Back-to-School - Supporting one another at the start-of-year

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:20 pm

Re: Day 3, new to homeschooling - don't know if I can do thi

Unread post by momem3 »

I was right where you are about a month ago. Luckily, my son only spent 1 year in school...but we definitely had an adjustment period. I learned then that he does better when I give him the work and give him some independence. He doesn't like being critiqued and he's less likely to whine if I am not watching him like a hawk. I also made some "school rules". The rules have helped dramatically! He has totally changed his behavior because he knows it is against our rules. I also reward good behavior versus good school work. I loved reading what everyone else posted...I have made a few notes to apply in our school as well!

A book that was recommended at our Homeschool Convention is "Proverbs for Parenting". I highly recommend it. We used it yesterday for anger and jealousy. I've also used it recently for issues with teasing and harsh words. Whenever a problem arises, we go to the book and read the Proverbs that apply to that problem. I often have to explain the proverb to the child (my kids are 1, 4, 5 and 6) but they start to see that we are to do things for God's Kingdom, not just because Mommy makes us. It is also helping me make my discipline more scripturally-based.

big hugs and prayers coming your way!
mom & teacher to:
DS - 8yo, ECC
DD - 7yo, ECC and activities through neurodevelopmentalist
DD - 6yo, ECC and MFW 1st
DS - 3yo, he is He-Man and he does 'have the power'!
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Re: Day 3, new to homeschooling - don't know if I can do thi

Unread post by HSmommi2mine »

When took our son out of ps after only first grade so he hadn't nearly the time in school that your son has had.

On our very first day of homeschooling he cried because I wanted to read on the couch. That year I think I was told by him "that's not the way Mrs. N (first grade teacher) does it, you're doing it wrong." nearly everyday. This is my compliant child! I was lucky enough to have read story after story about kids transitioning from traditional school to home so I knew he just had to get use to how different things were.

I actually made things a bit more school-like for a while to help him transition, but that first year was tough. The second year was much better and I'm glad we stuck it out. We started our 7th year yesterday. He would rather be playing video games and goofing off instead of school work, but he has no desire to go to a traditional school ever again.

give both of you time to adjust.

Your dh will come around. Come here or to the WTM board when things go poorly and you need to vent, don't vent to your dh. Guys like to fix things and in the case of school, "fixing" usually means sending kids to ps. my dh was reluctant to begin with and if I told him I wanted to send all of the kids to school this year he would be fine with that, but he also sees the good it has done and he sees how well they are learning and that I like it. It gets easier.

Wife to my favorite guy
Mom to 3 great kids
Posts: 469
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Re: Day 3, new to homeschooling - don't know if I can do thi

Unread post by jasntas »

OklahomaJamie wrote:Wow, thank you all SO MUCH! Ya'll have really helped me feel like I'm not a complete failure.

When we did a few days of another unit study this summer to try it out, it went great. No arguing, etc.

I'm thinking more independent work would benefit him.

Thanks again,
My thought when I read your latest comment was, "Maybe she was a bit tense with this first week of 'official' school." I know I can get that way and the kids really seem to sense when I'm tense. Maybe during the unit study over the summer, you looked at it as total fun with no right or wrong so it was more fun. I could be wrong. Just a thought.
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.
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Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:52 pm

Not a very successful first day....

Unread post by MelissaM »

4littlehearts wrote:Well we were going to start promptly on time at 8:30 today but kids were used to sleeping in all summer and they acted like I was waking them up at 6 am or something. I did not want to start school on that note so I had to try to get attitudes in line and regroup, and decided to then cook them a hot breakfast which is something I normally do only about once or twice a week.

Even then, I just had a difficult time being organized, even though I purposely put all of the books our ahead of time. It did not help that my 3-year-old was running around getting into things and being a distraction. Also, last year, we spent most of our time doing their subjects separately so when my kids (ages 13, 10, and 7) are together they tend to slack off and do not really focus on the task at hand but are distracted by each other or figure that the other person will answer the questions.

I felt like I was all scatter- brained this morning even though I woke up early and spent time with the Lord. I had only planned on doing the basic science today, geography, Bible, handwriting, Wee Sing Around the World, Reading and Book Basket, and even with just doing those subjects and NOT doing math, language, foreign language, read-loud, writing, and my 7th graders supplement and Apologia for my older, we still did not end school until around 2:45. I am typing this while my younger dd is working on her MFW 1st grade handwriting papers and I still have to get to her schooling. Any tips or encouragement??? Unit studies never seemed to work in the past for us. Maybe I should've learned from the past and stuck with textbooks with living books added in. I do not know..
First (((HUGS))). I had a horrendous day last Tuesday, and then the rest of the week...a little better every day, but seemed like we were just hitting a groove by Friday. Then there was the weekend, and here we are - sometimes it seems we are starting all over every Monday, not just the first day back after summer! (What is it about the weekend that makes kids forget everything? ;) )

One of the things that helped keep me going last week was to think about all of the things that DID get done, rather than focus on what didn't.

