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#1 of 7 Old 10-30-2007, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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My almost 6 year old son has issues with me teaching him. As in, he doesn't want me to! He would rather play all day long, which I pretty much let him, I think it is healthy. However, I do believe that we need to get some "work" done, too. I try to make it as fun as possible. Games, projects, etc. However, no matter what I do, he complains about it. My biggest temptation is to just ship him off to "real school" for a month or two, so he can see what it would be like if I didn't homeschool. I mostly feel like that out of exasperation, but I just get so frustrated with the constant whining when anything remotely school like comes up in conversation with him. We do have some behavioral issues that I am trying to figure out in regards to food allergies, etc. However, the daily (or twice or thrice daily) meltdowns are seriously leading me towards a meltdown

Any ideas???

I just reread what I wrote...I am not as immature or as impatient as my post sounds, I am just at my wits end here

Mama to monkey #1 , monkey #2 , and new little monkey #3 . I am always :yawning and making lots of
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#2 of 7 Old 10-30-2007, 11:43 AM
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awww hugs mama. when you all do lessons, what's your approach. even if it's fun is he having to sit still? is writing involved or workbooks? does he like the computer, crafts, board games? just trying to figure out what's not working to offer other suggestions. also, does he have a snack, a drink, used the bathroom, is the area well lit and comfortable?

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#3 of 7 Old 10-30-2007, 11:46 AM
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I think maybe our 6 year olds were separated at birth ... you just described mine to a "t". We have been focusing some on diet as I know with him it makes a difference. But, I also think it might be the age. (At least I'm hoping it might be because then maybe this phase will come to an end.) I'm wondering if some of it is my ds's way of letting me know I am trying to do too much (which in reality is next to nothing - maybe a combined 1 hour a day) and that he's just not ready for that much focused time.

Last night dh and I spoke with him about his day and how he'd design it if he could. At first there was no "homeschooling" included, but we let him know that hs'ing is something that will be done each day. So, he decided if he could design his own day, it'd start with TV (which makes us cringe a little ... dh more so than I), then hs'ing, then bike riding/scooter riding, then Lego's, then outside time for free play, with eating thrown in wherever it fit. I know dh is very much not into the TV in the morning, but at the same time I feel compelled to try it for ds ... so we might today and see how it goes.

But I so hear you ... yesterday we were sitting on the couch because I was going to read aloud to him from a picture book on ancient Egypt and he was whining/complaining/being attitude-ish, and in my head I kept saying, "Do you want to walk over to the school and enroll you *right* now???" We won't; and I don't want to make empty threats. But he was being a bit excessive yesterday and it made me realize I need to look at the deep, underlying reasons why he's acting that way and see if we can rework some things to help eleviate whatever he's feeling that is causing his attitude/behavior.

So when he wakes again (he already woke but it's too early for him so he's back in bed), I think we'll talk over his plan for the day, add in what we need to do (speech for ds#2 and grocery shopping), and see if we can make a schedule that all are happy with and then do it ... I also thik that within the homeschooling time, I'm going to try to offer up some suggestions like:

It's English time; do you want to practice your printing or do some phonics/spelling? For math, would you rather work in your workbook today or do some pattern block puzzles? ...

And then maybe he'll feel like he has some say over what he does even though I've pre-established acceptable choices that make me comfortable, if that makes sense. It's all an experiement and I'll let you know at the end of the day how it goes.

