Encouragement Needed - Do all children like school?

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
cbollin

HELP!!! My son is bored!!

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:56 pm

Leah OH wrote:My DS5 is constantly telling me he is bored with school. This is his first year (K), but he started reading when he was 4 and probably reads at a 2nd grade level already. He has even started doing math. I don't know what else to do with him. I hate to spend more money trying to find something he will enjoy, just to have him tell me he hates it. My DD6 is doing 1st grade and I've actually thought about just doing 1st grade with both of them. The problem I see there is it is a lot more handwriting.

I am getting so frustrated with trying to do school with kids who would rather be doing something else (playing). I know that if I don't get this figured out before next school year, my DH will insist that they go to public school. Some days I think maybe they would be better off there anyway. I had posted a few weeks ago about splitting my time between the kids, and that seems to work for the most part, but he is still bored. I am probably one of the least creative people on this earth, so I do have a hard time thinking of interesting ways to present some of this stuff. Should I just give up?
no no no don't give up yet. (((hugs)))) no no no no. pausing typing and praying for you to hang in there and praying for your dh to help out too. It's too early in your homeschooling journey to give up. (((hugs)))

p.s. my kids would rather be playing too. :)

hmm..... brainstorming...

set a certain: this is your school time kind of hours, then let him know that when that is done, he can have time to do other things. stick to the hours. Keep it not long. Then, ask your husband if he'd consider playing a game with this a bit and consider a day or two of "let's play group school today just for something different." Have them awaken to an alarm clock. Have dh drive them around the block and get into a desk upon getting home. Have them sit. You play the part too: Dress up as a teacher and be Mrs. Leah instead of mom. Don't let them out the same room for a few hours. Line up for wash room break. keep it up until 2 pm. dismiss.
*****
alright......

let him sit in on first grade with older sibling. He can do more of it orally if needed. Or shorten the handwriting. Sounds like your 5 y.o needs both: doing stuff with older sis, but yet still needs his worksheets to meet his other needs. But then I'm not there and I don't know your children... it's all a guessing game of course.... so filter what works and ignore what doesn't sound like it makes sense for your situation.

let him read books that he is liking (use Honey for Child's Heart from 1st grade deluxe for ideas, use the science and math literature for more ideas. The math literature books can help a bit with the math too)

let him know that he'll use the K sheets for other language arts: learning to spell, and doing handwriting and other little things that are important to learn and know and just to let mom know that she's covering it.

if you need "beef up ideas for K" worksheets:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=7179

math: if he can listen to the math in first grade, it might be ok.

for handwriting: will he write in dirt, or something else that isn't paper? maybe he needs more tactile writing for now and add worksheets in later in a few weeks.

-crystal

donutmom
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:41 am

Re: HELP!!! My son is bored!!

Unread post by donutmom » Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:10 pm

I am getting so frustrated with trying to do school with kids who would rather be doing something else (playing).
First, I'll say join the crowd! (which is really meant to be encouraging!!) My children would still rather do that, and my oldest is 11!! But to be honest, I'd rather play than clean toilets or wash clothes or search the library website!!! The difference between me and the kiddos is that I "know" that I just have to buckle down and do the work. They have to learn that. (And just because I KNOW that, doesn't mean I always have a good attitude. :~ ) So don't be too frustrated with your children. After all, they've spent the last five years playing. (I know, I know, easier said then done. But I've been there, and I'll bet most of the other moms have, too.) Deep breathing and lots of praying is very helpful!!

I won't repeat Crystal's good ideas, but I'll echo Crystal in her suggestion of giving a go at letting your son join in with your daughter and modify as needed. My son struggled with writing on paper--the fine motors just weren't there. It takes some kids longer to get there, and that's alright. He did well, though, writing on an old chalkboard or the driveway when the weather was appropriate (and he had fun to boot--I bought multicolored chalk). Also, we poured some rice in a jelly roll pan, and he wrote letters with his finger in that. Just a couple ideas there.

Don't give up yet. There's a learning curve for the children to get used to schoolwork. And also a learning curve for mom as she figures out what works and doesn't, how to motivate, how to stay calm when she really wants to blow her top, etc. I'll be praying for you.

