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AAAAAARG! Why am I doing this again?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am so burnt out. Getting ds to do any work is like pulling teeth. I need him to do some work for our state but I am so sick of hearing "Awwwwwwwwwwww!" I cannot send him back to ps no matter what so what to do?

Please don't say don't make him do any work at all because that is not an option. I am wanting opinions from people who do some work on how they get it done without a huge emotional hassle. We just came off a 4 week hiatus in Dec/Jan so it isn't that we need a break.
post #2 of 17
Do a different kind of work than you've been doing.

* take a field trip

* read a good book to him, something above his reading level

* memorize a poem together

* start a nature notebook. Take a hike every week and add new drawings to the book. Look up the flowers, trees, bugs etc. that you find in books when you get home.

* do hands on math. There are tons of manipulatives you can buy, or you can play games found in books like Trust the Children by Anna Kealoha or Games for Math by Peggy Kaye.

* cook something from another culture.

* do a unit study on his favorit subject.

The book Trust the Children is amazing and has tons of wonderful ideas.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Linda!
post #4 of 17
Sometimes when we come 'back to school' after some time off, it helps to do a mini unit of the child's choosing. Things that are gross or messy or that we wouldn't normally do (worm farm) are appealing to the boys.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
The thing is all we do for school is units of his choosing. He justs hates doing anything concrete that I can put in his portfolio (it is that or testing). Today we just played in the snow. Dh brought home a snow disc and we scouted for hills to slide down. All he wants to do normally is watch cartoons and play playstation. My fault for exposing him but I would like for him to learn some self control.
post #6 of 17
how long have you been hsing and how old is he?

it took us nearly 3 years (and lots of experimentation) to establish a routine of violin practice where I don't get complaints all the time. sometimes I get complaints now, but we usually have a fun practice anyway. (dd is 5yo)

can you pick one important thing in your homeschooling plan that you HAVE to do every day (it could be a different thing each day - like writing on Mon, math workbook Tues, etc)? have that be the first thing you attack with him (at the time of day when he is freshest) - once he finishes that you can move on to other things if he is engaged or let him do his own thing if he's not. try starting small - maybe a 5-10 min activity, and gradually make it longer as he gets used to the routine. I have found that doing something at the same time every day helps.

maybe you've tried these things already, but if not, give it a whirl.
post #7 of 17
Just a thought...What counts as "concrete" for his portfolio? Could you use a photo of something he has helped bake, build or create, along with notes about which skills this activity helped build? It might seem less like "work". I love Linda in AZ's ideas!

And it may help to know that many teachers (and students) will tell you that the third quarter (Jan-March) is the hardest, or the one with the least motivation. So hopefully you are at a low point now and it will get better from here!
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks all of you! those are really good suggestions. we can photograph and do (I email them to dh and he prints them out on regular paper for me). I just need to be more creative I think. continue giving me ideas though if you have more...

thanks, lavender for the third quarter thing. that makes me feel better because we did so much better before Christmas.

oh, he is 8 and this is our first year hschooling--previously he was in ps and montessori--neither of which worked for him. he is diagnosed with adhd. I have my problems with that but whatever it is, he has obvious problems sustaining attention to anything except tv and playstation.
post #9 of 17
For his portfolio, you can insert records of things you do, like notes about a field trip, the recipe from another culture, list of books you've read to him, etc. It doesn't have to all be things he has written, filled out, or drawn himself.

I highly recommend checking out the book "Trust the Children" by Anna Kealoha. It is filled with ideas for projects, games, opened ended learning experiences. On the back of the book is the a quote from John Taylor Gatto; "Reading Trust the Children is like listening to a wise and down-to-earth friend talk about a subject of great interest. It's full of the best common sense informed by care, intelligence and experience."

Also, since movement is very important to you son, you might be able to find ways to incorporate it into other subjects. One mom I know here has tells her son a math problem and then he dives into the pool, he tells her the answer when he gets to the surface. Another mom wrote numbers with side walk chalk and then asked her DD math problems and the girl roller bladed to the correct answer. I know it is cold where you are, but may be you could come up with something that would be fun for your child.

I would also limit TV and playstation time.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Linda. We had a limit on the playstation but never had to with the tv before. We just moved to an apt with cable and it is apparent that now we have to.
post #11 of 17
Hi Laralou,

I'd second the limit on TV and playstation. Dh and I are both TV addicts and are talking about completely getting rid of the TV. We watched too much as kids, and what we find now is that unlike some people who can have a conversation or do other stuff with the TV on in the background, it sucks us in. We can't sit and chat with folks with the TV on, it's almost like being hypnotized.

