Academics - Challenging a review suggesting K is light

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
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AES
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:35 am

Academics - Challenging a review suggesting K is light

Unread post by AES » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:46 am

I did want to address the reviews of K being more of a preschool program. Perhaps, in comparison to some other programs, K may look like a preschool program; however it really is more than that.

It begins with a creation unit, and then goes into the phonics, Bible, math and science. With phonics, the child is learning the short vowels. The culmination of this, I guess, would be the story pages that the child would be reading (which can be colored, cut, and stapled into cute little booklets). Bible includes character training, and ties in with the letter being learned and the science. Math includes learning to group by tens, etc.

There is handwriting, as well as cutting and pasting. There are additional activities listed in most of the sections. There is a kindergarten archive which lists even more books and more activities. There is an exploration day (or nature walk day).

To me, the feel of the K program is more Charlotte Mason, and I used it with my dd when she was already reading. There have been discussions about what to do (while using K and your child is already reading) but a veteran poster will have to link you to that!

HTH,
Amy E.

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:00 pm

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:50 am

I used MFW K with my 2nd dd when she was 5 and she was already reading. If you have a 5 year old, do the K program instead of rushing them into 1st grade without that preparation. It’s a lot of fun for them. They never get to be 5 again.

If they are like my daughter and ahead of the curve in reading, then let them practice all of that lower case writing in the MFW K program. My daughter continued to learn how to read before we went into MFW 1st grade and continued to stay ahead of the curve on that. Also, she knew her numbers and could count. Still do the MFW K math with kids like that. It teaches a lot about place value, and patterns, and other things that are foundational to learning the rest of math when they are older. Also, my daughter got to listen in, if she wanted, to her older sister’s program that year (which was Creation to the Greeks). She didn’t really want to listen in so I was so glad to give her a K program on her own and then she could just go be 5 years old.

To help you out a bit about the question that seems to come up about the level of MFW K: I’ve seen those same internet opinions who say that the program is really a preschool program. I strongly disagree with their analysis. Here’s a brief description why I disagree.

The first few weeks of MFW K might resemble the end of a K4 or Preschool program, but the rest of the program doesn’t.

All children start K with different levels of learning. No need to rush them in the early weeks. It’s ok to build gradually. By the middle of MFW K your child is reading short stories. You work on a lot of handwriting skills beyond “just” letter formation. Many preschool programs don’t bother with lowercase letters for writing, MFW K teaches both upper case and lower case. The science/character lessons in K will use a lot of analogies. Those analogies are better suited for the language skills of a 5 year old. Just because MFW K teaches reading and blending of short vowels words, does not mean it is a preschool program.

Also, my youngest daughter for several years has attended 2 preschools as part of her therapies for special needs. One of those schools is a regular church preschool (which is for normal kids, not autistic kids, but they let my autistic daughter go there) does not deal with learning how to read short vowel words. There are some children in that school who can sight read, and read some books that they have heard over and over. There are some children who can write their names in all uppercase letters. A few who can use lowercase. All of my daughter’s class will go to K next year. Some of them will be ahead of the curve of their school for the first couple of days/week in things like letter and number recognition and knowing the weather. But no one is thinking about making them miss K in favor of a longer school day in 1st grade classroom.

All of the rest of the phonics are taught in 1st grade. But the pace is fast. They are expected to learn to write sentences and summaries of their Bible stories.

I think with a 5 year old is it better to thrive in K instead of struggle with 1st grade.
-crystal

kellybell
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Unread post by kellybell » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:02 pm

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:02 am

I've done K with two children, and 1st with the same two (about to wrap it up with the youngest, a few more days to go).

Yes, K appears to be a bit "babyish" perhaps due to the large number of hands-on activities and lack of a pile of workbooks (there are worksheets to do).

And, honestly, K could be done in a preschooly manner. Especially if you lightly skimmed over the Bible truths and skipped some of the extra ("Day 6") reading and discussion. I think it's the parent that sort of determines the level of the program by what she or he includes, discusses, reviews, etc. Someone skimming this program would probably get a preschool-level program while someone doing all the activities and taking time to discuss the lesson's Bible truth and review the creation days and previous letters would get a rich K program.

