Sunday, August 14, 2011

Preparing for MFW K

I've been wanting to write a "helpful" Kindergarten post for quite a while now but just haven't gotten around to it.  Shocking, I know.  ;)  But when I received a message from a fellow MFW'er looking for Kindergarten help the other day, it was just the kick in the pants I needed to get it done.

1.  How in the world are you supposed to organize everything you need for Kindergarten?
Melanie from Treasures Unseen wrote an excellent post explaining how she organized her Kindergarten materials that has helped many homeschooling moms.  You can read that post here.  I chose to organize my materials using the method suggested in the teacher's manual.  I just made 27 file folders (one for each unit, plus one for the introductory creation unit), and that worked well for me.  As I came across a book, poem, craft idea, puzzle, etc., that I wanted to use for a certain unit, I would just slip it into the corresponding file folder.  Also, if I stumbled upon a library book I thought would work well for a future unit, I would write the title down in the file folder itself.  Then when that unit finally rolled around, I pulled out my file folder and had all of my resources (or sometimes a list of resources to get from the library) ready and waiting.

2.  Music and the Cuisinaire Rod Alphabet Book aren't scheduled.  When am I supposed to do those?
If I could go back in time, the first thing I would do after recieving my teacher's manual in the mail is go through it and pencil in the music and cuisinaire rod lessons once a week.  (This is only for Deluxe package users).  It doesn't matter which day you do them.  Day 6 works well for a lot of people because it's already a light day, so that might be a good option.  But choose a day and pencil in the music and cuisinaire rod lessons so you don't get to the end of the year and say, "Aw, crud, I meant to do those!"  Hear the voice of experience there? ;)

3.  I can't figure out this stinkin' teacher's manual!  What's up with all the flipping back and forth?!
If only I had a quarter for every time I've heard or read that statement!  It's really, really, really not that bad once you get the hang of it.  Basically, the reading instructions are in one section of the teachers manual, the math instructions are in a second section, and the science and Bible are in a third section.  The math routine is the same every day (craft stick, hundred chart, calendar), and the reading routine is the same every week (Day 1 is always the same, Day 2 is always the same, etc.)  Believe it or not, you'll actually get in a groove and this will become second nature to you, so you won't be spending much time in those sections of your TM.  The part you'll spend the most time in every week is the science and Bible part because it's different every day.  I have heard of people putting a post-it note or a paper clip to mark each section of the teacher's manual.  This might be helpful if you find yourself flipping back and forth a lot.

4.  Where do you store your Picture Cards?
There are probably as many answers to this question as there are MFW Kindergarten users, but here's the system I used that worked well for me.  I spent $3.99 and bought a picture box from Hobby Lobby.  (Actually, that's not completely true.  I spent $7.98 and bought two because I also used one for the Number Cards.  But more about that in a minute.)   I also bought a box of invitation envelopes (4 3/4" x 6 1/2 ") from Office Depot, which I kept inside the picture box.  Every week, Millie would cut apart her picture cards.


When they were all cut apart, she would take a new envelope out of the box and tape the letter card to the front of it.

Then she would put the rest of the cards inside the envelope and put the envelope inside the box along with all the others.  This way the Picture Cards were always right there together when we needed to use them.



4.  Where do you store your Number Cards?
I put my Number Cards in a second picture box.  Now, about the Number Cards themselves ... the teacher's manual suggests writing the number of the week on an index card.  We tried that, but Millie started getting her 2 and 5 and her 6 and 9 confused because she couldn't tell if she was holding it upside down.  So I ended up making some printable Number Cards that have an outdoor background so it would be obvious if she was holding them upside down.  You can download those Number Cards here if you'd like to use them.  They're formatted for Avery 5388 printable index cards, but if you don't happen to have those handy, you can just grab some scissors and do it the old-fashioned way!  ;)

When we would do the Math Page, I would take the Number Cards out of the picture box and fan them out face down so she could draw one.


Then she would look at the number and draw that many objects on her paper.  (As our year progressed, we would sometimes stamp that many times or add that many stickers.  It starts getting a little monotonous when you try to draw 17 of something!)



5.  What other resources are available?

My Father's World Message Board
The best resource I have found is the message board at the My Father's World web site.  If you're looking for encouragement or clarification on a project in the book, you can post a question on the General board.  If you're looking for additional ideas to enhance your unit, check out the Kindergarten Ideas archive. 

