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    First Start Reading What age? Ability level?

    Hello,

    I'm wondering about First Start Reading and what age/ability level it is aimed at. I've never had a child learn how to read without instruction and I need some help!

    Thank you!

    Kim

    #2
    Re: First Start Reading What age? Ability level?

    Michelle T can give you all the actual phonemic awareness lingo, but I can tell you it's used for Kindergarteners with MP and at Highlands Latin School. :-)
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
    DS 12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN - Headed to Hillsdale College next fall
    DD 10th • HLN, Latin online
    DD 7th • HLN & Home
    DS 4th • HLN & Home
    Me • Third Form for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

    Comment


      #3
      Re: First Start Reading What age? Ability level?

      I have a (will be) 4.5 year old girl who is bright and wants to "learn to read". I guess I want to know if I'm crazy to consider using this with her?

      Maybe even orally at first?

      Maybe I'm just crazy.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: First Start Reading What age? Ability level?

        We are just finishing up K with my oldest and we have loved FSR! She started a month after turning 5 and it has gone very well. When we started she already knew all the short vowel sounds and the sounds of each consonant, how to read CVC words, and had a few sight words down. It is my opinion (I'm a newbie at this having only used it with one child so far!) that those skills were needed to begin FSR. It seemed to start slow but ramped up quickly. The writing is a big component of FSR as well and it took us the first 8 weeks to slowly decrease the amount we did orally until she was doing all of the written work.
        Are you planning to use the entire MPK curriculum, or just FSR?
        "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." - W.B. Yeats

        Educating with MP from Day One!
        Currently using 2nd, K, and SC1

        Comment


          #5
          Re: First Start Reading What age? Ability level?

          I just wanted to do FSR. I think she may be a little young. She knows some of her letters (name and sound) but doesn't quite understand beginning sound/ending sound. I think she could write but I'm not sure she could sit still that long.

          I usually err on the side of waiting with early academics (we read and she sees her older siblings learning and she listens) but I also wanted to make sure I wasn't short changing her.

          We are adding a new family member in September (yay!) and she has special needs (making me the mom of 3 children with special needs!!) so I wanted to make sure I had some sort of resource ready (or I forget!)

          Hmmmm.... maybe wait? I'm still unsure.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: First Start Reading What age? Ability level?

            Congratulations on your growing family!

            Especially with all you have on your plate, I would not rush in. Maybe work on CVC words and solidifying the letter sounds? We used foam bath letters both inside and outside the tub to work on those and we both had fun with it.

            I don't know what kinds of Special Needs your daughter has, but you may also consider the plans for FSR from Special Needs Level 1. It uses the same materials but less writing and more sensory teaching for children who may need a different approach. If you post on the Special Needs section of this forum about your daughter and her needs, other SN Mamas and Cheryl Swope herself (an expert on giving children with special needs a classical education) will chime in to point you in the right direction and help with advice. You are in good hands here
            "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." - W.B. Yeats

            Educating with MP from Day One!
            Currently using 2nd, K, and SC1

            Comment


              #7
              Re: First Start Reading What age? Ability level?

              Thank you so much!

              I am just re reading Simply Classical and I am such a fan of Cheryl Swope.

              I will look into SN1.

              Two of our daughters are blind and post institutionalized (Anelia/8 and our daughter coming who we call "Peanut"/2) and our older son is Dyslexic. He decided to have an extra year of high school (which give me a little more time to teach him - yay!)

              My plate is full but so is my heart!

              Thank you for your help and kind words!

              Comment


                #8
                Re: First Start Reading What age? Ability level?

                Considering all the information you provided, it might go more smoothly to do the alphabet books from the Jr K program!

                Michelle T

                BTW - the phonemic awareness skills for reading are : recognizes a few letters of the alphabet, knows a few letter sounds, can write their name (first only and not perfectly), understand rhyme, can answer comprehension questions about a story book that has been read to them and can sit and listen to a lesson.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: First Start Reading What age? Ability level?

                  Originally posted by Michelle T View Post
                  Considering all the information you provided, it might go more smoothly to do the alphabet books from the Jr K program!

