How to HS when they are just in a bad mood? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 10-14-2008, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I have 3 kids,(3,6,9) and some might consider 2 of them "spirited"- and a tight schedule with park days, girl scouts, dance, soccer-etc. -all things kids swear tehy REALLY want.

So, we HS about 2-3 mornings a week for about 2-4 huors a day. My 6 year old only does about 45 mintues of work, the rest of the time is really my 3rd grader.

Well, the two youngest tend to wake up on the wrong side of the bed several mornings a week, throwing life into chaos. Lots of whine, complain, frustration, and DUMMY. I try to re direct, and encorage outside play or art- but its a flat refusal to try and change their own attitide.
Then, our 2-3 dyas of HS become 0.

What do you do when they are just in a bad, foul mood?

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#2 of 11 Old 10-14-2008, 04:53 PM
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Is there any way to home school every day for a shorter period of time?

Do you believe in rewarding? A points system of some type perhaps?

Let them pick some activites that they WANT to do related to what they are studying? Sometimes dd will work on a page that is ahead of where she actually is.
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#3 of 11 Old 10-15-2008, 07:05 AM
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I'll be patiently waiting responses to this, because I deal with this on occasion, as well. My younger two daughters don't really fit into this, but my oldest can be moody sometimes when it comes to bringing out the books.

I do have one thing that has worked. We don't generally follow any specific bedtime schedule, but I've noticed that if my daughter gets to bed a bit earlier, she wakes up a bit more refreshed and it's less challenging to get her to start the day. Also, I'm terribly spontaneous, so I often spring things on her all of a sudden....If I give her a heads-up as to what our day will be like, and what I'd like to accomplish, she's a bit better about it.
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#4 of 11 Old 10-15-2008, 10:17 AM
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Unschooling might be a better approach to make them love learning again?
I have not had these problems yet, mine are both still young, and I hope to avoid it, which is why we chose unschooling over homeschooling.
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#5 of 11 Old 10-15-2008, 11:21 AM
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My kids can be cranksters when we first get started some days, but once we get into the swing of things they usually get their moods worked out. Otherwise they get "couch time" until they are ready to come back to the table in a better mood.

I have found sticking to routine and letting them know what to expect for the day/week helps and oldest DD like to check things of the lesson planning book as we complete them-

What I am saying is that for my family: more predictability = more compilable kids and when we get off track and side tracked it usually equals more cranking.
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#6 of 11 Old 10-15-2008, 12:16 PM
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I have just took my 6 year old son's lead.
He LOVES math, so we do his math work book almost daily as he just loves doing it. Other than that we are just learning from daily life. I was trying to push reading and that went nowhere fast, he can read but does not want too. We homeschool so he will love to learn, so we just follow his lead.
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#7 of 11 Old 10-15-2008, 12:43 PM
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Mine is only 5, but if he's in a foul mood, or just plain doesn't want to...we just don't. We homeschooled (in part) because I wanted to foster his love of learning, and if I force it, or punish because he doesn't want to when I want him to....well, it sort of defeats the purpose.

Maybe you could try for shorter periods of time. I agree that four hours at a time seems like WAY too much at a time for 3rd grade.

Jen...wife to Shawn...Radically Unschooling Mommy to Connor (4/03), Autumn (1/07) Aiden (1/08) and Ella (10/14/09) Just had the of our dreams!
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#8 of 11 Old 10-15-2008, 02:02 PM
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If my kids were waking up cranky that often I'd send them to bed earlier. And earlier, and earlier. We used to be really lax about bedtime, and daytime, schedules, but my kids are much better at being able to maintain a positive attitude and cheerful demeanor when they get enough sleep. It is rare for them to be up past 8, and when there's a lot of acting up or that sort of tired-crankiness, they have naps and/or go to bed even earlier.
If my older son doesn't get his schoolwork done because of himself (not because I'm unorganized and unprepared and start too late, etc.) than he may very well miss out on the afternoon activities. And sometimes we skip those, even though they're fun, just because we need some relaxing time at home, to read stories or play or just do whatever we want. But our lives are scheduled pretty tightly, our days are full, and we're tired by bedtime!
I wonder if having school time more consistently, like four or five days a week, starting at the same time, might help? It helps us, just to be able to count on what's going to happen each day.
And starting off with a little circle time, everyone together- we light a candle, do a few songs, poems, movement verses, oral reading, harmonica- starts us out feeling all together and moves us gently into school-mode. No one is being tumbled out of bed and into math drills! I think I'd be cranky about that!
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#9 of 11 Old 10-15-2008, 02:05 PM
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I'll just toss out some rhetorical questions, since I obviously don't really know what it's like there. I especially wonder if they're getting enough sleep. Is something artificially waking everyone up - like a noisy early riser in the bunch? And then there are food sensitivities to think about - a lot of people are sensitive to wheat and dairy products, food additives, etc.