Printables from Mama Jenn
Mama Jenn made some great handwriting practice sheets to go along with each unit.  They have the Words to Remember along the top with handwriting guide lines at the bottom of the page.  The middle is left blank so your child can illustrate it however he chooses.  I love, love, love the idea of these practice sheets.  (Along with all of Mama Jenn's stuff!  If you're not familiar with her site, you really should be!)  But I don't think Millie is quite ready to do the handwriting on her own yet, so I made some similar pages with the letters in pale gray at the bottom so the students can trace them.  If your child is ready to write her letters on her own, stick with the ones Mama Jenn created.  But if she needs a little more guidance, here's a link to mine.

Badges for a Kindergarten Caterpillar
When we went through Kindergarten the first time, we had to create our own badges.  Now they're included with the student sheets.  We like the ones we made on the computer several years ago, though, because they're circle-shaped, and we put them together along the top of our bulletin board so they make a Kindergarten Caterpillar. It's a great way to review the Words to Remember every week. Millie has only completed one unit so far this year, but here's what her caterpillar looks like so far.


If you'd like to download our Kindergarten badges, click here. (The caterpillar face is on the last page of the document.)

And here's a picture of what the badge looks like as it's being worn. We took a short piece of grosgrain ribbon (around 2 1/2 to 3 inches) and folded it in half. Then we stapled it to the back of the badge, folded side up, so it hung over the edge and made a little tab that a safety pin could be attached to.



From Akebu to Zapotec and Bulletin Board Poster for Each Unit
Because Hannah is going through ECC this year, we're adding a book to Millie's Kindergarten that has an ECC feel to it.  It's called From Akebu to Zapotec:  A Book of Bibleless Peoples, and I can't recommend it highly enough! 


It goes through the alphabet and, one letter at a time, introduces us to 26 people groups that don't have the Bible in their language.  I made a poster (just a letter-size piece of paper) for each unit that has the Spanish word for the unit, the Words to Remember, and the name of a Bibleless people group that begins with the letter of the week.  The pictures on each week's poster are the same as those on the badges.  Here's the poster that's currently on our bulletin board for the S-s Sun unit.


Click here to download the weekly posters file.

The My Father's World Blog Roll
Lainie has done a great job of hosting the My Father's World Blog Roll for the past three years.  It's always fun to connect with families who are currently in the same year as you, as well as finding families who have already blogged the year you're working on.

I know there are a ton of other resources out there, but these are the ones I wanted to make sure to include.  Hopefully this post has helped someone out there.  :)  If you have any questions about any of my resources or just about the Kindergarten program in general, feel free to ask away.  I love making bloggy friends!  :)

My files are now at Google docs rather than 4shared, so hopefully downloading will go more smoothly.  However, if you are unable to download any of the files mentioned in this post but would like to use them, please leave me a comment with your email address and I will be happy to send them to you!  :)

67 comments:

Big Girl said...

Thanks so much for posting this tutorial! You have helped me already! I did want to know what you used to pin the badges on to their shirts or are you not doing that anymore? Thanks again.

Shannon said...

Great post Jennifer. There is also a grid that a fellow MFW user shared with me when we were doing K the first time around. It makes understanding that crazy teacher's manual a bit easier. It is sort of a checklist and is a one page grid for each week. I can send you a copy and I would be happy to share it with any other legitimate MFW K users. It can not be distributed "publically" because it has too much info on it and others might try to use it without purchasing from MFW. I will email you a copy while I am thinking about it. ;)

Pauline said...

*sniff sniff* Makes me wish I would have known about MFW when my kiddos were in Kinder. GREAT post!

Jennifer said...

Crystal, I took a short piece of grosgrain ribbon (about 2 1/2 or 3 inches) and folded it in half. Then I stapled it to the back of the badge with the folded side toward the top, so that it stuck out over the top of the badge and made a tab that I could attach a safety pin to. I'll try to find a picture of Hannah wearing one of her badges and add it to my post. :)

Gator Mommy said...

I will come back to this post when I do K with my G-Tot. Thanks so much!

Shaper of Little Souls said...

I am going to cry. This post is sooooo helpful! I was wavering on whether I should do K or just pull stuff together myself. We did half of k last year as my son turned 5 in Dec. He was ready to do something. And this year K seems too elementary for him but 1st grade it too much for him. After your printables. I am motivated to do K again and just condense the units.
THANK A TON!
I love you spanish addition!
You are awesome!
It is gonna be a fun year!
Oh, I love your badges too!

♥erin kate♥ said...

