Prep & Organization - Box Day helpful hints

Learning God's Story

Prep & Organization - Box Day helpful hints

Unread post by cbollin »

corriebeth wrote:I was wondering if there is a list of things that I need to pick up on my shopping day before my books get here this weekend? so that I can start right away. Also I would love to get the reading list so that I can reserve things from the library.
That's great that you're just getting started and hoping to get some early shopping and library work done while waiting on your order to arrive. Here's some basic information to help you or anyone else down the road who might be in the same situation.

For the supply information, glance back up a bit on 1st grade ideas for days 1-11 and look for Quinne's (Mom2Mns) list for days 1-5 to help you get started.

Also, you will need basic school supply kind of things:
*modeling clay (any brand. One book in MFW 1st grade mentions a brand called Plasticine, but it can be any brand)
*crayons, markers
*index cards, ruler
I'm sure to be forgetting something, but standard normal school supply stuff.

For reading list for the first week, you can look through the few posts on this thread with days 1-11 for some ideas. The nice thing in MFW library lists is that you don't have to have the exact books listed or get every title out there. The reading list is for books for math fun and science enrichment. So you might want to ask your librarians or check your library's catalog for some books on ants, or worms, or snails. (check out the thread called Book Ideas, Science Day 3 for some starting points)

Maybe for math something with "sequencing" or repeating patterns might be nice. One example would be something like Beep beep, vroom vroom! by Stuart Murphy. or something else listed by others in the Book Ideas under Sequencing listed here Book Ideas, Math, Sequencing

Once you get your manual you'll see a long list of possible titles to select from based on what you library has to offer.

Hope that helps you get started and do some early shopping.
Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 542
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Preparation - Box Day helpful hints

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Some of the things that I did with MFW1 have really helped our days go more smoothly - for me.

I like to skim the manual, then set it down for awhile and reread it later. After I did that, I went through each supplemental part and saw how it fit in. I went back through the TM and decided to use the yellow pages Math Guide as my grid. I penciled in lots of little notes on the grid, including; the Proverbs verse on Monday with a reminder to "do art," the science topic on Wednesday, a reminder to "do music" on Thursday (my pick), and what the daily Bible story was on each day. I wrote tiny so that I would still have room to record the CBoM page numbers and if there was a special activity like the Sabbath dinner or celebrating Purim. It has helped me to have a week- or month-at-a-glance view. It's also nice to fill in the calendar dates and plan any vacations that you want to take. That was very important for me to do in pencil, because this year has not gone at all according to my original schedule.

I put post-it flags at the Math Games, the Day we were on (which moved everyday), the Lit guide for Math, the Lit guide for Science, and the Proverbs verse we were on (which moved each week). We did not need to use the Games to Practice Reading Words, but you may want to flag that one as well if you're using them.

I pulled every single page out of the CBoM and put them by groups into page protectors in a 3-ring binder. The Addition/Subtraction page protector was bulging! I reviewed each topic and decided which pages looked like "step 1" and which looked like "step 2" and used the TM's guide for topic order to put them into the binder. So our math binder followed the TM by having each topic twice -- sometimes I had to save some of the sheets that I thought would be "step 1" for "step 2" later in the year, but for the most part it was easy to gage. It really did not take long to do all that - maybe a couple of hours, and I liked being able to pull out a bundle of sheets for the week and pick and choose which to use each day, if any. And my dd didn't have to get overwhelmed by having this huge book of colorful worksheets to flip through. It helped us. I also pulled out the Pattern Blocks pages and put each one in a page protector to make them easier to get to and to use.

Then, throughout the year, I looked at the Ideas - MFW First Grade on this board to get the Supply Lists from Mom2MnS! :-) Thanks, Quinne!!!

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:55 am

We finished 1st last month. I did go a little overboard at the beginning of the year and got two 1-inch binders and one 2-inch binder.

I had a binder for Bible, Reading, and Math, and put the appropriate student materials in each one. It really helped me through the year. I'm one of the ones that used the Math Guide as my grid - I penciled in the date, the Bible Story, little notes, and it worked quite well.
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

Book basket for first weeks of school

Unread post by cbollin »

happyWImom wrote:We will be hopefully starting 1st grade by the end of this week after having done other curriculums for the past 2 months. Since we are obviously behind w/ MFW, can anyone help me out with some of the books recommended for the book basket for the first week? If I wait til I get the TM, I will probably have to wait at least another week to get the books because my library is small & I have to request them and that's how long it usually takes. I would REALLY appreciate whatever any of you could do!!!
In general while waiting on the manual and getting started and all of that.... take a look at the Ideas Forums for 1st grade for days 1-11
some of it will not make sense until you get your manual, but that's ok. It's just preview.

