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defiant, unwilling 11 year old


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Back story, my 11 year old has ADHD and has been homeschool his whole life except for 1st grade. He is at a 6th grade level now.  He hates to do school work.  He is brilliant yet frequently fails tests.  We refuses to do any sort of writing (ie papers), detests English.  When I sit him down with his work, he will pretend to do it and then stick his book back on the shelf. (just had to correct again right now).  We really want to keep him home and do not feel that public school is even an option.  Private school is too expensive, the cheapest one in our area is 400 a month.  That said, we WANT him to succeed.  He has the makings of someone who will go far in life.  But he has no desire or self motivation.

 

help?

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The lack of interest in school is less troubling than his defiance and disrespect toward you and your husband.

Is he difficult in other areas of life or is school the only trouble spot?

 

I would need more info, but my initial thoughts are to take a few steps back and evaluate his behaviour, demeanor, attitude etc.

I know you said that he is ADHD, but that isn't a pass on rude behaviour and at 11yo he is old enough to be controlling himself to some extent.

 

I might suggest that you back off of school for a bit while you guys get a grip on behaviour and respect (which is a 2 way street).

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We have been working on his behaviour for oh, 11 years...he is in an out of therapy and we are currently waiting to get into a therapist since we are new to the area we are in.  School is not the only area where he is defiant.  He balks at doing his chores, cleaning his room, playing with his siblings.  Pretty much if it is not a video game or interesting book he doesn't want to do it. He has a lousey attitude toward most everything

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Someone may have more helpful advice about dealing with difficult, lousy-attitudes and ADHD (possible side effect of meds, maybe?) on the Special Needs board, but I would say that something like a strict routine, physical exercise, and earning time with his favorite things would be something I'd try.

 

In other words, take away all video games and 'fun' stuff from him. Tell him that he doesn't deserve them and they aren't a right. If he can work on his attitude for 2 weeks straight, he will be allowed to have a regular time for video games in his schedule. Once he gets his video games time back in his schedule, give him a per diem of perhaps 1 hour and take time away from that allotment for every expression of excess negativity.

 

One thing that I have found very, very, very helpful with boys is enforced order and cleanliness.

However, set him up to experience reasonable success. If he isn't keeping his room clean--does he have too much stuff? Does he have more clothes than necessary? Go through his clothes and try to leave maybe 6 full outfits for him and a couple of extras (jacket, extra socks, rain coat, whatever is truly reasonable) and store/donate/sell/trash any excess possessions he has. Get his toys and books under control and down to a reasonable amount that he can actually manage to keep neat and clean each day. Make sure he can feasibly store his playsets and legos. Buy him an alarm clock and a watch.

 

Pare his school work down to what is truly required and maybe try different schedules while you guys are looking for a more permanent solution. He is 11yos so he is old enough to be in on this discussion. Talk to him about what he wants to do. I think that backing off of academic book learning for one semester, while you get a tighter grip on behavior and attitude might really be helpful. Don't let him drop all school, but aye scale back to math, vocabulary and spelling and some quiet reading time everyday. Discuss what he's read/reading. You can assign reading for subjects and just concentrate on behavior and finding the right therapist for your son but also talk with him. A lot. Find some opportunity for him to volunteer in the community once a week. Get a couple of outdoor toys and schedule in some physical recess during the day and maybe some little league also.

 

Praise him for every little thing that he does right, but don't go back on whatever you said he had to do. If he has to display good behavior for 2 weeks straight, hold him to it. But praise and point out all the good things that he's doing as well as comment on where he needs improvement. Talk a lot about school, education, work ethic, job choices, careers, etc. Find out where his head is at and see what he is thinking. Sometimes kids need more autonomy in their education in order to feel motivated or involved.

 

Good luck, hopefully someone can come along and just lay wisdom and perspective down for all of us to benefit from.

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There have been quite a few threads lately about this age group. You may want to search for some of them.

 

Kids this age are something else. lol They often don't have enough sense to come in out of the rain and lacking the life experience to see how what they are doing now may limit their options later they are resistant to listening to advice or direction from others. hehe <snort> You've gotta laugh at this behavior or it will make you cry.

 

I don't know. I guess first he needs an explanation of how his behavior will ultimately hurt him. I had a friend who took everything out of her son's room when he was that age. She only left the bed, bedding, and clothes. She even took the door. She and her husband boxed up everything and put it in the basement. They explained that they only had to provide him with food, clothing, and shelter. He had to earn the right to have everything except basic necessities. Bwahaha I guess that was a dose of reality.

