Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Homeschooling a very strong-willed 1st grader......Help!!

Posted by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 9:21 PM
  • 10 Replies

I started homeschooling my daughter the second week of school as she was having major issues with other children in the school. It started out fine now she seems to not be as interested and I am having a hard time deciding what type of curriculum to use with her. I have found, through dollar stores, workbooks that she enjoys doing. I am new to this homeschooling idea and just do not know where to go from here. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.



by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 9:21 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 9:33 PM
What grade how old
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:16 PM
1 mom liked this

 Did you take some time to deschool? It really dose help to do that & learn her learning style before picking a curriculum or choosing a homeschooling method.

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 7:44 AM
1 mom liked this

I too had a strong willed child.  It is said they are the hardest to raise, but if we do not destroy their natural determination, they are also the most successful adults in life.  My head strong child is now an adult, and she  (like my Mom  :-)) succeeds at anything she puts her mind to.   Following are some helpful suggestions:

Book: The Strong Willed Child

Understanding Your Child's Learning Style:  We often teach the way we learn best.  But it is far more successful to teach the way the child learns best. 

Whole Brain Teaching reaches all the learning styles. 

Different Methods Used By Home Educators  This article is rather in depth, but it has lots of information and resources. 

good luck

by Group Admin on Feb. 5, 2013 at 9:59 AM
1 mom liked this

 Remember that Perseverence is a strong will, ....while obstinance is a strong won't.

In other words, following her learning style and her lead in subject matter may turn her won't into will.  I'd follow the previous advice and find out her learning style, deschool, and let her find her way a bit.

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 10:52 AM

 like the other moms suggest whats her learning style, it does matter a lot!   this might help!

by Gold Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 10:57 AM

I have 2 strong willed in the perserverence aspect.  I don't have an issue when it comes to learning b/c they "know" we have to do this at a minimum 4 days a week.  I prefer 5...I have one that would like 1-3 days....not happening.  I told them on Saturday that we would be starting lessons on Monday.  They had been sick.  I had one that was excited and one that wasn't.  My child that wasn't was working in workbooks on her own later that day.  It is child dependent.  Maybe ask her what she is wanting to learn....find her learning style and gear your lessons to that.  She may just be bored.  You may need to up her difficulty. I hope you find something that works.

by on May. 4, 2013 at 5:10 PM

My daughter seems to thrive on doing work via online, however, she is not likeing reading at all. I have found a site online that works great for her, except for the reading. She tested in at a 3rd grade reading level, but refuses to read, always wanting me to "help me with that word, mama".


by Platinum Member on May. 4, 2013 at 5:25 PM

My son is going into 3rd and could give a mule a run for it's money. *sigh*

by on May. 4, 2013 at 11:15 PM

Quoting TJMom2two:

My daughter seems to thrive on doing work via online, however, she is not likeing reading at all. I have found a site online that works great for her, except for the reading. She tested in at a 3rd grade reading level, but refuses to read, always wanting me to "help me with that word, mama".


If she is refusing to read then the best thing to do is to just read to her, and then read to her some more! Read aloud to her books that are beyond her level which you would both really enjoy like Little House on the Prarie, Charlotte's Web, whatever books you enjoyed as a child. Get books from the library that you think she will like. Don't expect her to read, ,just  read to her and leave books laying around that are at or below her level.

Just because she is reading at a 3d grade level does not mean she can't read easier books. Kids actually make a lot of progress and growth in reading reading lots of text that is really easy for them to read.

She is so young, and already a competent reader, I'd do nothing but make reading fun, even if she is not the one actually reading.

by on May. 4, 2013 at 11:17 PM

I find using workboxes to be really helpful with a strong willed child, especially if they are trying to get into power struggles with you about not doing work.

How Workboxes Work in our House

We are a couple of weeks into our second year of homeschool at our house. One thing that we have found works well for us is the Workboxes system. I must admit I never read "the book", Sue Patrick's Workbox System. I read a lot of blogs, looked at a lot of photos and came up with our own version of the system.
For the first time this year the boys are enrolled in the California Virtual Academy (CAVA) which uses the K12 curriculum. I find it is easy to use the Workboxes with this curriculum. (EDIT: We left CAVA/K12 after 6 weeks)
I have one child who is easy to homeschool. He is organized, and will sit quietly and do "seatwork". If I were just working with him I wouldn't need any kind of "system".
My other child is not that way. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and OCD. I know some people don't like labels for their kids. For me, it helps to remind me that I didn't do, or not do anything to cause the way he goes through life. I can't change him, but I can help to try and give him tools to make it easier to get through life. With this child, I needed a "system'!
While I try and make the kids assignments not to "schooly" and avoid worksheets and generally boring busy work, there still needs to be a way to get through the curriculum. The Workboxes help with this. I find that it does several things that are particularly helpful for a child with ADHD:
  • It helps with organization.
  • It is visual and tactile. He can see how much work (how many boxes) need to get done. He physically moves the tag off the box and onto the chart when he is finished with it.
  • It is self rewarding in that he can see the number of tags increase on his chart and feel a sense of accomplishment.
  • It is not so overwhelming to have one task in a box. It doles things out in small enough chunks for him.
  • It takes away me being the one telling him to do each assignment. Instead he just takes a box off the shelf. I find this leads to fewer power struggles.
  • It gives him a sense of control. I allow him to choose which box to do next, he doesn't need to do them in any specific order.
  • It helps me to insert more fun stuff and games. When I put the game in the box the night before I'm not overwhelmed and ready to quit for the day! Before, by the time I got through math, writing, science, etc. I was too tired to say "Let's play Scrabble!" But when it is on one of the boxes it is different.
  • It promotes independence. He chooses a box and starts working on it on his own (unless it is a "MOM" box, then he brings it to me for us to do together).
With my first child, I just had to tell him how the system works, once. With my second child it took a bit more work. The first week with the workboxes there were boxes and tags and supplies EVERYWHERE! It took some time, and lots of one on one to teach him to take down one box, finish it, move the tag, put it away, then take the next box. I think just learning a routine like that is valuable in itself.

This is what it looks like:
I was able to use some shelves that we already had for the workboxes. Each child has 12 boxes, and I usually "fill" 9-12 boxes each day. At first I thought, how will I ever fill 12 boxes, that is WAY too much! When I started doing it I quickly realized that it wasn't too much, because many of the boxes have short activities. Plus, I needed lots of boxes so that I could add lots of "fun" stuff. My kids love the Active Activity Cards. I downloaded those and made more of my own.

I was amazed at first to find that if I put it into a Workbox, they just did it. It was that easy.

When they finish a box, they pull off the tag and and place it on their chart.

I have one child who always carefully places each tag on his chart in numerical order. My other child is a bit less orderly with how he gets his number tags onto his chart. I'll leave you to figure out who does it which way.

This system also keeps ME organized and on track. 
I'm much less likely to get too tired at some point and just put something off until the next day (and the next). I keep things on hand to add to the boxes to keep things interesting and "hand on". In addition to my shelves full of supplies I have this little cart with little games, math manipulatives, hands on science equipment and other supplies. I find that if it is within reach I'm much more likely to take advantage of it.

It is a lot of organization up front, but not too difficult to maintain!

Added January, 2013

More resources:
Workbox Tags
More Workbox Tags

More on using workboxes with a child with ADHD/Aspergers, or similar challenges:
Get Creative!
Fun Workboxes
Workboxes and Power Struggles
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)