I feel like I've failed DD, feel defeated - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 11-05-2010, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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After a bit of structured learning, that we tried for 4-6 weeks didn't work out, I thought she'd be happy to take a break for 6 months or so. Her reaction was that she wants to be trying, even if she HATES HATES HATES it (she got very emotional about the hating part), because she is ashamed to be behind. Now, this is the very opposite of what I was hoping she'd feel while unschooled.

We tried to talk, several times in the last weeks, about how she wants to proceed. She does not get actively involved in planning. She says that even thinking about it makes her hate it even more. I tried to give her choices, options, ideas--she dislikes all of it. Then she wants me to remind her to do her "lessons". When I do, she hardly ever follows through. This dynamic is not really working for *me*. I'm not sure I'm helping her. She seems to be happiest when she watches cartoons (which are in Russian and I justify to myself as beign there to maintain the language), or does activities outside of the home. But because of two other siblings, I can't have her in enough activities to take a significant chunk of time.

I'm not sure what to do with the idea that she hates anything schooly so much, and yet feels that she has to do it, and is unahappy about it. I told her that right now she didn't have to, but she says that even though she understands it, she can't get rid of the feeling of shame that she is not doing those things. Reminding her of the things she does well doesn't really help. She cites back what her 1 year older schooled friend knows and does in school. There's no logic to it, just emotions.

I keep assuring her that there are different approaches to learning things, and if she hates one, there's always be another. But the truth is, I'm not a good "teacher", if my "student" isn't eager. I don't seem to be able to make things fun, and engage her. And she is not into "fun", not into games any way.

For example, I was really keen on the idea of replicating the 80 days around the world journey, with maps and games, and learning about different countries. I got into this idea, because she was begging me to get this littlepassports.com monthly subscription, where she'd get a bit information about some countries. I bought a new map, and a new globe (for myself, mostly, as I love this stuff). I got them little notebooks that I painstickingly decorated as passports--she was not into the craft part of it. Then we watched some of the cartoon version of the travel. The whole thing was completely a BUST and lasted for 1.5 days if at all. The good thing was that we watched a documentary on the Stonehenge, as that was in the Great Britain part of the journey, and we all liked it. But as far as creating this fun virtual journey for the kids? I couldn't do it. She wanted a "real" passport ordered from the site, and didn't want to do anything with my fake one. She wanted a "Real" suitcase that they send with the subscription, and finding somethign similar in a thrift store didn't thrill her at all. And because I'm not a good teacher, I felt resentful that my hours of work, that were seemingly based on her interest, didn't get any interest from her. The thing is, I knew even then that she wanted the little passports, and nothing would replace it, but I just wanted to try, thinking that this time it could work.

Suggesting to her that the world is open to her, that she can pick anything she wants and go with it, that it doesn't have to be spelling or math, doesn't excite her. Suggesting to her to take a break, doesn't excite her either.

I was just joking with DH, that maybe we should force a rigorous classical education on her, if she is so miserable anyway. At least she will be well educated.

I just want a new start somehow. A do over. I don't know how to undo the feelings she got about her learning.

Wise words, pretty please?

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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#2 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 08:28 AM
 
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ugh! that sucks - so sorry you're going through this rough patch mama! Honestly, if this were my kid, I would constantly reinforce how much school sucks and aren't we GLAD she doesn't have to go!! Especially since it sounds like she's getting some kind of big influence that she's missing out on something. Then I would sit down and say -
"this is YOUR life, kid! What do you want to do?? I'm not going to make you learn something if you don't want to learn it, that's what they do in school, and that's what makes kids hate learning - so that's why we're NOT doing it. You tell me what it is exactly you want to learn and we'll figure out together how to learn it. If you want to learn about alligators, we can get books from the library and draw pictures and watch nature shows, or make an alligator costume, maybe we can even go to the zoo or when we go to disney world we can go to an alligator farm in Florida or ... (of course insert what are actual options in your life, but be creative!) ... And guess what!? alligators are reptiles, so you'd probably, without meaning to learn things about other reptiles, even dinosaurs, even swamp biology and ... that's how learning works."