                  Michelle T

                  BTW - the phonemic awareness skills for reading are : recognizes a few letters of the alphabet, knows a few letter sounds, can write their name (first only and not perfectly), understand rhyme, can answer comprehension questions about a story book that has been read to them and can sit and listen to a lesson.
                  I would check out Simply Classical, level C! She would get more solidified with phonics, and begin FSR Book A towards the middle of the year! It is a beautiful program, and a perfect, not quite ready for K!!
                  Christine

                  (2021/2022)
                  DD1 8/23/09 - Mix of MP5 and MP6 (SFL, Birds, R&S 6 Math, Language Arts with Grandma)
                  DS2 9/1/11 - MP4M
                  DD3 2/9/13 -MP2/MP3

                  Previous Years
                  DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, SC 5/6, MP4 + FFL and R&S Math 5, MPOA Fable
                  DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2/AAR/Storytime Treasures), Traditional Spelling 1, SC5/6 Year 1
                  DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: First Start Reading What age? Ability level?

                    I have one finishing 1st who went through the FSR program and a 4.5 year old boy. The kicker for me on FSR has been if they are ready to try and form the letters with a pencil. My son knows his letter sounds fairly well and at his age my daughter was ready to start FSR. However he is not as small motor capable and not ready to start writing the letters, so we will hold off for now.
                    Jen H
                    DD 7 years old, 2nd grade
                    DS 5 yrs old, Jr K

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: First Start Reading What age? Ability level?

                      Originally posted by Michelle T View Post
                      BTW - the phonemic awareness skills for reading are : recognizes a few letters of the alphabet, knows a few letter sounds, can write their name (first only and not perfectly), understand rhyme, can answer comprehension questions about a story book that has been read to them and can sit and listen to a lesson.
                      Thank you, Michelle! I need to copy and paste this for my own use.
                      Festina lentē,
                      Jessica P

                      2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
                      DS 12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN - Headed to Hillsdale College next fall
                      DD 10th • HLN, Latin online
                      DD 7th • HLN & Home
                      DS 4th • HLN & Home
                      Me • Third Form for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

                      Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: First Start Reading What age? Ability level?

                        Dear OP (I don't have a name to pu there!)

                        I do have a habit of teaching my four year olds to read. We usually go slowly, and as one of the other posters mentioned, we usually have a goal of just getting to CVC words. Then we use the K program as written to really solidly "learning to read."

                        For me, this is the best of both worlds. Usually my four year olds really want to be included in the school day. So they are happy and compliant to sit and do a little bit of work. Another plus is that they gain a new awareness of themselves. It produces a certain type of maturity that nothing else does and really helps a lot with sibling issues. Normally our four year olds have a two year old sibling, and an infant sibling. It can be hard to still feel "special." So getting to have some one on one time with mom, and do something as cool as learning to read is great for that stage. Lastly, it makes that K year that much better. Having a bit of a foundation in reading helps them be able to focus on adding handwriting in, to help that skill start as well. Plus, reading takes off pretty quickly at that point, so they become really confident.

                        So I really encourage you to follow your instincts and do some work with your four year old, but it does not have to be the FSR program yet. Four year olds are still a bit young for that.

                        The way I usually do it is to use something that teaches letter awareness, which you then use for phonetic awareness too. That takes a while. But then I use something that they can start putting those sounds together.

                        Specific examples are that you could get MP's alphabet cards to start off. Use them to gradually work on the letters. The Alphabet Books that Michelle mentioned are great to use at the same time. Once they know the letter names, then add in the sounds. The back of the alphabet cards have a picture to help with that step. Once those are pretty easy too, then take something as simple as letter magnets and play with them on the fridge. Get them used to the idea of sounds blending together into words. It is super low tech, is more like a game, but it does work. And then, you just work up to the CVC practice using some sort of phonetic readers. MP has great ones that go with FSR, which we use eventually, but for this stage we use just the first set of Bob books. Just that one set is all we ever need, because by the time they are done with it, they are ready to start MPK.

                        It is really simple, just takes ten to fifteen minutes a day, and is really just about practice, practice, practice. Using the MP JrK program alongside a couple times a week makes for a great four year old year!

                        That is what we do anyway. More ideas!
                        AMDG,
                        Sarah
                        2020-2021
                        16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                        DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                        DS, 17
                        DD, 15
                        DD, 13
                        DD, 11
                        DD, 9
                        DD, 7
                        +DS+
                        DS, 2

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: First Start Reading What age? Ability level?

                          Thank you everyone for all you help!!

                          I think we will hold off for now and really just keep working on letters and letter sounds and CVC words.

                          And then her sister (age 8, blind, post institutionalized) can join in too! (She is not quite ready for this but then again I never know what she is ready for and she surprises me daily!)

                          Thanks again!!

                          Kim

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