Holy Smokes!!! Thank you! I just borrowed all of your ideas and I can't say how much I adore the Abeku book too! Love the posters. Awesome. Thank you for your time, too!

Leah McMunn said...

Wonderful resources! I wish I had them last year when we did kindy.
You have done an awesome job!
I will defunitely be using this when my youngest does K.
Thank you!

Casey said...

Thank you so much. I'm doing MFWK this year for the first time. I love the caterpillar idea, and thank you for making some easier writing pages.

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love the caterpillar badges. Thanks!

Jessica said...

Thanks so much for this post! I'm starting K with my oldest son this year and this is exactly what I needed to pull things together.

thecatinthetree said...

Thank you for this post!!! It's great to see evereything in action. I love the badge caterpillar idea! (I wish that I hadn't already laminated our badges....)

Shawna said...

I really appreciate this page... some great ideas! My daughter is big on writing, so I will probably use those "words to remember" sheets from Mama Jenn and the caterpillar is just plum cute! Thanks also for the book idea for the unreached people. We emphasize that in our home but haven't found many resources for a young age.

I'm thinking I need to take my laptop to town so I can use some free wireless internet... this dial-up of mine keeps me from being able to feasibly download things. A trip to town, yay! It will give Gail a place to wear her badge!

Kathi @ A Heart Like Water said...

WOW! Jennifer that's such a great, helpful post for MFW Kers.

...Just stopping by to let you know HHinMFW will start next Thursday. Hope you can join us!


Kathi & Kattie
http://6arrows.blogspot.com/p/homeschool-highlights-in-my-fathers.html

Sally said...

Jennifer, what a thorough post! I am new to MFW, and am using Kindy for my third child. We are big Cm'ers here and are using Ambleside Online and a couple other things for my bigger girls, and the thoughts of beginning a THIRD curriculum is more than a little unnerving. There is so much to MFW Kindy (which is great!) that I am not sure my boy will be able to swing it all -- or his mama!
Still, I thank you for the post so that I can get my wits about me and look at pieces at a time and take deep breathes -- it will all come together, I know!
Thank you for all your help!

Beth said...

I cant thank you enough for sharing these wonderful resources with me! I am about to do MFW K for the second time around and your ideas will make it so much easier this time. Thanks again!

Michelle said...

Oh my goodness! THANK YOU for the badge download. They are so cute!

Tot Play: A Learning Journey said...

Wow! Thank you so much for the advice and printables. I love the badges and posters! My daughter Alyssa and I just started MFW K and she is enjoying it. The phonics portion is a huge review for her but we will still use it. What do you think about My Father's World First Grade - how are the phonics lessons?
Tracey

Kopers said...

This is our first year homeschooling and I've been trying out two different curriculum's, MFW and K-12. I have found many helpful things on your blog site and am very thankful to you for your willingness to share. I am now at a cross roads because the lessons have now started and we just can't keep up with two curriculum's everyone's getting overwhelmed. I like both and can't seem to decide which one to do, I'm torn. ANY advice would be much appreciated.

Dawn said...

Thank you so much for sharing your caterpillar badges. We'll begin using MFW K in the fall, and I've begun to look for ideas online. This one is most definitely a winner. What a neat idea!

I'm wondering where you got your graphics. I'd like to make some handwriting pages for my preschooler to use alongside my kindergartener. It would be so nice to have the graphics match. Are they just "googled" images, or do they come from a clipart program?

Thanks!

Rachael McQuery said...

Thank you so much for ALL your great ideas!!! I was wondering if your printables are available with out using forshared?? My husband doesn't like this site and won't let me download it again:(*

Jessica said...

Thank you SO much for the badge download. This is my first year with mfw, and making badges every week didn't sound like fun to me. Yours are perfect!

Mary said...

I have the first edition mfw kindergarten because I used it with my older sons. I was going to purchase student sheets (mostly because I don't want to make badges again) for my kindergartener, but use the first edition manual. Now that I found your badge downloads, is there any reason I would have to buy the student sheets?

Alicia said...

I just wanted to thank you so much for this post. I am using your badges and ordered the book referenced at the end. I had been looking for something like this on a K level. So helpful!!! Thanks again!

Romina said...

Hi there! Thank you for the cute Kindergarten badges! I can't wait to use it with my daughter! By the way, I am trying to download the weekly posters, but I couldn't. Help please..

Jennifer said...

Romina, please leave your email address and I would be happy to email all of my K files to you. :)

Ericka said...

I love your badges and would love to use them for my little one this year. When I click on the link it tells me that I can't download them (from 4Share) even though I created an account. Am I doing something wrong?