For extra readings from library in science and math..... (and these are not book basket, b/c in 1st grade parent reads to the child until the child can read on their own. I know, I'm being nit picky. sorry)..... here are some helpful links:

For the first week for math -- you could get some books about Sequencing and Repeating Patterns
Look on another part of the Ideas 1st grade forum for some ideas from others. You don't have to have the exact titles in the 1st grade manual. You can just use some of those ideas that others have suggested

and for science topics (day 3 of science) (day 8 of science)

That should help a lot to get you set up for the first week.
my3boys wrote:Any advice for the organizationally disabled?
Posted Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:44 am by cbollin
One thing to help with first grade is to see the set up of the year.
The math grid sometimes creates some road blocks to seeing the big picture of the day. That's where I get my panic time. However, the first grade day is not overwhelming. I've been there, done it and remember it really didn't seem that bad.

Day at a time in 1st grade:
Need a supply list? Well, quinne (mom2mns) did that for us. Let me link you to it.

Most days in 1st grade are:
Science (2 days per week)
Other: art, activities, etc.

Now, there is a suggestion in the 1st grade manual to start first grade on a Thursday so that each 5th day, exploration science day, falls on a Wed, so that is is the same day as Nature Walk Day in CTG. You can do it that way, or I didn't the first time. I have 1st grade exploration day fall on light and independent Friday.

Well, day at a time
week at a time.

Julie - Staff
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What things go on the wall?

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

mikesherry wrote:I just placed my order today for K and 1st grade! I am so excited! I am organizing our school room and was wondering what items from K and 1st grade would you put on the wall? I have some other ideas, such as things from a traditional classroom to make it more fun, but couldn't remember what items would I put up already?
Posted Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:46 pm by Cyndi (WA)
For 1st, I had a good ten-foot stretch of wall for the timeline. I posted the Jewish calendar (small) and the 8.5 X 11 Books of the Bible chart. I kept the reading chart in a binder that I got out everyday, so I didn't post that.

Posted Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:49 pm by TurnOurHearts
We used a thin blue ribbon (just what I had on hand) for our timeline. We posted the books of the Bible chart ~ laminated. Both my kids enjoyed using dry erase markers to fill in the circles each day as we added new books.

One thing we added to our room was a piece of string with clothespins. Some of those MFWK & MFW1 projects & papers are too cute (or too big) to go in a notebook right away ~ they need to be displayed!! :) I'm sure there are tons of other possibilities, but that was our experience. I hope you have a wonderful year in MFW! :)

Posted Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:04 pm by 705emily
We also had a long stretch of wall for the time-line, and I made a number line from sentence strips and put it up around the wall. I wrote each of the 1st grade Scriptures from Proverbs on a sentence strip ahead of time, and posted them up on the wall as we learned them.

We also put the Books of the Bible chart up and the Jewish calendar. I also found a cute "Life Cycle" poster that had the life cycles of a butterfly, a plant and a chicken. That was about it. Have fun!

Posted Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:05 pm by JohnsWife
I have our creation timeline on the wall and will do the 1st timeline on the wall. I have a poster of school rules and another with sight words.

Just got First Grade package, now more ??s

Unread post by cbollin »

Momrod wrote:Hello all. I had just a couple of questions so far as I'm looking through my materials:

I'm not finding any of the art and music activities scheduled in the TM, which is disappointing. How do most of you schedule these things? I notice that if it isn't on a schedule it doesn't get done.
((hugs)) on that.... K and 1st are the years where art appreciation and music are schedule with flexibility instead of fixed times. I think of it as we get to, instead of "have to". :) but (hugs).... yes, all of the other years when it is composers than are studied, those things are scheduled in the week with specific track numbers.

so here's what to do

in 1st:
Art lessons from Drawing with Children is scheduled. You'll start seeing that on day 1, then day 4, 9, 14etc. the advanced parts of that book are not scheduled in MFW.

