Mothering Forum banner

when your child wont learn from u...

823 Views 18 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Lillian J
i have a 33 month old girl. she hates me doing academics with her. she wants to do things by herself. she picked up the alphabets from us reading Dr Seuss's ABC book together and addition and subtraction on her own playing with candles and rocks.

she picked up colours and shapes and fractions from conversation (from teh colour and shape of sign at the park restrooms, fractions from cutting her pbj sandwich in 4). yet she does not like me writing and going over alphabets with her. i am not sure where she picked up the phonics from but she knows the phonics of most alphabets. one time last summer when the 6 7 year olds at the park discovered my dd could say her numbers 1 - 10 correctly they taught her in a couple of hours 11 - 20 (which she refused to do with me).

if i try and do math with her she hates it. yet she loves doing science experiments and always asks me questions. then we borrow books and videos from teh library and go over things with her.

but she refuses ABCs and math with me.

so do u think if i ever found the option of homeschooling her (right now working full time single mom but want to prepare in case i can hs her) she would learn from me? that i will be able to homeschool her.

she hates performing. if i ask her (i dont) she will either give the wrong answer, or joke, or ignore or try to change the topic. yet she loves sharing her discoveries with her. so i can see myself teaching her social science, science but not reading or math. or does this change.

any mama's had a daughter like mine?
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
It sounds like she really enjoys learning; just not being taught. There is a difference...she has already learned a lot of stuff on her own. Maybe unschooling would be the best choice for her!
Ease up. :)

If you're counting her age in months, she's too young to worry about academics. Do only as much as she wants or you'll have a totally unnecessary power struggle.

It's great that she's still just a baby, because it means you have lots of time to learn more about home education. It's not the same as being her teacher.
I had to go back and re read how old this child was several times. Not quite three years old ? And you are PUSHING academics and bookwork ? Wow. That's ambitious.

I think your child is doing a fine job of learning on her own. Your own words...

i am not sure where she picked up the phonics from but she knows the phonics of most alphabets.
proves she is doing just fine.

Maybe she allowed the other kids to teach her numbers because she was having fun. It wasn't a memory lesson , or a strict bookwork time , it was just plain fun.

Relax...she's just a baby.

Originally Posted by benjalo
this is a BABY. Ease up. :)

You'll be glad you did.
See less See more
Not only what other mamas have said, but research has shown that young children who are read to; who get lots of music practice (at home, singing with you counts); who learn and act out lots of nursery rhymes or Seuss-type rhymes are more proficient and excited readers when they're Kindergarteners or K-age. Sign up for a mom-and-baby music class or learn some Raffi and laugh over a rhyming book...act out "little miss muffet" (with you as spider or vice versa)...these things will get her get her going emotionally and help get the brain circuits "wired" for future love of reading...the things parents frequently do naturally!
aaaarrrghh!!! i think i worded my post wrong and gave u all a wrong impression. i dont do any academics with her. and i certainly dont push her. to me academics is the least of the skills she needs to know now. i thought since she knew her stuff she might want to do academics. but i was wrong.

so my question is when she is older. when she gets to K time would she allow me to teach her. my biggest concern is would she accept me as her teacher? right now we do a lot of awesome things that she initiates. so i try and add challenges to her ideas and interests after we have accomplished them. so when i found she knew her aphabets (i found out when she read it off a shop window) i thought maybe she might be interested in me writing alphabets with her. nope. so i didnt bring it up again.

what concerns me is the future. would she allow me to teach her the academics in future. not now. for instance since i am new to all this, would she be able to add fractions for instance without my help. can she pick that up on her own. in other words what i am trying to find out is - is homeschooling or unschooling going to work for us. or is it too early to worry about this. eventually she will want to do those things with me when she is 6/7/8 whenever.

i agree with all of u a 100%.

greaseball u certainly have a point there. i have thougth about unschooling but havent researched the philosophy behind it so really dont understand the concept.

loraeileen she hates any of those mom and child music classes and rafi. instead we have a lot of musical instruments from all around the world that she prefers playing with. her fav. cds are cat stevens, beatles, rolling stone, some blues and wiggles and barney. she prefers folktunes over classical. we do attend any musical occassions we find free either at teh park or the library.
See less See more

Originally Posted by meemee
homeschooling or unschooling going to work for us. or is it too early to worry about this. eventually she will want to do those things with me when she is 6/7/8 whenever.
I think it's just too early, mama. Keep playing and following her lead. that's my opinion.
Relax, every child has his own learning style. When your child needs something from you, she will ask you.

