Alternatives for kids who don't want to color, draw, narra

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
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kellybell
Posts: 475
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Alternatives for kids who don't want to color, draw, narra

Unread post by kellybell » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:12 am

Rox wrote:We'll be starting MFWk in a few weeks. I see there is coloring and drawing in the lessons. My son ( will be 5 in Dec.) refuses to color and draw.

Should I do this for him as he watches OR leave his projects colorless?

This is the only area I can see that he will have trouble. The other worksheets will be no problem for him as he likes to write letters & numbers and does very well with this. He's also reading simple words.

Thanks for your suggestions.
Oh, he sounds like ... a boy! And I wouldn't push him.

Your post doesn't indicate WHY he doesn't like to draw and color. But you know your son, so perhaps you can figure out why!

Is he a perfectionist? Afraid his drawings won't be "good enough?" If so, encourage him to do abstract work that doesn't have to look like something real.

Does he not like the feel of the paper? Try a different type (instead of computer paper try finger paint paper).

Does he not like the feel of his pencils and crayons? Try a different media. Maybe he'd like a set of good colored pencils or oil pastels.

If he likes art but can't stand to draw, perhaps he'd be happy to create using stencils or stickers. Does he like to cut and glue? Then allow him to cut up construction paper, magazines, wrapping paper, and tissue paper.

Would he be happy telling you what to draw and how to color it? Sounds silly but that might get him interested in creating. He could tell you to draw a girl here, draw a bird there and color them purple and yellow!

He can watch you create and do crafts. Perhaps sit down and make a picture for your two year old and the four (going to be five) year old can watch you. I can picture YOU making an elephant mask for the toddler and encouraging the older boy to copy you.

Would he be happy creating on a white board? Get him a bunch of fresh dry erase markers in many colors. Then he can erase his work (you can take a photo of the masterpieces).

Does he not like art at all? Then don't push it. Point out neat illustrations in picture books: "Oh, the illustrator used charcoal pencils for this drawing. Look how soft it looks," or, "You can see the brush strokes in this watercolor painting," or, "Even though this is blurry you can tell it's a flock of birds far away."

I wouldn't sweat it. I don't know anyone who is truly hindered by a dislike of drawing and coloring. Just accept this quirk and don't push. But don't give up on art altogether.

Just some ideas
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Rox
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:15 pm

Unread post by Rox » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:32 am

kellybell,
You gave some really good advice & tips. thx!!
Yes, I do think he is a bit of a perfectionist. Maybe with a little more time and confidence in his abilities he will come out a bit with this art.
Rox, wife of a Godly man and mother of two boys.
We are thrilled to have used MFW for many years. Thanks to God for blessing our family through homeschooling with MFW!!!

Julie in MN
Posts: 2915
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:52 am

Hi Rox,
I agree with Kelly that it's not unusual for boys. I think you'll find past conversations about this in the archives, for more ideas. My ds is 11 and he doesn't like coloring & rarely likes drawing. Here are a few more things we've done to add to Kelly's list:

* He liked "color stix" for a while -- they are colored pencils without the wood around them, so you can color large areas quickly.

* He often opts to do his notebooking on the computer, using Google Images.

* Once in a while stickers are fun, if you find a large group on a related theme for a good price.

* Sometimes he chooses to add more writing instead of illustrating, and I am great with that! (His "writing" is usually done on the computer keyboard...)

* If it's a pre-printed notebook page that he is to color, I offer ds the option of just coloring in the sections that are one main color (such as brown for all the wood & the hair etc) & skipping the rest, or creating his own page on the topic instead.

* Taking a photo of a related scene created by Legos or a MFW project or a nativity set can often replace an illustration.

* Sometimes he likes an illustration in a book & we can xerox that, or scan it and print it onto his page.

