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I feel like I'm failing

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I am a stay at home Mom to a 5 1/2 year old.  We homeschool using ABeka for kindergarten.  Last year I used Calvert for pre-school.  I am just feeling so wrung-out.  My son is doing really well with the curriculum, but hates school.  By doing really well I mean when he applies himself he really just whips through the work and does a good job.  The problem lies in getting him to do the work.  I had the same problem last year with pre-school. 

 

I don't know what to do, but I am tired of chasing him around the house all day saying, "Get back in your chair, we have to finish school!"   What should be a quick morning of school turns into hours of work.  He says he hates school (said this last year too).  When he was in a brick and mortar pre-school at age 3 he said he hated that.  I really don't know what to do.  I am sick over this....

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 26

He's 5.  Take a break.  

 

Seriously, it really is that simple.  :)  Lots of curricula and philosophies and countries don't expect any kind of sit-down academics until at least age 7!  

 

While *some* academics at this age aren't necessarily a *bad* thing, especially if the kid is ready and interested, there's no real worry about "getting things done" just for the sake of getting them done.  Besides, if you're setting up an adversarial relationship -- between him and you, and also between him and "school", then that's just courting disaster down the line.  The most important thing at this age should be keeping a healthy love of learning, in whatever form.

 

Perhaps a change of curriculum might be needed.  Or a change in approach.  There are lots of different approaches to scheduling that are child-friendly.  Maybe he'd respond well to workboxes.  Maybe he'll learn best from stories instead of workbooks... I don't know A Beka intimately well -- we use their K-level cursive books but that's it, but my impression is that it's a very, very school-at-home academic workbook kind of course.  That doesn't mean it isn't great -- just that maybe it's not the right fit for your son right now.  

 

Or, maybe it is, and you just need to find a different way to organize and schedule things so it's not a battle.  With my daughter, who is also 5, we kind of loosely have 'school time' blocks in the day, but if we get to that time and she's absorbed in some kind of creative play and would rather keep doing that, well then that's great.  Creative exploration is so very, very important.  She'll sit and draw for ages.  She started spontaneously *writing* stories (with invented spelling) a few months ago, with no preamble or prompting -- not as 'school time' but just because she wanted to.  She builds with lego, or marble drop, or blocks -- that's physics exploration.  ;)  My point is just that a 5 year old's whole life is "school" -- they're exploring and learning all the time.  The academic side of it is great if you can fit some in, but it's really not worth stressing about if you don't get as much as you think maybe you should be. 

 

Some days, she's "in the mood" and we'll do a full math lesson and 9 pages in the cursive book and a physics experiment and write-up and read a chapter about Einstein and analyze a paragraph for content and narration etc etc.  The next day, maybe at 3 in the afternoon she finally says "okay" to my suggestion for some math, we get through half the lesson and she's back to playing with her dolls.  The next day, she wants to do the next 4 science lessons, but nothing else.  The next day, she only wants to draw all day long.  The next day, she wants to play her computer learning games (Dreambox, Reading Eggs, french videos) for hours.

 

So it's kind of like how a toddler eats... you don't look at their intake over a day.  They'll eat only carrots one day, crackers the next, and chicken the next... You look at what they eat over a week.  So for my daughter, over the course of a week or so, she does some math, she does some french, she does writing practice, reading practice, language and story analysis, science, poetry, even a little history and mythology.  Even though each day, it barely looks like we're doing anything!  

 

So... take some deep breaths.  Enjoy his play.  Suggest some school stuff once in awhile, but don't fret when he doesn't want to do it -- keep your primary goal in mind that he associates *enjoyment* with his schoolwork rather than stress.  If it's an option, take some time to investigate other curricula or approaches that might be more enjoyable for all of you.  For instance we've started using First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind and Writing With Ease -- they're very scripted and very academic, but VERY gentle and VERY VERY short lessons!  :)  My daughter will usually do both of those lessons each day even if she doesn't want to do anything else.  She also loves her Life of Fred math books, usually I'm the one who has to stop and say "okay this has to be the last chapter today!"  

