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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

I need some help.

Posted by on Sep. 2, 2014 at 11:32 PM
  • 10 Replies
We have come to a bad cycle with my 10 yr old DS. It actually started last year but I thought after the summer break things might change, but it hasn't. When he is doing his school work, mainly math but also in all his subjects, he practically needs me to be right there to tell him what to do. It is not that what he is doing is too hard for him. He will just stop and wait for me to tell him to move on with the next problem. But in math it is with every little aspect of the problem. I am constantly telling him to write down the answer, put that number here, move this number there, now what times 5 = 100. It's like I have to guide him from the beginning to the end of each and every problem and then tell him to move to the next one. We are both so frustrated at this point. I feel likes he is just leaning on me too much but when I try to pull away and let him do the problems on his own, after I have helped him with the first couple of ones, he gets upset saying that he can't do it, he doesn't know what to do. Even if I show him again or go over the ones we have just done he will still do the same thing. If I don't help him, or I should say pretty much do it for him, he gets to the point of crying and throwing a fit.
I'm not sure how to change this around. What I have tried is taking a break, moving to a different subject, letting him play outside for awhile, going back to the beginning (like if it is a problem with multiple steps). I'm not sure what else to do. I think part of it is that he wants to get done fast and ifit is not easy problems he ddoesn't want to do them. Also like with the multiple step problems (right now he is working on fraction) we will do one page that teaches one step, it eill be easy so he does it fast and mostly in his head. But then when it comes to putting the steps together he seems to forget everything he has already learned. So then I go back with him, show him again and he serms tp remember but then when we go back to the problem he was working on he just says that he can't do it and will practically throw a fit until I tell him step by step how to do it. And not just to say turn the improper fraction into a mixed number, I have to tell him divide this number by this number, no this number goes here, now how many times can this number go into this number, nowwhere does that number go, now what do you do.

I'm sorry this is so long and probably has many errors, I'm moble. But please help. The only thing I can think to do is to forget all the work that has been done in this book and start over. Just yesterday we spent 2 hours, not including the times we stopped for breaks and to do other pages, on just one problem because he started off trying to do the whole problem in his head. When he realized he couldn't he got frustrated and it went down hill from there. Please help.
by on Sep. 2, 2014 at 11:32 PM
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Replies (1-10):
JustMeKat
by on Sep. 2, 2014 at 11:35 PM

 In home tutor works wonders

GL

Bluecalm
by Bronze Member on Sep. 2, 2014 at 11:40 PM
1 mom liked this
Have you tried writing down the steps for him to follow?
Jinx-Troublex3
by Jinx on Sep. 2, 2014 at 11:43 PM
Does he have any learning disabilities? Do you have subjects you do with him so he does get one on one attention?

What curriculum are you using? What is his learning style? Maybe they text and his style don't match?

I find my DD gets easily frustrated. We were doing her start of year math assessment and I went and sat by her and she was talking through problems ..like how to confer oz to pound and back. She would do it one direction and they would put i a twist or a bigger number and she would panic and loom to me for help. I would remind her she just did one like it, break it dpwn on steps, use the white board, etc...ANYTHING BUT NOT DO IT FOR HER!

You might tell him you are working on independence...for every question he does on his own, he gets 5 skittles or MnMs or extra tv time or whatever. If he calls you over for a quick question he gets two. If you have to do it stwp by step..none. Explain you are not punishing him for asking for help, but encouraging him to work on his own.

I would pick another subject, for DD it os All About Spelling that we do alone..just mom and DD, no boys. It is almost like "playing school" and our special time so she doesnt NEED mom for other things.
LostTheSlipper
by Bronze Member on Sep. 3, 2014 at 12:21 AM

If all the problems are the same style, I say do the first one as a sample (We have a whiteboard, so I would do it on the board, but paper works just as well.) You talk it out and show it to him.

For the second one, do it on the board but HE has to talk it out to YOU step by step. You write it out as he tells you what to write and/or what he's doing.