* When we are coloring in maps, I sometimes will color all the blues of the bodies of water for him -- but I make him be the teacher & tell me where to color (he groans because I never give in on this :o)

Enjoy your little guy.
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

lyntley
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:31 am

Unread post by lyntley » Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:58 am

Boys seem to love glueing too. He could glue different objects on a picture (yarn, dots, pastini, tissue pieces, or cut out pix from mags to glue on. I agree with the others. I wouldn't force it. Keep it fun.

Daisy
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Location: SoCal
Contact:

boys and coloring/drawing

Unread post by Daisy » Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:08 pm

I would try to incorporate some kind of small motor skill. Coloring, drawing, cutting with scissors, playing with clay, etc. all help improve & prep for handwriting. You want to find something he enjoys that will build those little muscles.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2915
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

To push or not to push

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:21 am

goatsandadonkey wrote:I'll guess we'll try to finish tomorrow. Or maybe I should have let him color only a few things on it? I don't know how much to push or not push since his attitude tends to be a problem.
Hi Amy (Amies),
I have a son who has always hated coloring. I've done different things over the years with the map work. I just decide when I need him to grin & bear it, and when I am willing to adapt it in some of these ways:

* I color all the water & he does the land
* He tells me what to color & I color it all
* I color & he just does the Key at the bottom & Title at the top
* He just colors the outline of each state/country
* He doesn't color one of the maps, just labels
* He uses slashes & dots & mini triangles etc to separate different geographic areas
* He makes an alternative page on the computer which must include equal information
* One year, he liked color stix, which are colored pencils with no wood on them so you can use the long side & color more area at once (they were in his Easter basket)

And here's a thread with more ideas:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?t=3649
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: 2915
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

tired of coloring and narrating- what else?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon May 31, 2010 1:24 pm

thejohnstonshouse wrote:I need some new ideas. We have been using MFW for three years. My two oldest children (ages 7 and 9) are doing RTR this year (ours runs April-April). They tell me they are tired of the "color while we read, write something about what we studied today" model that we have done for the last two years. Any suggestions on other activities we can do to reinforce what we have read and solidify the material?

Here's a little about them and their abilities regarding writing/reflection: My oldest writes well, is working on more lengthy writing works (book reports on 6 "quality" books) and can compose a paragraph or two although she doesn't enjoy it (yes, writing strands has been a challenge). She reads on an adult level and will complete Spelling Power by Spring unless we slow the pace. She has been blessed with ability in academics and needs to be doing more writing than a brief sentence on the back of a picture.

My 7 yo is struggling and I am in prayer for him daily. He can read, but does so slowly and with great effort. We are currently reviewing phonics. An original sentence is a challenge for him at this point, but I feel the need to have him doing some writing for his third grade year. His comprehension and oral narration skills are excellent. We plan on doing more testing next Spring to rule out some developmental questions.

So ideas?? I feel like just letting them listen and answer a few oral questions when we finish each day isn't enough as they are getting older. Thanks for any suggestions!
Jennifer
RTR with 7 and 9 yo
1st with 6 yo
K beginning this fall with 4 1/2 yo
Hi Jennifer,
Each family will be different, depending on the size of your family, the needs of your children, and just the general things you enjoy doing.

At our house, notebooking is big, coloring is almost nonexistent (except some maps), keeping busy while listening means moving (juggling is big this year), and book reports and narrations are more of a discussion.

By "notebooking is big," I mean those assignments where your child is supposed to write a short summary of what they have learned -- we do many more of those than actually assigned (and less of other things, such as coloring pages). Ours aren't huge, long "reports." They are short summaries, and my children have been allowed to make these pages in any way they enjoy. My older dd did a lot of hand-drawing and scrapbooking-type pages for history. My youngest types everything on the computer. He adds google images and maps and such. When he was younger, he did one as a newspaper style and another was more like a telegraph, etc. Now by 8th grade, ds's summaries are pretty much paragraphs, although I still allow him to be very informal on these. Oh, and his notebook includes any MFW pages and related field trip pages etc.

