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I don't know what to do! (how much, how little, what is important?) Help!


kmacnchs
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This is my plan for my (just turned) 4yo this year:

Reading-AO read-aloud list (she reads to me)

Grammar-FLL (easy for her, she loves it, and it takes NO time) 2x/week

Spelling-SWO B (just finished SWO A)

Narration-2x/week

Writing-included in Bible, Grammar, and Spelling (just practice) 3x/week

Math-MEP 1

History-I read CHOW to her throughout the year 3x/week

Science-WTM recommended stuff & Mudpies to Magnets (?) 2x/week

 

It should only take 1.5hrs or so/day (my goal).

 

My question is about Math, Reading, and everything else (3 categories):

Reading: reading fluently 3yo. Right now she is reading typical read-alouds for her age. She does not want to read things without pictures (even if it is a lot of reading, she still wants a pic to look at at the end (kind of a reward)).

 

Question 1: do I start making her read things without pics (as an exercise - to expand her mind)?

 

Question 2: It would not be an easy thing (time-wise) to do SOTW but do I need to make the time so she will be reading "classics" or more challenging works?

 

Math: When she started reading (age 2), I thought she would be ready for math too (silly me). We did Abeka K when she was 2 - it went from easy to hard to impossible by the end of the year. At 3, we did Saxon 1...it also went from easy to hard by the end of the year. So, this year we are doing MEP 1 (doing 1st grade over again).

 

Questions:Do I just assume she is not ready for 1st grade math? K math is WAAAY too easy for her. I don't want her to be stagnant but no one likes to feel like they are drowning...any suggestions for when I get to the "difficult" part (1/2 way through the year) or any suggestions in general? (btw, we may not have the same problem w/MEP but I am assuming since it has happened 2 yrs in a row)

 

Everything else...

Science and History (esp. science) easily go by the wayside. B/c of her age, I would say, no problem! But when does it become important? When does it become necessary? In the 1st grade (in 2 years when she is 6) or when she is reading at a 1st grade level (almost 2 years ago)? How do you decide? I don't want school to take up more than 1.5hrs/day and it would be easy to drop everything but reading & math (which is what I have done for the past 2 years) but when does it become important to do more than just those two subjects?

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Questions:Do I just assume she is not ready for 1st grade math? K math is WAAAY too easy for her. I don't want her to be stagnant but no one likes to feel like they are drowning...any suggestions for when I get to the "difficult" part (1/2 way through the year) or any suggestions in general?

?

 

What about a more "advanced" K math program like Horizons K, Book 2?

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reading & math (which is what I have done for the past 2 years) but when does it become important to do more than just those two subjects?

 

Sorry, I don't know how to multi-quote...

 

Do you have state standards? We do heavy science now because my big girl is a science nut. History, I plan on starting in 1st grade when the state starts requiring it.

Edited by MissKNG
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This is my plan for my (just turned) 4yo this year:

Reading-AO read-aloud list (she reads to me)

Grammar-FLL (easy for her, she loves it, and it takes NO time) 2x/week

Spelling-SWO B (just finished SWO A)

Narration-2x/week

Writing-included in Bible, Grammar, and Spelling (just practice) 3x/week

Math-MEP 1

History-I read CHOW to her throughout the year 3x/week

Science-WTM recommended stuff & Mudpies to Magnets (?) 2x/week

 

It should only take 1.5hrs or so/day (my goal).

 

My question is about Math, Reading, and everything else (3 categories):

Reading: reading fluently 3yo. Right now she is reading typical read-alouds for her age. She does not want to read things without pictures (even if it is a lot of reading, she still wants a pic to look at at the end (kind of a reward)).

 

 

Question 1: do I start making her read things without pics (as an exercise - to expand her mind)?

 

>> I would find more books with pictures. There are plenty out there with good text.

 

 

Question 2: It would not be an easy thing (time-wise) to do SOTW but do I need to make the time so she will be reading "classics" or more challenging works?

 

>>She's young. I would read history books and start SOTW next year.

 

Math: When she started reading (age 2), I thought she would be ready for math too (silly me). We did Abeka K when she was 2 - it went from easy to hard to impossible by the end of the year. At 3, we did Saxon 1...it also went from easy to hard by the end of the year. So, this year we are doing MEP 1 (doing 1st grade over again).

 

Questions:Do I just assume she is not ready for 1st grade math? K math is WAAAY too easy for her. I don't want her to be stagnant but no one likes to feel like they are drowning...any suggestions for when I get to the "difficult" part (1/2 way through the year) or any suggestions in general? (btw, we may not have the same problem w/MEP but I am assuming since it has happened 2 yrs in a row)

 

Everything else...

