Siblings - Giving attention to each one

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
StarrMama
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2006 6:40 pm

Siblings - Giving attention to each one

Unread post by StarrMama »

Siblings - One-on-one time for large families

Hello!
I am a mother of four little ones and wanted to share a few ideas we incorporate in our family to ensure that our kids get one-on-one with us. I'd love to hear other ideas that anyone else has. Thanks for sharing!

1. Every month we celebrate each child's "birth date"...meaning that Since Hope was born on the 30th, on the 30th of each month, she gets to do something with daddy alone. These are usually outings, such as donut shop in the am, library trip, museum, park, playground, play a game, go out to eat, dessert after dinner, ect... Our kids LOVE this time with their daddy every month.

2. I use a ticket system where the kids can earn tickets for misc things, such as potty training, reading, extra chores, ect... They can turn the tickets in for computer games, treats, special one-on-one times with me or daddy, ect... Hope turned in 5 tickets to get "30 minutes of play alone time with a parent" She chose daddy and they played (what she wanted) in the basement alone and she just loved it.

3. When I go shopping/run errands I take turns taking only 1 child and they are my helper. I don't listen to music...we talk and usually get an inexpensive treat while we're out.

4. Not really a one-on-one, but a fun idea. We celebrate each child's half birthday with a cake and family night. Owen just turned 4.5 complete with 4.5 candles! No gifts, just cake and family time!

Looking forward to more ideas! Time for bed!
~Rose
Wife to Desi. Mama to Hope 8 (ECC), Owen 6(K), Emmaline 4 and Levi 2. Happily serving God in the inner-city of Denver,CO.
www.6starrs.blogspot.com
kellybell
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Unread post by kellybell »

I'm a mom of four too, but the third one is a boy! One thing that works very well for our family is having a child be "kid of the day" one day a week. There is no kid of the day on the weekend or on Wednesday (which, this year, is a busy year).

Mary is kid of the day on Monday:

1. If it's during the summer, she gets to stay up later and have an in-house date with mom (one week) or dad (the next week). This doesn't work well during the school year though for either parent or child, so we try to just take each child out on an errand (shopping) or for a walk around the block on that day. Honestly, we need to be more deliberate about this.

2. Mary will prepare lunch on Monday. She'll make what she decided on last week and she'll choose next Monday's lunch (so that I have a week to make sure we have the ingredients). I will be with her in the kitchen and the other kids will work on whatever schoolwork they need to do. We have one of those big teaching calendars with pockets for each date. We put the numbers in as the days go by, but we also put in little cards we made with lunch options. So, right now, our calendar has dates through Feb. 17 in it and then four lunch cards for the next week. This has worked fine for me because I don't have to think of an original lunch option, the kids are learning to cook (they rarely pick a ham sandwich, etc.) and we get some time together in the kitchen.

3. Kid of the day prays at lunch and dinner (breakfast, sigh, is a catch as catch can affair in the morning, rarely do we all sit down together).

4. If there is any choices to be made (maybe a fast food restaurant if we're taking a road trip), the kid of the day gets to choose. If we are having a video, kid of the day chooses (unless it's a school one that I get to choose!).

We also have "currency" that the kids can earn, but the things that they buy often are for the entire family (like a trip to the zoo, etc.). They can also buy things for themselves (a doll dress, etc.)

You had some great ideas.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
kellybell
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Giving attention to 3 students

Unread post by kellybell »

A big hug in sympathy as I have two very distractable and slow-working (but bright) kids. It IS very frustrating. The most helpful things we have are timers and printed out schedules. They don't cure the problem but are constant reminders that they should be doing something.

I still haven't figured out the bathroom issue. I'll go in the bathroom after my oldest and find out what catalog, book, or magazine she took in there! Thank goodness she doesn't know where the Rainbow Resource Catalog is -- we'd never see her again.

Perhaps, since you are just starting out the year, you should focus a week or two on getting good habits established with the older one (as you can tell from the previous paragraph - I'm not the picture of success in this department). So, for a week, don't fret about the K students (if you get to them great, if not, remember what you are doing is for their good too). Instead, work with your older child. Put away ECC for a day or two and sit down with him and tell him that you'll help him with his problem. Help him develop a schedule, and get him his own digital timer that can count both up and down. Have him work on his 3Rs using a timer. Sit next to him. Look on the internet for ideas for ADHD kids (not saying your son is, but the ideas might be helpful). You might need to fashion some sort of "carrel" (is that what they are called) out of cardboard to be like blinders around his work area so he cannot see to the left, right or forward, just his desk. You might need to see what can be done to his work area (we all sit on big, ugly blue exercise balls to allow bouncing which helps with the kids' focus). You might need to make sure he's got a few 5- to 10-minutes run-around-the-house or jump-on-the-trampoline breaks. They work wonders. You might need to break up some subjects (do half a page of math now, half a page after lunch).

