4-year-olds - Ready for MFK, but then what to do in future

Using MFW Preschool & Pre-K Packages, as well as occupying babies and toddlers while teaching
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kellybell
Posts: 475
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

4-year-olds - Ready for MFK, but then what to do in future

Unread post by kellybell » Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:33 pm

Advanced pre-K/kindergarten prep
hollybygolly wrote:Hi there...we plan to start using MFW next September shortly after my twins turn 5. Currently, we do light preschool stuff. They really want to do and learn more and I'm wondering what anyone recommends to enhance preschool. We read, do puzzles, play dollhouse all day long! Thanks for any help! Holly
Nah, don't do kindergarten early, wait on it. If you were to do K early, then you'd end up doing 1st early too, which might be okay, but after that you've got a really young 2nd grader who just isn't ready for all that work.

Sounds like you are doing so much terrific "school." You might want to consider trips to the zoo, fire station, museum, etc. Some preschool moms like Kindermusik and similar classes but they DO cost a lot. It would be easy to come up with a once a week music "class" where you get a box of instruments (could be as simple as a plastic Easter egg with uncooked rice or dried beans inside and all of it taped shut with packing tape) and play music (check the library for cool kids CDs).

And, don't forget the library for story time.

Make puppets, act out Bible stories, play in a dishpan of soapy water (my preschoolers always liked to "wash dishes" and I'd give them clean spoons, whisks, plastic plates, spatulas, etc.) The table (and the child) would get soaked, the dishes would get soapy, but it was fun.

Boys this age like to play in the sandbox, but another option (for rainy days) is to get a shallow but big plastic container with a lid (ours measures about 9 X 13 X 3 deep). Fill it halfway with cornmeal or grits and lots of little Hot Wheels (look for construction type vehicles) and you have an instant indoor sandbox. Keep a Dustbuster handy.

MFW sells really neat Lauri toys that preschoolers like.

Make up a story and illustrate it. Or, make a Bible story book. Use stickers or markers.

Go on a hike with a digital camera and when you get home print the pictures and make a scrapbook page or a little storybook.

Dictate letters to grandma.

Count things. Sort things. Learn to play war (but skip the face cards).

Plant some seeds.

Just some ideas.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:58 pm

Holly,
Welcome to the board. In addition to the great ideas that Kelly shared....

- try to act out any story that you read aloud. Helps to promote sequencing and langauge skills. Sing songs together. Make up motions to go with the songs. I like using some songs from The Wiggles, and Greg and Steve. (animal action is so much fun....)

- work on increasing fine motor skills through craft and art activity. Let them use scissors. Cut out shapes.

- Play matching games with colors and shapes. Play I spy games with them. Play "shape hunt".

- Sidewalk chalk --- draw circle, square, triangles, rectangles and call out ideas for them to do. Jump in the square 3 times. Walk around the circle backwards. Bounce the ball inside the triangle.

- And like Kelly said, MFW does sell a preK package that is designed for teaching skills such as following directions, completing an assigned task, fine motor development, reading readiness, early math, and thinking skills in a relaxed, informal and playful manner. Each "toy" in the package is actually developing an important skill.
  • Number Puzzle Boards and Pegs (math)
    Kids Puzzle (visual discrimination)
    Lace & Link Lowercase Letters (reading readiness)
    Lacing Shapes (pencil grip--you hold the lace similar to a pencil; fine motor)
    Fit-A-Space (thinking skills--categories and sequence)
    8" Pegboard (math)
- The PreK Activity booklet [now Activity cards], written by MFW, is about 8 pages long and jammed packed with ideas to use as a springboard for the toys. The ideas are arranged by toy and then by developmental area. The activities can be used to educate, involve and occupy a younger child while you are working with an older child, which might be nice next year too --- when the younger ones need it.


My youngest daughter attends a special needs preschool. Her regular scheduled day is 2.5 hours. It breaks down like this:

first hour is "free play" . They "sign in" (means they scribble or make any mark on the paper). There is always an art table (scissors, paper, glue, modeling sand, paint, watercolors, sponges for painting, brushes for painting). There is a water or sand table (homeschoolers call it a sink or covered box like Kelly mentioned) with toys in the table.
They have books to look at. Music. Blocks, dress up. They have their speech therapy time (for the children who are delayed).

then after an hour, clean up time is called. They put the special song on for clean up (Greg and Steve's Freeze.) They clean up. Potty, wash hands, eat snack, clean up snack. Line up and go out to play outdoors.

