Choosing 1st vs. just joining OLDER sibling

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

Choosing 1st vs. just joining OLDER sibling

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:34 pm

NJCheryl wrote:This is my second year of homeschooling with MFW. Last year I did Adventures with my 3rd grade daughter and K with my K son, so this year my daughter is doing ECC and my son is doing MFW 1.

My son is 6 and he is very advanced most subjects. He is reading chapter books(reads better than his 9 year old sister) and he is doing simple multiplication. He often can answer questions about his sister's geography and science lessons when he was in the other room when we did them.

I am wondering if I should just incorporate him into EEC this year and forget about MFW 1. The only thing he really needs practice with in MFW is his handwriting. He has said he is bored and he already knows everything we do in school. My concern with moving him up is what would I do with him once we are through the 5 year cycle? I think he would be board repeating the cycle even though he would be 5 years older. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Cheryl
Cheryl,
Warning: I'm a better-late-than-early type of gal :)

My first thought is that you should skim through the first "review weeks" of MFW-1 and get to the "new stuff" before you make a decision. MFW-1 takes a big step up after the first weeks.

My other thought has to do with my youngest son. He knew how to read before starting K, so his early (public school) teachers took him out of most of the lessons & had him read books "at his level." When I brought him home in 3rd, I had to go back & teach him phonics & the alphabet. Without working with those things for a year or 2, he could never remember where to alphabetize a letter -- is it at the beginning of the alphabet or the end? His only way to work with a new word was to ask what it said & memorize how to spell it -- which was not doing him a service. I really, really wish he would have sat through those early lessons <sigh> I didn't know what he was missing, any more than his teachers did!

I prefer shortening & skimming over skipping altogether.
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

RachelT
Posts: 352
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Re: wondering if 1st is right fit

Unread post by RachelT » Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:16 pm

Hi Cheryl! I am in a similar situation to you. We journeyed through Adventures last year during 2nd and K for my children. My K'er did everything in Adv. that my older child did and enjoyed it! She is reading and writing at a higher level now than her dyslexic, dysgraphic older brother, but he is making steady progress. We have also begun 1st and ECC. I have my dd do most everything in ECC, but she does 1st reading/phonics/Bible. It has been very easy for her, too, but she enjoys reading another book to me after we are done that is at her level. I did K a year early with her, but decided to wait until this year and really do the MFW 1st work when she was really 6.5-7 yrs old. I would rather it be a bit on the easy side than see her struggle (it was hard work for my older ds).

Anyway, maybe you could do the same and just call the MFW 1st stuff review. I even told my dd today that she was practicing words she already knows how to read because many children in 1st grade don't know how to read them, yet, and she said, "I guess that means I am smart for my age!" I think she feels good about it.

The ECC may have to be modified somewhat, but for us it is easier to do most everything together than to run two totally separate programs at the same time. The only things the children do separately are reading/phonics/English/spelling and math. Maybe combining more subjects would add some interest and challenge him a bit in history, science, etc.

Just a suggestion...

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

http://rachelsreflections-rachelt.blogspot.com/

cbollin

Re: wondering if 1st is right fit

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:46 am

NJCheryl wrote:This is my second year of homeschooling with MFW. Last year I did Adventures with my 3rd grade daughter and K with my K son, so this year my daughter is doing ECC and my son is doing MFW 1. We are almost through week 3, and I am wondering if it is not a good fit for him. My son is 6 and he is very advanced most subjects. He is reading chapter books(reads better than his 9 year old sister) and he is doing simple multiplication. He often can answer questions about his sister's geography and science lessons when he was in the other room when we did them. I am wondering if I should just incorporate him into EEC this year and forget about MFW 1. The only thing he really needs practice with in MFW is his handwriting. He has said he is bored and he already knows everything we do in school. My concern with moving him up is what would I do with him once we are through the 5 year cycle? I think he would br board repeating the cycle even though he would be 5 years older. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Cheryl

Hi Cheryl,

hmm... just an opinion here. I think that by allowing him the freedom to not do ECC in a formal manner is working. So, don't put him in ECC as the full program. Continue to invite him to join in fun activities, let him keep listening from the other room. Let him play the geography game, do cooking projects and crafts and fun stuff. Let him enjoy book basket too.

