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How do you homeschool a child who doesn't want to learn or knows everything!?!


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#1 hmschoolmom22

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 03:02 PM

my dd just turned 11...homeschooling her lately has been the pitts. So much attitude, so much disrespect, eye rolling, the whole 9 yards! We took a 3 week Christmas break, started back very light today. Math time, not her favorite subject I know that, we are once again going over division...she's struggling with it a bit, just not clicking with her. Once again, I go over it, try to break it down into small pieces...the entire time she's doing math, she has attitude, as if I've done something horribly wrong, a little sassy, kind of short in her answers, etc...I finally ask her "what is the matter?" she of course says "nothing, I just hate math" to which I say "I'm sorry you hate it, you are very good at math when you really try, let's go over it one more time, I think you have it this time." She kind of rolls her eyes at me and starts doing the problem, she gets it right. I say "great job" or something like that and she says "I know how to do, I just don't want to".

I then tell her that her attitude is pretty stinky and does she even notice how ugly she is towards me during school...she of course denies any wrong doing on her part and says I'm the one with the problem. Well......................I lost it! I shut the math book, told her school was over and until her attitude was better I will not be doing school with her, she's on her own. She starts crying and saying how mean I am and the old "well then why don't you just send me to school!"

I also have a 15 yr old who does her work, no problems, no attitude, just merrily works through her assignments, easy as pie. I look at my other dd and wonder where I failed. How can she be so rude acting? where does this attitude come from? and better yet, how can I change it or what do I do about it?

I hate what this does to me! I'm not in an awful mood, and trying so hard to snap out of it.

I know she is a perfectionist, I know she hates to not understand something, but I'm trying to help her, I am not the enemy! and I certainly don't deserve to be treated with such disrespect!!

Help please! :confused:

#2 dragons in the flower bed

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 03:33 PM

My 11yo can get like this. I try not to take it personally. Puberty is hard and children are idiots. Secretly film her and content yourself with the "I'm so sorry, Mom!" that you know will come when she watches that video it at age thirty.

#3 Farrar

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 03:39 PM

I know it's hard, but with a perfectionist, saying that she's "good at something" just reinforces the feeling of inadequacy when she can't get it right away. I know, I make that mistake all the time too and am always biting my tongue against it. It *feels* like it should be a compliment, or supportive, but for a perfectionist, it's undermining. I think you have to be really careful about what would, for any other kid, be normal praise and support with a perfectionist.

I don't have any other advice other than just to say, 11 year olds! I taught them for years and I both dread and look forward to my own getting to that age.:grouphug:

#4 Walking-Iris

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 03:41 PM

My nearly 9 year old ds acts like this at times. Really gets an attitude about doing schoolwork etc. He says he doesn't want to do anything---homeschool or regular school but he just wants to do what he wants.

For my part I blame it on a stint with unschooling when he was younger, his spectrum dx, and a constant interruption from his little siblings.

I wish I had the answers. I just keep on keeping on---no matter his attitude I refuse to allow him to just let his brain go to rot.

I also take certain privileges away for a time if he gets really disrespectful.

:grouphug:

#5 swellmomma

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 03:57 PM

my dd just turned 11...homeschooling her lately has been the pitts. So much attitude, so much disrespect, eye rolling, the whole 9 yards! We took a 3 week Christmas break, started back very light today. Math time, not her favorite subject I know that, we are once again going over division...she's struggling with it a bit, just not clicking with her. Once again, I go over it, try to break it down into small pieces...the entire time she's doing math, she has attitude, as if I've done something horribly wrong, a little sassy, kind of short in her answers, etc...I finally ask her "what is the matter?" she of course says "nothing, I just hate math" to which I say "I'm sorry you hate it, you are very good at math when you really try, let's go over it one more time, I think you have it this time." She kind of rolls her eyes at me and starts doing the problem, she gets it right. I say "great job" or something like that and she says "I know how to do, I just don't want to".

I then tell her that her attitude is pretty stinky and does she even notice how ugly she is towards me during school...she of course denies any wrong doing on her part and says I'm the one with the problem. Well......................I lost it! I shut the math book, told her school was over and until her attitude was better I will not be doing school with her, she's on her own. She starts crying and saying how mean I am and the old "well then why don't you just send me to school!"