 

I don't have a basement and my dh would never agree to such a thing, but it worked for them. :D

Mandy

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How much time are you actually spending teaching him?  My 11 year old thrives on me sitting down and doing math games and puzzles with her.  We do the math problems from books on the board (or window!) with write-erase markers.  She likes this http://simplycharlottemason.com/store/your-business-math/  which allows her to role play running a sports store while doing a lot of "real life" math.  We do science together.  She may do some reading on her own (interesting books) but the experiments are done together.  We do English together by reading the books and then doing literature studies and projects on the books.  What she hates is when she has to read something and then do a worksheet by herself.  

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Math, I do not teach.  He uses Teaching text books.  But both him and his sister sit at the table doing school work, with me helping one or the other from 9-1, with breaks as needed.

I know that this is the norm for many families.  But this approach was killing my (now) 11 year old.  She was crying every single day about school and was shutting down and becoming defiant.  I started out treating it as a discipline problem.  Then I realized that it wasn't really.  She needed the interaction and the hands-on.  She too has some attention/learning problems.  I realized that if she were in school, I would want a classroom where she could be involved, active and engaged.  My initial method was not giving that to her.  I changed my method and my defiant child melted away once she got over being suspicious that I would yank this way of learning away from her.  I don't think I spoiled her by teaching her in a way that she could learn (she still has plenty of boundaries!).  This may or may not apply to your child but I'm just sharing what the situation was for me.  The book that applied and helped me the most with my child was "Strong Willed Child or Dreamer"  http://www.amazon.com/Strong-Willed-Child-Dreamer-Dana-Spears/dp/0785277005

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But I also have a 6 year old and 2 year old, I cannot just sit and solely teach him.

Many people teach kids hands on things in a group.  If you can't teach him in a way that he needs, then you might need to put him into a school where he will get that.  At least that was the decision that I came to with my own child.  I know that I'm coming on a bit strong here, but I can't think that a child who is compliant and helpful in all other parts of family life but has reacts this way to school, is the problem.  The problem in that scenario is most likely the school (and its method) itself.  

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I would sit with him while he does his work and redirect him when he goes off task.  I would tell him no lunch, screens, playtime, whatever, until his work is done to your satisfaction.  And then follow through.  I know you said that you have other children, but perhaps you could structure his work so that he can complete it in the amount of time you have.

 

Also, you say he is brilliant.  Are you sure the work you are requiring of him is difficult enough?  Work that is too easy can be difficult to concentrate on, can cause careless errors, and, at least in my house, can cause meltdowns and belligerence.

 

That said, is his ADHD being treated with medication?  If not, that can make a *huge* difference.  If so, perhaps a medication adjustment is in order.

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Hi OP!  I missed if you said this already, but is he on any meds for the ADHD?  Or suppplements (like Omega3's)?  11yo is a time of growth spurts and physical changes and hormone surges - he may need a different med or combination.  Or if not, would you be open to discussing something like that with his doctor to help him get thru the rough time?  Depression is something that needs to be looked at especially for ADHD kids at this age when the step-up expected in school work means things aren't easy all the time and depression can look like anger and rebellion.

 

Also, is he getting lots and lots of physical activity each day?  Some kids find that heavy physical activity early in the morning helps with concentration on schoolwork.  It definitely helps this age group with improved attitude!

 

Hugs!

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You've received a lot of spot-on advice here.  I'd like to add things, but really I'd want more information before I could comment.  Did you actually sit down and right *goals* for this year?  I'm not talking about what curriculum you want to cover, but what spiritual, emotional, executive function, etc. growth you'd like to see?  Two, has he had a full psych eval or only a ped diagnosis?  Three, is he on meds?  Four, can you disclose fully what his curriculum is?  And five, is he a solid 6th grader or a bright kid with a summer birthday?  

 

All those things would shape my answer.  Everyone makes choices about how they want to approach this.  It sounds like you've set up some tough parameters to work under (traditional work, at or near the top of ability level, little oversight, distraction of siblings in the room, etc. etc.).  So that makes me ask if you've decided meds or not.  People who decide not meds usually are going to have to open their minds to some more ways to approach things.  But if that's not what you want, that's not what you want.  

 

I get the 10 year gap thing.  I tried it for several years staying together, and I finally decided I had to keep them on separate floors.  At some point something has to give.  You can get your peace, but it requires changes.

