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How do you if your child has progressed enough? I feel like my son forgets things way to easily and it is frustrating. He is so focused on what he wants to do when he's done with school it is like pulling teeth with him every day. Leading to me getting very frustrated. He has three younger siblings that are making trouble as well. We kinda finished K this year and are going into the summer b/c we switched to RS A after Christmas and are only on lesson 35. We are on the last letter in ETC 1 and handwriting is a joke at this point so we just do copywork. He whines all the time. How do you keep going? I want to, but I feel like he is taking advantage of me. Some days it is great and others not so great. On top of it I feel like everyone else's children that are homeschooled are so much further ahead than him. He is reading simple words, but still has to sound them out and can not remember his sight words from lesson to lesson. Grrr...

We are starting new in the fall with IEW's new program for starting out and I hope it helps things stick. We will be doing AAS with it as well. On math I'm wondering if I should stick with RS as he is learning it kinda but still forgetting all the time.

Please tell me I'm not the only first timer feeling frustrated?

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I am just starting with K now (I have been going for a week and a half). I have found that DS5 needs to do just a little table work and then take a break. We do tablework from around 9-9:30 or 9:45 (religion, math, handwriting). Almost always some part of this is coloring or a craft. We take a nice break to have a nice breakfast and some playtime. Then we play a phonics game and do a little more table work (phonics and critical thinking on some days) that usually lasts 15-30 min. Then we are done with "school." We do history (read alouds, art projects, cooking, etc), science, music and art during the afternoons (usually about 30-60 minutes depending on which subject and what we have planned). We do a short reading lesson after dinner when Daddy is here to occupy the littles. This works for us. Sometimes there is whining. The whining used to come from handwriting (until we switched to ZB) so that was why I put it right before playtime.

 

Do you have a lot of fun in your schoolday? Does he enjoy doing art projects or coloring? Is there a subject he loves to talk about? We are doing Astronomy because DS loves it. He doesn't consider anything after lunch to be "school." He just thinks he is having fun.

 

I have found that we have to do a majority of our work before DS5 eats breakfast or plays at all. He eats a granola bar while we do religion. If he gets into anything else, things take twice as long and there is tons of whining!

 

Honestly, your DC is so young. Maybe you could do math over the summer, but do mostly fun things. Maybe you could do a unit study on something that interests him. School should be really fun at this age IMHO. My DS5 actually likes workbooks (which shocks me and which I was planning on avoiding like the plague). What does your DS like? Is he active? Phonics games might work better than workbooks. I use the games from Struggling Reader. They are awesome. I can give you some ideas if you are interested.

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Kindergarten for my children consists of one twenty-minute lesson in 100EZ Lessons each day. That is it. No spelling, no handwriting, no real phonics, no math, no history, no science...nothing. So far it has not hindered them from progressing at a normal pace once they begin 1st grade.

 

So your son is light-years ahead of where my home schooled children are after their kindergarten year :001_smile:. If you are asking for permission to stop the formal lessons for the summer and just spend a short time every day on reading (or whatever you feel is most important), then you have it. It won't hurt him one bit; in fact, it might even help by giving him some more time to mature before he is faced with 1st grade subjects. You can work on his fine motor skills (which is what is hindering his progress in handwriting, and is completely normal for a K'er, especially a boy) by doing arts and crafts...cutting, tracing, coloring...whatever interests him. Other than that, I would not worry about the rest of the subjects...he still has twelve full years to learn everything, no need to teach it all at the beginning :D.

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My DS is working through the IEW PAL program right now. That will cover handwriting, reading, writing, and dictation, the AAS portion will cover spelling and some more dictation. I wouldn't worry to much and just keep moving forward. It takes a while to get your footing with homeschooling, especially with other littles running around. (I try to divide my DS's work into two short periods during the day with plenty of wiggle time to play in between.)

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Kindergarten for my children consists of one twenty-minute lesson in 100EZ Lessons each day. That is it. No spelling, no handwriting, no real phonics, no math, no history, no science...nothing. So far it has not hindered them from progressing at a normal pace once they begin 1st grade.