That's typical for preschoolers --- both regular and special ed.

getting too long here.
--crystal

Mom2MnS
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:05 pm

Unread post by Mom2MnS » Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:16 pm

Hi Holly :) We had a similar situation last year (my ds is 7 mos old)...
My dd and I "did school" for about an hour each morning Aug - midDec. We did so many of the wonderful things already listed above - and had a great time! An hour was all she wanted (but I also told her that we could do more school any time she wanted to, just to let me know ;)

We did our special things at Christmas - baking, wrapping, celebrations, etc... Then in Jan we "began" getting ready for the baby together. Each week we did a little something to get her ready (she went to showers with me, picked out a decoration for his room, made some cards and posters for him at the hospital, etc...)

After he came, he was school :) She needed lots of cuddles - so we did read aloud ALOT, and just spent our time learning to care for & loving the baby. If she asked specifically for school, I put a little in, but for the most part let our days be about being together.

After a couple of months, I picked up with training her in our housework. This allowed for the "special time" she needed with Mommy - and we kept the house together :)

We planned a trip to the Zoo in May to finish out our school year. It was a real hit! She has looked forward all summer to beginning K - we start on Sept 5 :)

May this be a blessed year for you!
WLIC, Quinne

hollybygolly
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:42 pm

Advanced preK-thank you

Unread post by hollybygolly » Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:18 am

Thanks all! I wasn't expecting such wonderful ideas and responses. I'll try some of those activities. We have the Lauri preK package but I had forgotten about the booklet with activities! I need to pull that out and use it. (One of my twins is special needs and requires leg braces, so hikes and zoos can only be done when my husband is home.) But I'll definitely try the other things, and thanks for the recommendation not to start kinder...that's where I was leaning too. Have a great school year and blessings-Holly

Lucy
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Ready for MFK, but then what to do in future

Unread post by Lucy » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:46 pm

snickelfritz wrote:When my kiddos are older, I would like a program that I can stick with so there will be some continuity. So, the problem........If dd #1 starts MFW K this year at 4....her sister will be 2. They could theoretically start Adventures together, when they are 8 and 6 and go on from there. That seems to match the ages fairly well, but that means that I will need 2 years to "fill in" to the MFW courses for my oldest dd.

I don't want to swamp my youngest by being too far ahead of her. I don't know that I should postpone K for my oldest, since she shows the readiness signs to start.

Is it simpler than I'm making it out to be?
Hi,
If you start with MFW there is no way that you would have to switch unless you choose to do so. MFW really discourages beginning most 4 year olds into a regular school program(MFWK) until they are age 5. They have great pre-school toys and the upper program comes with a great book to help you have ideas and different levels to move your child through preparing them well for entrance into K.

If you decide you really want to start K the suggestion is to take it slowly and over a 2 year period instead of a year.

Another reason not to rush through these beginning years is that the later years do get more academic as they progress. Certainly you can move her ahead in math and language arts if she is ready, but that does not mean that she needs to skip all the other age appropriate activites. You will be glad that she is 9 when you begin year 2. Also waiting a year would allow your 2 year old more maturity to particpate in some of the K fun acitvities.

In MFW the younger siblings will glean and join in for parts of the older siblings program that they are interested in and have the attention span for. As you have said you do not want to burn your younger one out. The plan in MFW is that when siblings enter 2nd grade they join their sibling in the family cycle. Up until that point they are spending there shorter official school day learning to read and do math along with some fun science and books.

Your younger one will do MFW K and MFW1 while your older one is dong Adventures and ECC. YOu may decide when you get there to have the younger one join the older one for science and bible but not the whole program.

Also remember that any of the 5 year programs done as 2nd and 3rd graders will be repeated at a higher level in 7th and 8th grade.

MFW is also developing and piloting high school programs as well.

I hope this helps you get a picture, but I would mostly be concerned right now about the next step. MFW will be here when you get ready for the future.

Lucy
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

Tracey in ME
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:27 pm
Location: Litchfield, Maine
Contact:

Unread post by Tracey in ME » Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:12 pm

I am not sure if you know or not, but it is not difficult to be doing MFW K or 1st with another program (Adventures, ECC, and beyond).

We are doing ECC and 1st, and we are done within 2.5 to 3 hours.