Science and History (esp. science) easily go by the wayside. B/c of her age, I would say, no problem! But when does it become important? When does it become necessary? In the 1st grade (in 2 years when she is 6) or when she is reading at a 1st grade level (almost 2 years ago)? How do you decide? I don't want school to take up more than 1.5hrs/day and it would be easy to drop everything but reading & math (which is what I have done for the past 2 years) but when does it become important to do more than just those two subjects?

 

You can only do so much in an hour and a half. I would revisit this next year.

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I don't use any formal curricula except phonics before K5. I don't think it's developmentally appropriate at all. Academics should be informal and "hands-on" during the pre-k years. I would strongly encourage you to read the following books:

 

 

  • The Hurried Child and Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk by David Elkind
  • Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn- And Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less by Drs. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Golinkoff
  • Reclaiming Childhood: Letting Children be Children in Our Achievement Oriented Society by Dr. William Crain.

 

If you want to do math with a 4 y.o., I would recommend doing activities from the book Family Math for Young Children by Jean Kerr Stenmark. Another good one is Math Play! by Diane McGowen.

 

The A Little Garden Flower Waldorf Math book might be another option. I haven't personally used it or seen more than just the sample pages but it looks interesting.

 

She's not going to "stagnate" if you use developmentally appropriate activities and it will lead to much less frustration on both your parts. :)

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I forgot to mention that I started Right Start B with my oldest in her K5 year. She's now a young-for-her-grade 3rd grader about to start Singapore 4A (most of the topics covered are on the 5th grade CA math standards). So holding off on formal math until K5 did not hurt her any.

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I understand it is exciting to see one's child capable of doing accelerated work but I would hold off doing a "curriculum." Regarding reading, let her choose her books (w/pictures) and set up a time where you can read together. Talk about books, include fiction and nonfiction reads. Engage her thinking skills AND her reading skills. Regarding math, instead of worksheets, get some fun math games to play with her. As for science, go out in nature and identify plants, animals, cycles, etc. Have fun with science for it is all around us. History can be taught with simple story telling, proceed with SOTW next year or the year after depending on her interest. At 4yrs I would be really cautious about having her do "seatwork," unless she really wants to but I would limit it. At this age, experiencing learning through play, discussion and picture books is key.

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MATH: I have found that Modern Curriculum Press (MCP) Math workbooks offer a more visual learning program than Saxon. Saxon IS hard, and it's harder for the younger grades. I would suggest waiting until about the 5th grade for Saxon. By then, the "training" that Saxon offers will better prepare your child for high school and even college, but not necessary now.

 

SCIENCE AND HISTORY: My DS is 4 also...we stagger Science and History throughout the week. We spend about an hour on his work per day and always do grammar, math and reading. Science, History and Geography get visited twice a week each or so. The elementary curricula for these subjects at this level are not very deep or detailed. You won't be missing much if you don't spend a lot of time on it.

 

This has been our experience so far. :D

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I understand it is exciting to see one's child capable of doing accelerated work but I would hold off doing a "curriculum." Regarding reading, let her choose her books (w/pictures) and set up a time where you can read together. Talk about books, include fiction and nonfiction reads. Engage her thinking skills AND her reading skills. Regarding math, instead of worksheets, get some fun math games to play with her. As for science, go out in nature and identify plants, animals, cycles, etc. Have fun with science for it is all around us. History can be taught with simple story telling, proceed with SOTW next year or the year after depending on her interest. At 4yrs I would be really cautious about having her do "seatwork," unless she really wants to but I would limit it. At this age, experiencing learning through play, discussion and picture books is key.

 

:iagree:

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I understand it is exciting to see one's child capable of doing accelerated work but I would hold off doing a "curriculum." Regarding reading, let her choose her books (w/pictures) and set up a time where you can read together. Talk about books, include fiction and nonfiction reads. Engage her thinking skills AND her reading skills. Regarding math, instead of worksheets, get some fun math games to play with her. As for science, go out in nature and identify plants, animals, cycles, etc. Have fun with science for it is all around us. History can be taught with simple story telling, proceed with SOTW next year or the year after depending on her interest. At 4yrs I would be really cautious about having her do "seatwork," unless she really wants to but I would limit it. At this age, experiencing learning through play, discussion and picture books is key.

 

:iagree::iagree:

 

To answer the OP's question, "what is important", the child is what's important.

 

A precocious, advanced, engaged and intelligent young child doesn't need the trappings of school in order to learn. That child is still a 4 year old child who is curious about the world and learns through experiencing the world. It is a marvelous age, one that is over all too soon.

 

Don't schedule and plan her learning. Instead follow her lead, explore together, see the world through her eyes. Too many homeschoolers burn out when they start doing school at such a young age. Too many homeschoolers regret being too regimented when their kids were young. While you're saying you only have an hour and a half a day planned, you are still setting up the expectation that you will be doing school on a regular basis. If she enjoys it fine, but if the novelty of it wears off, then drop it until she is older.