 Me + dh = heartbeat.gif ds (7/01), ds (11/03), ds (6/06)
and dd born 11/21/10 - our T21 SuperBaby ribbluyel.gif heartbeat.gif
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#4 of 7 Old 10-30-2007, 12:31 PM
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....., just a few ideas, (that may totally suck or may help you)...for ancient egypt....try building it with legos and using action figures to act out the picture book story. use your picture book as a guideline for yourself but don't read it directly to him if he's not interested. for phonics / reading, i would ask first can your son put together puzzles by himself? if not, he probably isn't ready for reading, as the same parts of the brain that we use for puzzles are what we use for reading. you could play games though like "letter slap" where he takes a fly swatter and has to try and slap the letters you call out (just tape them on the floor in the kitchen). if he can recognize all of his letters ...than call out the sound each letter makes instead. that's a lot of fun. you can also play letter match, putting uppercase and lowercase letters together to make a match. alphabet bingo is easy to make and fun. for math, my kids love math mats and file folder games as opposed to lessons (but they teach the same thing). if he likes TV, try to rent videos of interest, as opposed to morning cartoons, ykwim?? anyway....just ideas - take um or leave um

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#5 of 7 Old 10-30-2007, 01:16 PM
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I have a 6yo son too. We do our "lessons" first thing in the morning before anything else. During that time I help him with what he needs help with and if he can work independently I start breakfast. His work usually takes no more than 1 hour, but most of the time it's less.

If I let him get started playing, I would never be able to get him focused on work. He tends to play really long and involved games and there's usually no good interrupting point so it's better to have his work done first.
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#6 of 7 Old 10-30-2007, 02:22 PM
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I have a six year old too, and he can be ornery about doing "school" as well. Basically, I have just put it into the routine as a non-negotiable, and most of the problems have ceased. When I gave too many choices, it turned into chaos and negotiating (like, "can't I just watch Go Diego Go and that can be school? They teach about animals!"). So our routine is Bible, reading together, phonics, and math. (History and science are never anything that he'd argue about doing... those are his favorite things to do! So we do child-led unit studies for those subjects.)

I know it's not a popular view here, but sometimes in my house, things don't need to be fun, they just need to get done. My kids don't like putting their toys away, but it needs to get done. I don't like doing laundry, but it needs to get done. Some days my son might not want to do his phonics work, but it needs to get done. It can get done in the living room or at the table, and sometimes we read Dr. Seuss instead of doing our regular reading lesson, but either way, phonics must get done.
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#7 of 7 Old 10-30-2007, 02:54 PM
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I think six is awfully young for formal studies - and an "almost 6 year old" is what I'd consider still five. When my son was that age, he was starting his second year of Waldorf kindergarten, and he spent his mornings there in lots of free imaginative play, organized play activities, singing, cooking, listening to stories, celebration of holidays, etc. They were out by noon. When he was almost seven, and about to go into a little school whose other 1st graders would already know how to read three letter words, I quickly got him started reading. He did fine. When we started homeschooling after that school year, he got himself sped up in reading because of wanting the information out of his Nintendo Power Guide magazines. Having started into the 3Rs at age seven never set him back a bit. Things like that go so much faster and easier at slightly later ages without so much struggle.

My son was on panels of young adult homeschool grads at a couple of conferences. On one of those, he commented on how much faster and easier it is to learn things later rather than earlier - in days rather than weeks, weeks rather than months or years - and there was a raucous outburst of laughter and applause from the front and center rows. Those were his friends and their parents, all cracking up and cheerfully applauding that someone was coming right out and saying what we'd all learned the hard way, because it's something a lot of people don't think to point out. Here's an interesting article by Dr. Raymond Moore, former graduate research and programs officer for the US Department of Education Homegrown and Homeschooled - it describes the research he and his wife did on the subject of readiness for formal studies.

You said you feel you need to get some "work" done too, and you describe the work as games and projects - but if you think of it as "work," it would seem to me that he gets that too. It sounds like something you think of as different from other parts of your day - something called school, and he may very well be picking up on a different tone and attitude about it. A lot of people incorporate educational things into their days without thinking of them as school, and maybe that's something that could work better for him. Deschooling isn't something that's only for people starting to homeschool after having their children in school - it's something that can be helpful for anyone to consider. Here are links to some good articles on Decompression/Deschoooling that can be helpful even if you don't intend to unschool.

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