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Big Mother Fail Today. :(

Posted by on Jan. 9, 2013 at 8:52 PM
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I am new to unschooling. Have been doing some reading and relaxed our schedule a lot in the last few weeks. We broke for Holiday break the week before Christmas and have been doing our own thing ever since.
I have been amazed at how much learning my children had been doing on their own. I was just here to make suggestions, read what they needed and help with science experiments etc. They have done so much! My son was finally having that look of excitement from learning again.
Well today I made a great big goof. My oldest (son 7) does not like work books..my middle child (girl 5) loves workbooks. I sat down to do math lesson with Dd..she loves it and will cry if we don't do it.
I told Ds I would like him to come over and look at the new concept in his math book. He came but he had the worst attitude..slouching in the chair. Growling at me, messing up his numbers on purpose. We went over the new concept and I left him alone.
Later today I was sitting with him while he played with his animals (he got a set of animal 'counters' for Christmas..there are 75 of them.) I was sitting with him asking him questions about the animals and then I move onto math question about the animals. He was doing multiplication and division with them. I didn't know he could do that! The math I was trying to show him in the textbook today was about 100's place value. Which he appeared to have already understood when we went over it.
Sorry for rambling..I am just not sure what to do next. I am having the hardest time little go of the school brain. He clearly does not learn well with the textbook style teaching. I just feel like I am floundering. :(
I felt like such a failure after we tried to do that math lesson today. We went from having such much fun learn to ready to scream at each other in less than 60 seconds! One ten minute lesson brought back weeks of frustration for both of us.
by on Jan. 9, 2013 at 8:52 PM
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by Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:01 AM

 Hi Lindsay........ Don't feel bad we all make mistakes.  We had a rough day too.  Not with school, just life.  My son is 9 and he still dosen't know basic table manners and after meal hygiene.  It drives me crazy and I lost it today.  :(

I guess if I were you, I would let the workbook go.  Just put it away and forget about it for awhile.  Right now it's not an effective way to teach him.  Just take his lead, I'm sure along the way you'll run into some math.  :)

by Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 9:09 AM

I understand what you mean about letting go of the "school" mentality, that was the hardest for me as well. My son hates workbooks and the instant he looked frustrated I stopped. I don't even look for the "what is he learning" anymore. If I did, it would stress me out! He'll be 7 in April, he's not even at the compulsory age for school yet. They are children for such a short time, letting him take the lead is so much for fun for me anyway! Some days we just sit around and watch funny cat videos on YouTube, lol. Time well spent as far as I'm concerned :)

by Member on Jan. 11, 2013 at 9:07 AM

I totally understand what you are saying.  We all have been there.  You didn't fail.  We all make mistakes from time to time.  One thing that has helped me has been teaching my son to vocalize in a polite way when something isn't working.  They are not allowed to complain.  I explained to them that complaining really grates on my moods and makes me an unhappy person.  I told them to instead to tell me that they prefer to do something else.  Many times they come up with their own ideas.  If they don't want to do any of our curriculum then they don't have to.  My son loves making up his own assignments.  I am working on buying all the life of fred books.  It works great for the moments when they just want to sit back and read.   They are wonderful way for kids to learn Math.  Also remember it takes time.  Be patient.  You know your son best.  Watch for clues from him that he is not having a good time.  Another thing that we do together is every morning we write down 7 goals.  It is completely voluntary.  The only rule is the goals can't be all one type of thing.  We are striving for variety.  The goals range from cleaning, relationships, physical, learning, organization, and personal goals.  

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