Dee

P.S. An additional thought. . .my one son is a perfectionist, and when he can't do something well, he doesn't want to do it at all (the practice makes perfect mantra escapes him!!). Anyway, my thought is that perhaps he's saying he's bored, because the writing is such a struggle, and he doesn't want to have to do what's hard for him, so it all gets lumped into the "boring" category. I know, that's probably not applicable in your case, but I thought I'd throw the thought out there anyway.

Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Re: HELP!!! My son is bored!!

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:28 pm

cbollin wrote:set a certain: this is your school time kind of hours, then let him know that when that is done, he can have time to do other things. stick to the hours. Keep it not long.
This is big at our house -- school hours. That means getting over it "once" rather than "every day."

The other thing at our house is not starting K too early, especially with boys. If your dh is nervous, you might tell him my experience :) My oldest started K at age 6 (public schooled), and he is now a working engineer. He was always a book-smart kid, but that doesn't mean he needed to be sitting in a chair writing abstract symbols at age 5 in order to continue to learn and to be smart ;)

Here are some more ideas & experiences. Maybe one will have something you really relate to in your family:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1196
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3967

<hugs>
Julie
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

jasntas
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: HELP!!! My son is bored!!

Unread post by jasntas » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:30 pm

I think you have gotten some good advice from the other ladies and I don't have a lot of wisdom to impart to you but I do have an idea that might help with the writing a bit. At least with writing one letter/number or short 3 or 4 letter words. I purchased a $1 pencil box with a flat bottom and filled it about 1/3 full with salt. When introducing the proper way to write a letter I let my dd practice in the salt. When finished with it, I close the box and put it up on a shelf until the next time. It is not air tight and occasionally if the box gets knocked over a little salt spills out. I don't worry too much about it because it's not going to cause ants. (I guess I could put it in a gallon Ziploc bag. Hmm.)

My dd really seems to enjoy this activity. So does my ds who struggles with writing and also seems to be a perfectionist who doesn't want to make a mistake he has to erase so he'd rather not do it at all. (I totally relate to Dee's perfectionist's problem.) Sometimes I let him practice his spelling words this way. He will probably practice his cursive this way as well when he starts it later this year.

I think this "salt box" is another good alternative in addition to ideas such as a white board or chalk for writing practice. I think my dc enjoy this method because it is easy and fun for them to sift the salt to "erase" their mistakes.

Btw, Last week my dd was saying the same thing. She was bored with the work. She is probably reading at a 1st grade level and I have modified the K program to make it a bit more challenging for her. Mostly with ideas I have gleaned from this board. (Thanks to Crystal and others).

Anyway, my point is, even after the modifications to the program she was still saying she was bored. For her it has actually turned out to be more of an issue of having "school" every week day. Over the summer I started the K program with her and we were "schooling" 2 days a week and finishing a 6 day unit in a 2 day period of time. She couldn't seem to get enough. Then, when school officially started, she was "bored". We are now into our 3rd week of school (our 2nd full week) and she seems to have settled into the daily schedule and seems to be ok with it now. I did do a little bit of tweaking to our schedule and it seems to be working better for her and all of us now. (I didn’t originally schedule in a 15 minute break time.)

I don't know if the 5 day a week thing may be an issue for your ds or not but it may be something else to consider. I encourage you to just keep playing around with ideas until you find what works for your family. School is definitely not one size fits all but that's the beauty of homeschooling. We "get" to find what works best for each of our precious gifts not leave it up to a school to just push them on through even if it‘s not working for them.

Sorry, I'm going on about this. My ds went to ps for 1st and 2nd and was really struggling. He hated school and cried almost every day of 2nd grade. Except for the 1 day a week I volunteered in his classroom. He has told me a couple of times already that he is glad he is having school at home and he has also told me he is having fun. He is not an easy student as he is easily distracted but his words were very encouraging. And he seems to be getting better about completing his work. Not independent like I would like him to be but not fighting it like he was either. Unlike my dd and most other hs-ed kids, he knows what ps is like and he has decided hs is better. At least for now. ;)

I was only going to give a short word on the "salt box" idea but it just kept coming. I don't know how much I may have helped but I will pray for you right now that God will give you wisdom as to what to do. Hang in there and don’t give up, at least not yet.
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
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The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

shawnaandmatt
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Re: HELP!!! My son is bored!!