Remind him that he is big enough to take charge of his time. Have a sticker sheet or some sort of reward. Ice cream works for my kids. On days he gets it all done in a reasonable amount of time he gets a reward.

HTH
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
Jenn in NC
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:00 pm

Unread post by Jenn in NC »

Hi Jenneve,

We just did ECC along with K and once we got a workable schedule, the two programs do fit together nicely.

One thing that helped us was to NOT feel that we had to everything from both programs. Combine whenever possible!! Also, I cannot recommend highly enough that you call the MFW office with your specific situation to get their advice/help. Often you can talk directly to David. More than once in the past when I have been ready to call it quits, a call to their office gives me just the inspiration and help that I needed.

Having an older child that dawdles and does not work well independently when you need him to will sabotage the best of schedules! My second eldest ds is like this. The man who does the testing for our kids every year suggested to us that we...

1) Cut back the time required for his independent lessons to an easily doable time frame (for us that was only five minutes per lesson at first!!),

2) Focus for a while on him learning to be an effective and diligent independent worker (in other words, the actual academics themselves take a backseat for a short while, while you are focusing on character/skill with him),

3) Implement a simple reward system if this would be motivating to your ds... for example, a doable section of the math page finished within five minutes earns 5 M&M's that may be eaten after lunch (or whatever). For us the rewards had to be "prorated" so that he could earn partial reward for partial completion. Otherwise he would give up right from the start. Once he saw that he could succeed he improved very quickly.

4) Once all this is in place, and you are at a level the child does well at, begin to require more of him very gradually. Lots of sincere praise is effective here!!

5) Being careful not to require more writing than my ds was developmentally ready for also helped a LOT.

6) PRAY (with your ds) about the problem. Let him be a part of the process of learning to go to God and ask for help when things are hard. It is so cool to see God answer the prayers of our children! He seems to especially delight to show Himself strong and all-sufficient on their behalf. See this as an opportunity to build his faith! So much more important than math or spellling.

HTH!!

Best wishes,
Jenn
mommy to four boys & two girls... and another boy on the way :)
completed K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CTG and RTR
2009--2010 Enjoying Exploration to 1850
cbollin

Unread post by cbollin »

Lots of bullet points… long answer. Remember that in addition to any and all of the ideas that we have over here, the MFW office likes to help on this kind of stuff too. So, be encouraged to know that you can call them. (Guess, what? I had to do that last week to get some fresh ideas for how to teach year 5.) But since we have this board...

*Agreeing with Kelly. In spite of being "power posters" (as Cyndi calls us) neither Kelly nor I are these super moms with perfect little angels for kids. We both struggle with keeping the kids focused and on task. I look across the screen and think “at least all of hers are potty trained”. I like the idea that someone mentioned somewhere else -- mom gives a limited number of Hall Passes for potty breaks. If they need more then they are sick and can’t play for the rest of the day. And my bathrooms don’t have any distractions other than running water. It is not a place that anyone would want to hang out. Bland boring beige walls. I always tell my kids – get right back here! Now if they’d just hurry it up when brushing their teeth, sigh. see-- we all have learning curves in our homeschooling. {{{{hug}}}}


*Sometimes it doesn’t work to have a young elementary child working independently while the even younger kids get to do something fun. The older sibling may be feeling like it is punishment to be excluded from the fun stuff. Even if your child isn’t saying it, he may be wondering, “Why do I have to do this, when they get to do that? I need help too. This is tough.”


*Also, you didn’t say how old your child is, but he may not have learned the skills yet to be an independent worker. I’m speaking from my personal experience and it may not be the case with you. Don’t assume that your oldest can work independently because of their age or position in the family. For many children independent learning is a series of skills to be taught and is not easily caught. He is a big enough kid to take responsibility, but let’s make sure he has been given the tools to perform that job and instructed in how to do that job. It is not merely enough to toss a bunch of tools in a child’s hand and expect them to know how to use them.

It is possible that your oldest isn’t ready for handwriting to be an independent subject at this point in his life. Maybe it could work to have the older child have his handwriting page with him when the younger kids have their textured letters. Have everyone at the same kitchen table working on that subject together during this early part of teaching. Before starting for the day, just pull oldest aside and tell him, “You’re a big kid, you get different pages to work with.” In that way, everyone is working on handwriting at the same time. I did stuff like that all the time. I’d tell my oldest to sit with us and work on a worksheet and let’s pretend we’re at the church school. I’d set the timer and I’d help each child for a BRIEF amount of time. In my case it was fun because I had a right handed child and a left handed child and I could stand between them.