Okay, i'm just pulling this out of the air at 6 in the morning when I have insomnia, but you get my point - make it very clear that you will NOT be forcing her to learn things because it sucks and is pointless. She's going to have to buck up and search her own brain for things she'd like to occupy her time with. Maybe it's alligators, maybe it's gymnastics... who knows? Are there classes or co-ops for homeschoolers in your area you can get her involved in? Even girl scouts or 4-H would offer a wide range of activites where something might spark her interest, or possibly just hanging with a bunch of other homeschoolers would be enough to get her in a positive state of mind. Good luck mama!!

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#3 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 09:19 AM
 
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Maybe she needs to deschool from the structured learning? Just give her some time and try not to have expectations of her being happy all the time right now?

About the little passports thing, can you confirm if I understand this correctly: she has been begging for you to sign her up for that program and instead you tried to make a homemade/library/thrift store version of it and she's not been happy with that because she wants to do the real program which you still haven't signed up for? I may have misunderstood but if not, why not sign up for the program she wants to do? I think many kids would be unhappy with a substitute version of what they really wanted.
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#4 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 09:38 AM
 
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I agree with needle - when I first read your post, I thought you were saying *you* wanted to do the passport thing, but after re-reading, if that's something *she* wanted to do, why not just sign her up for it? Looks affordable - 13 bucks a month or something, cancel anytime sounds like a good deal

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#5 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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Ok, I am going risk stepping in with my opinion here. I do not "officially" unschool, though I often facilitate my DS with his interests outside of public school since public school can in no way meet all his learning needs and desires. So for example. I gave him the camera a few weeks ago to keep him occupied on a weekend while DH and I were building our house. He snapped about 150 pics and when we put them on the computer we discovered they were AMAZING. He had a great artistic eye for composition. So I offered different ways he could expand on this without being pushy (which is very hard for me). He ignored the direction I thought he would have taken and chose a totally different way. He has followed through somewhat but then will forget about it for weeks at a time while his interests take another route.

The reason I give this example is that it is natural for kids to jump around in their interests and especially if they feel like there is any pressure. So some of her turning you away after you put all that work into it was because she didn't feel like it was her project anymore, it was yours.

However, I am sensing other issues as well. Number one, she may actually crave some of the structure that school provides, but she doesn't want to get it from you. Not every kid is a homeschool or unschool candidate. I had great hopes of homeschooling DS but I realized when he was 4 that he and I clashed too much when I was placed in a teaching role. He does much better having his teacher be separate from his mommy. He also is a curious kid but a kid who is often paralyzed by needing perfection. His teachers have done a great job about pushing him out of his comfort zone and allowing him to make mistakes in an environment where he didn't feel so invested. I hope this makes sense. I have trouble understanding it too. But to sum up, he is more comfortable not being perfect in front of teachers than in front of his parents. It is who he is. I recognized this and felt staying home would actually hinder his learning. By him going to school, we have can let the school handle the nuts/bolts of learning, he is really proud when he comes home and shows us something new, and then we are able to do a lot of fun enrichment activities with him (building a house together, building things with electronics/electricity, taking apart household appliances, cooking, photography, games, etc).

The last issue that peeks out at me is she seems like she might be depressed a bit. If really all she enjoys is watching videos, that is a sign that she is withdrawn and depressed. From your description she has none of the normal curiosity of a child that age. What happens if she is not allowed to watch any videos for a week. Does she start to do other things, play, build, create, etc.? If she still doesn't engage, then I would encourage you to have her evaluated. Also ADHD often manifests itself in girls by causing depression/disengagement from activity.

Good luck and keep trying to find the right fit for her learning style.

Kris wife to Stew and mom to Joey 8/03 who cares for , 2 frogs and a worm
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#6 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 10:42 AM
 
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I just wanted to throw out there that IME, 7-8 is a rough age. All of my friends and I really struggled with our kids at that time. I don't really know for sure, but I think that it's a big transition from "little kid" to "big kid" that happens, and they often seem uncomfortable in their skin and very cranky because of it. My dd was so hard to please!!