 

And if he really, really rebels against any kind of sit down -- even if he 'does well' when he does it, but still doesn't WANT to do it -- then do some research into unschooling and delayed academics, even if you don't plan on continuing that way in the long run, just to help ease your mind that it's okay to wait while he's still so very young.  (And if you're in a state where you need to provide reports to a school board or something, there is lots of info out there on how to build a great report out of unschooled learning!)

 

 

post #3 of 26

What do you do where he doesn't have to sit and write? We use some A Beka too for the 5 year old, and our schedule starts with saying the pledge of allegiance to a flag he colored for us at the start of the year and saying a Bible prayer (we memorize a new one each month). I read a library book to him then let him go play for a while, outside a lot of the time. He does a math page front and back, then reads us a tiny story from an easy reader. Our science, history, civics, and geography we do mostly by library books alternating by day of the week, reading, discussing, maybe doing a project or playing with blocks to make a historical city or something. We have lunch, then he's back to the table doing handwriting practice. We started doing both sides of a page but now that's he's starting cursive it's more challenging and do one side a day. We read a Bible story and maybe do an activity page with it. Then playtime, preferably outside. Then it's phonics work, front and back one page. He finished the K book so he's got grade 1 letters and sounds and a page of language now. After it's all done he usually likes to play computer til dinner.

 

So basically we alternate seatwork, me reading to him, playtime, and some other activities so it doesn't get too boring for him. I still have to keep my eye on him and remind him to finish the page when his attention wanders, but if he focuses he never has to sit for more than half an hour at a time, often less.

post #4 of 26

I can't imagine trying to make my son do school. He'd fight me left and right. It would be beyond nasty.

 

So we play games. Oh, and the fact that he's learning something is beside the point.

 

First, let me say that I don't see any need to do academics before 7 or 8. Kids NEED to play to learn at this age. Anything structured seems so inferior to what can happen through play.

 

However, I think my son would be really happy if he knew how to read. But if I try and talk with him about learning to read he is so resistant. So I bought Happy Phonics http://www.lovetolearn.net/catalog/product/07073 and now we RANDOMLY play the games. (He learned the letter sounds from www.starfall.com so we don't need to do that.) So in the one game we take turns trying to sound out the words so we can see if we can make the smoke come out the chimney. Of course, I usually have trouble sounding out the word so he has to help me. Then there's the game where we flip letters to see if the word we sound out makes sense or if it's a silly word. It's all fun. there is no goal, no pressure. And every now and then he is starting to decode words on his own.

 

I also bought a book on reading games. http://www.amazon.com/Games-Reading-Playful-Ways-Child/dp/0394721497/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330233293&sr=1-1 So far we've only played one game. We came up with a list of words we might see in a grocery store. Per the book, I suggested he choose two words, but he wanted to choose three words. So we wrote them on a paper and he looked for them throughout the store to see which word he saw most often. He supposedly made a mark every time he saw the word. I didn't worry about what the paper looked like, only that he and I were searching for those words. And it was FUN!!!

 

For math we have a book called Family Math. http://www.amazon.com/Family-Math-Jean-Kerr-Stenmark/dp/0912511060/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330233557&sr=1-1 Again, we do this randomly. It's fun, and he now has concepts he didn't have before that he would have fought me if I tried to TEACH him.

 

We also sometimes play SumSwamp http://www.amazon.com/Sum-Swamp-Addition-Subtraction-Game/dp/B00004TDLD/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1330233657&sr=1-1 and we just got Berries, Bugs, and Bullfrogs http://www.amazon.com/Cooperative-Introduction-Concepts-Berries-Bullfrogs/dp/B000E0DDZA/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1330233697&sr=1-1 We've only played that one once.

 

For science we have a subscription to www.thehappyscientist.com. My son could spend forever watching the happy scientist. Also my son loves the sonlight dvd http://www.sonlight.com/AS05.html He will randomly just start doing the experiments he sees there.

