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Can someone please help me before I quit?


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I'm new here, and I'm new to HS'ing. I'm very overwhelmed by it all. I need to figure out which curriculum to go with for first grade and if I should switch after Christmas or not.

 

I'm currently using My Father's World kindergarden curriculum, but I'm also supplementing with Math U See and New American Cursive. I really love MFW, but...it's too easy for my daughter. And I'm afraid it's not going to cut it with teaching her all that I need to teach her.

 

So right now, I'm struggling with whether or not to stay with it. I really want her to be strong in academics, and what I've seen so far with MFW just doesn't do it.

 

Anyway, I guess my question is, is there any way to read reviews about different curricula? Or do I have to cross my fingers and hope that the curriculum I choose is good enough? I'm ready to quit HS'ing because I have no clue what I'm doing. I'm not naturally organized, so I NEED a curriculum to tell me what to do. I would love to pick and choose different programs for different subjects, but I don't know enough about what is available and what she needs to be learning at which age.

 

Thank you for any help. I'm on the verge of enrolling her in public school for first grade because I don't want to fail her.

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Anyway, I guess my question is, is there any way to read reviews about different curricula? Or do I have to cross my fingers and hope that the curriculum I choose is good enough? I'm ready to quit HS'ing because I have no clue what I'm doing. I'm not naturally organized, so I NEED a curriculum to tell me what to do. I would love to pick and choose different programs for different subjects, but I don't know enough about what is available and what she needs to be learning at which age.

 

Thank you for any help. I'm on the verge of enrolling her in public school for first grade because I don't want to fail her.

 

Go to Google. Type in "site:welltrainedmind.com/forums" and the name of any curriculum you are curious about. You should get tons of reviews and information on various programs to help you with your decision. :001_smile:

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I guess I should add that she really enjoys what we're doing right now, but it's way too easy for her. She can already read, so it seems so redundant to be learning the alphabet. That's why I was asking about switching after Christmas.

 

What I do like about MFW is that it is biblically-based and that it's a lot of fun for both of us. I'm not sure that's enough to keep us using a curriculum that is too easy. I'm concerned about the other grades because the kindergarden doesn't exactly meet my standards. So does that mean the future grades won't either?

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Go to Google. Type in "site:welltrainedmind.com/forums" and the name of any curriculum you are curious about. You should get tons of reviews and information on various programs to help you with your decision. :001_smile:

 

 

Thank you, Beaners. I'll definitely try that.

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I'm new to HS'ing as well so I can't help with curriculum, but I can tell you this with all sincerity: take a deep breath. You won't ruin her education in the time it takes to get your feet under you. It's okay to not know what you are doing. It would be okay to quit if you felt that HS'ing wasn't best serving your child's needs. It is not okay to quit because you are overwhelmed. (well, maybe it would be okay, but it isn't necessary.)

 

You will get plenty of good advice here and you will find your way. Hang in there!

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What about the other portions of MFW? Is she enjoying the activities, read alouds, etc? How old is she? If she can already read, you might turn the reading lessons into spelling lessons. Check at the MFW board, it seems like there are suggestions for doing K with a child who is already reading. board.mfwbooks.com

You could also post your question on MFW board as well.

 

The MFW K archive has suggestions for those who are already reading or modifying it if it is too easy.

Edited by Lori in MS
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I have heard that MFW K is about equal to preschool or pre-k for most kids. There are SO many choices out there, it CAN get overwhelming. First, is the math-u-see working for you? If it is, that is a start. Same with the cursive. You can search on this site and see all sorts of reviews for just about every curriculum out there. If it exists, someone here has posted about it. I promise :-) There is also www.homeschoolreviews.com and that has a lot of reviews about a lot of different curriculum.

 

I don't think MFW is a good measure of what most K curriculums look like, because it is so easy. I would look at the following:

 

* denotes what my K'er is doing

 

Language Arts:

All About Reading

All About Spelling

Explode the Code *

BOB Books *

Starfall *

Delightful Reading

 

Literature/Books Lists:

Sonlight P4/5

Ambleside Year 0 *

Simply Charlotte Mason *

Five in a Row

 

Science:

Nature Study *

McRuffy Science K

 

Art/Artist Study

Drawing for Children *

The 'Katie' Series (also in the simply charlotte mason book list) *

Color Me Masterpieces *

 

Social Studies / History

Expedition Earth *

History for Little Pilgrims

 

Their ARE other complete curriculums besides MFW. But you still end up with your child fitting in on some levels and finding other too easy or too hard. They are

 

Winter Promise (Animal Worlds or Children Around the World)

Sonlight (P4/5 or Core A)

Heart of Dakota (light for kindergarten)

Oak Meadow (VERY light for kindergarten)

Memoria Press

Living Books Curriculum

Moving Beyond the Page

 

Hope that all helps! Don't give up! I started with a packaged curriculum way back with the olders and it was a huge mistake... live and learn :)

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I'm new here, and I'm new to HS'ing. I'm very overwhelmed by it all. I need to figure out which curriculum to go with for first grade and if I should switch after Christmas or not.