In other words, I'm in the mind set of invite the younger ones to participate in ECC and then use 1st grade for 3R's with any needed tweaks. For example: you have an early reading kid, so make sure in 1st grade that you use the opportunities of phonics lessons to become strong spelling instructions. There are some spelling rules included in the scripts in the phonics lessons. (even in the early days. Some of them are rules about when to double a consonant and plurals and things). Even for reading students, having them mark the vowels and see those spelling patterns has benefits for learning to spell. There is so much in the first grade program for improving handwriting both in regular composition and in character training.

So, I think 1st grade is a the right fit for character, Bible, handwriting, composition, spelling and probably even math. Even if your child is understanding the concepts of multiplication, there is a lot of good hands on math and workbook math in first grade that you don't want to skip. Even if that part is quick and easy and done really fast for the day, there are skills in there to practice and extra math literature books not to miss and all of the fun practical stuff in math too and real life math that can be tweaked for his abilities.

in terms of 5 years from now when he is in 6th grade and it's time to repeat ECC: he'll do the jr. high requirements. Some kids remember things 5 years later, others don't. But the jr. high version of ECC will add in research and extra readings. I really don't think it will be a problem or have to be boring.

Rejoice that he is learning from the other room. Rejoice that he is reading. And I think first grade can still be the right fit to meet spelling, composition, math, Bible foundation lessons, handwriting, character training, etc. If he is done quick and early in the day, continue to invite him to join in the fun of ECC with his sister. And if he needs more challenge? Here are some ideas: more chores, learn a musical instrument, crafts, foreign language, and encourage both children to find their talents and serve the Kingdom.

MFW first grade has a major Charlotte Mason influence. One of those influences is to allow unstructured time. So, if you need ideas on what to do with unstructured/free time.... here's an oldie on the board for many ideas:

http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1829

and that's why I think that even for an advanced reading child who is traditional first grade age, that MFW first grade is the right fit.

just one opinion. You're the mom. :)

-crystal

NJCheryl
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:08 pm

Re: wondering if 1st is right fit

Unread post by NJCheryl » Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:26 am

Julie, Thanks for your insight. I will keep it in mind as I make my decision.

Crystal, Thank you so much for your input. You put wonderfully into words what I had been thinking, but was second guessing myself. He has such a wonderful creative mind, and I am glad he has lots of free time to put his own ideas into use. He loves running around, exploring and creating things. Thanks again for the affirmation that to allow school to be easy for him right now is not doing him a disservice.

Cheryl

tiffany
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:56 am

Re: wondering if 1st is right fit

Unread post by tiffany » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:21 pm

I didn't read all the posts but skimmed through. 1st does get more difficult quickly and will be good phonics review for him. Plus he will get handwriting practice and early grammar with his Proverbs and his Bible reader that he creates. I would just tweak it to make it fit for you and let him informally participate in ECC.

I did have a first grade age child do ECC with us, but only because he had completed a comprehensive phonics program. I couldn't see have him go through another complete phonics program. He did well in ECC, but some of the history in CTG and RTR was over his head. I wouldn't do it differently though. That was when we first came into MFW and it was the best place for us to start.

He doesn't like to read as much as the other kids. I think it could be because he was such a good reader that I was putting him in books that were too lengthy for his development. He's 5th grade now and we are still working on that love of reading thing. Ability and age are definitely two separate things that need to be considered.
Tiffany
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877

cbollin

Re: Possible Placement in first grade

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:43 am

prov31sandra wrote:I'm pretty sure we are going with MFW. I definitely feel we will get a great deal for our money, and I agree with the approach of content issues. I plan to use Adventures for my dc who will be in 1st and 3rd grades. My 1st grader could possibly benefit from MFW first grade. But I'm not sure, because I've heard people say it's "easy" for first grade and many people use it with six or even five year olds. My dd will be 7 most of the year.

My dd has covered all basic blends, vowel dipthongs, vowel pairs and consonant dipthongs, like /ch/ sh/ and so on. However her handwriting is so so, she cannot write sentences, or do copywork neatly. She has not covered multi syllabic words, -y endings, or more advanced phonics such as /tion/, /ph/ and so on. She knows basic sight words, about 30 of them, though I prefer a strong phonics emphasis.

Would my dd benefit from MFW 1st this coming July or would it be more of a wash? I do not want to push her, but on the other hand money is tight, and for about $30 I could get her some ETC books, Queen's Language Lessons, and A Reason for Handwriting A and call it a day for LA.
I hear you when it comes to listening to other cyber chat about kids using parts of mfw first and it seeming "light" or whatever. I can't imagine any of my children doing all the writing that is in first grade when they were five. Most of mine knew lots of the phonics, but wow.... there's a lot more to the program. I am using mfw 1st with my 7 year old -- we started her a year late in Kindy because of severe delays in speaking due to autism. She wasn't ready for more school.