I found it easiest for art and music appreciation (Come look with Me series, and the music CD) to be done on what is called Exploration Day. That happens every 5th day in 1st grade. So on "exploration days" (every 5th day) you have what some of us call "light and independent day" in first grade.
that is when I do

1.Come Look with me books as Picture Study and call that "language arts/reading" time like it is on other days)
2. Math - deluxe item called Pattern Animals and Blocks -- but that part is scheduled in the manual (sorry for confusion there)
3. Nature Walk or just play outside, maybe a visit to zoo, or botanical garden
4. 15 minutes to read to your child
5. Music - CD, (makes great for rainy day fun any day of the week though) or winter time. One option is to use it instead of Come Look with Me, on some Wednesdays.

Wanting to encourage you..... the two things that need to be "scheduled" are Come Look with Me, and the Music. So, it will not take you long to go to day 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30..... and just write in:
Art or Music

To further schedule Come Look with me -- I don't. I pick up the red book, open it to the next page..... go to the end. Pick up other book... page at a time... Go back and enjoy favorites. very casual.

So, I'm totally with you that I wish Marie had at least suggested it in the 1st grade manual and pray for the day the whole manual will be grid format or other, but I know she has to finish high school before that.. ((hugs)).


Re: Just got First Grade package, now more ??s

Unread post by cbollin »

kidswife wrote:I'm in the same boat, Jamie! I just got my package a couple weeks ago and I'm taking a month or so to go through it before starting. Right off the bat, we've got to make some sort of scroll that the kids put their alphabet letters on. How do you make that? I'm not crafty. Thanks for the help!
.... they give you the worksheets for that.

I went extra simple:
we taped the filled in worksheets together
and rolled it up

Some people get fancier and get that 29 cent dowels from wally world or hobby lobby and attach them.... uh...... nah.... not me. someone had a pic on that that was really good... I can't remember where the pictures are that I saw.....

here's some info on the "big scroll" project. That scroll doesn't go into the clay pots that are made very early days in the program. I know sometimes it gets confused so I thought I'd mention that.

there is also a little scroll that you do put in the pots you make in the first days --- but that can be a rolled up piece of torn paper. Our clay pots were real small. we made them from coiling or rolling model magic from crayola. we also made some from homemade too.. but

as you come to stuff like that and need ideas -- holler out on the board, or also check the ideas forum for first grade to see if others have quick answers and stuff.... it's fine to ask for ideas to make it simpler. here' s a link

Last edited by cbollin on Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just got First Grade package, now more ??s

Unread post by kayben »

Hi, we are finishing up first. The scroll is the actual Handwriting pages glued side to side to form a looooooooong sheet. When you finish the handwritng/letter review there are instructions. roll it up from both ends to meet in the middle and tie with a string. My DD loved to unroll it and read the "scroll".

We loved first.. good luck and enjoy!!

Rebecca loving my Dear DH 25 yrs
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Re: Just got First Grade package, now more ??s

Unread post by BHelf »

I didn't get fancy with the scroll either but have friends who did and wow--do they look incredible. They painted the dowels gold and then painted fancy designs on them. The kids were sooo proud to show everyone.

We really enjoyed first grade and I personally loved all the notes in that format as opposed to the grid. (I like the grid formats too though.) But that was our first year homeschooling and I loved that everything I needed to say or do was listed right there for me and it felt like I knew what I was doing! :)
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
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Re: Just got First Grade package, now more ??s

Unread post by Momrod »

Great-- thanks everyone. I'm glad to know it gets easier (i.e. more "scheduled" in later grades.).

Crystal, that's good news about just 2 things to schedule. That's do-able then.

It should be a fun year. It's terrible to be anxious to get over with this year so we can move on to next. lol
I'll have to reign in all the creative energy and just enjoy these last weeks of Kindergarten. *sniff*

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Tips for First Grade?

Unread post by OtterMommy »

MercyMamma wrote:Hello! I'll be using 1st grade in the fall and just have a few ?s for you who
have done this already - (I did check the 1st grade section of the board, there are a lot of great ideas there too!)

- what extra things did you find helpful to have? I'm not talking about the deluxe package, but other things. This can be anything from "we added phonics pathways" to "we bought a nice globe and used it often".

- any tips on preparation ahead of time?

- any tips on organizing for the year?

We're just about to begin 1st,, I'd love to hear what people say! I did look through the older posts in the archive, and I did get some fun things for the kids: a puzzle (GeoAnimals I think, we have the series but this is one with animals all over the globe), notebooks for nature walks with colored pencils, and some other fun review-type things. We're really excited! I can't wait to see what others with experience say!
Wife to the best
Mom to ds (6), dd (5), dd (3), and ds (4 months)
MFW K and 1st

Re: Tips for First Grade?