Unread post by shawnaandmatt » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:34 pm

Hey there! We are new to homeschooling but I have something that worked for my DS5 from last year. He also did not like the writing portion of out school time.

We found a couple friends that he could send letters back and forth to. He was always happy to write a couple sentences (copy work from something I had written) if he might get mail :) !! Hope you find something that works!

Blessings,
Shawna
DS (6 in Oct) MFW K
DD (4) MFW K
DS (18mth) hopefully napping :)

RachelT
Posts: 352
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Re: HELP!!! My son is bored!!

Unread post by RachelT » Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:43 pm

Hi Leah! I'm thinking here...hmmm...
Let's see. First, my son always says he is bored or doesn't want to do things or doesn't like school, etc. His attitude is negative, partly because he has some learning disabilities that make some of it hard for him, but mostly because he would rather play all day! So, your son is not the only one like that!

Second, I don't know how long he has been 5 or how well he is reading, but you said you thought he was reading at a 2nd gr. level. I LOVE the Kindergarten curriculum, but if he knows how to read everything at the end of the K curriculum (short vowel cvc and ccvc or cvcc words) then could you follow Marie's plan of combining K and 1st? It is outlined well in the "choosing curriculum" part of the board.

Another thing you could do would be to use another phonics program so he can continue with his reading, but also do the K activities. My youger child learned to read more early than my oldest (but she also doesn't have dyslexia like her brother) and she went through the K curriculum a year early (starting at 4.5), but hit a plateau while she was 5. I waited to do 1st gr. with her and used another phonics program in between the two, so she could go ahead and progress in her reading skills, but not be pushed ahead too much in the writing portions. She began MFW 1st gr. this year at 6.5 when she is really 1st gr. age and the beginning portion is very, very easy and she is reading way beyond it, but she enjoys it and I'm just having her read me a storybook when she is done with the MFW 1st gr. portion. So, you could use the MFW K science, Bible and other activities and then do something else for phonics review for him (we liked Hooked on Phonics) and then continue to use the K handwriting sheets.

I'm not trying to make more work for you, just giving you some ideas.

HTH!
Rachel
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,
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4Truth
Posts: 334
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Motivation

Unread post by 4Truth » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:03 pm

Dannielle wrote:I haven't posted here in a long time. I forgot how helpful this board is.

We are in our second week of school and my 9 yr old is struggling already. He gets teary eyed the night before just thinking about having school tomorrow. He truly dislikes school work. We have experienced this with him in the years past, but I liked to try something different. Right now he has no desire to learn, he puts forth very little effort. It's not that he doesn't know what hes doing. I can tell the difference between him just being lazy and not understanding something.

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas we might could use to get him a little more excited and motivated about his work. I haven't really been grading anything so far, but I thought that maybe if he could see his progression that might help. At the same time, I thought grading may discourage him when he sees that hes not doing so good in some areas.

Anything would be helpful at this moment. I wanted to try and start the year off on a positive note.
Are you currently using MFW? Which year? Does he dislike school overall, or just certain subjects? Are certain aspects of it more difficult -- or frightening -- to him than others? IOW, does he seem to like ANY aspect of what you're doing for school?
Dannielle wrote:Yes, we are using Adventures this year. He likes to read on his own (recreational). Anything that involves me giving instructions he dislikes (which is basically everything). He is excellent at Math, but he cries when he has to do it. He has a very small attention span, very active, wants to be doing anything that does not directly involve "school." If there is something that he does not understand he gets frustrated, cries, throws a tantrum, or completely shuts down. He does not like anything that actually requires him to think.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Motivation

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:40 pm

Danielle,

I have 2 thoughts. 1 - is he dyslexic,dysgraphic, ADHD, or any other learning challenge? If so, maybe you can take away the writing portion. For example, if writing is a hard thing for him, build the problems with magnetic numbers or something, and let him use the magnetic numbers to answers, or write possible answers on slips of paper and let him choose the correct one. Use magnetic letters for spelling, etc.

