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How to let go


mhaddon
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By the end of the school day I'm stressed out, the house is a disaster, I'm too tired to even correct the kids, and maybe we accomplished one thing :( I am a homeschool failure. We are moving in a week and so we aren't starting when I had planned. I have everything purchased and thought I'd get out the books and get a head start on some just casually and that ended in arguments my son telling me he wasn't doing school. I am ready to go Monday morning and enroll him in school because I just can't take it anymore. I can't let go, I've prayed, I've not done school for weeks at time for breaks, I've made him do it until it resulted in tears, I've had my husband try (but he works 7 days a week 12 hour shifts so not feasible), and I've taken everything away. Do you think for some kids they just need to go to school to see what it really is like?

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Hugs! Do you feel that your son just isn't motivated or do you think the work is too hard? If he needs motivation maybe try a reward system? Make a chart, and put a sticker for everyday he completes his work. After completes a certain number of days, reward him. Maybe an ice cream party, pizza party, chuck e. cheese, etc. Something he likes. Younger kids need to be gratified more often than older kids, or they lose interest. So maybe start out setting your goal to 10. When he completes that, set another goal. Maybe increase the amount of days required to earn his reward as the year passes.

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I did a sticker reward system for a big prize it was a bomb. I did smaller treasure chest like rewards and it didn't help. It was just me threatening him and then him crying when he didn't get it.

 

Yes, my oldest (he's actually 7 now). My going into K has caught up to him and he's so excited to do school work after school work. We just found out he needs vision therapy (tracking) but it is on every school subject. Even the ones he wants to do. He will do anything to get out of school work. The only thing he will do is go on nature walks. And I'm not a great enough mom to put together a whole lesson like that. And being outside or seeing outside makes him beg to go outside and play more.

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What else is going on while you're trying to do school work with him? Maybe there's too much with the other kids?

 

Or maybe he's feeling your stress about school and it makes him stressed. Is he afraid of failure? Does he just need to be moving around more? My ds and I do things like jumping jacks while working on spelling words.

 

I will say that my ds initially went to public school for kindy. I was not planning on HSing at all but I was not happy with his school so we pulled him out. We pulled him out at xmas break and since he was used to being in that school schedule I think it was easier to keep him on it.

 

I've also learned with him that we have to start by 9 a.m. at the very latest and ideally we need to start by 8 a.m. If we start after 10 a.m. then the day is a complete loss.

 

He's also not allowed any screen time until after school is done - I noticed that watching TV or playing his DSi before school made him not as focused when doing school work.

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When kids, especially young kids, are grumpy about "doing school" it usually indicates that something is not right for them at that time, something they are not ready for, and they don't really know how to articulate that. The fact that you are aware of his vision issues is likely a big cause. A lot of people in the special needs forum talk about vision therapy a lot and may be able to help you with ideas to make school work more effective for kids with vision issues.

 

Also some kids aren't ready for typical 1st grade work until 7 regardless of birthday. At that age I would try to make things as much hands on and gentle as possible. Learning to read should be a high priority, some math, and art. Lots of read alouds and science and history/social studies ought to be a part of regular life---nature study time outdoor, exploring rabbit trails in the neighborhood, hearing stories etc.

 

Also the upcoming move can be causing some stress and worry so it may help to relieve any fears he may have about that. Taking the time to put away any book style learning and establishing routines will go far for home peace. Making sure that any TV/computer use is limited and closely monitored might help. Taking the time to find and set up a workable system to organize toys/homeschool stuff and household chores is a big help.

 

I have problems with my oldest from time to time and usually it comes about when regular routines and schedules have been disrupted. Or when I slip and get too permissive and slack off keeping him accountable to his few chores and responsibilities. Usually I slack around high stress times and then if I don't correct it right then it's a bigger hole to climb out of. Not all kids respond to reward/incentive charts---mine thinks they're ridiculous. But it does help him to have a visual chart reminder of what is expected from him each day. Also whatever it was that you had to yell or threaten to the point of tears to do---just drop it. Find another program or something. If it's that horrible---you have to find a different way of accomplishing the same goal.

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Honey, I read your opening comments, looked at your sig, and was flabbergasted that you expected to feel ANY OTHER WAY after wrangling that many kids going in different directions at once. I know how active my 3.5 yo is, and I don't have 4 of him! I can't even imagine! :grouphug:

 

Then I looked at your sig and at what you're trying to do with your 6 yo. I hate to ask, but do you think of him as a prodigy or something? :D I'm mean seriously, that's one mind-bogglingly hard list of academics for a 6yo boy, sorry. I'm not meaning to be trite, and I know you've tried hard. I'm just saying PLEASE be realistic. That list is probably not developmentally appropriate for him. MFW Adventures?? This dc is just about 7? When does he turn 7? Makes him a rising 1st grader around here. Are all the things on your list labeled as appropriate for rising 1st graders? Even that doesn't address gender differences, etc. That's just a starting point.

