4 year olds & early 5's - Start K slowly or wait?

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
gratitude
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Re: Preschool or K for my son? HELP!

Unread post by gratitude » Sun May 29, 2011 10:33 pm

I agree with Tiffany to look at the four questions she printed in blue for K readiness.

Is he your oldest?

He is in a similar place to where my oldest was when he was 3 and turning 4 in July. The answer to this question is so different for every child !! I can not emphasize that fact enough. Emotional readiness is a far bigger component to K readiness, than academic readiness. In other words being ready to sit down and work on writing is a huge piece of the readiness pie. The good news is they can learn so much without starting a program. The other news is that every child is different for when they are truly ready to start school.

For example, my dd4 has a yes to all 4 of the MFW questions. She is so very ready emotionally to start school. I plan to start her in the fall 2 days a week with MFW K. My oldest, however, was much further academically at 4. He could count to 100, read three letter words, read a sign at the zoo at 3, wrote a sign to put on his door at 4, etc. He wasn't emotionally ready for school though until 6 or 7; I started shortly after his sixth Birthday and it was probably too soon. He wasn't ready for 'daily' writing, 'daily' structure, or 20 -30 minute sessions. The biggest problem with starting too soon is it can turn them off to 'school'.

I am sorry if I have left this confusing. It is a really big question. I encourage you to look at the MFW questions carefully, pray, and observe your son. As mom you will know best when he is 'truly' ready. Until then read to him, do fine motor skill development, color, play outdoors, play imagination games, take field trips.. oh the possibilities are endless whether the answer is yes or wait.

A little statistic: Children held out of school until age 8, without any 'school', quickly passed their peers and became leaders in their classrooms. I am not a huge 'better late than early' parent for every child; but I think for some children it is a perfect fit, and probably necessary for many more than any of us realize. As David Hazel says on one of his CDs children in Rome/Greece didn't start school until age 9 for their classical educations (I hope I quoted you correctly David!). In our state school isn't required until age 8.

Now the difficult part is to discern which child your son is: eager beaver, or wait until later.

cbollin

Re: Preschool or K for my son? HELP!

Unread post by cbollin » Mon May 30, 2011 5:58 am

HI Stef,
Welcome to the board!

I think you might want to call MFW's office on this. I think the Kindy readiness list is assuming a child is closer to 5 years old. It leaves out so many things and I think you'd benefit from talking with one of their staff.

so,,, I have thoughts. You can ignore me. that's ok. I'm just a mom.

It may be the case that your son is begging to learn to read: well, I think that's great. I think children aren't aware that one of the key skills for life long enjoying to read, comes from enjoying books. So, I would tell my child: great let's learn to read. First thing: learn to sit and listen to me while I read, so you learn something in reading called "fluency". Let's just started: grab a book and I will read and tell you a story, and then you tell it back to me..

that's the first lessons of reading and writing in my non expert opinion... learning to enjoy a story, listen to it, tell it back, and create your own new and different ending. Dont' worry about being caught up in the abstract symbols called letters and numerals.

I think that in the vast majority of cases of boys, he will benefit from waiting until he is closer to 5 to start a formal Kindy. Those are nice academic things that he is doing on a preschool level now. I'm a big fan of let them enjoy the age they are now and do more "advanced preschool" (giggle giggle what a funny thought) work so that it remains fun and they keep learning.

I might look at MFW preschool and maybe also at the 4-5 years old materials from FloweringBaby.com Preschool Activities in MFW will work on overall development to follow instructions, growth of fine motor skills, no expectation to force them to sit for more than 20 minutes on a workbook.

This is what I'd do knowing what I know now with my youngest child being 9:
Start off with Bible Memory CD - yes, it should be "easy" for a child to take in God's Word and memorize it. Enjoy that time and let him learn those scriptures. Start the day with him with the CD to begin to establish "school time".

Read a fun story out loud to him. Pick library books. Or once upon a time, MFW sold a collection called 20th Century Children's Treasury book ... or something like that. Read at their age grouping!