I know with my kids I need to give them a lot more than 30 minutes to be ready to go in the morning. Well, my son is always up and rarin' to go, but dd takes a long time to wake up in the morning. So for our 8 am start time - she sets her alarm for 6:45. (Honestly, I don't know how on earth we'd ever get her to school on time if she had further to go than the kitchen!) I've made the offer that if she can show me she can be all ready in less time, I'll let her sleep longer, but she hasn't so far...anyway - I'm sure you know how much time they need, but just a thought fwiw.

The kids' attitudes will improve as they get back into the routine, I'm sure.

Just keep on keepin' on. It's all going to be okay.
Hugs again,
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:05 pm

Re: Not a very successful first day....

Unread post by 4littlehearts »

Thanks Melissa and Crystal for the encouragement! I had such high hopes for this day. I guess I should set my expectations a little lower. My kids were not really eager to end their summer and start school back up again.

My dd (age 13) later in the morning, on her one volition, came to me, apologized and asked for forgiveness for trying to ruin our first day. She said that she was purposefully trying to make my day bad because she was angry at me for not letting her sleep in. Even though she had apologized and I forgave her, I just could not get back on track the way I had wanted to. I will try to recoup and tweak my schedule up a bit and pray that tomorrow goes better.

I guess I neglected to focus on the positives of what we did accomplish rather than what we did not. It is so easy to set your standard so high that when you do not reach it you become rather discouraged. On that note, my ds, 4th grade, really likes the Complete Book of Animals, I find him picking it up throughout the day and reading tidbits of info. here and there. I actually bought it for my 1st grader so she could feel somewhat a part of what we are doing. She is a very good reader for her age and I knew she would enjoy reading it being that I did not buy any student pages for her for ECC because she is doing MFW 1st.

Melissa, I am thinking that you are right about waking my kids up earlier to be ready to start school at 8:30. I know that getting up early (at least early for them) will just become routine after a while. I was thinking of waking them up early last week just to get them ready for this week. Now I wish I had. Oh well! We learn from our mistakes.

Thanks again for your encouragement and helpful tips.

Re: Not a very successful first day....

Unread post by cbollin »

4littlehearts wrote:My dd (age 13) later in the morning, on her one volition, came to me, apologized and asked for forgiveness for trying to ruin our first day. She said that she was purposefully trying to make my day bad because she was angry at me for not letting her sleep in. Even though she had apologized and I forgave her, I just could not get back on track the way I had wanted to.
now that is an awesome thing to hear that she did. You've done a great job, mom! (((hugs))) I think with that from a 13 y.o daughter -- you have some successes today. (((hugs)))

I got like that sometimes too when my oldest was 13 and I had a hard time to recover from bad moments. Ok, oldest had problems recovering after I'd forgive her. But it's getting a lot better on both of us. It's kinda interesting. she takes archery and has had to learn how to recoup fast after a really frustrating shot.

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Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Not a very successful first day....

Unread post by gratitude »

((Hugs!)) I am sorry your first day didn't go well for you.

I had a very unsuccessful first 3 - 6 weeks last year, so I completely understand. I will admit today was awesome, my first day back, completely opposite of last year. Yet, due to last year, I know what it is like to feel like the first day (weeks) was two left feet.

I guess one encouraging idea I had was I just spent the last three weeks transitioning back to school for the first day. I moved their summer bed time of 9 back to the normal time of 8 over a 3 week period. They then started to get up around 7, and I had them dress before breakfast like it was a school day. I also did two science experiments last week just to break the ice. So I guess I think it helped today. It felt more like an extension of the last three weeks then a sudden transition. So perhaps go easy on yourself. It literally took me 6 weeks to get school going last year. I backed off after a poor first few days, and spent 6 weeks easing into it.

You are doing awesome with those kids! Look at what your dd 13 did on her own. Such a wonderful moment of her showing maturity and character on her own initiative. I hope tomorrow is much better for you.
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Re: Not a very successful first day....

Unread post by RachelT »

Hi! I checked on this thread to encourage - and also to find any tips for myself! We had some rough moments today, too. Somehow we got a lot done in the morning, but the attitudes and picking at each other happened during the afternoon. The kids said they were tired and I even slept later than normal today. (Just letting you know you aren't the only one!)

I'm sure other families might be more efficient, but I seem to need two hours in the morning before we really start school. My kids do better if they have 1.5 hours, but 1 hour is okay. My kids aren't hungry right when they wake up, I also have two puppies that need to be fed and walked, we also do some simple chores, and all of that takes time. Last week in our 3rd week of school, I finally felt like we were getting "into a groove". The first couple of weeks there was more resistance. Today, I felt like that started all over again, but I think one child in particular was just tired. Hopefully, he will feel rested tomorrow!!

Oh, and ECC is more fun (I think) when you start to learn about other cultures and are past the beginning map/geography basics.

You will have better days! Stick with it and God will help you get there! :-)
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19
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Re: Not a very successful first day....

