Ideas: For busy/wiggly/kinesthetic boys (and girls)

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
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Ideas: For busy/wiggly/kinesthetic boys (and girls)

Unread post by RachelT »

Ideas: For auditory/kinesthetic learners
Bostonmom wrote:Do parents who use MFWK and 1st find the curriculum effective for their auditory/kinesthetic learners (especially in regards to spelling)?
We are on our last unit of MFWK for the first time and although we have not begun 1st, the K phonics is SO multi-sensory, it has been really great! It has been so good for my ds who in the fall only knew his capital letters of the alphabet and his name and now is reading all the cvc words and little readers that we've made.

Although it's not called spelling right now, I feel like when we work with the blend ladder page and dictate words once a week that we are doing spelling, it's seems like the same thing, we are just sounding the words out to spell them.

My ds is a "wiggly willy" (like in Cathy Duffy's descriptions) and so the multi-sensory approach has been great because we only do a small portion of pencil and paper work each day.

We've learned through songs, tactile activities (wiki stix, play dough, the textured Lauri letters), putting magnetic letters on our white board, writing dicatation on the white board, jumping onto our foam floor alphabet puzzle, playing letter games (bingo, go fish, concentration, etc.) and all of this has been great for both of my dc.

So, in short, the K is a very multi-sensory approach!
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
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What I've done

Unread post by bethben »

familyof5 wrote:Hi, my name is Lori and I am a mother of 3. Dd 19, ds 5 and ds 2.5.
I am going to be starting our first year of homeschool with my 5 yr old son Eli in the fall with MFWK.

I do have a question for some of you who may have a strong willed busy little guy like our 5 yr. old Eli. I can't seem to keep him interested in much of anything. He always wants to do crafts but, when I offer him one to do. He doesn't want to do it. I try to give him something that will keep him moving but, to no avail he turns it down.

My dh and I started watching a video curriculum by James Dobson last night called "Bringing Up Boys". The first session was called "Boys will be Boys" and it explained why boys and girls are so very different. Boy did Dr. Dobson hit the nail on the head with our boys. They are definitely much different than my daughter was and is. Dr. Dobson mentioned something about how boys like taking things apart and putting them back together. So I found an old clock and suggested to my son about taking it apart and he was totally into it. But, I still don't know what else to do with the craft and teaching stuff. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks and blessings to you all,
dd 19, ds 5, ds 2.5
* I've done math flash cards where if he gets it right, he moves a step forward, wrong moves a step back. If he gets to me, it's a tickle fight then we start at the beginning until it's all done.

* To read words, I've put them on the floor and did a musical chairs type games where whatever word we stopped on, we had to read.

* Flash cards again, if he gets a certain amount right, there's levels of "prizes" -- kisses, zurberts (some people call them raspberries), tickles, etc.

* If he gets squirmy, I'll tell him to run around the couch for a while or do jumping jacks.

* I found out that if he spun around in circles while reciting something, he could memorize most anything.

* I would also let him play with something quietly while I read. As long as he could narrate back to me what I was reading, he could still play. More often than not, he could.

At 5, if you can figure out ways to get moving while learning, you'll both be less frustrated. When we started, ds would have these dramatic yawns to keep from doing work. It took about 6 months to really get to a point where he was doing stuff somewhat willingly. He's 7 now and has matured in the squirmy area greatly so keep up, it will get better!

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Unread post by RachelT »

Hi Lori and welcome! Sorry if this is long! I've been thinking about your question and I've been trying to figure out how to condense this. Last August I began homeschooling with MFWK with my own 5.5 yo ds and 3.5 yo dd! So I can relate!

My ds had already decided that he did "not like crafts!" And although they are still not his favorite thing on our agenda, he does them.

* My dh and I talked to him over the year about how creating the crafts could be fun and that he needed to try whatever mommy/teacher told him to do because this was school time.

* We also talked about how working with his hands would make his hands and fingers stronger and help them grow.

* We always responded positively to good effort, no matter the result, and I usually took photos of our crafts to keep for our scrapbook. Now, those are some of the more memorable parts of each unit, I think because he was doing something with his hands!

As for other things:

* Our mini trampoline is an easy way to reward them for completing something by giving them each a 2 minute jumping break.