Set up a craft/art/story telling area: now you will work on language arts with him from that story. Have him retell the story in some fashion. It's called narration. Now, have him make a simple craft about the story (creative writing)

Use various developmental skills from the MFW activity cards. Even if some are "easy" -- his little not yet 4 years young body needs the practice.

Play outside.

oh yeah.. math: games. not workbooks.
*******
That's homeschool preschool for you. And yes, I think that if he spends a year on growing, it will pay off big time instead of struggling in Kindy and struggling in 1st.

He can be asked to join any of the fun activities that his older siblings are doing in any program you use (mfw, or other curriculum). Clearly, he is doing well with informal approaches and is thriving... why mess that up ?
gratitude wrote:Emotional readiness is a far bigger component to K readiness, than academic readiness.
Now the difficult part is to discern which child your son is: eager beaver, or wait until later.
agreeing so much with Carin's post here..

Even if he is an eager beaver, it doesn't mean that how a 4 year old learns to read is the same as how a 5 year old learns. (that's why I suggested a different route to meet that need with what I said above this post)

Also, the emotional readiness: think of potty training. Some children, no matter how many "readiness" signs they show, just aren't ready until age 3. you know the old mom's joke: start at 1, done at 3. start at 2, done at 3. start at 3, done at 3. yes, there will be advanced potty kids who are fully trained at age 2. But other than the society pressure and need to be done with diapers, what's the difference to wait?

and that kind of thing is the same discernment needed for knowing if a very very very young 4 y. o boy is really ready for a Kindergarten program, or just ready to do more learning in the 4 y.o stage?

oh well.. coffee's ready. oh before that.... all of my children learned to read around the time they turned 5 without being in a Kindy program at age 4. (even my autistic child)

But Stef, if you want to try it and be willing to set it down when needed, please feel the freedom to do that. But, think ahead by 1 year. Maybe the question is really this: how do just turned 5 year old boys do in 1st grade programs?

-crystal
Last edited by cbollin on Mon May 30, 2011 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

erin.kate
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Re: Preschool or K for my son? HELP!

Unread post by erin.kate » Mon May 30, 2011 8:51 am

Hi Stef, I wanted to chime in too ... I have a little girl who turned 5 in February. Last fall, when she was 4 1/2 (and my oldest was beginning 1st grade) I started MFWK with her ... she easily was a yes to the criteria. I quickly realized that it just wasn't necessary to "do" K and she would really benefit from a year of growing in readiness in all areas ... and I am SO glad that I shelved it until this fall, when she is 5 1/2. She is a fluent reader now, with no K, and she can add and subtract two digit numbers. School is just sort of her thing, but I've always kept her in that preschool mode ... all of the wonderful things that Crystal suggested. This means that when we start K this fall she is fully ready both on an emotional level and an academic level, which will make for a year of wonder and curious learning, instead of maybe stifling that joy because it may have been trumped by the struggle of trying to do MFWK to its fullest before she was truly within that precious window. My .02, but ultimately, you know your son best of all. ;)
♥Count it all joy ~
Mae 11, Viola 9, Jude 7, & Jack 6
2015: RTR
2014: CTG
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2009: MFW K♥

carissa
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Re: Preschool or K for my son? HELP!

Unread post by carissa » Mon May 30, 2011 10:08 am

I agree that calling the MFW office would be good; they are so helpful, and they have excellent advice. Another option you might mention when you call is doing K slowly, over two years, taking a nice, leisurely pace. Just a thought. :-)
Carissa in Michigan
Wife to Steve for 21 years.
Mom to ds Brendan (10), ds Caden (8) and dd Sydney (8).
We've done MFW-K, ADV, public school for 2 years, and now considering ECC :)

Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Preschool or K for my son? HELP!

