KrisC wrote:We are starting MFW half way through the year, I just got our packages. I'm looking at the kindergarten and wondering if I made a mistake.
My daughter will be 6 in June. She knows all her letters, the sounds they make, and can read most words with soft vowel sounds. She's got a good grip on numbers up to 30. She's also writing quite a bit. She likes to write words and make up how they're spelled. She writes signs and hangs them up. She's halfway through the Kindergarten ZB workbook. So, I don't know. I'm afraid to unwrap the worksheets.
What do you all think?
I think that while the K program can seem light, it is really exceptional in phonics instruction and in instilling a framework for a love of learning. As a former Kinder public school teacher, I think that it goes above and beyond teaching children to really learn to READ at this level--it is more than simply the 26 letters and the sounds they make--the blending is taught effectively and systematically, which is often not a skill that is taught until first grade.
I am teaching MFWK again (taught it last year to my oldest, Mae) beginning in July to my daughter, Viola, who turns 5 tomorrow, sigh, and also to my soon-to-be adopted son, Shaw, who turns 6 on paper July 27. I am starting them both in MFWK because I think it has tremendous merit. Viola knows all of her letters, sounds, short and long vowels, and she reads short 3-letter words and she has a desire to read more. That said, she also could use some time with handwriting and the activities are really fun and full of teachable moments (dinosaurs, ant hill, butterfly garden, vegetables ... all so neat). I still want her to be little and revel in "school" a bit before moving onto MFW1 (which I am teaching right now to my oldest). Being on day 84 in MFW1 I can say that it would be far too much for Viola ... the phonics moves fast and is done well. The copywork would be too advanced for her right now (she could probably do it, but she could do it much more deliberately and skillfully in a year) and I would hate to tweak that aspect since having a stack of beautifully written Proverbs is so special (very cool for the child to see their progress from the first week until the end). Also, the Bible notebook might be a little more difficult since they go on to summarizing and narrating the story in a short sentence ... synthesizing that much information is a skill that comes with time as their little brains mature ... and then being able to draw and illustrate the idea they formed. It's lovely to watch the learning unfold.
Mae is 7 now ... she turned 7 on Thanksgiving (so we started MFW1 when she was 6, almost 7) ... and she is thriving with MFW1, with some effort at times, but she had MFWK as a strong foundation to spring from ... not to say that where your daughter is at is not at the same level as being finished with MFWK, but just something to think about, since it is more than just the letters and letter sounds and such.
You could also supplement each week with more good books and hands-on activities. For instance, when we did the moon, we did an amazing project where we made a homemade puffy paint moon (messy and huge and SO fun) and got lots of cool books from the library on the moon. I added literature from Five In A Row on occasion ... so for "A apple" we read How To Make An Apple Pie and See The World. We learned about Johnny Appleseed, we made an apple pie, we learned whole/half/quarter, we talked about where apples are grown and we visited an apple orchard and went picking in the fall (then used the apples to make applesauce and said pie), we investigated the parts of an apple with coloring pages and by cutting up apples and having apples for snacks, etc. We extended the learning a lot to spice it up here and there and eventually started to add more handwriting and Miquon Math (again, super hands-on with cuisinaire rods) as she became more capable and ready for more. Anyway, MFWK is so wonderful. I have loved it immensely and there are countless ways to enrich it while not losing the purpose of MFWK.
Another option is to speed up MFWK as long as she is excelling as you are learning and start MFW1 when she shows the most readiness ... on her terms, so-to-speak. I know that I get stuck in this mindset that we have to start and stop the years with a "school year" in mind, but that's not the case, really, and other moms on this board do a fantastic job of living the learning. I am still refining that skill.
I also love, as with all of the MFW years, how seamlessly and brilliantly Jesus (not just Christianity and God, but JESUS) is woven into the curriculum. The way it is presented in K is just right for that 5/6 year-old range and it creates this bridge into MFW1 where Bible is more historical and there is timelining and a bit more complexity, though no less lovely.
Just my thoughts and maybe you're thinking, gah, she's crazy!
You know your daughter best of all ... but I hope our experience helps as you pray over your decisions. I know how weighty making the best choices can feel when it comes to educating our own. Ultimately, you can't go wrong with either ... if you started with MFW1 and decided you need to slow down or start with K, then you have that in the wings, too. Blessings!