 

I'm currently using My Father's World kindergarden curriculum, but I'm also supplementing with Math U See and New American Cursive. I really love MFW, but...it's too easy for my daughter. And I'm afraid it's not going to cut it with teaching her all that I need to teach her.

 

So right now, I'm struggling with whether or not to stay with it. I really want her to be strong in academics, and what I've seen so far with MFW just doesn't do it.

 

Anyway, I guess my question is, is there any way to read reviews about different curricula? Or do I have to cross my fingers and hope that the curriculum I choose is good enough? I'm ready to quit HS'ing because I have no clue what I'm doing. I'm not naturally organized, so I NEED a curriculum to tell me what to do. I would love to pick and choose different programs for different subjects, but I don't know enough about what is available and what she needs to be learning at which age.

 

Thank you for any help. I'm on the verge of enrolling her in public school for first grade because I don't want to fail her.

 

Let me first say that you are not the first one to feel overwhelmed by it all. Nor are you the first to think your curriculum choice was wrong, pitch it and start all over mid-year.

Nor are you the first to think their first-grader has to be challenged academically.

Nor are you the first to think that you don't know what you are doing.

 

it's okay. really it is.

 

First graders need to learn to read, build reading fluency, learn their phonics and math addition and subtraction facts, and be read to about all kinds of interesting subjects, and then play a lot.

 

That's pretty much it. They don't need science curriculum. They don't need timelines. They don't need Latin unless it is totally fun for them. School should be constant discovery and fun. They need to begin building some disciplines into their daily routine, so that they realize that they don't get out of reading out loud by wiggling and whining and saying "my tummy hurts" or "i'm thirsty!" (ask me how I know.)

 

Just sayin...relax. You'll probably booger this up several more times before finally finding exactly the right mix. (ask me how i know) Then you'll change your mind again. (ask me how I know) Then your kid will be taller than shoulder height and super-smart and reminding you of stuff you taught him / her that you have no recollection of and you'll think "wow! I did something right!" (ask me how I know) Follow your heart and your instincts and pray a lot. Don't quit. Every day is new.

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Let me first say that you are not the first one to feel overwhelmed by it all. Nor are you the first to think your curriculum choice was wrong, pitch it and start all over mid-year.

Nor are you the first to think their first-grader has to be challenged academically.

Nor are you the first to think that you don't know what you are doing.

 

it's okay. really it is.

 

First graders need to learn to read, build reading fluency, learn their phonics and math addition and subtraction facts, and be read to about all kinds of interesting subjects, and then play a lot.

 

That's pretty much it. They don't need science curriculum. They don't need timelines. They don't need Latin unless it is totally fun for them. School should be constant discovery and fun. They need to begin building some disciplines into their daily routine, so that they realize that they don't get out of reading out loud by wiggling and whining and saying "my tummy hurts" or "i'm thirsty!" (ask me how I know.)

 

Just sayin...relax. You'll probably booger this up several more times before finally finding exactly the right mix. (ask me how i know) Then you'll change your mind again. (ask me how I know) Then your kid will be taller than shoulder height and super-smart and reminding you of stuff you taught him / her that you have no recollection of and you'll think "wow! I did something right!" (ask me how I know) Follow your heart and your instincts and pray a lot. Don't quit. Every day is new.

 

YES!

 

Have FUN! It is first grade, make it fun for both of you. I totally know the spin you are in. I really do. I put myself through it twice with both my kids, but it goes away.

 

The first year of homeschooling is hard. You need to find your groove, she needs to find her groove. You will make mistakes, you will have victories. You NEED to enjoy each other. At the end of the year the house will still be standing and you will feel amazed at what you did together. About halfway through the second year you will realize you almost, kinda, sorta know what you are doing.

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YES!

 

Have FUN! It is first grade, make it fun for both of you. I totally know the spin you are in. I really do. I put myself through it twice with both my kids, but it goes away.

 

The first year of homeschooling is hard. You need to find your groove, she needs to find her groove. You will make mistakes, you will have victories. You NEED to enjoy each other. At the end of the year the house will still be standing and you will feel amazed at what you did together. About halfway through the second year you will realize you almost, kinda, sorta know what you are doing.

 

 

:iagree: Don't give up.. :grouphug:

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I thought the first year of hs was by far the scariest year. I'm into year 3 now and absolutely love it. And see the benefits.

 

Kids who are homeschooled are so wholesome. We have friends in ps who are all around wonderful -- well, make that one friend -- but most of the kids have issues from the life they're leading.

 

I agree. Read Susan Wise Bauer. She's so good.

 

I have a gifted child who was reading early. Read aloud A LOT.

 

I recommend: Math U See, Writing with Ease, First Language Lessons, Story of the World, Spelling Workout. These are all top notch curricula.

 

Then get her into activities of her choice/passion: ice skating, co-op (maybe, if you find one you love), art, Taikwando etc.

 

Don't give up -- you're too new!!! Feel free to PM me if you want more info. Somebody took me under their wing when I was new. It really is such a neat life.