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Tue May 31, 2011 11:30 am

Just a thought: I have met and know of over a dozen moms who started their child in Kindy at 4yo and say it would have been better to wait (even if they excelled academically at it). I have personally not met a single mom who said they wished they had started their child earlier. I'm not giving advice, but it's an interesting observation.
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gratitude
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Re: Preschool or K for my son? HELP!

Unread post by gratitude » Tue May 31, 2011 11:38 am

Cyndi (AZ) wrote:Just a thought: I have met and know of over a dozen moms who started their child in Kindy at 4yo and say it would have been better to wait (even if they excelled academically at it). I have personally not met a single mom who said they wished they had started their child earlier. I'm not giving advice, but it's an interesting observation.
This is interesting !! You are correct. I have never wished that I had started either of my boys in school earlier, even though they were ready academically much earlier than when I started and probably would have excelled academically. I am so glad that I waited until age 6 for the first and 5 for the second; in fact with my boys, if anything, I wish I would have waited even longer. You just gave me a great reminder that instead of jumping in this fall with MFWK for my dd4 that I need to give it more thought and prayer before doing so. If I waited until she is 5 1/2, I am sure you are correct that I would not regret it.

Dusenkids
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Re: Preschool or K for my son? HELP!

Unread post by Dusenkids » Tue May 31, 2011 8:06 pm

gratitude wrote:This is interesting !! You are correct. I have never wished that I had started either of my boys in school earlier,
I would also be in this group. My child was very ready at 4. That was my fault as a ps teacher. He was my lab rat when I planned a new activity. :~ He will be 6 in Aug. We started last week MFW-K and we are taking it slow. We did a very informal "preschool" with a lot of books, play, exploration, some worksheets if he wanted them... You will be surprised how much they continue to learn with an informal education right now. I know I was :-) Good luck with your planning!
Martie
Married to Nathan 15 years
Mom to 8 boys ages 12 to newborn
Have used Kindergarten to Modern

kidswife
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Re: Preschool or K for my son? HELP!

Unread post by kidswife » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:53 pm

I started the K program when my dd was 4 yrs and 3 months, but I made it last a year and a half. It was mostly a good thing. The only problem I had with it is that she couldn't understand some "advanced" (for her age) concepts. I'm actually going to have her do it again after we move this summer. She just finished the 1st grade program (TODAY!!) I'm going to start my 5y/o and my 3 y/o, and again, my 6 almost 7y/o with the K program in a month or 2.

I started K at 4years because she could read so well. AND I was antsy!

With that... I feel confident she'll love doing it again with her younger siblings as more of a teacher.

Oh... here's the drawback of starting so young though... at least my experience. She didn't benefit from some lessons... and felt confused. The lesson about solid/liquid/gas was confusing for her. Water/"Jesus is the Living water" was over her head...Also the one about Dairy products was confusing. The lesson compares food for you body, to spiritual food (God's Word) for your spirit. So I'd ask questions like, "Does milk help you grow strong?" "Does studying your Bible make you grow taller?" and she wouldn't understand any of that. But those are the things that stuck out. MINOR, MINOR, MINOR... and I'd still do it again just like I did. She'll be getting all of that teaching again later anyway...
Also, b/c my dd knew how to read, I skipped almost all the phonics portions of the curriculum.

A big take-away from this would be. MY 4 y/o did well.... but there's so much in the K program, that I'm completely confident it'll have my same "2nd-grader" learning lots too... the second time around.
BTW, that "2nd-grader" will also be doing Latin, Singapore Math 2b/3a, Writing With Ease and First Language Lessons, etc... so don't think that it's an all-encompassing curric. for a 2nd-grader....

Hope that helps some!
Theresa
DDs 13, 11, 7
DS 9
Used/using R&S Preschool, Sonlight Books, Classical Academic Press, MFW & Classical Conversations!

MelissaM
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Re: Preschool or K for my son? HELP!