 

For social studies I am slowly buying Animated Hero Classic dvds. http://www.amazon.com/NEST-Animated-Hero-Classics-Leonardo/dp/B000R06RM8/ref=sr_1_26?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1330233920&sr=1-26

 

I just read the most amazing homeschooling book I've read. Legendary Learning http://www.amazon.com/Legendary-Learning-Homeschoolers-Self-Directed-Excellence/dp/0983151008/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330234244&sr=8-1 This is the review I wrote: This is probably the best parenting book I have ever read. How you can offer your kids the skills they need to follow their passions and succeed (as they define it) in the world. Although it is geared to homeschoolers, most of this can be applied to children who attend school. She discusses Montessori, Charlotte Mason, A Thomas Jefferson Education (a form of classical education,) and unschooling. She has researched how many highly successful people were educated as they grew up. Although all were homeschooled for some period of time, many also went to school for awhile as well. She discusses people like Thomas Edison, Teddy Roosevelt, Pierre Curie, Agatha Christie, Margaret Leakey, and many, many others. The bottom line is to help your child find their passions and teach them the creativity and skills to attain their goals.

 

post #5 of 26

My son is a homeschool grad and I've seen a lot of homeschooled kids grow up. I can honestly say that your son would lose nothing if he just played for the next few years and never had to hear the word "school." That doesn't mean he wouldn't be learning a lot and discovering the joy of learning - it just means that learning at his age doesn't need to come in a school-like package, and that the 3Rs don't need to be begun so early in order for him to be perfectly proficient at it all in due time. As has often been said, for every thing there is a season. And as you do introduce those subjects and skills along the way, there are lots of engaging ways of presenting them in such a way that they're simply interesting or challenging things to learn rather than as obligatory chores to have to work at. 

 

Take a look through this site/catalog of books and products that support a love of learning - it's amazing how many fabulous leaning tools we have at our fingertips outside of formal curricula.  FUN-Books.

 

He's still very young, and lots of children are still playing full time at his age, and a number of European counties don't even have compulsory education so young. Here's a BBC article, 

Is five too soon to start school?  

 

My (non-commercial) page on preschool and kindergarten learning activities has lots more articles with suggestions about age appropriate expectations and needs. 


Here's a fascinating video on Swedish preschool - "preschool" meaning those years before they start school at age 7. 

 

 

Lillian
 

 

 

 

 

post #6 of 26

See, we've tried the loose structure, no lessons and schedule thing with my son and his behavior gets terrible. Also he's proud of himself for learning what he does as fast as he does, and it's of great use to him too. So I disagree that most 5 year olds should just play and have learning come naturally without lessons and any work and self discipline. It can be fun and work at the same time. But don't try to power through the paperwork all at once, they can't stand that, this is just the beginning stage and you can't expect *too* much out of him. Do what works for him and for you.

post #7 of 26

Does he like to listen when you read?  Sonlight might be a good fit for you as a core cirriculum.  we've really enjoyed the books this year (K).

 

Tjej

post #8 of 26


Quote:

Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post

See, we've tried the loose structure, no lessons and schedule thing with my son and his behavior gets terrible. Also he's proud of himself for learning what he does as fast as he does, and it's of great use to him too. So I disagree that most 5 year olds should just play and have learning come naturally without lessons and any work and self discipline. It can be fun and work at the same time. But don't try to power through the paperwork all at once, they can't stand that, this is just the beginning stage and you can't expect *too* much out of him. Do what works for him and for you.

 

Well... I think it's still actually true that MOST 5yo's should just play and 'learn naturally'.  Some, indeed, do prefer to have some academic work.  I certainly did (wasn't homeschooled but I looooved workbooks), my daughter certainly does.  But me and my daughter don't equal "most".  :)

 

My son, like yours, is also one whose behavior gets terrible when he doesn't have a schedule, and I wish I'd figured that out much earlier (he's almost 14 now and we've only really cottoned on to it the last few years).  He needs structure, he can't just self-direct -- he has Aspergers and ADHD.  But when we're talking about little kids, "no early academics" doesn't necessarily equal "no schedule" or "no structure."  You can still have rhythm and routine in your day, and structured activities.  It just doesn't have to be sit-down traditional academics.

