Hands-on - Concerns

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
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cbollin

Hands-on - Concerns

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:54 am

How much preparation is needed?
pokkets wrote:I am beginning homeschooling with my 4 year old and delivering my 3rd child in 8 weeks!! i am concerned about prep time for the activities i.e. sun, moon etc. Can anyone tell me how this is and what a typical day looks like???
Hi. There is not a lot of prep time in the MFW K program. The biggest prep time is getting some library books for the "day 6" reading day. Most libraries will let you check items out for a few weeks so you can get several weeks worth of books at a time. I even let my husband pick up those books for me. I'd email the list for him to bring home from work.

Another part of the getting books is in the "day 1" part of the science/character activities. MFW recommends that you have either an encyclopedia or other general reference books for browsing. You don't have to go to the library to do that browsing. I just grabbed simple picture books from the library for that part.

To make it even easier, I'd like to suggest that you get a 1st encyclopedia either in book or CD format. You are not trying to teach them everything about the sun, or moon --- but just a few key ideas and also teaching them that you can use reference materials to learn new things.

I saw a small beginning encyclopedia at Walmart the other day for less than $10 and I've seen a CD (computer) version of a World Book encyclopedia that's not too much money. By having something at your house to use quickly, it can be a time saver when you are adjusting to a new person in the house and those weeks when getting out the door and in the van --- seems so complicated.

I also found that it was easy to break up the day in the K program into small portions (10-15 minutes) so it was easy to get a day's work in, while tending to an infant (or even a toddler -- with special needs).
pokkets wrote:Thanks Crystal that does help a lot, what about the places that indicate i need to make sun dials and ant farms etc. Sounds really fun, but I am trying to be realistic with a new one coming. Also, is the encyclopedia a better idea than just searching the internet. My son loves the computer. Thanks again, Michele
Internet search can be useful too. You'll still want some books, but for basic factual material, the computer search can be helpful too.

It's ok to skip any projects that just can't be done. The year I did the K program, I also had a child in ECC, and a toddler who was diagnosed with sensory integration dysfunction and severe communication disorders. Life was hectic. But, I scaled back things to make it work for us. I was always looking for the most simple way to substitute when possible.

I usually had the materials around the house and just didn't have a ton of time to give for prep for the craft and it worked. Typically craft prep is in terms of minutes --- 5-10 minutes. And an occasional project might take a few more minutes or some advance planning.

The Ant Farm --- we bought the kit and ordered the ants and that was easy to do ( I thought). You do need to purchase weeks ahead of time ---- only because you have to order the ants in the mail. The other option is to just go outside and look for ant hills and such.

About the sundial, if you read through the instructions on that "project" the prep time looks about 1 minute to me. Pencil. ball of clay. put pencil in the clay. put all of that on a piece of cardboard (or on the walkway with a circle around it drawn in chalk --- told you I substitute materials that work for me)


I found that the prep time was usually something simple like that. If it hadn't been, I wouldn't have got through that year and still be using MFW 3 years later. :)

--crystal

scmlg
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Ideas when child prefers phonics/math and not unit studies

Unread post by scmlg » Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:13 am

Jenneve wrote:My 6 year old absolutely LOVES all the phonics & math in MFWK. He loves using the textured letters & doing the pages, etc. But when it comes to doing any kind of art/craft or activity/game, he's totally not interested. I don't want to skip it, but what else do I do?
Every kid is going to have their own interest. My sons weren't into coloring or painting either for quite awhile. I just kept offering it, but didn't force or make them do it. Then when they hit 2nd-4th grade they started getting more into it.
Mom to 3 boys. Curtis, 11, Kyle, 9.5, Colton 3 years old. Live in Amish Country, Ohio.

Finished Adventures
Finished ECC
Finished CtoG
Working on R to R and a bit of preschool time

shera
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Unread post by shera » Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:48 pm

Is there a topic he is interested in? Will he listen to books about the topics? My son isn't really interested in alot of arts and crafts so we do other things.

* Like for the fruit poster he just cut and glued pictures of fruit from the grocery store ads.
* He likes doing things in the kitchen so we made apple sauce, apple sauce muffins that sort of stuff.
* For turtle he liked walking like a turtle, jumping like a bunny, bear crawling that sort of thing.