What makes it more than a preschool program is this:

1. The student learns lots of phonics and a little math. The student leaves K ready for the faster pace of 1st grade.

2. The student finishing K has a good understanding of some important Bible truths about creation, about God caring for him, about doing the right thing (obeying, persevering), etc. The little sayings stick with you (my children, even those that didn't do MFW K but were simply in the next room, can say "I obey right away" or "Big and small, God made them all.")

3. The student leaves with lots of fine motor skills as he had a year to practice cutting, gluing, etc. There are a few worksheets and some fun projects.

I would recommend doing K for a child that is kindergarten aged. It's just developmentally right. It has a lot of good and appropriate learning (and it's fine if some of it is review, kids like to feel successful and review often feels successful to the child). First grade could be done by a 5 year old but it is more work and it moves at a faster pace. It's asking a lot of a 5 year old.

courthart246
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:45 pm

Unread post by courthart246 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:04 pm

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:11 pm

Just wanted to agree with those who already posted. I'm coming from the perspective of having skipped K with my oldest child. He was reading very well, so I thought that I would just go on to the first grade. I have regretted it for several reasons:

1. The MFW K program looks so fun and I feel we missed something not taking the time to do it.

2. They are only in Kindergarten one time.

3. It has been difficult to have him a year ahead than his peers academically but not physically and emotionally.

I could probably think of other reasons, but these are the main ones in my eyes. Everyone has to determine what is best for each of their children. This has just been my experience. I am looking forward to doing MFW K with my next 5 year old ds in the fall!

TammyB
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Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:27 pm

Unread post by TammyB » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:05 pm

cbollin wrote:I think with a 5 year old is it better to thrive in K instead of struggle with 1st grader.
Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:06 pm
I could not agree with this more. It is just so very, very true.

My five year old is in K, and even though her reading abilities surpass where she currently is in the program, both her reading and even spelling skills continue to grow. She is going to be so prepared to thrive in MFW first.

amelasky
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Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:40 am

Unread post by amelasky » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:07 pm

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:45 pm

I have to agree that MOST kids at 5 should start with MFWK. We loved it. It was challenging enough for my daughter for her to realize she really was learning, enough of a review for her to realize how much she already knew, and so much fun that she loved it! By the time we reached the reading of the sentences, she was not worried about it and had no problems with it. It was the perfect fit for her, even with her being somewhat advanced.

We are on day 147 of MFW1 right now. I would venture to say that we would not have been able to do MFW1 without first doing MFWK. She needed the foundation that K provided.

Also, if you have another (younger) child, it helps to look at the cost as an investment instead of an expense. You are also investing in the second child's education too. So divide the cost of K by the number of children you have, and see how much it comes out to. (Make sure you factor in the cost of additional student packet.)
Annie

cbollin

seen a lot of complaints that MFW K is too light

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:54 pm

Jessie410 wrote:Hi, I'm new here!

I have been researching curriculum for the past few weeks and am planning to go with MFW. I have an off topic question. I have seen a lot of complaints that MFW K is too light. We are starting preschool soon and I'm almost hesitant to teach them too much for fear we wouldn't be able to use MFW K, and I really want to use it lol! Is that silly? I saw some threads on here a while back where people were addressing the claims that MFW is too light and now I can't find them. I would love some reassurance on that topic. Thanks!
I've seen over the years that people say MFW Kindy is light. Then, they switch. Then, you read a year later on them saying they wish they had stuck with it.

Is MFW K too light? No. Would I have thought it was too light with my first born super genius wink wink... of course I would have thought that. I had unrealistic expectations.

I've seen recent chat that new homeschoolers are concerned about "it's not enough seat work for an interpretation of state law". Ok.. no, MFW K is not going to be 5 hours of seat work. I'll just agree on that.

but... it is plenty for the age.

I guess it depends what one thinks preschool is for. Is it for learning to read? or being 4 and 5 years old?

Same thing applies for Kindy. In MFW Kindergarten, children will learn to read short vowel readers and begin to copy sentences. There is a richness in the science and Bible lessons that are fine for the age. I did MUS math for my oldest and used that program's Kindy math. Then next kiddo rolls around and I do MFW Kindy math - guess what? same stuff. hmmm... hmmm...

I remember a few years back reading a copy of The Well Trained Mind. As I read Susan's description of Kindy, I said over and over "she just described Marie Hazell's kindy program".

You can do more with it. Plenty of ideas on each unit on the ideas forum. You can do just enough to have a good year in Kindy.

