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Stick with 1st or move on?

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    Stick with 1st or move on?

    Hi, I am new to MP this year and we love it! I went to our conference the year with the sole purpose of finding a curriculum that was more challenging for my daughter and that I loved and MP is definitely it. We like to do our school year starting in July and ending in early spring so we can enjoy the nice weather, so at this point we are finishing up week 11. The great part is my daughter and son who we decided to start in K both love it and are doing fantastic. What I am not sure about is my daughter seems to be having too easy of a time with it. She is a fairly young first grader as her birthday is in April, but she is a fantastic reader and writer and sails through everything so far. Should I let her have a fairly easy year of it and take it easy or should I skip the rest of first and have her start the second grade set? She is easily finishing everything in the plans in about an hour a day and we typically combine the 5 days into 4 already to have an extra day for going out, etc. The math she flies through as well and has no trouble with. The only things I am really concerned about her missing out on are the recitation and the cursive she would still need to finish the first book. Does second grade recitation repeat a lot of stuff that is in first? I also thought about maybe just starting the second grade literature and continuing with the rest on schedule. For now we are just moving at a quicker pace, but it really does seem to simple and I want to make sure she is staying challenged, but also not miss anything vital by not finishing the first grade set. Sorry if that doesn't make any sense. Just looking for some guidance on what too do with her. Thanks!

    I am by no means and experienced user but have a few years under my belt as a home educator. I would humbly suggest you eliminate any "busy work" (making family portraits) but don't skip lessons. I don't think it will harm your child but help her confidence to move through the memory work, cursive, etc while doing the easier things.

    I have one in K and one in 6th both using MP as written. I think MP grows in difficulty and workload and there is no need to rush it. I had to restart K with my now 5 year old because last year we did exactly what I think you are proposing to do. We hit a wall because there were small things I didn't notice that were included and the program quickly got ahead of her.

    Since starting at the beginning of September, we have been doing more than 1 lesson a day, things are easy, and have been able to move through weeks 1 - 9 (doing all the work required but at a quicker pace). I think if you do this you'll find her groove soon enough, as we recently have and things will start slowing down.

    Just my opinion.


      INHO: Stick with First, flesh it out.

      More humble opinions here!

      Last year we did MP 3rd and 1st and my daughter (six, also a young first grader, June bday) could also get her work done in about an hour. We had third grade going on in the background, so it seemed longer but really wasn't. It was a great treat because she was then free to play. Have you read "For the Children's Sake" by Macaulay? It no, I highly recommend it!

      If I were in your position, I would stick with 1st and flesh it out to make it "longer" if that's what you're looking for. I'd use the art and music to launch out into further seeing/listening by those artists. Spotify is so fabulous for the music part of this! You can also use the Read-Aloud/Art/Music/Science/Social Studies to load up on library books with related topics which you can spread out through the week. And of course, you have free time to read aloud! Books above their level are a special can make them a part of every day. Here you can go over the top with fairy tales, tall tales, poetry, Narnia, fables...ah, I digress!

      It took me a bit to realize rigor does not necessarily equate to length.

      In my experience (and to echo momee), MP is gaged to progress well with the development of the child. K-2 is a precious time of lower elementary and plenty of room is left for the child to learn deeply, but then be free to play and explore outdoors. Jumping ahead may be fine for now but could yield too heavy a burden later if you follow their progression. I will testify that third grade was a significant shift into more challenging work. Fourth grade has been as well. Another related benefit to keeping on track is the fabulous Lesson Plan! I cannot say enough about these. They are the crown jewel of MP. And in second grade you'll start Prima Latina so that's another layer of deeper learning around the corner.

      So if I were you, I'd stick with first grade--enjoying it's ease--and flesh it out, using it's content as a launching point for deeper study.

      Hope this helps!
      Festina lentē,
      Jessica P

      10th year HSing · 8th year MP
      @ Home, virtual-HLN, & MPOA
      10th, 8th, 5th, 2nd

      Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School


        Thanks ladies! All that info is very helpful. My biggest problem with her is that if she gets bored/isn't challenged enough she starts having a lot of trouble listening and trying because she knows its easy for her. We do love all the play time she gets and we live in the country so they are loving all the outside time they get! I am not too concerned about the amount of time it takes to finish, but figure of she is getting done so quickly it really is too simple. We spend a good amount of time on the extra enrichment stuff too and still finish that quickly. If she is focused the actual phonics/lit/math/handwriting/copywork probably take her 30 minutes at the most. Memorization for poetry adds a little time, but still not long since that only takes a day or tw to get down. I thought spelling would be the thing that would add time, but even that she gets very quickly. We do a lot with the extra stuff throughout the day/week as well, but I am more thinking about the core stuff right now. I am thinking we will just do the core stuff inc. recitation and poetry and move through that quicker as she seems good with and then start second early. That way we can always take longer with third of it gets too hard for her to keep up with. Thanks again! I appreciate all opinions.


          Another Opinion

          I have one more opinion for you.

          When we researched every possible curriculum and decided on Mp, we started them out with a mixture of K and 1st, but after a few weeks just continued with 1st grade and it was really very easy for them, so we finished 1 1/2 weeks of lessons per week. Then, since we homeschool year round, we just continued the same way in 2nd grade at about the same pace and sometimes faster, but always making sure they knew every piece of material down solid. We have never skipped a lesson of 1st and 2nd grade.

          Now, we are in the 18th week of 3rd grade, which has so much more material for my kiddos to learn and we just complete each day's lessons as written. But, they are doing fine. We are already looking at 4th grade materials and even though I worry about hitting a road block in the future, we haven't so far. What happens if we can't do the material? We will just repeat or backtrack lessons and work until we figure it out. Every family and every child is different. Do what you think is best knowing if you have to change your plans, that's okay!


