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MFW k/1st vs Sing Spell Read and Write


sangtarah
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Hi All!!

 

Can you help me think about complete language arts programs?     (Not manuals like Phonics Pathways - I have that.)

 

I have an upcoming K'er. She doesn't know the letters or sounds.  I'm looking at My Father's World K  or  Sing, Spell, Read and Write.

We have Logic of English Foundations A and we've gone halfway through it, but she still only remembers 4 or 5 of the letters regularly. She is active, loves to sing, and likes to finish her workpages.

 

I don't want to continue using LoE. I think learning all the sounds at once may be too much for her.

 

I'm drawn to MFW K b/c I went through it with my now 3rd grader, and we had such fun, and I loved the Bible/character lessons. I like SSRW b/c of the ease of use, the color, the songs, and the fact that it's been used for 30 years. I also think the visual goal of the racetrack would appeal to this child. The continuation from K to Level 1 is great - I don't want to have to switch programs.

 

If you recommend MFW K, can you tell me about MFW 1st? How does the phonics instruction compare to SSRW? At the homeschool convention, it seemed that MFW 1st was behind SSRW - the words being read at the end of SSRW looked more complex.

 

I need continuity. I need ease of use (a.k.a. open and go).

Thank you bunches!! 

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She will be 5 next month.

 

We have been using LoE since December, just playing games and reviewing most days that we do anything. She often is asking to do something when I'm teaching her sister. She is the middle child - baby brother is nine months old.

 

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Talking Letter factory DVD!

 

Also, these charts, looking up the sound yourself makes them learn them faster:

 

https://www.phonovisual.com/products.php?c=1

 

I have never had a remedial student from Sing Spell Read Write, but have had a few from MFW phonics. The actual phonics are good, but linking it to the history and Bible schedule means sometime it moves faster than the children should be going, which can lead to problems. Also, they discuss the stories before the child reads them, which can also lead to guessing problems in guess prone students.

 

I have also not had any remedial students from PP, if you use the charts and add in a few fun games with her game book and my phonics concentration game, it will make it more fun for less $ than Sing Spell.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Phonics-Pathways-Boosters-Teaching-Jump-Start/dp/1118022440/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401209748&sr=1-4&keywords=phonics+pathways

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Phonics/concentrationgam.html

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I second the Leapfrog dvds. Very effective and painless! Letter Factory teaches letter sounds and Talking Words Factory is about CVC words building. Your local library might have these dvds.

 

Starfall.com is another fun way to learn alphabets, letter sounds and more. (And it's free!)

 

When my ds knew all letter sounds, we started Hooked on Phonics K and loved it, too. It's an open-and-go program with little instruction required.

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I use and like ABeka. I am interested in MFW K and All about Reading. We use AAS for spelling, and I also thought it might be harder to teach reading that way, to teach all the sounds for each of the letters. ABeka doesn't make such a science out of it, and the workbooks are colorful, diverse, and fun. I don't think it's the funnest curriculum out there, but they try. And their grammar is solid on for that element of LA. Definitely open and go. I'm not crazy about their spelling, though, as it's not as explicit as AAS. But my son is flying through AAS because of his phonics foundation with ABeka. Anyway, it's not for everyone, as it's expensive to get the different readers and supplementary flashcards, but it's working well enough here.

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My highest number of remedial students come from the public schools, then Hooked on Phonics, then BJU Press, they teach a lot of sight words, here is how and why to teach the sight words phonetically:

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/sightwords.html

 

Read Write Type is also a run supplement, and the only online program that does not promote guessing to some degree:

 

http://www.talkingfingers.com

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I will third (fourth?) the Leapfrog DVD.  

 

I personally love LOE, but I never started it until AFTER my kids knew their 80% of their letters and sounds.  

 

Between the frog, a set of fridge magnets, and plain talking about letters we saw all the time they sort of just absorbed it without a lot of direct teaching.

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Thanks for your opinions and advice!

 

Is there anyone else who has used these two that can chime in?

 

I have used both.   My oldest used SSRW.  She starts college in 2 months.   My next two used MFW K and 1st (they are 10th grade and 6th grade.  youngest has autism but that is not fault of curriculum.)