 

As far as the video games and behavior, I have no idea why you're allowing them if his work isn't done.  You have some structure issues there.  But there's SO much you can do with how YOU structure things and what YOU require and how YOU work with him that will SET HIM UP FOR SUCCESS.   The goal is not to discipline him for failure; the goal is to structure things and tomato stake him enough that you get success.

 

Yes, 11 is a tough age.  I asked if you got a full eval, because then you'll have his processing speed, working memory, etc.  My dd went through hormonal/puberty fog for several years.  The way you're working would not have worked for us.  There IS peace to be had, but it will require some changes.  And you know, sometimes you investigate and realize the thing you were blaming the issue on isn't really the cause.  My dd's sensory has been going BIZERK the last week and a half.  She has struggled to get any school work done, been yelling at her brother, blah blah.  She had the new puppy sleeping in her room and she's mildly allergic to dogs.  I took the dog out, and she's a new woman, sitting doing all her work today like none of that EVER HAPPENED.  They're KIDS, and WE have to do the investigating and structuring to set them up for success.  They can't figure it out for themselves.  They need checklists, limited distraction environments, removal of things (sound, allergens, whatever) that are bothering them.  They have to be interacted with a lot more than we'd prefer or feel like we have time and energy for.  They sometimes turn out to have vision or sensory problems underlying what we think are attention symptoms.  It all goes back to us.  The child is immature and has a hard time sorting all that out or plotting efficient solutions.

 

Btw, I asked about goals, because goals help you to track progress and determine what is expendable and what is not.  If my goal is to increase and reward *persistence* (one of our goals around that age!), then I might pick and toss activities, knowing my real goal was the persistence, not the actual activity.  I can interchange and substitute in say cleaning the refrigerator, because again I know what my real goal was.  Goals for growth will help you narrow your plans and be concrete and realistic.

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Video game use seems to be a common thread in these situations. I don't think it's the magic pill, but I would take all screens out if your home for 3 months and see what kind of kid you have at the end. I wouldn't make it a punishment, I would frame it as a family-wide experiment.

 

Sometimes I think the addictive qualities of screens start these downward spirals if motivation and attitude.

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I do not look at negativity as a transgression in and of itself. Negativity is a symptom of some other underlying problem. Children need to know they can express themselves freely, even if their expression make us uncomfortable. We can talk to them, of course, about how their behavior affects others, but we have to also be willing to think about how our own way of expressing ourselves makes them feel.

 

In my own case, when I used to hold a model of what perfect behavior should look like in my head and used to expect my ds (now 12) to match that image, he routinely resisted. He sensed that I did not think he was good enough the way he was. He was pretty much like how you describe your son - resisting chores and schoolwork.

 

I had to first let go of that singular view of there being only one right way to be. I had to realize that he was different from the image in my head and that was OK. I had to learn to work with his peculiarities and within his limitations rather than to impose change. All this may not really make much sense to you, but I have found that real change often comes only when we rethink the paradigms within which we operate.

 

My son still dislikes chores and homework, but he does them without much complain. The resistance is pretty much gone. For more practical advice that will make much more sense that my rambling above, I highly recommend "Smart but Scattered". I think it is a must read for any parent with an ADD child.

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Ah. 11 year olds. Been there. She's 12 now, much better... but no longer homeschooled (private school for bright/gifted dyslexic children). We needed to get back to a purely mom/daughter relationship. Funny thing - those skills and academics I thought she didn't retain last year (at 11)? Apparently she's using them to help tutor some of the other students. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or pull my hair out when she told me that she was flying through math because she remembered doing ratios with me, or the cute analogy she'd given a younger student for remembering nouns and adjectives - something I swear I thought she would never grasp. *sigh*

 

I have no real advice. My daughter is ADD and dyslexic. Very bright, but she also tends towards lazy in certain environments (and I know some people here hate that word, but there are lazy people in the world - my kid was one of them... at home; for whatever reason, she isn't lazy at school).

 

Sometimes a change is needed. Have you asked him what he WANTS to study? While I would make grammar, spelling, and math non-negotiable in any form, I can't see the harm, at this season in your relationship with him, in giving him input for science, history, literature, and writing.

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Video game use seems to be a common thread in these situations. I don't think it's the magic pill, but I would take all screens out if your home for 3 months and see what kind of kid you have at the end. I wouldn't make it a punishment, I would frame it as a family-wide experiment.