Unread post by MelissaM » Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:47 am

I have no advice, just my own personal experience. I started my very ready (per the website criteria, and begging me to teach her how to read) dd in K at 4.5 yo. Now she's a rising 5th grader, and I really wish I would have waited before making it "official." I should have worked with her on the stuff she needed/wanted to know, without breaking out the curriculum package and calling it Kindergarten. Kept it informal, etc. Now, she's very young for her grade level (Oct birthday), and the work is a lot harder, and she's in a weird place emotionally/maturity wise and...I just think another year to grow would be really good for her. I'm trying to figure out how to work it in without insulting/offending/embarrassing her.

So...my advice (ha, didn't I say I don't have any?) - which of course, you're free to ignore - is...by all means, teach your child what he wants to know but - don't tell him he's in K, don't make it official, with whatever your state requirements are. Keep the lessons short. Did I say short? I mean SHORT - 5-10 minutes. Take lots and lots of time to play, read good stories, go to the zoo, go to museums, go to the park. Bake bread, make and play with play dough and salt dough. Take this next year to focus on HABIT training - oh, I wish I had done this! Start fostering the habits of attention, obedience, truthfulness, manners, get in a good bedtime/morning routine, help him develop self-help skills, teach him chores....you may be doing all this already, but off the top of my head that's what I think would be GREAT to work on before starting seatwork/curriculum. Having those habits and routines in place before adding in schoolwork would be immensely, immeasurably helpful. (For good ideas on habit training, I like what Charlotte Mason had to say - you can read it at amblesideonline.org. I also like the "Laying Down the Rails" handbook/dvd from simplycharlottemason.com.

Blessings - whatever your decision,
:)
Melissa
DD13
DS10
DS5
DS2

Julie in MN
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Re: Preschool or K for my son? HELP!

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:20 am

Folks who've been on this board for a long time know that I always chime in with my better-late-than-early story about my oldest son, who had no academics until he was 6 (even though he was fully able) and is an engineer now.

Here's a list of threads that may well have my story on there 100 times :) I think they may give you some good reading matter:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 304#p36304
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

Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Preschool or K for my son? HELP!

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:20 pm

MelissaM wrote:Now she's a rising 5th grader, and I really wish I would have waited before making it "official." I should have worked with her on the stuff she needed/wanted to know, without breaking out the curriculum package and calling it Kindergarten. Kept it informal, etc. Now, she's very young for her grade level (Oct birthday), and the work is a lot harder, and she's in a weird place emotionally/maturity wise and...I just think another year to grow would be really good for her. I'm trying to figure out how to work it in without insulting/offending/embarrassing her.
I totally understand! I have a gifted child who started school early, but we were able to call her a "3rd grader" twice pretty easily because we moved across the country during that time. I just explained to her that being in groups with kids her own age was going to be more fun and easy. She's totally content with it now and just finishing up her second year of 3rd grade. I'm so thankful for the advice I received around here about that!

I would warn anyone who is starting a 4yo in K to call that year PreK, followed by K at 5yo. Homeschoolers can do different grade level work in every subject and still be called the grade of their age. Even if your child works ahead and is quite advanced, I recommend calling them their proper grade according to age and work out the details at graduation time. I know some children who say they are in grade such-and-such and it's obvious that they do not have the years or maturity to be in that grade - they've been set up by their parents to be pompous, IMHO.

*whew* that double latte kicked in pretty hard this morning . . . time to get off the computer . . .
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gratitude
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Re: Preschool or K for my son? HELP!

Unread post by gratitude » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:32 pm

I agree, if you do K at 4 be sure to call it Pre-K and put them in Pre-K Sunday school (if you use Sunday school, etc.).
MelissaM wrote:I have no advice, just my own personal experience. I started my very ready (per the website criteria, and begging me to teach her how to read) dd in K at 4.5 yo. Now she's a rising 5th grader, and I really wish I would have waited before making it "official."
Thank you Melissa. I really needed to hear this. I feel so eager with my dd4; much more eager to 'start officially' then I did with my sons. I have never ever regretted though the fact my ds7 will be on the older end of 2nd grade next year. With a summer Birthday my choice was the older end, or the very youngest. I choose the older end, and I am very glad that I did. You just really helped me with my dd4. God has been laying it on my heart that MFW ECC and K will be the perfect combination for my children 1 1 /2 years from now. If I have learned anything in the past 2 1/2 years it is the plain fact that I need to listen to God, or regrets will come. Thank you for making the idea of waiting, that He has been laying on my heart, even stronger.

Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Preschool or K for my son? HELP!

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:46 pm

cbollin wrote:wildly applauding in agreement! preach it girl friend.... LOL (but do you remember how mad you were at me when I told that to you about 4 years ago?) love you
How do I ever thank you for putting up with me?! You warned me. I didn't take it. Then I freaked out and you helped me without saying "I told you so!" Talk about having someone walking the path ahead of you! I love you, too!

Crystal didn't include the part of my post that said "I'm so thankful for the advice I received here about that." You see, I had to receive that advice *twice*! They warned me when my dd was 4yo not to call her a Kindy, but I did it anyway. Then Crystal helped me through the rough part of re-doing a year to make up for my idiocy. Thankfully, my dd is an awesome kid that just keeps progressing even though her mom is learning the hard way alongside her.
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

cbollin

Re: Preschool or K for my son? HELP!

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:21 pm

but now that you're on the totally other side and we're like cool cyber friends... I can tease you. :-)

it's just like when I was wrong about the math path I should be on. I wouldn't listen to what Lucy told me.. for about 1 year. LOL LOL

and to put it in perspective.... when my oldest was 4, I started her in Kindy stuff. I set it down. When she was 5... giggle I picked it back up... but get this? y'all will fall out of your chairs laughing and spit on the screen with latte...

I patted myself on the back for realizing that if you did school every day, you could do 360 days...( and 5 days off). that means you'd do 2 school years in one and you could have them done by a really young age.

I was on my way to it.. .. then the little 5 year old said "can I just go play now? I don't want to record or draw the solar eclipse from the back door.. I just want to play with my Christmas toys that we opened today."

LOL LOL

aren't y'all glad you didn't know I existed then.. I can't even imagine what Julie would have thought. LOL LOL. I'm still learning...

-crystal

Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Preschool or K for my son? HELP!

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:44 pm

Julie in MN wrote:
cbollin wrote:you could do 360 days...( and 5 days off).
Aaaack !! !! <smilie with tennis shoes running away>
I wish I knew how to do the smilie that falls over and kicks from laughing so hard! 8[]
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

MelissaM
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Re: Preschool or K for my son? HELP!

Unread post by MelissaM » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:49 pm

Thank you Melissa. I really needed to hear this. I feel so eager with my dd4; much more eager to 'start officially' then I did with my sons. I have never ever regretted though the fact my ds7 will be on the older end of 2nd grade next year. With a summer Birthday my choice was the older end, or the very youngest. I choose the older end, and I am very glad that I did. You just really helped me with my dd4. God has been laying it on my heart that MFW ECC and K will be the perfect combination for my children 1 1 /2 years from now. If I have learned anything in the past 2 1/2 years it is the plain fact that I need to listen to God, or regrets will come. Thank you for making the idea of waiting, that He has been laying on my heart, even stronger.
Aww, I'm glad I could help. What was that quote? Something like...Please, learn from my mistakes - life's too short to make them all yourself. LOL. As a sidenote - my ds has been in K this year, and we started ECC with my dd in January - it is a GREAT combo.

The rest of y'all are just cracking me up - I'm enjoying this thread a lot.
:)
:)
Melissa
DD13
DS10
DS5
DS2

InfertilityMom
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Contact:

K/1st over 3-year span

Unread post by InfertilityMom » Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:34 pm

With winter birthday and kids eager to "do school" we have started them all in K while they are still 4 and intentionally stretch K and 1st over a 3-year span, so our 5-year old is working his way through K and will probably be ready to pick up with 1st sometime after Christmas.