I feel like my kids have created their own "history textbooks" over the years. I feel it helps with retention because they "own" the material and when they review their notebooks, it all comes back much more quickly than reviewing all the books.

Don't be afraid to make the assignments suit your family -- they are already planned for you, so all you need to do is just steer them in a slightly new direction. You don't need to re-plan everything :)

Just one way of doing things,
Julie
Last edited by Julie in MN on Mon May 31, 2010 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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

cbollin

Re: tired of coloring and narrating- what else?

Unread post by cbollin » Mon May 31, 2010 7:10 pm

Julie in MN wrote:Hi Jennifer,
Each family will be different, depending on the size of your family, the needs of your children, and just the general things you enjoy doing.
over here...
We didn't do a lot of coloring while listening to read alouds. Oldest crocheted!
Middle played with play dough and modeling clay kind of thing and/or daydreamed that she was in the story.

My kids need to be active while listening. Sometimes they color while listening to music lessons. But sometimes we act the story and retell it.

In RTR in the early weeks, some students will find it helpful to have something to do while parent reads from Augustus Caesar World. One option is the coloring idea of some of the chapter intro pages. Or you can copy and just use them for reference while reading. My oldest did it that 2nd way when we did rtr years ago.

I think the notebooking in RTR is a lot different from the sheets in CTG. I remember coloring less and writing more. I had my daughter try to outline from reading in Streams sometimes. other times, we just wrote down a main point from the text. You can certainly ask for a paragraph summary of the text based on ability of the student.

I think your 7 y.o is probably on the normal side for his age, but it might not feel that way compared to older sister.

To help him with an original sentence, I have some ideas to share.
Let him say it out loud
you write it on a dry erase board
He copies his own words from that model.
He's only 7. (((hugs))) (((hugs))). my youngest has autism and well.. (hugs)

Reading: for fluency, I found it helpful to use audio books of picture books, let them follow along, and hear it.

Your oldest --- drop spelling lists from SP. Instead, if you want to work on something from SP, do the dictionary skills in the book instead. hmm.... I wouldn't go to WS book 4 with her just yet based on her age. But drop spelling for now as a subject.

just some random ideas based on everything you shared, and things I did with my kids (from advanced oldest, to average middle to special needs youngest)

-crystal

mamanamadee
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:29 pm
Location: Missouri

Re: tired of coloring and narrating- what else?

Unread post by mamanamadee » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:06 am

In terms of variety, my girls really enjoyed making lapbooks this past year. We did this completely outside of MFW stuff, just to try them out. Since they liked it, I purchased a blank template book for lapbooking so that we can make lapbook-like pages for our notebooks next year in CTG. I know that you can find free templates online as well. The great thing about it is that you can adapt for ages/abilities very easily. I'll have a 2nd and an 8th grader.

Just an idea. Maybe it will help spark others??

~Naomi
2010-2011 preparing for MFW CTG in the fall
2009-2010 MFW 1st and pre-K/toddler toys
2008-2009 MFW ECC, K, and pre-K/toddler toys
dd12, dd7, ds3

club190
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:12 am

Re: tired of coloring and narrating- what else?

Unread post by club190 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:45 am

Hi Jennifer,

You've already been given some great ideas. Some kids really do need to move around in order to be able to listen effectively. I know it annoys me to no end, but I can tell you that at my house, one child can't seem to hear without doodling, another can't remember things if he isn't building Lego creations, and a third need background noise for him to learn effectively. All of those activities drive me batty though, so it's me who has to pray for the strength to make it though the lessons with all that distraction going on. Here are a few more ideas:

Google "narration cube" and make one. Great idea for varying what the child is to narrate back to you after you've read. It builds critical thinking skills too since it has an element of chance involved. Or, you could roll the cube before you start so the kids know what they should concentrate on during the readings.

Google "Bloom's Taxonomy" to learn about the various levels of learning. Since your daughter is advanced for her age, she should get going in those higher levels far sooner than her peers will be ready for them.