Happy homeschooling!
- Tracey
Mother of six (16, 13, 9, 7, 4, and 15 months)
2006 - Present - My Father's World
2001-2005 Sonlight

Our blog: http://traceys-journal.blogspot.com/

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:37 pm

I have found it easier than I thought to be able to teach two children who aren't on the same level. I have a 2nd grader who just joined her older sister's upper program (EX1850) this year. It is easy to teach to the second child when you remember that the younger one focuses on 3 R's and all the other material is "extra" at this age.

Don't hold up your oldest child while waiting for the other ones to catch up to some ideal age or stage. It's fine to have long range plans and think way down the road. But remember that we have to teach during the year that we are in for right now. Plan for some ideas, but teach in the real time.

If you decide to start some formal lessons with your 4 y.o this year, take it slowly and be ready to adjust along the way. Reading is only one thing that is important.

blessings
--crystal

Ariasarias
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:26 am

Unread post by Ariasarias » Tue Oct 31, 2006 4:13 pm

Just my two cents: (no hard feelings if you disagree :)

I would highly suggest doing something else when your dd is 4. My oldest dd was a very early reader and very mature. Had I known about MFW when she was 4, I would have chosen it thinking it was perfect. I think she would have done fine, but she would have missed out on some things that were designed for a five year old.

Marie has written it very well for the interest of a five year old. I was not so aware of this until my dd went through K as a five year old. As I ordered it, I actually thought I would just read through it, thinking she was probably way past it. It looks so simple, and is, yet it is so full.

I would suggest doing more preschool stuff.
Nicole, wife to Claudio since 1996, and mom to dd (2000), dd (2003), dd (2005), and ds (2009).

snickelfritz
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:08 pm

Unread post by snickelfritz » Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:32 pm

Looking at the preK program, she has already mastered numbers to 10 (not writing, but knows them by sight and can solidly count to about 20). She also knows her letters, asks about starting sounds, & tries to write many of them with a pencil. She's got the "straight" letters down pretty well, but letters like "S" are a little harder. I don't spend a lot of time on this stuff, she just is really curious about letters. (She started writing the word "Boots" from a Laurie Berkner song :) ) The only problem is that, since I haven't really instructed her, she's invented the writing methods so that a "B" is 2 stacked circles. Now, I'm worried about starting a program before I have to do to much correcting on her writing.

I thought about doing reading, handwriting, math.......but it seemed like that's what the MFW program provided all-in-one. But, I also don't want the content to be too mature.

sigh.......Maybe they will be at a convention near me.

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Oct 31, 2006 7:29 pm

snickelfritz wrote:Looking at the preK program, she has already mastered numbers to 10 (not writing, but knows them by sight and can solidly count to about 20). She also knows her letters, asks about starting sounds, & tries to write many of them with a pencil. She's got the "straight" letters down pretty well, but letters like "S" are a little harder. I don't spend a lot of time on this stuff, she just is really curious about letters. (She started writing the word "Boots" from a Laurie Berkner song :) ) The only problem is that, since I haven't really instructed her, she's invented the writing methods so that a "B" is 2 stacked circles. Now, I'm worried about starting a program before I have to do to much correcting on her writing.

I thought about doing reading, handwriting, math.......but it seemed like that's what the MFW program provided.
Sounds like you want to do a lot of good things with your 4 y.o. I think you should call the MFW office and talk to them. It is a long time before the 2007 convention season. I still think you could use a lot of the preK program in MFW even with a child who is showing the skills you have described. The problem is that it looks too simple in the catalog and is quite deceiving that way.

I’d like to make a couple of suggestions for preschool while waiting a long time for the convention season for 2007. I don’t want you to feel discouraged. Sounds like you are trying to have many questions answered at once --- that range from when should my child start a full K program vs. a preK program, to the overall how and why of MFW.

Or maybe you are even worrying that somehow you are already behind or doing it wrong. You are not doing it wrong nor are you behind. Don't get too concerned about letter formation in your 4 y.o She is young. It is part of the process. You're ok. {hugs } and warm cocoa all around.


For early handwriting skills:

Work with lacing materials.
Trace letters.
Let your child use scissors to cut shapes.
Trace shapes and let her cut them.

Work with as many tactile letter things as you can. Let her make letters in the sand, or in a tray of salt or grits or whatever. Make letters from playdough. Use a chalk tray. Use shaving cream on a mirror or table. (cleans with a squeezee). Use fingerpaints. Work on upper and lower case. Based on advice from my daughter’s occupational therapist, avoid the preschool package from Handwriting without Tears for a little while. Good program, but it only does upper case. You will have to teach lower case and HWT doesn’t do that until later. Their “orange book” Letters and Numbers for me is better off when child is older. Their Preschool package, well….. grab some playdough and a magna doodle --- you’ll be fine.

