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We're Still In Slow Motion!

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My 11-year-old son is doing pretty good so far this year. We started on August 29th. This will be our first full year of homeschooling--we started mid-year last year.

He has quite a few subjects, and I'm pleased with how comprehensive they are. However, it seems to be taking him FOREVER to get through a days work. By the end of last year, he was working so well independently! Now it's like he's in kindergarten again and I have to stay right on him! He hasn't really started anything that is totally foreign to him yet, and he isn't struggling--he is just wasting time!

I am continuously fascinated by how adept he is at doing nothing while appearing to do something. I walk in the room and he's looking out the window, or he's pulling the lead in and out of his pencil, or he's just plain old staring at the ceiling and humming. Every five minutes he calls out, "Mom!" As an added bonus, we're getting into lots of feet shuffling and heavy sighs. Once today I actually went into the room and asked if he had asthma! We still do lots of things together, but at his level, some of the stuff shouldn't require me to be by his side all the time. There is a lot more writing so far, and that's a major point of contention.

Am I wrong here? Is this typical? I know I am heading into a wonderful age bracket--but it just seems sort of sudden. I guess mostly I'm just looking for sympathy. Maybe we both are having trouble adjusting.:glare:

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My 11yo is like this too. He has always been like this. He also despises writing anything. It has helped to make a written or computer schedule where he gets to mark things off when he gets done and has a goal to finish to be done for the day. It also helps to have him race the timer to finish something before it beeps. This doesn't work for all children though as my 8yo loses it whenever he is timed.


Sometimes it helps to just be near them while they work.


Hope you find a solution soon.

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Well, I've tried to convey to him that they only person he's punishing is himself. He knows he has to complete the work, and that it has to be done neatly. He had to do some work over last week, and he wasn't happy about it, but his quality has been much better ever since then.


I'm trying not to make a big deal out of it. I'm pretty much right around all the time, and I hope it's just because it's still early in the year and maybe summer isn't out of his brain yet--although I didn't let him sit idle all summer. I thought I was prevently this from happening! Granted, we didn't do a lot of structured activity, but we did some things.


What is it with boys and writing? It's so frustrating--he talks almost constantly, has great vocabulary, a wonderful imagination, and then I tell him to write a description of our house, and writes something like, "It is white." Yeesh.

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There are probably a couple of things going on here.


For one, this is also where parenting and homeschooling intersect. He may be testing you. This isn't a classroom.


Then, adolescents aren't very good at self management yet. When they do show signs of getting it, they will relapse because, that's what adolescents do. And then of course, every time they get into a new level of work, there may be some regression because it takes a while to figure out how to attack it. And every time, you will need to work him through it.


Writing is hard for anyone. But if you are a kinesthetic learner (ie, a boy) then sitting and thinking and writing is torture. Writing is torture until it becomes a natural mode of communication. That doesn't help you with any kind of magic bullet. But it may give you some sympathy for him and help you break it down into palatable chunks for him until he becomes proficient enough to respond to logic like "get it done so that I can put it away."

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Thanks for the reply.


Really and truly, I don't know how to break the writing down much smaller. I'm talking about answering science questions on a worksheet and stuff like that.


I feel bad for complaining, because he isn't doing terrible, I'm just a little surprised because he seems to have gone backwards.


We've been working together through new English and Lit lessons, but if I'm not careful, he'll try and get me to basically feed him word for word what I want him to write, and while I don't mind helping him, I don't want to do that. When he responds verbally, his responses are wonderful--advanced, I would even say.


Well, I guess time will tell. I try very hard not to nag or lose my patience, and just say, "Here it is, it has to be done. I'll help but I won't do it for you." I think you're probably on to something about that testing me thing, because I think that is surfacing in some non-school-related areas as well!


Oh, the joy of adolescence!

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I have to put a plug in for WWS here. We started using this and it has helped both of us so much. The assignments are written directly to the student. They are very specific. When ds12 is done I evaluate him I can follow the rubik included with the lesson. It helps me to focus on what we are working on. Maybe he needs more specific assignments. Describe our house would be way to open-ended for ds. He would do the same thing your son did. However, the last WWS excersise he did was a page long--Very impressive for him.

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The "describe our house" thing was just a random thing that popped into my mind to try and illustrate what I meant. My general point was that he does the least amount possible to get by, and it's not just specific writing, it's even answering questions in science and history.


Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

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