Being that children pick up on things around them so easily, do you greet them individually first thing with a big hug and a cheerful demeanor toward each one? Might either or both of the younger ones not feel they're getting the personal attention from you that they want, starting a domino effect of crankiness? I know that 6 yr. olds can have some especially tough days, and a middle child can also have some frustrations, so all that combined could cause some hard times for your middle one. And you say the 3 yr. old wakes up cranky too - might that one also be craving more one on one time first thing?

You can only stretch yourself so far, and you're probably stretched to the max, but maybe a few more deliberately focused moments of attention directly to each when it's not so much a reaction to cranky behavior but just a reaching out to them often with deliberate and direct individual demonstrations of affection could help. And maybe you're already doing that...but I'm just suggesting deliberately getting those moments in as often as possible under the circumstances...

It sounds as if there's a lot going on in your weekly schedule, so it could be pretty easy for everyone to get caught up in the whirl. I don't want to oversimplify, but I wonder if it would help some to establish an especially cozy time each morning when you can all snuggle together on the couch or bed while you read them some really enjoyable stories, if they'd enjoy that - to get everyone more relaxed and centered before starting the day... Maybe some gentle rhythm to your days, starting out with a cozy activity like that, could help...

I agree that 4 hours of school work is an awful lot - in fact, it made my eyes bug out when I saw that . I say that based on the use of the word "work" - whereas if you were just saying you all do some sort of focused activities together, it wouldn't seem like so much. There just isn't that much young children need to be studying in order to know all they'll need by the time they're finished homeschooling. My son jumped right in with no problem when he started college classes during his teens - he wasn't missing a thing from all the hours he wasn't doing traditional school work during his childhood.

Well, I hope there was something in this barrage of ideas that might be helpful. Lillian

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#10 of 11 Old 10-15-2008, 02:29 PM
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I agree with Lillian, especially about looking into food allergies/sensitivities and also looking at how much sleep they are getting. We have gluten and food additive allergies here across the board. Though we still deal with occasional crankiness and behavior issues, my children are night and day different in terms of their overall behavior and attitude not consuming offending items. And, if they do not get about 11 hours of sleep at night (even the toddler has decided that naps are for the birds), then whomever slept less than that tends to have a bit harder of a day the next day.

That said, on days when things aren't going well, we tend to not do anything requiring a bunch of focus. I had a thread here a couple weeks ago feeling like I just couldn't keep up with it all. We are back into a groove now. We do not unschool, but we are very relaxed. Only my oldest does any real "school work"; my five year old can decide if he wants to join or not. My oldest probably spends no more than 45 minutes to 1 hour a day on 2nd grade level stuff (not counting us reading together; this is just counting his math, phonics, writing, and occasional map activity from history). Right now they are building forts.

So, I would recommend taking it easy overall. Maybe there is a way you can streamline what you are expecting of your kids in terms of daily work. And I would highly recommend looking into the Feingold program and the possibility of wheat/gluten and/or dairy allergies. At least for us, it has made a world of difference on many levels.

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#11 of 11 Old 10-15-2008, 03:32 PM
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I send mine back to bed on days like that.

Wife to one : Mama to 4 Gramma to 1 :
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