 

It is my opinion that both of the programs ended at same point in phonics instruction. :)  MFW K was similar to SSRW's steps 1-15 around the racetrack.  MFW 1st was the rest of the 36 steps to learn how to read.  (I hope someday that SSRW song will fade from my memory.)  MFW just didn't have the fancy bells and whistles and colorful workbooks and classroom feel.  MFW's first grade gets to "ssrw step 36" level at around week 28 of the first grade program.  Then there is more review for the final weeks and the reader level is showing at 2nd grade level.   

 

MFW K and 1st offered a lot more in terms of notebooking and composition than SSRW did in my opinion.  That's mostly because the SSRW composition in the teacher's manual wasn't "classical" style.   just trying to explain  my experience.  With MFW 1st grade, you get the opportunity to work on narration and composition with the Bible reader and notebooking.    With mfw first grade....  the pages are not color like SSRW workbook.  

 

in terms of X years of users...  MFW Kindy was originally written in about 1991 and used in Christian schools.  It was around 1998 that it was turned into homeschool use.  it's not like either of these programs is new anymore.

 

 

I know that if I had used MFW with my oldest, I would have thought it was "blah" or "not enough".   As I grew in experience as a teacher, I was happy to use MFW.  I like the current edition of the first grade program a lot!   There are lots of nice helps and hints in the manual.  

 

comparing the use of both programs... I felt like I was doing readers and workbooks in SSRW.   My oldest didn't learn a lot of writing (maybe that was my fault and I missed all of the good stuff in the ssrw).    MFW's first grade really helps with that classical feel of composition in the early years.  

 

mfw can be used as spelling lists with the phonics workbook.  they give details on that.  The lists aren't as long as SSRW, which to me is a good thing.

 

I certainly do not think mfw is a remedial program.  I'm sure there are students who don't finish SSRW until sometime in 2nd grade. doesn't mean the programs aren't working.  children develop at different rates.

 

hope some of that trip down memory lane of the two programs helps you a bit

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My oldest used SSRW in private school and is quite an advanced reader.  It just clicked in his brain, and he took off.  I am now using it with my second child at home.  I did not buy the full kit.  The biggest price in the kit is for the readers and the 1st grade Teacher's Manual.  There's not really a manual for kindergarten.  I may buy the full kit, but I have some readers from a different program that are close, plus they have the booklet readers they cut out.  We started the first book of SSRW in preschool this year instead of doing the preschool book.  It starts with one letter at a time in the first K book.  We just slowed that down to one letter a week, and we will start with book 2 in the fall.  He is turning 5 this summer.  He likes to write his letters, so there was no slowdown there.  I am not a pusher, but he enjoyed all of it.  I love the program, and my oldest knows all the songs and sings along with his brother.  The Teacher's directions are at the bottom of the page,but it's pretty intuitive, and the train track is in the book, so you really only need the workbooks for kindergarten.  I made my own Treasure Box.  We really like it, and I like to stick with what I am familiar after my first son learned to read with it.  Are there other programs that can also do the job?  Sure.  But I love the concentration on phonics, blends, etc and all the songs and games.  I also think A Beka has really solid phonics and grammar as that is what I learned in school, but so many of their materials for K are in cursive.  I think they do have some manuscript ones as well.  My preschooler has one of their preschool books that he loves too.  We like the multi-faceted approach with SSRW, and the phonics are solid. I think because we went through it with a teacher first, we also fully understand how it works, and little bro feels like he is learning what big bro knows.

 

I do not have much experience with MFW.  From reviews I have read, some have felt the K and 1st program to be a little lacking and not rigorous enough.  Some love it and think it's a perfect, gentle introduction.  MFW is definitely going to have more Bible woven in the lessons.  I would thumb through samples and read reviews and determine if it fits your style best.  

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Regarding composition...my oldest did Writing with Ease in first grade and Shurley for grammar, so there was plenty of writing there.  I don't think SSRW includes much "composition" as much as handwriting, reading, phonics and spelling.  MFW is a full boxed curriculum that will include everything.  There is good spelling in SSRW, and it begins about halfway through first grade.  You can continue SSRW with the Bus curriculum in 2nd, and i believe that even includes some grammar, but I felt my 2nd grader was reading well above grade level and felt I could teach phonics through spelling alone and grammar with Shurley and not continue with the bus.

