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Would MFW K program work for a 3.5yo?


Angel in FL
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My daughter turned 3 in January. She knows all letters upper/lowercase. She will trace letters but isn't writing (or trying) to write them on her own. She knows some basic letter sounds and is very interested in learning more.

 

Would the MFW k program work for her in the fall? It says it can be used with children learning letter sounds as well as 4/5 year olds. She is eager and catches on quickly to things.

 

I would love to hear from people who have used it. The MFW program has intrigued me for a while but my sons were too old for it when it came out.

 

Thanks!

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It would work, but you might have to help her quite a bit with the crafts. (But really, there are no crafts that I have seen that are easier. All of my daycare kids got tons of help with their crafts in preschool.)

 

Other than that I think it is perfect for a 3 year old. Many of the math activities are exactly what DD was doing at that age, and the phonics are very slow and steady. Blending 3 letter words and very few sight words. Just perfect for a three year old. I don't think you will be able to go straight into MFW 1st afterwards though, as I have heard that it really steps up on not just the pace, but the amount of writing, and writing skill.

Edited by Lovedtodeath
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Most 3 year young children don't need a formal curriculum. ;) Why rush a 3 year young child into ANY company's kindy program? She's 3, so look at programs that meet the needs of a 3 year old.

 

Just read to her, read to her, read some more, go play outside, work on fine motor skills, If you like MFW, look at the Preschool skills package for 3-4 year olds. It's all about going skills in ALL areas for later, not just about recognizing letters of the alphabet.

 

-crystal

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Most 3 year young children don't need a formal curriculum. ;) Why rush a 3 year young child into ANY company's kindy program? She's 3, so look at programs that meet the needs of a 3 year old.

 

Just read to her, read to her, read some more, go play outside, work on fine motor skills, If you like MFW, look at the Preschool skills package for 3-4 year olds. It's all about going skills in ALL areas for later, not just about recognizing letters of the alphabet.

 

-crystal

 

I understand most 3 year olds don't need anything but we will use something so I am trying to decide what I want. We already do the things you have listed but I'm looking for more and the K package appeals to me. Also, not all 3-4 year olds are on the same level so some may be ready for more of a challenge while others aren't.

Edited by Angel in FL
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I am getting the MFW Preschool package for the Fall and dd will get the Kindy package when she is 4. I plan to do something else (I have no idea what) in between MFW K and first because I don't want to rush her but I want to use MFW K when she is ready for it. I might just stretch it out to two years.

 

Dd turned 3 in February btw, so she is nearly the same age as your dd. Keep in mind that MFW has a 30 day return policy so if you get it and it isn't quite right for her at this point , you can always return it for the preschool package.

 

While I realize dd doesn't need anything I think something packaged will help prompt me to give her that one on one time that she needs in a fun way. Everyone else gets to do school, and she wants to as well.

 

 

Thanks for the information. I feel the same, I don't want to rush her but she is so eager that she will be ready for more by the fall or after Christmas. She is loving what we do now so I'm just in planning mode. I like the idea of stretching it out to take longer. We can fill in the other days with classes at the rec. center. She is currently taking two classes there and loves it.

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I can tell you that I used MFWK with all three of mine at 4 yrs which went great but I don't think I'd personally go any younger than that. I definitely wouldn't put anyone younger than a 5 yr into MFW1.

 

 

So 4 is doable or close to 4? I would love to hear some of the things you really enjoyed about the program?

 

I don't mind doing something in between K & 1st, stretching it out a little or even waiting until next January to start when she is 4. I'm just weighing options right now.

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My SIL did MFW K with her 4 yo dd. DD did fine, but she has run into a problem now in 1st grade. After MFW K at 4 she did FIAR for K, it was a bomb, and she wanted to go back to MFW. But, b/c she had already done 2 years of K, she was past the MFW 1st grade. So she moved her into the MFW 2nd grade program (ECCTC?????), that program has been too much for her at her age. They have had a rather difficult 1st grade year.

 

I guess what I'm saying is it is possible for a 4 year old, but think about where you are going in the years ahead. Have you looked at Letter of the Week curriculum http://www.letteroftheweek.com/ or something else a little more for preschool, but that teaches letter sounds?

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I looked into the same thing; I have a very eager 3 yo girl (born Oct. 2005). The advice I saw on the MFW forums was to wait until the Kindergarten year, because of the emotional maturity of a typical 5 yo. In other words, even if a 3.5 yo can handle some of the phonics and/or math in MFW K, the consensus was that they would get so much more out of the program if they were 5.

 

For what it's worth, we're doing the following instead as her pre-school:

 

~My Father's World pre-school toys (for some hand-on action, motor skills, etc.)

~Handwriting Without Tears Pre-K program (which is much more than just writing - it's working on letter recognition, correct pencil grip, songs, etc - a very effective yet gentle program that has no actual handwriting until the end of the Pre-K year)

~Sonlight 3/4 (lots of good books) and

~Winter's Promise "I'm Ready to Learn", which is basically some gentle unit studies that focus on the zoo, the farm, and the garden; I will pick and choose out of this program, but it is specifically designed for 3 and 4 year olds

 

That's probably a lot, and more than is needed, but like I said, I have an eager learner as well. I feel like I'd actually be doing her a disservice to not teach her when she's begging to do "schools". I plan to go quite gently, of course . . . we're not talking about 4 hours/day at a desk. ;)

 

Oh, and also just some Kumon cutting/tracing workbooks thrown in there for fun, along with a few art projects if I can remember to do them. :)

 

ps - I just saw your age range; it's actually pretty close to ours. I trust you know when your dd is ready for more, and it sounds like she is. I hope some of our ideas might work for you as well.