Work on things that teach visual discrimination and sequencing (such as the Lauri Kids puzzle that MFW sells with the preK package.) When used with the MFW preK activity booklet [now Activity Cards], you’ll get more ideas of how it is useful. It is not just a little puzzle for a child to master in 5 minutes and then be bored with it for months on end.

For more math skills:
Math is more than counting to ten and then grabbing a workbook. Ask questions about which comes next. And how many of something do we need. All sorts of things.

Work on patterns and predictions.

Reading:
Read to your child.
Sing with your child.

Look at art.

Sounds like your daughter is ready for a fun year of preschool at home even if she has learned some skills early.

Please feel like you can call the MFW office (even ahead of convention season). Be sure to ask them about how to use the PreK package. There is a lot more to it than meets the eye.

--crystal

snickelfritz
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:08 pm

Unread post by snickelfritz » Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:57 pm

A warm cocoa sounds lovely.


Can I just throw in that I am an ex-teacher (Algebra, pre-algebra, science, nature studies)? I'm not sure I can get past doing school without LESSON PLANS!!!!!!! :)

Thank you all for your different suggestions. I think I am off to re-read some Beechick and then to call and see what they suggest.

MJP
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 9:25 pm

Unread post by MJP » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:18 pm

I like waiting until 5 to start the K. There is so much in there. I have the MFW preK toys, along with other materials.
Melissa
Wife of 1 for 18 yrs. Mom of 7--ages 1-15--1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th and 9th grades & (one on the way)
Psalm 16:8
Currently using--1850 to Modern Times
Previously--MFW K , 1st, CtoG, RTR, Exp. to 1850

snickelfritz
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:08 pm

Unread post by snickelfritz » Wed Nov 01, 2006 7:59 am

This is a bit rambly....but it gets to a point.

I was lying in bed last night with a jumble of thoughts in my head (anyone say candy overload!!). I started thinking about my own schooling.

In the 4th grade, we had a free choice book report. For whatever reason, I decided that I wanted to do it over "The Grapes of Wrath". I was an accelerated reader, but I only made it about half way through and it was too "boring". I have never picked the book back up and I wonder what I have missed by attempting it to early. (Maybe it really is a boring book, or maybe I would like it)

I guess the point I got (and I truly think God brought this to mind for a reason) is that just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean it is the best time. It also reminded me that I became a strong reader with NO pre-school (except teacher parents) and with phonics instruction starting in Kindergarten.

I do think my dd COULD do K, but she might miss out on other things. I didn't mention that I was a teacher to sound like I knew what I was doing. Clearly I don't! My experience was mostly with older kids and I'm feeling a bit lost planning for a 4 year old. I mentioned that I taught, because I am having a hard time getting away from "THE PROGRAM".....if that makes sense.

Thank you all for the input and advice.

Lucy
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Unread post by Lucy » Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:54 pm

I totally know how that is. I taught for several years and then subbed after having kids for a while. You get so used to having to "do" so much and to follow some plan, even if you do have to come up with it, that it is hard to think outside of that box.

I only ever taught upper elementary and my college training on how to really teach a child to read was limited. You just use the basil reader and T.M. right and all kids will get it. LOL

When I read your post, about you thoughts last night, I really felt that you had received some wisdom from God. I can look back and see how, especially with my first, I thought she was ready and she was not. I have learned not to push to hard and now that she is 13 I can see now how she has grown into being able to really comprehend and understand higher academics. Oh if only I had know when I first started. I was sooo green.

I would still suggest that you check out the MFW preK. It really is more than it looks like. The booklet that comes with it has over 100 ideas to do with the 6 toys to develop the needed skills for K. The skills are progressively more difficult in each and are divided up by categories such as lang. development, math, reading readiness etc. Along with the music, art, and story book it makes an excellent program. Of course adding in nature walks and field trips makes it lots of fun too. I understand that it is not in a lesson plan format and that is what you really want. One thing I enjoyed doing is doing some theme's for science like leaves, apples, and cotton. I was apple to find complete lesson plans with craft ideas and books on-line. This was always lots of fun.

I hope I have not given you too much information. I know that you will be fine.God will continue to direct your paths. Hope to see you here next year when you begin K!

