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#1 of 14 Old 09-06-2007, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My stomach is turning and I feel like I am going to have to give up. Dd is being obstinant, she doesn't want to do anything. She love's math but does not want to read and refuses to do spelling. She is throwing a fit over looking up words in the dictionary. I want to cry. On one hand I have no support from my family ( DH's family) and the head of the school that she attended called me Tuesday to insult my decision and give me a huge repremand for taking my eldest from the school. I have to call him today and get an apology, that's making me nausious as well. On the other hand my Brothers wife brought over the state wide curriculum for PS and this morning my nieghbor brought over a whole series of 4th grade math workbooks. So everytime I feel defeated, someone shows up with a little support. But I am feeling overwhelmed. I know it is just the beggining, but I my frustration grows. Help!

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#2 of 14 Old 09-06-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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It sounds like you might need to do some deschooling ~ spend some time letting your kids do what they want to do, without pressure to learn anything specific. (Search this forum for more on deschooling.) After she's "recovered" from schooling, your daughter will probably be less resistant to reading. Until then, it'll be a power struggle that you can't win. Even the best teacher in the world can't teach a student who doesn't want to learn!

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...the head of the school that she attended called me Tuesday to insult my decision and give me a huge repremand for taking my eldest from the school. I have to call him today and get an apology, that's making me nausious as well.
Why do you need to call to get an apology? Were you asked to call him? Or is it something you feel you need? If you don't feel like tackling this now, let it wait until you're feeling more confident.

Hang in there!
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#3 of 14 Old 09-06-2007, 02:15 PM
 
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I want to ask, why did you pick this curriculum for her? Her needs, your needs, "school" needs, or a mixture? There's thousands of ways to learn to spell and do reading - if one isn't working, take a break, try again with a new idea later.
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#4 of 14 Old 09-06-2007, 03:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LilyGrace View Post
I want to ask, why did you pick this curriculum for her? Her needs, your needs, "school" needs, or a mixture? There's thousands of ways to learn to spell and do reading - if one isn't working, take a break, try again with a new idea later.

i really agree with lilygrace.

looking up words in a dictionary would make me resistant too. if it ain't working - change it imo. hugs to you mama. hang in there. you two will find your groove.

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#5 of 14 Old 09-06-2007, 03:29 PM
 
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My stomach is turning and I feel like I am going to have to give up. Dd is being obstinant, she doesn't want to do anything. She love's math but does not want to read and refuses to do spelling. She is throwing a fit over looking up words in the dictionary. I want to cry. On one hand I have no support from my family ( DH's family) and the head of the school that she attended called me Tuesday to insult my decision and give me a huge repremand for taking my eldest from the school. I have to call him today and get an apology, that's making me nausious as well. On the other hand my Brothers wife brought over the state wide curriculum for PS and this morning my nieghbor brought over a whole series of 4th grade math workbooks. So everytime I feel defeated, someone shows up with a little support. But I am feeling overwhelmed. I know it is just the beggining, but I my frustration grows. Help!
Yeah, your dd needs time with her mama. Sew, play, talk, draw, run around in your PJs. Relax, enjoy.

And I wouldn't call to get an apology. If he was a donkey and an arrogant one at that, you aren't going to get anything but trouble from him. I'd distance myself from him and perhaps later write him a letter expressing your offense and the inappropriateness of his call.

We all understand and have been in similar situations in one way or another. I'm glad you are here for support.
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#6 of 14 Old 09-06-2007, 03:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
i really agree with lilygrace.

looking up words in a dictionary would make me resistant too. if it ain't working - change it imo. hugs to you mama. hang in there. you two will find your groove.
My son is younger than your daughter, but looking up things would make him irritable, too. is there another way to get it done? Maybe she can look them up on the computer instead of a dictionary (my son will do anything if it involves getting to use the computer!). I have a relatively dry curriculum (we use K12 as independents) and what has definitely been helping us is to work in the morning, when he's fresh, and to allow him to fidget! He just cannot sit still and listen. So today I gave him his history sheet to colour, the other day he played with his lego car he built, or he pets the cat, rolls around on the floor. Sometimes we work at the table, sometimes we sit on the floor. It's helped a TON. We also are slowly scrapping the handwriting paper provided by K12 in favor of his Transformers spiral bound notebook for handwriting (we also do nature sketching in it, too. He adores his Transformers notebook!) Maybe our suggestions will help you.

