Encouragement/Ideas: Help when child grumbles, not focused,

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
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Encouragement/Ideas: Help when child grumbles, not focused,

Unread post by Lucy »

When child is not focused, grumbling, etc.

A big hug to you today. It is some times hard to tell if it is attitude or if it is learning difficulties. Some kids also seem to like school less than others. There was just a great topic on that you may want to look at also. http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?t=3909

I would say if she does not like to write do not ask her to do more writing at this point than what is required in the program and you may at this point need to break that up.

I do not know if playing some of the reading games in the back of the TM would make learning to read more fun but I know that some have over looked these and found them to be helpful.

What is she interested in? You may use this as motivation to keep her on task to finish her work in a more timely manner ( the timer is also a good idea). You may also find out something she is interested in learning about and getting some extra books on that and reading those with her. My daughter was fascinated with Indians at this age!

I can remember those days when it seemed like my daughter was not enjoying learning very much and I wanted so much for it to go well. One thing I learned in those first years is to watch to see when they are hitting over load and to take a break. Maybe you need to break up the day more for her with "structured school" and with free play time.

Also are you doing any art or music? This may not be an answer but if she likes art or music this may add something fun for her. I remember asking my daughter what she wanted to do in school different years and almost every year she wanted to do art. I am not an art person so this was hard but I worked on it because this is what she looked so forward to. So remember to ask them what they would like to learn about or do. You may not be able to do all of it but maybe you can do some of it.

My last thought which really should be at the top of the list is to ask God if there is something you are not seeing that may be keeping your daughter from enjoying any school. He knows our kids and families better than we do and is able to give us insight and wisdom into their lives.

I hope something in here will help you or at least encourage you that you are not alone. I still have those days even with my older kids.

His peace to you,
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
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Unread post by Poohbee »

There are a couple of things I've done that have helped.

When it seems she just keeps having a bad attitude day after day, I provide some incentive for her to change it. I purchase a $5 gift card at Walmart, Target, The Dollar Store, or something like that. I use a small chart, and each day that she has a positive attitude during school, she gets a sticker on the chart. After 5 stickers in a row, she gets the gift card, and we take a little shopping trip. If she starts to have a bad attitude during the day, I remind her that she is working for her gift card, and it often helps her to turn her attitude around.

If she is having a tough time with reading or writing, sometimes I cut down her assignment. During the first few days, she was having a tough day and didn't want to do the dictation. I only asked her to do 5 of the words, and we skipped the sound blending that day. Instead of reading 20 words, I'll only ask her to read 10, or instead of writing six words, she only has to write three or four. It's okay to make modifications in the assignments if you think your dd needs a break or a bit of a change.

No matter what, I talk to her about her attitude. I bring in the scripture we've learned and we talk about how God would want her to behave. We pray for her to have an obedient spirit and for me to have patience. Sometimes we need to just take time to talk it out. I express my disappointment with her attitude and she expresses what she is feeling. I just have to love her through it.

Sometimes I know she is just being stubborn when she has a bad attitude and refuses to do something. So, I just give her the assignment, explain it to her, tell her she has to sit there until she finishes it, and I walk away to cool down and do something else. She sits there for a little while, but after a little while, she does the assignment. I come back and we continue the day.

Know that others are going through the same things. You're not alone. And our gracious and faithful Heavenly Father sees all and is there.

In Christ,
happily married to Vince (22 yrs)
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Unread post by melinda »

I started a mother/daughter journal with my 7.5 yo. I write something, end it with a question and then she responds and asks her own question. We go back and forth for as long as she can stand it. I don't correct her spelling and anything (since it's not the point of journaling together) but it's a great way for me to throw in some words or vocabulary we need to work on. Our journal entries started small, but now we can write a few pages together.
Melinda & Co.
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I can't get him to stay focused or listen

Unread post by mrs_mike98 »

Dannielle wrote:I have a 16 month old and I am trying to school a 12 yr old and a 7 yr old. I usually do school with my 7 yr old when the youngest is having naptime. The reason that I wait till naptime is because he has a hard time concentrating with my youngest son running around.