2 - If you think it is a bad habit...Depends on if you want negative motivators or positive motivators. Here is my "chip cups" idea. My dd (who is 9 this year) had a habit of misbehaving last year. It was just an automatic reaction to fuss about math, stomp her feet at writing, say, "Oh mooooom!" when we had spelling." She couldn't make the connection to her behavior. So, we did this:

The kids start the day out with 20 "chips" in their cups. (I have different colored pretty rocks from the craft store that I'm using this year, last year I used paper clips.) I explained to my kids that if they act up, cry, pout, have a bad attitude, etc (you know what you need from your kids), I would take a chip. This really helped my kids make a connection to their behavior when they could see the chip coming out of the cup. Then you set up reward/consequence system:

20 chips - 15 minutes of computer/video/etc.
15-19 chips - no consequences/no rewards
12 - 14 chips - extra chore
10 - 12 chips - extra chore, plus going to bed 1/2 hour early
Less than 10 chips - then you get to face the principle (Dad!) when he gets home and he will determine the consequence. (Or add more consequences)

I only had to do this for about a month last year when my oldest was having attitude issues. I did it for one or two days at the beginning of this year, and haven't had to since. My boys really didn't like seeing a chip coming out of one cup and not the other.

My friend who suggested this said she made the chores really hard chores (raking leaves, picking up pine cones, weeding the garden). After the attitude improved and her kids weren't losing chips any more, she made it into a reward system. So, if you had 20 chips at the end of the day, you got a ticket. (Between 15-19, you lost a ticket.) Then, she had a chart for what her kids could buy with the tickets. Some ideas: date with mom or dad, CD with mom/dad's approval, computer time, computer game, new toys, etc.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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4Truth
Posts: 334
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Re: Motivation

Unread post by 4Truth » Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:42 pm

Dannielle wrote:He does not like anything that actually requires him to think.
Hhmmm... Well, I don't know your boy, or the situation overall, but if you really believe it's just laziness (and based on your last post, it sounds like maybe it is?), then I don't think I'd give him too many choices. I have one who was very similar -- didn't like anything requiring her to think or have to concentrate very hard, which is why SHE likes fill-in-the-blank workbooks instead of CM style language arts -- and I quit letting her use workbooks for this very reason. As an example of one thing I did that *gradually* changed the way she did things was, I started saying to her over and over again, "Copywork should never have a mistake." If she was too lazy to do it right the first time, she just kept making corrections until it was right.

School is just something we have to do. Period. The Bible says to do all things without grumbling and complaining, and I started quoting that when I'd hear moaning and groaning. (And yes, I have to quote it to myself sometimes, too! :~ ) I don't like to do ironing, but daddy needs ironed shirts for work, so that's what I do. That's one way I serve him. Period. I don't like grocery shopping, but it's irresponsible NOT to do grocery shopping. I do it for my family. Period. We attempt to "do all things as unto the Lord", and that includes the things we don't like, whether it be ironing or grocery shopping or school work. If we weren't homeschooling, you'd have to GO to school -- somewhere, and I guarantee it would be far less pleasant than doing school here. ;) These are all things I've said to my kids at one time or another. Nope, they're not perfect. They're wonderful, but not perfect! :)
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

Dannielle
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:22 pm

Re: Motivation

Unread post by Dannielle » Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:45 pm

cbollin wrote:don't answer this out loud if you are not comfortable with that...

does he get along with you in non school time? (you're step mom to him if I remember)? or is a lot of that real life dynamic still there? Can his dad help out for school time?

I have no boys, so I don't really have any advice or help or anything. I will pray. I know there's a good resource out there with "turansky and miller". they don't assume it is easy to parent in a variety of situations.

prayers and hugs.
-crystal
I understand what you are trying to get at and that has crossed my mind. I am sure that our relationship plays into this as well. The only thing is he does not like being told what to do by anyone, not just obeying me. It is something that we deal with on a daily basis. I have asked his father to teach him some, because they both have similar learning styles, but nothing as yet has come out of that.

Last year when we had this issue, we tried to take away certain things, but eventually we just had to take away all "fun" for the remainder of the day. We have had the discussion "sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do simply because they are required." I just didn't want to start out the year this way. He cried the very first day b/c he didn't want to do it.
Dannielle, NC

Nicholas (15), Brandon (10), Jude (4)

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Motivation

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:27 pm

Dannielle wrote:He cried the very first day b/c he didn't want to do it.
Hi Dannielle,
I'm hoping your week has gone better than expected?! I've been thinking of you & praying for you. Having raised kids for a long time and knowing so many families whose kids went through so many situations, it's hard to guess at what might be helpful for your young man, but I'd like to throw in some small idea.