 

I'm in my last year of homeschooling -- been at this 11 years now. I did work on reading with preschoolers. But mostly they got to explore the world through being out and about or by my reading aloud. Actually, until they were about 8 or 9, the only formal school I did with my kids was math and handwriting practice through copy work. I read aloud for hours each day. They had a bottomless supply of craft materials, of science gear (binoculars, magnifying glasses, magnets), of building materials -- legos, k'nex, and so on. They created things, built things, tested things. We were at the zoo or museums or library each week. We played games, listened to music, attended plays and concerts.

 

I have absolutely no regrets about this relaxed approach. My kids were never "behind" but instead had a broad base of general knowledge and a specialized knowledge of the things that interested them. They are still creative and inquisitive young people who are able to research and teach themselves things that they want to know.

 

Sorry to get on my soap box, but if your child wants to read picture books, let her read picture books. If she has the attention span to listen to novels, then by all means read aloud the Narnia books, Harry Potter, or books by E.Nesbit, Lynn Reid Bands, Dick King-Smith. Reading should be a joyous thing, not a task. It should be a joyous thing for many years to come.

 

Math isn't something that should be learned from a work book at this age. Get the book Family Math, and use all the terrific games in there for teaching and learning basic math skills. Have her weigh things, measure things, count things, group things. Play with money, with time. Get some pattern blocks and the workbooks where you make pictures from the pattern blocks and let her explore. There are some really fun math picture books -- the Anno series. There's also Sir Cumference, and The Number Devil.

 

I'll get off my soap box now. After I say one more time -- your child is young. Let her be a kid, provide her with a rich environment to explore and she will continue learning -- absorbing knowledge like a sponge.

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I understand it is exciting to see one's child capable of doing accelerated work but I would hold off doing a "curriculum." Regarding reading, let her choose her books (w/pictures) and set up a time where you can read together. Talk about books, include fiction and nonfiction reads. Engage her thinking skills AND her reading skills. Regarding math, instead of worksheets, get some fun math games to play with her. As for science, go out in nature and identify plants, animals, cycles, etc. Have fun with science for it is all around us. History can be taught with simple story telling, proceed with SOTW next year or the year after depending on her interest. At 4yrs I would be really cautious about having her do "seatwork," unless she really wants to but I would limit it. At this age, experiencing learning through play, discussion and picture books is key.

 

:iagree: The one thing I regret was making homeschooling so "school-like" for my boys. I didn't know better. I wished I knew then what I know now. What I learned over the years through experience and reading about homeschooling and the way kids learn is that so much more learning happens when you let them take the lead especially in those precious early years. My dd is a much more motivated learner and I think it is because I simply followed her lead and provided her lots of options in those early years. Holding off on formal schooling made it more of a novelty once she started a more formal approach...though I still follow her lead in many subject areas.

 

The funniest thing is that even though everything she learned was through games and play, she was more advanced academically than her brothers (and still is) and I don't think it is because she is necessarily smarter. She is just more motivated.

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Don't schedule and plan her learning. Instead follow her lead, explore together, see the world through her eyes.

 

We do that when we go on our daily walks...if I called every learning experience, we would be doing "school" ALL DAY! :) She LOVES looking at things through her magnifying glass and we just found a dead (but not smushed butterfly) so we're excited about that :)

 

While you're saying you only have an hour and a half a day planned, you are still setting up the expectation that you will be doing school on a regular basis. If she enjoys it fine, but if the novelty of it wears off, then drop it until she is older.

 

She has had structured time every morning since she dropped her morning nap. Last year, when she was 3, we did about an hour (math, reading, & writing). The 1.5hrs this year will be separated into two increments and when her sister is doing her 30 min of school, dd1 will be doing crafts, special games, puzzles, etc. It's more of a staple in our house, rather than a novelty to have structured time mid-morning...

 

Sorry to get on my soap box, but if your child wants to read picture books, let her read picture books. If she has the attention span to listen to novels, then by all means read aloud the Narnia books, Harry Potter, or books by E.Nesbit, Lynn Reid Bands, Dick King-Smith. Reading should be a joyous thing, not a task. It should be a joyous thing for many years to come.

 

Getting into classical books is not easy, but we (as adults) train our mind (as an exercise) so we don't dumb ourselves down...I was thinking along those lines of should I have some time (maybe just 5 min/day) where she reads a non-picture book (like Boxcar children?) so she can exercise her mind?

 

I appreciate your experience - what do you think about my last thoughts? Others have recommended Family Math - I will see if my library has it so I can check it out. We are at our house all day (pretty much) so that is why I put some type of structure to our day. Without it, there is not "discovery", there is mayhem!

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At 4yrs I would be really cautious about having her do "seatwork," unless she really wants to but I would limit it. At this age, experiencing learning through play, discussion and picture books is key.