When it actually comes times to do school with him, I can't get him to stay focused, he doesn't listen to me or follow directions. Then when he has to redo work, he has a terrible attitude. As soon as school is over he's just as happy as can be.
Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:31 pm
Could your 12 year old watch/play with the baby while you spent some learning time with your 7 yr old in the morning? Somewhere in a different room so they are not a distraction? My oldest is almost 7 and can easily play with/entertain my two youngest (2 and 9 months) for 10-15 minutes at a time while I work with my 5 year old.

I find that if I let my boys have too much "free time" before "school time", they have a hard time getting to work, too.

We go in chunks of time - a little here, a little there, with some breaks and outside time in between.

Also, make sure he gets lots of running around/outside time. Boys just need it to be able to concentrate!

If need be, take a little time off to focus on character development/work ethic, too. Those things are far more important than academics in the overall picture! Maybe DH needs to talk with him about obeying/respecting you, too.

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Unread post by LSH in MS »

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:25 pm

Try to get the youngest one done first. Maybe that would help. I've found that easier for me. I feel better that my 2 younger ones are finished for the day and I can concentrate on the older ones. My older ones often help with my 18 month old. They are better able to handle working later in the day.
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Unread post by TriciaMR »

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:25 pm

I had a friend who was just frustrated like crazy with her son. So, she recorded a day and then showed it to her husband - he just wasn't getting what it was like for her. After dad saw the video, he had a talk (several) with the son about respect and attitude and what he expected from him, and then gave her some ideas about how to deal with different situations he saw.

Just an idea.
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Unread post by Ariasarias »

Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:36 pm

I would also suggest breaking up his work -- maybe do a little in the morning while the oldest plays with your little, then let him go play. Then try to do the rest when the baby is sleeping.

I have a 7yo, a 4yo and a 2 yo. We have finally broken up our day, getting Math, LA, handwriting, and spelling done in the morning and doing history, science, and any extras when the baby goes down for her nap. It has helped all of us enjoy school more with the break in the middle and then they all get to play a little before lunch too :).
Nicole :)
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Unread post by scmlg »

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 12:20 pm

If we don't start at the same time, pretty much early in the morning, then our day is a lot more hectic. They do much much better if by 9:30 we are actually working. If we go beyond that, they've played to much and just aren't in the mood to work. Same goes with chores.

I've also learned the hard way to start with Math and LA, then have the History, Science and such as something to look forward to. When I start with those, then Math and LA are a real struggle.

Hang in there!
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Unread post by lyntley »

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:15 pm

Your post certainly encourages me in that these boys of ours are probably normal after all and are just wiggly crazy little boys.

But check this out, usually it takes absolutely forever for my DS to do anything between the noises and distractions, falling on the floor, and what ever else. I really never know if the material is too hard or what. His addition drill ranges from 12 correct answers to 20. In 5 minutes!!!!

So last week I put a paper clip on the 50th math problem and told him I would take him to lunch when he can get to that paper clip in 5 minutes. Well. He made it to 48. Today he made it to 54! So guess who's going to lunch?!? Keeping the pennies that he uses on the geography game also encouraged him to learn the countries. He knows them all now. So motivation might be another trick to try for at least some things.

I also do most read-alouds when he's either coloring or eating. Today we read from book basket about beavers while doing DWN beavers. We'll read facinating facts or books on the country were studying while coloring the flag etc. I have pretty writing page borders to color while reading the bible. Pray for creativity and we'll pray for you too.
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How do you motivate your kids?

Unread post by kellybell »

OnlyByGrace wrote:I'm a little worried about my 8th grader. He's smart, but very ADHD and very easily overwhelmed, hard to keep him on track, etc. This year is going to be a lot of work for him and most likely a struggle every day to get everything (or even just enough) done. I was wondering how you guys motivate your kids to stay on schedule and get their work done. I'd love to hear your ideas!
The Hazells have some motivators in the TMs. Basically if you don't work, you don't eat. That works.