 

So your son is light-years ahead of where my home schooled children are after their kindergarten year :001_smile:. If you are asking for permission to stop the formal lessons for the summer and just spend a short time every day on reading (or whatever you feel is most important), then you have it. It won't hurt him one bit; in fact, it might even help by giving him some more time to mature before he is faced with 1st grade subjects. You can work on his fine motor skills (which is what is hindering his progress in handwriting, and is completely normal for a K'er, especially a boy) by doing arts and crafts...cutting, tracing, coloring...whatever interests him. Other than that, I would not worry about the rest of the subjects...he still has twelve full years to learn everything, no need to teach it all at the beginning :D.

 

:iagree:

 

I did a bit more than this--we did do Math-U-See Primer, because he loved it and because it's more about exposing your kids to math than about expecting them to really learn anything. More than that, we "rowed"--that is, we did the first two volumes of Five in a Row, which consists of reading the same book five times each week, and talking about a different aspect of the book (social studies/history, literature, art, math, and science are the categories) each time. I loved the homeschoolshare.com site, which has free lapbooking materials for each of the books, because my son really liked putting together lapbooks. But it was probably 20-30 minutes a day, and some (far too many) days it was dropped completely, because I was pregnant and just not up to "doing school." So far, my son hasn't seemed terribly "behind" in anything.

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We've been homeschooling for four years now, and both of my boys whine, sigh, roll their eyes, etc. at least once every day. The younger fusses before any lesson in which he is required to write anything! I dream of driving them down to the PS and enrolling them almost everyday, but BTDT and it was not joyful either.

 

I have friends and they all have whiners. I am starting to see the patterns and am trying to find ways to circumvent the onset of the tantrums. Maybe by the time they graduate, I'll have it all figured out.

 

Just to reassure you, you are not alone.

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He's Kindergarten? I wouldn't sweat it. Read to him lots at bedtime and other times when you can, and do minimal school. For handwriting in K, I had my son do 3 of one number and 3 of one letter per day. That's it. Copywork is a lot for someone just learning how to form letters and how to read, even if they are words he knows. While some K-ers might be up for that, many might not. Still sounding out words--completely normal, in fact some K-ers aren't even doing that yet, they are just learning sounds for letters. It sounds to me like he's doing fine & just wants to run & play. Keep school short & sweet. I remember in about November of my son's K year I realized I was on track for ruining my relationship with him over a workbook--so not worth forcing the issue at this age! I changed my approach in many things after that! (((Hugs))) Merry :-)

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He whines all the time. How do you keep going? I want to, but I feel like he is taking advantage of me. Some days it is great and others not so great. On top of it I feel like everyone else's children that are homeschooled are so much further ahead than him.

 

Is there a cheese to go with the whine?:tongue_smilie: Bad puns aside, it really is worthwhile to figure out if there is a legitimate reason for the whining. We have a strict no-whining policy but part of that is enforced by making sure that the only reason to whine would be sickness or just a general bad day. Breaking up a long lesson into smaller sections is useful in two ways.

First, it actually gives you an opportunity to see if what you just talked about stuck. Secondly, it gives a wiggle-rump time to go climb a tree or just gallop around the yard once or twice. Third, it gives Mom time to go fix a cup of tea or to beat her head against the wall in peace and quiet. Lastly, as they begin to figure out that they don't get out of a lesson and that the frequent breaks mean that it takes longer to finish a day of work (so they don't get to go to the park or watch that educational video) they begin to trade in breaks in favor of getting on with the day.

 

How do you if your child has progressed enough?

Keep the years work in a notebook. Evaluate monthly. Remember that learning is a little like growing--some days they learn a lot, and they may stall out sometimes. It isn't necessarily a time to change strategy or curriculum unless the stall persists.

 

He is reading simple words, but still has to sound them out and can not remember his sight words from lesson to lesson. Grrr...

Be glad he can't remember the sight words.:001_smile: It takes time to spit out words all in one mouthful. Same thing with math. In a way, I actually welcome struggling with math now. I prefer that to having a child with such great memory skills that I have to constantly be on the lookout for lack of understanding. I've got one of both, ds7 twins. The one who struggles has a much better grasp of math now because he wrestled with it, while the other memorized until his bank was full, and now he has to relearn things that he believed he already knew.

For the rest, patience and encouragement is so important, for all children I think, but it seems to be vital for boys. You can see them open up like sunflowers when you beam at them.