 

Alley

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If at all possible, make what you have work. Step back and take a look at what IS working with the curriculum you have and what ISN'T working. Drop what isn't working and focus on the rest. But it is WAY too easy to switch when all you might need is to tweak the schedule or presentation of what you already have.

 

My guess of what you could do is drop all that is too easy from MFW (the letters, etc.) and concentrate on diving deeper into the rest of it. Add in books and just let her read or be read to. Let her tell you about what she has read. Let her draw pictures about what she has read. Let her write stories.

 

Then you can re-evaluate for next year what material might be a better fit for you. But for first grade, reinforce reading comprehension since she is already reading, start the writing process either through oral narration or actual pencil and paper writing (if she is ready for it), and do math. Add in books from the library for science and history if you feel it is essential.

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Thank you all SO much! I only have a few friends who HS (none nearby), and my family is pretty much against HS'ing. Support is hard to come by!

 

I don't remember who asked, but my daughter is almost six, and she's currently doing kindergarden. And yes, MFW K seems like pre-K to me (not that I have any experience, LOL). It's so easy.

 

So it's okay to switch curricula in the middle of the year? I would love to stick with MFW, but I honestly don't think it's going to cut it for me. Not unless the next grade kicks it up a notch or two.

 

We are definitely having fun (well, for the most part). That's probably what I like most about MFW...all the crafts and activities. And I keep trying to remind myself that HS'ing isn't just about academics. There's the whole relationship issue there too.

 

What's really hard for me is that I'm so unorganized. Up until we started kindergarden, we've never had any sort of routine. Trying to figure out a routine with a five-year-old, a three-year-old, and a baby is hard when you've never done it before! The call of public school is loud and clear, but I don't want to give up until I've given HS'ing a fair try either. I've been so convicted to HS my children, but now that it's reality and not some far-off-in-the-future thing...it's harder than I thought. Public school would be so easy, and I have a lot of people in my life saying it would be better too. It's very hard to keep going forward with HS'ing with those judgments echoing in my head, especially on the days that don't go so well.

 

Anyway, thank you all again for the encouragement. I'm going to keep looking at different curricula, and I might start her on something new after the holidays.

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I thought the first year of hs was by far the scariest year. I'm into year 3 now and absolutely love it. And see the benefits.

 

Kids who are homeschooled are so wholesome. We have friends in ps who are all around wonderful -- well, make that one friend -- but most of the kids have issues from the life they're leading.

 

I agree. Read Susan Wise Bauer. She's so good.

 

I have a gifted child who was reading early. Read aloud A LOT.

 

I recommend: Math U See, Writing with Ease, First Language Lessons, Story of the World, Spelling Workout. These are all top notch curricula.

 

Then get her into activities of her choice/passion: ice skating, co-op (maybe, if you find one you love), art, Taikwando etc.

 

Don't give up -- you're too new!!! Feel free to PM me if you want more info. Somebody took me under their wing when I was new. It really is such a neat life.

 

Alley

 

Anything from SWB and Peace Hill Press will be challenging enough but not too hard and easily paced according to what your child can do. I totally adore their products and use all Four...SOTW, WWE, FLL, and OPGTR.

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Try to relax and Look back at all you've already taught her. Give yourself credit, she wouldn't be where she is now without you. I'm still very new to HS and it can feel overwhelming, esp picking out curriculum. Your daughter is young. Until you find what works, read to her and enjoy your time together. No teacher will love her like you do, that's the best gift you can give her.

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Can I make another suggestion. I am in my 8th year of homeschooling, and have started K with my youngest.

 

With my oldest we took weekly field trips to the museums, zoo, park, grocery store, bowling alley, fire station, main post office, beach, wetlands...... you get the picture. He is in the 6th grade and will *STILL* talk about those trips.

 

They are only this young ONCE....my youngest doesn't get those fun field trips because her siblings are 6th and 4th grade...and..well.... we have to be Home to school.

 

Take advantage that these places (for the most part) are not crowded during the week. Do crafts...do and Mommy and Me class.. JUST HAVE FUN... There is PLENTY of time for academics next year.

 

Blessings,

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Thank you all SO much! I only have a few friends who HS (none nearby), and my family is pretty much against HS'ing. Support is hard to come by!

 

I don't remember who asked, but my daughter is almost six, and she's currently doing kindergarden. And yes, MFW K seems like pre-K to me (not that I have any experience, LOL). It's so easy.

 

So it's okay to switch curricula in the middle of the year? I would love to stick with MFW, but I honestly don't think it's going to cut it for me. Not unless the next grade kicks it up a notch or two.

 

We are definitely having fun (well, for the most part). That's probably what I like most about MFW...all the crafts and activities. And I keep trying to remind myself that HS'ing isn't just about academics. There's the whole relationship issue there too.