My youngest is bright but he may never be a lover of academics. I've posted about him before, such as here: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 346#p22346 [above] But when my youngest has tears about something "hard," there is one thing that seems to help him. And that's if we start out doing it together. It seems to be a cross between modeling how to behave and socially joining him on his first steps in a new land. Mine is a social kid, though. and I don't know if your 9yo is that way.

For instance, this year I was dreading ds's transition to Algebra. Not that he wasn't *able* -- he was probably able 2 years ago. I was more worried that he couldn't handle it emotionally. So I've been sitting with him and calmly talking through, "So here's what I see... So what do you want to do next..." I even casually wrote down the answers at first. Even though the problems are quite easy at the beginning of the year, it was just sort of a "barrier" he had to get across. A mental absorption of something new. He was the same with long division & such. And now, after the first week, I can just feel his tension melting. Already he's starting to say, "I've already done that problem, mom, I'm talking about the next one." Eventually he'll want me out of his way altogether :)

I know that you have 3 kids and I truly have no idea how much time you have to spend with this one. But I just thought I'd throw that out there -- sitting with him through every subject, the first chapter of every book, and so forth, until he's ready to let go. It's just one method I've used to combat tearfulness.

The other thing I always say is "school hours." My son knows when they begin and... most importantly... what time they end. Every day.
Julie
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

little_arrows
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:16 pm

Re: Motivation

Unread post by little_arrows » Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:50 pm

I just want to second what Trish said..we have started following her suggestion on this and it has made SO much difference in our day! Noah ASKS to do school, and he doesnt balk so much at the parts that he struggles with. He likes to feel like he is earning something with his hard work...and we are even doing LESS screen time b/c he also wants to save his tickets up for other things. :)

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

a child that does not fit....

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:43 pm

MammaBear wrote:Does anyone have one child that does not like MFW? All my other children love it, but this one child wants to do more of a sporadic unit study approach- a different topic every few weeks. Do I oblige her and use something different, or just have her deal with it? Just wondering if you have had this issue and how you have dealt with it.
p.s. I thought I had already posted this, but did not see it so I am trying again.
Hi mama bear :)
I might compromise, but I don't think I'd figure a child knows what's best for them to the extent that I'd change her whole schooling around.

MFW has room for lots of flexibility, so it should be possible to flex for this student.

For instance, one of the old time homeschoolers in my area told me when I first started that a child could study most topics with a focus on their passions. My dd was notebooking chronologically for history (similar to MFW), and she could have focused her notebook on the fashions of each time period, or the weapons 8[] if she preferred that. She could have the same expectations but focus them in different ways. Literature was another area easily focused on areas of interest.

But if she were to have told me that, say, she wanted to delve into flowers for six months and skip the Bible and the progression of history and the exposure to literature and other important pieces of her overall education, well, I'd just have to explain that I knew what was best for her... ;)

But of course each of us is a unique creation of God, doing things differently in our homes. So these are just some thoughts to add to the mix,
Julie
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

cbollin

Re: a child that does not fit....

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:55 pm

Not sure which child...

but what about if you added into book basket topics that might be of individual interest? Then you could have 2 or 3 days a week into that special time basket, or have a craft book on it or something and save that kind of independent learning for afternoon projects?

-crystal

MammaBear
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:12 pm

Re: a child that does not fit....

Unread post by MammaBear » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:17 pm

I might compromise, but I don't think I'd figure a child knows what's best for them to the extent that I'd change her whole schooling around.
Yep- that was what I was thinking, but wanted to make sure I was not being unreasonable! Thanks ladies!
Yes, I will give her time to explore more of her own interests in the afternoon.
Last edited by MammaBear on Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mamma Bear to 4dc - 12yos, 10yodd, 8yodd, 5yodd
Used K, Adv, and ECC, skipped CTG, using RTR now.
Also use FIAR

dhudson
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Re: a child that does not fit....

