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

Unread post by jasntas »

I have been following this thread but didn't go back and reread all of it so some of this may be a repeat. Sorry if it is.

These are just some random thoughts as I thought about this thread:

I learned very quickly last year not to expect my dc to remember every detail. Maybe just relax, read it while he does something else quietly. Animate it when you can, as suggested. Remember, don't expect him to learn it all at once. A lot of the materials are more for introduction and exposure. Don't require that everything is completed.

Maybe you were more at ease over the summer because it wasn't 'for real' yet.

Lastly, but most importantly, spend time alone with God before you begin. For me, this means starting about 30 minutes later than I would like to but sooo well worth it. The days seem to go so much more smoothly when I do and pretty rocky when I don't (or even skimp on when running behind).

We just completed week 2 and my 9 yo 4th grader has just determined that geography has become another favorite. Alongside science due to his K year and the only thing he enjoyed that year (was not MFW K and was actually my own planning) and history due to MFW ADV. This is such a shocker to me but it is one of the ways that I know he is enjoying what he is learning. This was a bit of a shocker because he wasn't really enjoy the mapping the first week but is now getting into it.

I think if you hang in there and relax it will get easier and more enjoyable.
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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Tips for motivating a 7 year old

Unread post by IdahoGrown »

Renee413 wrote:My son is turning 7 next month and currently working on MFW 1st (actually almost done). My son is bright and catches on to things with such ease. However, he has serious issues with staying focused on his school work and just plain being motivated. It doesn't matter what subject we're working on-- it is so hard to get him to complete his work in a timely fashion. Something like math (which he's really good at) takes him double the time that it should. And now we're having major issues with the bible reader & notebook. He's a fantastic reader-- just hates doing the narration! I will ask him to tell me one thing that he remembers from the story and he'll simply say he doesn't know. He's so obstinate as it pertains to school and I'm just at my wits end trying to figure out how to handle him.

I've tried everything. I often use a timer.. but then I have to figure out what happens if he's not done with his assignment, and that's not easy either.

How do I handle a child that is completely capable but just not interested in school? Is he being disobedient? Does he need to be disciplined? I have tried to explain that the quicker he gets his assignments done, the quicker he can do something he wants to do but that just doesn't sink in. I don't know what to do! Help!
Oh I can totally sympathize! My ds will be 7 in two months and sounds similiar. He would much rather play. And it is okay that he wants to do that. But I have him complete his schoolwork first.

This is what I do...If ds dawdles, then I make him do pushups. :-) And sometimes I have him run laps around the inside of the house too. Burning off a little energy periodically helps him focus. And he enjoys the quick little break.

Often I gently remind him that it is my responsibility to teach him and his responsibility is to learn. It has gotten better these last couple of months as long as I am consistent. But I have to sit right.next.to.him the entire time or he is off in la-la land. Even if I am sitting next to him and helping my dd with something, he is STILL off in la-la land! But I just get him back on track. I suppose a bit of daydreaming never hurt anyone... ;)

Thats all I got! lol!
Mom to dd 13 and ds 8
Hs'ing since 2004.
Using Adventures and RtR 2011-2012

Previous cores used: CtG 2010-2011

Re: Tips for motivating a 7 year old

Unread post by cbollin »

tiny bit to share...
He's 6 and might need more specific prompts while narrating.
So, give him a few specific questions to listen for before reading then read.

He might need to narrate more often with smaller reading sections.
Then ask the question again.

maybe some of these links will help with specifics?

Or would he prefer what is commonly called "active narration"
scroll down on this link for some ideas

I think you'd still want to prep him ahead of the reading to know what to listen for, pause when you get to it, ask it,
but see if more active narration starters might be a good way to help an active kid who'd rather go play anyway :)

definitely check about active ways to 'sit still" also known as fidget to focus methods. (ask if you need more ideas to explain that. hoping others will start saying them though)

I'd start with the assumption that he's a good kid, who is very active boy 6 years old, who is very active in learning styles.

oh wait.. one more link to share on ideas with young boys who are just in the early stages of learning narration
http://www.homeschoolchristian.com/curr ... ration.php

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Re: Tips for motivating a 7 year old

Unread post by TriciaMR »

I have a few thoughts:

1. He's 7 and a boy. Perhaps more breaks? "You work diligently for 10 minutes, and then we'll play <fun game> for 10 minutes. If you don't work diligently, then you'll do 10 push-ups and there will be no fun break." Pick your consequences in advance. Or maybe there is no fun break, and you have to sweep the kitchen floor or wash the baseboards, or...