Married, part time work from home mom to DS (13 and homeschooling), DD1 (11) and DD2 (9) and a giant dopey newfoundland, a crazy border collie mix, 3 black cats and a cute rat.
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#7 of 14 Old 09-06-2007, 03:45 PM
 
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First things first. I want to urge you to read through this thread and the links to other threads it leads to:
Decompression/deschooling:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=417993

What your daughter is going through is not particularly unusual - and decompression/deschooling for both of you is crucial.

I'd guess she's feeling pretty pressured and stressed right now right now - like you, only in a very different way. She's the focus of all this - and that sure isn't a pleasant position to be in. It's nice that people are offering you support, but it's time, I think, for everyone to back off and give her some breathing space. The sooner you can shake the interpretation of her behavior as obstinate, the sooner things will be able to slip into perspective.

Was she having problems in school? I'm wondering about this, because it sounds as if she's the only one you're homeschooling. In any case, I can assure you that she isn't going to "get behind" if she doesn't jump right into school work. She really, really needs a break - and that break would be the best investment you could make.

A few questions:
So she's 4th grade level? Or is that just the level of the math books you were given? Does she have trouble with reading and/or spelling? Why is she having to look words up in the dictionary? Is that part of a lesson? We might be able to offer better suggestions if we can get a clearer picture of what's going on. In the meantime, the important thing is to take a break. You don't need to tell anyone that's what you're doing - that could just put more pressure on you both. If you need to talk to anyone around there about what you're doing, you could just mention the things you are doing rather than what you're not doing. You'll find nice suggestions for some positive things in those articles I linked to above. This can be a very fruitful time for you two, but not with the kind of pressure you're feeling you need to put on her.

- Lillian
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#8 of 14 Old 09-06-2007, 03:59 PM
 
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Don't go by the state requirements!

I've completed about half the coursework for a master's degree & those requirement lists make me feel stupid & unprepared...

They are written in curricula-ese.

They are also written from a perspective of pushing children very far very fast, as required by 'no child left behind.'

Deschool.

Even though we've always homeschooled, I've spent the last month deschooling my 8 year-old AND myself. Now that I'm not pushing, meddling & stressing, we are enjoying one-another and he's learning and happy & self-motivated.

Bake and cook together...snuggle together and read...get scissors and make collages out of old magazines...have fun...

HTH,

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#9 of 14 Old 09-06-2007, 04:01 PM
 
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I just want to quickly add one more thought. You'll find this discussed in some of those articles, but it's also worth mentioning here at this point. You've always been her mom, and it's important to continue to be her mom rather than putting on a "Teacher" hat. It sounds as if she's been pulled out of a school situation that wasn't working or her, for whatever reason, and is suddenly having to deal with her mom having taken on a new role that she's not at all comfortable with - a teacher - something that also isn't working for her. That's got to be very stressful.

If you've assigned her to look up words in a dictionary, for instance, and she sees no earthly reason why there's any value in that, it puts you both in a very difficult position. You're under entirely too much stress right now to be making assignments. She isn't the only one who needs a break - you're in this together. If you can just forget about that principal, and make sure you've covered your state legalities (!), you'll be better able to get on with just supporting your daughter.

It's all going to be fine - better than fine.

- Lillian
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#10 of 14 Old 09-06-2007, 04:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mary3mama View Post
Don't go by the state requirements!

I've completed about half the coursework for a master's degree & those requirement lists make me feel stupid & unprepared...

They are written in curricula-ese.

They are also written from a perspective of pushing children very far very fast, as required by 'no child left behind.'

Deschool.

Even though we've always homeschooled, I've spent the last month deschooling my 8 year-old AND myself. Now that I'm not pushing, meddling & stressing, we are enjoying one-another and he's learning and happy & self-motivated.