I agree that sitting down and talking with her is important. I hear that she's resistant to talking about anything "schooly," but could you start by just talking about what she wants her week to look like? My 9 y.o. dd and I try to sit down on Sunday and make a rough plan for the week--where do the scheduled activities go, what things does she want to work on/do this week, what does she need from me. I think it's so important to forge a partnership with your child at this age--so that they learn to take some responsibility for their life/learning, but know that you are there to support and guide and provide resources.

My dd has also felt frustrated with being "behind" (I put it in quotes, because I don't consider her to be behind, but she worries sometimes), specifically regarding math and handwriting. We came up with two different approaches for these two areas. She LOVES to listen to audiobooks, so one day I gave her a handwriting book to work through while she was listening. This worked great, and I think part of the reason was that we kept it very low key--I put the book and pencils on the table in her room, pointed it out to her, and eventually her idle hands picked it up and started writing while she listened. And now with that practice, she feels accomplished.

As far as math goes, I kept hearing from my dd that she wanted to practice her math, but then I got resistance whenever I would nudge her to work on her formal math practice. And then she would complain/fret that she wasn't getting her math done. It was driving me crazy. So one day in desperation I made a tree with 5 math lessons up the trunk and a small piece of candy pinned to the top. She moves a clothespin up the trees as she does her lessons and then gets the candy when she finishes. It has worked great for us....it gives her that extra nudge to stay on task and do things that she wants to do, but can be hard to stick with. I've worked hard to frame this as a way of motivating/rewarding HERSELF (she now chooses a reward and puts it on the tree, for example), rather than me rewarding her for something I think she should do.

I find a big challenge at this age is that my daughter really benefits from the sense of accomplishment of *work*--real work, not busy work--the work of learning and creating things and the feelings of competence and self-efficacy that come from that. But she's still a little girl, so she doesn't always have the self-discipline to walk away from something like the TV or computer or a jigsaw puzzle (she does lots and lots of these) to work on her ongoing projects. So sometimes at the end of the day, she'll say, "Oh no, I meant to work on X project (or whatever) today, and now it's too late..." So I feel like and important job of mine at this point is to help her have plenty of time engaged in these satisfying and productive projects/activities that give her that important sense of accomplishment. I certainly am still figuring out how to do this in a non-coercive way, but we talk a lot, I try to reflect on what I see, check in with her on how things are going for her, help her make plans and stick with them.

Okay, this went on way longer than I intended. Sorry you're struggling. Really, 8 is so tough. 9 is much better!
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#7 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 12:01 PM
 
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I was in a huge hurry when I posted a response earlier this morning and I just wanted to add something.

You have not failed your DD. You are just still trying to figure out what is going to work best for her personality and learning style. To do that you will need to experiment a bit like you are doing. Some experiments will work and some will require you to rethink methods. I know it is hard not to be discouraged but remember that whether a child is unschooled, traditionally home schooled, or sent to some other type of school the process is similar. Parent, child, and educators work together to figure out the best methods for that child and work toward the child becoming a self-motivated learner. Some journeys are easier than others because the best method is obvious or is chanced upon early. But even then it is always flucuating and changin. So give yourself a hug for caring so much. You will never fail your child if you are demonstrating that you are listening to them and guiding them gently in a positive direction.

Kris wife to Stew and mom to Joey 8/03 who cares for , 2 frogs and a worm
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#8 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 12:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post
Maybe she needs to deschool from the structured learning? Just give her some time and try not to have expectations of her being happy all the time right now? I guess I don't understand the thinking that if she's already miserable why not force this or that on her, though I did get the impression you were half-joking about that.

About the little passports thing, can you confirm if I understand this correctly: she has been begging for you to sign her up for that program and instead you tried to make a homemade/library/thrift store version of it and she's not been happy with that because she wants to do the real program which you still haven't signed up for? I may have misunderstood but if not, why not sign up for the program she wants to do? I think many kids would be unhappy with a substitute version of what they really wanted.

Deschooling is what I thought too while reading this. I know that is hard when the child herself is conflicted about it, but it really sounds like that is what she needs...

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#9 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 12:37 PM
 
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I will preface my comments by noting I'm not a hardcore unschooler so feel free to disregard if that's the only group you want to hear from.