 

What's really hard for me is that I'm so unorganized. Up until we started kindergarden, we've never had any sort of routine. Trying to figure out a routine with a five-year-old, a three-year-old, and a baby is hard when you've never done it before! The call of public school is loud and clear, but I don't want to give up until I've given HS'ing a fair try either. I've been so convicted to HS my children, but now that it's reality and not some far-off-in-the-future thing...it's harder than I thought. Public school would be so easy, and I have a lot of people in my life saying it would be better too. It's very hard to keep going forward with HS'ing with those judgments echoing in my head, especially on the days that don't go so well.

 

Anyway, thank you all again for the encouragement. I'm going to keep looking at different curricula, and I might start her on something new after the holidays.

 

It is hard, but you do get more confident. If she's finding it too easy, don't be afraid to move ahead, skip what is redundant, supplement with more challenging stuff.

I have a 6y/o, 4y/o and 1y/o. My oldest just finished 1st grade and it has been hard, but amazing and so very worth it. We made it through our first 'real' year and now I'm confident to move on to the next one.

Routine doesn't need to be too difficult. Just aim for a little of math and a little of LA each day, some of the extras/craft that you're enjoying, and you're done. Try to do the intensive stuff when the little one naps, with littlies the routine changes all the time anyway!

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Did anyone recommend Cathy Duffy yet? Its wonderful for unbiased reviews of tons of curricula. She also has a new HomEdExpert.com (its on the main page I linked) site that is great for figuring out your teaching style and your dc's learning style. It will give curricula suggestions based on your answers to the questions. Its free.

 

Don't feel bad about feeling like your floundering your first year. I switched mid-year my first year (and my second year).:tongue_smilie: There is just so much out there and it will take you awhile to figure it all out.

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Hang in there Mamma! I second the suggestion to go the route of The Well Trained Mind:

First Language Lessons

Writing With Ease

Spelling Workout

Reading books you and she pick from the library

Math, sounds like you're using one you like

Handwriting Without Tears for first grade

Story of the World for history

Science: check The Well Trained Mind for a sample of how to set it up: super easy!

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What about going on up to MFW 1st grade? Another thought would be to do Heart of Dakota's Little Hearts for His Glory, which is a K or 1st grade program, so you could easily start in Jan. and keep going with it into 1st grade. We used it for K last year. It holds your hand so well as a first-time teacher (which I was). It has very doable hands-on (uses things found around the house, so no shopping list) and my younger dd (2 at the time) was able to do a lot of the projects with us. I felt the literature component was light, so I added in parts of Memoria Press K (the read-alouds, recitation, poetry, and art and music appreciation). In hindsight I could have added Sonlight's P4/5 as well. The science is a tad light as well, so you could easily add Sonlight's Science K. Heart of Dakota is Christ-centered and has the hands-on you are looking for. Here is the link for Little Hearts for His Glory: http://www.heartofdakota.com/little-hearts.php The teacher manual has a two-page spread for each day with boxes for each subject that are very easy to follow. There is an active forum where you can get lots of information: http://www.heartofdakota.com/board3/

 

HTH!

Kathy

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Kathy, HOD is at the top of my list for a new curriculum. I do love MFW though, and I've been thinking about moving up to first grade. Or maybe just sticking with the K curriculum and using it to reinforce what she already knows. I don't know...I'm so confused about it all!

 

One thing I need in a curriculum is a good Bible-base. We're Christians, but I didn't grow up going to church, so I feel ill-equipped to teach my children our beliefs. That is one of the HUGE benefits of MFW.

 

UmMusa, this is a bit off topic, but do you teach your children Arabic? If so, do you use a particular curriculum. I need to decide which language to teach my children, and Arabic is one of the top choices :).

 

Trishe, thank you so much for your advice. It's been in my heart to stick with MFW kindergarden for your very reason. We do weekly library trips, and we do a lot of other trips too. The zoo, the dinosaur museum...the aquarium this week. I'm just afraid that I will end up putting her in public school eventually, and I don't want her to be behind, if that's the case. I know it's good to not rush her, and I love hearing your experience with your children.

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I'm new here, and I'm new to HS'ing. I'm very overwhelmed by it all. I need to figure out which curriculum to go with for first grade and if I should switch after Christmas or not.

 

I'm currently using My Father's World kindergarden curriculum, but I'm also supplementing with Math U See and New American Cursive. I really love MFW, but...it's too easy for my daughter. And I'm afraid it's not going to cut it with teaching her all that I need to teach her.

 

So right now, I'm struggling with whether or not to stay with it. I really want her to be strong in academics, and what I've seen so far with MFW just doesn't do it.

 

Anyway, I guess my question is, is there any way to read reviews about different curricula? Or do I have to cross my fingers and hope that the curriculum I choose is good enough? I'm ready to quit HS'ing because I have no clue what I'm doing. I'm not naturally organized, so I NEED a curriculum to tell me what to do. I would love to pick and choose different programs for different subjects, but I don't know enough about what is available and what she needs to be learning at which age.

 

Thank you for any help. I'm on the verge of enrolling her in public school for first grade because I don't want to fail her.