Then when that task was completed, I let oldest put the check mark in the MFW teacher’s manual. I was training her to learn that we had to get all of this done. I did not expect that she was supposed to teach herself all of her school at this point. She was 8 y.o when we did ECC.


* Can Dad help with something before he leaves for work or when he gets home? (We all have different schedules and such.) My husband has his office in our house -- but that doesn’t mean that he is available to help during school time. But he does help with school in the evenings -- he does some of the read aloud. Some dads will do the Bible study in the evening before. So on Monday night, dad will do the Tuesday morning Bible stuff with kids.


* Are the materials you are using for language arts and math helping to slow down the day or are they helping to get the job done? That’s one big reason we changed to MFW’s recommendations. It helps us to get the job done without taking all day.



Hang in there. The first couple of weeks in ECC have what I think are the learning curve weeks and the heaviest schedules.

--crystal
Jenn in NC
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:00 pm

Unread post by Jenn in NC »

cbollin wrote:The first couple of weeks in ECC have what I think are the learning curve weeks and the heaviest schedules.
Agreeing with Crystal here. We spread the first couple weeks into 3.5 weeks or so. We kept the days low-key and just enjoyed things. When it was time for lunch we just stopped where we were and picked up later. Sometimes that would be in the afternoon while my littles were napping. Sometimes we wouldn't pick up again until the next morning. By the time the first month had gone by, we all had a much better idea what we were doing, and things went more smoothly from that point.
mommy to four boys & two girls... and another boy on the way :)
completed K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CTG and RTR
2009--2010 Enjoying Exploration to 1850
melinda
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 4:02 pm

Unread post by melinda »

I just want to sympathize with you--teaching three kids is hard! Especially when you have unmet expectations with the oldest. Currently I have a 2nd grader and two 1st graders. It has taken us a few weeks, but we've finally gotten a schedule that works for us. So give yourself some time...after reading the previous wonderful advice, try a little of this and some of that to find what works for you.

One thing that has been a life saver for me is having my oldest daughter read independently while I work with her sisters. She didn't want to at first because she really doesn't like reading all that much, and I'd just have her look through picture books on the couch, but she's slowly developed the habit of reading.

I hope you can find what works for you!
Melinda & Co.
Girls (ages 8 and 7, 7 (ID twins))
Baby boy (1)
www.eagereyesofblue.blogspot.com
Jenneve
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 10:24 am

Unread post by Jenneve »

What wonderful suggestions & advice. Thank you all so much for responding. So far, it's going much better today.
The older sibling may be feeling like it is punishment to be excluded from the fun stuff.
I think that has been alot of the problem. He sees his brothers doing this fun craft, or whatever they are doing, while he's doing boring old handwriting. It doesn't matter that I try to always give him a fun craft/activity at some point in the day, he still wants to do what they're doing instead of what he's supposed to be doing, even if it's just singing the ABC's. The old "grass is greener" syndrome.

Today, I decided to try letting them all do something fun at the same time. While the younger 2 were making their creation numbers & creation day book page, Jack was working on his Greek John 3:16 page. He's had a much better outlook on school today. I guess beginning with something "fun" rather than beginning with handwriting was a good decision.

I've also set a timer at the beginning of each subject. When it goes off, we put that aside and move on to the next thing. He seems much happier with this and is staying on task better. He's not completing everything, but I told him what isn't completed he can come back to later.

I try not to give him too much independent work (he just turned 8 a few weeks ago) and I make myself available for help when he is working independently. I think what happens is he sees me with his brothers and he's jealous of my time. I'm noticing this more and more in other areas as well as school. I'm not sure what to do about it. I try to spend equal time with all my kids. They're just all "momma's boys" and want momma all to themselves.


Unfortunately, dad leaves at 5am and doesn't get home until almost 7pm. Days off are reserved for family fun days. But thanks again for all the great advice. I'm sure I'll be implementing more of these great suggestions in the near future!

Jenn
mom to Jack, Jared, & Justin
TurnOurHearts

CTG with 2nd & 5th grader -- how to plan for 2nd grader?

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

Willow wrote:Many subjects we can do as a family (Bible, Vocabulary, History, Science, etc.) but some have to be done separately with each child -- math, spelling, English.

If I make a time block like Marie shows in the TM, I need to teach the lesson to child A while child B waits... then child B doesn't have enough time to complete the lesson before it's time for the next subject. Should I work with child A on the teaching part of several subjects while child B reads or has book basket time, then work with child B while A completes her lessons and has her book basket/reading time? I would work with the older child first because I can't trust the younger to work independently.