* We also have large foam alphabet tiles that we laid on the floor in order and played games with.

* I also threw some foam blocks with letters on them around on the floor and they had to take turns finding the letter with the sound that I was making or I would say a word and they had to step on the correct beginning sound.

* We also did lots of tactile activities with letters, counting objects, math manipulatives, etc.

* I also started letting my ds use a "stress ball", a little squishy ball that you can squeeze and move around in your hand sometimes when he needed to sit still and listen.

* I also tried to move around the house, take a snack break in the kitchen, take a reading break in the living room, etc. I know that some people like to take longer breaks and do parts of school throughout the day, but I liked to take short breaks and get it done in the morning.

MFWK was our choice of curriculum because it wasn’t supposed to take a long time and the written work is kept to a minimum. There are also a lot of fun things in K like acting out stories, some fun science projects, time outside observing nature, lots of “hands-on” learning so that will also help your “busy boy” to stay busy and learn at the same time!

I think MFWK will be a good choice and I'm sure you will find your own fun way of doing things!

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
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Unread post by tkbbrl6 »

Lori -

First - and please don't take this the wrong way - but he's 5 AND a boy. Enough said. Okay - not really - You've gotten some great suggestions.

Some thoughts and questions.

You say he always wants to do crafts but when you give him one he's not interested.

* What does he think of when he hears the word "crafts" - Can you try laying out several options and letting him select which one he likes.

* My ds's loved painting - painting anything - sticks - rocks - paper plates -plastic bowls - the cat - etc. I buy up lots of wooden models - olders would put them together and the younger boys would paint them and stick on stickers.

* My boys hated anything that involved coloring for too long or cutting things out - if they were already cut out they'd consider the craft.

* Two of mine hate to use glue bec they don't want to get the sticky feeling.

* Clay and play doh are other favorites in our house - they like building creatures, etc. with it.

So I'd say with crafts it's a matter of figuring out what he likes - what makes him tick. How about legos?

Attention for very long - well, how long are we talking and what activity are we talking about?

* My boys loved simple science experiments that they could do in less than 15 minutes.

* For read alouds - lots of picture books - talking about the pictures as we read - asking them questions constantly. How about having him coloring, building, bouncing on an exercise ball, doing wall push-ups or chair push-ups, pushing cars around, playing with play-doh, etc. while you read?

My favorite resources for my boys - exercise ball, stress balls, the swing set, mini-tramp and large tramp.

And, again please don't take this the wrong way - he is 5 AND a boy. He may not be ready yet for too much - I'd start MFW K and if after a few weeks to a month you are banging your head against the wall and ds is frustrated, take a month or two off and then take it up again. Remember often boys are at least 6 months behind girls developmentally - our K ps programs are full of 5 yo little boys that are miserable and making all those around them miserable bec their little bodies/minds just aren't developmentally ready to be doing "school".

With that said, I think MFW is the perfect curriculum for our strong-willed, wiggly boys - but even with that sometimes we have to take a break and let them play a little longer in non-directed ways and then start school a little later.

Wife to dh for 13 years
Mom to ds (19) Sophmore at USC; dd(11) Level 7 USAG gymnast; ds(9) Green belt in Karate; ds (4)Still waiting for a pet buffalo or lion
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Cyndi (AZ)
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Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:43 pm

Some things that jazz up K a bit for a child that knows their letters:

- Get up and dance while singing the songs (you can't yawn when you're jumping).

- Act out the "words to remember."

- See if your dd and ds will cooperate to lay on the floor and put their bodies in the shape of the current letter.

- Play the concentration and bingo games -- I thought my dd would find them boring because she knew her letters, but she loved them and still asks to play them!

- Do a jumping jack for each number of the day on the 100 chart.

If you involve just a little bit of play and action each day, it can get them more excited to see which silly thing mommy is going to add today.

- For the science, I would pick out 3 things to remember for the topic and have dd recite them back to me by counting on her fingers (then do it again at bedtime one night).