 

My 12 yo did and enjoyed greatly the Kistler drawing lessons. So whatever of his you're doing can *probably* wait. That MFW Adventures is more appropriate to 3rd grade. Horizons 1, at least it says on grade level. However it's all on paper, right? Ugh, not a great fit for a wiggly boy sometimes. Math is THE HARDEST thing to fit, truly. It's like people try years, finally figure it out, then the sequence ends and they have to find something new for junior high, haha. IEW PAL, that one is new to me, wasn't around when mine was little. However I can tell you flat up my dd at that age was writing sentences a la what's in WTM. (This is a WTM board, so I assume that's ok to mention. :D ) But we're talking sentences. Oh, she did daily dictation, some copywork, and gave narrations. That's 1st. That is so limited it's like asking if we DID writing. Seriously.

 

1st grade is a total extension of K5. Don't ramp it up. Ramp it way DOWN. You mentioned something about reading being hard. I don't see something for reading in your sig for him. Am I looking at the wrong dc? Reading and math are all that matters. Everything else can be read alouds, audiobooks, science dvds, history channel, ANYTHING, seriously. Focus your time on that reading and math. Let 1st grade be an extension of K5. Nail the basics and put aside for another 2 years anything that is labeled for anything beyond *1st*.

 

It may be you considered him rising 2nd? Sigh, nothing like a grade correction. Now or in a few years. Sorry, I must be in a blunt mood. But you know, regain your peace, and that's how you get it, by focusing on the basics and not trying too hard. We've all been there, and we can tell you that a lot of stuff you are trying hard on will happen easy peasy if you wait 6 months.

 

As far as him not cooperating, there's two sides of the coin. One, if your expectations are unrealistic (or he's bucking because of unrealized problems either due to say vision problems or attention problems or lack of necessary instruction for him in a problem subject), then it's no wonder he's bucking. Side two is kids are mortal and willful and occasionally goatish. If it's an *occasional* thing where he's goatish, then lay down the law. The law is you wake up to work. If you don't want to work, go back to your room and let your father find you there. In his case, might be a long day of hunger while he waits. ;) But if this bucking is every. single. day. then there's something in the dynamic you haven't caught yet. At this age kids are SO WILLING TO PLEASE, that *in general* it should go well. And when it's not, you have to back up and ask where that kink is. Could be a number of kinks. Could be you got a little overzealous. Could be you picked materials to fit his IQ or that he actually has a vision problem or attention issue or something you're not catching onto that is making his sessions not work. That takes a sleuthing to sort through.

 

So go back to basics:

-Are your expectations appropriate for the age?

-Are you seeing a differential between his IQ and physical readiness and trying to compensate?

-Is he showing symptoms of attention or sensory that are being exaccerbated by the environment? (distracting, other kids around, whatever)

-Is he showing symptoms of vision problems?

-Why is the reading not going well? (This would be my NUMBER ONE concern. Bet if you solve this all the rest falls into place.)

-Is there anything in your day with him that DOES go well or that you could harness? Is there someone who works with him that does get a good response? What is going on in that dynamic? Is there something you could replicate?

 

You don't have to throw in the towel, mercy. Just gotta sleuth and figure out what the problem is (or what the problemS are). No one in school would care to sort it out. It's really up to you if you want it done.

 

PS. I've had one of each kind now, a kid who hated school no matter what I did (who did get evals and did turn out to have some problems with vision, etc.), and a kid who wakes up every morning and wants school even before breakfast. So I'm speaking from where I've been. :)

Edited by OhElizabeth
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How is he the rest of the time?

 

My experience of sending a kid like you describe to school and thinking school would end the power struggles backfired. Instead, the experience shaped the rest of his life in a negative way. He is now 22 and not anywhere near the potential he demonstrated as a child.

 

You could.......

Do books on CD, find documentaries, use math games disguised as gaming, and make sure he gets plenty of time outside. Get him to talk to about what he sees, hears, and thinks. From this he's going to wonder about something, wonder how it works etc. Let him find his answers and communicate them to the family through writing drawing story, any means necessary.

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Put it on hold.

 

 

Read good books and snuggle on the couch for a while. Go outside and look carefully at nature. Turn off the tv and get out puzzles and games. Enjoy them for a bit. 4 kids under 7 is stressful.:grouphug::grouphug:

 

:grouphug: :iagree: :iagree: :iagree: :grouphug:

 

I had four under seven a year ago and it was ROUGH! Now that the baby is nearly three (DEC) things are getting easier. I can sympathize with your situation, having Dh work shifts must make it increasingly difficult for you. My husband is deployed (7 months down, 17 to go) so I understand what it is like to be pretty much alone with four little ones.