For us, you don't do the fun stuff (and you answer to dad when he gets home from work) if you don't get your (reasonable amount of) work done.

Sometimes toys "go into time out" if they are out before school is done.

I have two very distractable (okay, three) kiddos. My 14 year old would much rather curl up in bed with a good book. My 9 year old (the only boy in the mix) can bound upstairs to get dressed, totally forget, and before you know it he's got a Bionicle war or something going on, complete with sound effects. My 7 year old, at the mention of work, develops a limp, a tummy ache, an immediate urge to go #2, etc. She's sort of funny.

I find it helpful to continually ask myself where all the kids are. "Okay, I'm working one-on-one with Mary, so where are Brian, Jamie, and Stephanie?" It admittedly wears me out.

My older kids do pretty well with check lists (the Hazells recommend code letters on the white board) for each day. It helps them manage their independent time.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Unread post by mamaofredheads »

LOL Kelly. My 11 yo is your 7 yo. :)

Is there something that is really important to him to be able to do that you could use as motivation? For mine, we started karate this year. I told my dawdler that if he doesn't have his school done before we have to leave he will sit with me & finish it before he can join the class. (Class has been 2 days/week this summer, and we school during the summer and take our breaks in the fall & spring when it's not over 100 degrees.) Wow, has this worked! :)

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Unread post by TriciaMR »

That's my biggest motivator for dd - if there is some activity, she can't do it unless she's done, or at least put in a good effort. For example, tonight's a Keeper's meeting. That motivated her to finish her handwriting page and math pages quickly. Too bad I don't have something for every night.

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Unread post by annaz »

Happy2BMotherof3 wrote:Does anyone here have a hard time with a child whining or fussing every time you sit down to do school with them? I have this happen everyday with my 8yo dd. I know she can do the work but she just doesn't want to seem to think. And if she has to she fusses and says its too hard. (which it isn't).
Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:34 am
Keep lessons short and create a reward basket or something of the like. "If you don't whine for school this week, we'll go to the park on Friday." Or "if you do 3 pages of this without whining or complaining, you can pick from the toy basket."

We did this and it works great! Give her a reward system. Make Friday reward day for doing good. Let her pick her favorite meal or go to the zoo or whatever. Ask her what she would like to do. A project? Give her some control with a reward for good choices.
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Unread post by TriciaMR »

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:47 pm

Just make sure she really doesn't have a learning issue. I had a friend whose son was/is like this. Finally, she had him evaluated at some place called "LearningRX". It turns out he had the long term memory of someone 8 years older than himself, but the short term memory of someone 2 years younger than himself. The other thing is, it turned out he needed glasses, too. Anyway, he would do anything (cry, wiggle, fuss, complain, whine) to get out of some of the work that he just found too hard. He does it less now, but he still fusses some.
Last edited by TriciaMR on Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by mgardenh »

Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:33 pm

Here is what I do with my dd. She has aspergers and a hard time focusing.

Setting a timer for 10 minutes or whatever you think would be a reasonable time for the work to get done. I tell my daughter you have 10 minutes to finish and then 10 mins to play (or whatever time I come up with). If you're done in 7 mins you have 13 minutes to play if your done in 13 minutes you have 7 minutes to play. Then after the play time do the next thing.

For my dd it seams that ambiguity is really hard for her so If I tell her, "Do your math," she fidgets, fusses, doesn't do it. But the timer gives her concrete amount of time. This uneasiness with "do your math" is part of the Aspergers. So the timer gives her something concrete and she knows it is not going to take an hour to do.

Also if dd is concentrating hard and working on what she is supposed to be doing I give her extra time (without loss of playtime) and tell her so because she is working hard. I am not going to punish her for working hard if I haven't given her enough time to do the work.