Unread post by gratitude »

samandsawyersmom wrote:So. . . .it is ok and quite normal to have a rough couple of weeks at the beginning of the school yr? For kidos and parent? I have not started but I am just wondering for someone else I know. I would assume that going from a more rigid curriculum to this there will be other battles also? I think she is shocked that she is done so fast! Her dd also. This is normal right? I sort of feel bad cause I am the one who introduced her to MFW and I really truly believe she and the dc will LOVE it but since I have not started it I am questioning my knowledge. And that would be because I have none!!! :-) :~ ;) Sorry about the run on. I just want to know I am normal and be able to tell my friend it will be ok. She just started after Labor day so only one week in.

Thanks for your time!!
With my limited experience my answer would be yes many people have a rough start to school. I did last year, and I can not tell you how relieved I am to be having a great start this year.

As to MFW, one of my big surprises when we found it last January was that my kids seemed to be learning MORE in LESS time. I would still say I feel this way. I am not sure exactly how it works, but it seems to be a highly effective curriculum that gets a lot of work done without extra busy work.


Re: Not a very successful first day....

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

gratitude wrote:As to MFW, one of my big surprises when we found it last January was that my kids seemed to be learning MORE in LESS time. I would still say I feel this way. I am not sure exactly how it works, but it seems to be a highly effective curriculum that gets a lot of work done without extra busy work.
This is such a quotable quote! This has been our experience with MFW over and over again and we have found MFW has grown with our children to meet academic and discipleship needs too.

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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:27 pm

Re: Not a very successful first day....

Unread post by doubleportion »

Just to chime in on a few points-

I found the first few weeks of ECC pretty challenging, then it seemed to lighten up a little. I think there were chapters in POE that I summarized and it seemed like the beginning was especially fully of science terms and kind of wordy for my dd. Each day is different. Some days we got a lot done and others seemed like only 50%. I just had to be sure that I was willing to say enough for the day and leave the rest for another day and not beat a dead horse. KWIM?

I try and take advantage of my dd best time of day (morning for her- ummm not really for me) and do her more challenging subjects then when she has a better focus and is perkier.

Hang in there. It will get better and the speed bumps will decrease as you go along. Just stick with it :-)

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Location: Northern IN

Re: Not a very successful first day....

Unread post by samandsawyersmom »

Thanks!!! Makes me feel better and she did say this week is going better. Just getting into the groove and learning something new.

Just makes me know even more that I will love MFW!!! I mean they "had me at hello!!" LOL!! :-) ;) :-)

Wife to my wonderful husband 8yrs
Mom to 2 wonderful sons 6yrs and 4yrs
2012 pre-school and MFW 1st
2011 K
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Re: Not a very successful first day....

Unread post by 1974girl »

I know that the first few weeks I was like "oh my goodness, what have I done!" because it is so much more than Adventures. But once I got past the first month, it has seemed to slow down. We just don't do good early either. I like to go from 10-2pm but get done wayyy earlier. I found out last year (first year homeschooling) that trying to keep a strict time schedule was adding more stress to me. I would freak if we hadn't done math by lunch. So now, I just try to keep the same "order" of things. Trust me, once you get to Mexico, it gets better. The kids did a whole year of the USA so to do it again was boring. But this week when we made the pinata, they were thrilled. (It is one of those things that we homeschooling moms do but really don't want to do....I still have liquid starch on my kitchen floor!) But they are so excited to have people over to eat tacos and break that thing. I say all that to say gets better.
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 teach your children's children."
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:05 pm

Re: Not a very successful first day....

Unread post by 4littlehearts »

Well, just a quick update. It is after midnight and I really need to be in bed or else I will have another Monday experience but this time it will be my kids dealing with a grumpy mom instead of the opposite way around.

Today went much better than our first day on Mon. We still are not doing everything yet, need to still add read-aloud, foreign language, Apologia Science (for older dd), English, and creative writing, but we started off our morning with much better attitudes and a lot less sleepiness. We seemed to work faster through our subjects as well. I am really thankful for the Saxon 8/7 MFW lesson plans. They are a real life-saver. Last year my dd took so long doing all of the problems in Saxon 7/6 but I just did not feel comfortable on my own cutting certain problems out. It seems like dd will be doing math for 4 days on one week and 5 days on the next week and so on. The other day, the geography pre-test took forever too between my older dd trying to fill in what she knew (my ds made it easy on me, he did not hardly know his countries on any sheet except a couple on the Asia sheet and 3 on the North American sheet) and me trying to count out exactly how many countries she had right. Tomorrow should be pretty easy for my dd in MFW 1st because it is Exploration day, which makes it easier for me to get the things done with my other children in ECC.

Thanks again for all of your encouragement. I know that once the kids get used to the routine of things again, and I get more acquainted with the routine of this curriculum, things will flow much better.

It's me again. Help!! Can't deal with him anymore

Unread post by cbollin »

OklahomaJamie wrote:We have been homeschooling for a month now. We've probably had 4 good days in the entire month. For those who don't know, my son is 10 years old and this is our first year to homeschool. He is very smart, he can read, write, he is a great speller and is great at math. Well, he argues when he has to write, type, color, draw.