Unread post by cbollin »

In addition to reading the Ideas forum...

take a look at the Introduction of the 1st grade manual

good ideas in there...

I found it helpful to have a 3 ring notebook (about 1 inch is enough) to put the Proverbs handwriting sheets in after a week on the fridge.
so... 3 ring puncher, and fridge magnets.

I took the one page summary of the daily math activities and put that in a page protector and made a "math station" where we'd try to do math work. That way it was there at a quick glance.

we still used our classroom calendar (fancy store bought type with weather, and days and months and seasons)

when you come to science books and it talks about "plasticine" --- that's just modeling clay. It's a brand name in the UK that is commonly used to mean any modeling clay -- like we say Q-tip for cotton swap.

math -- be ready to use common household objects to work with. You might want to make sure you have a ruler, tape measure, kitchen scale couldn't hurt, things to count (dry beans, books, whatever)

dry erase board is good.

read David Hazell's advice ahead of time about the pace of phonics
and know that advice can apply for some kids as early as day 18/19. It's a "slow down moment" but all is good. don't think something is wrong with your child.
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Re: Tips for First Grade?

Unread post by RachelT »

Hello! We used MFW 1st gr. It was our "core" curriculum. We found Bible storybooks at the library and used our Beginner's Bible. We found animated Bible story videos. I found these cute felt board kits of Bible stories with the same pictures on them as in the Beginner's Bible and we would get out the felt board and have the children re-tell the stories with the felt characters. They still like to do that from time to time. We also used Jumpstart software programs and the free website for extra phonics practice. We have used Handwriting Without Tears and it has been very helpful. We have math manipulatives, games, and flashcards.

Of course we add in lots of library books and fun things every year, but these are items geared towards the 1st gr. curriculum.

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
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Re: Tips for First Grade?

Unread post by mamacastle2 »

I did 1st grade with my oldest dd in 2007. I added things. However, I would not use Saxon, FLL, or SSRW again. I would stick with just MFW and add a lot more reading books from the library. (I do like HWT, and it's 5 minutes a day copy work so I would probably add that again.) I was young, naive, and felt a lot of pressure to produce results with my oldest dd (poor first child).

I am now doing 1st with my son. However, I had the opposite experience with him. He's a December birthday and was already reading at a 2nd/3rd grade level at 5yo. So I called the office and spoke with Lucy who did suggest that I complete the phonics workbook with him as a refresher, but honestly, my husband was in a bad accident and I had a newborn and a 2yo (all things I failed to mention on the phone - oops!). So I decided to just do ECC with him and the Bible reader from 1st so that he would get copy/narration work (we LOVE the Bible reader!!!). With him, I did add things again.

BUT, my mind has been changed about needing a more structured program with math. I realize that there's a rich source of math (and a lot of it is "fun") included in MFW 1st and can't wait to actually do "just" that in a couple of years with my now almost 4yo instead of pushing a workbook on her. Especially after I've read that a lot of kids can test into Singapore 2A after using MFW 1st.

So... that's my story. My advice is to start with the MFW 1st materials and add lots of rich library reading, fun field trips, and games (kids learn so much when they're playing and they don't even realize it!). If you see another program (say for writing or math or reading, whatever), write it down somewhere but don't buy it. As you get into 1st for a while, you will sense if something is lacking and be able to go back to your list and say "Okay, let's try this now." But then you won't feel pressured to use books you have just because you have them and then later realize that you're not sure why you used that and added more "school" than was needed. At least, that's been my experience.

Blessings to you as you start a fun, Bible-based year of learning with your 1st grader!!
Wife to Brody
Mother to DD 10, DS 7, DD 5, DS 3, DD 1
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Re: Tips for First Grade?

Unread post by tiffany »

Now this is more of a wait-and-see kind of suggestion. We've done MFW 1st twice now, and with both of these kids, I've had to slow down a bit for a time, when the phonics review portion was over. I think this really depends on the child. During those little breaks, we've used Explode the Code workbooks to reinforce what he already learned. We also have used a few phonics games from Happy Phonics. I really like that, but found I haven't been able to use it as much as I (and my child) would like, but I have a lot on my plate schoolwise.

There is a lot in the manual for science, Bible, math and phonics, including games and enrichment activities. I would really hesitate to recommend much until you really dive into the program.