I hope something helps. Praying that things get better.
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Unread post by annaz »

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:34 am

Keep lessons short and create a reward basket or something of the like. "If you don't whine for school this week, we'll go to the park on Friday." Or "if you do 3 pages of this without whining or complaing, you can pick from the toy basket."

We did this and it works great! Give her a reward system. Make Friday reward day for doing good. Let her pick her favorite meal or go to the zoo or whatever. Ask her what she would like to do. A project? Give her some control with a reward for good choices.
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Unread post by mamaofredheads »

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:38 pm

Another thing that might help is to be sure she has bits of protein throughout the day...some type of healthy protein with breakfast (egg, a tablespoon of peanut butter, a smoothie with fruit & protein powder, etc.) plus a mid morning snack with some type of protein (nuts, cheese) etc. For many children nutrition is a huge part of their behavior (I guess we could say that's true for all of us :). This change has made a huge difference for us!

1 year homeschooling, re-considering curriculum, need ad

Unread post by cbollin »

OklahomaJamie wrote:This is our first year to homeschool. My son is 10 and in the 5th grade. Over the summer, we did 4 chapters of the Boxcar Children using BFIAR. My son loved it and never complained about doing his schoolwork. Then I found MFW-ECC and it looked AWESOME! Especially for me, I've always been so interested in travel and geography type stuff. So I sold some things and bought the Deluxe set.

We will be finishing up week 2 today. It's been TOUGH! Brandon seems to be so grumpy and gripes the whole time. Not like when we did Beyond Five in a Row this summer. I hate to quit using MFW, because in just the short time, he has learned all of his continents, his oceans, and alot of other things. The music CD is great and he learned the "Hello to all the children in the world" song and the continent song in the book, and he goes around singing them often!

I think he gets overwhelmed with all of the books that we use each day in MFW, where as we only use one book, The Boxcar Children, in BFIAR. We both grew so frustrated the first 2 days of this week, that Tuesday, I just quit, I just said that I'm done for the day. Then, yesterday we did BFIAR and it went great.

I think what I'm doing here is trying to talk myself into sticking with MFW, maybe I should take a different approach, maybe not follow the ECC schedule so much or something...

I'm so lost and confused.... fun with a little learning; or quite a bit more learning and fighting all the time? What to do?
first advice,

deep breath
it's a whole new experience and we all get like this at beginning of some year or other.

go play outside.

do the fun stuff in ECC
don't do any language arts/math for a couple of more weeks. you don't have to decide today. play math games instead to keep skills sharp.

after you do fun stuff in ECC, just read a book together. let him know that you'll do lessons and then read some fun books together and talk about them.

if he were back in group school, he'd be doing stuff he didn't like either.

give yourself permission that he does not have to master everything in the manual the first day it is presented.

more later...

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Re: 1 year homeschooling, re-considering curriculum, need ad

Unread post by meagabby »


((Hugs)) to you.

I can hear the emotion in your post. It's your FIRST year homeschooling. It' WILL come together.

Do you have support from your hubby and family? Have you connected with any local groups through OCHEC? I am not suggesting you join a co-op, but that you have some like-minded people in real life to talk to about your homeschooling, as well as us MFWers to help with the MFW specifics. Maybe meet at a park and make some homeschool friends for your son.

The first thing I hear is that you want your son to enjoy and think it is fun. It can be, but I'm sure he didn't think all of public school was fun either.
You will have a transition this year. Your new role as teacher and the way he (and you) adapts to that might take a while to get used to.

I don't have any suggestions about adapting ECC. Usually we ease into the year, starting Spelling around week 3, for math I gradually get math to a 4 day week by doing alot of flashcard review on the other days.

ECC has been the most intense beginning we've experienced. It does get lighter. It's a very fun year. I hope you continue on.
I'm sure someone will post some links to previous threads about ECC.