I made him go to his room earlier and he came and got some of his papers. Pretty soon, he hollered that he loved this particular math paper. I cut out shapes and his worksheet told him to put shapes in a pattern where they would create another shape. He did all of the worksheet, writing, and he took pictures of all of his shapes. Why can't he enjoy doing everything like this? and why can't I figure out how to make everything fun to him like this assignment was?

Right now, we are arguing about the ILL, Lesson 10, where he has to write a story about the Flower Girl picture, beginning with the words "As I was going down the street, I --- He argues, I can't think of anything, how long of a story, i don't know how, etc. Can he learn if I don't make him write, color, read, etc? Should I write everything that needs written, read everything that needs read, color everything that needs colored and let him just sit and watch??? I'm not the student.

Is there SOME WAY that I can find something that would make this all fun for him, like the geometry he did earlier today? I just want to put him back in school.
Some quick bullet points from my opinion....

1. Give yourself some grace as you learn your new job of being a teacher. Not everything has to be "fun" when we homeschool. There is a big learning curve for both of you. I hear it is common to run into struggles changing like this.

Are you coming dressed as the teacher? I know that reads odd. There are days when I have to dress the part of being the school teacher in order to get school done. It is amazing that when I feel professional as a teacher (even in my own house) that I act the role and the kids straighten up a bit. I tell them, in my classroom we don't do that. There are even times that I pretend they ain't my kids, but that it is just my job to teach them. I don't take it personally then.

I'm sure there are lots of parenting tips and how to be a new homeschooler. I'm just going to by pass that and talk about the things I've learned as a writing teacher.

1. His writing assignments can be done orally with good prompts while you learn to write. Here are some articles to read as a new writing teacher. ... es/192.php
and ... es/131.php

2. For the specific ILL assignment that you mentioned, if my kiddos were struggling for a story, I would just have them write the answers to the questions in lesson 9 but have them in sentence form that sounds more like a child telling the story.

It is perfectly ok to: Model a possible story for him and make him choose one possible "right" answer from 2 or 3 answers. You should write it down and get him to copy it from dry erase board, or paper. But, tell him he's old enough to write 4-5 sentences for a very short story. If writing it down it a real battle right now, have him read his answers out loud to you.

As I was going down the street, I saw
a. a girl who was about 10 years old selling flowers.
b. a 10 year old flower girl sitting at her sales table.

I wondered if she was homeschooled or skipping school so I asked her. She said
a. I'm homeschooled and selling flowers to raise money for Bible translation
b. I'm homeschooled and learning a business. Would you like to buy a flower?

I noticed the other children nearby were buying flowers from her so I decided to
a. buy a flower too
b. go home because I didn't have money.

After that, I came back home.
But that's one way to work on writing. Also, I know in previous posts you've mentioned that your dh isn't yet on board with homeschooling long term. But what if you had a "parent/teacher" conference with him. Would he be willing to talk to his son to say "straighten up boy for your teacher?" If he pulled this nonsense at real school, the teacher and principal wouldn't hesitate to call you. What would you say to your son if the classroom teacher called you and your husband?

Also in previous posts you've mentioned ADHD. One awesome resource on the homeschooling market for homeschooling with ADHD is a small company with a great blog called you might want to check it out to see if there are some books and ideas from her (Melinda Boring is her name) to give some specific teaching strategies. She's married to an adult with ADD, and has 2 out of her 3 children with ADHD. wonderful lady in the homeschool community.

and this is not "just a project of yours". (I remember those words were said to you... they are not true) The truth is: this is your son, whom you love and are making living sacrifices for him. You'll tweak on teaching methods and learn a lot this year. It's going to be ok.

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Re: It's me again. Help!! Can't deal with him anymore

Unread post by sojen »

Your post brings tears to my eyes. (((hugs)))

I took my daughter out of school against her will 4 years ago. Those first six months we fought every day and I felt overwhelmed. I had seriously thought God was calling me to homeschool, but I couldn't figure out why it was so hard. I confided in a homeschool veteran and her reply was, "Maybe you should quit." Well, call me stubborn, but quitting was not an option. I was on my knees daily crying out to God. He was the only source of strength at that time.

One afternoon my younger daughter was at soccer practice. It started to rain, but the coach did not cancel practice. The kids were soaked and cold. I wanted more than anything to take my girl home, but I knew if she toughed it out it would make her feel proud. I felt at that moment God encouraging me. He wanted to take me out of the tough moments of life, but instead He stands at the sidelines cheering us on. Why? Because He wants us to grow in perseverance. He loves us and sometimes has us walk through the fire so that we are refined.

So I stuck it out. I cried, I prayed, but I did not give up. And guess what happened? About six months later my daughter climbed in my lap one afternoon and hugged me. She is not a hugger. She said, "Mom, I was really upset when you took me out of school. But I am so glad I am homeschooled now." That moment is treasured so much in my heart. It made up for every minute that was exhausting.

I hope this encourages you in some ways. Thank you so much for your honesty so that we can pray for you.
Jen in GA
mom to dd 11, dd 8, and ds 5
traveling through the medieval world with RTR.
Slowly starting kindergarten with my little guy.
Amy C.
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Re: It's me again. Help!! Can't deal with him anymore

Unread post by Amy C. »

I hesitate even to respond to this post because I hear your frustration in your post and don't know that I have anything sustantial to share to help you and because of the fact that we have our share of attitude in our home. However, I hate to see anyone quit homeschooling because I feel so strongly about it so I hope I can offer something that might help.