2. I have 6.5 year old twins in first. One of my boys is very diligent and gets his work done so he can be done and play. My other boy (slightly dyslexic, so there are other issues, too) will cry, whine, "This is too hard," "I hate the blue workbook," lay on the table, roll around, etc. I have.to.sit.right.next.to.him and give.explicit.instruction.the.entire.time. If he's suppose to write a sentence from the scrambled words, and we've figured out the order, he'll often just sit there and stare. So I'll put a dot on the line of paper and say, "Put your pencil on the dot on the top gray line. Good, now draw a line straight down." "But Mom, I *know* how to write this." "But son, you weren't. You were just sitting there." In fact, I've had to resort to, "No lunch until you finish your math drill sheet" with this kid. Sigh. {hugs} I feel your pain.

3. Sometimes kids get into a habit of whining and complaining. Something that worked with my oldest (once we had resolved underlying issues, but she was just in the habit of complaining) was a chip cup. I put 20 pretty marbles in it. Every time she complained, I took a marble. If, at the end of the school day, she had 20 marbles left, there was a reward - play on the WII or computer or something. If she had between 15 - 19, no reward, but no punishment. If there were less than 15, then chores were added or privileges taken away. Now, you have to plan what your punishments are in advance - taking away WII, computer, books (my dd loves reading), or adding chores - hard ones - weeding the garden, sweeping porches, etc. Some people make it more "complicated" by saying if the kid has multiple days in a row of 20 chips, then they can get an "extra" award, like a trip to DQ.

4. Have you considered food sensitivities? My dd is sensitive to dairy, and it effects her behavior.

5. Have you asked your husband? I had a friend who "secretly" recorded her school day with a camcorder so she could show her husband what her day was like. Her dh gave her ideas to deal with specific situations AND talked to the son.

Just some thoughts. Maybe something there will click with you.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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Re: Tips for motivating a 7 year old

Unread post by gratitude »

Renee413 wrote:I have tried to explain that the quicker he gets his assignments done, the quicker he can do something he wants to do
Oh how many times my DH and I have tried to motivate our ds7 with your above quote! I could have written that line myself. I too have found that unfortunately it makes perfect sense to us, and doesn't motivate our dear boy at all. ;)

The few things I have found that are helping:

1. A place to sit, for sit down work like math and phonics, that is away from his siblings. The desk is nearby the table, but 15 feet away seems to make a lot of difference for him to be able to focus. This actually has done wonders in making my days run 10 times more smoothly than a few months ago.

2. We do spelling tests orally, which we do daily. After each spelling word that is correct he gets to run around the circle. A great physical break about 1/2 way through the morning.

3. Starting the earlier the better. If I don't start by 9, school will take longer. If I don't start by 10, any seat work will be a struggle. If I don't start until 11 I am doomed.

4. I let him leap around the room when he gives narrations. If he is moving he gives great narrations. If he is sitting he can not think of a thing to tell me.

5. I do read-aloud time in the family room where there are legos and toys. He gets to choose whether he sits by me, builds with legos, or even sometimes walks around. He generally remembers what I read, so moving or building does seem to help his energy focus.

Lastly, it gets easier the more '7' he becomes. His focus abilities are increasing monthly at this point, and when he was still 6 it was harder. For MFW Grade 1 I wrote down all of his narrations, and he always gave them while leaping or walking around the room.

I hope something here helps! My boys too much rather be Playing than doing anything else in the world at this point. Boy Energy!!! :-)
Julie in MN
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Re: Tips for motivating a 7 year old

Unread post by Julie in MN »

A few threads that might have some helpful tidbits:

Some little thoughts from my ds's early years:
- start early in the day
- start with something fun like a song or checking the weather
- alternate sit-down things with active things
- have him stretch out his arms and hands before beginning a writing task
- have him sit at the correct height for handwriting
- stay by him and keep him company, rather than getting caught up in housework during his short school hours
- allow him to move during as many tasks as possible, such as rolling on an exercise ball or standing beside the table or use a clipboard
- use small snacks as a reward or a break, and allow him to participate in the preparation
- allow him to create a new way of accomplishing his school tasks (puppets for narration, legos for math, photos for illustration)
- help you child know what time school starts AND what time school ends, and end at that time reliably, with the exception of willful disobedience that will result in finishing after school is done
- allow a reasonable amount of time for a task, and then set it aside for the child to do after "school hours" and more independently
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
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Re: Tips for motivating a 7 year old

Unread post by erin.kate »

Jean, I love that. :-)

Crystal, Love this link to homeschoolshare on active narration. Made my morning.

