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So frustrated I could just cry

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I retired from teaching to homeschool my son who is 6. He attended public school kindergarten which had him stressed and if he had stayed in school he would have probably had a resource room placement in first grade due to his severe language delay. It's my first year so I'm feeling my way. I tried unschooling which to me didn't work well because after about a month of being interested in learning he didn't want to do anything. I feel a lot of stress to make progress with him because he does have special needs and I have lots of eyes on me from his specialists. I'm pretty relaxed and flexible, but I do have a schedule of work to get through. He does Reading Egss, Time4Learning, and written work. I work one on one with him, and we do arts and crafts. We also go on field trips and have park days with other hsers. First he wanted to go back to public school but now he doesn't want to do that. Now he doesn't want to do his work, cries and wails that it's too hard, wants to see what I'm doing with my 3 year old, wants to run around the house, sneaks away from any work if I'm not standing over him....you get the picture. My 3 year old is doing Reading Eggs and Math Seeds. Today while I worked with him, my 6 year old was supposed to be doing handwriting. Instead he poured a jar of Cajun spices all over the stovetop. He's still cleaning it off. I have a schedule of daily activities that he can manipulate as he finishes, I have scheduled breaks to run outside and play, and he gets to pick out of the treasure bag when he does his work. If he doesn't do his work during the day, he does it in the evening. Help.
by on Oct. 21, 2013 at 4:22 PM
Replies (11-17):
lovelylady83
by Member on Oct. 21, 2013 at 7:21 PM

my dd9 was much like this when we first started hs... she was 7 at the time though,,,It took me switching to a curriculum that had us engaged with one another the whole time to keep her on track... she still finds her 10 month old sister a worthy distraction... or her toes... or the air... doesn't matter what... she can be distracted by it... it has gotten easier... 

Bluecalm
by Bronze Member on Oct. 21, 2013 at 7:25 PM
1 mom liked this
As long as I am engaged with him every moment he does okay. I had to laugh about your dd's distraction. He was fascinated with his fingers for quite awhile today.


Quoting lovelylady83:

my dd9 was much like this when we first started hs... she was 7 at the time though,,,It took me switching to a curriculum that had us engaged with one another the whole time to keep her on track... she still finds her 10 month old sister a worthy distraction... or her toes... or the air... doesn't matter what... she can be distracted by it... it has gotten easier... 


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lovelylady83
by Member on Oct. 21, 2013 at 7:50 PM

That is my dd to the letter!  You may want to move towards more read alouds with discussion and hands on projects and videos for  a bit...

He is young but for us what worked at that age and what continues to work for us(with additions that became appropriate for her age)... 

LA:

First Language Lessons

Handwriting without tears (one page per day we are now at a set of facing pages per day)

All About Spelling / All About Reading / The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading

     Readers were a pain at that age she only wanted picture books.  I suffered throug Junie B. Jones to get her into chapter books, Ivy and Bean to get her grammar back on track and now she reads 200+ page books in days.  I use the Sonlight Read Alouds and the Sonlighter Readers for our reading list for the year.  They also sell readers guides with mapwork vocabulary and comprehension questions for 7$  I just leave out the christian stuff.

Math is Math in Focus... Singapore Math developed for the public school system... its a bit advanced... and she loves it... it ALMOST is self teaching now... 


History Story of the World worked for us at that age with the Activity guide... I have since switched to Sonlight because it comes with all the books and I don't have to go to the library!  I have to add in lots of projects for her though... 

Science:  I bought ScienceSaurus and then added in living books for each topic... Magic school bus videos and wild krats and science kits... She LOVES that stuff... 


Confessions of a homeschool mom does a great Composer study She is in 4th Grade now and using that because all previous music attempts have failed... She loves the lapbooking that is incorporated... it is a cheap program however I had it all printed by fedex and spiral bound the teachers guide which was not so cheap but definitely worth it!  

and I love Artistic Pursuits for Art... 