I think your daughter could definitely benefit from MFW 1st grade. I'm guessing that the earliest sections will be review in phonics and that's ok -- you turn that into spelling. But MFW 1st covers so much more than just and only phonics. She might go through the program faster since she's a little older. That's ok.

You can piece together and do your own language arts if that is your preference. But some of the reasons I like using mfw 1st for my younger kid is that it is all in one place. You get Character work and Memory work while doing handwriting in Proverbs verses. So now instead of using 3 different resources that you mentioned, I can use one resource and get language (handwriting, copywork, sentence structure), some Bible, and memory work, and character. I have too much with other kids to keep track of so anything that reduced my paper trail load helps me.

The sample student sheets show copywork from weeks 5-6 and week 17:
http://www.mfwbooks.com/products/6/First-Grade#Samples

MFW 1st: you have a Bible reader:
There is a sample from the second half of the program

and -- they narrate that back to you, then write in summary from that lesson to learn their composition.
There's a sample that goes with that section of the Reader

So, I like integrating language arts to unit study in first grade especially when the unit study is God's Word. I want that in her heart and mind.

Plus, lots of good math in mfw 1st.

I don't know what you should or should not do. But that's why I like using MFW 1st with my kids. it's mostly doable in my real world (but hard with autism). It's God's Word and it really provides solid academics that are based on combining Charlotte Mason ideas and Classical ed in 21st century.

-crystal

Wendy B.
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: Possible Placement in first grade

Unread post by Wendy B. » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:28 am

We are nearing the end of MFW 1 with a child who was 7 for the majority of our time using it so I thought I'd share our experience. We started it last Spring and will finish it this winter which is the middle of his 2nd grade year. When my son started MFW 1 he was about the same level reading as your dc (pathway 1 with help) and could not write a sentence.

Yes some of the phonics was review and it did not take a long period of time to complete each lesson. There were many days that when we finished he would say something along the lines of "Awesome! That's was easy!" The first few weeks are not reflective of the whole program and you really do not see the true beauty of the full program until you are in the middle of it. Once we started doing the Bible Notebook he would call that the "hardest part of school." He really had to concentrate and work at that notebook. It has been a joy watching him make the connections between the reading lessons/chart and translating that into spelling the words in the notebook. It was a very positive for him to have a little "easy" so he could concentrate and really work at the "hard". The tendency is to push our young readers and to make sure they are always challenged but my son really benefited from taking a step back and doing review and reading that was a little easier. He now thinks of himself as a good reader AND he is growing as a writer. He had also grown so much this year spiritually.

We are just starting the last sections and reading the New Testiment. His comment " Yeah ! Finally I get to read about Jesus all by myself!" It really doesn't get any better than that.

HTH
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.

BHelf
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:58 pm

Re: Possible Placement in first grade

Unread post by BHelf » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:58 am

I did 1st with my 6 year old 1st grader. She was in public school PreK and K and was reading fairly well. I assumed 1st would be easy for her and a good place to start so she would learn to enjoy school. Well it's wasn't easy for her by any means. (She's always been ahead of others her age, and was at the top of her class at public school.) She gets frustrated with writing since she is a perfectionist and will erase and correct until it meets her standards. (Frustrating for both of us.) So in order to help alleviate a little of her frustrations, we spread the copy work out over a few days or the whole week. We're still doing that this year for 2nd grade when she has those frustrated days. There's much more writing this year but I try to do a lot of it orally and only make her write what I feel is most important for her to actually write out. (Like spelling and bible verses.)

Anyways, all of that to say, if the copy work is too difficult for your child, don't feel bad spreading it out over the week. :)

Brooke
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com

prov31sandra
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2006 11:54 am

Re: Possible Placement in first grade

Unread post by prov31sandra » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:56 pm

Crystal, my dd would be right on track for those samples you showed. She is still not writing sentences and though her reading is pretty good, she definitely needs more phonics. The copywork would be a good stretch.
I'm excited. I am really narrowing down ideas for this coming June!
Wendy B. wrote:" Yeah ! Finally I get to read about Jesus all by myself!"
Wow. Beautiful. I cried when I read that.