Edited by LynnG in Hawaii
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Why not do themath and phonics from the MFW K program (which is at a preschool level IMO) and then do the rest of the program next year or the year after when the child has more "emotional maturity". Actually, I plan to start MFW K math and phonics with DS when he is around 4 and then do the rest the next year. Phonics very similar and fun to the MFW K method can be found on the Accelerated Achievement demo disk at hstreasures.com, so that you can continue to progress through the phonics (CVC words for over a year? no thanks.) while you are waiting for her to be ready for the 1st program.

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If you like MFW, look at the Preschool skills package for 3-4 year olds. It's all about going skills in ALL areas for later, not just about recognizing letters of the alphabet.

 

Um, I have to point out that in TWTM pre-schoolers are taught how to read before K.

 

I am having a hard time wording this. I really mean no harm.

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Loved to death,

No harm taken, but a child does not have to read before age 5. ;) I realize the age of your children and I realize all of mine are older than all of yours.

 

For the record, all of my kids were reading around age 5. (yes, even my autistic child) We did other structured things (MFW Pre K skills, read books, played music, learning to cook and clean, Before Five in a Row style of learning and even formal preschool programs outside of the house.)

 

MFW K phonics and math: phonics covers short vowel readers, plus learning to write 4-6 words in one setting. (That's not preschool level. that is Kindy level. Some programs include a little bit more, but MFW 1st grade covers all of it.)

Math in MFW k is a lot like the things that Math U See's kindy level covers (or at least the old version of MUS that I used with my oldest before they went to greek letters.) counting objects, writing numerals, preparing and understanding charts and graphs, comparing, classifying, sequencing, ordinal numbers, fractions (whole/half), clocks, coins, and an introduction to addition and subtraction.

 

hmm..... sorry, loved to death, I just disagree with you. No harm intended either. That's fine. I've been homeschooling long enough to know that my way isn't the only way.

 

Children need a balance of skills for all readiness levels. Learning names and sounds of letters is just one and only one skill. When things are kept in balance, it is easier in the long run. Learned that the hard way, so I tend to be bias to encourage balance.

 

What I was referring to was all of the developmental skills in a child's life: large motor, listening to directions and being able to following them, structure, security, FINE MOTOR.

 

Cognitive awareness of letter names is NOT the only thing to do with them in preschool. All of my kids went to group preschools that didn't focus on learning to read before age 5, and my kids still learned a lot and do well in school.

 

I must have a really older version of susan's book, because I don't remember that children are *reading* before Kindy. In the copy I have of TWTM around here somewhere the Kindy level stuff is what is in MFW K.

 

Oh well, I'm just old school thinking I guess with better later than earlier. My kids learned to read before we did formal phonics, but we still did Kindy level stuff with them when they were 5 (except for the autistic kid who needed another year to be able to sit and focus for 1 hour of school). I'm old school on it.

 

But my way isn't the only way. :)

 

to the original poster: If you're interested in MFW's K, try to wait a little longer, but you can do whatever you want because you know your child and have the experience of teaching the other kids to look back on.

 

-crystal

Edited by cbollin
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Okay, I am really going to put a fly in the ointment here. All three of mine could read at 3yr and I put them into MFWK at 4yr +. Mine did learn to read before that but we kept it very fun, very light and they just are very quick learners. I used many read alouds at 3, played the MFW pre-school toys, and played with leap frog videos and leap frog magnets to help them learn the sound names, as well as the MFW alphabet flash cards and songs. We read with BOB books and beginner readers from Abeka. We also worked on manners with the Emilie Barnes books and started learning some basic spanish. My twins knew their colors in spanish before english because of this, and I didn't even recognize it, my oldest did!:001_smile:

 

We did MFWK at 4yr and added in other readers (but still did MFW phonics because it was fun and I really wanted them to have a firm foundation). Writing and penmenship was more of a struggle and it was more difficult in MFW1 at 5 yr so we just took it really slow but imho, you can't rush hand -eye coordination so I didn't worry about penmenship until they were 6 or so. So their reading was really ahead of their writing but by 3rd grade (mine are in 6th and twins in 3rd) have caught up.

 

Here's the warnings about that though:

 

Their age and their grade will not match their peers.

They will be really ahead if you ever put them in a traditional school.

Their emotional developement and academic developement will not be the same.

 

It's worked beautifully for us but I have to think far ahead and be one step ahead of kids who are very academically advanced. I also have had to make that we keep learning fun because they are so young to be learning what they are learning.

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I actually think it would be perfect for her. My son was 5 this past September. I did MFW K with him and ended up having to supplement it with math and Sonlight's Core in order to give him everything I wanted for kindergarten. I do think it's a very good program for a 4 year old. It's lots of easy crafts, talking about simple science ideas, etc... However, I do agree with the others that you probably would want to do a more agressive K program with her before doing the 1st grade. My 3 year old did most of the crafts and projects and storybook reading right along with us. Of course, she was too young for some parts, but I just did what she could and let her do puzzles and activities when she wasn't interested. Luckily, it's inexpensive enough that you would easily be able to set it aside if it didn't work for you.

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Loved to death,

No harm taken, but a child does not have to read before age 5. ;) I realize the age of your children and I realize all of mine are older than all of yours.

 

For the record, all of my kids were reading around age 5. (yes, even my autistic child) We did other structured things (MFW Pre K skills, read books, played music, learning to cook and clean, Before Five in a Row style of learning and even formal preschool programs outside of the house.)