Blessings,
Lucy
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

SandKsmama
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:43 pm

Unread post by SandKsmama » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:17 pm

snickelfritz wrote:I guess the point I got (and I truly think God brought this to mind for a reason) is that just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean it is the best time. It also reminded me that I became a strong reader with NO pre-school (except teacher parents) and with phonics instruction starting in Kindergarten.
This is so, so true. I started my son in MFW K last year at 4, and while he did fine with it, I SO wish I had either gone with the preK or done the K at 1/2 speed over 2 years. I did stretch it out and we're just now starting with 1st grade, but he definitely is not ready to tackle it at full speed ahead now at nearly 6. We are doing every "day" of 1st grade in about 2 days. I hope that encourages you that I think you are on the right track sticking with "preschool" for a bit longer!

Amanda
Amanda, Wife to a great guy since '99, SAHM to 4 fabulous kids! DD(7/96), DS(1/01), DD(8/03), and baby DS (3/09)!
Used MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, Ex1850, and currently using 1850-Modern!

Ariasarias
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:26 am

Unread post by Ariasarias » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:48 pm

snickelfritz,

I hope you have been encouraged by the postings here. I know I always am when I ask for wisdom and advice. I just want to encourage you that God has called you to be the mommy of two little girls and has called you to teach them. In His strength, you are going to do a great job. Your education training has given you some great strengths that will be helpful in this journey, but it has also given you the doubt that you can teach them without the "proper stuff." I remember once asking a good friend of mine, who also taught math, a question about some other subject matter. Her response to me was that she had not been trained in that area so she couldn't tell me. Her training had given her the confidence that she could not teach any other subject because she had not been trained in it. :( As a homeschooling mom (this is only my second year), I have met so many other "non-qualified" moms that have successfully taught their children the 3 R's. You will do a great job. I too have been in your shoes, like others have shared, anxiously searching for the right tools to help my child learn and be well prepared for school. I'm sure your dd will do great with whatever you choose. I just want to encourage you to enjoy next year before you really have to do school. In time the 3 R's will come. Many years ago, formal lessons did not start until children were much older and they learned just fine. You'll find she will learn so much by continuing to read to her, go for walks, color together, play with playdough, make lots of messes, teach her about the bugs crawling outside, about the trees in your backyard, count her Teddy Grahams and subtract them as she eats them, make up puppet shows, as you read her favorite books - have her find words based on their beginning sounds, bake some cookies for your neighbor, finger paint, make collages .... okay I could make a list a mile long. Just looking back, I wish I would not have tried to move too quickly. I wish I would have let my 4 year old enjoy being four more.

Just a few more thoughts. I like your idea of reading Ruth Beechick again :). Good encouragement there. Hopefully it will help you relax.
If you feel you need "plans," would it work for you to make a list of goals or find one written and use that to guide your play next year? (I remember a long time ago finding goals lists for preschoolers at Hands on Homeschooling).

May God bless you and continually guide you along this journey :)

I will pray for you. I know that anxiety. I was just thinking about my second dd. She's 3.5. I definitely have not spent much time working with her to "prepare" her for school. I'm lucky to get a book read to just her each day. I was so worried when she had not learned her colors by the time her oldest sister had. :) so silly. I was watching her today as she got out some book about science. She found a very simple experiment and said "Mommy, I want to do that." She went and got the paper she needed and proceeded. I have learned in the past two years, that sometimes we worry way too much.
Nicole, wife to Claudio since 1996, and mom to dd (2000), dd (2003), dd (2005), and ds (2009).

MelissaM
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:52 pm

Start MFW K in March for my DD who will be 5 in April?

Unread post by MelissaM » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:45 am

lea_lpz wrote:I am admittingly excited soon to be new home schooling mom with a 2 1/2 year old son (June) and 4 1/2 year old daughter (April). We just recently decided to homeschool our daughter who is currently attending a Christian preschool program 3 mornings a week and have decided to pull her out so this will be her last week attending. The reason we have decided not to continue their is because the program is a traditional academic program and my daughter is unable to keep up with the class and I feel she is losing her confidence as the other children our moving on to word blends and she is struggling to recognize letters and numbers at this point.

We have already ordered MFW curriculum and I expect it to arrive by the end of this week or early next week. I spoke the representative at MFW and he strongly suggests we wait to start until fall but does agree that I should go ahead and pull her out of the preschool program and not wait until the end of the school year. I am not opposed to this, but think my husband might be wary of the idea of doing nothing until September.

