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!