 

Sometimes I think the addictive qualities of screens start these downward spirals if motivation and attitude.

Meh. My daughter and her best friend have went through this stage, but have never been "gamers".
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Ah. 11 year olds. Been there. She's 12 now, much better... but no longer homeschooled (private school for bright/gifted dyslexic children). We needed to get back to a purely mom/daughter relationship. Funny thing - those skills and academics I thought she didn't retain last year (at 11)? Apparently she's using them to help tutor some of the other students. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or pull my hair out when she told me that she was flying through math because she remembered doing ratios with me, or the cute analogy she'd given a younger student for remembering nouns and adjectives - something I swear I thought she would never grasp. *sigh*

 

I have no real advice. My daughter is ADD and dyslexic. Very bright, but she also tends towards lazy in certain environments (and I know some people here hate that word, but there are lazy people in the world - my kid was one of them... at home; for whatever reason, she isn't lazy at school).

 

Sometimes a change is needed. Have you asked him what he WANTS to study? While I would make grammar, spelling, and math non-negotiable in any form, I can't see the harm, at this season in your relationship with him, in giving him input for science, history, literature, and writing.

 

He did pick out his science,  We are doing Exploring creation with Astronomy, he loves it!  Writing...he would tell me no period.

 

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You mentioned cleaning his room.  I cleaned my dd's room for YEARS and still did at that age.  I don't do it now, but now *she* has the maturity to get it there without tears or fussing.  Their EF is *30%* behind their body age.  EF controls their ability to organize, be efficient, etc. etc.  My dd compensates by HYPER-organizing things she does (starting to pack 2 months ahead of time, etc.), because she can't do it in a more normal way.  To sit down and clean her room was totally overwhelming.  So *I* cleaned it and she got used to the pleasure of a clean room.  

 

That's what I mean by setting him up for success.  Eliminate the problem by doing it with him or for him till he is ready to do it for himself. 

 

I didn't allow her in the room while I was doing it btw.  I started young, so she learned to accept it.  Sometimes though what comes across is anger is their inability to transition, to let things go, etc.  Yes I took stuff out, but I always boxed it up and told her she could have back anything she missed.  It's not punishment but helping.  Do it while he's gone, and when you're done leave behind an awesome plate of cookies.  Make it a good thing, not punishment.  

 

PS.  No toys in the bedrooms.  That will help.  Around that age she started developing personal items and collections, so we gave her shelves.  No toys though.  Toys are just clutter and making problems.

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Meh. My daughter and her best friend have went through this stage, but have never been "gamers".

You know that's an interesting rabbit trail.  Some kids get addicted to screen time, but I had to BEG my dd to play the wii.  I think it was because the motor control and coordination was hard for her.  We tended toward the more intellectual games (if you can think of wii as such, haha), because she couldn't really do well at something like Mario Bros.  Mario Kart she got better at.  Beyond that though, she sticks to mystery games, hidden object games, that kind of thing.

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You know that's an interesting rabbit trail.  Some kids get addicted to screen time, but I had to BEG my dd to play the wii.  I think it was because the motor control and coordination was hard for her.  We tended toward the more intellectual games (if you can think of wii as such, haha), because she couldn't really do well at something like Mario Bros.  Mario Kart she got better at.  Beyond that though, she sticks to mystery games, hidden object games, that kind of thing.

Yeah. I mean, my dd has always enjoyed her ipad, but more for reading and playing that blasted Words With Friends, lol. Never been a gamer.

What are some of your dd's favorite mystery games? Autumn might enjoy some of those.

 

ETA: she also went through a short lived, but horrible, vampire obsession after I made the mistake of allowing her to read the first Twilight. I nixed that in the bud though - she was reading the fan fic, watching the movies for hours, and talking non-stop about vampires. I'd had enough after a month and shut down vampires entirely, lol.

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I have no real advice. My daughter is ADD and dyslexic. Very bright, but she also tends towards lazy in certain environments (and I know some people here hate that word, but there are lazy people in the world - my kid was one of them... at home; for whatever reason, she isn't lazy at school).

 

:)  At our house what feels like lazy is sort of convoluted.  If she doesn't want to do what I want her to do, she's lazy.  However get her doing what SHE wants to do, and she's hyper-productive and amazing.  And when  you get her *engaged* she's good.  If she feels well she's good.  Laziness implies motivation (not saying that's what you mean), and really I don't usually see that in my kid.  But DE-SPUNKED because of things they can't put their finger on, oh yeah.  And yes we've gone through the calculation of whether school would improve that issue, and I definitely agree it can.