First of all I had to get over that not everything in homeschooling is going to be fun. I once heard another homeschooling mother say, "If homeschooling is not fun, what is the use?" Well, I had to think long and hard about that. My oldest son has never - and I repeat NEVER - liked math. We have had many a tear over it. Math is not fun for him. (Well, I will say that it is getting better now that he is older (11) and that he is using Singapore. I don't know which one is making the bigger difference, but I am thankful.) Anyway, I looked at our situation and said, "My son hates math. It is not fun for him, but it is necessary for life. There is a use in learning it." So that mother's comment was false. Yes, I do want my children to enjoy all aspects of school, but I have been homeschooling long enough to know that that is not reality. Each child is different and each one will not like or think certain things are fun, but they are necessary for them to learn. Now I will agree that sometimes it takes a change in curriculum. We were using a more textbooky formal type of curriculum with a lot of writing before switching to MFW and it was making us all miserable, and it was not just the math either. My children enjoy school much more now that we have switched. However, I will say that some things are still just not fun for them.

Another thing that has worked around here is talking to our children about how many aspects of life are not fun. It is not fun for me to balance the checkbook (especially when funds are tight). It is not fun for me to grocery shop. It is not fun to clean the house. It is not fun for my husband to have to deal with problems in his business each day. It was not fun when his business burned to the ground and we had to rebuild. Life is hard and takes work and we try to communicate that now is the learning ground for life for our children. In with this we talk to our children about the fact that we are a family and that we work together as a family. We each have responsibility. Their daddy at work and here at home. Their mother here at home. We go into detail about what specific things fall into those responsibilities. We also let them know that as part of this family they have responsibilities - chores and school - and that we all must pull together and do our part with good attitudes. That includes school, even the hard stuff, and that with God's help, we will get through it - even math. Now we do still have our moments of bad attitudes, and we have to deal with them, but I am seeing less of those attitudes.

Another thing that we have talked to our children about is the fact that we feel very strongly that God has called us to homeschool and that we as their parents have to answer to him for the way we raise them. We let them know that we love them and want God's best for them and that that is why we seek His will in every aspect of raising them, including homeschooling and what curriculum we use. I do try to involve them to a certain extent in things. We talk about their school and what part they like and don't like and why. We talk about ways we might could do things a little different, like doing LA orally one day instead of writing the assignment, but other things are non-negotiable and I let them know that it is just one of those hard things that must be done and that I will help them but that they must put forth their best effort and dig in there and get it done with a good attitude. That is their responsibility.

My husband has even told my boys that we can switch with them and that they can do all of our jobs (and he lists those jobs) and that we will stay at home and do their schoolwork. They say they would like to do some things he does but not all and certainly they don't want my jobs and quickly change their tune. Now, of course, my husband is just kidding and this may not work with everyone, but it is one way we have tried to put things in perspective for our children.

I have also had to do a lot of praying for one of my boys, in particular, when it comes to attitude, and still do. He is my firstborn and definitely has the firstborn type-A personality, but I know that God made him that way and I am having to rely on Him to help me raise him with that attitude channeling it in the right direction. It can get tiresome, but I have faith that it will be worth it in the end.

I am not in your shoes. We started out homeschooling from the beginning. I have heard it can be a real struggle when taking a child out of public school to homeschool, but I have also heard that it can work. It might just take more work to make it work, which is one of those things that is hard and is just plain not fun, but really worth it in the end. I will be praying for you, your husband, and your son.

Amy C.
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: It's me again. Help!! Can't deal with him anymore

Unread post by TriciaMR »

First, {{Hugs}}. Sounds like you're having a really bad day...

I went to a couple of Andrew Pudwa (I know that's not how you spell it, but that's how you pronounce it...) talks at our homeschool convention last year. He has a writing curriculum (called the Institute for Excellence in Writing - I don't use it and I'm not promoting it, but he does have good suggestions on writing)...

1. It is OKAY to help your son. He says, which is better: not writing at all, or (like Crystal suggested), giving him 2 choices and having him pick one? And it is usually boys that need more help. Open ended assignments like that one are really hard for kids. He suggests asking questions and prompting for ideas or suggesting ideas. Eventually they get it, it's just really hard at first.

2. It is OKAY to do double dictation. Have him dictate to you, you write it on the whiteboard or paper, and he has to copy it or type it. No complaining, no fussing, no whining. No dinner until it's done. (Okay, up to you on the dinner part, but you get my idea. Maybe bread and water...)

3. I wouldn't color anything for him, but if it's like coloring an area of a map to show where a desert is - go ahead and lightly draw a line (or lines) where the deserts would fall. Maybe he's not wanting to do it because he needs boundaries to color. (Just like that writing assignment from ILL - there were no boundaries about what to write and how long to write.) Or, give him construction paper and say, "Okay, you don't have to color, but you need to somehow mark where the deserts are, you can use this construction paper to do that, or you can put dots or x's or dashes to show the area, or you can color. Just make a legend so we know what it is."