 

I have definitely had those days too.

 

Have you had any positive days you can reflect back on? When is it a good day?

 

I was trying to do way too much. Explore books on home management and routines, those helped me tremendously. PM if you want specific titles.

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Drop any sort of organized lessons for at LEAST the youngest two. Maybe the youngest 3. Eliminate some of the oldest's lessons.

 

They are so young. Relax and enjoy them, you have plenty of time to sort it out, and it sounds like you all need a breather.

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Yes, my oldest (he's actually 7 now). My going into K has caught up to him and he's so excited to do school work after school work. We just found out he needs vision therapy (tracking) but it is on every school subject. Even the ones he wants to do. He will do anything to get out of school work. The only thing he will do is go on nature walks. And I'm not a great enough mom to put together a whole lesson like that. And being outside or seeing outside makes him beg to go outside and play more.

 

BTDT! Except my oldest is a girl. She had *years* of vision therapy -- ages 3-7. And then a surgery. And then more therapy. That help tremendously. But the attitude and damage I'd caused toward "schoolwork" had been done.

And there was my next child -- eager, taught herself to read, excelled at spelling, math, Latin, etc.

Plus a horde, I mean houseful, I littler ones...

Yes, I have been there.

 

My oldest is now 17. She has graduated homeschool highschool. She survived! I survived! She has spent the entire summer as a volunteer intern at a nature center in Iowa. She will be starting a horticulture certificate program at the community college this fall. She still has vision issues (may never drive). She still can't spell. She never completed an year of Latin (but started at least 3 programs!). She still wants to be outside!

 

In retrospect I wish I had followed this progression with her:

Five in a Row for K-3

KONOS for 4-8

Tapestry of Grace for 9-12

 

But I didn't -- we did a few years of FIAR, a few years of KONOS, and a few with TOG. With lots of suffering and struggling in between. Even with those three there was suffering and struggling. Actually, I wish I had truly unschooled her, however, I need a plan to follow & those programs, at those levels, worked for instead of against her.

 

Going to school would have crushed her. I nearly crushed her. She didn't need to "see what it was like" at 7. She is 17 and "seeing what it is like" -- daily she is working a hard physical labor job, riding a horse, helping to illustrate a book, eating as naturally as possible...and she has been doing it for 2 months. That is what it should be like for her -- not a windowless class room full of things she hates because she isn't good at them. She is good at art, she is good at being outside. That is who she is and who she was born to be.

 

Okay, I've rambled enough. Please don't judge your child by his age, by the children you read about on this board who excel at "Classical Education" (I have those children too!), by his lack of desire to conform to the American ideal of a student, etc. Love him for who is, build up his strengths, shore up his weaknesses -- and take him outside, read aloud, let him play with his siblings!

 

:grouphug: I have truly been there. I am in many ways still there -- with dd17 (who is not yet a self-supporting adult) and now ds10. You will cry, it will be hard! But the multitude of btdt wisdom from moms in this thread is truly wise and I hope you will let go!

:grouphug::grouphug:

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My first question is the same as Wild Iris's. What is his behavior like outside of your asking him to do schoolwork? Is he oppositional and defianant about other issues as well or only in terms of being asked to do academic activities?

 

The answer to those questions would cause me to give different suggestions.

 

:grouphug: Parenting can be incredibly difficult. I have a child (now an adult) with incredibly difficult behaviors. I never anticipated just how hard being his parent would actually be.

 

Are you able to get someone to sit the kids for a couple of hrs? I think going for a walk and being away from them while trying to objectively assess root causes/behaviors might help you think through whether or not academics is the cause of the conflict or if the conflict exists elsewhere.

 

If the only source of conflict is school, I would be happy to share our experiences that have lead to long-term academic success. If the conflict is incorporated into other situations/behaviors, I can also share how sending them to school may actually explode into worse behaviors being incorporated.

 

Addressing the root cause of the behaviors, whatever that is, is where your energy needs to be focused.

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I've got kids around your kids' ages. If I was getting resistance like this, I'd drop everything for everyone. We'd enjoy each other for a set amount of time. Then, I'd add in mandatory read alouds. The older two (or whatever) MUST listen to the story. After that is going smoothly, add in something else that you think he likes. Keep adding pieces in until you find the piece (or amount of pieces) that he struggles with. You might consider listening to SWB's Homeschooling the Real Child.