She sound like a little smarty to me.
yeah, don't worry about when she's older. I think the right solution will come to you then. an almost-three year old does not have the attention span, ability to communicate, or even sustained interest in a topic the way a five, six, seven year old does. Try explaining the concept of "time", time changes, and time is different somewhere else (w coast e coast) to a three year old vs. a six year old and there's a huge conceptual difference.

it never hurts to offer everything - through reading, listening to music, exploring nature, doing "fun math" (cooking), singing songs, drawing - by doing it yourself or offering to do it with her you're setting out some options, which are up to her to respond to. you're modeling and she'll let you know what she's interested in by the time she's older. my daughter is totally interested in reading by herself and drawing everything... neither of which she loved at two-three...but we still had the supplies around if she showed interest. and i was surprised when she did, and will sit with me to "work" on it now.

They also hit this stage of hunger for knowledge and questioning EVERYTHING in which you cannot help but be her home-schooler. Probably around 3-4? I don't remember exactly when. They want to know why to everything. We played with it, and I would ask her, "why do YOU think this is like that (sky is blue)?" and play with the question together.
See less See more
Sounds to me like she's able to teach herself very well
and that will take her a long way in life, so you really won't need to worry about teaching her. But I agree with others that she's far too young to have any academics pushed on her anyway. I'm getting a bit self-conscious about posting this yet again here, but there seem to be a lot of posts right now about preschool, so here it is again - an article I wrote after seeing these questions come up again and again over the years. It has lots of information and links to web sites that have great ideas for age appropriate activities:

A Homeschool Curriculum for Pre-school and Kindergarten
See less See more
It's a genuine question....will my child learn from me ? My children accept me as their mother much easier than they do a teacher. There are times when I feel I have to put on the teacher hat and it is almost always met with resentment.

Stop and take a look at how you are dealing with your child now. See how rich her enviroment is ? See how she's picking up educational things all on her own ? Do you have reason to believe that she will stop self learning ?

My children self learned for years. Then out of a need to "do it right" I began schooling at home. All their self directed learning took a hit. They stopped. They waited til I force fed it to them and critiqued it. Not a good move on my part. I've seen school at home done well , but not for me. Or for them.

We used a combined relaxed unschooling and workbooks. We do have unit studies . but it's usually something we all agree on.

We learned all about Napolean together. Who he was. When he lived. What is girlfriend's name was. I shared with the older child the note Napolean supposedly sent to her. Where we got the term "naploean complex". This is a major figure in world history. Would you like to know how we started on this journey ? The kids certainly didn't come up with is name on their own. *I* didn't bring it up. They didn't hear it from public schooled friends. Nope. We were watching an episode of Bugs Bunny. You know the one. He's in the castle and chases N. around with a sword , slides down the banister , plays the board game RISK with him..... That one silly cartoon exploded into a huge lesson when the kids said "who is that guy with the funny sideways hat ? and why is his hand stuck in his jacket?"
See less See more

thank u so much for ur link. i so agree with ur opinion. i am a member of an unschooling group and i also notice the preschool questions here. for the life of me i cant understand why alphabets and numbers appear on their curriculum. a lot of what u wrote in ur article we already do. the point of me hs my child is to NOT introduce academics so young. there is as ur article points out soooooooooo much to do without it. presently for us it is binoculars and birds. last summer accidentally we set fire to a pile of dry grass while playing with a magnifying glass. my concern arose from the fact she picked up academics on her own without me teaching her how, yet she doesnt want to go further which is fine with me. but in the future will that change was more my concern which moms here have helped me see the answer. unfortunately since i am single and working full time my dd does go to a preschool (this was her decision - i tried various in home daycares, other moms but she rejected everyone of them) mainly becuase i htink she really likes the teachers and it doesnt remind her so much of home so make her sad. but it is a totally playbased preschool with a lot of science experiments which she loves. i am going to try and see what i can do in the next two years to try to switch to hs rather than send her to regular school.

jen123 - BINGO!!! that was exactly my concern. our 'napolean' was fog and our 'bugs bunny' was dora. plus it was winter so we drove thru a lot of fog so practically we experienced it too (why more fog near the bridge and not on the road). jen my dd is v. stubborn so i cant even force learning even if i tried.

loraeileen - aaaaaaaaaaaaargh!!! we have hit the why stage!!! ohhh as much as i enjoy the questions i really have to stay on top of what i am saying as she sees holes in my answers v. easily. i sometimes direct the why back to her. i love ur idea of asking her back why is the sky blue. hmmm! will do that the next time it comes up.

applejuice - thank u for assuring that she will ask me when she needs something. i wasnt sure with learning some specific things if she would.
See less See more
I noticed when my dd was 2.5 she would really resist whenever I tried to "teach" her something, but she learned really well from other children.