My suggestion would be to start with focusing on what your daughter is feeling and what she is telling you about how she's feeling and work from there. It sounds like what she's saying is:

1. she doesn't want to feel behind in academics.
2. she feels she needs more structured learning to be comfortable.
3. she doesn't want to be in charge of planning it.
4. she wants your support to make that happen.
5. she isn't going to guarantee she will be excited by what you come up with.

My take is that this is a legitimate set of feelings or wants for her to have at this point in her life. I don't think it is your job to talk her out of having those feelings or to convince her that what she wants isn't not appropriate. Your job is to listen and respect her.

So, my take would be to attempt to give her what she's asking for. My position would be I'm glad to facilitate structured learning by making a minimal investment in structured curriculum or materials. I'm glad to set up a family lifestyle that will make it so I'm available during the chosen hours each day. If she wants to set up a system - no TV until school is done, I'm glad to remind and be supportive of it. I'm glad to help her set up a work area where her materials are organized. I'm glad to celebrate with her as she accomplishes goals that are important to her. I'm glad to make her hot cocoa every morning while she's doing her handwriting. I'm glad to keep my mouth shut that this isn't the education that I fantasized about. I'm glad to recognize she's her own person and doesn't have to like the same things I do.

At the same time though, I'd make it clear where my boundaries are. I'm not willing to hang out while somebody is yelling at me. I'm not willing to fight about it, etc.

My goal would be to try to have school and learning not be an area of tension in the home. I would try to restrain myself from focusing on my fantasy of what her education should look like and pay more attention to what she's expressing she wants. I'd like to have less tension and stress so she could see we are on the same side. And, that in time if she's not happy with the approach she understands it is a low risk thing to try something new. Part of the process of learning is trying on different approaches and seeing what works for you.
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#10 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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I don't know all of your circumstances and it's hard to give advice/opinions without having a lot more information, but my first thought after reading your post is that your DD sounds as if she is overburdened with too much responsibility for her education for an 8 yr old. It sounds as if she wants you to take that burden off her shoulders, even if she resists you and/or hates the work.
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#11 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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one thing you could try is to show her that "learning" is everywhere and you learn all day long no matter your age. it has helps alot when i keep on bring up about learning something new. she hears me talk about things i have learned. i will say alot that i dont know about ___ and i am learning about it.

i can only give my point of veiw from what i am dealing with my dd. our homeschooling method is unschooled with some very relaxed HSing. i find that my dd dont want to be told/asked/suggested to do anything that she can relate to "learning". i mean anything even if we are watching a show or dvd if she is not 100% interested she will label it learning and will refuse to watch, listen and talk/complain threw it all. i can not do anything that spans days or for the matter hours. this goes for almost everything in our world she has a very short attention span. (she can be in the middle of doing something she has talked about for months, she will be having fun and out of the blue i hear i am borred ). i find that she complains even tho she is wanting to do and interested in things. i think sometimes she gets overwhelmed.

for me this is what i do i know my dd want me to ask her to do things. i will ask her draw me a pic of ___, write her abc, read a book or a page, do some math. really it is what ever pops in my head first if she does it or not i dont stress it. she loves her didj amd leapster, the pc programs and net based games. she does like watching dvd's and shows. she loves looking and educational books. she will pull out workbooks and do a page or 2 in it.
i praise her, i check what she did when asked this includes helping her with drawing.
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#12 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post
Maybe she needs to deschool from the structured learning? Just give her some time and try not to have expectations of her being happy all the time right now?