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Yes, my oldest (he's actually 7 now). My going into K has caught up to him and he's so excited to do school work after school work. We just found out he needs vision therapy (tracking) but it is on every school subject. Even the ones he wants to do. He will do anything to get out of school work. The only thing he will do is go on nature walks. And I'm not a great enough mom to put together a whole lesson like that. And being outside or seeing outside makes him beg to go outside and play more.

 

And no the work isn't too hard or too easy. Reading is hard for him, but it is everything. Even stuff we've done before.

 

First of all, :grouphug:. Sorry you are feeling so stressed out. My oldest son also has a lot of challenges. He salways struggled with reading, writing and spelling- come to find out his eyes were over-converging so he could not get a good visual picture of the letters. He is also a strong VSl and dyslexic. It really carries over into ALL subject matters. He just got it in his mind that school was too hard for him. Even subjects he loved he lost interest in and rebelled against. I had to back way off, and change MY ideas about what he should be doing. I dropped writing last year, started a remedial spelling program that is very simple, to give him confidence. For grammar and Latin, we kept it short and sweet with me reading to him, and he would narrate back to me. For math, we did one page a day- he could not handle any more. I also read to him for hours a day- history and science, and we incorporated a lot of Netflix and history channel movies into the mix. We worked mainly on getting information into his brain, and building up his confidence and love of learning.

Do you know why he is resisting so much? What is his learning style? IMHo, 7 is too young to say it is not working. If you are committed to homeschooling him, you may have to reassess how you teach him, and the materials you are using. If you think it is an attitude/discipline thing, maybe take a few weeks off from school to nip that in the bud. I hope you are able to find peace with whatever you decide. :grouphug:

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As a mom of teenagers that has been there and done that, I say slow down.

 

It will do your children no harm to take off a month or more while you move. The move can be school! You will have a new house to set up, a new community to learn about, new friends to meet, a new library to explore, ect. Spend your time doing that!

 

Then give your ds those hours outside that he craves. Take your other children outside with you. No lesson needed. Dig in the mud, talk about the leaves falling, look up plant names afterwards--if he is interested. Look for bugs.

 

Have a morning routine that involves reading and some hands-on math such as matching socks, counting silverware, sorting books,ect. Play games together. Get the family dynamic back on a positive note. Then head outside. Come back in for lunch time. Get littles in their room and have some snuggly time with your two oldest. Perhaps have a basket with school work and let him decide what he wants to do from the basket. No pressure, no punshment, no pressure. Let him see that he can be in charge of learning and that it can be fun.

 

This won't last forever. You will get past it. I can't see any positives that can come from sending him to school as a punishment. What if he loves school? Will you be willing to let him stay? Or will you bring him back home to continue this same dynamic? What if he goes and is labeled as "dumb" or learning disabled? What will that accomplish for your home schooling journey?

 

If you and your husband decide that school is best for him, then by all means send him to school. But I wouldn't do that with the idea that it will teach him a lesson.

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I agree with taking a break!!! Read great chapter books aloud, let him read books to you and the little ones. If math is a struggle, you may need to try a different program/approach. It's the stress of moving, why not do math just 3 days a week or something? What about something fun on the computer, like Dreambox Math? Relaxed language arts are great too. You could get away with JUST FLL, it includes enough writing for his age, especially for a reluctant writer. SWB also has an excellent lecture on homeschooling the REAL child. Put a LOT in perspective for me, especially with a boy who is wiggly, a reluctant writer, and needn't be on the move (and undisgnosed ADHD.)

 

SWB's lecture

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:grouphug: :iagree: :iagree: :iagree: :grouphug:

 

I had four under seven a year ago and it was ROUGH! Now that the baby is nearly three (DEC) things are getting easier. I can sympathize with your situation, having Dh work shifts must make it increasingly difficult for you. My husband is deployed (7 months down, 17 to go) so I understand what it is like to be pretty much alone with four little ones.

 

I have definitely had those days too.

 

Have you had any positive days you can reflect back on? When is it a good day?

 

I was trying to do way too much. Explore books on home management and routines, those helped me tremendously. PM if you want specific titles.

 

I would love suggestions, but go ahead post them so maybe they can help someone else :)

 

Ok so he should be going into 2nd, but if we put him in school he would only be in first. I know the other kids are a distraction, but I'm not sure what to do with them. I give them all an assignment or task and he uses them as an excuse even if they are all working quietly. I think it's a learned cop out (which is legitimate at times).

 

I was planning on MFW adventures because he was supposed to be going into 2nd grade and that hasn't happened. I know he loves audio books and we do tons of them. We don't even listen to the radio in the truck anymore. I tried playing classical music in the background and he has an ipod to put ear buds in as well for school if he feels the need. He isn't expected to sit in a chair, except for handwriting. I try to make things fun and he bucks.