 

My dd seems always to want MORE, more projects, more doing, more going, more socializing.  Somebody else mentioned a tendency toward depression.  That despunked funk, yeah it's an issue.  And really at 11, 12, I didn't see where this was going.  I hate to pull the age card, but seriously now that she is 14 and has the maturity to do so much more, I finally see that literally I didn't get the H in the adhd.  It's in the label for a reason!  They want to do SO much!  They have this fire in them.  The problem is the fire might not match up with what *we're* trying to get them to do.  So then it's like harnessing a greyhound saying slow down, stare at frogs.  I know you want to chase rabbits, greyhound, but right now it's frogs!  And so we've had to sort of modulate our day by saying brief frog watching, lots of rabbit chasing.

 

That's not to say someone else's kid or another human isn't lazy.  I'm just saying to me, the more I watch it, the more complex it seems, and the kids don't have the maturity to sort that out or even get it into words.  Watch some adults though with these labels and see what they do and how they spend their days.  I'll bet you see FLY mode and stunning amounts of stuff done.  I'm not adhd, frankly, and some people's pace just wearies me!  I think it's ironic that what I thought was laziness was actually more the mopey greyhound who wants to go fast!  To her, I slow her down and hold her back from what she wants to do, no matter how hard I try not to, ugh.

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Yeah. I mean, my dd has always enjoyed her ipad, but more for reading and playing that blasted Words With Friends, lol. Never been a gamer.

What are some of your dd's favorite mystery games? Autumn might enjoy some of those.

 

ETA: she also went through a short lived, but horrible, vampire obsession after I made the mistake of allowing her to read the first Twilight. I nixed that in the bud though - she was reading the fan fic, watching the movies for hours, and talking non-stop about vampires. I'd had enough after a month and shut down vampires entirely, lol.

Oh I know!  I let her watch the LotR movies because her bff is so into it, and that has gotten crazy.  Now she spends lots of time doing the fan fiction, etc.  She had already ready the series 16 times, oy.  And since it's not as garish as vampires, you feel bad taking it away.  I do though.  :)  When she was younger it was comics.  I literally had to BOX THEM UP and hide them!  A bit was fine, but hours every day?  Now she's more modulated on things like that, and someone pointed out to me that it's normal to follow periods of intense work with periods of potato chip.  

 

Wii games she liked?  She goes in spurts, but here's what's in the box.

 

I Spy Spooky Mansion

Cate West Vanishing Files

Ultimate I Spy

Titanic (not sure she liked this, she played on a weekend when I was busy)

Disney Guilty Party (LOVED)

Agatha Christie Evil Under the Sun  (not sure she figured this out)

Malgrave Incident (awesome!)

Nancy Drew White Wolf of Icicle Creek

Epic Mickey (liked a lot but hard for her with the jumping)

Broken Sword Shadow of the Templars (not sure if she played this)

 

Those are the mystery and hidden object games.  Malgrave Incident was so well done.  It's actually why we decided to get a wii.  After that it was kind of hard to measure up.  I think she liked the Nancy Drew one quite a bit.  You can usually find youtube reviews to help you decide.

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He did pick out his science,  We are doing Exploring creation with Astronomy, he loves it!  Writing...he would tell me no period.

 

What are you using for grammar, btw?  We used Shurley, but Hake can be good.  We did super short sessions using a small whiteboard (17X20) and colorful, low odor markers.  Winston uses manipulatives, and that would also be good.

 

Writing my dd only blossomed on this past year (8th, age 13).  I had to switch her over to Dvorak, an alternate keyboard layout, to get her typing working.  Typing can make an IMMENSE difference for kids.  My dd's motor control for writing isn't automatic, despite years of write and tons and tons and tons of dictation, copywork, etc. For her, the act of writing eats up working memory, making it harder to do all the processing, remember her thoughts, and get them out. 

 

Working on working memory can also help writing.  Over on the LC board we have threads with explanations of how to do metronome work at home for free, how to integrate digit spans and working memory into it, etc.  There are 8's you can do for free using Dianne Craft's instructions.  My dd's writing particularly took off last year after we had been doing the metronome work a while, and I HIGHLY recommend it.  It's free, hurts nothing, and may help.  

