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Attitude...or, crying and complaining when the work is neither too hard nor too easy?

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I often hear people (including SWB) that if there are tears or complaining (in this case, about work being "boooooring!"), it's a sign that the work is too hard or too easy. But what if the work is neither? Is that just an attitude problem?


Right now DD9 is working on a WWE3 narration. It's true that they are fairly easy for her, but not so easy that she can just whip out a perfect one with no problems and no revisions. I do want to challenge her, and I want her to rise to the challenge, but I'm worried that I'm not finding the right level for her.


WWYD? Is this an attitude thing that must be addressed (if so, how?), or is the work inappropriate for her somehow? Should I move her up to WWS? She has always hated narrations--I had to stop doing them with her during history, because she was starting to dread doing any history at all--but I don't think I should stop doing them altogether, should I?



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My DS1 is very much a perfectionist. I challenge him because boring work results in silly mistakes because he isn't attentive. I give him challenging work well within his grasp. If he gets one or two wrong on an entire page he ends up in tears because he wasn't perfect. I stress effort, etc. over perfection but he's just wired that way. If I made things easier, I think it would backfire.


He's almost 8.


I'd love to listen to the advice handed out. I've lately been sending him to his room to regroup because I can't teach him when he's teary. He's in fight or flight mode and not in the space to actually "learn" while crying. So I have him take a breather and come back when he's regrouped.


This is one of the most difficult parts of HSing for us.

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I have no advice, except perhaps to try increasing the challenge level sometimes but not on all days, depending on what you're aiming for (challenge vs. polishing) - move ahead in WWE3 or try WWE4 (which seems substantially more difficult). If she tends to be advanced, WWS is a possibility (there's a thread on the accelerated board about this right now).


At least you're not hearing "it's both too easy and too hard" :glare:

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For my son it was anxiety. he is ASD, and anxiety is a huge component for him. He was so afraid of making any mistakes, he would refuse to do anything. We are working on the anxiety, and it is helping. I frequently have to reassure him I am here to help him, but he has to do his part, but I'm here to help. I reassure him mistakes are okay, we are doing this to practice. (however, giving me the wrong answer because he thinks it is funny is NOT okay!:mad: :toetap05:)

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Some thoughts:


1. Yes, kids can have real attitude problems and not every complaint is to be taken very "seriously". Obviously, it does take knowing your children to estimate when to take them seriously and when not. Personally, I have saved myself lots of nerves by not taking them seriously at all times. I do not have criers, but they had their moments of whining, especially at those ages.


2. If she is capable of doing it, it is not too hard for her, but it may be boring as in repetitive. Sometimes things get a lot easier when you, ironically, move up a level rather than down when they "struggle" or complain.


3. Can you keep those history narrations, but use them more rarely? I sometimes find it more effective than working on a skill all the time. Also, I generally find - a personal note here - that younger students write too much rather than too little, and although I am in favor of the incremental writing approach, I think it can easily be "overdone". Maybe she needs to be doing it, but more rarely, with a mix of other methods, sometimes requiring oral summaries rather than written ones?


4. If it is purely an attitude thing and none of the above helps and they still whine for no reason, time to practice stocisim as you refuse to move on until they do it. I recommend reciting your favorite poems in your mind as you sip tea and ignore their sighs and nasty looks at you while they are doing it right. there. in front of you.

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Sometimes I think you just have to address the attitude.


Just last week I stopped my 9 year old and asked him if Hschooling was no longer working for him because his attitude was awful.


Since then, my husband has been reminding him that:


"Homeschool is a privilege!"


His attitude has been great this week! :lol:

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With the narrations, I would ask dd for some sentences that described an aspect or two of the chapter, then I'd summarize for her and write them out perfectly. Then she'd use them as copywork. At least, sometimes we did it this way--Sometimes we just did an oral narration, or a pictoral narration. Sometimes we just let her write what she wanted and I did no corrections. MOST of the time, we edited her writing with her help--these are the ones that went into her notebook. If a copy error or a spelling error crept in, I'd just leave it.


Maybe you are correcting too much and need to pull back a bit so there is more of a freedom to make mistakes. Not everything needs to be edited. Maybe there's too much editing and redoing?


Or, maybe not. Ymmv!

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Today both of mine were doing this. One of them needed to practice a spelling rule, so I had him writing some rhyming words. The other took one look at his math page and pronounced it too hard and he couldn't do it.


With my math complainer, I made him stand up, turn around three times and try that again. He giggled and did it, then actually looked at it, realized it was new, but something easily learned, and did it in about two minutes and sort of chuckled at himself. He's easy like that and little tricks often are enough to reset his attitude.


With my spelling complainer, we butted heads about it for the better part of an hour. Tears, tears, whine, hyperventilate, more tears. At one point I was practically shouting, "I don't care if you can't do it, but I do care that you wouldn't spend five consecutively calm minutes trying!" When he finally calmed down, it really did take him just ten minutes or so. Ugh. He's my anxious child, so this is an ongoing struggle. It's not usually anywhere near that bad, but it is an issue. To call it an "attitude" issue, I think underestimates the problem. Anxiety (or perfectionism or a whole host of other things) is more than just a whiny disposition, so just punishing it won't help, for example. But it is something that has to be addressed and it's obviously not that the work is too hard or too easy. That answer would be too easy.

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