If you are with the charter only for the money, then this situation isn't going to work. Nothing you do will improve this. You ability to be creative and teach your child the way he learns is trumped by a set curiculum. I don't know how much ability you have to change the curriculum and methods of teaching. You may want to ask. Find out if watching a magic school bus video and then doing a couple activities with the same theme, counts for science or if going to the park and learning to swing on the monkey bars and skipping one, counts for math, etc. The only thing I would do sitting at a table, would be handwriting. . . in shaving cream or sand or tracing sand paper letters, etc.
Also, has he been evaluated for a learning disability or giftedness or anything? A big bell went off when you mentioned your DH having the same issues. Sometimes it is hard to tell if a child is "just" being difficult or is trying to hide a problem. My kids with troouble writing will go to any lengths to avoid writing. They know it doesn't look write, but they can't make it better and are embarassed. more later
They're not typos. . . I can't spell!
"When my DD was 4, I pushed for there to be only play in her preschool. I was told it used to be that way, but parents demanded more "academics" to help children be prepared for Kindergarten."
I had the same experience. Public school kindy students in my district are expected to be able to "sign in" on a sheet on THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS. First and last name. Insanity. I'm so glad my 5 y.o. DS wasn't put in the position of being pressured to perform a task that his fine-motor skills weren't up to while a crowd of impatient children waited behind him.
...but there's a lot grey are between THAT and a 7 y.o. doing an hour or so of formal learning in a non-dramatic, non-combative manner. That's not "noses to the grindstone." That's a normal schoolday for most homeschooling first graders in ANY homeschooling method.
My issue wasn't with school being too demanding-- on the contrary. They were teaching children letter names and my DD was reading fluently by that point. She learned to read herself, without any formal instruction. DD has always been pretty in tune with what she needs to learn-- frankly, I think all children are. One of my favorite quotes: Childhood isn't preparation for life, childhood is life.
I would say that we can't really define what is a normal school day is in any homeschooling method, but that's just me.
2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11
i have a bold suggestion. keep an open mind, and while it's opened, do some reading on unschooling. many people greatly mistake it for unparenting. i was in EXACTLY the same position you described above, only i have 5 children. homeschooling was becoming a nightmare. someone suggested unschooling to me and i laughed it right out of the conversation. until i decided i wanted to enjoy life, and i wanted my children to enjoy life. i read a book by Sandra Dodd(she can be easily found online-and everything on her website is pretty much the same exact stuff in her book). whle i didn't agree with every little thing, it really made me aware of some serious changes that needed to be made. take a look at this link here, and then maybe check out Sandra Dodd...what do you have to lose? this is just some FAQ.
I am familiar with unschooling and ok with it. Honestly I am more comfortable with it for most subjects (thanks for the links and extra resources)and TRY to let it work that way with a few exceptions, math, English, and Spanish. These are non negotiable for us, but I do try to cater to what works for him. I am still searching and evolving like most homeschoolers.
1. Math: I LOVE the program we have Math U See. It has a DVD of the instructions so I am not the one teaching, just facilitating. Followed by 1 to 2 worksheets with manipulatives per day (6 pages per lesson so we don't even do math some days) I think math is something that builds, so if the basics are not learned properly it never makes sense. I LOVE the way this program teaches and builds. I am amzed at what he has learned. Honestly he does great when he chooses not to fight. We did 2 pages yesterday in about 20 minutes no arguments.
2. English: He is struggling here but I am not pushing. Reading is not really clicking for him yet but we got some new fun, non intimidating workbooks for writing that are helping reading to start sinking in. He only does a couple pages about 3 days a week. We have several resources for this, online reading program, writing workbook, writing journal, etc...
3. Spanish: We are about to get a Rosetta Stone, yes I know he is young but our school liason actually recommended getting it and doing what he can and skipping the rest for now. Other than that we have been teaching the words we know and asking other family memebers to help. DH's grandma that does not speak English. DH was not really taught Spanish and can't communicate well with his grandma. This make him very sad and has made us both determined that our kids will learn Spanish. Plus we are less than 2 hours from the Mexican border. I think everyone in this area should know atleast basic Spanish.
Anyway my point is that I am not a "nose to the grindstone" sort of homeschooler. This is exactly why I don't want my kids in a public classroom. I don't think I am expecting too much or pushing too hard in these basics. My whole struggle is the strong willed child that digs in and doesn't want to do ANYTHING and instead chooses to scream and cry and throw fits for hours holding up everything else that needs to get done that day (think back to your 2 year olds) when they are asked to do school work that they CAN do but don't want to do. We have some leeway but because of the charter we do have a 'check in' every 4 weeks so we have a loose schedule we do need to follow.
Cheryl, wife to an amazing man, homeschooling SAHM to Gavin 12/03, Rhys 09/06, and Ian Aug 11, 2010.