 

You can look at Waldorf, for instance.  Waldorf doesn't "do school" until the year a child turns 7.  Before then, though, through pre-school and K years, there is huge structure to the day, based on concepts of 'rhythm'.  The day might start with a circle time of songs and stories, then have outdoor time, then snack time, then quiet reading together time, then lunch time, then unstructured creative play, then crafts and art... etc etc.  It's very strongly believed in Waldorf that children crave structure and routine and that it should follow a 'breathe in - breathe out - ' pattern (active vs relaxed activities, kind of).  Having this structure is, according to Waldorf, extremely healthy for kids.  And yet, Waldorf is also renowned for its very high valuation on creative and unstructured free play time, and, of course, no academic expectations at all until age 7.  They're not mutually exclusive concepts.

 

So, yeah, "let them play" doesn't have to mean "never have them do anything structured at all."  For some people, that is indeed what works best; but for others it can also just mean "don't push seatwork academics, there are lots of other learning activities that are just as important to a developing child other than reading and writing."  Things like handicrafts and cooking and housework, just as a quick for-instance, physical skills that are arguably more important and more developmentally appropriate.... for MOST 5yo's.  ;)  

 

But that's one of the great things about homeschooling, isn't it?  If your kid is typical, you don't have to force them to 'do kindergarten' if they're not ready for it.  If they would love it, though, you can start when they're even younger!  :)

 

 

post #9 of 26

 

So, yeah, "let them play" doesn't have to mean "never have them do anything structured at all."  

 

 

Absolutely! And there are a lot of wonderful ways to structure time other than with traditional schoolwork. There are also lots of delightful things to learn about the world that can make a child feel good about his abilities. smile.gif    Lillian

 

post #10 of 26

OK, my first reply got eaten. Let me try again. Here is a video that I came across the other day. I realize that we are not talking about school in this discussion, nor any particular country. However, it is always enlightening and interesting to see how other cultures deal with education, because I, too, (in my homeschooling) still tend to think in terms of the ways that we do things here in schools in the USA, and going against that can be quite scary and you can easily feel very lost and clueless. So take a look at this refreshing approach to school for the little ones.....

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecinNaR32Qs&context=C3bd9679ADOEgsToPDskK1_oZ3YDZTC4WT8b1hWpPM

 

 

post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by NellieKatz View Post

OK, my first reply got eaten. Let me try again. Here is a video that I came across the other day. I realize that we are not talking about school in this discussion, nor any particular country. However, it is always enlightening and interesting to see how other cultures deal with education, because I, too, (in my homeschooling) still tend to think in terms of the ways that we do things here in schools in the USA, and going against that can be quite scary and you can easily feel very lost and clueless. So take a look at this refreshing approach to school for the little ones.....

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecinNaR32Qs&context=C3bd9679ADOEgsToPDskK1_oZ3YDZTC4WT8b1hWpPM

 

 



smile.gif GMTA - that's the same video I posted to a few posts up.

 

My child went to Waldorf for two years of kindergarten, and then to a little alternative school for 1st grade, so I didn't start homeschooling with the idea of the way things are generally done here. We did a little of this and a little of that, and morphed into unschooling. When my son wrote his essays for college admission, one thing he wrote was about how much he valued the educational freedom he'd been given to pursue his own interests in his own time, and about the confidence that had given him in his ability to learn about anything. With the acceptance notifications that came from his first two choices of colleges, there came scholarship offers. He never finished his application to the third, but they had shown interest in him as well. The first colleges said their interest was based on his his essays, his SATs, and his letters of recommendation - they may have also mentioned the grades he'd had from community college classes, but I don't recall now.

 

Most of us grew up in the school system and assumed that going through it in their prescribed manner was responsible for what we learned, but once you get outside the system, you start to realize that learning simply doesn't work that way - we learned while we were in the system, but we didn't learn because of the system. And when we consider that many of us didn't even get introduced to reading or writing or arithmetic until we were 6 and in the 1st grade, and we easily went on to higher education with less trouble than subsequent generations who have had it all pushed on them younger and younger, we really have to take a harder look at what the educrats are trying to shove down our throats. Once you get outside that box, you start to question a lot of other things we've been raised with, and the world becomes your and your children's oyster.  - Lillian

 

post #12 of 26

Lillian, I'm going to nab that last paragraph and quote it everywhere I can, if you don't mind.  thumb.gif  Well said!

post #13 of 26

Oh, Lillian J, I wish it were so. I had picked that video up from YOUR post but totally forgotten where I got it from! LOL!!!! Man, my brain is mush sometimes. (sigh)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post



smile.gif GMTA - that's the same video I posted to a few posts up.