 

MFW K phonics and math: phonics covers short vowel readers, plus learning to write 4-6 words in one setting. (That's not preschool level. that is Kindy level. Some programs include a little bit more, but MFW 1st grade covers all of it.)

Math in MFW k is a lot like the things that Math U See's kindy level covers (or at least the old version of MUS that I used with my oldest before they went to greek letters.) counting objects, writing numerals, preparing and understanding charts and graphs, comparing, classifying, sequencing, ordinal numbers, fractions (whole/half), clocks, coins, and an introduction to addition and subtraction.

 

hmm..... sorry, loved to death, I just disagree with you. No harm intended either. That's fine. I've been homeschooling long enough to know that my way isn't the only way.

 

Children need a balance of skills for all readiness levels. Learning names and sounds of letters is just one and only one skill. When things are kept in balance, it is easier in the long run. Learned that the hard way, so I tend to be bias to encourage balance.

 

What I was referring to was all of the developmental skills in a child's life: large motor, listening to directions and being able to following them, structure, security, FINE MOTOR.

 

Cognitive awareness of letter names is NOT the only thing to do with them in preschool. All of my kids went to group preschools that didn't focus on learning to read before age 5, and my kids still learned a lot and do well in school.

 

I must have a really older version of susan's book, because I don't remember that children are *reading* before Kindy. In the copy I have of TWTM around here somewhere the Kindy level stuff is what is in MFW K.

 

Oh well, I'm just old school thinking I guess with better later than earlier. My kids learned to read before we did formal phonics, but we still did Kindy level stuff with them when they were 5 (except for the autistic kid who needed another year to be able to sit and focus for 1 hour of school). I'm old school on it.

 

But my way isn't the only way. :)

 

to the original poster: If you're interested in MFW's K, try to wait a little longer, but you can do whatever you want because you know your child and have the experience of teaching the other kids to look back on.

 

-crystal

Words of wisdom. Thank you.
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One thing that I really like about TWTM method rather than MFW or other CM (Queen's) method curriculums that I have looked at is that TWTM lets children progress in phonics before they are ready for all of that writing. With CM they are copying entire stanzas of poems and reading 3 letter words. It seems very unbalanced.

 

I looked up the age to start, etc. in the preschool section of TWTM. It says that your number one goal for education is to get them reading fluently when they start first grade work. Then it goes on to say that somewhere around age 4 and 5 most children are ready to start reading. The goal is to get them through all the pages of OPG as quickly as possible. (The total opposite of spending a year or more on three letter words, which is why I don't feel that MFW K is appropriate for a 5 year old on TWTM track.)

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One thing that I really like about TWTM method rather than MFW or other CM (Queen's) method curriculums that I have looked at is that TWTM lets children progress in phonics before they are ready for all of that writing. With CM they are copying entire stanzas of poems and reading 3 letter words. It seems very unbalanced.

 

:iagree: This is one of the reasons why TWTM is so appealing to me. The program is perfect for an early reader. And with it's emphasis on language arts, trying to master reading skills early makes sense to me (if you have a willing and able student).

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One thing that I really like about TWTM method rather than MFW or other CM (Queen's) method curriculums that I have looked at is that TWTM lets children progress in phonics before they are ready for all of that writing. With CM they are copying entire stanzas of poems and reading 3 letter words. It seems very unbalanced.

 

Hi Carmen,

ah, now I see what you're thinking. But copying 4-6 words in MFW K is not an entire stanza of poems either. ;) So, there may be CM programs out there doing that, but that's not really want MFW K does. And also MFW K does let their phonics progress just a little tiny bit ahead of writing. But because they aren't copying tons of stuff, it can be done closer together. And the tactile handwriting techniques are great! With my youngest child her phonics was ahead of everything else she has (this is the autistic child), so even using MFW K with her was great to let her progress in reading without losing other stuff.

 

In the MFW first grade program they will copy an entire Proverb verse once a week. And they will also learn independent composition in the context of finishing learning to read. But that's still not quite as CM as some programs.

 

When you get them at a reading level too far ahead of their writing skills, it doesn't always work as well as a homeschooling parent might hope it will. Been there.... done that... want to help others avoid what I did wrong when trying to understand different ways to teach. But not easy to do on internet when people can't see the kids and the work and know them in real life. sigh.

 

I looked up the age to start, etc. in the preschool section of TWTM. It says that your number one goal for education is to get them reading fluently when they start first grade work.

 

Sounds a whole like MFW K phonics. (but remember that in TWTM aren't preschool and Kindy the same kind of thing? you know, the years prior to first grade?) I knew they were on the same page on that part. You had me worried that Susan had gone off the deep end. ;)

(But TWTM and MFW do have a different number one goal for education in that preschool thought, but that's the religion aspect of it. Reading isn't forgotten in MFW though. nit picky on my part, I know.)

 

Perhaps the difference is in the key question: reading fluently at what level when they start first grade? and at what cost to the kid? If the child isn't ready by age 6, what's the worst thing that can happen? If a child learns it at age 6 instead of age 5.5 and it is done easier, why rush it?

Does Susan suggest the child should be reading fluently at Susan's level when they start first grade work? of course not. LOL! So, at what level? And what is the harm if it is shifted by one semester on the older side of life when they are this age? We're talking a one semester shift with little children who still have to be in booster seats in the minivan. oh... the differences in me over the last decade as I get older.

 

Some programs in their Kindy level introduce long vowels too. MFW just shifts it a bit and gets that done early in first grade year. Some top notch phonics programs don't finish all phonics until 2nd grade (but are still considered top programs and on grade level.)