I wouldn't be terribly concerned if he isn't interested in the activities too much. A lot of K is learning to read and basic math get ready for school. If he will listen to books on the topic or watch videos on the topic than I would think that is good enough.
Sarah
ds 11/01
dd 08/04
dd 07/09

ainsleesmom
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Unread post by ainsleesmom » Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:14 pm

We do a baking day where we bake something related. For apples, we made applesauce and then applesauce muffins since no one likes applesauce plain LOL. We made the rice krispie birds nests for N. You get the idea.

We also bought 4 different apples and tasted them and wrote down our "critiques " of the taste and made a little booklet. I took pics, printed them, pasted them into a little paper book. I mean, the whole thing took about 10 minutes.

I also supplement with LOTS of books. But I only choose one crafty type thing to do each week. And honestly we don't always even do that.

mrs_mike98
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Unread post by mrs_mike98 » Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:03 pm

When we first started the theme units for K, my boys were the same way. But we're now on Lesson 7 and they've gotten used to the Unit Study approach, and are having tons of fun. Our turn-around lesson was lesson 5, N-n-Nest, and they've had the ball rolling ever since. So maybe its just an adjustment period? Also, definitely research some other projects like cooking, scuplting, acting out, etc, related to the theme that your DS might enjoy.
Erin, blessed mama to 5 boys :-)

Jenneve
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Unread post by Jenneve » Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:44 am

Thanks for all the input! We actually went to the grocery store yesterday and he was so excited to pick out different types of apples. We ended up with 9 different kinds of apples! We'll probably do the tasting and making applesauce this afternoon (field trip this morning). He's actually excited about doing that. Thanks again!
Jenn mom to:
Jack (7/27/99) doing ECC
Jared (8/25/01) doing MFWK
Justin (10/18/02) doing MFWK

MammaBear
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How complicated are the Activities & supplies?

Unread post by MammaBear » Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:47 am

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:12 pm
The activities done in MFW reinforce the learning and are not busy work. For example in K while you are learning about the moon you are learning that the M says /m/. You learn that like the moon we have no light of our own, but our light comes from the light of the world- Jesus. You draw the moon phases, make a moon calendar, read books about the moon, etc... all activities are related to the subject and meaningful, not busy work.

K has suggested books for use that you can get from the library.

K takes 60-90 minutes to allow plenty of time to be a child. MFW writers have 6 kids themselves. They are firm believers in letting your child be a child until they are mature enough to handle the workload. If you look in the choosing archive there are posts there that explain this much better than I ever could.

You will not find topics in MFW that will concern you unless you are warned before hand. I have found nothing in the early years.

I hope his gives you some answers to your questions and I am sure other more experienced users will jump in too.

sarajoy
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Curious as to the types of hands on

Unread post by sarajoy » Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:48 am

shera wrote:I am still considering MFW K or 1st. But I am curious as to the types of hands on activities in the the program. Are they alot of take your empty cereal box and make this type of thing that I am going to have to gather and keep empty boxes and toilet paper rolls in order to do them? It seems in the older grades like ECC and CtG, you are doing things like cooking. Is this complicated?

I do have on my list to look closely at probably k at the home school convention in July. I will have an older k at that time.
Thanks
Sarah
Posted: Thu May 17, 2007 11:23 am
We are just finishing up MFW K and we didn't use a single cereal box or roll of toilet paper. We did use things mostly found around the house in plenty. Only at times when I decided to do something different did I have to go out of my way to get "more" supplies.

We used a blind fold, rocks collected down by a near by river, flashlights, a mirror, construction paper (but not so much that I cringe at the stuff), leaves collected on a walk, apples, twigs and mud, paper bowls, markers, crayons, some paints (tempera are fine - for projects I expanded on I used craft glue and glitter glue), play dough and the kind of stuff you have around just because you have kids.

Now that has been over a full year of school not in one week on even a month.

Check out the MFW K ideas board for ideas that others have shared. Some are more involved than others. Remember you don't have to do every idea. Just pick the ones that work for you and your kids. Mine like crafts so we've done some extra; others don't so don't over do it.

God bless you as you decide what is best for your family!!
SJ

RachelT
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Re: Curious as to the types of hands on

Unread post by RachelT » Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:48 am

Posted: Thu May 17, 2007 3:48 pm
Hello Shera! We will begin the last unit of MFWK tomorrow - we are excited! Anyway, the supplies have really been things around the house for the most part, but here is a supply list from my MFWK TM (it was brand new last summer).