 

She is not a "seatwork" gal - I think it's more because her writing has not caught up with reading yet. She will sit still for hours but to sit still and write? Even when we did Saxon, we would only do 1 wksht/day. She would do a wksht for Spelling as well (but that was easy!) No wkshts other than that. I'm not much of a wksht person anyway - seems like a lot of busy work to me!

 

I think I am leaning towards your (and others') suggestion about history being a CHOW read aloud this year and *maybe* dive into SOTW next year and making science child-led. Really, what has always scared me is that she will *like* science (gasp!) and I would not know what to do with her! :) I think of science = experiments but I am going to try to be more open minded about it. We live in the country so she already knows the names of many birds, animals, and bugs - maybe she can take some pics, we can listen to sounds on the Internet, go that route...that's not so scary :D:tongue_smilie:

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Thanks everyone for all of the suggestions! It has made me feel better about my plans. I was feeling pressure to do a "formal" history & science program but I think I will stick with CHOW and WTM/child-led science and not worry about it.

 

I am going to see how MEP goes (we are starting Monday)...If it goes well, GREAT! If I run into the same problems, you'll be hearing from me :) Oh, and I will look into the book suggestions :)

 

Any more suggestions/ideas are welcome :)

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I understand it is exciting to see one's child capable of doing accelerated work but I would hold off doing a "curriculum." Regarding reading, let her choose her books (w/pictures) and set up a time where you can read together. Talk about books, include fiction and nonfiction reads. Engage her thinking skills AND her reading skills. Regarding math, instead of worksheets, get some fun math games to play with her. As for science, go out in nature and identify plants, animals, cycles, etc. Have fun with science for it is all around us. History can be taught with simple story telling, proceed with SOTW next year or the year after depending on her interest. At 4yrs I would be really cautious about having her do "seatwork," unless she really wants to but I would limit it. At this age, experiencing learning through play, discussion and picture books is key.

 

:iagree: At this age, I'd very much follow her lead and watch for stress about keeping to the structure. Honestly, I don't plan to do much more than 1.5 hours of structured work for my advanced first grader that just turned 6. These kids seem to pick up an awful lot on their own.

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We are at our house all day (pretty much) so that is why I put some type of structure to our day. Without it, there is not "discovery", there is mayhem!

 

Our house is like this, too, but you don't necessarily need to do school to have structure. You can have some more structured play and some unstructured play. You can do crafts, play outside, take walks, do chores, or have read-aloud time. Snacks and meals can also be a part of the routine. A rest time is good for everyone, even if they don't nap anymore. And they might surprise you and nap anyway.

 

That said, I also have a 4yo (will be 4.5yo in September) and we'll be doing a little bit of more formal work starting in a few weeks. We'll be doing Montessori Read and Write to work on reading and writing skills. This book has lots of games and activity ideas that are fun and will (hopefully!) prepare him to be a great reader. We'll also be doing MEP Reception. This is despite the fact that he can already do simple addition in his head (I think he pictures legos in his head. LOL). We tried a few lessons over the summer and it was a good fit. One other book that I loved is Sandbox Scientist. It is sort of a way of slightly formalizing informal discovery science. It gives you ideas of activities to set up (like sand play or water play) and some of the principles that your child will be informally discovering. This will probably amount to about 15-30 minutes a day that actually looks a little like school. He's welcome to tag along with older dd if he wants to.

 

As far as the book reading, here is what I've noticed in that respect. For my oldest dd, for a while it was easier for her to spell than to read. She could slowly sound out words but she couldn't read a simple sentence. And she wasn't just reading cvc words. One day something clicked and she picked up a book and read the whole thing. Before that she had all of the necessary skills to read but her brain just wasn't ready to do it. The same thing happened with reading longer books without pictures. She could read pretty much any picture book she could get her hands on, but she just wasn't ready to pick out a longer book and sit that long to read it. She wanted shorter books and stories that she could read in one short sitting. In the past few months, something clicked and she is picking up longer books. She still greatly enjoys the shorter books, especially on science topics. I would suggest to continue letting your dd pick the books she reads. You can do longer read-alouds and leave the books out in case she decides she wants to read them. That's how my dd started with longer books.

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I don't use any formal curricula except phonics before K5. I don't think it's developmentally appropriate at all. Academics should be informal and "hands-on" during the pre-k years. I would strongly encourage you to read the following books:

 

 

  • The Hurried Child and Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk by David Elkind

  • Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn- And Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less by Drs. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Golinkoff

  • Reclaiming Childhood: Letting Children be Children in Our Achievement Oriented Society by Dr. William Crain.

If you want to do math with a 4 y.o., I would recommend doing activities from the book Family Math for Young Children by Jean Kerr Stenmark. Another good one is Math Play! by Diane McGowen.

 

The A Little Garden Flower Waldorf Math book might be another option. I haven't personally used it or seen more than just the sample pages but it looks interesting.