Jennifer said...

Ericka, the files are now at Google docs rather than 4shared, so hopefully you can download them. If you still have trouble, please leave me your email address and I'll send them to you. :)

heather f said...

Hi Jennifer,
I just have to say thank you so much for documenting each unit with your girls. I stumbled upon your site looking for activities as we are about to start MFW k. First time homeschooler right here! So I really appreciate you, you made it look so fun, and your ideas are simple, and fun, I'm so excited!!!!! Thank you!

Whispered Abundance said...

Thank you so much for all you shared! We are just beginning our adventures and it was so helpful to have a visual on MFW K.

Loving on my little people!
~WhisperedAbundance.com

Joni Nichols said...

HI! I am finishing the Kindergarten MFW program and your poster and badge duo MADE THE YEAR for the kids. It helped inspire us to START the new week again. They could look at the poster and "SEE" what week it was or what was coming. And putting the badge on the caterpillar was a highlight! I am a fellow mommy blogger and also have a self-publishing side business (sheerdrapespublishing.com) and I would love to help you provide these printables as a MAILED-TO-YOU-PACKAGE! I think everyone who does MFW K needs them and some would be willing to pay $6 (or something) for a package sent to them. Here are some thoughts! Can I set up an ETSY store for you!!?? And be your hands and feet? If I do that, I can split the "tiny profits" just to make it worth my time to provide the service.... I just know how busy moms and and how much work it can seem to be to get out and make good color prints on cardstock! You can shoot this idea down, but I humbly must ask you if you are up for this venture!!! I AM! I have put your stuff on my pinterest to tell everyone these are MUST HAVE items to go along with MFW-K!!!!!

Jennifer said...

Hi Joni ~ I'm so glad these printables helped you to have a successful year with MFW. :) However, I'd love to keep them available as free downloads so that people can use them without incurring an extra expense. Most of the homeschool families I know are single-income families, and funds are tight. I have been blessed by the free resources I have found online, and I'd love to bless other families in the same way. Hope you continue to be blessed by MFW! It's a great program!! :)

Lisa said...

I love your printables! I'm so excited to be starting MFWK with my 4th son and have been enjoying finding gems on-line to go along with the curriculum. I love how you include Spanish vocabulary. We, however, are teaching French, and I was wondering if it was possible to get your posters in a format that I could just type in the French word for the Spanish word. My 10yog will be doing ECC this year, so it will be a perfect fit with the book you suggested! May the Lord bless your generosity to the homeschooling community. Your creative gift is a blessing!

Jennifer said...

Hi Lisa ~ I would be more than happy to send you a Microsoft Word doc that you can edit to your heart's desire. :) Can you leave me your email address so I know where to send it? Thank you! And have fun with MFW K! We LOVED it!!

Christie said...

This is really cool - thanks so much for sharing! Digging the badges b/c, honestly, not really thinking I will manage tracing the templates that come with the curriculum - but a ready made caterpillar!? The kids will love it, and that, well, that I can handle! I also like that you've included the Bibleless people groups - neat! :) My husband and I actually work with Wycliffe and just returned from several years in Nigeria; we are about to start working in the U.S. office as soon as we get our support back up (Imagine - Africa was cheaper to live in than the States! ;) ), so I was really struck by your inclusion of the book as part of your week. Thanks so much for sharing and making this daunting prep task a little more manageable. :)

Jason said...

? What are the index cards they ask you to purchase for? Thank you!
Melissa

LT said...

Thank you so much for this post and the incredible resources you've made available. I'm going to have 2 kiddos doing K this year and 1 first grader that I think would love the badges and to follow along (he was in public school last year). I want to make this a fun and well rounded experience for them and I think your resources will help me accomplish that.

Angie Martin said...

I will be getting my MFW K tomorrow! Is your doc still relevant and available? Thanks :) blueskysmile at hotmail dot com

Daniel and Melissa Parlane said...

Would it be possible for you to send your doc file to me? Your links don't work anymore :-(

Christopherhytfv Chavezqlk said...

Hi, I love all of the information on your blog. I am starting MFW-K next week. I tried to download your files, but the links are not working. Are you still offering them?

Tracy Kemp said...

Loved the post, thanks so much for sharing! I tried to download the files, but the links are not working. I'd love to use them. Thanks!

Bethany said...

Ditto the above. I would love the caterpillar badges, handwriting pages, and posters but the links are not working.

Alicia Brookins said...