About the little passports thing, can you confirm if I understand this correctly: she has been begging for you to sign her up for that program and instead you tried to make a homemade/library/thrift store version of it and she's not been happy with that because she wants to do the real program which you still haven't signed up for? I may have misunderstood but if not, why not sign up for the program she wants to do? I think many kids would be unhappy with a substitute version of what they really wanted.
I was thinking along the same lines. It can feel a lot more creative and instructional to a parent to do a hands-on recreation of something that seems too commercial, but a child may have a more perfectionistic idea of what something like an official passport is supposed to look like, etc., and not want a homemade looking one. I was more that kind of child - the difference would have bothered me. That's not to say at all that everything needs to be fancy and store bought and expensive, but just that it may be a good idea to periodically ask yourself which of your needs you're trying to meet, yours or hers. She may at present have a much more linear, rigid, and structured vision of how things need to be - and again, that's something I can relate to from my own childhood - but that may very well loosen up as time goes by and she gradually becomes more relaxed and self assured. Or not - but there are certainly good resources that can be found for either way of learning. I'd suggest looking through the FUN-Books website to see if you find some resources that can meet her present needs while still offering more creative and imaginative ways of providing for them - and they even offer some very straightforward and simple things such as the Key To series for math that might feel very good to her.
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#13 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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I will preface my comments by noting I'm not a hardcore unschooler so feel free to disregard if that's the only group you want to hear from.

My suggestion would be to start with focusing on what your daughter is feeling and what she is telling you about how she's feeling and work from there. It sounds like what she's saying is:

1. she doesn't want to feel behind in academics.
2. she feels she needs more structured learning to be comfortable.
3. she doesn't want to be in charge of planning it.
4. she wants your support to make that happen.
5. she isn't going to guarantee she will be excited by what you come up with.

My take is that this is a legitimate set of feelings or wants for her to have at this point in her life. I don't think it is your job to talk her out of having those feelings or to convince her that what she wants isn't not appropriate. Your job is to listen and respect her.

So, my take would be to attempt to give her what she's asking for. My position would be I'm glad to facilitate structured learning by making a minimal investment in structured curriculum or materials. I'm glad to set up a family lifestyle that will make it so I'm available during the chosen hours each day. If she wants to set up a system - no TV until school is done, I'm glad to remind and be supportive of it. I'm glad to help her set up a work area where her materials are organized. I'm glad to celebrate with her as she accomplishes goals that are important to her. I'm glad to make her hot cocoa every morning while she's doing her handwriting. I'm glad to keep my mouth shut that this isn't the education that I fantasized about. I'm glad to recognize she's her own person and doesn't have to like the same things I do.

At the same time though, I'd make it clear where my boundaries are. I'm not willing to hang out while somebody is yelling at me. I'm not willing to fight about it, etc.

My goal would be to try to have school and learning not be an area of tension in the home. I would try to restrain myself from focusing on my fantasy of what her education should look like and pay more attention to what she's expressing she wants. I'd like to have less tension and stress so she could see we are on the same side. And, that in time if she's not happy with the approach she understands it is a low risk thing to try something new. Part of the process of learning is trying on different approaches and seeing what works for you.
Yes, this. I wrote a long reply myself, but the computer decided I didn't really want to send it. However, Roar seems to have said it all, and quite a bit more eloquently than I did.

I will also add that two of the benefits of "schooled" learning are 1) the feedback you get, both from the teacher and from peers and 2) the motivation that comes from being in a group with a common task. Some of the PPs had great ideas on how to incorporate greater feedback and motivation (I really loved the idea of the tree with a reward; I know it goes against the grain of some philosophies, but you know? It might work).

And I can completely understand your daughter's reluctance to participate in educational decisions. I can see, philosophically, where you're coming from & I applaud the notion that personal involvement in education = personal investment in education. But it doesn't seem to be working for your child. I love learning, love taking classes, and part of the reason is that I am the recipient of someone else's organization and knowledge. If a teacher asked me what I thought should be on the syllabus, I would be both confounded (I don't know anything about the topic, how should *I* know what I want to learn about it?) and miffed (aren't they the experts? Why do they need my input?).

Good luck, and hope some of these responses are helpful!
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#14 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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No advice really, just a big for you. My oldest dd is similar in a way, we're coming from structured super-strict school at home to a SUPER relaxed eclectic hsing with a lot of the unschooling philosohpies added into it all. She hates structured learning with a passion, resists working with us on materials, but insists that we need to do it so she can stay ahead of her little sister and not be "behind" her ps friends at the park. So, I don't really have much to offer, just that I know where your coming from. This age is so difficult!