 

She's not going to "stagnate" if you use developmentally appropriate activities and it will lead to much less frustration on both your parts. :)

 

:iagree:

 

Readiness is more important than chronological age, and essential to avoiding frustration (I learned this the hard way with my eldest child - purchased the boxed curriculum when he was 6 and thought it was my fault when it didn't work out particularly well :tongue_smilie:). Even very bright kids aren't necessarily ready for school at 4, 5 or even 6, and some are also late bloomers.

 

My 7 yo is still not ready for much in the way of formal academics. An hour per day of independent work, max. But he can read anything he picks up (I never taught him how, he just watched Leap Frog and within a year he was reading like an adult). Math, the same. No formal instruction until he was 6.5. Now he's working through LOF Fractions with no difficulty and Lial's Basic College Math along with it (a book accessible to strong readers, and it is basic, so not as weird as it sounds to use it). But the point is, he learned on his own and I don't think he would have gained anything by starting younger than 6.

 

I can see that my 5 yo isn't ready for much in the way of formal curricula (even phonics), particularly as she is very active. She isn't reading yet, but she sits down on her own and copies words and picks up math workbooks now and then. She joins in when we do experiments, etc. and people read to her each day. That's the extent of her "program". :)

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Readiness is more important than chronological age, and essential to avoiding frustration

 

I AGREE! Which is why I started teaching her "formally" when she was ready (not when she was 5). She has been doing "school" (structured learning) ever since she dropped her morning nap (under 2 yrs).

 

Okay, that was my defensiveness - now to step back and really think on what you wrote - I need to take that into account when doing Math, I think. When it gets to a certain point, it *does* get frustrating to her - which is why I will be looking into some of the books suggested...

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I AGREE! Which is why I started teaching her "formally" when she was ready (not when she was 5). She has been doing "school" (structured learning) ever since she dropped her morning nap (under 2 yrs).

 

Trying to put this gently, but this statement seems incongruous with this one:

 

When she started reading (age 2), I thought she would be ready for math too (silly me). We did Abeka K when she was 2 - it went from easy to hard to impossible by the end of the year. At 3, we did Saxon 1...it also went from easy to hard by the end of the year...to feel like they are drowning.

 

I know it's really hard to resist all the pressure to rush into formal academics (in my social circle it's the norm to sign kids up for "drill and kill" Jr. Kumon tutoring before kids are out of Pull-Ups). But there's a lot of good research evidence to suggest that formal "seatwork" type activities are developmentally inappropriate for young children. And just because a kid is gifted (even PG), that doesn't mean that she ought to be doing a formal curriculum.

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Trying to put this gently, but this statement seems incongruous with this one:

 

Did you read the rest of my post? I said that first statement in regards to reading but I agreed with the poster in regards to math (I started dd1 b/c I thought if she could do one, she could do the other - I admitted that was a foolish thought). So now I am seeing what math will not drown her, just challenge her...not sure if I didn't explain well or what? (makes sense in my head :))

 

I don't necessarily think dd is "gifted"...I posted this on the "Accelerated Learners" board so I wouldn't get the "let her play" posts. Those are not real suggestions imo, more judgments of my parenting (that's how it seems). I'm not going to go on and on about our schedule; trying to convince people that my children are not being made to do 'seatwork' all day and that they get plenty of time to be kids - I asked specific questions and I appreciate those who have tried to answer those questions.

 

This is NOT an attack on *you*, Crimson Wife, I am just seeing that the majority of the posts are not trying to help, just judge so I am posting it at the same time that I am replying to your post (the ONLY reason it is on your post!).

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I posted this on the "Accelerated Learners" board so I wouldn't get the "let her play" posts.

 

Nobody is telling you to stop academics and just let her play. But you can teach academics without a formal curriculum, such as by doing activities from the Family Math books and so on. You have 13 years ahead of you for formal academics- why rush into it when it seems clear from what you've described that your DD is not ready? Seriously, your DD will be just fine if you :chillpill: on the formal "seatwork" for another year or two.

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I am just seeing that the majority of the posts are not trying to help, just judge .

 

 

Not judging, just responding to your original post in an effort to reassure you, after reading:

 

"I don't know what to do! (how much, how little, what is important?) Help!"

 

Seems to be the consensus that academics aren't particularly important at that age and a lot of us find that a relief. :)

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Question 1: do I start making her read things without pics (as an exercise - to expand her mind)?

 

No, picture books are also wonderful tools to expand a mind.

 

Question 2: It would not be an easy thing (time-wise) to do SOTW but do I need to make the time so she will be reading "classics" or more challenging works?

 

Not at all. I didn't start anything formal with my gifted son until he was 5.5 and at age 8 he still has tons of years ahead of him to read classics.