 

Deep breath. Don't let curricula confusion stop you from homeschooling, especially at her young age. From someone who has bought and sold nearly everything under the sun, believe me, you don't *need* any curricula. For first grade, all you *need* is a math resource (whether that's a workbook or free vintage arithmetic book) and a library card. Get comfortable reading to your daughter, having her read a couple of words with you. Pick books out that interest her and enjoy it while you research what type of "school" you want at home. I wish I had taken the time to do just this before I bought and sold my way through an "education."

 

I would also buy SWB's The Well-Trained Mind. Even if I don't follow it to the letter, I can see the general place my kids should be and substitute accordingly.

 

:grouphug:

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If you like NAC, take a look at Memoria Press's grade level packages. They have been a true life saver here. I am using Kinder right now and my boys LOVE it. It is easy to switch things out. For us, we are using HWT and Christian Light Education math. You can buy just the plans for $30. The customer service is great as is the MP forum board.

 

I have been hsing for 7 years and tried a TON of stuff and this is the best...for us... I have found.

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Kathy, HOD is at the top of my list for a new curriculum. I do love MFW though, and I've been thinking about moving up to first grade. Or maybe just sticking with the K curriculum and using it to reinforce what she already knows. I don't know...I'm so confused about it all!

 

Hi, we use some MFW here. I'm getting ready to teach MFW K for the second time. The MFW 1st grade Bible reader is awesome, too. My third kid learned how to read with MFW.

 

Anyway, if your 1st grader is reading and writing well, you can move her up to Adventures in MFW. http://www.mfwbooks.com/products/M50/40/5/0/1 You can look at the samples and see if it's something she could work thru.

 

About MFW being light...it gets much more sophisticated later. The high school courses look incredible (that's actually one of my choices for hs).

 

Also, if she's writing, I'd like to thrown Primary Language Lessons into the mix of suggestions. http://www.amazon.com/Primary-Language-Lessons-Emma-Serl/dp/0965273512/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322654066&sr=8-1 This book and Intermediate Language Lessons are awesome. ILL, especially.

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I'm using MFW K for my middle son (turned 5 in November, so technically he's K next year, but he asked to start K this year, so we started in October). It is a little slower in the phonics than most K programs (and schools) are, but the first grade seems to ramp up. In fact, MFW 1st finishes phonics, whereas most programs (and schools) take phonics to 2nd grade.

 

I would not at all worry about her being behind. She's already reading? Then she's ahead of her public school counterparts! :D You can use MFW K to reinforce her phonics by doing dictation of the phonics instead of reading them. Also, look on the MFW forum in the K section... There is a post there that talks about beefing up MFW K for a child that already reads.

 

I'm not actually using the phonics portion of MFW right now. I'm just using the theme and book lists and activities. Since it's all science based, it'd be easy to beef up if necessary. I use Webster's Speller and I See Sam readers for our reading right now (DS2 can read CVC words and open syllable words, but isn't fluent by any means... still has to sound things out most of the time). I use Singapore EM K for our math. I use HWT for our handwriting. So yes, MFW K is just a book/activity list for me at the moment. Oh well. I'm cool with that.

 

The important things to teach in K are:

 

phonics for reading

how to form letters for writing

introduction to basic math skills (good list here)

 

In my son's K at private school, they were to be writing a sentence (copying from the board) by the end of the school year.

 

I will add a "ditto" to the advice to read The Well Trained Mind book. It has excellent curriculum suggestions, and as you search for reviews on those (also recommend to use "site:welltrainedmind.com" in the google search box so it just searches WTM, and you can search acronyms), you'll find other curriculum that might fit your family. These boards have a wealth of information on them. I would suggest spending the next few months doing research about curriculum to see what you like, while you continue to use MFW K as you are doing, or possibly in a beefed up fashion. Your child is ahead, and you probably couldn't possibly slow her down in her reading. ;)

 

Oh, and if you want to know schedule madness... Put your kid in school. :tongue_smilie: I HATED HATED HATED having to wake my baby up from his afternoon nap to get his brother from school. Then there was the fact that I had to get everyone ready to be out the door by about 7:40am - all fed and dressed. My son was "tardy" 12 times in one semester of first grade. :001_huh: Funny thing is that we often start at 8am on the dot here in our homeschool. I just can't get everyone ready (including the obstinate then-4-year-old) in a timely fashion that early. There was also the madness of doing homework after he got home, when he was tired, everyone was frazzled, I was getting dinner cooked, the baby was melting down (remember, his naps weren't as long as they used to be). The grass isn't always greener in the b&m school. ;)

 

So let's not freak out in K. It's just K. It's hard to mess up K, really. And K'ers don't need heavy, rigorous academics. The heavy academics really start to come in in the logic stage, around 5th grade. The focus in early elementary should be on the 3Rs (or 4Rs, including Bible ;) ), and the other stuff is gravy, mostly going for exposure. You want to work basic skills, and you have years to do that. If you get the WTM book, you'll have a basic guide for what kids should do in which grades, and I think that would be very beneficial to you.

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If I were doing it over, I would stick with MFW K.

 

You already are using MUS. If you like it - stick with it.

