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Ideas for getting them to do their work!

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We are new to homeschooling, just started this year. They are both in the 5th grade. I have a system in which we go over instruction time for  Math,Language,and Spelling in the morning, I make a list of schoolwork for them to do, then they Skype with my mom who lives out of state for Science,History,and Reading. I am a nurse that visits patients where they live, so when they start Skype time, I leave and I'm gone anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.The problem is that they are not doing their work when I'm gone. Currently,we are going on 7.5 hours and they are still not done with their work. They called me at 3 and said they were starting Math and Language, which should not have taken anymore than about an hour and a half. That was 3 hours ago,and they are both only done with one subject. I know that they are absolulty just not doing the work when I'm not home. I have talked to them about the importance of this many times. We've talked about how they don't get to play with their friends at night because they are doing schoolwork that they could have done during the day. I know that they need breaks, but this is riduculous. Anybody have any ideas?

by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 7:12 PM
Replies (11-19):
JerrysMom2011
by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 12:23 PM

I am new to homeschooling this year and im having the same problem only my student is 14. So i cant help lol. The only thing i can do is tell you that I use emails to give him some of his assignments (i make them while i am up at night with the baby) I am starting him on a routine, his problem is motivation as i am sure is with most kids. I think those new to homeschooling has it in there minds that home school is going to be just really laid back, no learning involved etc, so when they think that they get let down when we tell them all they have to do.....

I tell my teen..the more work that he does on his own or without me telling him the more "me time" he gets. If he doesnt get things done then he gets no me time...means no phone, no friends, no movies no nothing until it gets done...eventually they will get the hint..its a process. Good luck

staciababy
by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Quoting hipmomto3:

Are you leaving fifth graders home alone for 2-4 hours a day? Or is there another adult at home who is asleep or otherwise involved in something else where they can't be on top of the kids?

I think leaving a 10-11 year old child home alone for that long is a bad idea, personally, and probably why you are having issues (plus it is likely illegal - I know here, you can't leave a child under 12 home alone). Are you having them do too much in a single day? 

I just don't think you can leave your children alone and expect them to do their schoolwork on their own for that period of time. They need an adult there, in person.  It's not about motivating them to complete their work; it's about giving them realistic expectations and responsibility for their age. (I have a very responsible fifth grader but I'd never leave her home alone for more than a few minutes, and in any case would never expect her to do her school work on her own or with her siblings while I was out.)


No,it absolutely is NOT illegal here And yes, I am leaving fifth graders at home for a few hours during the day. Since you seem to think that it's such a bad idea,why don't you step in my shoes for a day and make it all happen. I don't leave them to do ALL their schoolwork by themselves either. You need to re-read the post and if you can't contribute in a helpful manner, shut up and go on.
Ecoseem
by Member on Sep. 4, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Look, at that age I would say that the kids had darn well better be able to be left alone for awhile.  As far as the work goes, they probably will need a little bit more enforcement, so it would probably take a lot of your time when you're not at work, and just make those your hours. 

Like I said in your other thread, I had better be able to leave ds alone for a while at that age, otherwise I'd have seriously messed up teaching him responsibility.

"Parent" is a verb.

AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Sep. 4, 2013 at 10:14 PM

This is NOT ridiculous. Are they supposed to teach themselves??? What if they have questions while you're gone?

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff:  we're Catholic, we're conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee















AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Sep. 4, 2013 at 10:16 PM

If you're too busy to homeschool, you need to re-think this. I'm not saying that to be mean, but really, you're projecting here. You are asserting that nobody else could possibly have the same stress you do - which is simply victim role playing. You're leaving your children to basically teach themselves in most of their core skill subjects! Was homescholing their idea?


Quoting staciababy:


Quoting hipmomto3:

Are you leaving fifth graders home alone for 2-4 hours a day? Or is there another adult at home who is asleep or otherwise involved in something else where they can't be on top of the kids?

I think leaving a 10-11 year old child home alone for that long is a bad idea, personally, and probably why you are having issues (plus it is likely illegal - I know here, you can't leave a child under 12 home alone). Are you having them do too much in a single day? 