 

Inspiration software can also help.  Before we got Inspiration, we did our WTM-style outlining using mind-mapping software that you can download for free and put on your ipad or whatnot.  My dd does all her typing on the ipad, btw, using a wireless keyboard.  It's discreet and lets her have a consistent organizational tool that she can take with her everywhere (youth group, Bible study, classes, etc.).

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All that is to say that you can improve how you approach writing, and then you are flexible to tackle the what, the content of writing.  If he's into war, then I'd get him making powerpoints or booklets on war weapons and writing 1-2 sentence labels for each one.  You'll actually have to SIT with him and help him for a while, till it clicks and gets easier.  1-2 sentences makes essentially a small narration.  He's still narrating, but it's his content, his interest.  You realize that by reading the entire source to get the content, he's technically *summarizing* which is a very age-appropriate skill.  By categorizing the guns and applying visual structure to his presentation, he's outlining.  It's all your WTM skills, but with more creativity and engagement.

 

We did the Apologia Astronomy, and that's fabulous that he's enjoying it so much.  That's writing.  If he's doing some really basic writing or notebooking for that, then beyond that I'd try to take whatever skill you're wanting to tackle and shift it over to something that interests him, possibly something more creative or engaging or on the computer.

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We are using bob jones English 6.  He has a love hate relationship with it.  Everyother chapter is heavy on writing so he dislikes those chapters but the ones that are more grammar and less writing he loves.  He isnt really "into" anything.  he loves his legos, and enjoys riding his bike and what not, but there hasn't really been a subject or topic that really jumps at him.  Execpt math.  He could do math for hours and never complain.

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I *think* that I sincerely mean lazy, in the sense of the definition you gave - motivation. She lacks it for anything she doesn't want to do. Does that mean she's lazy all around? No. She'll do her thing until the cows come home, but she has NO motivation for anything that doesn't a) offer immediate gratification, or B) that she isn't very, very, very interested in. Oh, and c) anything that someone else suggests - if it's her idea, great, if it isn't her idea, no motivation. Sincerely, no motivation. She's also the world's worst procrastinator. Lol. She has amazing positive qualities too - she is one of the kindest, most generous children I know, and she's downright brilliant when she wants to be.

She tends to lazy with me... which is why she's no longer home. She wasn't motivated by me. Kills me to say it, but I had to recognize it for her benefit. For whatever reason, her new school motivates her in ways I never could. Perhaps it's simply being with other children like her. I didn't realize that these "lazy traits", traits toward being disorganized and scatterbrained, are all pretty common with bright/gifted dyslexic children and those are all things addressed within their regular academic subjects... with amazing results. I know why they charge an arm and a leg, lol.

:)  At our house what feels like lazy is sort of convoluted.  If she doesn't want to do what I want her to do, she's lazy.  However get her doing what SHE wants to do, and she's hyper-productive and amazing.  And when  you get her *engaged* she's good.  If she feels well she's good.  Laziness implies motivation (not saying that's what you mean), and really I don't usually see that in my kid.  But DE-SPUNKED because of things they can't put their finger on, oh yeah.  And yes we've gone through the calculation of whether school would improve that issue, and I definitely agree it can.

 

My dd seems always to want MORE, more projects, more doing, more going, more socializing.  Somebody else mentioned a tendency toward depression.  That despunked funk, yeah it's an issue.  And really at 11, 12, I didn't see where this was going.  I hate to pull the age card, but seriously now that she is 14 and has the maturity to do so much more, I finally see that literally I didn't get the H in the adhd.  It's in the label for a reason!  They want to do SO much!  They have this fire in them.  The problem is the fire might not match up with what *we're* trying to get them to do.  So then it's like harnessing a greyhound saying slow down, stare at frogs.  I know you want to chase rabbits, greyhound, but right now it's frogs!  And so we've had to sort of modulate our day by saying brief frog watching, lots of rabbit chasing.

 

That's not to say someone else's kid or another human isn't lazy.  I'm just saying to me, the more I watch it, the more complex it seems, and the kids don't have the maturity to sort that out or even get it into words.  Watch some adults though with these labels and see what they do and how they spend their days.  I'll bet you see FLY mode and stunning amounts of stuff done.  I'm not adhd, frankly, and some people's pace just weary's me!  I think it's ironic that what I thought was laziness was actually more the mopey greyhound who wants to go fast!  To her, I slow her down and hold her back from what she wants to do, no matter how hard I try not to, ugh.