As far as math goes, if you do the program as designed, I can see no reason to supplement. We do use a fun workbook occasionally, but not as his primary math work. I started/will start Singapore in 2nd grade with both of my MFW 1st graders, and they are doing great in that subject.

I wish we had time to do the whole program. We stick mostly to phonics and Bible, since I have other ages. But it is such a fun age and there are great things in that manual. I would enjoy and trust that the Hazells have thought of everything. (That goes for future years too.)

There are so many fun educational things to buy, it can be hard to stay focused on your main curriculum. You'll know if you need something more once you get into it. Some other ideas, if you have extra time on your hands, are field trips, service opportunities, trips to the park, picnic lunches, chore training...etc.

I hope you have a great year with 1st grade!
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
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Re: Tips for First Grade?

Unread post by Ariasarias »

I'm on my second round with 1st. On the first time, I had a dd who was reading above grade level. This time my dd is about average in her reading level, with some struggling days.
I've tried to make sure that my dd watch Between the Lions or Super Why!!
They both have helped her see words be built in a non-threatening way.
It helps her to practice and reinforce without the spotlight on her :).

With an above grade reading level student, use the phonics lessons as review and intro to spelling.
If they "get" a concept in math, ie the calendar, I think it's okay to skip it and review it throughout the year in your daily life.

I picked up individual white boards for my kids this year from Target.
On one side is plain and the other side has handwriting lines. I have really liked this to write out my dd narrations to copy. No wasted paper!! :)
We've also used it for math. The kids seem to like having their own boards too :).
Chutes and ladders is great for reinforcing numbers to 100.
Lots of good books, play, outside time, exploration!!
Nicole, wife to Claudio since 1996, and mom to dd (2000), dd (2003), dd (2005), and ds (2009).
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Location: Southeast Texas

Re: Tips for First Grade?

Unread post by beaglemamma2008 »

We're winding down our 1st grade year, and I have learned a couple of things that probably would have made my life a little easier if I had known them back in September.

(1) I am now the proud owner of the Adventures TM, and I love the way Marie has set up the weekly grid in it. Once I saw that, I began doing the same thing for 1st grade, and it made our week so much more organized!! It's basically just a table that I make in Microsoft Word, and it has 5 columns (one for each day) and however many rows you need to cover all of your subjects. Each weekend, I go through and fill out what we'll cover each day in each subject for the next week. This has helped me make sure I have the supplies I need for special activities and science experiments. It also helps when planning play dates, grocery shopping, etc. because I can just look at the grid and say, "Tuesday is a light day. Let's do it then." But I think the most helpful thing has been seeing what I did or didn't get around to covering each day. Sometimes life happens and we just don't get everything done that's supposed to get done in a day. Well, the way the TM is set up, when I turn the page, it's now out of sight and out of mind.

(2) If you're using the deluxe package, the music isn't scheduled in the TM. I went through and penciled in "Music" every fifth lesson to make sure we did it once a week.

Hope these ideas help you get organized a little--and hope you have a great first grade year!

Oh, and one other thing. I love the way Marie uses the Proverbs verses as handwriting practice! what we started doing is looking up our new verse on Monday, doing the handwriting sheet on Tuesday, and making some fun Bible memory games (just google that phrase and you'll get all kinds of results) for her to play on Thursday and Friday. It's AMAZING how much better she knows her verses since we started doing this!

Hope this helps!
Jennifer, mom to:
Hannah, 8. Finished and loved K, 1st, & Adventures. Currently loving ECC.
Millie, 5. Finished Pre-K and K "lite." Currently playing her way through K "for real."
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First Grade scheduling and math questions

Unread post by deltagal »

Yodergoat wrote:I've been spending the last couple of nights after husband and daughter are abed to look over the First Grade materials. I'm really excited!! But the Teacher's Manual is so full of good ideas and suggestions and games (like the ones in the math section near the front of the book), and I am afraid that I will just plain old forget to implement them. :~ What suggestions do you have for making sure that I actually DO all of those wonderful things?

