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Brenda
04-28-2004, 12:11 AM
We have been home schooling our 9 year old for a month now (we pulled him out of the dreaded public school system after hitting the brick walls so many times over health issues and because we felt that we were being led by God to home school)and today he has me worn down completely.

Today he is in the "I want to go back to public school" mode. He thinks that we give him too much work to do... (we don't do half as mucha s what he would do in public school). Is this a common reaction for children who have been exposed to public school and then brought home? Has anyone else had this happen to them? If so, how do you deal with it?

I don't think that public school is an option anymore. By sending him back, he's gaining the upper hand (for home and for school) and will use it to manipulate any situation he wants (if he's having a bad day at home, he'll say I'm going back to school and the same for school - I know this because he's already trying it).

Brenda

Kelley
04-28-2004, 06:29 AM
Hi Brenda,

Do you think maybe he may just be burnt out with school? It almost sounds like he needs to deschool.

I know my kids are having a major attack of Spring Fever right now. It started at the ankle and has reaches the shoulders :) .

Do you have to have a set amount of work done for him by a certain time? If you do then see if you can change locations where he does his work, if the weather is nice enough let him do some work outside or maybe just drive somewhere different for a while and do something there.

If you don't have a set amount of work then maybe you could backoff of things like worksheets and "school" books for a bit. Find a project that he can do for himself, like building a birdhouse or maybe his own race car track.

Ask him what he would like to do and see where that takes you.

You could also watch him and see if there is a certain area with his work that just sets him off, maybe he is having a problem that he doesn't want to talk to you about. It could be that he had a bad experience with this issue in school and just doesn't want to deal with it all over again.

One really great thing about homeschooling is the flexability that it gives you. Hang in there, you'll both be fine. :D

Brenda
04-28-2004, 08:22 AM
When I do a lesson plan (I do it the weekend before the coming week), I plan what we'll (try to) work on. Sometimes we accomplish everything, but more days than not we don't.

When I started home schooling, I did a "teaching schedule" (not that I follow it) as a guideline (more so to keep the school board happy - it's a requirement here). Because of the problems we're having with 'tuning out', Andrew has some control over what 'subject' we work on and at what time. If we're supposed to be working in language arts and he wants to work in math then we do math and go back to the language arts after. What we don't accomplish for school work this week, he does the following week.

Math used to be his best subject, but he seems to hate it now. This is our major problem area for us (and where we started to have the wanting to go back to public school kick yesterday). I have to find new ways of teaching it to him.

The books we use, he helped me pick out - he saw some exercises in them that really caught his interest so I don't think I have given him any boring things to do - he's lacking confidence in himself and this is where the barrier is coming from (I think). We'll have to keep plugging away at it, one day at a time.

Brenda

HeidiPA
04-28-2004, 08:27 AM
Brenda~
Have you read the book "Smart Discipline"? There are some great tips in there on finding your childrens' strong points, and how to build them up. I'm actually still reading it, and I really enjoy it. There are things in there pertaining to "homework" but I thought some of them could easily be made appropriate to "homeschooling".
Just keep looking up! The year's almost over!
Heidi

TinaTx
04-28-2004, 04:40 PM
Brenda...

Its very normal what your son is experiencing, and I sympathize. BUT I promise it will get better if you just go slow and keep consistent. Its ONLY been a month. He's probably exhausted from the ps schedule and pace. Some kids even come to homeschool thinking that they need to keep the same pace and style of learning, parents too.

*The I want to go back to ps* is a convenient *catch all* as an excuse or a *defense* to something that he either doesn't understand or is too hard.

I gather when you took him out of ps, you immediately started hsing(homeschooling). This may be the end of ps, but its YOUR beginning of summer or homeschool. There is not anything wrong at all with taking off some time. I'm not sure if, according to your State's Law that have to keep the same schedule as ps.

If its confidence, then bring his work down a notch or two until he feels mastery over it. It might mean both his reading level as well as math. Let him get back that feeling of *Hey I know how to do this..its easy*. This will not hurt him. Lots of easy reading and writing will instill the basics and give him the boost for more difficult work.

If you have kept the same level of work that he was doing in ps, and he found it hard because of his health, he may find homeschooling work on the same level overwhelming too.

I often say that no precious child is behind (unless neglected of course) they are just where they are suppose to be! That may mean 2nd grade math, 3rd grade reading, or visa versa. Really there are just levels. So when one level is completed and they understand, then go to the next. Thats why so many workbooks have levels instead of grades.

