Readiness - Sorting disobedience from readiness issues

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
asheslawson
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Re: Need some encouragement. My child is not enjoying school

Unread post by asheslawson » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:14 am

Lot's of great ideas here...always are...but I thought I'd share a really special day from MFW K that we shared...and still her and my 10 year old talk about that day ALL the time. My dd is really more into math...but that came after K - those math sticks and simple counting exercises really worked for her. However - she is struggling to read - so I decided not to stress. I am just encouraging her to find a word on the page to sound out or show me a letter with a sound she knows...she is doing better everyday - so I'm overjoyed. But I remember the Monday last year when we introduced the letter 'D'. My dd did NOT want any part of it. She decided we should just skip ahead and learn the letter that begins her first name - she crossed her arms and said that she refused to do school otherwise. Well - somewhere a Dr. Seuss story wrote itself in my head - and I decided to try a new approach. We called it the "Day without D" (we really did write a book for this day - I think I should try to get it published...haha). Anyways - we started talking about everywhere that the letter D appears. Quickly she realized that she needed D for Daddy (big stuff for Daddy's girl), she needed D for herself as she is a Daughter, and her beloved teDDy bear and favorite Doll also could not be - without the wonderful letter D.

Next we got really crazy with it and spent the entire day realizing she would have no beD, or Desk, no Door, or nooDles. My 10 yr old started getting into the game and got really creative with imagining that we would float formless in space as we would have no boDy and there could be no worlD. But we couldn't be DeaD, despite the lack of a boDy- and how Disappointing that there was no Day, only night!! We could have cars that we could not Drive and there could be water but never fooD!! We went on and on with fun ideas all day long...everything we did was impacted by the letter D. I must say - my daughter learned the letter D better than any of the other letters!! That game has been so fondly remembered that I try to remember that if I can incorporate a little humor and fun as we go (even though sometimes I am not humored by their resistance)...it usually creates more lasting memories than had I just gotten onto them for being Difficult!! Haha!

Just a for fun idea...every day is different and they all have their challenges - and some days it is really hard for me to be patient (and creative) - but those days that turn out like our 'Day without D' are so much more special to us. Those are the days I really cherish - those are the days I memorize those little twinkles they get in their eyes when they are laughing and I get to thank God that I was blessed to be there with them (even if they don't do things on MY schedule)!! I have to remember it just isn't about me at all. Good luck with your K year - I hope you make some beautiful, unforgettable memories as we did!
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD
http://texashomeschooler.blogspot.com/

1974girl
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:09 am

Re: Need some encouragement. My child is not enjoying school

Unread post by 1974girl » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:16 am

My dd is a late summer baby so I didn't start her in kindergarten (public school gasp!) until she was 6 but it made all the difference in the world. Also, is your dd very small? My cousin was a very small child and his doctor told my aunt that his fingers didn't even have the stength/abilty to hold a pencil.
However, I do have some suggestions besides just wait a year! LOL My 2nd born learned to write on a Magna-Doodle. They can erase very easily so no scrubbing with erasers. I started out dotting letters for her to trace...then moved on to her writing them herself. If she didn't like it, she would erase it. She thought it was 'mommy time" and it was actually school! Invest in one ($10-12 in the toy section) Let her write her letters in shaving cream on your kitchen table! For math, I wrote numbers on my Twister game. I would say "Right hand on 4", etc. with my younger one. Then with my 3rd grader, I'd say "Left hand on 2 plus 2". Then we graduated up to multiplication. She is now in 5th grade and says "You know you homeschool when your mom writes numbers on your Twister mat." Big joke around here. But make it fun.
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
Mama to Leah (14) and Annalise (11)
Used from Adventures on and finishing final year (1850-modern) this year
"When you teach your children...you teach your children's children."

gratitude
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Need some encouragement. My child is not enjoying school

Unread post by gratitude » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:53 pm

lisabee wrote: Then as soon as I see him start to lose it...(the slumping in the desk, the floppy pencil) I immediately change what we are doing...It worked like a charm today!
Best of luck!
8[] 8[] LOL, my oldest ds did the same thing when he was done! Slump, flop, slump. LOL. My second son would get on his heels and start to throw back his head and roar and make funny faces. 8[]

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Need some encouragement. My child is not enjoying school

Unread post by gratitude » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:56 pm

jenmar30 wrote:My daughter turned 5 in May so I guess you would consider her a young 5..I appreciate everyone's advise and encouragement..We didn't so school yet today because I had an appointment this morning..Off the subject I had a miscarriage in July so I am sure my hormones and grief are adding to the stress that I am feeling..so could use some extra prayer in that area..This is probably a dumb question but I have noticed her writing letters on random papers around the house.. Should I just let her practice what she wants for now and not worry about form or being in the 'lines" ? I don't want her to learn bad habits but I also don't want to be so overbearing either? I guess that is the main struggle I am having..finding the middle and figuring out what works best for us..Thanks again everyone!
Prayers for you... having a miscarriage is difficult emotionally.