Unread post by dhudson » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:18 pm

I have three children with very different interests so I tailor MFW to fit each's interests. We all study the same thing but when we were studying the Crimean War I had my dd who is interested in nursing read and do a more thorough narration on a book by Florence Nightingale and just a one or two sentence summary on the war.

I will tailor writing assignments, reading books and extra projects to each child's interests but not our main curriculum. For more individual interests, we use summer and breaks to go more in depth. We did a 6 week study on Astronomy this summer for instance and my dd did a throrough lapbook on the flowers of Colorado.
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

I want to go to school! Discouraged, please help

Unread post by TriciaMR » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:51 pm

sarah wrote:My son is 4 and we plan to start doing MFW K in the fall. Well, we are doing fairly unstructured Pre-K now and have enjoyed it for the most part. Our local elementary school is only like 10 minutes down the road from us and we pass it every time we go to town. When he was a toddler, we would say "Oh, there's your school!" Of course I wish we hadn't, but hindsight is 20/20 and we were ignorant about homeschooling then. We have also been to some summer reading programs at the local school through our library and my son was enthralled by the whole "looking into the K classroom."

That being said, we have been led into homeschooling in the past two years by God and we know this. So we have been telling him for the past year or so that he will be learning at home. We hadn't made a big deal about it, just presented it as our decision and that we were excited about it. He has never said anything negative until about a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't expecting it, but he then says "I want to go to school!" He was upset and kinda angry about it. I have NO idea what prompted this unless it's just all the people saying, "Oh, you will be starting school this year!" And people ask him and myself what school he will be going to and all those things most people say, etc. This is way more frequent now that he is almost 5. Plus so many books, videos, kids shows, etc present public school as "fun." Sigh.

We tried explaining to our son that we feel like it's what God wants us to do, that it will be fun, etc. We've also told him that PS isn't as fun as he thinks it will be. Maybe that's bad- I mean I don't want him to be scared of PS or think kids who go to PS are "bad" or anything...... He has friends that will go to PS. But I've told him when he's complaining about coloring: "Well, at school they make you color a lot more than this!" &) He's also pretty attached to being near us so I've told him "Well, if you go to school mommy has to drop you off and your with teachers all day" &) I just want him to be happy about HSing because up to this point he has been and I"m discouraged.

I honestly think the main reason he wants to go is because he thinks he will get to "play" with other kids all day. He's an only child at this point. I've tried to explain to him that you don't play all day at school. He does get to play with other kids at our HS group that meets once a week as well as at church and just getting together with friends. But he is one of the youngest at group and it seems like everyone we know has girls. So he hasn't really made a "best friend" or whatever. So I don't know if that has something to do with it.

I know it's hard to get a 5 year old to understand the merit of HSing but any advice would be much appreciated. How did you explain PS vs. HS to your children? Sorry so long. Needed to vent. Oh, I will add that I'm not going to let my child tell me what's best for him or change by mind because he's unhappy... but I do feel guilty for some reason. I am totally new to HSing.
I don't know how many times my dd said, "My preschool class (or teachers or ...) were way more fun than this!" I did send my dd to preschool. She's finally over it. I would just say, "We feel God has called us to this." If he whines or complains then implement consequences. If he has a good attitude, reward him.

-Trish
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
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

cbollin

Re: I want to go to school! Discouraged, please help

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:30 pm

It's common stuff. so ((((hugs)))) I think we've all been there at some point in some fashion with this.

Some ideas in general:

Each time you are out and about, start to point out your house and say "look! there's OUR school." (emphasis on our, not your)

Plan to have a really fun "first day of school" and decorate the house a bit with some posters or something new. How about those MFW Kindy flashcards?
Go out for breakfast to a restaurant on the "first day of school".
Go to the Park for "recess" and pack a lunch with you -- chances are you'll meet some other homeschoolers doing the same. Or if you want to make sure other homeschoolers are there -- then be the one who organizers "Kick Off Day" at the park with your h.s. friends.
when you "do phonics part of Kindy" -- don't call it "school time". Begin the year with "it's time for our letters games."