 

Part of the reason for only doing short vowels in MFW's Kindy is to allow for more time to work on fluency in blending and to let the kids really have that fluency prior to starting first grade when the pace is fast. So, MFW K encourages fluency in Kindy prior to start of first grade.

 

They just recognize that some children aren't ready for all of it until just a wee bit older. And it goes easier on mom and child and has the same benefits.

 

Then it goes on to say that somewhere around age 4 and 5 most children are ready to start reading. The goal is to get them through all the pages of OPG as quickly as possible. (The total opposite of spending a year or more on three letter words, which is why I don't feel that MFW K is appropriate for a 5 year old on TWTM track.)

 

 

MFW's first grade really picks up the pace. Again, different long time big names in homeschooling do not advocate the exact same timing of what to do from age 4-6.

Not all children really are interested in completing all pages of a teacher's book at age 5. Honestly, I went that route with my oldest and glad I wised up.

I'm not familiar with the details of every program on the market so you need to fill me in a bit. Just what does it mean to "get through all of the pages of OPG as quickly as possible?" How does getting through OPG quickly as possible guarantee "fluency" and if a child doesn't get the fluency, isn't that an issue? Well, we got through it quickly and now we have to do it again because you didn't grasp it? I'm not trying to fight on this, I just am not familiar with the details of OPG enough to understand the statement.

 

For my oldest, I did it the way you suggest of forgetting all about fine motor skills and getting them to read fluently by first grade thinking "oh, we'll do the writing thing later." Except I thought in my dumb young days of homeschooling that meant to have them a grade level ahead in reading. Not anymore. I left out important things like handwriting while in my eager nature to have her reading. It really did affect how she learned to write and more than than, it affected my ability to have proper expectations for her age because I looked too much as reading level instead of growth and maturity. By the way she's a very smart child in 7th grade.

 

So, I'm glad that MFW gave me the balance for my other children: waiting until just a tiny older, and not writing full stanzas of poems, reading fluently so that a quicker pace of phonics in first grade is doable and more than that, really seems to understand the difference in maturity between a 3 year old and a 5 year old when it comes to the top priority in their program (spiritual discipleship aspects).

It's one thing to start a 4.5 year old in a Kindy program. But a child who hasn't turned 4 yet, will benefit from working on fine motor skills in everyday life (cutting, crafts, etc.) and being read to. Then it will be easier on everyone for all that is learned in the program even if they already know some of it (and that's true no matter which Kindy program is used). Truly advanced kids who learn early reading skills prior to Kindy program do not lose those skills. It does not put them at a disadvantage for all of the other stuff they need to learn along the way if you don't turn them into a 12th grade reader before they are out of a booster seat in the car.

 

Well, that's enough of cyber talking for one morning. I do enjoy talking educational philosophy, but I need to go teach this morning and put it into practice for my kids. :lol: not to mention, I need to get the coffee ready.

 

 

-crystal

Edited by cbollin
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My daughter turned 3 in January. She knows all letters upper/lowercase. She will trace letters but isn't writing (or trying) to write them on her own. She knows some basic letter sounds and is very interested in learning more.

 

Would the MFW k program work for her in the fall? It says it can be used with children learning letter sounds as well as 4/5 year olds. She is eager and catches on quickly to things.

 

 

We tried it with my older dd at 4 and here's what I ran into:

 

1. The math and phonics were too easy. She had already passed the phonics and math up. If the rest of the program fit, we would have continued...BUT

 

2. The handwriting was perfect.

 

3. The science and religious ideas were too hard. I would put them perfectly at a 5 year old.

 

It didn't make sense to use it when 2 of the 3 components didn't fit where she was at. I ended up just picking individual programs for each subject and I like that much better.

 

If you want to do a program, you might look into Winter Promise "Ready To Learn" It has weekly letter/math activities, but little handwriting. You make a letter book. It's mostly theme work. Pond, zoo, farm, & garden. It has lots of crafts, fingerplay, and activities that revolve around the theme. And it's super easy to come back and add a non-writing phonics program to. Or, you could do the ETC primers and do much of it orally or write for her.

 

Or, just do your own themes and work on separate math/handwriting/phonics programs.

Edited by snickelfritz
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We tried it with my older dd at 4 and here's what I ran into:

 

1. The math and phonics were too easy. She had already passed the phonics and math up. If the rest of the program fit, we would have continued...BUT

 

2. The handwriting was perfect.

 

3. The science and religious ideas were too hard. I would put them perfectly at a 5 year old.

 

It didn't make sense to use it when 2 of the 3 components didn't fit where she was at. I ended up just picking individual programs for each subject and I like that much better.

 

If you want to do a program, you might look into Winter Promise "Ready To Learn" It has weekly letter/math activities, but little handwriting. You make a letter book. It's mostly theme work. Pond, zoo, farm, & garden. It has lots of crafts, fingerplay, and activities that revolve around the theme. And it's super easy to come back and add a non-writing phonics program to.

:iagree:Yes, Yes, and Yes!!! We were trying to do MFW k when DD was 4 and a half. All of the above applied. I had used A2 with her when she was 3 and that had all of the phonics and math covered (and then some) by playing games.

 

The only thing about phonics is that if your child is ready and you hold them back, they will start guessing. Then you will still have to remediate.

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Hi Carmen,

ah, now I see what you're thinking. But copying 4-6 words in MFW K is not an entire stanza of poems either. ;) So, there may be CM programs out there doing that, but that's not really want MFW K does. And also MFW K does let their phonics progress just a little tiny bit ahead of writing. But because they aren't copying tons of stuff, it can be done closer together. And the tactile handwriting techniques are great! With my youngest child her phonics was ahead of everything else she has (this is the autistic child), so even using MFW K with her was great to let her progress in reading without losing other stuff.