Here you will have replies to hoping you stay with MFW. :)
Praying for you,
Loving learning with MFW!
Julie in MN
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Re: 1 year homeschooling, re-considering curriculum, need ad

Unread post by Julie in MN »

OklahomaJamie wrote:What about all the books that are scheduled into each day? The Maps and Globes, Classroom Atlas, the other Atlas, etc etc. He just rolls his eyes when I tell him I'm going to read to him now.
That is something you'll be working on with him as he transitions to homeschooling. His character, attitudes, and ways of learning are lifelong projects, never to be neglected but not to be conquered the first day. One thing you might do is 'model' how you look at the reading. You probably realize more than he does that, "Now we are going to read a little bit about different kinds of maps in the Maps and Globes book -- just a little bit. Remember how we read about longitude & latitude yesterday? Today it looks like we'll read about a map compass..." Then briefly chat about what you learned afterwards. Or when it's time to look at the Classroom Atlas, say, "Well, you know we're learning about South America this week? We're going to look at the Atlas again and see just how many things can be learned about a continent in an atlas!" And look at the atlas casually, allowing him to notice things. As for the illustrated atlas, you could offer him the chance to look over the page on his own time and tell you what he found interesting, or you could ask him which box he'd like you to read aloud.

OklahomaJamie wrote:Then when I have him color the maps (as suggested), or label things, he hates doing that. Should I have him point things out and I color and label them?
My ds loathes pencils -- even colored ones :o) I've done different things over the years, but I've still had the goal that he create his own notebook as a tool for learning. You can tell him that instead of tests and worksheets, he will be creating his own "geography textbook" in his notebook. Sometimes kids like to realize that they get to be more creative, and other times kids wish they could just fill in those worksheets & forget about it, because they really don't have to learn a lot that way (in 2nd grade, my son just wrote random things on his weekly maps & the teacher never had time to correct them).

If you allow it, your son can have some flexibility in how it is done, but in the end I tell my son that his notebook is what he is to work on and it must be done well. Some options at my house --

-- colored pencil "sticks" (with no wood around them) allow for bigger coloring
-- sometimes my son only labeled, no coloring
-- sometimes I had him just color the oceans blue, to delineate them from the land
-- for the pictures that are to be colored, sometimes I just had him color everything that was "brown"
-- or he could replace the page with his own "learning page" by typing up a sentence or two and finding a Google image to make his own page, or even taking a photo himself of something related to the learning topic (even using toys or things he made that relate)
-- occasionally I allowed my son to find and print out a google map instead of coloring it, but he had to "do something" with it for the sake of learning, such as write a heading and labels, or type up a couple sentences about what he learned
-- if you copy a map onto cardstock, you can use markers (some maps have copyrights, but the World Geography book has most of them and you can copy from there, or search online for an "outline map" of the area you want)
-- I cant think of an example right now, but sometimes it worked to let him do things on a marker board and then take a photo for the notebook

Other than that, just keep remembering that it's a learning curve for both of you. I've quit on certain days over the years, both for my own needs or because I had a weeping son. We played math games for the first 6 weeks of homeschooling because my ds said nothing could ever make him like math (he's probably most proud of his math skills now, 6 years later). Skipping grammar for now won't put him behind the other kids -- that's why they have to repeat it every year in public school -- you can always add it back in after a month or two, if that is what you decide as a parent. In my opinion, just examining one of his sentences each day would provide him far more education than a group teacher could ever dream of.

Best wishes as you begin this adventure,
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
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Re: 1 year homeschooling, re-considering curriculum, need ad

Unread post by dhudson »

Way to be brave and start home schooling. It is a hard decision but it has so many blessings. Sorry your first weeks have been rough.

This may not be very popular advice but having two 5th graders (and also doing ECC again) this is what I think. Sometimes, we have to do things that we don't like or that isn't the most fun in the world. ECC is fun but it just may not be the most fun but this is school not play time. Does ECC have the academic and spiritual goals that you want to accomplish? Does the other curriculum meet these same goals?

Sometimes in home schooling, it's more about re-training character issues ( like not whining and complaining) than about the curriculum. We all have to do and face this. You are not alone.