 

 

Questions:Do I just assume she is not ready for 1st grade math? K math is WAAAY too easy for her. I don't want her to be stagnant but no one likes to feel like they are drowning...any suggestions for when I get to the "difficult" part (1/2 way through the year) or any suggestions in general? (btw, we may not have the same problem w/MEP but I am assuming since it has happened 2 yrs in a row)

 

I would ditch any curriculum and go with living math books. If she likes listening to stories living math books will teach her math skills in an informal manner. Go here to see a huge list of books you can find at your local library.

 

Everything else...

Science and History (esp. science) easily go by the wayside. B/c of her age, I would say, no problem! But when does it become important? When does it become necessary? In the 1st grade (in 2 years when she is 6) or when she is reading at a 1st grade level (almost 2 years ago)? How do you decide? I don't want school to take up more than 1.5hrs/day and it would be easy to drop everything but reading & math (which is what I have done for the past 2 years) but when does it become important to do more than just those two subjects?

 

At age 4 no direct instruction in any subject is necessary even if the child is already reading, writing, and doing math. So much can be learned informally at that age. My little girl is a young 2 and has learned most of her alphabet and letter sounds and counting through play, DVDs and conversations.

 

While no direct instruction is necessary it is a wonderful time to get outside and explore bugs, birds, flowers, caterpillars changing into butterflies, tadpoles changing into frogs, etc. If you want to start exploring history then it can be done through reading books, watching videos, and fun activities.

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Nobody is telling you to stop academics and just let her play. But you can teach academics without a formal curriculum, such as by doing activities from the Family Math books and so on. You have 13 years ahead of you for formal academics- why rush into it when it seems clear from what you've described that your DD is not ready? Seriously, your DD will be just fine if you :chillpill: on the formal "seatwork" for another year or two.

 

I am fully planning on checking out Family Math - it looked good and many recommended it - thanks

 

It's not that she's not ready for math - it's just that I'm not sure she's ready for the 2nd 1/2 of 1st grade math - that's when it seems to get difficult - maybe it is me (not a good math teacher?), maybe it just hasn't "clicked" yet (probably a little of both)

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I would ditch any curriculum and go with living math books. If she likes listening to stories living math books will teach her math skills in an informal manner. Go here to see a huge list of books you can find at your local library.

 

I have never seen this website - it's great! Thanks! I have heard of living math books but only recently and vaguely from the forum...

 

While no direct instruction is necessary it is a wonderful time to get outside and explore bugs, birds, flowers, caterpillars changing into butterflies, tadpoles changing into frogs, etc. If you want to start exploring history then it can be done through reading books, watching videos, and fun activities.

 

We do plenty of outdoor exploring on our daily walks but I think we are going to start taking pics (hubby's a photographer so both girls have cameras already), maybe make a "book" and go from there - just a little beyond, "what's that?" - "a cricket"

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It's not that she's not ready for math - it's just that I'm not sure she's ready for the 2nd 1/2 of 1st grade math - that's when it seems to get difficult - maybe it is me (not a good math teacher?), maybe it just hasn't "clicked" yet (probably a little of both)

 

First, I agree with the living math and everyday math options. However, if you decide to do something more formal, I can make a few suggestions about MEP.

 

Maybe I missed it, but have you tried MEP's Reception year with her? If you have or think it's too easy, then you could give Year 1 a whirl. My 5 y/o found the (first) Horizon K workbook in the book closet and started doing it. We don't use workbooks, but he was doing it on his own, so I let him go at it. (I got it off of PBS to take a peek at it.) He flew through it and, much to my (anti-workbook) irritation, seemed to like it... up to a point.

 

He finished both Horizons books somewhere around 3-4 months. He had no problems with it, but he didn't really like it toward the end. When we started MEP, he was instantly engaged. I think we were on Lesson 111 when we stopped for a summer break. So far, he loves MEP and doesn't feel as if he's really doing math (like he does with the workbooks). For him, the repetition in Horizons was too boring. I finally let him skip problems because he was becoming so frustrated "because I already know this," he said. You won't have that issue with MEP.

 

The thing that I love about MEP is how it makes you think in a different way than you normally would. (If you are a math nerd, perhaps you may not find this to be so! For me, a non-math nerd, I feel as if I'm working some weird IQ puzzle! LOL) Anyway, if you do all of the suggested classroom activities, then your math time with your daughter would really drag on too long for her (most likely). When I've done that, we've ended up running at 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you're okay with that, then go for it, but that seems like too much time to me, esp. for a young one.

 

What I started doing with our MEP lessons was scanning ahead and choosing one example (or two, if I thought there was one not-to-be-missed) and then just doing the five or six math problems on the page. Since there are only a handful each day, it would only take around twenty minutes to do it all, on most days. I have a boy, so he LOVES the MEP activities like tossing a ball back and forth and doing math facts. He gets to move around instead of sitting down with a workbook. Maybe your daughter, being younger, would like that as well.

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by moi
typo
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First, I agree with the living math and everyday math options. However, if you decide to do something more formal, I can make a few suggestions about MEP.