Carin, #5 YES! Enough said for me. You speak my heart. 8[]
♥Count it all joy ~
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Re: Tips for motivating a 7 year old

Unread post by Jamie »

I'm seeing some motivation issues for my 7 yo daughter, also. I've been letting her get the toy horses out the last few days, so that she can quietly play with them while also listening to me read.

This morning, my husband needed help moving cows, so the other kiddos left to help him. That left just myself, our 7 yo, and the 10 mo. That one-on-one time works wonders! We zipped through her things, doing one of her subjects more orally, while she was under a nearby chair. ;) When it was all said and done this morning, she commented on how much she liked it! I haven't heard that from her in ages! I realize this wasn't a "normal" bookwork day in our home, so I'll have to store some of what worked into my mommy brain and see what I can use when Monday rolls around. :)

Married to my sweetie for 16.5 years
14 ds, 12 dd, 10 dd, 7 ds, 4 ds, 1.5 dd
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Need Help

Unread post by cbollin »

Sahmamma wrote:If he has to do copywork and it is three paragraphs he complains so I say just write one paragraph a day for three days. All I ask is that it is done neatly and well. Of course he still complains about that.

I guess if anything looks like it takes too much effort, they really don't want to do it. I don't want to say that they are lazy, but they are young and they are kids and they would much rather be swimming or playing outside then doing any of this stuff, LOL.
I wouldn't expect a 9 y.o boy to do 3 paragraphs of copywork in one day.

Sometimes when they groan you ignore it if they actually do the work. Then after the work is a time to say "tomorrow's paragraph without the groan, ok? Get your groan out now. " and do the groan with him ... next day remind him we already groaned about it, so get to it. :)


Can I be real? So frustrated

Unread post by cbollin »

my3sons wrote:I tend to skip some of the hands on stuff because I am not a creative person and it just seems more trouble than it is worth much of the time. So we are doing RtR and getting ready for the Roman feast. I start the discussion with the kids about who we want to invite (if anyone), what to do and serve, etc. The discussion quickly goes downhill into a fight over who gets to be be the "slave" to deliver the invitation. It so quickly takes the wind out of my sails, so to speak. It is a character issue, bigger than homeschooling, I know.

But it just makes me to forget the whole thing and forget about doing the more "fun" things in school. Tell me I am not the only one and someone can relate.

And yes, we will still do the feast as well as have some training in putting others first and being kind to one another. As soon as I get over being grumpy. ;)

my kids take the wind of my sails too, but with different stuff. rooms.... chores, food... autism....

on a grumpy day I would have told them all to shut up and called them party poopers. oh wait.. that would be have been like last night at bedtime. never mind....

On a good day, I would have played in character as the Female Head of Household and barked back "Slave Boys in my household will remain silent." and then smacked my hands together loudly. " I will assign your duties for the day. Anyone who does not accept his assignment will be considered for being sold to another household as my husband and I are tired of such foolishness. " (then, snapping my fingers at each one) "You, there, boy age 11.... you are the oldest one and have been taught how to write. you will write the invitations in your best Latin and Greek and maybe in English for one of the barbarians we will invite. You, there, boy age 9... fetch some cushions. I will call the others to get some olives and grapes. Enough of this bickering. It is unbecoming of your position."
and then, huffed out of the room in character. and trying not to laugh.
my3sons wrote:Crystal- that is good! You made me smile. :) Perhaps when we all calm down and I call everyone back I will try your idea. I think that will diffuse the situation and make it fun again. Great way to keep the sense of humor!
just remember, parenting is always easier on the other side of the message board screen.
I wish I could have a do over from last night......
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Re: Can I be real? So frustrated

Unread post by MelissaM »

Raising my hand...

My 10 and 6yos have been at each other's throats for weeks and weeks - just almost non-stop bickering, and it is sending me.over.the.edge. On a REALLY good* day, I told them that part of the reason we homeschool is for the family togetherness it offers, and if they hate each other so much I can just send them to school. I wouldn't have to listen to them fight, I could spend time with my 2yo who desperately wants my attention during school time, and hey - maybe I could keep the house clean for more than 30 seconds. Yikes.