So my question is, what are your opinions on starting her this March in MFW and taking it slow, so that the program would not be completed until the end of next year, and we cover each unit for 2 weeks. I plan also to incorporate a lot of multisensory learning for learning letters, numbers, and shapes because doing copy work does not seem to be enough for things to click with her. Thanks for the advice. Ultimately just want what is best for my daughter.
I agree with the MFW rep. I would pull her out of school now (my mind is spinning at the idea of doing word blends in preschool and thinking a 4yo who can't is "behind." What?), and I would not start the Kindy program until Fall.

But I would not do "nothing," especially if your husband has concerns. I would make weekly trips to the library - do they have a storytime that both of your kids would enjoy? I would check out as many picture books as the library would allow, and we would read, read, read. And then read some more. Read the story, and ask your dd to tell it back to you. Act it out, with each other or stuffed animals, or whatever.

Go for nature walks, at least once a week. If you find something interesting, bring it home, look it up, learn about it, draw it.

Listen to music, read poetry, clap out rhythms, point out rhymes.

For math readiness skills you can draw patterns out of shapes - circle, triangle, circle, triangle and see if dd can finish the pattern. Read about rainbows and learn the colors. Go on a color scavenger hunt around the house (or shape, letter or number) - find everything you can that is blue, wear a blue shirt, finger paint a blue sky, eat blue jellybeans.

Do some of those lacing shape things to help with fine motor pencil-readiness.

Oh man, I just typed a whole bunch more stuff that somehow disappeared. Anyway - use this time as an opportunity to establish strong routines so that in the fall your school days will run smoothly. Use the time to play a lot - playing is a great way to get ready for school!

Just my .02, but your kids will not be behind if you let your 4yo be a 4yo. Really. Promise.
:)
Melissa
DD13
DS10
DS5
DS2

DS4home
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:32 pm

Preparing for Kindergarten

Unread post by DS4home » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:29 pm

Jessie410 wrote:My son will be 4 on Wednesday and I plan on starting him with MFW Kindergarten in a year when he turns 5. He chose to stay home this year rather than continue going to preschool so I was curious what I should be doing to prepare him for next year. He only recognizes a handful of letters and can write a couple, but he isn't close to reading at all. He is interested though.

I know I can always be working with him on letters, numbers, shapes, etc., but I guess I am wondering more specific to MFW's program how he can be best prepared and what things might come up that would be helpful for him to already be familiar with.
I would suggest working on fine motor skills. Get some color books and work on holding the crayon in a correct pencil grip. Have some child friendly scissors available and have him cut, cut, cut!

I just hear so many times that little boys' fine motor skills tend to be slower in developing. So that might be an area to focus on before Kindy.

Dawn
Celebrating our 29th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS Grad, College), & Bethany(10th).

2019: WHL for the 3rd time!
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Preparing for Kindergarten

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:18 pm

I definitely agree with those fine motor skills. There are a lot of them in the MFW preK package, from lacing to tracing etc.

I also think it's helpful to prepare kids for the expectation that they focus and pay attention to detail, in short, low-pressure ways. That can be done with puzzles or drawing or measuring or whatever the child is interested in -- even exploring and finding something they're interested in enough to look at details. But modeling and complimenting a child for paying attention to detail goes a long way towards the "culture" of education. (Again, the preK package does do a lot of this with sorting, sequencing, identifying slight differences in the kids puzzle, and just general following directions for 5-10 minutes at a time.)

And the only other thing I can think of is not to focus too heavily on letter "names" and capital letters. Sometimes that makes kids resistant to learning letter sounds and using mostly lower case letters. I don't really think they need to do much with letters at all, but often we can't resist with our oldest child, and it isn't so bad to work on writing their name, for instance. However, we somehow tend to focus on upper case and "names" (always calling the letter an A, rather than the sound /a/). Not that letter names aren't useful (they do help with alphabetizing, for instance), but the sounds are so much more useful.

My main thing with my preschoolers was to not make it school, so that when they started kindergarten, it was something that WOWed them, because they hadn't done it ever before. Have lots of fun this year,

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

MelissaB
Posts: 369
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Preparing for Kindergarten

Unread post by MelissaB » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:18 pm

Just agreeing with Dawn and Julie. Enhancing brain development, focus, and hand-eye coordination is really important at the preschool age. :)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

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