For the third one have him write it on the paper with you or if you have a board  have him write it on the board.


If it's on the board he can now copy 1 -3 on paper and then should be able to do the others on his own. If he claims to have problems then sit down with him, and ASK him questions, and guide him without telling him what to do/what the answers are, but he writes it all, and refer him back to the previous questions he says he doesn't know. "Well look at problem 2, what did you do here?" Don't cave. That's what he wants.


Bleacher-mom
by Member on Sep. 3, 2014 at 12:23 AM
Quoting Bluecalm: Have you tried writing down the steps for him to follow?


On most of it, yes. Like when he first learned a concept I would write it down step by step and have him do 10 problems for each step. Some of it seems to be when those steps are put together or he can't easily do it in his head. I'm not sure if it is that maybe he has forgotten some of the little steps. I'm almost thinking I need to go back. I'm also thinking it might be because when he would learn Each step, since the problems would be easy since he was just learning the concept, he would mostly do it in his head. Now that the problems actual require him to write it down, because he can't do all of the steps in his head, he doesn't know how to actually do it. But even with his other work that he has no problem with I still have to tell him constantly to move on to the next problem because he will do one and then just stop, like he relies on my to tell him what to do. Maybe it's a combination of all of it. I don't know, I just feel kinda lost on where to begin.
mem82
by Platinum Member on Sep. 3, 2014 at 10:54 AM
My son, 9,has/had this problem. I admit after trying everything mentioned here, I got tough. Tears, crying, fits of any sort he loses 15 minutes of Tablet Time (his currency), no exceptions. Then, we go over the problems. We do several together with him doing most of the work. Then I give him 5 or so problems to do, reminding him that it's OK to not know, but it's not ok to not try. Straight up, at first, he sobbed for almost 2 hours several times. I stayed calm (on the outside) and sent him to the corner to calm down several times but we always came back to his problems until they were done. If he truly tried, we went over the problems with lots of praise for what he did right and calm acceptance of the parts he did honestly wrong. It has taken a few weeks and anytime he gets overwhelmed he reverts back a bit but we are doing a lot better.
Oh, I would also sometimes tell him we had a lab for Science to do but if Math or writing took too long we'd be stuck only doing the book work. After losing a fun project or four, he's changed his tune.
MSLsSilly
by Member on Sep. 3, 2014 at 11:29 AM

What I have done that helped in a similar situation is to write step by step notes for them. I call it a cheat sheet. They can do a few problems using the cheat sheet, on their own, and then try the rest without using them. Also, maybe try only doing like 5 problems a day instead of an entire worksheet and make an assignment for a couple days/ a week instead of trying to cram it all in one day?

MSLsSilly
by Member on Sep. 3, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Sometimes, if i is too hard for them to grasp, I go back to other lessons for review.

Bluecalm
by Bronze Member on Sep. 3, 2014 at 2:14 PM
I agree. Also I'd have him do the whole problem through, not just one step.

Quoting MSLsSilly:

What I have done that helped in a similar situation is to write step by step notes for them. I call it a cheat sheet. They can do a few problems using the cheat sheet, on their own, and then try the rest without using them. Also, maybe try only doing like 5 problems a day instead of an entire worksheet and make an assignment for a couple days/ a week instead of trying to cram it all in one day?

Jlee4249
by Member on Sep. 4, 2014 at 11:47 PM

When you were in school, the text books (hopefully) had examples with explanations.  I remember using them to guide me through new concepts when doing homework.  Make a math cheat-sheet-of-sorts and keep it with the math notebook/workbook.  In it, write an example problem in one color and numbered instructions/explanations for how to work the problem for every new concept.  

I was told once that doing math first thing in the morning when their minds are "fresh" is best, but when they don't like math, they drag their feet.  So I've learned that putting it last, telling them that once these "few problems" are done, they're done for the day, they tend to want to get it all over with quickly.  Yay! 

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