Readiness - Sorting disobedience from other issues

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
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Readiness - Sorting disobedience from other issues

Unread post by HSmommi2mine » Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:16 am

How strict to be with a kindergartener?
jamesandjennie wrote:I think I have the most stubborn 5yo ever. A sweetheart, but a stinker.

Let's say we are making the Phases of the Moon flash cards for lesson 2. I get out black paper and a white crayon to draw the moon phases. He decided that white isn't a good color, and wants to use orange. I say "No, we are going to use white for these. You can draw orange moons after school if you want- I'll give you some more paper later." So he proceeds to color in the moons with nothing more than a white X- and with a VERY sour attitude.

And then- let's say we are doing the math page for MFW K. He is supposed to draw 2 of something and practice writing the number 2. He writes the 2 backwards, so I gently correct him. He does it backwards again. So I then write the number 2 in yellow crayon on his page so he can trace over it, being very gentle and encouraging that he is doing a good job. As a protest, he traces it, but continues the bottom of the 2 across the whole page so that it crosses out his drawing. If you can't tell- Xs are his way of protesting. If he is mad, he will write his name (Gavin) as GavXin.

I try to give on small things- he is very creative and I like to let that flourish when possible. But there are times when I ask him to follow a specific set of directions as I give them. I believe he should obey what I ask. But then I end up feeling bad that I didn't let him use an orange crayon on the moon phases- because does it really matter? But I stick to my guns, because he needs to obey what I asked. He ends up going into timeout until he can come back with a better attitude and we can continue school. Unfortunately, this happens for one reason or another about 3 or 4 days out of 5.

Am I being to strict on him? The last thing I want is an overindulgent child, but I don't want to squeeze him too much, either. He is SOOOOOO different from my eager-to-please and easy going oldest son. It is whole different universe for me.
I would give him choices whenever you can (crayon and paper color, where to put things exc). Work hard to give him choices and help him feel like he has a little control in his life, but insist that he obey at those times when you give specific instructions.

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Unread post by mgardenh » Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:29 am

Does he line up other things in just a certain way? If you move something out of order of the way he does it does he freak out?

Try the choice thing. He can pick this color or this one. In your example using the orange color may be because he can see it better then the white?

Just some thoughts. Let me know on the other questions I asked.
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Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
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Unread post by cbollin » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:42 am

I can’t help but wonder if the pregnancy hormones are just too high right now and helping to add to the stress of it. ((hugs)) my opinions, for the little they are worth...

The color of the moon. Personally I wouldn’t have cared what color he chose. I’d be more concerned about the shape of the picture being close, but not precise.

Making the number 2 on paper involves a lot of flair and twists. My daughter gets to make a fun row first with lots of loops and swirls. Then she tries to stop on the line. We turn it into a game instead of a test of wills. My daughter is autistic -- and it takes a lot to get past their "stubborn tendencies with that." So, I have to be very relaxed in my approach to getting her to obey instructions or I just create worse issues.

Some times, we do it the other way around and she has to make them properly (or as close as she is physically able) for the first row and then the artsy way the second way. Some letters and numbers, we have to make boxes so she knows where to stop the letter or number. She loves to fill up the whole paper at once. So we had to meet her half way on that. Not sure any of that applies to you. But we put boxes around not to fight her about how close she gets to a line or edge, but to help her learn where to stop with that bottom line.

I’d like to suggest, based on every example that you shared, that you look into books written by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, from the National Center for Biblical Parenting. Their resources are geared to help parent and child together. You might look for their titles such as Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, Bad Attitudes in YOU and your child. Or even their Parenting is Heart Work or other books (one is something about Good and Anger, or something??? anyway...). But those titles will at least get you started to find their resources. Those might be helpful for getting strategies for it for life and school???

I know everyone has different favorite authors for all of this. So, if you have time to listen to one of their homeschool workshops, you might be able to decide if their style of stuff is what you like or would work for you. I have a link to a free audio version of a workshop they did. But you can email me for the link for that preview.

((hugs)) and it’s October. Hang in there, baby will be here soon.