I just don't think you can leave your children alone and expect them to do their schoolwork on their own for that period of time. They need an adult there, in person.  It's not about motivating them to complete their work; it's about giving them realistic expectations and responsibility for their age. (I have a very responsible fifth grader but I'd never leave her home alone for more than a few minutes, and in any case would never expect her to do her school work on her own or with her siblings while I was out.)


No,it absolutely is NOT illegal here And yes, I am leaving fifth graders at home for a few hours during the day. Since you seem to think that it's such a bad idea,why don't you step in my shoes for a day and make it all happen. I don't leave them to do ALL their schoolwork by themselves either. You need to re-read the post and if you can't contribute in a helpful manner, shut up and go on.



I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff:  we're Catholic, we're conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee















paganbaby
by Silver Member on Sep. 4, 2013 at 10:17 PM

There's no way my kids would work independently at that age. Leaving them alone is one thing but expecting them to work is another,lol.

paganbaby
by Silver Member on Sep. 4, 2013 at 10:18 PM

That's what I would do.

Quoting Ecoseem:

Look, at that age I would say that the kids had darn well better be able to be left alone for awhile.  As far as the work goes, they probably will need a little bit more enforcement, so it would probably take a lot of your time when you're not at work, and just make those your hours. 

Like I said in your other thread, I had better be able to leave ds alone for a while at that age, otherwise I'd have seriously messed up teaching him responsibility.


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

Knightquester
by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 10:51 PM

Wow, I followed a link to this post to check it out for myself after reading your other post.

I think there are some that don't understand that not all states have issues with minors staying home alone.  In my state there is actually no age limit (which IMO is stupid).  Here are the laws per state http://www.latchkey-kids.com/latchkey-kids-age-limits.htm for those questioning the legality.

As for keeping your kids on task, your biggest issue may be mostly because it's your first year of homeschooling.  My older children are mostly independent learners with or without me home and they've been this way for at least two years (a few of them even longer than that), so since they were 10, 11, and 12 years old.  My youngest is only 8 and while he can do some subjects on his own, he lacks the maturity and drive to do them all still.

We're going on our 7th year of homeschooling and I doubt my children would've been so independent upon entering homeschooling on our first year, especially after leaving a system that thrives on being dependant on what your teacher tells you to, right down to your potty breaks.  My older kids would actually raise their hands the first year we homeschooled to ask to go to the bathroom, it just took awhile to realize we're not "that" structured and they don't need me to tell them to do everything.

I guess my best suggestion is to set small goals daily, and set major consequences you will follow through with if those goals aren't met.  For instance make them complete one assignment that day, or if that is a simple one you know they can do easily then make them complete two a day.  Let them know you will unhook the television, video games and remove the cords until those things are done, you will block their computer game sites and remove them from their computers if you find that is those become a distraction from their school work.  Set down the iron hammer and follow through if they overstep boundaries.

Try not to overwhelm them though, this being your first year you can easily make them not only hate homeschooling, but grow to distance themselves from you.  Homeschooling is a balance and your type of schooling you're attempting requires a good juggle if you're not going to be there for it all, all the time.  Try to take them to places educational, work as much when you are home with them, and make learning as easy, fun and engaging as possible as much as you can.

Also... don't get discouraged or overwhelmed.

The first year for most homeschoolers is the hardest and I have seen many drop out due to the frustration because of it, there's no race, no rush, and you shouldn't feel pressured to live up to the public school standards.  Try to figure out how your kids learn best, learn more about them and when they learn best, what materials can teach them better, the more you know about them and how they learn the easier teaching them will be.  Good luck to you, and don't forget... you're not alone.

Joann.HS
by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 11:05 PM
1 mom liked this
I'm just throwing this out there... Does the baby need to be in daycare full time?
Cutting that cost could maybe allow you to not work a few hours a day. In return, you would be able to be more accessible to the school aged kids.

Sorry, I don't buy into no one is near under the stress you are. We all have stressors. Utilize the tools you have to properly handle them.

I sincerely hope you find a way to work their education out. Good luck in your endeavor.
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