Posted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 2:39 pm

Hi there :)

I'm finishing up ECC with a 3rd grader & a MFW1er who has participated in all the 'do-togethers.' I will adapt what we did this year to make it work for next year, but for the most part it'll be set up in a similar fashion. Here's what worked for us:

* Bible at breakfast
(send away to do First Fives ~ make beds, get dressed, etc.)
* Come back & do all that we can together. Ie, the FUN stuff!! Science,
music, art, history/geography, etc.
* Send my son to do independent work such as handwriting, foreign language
(adding this coming year), book basket, independent reading. While he's doing that,
I'm having my one-in-one time with my younger child. When I'm done with her, she's DONE.
* I then finish up, maybe 40 minutes with my son on his LA, math, spelling.
* Read alouds done at bedtime

If Max gets done with his independent stuff before I'm finished with his sister, he gets a bit of free time (restricted to certain activities).

It's not perfect ~ some days flow better than others, but this way, we get the stuff we might be tempted to skip if we did math/LA first. Also, my younger one doesn't wear out before we can get to her stuff. As I said before, I'm sure it'll be a bit different next year since Halle will be doing more, but this is how I worked it out in our house.
TriciaMR
Posts: 986
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

FRUSTRATED trying to do history together...

Unread post by TriciaMR »

hsmomto3 wrote:We are doing RTR this year...I have a 6th grader and a 2nd grader. My 2nd grader does pretty well sitting through the readings and very often wants to read some of the history. When I do let him, it's usually only the shorter readings..mainly from Medieval World or Ancient World. Here is the PROBLEM. \My 6th grade son says he can't comprehend the readings as well and he gets frustrated with his younger brother. My 6th grader WOULD help his little brother if little brother would LET him :~

Any suggestions? Experiences to share?
Thanks
Debbie
With my kids, I just do the reading, and they narrate. They each read from readers to me for their "reading" time.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: FRUSTRATED trying to do history together...

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Those Usborne books may be easy enough for your 6th grader to read himself. If he was willing, then either (a) he could have a separate copy to read along to himself while little bro is reading, or (b) he could read thru the family copy of the book at a later time. If he was going with (b), reading it later, then during the 2nd grade reading, maybe the 6th grader could have a map to color or something to keep busy with on a clipboard on his lap while still "encouraging" his little brother by tolerating and listening along and asking little brother to show the pictures?

I sometimes have to do it another way with my 3yo grandson. I have him sit right next to grandma and look at a picture book on his lap, while I'm reading aloud something to my 8th grader. If we smile at him and make him feel included, he causes less of a disturbance. But he's not old enough to want to read Usborne :)

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
4Truth
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Re: FRUSTRATED trying to do history together...

Unread post by 4Truth »

We have a similar issue here with middle dd (5th grade) not being a "good" reader. But she loves to have her turn at reading, so I've had to scold oldest dd and remind her that her sister needs the practice and she WILL be patient and pleasant while listening. ;) She doesn't "help" her sister, per se, because we have that competition thing going on too, and well, it just wouldn't happen. :~ However, oldest does have to politely listen and be pleasant about it.

That said, *I* sit next to the one who's the weaker voice and just look over her shoulder. I let her stumble if need be... 9 times out of 10 she catches it and fixes it herself. It does require patience on everyone else's part, but that's just the way it is. We all excel in different things. I also have dd use a straight edge to keep her eyes on the correct line in the book.

And as someone else suggested, you could also do the reading aloud for at least some of it, then have your kids take turns narrating back. Charlotte Mason would say to have the youngest narrate first, then have the next older child narrate to pick up some details that youngest missed, and so on, with the oldest child narrating last, and with the most detail.

Now would be a great time to have your 6th grader learn Phil. 2:3-4. :)
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
MFW-Lucy

Re: FRUSTRATED trying to do history together...

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

Ladies,

As I am reading through this topic, I sense there may be some misunderstanding about the intention of the assigned readings and when to combine kids.

Readings:
The Bible, History, and Science readings are intended to be read aloud by mom or dad(whoever is teaching). Once a student is a fluent reader they may be asked to read parts of these readings aloud too. I understand that younger students want to read, but they need another time to do this. It is hard for older students to follow along and to comprehend if the reader is not fluent. This time was not designed for reading practice. Also remember that if a child is having difficulty reading a passage he is probably going to struggle with understanding what he has read also.

When there are books that seem more difficult for a 2nd or 3rd grader do not worry if they do not understand it all. Remember they will repeat these year's in 7th or 8th grade. Children may also enjoy coloring or playing quietly with legos or play dough while you read (my older kids did this too!). You will be amazed sometimes what they remember and pick up.

