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How do you handle your child's bad days

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I understand everyone has bad days, but I don't get to miss work just because I'm in a bad mood or don't feel like doing work.  So when my child has a bad day (which seems like almost every day lately), I don't let him miss school work.  He's always been difficult wilth school since Kindergarten and has no desire to learn anything.  Anything school related is torture, even when I try to make it fun with games and art (which he usually loves).  He's 9 by the way.  Our days HAVE to be structured because I work too.  Since Kindergarten we've gone back and forth between him going to school and me homeschooling him.  For me, it was easier to homeschool because him being in school was nothing but problems.  He'd refuse to do work or just write whatever answers so he could be done, and they would be wrong  He isn't advanced, but does understand the work.  He just doesn't want to apply thing thinking part to come up with the answer.  He never cared (and still doesn't care) about the consequences.  He hasn't been diagnosed with any learning disorders, unless laziness is a disorder.  The thing is that when he wants something, he suddenly has no problem applying himself.  We do have somewhat of a reward system but i'm not real big on those.  I'm not going to dangle a prize in his face and tell him that he can have it once he does his work.  If you can't tell, 4 years of this has me a little frustrated....

by on Apr. 27, 2014 at 5:05 PM
Replies (11-20):
by on Apr. 28, 2014 at 7:42 PM

I understand your frustration. My daughter has similar problems. I'm not sure how many times you have pulled him out to homeschool him. Pulling him out of public schools and putting him back in repeatedly is not helping your situation. I homeschool now but my children were previously in public schools. Is there a reason why you can't homeschool him full time? You said he does better so unless your job prevents you from doing so, you might consider sticking with it. You need to make a list of all the pros and cons of both types of schooling and then weigh the risks. Decide which one will benenit both of you best and stick to your guns! Being wishy-washy confuses children. As far as laziness being a disorder, my daughter has had this problem. We are having a really hard time getting her to apply herself to her work. I have been doing some research and am thinking that there may be an underlying cause . You should get your son evaluated to see if there are any issues. Laziness may be the only thing you see but there may be other things going on that you may not be aware of. For example, I have an autistic son and at first, I only saw a few autistic traits. There were other traits present that I thought was just a part of my son's quirky personality but they were actually from the autism. After seeking a medical proffessional, I began to see many traits I didn't realize were due to the autism.

by on Apr. 28, 2014 at 7:54 PM
In my cup as we speak! (Or type)

Quoting mem82: VODKA
by on Apr. 28, 2014 at 7:55 PM
Really though,I have a hard time with the same thing as you. It's not so much laziness as it is defiance or opposition for my DD. we're working on it..but I am all ears on this post!
by Bronze Member on Apr. 28, 2014 at 8:19 PM
I'm with you. My son really needs structure and routine. He has to have the same space to do the same work daily. It's our second year and I've been working hard to teach him to have some flexibility!
For us when he's having a bad day we cut out anything that isn't completely necessary. He has extra things he likes to learn and I tell him not today just do this. I'll adapt assignments and spend more time working with him. If he has 2 bad days in a row I plan a field trip for the third. I find the break helps us both get back on track.
by on Apr. 28, 2014 at 8:28 PM

 Prayer, patience, a listening ear... and firm discipline. Lots of hugs and understanding. : )

by Silver Member on Apr. 29, 2014 at 8:03 AM

I've tried a ton of things and only a few have worked, and only those few we still use. Winter is usually when I hit the worst attitude problems with my oldest because she just doesn't want to do the work and she's sick of being in the house. We'll take a break from our normal routine by letting her choose something she wants to learn about for up to 2 weeks, and I'll turn it into an entire unit study. Everything will revolve around that particular thing she wants to learn. It gives her a little bit of say, and perks her interest up a bit. If that is failing through it, we go back to the normal routine. I'm not going to put in all that effort to basically be slapped across the face with it in the end.... 
The one thing that has worked for us over a year now - and I know you said you don't like reward systems too much - but that is kind of what it is. However, it is based soley on the child him/herself. My kids only get so much "tech time" a day - no more than 2 hrs. At the start of each day, with my oldest (since my youngest is still a bit too little for this to work with him), she gets an hr. It doesn't matter how she did yesterday, she gets an hr. After instruction she gets so much time to work on assignments, and they can't be rushed, and have to be done thoroughly. If she finishes those assignments before the alloted time, that extra time gets added to her hr. If she goes over the alloted time, that extra time is subtracted. If she manages to go over 2 hrs by the end of the school day, that goes to weekend tech time. Its a system that motivates to get what they want, and its a consequence on them as well. If they have no time, its their own fault. We both signed a contract that is hanging on the wall by her desk and everything so she knows she can not complain if she doesn't get much time at the end of the day...  

by on Apr. 29, 2014 at 9:13 AM
1 mom liked this

Here's the thing about rewards: we all expect them.  Would you go to work if you weren't getting a paycheck?  Probably not. :)

In public school the children get stickers, good grade cards, free pizza coupons (we can apply for those too), praise, etc.  I've given my girls certificates commending them for a job well done, time on the xbox without interruption (during the weekends!), and we have a school store with pencils, bookmarks, erasers, and other cheap small stuff they earn.  

Praise goes a long way.  Even when I've volunteered hearing "great job!" makes the effort worthwhile.

by on Apr. 29, 2014 at 2:00 PM

I'm right there with you except I am fortunate enough not to worry about having to work in addition to homeschooling. Our oldest is 9 and has hated school since he started, first private school kindergarten and then homeschool. We have tried different types of learning and trying to see how he learns best but he is lazy about work and we are trying to overcome those bad habits.

I am now working on implementing more Charlotte Mason philosophy into our life which is helpful as far as good, lifelong habits and a love for learning; shorter, structured lessons and working with their hands (my other boys are 6 & 4) but I still get a lot of resistance on math and writing.  I like that CM advocates that the "reward" is the lesson learned, she does not advocate bribes or special prizes or even doing the work to please someone else. That being said we have offered rewards & prizes too but are trying to switch over to rewards of outings or events, like a fishing trip or a special hiking area where we are still learning and using our minds and bodies, or allowing and helping acquire materials for a project he wants to make (he likes woodworking, leather, arrowheads and constructing things). 

I think you can allow for structured lessons with any type of homeschooling you choose, maybe consider looking into a project-based method or allowing him to pick a special interest that he gets to study after his math, writing,language, whatever you choose. It sounds like maybe he is just not being challenged or being given work in the way he can learn best.

Our oldest son (9) sometimes refuses to do work and I have a daily list of "extra housework" that can be done instead because I tell him when he doesn't get a diploma because he doesn't want to do school then he will likely be doing manual labor or work he hates anyway, might as well get used to it. Some days he will choose housework over school work but it's pretty seldom and since I gave him that option I can't nag him or try to convince him otherwise, I just let it go.

Hang in there, keep trying new things and try finding out what he'd like to learn and work it around what he has to learn.

by on Apr. 30, 2014 at 7:50 PM

I've gotten this from my strong willed youngest son. I agree with the others...we keep a very visible schedule of themes. We also don't finish worksheets, as soon as he masters something we move on. Also we do exercises every 90 minutes. It helps to wake his brain back up and burn off energy. I totally understand the frustration! 

by on Apr. 30, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Tequila for me! (Or margaritas ....mmmm)

Quoting mem82: VODKA

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