I was trying to get her to learn her name, so when people asked "What's your name" she could tell them, as well as when they asked how old she was. I'd tell her over and over again, "When someone asks your name, tell them 'Linda;' when they ask how old you are, say 'Two-and-a-half.'" She did not like this at all. So I dropped it, and a few weeks later a child asked her how old she was and she said "Two-and-a-half!"

Then she started saying that when someone asked her name, and I'd try to explain the difference between her name and her age; again, she did not want to hear it. Then a child asked her name, dd replied with her age, and the other child said, "No, what's your name?" And dd understood what she meant.

Then there was the issue of pronunciation...dd pronounced her name "na-na." We kept trying to get her to say the letter L, and she always resisted. So we dropped it, and then shortly before her 3rd birthday she just out of the blue told me, "My name's Nin-da." Close enough!

She really picks up on things when I back off.
See less See more
LOL I think ALL kids at that young age want to do EVERYTHING themselves...I know my 3 year old does! LOL I can't do nothing for her, "no mommy I can do it!" is her mantra.

She is wayyyy to young to even begin worrying about these things. We didn't start any academics until my oldest was at the least 5/6 years old. Are there some things she doesn't want to learn from me? Of course. But homeschooling doesn't mean it's all up to mom, no one person can teach a child everything there is to know anyways. My kids learn history and geography from my mom (who is a history nut), they learn things from different people. Some things I just can't teach very well, so I don't try too.
My first thought when I read your post was when she's ready to learn something, you won't be able to stop her from learning it -- from you or anybody else she can rope in! :LOL

Originally Posted by meemee
i have a 33 month old girl.
I think this first sentence answers all your concerns! Take a step back and think about why it is important to you to teach academics to a two year old.

Loving and Respectfully,
This sounds like my almost four year old son...luckily we are more unschoolers than anything. We usually pick up porjects based on his interests like the solar system which we made into a song, dinosaurs, addition and subtraction, and geography where we travel to a new place each week or so. He doesn't like the school at home environment, but rather when he is free to use his imagination to come up with new uses for the tools that we supply him.

second generation homeschool/unschooler speaking.

Trust your daughter!
See less See more

Originally Posted by kanpope
Take a step back and think about why it is important to you to teach academics to a two year old.

Loving and Respectfully,
This is something I've been wondering a lot about lately. I've seen this issue come up a lot over the years, but it seems to be a lot more widespread now. I have to wonder where, why, when, how, and from whom, the idea has come about that such young children need to be taught the 3Rs. It sure wasn't that way when I was growing up. We got to just play in preschool, just play in kindergarten too - along with singing, being read to and having a snack and little nap. And yet, our generation got a much better education than the newspapers keep reporting that recent ones are getting.

The educrats, I think, are manipulating the population into looking the other way - toward preschool and high school students - to keep them from looking hard at what in the world is going on in the elementary schools. And now, at least in California, high school students are facing, by next year, having to pass an exit exam in order to graduate. So there are going to be a lot of kids around who will feel like failures and will be treated like failures - who will be considered high school "dropouts" and not able to get jobs.

All because the educrats are making such a mess of basic education in the elementary school years and beyond. So they try to tell us we need to make kids go to school even earlier - and that we need to make them responsible for learning all the things the system has failed to provide for them by the time they're graduation age. It brings tears to my eyes. Rambling...

If you haven't read this article yet, you'll find it very interesting and informative:
Much Too Early, by David Elkind
David Elkind, Ph.D., is a Professor in Child Development at Tufts University. He's the author of Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk, The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon (3rd edition), Reinventing Childhood: Raising and Educating Children in a Changing World, All Grown Up and No Place to Go: Teenagers in Crisis, Ties That Stress: The New Family Imbalance, and other books. He is also a Board Member: National Parenting Association and Institute for Family Values, National Forum on Leadership in Early Childhood Education. Dr. Elkin is a consultant to schools, mental health associations and private foundations. He has done local and national media presentation on subjects relating to children, youth and families. He has also co-hosted Kids These Days, weekdays and Sundays on Lifetime.

I'm not a conspiracy theory oriented type of person, but it's actually been occurring to me lately that maybe the Powers That Be actually have some economic need for a sub-class of workers who can't get good jobs. - Lillian
See less See more
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.