Occasionally, children read material on their own. We recommend a parent also read the material so that the student can narrate (tell) what he read about and for discussion.

Combining:
We recommend combining students who are in 2nd-8th grade. So, in your case Allison we would not expect your younger children to be ready to join your 5th grader. Although there are activities and books that will appeal to younger children in older siblings programs, we recommend inviting younger children to join the older children in activities or readings they are interested in, but not expect them to join.

We know that each family will use the curriculum slightly differently in their family, but I just wanted to clarify the original intention if somehow that was misunderstood.

If you have any questions or need clarification, please let me know. You may also e-mail at info@mfwbooks or give us a call at 573-426-4600.
Joyhomeschool
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:11 am

New to MFW - Concerns & Questions - Dominant child

Unread post by Joyhomeschool »

booklovermom25 wrote:Hello, I am considering MFW for this coming January. I am concerned with combining all 4 of my oldest (I have 5 children) next year. I have tried to do that in the past, and our family dynamics have made it difficult to accomplish. Now, this will be the first time that the 4 oldest will all be in the 2nd - 8th grade range, and I'm hoping that that will make a difference. I know combining works for a lot of people, but I also know that it doesn't work for some. How do you handle that, when you, for example, have one strong personality that tends to take over, and then other quieter, weaker ones that let him? Things like that. I want them all to be engaged, and because I've struggled with this in the past, am a little nervous about how to make this work.

I appreciate any and all input you can give. In His love,
RuthAnn
I dont have a lot of advice but what I've learned for my dominant child is to have her set apart from everyone else. And also to give her the ability to discuss first and then once her "turn" is up I dont allow her to talk again till I call on her. Sometimes though I have to separate just her from the rest of the group. So I do her MFW stuff and then do theirs.
Vicki
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2
doubleportion
Posts: 201
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:27 pm
Contact:

Re: New to MFW - Concerns & Questions

Unread post by doubleportion »

Just a quick thought-

I taught in the private school classroom for a few years (taught prek all the way to 8th grade) before we started having kids, so this is where I am pulling this information. Our oldest is the only one currently school age at our house, but I can see that as time goes by any family could face the same issue.

When in Private school or even Sunday school teaching a class and I found I was dealing with a dominant student (my dd was one of them in Sunday school- big talker, extrovert, loves people etc), I would set down very clear rules of conduct and when they could talk, how we would take turns, being respectful of others comments or opinions etc. If you have a quiet child who is apt not to respond, then I would always make sure to prod them with a question too or have everyone give a comment to have a turn, that way they didn't get left out. I often had to remind the more dominant child about the rules or simply say "so-and-so you need to wait your turn" or just a simple reminder that now was not a good time to make a comment. Then when we were finished I would be sure to ask them what it was they wanted to interject, sometimes they didn't remember by then and sometimes they did. (often it was completely off topic and I was glad I made them wait).

I think it is the essence of any kind of classroom management whether it be at home, in church or otherwise. It is also teaching our children better social skills and self control while learning to be Christ like in their responses to others. Just my two cents.

Edie
jasntas
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: New to MFW - Concerns & Questions

Unread post by jasntas »

No real advice to give to you here but to say that we LOVE MFW. It has been such a blessing to us.

I can totally relate to your ds. He sounds a lot like mine. My ds only has a younger sister but when he was in ps (1st & 2nd grades) he seemed to be intimidated by his peers. I don't think he even realized it. I believe it was one of the reasons he really disliked ps. I volunteered in the classroom so I was able to observe some of these things firsthand.

Similar to your situation, when my two work together, my ds seems to do pretty well b/c he knows he will know more than his sis (sometimes just barely :~ ). But it seems to build his confidence.

Maybe the older ones could write out some of their answers while the youngers answer verbally. Or maybe it would be possible to work separately on some projects. The olders work together and then the youngers or something. Or, who knows, maybe by then it will all work itself out. Just thinking out loud so feel free to disregard. :)

God makes each one of us unique and special. :)

Oh, and of course you can always call or send an e-mail to the MFW office and ask for their advice as well.
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.
booklovermom25
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:47 pm
Location: Salisbury, NC

Re: New to MFW - Concerns & Questions

Unread post by booklovermom25 »

Postby booklovermom25 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:55 pm
Thank you all for your replies. I appreciate your taking the time to answer.

Edie,
I know exactly what you are talking about with classroom management. I taught school for 3 years before I had children, so I understand and try to apply the kinds of things you are talking about. My problem is that I have one other children who is insecure, and who would rather let someone else answer, do it, etc. if he thinks that their answer will be better than his.