 

Cursive sounds great. I would add in First Language Lessons 1. It's mostly oral and it won't add 10 minutes to your day.

 

And I would read A LOT. I would have her read A LOT.

 

At that age for reading aloud we read most of the early Sonlight read alouds (and history reads), the 1000 Good Books list, and everything I could find recommended in the Jim Trelease Read Aloud Handbook. We hit the library once a week, swapped out 20 books, and did it again. It was great! I'd also do audio books with her and for her alone.

 

For her reading to you I would also look at the Sonlight readers (the ones for the kids to read). They start progressively and build fluency. (Meaning, they start with Frog and Toad and get harder). I would have her read all the beginner books on the 1000 Good Books list. I would have her read aloud and read quietly. I would put books in the car. I would expose her to fiction, non fiction, biography, etc. I would get her in the habit of being "assigned" books by you (because it's so easy when they are older if they are used to having at least some of their reading dictated by you!).

 

And then I would enjoy MFW. ENJOY it. Take walks, field trips, pajama days. I'd finger paint and do crafts.

 

And next year I would do the same thing - READ, READ, READ - and do MFW first.

 

And then I would build up to MFW Adventures. In second grade.

 

I say this because I didn't linger in K. We pushed ahead because my kids were "ready". And now with a 4th and 5th grader I have realized that "ready" doesn't mean you HAVE to go ahead. Yes, meet them where they are, but smart kids shouldn't be robbed of finger painting and fun because they are smart. You can accomplish SO MUCH by never turning on the TV and reading to, with, and from them.

 

And my last reason for staying with MFW, if you burn through all the elementary curriculum with a 5 year old, what are you going to do with your 3rd grader? Yes, we hear about other kids remembering snipets from when they did hard curriculum at 5 - but I would venture to say that most kids don't get much long term from pushing ahead. Yes, they do fine at the time with it, but was it worth it? Would it hurt to wait? In hindsight, I'd say wait. MFW is a great curriculum company, but we left for a few years because we got off rotation by speeding ahead. I regret that. I wish we had just slowed down with the History/Science/Bible stuff. Yes, they can read and do math at their level, but relax on the rest. Especially with little ones. Do MFW. Enjoy having a smart kid. Let them be 5. And really, if you read as much as I suggest here, you won't ever be "behind".

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Can I make another suggestion. I am in my 8th year of homeschooling, and have started K with my youngest.

 

With my oldest we took weekly field trips to the museums, zoo, park, grocery store, bowling alley, fire station, main post office, beach, wetlands...... you get the picture. He is in the 6th grade and will *STILL* talk about those trips.

 

They are only this young ONCE....my youngest doesn't get those fun field trips because her siblings are 6th and 4th grade...and..well.... we have to be Home to school.

 

Take advantage that these places (for the most part) are not crowded during the week. Do crafts...do and Mommy and Me class.. JUST HAVE FUN... There is PLENTY of time for academics next year.

 

Blessings,

 

Yes, take time to enjoy things now.

 

If you like what MFW has to offer, then just buy the next level. Yes, it will be bumped up, and if she has already done some of the alphabet, then just skip that part and keep her reading until you get to something new. It's okay to do that:)

 

Most of us focus on the basics in elem school. For me, when my kids were six, we were just working on reading, math, and some writing. Then I'd just read to them and maybe pick out a fun notebook or two for them to do independently...but still school.

 

You can see samples of the curriculum, usually on the website. Also, call MFW and let them know what you are using and what your child already knows. That will be a big help and they will be able to guide you to the correct level for you.

 

Another idea is to do a search on here, or to look at http://www.homeschoolreviews.com.

 

I think you've made a great choice in math and writing, so just get the correct level of MFW and you'll be set. If you don't want to use MFW, then there are lots of choices out there. You can do a search for 1st grade on here and see who is using what. But don't let it overwhelm you! Some take a relaxed approach early on, others are doing quite a bit of school. Some are only 1 child families, and others are 1 of many. I think no matter which approach you use, as long as your child is learning to read and do math, then you are doing a job well done. Progression is the key, but try to keep it fun and not too serious.

 

PM me if you have specific questions. I once had a 5, 3, and 1 year old in the house...so I understand.

 

Alison

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It's SO easy to get frustrated and overwhelmed your first year homeschooling, but once you get a year or two under your belt, you'll be much more comfortable.

 

Part of what makes a good homeschooling parent is the need to analyze what's working and what's not working, then adjust. I would not ditch the entire program if you like MFW, but maybe you need to move at a faster pace, or maybe you just need to add a different LA component to match your DD's current reading level. Or maybe you just need to work on being more disciplined with a daily routine, but make no curriculum changes.

 

I would recommend making ONE change now, but continue to analyze what's working and what needs changing through the rest of your school year. Then when you buy curriculum and plan your schedule for next year, you'll have a greater level of confidence.

 

Kindergarten is not meant to be a challenge academically. Encourage discovery and a love of learning new things, and you'll set your DD up for great success through all of her schooling. But every year focus on one area in which you can become a little more disciplined. Sounds like you're doing a great job!