 

Maybe I missed it, but have you tried MEP's Reception year with her? If you have or think it's too easy, then you could give Year 1 a whirl. My 5 y/o found the (first) Horizon K workbook in the book closet and started doing it. We don't use workbooks, but he was doing it on his own, so I let him go at it. (I got it off of PBS to take a peek at it.) He flew through it and, much to my (anti-workbook) irritation, seemed to like it... up to a point.

 

He finished both Horizons books somewhere around 3-4 months. He had no problems with it, but he didn't really like it toward the end. When we started MEP, he was instantly engaged. I think we were on Lesson 111 when we stopped for a summer break. So far, he loves MEP and doesn't feel as if he's really doing math (like he does with the workbooks). For him, the repetition in Horizons was too boring. I finally let him skip problems because he was becoming so frustrated "because I already know this," he said. You won't have that issue with MEP.

 

The thing that I love about MEP is how it makes you think in a different way than you normally would. (If you are a math nerd, perhaps you may not find this to be so! For me, a non-math nerd, I feel as if I'm working some weird IQ puzzle! LOL) Anyway, if you do all of the suggested classroom activities, then your math time with your daughter would really drag on too long for her (most likely). When I've done that, we've ended up running at 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you're okay with that, then go for it, but that seems like too much time to me, esp. for a young one.

 

What I started doing with our MEP lessons was scanning ahead and choosing one example (or two, if I thought there was one not-to-be-missed) and then just doing the five or six math problems on the page. Since there are only a handful each day, it would only take around twenty minutes to do it all, on most days. I have a boy, so he LOVES the MEP activities like tossing a ball back and forth and doing math facts. He gets to move around instead of sitting down with a workbook. Maybe your daughter, being younger, would like that as well.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Yeah, MEP R looks too easy for her. We are starting MEP 1a this Monday. I have heard WONDERFUL things about MEP so I am (cautiously) excited :) It looks like more interaction than Saxon so I think the switch will be fun for her. Thanks for the insight :)

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We do plenty of outdoor exploring on our daily walks but I think we are going to start taking pics (hubby's a photographer so both girls have cameras already), maybe make a "book" and go from there - just a little beyond, "what's that?" - "a cricket"

 

You may like to try lapbooking about her explorations outside. Taking pics, labelling the parts of "creatures" you find, discussing their habitat, what they eat, etc... Knowing how to find information is a very important skill and will help take some of the pressure off you later by making her a more independent learner. She's still young but showing her by example is important because she is taking everything in.

 

My dd enjoyed typing on Word long before she had the endurance to write stories. I think she has better tying skills than I do now. She also had a mini digital recorder and would record her stories for me to type later.

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First, I agree with the living math and everyday math options. However, if you decide to do something more formal, I can make a few suggestions about MEP.

 

Maybe I missed it, but have you tried MEP's Reception year with her? If you have or think it's too easy, then you could give Year 1 a whirl. My 5 y/o found the (first) Horizon K workbook in the book closet and started doing it. We don't use workbooks, but he was doing it on his own, so I let him go at it. (I got it off of PBS to take a peek at it.) He flew through it and, much to my (anti-workbook) irritation, seemed to like it... up to a point.

 

He finished both Horizons books somewhere around 3-4 months. He had no problems with it, but he didn't really like it toward the end. When we started MEP, he was instantly engaged. I think we were on Lesson 111 when we stopped for a summer break. So far, he loves MEP and doesn't feel as if he's really doing math (like he does with the workbooks). For him, the repetition in Horizons was too boring. I finally let him skip problems because he was becoming so frustrated "because I already know this," he said. You won't have that issue with MEP.

 

The thing that I love about MEP is how it makes you think in a different way than you normally would. (If you are a math nerd, perhaps you may not find this to be so! For me, a non-math nerd, I feel as if I'm working some weird IQ puzzle! LOL) Anyway, if you do all of the suggested classroom activities, then your math time with your daughter would really drag on too long for her (most likely). When I've done that, we've ended up running at 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you're okay with that, then go for it, but that seems like too much time to me, esp. for a young one.

 

What I started doing with our MEP lessons was scanning ahead and choosing one example (or two, if I thought there was one not-to-be-missed) and then just doing the five or six math problems on the page. Since there are only a handful each day, it would only take around twenty minutes to do it all, on most days. I have a boy, so he LOVES the MEP activities like tossing a ball back and forth and doing math facts. He gets to move around instead of sitting down with a workbook. Maybe your daughter, being younger, would like that as well.

 

Hope this helps.

 

We've done very little of MEP so far but I just love the Reception level for ds. Even though most of the general concepts are a little easy for ds it still manages to challenge him. It makes him think about these concepts in a different way, which is challenging to him. And it doesn't feel like work to him. He is very much not the type to just sit around and do school work. He wants to do and move and run. But spending just a short time a few days a week with it should be perfect.