For example, when my now 9yo ds was 4 or 5, I thought he didn't like to color, but I found out when he got older and his hand eye coordination improved, that he really liked to color. But he wouldn't color until he could do it well enough that he would be happy with the end result. He is very hard on himself and when I tried to combine my 3 oldest last year, I would give him opportunity to participate/answer, etc., but I could tell that he was not really being engaged. He was intimidated by his older brother or sister and I am not sure he even realized it. Once I started doing school with just him, things changed with him for the better, and right now I have him combined with his younger brother and he is doing great. He is slower to catch onto things and gets lost very easily, so I am nervous about trying to combine again. I am going to have to pray and seek the Lord on this, because I am just not sure.

Tammie,
Thanks! Your understanding goes a long way. Sometimes it is just so hard to explain because he hasn't been labeled or I don't have any easy way to describe the struggles that come with teaching this particular child. And I don't necessarily want or need those labels, but it is hard sometimes to explain to others. I appreciate your thoughts.

In His love,
RuthAnn
Disciple of Christ
Wife to dh for 13 yrs.
Mom to 5 dc ages 12, 11, 9, 6, & 3
Starting MFW ECC in January!
4Truth
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Re: New to MFW - Concerns & Questions

Unread post by 4Truth »

doubleportion wrote:When in Private school or even Sunday school teaching a class and I found I was dealing with a dominant student (my dd was one of them in Sunday school- big talker, extrovert, loves people etc), I would set down very clear rules of conduct and when they could talk, how we would take turns, being respectful of others comments or opinions etc. If you have a quiet child who is apt not to respond, then I would always make sure to prod them with a question too or have everyone give a comment to have a turn, that way they didn't get left out. I often had to remind the more dominant child about the rules or simply say "so-and-so you need to wait your turn" or just a simple reminder that now was not a good time to make a comment. Then when we were finished I would be sure to ask them what it was they wanted to interject, sometimes they didn't remember by then and sometimes they did. (often it was completely off topic and I was glad I made them wait).
This is exactly what I do. It's good training for that dominant child how to step back and listen for a change, giving preference to someone else. It's also a good lesson in patience for her while her sisters are learning and improving their memory, reading, narration, and comprehension skills.

The other thing I was going to say that is Charlotte Mason would recommend having the youngest child narrate first, giving the portion of the story (or whatever) that they remember. Then the next oldest child narrates, adding to what the younger child said. Then the next oldest adds more, and so on. If your dominant child is NOT the oldest, then I'd have the dominant child narrate last. That way he/she can't monopolize the conversation, with nothing left for the other siblings to add.

I do the same when taking turns reading aloud. (In our house, everyone who can read, does.)
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
cbollin

Re: New to MFW - Concerns & Questions

Unread post by cbollin »

RuthAnn,
I have 3 children. very different from each other. Youngest has autism. Oldest is a chatter box (probably qualifies for something out there with fancy names.) Middle – poor sweetie, she’s slower than oldest, very quiet and easy to miss. I know she has some kind of special needs, but not sure the diagnosis. She was in speech/language therapy for over 6 year. slow, just not normal but not off the charts either........

Here is how I teach using MFW. I’ve used MFW for a long time. Currently I have a 9th grader (who works in high school independently) and 6th and 2nd grader.

In the years when it was oldest and middle gal in the same MFW base program (EX1850, 1850 MOD, ECC and CTG), they were 5th and 2nd, 6th and 3rd, 7th, and 4th, 8th and 5th. And remember too, the youngest one is in there also.

Some days I thought school was just easier if I taught some things separately by repeating information. Because I could teach oldest first and do everything, it was easy to come back and review the same material the same day for 10 minutes with middle gal. She listened and gleaned from listening, then I gave her 10 minutes to go over it. I was familiar so it took no extra prep time at all. I might have been teaching at different times, but I was teaching the same info in a way that she needed to be taught and I didn't have to prep another program.

Some days were the “magazine cover story”. Ah ha… they sat together and worked on a project together. I could do Bible together. They’d try a game together. ahhh some days I got those cover magazine stories.... not always. but some.

Mostly, I had to use the time to teach my oldest some character time for when to interrupt, when not to interrupt, how to ask if she could explain something that was complicated.

But there have been plenty of times when middle gal (the super quiet one) would get a review time with me. But since I had taught the info a little bit before that , it was quick and easy on me.

Then things like language arts and math are done separately anyway.

But I would find things that each of them was good at doing and made sure they knew how much it meant to me.

They each had different things that they worked on independently while I worked one on one with someone else.