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Thank you all again. I was thinking about this last night. I really do like MFW. My daughter and I are both really enjoying our lessons, even if it's a slower pace than I had expected. My biggest worry right now is that she's not up to speed with her peers. I guess I have to remind myself that that's the beauty of homeschooling though...we don't necessarily have to work by someone else's schedule. I have to keep remembering this!

 

I should clarify that she's not READING reading...we did How To Teach a Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons when she was 4, but we only got about 2/3 through it. MFW K is still very much easy for her (in fact, my three-year-old is doing it along with us), but that doesn't mean it's wrong. Ideally, I would like to take a laid-back approach to teaching, especially the lower grades. If I had it in me, I would actually be using a Waldorf curriculum. But academics are also very important to me, so it's hard to let go of the "this isn't challenging enough" mentality. I have to remember that we're both enjoying what we're doing right now, and she IS learning.

 

You all have given me a lot of food for thought. I definitely need to figure things out, but I guess it's not the end of the world if it takes me a year or two ;). Thank you again.

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Let me first say that you are not the first one to feel overwhelmed by it all. Nor are you the first to think your curriculum choice was wrong, pitch it and start all over mid-year.

Nor are you the first to think their first-grader has to be challenged academically.

Nor are you the first to think that you don't know what you are doing.

 

it's okay. really it is.

 

First graders need to learn to read, build reading fluency, learn their phonics and math addition and subtraction facts, and be read to about all kinds of interesting subjects, and then play a lot.

 

That's pretty much it. They don't need science curriculum. They don't need timelines. They don't need Latin unless it is totally fun for them. School should be constant discovery and fun. They need to begin building some disciplines into their daily routine, so that they realize that they don't get out of reading out loud by wiggling and whining and saying "my tummy hurts" or "i'm thirsty!" (ask me how I know.)

 

Just sayin...relax. You'll probably booger this up several more times before finally finding exactly the right mix. (ask me how i know) Then you'll change your mind again. (ask me how I know) Then your kid will be taller than shoulder height and super-smart and reminding you of stuff you taught him / her that you have no recollection of and you'll think "wow! I did something right!" (ask me how I know) Follow your heart and your instincts and pray a lot. Don't quit. Every day is new.

 

:iagree:after 18 years of homeschooling the gift that I have given my kids was the love of learning...we did do science though...but more along the lines of

http://www.theyoungscientistsclub.com/

 

I told them that God was the first astrophysicist, botanist, biologist, etc. and look at that--my first two are scientists. We always had fun but I never had a "set curricula" in the early years. We still worked hard at what they loved and once I found a math program that clicked with the child I stayed with it, but always supplemented with the "Key To" series to challenge them when they needed an extra push, or some extra help.

 

Another thing: we have always had so many different kinds of animals: Chinchillas, hamsters, veiled chameleons, chickens (we live in a mobile home so that lasted a week or two)and of course the 60 gallon fish tank with the assortment of salt or freshwater fishes and now two bullfrogs in it. Plus dogs and a cat. Animals teach kids so many life lessons. Also, when mine were that age the memberships to the zoo and the museums were more important to me than the curricula that we were supposed to check off. Do your homework ahead of time though. We always brought sketch pads to draw and observe and take more time "looking and seeing" what was there.

 

Keep going-the homeschooling lifestyle is wonderful! Enjoy who God created your little ones to be. By the way, mine were all really late readers...but now, the two in high school are doing great and the oldest two read on their kindles on a daily basis. :grouphug:

My kids still talk about the time that I was being Beethoven and had to go to the chiropractor in the middle of the day because of throwing my neck out. And another time when I was reading The Whipping Boy and for lunch I had cooked meat so that everyone was starving from the smell, but I only let them eat a hot potato with no salt or butter on it and they had to eat it with their hands, with no napkin just like in the book.

 

Sincerely,

Cheryl Giordani

Edited by CherylG
math vs mth program/typing too fast =)
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:iagree:after 18 years of homeschooling the gift that I have given my kids was the love of learning...we did do science though...but more along the lines of

http://www.theyoungscientistsclub.com/

 

I told them that God was the first astrophysicist, botanist, biologist, etc. and look at that--my first two are scientists. We always had fun but I never had a "set curricula" in the early years. We still worked hard at what they loved and once I found a math program that clicked with the child I stayed with it, but always supplemented with the "Key To" series to challenge them when they needed an extra push, or some extra help.

 

Another thing: have always had so many different kinds of animals: Chinchillas, hamsters, veiled chameleons, chickens (we live in a mobile home so that lasted a week or two)and of course the 60 gallon fish tank with the assortment of salt or freshwater fishes and now two bullfrogs in it. Plus dogs and a cat. Animals teach kids so many life lessons. Also, when mine were that age the memberships to the zoo and the museums were more important to me than the curricula that we were supposed to check off. Do your homework ahead of time though. We always brought sketch pads to draw and observe and take more time "looking and seeing" what was there.