These are all very encouraging posts. I am still thinking about whether I want to switch from textbooks, over to MFW in the first place, but if we do I feel confident that MFW 1 would be good for my little girl. She is bright but not academically advanced or extremely motivated. Her interests are art, piano, and stuffed animals- NOT worksheets, LOL. This sounds like it would challenge her while not burning her out...and the best part is the Christian emphasis. That is the thing about MFW that I am most drawn towards. It's all about Jesus.

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

Re: Possible Placement in first grade

Unread post by wisdomschool » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:56 pm

Just wanted to chime in, I have a 7 y.o. daughter doing MFW 1st--she thought it was "easy"(which I like!) until now....we just fininshed day 59, she still really likes it, it's just not "easy" anymore.....she watched and listened to her older brother go through MFW 1st 2 years ago, and she "wanted" to do it then(and she totally thought she could and probably thought she could do better:)--I "made" her wait!!! So glad I did! She will be 7 1/2 when she finishes 1st grade.



Blessings,
Debbie
Momma & Teacher to my super seven:

Kanen-6th
Abia-4th
Charis-3rd
Tobias-1st
Elijah-3 y.o.
Micah-2 y.o.
Eden-3 mo.

RachelT
Posts: 352
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Re: Possible Placement in first grade

Unread post by RachelT » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:07 pm

Hello! My dd turned 7 just before Christmas. I could have had her do MFW 1st a year prior (school year 2008-9) instead of this year because I had her do MFWK early, but I felt that she needed more time to be a Kindergartener so we did some other things last year and began MFW 1st this fall. She is reading well above 1st gr. level and some of it has been easy for her, but that's not bad. Especially at the beginning of the year, I let her do more than one page in the phonics workbook. She feels more challenged in math and other areas. It has been a great review for the phonics lessons that she already knows and there have also been some letter combinations that she doesn't know, yet, so it's filling in those gaps. It sounds like the writing would be good practice for your child!

We used MFW 1st grade two years ago with my ds as our main program, so we are not doing all of it, but even in this way my dd is now really learning the books of the Bible, getting a timeline of Bible history in mind, and getting to read her Bible reader herself. We did Adventures last year and I am sure that you can combine them effectively to meet the needs of both of your children!
prov31sandra wrote:I am still thinking about whether I want to switch from textbooks, over to MFW in the first place, but if we do I feel confident that MFW 1 would be good for my little girl. She is bright but not academically advanced or extremely motivated. Her interests are art, piano, and stuffed animals- NOT worksheets, LOL. This sounds like it would challenge her while not burning her out...and the best part is the Christian emphasis. That is the thing about MFW that I am most drawn towards. It's all about Jesus.
And yes, with MFW she will do some reading and writing each day, but it will not be "just worksheets". There are some, but they serve their purpose and there are so many other great hands-on learning activities! I really love that and the Biblical worldview of MFW. I think my children learn more from this unit study approach because they are learning in many different ways, not just looking at papers and writing things down.

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

http://rachelsreflections-rachelt.blogspot.com/

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

Can first grader join with older siblings?

Unread post by jasntas » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:53 pm

Sahmamma wrote:I am going to be purchasing MFW Creation to Greeks for my going into 6th grader and 4th graders. I also have a current 5 year old (Kindergartener) who will be in 1st grade this coming Fall. I don't really have the money to purchase another curriculum for him and since he is fairly advanced and was wondering if he could just join in with his siblings? Has anyone done this? Thanks!
My dd has always been included at her level. But your child will need LA and math at his own level.
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.

momma2sevenblessings
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:11 pm

Re: Can first grader join with older siblings?

Unread post by momma2sevenblessings » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:08 pm

We are doing this this current school year. I have taught MFW 1st grade 3 times before so have it down fairly well:) and there are many similier things between C to G and MFW 1st.

I use MFW 1st TM(because I already had it) and the student workbook and Bible reader to teach reading/LA to my 1st grader, he also does math at his level(and listens in to his siblings higher level math, as he likes too:)

And then he just joins in with the rest of us as it works out/he is interested etc......He also joined in last year when we did ECC and he loved it and learned so much!


Debbie,
Homeschooling (with MFW)since 2006
CtoG 2012/2013

Momma and teacher to:
Kanen, 6th grade
Abia, 4th grade
Charis, 3rd grade
Tobias, 1st grade
Elijah, 3 1/2
Micah, 2 1/2
Eden, 9 mo.

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