And I have a math question. In the TM it suggests tearing out the pages which your child is about to do from Complete Book of Math if your child is visually overwhelmed. I'd like to do this, and I think it's a good way to keep my semi-perfectionist daughter from feeling like she has to do every single page or that she must do them in the right order, or to keep her from looking ahead and asking to do something else instead. But, how should these torn out pages be stored after they're completed? Maybe the sheets from each topic (like sequencing) in the same page protector?
I am in the midst of using MFW 1 with my 7 yo. This is what I've done so far that seems to help....
1.) all the books and guide are kept in a crate beside the chair that I sit in to work with my daughter
2.) I have all the math items in a hanging folder in the crate that I pull out and review for math. All the other materials, timeline pieces, etc. are in envelopes in a separate hanging folder.
3.) I have the different sections of the book "tabbed' with post-in notes - poems, math, lesson of the day, literature
4.) once a week - ideally Wednesday I look ahead to see what books we need for the next couple of weeks and request them from the library. They usually arrive by Monday and I pick them up when I am out on errands. I mark in the margin, if the book was in the library system, so I'll know for my next dd.
5.) All the timeline pieces are pre-cut and in an envelope in my folder.
6.) When we begin our lesson. I pull out the guide, turn to the day we are on and just go down the subject areas listed in order. I have found that this keeps me on-track.
With Joy!

dd 7: MFW 1st grade
ds 10, 13, 15: ECC - maps, missionaries, and reading on Wednesdays
dd 2: ?
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Any advice for the overwhelmed?

Unread post by mgardenh »

MyThreeBlessings wrote:Hi! We have decided to homeschool our children and are excited and overwhelmed at the same time. Our oldest did public kindergarten last year. I would really love some advice to help steer us in the right direction and get this journey started off right.
Take a deep breath and blow it out slowly. You'll need to do that a lot. I'm starting my 7 th year of homeschooling and I occasionally still need to take a deep breath. It's ok to feel overwhelmed. Particullarly at the beginning of the year.

Now on to advice. Read the teaching manual instructions at least 3 times. The first time just read it. You may get confussed but don't worry it will come. So then walk away from it for a while. Then read it again having pen and paper ready. Write down questions you have as you go through it. My advice is to wait to come here with your questions but you can. So after you waited a while the second reading read it a third time seeing how many of your questions get answered. Then the questions you still have come here and ask. People here have great ideas. You can also call mfw office they are so incredibly helpful too.

What I did when I had a three year old while I taught was spend time with the tree year old first. Playing having fun. Then I got out toys that the 3year old could play with only during school. Then I did school in the same room as she played in. I interacted with the 3 year old periodically so she would not bug us. Of course this all depends on your child.

May God bless you as you school. Come back often.

DH to Laurel
SAHD (mostly) to
Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
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Starting grade 1 questions... advice!

Unread post by mshanson3121 »

So, I am so excited. We're starting grade 1 after Christmas. I have all our resources ordered or in place (as in science, music, art books and student sheets on order etc...). Can anyone give me any tips, advice on starting out, things I should do/buy to make it easier (ways of organizing) etc...
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Starting grade 1 questions... advice!

Unread post by TriciaMR »

mshanson3121 wrote:So, I am so excited. We're starting grade 1 after Christmas. I have all our resources ordered or in place. Can anyone give me any tips, advice on starting out, things I should do/buy to make it easier (ways of organizing) etc...
One thing I did was take a 3 ring binder and organize it in order of things I wanted to cover each day. It went something like this:

Page 1: a weather dial
Page 2: a graph to fill in the weather from page1. (Then at the end of the month, we would compare which type of day had the most/least.) Each month I made a new graph page.
Page 3: a list of the months in order (to practice saying each day). Then, after a while I added in something like, "If this month is December, what was last month? What will next month be?"
Page 4: a list of the days of the week (Sunday, Monday...) in order, to practice saying. Then did the "If today is ___, what was yesterday? What will tomorrow be?"
Page 5: A calendar of this month. We would "x" off each day, and say the date, and the date of the day before and the date of the day after.
Page 6: address and phone number to practice saying.
The rest of the pages were the number of the day pages

Each day, I would start with page 1, and then work through the pages in order. These were things I felt like my kids needed practice on every day. (These may have been covered in K, but I didn't use MFW's K program.) You could add a clock face page to practice telling time (just hours, then later on minutes). Sometimes we take those things for granted and forget that our kids need the repetition to practice them. Some people set the above up as circle time, but that didn't work well with my twins.
mshanson3121 wrote:Thank you. I know those are recommended math activities, right? But I take it those things aren't included in the MFW students sheets, or are they?
I had 1st edition 1st grade. The number of the day charts and pages were included, but not calendars, months, days of week, etc., but they were kind of recommended activities. This was the best way for me to remember to do them.