Also, when we've been watching a lot of TV and decide to cut back, it's like we have withrawal or craving feelings and have to work at focusing to do other stuff like talking to each other, reading, or doing projects together. After a while of less TV, the craving goes away.

My friends with children seem to have similar experiences with video and computer games.

Good luck, hope this helps.

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
I wish we could toss out the tv. We brought the little tv so we'd have one in the bedroom and now Tay runs back there to watch all the time. At least in Florida we were all in one room.

He is now limited, which means my computer time is also limited. Oh well.
post #13 of 17
don't be hard on yourself. i would bet that most long-time hsers found it took a while to figure out what 'worked' in the beginning. your son may also be 'deschooling' right now.

some folks would say to just let dh watch tv or do playstation if that's what he wants to do and he'll eventually get bored.

i admit, i'm not one of those folks. we killed our tv years ago and haven't missed it. if we really want to see something, we ask someone to tape it for us, or we rent the video and watch it with friends. my concern is that tv/playstation stuff encourages adhd type attention problems because of the quick switches between scenes and the nonstop action. i'm not saying tv causes adhd -- what i am saying is i don't think it really helps much. (i don't know how i'd hs if we did have a tv. dd loves when we do hs stuff because it's a 'break' from all the self-entertaining she has to do)

but plenty of people hs with tvs and with unlimited tv access, so you just have to figure out what works. again, it will probably take some time and experimentation with different approaches, but you'll eventually find something that works.

have you tried talking with ds about it? i.e. 'we have to get x subjects done for x amount of time every day - let's brainstorm about the way we could do it that is most fun for both of us' and then let him give an idea, write it down no matter how off the wall you think it is, then you put down an idea, and you go back and forth until you have a page or chalkboard or whatever full of ideas - then discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each idea without actually judging the idea itself - then maybe let him rank-order the ideas, and you can rank-order them according to your preferences, and see what you can come up with that is acceptable to you both. ???
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
That is a good idea, erika. I will talk to him today. We talk about it but have never had a brainstorming session.

We are doing a science experiment now and he is very enthusiastic. Getting off the computer now so he won't gravitate back to the tv...
post #15 of 17
Laralou, my dd, who is 5, loves tv too. Like today, a normal day, which we were home all day, she watched 3 hrs. Sounds like a lot! She wakes up abt 8:30, and watches 2 or 3 30 min shows while having breakfast ect. Then at 12:30 she watches magic school bus, 3:30 scooby doo, 5:30 Zoom. Now in btw she plays with me or alone, and we do abt 1 hr of structured stuff, like today we worked on making an abc pop-up book.

Now I go back and forth abt thinking its way too much tv, and thinking that the more I try to restrict it, the more desirable it becomes. I do feel that she would watch on and off all day if I let her. I know what you are going thru. May I ask how much tv time he watches? I do know if my dd feels like we "have " to do st, she will balk, so I try to be laid back abt it all, but it is hard, and I can see your dilemma as they get older.

The only suggestions I have, all the above given to you are great, is to let him make a list of stuff he wants to do, beyond that , Im no help, im new at this too

take care
post #16 of 17
As a mom who has been homeschooling for almost 15 years, and the wife of a public school teacher..... I just want to encourage you to hang in there. You are doing more for your child on your bad days than he would be getting in school on a good day!

I've gone through the gamit of home education styles....tried most everything and kept coming back to what works for our family. You need to find what works for you and your son.

We have always had tv and gamestations. We use them for down time after we have gotten other stuff done....sometimes it is a battle but they still seem to learn. I like to go to the library and get historical videos or national geographic, or something the kids will find interesting that week. Then they can satisfy their desire to watch tv and still get some learning going on.

I write up things for the portfolio telling about things we have done and learned during the year, since we don't do a lot of paper work. My husband does protfolio assessments for other homeschooling families and he says he likes to hear what the mom has to say about what has been learned that year. He says moms usually know where there strengths and weaknesses are and just need encouragement to keep doing what they already know they need to do. So trust yourself!!
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for more good ideas.

I think I am recently feeling crappy because we haven't had cable ever until now (it comes for free in the apt we are staying) and all of a sudden he has 24 hour access to cartoons. Previously he just didn't watch that much because there wasn't that much on.

We cut it down to an hour a day during the week but I am allowing him to tape whatever he wants to watch on the weekends (we gave him 8 total hours on the weekends if we are home- he decided 5 on Sat and 3 on Sun). He is good at dealing with limits that are concrete. I was just hoping that he would get bored with it but it didn't seem to be happening and he seemed to get more and more addicted to these shows.

We will make that list Lucy! And, barbara, we are going to the library today so we will get some educational videos that he can watch. That will probably help.
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