I too, would love a copy of your files! They look fabulous! Are you still sharing them???

SheilaJ01 said...

Me too! I would love to use your caterpillar badges and handwriting pages, but the links do not work. We are doing MFW K and 1st this year, and we love it!

Nicole said...

Hi! I used your printables for my older girls when they did MFW K. Now I'm getting ready to start K with my son and wanted to use them again. None of the files work anymore! Are they still available? Please let me know. Thanks!

Alicia said...

I love your badge caterpillar! I have searched everywhere to find the post with it. Finally found this one! However I can't get it to download! Could you please email it to me at alicia_ps374@hotmail.com? Thanks so much!

Shakeeta W said...

I would love a copy of your files if they are still available! My email is shakeeta.williams.sc@gmail.com :)

Homeschooler said...

I would love the badge caterpillar file if it is still available. kimcoupons@charter.net
Thank you!

Lorrikg said...

Is the Caterpillar badge still available? I would love to download it to use with my daughter this fall.
Thanks for your posts it gave me some great ideas for my Kindergartener.

Anna said...

I would also love a copy of the badges and weekly poster if possible!

Is there another way to get it? I would rather not post my email on a public page.

Cathrin said...

I would love the badge caterpillar file if it is still available. c2sunshine at yahoo dot com.
Thank you!

Kristi Clover said...

Hi there! I'm getting ready to do MFW K again and love your printables. I'd love the link to the S-S-Sun type of printables and the caterpillar printables. I really appreciate it! raisingclovers at gmail dot com. Blessings and joy, Kristi

Nicole Chumley said...

I would love to have the file for the caterpillar printables!! nchumley85@gmail.com

Please & thank you!!

Lisette Pujanes-Dionisio said...

Hi! May I have your caterpillar, weekly posters and other MFW K printables as well?

Here's my e-mail address.

Lunaysabel@gmail.com

Thank you in advance! :)

Jessica Beam said...

I LOVE your caterpillar badges and weekly posters! Could you please send me the files for both? My email is beamgirl124@gmail.com

Thank you so much.

Jessica

Kat Sheppard said...

Hello fellow homeschooling mama! Your preparation is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your work and your thoughts. It really helps out first-timers like me!

I realize that this post was from years ago, but is there any chance I could still request the MFW weekly posters? My email is katshepp@gmail.com.

Thank you ever so much.

Respectfully,
Kat

Laura said...

I would love to have the caterpillar badges if you could still send them to me!
farmingfam@gmail.com

Dawna Houser said...

Hi!! I used the caterpillar badges for my oldest, We have moved stuff around and I can't seem to find them.
We are introducing my middle one to MFW, and was wanting this badges for him now, do you still have them??
I know we cut out the badges, and that is fine, but I just thought your badges were so cute!!

nataliedroz said...

hello! I would love to get the caterpillar badges, the weekly posters and any other extras for MFW Kindergarten that you have to share - your links aren't working :(

Anonymous said...

Would very much like to use your kindergarten badges and posters for MFW kindergarten! Please email them since the link isn't working. Thank you so very much!!!
brebecca@juno.com

Susan Hall said...

Hi, are you still active online? I would love to have your caterpillar clip art please. It seems your links are inactive :(
Your blog is amazing, please don't leave us! :)

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I would like to know if you still active online. Your art links won't work. Thanks! Great job!

Jill said...

Hello! I was hoping to be able to use your caterpillar badges for my last 3 children, but don't seem to have saved them to my desktop when using them with my first two. Would it be possible to get those? The Google Drive says the file is not found. Thank you! vansoelen.jill@gmail.com.

Blessings!
Jill

Stephanie Rojas said...

Hello. I love your printables for the badges, handwriting practice, and the ones that include Spanish. I tried your links above, but they are not working. Would it be possible to still be these? And can the printable that includes the Spanish words be sent in an editable format as you had mentioned to someone previously? If so, I would be ever so grateful. My email address is sl.rojas@yahoo.com

Alan said...

HI! I LOVE your MFW KG printables! Any chance I could still get the caterpillar badges? I LOVE your blog and look forward to reading more! Thanks! My email is maryefindley@gmail.com

Rich Blessings,
Mary

Sara Barker said...

Thank you so much for all your printables! I would also love to get a copy of the caterpillar badges! My email is Sara.ann.barker@gmail.com. Thanks!

-Sara

Jennifer said...

Is there a way to get your kindergarten badges/caterpillar files? Google Drive says they don't exist. Thanks!