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Where to put 4yo who knows letters and wants to read?

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    Where to put 4yo who knows letters and wants to read?

    We'll be starting K with my oldest (5.5yo boy) this fall. My daughter will be 4.5. I worked through All About Reading pre-reading with them together this year and she kept up with big brother. She knows all her letter names and sounds and can identify beginning and ending sounds of words. We haven't done much writing at all. I think I'm going to use First Start Reading with my son for K instead of continuing with AAR but I'm not sure what to do with my daughter. Should I just have her work through the Alphabet 1 and 2 books this year even though she already knows all her letters or should I start her in FSR with big brother? I don't want to push her ahead of what she's ready for but I also don't want to bore her by spending a year on things she's already mastered (though the writing would be new). I also don't know that she's ready for the writing component. She likes to "write" but her pencil grip and fine motor skills still aren't very good.

    #2
    Hello.

    There are far more experienced primary people to help you here, but I thought I would get it started. I would go ahead and do the Alphabet books, knowing that your daughter needs to concentrate on the writing. It's good for young students to only have to concentrate on a limited number of skills at once, so the fact that the phonics is coming easily to her will allow her to concentrate on her writing now while feeling confident in her reading-readiness skills. And you can move at an accelerated pace. If you are ready to start FSR in Dec., why not? You are homeschooling, so you can set the pace that is best for your students. I'm not a fan of skipping material because I worry about gaps and want to raise confident students. But I am a fan of accelerating or slowing down the pace as needed.

    Any experts, feel free to disagree with me!

    Tanya

    Comment


      #3
      I did exactly what you are proposing with my son. He knew what your daughter knew. In full disclosure, I still contend that boys are very different from girls, so your results may be different. What I've found so far is that while ability may be there, maturity and mental endurance struggles. At this point, I'm nearly having to sit on him to get him through his work. Yes, his reading has skyrocketed. His penmanship is ....meh...we've really had to work on that using finger grips and he's a lefty so it's harder for me to guide him. His math skills are awesome....when I can make him actually get the pencil lead on the stupid paper for more than 5 seconds. I started him at about the same age (the summer before he turned 5 - Sept birthday). I've decided that this was an epic fail on my part. I'm now slowing way down and we are only doing half assignments every other day. I'm basically gong to be doing K for 2 years and get him back on track so that in 2020, right as he's turning 7, we will start 1st grade. His wiggles need a little more time to calm down.

      Having said that...doing K for 2 years isn't the worst idea. You could do it 2 days a week or half assignments every day. That way she's getting the mental challenge, but it's paced a little easier. You get a good long time to work on that handwriting - and some kids need a long time for this. I even started my son on R&S 1. He did so well early on, and he's still doing "well" mentally. He's memorized his addition and subtraction to the 7's. Still...making him sit still to do the workbook pages is really tiresome for both of us. His mind wanders. He plays with his eraser. He looks out of the window. I think I could have saved both of us some frustration if I had started with the idea that K would be for 2 years.
      Melissa

      DS (MP3) - 9
      DS (MP2) - 7/8
      DS (K) - 6
      DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

      Comment


        #4
        My daughter was reading The Penderwicks at 5 in K, and she read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe out loud to me in 1st. She was such a gregarious reader. I kept her in K on time and in 1st on time, even though her testing at the end of K showed end of 5th grade reading comprehension and 2nd-3rd grade math ability (except, she did almost all operations on her fingers until we found R&S math). There is so much to be said about keeping your children ON grade level. There are events happening in the brain that are so important. Come to find out there are millions of early readers, and often the late-to-read student is on par with early readers by 3rd grade. How's that for humbling? If your sweet, early reader is as quick a learner in everything else, it sets her up to go into one of the advanced cores in 3rd grade with MP. It is so awesome, and everything she will do until then will perfectly prepare her for it. My rec would be to get the K program, but start with the alphabet books and phonics flashcards (and the word lists in Classical Phonics, which is a hidden gem). Let her sit in on some of the FSR lessons of big brother, but don't push the writing. Get ahold of the Jr. K books either from MP or the library, and read those to her. Let her read BOB books to you if she can. But even better, read big books with few pictures to her. Let her continue to hear beautiful language and complicated sentence structure. Let her imagination run wild. Ask her questions about what she heard. Ask her if she recognizes any prior authors or illustrators, storylines or character types. Make her so jealous that big brother "gets" to do school that the first part of your year goes very smoothly.
        Mama to 2, Married 17 years

        SY 19/20
        DD 8-3A
        DS 5-SC C

        Comment


          #5
          Reading back through your post there are a couple of things I will also highlight. First of all, it is very, very difficult to bore a child of 4.5 because they do not really and truly have very much mastered. It can seem like they do, but just as soon as you think that and you stick them into a program to move them forward, you experience stalls and backslides because they are in fact only 4.5. Children this young do have peaks and valleys, or jumps and regressions, however you want to term it. They can seem to be chugging along great, but then when you try to review, you end up having to teach it all over again - which can be maddening for you until you realize that it is completely normal.

          Fact is, your son will need a lot of your attention next year. Getting one child at a time going on a solid primary-age foundation is challenging enough. If you try to juggle keeping both of them going, it sets up competition between them which will undoubtably hurt the boy more than the girl, and it will make your days more frantic than they need to be. I would accept the fact that your boy is oldest, he needs the lion's share of your attention next year, and once he has a strong pace going, then you can choose to divide your focus a bit more to do some specific things with your daughter.

