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Old 02-14-2013, 10:45 AM   #11
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Re: Big Box Curriculum's?

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I keep seeing everyone say that about MFW! The only con I have seen is that they say the reading is not that advanced for K, but that they catch up really fast in 1st? I could always supplement the reading, I guess. The one thing I like about what I hear on MFW K is that it is a slow transition into formal homeschooling. It seems like it would be very fun and relaxed!

I have been researching purchasing everything outside of the box, but I am not really sure we can afford it. I have been looking into All About Reading, Math U See and Handwriting without Tears...but it looks like it would be almost triple what buying MFW would be...
The way it seems MFW does the Phonics is to start really slow in Kindergarten and then pick up in 1st, so that by the end of 1st grade they have a complete phonics program. We are doing K this year and 1st next year and my son loves MFW. It is just enough for him to get into the homeschooling thing without being too much busy work. We spend about 60 minutes a day on school work and the improvement in his writing is amazing in 14 weeks, and he is reading and sounding out cvc and other small words.

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Old 02-14-2013, 11:56 AM   #12
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Re: Big Box Curriculum's?

For kindergarten with DD last year, we did the following:

1. Phonics Pathways with lots of reading games: $10 used
Bob Books: Borrowed from the library
www.starfall.com: free
www.pbskids.org: free
2. MUS Primer-but I only followed along with the scope and sequence, teaching her my own way in her own time. We used things we had around the house for manipulatives and you can print free pages from their website (they even have the activity pages for a free download on their site). You do NOT need to buy everything from them for kindergarten: $0
3. Science we did using books from the library, videos online, and lapbooks mostly from http://www.homeschoolshare.com : $0
4. Handwriting: I had her do a journal entry with a picture to get her writing, but honestly, she HATED writing, so I didn't push that at all. The notebook we got was a specially lined one with blank space at the top of each page for pics. So that cost $3

Total for kindergarten: $13

In two years, I'll be doing MFW K very loosely with DS. We have the first edition of the teacher's guide here that I picked up for $3 at a used book sale. He'll watch the Leapfrog Letter Factory DVD, play with Word World on pbskids.org and listen to me read a lot. We'll touch on the very basics of adding and sorting and patterning for math, using the language of MUS so that he can start Alpha in first grade as his sister did, but I will not push it. We'll also practice proper letter formation for his handwriting. Science will be animals of his choice as it was for his sister in K, making lapbooks because they are fun.

HTH!
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:08 PM   #13
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Re: Big Box Curriculum's?

We use MFW. We used K last year and 1st this year.

What you are saying is correct. The phonics in K is not advanced. However, it picks up very quickly in first. We like that it is a relaxed and gentle intro to school. My son enjoyed it and we are going to be starting with my 5 year old twins in the next month or so.

The basic package is all you need even though the deluxe is nice. The only thing you might want to go ahead and get from the Deluxe is the Cuisenaire Rods and book. It's really fun and helps with math. But, again, you really don't need it.

Good luck deciding!
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:47 PM   #14
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Re: Big Box Curriculum's?

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Originally Posted by HeatherlovesCDs View Post
We use MFW. We used K last year and 1st this year.

What you are saying is correct. The phonics in K is not advanced. However, it picks up very quickly in first. We like that it is a relaxed and gentle intro to school. My son enjoyed it and we are going to be starting with my 5 year old twins in the next month or so.

The basic package is all you need even though the deluxe is nice. The only thing you might want to go ahead and get from the Deluxe is the Cuisenaire Rods and book. It's really fun and helps with math. But, again, you really don't need it.

Good luck deciding!
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:21 PM   #15
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Re: Big Box Curriculum's?

Thanks ladies for all the suggestions and help! We have a local used curriculum store nearby. I am going to go by there first to see what I can find. Not sure I will find what I am looking for though. I did find a mom in the local homeschool group who has MFW. She is going to let me look through her curriculum. That will be great so I can preview before I buy! Hopefully that will help me confirm my decision. Thanks again! :]
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:30 PM   #16
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Re: Big Box Curriculum's?

Not sure if you would consider something on the computer, but we LOVE Time4Learning. My kids enjoy school, are making great progress and it is super easy for me to keep track of. I use Starfall for my 2 preschoolers and I love that for early learning - we paid for the once a year fee for more Starfall as well. For a busy mama it works really great this way. I have an almost 7yo with medical issues and an almost 5yo that is developmentally delayed and I needed something that was low stress and inexpensive. I was totally surprised that we love it so much!
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:27 PM   #17
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Re: Big Box Curriculum's?

That's great that you will get to look over MFW! That is what I plan to use for K and 1st for my ds.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:25 PM   #18
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We started with Calvert for Kindergarten and found it to have just too much busy work and it was SO expensive. We switched to MFW for 1st and now we are doing 2nd. We LOVE it! It is more realistically priced and just perfect for us (laid out well, lots of hands on activities, etc.).
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:32 PM   #19
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Re: Big Box Curriculum's?

Ladies, I just want to say a big thanks for all your responses, input and advice! I think I have decided for certain on MFW, but will know completely once I have a chance to peek at it tomorrow night. I am attending a mom's meeting with our homeschool group, and one of the ladies is bringing her materials for me to peek at.

Anyway, I have been really pondering what way to go with K for many months now. I know I could probably totally do K completely free. I even posted a while back asking for advice on how to get by with doing it for free. My main issue is with the baby coming, if I don't have it planned and laid out for me, I just won't do it! I worry about all the planning I would need to do with trying to make K free. I know it sounds horrible, but I just know I really will not do anything if I don't have it all ready for me. I know things will be so busy with adding in a new baby, so I figured getting a pre-planned, all-in-one type curriculum will be easier for me.

So, off to make another post regarding MFW. :] Thanks again ladies!
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