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Unread post by jamesandjennie » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:48 am

As far as lining things up and freaking out- yes. Things need to be in a certain order because they "belong" that way. He gets very upset when things get disrupted. But he has gotten better over the past year. I have been deliberately disrupting routines now and then because he was becoming very rigid in his expectations and very upset when, for example, we didn't do the night routine in a specific order. So now we do things occasionally in a random order.

I am somewhat the same way. My husband and I joke that I am OCD- but we are only joking because I'm not clinically OCD or anything. Since we've gotten married, I've learned to let a lot of things go, and I've gotten a lot gentler. I have the same sense of things "belonging" a certain way because it just makes sense- that's how they are supposed to be. Only in the last few years have I been able to see that my way is not the only way. Oddly, my dad swears I was an easy going kid.

I think that is largely why we clash sometimes- the same stubborn-headedness clashing. So- while I want to put my own control issues aside and let it be all about him, I don't want to encourage that same rigid traits in him.

I think that giving choices could be a good idea. I am still worried that if I give him a choice of A or B that he will still choose C, though. But I won't know if I don't try.

Crystal, As much as I would love to blame it on hormones, I can't. I am actually trying to trouble shoot before any big problems arise. He is very enthusiastic about school- to the point that he fusses at me on Saturday and Sunday because he wants to do school. I don't want to dampen that excitement. He has just been a more challenging child for me.

He is the sweetest, cuddliest little boy. But getting him to bend to any will other than his own can be nearly impossible sometimes. He is very logical, and my husband has noticed that if you explain things in detail he is much more likely to comply. I struggle with that, because to a certain point I think he needs to obey for the sake of obeying. I don't wish to be authoritarian, but I don't think I should always have to explain myself, either.

I actually have a few of the books you recommend. I just need to read them! Maybe this will give me the kick in the pants I need!

Thank you for the responses, everyone. I'm still open to more advice. :D
Jenn, wife to James and mom to:
Trent, 6th doing CtG
Gavin, K doing MFWK
Abbie, 3.5yo tagging along with MFWK just for fun
Carolyn, 2yo, who scribbles in my lap the whole time. :)
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Unread post by mgardenh » Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:10 pm

Talk with your pediatriction about it. Based on what your saying there might be something there causing the problem. If you have a good ped they should be able to help you decide if you need to get more help. (like some sort of testing done on ds).
DH to Laurel
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Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
Have used MFW, k, 1st, Adventures, and ECC, CTG, RtR


Unread post by cbollin » Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:30 pm

mgardenh wrote:Talk with your pediatriction about it.
Agreeing with Mike. Talk with the pediatrician. Based on several key connections it may be more than just standard strong willed kid issues.

When you talk with the doctor:
*Mention the lining up of things
*the rigid routine stuff --even though it is getting better (hug)
*Mention the need for logical, explanations for instructions
*Mention your tendencies toward OCD things,
and as odd as this will sound on a connection -- didn't you attend an engineering university?
*Mention that this is not something temporary --it's been around a long time in his life

not trying to scare you or anything. Trying to encourage you that it might be something else going on and it is worth at least ruling it out. (hugs) and praying

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Unread post by MJP » Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:12 pm

I may be the disagreeing voice here, but I am not sure he cares to use the orange crayon, only not to use the white crayon because that is what he was instructed to do. I have a little girl in particular that would like to be in charge of every detail. I am not against giving him a choice of colors, but if you told him to do it in white, he needs to color as neatly as he can in white. An X at this point is completely unacceptable. All privileges would be removed at my house until the child did the work acceptably. I would not raise my voice or discuss it. I would just lay it out and simply state, "When you have done the assignment correctly, you can have all your privileges back."

If the child had asked, "May I use an orange crayon instead?" and would have been perfectly OK with it whether you said yes or no, that is when choices are acceptable. Until they are OK with "NO", I do not give choices. The Xs would actually be my biggest concern. We are currently working with one of our children who would like to throw things when she is angry and drop food off of her high chair in anger. The Xs look like a somewhat passive anger issue instead of the obvious issues we are confronting.