- You can save the library books to read at bedtime, too, if that fits your schedule better, and being still for a bedtime story isn't "boring" to most kids.
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Unread post by Homeschooling6 »

dltenhaken wrote:Hi Ladies,
This is our first year of homeschooling. The first month of K went great. But, the last couple of months have been like pulling teeth. Do any of you have any ideas?
Thanks and blessings to your and yours,
Lori mom of 3. ds 5 almost 6, ds 3, and dd 19
Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:07 pm

Hi Lori!

I would keep things short. If you're starting with his letter writing maybe you can switch to starting with Science. Something that doesn't seem so schoolish.

When practicing letters don't feel like you have to do the whole sheet. Maybe have him do four S's and tell him to pick the best one out and circle it. My kiddos even now at age 8 love to pick out the best letter.

Instead of using the blend ladder use letter tiles or magnets (I bought a great magnet set from the Well Trained Mind that my ds likes to use) or the whiteboard. When my dd was learning how to read I would make a slide. The vowel would be at the bottom and consonant at the top. The consonant would slide down and bump into the vowel. They would say the sound as is slid. (got that idea from R&S)

For Calendar time have him put a sticker on today's date. Count how many stickers he has put on so far.

Break up the lessons through out the day. 15min. of math, 15min. of phonics etc.

We do some schooling in the evening and sometimes that works best with my oldest. The house is a bit more quiet (sometimes).

And remember that it's okay NOT to sit at a desk/table for 'school' time. When the weather is great I take school outside. Sometimes I yell out a math fact while the boys are playing and running outside and they yell back the answer.

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Unread post by Mama2boys »

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:20 am

Don't be discouraged this is all part of the process. You are setting up the parental authority and though it's uncomforable and may take time working through this, it will be well worth it in the end.

Your son needs to know what your expectation is of him and a Timer is a wonderful way to give him the security of knowing exactly that! (smile)

I LOVED Linda's response. Yes, keep things short. I think that there is a fine line between not burning children out and also making sure that we are firmly setting the guideline of authority in our home.

I would start with the 15 min rule.

Set your timer. (THERE IS POWER IN MY KITCHEN TIMER, smile) Tell him if he works HARD and does his very best for the full 15 minutes, (if he's younger than 7 I might even do 10 minutes) then no matter what he will be done with that subject for the day.

If he complains or dawdles. Gently re-direct, but once the timer goes off let him know that because you caught him dawdling or complaining he will have to come back and work 5 extra minutes for every correction. (complaining or dawdling)

This has worked great with my boys in the past and my oldest used to actually ASK me to set the timer when he was struggling staying focused!

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:37 am

One little thing to make sure of --- are you providing an area to "do school" that meets his physical needs and abilities. I'm very short and have a lot of connection with young kids who have to sit at a kitchen table with their feet dangling in mid air. It's hard to do any real work at the table. Get them a foot rest. make sure they are in a chair that helps them reach the table. Make sure they are holding the pencil properly (get a pencil grip if needed).

And try to make school be at the same time each day. That way they all know -- this is school time, this is what we do. I'm not what you call a schedule person, but having time where the only thing that is the option is school really helps us.

Also, some young and active children need to be "in motion" as part of school time.

Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:10 am
cbollin wrote:That way they all know -- this is school time, this is what we do. I'm not what you call a schedule person, but having time where the only thing that is the option is school really helps us.
This is huge at my house. My son knows we only do educational things between 9 am and 2:30 pm. So he is willing to enjoy things that he would NEVER choose if it was after 2:30 pm!
cbollin wrote:Also, some young and active children need to be "in motion" as part of school time.

Even as a 6th grader, my son often listens to me read while he is rolling on the floor or on one of those big exercise balls (an idea I got from reading these boards). Lately, he may be under a blanket by the heating vent, watching the blanket inflate, now that it's cold here. I will stop and test whether he is listening (asking, what did I just say?), and he is (usually) able to give exact details that show he is listening to every word.

Once I experimented & had him sit still by my side. I certainly could listen better that way! But when I asked him the same questions, his response: "I don't know what you said; I could only concentrate on not moving."

Like Linda, we often have "phy ed" or music or something active between every class.