It says on pg. 4, "Make sure you have on hand the following supplies:
Essential: glue stick, pencils, crayons, clay, scissors, tape, stapler, watercolor paints and paintbrushes, unlined white paper, and colored construction paper
Recommended: markers, tempera paints, and colored pencils"

We purchased what we didn't have before we began in the fall (during the back to school sales). We did use all of these items and I did buy more glue sticks (I think we only had 3 or 4 to begin with) and more colored construction paper (one or two more tablets). It was also fun on occasion to add in other items on our own, but the above list really does cover all that's needed. I also agree with Sarajoy who said "pick what works for you."

Wishing you well!
Rachel

Cyndi (AZ)
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I don't have time to do crafts all day long

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:01 pm

stephie wrote:Is the program too "full" of projects. Having 6 children I don't have time to read all day long, as with SL, but I also don't have time to do crafts all day long either. (I will be spending a good portion of my days with my 11 & 13 yo boys)
Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:03 am
Hi Stephanie! Welcome to the board. MFWK is a wonderful, full, rich program that can easily be done in 60-90 minutes per day, sometimes less.

The hands-on activities are great, but are scheduled so that you are not always hunting for something or making a huge mess that takes hours.

It covers Bible, Character Lessons, Learning to Read, Math, and Science all in one program. You may want to add a simple math book (addition/subtraction) for your ds if he has already completed EarlyBird. The MFWK TM suggests that you add one in Lesson 20, but you could always do that earlier if you thought you needed it. The reading is enjoyable, but definitely not overwhelming - you can add as many library books as you wish. There's so many good threads on this board that I'm sure someone (Hi, Julie!) will find links for you.

SandKsmama
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Re: I don't have time to do crafts all day long

Unread post by SandKsmama » Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:04 pm

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:48 pm
One (of the many!) great things about MFW is that the Hazells have 6 children themselves, so they are very mindful of our time as mom/teacher. The programs are efficient, but do not sacrifice quality at all! The hands on projects are chosen with care, so that they are very meaningful, and you never feel like you are just doing busywork, or that ALL you're doing is hands on stuff.

I only have 3 children, but I have always done more than one program since our first year homeschooling. The first year we did ECC and K; second year we did CTG and 1st; this past year we did RTR; finished up 1st, and K.

We have never spent more than 4 hours on schoolwork (barring bad attitudes of course LOL). K took us 45-60 minutes max (depending on how long you spend on projects, etc.); 1st took us 60-90 minutes - and I have my older ones do their math/language arts while I'm working with the youngers so that when I'm done with the littles, we can move on with the Bible/history/science part for the olders. That way we're still done by lunch! :-)

Amanda

Laura D.
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Re: I don't have time to do crafts all day long

Unread post by Laura D. » Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:08 pm

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:16 pm
Stephie,
A friend told me about MFW and it was an answered prayer - if only I had found it sooner!! I love MFW! There are many good programs out there but the best program for your family is the one you will actually use! If Mama is stressed, everyone is stressed! I needed a program that I could feel good about, feel as if I was accomplishing my goals for my children, and maintain a joyful heart. MFW fits this bill for us.

We look forward to school each day and we enjoy what we are learning. Everyone can be involved in at least some of the program, from the 11 yr. old down to the 18 mos. old. - she likes to color and paste when the opportunity presents itself. They all love to go to the library, listen to read-alouds, spend time in the book basket, work on the art projects, etc. They all want to be involved and feel like they are participating. This can happen with MFW.

The best strategy for us has been starting with the youngest children first - for me the baby, the (almost) 4yr old, and, this year, I really focused on my first grader. It takes planning to have independent work ready to go for the oldest children - most of the time piano practice for one, book basket or reading for the other, a notebook page to color, and/or I will go over an English or math lesson the night before and they can do the book work the next morning - but if I don't begin with the youngest child, I often find myself not getting to them until later in the day when they are tired, or, worse, not getting to them at all! (I think "putting the youngest child first" in your day came from the Hazells!)
Laura
In response to your craft question, I have found the projects in MFW1, ECC, and CtG completely "do-able". I have skipped a few but I am always sorry when I do. I think the craft projects are sometimes more meaningful and memorable than the "school" work. I just want to encourage you that it can be done and, speaking about the programs I've used thus far, K(a few weeks), 1st, ECC, and CtG, I think they're great!

Julie in MN
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Arts/Crafts a DISASTER, every time!! HELP!!

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:15 pm

bethinga wrote:My 6 year old refuses to follow simple directions. For ANY craft, he chooses to do something completely different from the instructions. My 4 year old is always joining us, and she's beginning to do the same thing.