4. Are you sure there's not an eye-tracking issue or anything like that? I know you said he can read and he's a good speller, but I'm just wondering if the nature of coloring and writing vs. cutting (like the geometry paper) that there might be something. Or a lighting issue in the room your using (glare or not enough light), or even the height of the table.

5. For drawing - if it is for his notebook pages, a couple of suggestions: clip art or pictures (especially from the internet linked books) at the top, and lines at the bottom for him to, eh, write on. Or, let him use tracing paper to trace a picture, and then just glue the paper to the top half. Many of my dd's ECC science pages were like that. If it is nature notebook, take the digital camera and let him take a picture of something, then identify it and print it out and put it in his notebook.

6. Give yourself grace. You're not a failure - you're new at this. You didn't learn to walk or talk in a day. It's going to take you a while to learn how to teach and be mom at the same time. God gave you your son and He wants you to raise him. We all have bad days. Sometimes we have bad weeks. Sometimes, well, we have bad years.

7. Give your son grace, too. He's trying to figure out this whole thing too. There may be some testing of limits in this or character issues with the writing/drawing/coloring stuff. But, sometimes it's not. Sometimes there is truly a physical issue. Pray about it a lot. Plus, there are our own character issues. Our pastor always says, "God gives us kids so we'll work on our own character issues, not just our kid's."

One suggestion... I had a friend who was having trouble with her son (and he has ALWAYS been homeschooled), so she got out the video camera, set it on a shelf or counter-top or something, and recorded the day. Her husband didn't really believe her son was giving her such a hard time. After he saw the video, he had a talk with the son and got more involved in disciplining the son. It also helped her see that it wasn't just behavior/character issues, there was something else going on. I also think 10 yo boys are hard to parent some. They are starting to change and want to go conquer the world and don't always want parents hovering, yet don't always know how to do things themselves. You might have to give him a little more "freedom" to do some things himself.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
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Re: It's me again. Help!! Can't deal with him anymore

Unread post by mgardenh »

((Hugs)) to you!. First and foremost you are not a failure and you don't fail at everything. Don't believe the lie. Secondly you succeeded at Math. He enjoyed it! While yes school can be fun not all of it will be. I hated school growing up (public school).

Secondly. Take it slow. Maybe start with things he enjoys!
(i'm not necessarily expecting you to answer these questions here on the board, they're thought provoking but if you want to answer them you can)
Is he upset because you pulled him out of school? Then he is probably rebelling and trying to get you to send him back to public school. Don't let him do it

If he was for homeschooling maybe his expectations aren't what he expected.

Do you have a list of school rules to follow (he will do all assignments without complaining, he will do his best)

Does he have some disability (dyslexia, autism, adhd) that might be contributing to the behavior?

Have you tried talking to him about what why, what, and how he is responding to you calmly without yelling an screaming.

Are the lessons short, 15 to 20 min?

Pull out your bible and show him versus about how a child should act with his parents (the ten commandments, obedience)

Show him in the bible how parents are to treat their children and if you haven't been following that ask for his forgiveness.

Have dad get involved in helping him see that he needs to obey.

Pray and pray and pray!

Jesus is at your side and will get you through this
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Re: It's me again. Help!! Can't deal with him anymore

Unread post by gratitude »

Instead of reading all of the wonderful posts of support and encouragement that you are getting I decided that I am going to use the minutes I have to try and respond. ((Hugs!))

I can hear your frustration, your desire to make it fun & have it be fun for ds. Your desire to home school, and your uncertainity if it is worth it.

Well here goes my limited experience of raising kids for 7 years, and home schooling - well since the beginning.

Take a deep breath and know that God will see you through this if you decide to stick through the rough road of early home schooling. Our rough road was when we started curriculum, thus official school work.

Here are the things my ds considers 'fun' and that aren't considered to be school, but really are school work - they just don't feel like school to any of us:
1. Read aloud books. My kids love to be read to. This includes Bible, science, story books, etc.
2. Math - easy, fun, easy. (For him - not for every kid)
3. Science - easy, fun, easy. (Again, for him - not for every kid)
4. Being outside - we have always done this. Nature walks are just part of what we do.
5. Church, Sunday school.
6. Awana

Now here is the list of what my ds considers to be school work and really wishes we could skip and is not fun for him:
1. Handwriting - it is getting easier. (hard for him)
2. Spelling tests that last longer than 3 words. (challenges him, he has to think)

I guess what I am trying to say is if you think back to your school days what parts were fun for you? For me it was math and recess and PE. Every kid has their strengths, and weaknesses. The weaknesses in home school are very challenging because the student is comfortable at home and lets out all the emotions they would let out at school if someone would allow it or if they felt comfortable enough to do it. I am sure 1/2 the class would moan and groan in a classroom every day over math if there wasn't the social pressure not to. So at home, where all the emotions always come out, they do.