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Re: Starting grade 1 questions... advice!

Unread post by kw4blessings »

Hi. We are using MFW1 right now. If you're planning to use the pattern block animal book (I recommend it!), it helps to put each page in a sheet protector and then put all the pages in a three-ring binder. I will let my daughter then pick one out and lay it flat on the table...this helps so the pieces don't slide off.
MelissaB wrote:I wish I would have thought of that last year. We battled sliding blocks all year! - Great idea!

Also, make sure you have a cup for the bean cup and one for the coin cup. Other than that, not too much prep required. Have fun!
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
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Re: Starting grade 1 questions... advice!

Unread post by kw4blessings »

mshanson3121 wrote:Is it okay if I use the Cuisenaire Rods instead of the Pattern blocks? We didn't use MFW K, so we didn't get to use them. I have a different book, the Primary Idea book so it covers goals from PreK - grade 2.
If you already have the Cuisinaire rods, I would say go for it. We haven't used them yet, but are looking forward to using them next year for K with my ds. The pattern blocks and animal book are part of the deluxe 1st package, so definitely not required.
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
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Box Day-Ready to start tearing into Learning God's Story

Unread post by Wendy B. »

lea_lpz wrote:I'm so excited! We got our box today! Kids were having a break today in the beautiful sunshine outside today, playing with some side walk chalk and bubbles and the UPS guy showed up with our box, so I spent the remainder of break tearing into my box. MFW 1st looks wonderful.

If any of you ladies have done MFW 1st, please share your pointers on how you organized / prepared for mfw 1st.

I'd also love to hear from others who'll be using mfw 1st this upcoming school year.

My advice is to put the Reading Chart inside of a page protector. I didn't do it with our first one, and it was beat up looking. My kids use the Reading Chart to help with spelling past 1st grade so it remains in use for a long time.

I am a big fan of getting ahead and staying ahead so I really like your idea of doing a few days of school each week during the summer. Getting ahead really helped us this past year when we were completely derailed from our usual schedule during the fall.

Fun year!
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
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Re: Box Day-Ready to start tearing into Learning God's Story

Unread post by 4monkeyz »

Yay for Box Day! We are finishing 1st and it was so much fun - I can't wait to do it with the littles when it is their turn. :)

We didn't have much success hanging things on the wall in a non-permanent way this year, so instead we used a small photo album for the timeline pieces in Adventures (plus the bird cards), but I think it would work well for 1st. Or use baseball card sleeves in a 3-ring - haven't done this but I think when we get to longer timelines it might come in handy.

I also found this tip (maybe on the K archives?) - use a light colored marker, like yellow or peach, to write the word(s) or sentences, then the child writes over it with pencil. It has helped tremendously! My dd still has a hard time visualizing where to put things on the line and we end up with crazy letters and spacing sometimes. :)
Andrea ~ Christ-Follower, Blessed Wife, Mama of 4
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Re: Box Day-Ready to start tearing into Learning God's Story

Unread post by kw4blessings »

Ooooh, I LOVE box day! Enjoy 1st. We are about to finish it up next month with my girlie and have enjoyed it so much. :)

I'm trying to think of what may be helpful for you in planning..... I second the pp who mentioned to protect your reading chart. I went ahead and laminated it and it's still in great condition. We plan to continue using it for spelling as well. I also laminated the books of the Bible chart, although I'm not sure if that was 100% necessary.

I would go ahead and make the copies you'll need of number of the day chart and the pages for playing store and restaurant in math (that's assuming these are included in the new version, hope so!).

I also took the pattern blocks book apart and put each page in a page protector. Then I put them all in a 3-ring binder with the cover in the front sleeve. This made it easy to give my littles a page as well and they could all play together....also keeps the page flat so the blocks don't slide off.

We found fun cups for the coin cup and bean cup. Start collecting stickers, pictures, felt, etc. for the Bible ntbk illustrations.

I would also suggest having your child color all of the timeline pieces during the summer, so they are ready to go. This was a time saver for us, especially on a day when we need to get done with school quickly (dd is an artist and really likes to take her time!).

I kept all of the unused student sheets in a manila folder and pulled out as needed, worked well. We also put the proverbs pages in pg protectors when completed and put them in one of those folders with the 3 brads in it so it's like a mini ntbk.

Have a blast next year, I'm looking forward to doing 1st again with my 3 coming along!
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!
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