Bake and cook together...snuggle together and read...get scissors and make collages out of old magazines...have fun...
Funny - it hadn't even occurred to me that you were going to actually use that state curriculum list! Duh! But of course - you've just found yourself plunged into this - you have no reason to realize at this point that a state guideline is the last thing you need right now!

Hey, I just want to try to assure you that you haven't stumbled into a bunch of idiots who don't care about education or about your daughter's future, much as it might sound like that right now . We've been around for a while and seen a lot. What you're describing is right on schedule. The next step is to relax, and the rest will start to fall into place. AND you will not be behind. Lillian
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#11 of 14 Old 09-06-2007, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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O.K. long deep breath. Thank you all so much...we ran from the house screaming and went for pizza. We stopped at a friends house to vent than we came home where I talked on the pnone with another HS mama, who unschools, and she laughed that she never though she would be reasuring a mama who had been in her position. Then me and dd sat down and I showed her how to embroider, and she enjoyed that alot. I had planned to deschool and try to take it easy, and than all of the sudden I was hit with this panic, in part from the conversation with the Rabbi from the school...you see, my husband insists that dd get her Jewish ed from the school, and that is fine with me, however...before we could let the school in on our decision he called me...and well, I really don't want to go into it, but I need an apology before we continue with any discussion, and it's going to be a long discussion. I am going to re-read all of your posts, I just have to realize and accept that it is OK to decompress and that we need to take the time to de-school. Both of us. No more spelling lists for awhile, and I was going to check out the state curric. for science idea, but I'm scrapping that too. Long deep breaths....

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#12 of 14 Old 09-06-2007, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post


Was she having problems in school? I'm wondering about this, because it sounds as if she's the only one you're homeschooling. In any case, I can assure you that she isn't going to "get behind" if she doesn't jump right into school work. She really, really needs a break - and that break would be the best investment you could make.

A few questions:
So she's 4th grade level? Or is that just the level of the math books you were given? Does she have trouble with reading and/or spelling? Why is she having to look words up in the dictionary? Is that part of a lesson? We might be able to offer better suggestions if we can get a clearer picture of what's going on. In the meantime, the important thing is to take a break. You don't need to tell anyone that's what you're doing - that could just put more pressure on you both. If you need to talk to anyone around there about what you're doing, you could just mention the things you are doing rather than what you're not doing. You'll find nice suggestions for some positive things in those articles I linked to above. This can be a very fruitful time for you two, but not with the kind of pressure you're feeling you need to put on her.

- Lillian

There weren't any major issues in school, other than wanting to doodle or joke around. The little one's just like being there right now and that's fine with me. Sarah and I are sort of laying the ground work for the rest of the dc's to join us later. Looking up new words was, I thought, something to do, but she was completely against it before we even began, vehamently against it. She likes games, so we might go that route. She likes doing math work books so we will stick with that, and I think we will do more arts and crafts stuff and such. I guess for a moment, and I'm sure it will happen again, I felt like every negative eye was on me scrutinizing our every move. Thanx again for the support.

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#13 of 14 Old 09-06-2007, 10:27 PM
 
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You know, as far as spelling goes, if she enjoys reading, I wouldn't worry too much about the spelling. I've noticed that children who enjoy reading and read a lot tend to spell well without so many spelling lessons. I'm not saying cut it out totally, but do something more relaxed.

Okay, I typed that thinking it was reading she liked and not math. In that case, for reading, see if you can figure what she would like to read and start there. Read outloud to her and see if that gets her interested. My brother used to fight reading because at school they didn't read what he was interested in.

Good luck and hang in there. I think we all get really frustrated sometimes and want to give up.

Crystal
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#14 of 14 Old 09-07-2007, 03:10 AM
 
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There weren't any major issues in school, other than wanting to doodle or joke around.
Well, that's good to hear - so there probably hasn't been as much emotional damage done at school as some of us might have imagined...

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I guess for a moment, and I'm sure it will happen again, I felt like every negative eye was on me scrutinizing our every move.
I had that feeling! You were sounding a bit like a fox at a hunt.
Sure can get get intimidating, can't it? So glad to hear you're feeling better about it all. Lillian

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