I also understand your desire to break some of the routines he favors. Our 10 year old wanted to wash her hands incessantly when she was little, to the point of chaffing her hands. We actually had to put limits on handwashing. (Don't gasp anyone!) This type of behavior was showing up in other areas as well. She was in tears about the limitations, but it did break some scary tendencies. It was not easy or enjoyable. The great part is that your child is sweet and cuddly and that you do have good days. All children have issues (at least all of mine do), and unless there is a deeper problem, most issues (although it takes time) can be resolved sweetly with consistency. It just wears one out, doesn't it?!
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Unread post by TriciaMR » Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:52 pm

My dd and I butt heads like this, sometimes. She likes being creative. The directions would say, "Use a red crayon and circle the thing that doesn't belong." She would take a blue crayon and X out the things that did belong. I know dd understood the directions, because I would ask her what was going to be circled before we did the page. (My dd doesn't have issues with "lining things up" - in fact, you should see her room!)

I talked to a friend about this (who had been homeschooling several years), and she said, if my dd was in public school, she would get the page wrong. Her dd was the same way. So, she talked to her about how it is important to be able to follow directions, and if she didn't, she would have to do pages over the correct way. I also gave her blank papers to do whatever coloring and design she wanted to. It didn't take too many do-overs before she finally decided that she would do them correctly the first time.

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Unread post by mgardenh » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:05 pm

It doesn't sound like outright defiance. You talk about him being sweet and sounds like he wants to please you but with certain things just can't. I'm curious about the "X" issue too. Does he express his emotions verbally at all or are they all kind of indirectly shown?

<FTR, this is Mike's wife, Laurel>
Regarding giving him detailed instructions or explanations, I think you can do that with some limitations. Perhaps tell him upfront if he starts to question something, "I'm going to explain it this one time and that's it. Then you need to be obedient."

I have a coworker who cannot follow and retain instructions if she doesn't understand the "why" of it. She's a very bright woman but if she can't put the pieces together of why you would do things in a certain order or click here and not there, then it doesn't stick, she doesn't understand it and it won't make sense to her. She's not being defiant or difficult, she wants to learn and understand the process and in order to do that, she's got to have the information.

I realize Gavin's not an adult and there are certainly times when you just have to DO and not fully understand it at the time, but I think as parents and teachers we also need to respect our children's needs and learning styles too.

Crystal's idea of letting half of the assignment be done "her" way and the other half be done her DD's way is, I think, a good compromise. There are enough things that are making me go "hmm" that I think it would be worth talking to your Ped as others have suggested.
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Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
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Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:12 pm

Blessings to you for trying to figure out the best way to parent your child.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned I will just throw out there -- he is only 5. I'm not sure if he's just 5 or is almost 6. But for instance my oldest son didn't start K until age 6.

Sometimes kids who go to public school can just fall apart at home because they are trying so hard to be perfect and pay attention and such all day at school. Your son has the benefit of being at home, but he also may be feeling some stress, considering the type of person he is.

One thing that you could consider would be to wait on abstract academics a little while longer and focus more on things he can easily keep organized in his own mind & be successful at right now.

Just an idea...

[Note: More info on sorting disobedience from readiness issues here: ]
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
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Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:44 pm

Just chiming in with another book suggestion: The Personality Tree by Florence Littauer. From what I've read, not knowing your son, he's a little "Melancholy" trying to make everything perfect so that everyone will be happy. And he thinks he can only be happy when everything is perfect. I'm a melancholy. My dd is a melancholy. We survive with my sanguine dh just fine, even if we drive each other crazy sometimes. :-) If you feel led to get a medical opinion, by all means do, but it could be that you've just got a 5-yo with the strong personality God gave him, and he needs some guidance on how to know which things he can have control over, and which things he can't. And, like Julie said, he's only five!
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Unread post by Ariasarias » Fri Oct 03, 2008 10:08 pm

I'm having to agree with MJP at this moment, but it could be because of my own experiences. This is my 2nd time going through K with a 5 yo. When my oldest was 5, she acted much the same way and now my 2nd dd is doing the same.

In my case, because I know the hearts of my children, I could see that part of our struggle was heart issues -- listening to mommy and doing what she says. I don't think white or orange moons are moral issues, but going your own way is a heart issue. I remember with my oldest, who is very creative, I would feel guilty if I did not let her do it her way because she was being creative.