Case in point, today, we did the Horse unit, and were suppose to create the horse with rectangle shapes. I precut all of the pieces, and gave each child a set to create a horse. My daughter and son both had trouble figuring out the neck/head area, so after a few attempts, I showed them how to do it. Well, by this point, my son was already discouraged bc he didn't figure it out on his own, and wanted to create a different, smaller horse with different pieces. I talked him into following the directions. Then came time to trim the edges off the rectangles. He accidentally cut one corner too much and lapsed into screaming and crying, and went to his room. I calmly told him I'd make him another horse leg, and he could come back whenever he was ready. I carried on happily, helping my 4 yo dd.

He came back and I helped her complete her horse. He watched, and hers was done. He complained the entire time I was helping him glue the pieces on, because he said I was just making it all too complicated. I calmly tell him I'm just following the directions, and maybe if we do that, it will look like a horse. We get the horse pieces pasted on, and he wants to only glue one strand of yarn for the tail and no yarn on the head, and one strand of yarn on the neck. I ask why? Horses have a lot of hair on their head that flows down their neck, and lots of hair on their tails. Fine, he says, and grumpily puts on 2 or 3 more strands.

Meanwhile, my dd has decided she wants hair all over her horse's body. So, she squirts glue all over the horse's back and cuts tons of yarn. Why, I ask? Horses only have hair on their head and neck and tail. They don't have it on their back. You're going to end up covering up your pretty horse, and he might not look like a horse. Another crying fit.

I finally give up. The school day is done. I'm upset that they don't want to follow any directions ever. I allow them tons of free-play time with art materials. Why, on just one project per week, can we not simply follow some FUN (I might add) directions? It's not like I"m asking them to anything painful. I had to take a time out. There was glue everywhere, tiny pieces of yarn cut up everywhere and a couple of grumpy kids.

In general, my son just has a "thing" about following directions exactly. He always wants to do things a little differently. How can I teach him to keep that creativity in him that I love, while still teaching that sometimes it's best to just follow the directions?
Aw, <<hugs>> for one of those days. I still have "those days" in school, even though my youngest is in 11th grade. A couple of weeks ago, ds was adamant that the science text didn't teach him anything, but after eventually sorting out the exact details with him, he must have realized it was there all along, and he went and did his work... Oh, and he still only half-laughs about the camel I "ruined" in 3rd grade, by suggesting that he add detail to it, when he loved it as it was... But he's my youngest, so it's been easier to feel okay when I flex with him because I know he'll be okay even with his goofy little quirks.

My grandson is 6 and my dd was told at conferences last week that he must practice drawing at home, because he won't draw when he is told. He tells us he doesn't know what to draw or how to draw, but I suspect there is also some of the "do it his own way" in there, as well as simply a need for more time to plan and carry out a thoughtful art project. I just want you to know that a classroom teacher does not have a class full of students obediently doing things exactly as she instructs. Plenty of kids bring home unfinished things, or crazy things that make no sense. The teacher presents what she thinks will be nice, and some of the kids get into it, some try their best but are all thumbs, and others would rather do something else. Our homeschooled kids get a little more scrutinized, I think.

Art at my house is creative and we rarely follow instructions, and my kids have come up with things way off the charts at times; the only non-option here is to do nothing. But maybe at your house that is where you choose to teach how to follow directions, because you know your children will be pleased in the end and expand their skills. It does sound like you give opportunities for trying things one's own way, which is something homeschoolers have a great opportunity to develop. Maybe it's just one of those days...

Kids, the hardest thing you'll ever love, eh?!
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)
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TriciaMR
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Re: Arts/Crafts a DISASTER, every time!! HELP!!

Unread post by TriciaMR » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:54 pm

More {hugs} from me.

Here's an idea... Kind of what we do for Sunday School. I make a sample of the finished product so they can see it all put together. I show it to them. Then I go through the instructions. I just read each step and give them time to do it (and say, "If anyone needs help, just ask). Some of the kids do exactly as is (but are sometimes disapponted that it doesn't turn out exactly like the model - which may be why your son doesn't follow instructions), others are very creative (some that turn out nice or nicer than my model, others go off in left field).

This is an area where I would choose my battles. I would insist that letters be properly written, but an art project, not so much.

I dealt with this with my oldest. The instructions would say, "Circle the animals that start with an /h/ sound." She would sometimes X them, or box them, and sometimes she would X the ones that didn't start with an /h/ sound. You get the idea. I talked to another mom and her thoughts were that if it was a worksheet or something similar that they would do in "regular school" and get a grade on, they had to follow the instructions. If it was an art project or something that was less likely to be graded, then she let her kids be creative.