            Thanks Kargo! Just out of curiosity, what ages were your kids when they started with the first grade stuff and now that they are in the third? Thanks!


              Sorry in Advance for the Thread Hijack

              Originally posted by liz655 View Post
              Thanks Kargo! Just out of curiosity, what ages were your kids when they started with the first grade stuff and now that they are in the third? Thanks!
              This is Kargo's husband writing here. She asked me to respond as she is reluctant to do so. She has learned not to volunteer this information due to negative responses from family and others (even close friends), but since you asked a direct question it would be impolite not to answer. They were 4.5 years old when we started MP, and 1/2 way through 3rd when they turned 6 years old this week. She feels this requires some explanation which is why she asked me to respond.

              When our fraternal twins were about 3.5 they began asking to learn to read (mainly for the self-centered reason that they didn't want to wait for mom/dad to read what their brother/sister picked out and get to the one they wanted read). So we used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. By 4 they were reading simple things on their own. Then my son wanted to learn how to write letters and numbers (he wanted to write his own story) so we started looking at homeschool curriculum and decided on MP. We initially had the kids in MP K with 1st grade lit since they were reading so well. It was fairly easy for them so we decided to jump up to 1st. As stated above in the thread we finished about 1.5 weeks in the lesson plans per actual week in 1st and 2nd. Since we do school year round, this put us through 1st and 2nd in about a year.

              When we started 3rd in May the jump up in workload was quite significant so we slowed down. Some weeks we don't get everything done in 5 days and have some Saturday morning work, but others we finish early. We feel this is the beauty of homeschooling (which coincidentally was never even on our radar...we just kind of fell into it). You get to go at your child's pace.

              The negative responses we have had from others who feel we are pushing our children too hard has been quite frustrating. They say we are stealing childhood from our children....but they have more free time than had they been in PS preschool or kindergarten. They get to help grow our garden in the summer, go to the zoo in the spring and fall, and spend MANY winter mornings at the local children's science museum. They love to read (my son his Bible and my daughter whatever she picks up). They love to make crafts and have all afternoon usually to play and do so.

              They love going at their own pace. We gave them the option of going to PS kindergarten with their peers this year, but they didn't want to go be "bored with baby stuff" (their words). So again like my wife said in her original response: Every family and every child is different. And sorry for the extremely long response to your question.


                Thanks so much for your reply! Sorry I asked a question that was a little touchy for you guys to answer, but it is very helpful and is very reassuring that it's okay to move on if the kid wants it. I have always been pretty much someone that would say not to rush/push it and just take it easy, but that was before I had a kid(s) that wanted it so badly. My son who is doing Kindergarten now is 4.5 and loves it! But, I don't tell hardly anyone for the reasons you mentioned about people thinking it's too much. He was begging to do school and all the preschool stuff was boring for him and involved a lot of coloring which he hates. So, we went ahead and started and he is far exceeding my expectations with it. My daughter we took it easy for Kinder because I still didn't want to have any chance of "pushing" her, but now she can't wait for school each day and just flies through it, so I am more concerned about holding her back from what she could be doing and wants to be doing. I already mentioned that she gets to do Latin in second grade and she can't wait to start! So, I am so thankful you went ahead and answered as it really does help a lot! And that great that your kids love it so much and are doing so well!


                  Just another one here... We did JrK last year 2012-2013 at 3 and we started K shortly after she turned 4 (July 2013). We're only eight weeks in (just coming off a break following my surgery...) but she loves every bit and it is all exactly the right amount of challenge for here. I haven't doubled any days but she is always asking for more school work later on the day thus we also have "book school" which is just reading from lists like Sonlight P3/4 P 4/5 and Ambleside Online Year 1 - just reading and discussing as naturally happens - not at all structured or scheduled. Through her begging we might even add in an Apologia elementary science around Christmas. Yet again this is just straight following plans and might change if ever tried to double days or so in the K curriculum.

                  So you're not alone in the 4 year olds in K and I too hear the same comments of negativism but she thrives with "school" and is a scary little terror with idle hands. (Her two year old sister follows around and parrots but nothing specific for her.)
                  Margaret of Georgia, in west TN – Enginerd’s wife and Mama

                  2019-2020 · Homeschooling since 2011.
                  Trekking along at a student self-pace...
                  DD Summer 2009 · 5th
                  DD Summer 2011 · SC4
                  DS Summer 2014 · K
                  DD Summer 2017 · Pre
                  DS Autumn 2019 • Baby

                  Memoria Scholé Academy
                  Blog: Creative Madness Mama
                  @ CherryBlossomMJ


                    I'm so glad my husband's post was helpful. That is why I had him answer. We don't consider our kiddos gifted in any way, just exposed to material a little earlier than the norm. And we don't advocate our path being the norm, but for motivated children we also see no reason to hold them back. I am amazed by what they are able to accomplish, but we teach them that is it only through Christ they have the ability to excel. My kiddos are not allowed to say what grade level they are in, just that we homeschool. We want to humbly acknowledge our inability and Christ's ability through us. We try to "Teach from a state of rest" as Andrew Kern has said and trust/lean on the Holy Spirit to guide their minds in education for His glory, not ours. And maybe God allows the negativity to keep us silent so we are not prideful in anyway.....just a thought. We will answer questions truthfully, but do not offer information anymore that might cause others to feel inferior or cause them to stumble.



                      This is a nice thread to read - thank you all for sharing your personal information. One thing that came to my mind was sticking with MP 1 (maybe at a little faster pace), except go into 2nd grade math. Or add another - totally different - math program to supplement, like Singapore or Math Mammoth. My children are now in Catholic schools, but with my younger ones, I use Math Mammoth after school, and it is easy to use. Always on a different topic, so I see it as "accelerated review" in a way. Best wishes!