And at the young age of almost 6... neither of my boys had done school at all :o)
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Unread post by tabby »

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:03 pm

One thing I found to help "transition" into school time for my dd (6), is to "get the wiggles out." We put on a couple of kid songs to jump around and act silly to before school starts. Then when we finally sit down to start work, we are all usually smiling with better attitudes.
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Unread post by RachelT »

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:09 pm

Something that helps my ds is to reward him with a break after completing certain amount of work. For example, we have a scheduled "choice time" during our morning school time and many days we also have a snack break. I try to have those after a chunk of work that is more difficult for him.

During our "choice time" he gets to choose from several activities that I have approved to be "educational," but they are more "fun" like a CDrom game on the computer, building with Legos or Wedgits, etc. Some days, I will even just let him play with action figures so he can really take a mental break.

Anyway, that helps him to accomplish things. Also I'm hoping after our Christmas break that we will have better attitudes.

Somedays I just have to talk about obedience and working hard, reminding him of the character lessons from MFWK! And when I pray for myself, too, that also helps my frustration level.

Have a good new year!
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Unread post by mrsfields »

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:14 pm

One thing I noticed with my ds (7 yrs)...he just doesn't like to sit and take the time to read. He loves to be read to and he reads very well (when he does read).

So sometimes I let him get very easy books that don't take long for him to finish just because I don't think he likes to sit and take the time on his own.

Sometimes when I read to him, I will read one side of the page and have him read the other. Alternating seems to make it go more smoothly for him.

Just a thought...or two!!
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Unread post by Mommyto2 »

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:02 am

Boys usually learn later and then just take off so don't worry. If you want to continue, try finding what he is interested in and just incorporate some little 5 second lessons.

Also, children learn differently. My dd loves the way MFW teaches reading but my ds had to learn it backwards. He learned to spell then read his 3 letter words. We had a lot of pre-k and K computer games where you advance as you can and we played games like Boggle Jr. or Cat in the Hat, Thomas the Train.

You could make up memory games with blends on the cards instead of letters.

You could do art projects and do 1 or 2 blends and then the rest crazy pictures. So for example, pour glue in the shape of sa on the paper and then cover it with sand, then make sand pictures.

Between the Lions is a good show to just watch over and over again.

Also leapfrog videos are good though they teach the blends differently.

With my ds we had to do it a little at a time and review often. He had to go back after 2nd grade and review a lot of phonics rules because he just didn't get it in when they taught it in public school.

Since bringing him home to homeschool his reading has skyrocketed. He would still rather be playing legos but when he does read he reads well.

ds in Adv and dd in K and tagging along in Adv
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Attention span for almost 6yr old Kindergartener

Unread post by hollybygolly »

Leah Y wrote:This is my first year homeschooling so maybe some of my thoughts come from growing up with the public school mindset, but I am getting frustrated with my dd. We just started MFW K and she is enthusiastic but only wants to do crafts. Maybe this is from her having attended preschool for 2 years, I don't know. Anyway, she keeps telling me she is bored with all the lessons and some of the activities. Some days all she says is she wants to do crafts. I don't mind her doing these after she is done with her lesson, but I am not a crafty person and this is starting to drive me crazy. Do I expect too much out of her? How do I handle this type of homeschooler? She also tells me she is bored between activities. If I don't have something for her to do immediately upon completion of the first thing, she starts complaining about being bored. Am I doing something wrong in the lessons? Any advice will be GREATLY appreciated!!
Just quickly...I had SEVERAL students like this when I taught. One thing you can do is to just simply and sweetly tell her that math (or whatever) is important so it needs to get done, then set a timer for 10 minutes or so (maybe even 5 to start) and tell her when the timer goes off she's done and can have a quick break (reading a fun book, stretching, swinging, playing dolls, etc.). After a few minutes, bring her back to the next subject and repeat. I've had success teaching like this, and I think it's reasonable to expect an almost 6 year old to sit still for 10 minutes. : ) I'm sure some other wise moms will chime in soon...have a great day!
Have a blessed day loving our Savior-Holly
Mommy to: Annie and Lynne (11), Maely (8), Gracie (6) and one precious one waiting in Heaven
Completed: MFW K; 1st Grade; Adventures; ECC
Currently using~MFW 1st grade (again!); Rome to Reformation
Julie in MN
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Re: Attention span for almost 6yr old Kindergartener