Just my thoughts. More {hugs}.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
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♥nbamaboyz
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Re: Arts/Crafts a DISASTER, every time!! HELP!!

Unread post by ♥nbamaboyz » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:40 pm

For sure keep their creatures that were suppost to be horses LOL & just toss this into one of those things you'll miss & laugh about as you tell their children oneday! Hugs!

Last year we were having one of "those days" ds was suppost to draw & write about David & Goliath, (I was waiting for at least 2 sentences to appear in his notebook) after much fussing he finally retells the story in his bible notebook writing ....."David won". Thats all he wrote!!! I couldn't keep a straight face, as mentioned before we do have to pick our battles & that day "David won" at my house so LOL now that page is my favorite out of his entire bible notebook :O)

Keep a sense a humor & remember oneday we are gonna miss ALL of this :O) & remind me of this Friday when we have a spelling test ~ hahaha!

jasntas
Posts: 471
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Re: Arts/Crafts a DISASTER, every time!! HELP!!

Unread post by jasntas » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:46 pm

When I first saw this post I had to chuckle. Not at you but at myself as I have always had this battle as well. It is getting better the older my ds gets. I can no longer remember how I handled it 'back then' but I'm sure it wasn't in the most graceful way, if you know what I mean. :~ Now that he is older I require him to do the project as directed, depending on what the project is. After that he is allowed to be creative. If it's something that is not that important, then I just don't let it become an issue and I let him do it however he wants. On the other hand, my dd is more like me and follows directions exactly as written.

I think I am sometimes too much of a perfectionist and I think my ds would pick up on it. He would want to do the project his way. Then get frustrated because he knew 'I' would be unhappy with his results. I don't know if he would have been unhappy because when I wouldn't try to 'fix' it he didn't seem to care. And usually if it's something important, I still end up finishing it.

I don't know if this was helpful but I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone and that it will more than likely get better with age. :)

*ETA* When I know that a project may become difficult I only give my dc portions of the project at a time and we all go through it step by step with me demonstrating how to do it and them following. This has been the most successful solution for us. HTH
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.

CaseyVG
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Re: Arts/Crafts a DISASTER, every time!! HELP!!

Unread post by CaseyVG » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:05 am

Maybe you could tell him up front that if he follows the directions and makes the horse (or whatever is next) correctly, then he can make a crazy silly one afterwards how ever he wants. Just an idea. I hope you have a better day today!
Casey
Casey

Caleb: ECC (finished MFW Adventures, 1st & K)
Rebekah: 1st (finished K)
Joshua: 2 year old
Matthew: baby
I blogged MFW K, 1st & Adventures at http://www.simplejoycrafting.blogspot.com

lea_lpz
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Re: Arts/Crafts a DISASTER, every time!! HELP!!

Unread post by lea_lpz » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:57 pm

Make your own version for fun while he does his and just give him the directions and help when needed, that way you get at least one nice version. I noticed I tended to want micromanage my kids crafts, so this might seem silly, but if I do my own craft, then I lay off there's when it doesn't go well.

If my child cried, got upset, throw any sort of tantrum, I would have them sent to the corner for five minutes and asked to come back with a better attitude. If it continued they'd lose a privilege and if it still did, I would probably throw in the towel and send the child to their room for awhile or set them to cleaning and try to finish up school later that day.

If my dd complains about doing math and Lang too much, I cut out the fun activities so they are the carrot. Maybe if they don't cooperate with the craft / fun activities you could eliminate them a couple days (free art, too) until they miss the fun part of school.

PS- We have our days, too.
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)

bethinga
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Re: Arts/Crafts a DISASTER, every time!! HELP!!

Unread post by bethinga » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:56 am

Thanks for all the hugs and suggestions! Craft time has been going more smoothly the rest of the week. Dh suggested I make one ahead of time that they can see, since ds seems to be perfectionistic, and needs to know the "why" of every step. This not only helped them, but it helped me, since I already knew how to do it, I was more relaxed helping them do theirs.

One day this week, ds wanted to just play with his paper horse, instead of pasting it to paper and making a picture. I just let him. He named his black paper horse "Shadow" and hid it all over the house in a happy, wild game of "Where's the horse?" Then, he colored a lightening bolt on it's side and just made it race all over. It was very cute! He was happy, I was chill, and dd made the picture with me. (She made a pink horse with a rainbow yarn mane.)