I guess one question I would have is how did home work go when he was in school? Did he do it without a fight? Was he always cheerful when doing it? If he was is there some way to make the work like school work for him to find a comfortable place and then ease into other type learning. If he wasn't, isn't home school going to bring out similar moments?

I feel like I am not being very encouraging, and want to be.

Another insight I would share is my sometimes question of whether home schooling is more about bringing out relationship issues that need to be worked out, or is it more about academics? Especially the first year. I found that when we became curriculum oriented that all of our relationship issues surfaced. It was a difficult few months. Or as my DH puts it this time last year we spent 3 months working on discipline. Now this fall we are having a ton of fun home schooling. This does not mean every moment is smooth, it just means that the routine is coming together as well as the attitudes and the joy of home schooling and peace is entering our home. Last fall though was anything but smooth. I had to gain my authority as a teacher. I had it as a mom, but I did not have it as a teacher. It felt like going through the toddler years all over again. I thought having the authority as a mom would automatically transfer to the student teacher relationship. After all their only experience with teachers was Sunday school and swimming. It didn't transfer though. I had to earn it. Thankfully, I have earned it but it took months. In many ways it took the entire school year last year. Yesterday though my ds told me he loved his teacher because it was his mommy. Home schooling can work, but it does take a lot of prayer on ones knees to get beyond the initial difficulties. At least it did for me. I will say again last year was really hard earning my authority as teacher and learning how to home school my kids. I am SO GLAD that I stuck with it.

Prayers for your success. Hang in there. You really can do this. If I can do this, any one can (I know people say that, but I really mean it.)

Blessings! I will pray for you.

Postby gratitude » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:28 pm

OklahomaJamie wrote: He says he didn't think he'd have to write.
Hi Jamie,
This statement above made me think of the idea of putting writing aside until the rest of home schooling is flowing smoothly. We took a month off from LA last fall to get the rest going smoothly and then when I added it back in we were able to do it without the initial problems. Just a thought..

Prayers for tomorrow.
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Re: It's me again. Help!! Can't deal with him anymore

Unread post by OklahomaJamie »

mgardenh wrote:Is he upset because you pulled him out of school? Then he is probably rebelling and trying to get you to send him back to public school. Don't let him do it
No, he has been asking me for 2 years to homeschool him. When I tell him I feel like putting him back in public school, he cries and doesn't want to go.

I just wanted to thank all of you for your words of encouragement and advice. I got some good ideas and will try to use them tomorrow.

Thanks for the advice.

Wife to Adam since '85
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Re: It's me again. Help!! Can't deal with him anymore

Unread post by MelissaM »

You've gotten some great responses; I just want to give you ((((HUGS)))) and encouragement to keep going.

You are NOT a failure. You are not. You're doing hard, hard work; it will bear wonderful fruit, but right now it's hard. But you are NOT a failure. Never say anything about yourself that you wouldn't say about your best friend.

I'm not in your position; I've homeschooled from the start, so I don't pretend to know exactly how you're feeling. But I will say that the first year, oh there's such pressure - such pressure to prove that this works, that the kids will get a great education, and that you can homeschool all day with a smile on your face and still keep up with all the laundry and cook a gourmet meal for dinner ever night. You've got something to prove. Every year this gets a little better for me. I can see now that it's little steps. This year, I've already taken the MONUMENTAL, BOLD step of (gasp! dramatic music!) skipping a couple of lessons in ILL because we just didn't get to them. I *finally* get that dd will have more than ONE opportunity to learn xyz and that the whole world will not stop spinning if we skip something and don't hyperventilate about it. Oh! I also on purpose set aside an assigned literature book because it was just too much for us to worry about at this stage of the game. Hey - I have a 5 yr old and a 1 year old to keep up with as well. And sometimes, fostering the relationship between siblings, or making sure that everyone has done their chores is more important than what's in my lesson planner for the day. (Maybe other people instinctively know this stuff and I'm the oddball. But I am learning too, my kids aren't the only ones. And I'm not perfect, but I'm NOT a failure.)

I'm starting to ramble - sorry. I just want to give you permission to

a)forgive yourself for not being the *perfect* teacher in your first 4 weeks of homeschooling. You'll keep learning, and improving.
b) give your son as much help as he needs to get through his assignments for now. I have several nieces who have said they wish that I could homeschool them; inevitably when I ask them why, they say they think it would be "fun" or "easy." I have to assure them that if they were to be students at my school, they would have to work and work hard. So, have a talk with your son about what his expectations were - "I didn't think I would have to write." You could tell him, "I'm sorry you're disappointed to discover that you still have to do writing assignments even though we're homeschooling. I'll do everything I can to not make writing torture for you, but I need you to return the favor by having a willing spirit and putting in the effort." Or something like that. And then, really, give him as much help as he needs to get through the writing - great suggestions in above posts. (I've been doing studied dictation with my dd. She's supposed to study a passage and then write it perfectly from my dictation, including spelling, punctuation, etc. I let her check her work against the passage, even though I wasn't "supposed" to - because she was able then to cheerfully make the corrections, instead of being frustrated and feeling like a bad writer. What good would it do me - or how would it improve her writing skills to make her feel like...she doesn't have any? KWIM?)