 

Keep going-the homeshooling lifestyle is wonderful! Enjoy who God created your little ones to be. By the way, mine were all really late readers...but now, the two in high school are doing great and the oldest two read on their kindles on a daily basis. :grouphug:

My kids still talk about the time that I was being Beethoven and had to go to the chiropractor in the middle of the day because of throwing my neck out and when I was reading The Whipping Boy and for lunch I had cooked meat so that everyone was starving from the smell, but I only let them eat a hot potato with no salt or butter on it and they had to eat it with their hands, with no napkin just like in the book.

 

Sincerely,

Cheryl Giordani

 

Thank-you for sharing. I was encouraged and inspired :)

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I had the same problem when I was starting out--not knowing where to go to find about curricula--and it seemed like pulling teeth to get anyone to tell me where to go. (Of course, I hadn't found this forum, yet!) I wrote about my experience on my blog and included the resources that ultimately consulted.

 

If your K'er is already reading, perhaps you want to consult the Accellerated Board on this forum. If she is gifted, you will probably do better with separate programs for each subject matter. Boxed curricula, like MFW, are really nice when you are just starting out, not knowing what you are doing, but they don't work so well for a child that is advanced. Children who are advanced are not usually accellerated at the same rate in every subject. For example, I have 2nd grade math and spelling for my dd6, but WWE1 for writing.

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Cheryl, thank you for your insight. And it IS encouraging! We do need to take more advantage of our memberships, that's for sure.

 

I'm still mulling all of this over in my mind. The good news is that you all have reassured me that I have some time, that I'm not going to ruin her during kindergarten :). I would love to mix and match curricula, but I don't know enough about all the different options out there yet. Maybe someday I'll get there.

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Cheryl, thank you for your insight. And it IS encouraging! We do need to take more advantage of our memberships, that's for sure.

 

I'm still mulling all of this over in my mind. The good news is that you all have reassured me that I have some time, that I'm not going to ruin her during kindergarten :). I would love to mix and match curricula, but I don't know enough about all the different options out there yet. Maybe someday I'll get there.

 

I know I'm not Cheryl, but you're not going to ruin her in K, 1st or even 2nd. ;) There are some amazing ladies in a homeschool drama class we go to who have helped me so much over the last few months. Most of them didn't use anything (other than learning math facts and reading from the library until after 2nd grade). Their older children are in college doing very well, most on academic scholarship. It's so hard when you care so much, but I just wanted to encourage you to take a deep breath before you ditch something and buy something else.

 

The grass is rarely greener on the other side, just a different shade.

 

:grouphug::grouphug:

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I should clarify that she's not READING reading...we did How To Teach a Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons when she was 4, but we only got about 2/3 through it.

 

That's still probably farther than the public school K'ers are (in general), so again, I wouldn't worry at all. I remember when my son was in school, a mom posted on FB around this time of the year that her son had just read his very first book (an easy reader type book). The following year, he was in the "advanced readers" group in first grade. ;) There is such a wide range of normal and what's expected of kids. By the end of the year, they expect K'ers to be basically reading, but keep in mind that even a book like Go, Dog Go! is grade level 1.5! So K level reading is not very advanced. I would guess that you're DD is not at all behind her peers (and please don't compare her to *specific* children that you know... some kids are reading at age 3, and some don't read until age 7... that has nothing to do with what's expected in a K classroom and whether your child is "behind").

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We used MFW for about the first 2 years we started hs'ing. We never used it to it's full potential with all the extras and what not. I too was afriad it would be too light. We switched around to several different things. This is our 6th year and we just made the switch back to MFW. It feels wonderful to be back. We are only in week 3 of ECC but it has already been a huge blessing to our family. Just wanted to share. I love MFW!

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I know I'm not Cheryl, but you're not going to ruin her in K, 1st or even 2nd. ;) There are some amazing ladies in a homeschool drama class we go to who have helped me so much over the last few months. Most of them didn't use anything (other than learning math facts and reading from the library until after 2nd grade). Their older children are in college doing very well, most on academic scholarship. It's so hard when you care so much, but I just wanted to encourage you to take a deep breath before you ditch something and buy something else.

 

The grass is rarely greener on the other side, just a different shade.

 

:grouphug::grouphug:

:iagree:but even after having an astrophysicist from UCLA I still get nervous about telling people we really didn't do a set curricula until junior high. All of my children didn't really read until about 3rd grade either!! gasp!! But it's true...enjoy each other and let them lead. You will go on some educational rides that you never even imagined.

 

My two that just went to public high school were so used to leading in what they wanted to learn that when the ninth grader went into the counselor asking for different things than the normal 9th grader, he just sat back and said, " I have never had a ninth grader ask for that." and made it happen for her. :D The 11th grader asked for some pretty intense classes and he also made that happen for him.

 

They both are internally motivated about what they want to learn. I do see the pressure from peers seeping in...but with all these years of homeschooling under their belt they have a bit more backbone against conformity. Plus, I can see it and call them out on it!

 

Keep at it. God didn't give your kid to anyone else. He knows you can do it!!

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