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I am searching through the archives to find information on SSRW's kindergarten and first grade program.  i just bought the 1st grade kit from the classifieds.  It looks pretty comprehensive and starts by teaching the letters.  Is it necessary to do the Kindergarten workbooks as well?  I will keep looking through the forums and go back to CBD and Rainbow Resource websites to look at their information on the difference between the K and 1st grade levels.

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I tried SSRW with Joy, but it was not something she enjoyed. She is not a singer and disliked it immensely. I think she felt personally insulted by it. I don't know, I still think it looked like a cute program.

 

I then ordered MFW and never looked back. All five of mine have gone through MFW K and 1st (at varying paces.) I admit that I did throw in McRuffy K reading and phonics by the time Faith went through it, but that was because she wanted to do more school every day like her big brothers and sister.

 

We have a house full of happy readers. I regularly send them off to tidy up their rooms and, when everything gets too quiet, I tiptoe in and find them flopped on their beds with books in hand, and their messes still around them. They love to read aloud and argue over whose turn it is.

 

After finishing up MFW, we started Pathway readers and other emerging readers for fun.

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We lightly used MFW K for the Bible, book ideas, science, letter of the week, etc....loved it, but could have put it together myself just as well. Their LA was a little slow for me, BUT my dd knew her letters and sounds going into it, plus she was starting to blend sounds. For someone just learning those things, MFW K phonics might be just the right pace. My dd learned most of her beginning phonics accidently by watching Leap Frog on Netflix and a few PBS kids shows like Word World. Can't speak for MFW 1st, as we're using Orogressive Phonics now and plan to start the Reading Made Easy with Blend Phonics program (free downloable at donpotter.net) by Hazel Loring next year for 1st. The Reading Made Easy worked well for ds, now 8, after he came out of ps K reading sight words and CVC words. The phonetic approach for dd has been a slower process than the sight word approach my son learned in ps K, but I believe it will pay off in the long run because my son guessed at too many words when he first came home from ps, but now he guesses less since I emphasize Don Potter's more phonetic approach to reading.

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We used MFW K and 1st. We loved K--it was a slow, steady progression of letters and their sounds. By the end of the year, students read short stories with CVC combos.

 

MFW 1st, we didn't like so much. As other posters said, it's not colorful and doesn't have much fun in it. The phonics is fully integrated with Bible history. That's great for some, but it did NOT work for us. We've been reading Bible stories to our son at bedtime since he was 18 months old, so there was nothing new or exciting for him the whole year--I wish I had thought about that beforehand!! So...if Bible stories every day will be fun/exciting/engaging for your child, and if black and white doesn't bore you--MFW might work for you.

 

Another thing: I found that K was very easy, but then DS struggled mightily for the first 3rd of 1st grade reading. I'm not sure if the curriculum was too tough, or what. There are several pages in the TM headed, "Help! My child can't keep us with the phonics lessons!" The rest of the page has suggestions for how to slow down he curriculum or adjust it. I tend to feel that if they've gotten so much feedback from customers that they need to put that page in the TM in several different places, there's a problem with the curriculum.

 

Finally, we found the Bible notebooking to be monotonous and redundant. DS is not artsy, so the daily illustrating got to be a trial. In addition, he's a typical boy who doesn't want to write. Asking him to summarize the Bible story was like asking him to fly to the moon with a bicycle. We slogged through it, but I'm not sure I'd do it again.

 

Wow, this looks really negative! I absolutely loved K but cannot in good conscience recommend 1st. Happy hunting!

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Thank you everyone!! Each reply was helpful and informative. I am really grateful. 

 

I decided on SSRW. I think it will fit my dd. She exclaimed "I want that!" when she saw the raceway. 

 

I also think it will help me for her to just have a phonics/language arts program. I would feel so overwhelmed or guilty if I didn't get to "her" things in the MFW K guide. 

 

Now I'm on to explore my new  MFW Exploring Countries and Cultures manual and organize our next year!!

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