I would say, cut out any academic stuff that you need to in order to have time to work on the heart issues, the expectation issues, the confidence issues. Add things in slowly, one at a time. Remind him that not everything is going to be fun, but there are rewards to working hard.

Listen to the song "Before the Morning" by Josh Wilson. You can find it on Youtube. It's so encouraging.

More (((HUGS))). Keep on keepin' on. You are not failing. You're building something WONDERFUL.
Julie in MN
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Re: It's me again. Help!! Can't deal with him anymore

Unread post by Julie in MN »

gratitude wrote:This statement above made me think of the idea of putting writing aside until the rest of home schooling is flowing smoothly.
I'm going to agree with Carin that you should put it aside for now. I know it feels like you'd be teaching him the wrong lessons, but really it will be okay. Then when you are ready to add writing back in, check out the boards here on different adaptations we have all made for our little non-writers :)
OklahomaJamie wrote:he doesn't know how, I'm supposed to help him, etc etc
One of the big differences between homeschool and public school is that you can't just look over your shoulder and see what the next student is doing. Another is that you can't just let the other students answer all the teacher questions -- it's just you, answering every single question. So like Melissa said, you have to work very hard in homeschools. In some ways, it feels shorter/easier because there isn't the fluff and busywork and wasted time. In the end, we know it will be shorter yet deeper, but a kid who's seen the other way can't always sense or appreciate this.

I would not hesitate to do EVERYthing with him at this point, modeling how to approach this new way of learning. Even say out loud when you're not sure about something, and say out loud what you will "try" first. This will show him the proper attitude as well as the proper techniques for approaching an unfamiliar task. I have always had a policy of starting things *with* my children. Whenever I get the idea that something will be easy for them to figure out on their own, they will show me that it's not easy -- or that they don't think about the task in the way that I expected. And I'm on my second homeschooled high schooler, so this isn't just a babyish issue. Children are... children. They don't think like adults yet. It's okay to show them. Doing it together for a while will likely save you time and energy in the long run, even if it doesn't feel like it at first. Likely he will become much more independent in the long run. Don't worry that you're setting up bad habits, but instead think of yourself as a one-on-one tutor like Socrates or something :)

Last edited by Julie in MN on Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Re: It's me again. Help!! Can't deal with him anymore

Unread post by 1974girl »

Take a learning style quiz with your son. I personally like the multiple intelligence quizzes. Here are a couple. The first one has the adult test first..scroll down for the kid one. ... .do?lang=e (this is one in general but I think a 10 year old could take it)

This totally changed my teaching style to my oldest. I had no idea she would fall in the "musical" category. We didn't take a single lesson of anything! I started making up rhymes to remember stuff. She learned all of her states and capital (during Adventures) from a youtube video song. You will see that he will have some of each but one will stand out. (sometimes two)

After you find his style...go here and click on it at the top. It will tell you who famous has his style and what he will respond to the best. (I bet it is NOT coloring! LOL)

God has geared him toward whatever he needs to serve HIS purpose. You just learn all you can about your son's natural "bent" and go with it. Yes, he will still have to do math. My "musical" child cries almost daily over math but we know it has to be done. But I am pretty sure that God won't ask her to be a mathematician in the future! Singing in church, maybe even a music teacher, but NOT an accountant! You will enjoy doing this with your son and you will see him in a while new light. Just get the tools you need and it will all work out! You can do this!

Oh, and I forgot to add the most important link. This is lesson plans with his style.
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
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"When you teach your teach your children's children."
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Re: It's me again. Help!! Can't deal with him anymore

Unread post by mgardenh »

As I have thought some more about your situation I had some ideas. They're just ideas, take them or leave them.

He is adhd. Even though he is on medication, it doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't affect him. Some things to try (my dd is adhd among other things):

* Have him sit on an exercise ball when you read to him. This way he can bounce and move around.

* Get a stress ball (small ball that applies pressure when squeezed). Have him squeeze this periodically or when he is feeling overwhelmed)

* Have him swing or do some other large movement before each lesson teaching

Not Necessarily related to ADHD but try the reward system.

Here is how it works:
You figure out something he really likes to do (play outside, video games, board game, whatever) Then you can either get something special just for the reward time he is not allowed to do it except for in reward time. Or you can take it and hold it in a spot for reward time.

Then you tell him I want you to listen to the lesson and then spend 5, 10, 15 minutes (whatever is a good starting point) doing the lesson. He doesn't have to finish he just has to spend the time focused not complaining or whining and doing the work.

When he's done whatever it is that you have told him he gets to spend 10 minutes or what ever time is appropriate doing the fun thing that he really enjoys.

So start out gentle and then over time increase the amount of time he has to focus on the school work. You can even increase his reward time.

In regards to writing. Try and figure out what the problem is. Is it physical problem (hurts his hands) brain to hand doesn't work well. Or is it coming up with what to write. If it is coming up with what to write (i'm probably repeating stuff). Give him boundaries. How many sentences, paragraphs, even topic and sample sentences he might use.

May God bless you as you work with your son.
DH to Laurel
SAHD (mostly) to
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
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