 

IEW PAL is what my kindergarten son is starting with. It is for k-2 and is a gental yet through program. We just recently switch to horizons after trying math mammoth, MUS, RS A (we finished all of A in k), and Saxon. I bought him a flash master for help and he won't touch it while my 5 year old plays with it non stop. He has already worn the batteries out, lol.

 

I have stacks of Bob books and similar phonic readers I have picked up that he is free to explore and he won't touch them. I have AAS because of the tiles and he wouldn't try it. I have ipod apps that he won't touch. He has a reading eggs subscription and cries because his younger brother is further than he is.

 

All he wants to do is explore outside or take things apart. I let him do this a lot, but at some point he has to do math and learn to read. I can't just let him go, maybe some can, but I would be persecuted in my family. I'm already getting a ton of grief because he isn't on grade yet.

 

We haven't been doing school for a month and half, I just pulled out some things to try and because my 5 year old keeps begging to start.

 

He is a social sue and wiggly willy and very auditory. I'd say his visual learning at this point is almost nil.

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My kids are the exact ages as yours, even the same genders. And we, just finished our move a week ago. Take it from me, now is not the time to be worried about school. There is too much stress, too much else to do. Send your kids outside to play. Give them books to read and look at. If they beg for it give them a worksheet from those books at Sams or Walmart. Or better just let them color. And let that be your schedule for at least a couple weeks after you move. Believe it or not, moving is very stressful to your kids as well. They need to have a bit of stability and routine. I am just now buying stuff, but I'm not planning to start for a few weeks yet. Just let go of starting now. Don't even look at it. Put it in a box and forget about it until you are settled in.

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We just recently switch to horizons after trying math mammoth, MUS, RS A (we finished all of A in k), and Saxon. I bought him a flash master for help and he won't touch it while my 5 year old plays with it non stop. He has already worn the batteries out, lol.

 

May I ask why you switched from RightStart if you were successful with Level A?

 

Where is he at in his reading? What have you used so far and was it successful? Can he read board books to your youngest? Can he read along with you while you read picture books?

 

Do you teach your two oldest together? How successful is that? Are they at the same level in reading, writing, or math?

 

I had 5 kids in 8.5 years. Those early years were tough!!

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If your ds6 who is about to be 7 would be in 1st in school, but you are planning to begin 2nd, then why would he not be on grade. Even if you did another year of 1st, he is still on grade. Don't let outside pressures affect the decisions you make for your family. Smile and ask about the bean dip.

 

It sounds like your two oldest are similar to my older brother and me. He had dyslexia and was all about taking things apart, playing outside, and getting out of school. I was more advanced and we ended up in the same grade. He needed more time to mature, to learn to read, and to learn to hold still. It drove my dad nuts that my brother wasn't as good in school as he wanted him to be, but that pressure just made it worse.

 

From another of your postings you said ds6 has vision problems. That is going to affect reading and other visual forms of learning.

 

My oldest ds is turning 7 soon and will be doing 2nd grade work. He has the same focus problems. He gets easily distracted by the others. My mother in law told me about whisper phone. Might look into that. One thing I started doing the last few months of this past school year was to do something with everyone together first. The younger kids get excited, have their fun, and then leave to play. Oldest is already in "doing"mode and we just switch over to his stuff. Sometimes we would postpone some things until nap time. That worked well some days because chaos reigns in households with little kids.

 

Anyway, I still say forget about school until you are settled into your new place. Figure out your child's vision problems and how to address that. Ease in with what does work, and then add in what you can (but be aware of your child's learning type and abilities and don't let anyone guilt you into doing what isn't best for him). And don't compare your children to each other. They are different, rejoice in each one of their strengths while helping each other in weaknesses.

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It sounds like your two oldest are similar to my older brother and me. He had dyslexia and was all about taking things apart, playing outside, and getting out of school. I was more advanced and we ended up in the same grade. He needed more time to mature, to learn to read, and to learn to hold still. It drove my dad nuts that my brother wasn't as good in school as he wanted him to be, but that pressure just made it worse.

 

From another of your postings you said ds6 has vision problems. That is going to affect reading and other visual forms of learning.

 

 

:iagree::iagree:Once you get moved and settled, have you thought about having him tested for dyslexia? If he has had 2 solid years of phonics instruction and is still not progressing, it is time to think about testing. And don't underestimate how much of a factor the tracking problem can be. This doesn't sound so much to me like a discipline/attitude issue as much as a difficulty with learning issue. :grouphug:

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FWIW, don't forget that moving is very stressful psychologically. Obviously since you've had problems homeschooling this child all along, the move isn't the root problem.

 

However, my dd, who is usually pretty happy and compliant turned into a monster for a week before our last move. Add the preservatives in the take out and freezer food and the dusty boxes that gave her rashes, and it was a terrible time for her. She became belligerent, hyped up, and emotional.