When your child starts to say "but I wanna" or "I wish" or just even talks about going to school --- don't take it personally as though you have to defend the decision or make him all happy. Just tell him we're going to homeschool just like "so and so" gets to.
Just let him talk and listen. Grab some cookies and chocolate milk, set it on the table and talk together and then go play or do some lessons on the couch together. Part of getting to homeschool means we have time to talk with our children. And it's only going to be a normal thing for him to talk about given that adults around him are talking about it. More than likely he isn't really challenging your decision or trying to make you let him go...... he's just getting used to a new normal.

In many cases, family members are talking about school because they are excited that he is getting older and all of that and it gives them something to talk about. It's your and your husband's decision, not anyone else. Pretty soon, grandma will come around on it. She'll realize that she can visit from time to time when otherwise she couldn't.

-crystal

sarah
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:17 pm

Re: I want to go to school! Discouraged, please help

Unread post by sarah » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:49 pm

I do tell him that such and such goes to school at home (older kids he looks up to) and that does seem to help a little. I have also recently decided to call our focused learning activities something else besides "school" because I think that's confusing to him and I want him to think of learning as just part of our life and fun. So I've been trying to do what you said and say "Let's do art" or "Let's do an activity" or "reading time." Yet, we do have a schedule to some extent and must in order for our life to work. But I still slip up and say "It's time to do schoolwork" sometimes. But we are working on it. I struggle with this because I need something to say in order to make him realize it is part of our schedule because he is one of those kids that does much better with a routine. I am glad to know all HSers have went through this.

RachelT
Posts: 352
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Re: I want to go to school! Discouraged, please help

Unread post by RachelT » Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:13 pm

This can be hard for moms, but I don't think it's really as hard on the child as they make it sound. I think kids complain about school from time to time in any setting, they just don't like to have to work, so don't take it personally. I have felt the way you are describing a lot, too. This year (our 4th year of homeschooling) the kids are finally old enough to understand that ps isn't all roses. My older child always compared our school at home to the preschool he attended for the two years before we chose to homeschool in K. It took me a year or two to get him to understand that as children get older they all do work at school instead of playing all the time, but now he knows that. My younger child wanted to go to school last year especially, when she was in K, but I think it was to be with friends all day. I hate it when TV or movies glorify the fun of other schools, but at the same time they have seen shows that have bullies or mean kids at school, too, so now they know that it has it's own set of problems. My children have neighbors that go to ps and they still play with them after they get home from school and on the weekends and summer breaks.

We also try to make our first day of school special. I usually begin on the same day that the other schools begin because then everyone else is also going back to school. We usually go out for lunch on our first day of school, have new school supplies, etc. I also take their pictures in front of our front door with them holding my MFW teacher's manual and now I can see how they have grown from year to year when I look back at the pictures. I usually have a new outfit or shoes for them, too, because they need them in the fall anyway.

Keep your chin up because "if God has called you to it, He will get you through it!" He really will equip you!

Rachel
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

http://rachelsreflections-rachelt.blogspot.com/

cbollin

Re: I want to go to school! Discouraged, please help

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:19 pm

I remember with my youngest child (the one who attended preschool from age 2-6) that I had to switch it from saying "time for school" to something else. For 4 years or so,when we said 'time for school" it meant, get your socks, shoes, and coat and go to the van. So, I knew with her language problems and special needs that it would take some time to re-train her thinking.

So, all through Kindy year, I tried my best not to say "school" -- I slipped too. It's all ok. I was really nervous about homeschooling her after all of those years of taking her to another place. We had to with the extent of her needs. God is good. But, even this long time homeschooling mom, had her nervous points too.

And now, in first grade, I tell her "time for school" and she runs off upstairs to her desk. Or sometimes she'll run off to her room and jump on the bed and try to escape it all. But eventually "time for school" stopped meaning "go somewhere else out of the house". I'm sure it'll be faster with your son. Don't worry -- even my kid sometimes doesn't do her worksheets. ;)

You're doing fine.

Maybe she'll chime in as time permits, but Julie has some really good stuff to share on this about "setting school hours and sticking to them" and pulling kid from group school setting.

oh, I remember a story of a friend of mine back in Indiana. her son use to give people blank looks when they asked him about school. I don't go to a school, he'd say. They'd ask "well, what do you do all day?" I go to the couch and mommy reads to me. Then we make lunch and then we play.
He'd turn to his mom and say "why don't I get to go to this school thing?"
she said "honey, the couch is school."