They got over it, I apologized for losing my temper, but I really am sick of their fighting. And then the next minute, they are best friends, making up games together, getting along so well - it just...baffles me.

So no - you're not alone. I have no advice, but (((HUGS))).

*By good, I mean terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, of course. :)

ETA: I wish I could think of stuff like Crystal said - I much more often seem to lose my temper and my enthusiasm so quickly....
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Re: Can I be real? So frustrated

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Oh, I hear you... Only mine don't usually do stuff like that during school hours. It's the after hours stuff that kills me. Like last night... One of my boys was trying to be first to get to the dog toy and play with the dog, so he tries jumping over his sister who is laying on the floor and knees her in the face and gives her a black-eye 5 minutes before our pastor shows up for our life group. So yeah, right there with you on the "me first" and not thinking and foolishness. That's a big word in our house these days... calling out foolishness when we see it and contrasting it to the wise.

And then, of course, just after the pastor leaves we get the melodramatic speech from the older sister, "Can you please just stop him from putting stuff in his mouth!" and then storming off to her room to cry. (The other boy has this thing where he is always putting stuff in his mouth to chew on.) Then when you go to her room to talk to her she is all, "You'll just tease me if I talk about these things." Sigh. Hormones. Sigh.

So yeah. Just family dynamics. We roll with the punches. Sometimes kids get sent to their rooms. Sometimes bedtime snack is denied. Sometimes extra chores added.

One thing that we've done in the past... If one of them says something unkind to one of the others, they then have to say 5 or 10 kind things. That's really hard in the heat of the moment, but sometimes that diffuses stuff, too.

So, {Hugs}. Unfortunately we all have this sin nature thing that is really hard to battle - even us adults.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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Re: Can I be real? So frustrated

Unread post by nikicole »

You are definitely not alone! As a matter of fact just as I'm sitting here I sent both of my boys to their rooms b/c they won't stop fighting... and it's Friday night, for goodness sakes! Ten minutes ago I gave them the warning that if they didn't cut it out they were going to their rooms b/c I'm tired of hearing it, but you see where that ended. :~
We seem to be having this problem more than normal these days, so I don't know if it's their ages or what, but we're definitely needing to work on some character issues around here.
It's very frustrating, especially during school hours. All I want to do is have an enjoyable, speedy day and all the bickering does is suck the fun out of everything and extend our day b/c of having to break up fights. I know I don't always handle it well either... I wish I could have a more humorous reply most times. I'll have to work on that. :)
Julie in MN
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Re: Can I be real? So frustrated

Unread post by Julie in MN »

The only suggestion I can think of is exercise. I think as my boys got more cooped up after summer, they were always flailing around a little looking for something to do with themselves. Ive noticed with my 4yo grandson lately that he's just more able to have "nice fun" after we go do something physical, like shoot hockey pucks in the basement or flip him upside down a few times on the couch :-) :~


P.S. I feel blessed to be able to work on these issues (in both of us) rather than let them get out of control while away at school in large groups all day.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Re: Can I be real? So frustrated

Unread post by cbollin »

have them rake the leaves and play in them. (well, ok we use the leaf blower, but same thing)
worked over here this afternoon for my girls...... and then. lo and behold, they came back inside and Oldest helped Youngest with craft time. they went from little monsters to these little homeschool children angels. ah... if I had just had the camera... we could be the next catalog people.

exercise sounds good... one of my co workers teaches express in about 30 minutes... I can use it.... I'm out of here!

is it a full moon today?

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Re: Can I be real? So frustrated

Unread post by Lisa77 »

Thank you for this. So many times when I'm reading on message boards it seems like every other homeschooling mom has it all together. I feel embarassed to post about this kind of stuff. &)

Yesterday was the full moon. But around here I feel the effects the days before, and after also. I wish I was as quick as Crystal. 8[]
Amy C.
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Re: Can I be real? So frustrated

Unread post by Amy C. »

I just had to chuckle when I read this because just this week we were discussing the Roman feast. I was reading to them out of the manual the instructions for it and wanting their opinion of who they wanted to invite, etc. My older two emphatically stated that they were. not. wearing. togas. So I said that maybe we could look in our Roman Empire book and get other costume ideas to which they replied, "Mother, everyone wore togas, the wealthy, the leaders, the soldiers, the slaves, everyone." So I told them they could wear their clothes underneath their togas thinking that it might be a modesty thing, but, no, they still were not wearing togas. period. Then my oldest says, "And I really don't want to sit on the floor to eat. Let's just eat our Roman feast at the table." This is where our "No eating or drinking in the living room" rule is coming back to haunt me. At least he wants to eat at the table, but for one night in the name of "school" could my 12 year old make an exception! 8| I would like to think he was thinking of our guests that we would invite who might not like or be able to sit on the floor. Maybe that was it. Due to scheduling, holidays, and other things we will not be doing our Roman feast for another month so I just dropped it for now.