I wish that babies were born with an instruction manual sometimes

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Melissa 4/03, Lydia 5/04, Kimberly 1/06, and Jordan 9/07

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#15 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by straighthaircurly View Post
Ok, I am going risk stepping in with my

The reason I give this example is that it is natural for kids to jump around in their interests and especially if they feel like there is any pressure. So some of her turning you away after you put all that work into it was because she didn't feel like it was her project anymore, it was yours.

.
This is definitely the case with my children. I could site numerous examples. If I become too invested, it loses something for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by straighthaircurly View Post

You have not failed your DD. You are just still trying to figure out what is going to work best for her personality and learning style. To do that you will need to experiment a bit like you are doing. Some experiments will work and some will require you to rethink methods. I know it is hard not to be discouraged but remember that whether a child is unschooled, traditionally home schooled, or sent to some other type of school the process is similar. Parent, child, and educators work together to figure out the best methods for that child and work toward the child becoming a self-motivated learner. Some journeys are easier than others because the best method is obvious or is chanced upon early. But even then it is always flucuating and changin. So give yourself a hug for caring so much. You will never fail your child if you are demonstrating that you are listening to them and guiding them gently in a positive direction.


When I saw the thread title, I thought "oh, no! Another USing mom being hard on herself and thinking she has failed her child". I think parents need to shelve the mama guilt. Kids flounder sometimes - they flounder in school, out of school, in certain years and then not in others. That is life. Heck, adults flounder sometimes too. Parents who are trying to help their kids thrive (even if it is not working at this exact moment) are not failures.

Hear is what I think: she wants structure, but may or may not want it from you. she thinks she is behind. She does not want you to be overly involved in her interests

I would pick one or two skill areas and work on them in a structured way. Reading and math come to mind. Do not make it about her interests or her at all. Hand her worksheets or computer programs, etc. Keep it structured, skill based, incremental (perhaps even chart her progress somewhat for her to see) and reasonably short to begin with.

Let her completely own her own interests. If she wants a passport - get her the one she wants. If she watches High School musical - let her watch High School musical without turning it into a drama or music lesson.

If it turns out this approach (or another one you try) does not work, you could try structured outside the home activities to help her get her needs met in this area. Classes, workshops, even tutors.

Last thought: I would challenge her whenever she says she is behind. We all have different strengths and things we are good at.* I would help her to reword it in a positive way - she wants to work on xyz and once she has, she will know it. Put things in terms of "things to be learned" instead of "behind". It is a small difference, but key, I think. Can you imagine an adult saying they are behind in a topic? No? There are simply things we have not learned yet.

I hope this helps - and please, take it easy on yourself!

Kathy
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#16 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, all of you, for the feedback and support, you are awesome. I read all the responses carefully, and will be rereading them again.

Yes, I was joking about forcing classical education on her.

Yes, I think we need to find a way to deschool.

Yes, I should just order the little passports, and should have done it, without trying to be crafty

It is an interesting idea that she might feel overburdened with making educational decisions. Something to think about, definitely.

Thank you for listening to my venting and being so patient and supportive. I feel better about our journey...

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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#17 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 05:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by midnightwriter View Post

Yes, I should just order the little passports, and should have done it, without trying to be crafty

I feel better about our journey...
I ge the trying to be crafty, lol. I do it too. I do it because I am trying to show we can make stuff and be self-supporting, and because I get a kick out of it. I have to be careful not to turn their things into my things, yk?

The thing to do...is do these things for yourself. Make your own crafts - for you. Invite children to join if they like, but do it for you. It will role model life long passions and pursuits (and give you an outlet you need), but will not foist your ideas on them.

I am glad you are doing a bit better at the moment!
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#18 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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my first thought after reading your post is that your DD sounds as if she is overburdened with too much responsibility for her education for an 8 yr old. It sounds as if she wants you to take that burden off her shoulders
Exact impression that I also got.

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#19 of 19 Old 11-06-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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Thank you, all of you, for the feedback and support, you are awesome. I read all the responses carefully, and will be rereading them again.

Yes, I was joking about forcing classical education on her.
No I know, I replied without rereading the OP as we were about to head out and when we got back I reread your post and edited that part out of mine. I could just imagine you thinking, "hmmm so what gave you the impression I was half joking? Could it be where I said I was joking that tipped you off?" lol
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