 

A day after the move, she just settled right back to her old self.

 

So this would SO NOT be a good time to do anything major. In fact, I think you all need a break while you unpack, settle in, and ruminate over your homeschooling options.

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:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

 

Honey, you have four young children. I say let it go. Get ready to move. When you are in your new home, unpack. Take some field trips to get to know your new community. When you're ready (and the dc are ready) to do Official School Stuff, keep it simple--phonics/reading, some arithmetic--only some--smatterings of history and science. And let your ds explore the outside and take things apart. Put the Bob books and others out and let him read them...or not. Read aloud from good books if your dc will let you.

 

Your dc are way too young for you to feel like such a failure that you want to put any of them in school. I promise they will learn to read and write and cipher. :-)

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Have you considered a learning disability? Just some of the behaviours and things you've mentioned are quite similar to those I've seen from kids who do have learning disabilities.

 

Moving is stressful, and just taking a break until you settle in sounds like a great idea. But it sounds to me like you have been struggling with this child for longer than just this stressful period.

 

As much as I love and support homeschooling, I do believe some children benefit from going to school, sometimes for a few months or years, others the whole period. I have seen homeschooling families with one child at school who managed well. Those children are usually middle and high schoolers, but the same can apply for an elementary schooler, especially if you suspect there is a learning disability. I know there's a lot of horror stories around here from people who's children with learning issues were left behind, but some schools do actually handle learning issues very well. If you want some help and direction, give you both a break, see if the school can identify any issues, etc, maybe it would be worth considering sending him. You can always take him out again (my brother was taken out at the end of 2nd grade) and it will give you some time to work with the younger ones and get some confidence.

 

It's not failing, it's using all of the resources available to you to do the very best you can for each individual child.

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Then give your ds those hours outside that he craves. Take your other children outside with you. No lesson needed. Dig in the mud, talk about the leaves falling, look up plant names afterwards--if he is interested. Look for bugs.

 

 

:iagree:If he's craving those outdoor hours, it's b/c that's where he is stimulated...aka learning.;) Let him "feast" on those lessons. Let go of the idea of school you had in mind and adjust for this one.

 

 

You can even take narrations from these experiences. Have him tell you about the most interesting thing he saw, etc...write it down for him. Have him read it (or just tell it if reading is too hard) to Daddy after dinner. (ds need not know that the narration part is actually school.)

 

 

 

 

 

... and cries because his younger brother is further than he is.

 

 

 

This is a CORE issue to work through!!! I have experienced this with my oldest 2 dc. My oldest has some vision/dyslexia issues and my middle dc taught herself to read (eaves dropped on ds's lessons), copies passages out of her favorite books into her journal for FUN:001_huh:, and is an all-around workbook loving kind of academic kid.

 

When ds9 could not read Henry and Mudge and his little sister began reading Little House aloud (for pleasure) and with adult-like expression, he was extremely upset. After all, part of the reason that I HS him is to protect him from those kinds of comparisons.

I had to literally bribe my ds into *trying* with the reading primer. (Dancing Bears materials are very good for kids with vision issues, ime.) He got a small piece of candy for every line he attempted, whether that attempt was successful or not. I took him into a private room for these lessons and closed the door.

 

Find something (reading) for your ds that is just his, avoiding all opportunity for comparisons.

 

 

I'm already getting a ton of grief because he isn't on grade yet.

 

 

You are his mom. You have to make decisions based on his life-long benefit, not on what family and friends think.

 

 

 

I would absolutely not let grade level determine anything...

 

Give him 15min lessons. Require that he follow directions and be respectful for those 15 minutes, but start the year with things that you are 99% positive he can do for 15 minutes. 15min of learning-to-read, 15min of handwriting, 15min of math. The rest of his school can (maybe should) be things that engage his interests. Go on those nature walks, check out library books, go to museums, TALK TALK TALK with him about all these things.

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:iagree: with all of the suggestions to take a break until you finish moving. Moving is stressful for adults! :grouphug: I also love the idea to take the entire family outside.

 

About your son's learning issues: could he be a visual spatial learner? A visual spatial learner with a tracking problem would be extremely frustrated.

 

This is a great post written by a member LittleIzumi:

http://dancing-with-dragons.blogspot.com/2012/07/teaching-visual-spatial-learner-when.html

 

And another member Doodler recommended this site - it has lots of good stuff!

http://www.therightsideofnormal.com/

 

 

I am not the person who originally suggested the home management books, but I wanted to share that Flylady really helped me in that area. Maybe it will help you, too?

http://www.flylady.net

She also has moving tips, fwiw.