Now, my children aren't even sure what grade they are in. lol We are on different levels in different books. I go at their pace, not a level dictated by someone else.

My 9yo son loves learning about science, math and building things. So I set up a schedule that suits him. We do math first ALWAYS because it takes longer..about an hour.Then we do language arts.They are done and out of the way. The afternoon is free for history and his science. He understands now the longer he balks, thats just time away from what HE wants to do because he HAS to do what the *teacher* says.;)

Just go real slow, be loving like you are, and firm :)

Let him know that its not an option about returning to public school. That anytime *we* (you and me,mom) learn new things it seems hard until we adjust to it. WE can both try hard at this and enjoy being with each other.

<Big Hug> for Mom, you are doing SUPER!:D

Blessings
TinaTx

Brenda
04-28-2004, 07:30 PM
When I took Andrew out of school we didn't do a whole lot of anything as far as school work was concerned. We worked on feelings and emotions - which at that time was far more important than anything else.

Today was a much better day than yesterday...Andrew worked like a trooper when he was doing language arts (he did far more than what I had asked of him), but his math was a little harder... He's having a hard time grasping the time concepts (I don't know what he was taught in ps, but I have to go back and re-teach it) so we'll wpork at that (and only that) until he masters it then we'll move on to something else.

As for the district guidelines I'm "supposed" to follow - Oh well! They are guidelines for children who are in ps - he isn't so we'll teach at his pace. We'll advance as he needs and only when he is ready. We have all summer to learn and if it takes that long we'll do it (but I don't think it will). I think if we slow down and take our time instead of me getting caught up in the "government" rules then we'll be fine and we'll probably progress quicker than we have been.

Brenda

Anonymous
04-29-2004, 12:12 AM
We're in such similar situations, I just have to share. My son Thomas is also 9. (Also a 4 yo boy who's a cracker!) This February I pulled him out of a Montessori School (so no guarantees even that route), so I've got a month or so head-start. Reading at Grade 1-2 level. Math up to speed cuz we did Kumon for a year. Okay, so here's a mish-mash, as it's late.

We've just had three good days !!in a row. Made a check-list. Read "Don't Be Afraid To Discipline", and used her general check-list, and also made up a weekly check-off list for the components. Included copy-writing/dictation, poetry memory work, D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read) for our read-alouds, Science, a History/Biology/Geography/Art option. And of course the 3 R's. Just read one Mom who has Math Mondays, History Tuesdays, etc., which I'll ask if Thomas wants to try, as I think we will actually be better able to get to everything. And change major topics (eg from Egypt to Greece) every few weeks/month.

I'm leaning to a Charlotte Mason approach. I agree that we more readily learn to be good writers from the classics and not from worksheets. But we're plowing through the worksheets to fill in gaps. That's what I'm telling myself, anyway. It's a crutch, and hey crutches are great things when you need support. But maybe next year we'll be up and running, with this half-year for on the job training.
I'd suggest you do a google for two things: Charlotte Mason and Unlearning. Charlotte, as it's an intermediary between the "school-at-home" discipline, and the openness of the Unlearning advocates. But reading the messages from Unlearners is just so refreshing, as they do so "follow the child" which is Maria Montessori's philosophy. A salute to one Mom's "day-in-the-life" story, where she kept reinforcing that it's the child that matters. So, okay Thomas, that pitiful verging on tears breathing you're doing, and of course your statement (how could I be so dull) that you don't want to read the Treehouse Mummy's supplement book, hmmm then you're right, let's do something else (but we had to check Jack and Annie to see where Egypt was!)
Charlotte Mason also takes the edge off performance - in that narration (them telling back to you their "book report") is less onerous on little guys.
Another thing, try this phrase: "You know what! You just did something that good (insert phrase eg spellers) do! You ... You are a good (speller)" Or how about this one.
"Would you like to know a secret. Good (spellers) ...." Or
"I was reading on the internet, and would you like to know what other students do when they're .... ? (Wait for reply) Well, it seems that they ..." (inserting the bit of teacherly advice we want to drill into their heads). By couching it obliquely, by referencing the "good reader" traits, they start to self-identify as good students, good readers, etc. And as self-fulfilling prophecies they (we too) compel ourselves to work to fit that characterization.