Over the 6 plus years of being on various forums out there... usually the common complaint that MFW Kindy is too light has to do with the pace of the beginning of the program. There's this big trend now to teach symbols very early and know your sounds and letters and all of that. And MFW K does not rush the first 6 weeks. If one starts in September, the student is reading before half way through the program.

I used Kindy twice - middle gal and youngest. I had no idea that middle gal knew how to read. Oh my! She was in speech therapy and they didn't know either. She picks up the student workbook in Kindy and started reading the stories to me - and that was on the first day of using it. I gulped and thought.. oh great. now what?

Well... that's when I realized... one could do this for the Creation Unit
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... =25#p51585
and actually work on new skills in fun ways.

and for the phonics lessons...
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=7179

Lots of options for extra books to read, lots of time to play and still be 5 years young.

oh... youngest? with autism right? She learned to read before we taught her... so, she did those same "beef up" things in MFW K on phonics. and she was 6 y.o when she did the program. Would not trade it!

don't be in a rush on those symbols like ab cd.. 123.. work on chores, self care, cooking, playing nicely with others. Read to your child and if they learn to read early, it's ok to still do Kindy.

-crystal

Jessie410
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:01 pm

Re: seen a lot of complaints that MFW K is too light

Unread post by Jessie410 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:56 pm

Thanks for that great explanation of Kindergarten. Personally, I think Kindergarten is for learning to read and write, so I don't plan to formally teach much of it through preschool. When we start, I want bible devotionals to be the core, along with fun hands on activities that help teach fine motor skills. I guess my goals for pre-k would be a good knowledge of bible stories, colors, shapes, letters, numbers, animals, seasons, that kind of stuff. Maybe even a little geography/culture, since we do foreign mission work and my parents will be in Africa for the next 3 months :) You think that will be a good foundation for MFW K?

erin.kate
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:38 am

Re: What do you do in between 5 year cycle and High School?

Unread post by erin.kate » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:28 am

I wanted to just say, with regard to reading that MFW K is too light, it is NOT. One of my K'ers (6 next month) is a fluent reader. I can't take the credit aside from always reading aloud and keeping books in her midst. She is also breezing through first grade math. I will be re-starting MFW K in March (with the revised version, haha) with her and my other K'er because the Bible and activities and Literature are NOT to be missed. They help mold the child in ways that reading and math cannot. Like Crysal said, you can always beef up and meet your child where he/she is at in terms of reading and/or math, but you cannot re-capture their littleness and simple joys in God that MFW K so beautifully presents. MFW is spot on with K and First Grade ... I can't comment yet on the five-year cycle, but I would not miss those years with MFW. I have two others coming up the ranks and MFW K and First will remain staples in our home.
♥Count it all joy ~
Mae 11, Viola 9, Jude 7, & Jack 6
2015: RTR
2014: CTG
2011: Adventures
2010: MFW First Grade
2009: MFW K♥

cbollin

Re: seen a lot of complaints that MFW K is too light

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:31 am

sounds good goals to me.

One idea for culture/geography for preschool.... (you'll get more geography in MFW K. I was surprised by how much was in it) is to just get picture books from library of the places your parents will be.

another idea.... for missions/geography... check out MFW's missions page. The organization is called God's Word for the Nations.
http://www.gwftn.org/

or check out some fun stuff on Wycliffe for Kids
http://www.wycliffe.org/Resources/Kids.aspx

or what it is called...... oh yeah One Verse. they have some stuff. I don't know all of it well enough to say "this is good for preschool".... but in general, you might look at it as an adult and say "ooh... there are ways we can make small changes in our money habits and save and give to Bible translation or other missions"

but mostly for preschool - make it about people you know. You know your family. get pictures. pray for them. find little ways to support them.
Jessie410 wrote:Thanks again, Crystal! Those are great ideas. We have quite a few friends doing mission work across the globe so it should be easy to incorporate them into our day. I like the idea of getting picture books on the places to make it a little more real for the kids.
There you go! you have real life friends around the globe.
That's one way you bring the life lessons into homeschooling.

include real life stuff -- service,

-crystal
Last edited by cbollin on Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MunkyWrangler
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:45 am
Location: Livingston, Louisiana

Excited, yet nervous!