Our problem is during our read aloud times. No matter what I am reading aloud, whether it be Bible, history, read aloud book...every.single.time. I have to stop SEVERAL times... to pacify baby because he is fussy/crying/wants to nurse or to get on to someone. Just yesterday, I had stopped our Twice Freed read aloud so many times that I raised my voice and said, "I am so tired of having to stop reading. I am really enjoying this book, and I guess that you all are not. I think I will just quit trying to read it to you and just read it for myself in the quiet of my room." To which the boys said, "NOOOO, we are enjoying it. It's just so and so is doing ______________ and then I have to do____________." So then I threatened the next one who made me stop reading. :| :~ The thing is that yesterday they had asked to keep reading. We were behind, and I was just going to break it up into parts with other work in between, but they begged to keep reading, but then the interruptions. :~ I told them that this was supposed to be an enjoyable time where we come together and enjoy a read aloud. I mean I picture other families snuggled up on the couch together reading with everyone smiling and having a truly bonding moment. But this is definitely NOT the way it is here in our home. We can't all sit on the couch together to read because my 7 y/o can't be still and distracts everyone else and irritates his older brothers. And of course, they have their issues as well, like not being able to sit too close to each other because one has his foot in the other one's spot or one is taking up too much room, etc., etc., etc. So we all sit/lie/whatever in our separate places in the living room, but it is still not a cozy, warm-feeling kind of time.

Does anyone else get angry during Bible reading at their house? I try not to. I even pray about this specifically but alas, it never fails. We do have our rare moments where it goes smoother than other days. I might not have to stop to get on to someone but once or twice. I don't lose my temper and it seems to just run smoothly, but that is the exception.

I have decided that I am doomed to have to be a drill sergeant who barks orders at my boys whenever I want them to do something. I guess that is the way I have trained them. I am sure it is my fault. I try to be kind and sweet and gentle and quiet spirited, but it seems that they only respond to me when I yell. I don't know how to change it, but I do know one thing...We all are a bunch of sinners (saved by grace but with the flesh nature still as our arch nemesis) trying to live life (including school) here together 24/7. Lord, have mercy on us! We need You! That is one thing this journey is teaching me...My complete and utter dependence on Him.

Just wanted to be real and let you know you are not alone.

Dying to self,
Amy C.
Last edited by Amy C. on Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can I be real? So frustrated

Unread post by my3sons »

Amy- I could have written the post about how reading out loud goes here!!! Oh, so frustrating! I have threatened to make them write whatever I am reading if they cannot listen without me stopping to get them back on track. I have not made them do it yet, but I may! And we do sit on the couch to read and even that turns into a fight about who gets to sit by mom and during what book. I guess part of me should feel honored?

There is a comfort in knowing we are not the only ones, isn't there? I think Todd Wilson is right on the money when he talks about the importance of being real.
Mom to all boys, ages 15, 13, 11, 5 and 1

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Re: Can I be real? So frustrated

Unread post by rebeccal2002 »

Oh thank you for posting this thread! I'm laughing and crying right now, because it has been a very hard week. I can so relate what you all are saying. I wonder sometimes why we are home schooling when the 4 year old and 2.5 year old are in their rooms wailing while I try to continue to read about all the interesting things in Australia. Ugh. Is it really that hard to be quiet for 5 minutes? YES, it is VERY hard. I also wonder why it is so difficult to sit down somewhere where no one else wants to sit. We have so many places to sit in our family room, a sofa, lazy boy chair, numerous office chairs, the floor...but for some reason every one wants to sit on the sofa at once.

Well, I just try to keep swimming. That's from Finding Nemo which the children pointed out takes place in Australia, so of course we had to watch it. :)

Hugs and prayers to all of us! May God grant us an extra measure of patience. :)

HS'ing since 2006, MFW since 01/2011 :)
2015/16: ECC (2nd time around w/ 3rd, 6th and 8.5 grader), WHL (10th). Also 2nd half of K and 1st for 6 year old.