Google "Six Traits of Writing" to learn about ways to improve writing skills beyond just getting sentences on paper.

Here are two ISBNs for two little flip charts that I've used extensively in lesson planning for eons:
1-56472-047-0 Quick Flip Questions for Critical Thinking
1-56472-493-x Quick FLip Reference for the Six Traits of Writing

Now, for some nitty gritty advice that you might not like to hear. Separate the different aspects of the Language Arts. What I mean is that during composition time, feel free to scribe for your child until they take the paper from you and want to do it on their own. Composition is more about thinking than it is about the physical aspect of getting words to flow out of the brain, down the arm, and out the pen. (There's something icky about the sound and feel of pencil on paper that distracts most kids and some adults too. Kind of like nails on a chalkboard.) All of the different aspects of LA take place in different parts of the brain, so you want to let your child, especially the younger ones, give their concentration to the aspect that is most related to the activity. Spelling is about putting the letters into a specific sequence, that's one thing. Phonics is about applying the rules of our language to the various words. Encoding is different than decoding. Different spots in the brain are involved there. Grammar and syntax is much more of a logic-based activity and best saved for sometime in the junior high years, even high school is fine provided you see variety in your child's writing. You also want to train your children to be able to edit their work. That's a skill that translates mightily to those high-stakes standardized tests that are so prevalent these days. Handwriting is more art than language skills. Choose a style that works for your child and then go with it, requiring at least something be written on paper each day, and in high school, I'd say make sure that some of those assignments be timed. (Been there, learned that lesson the hard way!) Even if you eventually have your child doing nearly all their work using a word processing software suite they'll still need to be able to write legibly. (SAT, Blue Book exams, checks, etc.) Don't neglect elocution or speaking skills either. I see too many people who can't string together a coherent thought without punctuating it with "um" and "like" and who can't stand still or use gestures effectively. Study good orators, mimic what they do, notice what they don't too. You don't see them running their fingers through their hair or rocking on their heels, or crossing their arms, etc, etc. Interesting when you just look. There's some really good information on how the brain works and how the two hemispheres work together. Look at Dianne Craft's articles, that's a good place to get started.

Blessings as you go,
Chris
Wife to Jim since '91
Mom to:
Matthew, 18, Ursinus College student
Andrew, 14, ECC 7/8 + a few extras to make it "official" for high school credit
Daniel, 5, wanting to "do school" but still not really ready

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

Re: tired of coloring and narrating- what else?

Unread post by jasntas » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:14 pm

Just tagging along. I have been having a hard time getting my dc to narrate. I love the 'narration cube' idea and the suggestion to use the 'Quick Flip Questions for Critical Thinking' book.

I am so grateful for all the seasoned parents here who share their knowledge.

Chris, I think you have been a great addition to this board. :)
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.

thejohnstonshouse
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:27 pm

Re: tired of coloring and narrating- what else?

Unread post by thejohnstonshouse » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:54 am

Thanks for all the replies. I really appreciate the insights. I have spent some time looking up the resources you all have mentioned and I think several of them might bring some new life into things here. Thanks so much for your advice.

Jennifer

RachelT
Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Re: tired of coloring and narrating- what else?

Unread post by RachelT » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:33 am

Hi Jennifer! We have been using MFW for four years and my children don't color each time we read either. My son has never wanted to color, but sometimes I make him color a part of a picture (like the ECC John 3:16 pictures of children around the world) so he can work on the fine motor skills and dexterity needed to do that. My daughter is "artsy" and love coloring, but she doesn't do that every time I read to them.

Sometimes they still like to hold a stuffed animal or two. I also have a bag of little, quiet things to keep their hands busy that I got from http://www.headsupnow.com and it has been a help. I only pull it out when I am reading to them and they need something to do. Sometimes, my son moves his Lego guys or other little action figures around, but I ask him questions to make sure he is listening. So I think there are other things that they can do it they don't want to color every time! I really like Crystal's idea of having the children "act out" what they have listened to, which is basically narration. You could also have them re-tell the story while you write it or type it if you want a written record of something.