But then I came to the thought that she only had to do school for 30 minutes to an hour each day and had the whole rest of the day to be creative. The biggest struggle was within myself because of the guilt I felt -- afterall "I was homeschooling so she didn't have to fit in the box." It took me a long time to realize, and many battles, that the issue was her heart. Yes, she was creative, but she really didn't want to do what I told her to do. She ALWAYS had a "better" idea when it came to my directions in school, and this wasn't necessarily an all day behavior. She too is very sweet and loves to help.

I had to learn to be the authority and let her learn how to submit to authority even when she has another idea. My 2nd dd now has a hard time when things don't turn out the way she wants them to -- perfectly. This definitely comes from me and her father -- poor thing. Although it is a personality trait, I don't want her to have that as an excuse. We are born in sin. In fact I want her to learn to be okay with less than perfect, because we all are and always will be. The other day she fell apart over a cutting assignment -- no matter how much we tried to encourage her. Personally, I would rather her work through this now as a 5 year old before she develops the habit throwing fits and not accepting help or being satisfied with her best try. I did not let her continue in her fit or her unkindness to us. I, as her mother, came along side her to help her finish well even though it was not like she had expected.

No matter how much of a perfectionist I am, how often does life go my way or the way I expect it to go? Praise God they are at home with us and we can come along side of them to help them grow and mature and work on their hearts!!! :)
Nicole, wife to Claudio since 1996, and mom to dd (2000), dd (2003), dd (2005), and ds (2009).

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Unread post by Tracey in ME » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:44 pm

I didn't read all of the responses, but is it ok that I giggled when I read that he put X's on things when upset? That was just funny to me. :o)

I'm sure it would get frustrating, though!
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How much do you push your K student?

Unread post by Mexmarr » Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:24 am

dstj wrote:I'm not sure how much I should push my 5 year old - part of me has heard enough to know that she is still young and let her be young for now. So I really haven't made her do too much. I don't want school to be a bad thing. Yet how much is character and you have to do what I ask you do and to work through something you don't want to do?
I think part of it is her - because it is like that with anything - chores etc. In school, it is anything written. She loves the activities - MFW is just perfect for us - I'm so glad I found it. I already feel like MFW is not as much written work as other programs could be but it is still too much for her apparently.

She does not want to color, or cut out and glue the pictures. Do I make her? She knows the answers that's not the problem. She also knows how to cut and glue but she could always get more practice. So is it just too much busy work for her? Also she really doesn't like to do the handwriting pages. This is more I think because it is hard for her. I try to get her to do 1 or 2 and then that's it. Today for the drawing picture all she would do was one letter - she did the letter A and drew an apple - it looked very nice - but then she was done. So I didn't make her - just said we are keeping it in her folder (along with the cut out page) and she can do it during her quiet time - if she does she will get another sticker for her school chart. But I doubt she will do it.

She is young - she just turned 5 in July. But she also really wants to learn to read. Hmmm
Just turned 5? I wouldn't push it AT ALL. If she wants to learn to read, then I would start the school day, work till she was done. Next time she is ready, I'd pick up right where we left off. If that means that it takes several days to finish one school day, that is fine. She really is quite young.

And for the cutting and gluing, I would consider orally to be sufficient. With drawing an apple and writing an A, she did great. If she was done drawing, I'd simply ask her to name a few other A words.

Many kids are not ready to write more than a couple of letters at that age. She will learn soon enough. If she is able to do it, I would encourage the letter writting 1-2 letters at a time. I wouldn't skip that part entirely, but I definitely wouldn't push it this young.

I have found with my kids that they learn SO MUCH MORE if I am willing to work with them on the areas that they are ready for, without pushing those that they aren't. There is a time for requiring work to be done, simply because they must, but I don't think that is at 5 or 6. We really want to build a good foundation of loving to learn. Once that is good and solid, then build on it.

That is my personal opinion taken from my personal life experience and a homechoolee and now a homeschooler. I hope that it helps/.
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Re: How much do you push your K student?