My real challenge this year has been with the middle and youngest. Youngest is more “unschooled” right now with her special needs. So, in some ways she is still “being invited to join older sis” in fun stuff in MFW RTR. God surprised me the other day with how He put it all together. Middle gal was in part of MFW RTR where we are to the point in history where Jesus was born. Youngest decided to build pretend play all around Baby Jesus in the manger. She had baby doll and winter sled, and blanket, and then got oldest sister (high schooler) to help her make a quick shepherd outfit and everyone stopped to sing some Christmas songs. She was listening to us read very familiar parts of Luke and Matthew. and there I was thinking to gloss over it for 6th grader.... silly me......

and sure enough, youngest wanted to help make the Roman arch out of pudding boxes, over and over and over and over again. So, yeah...
So yeah, God keeps surprising me with how MFW continues to work in my family when combining in the weird fit in my 3 very different daughters.

Postby cbollin » Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:22 pm
I realized I left out some key ingredients of MFW working for us in multiple levels, even when I can't have the perfect one room schoolhouse that I dream of.....

the MFW lesson plans include things for all of the age levels. This year I'm in RTR. I like how in the history sections of the grid, there are the things to do with youngest and all children, then, also listed are "bigger reading books" (like ACW for example) and that during that time you can let the younger ones color worksheets from that book, or just play quietly nearby, or let them go play in another part of the house or something. there is no way I expect my youngest to listen to ACW when I read it. My 6th grader has some special needs, so I can't read that book word for word. But she is getting a lot from it too. so, the materials used and the lesson plan organization allow for family style learning in various stage of learning.

It's going to look different in various families.

-crystal
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
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Location: Minnesota

Re: New to MFW - Concerns & Questions

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Hi RuthAnn,
I am not the most experienced person in terms of combining, but just remember that whatever hurdles you overcome in this area are probably more important teaching than the academic lesson itself.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Multi Level Teaching - Tell me I can do this!

Unread post by Julie in MN »

booklovermom25 wrote:We just started into ECC this week. I'm just starting to have doubts that multi level teaching is the best way to go for me. I would love to, need to listen to the CD workshop on that, but it doesn't seem to be available anywhere right now. (If anyone knows differently, please let me know).

I have tried doing multi level in the past, and I just couldn't get comfortable with it. I taught school before I came home to raise my children, and its hard for me to see how having my 6 yo listen to Properties of Ecosystems is giving him what he needs for science. I know there is book basket, but I feel bad that he is not getting his own science curriculum on his level. It's hard for me to let go of this way of thinking. I came to MFW because I really wanted to have all of my children together, but right now it seems too easy for my 11 and 12 yo, okay for my 9 yo and too hard for my 6 yo.

I believe that God has lead me here, but I have really been struggling with this. Really it is me who needs to change my way of thinking and trust that they all CAN learn together. Has anyone started out here thinking that multi level teaching felt awkward, but found that it grew on you? Any encouragement or thoughts are appreciated.

In His love,
RuthAnn
Welcome. This is the place to lean on a shoulder when you need to.

My first question would be whether you are using 2nd edition with your 12 yo. If not, there is an outline online about how to step things up for that age. It's also recommended that a 7th grader add more grammar, a couple of literature studies, his own science, etc.

As for the 6yo, learning to read and understand numbers is usually the main task of the day. Are you using K with him or her, too?

Just a couple questions to start.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
mgardenh
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:55 pm

Re: Multi Level Teaching - Tell me I can do this!

Unread post by mgardenh »

I would agree with Julie. A six year old should be in K or first and if wanted they would join the others for some things but not all. The cycle is intended for 2nd grader to be folded into the mix. And the manual gives suggestions for older and younger students when needed. If you had your child in 1st or k they would have there own science/math/ and la. Although some just do phonics and then put them in to the mix.

I have a 4th and a K'er and it is very doable to do both programs. I can't testify for first yet but would be glad to let you know. We use CtoG and K. Hope you get some good advice. Also call the MFW office they are really helpful.
Mike
DH to Laurel
SAHD (mostly) to
Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/alexisg
Have used MFW, k, 1st, Adventures, and ECC, CTG, RtR
MFW-Lucy

Re: Multi Level Teaching - Tell me I can do this!

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

Hi Ruth Ann,

You can do this!!! :)

MFW would not expect a first grader to be sitting in for Properties of Ecosystems. He could sit in for Living World Encyclopedia and draw a picture of his favorite part, watch weekly experiments, enjoy library books on the topics, and The Complete Book of Animals can be added (optional for 2nd/3rd graders). Mike is correct; a 6 year old is not expected to join in with their older siblings just yet completely, but will glean a lot from being in the house this year and joining in when he is interested. ECC is for 3rd-8th graders (and 2nd graders with older siblings in the program).