I also have a 15 yr old who does her work, no problems, no attitude, just merrily works through her assignments, easy as pie. I look at my other dd and wonder where I failed. How can she be so rude acting? where does this attitude come from? and better yet, how can I change it or what do I do about it?

I hate what this does to me! I'm not in an awful mood, and trying so hard to snap out of it.

I know she is a perfectionist, I know she hates to not understand something, but I'm trying to help her, I am not the enemy! and I certainly don't deserve to be treated with such disrespect!!

Help please! :confused:


No answers for you just :grouphug: Facing this right now with my oldest and not just during school time. I can not even say good morning with out having my head bit off, slamming doors etc. Even when I am doing something nice for him I get attitude, disrespect, and pure hate. I had this exact talk with him last night that I am not his enemy, I have been his biggest fan and advocate forever, I do not deserve to be treated like scum on the bottom of his shoe. It is so disheartening to know you want only the best for them and they look at you like you are out to get them.

I know part of it is normal. I remember thinking my parents knew nothing back then (a fact they have only proven with time :glare:), I know there is a certain normal level of that with teens and preteens, but there is a line between that and the level of malice and hate I have thrown my way. Not sure if you are feeling it to the extent I am, or if what your dd is showing is normal levels of it as I am not there, but I can tell you I sympathize with how it feels to have a child behave and speak to you in that way. So :grouphug: for that.

#6 woolybear

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 04:43 PM

:grouphug: No words of wisdom, just lots of :grouphug::grouphug:.

#7 FriedClams

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 06:23 PM

I would have her sit and wait for you when you get the attitude. "Sweetheart, you are not showing me that you have a teachable heart right now. I will let you wait in your chair until you have one, and then I will be available to teach you." {If you are a Christian, there are a LOT of bible verses about being wise in our own eyes, and none of them are good. I'd share a couple with her here.} Then pull out a crossword or a book. I'd give her 5 minutes for the first infraction, and longer thereafter. I would not giver her a time limit, but rather I would let her know when her attitude is appropriate and when I am ready to teach her. Whining, squirming, etc. would lengthen the time. I would not get mad, raise my voice or anything. Just sit. She'll get the hint.

While others are in the wait-it-out camp, I think having a teachable heart is extremely important. I want my kids to be ready to take instruction from anyone - with a good attitude about it. I can learn from them, just as I can learn from someone checking me out at Walmart - if I have the right attitude. And while math with an eleven year old seems insignificant, I can't help but belive that we are teaching habits and attitudes that will later be critical - like listening to instruction in drivers ed, learning how to do something from someone much younger than them on a first job, listening to the SAT essays, etc.

For me, it's a hot button character issue that I will take the time to work on.

#8 MeganW

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 08:08 PM

SWM said it perfectly.

If it would not be an acceptable way to treat your boss in the workplace, it's not an acceptable way to treat your mom.

I wouldn't ignore it. I wouldn't be ugly back. I think the right approach would be to kindly, gently, but firmly tell her that it is not OK to treat to you in such a disrespectful manner. Make sure she knows that you aren't just talking about the words coming out of her mouth, but the eye rolling, sighing, etc. Any sort of tone or sassiness. None of that is OK.

How many times a day do I tell my kids that they are to "do your best, with a smile"?

I would go to: "You must do your math. I am willing to help you as much as you need, as long as you have a good attitude and are trying your best. Now, would you like to work on it together, or do you need a few minutes by yourself?" (Sitting at the table doing nothing fun...)

#9 Virg

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 08:14 PM

Honestly, I have DSD12 stand in the corner until she is ready. I know probably lots of people would disagree with me but we tried talking to her. If I send her to her room she escalates. Standing in the corner works for her. She hates it and so she pulls herself together pretty quickly. (She does have several behavioral issues.) In our house respect is our number two rule so I take it very seriously but I know not every family is the same.