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Re: Can I be real? So frustrated

Unread post by terick89 »

Wow, what a great thread! So been there and done that! My kids are 12 and I keep thinking they really ought to know how to act by now! I do believe they behaved better when they were 2-5! Of course they were much smaller than me back then! Now I look at them almost eye to eye. :~ Anyway, it really warms my heart when I realize I am not alone on this journey of homeschooling. Threads like this keep me going and actually encourage me! We have difficulty at Bible reading time as well. I KNOW Satan is out to attack all of us! Let's not let him win! Let's stick together (since two are better than one) and continue to "be real." Hang in there everyone! And just FYI, my kids still tell me they like homeschooling even on our worst days! That should tell me something.

BTW, we are loving Twice Freed. My one son can't stand it when we're at the end of a chapter and I have no voice left. Gotta love that, too.

Keep on keeping on,
DD, 12
DS, 12
DS, 12
DD, 13
DS, 13
DS, 13
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Re: Can I be real? So frustrated

Unread post by asheslawson »

Oh my....I love you ladies!! Haha...you know the "phileo" brotherly love!! I got upset with my very busy, sweet 7 year old dd yesterday - because she wrote with pen on her hundred day chart, and of all days for her to grab a pen, she wrote it on the wrong box!! And then - I reached for my 'wipe-out' corrector (the tape kind of 'white-out') - only to remember that she had been fascinated by covering things with white cover-up tape and had used the entire roll one day when I was working with her big brother in math! GRRR....I was terrible...reminding her in my 'nice, but not so nice' way that she is not to get into mommy's pens & supplies and this is one of the reasons why - and this is why I tell her to write in pencil - I can't get another 100 chart unless she would like to go back and repeat her curriculum from the start. Really - over one number written in ink?! I apologized for being so short - but I felt like a troll for sure!

And my two have been fighting some too - really more just constant correcting each other...and yet they are SO helpful to me with the 8 week old & 2 toddlers I babysit. That same get-in-to-everything little girl set snacks out on the table for me today while I went to the bus stop to meet the public schoolers I babysit. My son poured the juice for everyone and held the baby while I changed a diaper a tot. I have so much to be grateful for....and I used my curt, grumpy mommy voice over ink pen! Why do we let the small things set us off? I can totally make light of the crazy stuff - I had them laughing over their bad attitudes during their least favorite subjects this week and then the rest of the assignments went well - but I get stupid over ink pen! I really feel like a troll! :~
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD

Re: Can I be real? So frustrated

Unread post by cbollin »

Hearing the "keep it real" stories with devotions reminds me of an article Todd Wilson wrote a while back: Family Emotions, I mean devotions. :)
http://www.familymanweb.com/article/fam ... -devotions

and it reminds me of a time when I was in my 20's and was at small group. The small group leader was also a worker with one of those college campus ministries, and a deacon in our church. He was a homeschool dad too. Part of "family style" small group Bible study meant he started off the "meeting" with a small devotional for the kids who attended. He was reading from one of the MIssionary Stories with the Millers. The other children were listening, but not his. oh no.. His kids, were just like the kids in the Todd Wilson article. I remember the dad stopping reading. He blushed and said "they don't always act like this during Bible time" and one other lady and I both looked at each other, looked back at him and said "what? this IS normal for children! Keep reading! You look like a real family now."

Even though my oldest was only a preschool age child at that time, I was beginning to think about homeschooling. I thought, if their kids are that normal and they homeschool, maybe I can do this too. :)
asheslawson wrote:I apologized for being so short -

Now there' s a wise and loving homeschool mom. Realizing that an apology is part of a good school day when those little things drive you crazy. (((hugs)))

maybe we should all cue up the Francesca Battistelli song "This is the Stuff" and have a good cup of tea or coffee and go hug a kid today.

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

Re: Can I be real? So frustrated

Unread post by Yodergoat »

A comment about losing one's temper over small things...

Did that a few days ago. It wasn't during school, but we did "skip" school that day and instead packed our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. This is an all-day thing at our house because I try to cram in every. little. thing. I can into eight boxes. Gail kept asking over and over about putting something in a box and I was losing my temper. "Oh, just go sit DOWN somewhere and let me get this in the box!" I said, obviously flustered. So she sat down next to the pile of finished shoeboxes and began plucking at the rubber bands which were wrapped around them. It sounded rather musical, and she obviously thought so, too. So she plucked and began singing:

"I am singing a song to my mother
while I play my harp
so she won't be so angry with me
and will be happy again..."