 

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

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:iagree::iagree:Once you get moved and settled, have you thought about having him tested for dyslexia? If he has had 2 solid years of phonics instruction and is still not progressing, it is time to think about testing. And don't underestimate how much of a factor the tracking problem can be. This doesn't sound so much to me like a discipline/attitude issue as much as a difficulty with learning issue. :grouphug:

 

:iagree: Many of the things you've posted about him are signs of dyslexia.

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About the not picking up Bob books and such... Bob books are B-O-R-I-N-G, plus if reading is hard work, he's not going to want to do it. Set aside 10-15 minutes a day to work on "reading", and then have plenty of interesting picture books available, even if he can't read the words. Also, do a LOT of reading aloud to him, pointing at the words as you go.

 

My middle son is VSL and possibly mildly dyslexic. Reading is hard for him. He is not going to pick up a Bob book to read on his own. I can't see him ever doing that. He hates them. :tongue_smilie: Now he LOVES I See Sam readers, so if you haven't seen those, they are excellent. The pictures are much cuter, and they're funny stories. The first 52 are free online. You just have to print them.

 

We use Dancing Bears for reading instruction, and we're currently spending 10 minutes a day. I am seeing a lot of improvement, though it's still difficult for him. Using the cursor helps a LOT. This is the only "reading instruction" we do each day, because he tires easily from it. I read aloud to him much longer. We're doing Sonlight P4/5, and then we also do library books (his favorites are Scaredy Squirrel and the Mo Willems series - Piggie and Elephant, the Pigeon, etc.).

 

As far as the house being a disaster goes... It has helped us to get the house in order BEFORE starting school for the year, and then to daily do some housework right after breakfast, before we start our schoolwork that day. The kids all chip in to put away laundry, pick up any toys, etc. At the very least, we put away a load of laundry, and that keeps me on top of the laundry situation (and THEY get to put away kid clothes, which I hate doing :lol:).

 

I agree with others that you probably need to back down on the academics. Do a small amount of math, reading, and handwriting each day, and spend the rest of your "school time" reading aloud.

 

One of your posts mentioned assigning something and him making excuses. Are you sitting WITH HIM during an entire assignment? You're really going to have to, I think. He doesn't sound at all ready to walk off or to even walk across the room. Schedule a nap time in the afternoon for the 2 year old and "quiet time" for the 4 year olds (if they no longer take naps), and try to do some work then. Make quiet time be 2 hours, work with your son the first hour, then give him some audio books for HIS quiet time, and you have an hour to yourself. :D Don't even clean during quiet time. Relax and recharge.

 

Little kids zap our energy. It DOES get better. I don't know that sending your son to school would help or not. When my son was in school, first we had to get everyone ready and out the door to drop him off and pick him up. Stress #1. Then nap times got off kilter because he was supposed to be picked up at 2:20. Stress #2. Then he got home and was worn out but still had homework to do. Stress #3. Also, the tiredness made him fight more with his brothers. Stress #4. And all this happened during the "witching hour" of making dinner while little ones are soooooo hungry... Stress #5, 6, and 7 - because it was that bad. :lol: Oh, and my little ones were worse without big brother to help with them during the day. :tongue_smilie:

 

Hope some of that helps. If nothing else, :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

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:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

 

Honey, you have four young children. I say let it go. Get ready to move. When you are in your new home, unpack. Take some field trips to get to know your new community. When you're ready (and the dc are ready) to do Official School Stuff, keep it simple--phonics/reading, some arithmetic--only some--smatterings of history and science. And let your ds explore the outside and take things apart. Put the Bob books and others out and let him read them...or not. Read aloud from good books if your dc will let you.

 

Your dc are way too young for you to feel like such a failure that you want to put any of them in school. I promise they will learn to read and write and cipher. :-)

 

This is wise advice for a family who is moving with 4 very young dc. The thought of moving at this point in my life would make me cry (and we've moved around A LOT). A 7yo doesn't need more than the 3Rs anyway. We add in the other stuff for fun and exposure.

 

About the reading...My oldest hated Bob Books and any other basal readers. With books like that to read, he just wasn't motivated to learn. Instead, I used SWR to teach him to read which doesn't require readers. The first book he read was Green Eggs and Ham. He's been a book worm ever since. Another key for him was a steady diet of quality read alouds. It was important for him to see what was possible in the future and how stimulating books can be. My 2nd was a super early reader, but will still read Bob Books in between Geranimo Stilton and Flat Stanley titles when he finds them lying around. Anything with words is good enough for him. It's more of a personality thing than anything else.

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I just saw this on Homeschool Buyers Co-op...

Math-Whizz online tutoring program

https://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/math-whizz/?source=HSBC-2012-08-06-FA&c=1

 

Looks like it uses a lot of visuals/animations to teach the math concepts.