As mentioned as well, there is a 7th/8th grade supplement to give older children the needed advanced assignments Once week 3 begins you will see some advanced assingments, mostly using World Geography. See the T.M. for information on how much of this book is expected to be done by different grade levels. This book along with some other activities are scheduled for 7th and 8th grade children. It is recommend to use these along with the 7th and 8th grade supplement.

If your 12 year old is in 7th grade we recommend he read to himself (or join the family when reading together) the science readings in this year. This year's study of ecosystems is connected to learning about geography. He would not need to do the experiments since it is recommended that 7th graders do Exploring Creation with General Science (Apologia) and he will have plenty of experiments.

Hopefully others will chime in too, but as Mike mentioned you can give us a call at the office at 573-426-4600 for more ideas for your family.

Blessings,
Lucy
booklovermom25
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:47 pm
Location: Salisbury, NC

Re: Multi Level Teaching - Tell me I can do this!

Unread post by booklovermom25 »

Thanks everyone for your replies and your encouragment. :) I don't think it's so much the materials as is it is me. I am just having a hard time getting used to the multi age teaching style. I used to teach in a classroom of 30+ first graders, and we taught to their specific comprehension and ability levels. Homeschooling is totally different than a classroom, I know, but learning how to adjust to that, has been a challenge for me.

Julie, Yes, I am using the 2nd edition, but my 11 and 12 yo's are in the same grade (6th) until the end of this year. God has graciously allowed me to sell all I needed to of my former curriculum to pay for ECC, but but I really can't afford to purchase a separate science curriculum right now. Maybe at tax time we will be able to do something.

Also, as far as the lit. goes, I am going to hold off on the lit. studies for now, as well, but I am looking to get the extension books for them to read. I am having them read good books on their level during their reading time (Bronze Bow and Peril and Peace), and my daughter is reading the Anne series just because she wants to, so no problems there.

I think the main thing is that they were very independent before in their history and science, and now I feel funny reading it to them, but I think God gave me an idea that will help here. !? A little yesterday, and more today, I had them take turns "pretending to be the teacher". They held the geography book, read to the others, and I even gave them a pointer to use. They really seemed to enjoy participating rather than just being an observer. I think the more that I give them responsibilities and involve them in the learning process, the better we will be.

Now on to my 6 yo. He is in between MFW K and MFW 1st. Right now he is doing a first grade math, ETC book 2, and a handwriting. I started the year doing another program, but when we got halfway through I was not happy with the fact that once you finish the Bible history, there really isn't much Bible to speak of. So all he has of his own is the 3 R's. I would like to start him in MFW 1st grade once he finishes ETC 3, but I'm not sure about making that transition. He REALLY likes Explode the Code (it's the first thing he wants to do everyday), and I don't know anything about the phonics in MFW. If I do decide to stay with Explode the Code for phonics, would it be worthwhile for me to have MFW 1st grade for the science and Bible portion?

Again, I really appreciate your taking the time to talk and walk me through this. I feel better about things today, but I know that this is going to be a transition that God is going to have to give me grace to work through. Mom's got as much or more to learn than the kids. ;)

In His love,
RuthAnn
Disciple of Christ
Wife to dh for 13 yrs.
Mom to 5 dc ages 12, 11, 9, 6, & 3
Starting MFW ECC in January!
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Multi Level Teaching - Tell me I can do this!

Unread post by Julie in MN »

RuthAnn, I totally think your reasoning sounds right. I'm a better-late-than-early gal, anyways :)

However, if they are "bored" you can always sneak in a 7-8th grade assignment or two. Would they enjoy writing a country report for each country? They are gentle intros to reports. I posted one of my son's here: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 238#p66238 I know my oldest ds used to ask his teacher if he could write reports - ah the good old days of an oldest child :)

At my house, we also have done more notebooking than was in any schedule we used. My older dd's notebooking included a lot of hand-drawn maps and calligraphy quotes. My youngest ds's notebook included a lot of googled images and sometimes fun fonts etc. That's another way to boost what they "do" with the info they are learning.

But your idea of just engaging them in the group learning is even better. See, you just needed to post in order to sort your own ideas. Family learning isn't always easier, as advertised, but I think it's probably always a better learning experience and builds a better family memory.

About 1st with ETC, I think there are quite a few folks here who combine? I see that abbreviation a lot :) I've never used it myself, but I will say that I used the 1st grade Proverbs copywork with my ds when he was in EIGHTH grade LOL! That shows I think it's a worthy pursuit :-) Your older kids could do the same, if they want to add to their notebooks. We listened to Proverbs read by Uncle Rick at the end of the year, and your olders might like joining in on that too, on a car trip or something, to connect the youngest's Bible to the family. Just a random idea -- not trying to make more work for you!!!

Hugs to you during these busy years. I'm over on the other side where it's kinda quiet most days...
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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