 

I think your dd will like learning about the concepts (which she might already be familiar with) in a new and hopefully challenging way. I can't wait to hear how it goes, too. :)

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There are those out there who believe, and I'm beginning to as well, that formal math actual hinders mathematical development. Some of them are even classical schoolers... Check out the Bluedorns for thoughts on this. They don't advocated formal textbook math before about fourth grade.

 

She's only four and I am thinking you want to challenge her and explore her gifting, but formal seatwork isn't the best way to do that at four. Feed her curious side. :) Let her read picture books, but read aloud more challenging books. Read poetry. Work on memorization skills. Play with math toys - an abacus, counting toys, building blocks, concrete puzzles, shape blocks, etc.

 

You really don't want a gifted child to get in the habit of resistance against seatwork and sometimes the best way to avoid it is to not get in the habit to begin with. Explore her boundaries carefully, challenging her, but knowing when to step back a little too. She is only four. :)

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Trying to find appropriate materials for a young advanced child is not easy. The kids are advanced in some areas but often at age level or below in others, so typical materials don't work. I'm always on the lookout for new ideas that might work well for one or more of my kids. Not saying that you shouldn't do some more formal work, but don't underestimate the challenging nature of other things. Art experiences, like painting, drawing, and making things with clay, baking, cooking, and cleaning are all very challenging to kids. My kids especially love to help knead the dough when we make bread. Good luck finding materials and activities that work well for your family.

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She's not going to "stagnate" if you use developmentally appropriate activities and it will lead to much less frustration on both your parts. :)

 

:iagree:

 

In addition, this might be a great time to take up a musical instrument. She is really at the perfect age for it whether an accelerated learner or not and it does develop the mathematical part of the brain.

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:iagree:

 

In addition, this might be a great time to take up a musical instrument. She is really at the perfect age for it whether an accelerated learner or not and it does develop the mathematical part of the brain.

 

:iagree: Totally agree. I have a gifted daughter her started violin at 4, and a gifted son who started piano at 5. It was SO great for both of them in so many ways and gave us a little taste of structure without going outboard. My son at 9 is REALLY showing the fruit of his labors at this point too. His technique is finally catching up with his ability to learn and play notes. He has learned (and continues to learn!) much about hard work, perseverance, and just building a practice habit.

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One thing I run up against with my 4yo advanced learner is maturity. He's been reading for well over a year now and is beyond K math, but he's not ready for a set school schedule yet. He's also much more of a free spirit than my oldest and likes to do things when he feels like it (not in a matter of disobedience...he's a very compliant child).

 

One thing I learned with my oldest is that we don't always have to work at the highest level he's capable of. I don't make him do things that are boring, but always challenging him at the highest level can be exhausting. My oldest often had the freedom to be more discovery-oriented and creative when we were covering things below his level. Miquon Orange last year was great for him despite the fact that there was nothing new to him in the entire book. We covered negative numbers and the commutative/distributive properties of multiplication on pages designed to teach number lines and addition. Taking that approach with my 4yo this year has been great. He's working his way through Singapore Essential Math and playing with Cuisinaire Rods. He does it when he wants to do it and thinks it is fun.

 

At 5, we'll start formal academics, but he gas a free pass until then. He does have required activities during the day. We do Bible and read-alouds that aren't optional (never have resistance, anyway) and he has rules about what he's allowed to do during big brother's school-time.

 

She's only four and I am thinking you want to challenge her and explore her gifting, but formal seatwork isn't the best way to do that at four. Feed her curious side. :) Let her read picture books, but read aloud more challenging books. Read poetry. Work on memorization skills. Play with math toys - an abacus, counting toys, building blocks, concrete puzzles, shape blocks, etc.

 

You really don't want a gifted child to get in the habit of resistance against seatwork and sometimes the best way to avoid it is to not get in the habit to begin with. Explore her boundaries carefully, challenging her, but knowing when to step back a little too. She is only four. :)

 

:iagree: Our favorite activities during the day are Mighty Mind and putting together educational puzzles. The best thing about a young advanced learner is that you can't keep them from learning. At this age it doesn't have to be organized. I think it's hard for us to get out of the school=seat work train of thought. I think that having advanced learners has forced me to discover my creative side :).

Edited by Dinsfamily
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One thing I learned with my oldest is that we don't always have to work at the highest level he's capable of. I don't make him do things that are boring, but always challenging him at the highest level can be exhausting.

 

Good point - never thought about that.

 

The best thing about a young advanced learner is that you can't keep them from learning. At this age it doesn't have to be organized. I think it's hard for us to get out of the school=seat work train of thought. I think that having advanced learners has forced me to discover my creative side :).

 

Unfortunately, I have NO creative side - that is why I LOVE the era I am living in (Internet and mainly BLOGS) :)

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