 

If you have room in the $$ budget, this or something like it might give your eldest a fun way to work on math that doesn't require extra time from you. The Math Blaster computer games are also engaging...if you don't feel comfortable switching completely over to an unschooling approach, this could be a way for him to get math in w/o complaining.

 

Note: the hsbc discount expires on Aug 11th

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Thanks everyone. I am going to keep him at home and just lay off for a while as much as I can. We are in the process of trying to afford visual therapy and see if it helps. We also are talking about working on a wildlife garden that we will work on outside our sliding class door where we will do school. We are going to work on getting it set up this fall and ready to observe animals, birds, and insects. Hopefully the birds will stay around to watch this winter.

 

It's been a very hot summer in our area and they haven't been able to get outside as much. We live on a farm so they usually are outside more often so this is killing me as well with no private time. usually I can boot them out the door a few hours in the afternoon and they work on building/creating without the mommy helicopter ;)

 

He is defiant outside of school as well. he will interrupt and ask question after question. (like can I go swimming) until you cave or send him to his room. He can't accept no for an answer. he will even send the others in to ask for him. I'm also going to try diet and some other things to see if they help. We are not doing our homeschool group this year for many reason (it was stressing me out and not fitting our needs and was too much like being in mommy junior high). So I hope the stress of letting it go with help. I'm going to look into some volunteer hours and things to give back to the community to help burn off some energy. I'm also thinking about seeing if the local political offices need any help so that he can learn by doing.

 

Thanks for the fly lady tip. She is too much for me :oops: Just reading her posts wears me out :lol: I did download motivate moms for after we move in and plan on assigning tasks and areas. I just have to be careful because we have a lot of animals (dairy goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits, and pigs) they are already responsible for taking care of.

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We also are talking about working on a wildlife garden that we will work on outside our sliding class door where we will do school. We are going to work on getting it set up this fall and ready to observe animals, birds, and insects. Hopefully the birds will stay around to watch this winter.

 

I unschooled one of my kids (she's 7, too) until a couple of months ago and that is one of the things we did. We also started reading through the Magic Treehouse series with Fact Trackers last winter. We've read about 12 of them so far (and still reading through them actually). I also unschooled math. We would check out living math books from the library that were on her level and read them together. I would give her math problems to solve on the dry erase board. She really likes math and would sit in my lap on the back porch and ask for problems to solve in her head.

 

Not sure if that helps, but I just wanted to throw that out there. My daughter doesn't do very well with formal schoolwork (or even the classical education approach).

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Thanks for the fly lady tip. She is too much for me :oops: Just reading her posts wears me out :lol: I did download motivate moms for after we move in and plan on assigning tasks and areas. I just have to be careful because we have a lot of animals (dairy goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits, and pigs) they are already responsible for taking care of.

 

Melissa,

The idea of having 4 kids under 7 wears me out! :lol: :D And moving with any number of kids even more so! You are awesome! :)

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Thanks everyone. I am going to keep him at home and just lay off for a while as much as I can. We are in the process of trying to afford visual therapy and see if it helps. We also are talking about working on a wildlife garden that we will work on outside our sliding class door where we will do school. We are going to work on getting it set up this fall and ready to observe animals, birds, and insects. Hopefully the birds will stay around to watch this winter.

 

It's been a very hot summer in our area and they haven't been able to get outside as much. We live on a farm so they usually are outside more often so this is killing me as well with no private time. usually I can boot them out the door a few hours in the afternoon and they work on building/creating without the mommy helicopter ;)

 

He is defiant outside of school as well. he will interrupt and ask question after question. (like can I go swimming) until you cave or send him to his room. He can't accept no for an answer. he will even send the others in to ask for him. I'm also going to try diet and some other things to see if they help. We are not doing our homeschool group this year for many reason (it was stressing me out and not fitting our needs and was too much like being in mommy junior high). So I hope the stress of letting it go with help. I'm going to look into some volunteer hours and things to give back to the community to help burn off some energy. I'm also thinking about seeing if the local political offices need any help so that he can learn by doing.

 

Thanks for the fly lady tip. She is too much for me :oops: Just reading her posts wears me out :lol: I did download motivate moms for after we move in and plan on assigning tasks and areas. I just have to be careful because we have a lot of animals (dairy goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits, and pigs) they are already responsible for taking care of.

 

I'm the same way with Fly Lady. Motivated Moms was much better for me. I now use Home Routines on my iPad. It works really well helping me keep up with day-to-day stuff.

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I'm the same way with Fly Lady. Motivated Moms was much better for me. I now use Home Routines on my iPad. It works really well helping me keep up with day-to-day stuff.

 

I like to get ideas from Flylady, sometimes dabble in MM, and LOVE Home Routines.

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