If I stopped doing something just because my 5th graders didn't like doing it, then chores would never get done, bedtime would be non-existent, they would never eat their green vegetables and school would be lego time. Give ECC some more time, work on character issues and be sure to reward the right attitude in school.

I just wrote about this very thing on my blog if you want to come and see.
God Bless,
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

Re: 1 year homeschooling, re-considering curriculum, need ad

Unread post by cbollin »


I'd encourage you to read the blog entry that Dawn wrote. It isn't any different than anything Julie, Dena or I said. It's just said with some of the standard "welcome to homeschooling 101" stuff and longer than what any of us wrote already.

This is normal teacher student/ parent student relationship stuff. Try to talk to him why he thinks he doesn't like it, or really what you're asking is "what are you nervous that I'll do that was too much like Ms. so and so's class last year?"

For complaining, Eph 4:29 says what we can say. So, "this is too hard and I don't want to!" becomes "This is hard for me and I need your help please."

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Re: 1 year homeschooling, re-considering curriculum, need ad

Unread post by 1974girl »

I was drained after week 2 but week 3 was much easier! Some weeks are just fuller than others.

Anyway, I found a great game where you click and drag the continents to their place. If you google that stuff, you'll find fun games for him to help retain it. I think I found it on the ECC message board. You can check there. Also, I supplement a lot of stuff with lessonpathways.com. It is free. Don't bother with all the set up of pathways...just use the search engine at the top. Yesterday it sent us to a link of a video on a deciduous forest. There were also pages to diagram trees. Last week, there was a funny song about photosynthesis that they liked. As far as the science, I read it ahead and teach it myself on the whiteboard like a "real" teacher. I did great on the levels of the forest if I do say so myself. LOL They actually remembered it at supper. (trick is to make them draw the levels themselves with different colored markers and make a key)

Anyway, think outside the box but still use the material...if that makes sense. My daughter did adventures last year and scored a 7th grade level in 3rd grade. So I know MFW works.
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
Mama to Leah (14) and Annalise (11)
Used from Adventures on and finishing final year (1850-modern) this year
"When you teach your children...you teach your children's children."
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Re: 1 year homeschooling, re-considering curriculum, need ad

Unread post by momtogc »

This is our fifth year to homeschool and my dd has complained about ECC, too. It's true, it's a little harder and it's not "as fun" as what we did last year, probably much like your situation with BFIAR. But like someone else said, it gets easier as the weeks go on. We started back in early July so we are just finishing week 8. It wasn't nearly as intense as weeks 1 and 2.

I think there are ways you can make it more fun, too. For instance, following advice I read on this board somewhere, we "fly" or ride a "train" to the countries, we look "out the window" to see which countries or states we are passing, looking for landmarks (dining chairs in a row make a great plane). I pretend to be the ticket agent, the customs agent, the currency exchange person and I have "currency" ready to exchange for dd's $10. I think your ds will find that the country study is more enjoyable after you get past those first few weeks.

I wonder if you and your son would enjoy lapbooks? You might find a way to incorporate them with the science topics or the geography. Or Workboxes? Have you heard of them? I have a friend who is using these and her boys love them. I don't know a whole lot except that (I think) you set up plastic boxes with instructions and material for each topic. The child goes to the box, takes out the material and does the work. It is more of an independent work idea. Just a thought.

Do you guys like music? If so, when you are in a country, try to find an online station or music that you can play through your computer while you work.

Oh, someone on the board mentioned a Map Quest. I did one with dd and it was fun. I drew a map of a small area near our house (about a ten to twenty block radius). I labeled spots on the map where I wanted dd to direct me to while I drove our van. At each stop I gave her an envelope with instructions on where to go next. At the last stop there was a treat (shaved ice because it was July and still very hot outside). It was challenging and gave her real insight to reading a map and finding her way.