 

My child went to Waldorf for two years of kindergarten, and then to a little alternative school for 1st grade, so I didn't start homeschooling with the idea of the way things are generally done here. We did a little of this and a little of that, and morphed into unschooling. When my son wrote his essays for college admission, one thing he wrote was about how much he valued the educational freedom he'd been given to pursue his own interests in his own time, and about the confidence that had given him in his ability to learn about anything. With the acceptance notifications that came from his first two choices of colleges, there came scholarship offers. He never finished his application to the third, but they had shown interest in him as well. The first colleges said their interest was based on his his essays, his SATs, and his letters of recommendation - they may have also mentioned the grades he'd had from community college classes, but I don't recall now.

 

Most of us grew up in the school system and assumed that going through it in their prescribed manner was responsible for what we learned, but once you get outside the system, you start to realize that learning simply doesn't work that way - we learned while we were in the system, but we didn't learn because of the system. And when we consider that many of us didn't even get introduced to reading or writing or arithmetic until we were 6 and in the 1st grade, and we easily went on to higher education with less trouble than subsequent generations who have had it all pushed on them younger and younger, we really have to take a harder look at what the educrats are trying to shove down our throats. Once you get outside that box, you start to question a lot of other things we've been raised with, and the world becomes your and your children's oyster.  - Lillian

 



 

post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by NellieKatz View Post

Oh, Lillian J, I wish it were so. I had picked that video up from YOUR post but totally forgotten where I got it from! LOL!!!! Man, my brain is mush sometimes. (sigh)


Oh, dear - sounds like you might sending yourself into as many directions as I've been doing. I'm trying to focus on slowing down and living in the moment as I recover from breaking my arm because of falling onto a sidewalk while digging around in my purse for my keys.  wink1.gif   - Lillian

 

 

post #15 of 26

You're right about the many directions, but I don't really have a choice sometimes. I have a highly spirited (crazed?) homeschooled 9 year old who won't go to bed and we live in such a small house, I am interrupted nearly constantly. Nothing has seemed to work thus far. He gets wound up, stays up late, the next day he is predictably overtired, which of course leads to less self-regulation and more intense wacky emotions and so on and so on.

 

But thanks for your understanding. And I'm sorry about your arm. That sounds pretty painful.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post


Oh, dear - sounds like you might sending yourself into as many directions as I've been doing. I'm trying to focus on slowing down and living in the moment as I recover from breaking my arm because of falling onto a sidewalk while digging around in my purse for my keys.  wink1.gif   - Lillian

 

 



 

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by NellieKatz View Post

You're right about the many directions, but I don't really have a choice sometimes. I have a highly spirited (crazed?) homeschooled 9 year old who won't go to bed and we live in such a small house, I am interrupted nearly constantly. Nothing has seemed to work thus far. He gets wound up, stays up late, the next day he is predictably overtired, which of course leads to less self-regulation and more intense wacky emotions and so on and so on.

 


 

I don't mean to minimize the situation in the least - it sounds pretty overwhelming - but something just popped into my mind One small bit of relief might be a sand table. I know they use them in some private schools for relaxing children who are having trouble settling down. They have little figures and things in them that can be used to set up and act out stories. 

 

I hope something works out for you all before long.  hug.gif   Lillian

 

 

post #17 of 26


It's funny you should mention that. He has always had sand trays out (with vehicles in them too!) for him to play with. (Dried brown rice, too. And clumped-up flour. You name it.) In fact he's got a tray of Moon Sand out still. Unfortunately he wants to start drawing at midnight and I think, frankly, it's because I make such a big deal out of bedtime. I just wonder what would happen if I didn't say a word about it....I wonder if he'd start to listen to his own body rather than being invested in opposing us. He is so tired; I think it's a matter of pride now...he's claimed "I get creative at night" as a sort of identity now.

 

I wish he'd just use the sand!  :-)  Thanks for the suggestion.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post


 

I don't mean to minimize the situation in the least - it sounds pretty overwhelming - but something just popped into my mind One small bit of relief might be a sand table. I know they use them in some private schools for relaxing children who are having trouble settling down. They have little figures and things in them that can be used to set up and act out stories. 

