kindergarten math lessons, we quickly realized that the math program is not only sufficient on it's own, it is excellent.

For example, i thought that MFW's grouping popsicle sticks by 10s until you reach 100, while it sounds simple, gave our daughter a very strong foundation in place value that helped her in the rest of her elementary math learning. That's just one, tiny example. By mid-year, we knew that we needed to use only MFW. And I'm so glad we did!

Enjoy MFW K! We loved it. Looking back, it's still one of our favorite years!
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

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