Oh, the best thing that I think helped us to have three good days in a row. Well a few things. First, I set the timer on the microwave (the kitchen timer was too tick-y for this audio-learner) for ahem ten minutes (really it was 11 or 15) and that's all the time there is, and let's see how much can get done. And, oh, yes, you really do have to sit with them. A friend has an eleven-twelve year old boy and she just has to sit with him, otherwise he well does the boy thing.
I'd suggest you google A.D.D. and avoid the medication dogma. Now I think of it as just B.O.Y. or K.I.D. But the self-manangement techniques are invaluable.
Also research the Multiple Intelligences (Interpersonal/ Intrapersonal/ Logical / Kinesthetic / Visual / Musical / Natural well there are eight of them, I think, and if you child learns well by sticking it in a song, then go for it girl. And if the child can speak on their topic, not just the details, but understands something about the learning process of their topic, the meta-knowledge, that's what gets them an instant-A in school. So see if you can plant that higher-order knowledge in there.

And another thing. School is his work. Daddy works and gets paid. So, this is your work. Abstract, fluffy ha, wishful(!) theories aside, this is their job, learning. Did I mention that on my checklist there are "starts well" and "good attitude" spaces. Just like a job. Start on time, on your own. Man, that's worth a day's pay - we're not there yet - but it's a goal.
So, if you're not having a good day, dear, D.E.A.R.! Drop Everything And Read. To them! Look at some of the Five In A Row and Unit Studies to pull in the other topics that way. Talk about what you've read. What was ahem Canada, like that year. No, sorry, I wish I could read another chapter, but I can't, I'm limited by law to one chapter a day, but I do have this other (text-ish) book over here that I'll read to you. Yeah, you can draw while I read. Oh, yeah, well I guess you could take it into the washroom with you. And then the one I most cherish: "Would you turn that light out and go to sleep!" Sigh. They are treasures. I changed a lullaby just for them: Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep little darling, you're my treasure, you're my pleasure, you're my sunshine and delight. Good night and sleep tight. Your mama is with you. May the moonlight caress you. May the starlight protect you. The darkness will blanket you, and keep you safe and warm." Find all the opportunities you can to say it out loud during the day, too.
You know what else I do? I have my word processor open and when I see something I'll want to reference later, I just block it, copy (Ctrl-C) and plop it in my WordPerfect file, for my own motivational support or educational reference.

Well, I've really crammed this one full, haven't I. Likely I won't get back to chat again. Was really just looking for a way to find novels relating to well, everything one would want to cover in the curriculum. Haven't found it yet. Maybe you'll start a forum here, where we can all contribute our suggestions. Hint hint.
Good luck with Andrew. And "The first cut(no, month) is the deepest (deepest?). Baby I know. The first ..."
Cheers.
Karen and Thomas.

Anonymous
04-29-2004, 10:14 PM
Brenda...

Its very normal what your son is experiencing, and I sympathize. BUT I promise it will get better if you just go slow and keep consistent. Its ONLY been a month. He's probably exhausted from the ps schedule and pace. Some kids even come to homeschool thinking that they need to keep the same pace and style of learning, parents too.

*The I want to go back to ps* is a convenient *catch all* as an excuse or a *defense* to something that he either doesn't understand or is too hard.

I gather when you took him out of ps, you immediately started hsing(homeschooling). This may be the end of ps, but its YOUR beginning of summer or homeschool. There is not anything wrong at all with taking off some time. I'm not sure if, according to your State's Law that have to keep the same schedule as ps.

If its confidence, then bring his work down a notch or two until he feels mastery over it. It might mean both his reading level as well as math. Let him get back that feeling of *Hey I know how to do this..its easy*. This will not hurt him. Lots of easy reading and writing will instill the basics and give him the boost for more difficult work.

If you have kept the same level of work that he was doing in ps, and he found it hard because of his health, he may find homeschooling work on the same level overwhelming too.

I often say that no precious child is behind (unless neglected of course) they are just where they are suppose to be! That may mean 2nd grade math, 3rd grade reading, or visa versa. Really there are just levels. So when one level is completed and they understand, then go to the next. Thats why so many workbooks have levels instead of grades.

Now, my children aren't even sure what grade they are in. lol We are on different levels in different books. I go at their pace, not a level dictated by someone else.

My 9yo son loves learning about science, math and building things. So I set up a schedule that suits him. We do math first ALWAYS because it takes longer..about an hour.Then we do language arts.They are done and out of the way. The afternoon is free for history and his science. He understands now the longer he balks, thats just time away from what HE wants to do because he HAS to do what the *teacher* says.;)

Just go real slow, be loving like you are, and firm :)

Let him know that its not an option about returning to public school. That anytime *we* (you and me,mom) learn new things it seems hard until we adjust to it. WE can both try hard at this and enjoy being with each other.

<Big Hug> for Mom, you are doing SUPER!:D

Blessings
TinaTx