Unread post by alisoncooks » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:12 pm

My daughter turned 5 in June and we're doing MFWK now.

I don't have any helpful hints, just wanted to chime in that I see this with my child. My DD does not like to color, so we just circle with a crayon or cross pictures out. While she is capable of cutting & gluing, it can be so laborious and time-consuming... I help by cutting and she colors on the glue with glue sticks (for the cut & paste page). As long as she is demonstrating knowledge of the concept, I consider the coloring to be somewhat busy work.

Handwriting pages are a task, indeed. At our house, it doesn't help that DD learned some poor writing habits at preschool (forms letters incorrectly). And she has a stubborn streak and does not like correction. So that makes those pages hard for us...
Married to DH since 2000, with 2 sweet girls (2006 & 2008).


Re: How much do you push your K student?

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:30 pm

Praying that God is the one who gives you insight at the right time to know if it is
*lack of readiness
*inability in skill
*or just plain pushing your buttons and needs to do something

since I'm in zero position to know if your child is any of those... I'll just share how I adjusted for my youngest, who has autism and did MFW K when she was 6 instead of 5. She learned to read before we did MFW K. go figure...... autism is strange.

I know when my youngest was in K, she wasn't fully ready to do much coloring. So, we left some things without color. But she needed to develop fine motor skills - so she had to cut. She loves to cut and color and glue and right now we're letting a lot of glue dry on the poster in ADV....... hmmm...

anyway.... in Kindy, on some of the worksheets, we used Bingo stampers (ink), and stickers, and cut pictures from other places.

We had set times of day where she was to "do school time". She did her MFW K math as part of her morning wake up routines. She did the phonics stuff as 15 minute seat work. She did activities in 15 minute slots. Then, she had to do speech and OT homework and other stuff.

so, setting "school time" for "doing educational stuff" is a good habit to develop.
Some children may need to make a choice: do you want to color this with crayon, or color it with marker, or watercolor paint? (but don't let them get the habit of "I don't wanna")
She might be more ready in a few months to do seat work. Until then, work on establishing "good work habits" to follow your instructions, to be part of the family team of chores, and to learn the "safety of structure and routine" in a "school day".

How much to push? I don't know.

Not all 5 y.o are ready for school even when they are wanting to learn how to read.
Some 5 y.o are.
Some like to be little pains and push your buttons.

for the amount of work.... that's a good start for this time of year..... gradually raise your expectations (today we practice 2 letters) next week, 3.... build it up over the year. Do a self check in about 3 months. see where she is.

work on something to develop eye hand coordination --- dig with a stick in dirt, do all of those mfw K day 1 ,step 5 tactile activities. go get some of those window crayons and practice that way. practice with dry erase marker. shaving cream on bathtub wall. magna doodle....

I have to admit, I'm not a huge pusher with my youngest, but at the same time, I have to do that a little bit. These days, she writes grocery lists.... go figure that? but she had a great list the other day (except for mostly caps and only a few lower case... grrrrrr) She had it as a to do list, complete with go check out, and then go home.

(((hugs))) and prayers as you get it all figured out with the "readiness" vs. "parenting/obedience"


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Re: How much do you push your K student?

Unread post by MelissaM » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:28 am

I haven't read all the replies, so forgive me if I'm repeating something already said.

I guess I would say, since she's just 5 - whether she's "ready" or not is not that much of an issue. Ready or not, at 5 if I suspected it was partly character issues, I would set aside the curriculum and work on training and habits. Charlotte Mason recommended using the entire first 6 years to build good habits before starting any formal schooling. That doesn't mean you have to do that, but just that it's okay to take the time. And really, it's a lot easier to set aside academics for character training when they're 5 than when they're 10 or 15, kwim? It will pay off. Having the ability to do something doesn't necessarily make her ready, but if she is ready and she's just pushing your buttons, I would still do it. Academics is only part of life, it's not a whole life.

I really like "Laying Down the Rails" (book and dvd) for help on habit training. It's from Simply Charlotte Mason. Just pick out ONE habit to work on first - attention or obedience would be my top choice and work on it diligently for a good couple of months. Then, maintain tht one while working on the next one. Once you have those top 2 down, you should be able to start schooling again with much less trouble. She will be in the habit of obeying you and paying attention when you speak (or read or teach or whatever), and she will be 3-4 months older, so maybe more ready and able to sit and deal with some paper/pencil work.