 

In the MFW first grade program they will copy an entire Proverb verse once a week. And they will also learn independent composition in the context of finishing learning to read. But that's still not quite as CM as some programs.

 

When you get them at a reading level too far ahead of their writing skills, it doesn't always work as well as a homeschooling parent might hope it will. Been there.... done that... want to help others avoid what I did wrong when trying to understand different ways to teach. But not easy to do on internet when people can't see the kids and the work and know them in real life. sigh.

 

 

 

Sounds a whole like MFW K phonics. (but remember that in TWTM aren't preschool and Kindy the same kind of thing? you know, the years prior to first grade?) I knew they were on the same page on that part. You had me worried that Susan had gone off the deep end. ;)

(But TWTM and MFW do have a different number one goal for education in that preschool thought, but that's the religion aspect of it. Reading isn't forgotten in MFW though. nit picky on my part, I know.)

 

Perhaps the difference is in the key question: reading fluently at what level when they start first grade? and at what cost to the kid? If the child isn't ready by age 6, what's the worst thing that can happen? If a child learns it at age 6 instead of age 5.5 and it is done easier, why rush it?

Does Susan suggest the child should be reading fluently at Susan's level when they start first grade work? of course not. LOL! So, at what level? And what is the harm if it is shifted by one semester on the older side of life when they are this age? We're talking a one semester shift with little children who still have to be in booster seats in the minivan. oh... the differences in me over the last decade as I get older.

 

Some programs in their Kindy level introduce long vowels too. MFW just shifts it a bit and gets that done early in first grade year. Some top notch phonics programs don't finish all phonics until 2nd grade (but are still considered top programs and on grade level.)

 

Part of the reason for only doing short vowels in MFW's Kindy is to allow for more time to work on fluency in blending and to let the kids really have that fluency prior to starting first grade when the pace is fast. So, MFW K encourages fluency in Kindy prior to start of first grade.

 

They just recognize that some children aren't ready for all of it until just a wee bit older. And it goes easier on mom and child and has the same benefits.

 

 

 

 

MFW's first grade really picks up the pace. Again, different long time big names in homeschooling do not advocate the exact same timing of what to do from age 4-6.

Not all children really are interested in completing all pages of a teacher's book at age 5. Honestly, I went that route with my oldest and glad I wised up.

I'm not familiar with the details of every program on the market so you need to fill me in a bit. Just what does it mean to "get through all of the pages of OPG as quickly as possible?" How does getting through OPG quickly as possible guarantee "fluency" and if a child doesn't get the fluency, isn't that an issue? Well, we got through it quickly and now we have to do it again because you didn't grasp it? I'm not trying to fight on this, I just am not familiar with the details of OPG enough to understand the statement.

 

For my oldest, I did it the way you suggest of forgetting all about fine motor skills and getting them to read fluently by first grade thinking "oh, we'll do the writing thing later." Except I thought in my dumb young days of homeschooling that meant to have them a grade level ahead in reading. Not anymore. I left out important things like handwriting while in my eager nature to have her reading. It really did affect how she learned to write and more than than, it affected my ability to have proper expectations for her age because I looked too much as reading level instead of growth and maturity. By the way she's a very smart child in 7th grade.

 

So, I'm glad that MFW gave me the balance for my other children: waiting until just a tiny older, and not writing full stanzas of poems, reading fluently so that a quicker pace of phonics in first grade is doable and more than that, really seems to understand the difference in maturity between a 3 year old and a 5 year old when it comes to the top priority in their program (spiritual discipleship aspects).

It's one thing to start a 4.5 year old in a Kindy program. But a child who hasn't turned 4 yet, will benefit from working on fine motor skills in everyday life (cutting, crafts, etc.) and being read to. Then it will be easier on everyone for all that is learned in the program even if they already know some of it (and that's true no matter which Kindy program is used). Truly advanced kids who learn early reading skills prior to Kindy program do not lose those skills. It does not put them at a disadvantage for all of the other stuff they need to learn along the way if you don't turn them into a 12th grade reader before they are out of a booster seat in the car.

 

Well, that's enough of cyber talking for one morning. I do enjoy talking educational philosophy, but I need to go teach this morning and put it into practice for my kids. :lol: not to mention, I need to get the coffee ready.

 

 

-crystal

 

Wow Crystal! So many gems in here. I get what you are saying about how MFW works. I might actually follow it this time with DS.

 

With DD I got through all of the phonograms as quickly as possible. When fluency "clicked" she was at third grade level. That is still what I recommend to people.

 

I was talking about Queen's with the poems. We really like CM products because of the rich literature selections, but they just don't fit with as much writing as they require compared to the phonics. We are working through the samples of Queen's and it said "have your parent read the poem to you" DD read it herself. :tongue_smilie:Then the next lesson was "read these words" "TED, BED"... I was cracking up! Then the next lesson is copying two lines of a poem everyday. Too hard for Emily. It just doesn't work.

 

Totally OT, but I can't wait until Engquist Academy comes out with their LA. The only thing that is missing is poetry. It has everything we need in one book, even spelling. I really like only having to turn the page and not juggle lots of books, which seems overwhelming, KWIM?

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Carmen,

 

You'll do fine. We'll all do fine with our kids as long we keep on keeping on and don't grow weary, or something like that.

 

Just clarifying what I did.