Moving Beyond the Page is very parent child oriented and moves towards working on your own by the 9-11 program (5th Grade)


Not saying you have to switch... just letting you know what we have tried... I was/still am in college gettin my teaching certification when I started homeschooling... and one kid versus 30 is a very different beast... mastery possible... they go through spirts of learning and slower spells... I know I thought dd was just coasting through history because sometimes I ask her questions and she is all dear in the headlights... today she was on point in our reveiw session... I was floored... it is a process.. this age is all about building a foundation and establishing a love for learning... keep it that way... 


we have come a LONG way... I have added Word Roots, and she is reading on a 6th grade level... we have added in MBTP LA units here and there... She is starting Latin in January... we had a very productive 6 hour minus lunch school day today!  (that is only because I had a very cranky baby to deal with in the process!)


There is hope don't give up.. once he adjusts you will find you make strides in places you didn't know you could... I honestly feel like my daughter has a more complete education... when we hit a speed bump we paused... and focused... because I don't have to worry about leaving her behind while 30 other kids move foward... there are no absenses or missed material... you are his own personal IEP you can make sure that you are teaching him the way he learns and that is an awesome thing... keep on keeping on ...


Heres to the distracto babies!  



Quoting Bluecalm:

As long as I am engaged with him every moment he does okay. I had to laugh about your dd's distraction. He was fascinated with his fingers for quite awhile today.


Quoting lovelylady83:

my dd9 was much like this when we first started hs... she was 7 at the time though,,,It took me switching to a curriculum that had us engaged with one another the whole time to keep her on track... she still finds her 10 month old sister a worthy distraction... or her toes... or the air... doesn't matter what... she can be distracted by it... it has gotten easier... 




Mweddle
by Member on Oct. 21, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Our daughters sound so similar.  What do you do when she pretends to not understand?  It makes me so frustrated, which she seems to love.  I needs some tips on that!  haha

Quoting KrissyKC:

My 5 yr old daughter would have surely been categorized as ADHD with a major stress on the H part and maybe even ODD (she THRIVES on driving people batty and pretending to not understand or to argue!!!!)

I adore her, but all we can do is, "Ok, you don't want to obey and do your work, you may be excused, but no one else can play because we are doing school work."   She gets sent to her room.

Also, in our home, if you refuse to participate in school, you don't get to go play with friends or watch tv or video games until you "do school"... none of them want to do that on a Friday because if I don't offer school hours on Saturday, then they are grounded until Monday evening.



kirbymom
by Sonja on Oct. 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM

  Homeschooling and the difficult child-or is he?