HUGS. It's going to be okay.
Julie in MN wrote:Melissa,
I think you're saying this already, but I just want to be really, really clear that you're not saying to teach obedience by having her write more letters when asked? You did say to set aside the curriculum, so you're thinking of teaching obedience first, separately, rather than teaching obedience by enforcing the school setting, right? I do totally agree that at 5, there is a wonderful opportunity to spend more time on character than on academics, and some of that is already in K, but I'd hate to have a little one associate schooling completely with being disciplined. But I don't think you said that, right?
YES! Sorry, didn't mean to be unclear. What I meant was, in the OP's shoes, what *I* would do is set aside all formal curriculum and work on habit training and setting routines, that kind of thing. Since I like what Charlotte Mason had to say about habits, I would try to set up something similar and I like the Laying Down the Rails book as a means of accomplishing that in my house. I would make sure my child had a good morning routine solidly in place and was firmly in the habit of paying attention and obeying. (Okay, I understand the kid is 5 and we live in the real world, and there are going to be exceptions, but I would make sure these things were not daily battles and that my relationship with my kid was in really good shape.) And THEN, I would pick up the curriculum again, when the kid has those good habits firmly in place, so that when I say, "You need to come sit at the table" or "Cut here" or whatever, the kid is not in the habit of arguing and fussing. And - knowing that it takes a month or two per habit to get really established, this would have the added benefit of allowing the child a few months to develop and mature and be really ready in all kinds of ways for academic work.

No, NO, I definitely did NOT mean establish obedience by enforcing a school setting. Absolutely not. And just in case the OP thinks her child would be academically stagnant during that time "off" let me hasten to reassure, that you might have lots of time to spend just reading good books (my favorite way to learn) taking nature walks, etc. Basically what I'm saying is no harm and probably lots of benefit in waiting a while, but if you're going to wait a while on academics, use the time to work on habit training in other areas.

Is that better? Or did I just confuse the issue more?

PS - this is coming from a place of *I WISH I had known/done this when mine was 5, and I'm trying to do better with my current 2 yo!* And NOT from a place of *My kids are perfect because I did everything right* - hahahahaha....NO. Definitely not that. (((HUGS)))

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Re: How much do you push your K student?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:33 am

MelissaM wrote: Is that better? Or did I just confuse the issue more?
Oh, it's beautifully said, Melissa. Thanks for doing that just to ease "my" mind :)
I've been enjoying your posts a lot lately.

As for the specific activities that the 5yo is balking at, I don't think they are busywork, since cutting and coloring are traditional ways to build small muscle control, hand-eye coordination, and the like. But when my ds balks at those things (and he's 15!), I will allow him to suggest another way of accomplishing the same goals, if he does it respectfully enough to accept that I may say no. As for writing a letter many times, you might tell her that she will need the practice before 1st grade, but some of it could be done on other days or in the summer before 1st, or other options like that. Or, you could just wait until she's a bit older to begin. Writing symbolic letters takes much more mental and physical effort for a barely 5yo than we adults can really comprehend.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

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Re: How much do you push your K student?

Unread post by mamastading » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:05 pm

Just a thought.... I did buy lined paper that is a little wider than the handwriting pages that come with MFW and Lacee seems to like that better.

Also, I found a dry erase board with lines on it as well and she REALLY likes to do her letters on that!! I leave the dry erase board out with the letters she is supposed to be working on written at the top for her to follow. And then I let her do that on her own time-she is only allowed to do letters on the board-no scribbling or drawing :) Although its a little harder to manipulate the dry erase marker (I did even buy a skinny one) she is content to write, erase, write, erase for long periods of time so I think it's worth it. She didn't turn 5 until September-so I really try to not push her!!
Lacee, Adventures in US History for 2013-2014 school year
Emily, 2 years old
Avery, 6 months

Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: When your K'er doesn't seem interested anymore...?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:01 am

my2sons wrote:We started early in the summer because my son "wanted to learn how to read". After just a few weeks, he got frustrated. I have tried to be really careful not to push him and have cut back more and more of what we do until we are pretty much left with reading picture books now, and he doesn't even seem interested in that anymore! He is 5 1/2 and knows almost all of his letters and sounds, but when it comes to sounding anything out or writing anything, he is a perfectionist. When he doesn't know how to do something or doesn't get it right the first time (to his liking), he gets extremely frustrated! I have tried talking to him about it each time, trying to reassure him that it's ok... and every encouraging thing I can think of, but it doesn't seem to help. We just took 2 weeks off for Thanksgiving and I thought that would help, but any time I say anything about school, he doesn't want to hear it. I have even tried just talking about it as "Let's spend some time together... want to read a book?" The answer is usually no. My oldest son had me reading to him for hours at this age! Trying to decide what to do.

I really feel it's important for them to have a love for learning, and I just don't understand why he doesn't want to do anything but cuddle on the couch right now. Anybody else have an experience this this??

I don't have any advice, but I'd give my right arm to go back to having a 5 1/2 yo that doesn't want to do anything but cuddle on the couch, even for just a day. I miss it terribly.
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Re: When your K'er doesn't seem interested anymore...?

Unread post by HeyChelle » Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:50 pm

Ah that is hard!
Each of my older two have gone through stages of that.

With my daughter, there were times that I knew we just needed to put all the school away and go outside and play, getting our reading in with bedtime stories, and have fun cooking together in the kitchen. These were the times that I could just tell that her growing brain was just FULL and she needed a break.

Then there were times where I had to be strict and let her know that at school time we do school. We do hard things even when we don't want to. She had NO choice in the matter because school was important and could not be skipped. These were the times that I felt like she was being difficult, stubborn, and disobedient.

Then there are also the times where I just wasn't getting through to her and I needed to change my approach to school and my speech to them.
It takes a lot of prayer and mommy's intuition to decide when they need a break, when they need to be pushed, and when they need a new approach.

Oh and my son - we started MFW Kindergarten in September (he was almost 5 1/2) and we only made it 2 weeks before I packed ALL of school away. Then in January we started again. We only made it a week that time before I packed it away. Two minutes into school time I would show him a "C" and ask him to sound it out, then show him "AT" and he would sound that out. Then "C-AT" and ask him to sound it out and he would go "Bike!!! It sounds out Bike Mom! Can I go play outside? Please?" Ummmm.... Yeah - he wasn't ready.
So in April (I think) I got it all out again and we then cruised through Kindergarten without issue then. He enjoys school now.

I can't really give you advice, but hopefully it helps hearing our story.

P.S. Not sure how I forgot about this... Anyway - my son never liked reading time. None at all.
Then one day I noticed he was blinking more than seemed normal and off to the eye doctor we went.
Sure enough he was very, very far sighted! No wonder he didn't like books. He could consistently hit a ball pitched at him by the age of 2, so we never would have guessed he couldn't see words on a page if it's hadn't been for that one little blinking thing that bothered me. Story time had new meaning after he was fitted with proper glasses.

But I also quickly learned that he had NO patience for fiction stories. None at all. Now read to him about Non-fiction, engines, science, the Titanic... and he is all ears. I'm *really* hoping he outgrows this soon! Although he does like audio story books when we are driving... HTH!
Chelle - Christian, wife, and mommy of 4
My family/homeschooling blog

Julie in MN
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Re: When your K'er doesn't seem interested anymore...?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:49 pm

It's hard to know when our kids need training vs. when they are maxed out. 5.5 still is on the young side, in my book...

If you've decided that he needs to be in K right now, then I usually told my youngest that he must do school for a certain amount of time each day, but I was open to suggestions as to how that school would look. So in the elementary years, if he could not tolerate the math book, then we could do math games or try another little dollar math book or make math manipulatives & a case or he could invent a way to do math. I might even allow cuddling and just chatting about math :) Eventually, it usually became easier to just do math "mom's way" ;) Sometimes math games even showed him that he needed to improve some skills, so he got more motivation. Other times, boredom made him want to do something more.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

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