The voice was that of the young David (before he was king) in a certain movie we have about him. It was uncanny... if you could have just heard the cadence of it, it was a dead ringer for the actor in the movie. Taken aback and feeling guilty, I asked, "Are you David, and I'm King Saul, and you're playing for me so the evil spirit will leave me?" She answered in song:

"Yes, I am singing to you, mother
so you won't be so angry with me
while you are packing these

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. So I laughed and told her I was sorry for being grumpy. She smiled and said, "See, it worked, just like for King Saul."

Glad to hear others have such days as well, and that everyone else is not this ever-patient, always sweet natured homeschooling mother straight from the pages of Above Rubies, while I lose my temper with my one little sweet child!
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Can I be real? So frustrated

Unread post by Julie in MN »

MrsRobinson wrote:Well, I don't post a lot. We have just taken nearly two weeks off of school to do a major switching bedrooms in our house. Before the break I had actually packed up all of my RtR books and threatened to sell them because my 12 ds thinks everything I wanted him to do was beneath him. Just this year he has become one that thinks he is a full grown man and his enthusiastic attitude toward school has just gone. " Mom, just give me what I need to live my life!" This all started when we were constructing models for the Body Book. A book that I had waited years to do and finally was ready and he totally busted my bubble. WHAT HAPPENED TO MY BOY that loved anything we did together?? My dh just kind of laughed and that mad me even more angry! &) So, needless to say I was ready for a break.

Now, I know that we need to get back on our schedule and I am so nervous. What do I do? Get back out the books and expect him to do what I pick from the teachers manual or give up on some of the hands on stuff and let him learn his science the dry, textbook way? I'm not gonna leave it with a bad feeling for my only boy. ;) He is a great helper, kind-hearted and loving. He just wants to do man stuff. He will chop wood all day and takes good care of all of our livestock. I just feel that there are things he needs to learn and be exposed to, no matter if it interest him or not.

Blessing to you all!
Aww, Melanie, I have so been there. Days that become so discouraging that I just want to quit homeschooling, quit being a parent altogether. Thankfully, those days don't always last, and new mornings bring refreshment. But it is all tiring.

First thing, I'm sure you know from parenting your older one that children are morphing at about ages 12-14 or so.

Second thing, I'm wondering if your 12yo is a 6th grader or a 7th grader this year. Since there is a big jump up in responsibility in 7th grade, I'm wondering he is ready for some of that but hasn't gotten his feet wet yet? Even a 6th grader can try some of the additional load, such as the grammar book, the Apologia General Science, etc.

Third thing, you can create a "shop class with dad" and not feel guilty about it at all. Many middle schools have such classes. We did it here, and dh would involve ds in fixing things, and they read the books from Bob Schultz (Boyhood & Beyond, etc).

And again, these days are hard. Glad you came to cry on our shoulders. We can all help each other thru to the better days. My son has to do some things because I am responsible to be the parent and decide they are best. He has to do some things that he thinks are easy or he "already knows them" -- often disproved later. But we can let them grow up to be boys, and do boy things along the way. Prayers,

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:12 pm
Location: MA

Re: Can I be real? So frustrated

Unread post by Caryn »

It's so wonderful to see all of these stories to know that we are all so normal! We, too, have had a rough week, mostly with my trying to cope with getting a diagnosis for my youngest, and resenting how life right now is messing up everything for the other two, and my ideals for schooling for them etc etc etc. So grown up of me ;)

I think we forget that there are no goodbye-I'm-getting-on-the-big-yellow-bus lines to separate the time between parenting and education, and emotions and growth all happen within the family during school time and outside of it. It's just a different dynamic, and sometimes taking off the mommy hat, and putting on the teacher hat, and then taking off the teacher hat and putting on the discipliner hat is hard to do. Oh, WAIT! They're all the same hat ;)

I love that it's our desire for the best for our children and before our God that allows us to do our best, and His grace that allows us to be saved sinners and to trust Him with the end results when we mess up.

One moment at a time....
dd9, ds8, and ds3 (Speech therapy and pre-k)
Pre-k (twice), K (twice), 1st (twice), Adventures, ECC and currently CtG
My blog: Considering Wildflowers
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