I realize in my earlier answers it might look like I’m saying “don’t teach them to read before age 5.†I don’t believe that, and that’s not what I did. So if anyone took that message away from what I said, uh, sorry. There are kids who are not interested at that age, but that’s a different issue.

I did help my children learn to read before age 5. They were interested, so I didn’t hold them back from that interest nor did I want them guessing. I just didn’t use K5 materials to help them until they were at least 5 years old. That’s my point that I didn’t do a great job getting across last night. Will I ever learn not to type after 7 pm?

Then when the middle and youngest were in MFW K (as kindy age kids), we tweaked the phonics to be spelling. So, that’s why I see the value in using the program with kids who can read. I guess it’s not so much a remedial phonics approach but really working with spelling skills and especially handwriting using materials that are designed in mind for 5 year old physical ability. With all of that said, I probably wouldn’t have used MFW K with my oldest even if I did know it existed. I think I would have had the same thoughts that some others have said. But oh well.

 

Ready for another story from someone feeling old today? Me neither, but the sound of the key board sounds so soothing right now. Ahhh)

 

I was the same way with math and my oldest. :lol: This is almost too embarrassing to admit on the internet. But why not? I can blush. I remember something Steve Demme (MUS) told me at a convention I attended when my oldest was getting ready for K. It was my first convention I attended. I told Steve Demme that my soon to be 5 year old kid "was beyond his Kindergarten program." ah... I got taken down a peg or two by him. Good for him! Someone was willing to give advice from long term perspective. Good for him! Steve Demme said something that might read harsh, but he said it nicely so that's ok. He told me this is his standard advice to parents like me. Oh, your 5 year old child *needs* to be in my Kindergarten level program even if they are beyond it, but you aren't ready to receive that advice, so put her in first grade. You can use Kindergarten program with your 2nd child. Thanks for buying.

 

:lol: sigh. so she skipped his kindy book. and yes, I got it for my 2nd child, but put it away after a few weeks when I realized all of the same stuff was in MFW K. :lol: :D

 

He was right about that. I was in too much of a rush on the foundational years. Sigh. Somewhere between the better late than early and the don't hold back ends of the spectrum lies the mysterious balance point.

 

anyway. I hope that helps someone in some way no matter what base program you want to use at whatever stage of learning your child is at.

 

ok. that's my late morning teacher break. time to do some crafts today and grade a science test in jr. high. and get someone to dance class.

 

-crystal

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LOL! I was definitely in a rush. My 3 year old genius was beyond K standards for anything (she actually was, wierd huh?) so I thought of her as 2 years ahead. We stopped using Abeka that was working, bought MFWK and quickly gave up on that because she was beyond it, and we started on first grade programs recommended here. Now, here we are barely getting WWE done b/c her handwriting is behind (she didn't need to work on it, don't ya know?) and we tried to skip ahead in math and ended up backsliding (Abeka moves too slowly, don't ya know?) ;) And maturity-wise, well, we are using FIAR in order to have a fun break.

 

So yeah, I guess I can see the wisdom in what you are saying. :glare: :D

 

I have really enjoyed this discussion Crystal. Thanks.

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I also have a 3 yo who is thinks she is ready for big girl work. I could have taught her to read this year but I didn't. I could have bragged about her advancements but I didn't. I could have encouraged her to do school work and push her but I didn't.

 

Instead we did 3yo stuff. We painted, we read, we glued cheerios on paper, etc. The absolute earliest that I will break out a phonics program is age 4 and ideally I would prefer to wait to age 5. It is ok that she has learned a little about reading without lessons but it wouldn't have been ok for her to miss being a preschooler. I want for her to have another year of just *being* and letting her learning occur in a natural way before we start doing schoolwork. I will need to watch her closely in regards to reading because I don't want to have her guessing BUT I do not have to teach her to read at 3. 4 is plenty early and if we start our phonics program at 4 is will be a slow pace. VERY SLOW. She will be K at age 5 and not a minute sooner. There is absolute no benefit of rushing her through this or any other stage of development just because she has a natural ability. My older children's friends who were rushed and advance are in no way better off then the kids that proceeded at a slower pace. Actually in many ways the advance kids are stunted. Stunted emotionally or physically in some way.

 

For my children that learning comes easy instead of accelerating their education I choose to enhance their education.

 

For the original poster.....my advice would be to keep doing whatever it is that you are doing with your 3yo because it is obviously working. Put off the K program until she is 5 but at least until 4 if you can't wait any longer.

 

I just LOVED Steve Demme's advice!

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Carmen,

 

You'll do fine. We'll all do fine with our kids as long we keep on keeping on and don't grow weary, or something like that.

 

Just clarifying what I did.

I realize in my earlier answers it might look like I’m saying “don’t teach them to read before age 5.†I don’t believe that, and that’s not what I did. So if anyone took that message away from what I said, uh, sorry.

 

:grouphug: Thank you!

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I also have a 3 yo who is thinks she is ready for big girl work. I could have taught her to read this year but I didn't. I could have bragged about her advancements but I didn't. I could have encouraged her to do school work and push her but I didn't.

 

Instead we did 3yo stuff. We painted, we read, we glued cheerios on paper, etc. The absolute earliest that I will break out a phonics program is age 4 and ideally I would prefer to wait to age 5. It is ok that she has learned a little about reading without lessons but it wouldn't have been ok for her to miss being a preschooler. I want for her to have another year of just *being* and letting her learning occur in a natural way before we start doing schoolwork. I will need to watch her closely in regards to reading because I don't want to have her guessing BUT I do not have to teach her to read at 3. 4 is plenty early and if we start our phonics program at 4 is will be a slow pace. VERY SLOW. She will be K at age 5 and not a minute sooner. There is absolute no benefit of rushing her through this or any other stage of development just because she has a natural ability. My older children's friends who were rushed and advance are in no way better off then the kids that proceeded at a slower pace. Actually in many ways the advance kids are stunted. Stunted emotionally or physically in some way.