Unread post by MunkyWrangler » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:58 pm

After many months of ghosting both the forum and the MFW website, my husband and I finally took the plunge and ordered MFW last night! This will be our first year hs our 3 1/2 year old dd and 4, nearly 5, year old dd. Our 4 year old participated in a wonderful public preschool program last school year (I have to say her teachers were both Christian women, wonderful wonderful people!) but we just weren't happy with where the public education was heading what with Common Core seeping in. Not only that, but more importantly the lack of God was bothering us but we thought "this is just something we have to go through."

Wrong!

So here we are, flailing around like we have an idea as to what we're doing. We're worried after reading some reviews that MFWK will be a little weak in some areas since she covered a lot of it in school but we also like how it's age appropriate. We'll be adding Song School Latin and the Charlotte Mason style Scripture Memory System , as well as working on ASL to round everything out.

Any suggestions are welcomed and prayed for! lol
Leslie, wife to Robert for 7 long years :P
Princess Minion (5) 2014-2015 MFWK, Signing Time ASL
Princess Na'vi (4) 2014-2015 MFWP, Signing Time ASL
Ancora Imparo Academy, est. 2014

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

Excited, yet nervous!

Unread post by Joyhomeschool » Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:37 pm

MunkyWrangler wrote:After many months of ghosting both the forum and the MFW website, my husband and I finally took the plunge and ordered MFW last night! Our 4 year old participated in a wonderful public preschool program last school year but we just weren't happy with where the public education was heading; more importantly the lack of God was bothering us.

We'll be adding [several things] to round everything out. Any suggestions are welcomed and prayed for! lol
So exciting! Try MFW first, for a year, with out adding ANYTHING. You will see that it's Not weak, just gentle and a blessed gentle.
Vicki
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2

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

Re: Excited, yet nervous!

Unread post by gratitude » Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:35 am

MunkyWrangler wrote:Thanks for the input! I talked it over with my husband and we will hold off on [adding] for a while and see. I'm concerned with her possibly getting bored because she did attend a public class last school year. Like you all said though, we can always add more later.

We made the plunge with MFW. Now we're trying to figure out which string has the parachute, the emergency cord, the. . . . :-)
Welcome to the journey of home schooling! :) I pray your first year is blessed.

A few questions since you are concerned about her getting bored:
*What level is she reading at? Can she blend two letter together easily? Can she read three letter words easily without hesitation? Does she know all of her alphabet letters by sight and by sound? Can she write all of her alphabet letters? Can she spell basic three letter words?

If you answer yes to all of those questions you may want to consider using MFWK for Bible, Science, Character Traits, Hands on, Music, Art, and Literature read aloud books and then use something else to continue progressing her reading if you really think she is ready for doing that and would honestly enjoy it without tears.

If you answer no to all, or any, of those questions. The above skills is what she will learn in MFWK.

Be careful listening to all of the advice on [various] forums. You will find 50 people who say MFWK is gentle and just right for K and 50 people who say it isn't rigorous enough. What those answers reflect is their values, their children, and what they want for their home schools. The challenge is to figure out what you want for your particular child for her Kindergarten year.

If you write down your top 5 priorities it will help a lot. Mine are: Bible, Seeing the World through the teachings in the Bible, attitudes of the heart and character and training as written in Deut. 6, and then the academics in order of math, science, history, literature, and geography. This took years to develop. Your top 5 goals may change with time. Don't use mine. The important part is to decide with DH your own for your family. It helps a lot in choosing curriculum, schedules, picking outside activities, budgeting time, etc. We only have so many hours in a day and staying focused on what is most important in this culture is the biggest challenge I find in home schooling.

I hope that helps! Enjoy a beautiful year. My oldest K year was full of reading great literature and it was wonderful. My favorite year yet.

Blessings,

MunkyWrangler
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:45 am
Location: Livingston, Louisiana

Re: Excited, yet nervous!

Unread post by MunkyWrangler » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:21 pm

Although she does know all of her alphabet by sight and sound and can write it out in uppercase letters, I'm a bit iffy on the rest. This leads me to believe that MFWK is the best option. If nothing else, like you said, I can use something else to progress her reading later in the year.

Thank you so much for all that information.
Leslie, wife to Robert for 7 long years :P
Princess Minion (5) 2014-2015 MFWK, Signing Time ASL
Princess Na'vi (4) 2014-2015 MFWP, Signing Time ASL
Ancora Imparo Academy, est. 2014

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