          And even when you do begin to work with her more directly, I would say to pick something regular and planned that would get her writing skills going. Did she do the Junior K program? Having a plan like that would help you keep in mind what a reasonable amount of work will be for someone her age. And it's light enough to be flexible with your schedule with your son.

          I have always taught my children to read when they are about 4, without the expectation that that would change their grade level at all. So by all means, do what you can with your daughter when you have the time. Playing with letter manipulatives to learn basic phonics as a game during playtime is easy and fun. Having her sit at the table and write simple phonograms out while your son is working on something is a good, age-appropriate activity that will help with writing. You can do tons of phonics activities without turning it into a regimented task so that you keep her interested without sacrificing the time your son needs.

          I will also say that as the previous poster mentioned, there are those unique children who arrive pre-wired to be bright. None of us can remember a time when our five year old was not reading, and we don't really know how she did it. She just knew. Same with math. She has not been "taught" math facts, yet she can complete any addition or subtraction problem you give her. All we had to do was explain the symbols (and I mean ALL facts...not just up to ten or twenty). She will be on a different track altogether. But I am able to recognize the uniqueness of her situation because I have experience. I already led her six older siblings through this stage, each with their own varying degrees of aptitude and readiness. She blows them all out of the water. And its been apparent from day one...just the way she "is" - what she thinks to say, what she tries to do, everything about her. It's obvious. She actually does get bored, and she gets on everyone's nerves, because she is super intense and seriously wants mental stimulation most of the day.

          To me, that does not sound like the situation you have on your hands. So I would trust and be patient that if you follow the path MP has laid out, both of your children will have the right amount of challenge at the right times and there is no need to rush.

          AMDG,
          Sarah
          2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
          DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
          DS, 16
          DD, 14
          DD, 12
          DD, 10
          DD, 7.5
          DD, 5.5
          +DS+
          DS, 18 months

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by enbateau View Post
            My daughter was reading The Penderwicks at 5 in K, and she read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe out loud to me in 1st. She was such a gregarious reader. I kept her in K on time and in 1st on time, even though her testing at the end of K showed end of 5th grade reading comprehension and 2nd-3rd grade math ability (except, she did almost all operations on her fingers until we found R&S math). There is so much to be said about keeping your children ON grade level. There are events happening in the brain that are so important. Come to find out there are millions of early readers, and often the late-to-read student is on par with early readers by 3rd grade. How's that for humbling? If your sweet, early reader is as quick a learner in everything else, it sets her up to go into one of the advanced cores in 3rd grade with MP. It is so awesome, and everything she will do until then will perfectly prepare her for it. My rec would be to get the K program, but start with the alphabet books and phonics flashcards (and the word lists in Classical Phonics, which is a hidden gem). Let her sit in on some of the FSR lessons of big brother, but don't push the writing. Get ahold of the Jr. K books either from MP or the library, and read those to her. Let her read BOB books to you if she can. But even better, read big books with few pictures to her. Let her continue to hear beautiful language and complicated sentence structure. Let her imagination run wild. Ask her questions about what she heard. Ask her if she recognizes any prior authors or illustrators, storylines or character types. Make her so jealous that big brother "gets" to do school that the first part of your year goes very smoothly.
            I have seen a number of threads about reading for the younger set lately, but haven’t had time to comment. I have seen the comment that late readers usually catch up to early readers by third grade, but I haven’t actually seen the study that came to that conclusion. If true, my guess is it comes from the fact that those early readers get to public school and sit around waiting for the others to learn what they already know. There is no information on where those kids would be if they had continued to be challenged through first and second grade. I feel that if the child wants to learn to read, then let them learn. AAR is a fun program for younger kids who are ready to read but not ready to write. My feeling is that you should keep kids in their biological grade, but the content of what you teach in that grade can vary by student, When you get to outside activities it doesn’t matter what math they are studying, their appropriate placement depends on maturity....they are still going to act like a 5yo boy around a bunch of other similar aged kids. A 5 yo might study 3rd grade math, but continuing to think of them as K helps maintain appropriate expectations for how much time on task they are capable of completing and gives the most flexibility going forward to adjust their pace,

            i did want to comment on the “confident” student bit from the perspective of a parent with older kids (it might have been in a different thread so I apologize if I am getting them mixed up) Those kids who pick up on everything quickly still need some opportunities to be challenged as they go along. If they don’t it is very hard later on when they do hit something difficult and they don’t know how to deal with that feeling.
            Dorinda

            For 2019-2020
            DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
            DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
            DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
            DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you for all the insightful comments. I really appreciate it. I'm sure she'll listen in on her brother, but I'm just going to have her work through the pre-k letter and number books as she wants next year and then start K for her the following year. I already have the pre-k materials that I planned to use with my oldest this year but never got around to due to our sweet baby who never slept. My oldest two have always been inseparable and want to do everything together (my daughter recently refused to go to a friend's princess party because boys weren't invited) so I think there will be a bit of sadness on her part to be left behind. Hopefully I can get her excited about having her own special books.

              Comment


                #8
                And then be flexible...you never know, they may end up being two kids who work well being combined together - which would be awesome!

                AMDG,
                Sarah
                2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                DS, 16
                DD, 14
                DD, 12
                DD, 10
                DD, 7.5
                DD, 5.5
                +DS+
                DS, 18 months

                Comment

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