If I'm reading your post correctly, it looks as if you have your 7 year old getting ready or going into 3rd grade now? Is that correct? I'm bringing that up because I don't think that your son should be held to the same requirements as a 3rd grader yet, if he isn't developmentally ready. There really is some truth to the theory that many boys don't develop as quickly as the girls in some of these areas. I would be looking at the 2nd grade LA recommendations for a 7 year old, like just beginning Primary Language Lessons, which can be done with a lot of oral work and thinking and speaking instead of writing everything. My son has gone through the book with lots of modifications to assignments, but still benefited from that. My 7 year old did ECC with us this year and participated in almost everything, but she wasn't ready to write a whole lot in her ECC notebook. I just helped her to write in her 1st grade Bible notebook. In our ECC notebooks we did more things like crossword puzzles, the John 3:16 worksheets, and that type of thing. I know that MFW wouldn't even technically expect her to have an ECC notebook and she wouldn't really be going into the full 5 year history cycle until this next school year when she has completed the phonics instruction in K and 1st and is reading well. She is more like your oldest daughter and most of academics have been easy for her so she has enjoyed doing lots of the main program, too.
thejohnstonshouse wrote:My 7 yo is struggling and I am in prayer for him daily. He can read, but does so slowly and with great effort. We are currently reviewing phonics. An original sentence is a challenge for him at this point, but I feel the need to have him doing some writing for his third grade year. His comprehension and oral narration skills are excellent. We plan on doing more testing next Spring to rule out some developmental questions.
It sounds like your tutor is helping. That is great! How is his handwriting? Is that difficult too? Or is it just creating and writing his own sentences that is hard? My son has difficulty with both (my 9 year old). We did testing at the end of his 2nd grade year when he was 8 and did find that he is dyslexic and dysgraphic, with some ADHD. If you are already feeling that some of these parts of school are hard for him, you might want to consider either scaling back your expectations for a 7 year old (especially since it sounds as if your daughter was more advanced at this age) OR consider doing testing sooner and finding out what you are dealing with so that if there are any learning disabilities you can find good solutions for working with them. For us, it was a big help and I'm glad we didn't wait much longer. We got a great, detailed report from the developmental psychologist that specifically pinpointed some things and helped me to find better programs for what my son needed and how he learns best.

MFW has been a great fit because he is learning so much and I can read most everything to him, but we can also use the handwriting, math, reading, spelling, and LA that work for him and still get some awesome Bible, science, history/geography, etc with MFW.

Be encouraged that there are other moms out there who are working with children in the same family who are wired very differently! It does make homeschooling more interesting or varied. I guess God doesn't want me to get bored! I try to remind myself that He gave me these particular children and He has plans for them. I am just trying to help them along their journey. That takes some of the pressure off of me and what I am teaching them, when I remember that God is really in charge of our homeschool! I am thankful that He has helped me find MFW and all of the support here!
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19

http://rachelsreflections-rachelt.blogspot.com/

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

Re: tired of coloring and narrating- what else?

Unread post by jasntas » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:09 am

I'm not the original poster but...
club190 wrote:Google "narration cube" and make one. Great idea for varying what the child is to narrate back to you after you've read. It builds critical thinking skills too since it has an element of chance involved. Or, you could roll the cube before you start so the kids know what they should concentrate on during the readings.
We have been using the "narration cube" since seeing this posted here. My dc have really been enjoying it. They seem to be getting so much more out of read aloud time. My ds even noticed the 'setting' and pointed it out to me while I was still reading because he wanted to remember it later. He couldn't wait to roll the cube and didn't want to stop until he got 'setting' to come up.

Anyway, thanks again for the idea.
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.

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