 

For my children that learning comes easy instead of accelerating their education I choose to enhance their education.

 

For the original poster.....my advice would be to keep doing whatever it is that you are doing with your 3yo because it is obviously working. Put off the K program until she is 5 but at least until 4 if you can't wait any longer.

 

I just LOVED Steve Demme's advice!

 

I don't believe in rushing a child into a curriculum. But I also don't believe in holding them back. For me, a big part of the joy of homeschooling is that I can teach at a pace that is matched to my child's ability level, whether that level is higher or lower than the level that matches her actual age.

 

Your post seems to imply that anyone who teaches their child to read before the magic age of 5 is rushing them or pushing them. I don't agree. Yes, my dd can read, but that doesn't keep her from any normal preschool activities, such as painting, cutting and pasting, looking at picture books with me, being silly, and otherwise being a 4-yo child. Reading gives her joy and a sense of accomplishment that has increased her confidence in many things outside of just schoolwork. I can't imagine holding this back from her.

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Your post seems to imply that anyone who teaches their child to read before the magic age of 5 is rushing them or pushing them. I don't agree. Yes, my dd can read, but that doesn't keep her from any normal preschool activities, such as painting, cutting and pasting, looking at picture books with me, being silly, and otherwise being a 4-yo child.

And a reading lesson only takes 5-10 minutes a day. It won't take time up for the other things.

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Your post seems to imply that anyone who teaches their child to read before the magic age of 5 is rushing them or pushing them. I don't agree. Yes, my dd can read, but that doesn't keep her from any normal preschool activities, such as painting, cutting and pasting, looking at picture books with me, being silly, and otherwise being a 4-yo child. Reading gives her joy and a sense of accomplishment that has increased her confidence in many things outside of just schoolwork. I can't imagine holding this back from her.

 

I also realize that the reading lesson isn't necessarily time consuming with a 4yo because I've BTDT.

 

I'm not implying I'm stating that I have not seen any long term benefit from very early reading. When I sit around and talk to the mamas of my older children's friends they don't see it either. I have never known a mama of a child who read after the magic age of 5 regret not teaching their child to read earlier. BUT I know of many, many a mama of an early reader who would have waited a bit to start reading instruction. Including myself!

 

FWIW.

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I also realize that the reading lesson isn't necessarily time consuming with a 4yo because I've BTDT.

 

I'm not implying I'm stating that I have not seen any long term benefit from very early reading. When I sit around and talk to the mamas of my older children's friends they don't see it either. I have never known a mama of a child who read after the magic age of 5 regret not teaching their child to read earlier. BUT I know of many, many a mama of an early reader who would have waited a bit to start reading instruction. Including myself!

 

FWIW.

 

I think we are addressing two different things. I don't necessarily believe that early reading gives a child a long-term benefit. That's a whole other debate! :001_smile: I'm just questioning the idea that letting a child read before age five isn't healthy and automatically means you are pushing them.

 

Maybe later I'll have a different perspective, but so far I'm only experiencing the upside. I was also an early reader, and reading has been a passion of mine since my dad taught me to read when I was four. So I guess I'm a little biased, based on my own experience. :D

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One thing that I really like about TWTM method rather than MFW or other CM (Queen's) method curriculums that I have looked at is that TWTM lets children progress in phonics before they are ready for all of that writing. With CM they are copying entire stanzas of poems and reading 3 letter words. It seems very unbalanced.

 

I looked up the age to start, etc. in the preschool section of TWTM. It says that your number one goal for education is to get them reading fluently when they start first grade work. Then it goes on to say that somewhere around age 4 and 5 most children are ready to start reading. The goal is to get them through all the pages of OPG as quickly as possible. (The total opposite of spending a year or more on three letter words, which is why I don't feel that MFW K is appropriate for a 5 year old on TWTM track.)

 

I very much agree. Although I disagree with TWTM in that I think there are children who are just not ready to read at 4 or 5.

I'm sure there are children that benefit from extra time reading only cvc words, but I don't think it's necessary for all. I guess that's why I don't like all-in-one curriculums, anyway. The reading, writing, math skills in a given kid aren't necessarily going to line up the way the curriculum wants them to; one of the reasons I homeschool in the first place!

 

I also wanted to say that one of my peeves with curriculum has come to be people that jump on the Charlotte Mason bandwagon, when they really aren't doing a Charlotte Mason education, IMHO. Queens seems to have some nice materials, but they combine reading and writing in preschoolers. CM thought children should not be doing copywork other than learning letters, until age 6, or narrations or picture study.

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Maybe later I'll have a different perspective, but so far I'm only experiencing the upside.

 

Just wanted to jump in here and say, gently, that you are on the upside because your dc is 4.5. And it is entirely possible that you will continue on the upside path till they graduate at 16 or 17.