Some children may be a handful for the family to ‘handle’.
This is not a simple problem. In fact, it probably ranks as the most difficult problem a parent can have with a child. There are some essential truths to be confronted regarding our children. I feel reasonably confident in these truths, having watched and taught children for nearly 40 years, and having at one time, in some distant and forgotten age, been a child myself.
Truth # 1 – Every child is different, and this is a good thing.
There are many reasons that each child is unique. First and foremost, each child is born with unique strengths and weaknesses. You may attribute these skills and shortcomings as you see fit – the will of God, heredity, whatever. The fact remains that each child is different, and this presents an insurmountable problem to the person who wishes to make a living advising parents regarding their children. Since no two children are precisely the same, then no single piece of advice is going to exactly solve the issues presented by two or more children.
Your child is unique. There’s no one like him or her. I realize that every parent sees their child as “special”, and I am inclined to agree. Every child is special, and that is so regardless of which definition of “special” you are using – 1) Unique or different than all others, or 2) Wonderful.
Those of you with several children (I have two) know that even though they were all raised in your household, and often have been provided the same opportunities and experiences – each child is simply special (different). We may share the same experiences as others, but we each respond to those experiences uniquely. I’ve seen identical twins with dramatically differing interests and responses to the world, twins raised in the same house by the same parents, sent to the same schools, you name it.
What does this mean to those parents with a “problematic child”? It means that what works for another person’s child may not work, and in fact is likely not to work, in an effort to control or manipulate one’s own. Your child will not react to an approach in the same way that another child does.
This uniqueness and difficulty to handle is (in the long run) a good thing. I know some of you are moaning, rolling your eyes. However it IS a good and a necessary thing if our civilization and species are to survive.
History books are nothing but tales of different people who were allowed to grow up and express themselves in the world. Great artists, religious leaders, politicians and soldiers, inventors and philosophers all had amazing contributions to make BECAUSE THEY WERE DIFFERENT FROM EVERYONE ELSE.
Does anyone really think that a guy like Socrates, a man willing to die just to be right and to stand for the truth – was easy to raise? Imagine his poor parents as they listened in to his all too honest explanations of why he had to beat up Billy next door. (Or was that Billicus? Billicles?) Imagine him explaining to his own teacher why he (the teacher) is wrong about, oh, name a subject, simply because Socrates has observed the world more thoroughly than his teacher. Would young master Socrates take the quiet and “smart” route and shut his mouth when he had discovered others wrong? No way. You can just hear him engaging in debate with his elders, forcing them to think and look and reconsider, and to wonder why they were not killing this obnoxious child!
And how about Bill Shakespeare? Does anyone think he was a quiet lad? An old ham like sweet William? Could it be that he had little to say, and listened calmly? The man who would give titanic birth to Hamlet and Othello, as a good little student? Not bloody likely. Not with that imagination!
Think Caesar’s mom could tell him what to do, even once? How about Genghis Khan’s Mom, or Napoleon’s, think they had much luck with their little world conquerors? How about Einstein, a boy staring at beams of light and dreaming of hitching a ride on one? Think he was a piece of cake? Imagine the restless questions he must have asked his folks, certainly not the common garden variety “mom, why is the sky blue”.
People who are capable of great achievement are restless. They’re dreamers. Often, they’re gifted in ways that the rest of the world, especially “experts” do not understand. Some great people have been branded through the years as “uneducatable”, such as Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, and Thomas Alva Edison. Think the experts got it right?
People capable of changing the world, as a great religious or political leader does, are not followers. They do not sit easily or well in class. They do not always (or often) do as they’re told. They often do not like to be told what to do or think.
The survival of our species absolutely depends on this uniqueness in each of us, this special quality. Nature loves big numbers and differences. Consider the tens of millions of species of living creatures on Earth, if you’re not certain. One guarantee of survival is a large population. Another is the unique gifts individual members of a species provide their entire species.
I’m not advocating for run-amok children being allowed to plow the kid at the next desk into the ground, or to blow up the chem. lab. I’m not a fan of physical abuse when it is inflicted by either adults or children, and I personally saw to it that a few physically abusive children were kicked out of schools. of course, one wonders where those children got their ideas, and one considers their parents and the environment they were being raised in, and one frowns at the appalling levels of violence such kids are exposed to in games, movies, TV, you name it. Still, adults have a duty to keep their own children safe, and that includes safe from bullies.
Nonetheless, if someone is telling you that special Is “bad” and “normal” is “good”, they are lying. Such lies are usually born out of self-interest. Most teachers would love it if they could have a classroom filled with quiet, tractable children. Why, a classroom filled with brain-dead, barely responsive and politely identical children would be…um…er…great. Right, teachers? (I dislike most teachers enormously, as you know.) Hence, bad teachers wield certain tools to “equalize” and control their students, tools like grades, tests, iron-clad schedules, seating charts (in as opposed to recognizing a student by his or her individuality), and the worst of it, evaluations. They often recommend that “difficult” children be removed from the “group”, placed in remedial programs, or sent to a psychologist who might prescribe some “helpful drug”. They often imply that a child is “different” because of something “wrong” that mom or dad did.
But ‘different’ is the stuff of survival and great achievement. Different is good. Special is good.

Steven David Horwich
Leissaintexas
by Bronze Member on Oct. 22, 2013 at 6:39 PM
I had one that would not stay on task no matter what unless I was right there next to him. So.... I stayed right there next to him. Problem solved. Yes it was inconvenient and made my day twice as long. I didn't start homeschooling because it was convenient. I did it because it the best thing for him.
Bluecalm
by Bronze Member on Oct. 22, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Quoting Leissaintexas:

I had one that would not stay on task no matter what unless I was right there next to him. So.... I stayed right there next to him. Problem solved. Yes it was inconvenient and made my day twice as long. I didn't start homeschooling because it was convenient. I did it because it the best thing for him.

I wouldn't mind sitting with him and devoting the time to him, but I have a 3 year old who needs my attention too. I'm not trying to give him busy work to have leisure time.
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