Then, this same kid had more blank looks when people asked "what grade are you in at school?"
What's a grade mommy?
It means how old are you in school years -- this year, let's just say it's 1st grade.

see, it's just normal rites of passage that you're going through. Don't be discouraged, Sarah. You're doing great. ((hugs)) as Rachel said "God will equip".


-crystal

OtterMommy
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:52 pm

Re: I want to go to school! Discouraged, please help

Unread post by OtterMommy » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:52 am

I can totally understand and relate to the mommy guilt! My son is very social and loves people. Plus, the big yellow school bus is something he has been dying to ride! We are also one of 2 homeschooling families at church, so he hears from all the other kids about school. We try to make school fun. We live close to a zoo and go there at least weekly (when it isn't below 0 outside!). I try to do crafts, we go to the library weekly for story time... Still, we know that God has called us to homeschool, so we keep him home. A ride on the city bus did help with his desire to ride a bus.

I don't have any answers...just sympathy. ;)
Wife to the best
Mom to ds (6), dd (5), dd (3), and ds (4 months)
MFW K and 1st

momtogc
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:25 pm
Location: AR

Re: I want to go to school! Discouraged, please help

Unread post by momtogc » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:11 pm

In time I think he will learn that it's okay to homeschool but for now I wouldn't stress over it. Just keep up the positive reinforcement about homeschooling and how the Lord has led you in this direction for his education and that you are following God's will. Your son may be thinking about all the things he believes he will "miss" because he doesn't yet know about all the great things he is going to get to do - field trips, park day with other hs friends, fun things with Mom, etc.

One thought I'd like to share is that we picked a school name so that when people ask my daughter where she goes to school she can say "Grace Christian Academy". For some askers, this is enough information, even though they may look puzzled because they have never heard of that school before. :~ If someone persists in asking where the school is then we tell them it's our homeschool. Lately though my dd, who is now eight years old and in our fourth year of hs, speaks up and says she homeschools. She is convicted that homeschool is best. When your son is older and has homeschooled he will probably come to see this, too.

Wishing you all the best in your first year!
Meleasa
Mom to Gabi, a fun-loving and happy girl!
MFW 1st, Adventures, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp-1850

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: I want to go to school! Discouraged, please help

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:40 pm

sarah wrote: all the people saying, "Oh, you will be starting school this year!" And people ask him and myself what school he will be going to and all those things most people say, etc. This is way more frequent now that he is almost 5.
I had that problem even with my public-schooled oldest son, because I chose to wait until he was 6 to start K.
sarah wrote:We tried explaining to our son that we feel like it's what God wants us to do, that it will be fun, etc. We've also told him that PS isn't as fun as he thinks it will be. Maybe that's bad- I mean I don't want him to be scared of PS or think kids who go to PS are "bad" or anything...... He has friends that will go to PS.
My son has not wanted to homeschool for several years, and my older dd never wanted to homeschool. It is especially hard at our house because not only are none of their friends homeschooled, but big brother was never homeschooled -- and he turned out fine...

I've said before that I choose not to tell them that God led me (even if He did :) ) because I don't want them angry at God. What I tell him is that as parents, we must choose what we believe to be the very best thing for our children. They will need to do the same for their children some day, but for now it is our responsibility. We make it clear that we are committed for the long term to homeschooling as the best way to raise our children, and this is not negotiable. ...And we love them very much :)

Julie
P.S. There are some nice Encouragement threads in the archives, such as this one:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3709
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

flkoll
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:42 am

Re: I want to go to school! Discouraged, please help

Unread post by flkoll » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:58 pm

Such wonderful responses! Agree, agree, agree! :)

My daughter wanted to go to public school in 3rd grade (she had never been but all her friends were in public school.) It was a year long struggle. For us though, we found that there were a couple of things going on: 1) all her friends went to public school, and 2) she was frustrated with all the wkbook work (didn't know about MFW at the time or I am sure we would have been using it.)

We took care of both: we got involved in the homeschool group where she made friends and we did our research and found curriculum that fit her learning style.

So many great points on these postings that I really didn't intend to share all that just to say that my daughter is now in 5th grade and tells me all the time how GLAD she is that we homeschool her. I think most kids go through the "I want to go to public school" at one time or another. :)
Lisa

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