I've been since trying to do some sort of craft everyday, just to help myself LEARN how to do crafts with them. It's giving me good practice with just letting them be.

I may also decide he needs to make one per directions, and a second however he wishes. That way, at least he has followed directions once, but can still be creative.
Beth in GA
Mom to a boy and a girl
Using MFW since 2012

Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Re: Arts/Crafts a DISASTER, every time!! HELP!!

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:49 pm

Yay for things going more smoothly. Fun that dh had such a great suggestion!
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

asheslawson
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Re: Arts/Crafts a DISASTER, every time!! HELP!!

Unread post by asheslawson » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:12 am

I just saw this & I am so late in re-opening it - but it just made me think of events @ my house. I definitely believe in teaching my dc to follow directions - but I also 'choose my battles'. Of course - I learned more of this along the way - especially since my wonderfully, creative 6th child decided one day @ age 3 to solve her dilemma of running out of 'white' space on the paper....she had covered the entire page with paint and there was no more satisfaction so she peeled off her shirt and painted herself blue!! Imagine my shock as I had stepped out of the room to load clothes in the dryer only moments before & left her very contentedly painting PAPER - only to return & find her doubling as a human canvas!!

She has always pushed on crafts - the instructions are never quite right and she has her own ideas. They don't always work out well - but she keeps on changing it. The girl will craft with anything - coffee cans, broken bricks, rocks, tree branches, paint, cotton, etc! And the messes she has made....ack! I have to bite my tongue a lot to avoid getting too upset over her constant busy-ness!! However - as she's gotten a little older - she has actually managed a little inventing of sorts. She has begun to work things together and has actually re-purposed some plastic containers in our home to become a useful item. She recently cut away a wedge shape in the plastic top of a coffee can and then cut a slightly larger wedge shape from a cd we recv'd in the mail that I would have tossed in the trash (dad helped her cut these). She affixed the cd with some craft foam between it and the plastic lid. This made a spice-bottle-lid-style top where you spin the "cd wedge" around to reveal the opening in the coffee lid. Then she covered the can the can with paper and decorated it like crazy! This made a container for our manipulatives.

My aunt was an art teacher - and she told me to limit "directions" on creative art for young children. It has been 15 years but I remember what she told me so vividly. I remember as she lay in a hospital bed she looked over @ my 4 yr old ds coloring in a book and through all the tubes she was hooked up to - she wanted to make sure to tell me, "don't tell him how to do it - just let him color - don't tell him to stay in the lines - don't coach him - just let him draw and color how he wants until he's at least 8". Oh my, what a memory - he lay across a chair joyfully coloring, oblivious of the pain we were going through, and she struggled to speak. She was unable to say much because of medical equipment, but wanted me to know this before she said goodbye. It just pleased her so much to look over and see him laying on his belly, swinging his feet back & forth, tongue bit between his teeth, completely lost in his task. Sniff, sniff....I think of her every time I see my sweet, little girl do something messy with something I wanted to toss in the garbage!! OK...totally got lost in the emotion of that memory - so sorry!

Sometimes though - I am trying to have a specific outcome so I did what your dh suggested and I make one in advance to show them & show them how I assembled it. After that though - I really let them take the 'reins' (haha-- couldn't resist since you crafted a horse)! I let the kids have some wiggle room with arts and crafts, especially when they are younger, but I tell them other subjects have less flexibility. (Because she tries to re-write the alphabet too....detemining the letters would look MUCH better if they had her style to them - I allow all the curly-q letters she wants in art - but when it comes to school work - she has to do it my way!! I just thought I'd share this with you - because as much as I want things a certain way - it never really happens like that - but of all those precious pictures I have saved from my children - I have 4 grown now - the ones that really mean something were the one's they did with only the assistance needed from us to be safe.

And, just in case you've had days like some of mine - I remember all the times I got too upset with them for their messes and spills - I'm not always as patient as I want to be - but isn't it beautiful - that there are those better days when it all goes better and I realize that even though I may have been short-tempered yesterday - my children model the same grace of our loving Father, and they extend that grace to me, just as I extend it to them when they misbehave.

I love what Julie said....
Julie in MN wrote: Kids, the hardest thing you'll ever love, eh?!
Julie
So true - they are wonderful gifts of God and they teach us even as we try to teach them!!
Hugs (( ))
ashley
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD
http://texashomeschooler.blogspot.com/

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