I don't think I've been an active poster here in the forums for at least a couple years now, but we are still thanking God for each year of MFW. We just started our new school year and are in year 5 of the 5 year cycle. I have gotten wonderful support and learned so much from this forum in our earlier years with MFW, but facing health issues over the past several years, kind of let message boards become a low priority more recently. I look forward to finding old friends, hopefully offering a helping hand of encouragement (like was so often offered to me) to those who are newer in the journey, and to building great relationships with moms who are walking this same journey. It feels good to be back "home". :)

jenni
Jenni Saake, Nevada
after 10 years and 10 losses:
ds J. born 12/99 and dd R. 1/03, 1850s to Modern Times
ds J-Bear 1/06 finishing up K, looking toward 1st in early 2012
http://www.InfertilityMom.blogspot.com

cbollin

When to start K?

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:55 pm

HSMom03 wrote:Hi Everyone!
We are very excited about using MFW for homeschooling. We are having a blast with the Toddler Package right now and will probably order the Preschool Package at some point. We are not planning on starting K anytime soon but I am a little confused about when he will be ready for that. He will be 4 next month, in November. With such a late birthday, should I start him on K the year he turns 5 or the year he turns 6? I think that MFW recommends starting K the year a child is 5 in September, so for us that would be the year he turns 6 (with such a late November birthday). Although, MFW did mention that some "older" 4-year-olds are ready for K, which might mean next year for us. Just need a little help figuring this out! It would be nice to know if we have 1 or 2 years before we start. Any advice? Thanks!
Welcome along!

I might start the Kindy program in November of next year 2012 or January 2013 after he turns 5. You don't have to start a new curriculum in September. That way he'll be all that more ready and more fine motor skills will be there. If there's an issue legally of what year to call him, go by what the local schools would call him. That doesn't always match what books you will use.

As it gets closer to your son being 5, take a look at his readiness skills. Enjoy year round learning and playing for now.

Good to meet you.

-crystal

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

Re: When to start K?

Unread post by gratitude » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:04 pm

Welcome! I think Crystal has a good idea for you that next November might be a good time to start.

I started MFW K with my second son just after his 5th Birthday, it would have technically been April of his pre-school year. I didn't start first with him though until this fall. So starting K early didn't necessarily mean that I started first early. It did though give us an easing into school that worked very well for him, and allowed him to do some school of his own with big brother.

I started MFW K this fall with my 4 3/4 dd. She is really wanting to do school, and is very ready, and enjoying it a lot. Once again though I am taking it slowly. I don't want to get to first too quickly, unless she is really ready for it. But it allows her to do school like big brothers like she wants to. Since the brothers want to do her fun projects too it also gives a really nice relaxed / fun learning activity in the middle of the day that all 3 of them can do together.

Well here is the other side of the coin! My oldest started school 1 month after his 6th summer Birthday. We tried at 5 and after 6 weeks I put school away for 1 year. At 8 he is way ahead of grade level, and for him waiting a year for school was the best decision I could have ever made for his schooling. It didn't hurt him in the least, and only helped him by giving him another year of play. So that is the 'wait' story, and yes waiting can work. Since then I have had siblings that want to join in and they have handled it fine at young ages. Now I am sure I have confused things a bit. Watch your child. If they are not ready to sit down and cut and use a pencil it is better to wait. If they are ready to cut and use a pencil and sit at least 15 minutes a little school introduction has been great for my 2nd and 3rd children.

Prayers for your decision. Welcome!

Dusenkids
Posts: 51
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Location: Ohio

Re: When to start K?