 

Or maybe you'll realize when your dc is, oh, say 13, that you would have liked them to have a little more maturity before tackling those high school years...early. And what a whole 'nother ball game it is to start high school "early" than it was to start K before she turned 5. But she's too smart for you to hold back a grade just because of maturity issues or just to give her some more experience before graduating before she turns 18. I'm just saying:D

 

I know what it's like to be on that end. With an intelligent child who talked in sentences before two, knew all letters and sounds at 2, etc, etc. Who tests into K before 5 and you do it because she is certainly smart enough, why wait?! Um, I've been there. But I'm not there again with my younger dd. Because hindsight is 20/20 and you can never get those years back. ;)

 

I'm not saying that if they want to read, not to let them learn. Or if they want to be involved in "schoolwork" that you don't find something age-appropriate for them. But, yes, but, they will have plenty of time for curriculum when they are in school. I think we often loose sight of that when it is our first, most brilliant, totally genius first child:tongue_smilie:

 

For those of you schooling with children under 5, and they are your oldest, I can only say this because I've been there, done that, and can look back and evaluate those years. Not because I'm shooting down your attempts or ridiculing what you've chosen to do, but because I want to share what just might pop into your mind, later, when you can't get those years back. And while you're shaking your head and getting mad at me, :D realize that I certainly WOULD have reacted the same way (and did) when someone questioned why I was putting a 4yo in K. I even remember the lady who did it. She was the mom of one of my dd's friends who had 6 kids, 5 of them older than dd. I now remember very clearly her saying, what will happen when she gets to middle school. Boy were my feathers ruffled:lol: But she was right.

 

I hope I haven't offended, it was certainly NOT my intent. I just hope to give you a different perspective. :grouphug:

 

Oh, just for the record, in case you haven't guessed, I wouldn't do MFWK with a 3 or 4 year old:001_smile:

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Angel, it would thrill me to no end if DD graduated early. I don't know why everyone thinks that is such a bad thing. And High School work? Yes. I know I personally was very ready for it when I was 13.

 

But, Emily tested out of K at 3 years old. I have been banging my head against a wall thinking of her as 2 years ahead, or even 1 year ahead. When I finally decided that she will be in first grade at 6 and a half, and second grade at 7 and a half, we both breathed a sigh of relief, and relaxed, and started enjoying school again. She reads at a 5th grade level on her own time out of a book basket. Everything we actually do for a curriculum is on grade level. She learns plenty and we enjoy it. I probably could have her ahead in math if I had found the right program earlier, but you know what? So what. If she is meant to be ahead in math she will catch up later. At her pace. Not mine. Just saying... teaching a child to read early is okay in my book. Buying curriculums that are grade levels ahead is just not a good idea* and this thread has helped me to understand that even more.

 

*Unless your child is exceptional, which is rare, in which case they will usually be 4 or more levels ahead in one area, not all of them, and without any prodding from parents so still...

 

DD was actually doing everything that is in MFW K in her Christian Preschool ran by an elementary teacher. I got the wrong idea from that apparently. And you know, after that I started getting my degree in Early Childhood Education (I had to drop out :sigh:) and I realized... the preschool teacher did not have Early Childhood Education, she had Elementary Education. She wasn't doing it right either. :001_huh:

 

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It seems like there's a possible compromise. A child can be advanced in certain areas without skipping grade levels, right? I plan on letting my dd go as far as she can as fast as she can in math, music, and foreign language. Those are more "technical" subjects in my opinion. But I will definitely consider her "kindergarten" when she's 5, and put her in the K level of whatever literature-based curriculum I decide on (leaning toward Sonlight right now). She doesn't need to be reading heavy literature before she's emotionally ready for it. And I don't want her graduating early either.

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Just wanted to jump in here and say, gently, that you are on the upside because your dc is 4.5. And it is entirely possible that you will continue on the upside path till they graduate at 16 or 17.

 

Or maybe you'll realize when your dc is, oh, say 13, that you would have liked them to have a little more maturity before tackling those high school years...early. And what a whole 'nother ball game it is to start high school "early" than it was to start K before she turned 5. But she's too smart for you to hold back a grade just because of maturity issues or just to give her some more experience before graduating before she turns 18. I'm just saying:D

 

I know what it's like to be on that end. With an intelligent child who talked in sentences before two, knew all letters and sounds at 2, etc, etc. Who tests into K before 5 and you do it because she is certainly smart enough, why wait?! Um, I've been there. But I'm not there again with my younger dd. Because hindsight is 20/20 and you can never get those years back. ;)

 

I'm not saying that if they want to read, not to let them learn. Or if they want to be involved in "schoolwork" that you don't find something age-appropriate for them. But, yes, but, they will have plenty of time for curriculum when they are in school. I think we often loose sight of that when it is our first, most brilliant, totally genius first child:tongue_smilie:

 

For those of you schooling with children under 5, and they are your oldest, I can only say this because I've been there, done that, and can look back and evaluate those years. Not because I'm shooting down your attempts or ridiculing what you've chosen to do, but because I want to share what just might pop into your mind, later, when you can't get those years back. And while you're shaking your head and getting mad at me, :D realize that I certainly WOULD have reacted the same way (and did) when someone questioned why I was putting a 4yo in K. I even remember the lady who did it. She was the mom of one of my dd's friends who had 6 kids, 5 of them older than dd. I now remember very clearly her saying, what will happen when she gets to middle school. Boy were my feathers ruffled:lol: But she was right.

 

I hope I haven't offended, it was certainly NOT my intent. I just hope to give you a different perspective. :grouphug:

 

Oh, just for the record, in case you haven't guessed, I wouldn't do MFWK with a 3 or 4 year old

 

I'm not offended, or angry, or shaking my head. :D I do appreciate the advice. But I'm hesitant to reply to everything you've said here because I feel like these comments are now turning this thread into a debate that the OP didn't sign up for (sorry!). So I'll save it my responses for a future thread. This subject seems to come up a lot. :tongue_smilie:

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