Unread post by Julie in MN »

hollybygolly wrote: set a timer for 10 minutes or so (maybe even 5 to start) and tell her when the timer goes off she's done and can have a quick break
I think this is a very common need in K. A public school teachers' motto is "keep 'em moving" -- one thing after another, up & down, individual & group, down the hall & out the door, snack & singing, station after station -- that's how many of them make it thru the day! It can be hard to keep up for the not so active kid, but it sounds ideal for yours!
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
MJ in IL
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Re: Attention span for almost 6yr old Kindergartener

Unread post by MJ in IL »

Julie in MN wrote: "keep 'em moving" -- one thing after another, up & down,
I agree. We are starting K with my youngest (sigh!) I have forgotten how patience testing it is! She sweetly answers every question I ask and 2 minutes later, doesn't remember a thing. I have a hard time keeping a a straight face:)

Anyway, today her favorite part of school was walking outside to find numbers on license plates of our cars, trailers, etc. Go figure?!? Her brother also hid some numbers on scraps of paper for a quick hide-n-seek game.

Do you have a responsible older sibling to work with her a few minutes or for a specific activity?

I also use my timer quite a bit! She helps me prep for activities...I have her clean up, grab a book or even run a pencil up to her sister if I need a minute to regroup.

I have had a list of about 4 hands-on activities in other rooms (e.g. puzzles & pegboard in the LR; music/ books on tape in her room, pattern blocks/computer game in the office, etc.)

I have an extra K workbook or cutting pages (she loves to cut!) KUMON has some pricey, but cute cutting and pasting books.

I do allow her to have a free craft time with glue, markers, sparklies, foam pieces, etc. I have to grit my teeth a bit b/c of the mess (I don't get too excited about crafts either)....but the clean-up is worth the fun they have!

I do expect attention at the table for reasonable amounts of time. Dd5 is great at this but my boys were much more challenging in this area.

I also look forward to more ideas!
dd14 enjoying AHL; ds12 & ds10 in RtR & dd5 working through K!
have done K (2X), 1 (2X), ECC, CtG, & 1850MT
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I've decided to do K too :)

Unread post by jessicaleslie »

Melany wrote:After attending our homeschool convention and looking at the K program again, I think we have decided to go ahead and try starting our son in K. He will turn 5 at the end of the month and is very much ALL BOY!! I still have my concerns about him getting frustrated when he tries some things and getting him to sit still to do some of the work, but if it is not working I can set it aside and just have him tag along with big brother in Adventures and then pull K back out later.

But now that I have decided to do both programs I admit that I am really nervous. This will be my first year using any of the MFW curriculum so it will be new to me and to think of doing 2 different grades kind of makes me feel overwhelmed. I guess I am just concerned about being able to get through both lessons for each day and keep my 2 yr old daughter entertained too.

Anyway, just wanted to share and thank you for all of your input on here. Reading through past posts and current posts sure is helpful to this newbie :)
I started my daughter with MFWK when she was 4. She did AMAZING! It is totally wiggle friendly and fun. When my son started kindergarten, we decided to try another curriculum. BIG mistake. I switched him to MFWK half way through the school year. We doubled up on a lot of the work and he did GREAT!

He is a busy boy who would much rather be outside on the farm working with his "Papa" than sitting in the school room. He was able to stay focused on MFWK more than the other curriculum and get his work done much faster!! I didn't push a lot of the extra art activities because his "art" is outside! No point making him sit in the school room on a beautiful day making a turtle out of a paper plate! My daughter, on the other hand, loves sitting through school, so the extra stuff was great for her.

Good luck and don't stress about it! I stressed a lot in the beginning but have learned that not all kids learn the same way and that's OK! I will be doing 1st grade and 3rd grade this fall! Still pretty new at it myself!

-married 8 years to Matthew
-Daughter, Abigail, 7 years old, wants to be Amish
-Son, Elijah, 6 years old, wants to drive tractors

Homeschooling both of my kids!
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Re: I've decided to do K too :)

Unread post by Melany »

Thanks! I've been homeschooling for a couple of years now, just new to MFW. I'm encouraged to read about your active boy enjoying MFWK, maybe my son will do better than I think.
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