I have always let my children practice hand writing on their own when they choose to. I like to see them initiate their learning, so I did let them when they were young. I still let them do it, and only compliment their efforts (no matter how big or small it looks).

Then, when it is handwriting time I sit with them and really work with them on doing it slowly, neatly, in the lines, and doing their best. I am assuming this practice will eventually transfer over to the other. I have noticed their handwriting on Birthday cards, for example, and their signatures get better and better every year.

Yodergoat
Posts: 243
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Re: Need some encouragement. My child is not enjoying school

Unread post by Yodergoat » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:22 am

So sorry about the miscarriage. That can really leave you feeling... different. :(

Just wanted to say here that my daughter (turned 5 in March) practiced writing all over the place... coloring pages, drawings, big dry erase board where she leaves notes for Daddy, magna doodle, loose random papers. She really likes to write. So she did a great deal of lettering without any lines. The lined pages she has in her little "journal" we are working on during K (not part of MFW, just for fun) were new to her. But she took to it quickly.

Part of this I think was using this little wipe-off board we picked up at Walgreen's for $2.99. It has the guidelines on one side and plain on the other. It is my favorite "school supply" we got this year and it "erases" (ha!) any pressure of making perfect letters on paper.

We've played some fun games with it also... I will write the aphabet and go over the letters with her, singing the song. Then I will secretly erase one and gets to guess which one. This game is fun for her because after she does it, she gets to teach ME. Teaching Momma is a big motivator around here, and I know Gail is learning as she does it.

Mayhap your daughter would like one of these boards instead of paper, to build her confidence?

We also changed up some of the other activities by turning them into very active games. Gail wrote lower case letters a-k on 4 inch squares of paper, one per paper. We spread these on the floor and then she drew a Bananagram tile (these have capital letters) and she would race across the room to match the lower to the upper. Same as doing the match game with the letter cards that come in MFWK, but much more active. Next I chose a "way" for her to go get the match... when she drew F she had to hope like a Frog, and when she drew H she had to run on all fours and neigh like a Horse, for example. My daughter LOVES this game, and it reinforces lower case matching to caps and letter sounds as well.

We played musical letters by spreading these same letter pages on the floor in a circle and she walked around them to music. When I stopped the music she named what letter she was on and then found something in the room that begins with that letter (a drawing of a dog on a shirt for d), is shaped like that letter (she picked up a curved hair band for c), or IS that letter (like alphabet magnets on the fridge).

If your daughter has trouble sitting for lessons or is otherwise resistant, she might like some of these active ideas that make school "fun." I use these games as a motivator for Gail. After we do ____ (insert quiet seatwork activity here)___ we will play letter match race."

Sometimes I feel as if this is too fun to be school, but then I see her learning and I remember that one of the reasons we homeschool is to fit the personality.

Hope these are helpful. You may not have an active learner like mine, so they may flop!
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

Julie in MN
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Need some encouragement. My child is not enjoying school

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:25 am

1974girl wrote: My 2nd born learned to write on a Magna-Doodle.
Yodergoat wrote:Part of this I think was using this little wipe-off board we picked up at Walgreen's for $2.99. It has the guidelines on one side and plain on the other. It is my favorite "school supply" we got this year and it "erases" (ha!) any pressure of making perfect letters on paper.
8[] love erasing the pressure!

Wow, this thread has a lot of good ideas on it for those little learners.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

jenmar30
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:30 am

Re: Need some encouragement. My child is not enjoying school

Unread post by jenmar30 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:30 pm

Thanks Shawna,

Those are great ideas and I will try them. I do have an active little girl too so I'm sure she will enjoy it and hopefully I can get my 3 year old involved too!

mlhom4him
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Re: Need some encouragement. My child is not enjoying school

Unread post by mlhom4him » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:00 pm

:) Boy does your post bring back memories of my girlie! She asked to start the year that she was 4 so we started. It lasted about one day because of the same thing. I just took it to mean that she was not emotionally ready for school. I found some fun coloring books and such for her to do for "school". We also went to a Bible study that had a structured class time for her and so we called that "school". That was two years ago.

