Topic | Advanced kindy/first grader

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  • mama_nickles

    So DS is 5.5 and is reading really well. He loves reading and will read a chapter book a day if I let him. DH and I are cautious that we want him to make sure he spends enough time playing, so we limit that he has to play for a bit before he can read. Otherwise he’d be reading all day! We are doing “kindy” this year and I am doing my best to do it the CM way, but I want to get some feedback. We have started in the past month or so to do some short copywork (3-4 words, then I let him illustrate). We also do a bunch of math games to work on addition, subtraction, and money. I have recently started having him have some “independent time” where he has a list of things to do each week. This includes the copywork, and also some “assigned reading.” I call it that because we are trying to slow him down to increase his comprehension. So he has a certain small portion to read and then I have him tell me about it (to make sure he really understands what he read). Right now he is alternating days with reading Christian Liberty Nature Reader book 1 and “Ten boys who changed history.” Do you think this is ok?

    I am definitely still reading aloud to him a bunch. He really enjoys history and we are currently reading a biography of C.S. Lewis at naptime, and DH is reading The Hobbit to him at bedtime. I know he is learning a lot, but I want to be sure I’m not pushing too hard. He seems to enjoy what we are doing!


    I have a similar DS, who will be 6 in June.  We have been doing some of the same things you are doing, such as a few words of copywork, CL Nature Reader, and math games.  He has also been working through the Life of Fred math books, since I already had them for DD(7).  We also read one Aesop Fable and one story from “50 Famous Stories” each week, which he loves.  I have hime narrate these, but more as a conversation between us, just discussing the stories.

    I think your content sounds about right.  To make sure that I’m not ‘pushing’, I’ve made school entirely optional for DS.  DD7 is expected to ‘do school’ everyday, but DS5 has a choice.  He usually chooses to come and do his activities when DD7 and I sit down to work, but if he is not in the mood or is just too fidgety to concentrate, I don’t force the issue at all.  He’ll often go play for awhile, then come back and ask to do some printing or read some Fred.

    I think as long as the material is at an appropriate level, and it isn’t something you are forcing on him, that it’s fine.



    Thanks, Joanne. Nice to meet someone in a similar situation. He is my oldest (I have 3 and 1 yo girls too) so it’s hard to judge.

    I am thinking of doing some Aesop’s fables in the fall. Can you share what you will do differently for him in the fall when you do 1st grade? Will you do more formal history or science? I think we are going to do Outdoor Secrets and companion.


    It is hard to find that balance between making things challenging enough for learning to happen, but not overwhelming or “pushing”.  My oldest is fairly advanced as well, so I’ve been at this stage before, and it’s something I’m constantly aware of.  She probably could do more than what we do, but I want her to just be a kid too!

    For next year, we’ll continue on with much of what we are doing now, only it will become more of an expectation that DS will do school everyday, without as much freedom to come and go as he pleases.

    In science, Outdoor Secrets is a good starting place.  We’ve done a few stories from it, though not all.  We are already doing “Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding” with everyone (dd7, ds5 and dd3 tagging along).   We do just 2-3 lessons per month, with lots of fun books to go along with it.  We’ll also start either Burgess Animal or Burgess Bird book (DS’s choice).  DD7 has done both and I like them.  She’s doing Burgess Seashore Book now (DS listens in sometimes, but doesn’t narrate it yet).  Plus Nature Study, of course.

    For history, we’ll continue 50 Famous Stories, and DS will also join in with DD7 as we work through the M.B. Synge series, along with some related books, such as from the “Little Cousins” series.  We haven’t followed the SCM history outlines, but we have used some of the books they recommend (like “Boy of the Pyramids” when we were in Egypt), and will continue to use the ones that match up with the time periods as we read the Synge books.

    We’ll also do one literature book at a time for DS to narrate, as well as some dedicated ‘free reading’ time for books he will read silently, no narration required, but I haven’t decide which ones yet.



    My youngest DD, 7, is also advanced.  She was reading at 4 and now (a 1st grader in word only) reads at a 5th/6th grade level.  She is almost 1/2 done with 3rd grade math,  she is almost done with 2nd grade grammar, will finish level 2 of spelling this year and I could go on and on.

    My biggest advice would be to try and follow his lead.  If he really isn’t into doing school on some days, don’t make him yet.  It is very easy for me to expect more and more from my DD and think about what I should be adding on for her and how to make it more challenging next year etc etc . . . and I think, she just turned 7!!  She needs to be a kid and enjoy playing or reading whatever she wants or doing crafts or whatever.  She will be grown much longer than she is a kid and she will be in the thick of school and more challenging assignments soon enough . . . why rush it?

    At the same time, you can’t hold them back or refuse to teach them or not give them a challenge.  I tried to a degree to keep DD7 from progressing as quickly.  (DD9 struggles more with school, especially reading, and it is difficult to have little sister catch up and surpass in everything!) Mostly just quit reading lessons with her when she was 4 unless she really really was asking to do them.  I didn’t offer her math book to her, I left that for her to get out.  But, you know what?  She did get the math out.  The days she said she didn’t want to do any school, she spent our school time reading and figuring out how to read on her own.

    I think what you are doing sounds fine.  Just decide when you want to make all of school mandatory.  This year I told my DD that she had to do school everyday.  Before she did when she wanted but if she really didn’t feel like it, then I didn’t make her do anything.  She would’ve probably been fine to have even waited another year.

    We do the SCM Bible/Hist/Geo modules and science all together.  At this point spelling is together also.  I’ve thought of splitting them for spelling, though that will mean that my youngest will get ahead in that.  My oldest DD is 3rd grade.  I’ve debated next year just doing the 4th-6th grade books or to also do the 1st-3rd for my youngest.  I still haven’t decided.  Probably will end up doing some of the 1st – 3rd books for her because even though she is advanced academically, she is only 7.

    I hope that was helpful to you.


    so…I feel as though I need to “get on the ball” with DS(what does that stand for)6.  She is just now learning how to read with Alphaphonics primer.  I feel SO behind after reading all that you guys have done.  This will be our first year homeschooling along with DS4.  Any advice for this newbie??


    DS = dear son

    DD = dear daughter


    kmorris you are not behind. Unless your dd was asking to learn to read and you were refusing to teach her anything there is nothing wrong with starting schooling around 6 years old. It really is better in some ways to wait.

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