#10 foxbridgeacademy

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 09:14 PM

My poor mother! I was just like your daughter, I have an 8 y.o very similar. I disagree with some of the posts about punishing (time out style?) in this way. When I was a kid I could out wait anybody(didn't speak for a weekto "punish" my mother). Again, my poor, poor mom. For my own DD(perfectionist) I try to talk gently, use words like "I understand" (she hates math). I try to use encouraging words but not overboard, after all she WANTS to strive for my approval. I'm not grudging in the giving praise, just not effusive. I actually let her blow up and have a (slightly) raised voice, say what she feels. If this isn't enough (she's still frustrated) then she goes away (her room) and "thinks" about it for awhile. We have reached an understanding that this is the best way for her to deal with her emotions, and me with mine. She usually comes back within 10 minutes teary, apologetic and cuddly. We then will often sit on the couch to finish the work that caused the problem (MATH!) or just move on. This works most of the time... but each child is different. Ask her, when she's calm what would help her or make some suggestions.

#11 Walking-Iris

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 01:32 PM

My poor mother! I was just like your daughter, I have an 8 y.o very similar. I disagree with some of the posts about punishing (time out style?) in this way. When I was a kid I could out wait anybody(didn't speak for a weekto "punish" my mother). Again, my poor, poor mom. For my own DD(perfectionist) I try to talk gently, use words like "I understand" (she hates math). I try to use encouraging words but not overboard, after all she WANTS to strive for my approval. I'm not grudging in the giving praise, just not effusive. I actually let her blow up and have a (slightly) raised voice, say what she feels. If this isn't enough (she's still frustrated) then she goes away (her room) and "thinks" about it for awhile. We have reached an understanding that this is the best way for her to deal with her emotions, and me with mine. She usually comes back within 10 minutes teary, apologetic and cuddly. We then will often sit on the couch to finish the work that caused the problem (MATH!) or just move on. This works most of the time... but each child is different. Ask her, when she's calm what would help her or make some suggestions.


I agree about extreme punishments. Usually I would send my ds to his room if he is really getting out of control. It's not a punishment or time out but mor ea "you need to calm down before we can talk so go sit on your bed for a minute until you feel better"---he usually draws or reads for a few minutes and occasionally i have found him asleep (especially my 4 year old will fall asleep ---proof to me that tiredness was causing the issue). I also try to offer a quick snack after a out of control incident and then get right back into our day. Even a break outside taking a walk or kicking a ball etc helps change the mood.

#12 lindsrae

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:55 PM

Facing disrespect with my 6-year-old DD as well. The realization that she is a perfectionist might help--she loves attention but HATES getting things wrong or not being able to do something well immediately.

Trying to be patient. Sending her to her room a lot too. Wish I knew if this was making any kind of different in her heart attitude or just causing more blow-ups later on. sigh.

#13 ekfk

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 03:33 PM

When my 6 year old refuses to do school, I tell her if you won't do what I ask, I won't do what you ask. Then I ignore all of her requests until she gives in. Unfortunately, it does have to be repeated regularly. They don't really seem to comprehend that they ask more of us, than we ask of them.

#14 MeghanL

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:01 PM

I think that benefits of the family should only be given to those that are respectful of everyone within the family. So, eye-rolling, mouthiness, etc. would be met with them getting nothing from me until they can treat me accordingly. (This is assuming of course, that the children & spouse get treated with respect by the mother.)

Practically speaking, I would get through math, even through the eye-rolling & keep my cool. Then, when she wanted to watch tv/play on the computer/have me make a snack/eat the dinner I prepared* I would say no. (This will take 5 minutes after school until she needs something.) After she complained that wasn't fair I would inform her that only those who respect everyone in the house are allowed to participate in house benefits. Since she was not respectful of me or my time, she will not have those things until the time she can. This will of course illicit a heartfelt apology but the trick is to stay firm. She can try again tomorrow but for today those privileges must be forfeit.

*She can still eat dinner, but she must make something herself, not what I made.

#15 MeganW

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:24 PM

Posted by someone else on another forum I frequent:

My therapist (child psychologist of gifted children) said she looks at her child(ren) and says: I don't like the words you used; the tone with which you used them and the look on your face."

She said to be very specific about what is not tolerable about "sassiness' and gives them clear boundaries about what they need to work on. She gives them an example of how they could have made their point without being rude. Then they go on with their day. If the rudeness continues, she starts taking privileges.