Last fall we started MFWK. It went well for the first 10 days when we were working on the Creation Unit. But once we started on the regular stuff, the behaviors that you mentioned surfaced. We continued to plug along because we needed to even though here in Oregon children are not required to be in school until the fall that they are 7 on Sept 1st. It continued to go downhill. After much prayer, I closed the TM. I did NOT quit school but I closed the TM and put away the MFWK worksheets. Instead we read books together, went on nature walks, did leaf drawings, all the Charlotte Mason stuff that I could think of. We worked on following directions. I purchased a devotional book that we did each day. Basically we had fun.

Then.......

After a couple of months of school without her knowing it, I moved the MFW TM to my computer desk. That's it! It remained there for several weeks. I would occassionally open it up and look at it. My daughter would see me.

I prayed and prayed during this time that she would show interest and that what I was doing would work.

She asked and began to beg to do MFWK!

So we started where we had stopped. When there were tears, I told her "no tears! Remember we have been doing school for the last two months and it has been FUN!" I had her work for 5 minutes at a time on the worksheets and only one worksheet a day. As I look back over the worksheets that we have done, I can see that there were times where she would only do one line of writing a day. Then two. Etc.

One suggestion that I have is to reinforce the letter structure by having your daughter create the letters using play dough mats. If you need the play dough mats you can look at http://homeschoolcreations.blogspot.com ... -mats.html for the printable form. You might have her do this more than the actual writing until she gets comfortable with writing.

Also another suggestion is to have her write with a crayon or a pen NOT a pencil because a pencil "sticks" as the children try to write. A crayon or pen glides more. We also practice on a dry erase board before we go to the worksheet. Make sure that you have a fat kindergarten pencil for her to use. This will help teach the correct grip and foster success.

Another thing that I learned is to make sure that her little feet are not dangling off the chair during school time when she is to write. We still put a stool under her feet. The dangling feet issue cause back aches which manifest themselves in behavior problems.

Lastly, pray, pray, pray! Talk to your husband. What does he suggest? He will have insights that you won't because you are too close to the situation! :)

Mary Lou

asheslawson
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Re: Need some encouragement. My child is not enjoying school

Unread post by asheslawson » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:38 pm

Wow...so many great ideas on this thread!!! Love them...note about writing - my daughter loves leaving notes too - I work on structure during school time - but the rest of the day - she leaves notes on everything too and I just let her go. She even writes notes on the paper a sticker peels off of. I'd say let her do it - she's practicing!! Glad to read some more ideas - I babysit a toddler and a pre-ker now so I may be working with them too this year (at least the pre-k girl). Thanks all for posting.

Also - I am so sorry about the miscarriage - you are in my prayers - ashley
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD
http://texashomeschooler.blogspot.com/

Yodergoat
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Need some encouragement. My child is not enjoying school

Unread post by Yodergoat » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:33 pm

Lots of ideas here!

I just wanted to mention also that we begin each school session together in prayer. We pray for loving attitudes, for patience with each other, for me to teach what God wants me to teach and for Gail to learn what she needs to learn. Gail, hearing (or leading) the prayer knows what I expect of her and hears what I am asking God to do for us during school. I, voicing (or listening to) the prayer also can't deny that I have come before the throne of our Lord asking Him for these things.

I can't say that we haven't had some small attitude issues in our first whopping 7 days of K and all our vast experience (sarcasm directed at myself here), but I do believe that bathing the school day in prayer together helps. Not because I have been doing K for long (see above) but because of what happens at church.

I teach the same age group in Sunday School, six or seven children who just started K this month (they promote to the K Sunday School class in September). If we don't start the day with prayer... it goes badly. So much so that I have had the students point this out to me. "Mrs. Shawna, we aren't listening or acting right and I think it's because we forgot to pray." :-)

This is probably something ya'll already do before school, but just in case...
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

shaffer96
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:35 pm

Re: Need some encouragement. My child is not enjoying school

Unread post by shaffer96 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:56 am

Just a few thoughts... have you tried practicing handwriting in shaving creme, paint, pudding, cornmeal, etc... she may not be ready for pencil paper writing and may still need the large fine motor practice. You can also make letters with masking tape on the carpet and have her trace them with her finger or even a toy car. For phonics you can lay out letters or blends on the carpet and turn on music and have her dance around the letters. When the music stops she can jump on a letter and say its sound. Just some ideas we have done. She is so young and I think the biggest thing is to make school fun so she wants to learn! Go to the library and let her choose some fun books for storytime every day. Just have fun! Her K year will be over before you know it!

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