Unread post by Dusenkids » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:21 pm

I started my ds in May, a few months before his 6th b-day. He was more than ready. I could have started him at 4 but I thought we were sending him to ps at the time. We are speeding through K and hope to start 1st in Jan/Feb. He isn't bored with K by any means but it is easy for him. My 4yr is listening in but will cover the phonics and math again as a 6yr (Nov b-day too). He as some small speech issues and isn't as eager or as confidant as his older brother. HS is flexible. You can do what fits your child. If he is ready, go for it. Be prepared to be flexible. If it is iffy, I would wait until next year. There are plenty of daily activities that can provide teachable moments at this age. (And I like the Pre-S package) Waiting will not hurt at all.
Martie
Married to Nathan 15 years
Mom to 8 boys ages 12 to newborn
Have used Kindergarten to Modern

Mom2theteam
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Re: When to start K?

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:48 pm

I have experience with this. :D My son has a mid-Oct b-day. I decided I would start him in the winter of the year he turned 5. Well...it didn't go well. He was very easily frustrated and distracted. He clearly was not ready. I was advised by some wonderful BTDT moms on here that I should put it away and start again this year, when he was about to turn 6. I didn't really want to put it away because I felt outside pressure from family to get him start, but I knew in my heart they were right. Also, I was cautioned that if you start too early and push they aren't ready, it can turn a child off to school. That was the last thing I wanted. But, So, I gritted my teeth and put it away.

It was the best decision I have made for his schooling!! I am so glad I took the advice and followed my instinct. It was really a boost to my HS'ing confidence. We started again this fall and it was so different. He enjoys it and wants to learn to write. He doesn't get too frustrated. He still gets distracted easily, but he is still a 6 yr. old boy. LOL. He was so much more ready and we are having a much better experience. He just turned 6 a couple of days ago. I don't care that he isn't "ahead" like I was hoping he would be. If he is meant to be ahead, he will pull ahead. ;)

So, there is my experience. If you feel he is ready the year he turns 5, go for it. But, I caution you to be prepared to go with the flow and put it away for a year if you need to. Good luck!!
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: When to start K?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:42 am

gratitude wrote:Well here is the other side of the coin! My oldest started school 1 month after his 6th summer Birthday. We tried at 5 and after 6 weeks I put school away for 1 year. At 8 he is way ahead of grade level, and for him waiting a year for school was the best decision I could have ever made for his schooling.
I am a better late than early gal, and that story is my experience exactly. My boys started K (in public school) at age 6 years 2 months, and 5 years 10 months. Both were just ready to sit down and focus at that point, and sitting to learn academics was something *new* so it was special and exciting. They proceeded to absorb academics quickly, test well, and my oldest is an engineer now.

However, I like to stress that for those first 6 years, my sons were not *on pause* waiting to start learning. They were learning ALL the time! And I wasn't *on pause* to start teaching. I was asking them questions and providing new materials to explore (even a new cardboard box or a new way to play a game), as well as sharing the fine points of character training and responsibility. In one way or another, you could probably say that we covered all the school subjects -- math, language communication, science, social studies, art, music, etc. -- but without pencil & paper, without having to memorize the abstract symbols for those things (such as "2" and "B").

I am of the belief that kids under 6 learn *best* in a hands-on way, vs. a symbolic/abstract way. There is never a point where they have done "enough" hands-on, in my book. We've read a lot of biographies and never do we read of great folks who started academics in preschool. I'm sure there were a few, but we haven't read of any.

Okay, off my soapbox this morning :) I have met a few little ones in my life who were "walking encyclopedias," as one gal on this board once called her son, and they are likely exceptions to my "better late than early" style, so I shouldn't keep presenting my way as the only way :~

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

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

Re: When to start K?

Unread post by gratitude » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:10 am

Julie in MN wrote: However, I like to stress that for those first 6 years, my sons were not *on pause* waiting to start learning. They were learning ALL the time! And I wasn't *on pause* to start teaching. I was asking them questions and providing new materials to explore (even a new cardboard box or a new way to play a game), as well as sharing the fine points of character training and responsibility. In one way or another, you could probably say that we covered all the school subjects -- math, language communication, science, social studies, art, music, etc. -- but without pencil & paper, without having to memorize the abstract symbols for those things (such as "2" and "B").
Julie


Too true Julie! :-) We did a lot of learning before my oldest turned 6. It was just then that for the first time we started spending a little more time trying to learn how to read and write the letters.