#16 overpeople

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:33 PM

My 11yo can get like this. I try not to take it personally. Puberty is hard and children are idiots. .


:iagree:

I posted a similar lament yesterday about my DS, 9, who is a disrespectful brat most days. Then he gets it out, and turns into an angel - ugh this homeschooling, parenting, being a grown is so hard some days!!!

#17 Osaubi

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 12:07 AM

My DS is like this. He is a perfectionist and I know that part of it is always wanting to be right. He also doesn't like to do things unless he know why he is doing them.

Depending on the day and my attitude what I do varies.

I make sure my attitude is always good in the morning. If I am cranky he gets cranky and we all have a bad day.

I will correct him with I don't like your attitude and you could have said it like this. Then talk to him about his attitude. I ignore all of the eye rolling and such.

I make him laugh and then tell him how much I love him. I also "annoy" him with statements like you are so adorable when you roll your eyes. Then I will kiss him all over his face.

If I can't take the tude any longer I will assign chores for everytime he makes me mad. I did that yesterday. He played around and didn't do them. So this morning when he got up he got a talk from his dad about why it is important to help out. Then he had to do his chores before he got breakfast.

If we need a break from each other I will send him to his room or I will go to my room.

#18 Hericane

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 12:10 AM

Several years ago, I met an wonderful man who was still shearing sheep at age 87. I asked him how he chose shearing for his life's work. He told me this story:

When I was 12, I stayed home from school one day. My dad asked me what I thought I was doing. "I already know everything they can teach me. So I'm going to stay home and sleep and play." My dad said, "Well, if you're too smart for school, I guess you're just right for shearing sheep. So either get yourself out of bed and go to school, or you help me shear sheep. I've been shearing sheep ever since. But, I wished I'd gone to school when I had the chance.

So, there's always the alternative. Learn or get to work. There is no free ride.

OR, here's another idea. Make the math real and relevant. (Remember when we said, Why do I need Algebra?) Do you have a budget for meals. Put her in charge of it, figuring out expenses per week, day, meal. She can be the master shopping list and coupon organizer. Of course there must be recipes that structure the shopping. OH, and nutrition guidelines that restrict or focus food choices. I'm guessing that if she's in charge of meals, recipes, coupons, nutrition, shopping, organizing the pantry, etc. she might learn how math works and is needed. There's also division, fractions, etc in every step of this.
She might also learn to appreciate you by seeing (a part of) everything you manage, juggle, and handle while homeschooling. :D

#19 Bang!Zoom!

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 12:43 AM

Can you change the environment where you teach?

Literally leave the house and do it somewhere else?

#20 MeganW

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 03:26 PM

Several years ago, I met an wonderful man who was still shearing sheep at age 87. I asked him how he chose shearing for his life's work. He told me this story:

When I was 12, I stayed home from school one day. My dad asked me what I thought I was doing. "I already know everything they can teach me. So I'm going to stay home and sleep and play." My dad said, "Well, if you're too smart for school, I guess you're just right for shearing sheep. So either get yourself out of bed and go to school, or you help me shear sheep. I've been shearing sheep ever since. But, I wished I'd gone to school when I had the chance.

So, there's always the alternative. Learn or get to work. There is no free ride.

OR, here's another idea. Make the math real and relevant. (Remember when we said, Why do I need Algebra?) Do you have a budget for meals. Put her in charge of it, figuring out expenses per week, day, meal. She can be the master shopping list and coupon organizer. Of course there must be recipes that structure the shopping. OH, and nutrition guidelines that restrict or focus food choices. I'm guessing that if she's in charge of meals, recipes, coupons, nutrition, shopping, organizing the pantry, etc. she might learn how math works and is needed. There's also division, fractions, etc in every step of this.
She might also learn to appreciate you by seeing (a part of) everything you manage, juggle, and handle while homeschooling. :D



AWESOME post!!! Thanks for the ideas!!!

#21 Hericane

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 01:20 AM

Glad my ideas made sense. Bless you and be kind to yourself :grouphug:

#22 SweetMissMagnolia

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 10:53 AM

sounds like my 9yr old sometimes....


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