I would think that even if she seems ready on the academic side as outlined in "is your child ready for K?" guidelines (as she seems to be), there is more the the K program than just academics. There are great character lessons and Biblical content that is more suited for an older child... and some of these are relatively mature and somewhat abstract concepts like sacrifice for sin, guarding the tongue, "remaining" in Christ (as a few examples of the concepts covered for each unit), and others of that nature that may be above the ability of a just-turned four year old to fully grasp. Some of these may be difficult for even a very bright and mature four year old to really wrap her head around due to how abstract they are, but they are really part of the beauty of the K program. And then as you pointed out, would she be ready for First at five? Adventures at six? (if you stay with MFW)dsnell0331 wrote:Hi, everyone. I've been doing a lot of research these past few weeks, and my heart keeps coming back to MFW. We are brand new to this homeschooling thing. Our children are 18 months, and soon to be 4 years old. My dilemma is this, my soon to be 4 year old seems to be more than ready for the MFWK - although everything I'm seeing says to wait until she's 5.
So, I looked into all of the preschool/toddler offers. We already have a huge majority of these kinds of things - and she seems to be a little bored with them. She begs for more structured learning. She wants "school time". We've been using a very simple workbox system, with little things here and there that I have come up with. She can recognize all numbers (up to 20 for now), recognize all letters, write capital letters, write her name (with a visual to give guidance), and knows most of the sounds that each letter makes - among other skills not listed.
So, I'm at a loss. Do we jump into MFWK? Even if she excels at it, would she even be ready maturity-wise for the 1st grade program when she's only 5? I don't want to push her too far, I don't want to hold her back.
So, then we've looked into Five In A Row. I'm considering using this for a year, just to give her something more "structured", and then the next year starting with MFWK.
Can I have some advice/opinions? I've seen the "Is your child ready" list, and our answer to every question has been a resounding "YES". Thanks for any suggestions, I appreciate it.
My daughter had all these same signs of early readiness before she was four, but I am so glad that I waited until she was five to do K... even if only so she could really "get" the Bible and character concepts. And I see now, as I am looking at the First grade materials, that they would have been far too much for her at five years old. I am very new at homeschooling, too... the K program was our first year ever. But as I have read on these boards, I keep seeing over and over again how others say they are glad they waited, especially when the child they considered starting early begins the first grade program at the right maturity level instead of being a year too young.
Have you read the K archives on this board? You may find some helpful posts about starting early versus waiting. Also, some folks stretch K out over two years, which could also be an option for you if you really feel you want to start. But again, I would say that although the program appears simple, there are some deep concepts to explore.
If I were in your position (and I was two years ago, but had not yet discovered MFW), and you want structure, I would do something in the meantime like Five in a Row. But in my case, I chose to just give my child another year to play and explore without structure but with lots of educational toys to use... the last chance for many years for both of us to be free and unfettered by school responsiblities. I'm glad we did.
If you wait, and then do K next year and she just absolutely excels at it because you waited that year.... don't look at it as a waste of time to have waited.... think of it as a chance for her to begin school feeling confident and truly ready. Even if she is reading by then, there is so much more to K than the academics.
If she does K next year instead of this year, your toddler will also be more able to participate in some of the fun hands-on learning. That would be a nice bonus!
Just some thoughts from one who has just finished the great K program.