Also, I find my dd's attitude toward school changes really quickly when she is "in charge". I hand her the teacher's book and let her "teach" me whatever it might be. She LOVES doing this. It's a little variation that helps break up the monotony in our daily routine. Some days she reads and teaches me the Bible lesson. Other days she might teach me the geography (with some help). Yesterday I let her spell back the spelling words from the teacher's book while I corrected her paper. Anything that gives a break in the usual might be good.

With the improved weather that we are having, we will be doing some of our school outside. Have you guys tried this? It makes for a nice change.

As for English, I would suggest perhaps that you use ILL (Intermediate Language Lessons) rather than PLL. It's for grades 4-6. You can do many of the lessons orally. As for poems, I don't always require memorization every time. We do read the poems and talk about them though.

Hang in there and don't give up. Just work on character building and in time he will get used to the new material. And even if he doesn't like this year's study, he may like next year's better. I just told a new homeschooler last night at our monthly meeting, when she told me they had a really bad day that day (first year homeschooler), it's okay - you get a fresh chance tomorrow. : )
Mom to Gabi, a fun-loving and happy girl!
MFW 1st, Adventures, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp-1850
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Re: 1 year homeschooling, re-considering curriculum, need ad

Unread post by mamacastle2 »

Everyone has offered some great advice. I would also suggest that an animated reading can enhance even the most dry text. I've been very excited about MFW Curriculum so it's pretty easy for me to be excited about what I'm reading. But there are some books that just weren't/aren't that interesting to me, and my kids picked up on that and they didn't like those books much, either. So I try hard to animate everything I'm reading. For example, the Illustrated World Atlas in ECC was just not to my liking. So I made sure the kids were doing something with their hands so that I could read and get through it. If they had a student sheet that was doable while I read (like coloring John 3:16 or something), I had them do that while I read the "drier" texts. Or we broke out the playdough or just a coloring book. Or I printed out a flag online of another country not listed in ECC and they colored that. Or we read during snack time. Or sometimes outside in the sandbox. Just something to make listening easier for them, especially for those books that I wasn't excited about and didn't read with much enthusiasm. But I can vouch for the fact that if mom is eager to read the book, the kids are, too, even if it doesn't seem like something they'd get much out of otherwise. Try different accents, have him read a paragraph to you and point out something that you learned through his reading that you didn't know before (or were just reminded about), etc.

As for the maps, my kids are pretty happy colorers, so that wasn't much of a problem. I did a lot of labeling for them, especially my 1st grader but even my 3rd grader when writing all the countries got to be too much. It was more important to me that they knew it in their heads rather than on paper. I figure that will come later.

Remember to relax and when character issues arise ("I don't want to do that," "that's boring," etc.), maybe try a change of scene or a new way of doing something. Discipline is important, but school shouldn't be something that our children hate. I've been blessed to be homeschooling from the beginning, but for friends who pull their children out of public or private school, I always recommend a few weeks or months of doing no "schoolwork" so that they can de-school for a while. Play games and read fun books and do field trips, but I tell them to forgo the work books or "real school work" for a little while because a lot of these kids have already been trained to not like school because they've had to do things they don't like for so long. I know I hated to read when I was in school because I was made to, but as soon as I graduated college, I became an avid reader, even reading things that I was supposed to read in high school or college that I didn't (and read the cliff notes or watched the movie) and I LOVED the books.

Anyway, remember to pray every day for your school day and for your child. I know this is simplistic, but it's something I didn't do before this year (I'm ashamed to admit) and it has made a huge difference in our family. Oftentimes, the character issue my child had and I'd be praying for was something that the Lord changed my heart and my attitude about. I'm trying hard to smile all day and praise praise praise. Again, something I'm sad to admit I didn't always do before.

Blessings and prayers as you adjust to this new adventure!

Wife to Brody
Mother to DD 10, DS 7, DD 5, DS 3, DD 1
MFW User Since 2007: MFW 1st, Adv., ECC, CTG
2011-2012 - RTR & MFWK
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