I still think the learning we do as a family is just as important - and many times more important - then all the other learning we do. Those teachable moments on character & Bible questions that come up are absolutely invaluable.

Blessings,

CaseyVG
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:03 am

Re: When to start K?

Unread post by CaseyVG » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:55 pm

Hello,
I am in this situation right now. My son just turned 5 in mid October of this year. I started K with him in August, before he turned 5, and it has been going great! He loves it and usually wants to do more school than I have planned, so I have had to print off extra color sheets to keep him busy! I made the decision to start early because I knew he could sit at the table and learn for a long period, up to an hour even. He already knew the letters, but not all the sounds, and he really loves to read books (be read to). He has always been a very focused boy, sitting and doing one thing for a long time before moving on to the next thing, even when he was a toddler. He also met all MFW recommendations to start K. We have just started blending letters, so the jury's still out on how he does starting to read, he doesn't quite get it yet. My 3 year old girl actually sits with us and does everything with us, even the writing, although not as good as her brother (she also doesn't get the blending yet, of course). I have tried to teach just to my 5 yo, but the 3 yo gets very upset if she's left out. There is no time during the day that I could work with ds without dd. Next year I plan on moving them both to 1st grade, but repeating the phonics with my daughter again. So, when we started this year, I knew that I might have to take things slower since he was young, but I haven't had to at all. I have been amazed at how eager he is to learn (but of course he's still a 5 year old boy, and it's not all perfect all the time!) Really it depends on your sons personality and if you think he's ready. And if you want to try and it doesn't go well, you can always wait until the next year.
Casey
Casey

Caleb: ECC (finished MFW Adventures, 1st & K)
Rebekah: 1st (finished K)
Joshua: 2 year old
Matthew: baby
I blogged MFW K, 1st & Adventures at http://www.simplejoycrafting.blogspot.com

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

MFW with 4, 5, 7, & 8 yr. olds?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:38 am

scarletrose wrote: I am thinking of teaching the two girls together, but continuing in the Alphaphonics and MUS with my 5 year old. If both girls are efficient readers (3rd. or 4th. grade level) by the time we finish MFW K, is it reasonable to plan on them just joining along in the activities with their 2 brothers in the 5 year cycle next year if we add in additional library books geared to their age? The less I have to purchase, the better.

I am also dealing with chronic illness right now and have had many days where I've been too ill to do much for school. Is it reasonable for me to expect that MFW would work as I am dealing with sickness and fatigue at times?
I think you have a good plan. I can't share helpful hints as much as some of the others who are teaching many, but I wanted to comment on the two things above.

First, I have to tell you that I'm a better-late-than-early gal, through-and-through. So take what I say in that light. But pushing 4 & 5 years olds through a math, phonics, plus a full K program seems like a lot - especially if you aren't well. And my personal opinion is that 4yos & even early 5s *usually* learn to read by memorizing, which is not as strong a skill as learning to read when they are a little bit older and understand how the symbols represent sounds, not whole words. I came to that conclusion when raising a son who taught himself to read, and trying to un-do the memorizing portion of that (never as successfully as I would have liked), plus from my tutoring experience.

Since each child needs his own language arts and math, folding the littles into the group for the rest will work either way. I might consider using MFW-1st for their next LA and Math, but I know that makes it hard to know what parts of MFW-1 to leave off if you can't do as much as you'd like. Here are some more experiences that might give you some help in thinking that thru:
Choosing 1st vs. just joining older sibling: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8233
Combining 1st and an OLDER program: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2713

And secondly, take care of yourself. Your kids need you more than they need academics. Set a family schedule that allows you the rest you need, so everyone knows where mom fits into their day. Blessings as you try to meet everyone's needs,
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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