Choosing K - Child who knows letters, adapting early lessons

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
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jenmar30
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:30 am

Choosing K - Child who knows letters, adapting early lessons

Unread post by jenmar30 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:36 pm

lisabee wrote:My son is going to be starting the Kindergarten curriculum in a couple weeks, but I have a concern...it seems like the first few units--or maybe it's the first few steps in the units--are written for a child who doesn't already know their letters. My son can identify all but maybe 1 or 2 letters of the alphabet in uppercase form...so the first step for each unit of showing the letter and saying "this is the letter ___" seems rather pointless. I plan on quickly assessing which letters he is still struggling with as well as digging into his recognition of the lowercase for the ones he doesn't know...but I think he's basically ready to move ahead immediately into the phonics for the letters. Should I just jump ahead and start where Lesson 4 does the phonics?
I just started the Kindergarten Curriculum with my daughter. She also knows her uppercase letters really well but not all the lowercase letters. I went ahead and have reviewed them with her everyday just to drill it in her a little more.. If you know your son already knows his letters then just focus on the lowercase letters he doesn't know. I am no expert by any means since I am just starting as well. Other homeschool moms say that the beauty of homeschooling is you can tailor make it for your child. I have to remind myself of this constantly already. :) I am so glad we have this board to ask questions and get feedback.

cbollin

Re: Advice need for the Kindergarten Curriculum

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:27 pm

I have some ideas to "beef up" that intro for that case. But I wouldn't skip ahead to miss some stuff. I'd tweak for some other skills hidden in there. They are listed in detail on this thread for the "steps 3-6 of the creation unit"
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 85&#p51585

and for when you get to the phonics lessons after creation unit....
I hope this helps too if needed
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 179#p47744
on that link, make sure you scroll up and down for lots of ideas from others on the same subject.

I'd use it for learning the other letters, and if he knows them... learn how to alphabetize in small segments. I explain that in detail on one of the threads linked above.

Enjoy the learning time.
and Welcome along!

-crystal

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

Re: Advice need for the Kindergarten Curriculum

Unread post by gratitude » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:38 pm

I completely understand your question. I used to have it a lot, until I taught K twice; my perspective has changed quite a bit as my children have moved further into early grade school years.

My second son knew all of his letters, letter sounds, and could read a little when I started MFWK. I still started with the 7 days of creation and then with lesson 1. The main reason was that I didn't want to miss the other great parts of the program. He also was my second K student so I was starting to catch onto the idea that sometimes less is more and that there is so many wonderful things to learn at the age of 5. So I started at the beginning. I did modify the program slightly though due to his knowledge.

The main modification I did was I skipped the parts of the yellow pages that he already knew. I would have to look at my TM to remember exactly what I skipped. I didn't do any letter recognition games, or individual letter sounds. I did every blend letter exercise in the program (fabulous phonics base!). I also remember on the first blend ladder exercise him asking to do the whole ladder, not just one letter; so we did. Then we did the entire ladder throughout the program. There are ways to take a home school curriculum and make it individualized to your child. For example, not teach the material they really do not need. However, try to not overestimate what you think they don't need. Review is wonderful for children. They love it. There does come a point though where the information becomes knowledge they use over & over again on their own easily. The other part is if a student is a little more advanced with MFWK there are ways to make it more for them so they continue to develop where they are at. Like my ds doing the entire blend ladder from the first day the ladder was introduced.

I hope this helped. Please ask if you need more.
Last edited by gratitude on Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Yodergoat
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Advice need for the Kindergarten Curriculum

Unread post by Yodergoat » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:50 am

I don't have advice. Just wanted you to know I'm in the same boat as you... I wondered if my daughter would feel silly if I pointed them out and said, "This is the letter ___." But I think I'm going to do it anyway, with the focus on learning them all in lower case so it's as intuitive for her to recognize the lower case as it is for the upper. I think it will boost her confidence a bit to be doing some things she already knows! Might your son be the same way? Around here, repetition is not looked on as drudgery by her, she loves it to the point that I start to get tired of reviewing! (I should come back and read that when she's older.)

At least we can adjust accordingly. There are about to be a whole bunch of kindergarten children in public school sitting through the alphabet again and again and again until (hopefully) everyone gets it. But we can move on when we're ready or linger when we need to do so. :)

I haven't looked at the teacher's manual in a few weeks, but I guess I should because we're going to start in 6 days! :~
If there is a focus on putting them in alphabetical order, she needs that! I think I'll check out that thread of ideas.

Glad you asked the question...
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

cbollin

Re: Advice need for the Kindergarten Curriculum

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:24 am

hmmm... an idea just popped in my head. never did it this way but what about a guess the letter game instead of "this is the letter ___"

What if you took the blue letter cards, covered up part of the letter. Can your child still identify it? How much do you have to reveal before he can? It just seems like it could be fun for some children, frustrating for others, and just a total bust for others.

or take the opportunity for a language development exercise:
This is the letter ___
Describe how it is formed.
It has a line on the left side that goes from top to bottom
and a line across the top and bottom that go from left to right.

do stuff like that with them -- critical thinking skills, advanced language, it's eye training, pre drawing lessons too - and it's all with something they know, the name of a symbol.

-crystal

gjamamama
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:19 pm

Re: Advice need for the Kindergarten Curriculum

Unread post by gjamamama » Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:01 pm

When my daughter started MFWK, she also knew her letters and their sounds and I was considering skipping K and going straight to first. On the advice of my MIL I went ahead and did K with her.

It was really a confidence building year for both of us. She enjoyed "just knowing" many things already, and was eager to learn what she didn't know. It really filled in gaps that I would never have realized were there (since I've never done this before). We both ended K with lots of confidence. Now that we are a few weeks into MFW1 I see the real benefit. 1st is a bit more intense in terms of phonics and handwriting. I feel like we both have the foundation now to handle more work. I can push her little bit more now too because she is confident that she can do the work. So, my advice is to do K from the beginning just for the sake of building confidence.

HTH,
Gentry

Smoakhouse
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:47 pm

Re: Advice need for the Kindergarten Curriculum

Unread post by Smoakhouse » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:41 pm

I'm in a similar position. I have read through the the phonics/writing section and stuck a "skip" post it note on all the parts that I am certain he does not need. We will be concentrating on writing lower case letters and working on the blending ladder. He recognizes some 3 letter words, but is not able to sound out unfamiliar words.

There is no way that every kindergartener would be ready to start at the same place. But that is the best thing about homeschooling, you can tailor it to fit your specific child. Skip what you don't need and concentrate on what you do. Do a bit of review to be sure and build confidence. But I would not want to miss out on the study of creation and God's world.

You can always move a bit faster if she is really ready.

HTH,
Cheri in TN
Mom to girls 23 & 20 and boy 10
Homeschooling for 18 years and counting!!
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lisabee
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Location: Kentucky
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Re: Advice need for the Kindergarten Curriculum

Unread post by lisabee » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:54 pm

Many thanks for all the suggestions and comments! I have made notes in the manual about places to try something different so we will see how it goes!
Lisa M.
Mom to two fabulous farm-fresh boys
Little Britches (5 1/2)
Baby Britches (1)
My Blog about Homeschooling and Life on the Farm: Farm Fresh Adventures

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

Re: Advice need for the Kindergarten Curriculum

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:49 pm

gjamamama wrote: It really filled in gaps that I would never have realized were there (since I've never done this before).
I think this is really important. I encourage you to go through the majority of the K lessons, because just the act of working with the alphabet a lot has value when you later do alphabetization and such. I learned this the hard way, with a child whose K/1st teachers had them sit out of the lessons (and a mom who didn't know any better) :(

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

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