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I think first you need to try really hard not to compare your dc to anyone else whether they are homeschooled or ps students. Don't even compare them to each other. I did compare when I started out homeschooling and it made life very difficult. I've learned to only compare my dc to where they were a month ago, half a year ago, a year ago. That way I'm basing their progress on their own ability and not the ability of someone else. All dc are going to progress at different rates and are going to be ready for certain skills at different times. Your oldest may not be ready for a lot of what you are doing with him for another year but your next dc may be able to master it all a year earlier.

 

I don't expect any retention of facts for K but I do expect some advancement in skill by the end of the year. I'm not looking for mastery of anything. If I get it...woohoo!...but it won't bother me if we don't get it. 5 yr.olds are still so little and the majority of their learning at this age is still through imaginative play, experimentation and exposure. My K'ers will only spend about an hour a day total in their own formal seatwork and that will be spread out over 3-5 sessions throughout the day.

 

I would say that if you and he are getting frustrated already then it might be a good idea to back off of the formal learning for a bit. If his main focus is playing then find a way to make that play time educational. Use the summer to read to him about some history and then help him make some simple costumes and he let "play" the history story. Forgo the math and phonics for the summer in favor of some fun, messy science experiments. If he enjoys the RS games then you could keep that going but just keep it light and fun; don't expect a lot of retention at this point. Give him a few months to mature and start again in the fall.

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Thanks everyone. He hates formal handwriting, but will get out a book and copy sentences for fun, that happened overnight a few months ago after fighting for handwriting. I'm worried though b/c some of his letters are not formed correctly and when I try to help him he becomes flustered and I don't want him to stop altogether.

Some days he does well and will sit for longer periods of time, I try to break it up a lot with many breaks. I'm worried that as we have to add more that he will be in this habit. I send him outside to play a lot. He is outside more than any other child I know. He loves science and we just check out mass amounts of library books and read. We read on anything that looks fun.

I am hoping the IEW PAL program will be more hands of for him and it will start to stick. I know I compare him too much and it is really hard not to. And on top of it family will compare him and hold him to a much higher standard b/c he is homeschooled and it isn't fair. I know my little sister is ready very well at the end of first grade (who knows he may be by that point) But he is 14 months younger and a boy.

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Thanks everyone. He hates formal handwriting, but will get out a book and copy sentences for fun, that happened overnight a few months ago after fighting for handwriting. I'm worried though b/c some of his letters are not formed correctly and when I try to help him he becomes flustered and I don't want him to stop altogether.

Some days he does well and will sit for longer periods of time, I try to break it up a lot with many breaks. I'm worried that as we have to add more that he will be in this habit. I send him outside to play a lot. He is outside more than any other child I know. He loves science and we just check out mass amounts of library books and read. We read on anything that looks fun.

I am hoping the IEW PAL program will be more hands of for him and it will start to stick. I know I compare him too much and it is really hard not to. And on top of it family will compare him and hold him to a much higher standard b/c he is homeschooled and it isn't fair. I know my little sister is ready very well at the end of first grade (who knows he may be by that point) But he is 14 months younger and a boy.

 

 

You might also consider getting the Startwrite software or something similar. If my DS has the option to choose what he writes, that sometimes helps!

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I did the trial and it is so bad that he can not decide if he likes the HWOT style or the ball and stick better... so I just let him free write :blush: I know that is probably horrible and I need to decide :(

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As a former elementary teacher, I can assure you that forming some letters / numbers incorrectly is completely normal at your son's age. If it persists beyond age 7/8, then you might want to think about getting an assessment of some kind. But at his age? Normal, normal, normal.

 

BTW, when mine were that age they enjoyed real world writing (sign this birthday card, draw a picture and label it for grandma, write this on the grocery list for me please--often handing them an empty box/jar to copy). They also enjoyed writing in different mediums--chalk, on a whiteboard, in sand or rice on a baking sheet, with paint, etc. Or doing lots of other activities that improve hand-eye coordination, like word searches, dot-to-dots, drawing, painting.

 

I did no formal work with my eldest in K, but we did lots of reading (LOTS!), watching educational shows, playing games, going for nature walks, to museums, etc. I just tested him (last month) at the end of grade his 3 year using one of the common standardized tests in Canada (where we live), and he scored above grade level in all areas, anywhere from grade 4 to grade 11 equivalent. So relax, if you can. (It's also totally normal to worry like you are when you first start out HSing! BTDT!) :-)

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