 

I hope something works out for you all before long.  hug.gif   Lillian

 

 



 

post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 

Sorry I haven't responded yet.  My son has been sick.  I appreciate the replies.  I am still struggling.  My husband is really against unschooling or any type of informal learning and I want to home school so our compromise has been traditional home schooling.  I don't know really how to continue.  Feeling really depressed over this.  Today we started school again (after several days off) and it has been a challenge.  We use the A Beka DVD program and my son really just has a hard time staying still.  If I let him take a break it turns into a fight to get back to school.  I feel like I am just rambling at this point, but want to say thank you for the replies. 

post #19 of 26

You can still do classical homeschooling without so much stress.  

 

Remember that a lot of the work teachers give their kids is because they don't have the luxury of observing where the students are academically, developmentally.  So there is a lot of work that needs to get on paper that a homeschooled kid just doesn't *need* to do.  The times I have purchased workbooks, which we call "puzzlebooks" and treat them as such, they much prefer to do them on the couch and say the answers rather than writing them down.  This creates fewer chances to practice writing, but that can be addressed on its own.  

 

The other thing teachers need to do is to keep all students roughly on track in *all* subjects, not only to move on to the next concept but to get them ready for the next teacher in the next grade.  This is where you have flexibility, too, without inching toward unschooling.  My now 7yo daughter understood multiplication at 5yo, shortly after she got the hang of addition.  This is *common* says my 6th-grade-math-and-science-teacher sister.  But schools want to teach addition, then subtraction and then move on to mult./division.  A lot of curriculums might want to follow this model and it might be appropriate for certain kids, but finding a curriculum that has more flexibility can ease your job.

 

You have *so* many options and still be working in the classical style!  Your son is young and you have time to learn this.  He is also old enough to give you an idea as to how he wants to learn things.  You tell him he needs to practice his writing.  Does he want to do copywork from his book on mythological monsters?  Or write his own story from scratch?

 

You do not need to have "school" at one certain time, or in one block.  Nature video first thing in the morning.  Then playtime.  Reading/ storytime immediately flollowed by reading *practice*.  Time to go outside and run around.  Then lunch, then math concepts ("Anno's Math Games"--excellent!) then practice math at the table, then writing.  The play then an activity of his choice.  Or put the academics after dinner, if that is what works.  Just because you don't unschool doesn't mean that you have to do "school-at-home"!  Homeschooling can be everyday or just 3 or 4.  Whatever works!  Take a vacation whenever you want!

 

You have so many choices, and if you choose one and it is not working out, then you switch gears.  This is a luxury that school teachers do not have.  To switch a curriculum because one is not working as planned takes committees and decisions by the board of directors.  

 

An individual teacher's options are limited.  Yours are not.  It is not an issue of, "Well, unschooling is not acceptable to dh therefore I am stuck in this school-at-home style."  You are not stuck.  Start slowly, change what isn't working, talk with your son about what *he* wants and how it can fit into what you want from him, and go from there.

 

 

post #20 of 26


First of all, you are not failing. Your son is in Kindergarten, which means you are just starting this journey!  Give yourself, and your son, a break and remember that you are both learning what works :) 

 

I can't even count the number of times, in the last 5 years, that one or the other (or both) of my kids have said they hated school. The first few times hurt, because I wanted them to love it, and I felt like I was failing too, but eventually I realized that when they said this, it was simply a signal to me that something was not working, and that I needed to make a change. As others have said, the beauty of homeschooling is that you can make that change, when a traditional school can't - or at least can't do so quite as easily.

 

So, he hates seat work - there are very few children that age who love it ;)  You have a lot of options there. Less worksheets, more games, stories, etc, are always good.  If you like the structure of the worksheets (I admit, I sometimes did), then do them differently. Do them orally, or as a game. If it is important to you to have a record, then write down his answers yourself. Or take things outside and let him do some things in chalk. Don't be afraid to mix things up a bit and try new things with him - that's half the fun, and its also how you learn what works for you both, and what doesn't.

 

 

 

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