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We are using bob jones English 6.  He has a love hate relationship with it.  Everyother chapter is heavy on writing so he dislikes those chapters but the ones that are more grammar and less writing he loves.  He isnt really "into" anything.  he loves his legos, and enjoys riding his bike and what not, but there hasn't really been a subject or topic that really jumps at him.  Execpt math.  He could do math for hours and never complain.

You had the full eval or a ped diagnosis?  In a full psych eval, they'll give you his processing speed.  That, together with brain structure, shows you how hard he's working compared to someone else.  For instance my dd has an almost 60%ile difference between her IQ and processing speed.  Some kids have even more.  So when she works at something, even something normal, she's so worn out, there's nothing left to give to another interest.  The way you get those other interests to come out is to back off the regular school work.  

 

I don't care for the BJU english, because it doesn't spiral or work cumulatively.  He's old enough to do JAG now, and that would be much better.  I'm using AG now and wish I had started it earlier.  Even so, we don't use it the way they intend.  We do only 3-5 of the sentences in the exercise, and we do them together on the whiteboard.  So instead of grammar taking 30-40 min, we spend 5-10 minutes.  Given his age, he might do well with Shurley 6.  From there he could go into AG for 7th and do it as they intend for 7th, 8th, and 9th.  You can usually pick up Shurley used on the cheap.

 

I'm not trying so much to change your curriculum as to show you more ways to work together.  I can work with my dd on the subjects she can't do alone, because we keep the sessions super short. (You said time is an issue.)  By keeping them short, I'm not just catering to "attention" issues.  What I'm doing is protecting her processing and her brain from getting worn out.  She wouldn't be ABLE to do all the things she does if I put her through 5-6 or 7 regular school subjects a day in BJU.  I LOVE BJU.  I'm not even joking here.  I used the BJU 9 grammar with her last year, and there are certain things it does really well.  However it's still this awkward fit.  And even if it weren't, the fact remains that if you wear them out you DON'T get that effervescence of their creativity.  They can only do that when they have mental energy left after their school work is done.  If I work my dd too hard, she has nothing left to give.  By the end of the week, things will fall apart, and she'll degrade to reading potato chip books.  If I want the neat stuff to happen, she has to have mental energy left for it.  It means cutting back school work, cutting back lengths of lessons, cutting back the number of problems.  

 

You know one way our psych suggested thinking of it was to give her the WORK AMOUNT (time per day) to fit her EF (executive function) age but put the ACADEMIC LEVEL at what fits her intellectually.  So I give her tippy top work, but we work in short bursts and only for around 4 hours formally a day for 9th grade.  Seriously.  And she tests top of the line, has great scores, does great stuff.  

 

Well that's your rabbit trail.  I have to go supervise more.  

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I *think* that I sincerely mean lazy, in the sense of the definition you gave - motivation. She lacks it for anything she doesn't want to do. Does that mean she's lazy all around? No. She'll do her thing until the cows come home, but she has NO motivation for anything that doesn't a) offer immediate gratification, or B) that she isn't very, very, very interested in. Oh, and c) anything that someone else suggests - if it's her idea, great, if it isn't her idea, no motivation. Sincerely, no motivation. She's also the world's worst procrastinator. Lol. She has amazing positive qualities too - she is one of the kindest, most generous children I know, and she's downright brilliant when she wants to be.

She tends to lazy with me... which is why she's no longer home. She wasn't motivated by me. Kills me to say it, but I had to recognize it for her benefit. For whatever reason, her new school motivates her in ways I never could. Perhaps it's simply being with other children like her. I didn't realize that these "lazy traits", traits toward being disorganized and scatterbrained, are all pretty common with bright/gifted dyslexic children and those are all things addressed within their regular academic subjects... with amazing results. I know why they charge an arm and a leg, lol.

You know that's the HARDEST THING to me about high school.  I have in my mind this picture of creativity, engagement, and productivity, and there ISN'T a curriculum that does it, not her way.  And it's so hard for me to sit here and scratch my head and find ways to do that and bring out that awesomeness, yes I get tired.  If I HAD a great school to toss her in with teachers who would bring that out of her, I'd be all for it.  However she's ALL OVER THE BOARD.  She's doing 11th grade history this year, whatever year math, and elementary writing, haha.  She's totally all over the board.  There is no one around here who would engage her with that scenario.

 

But yeah I'm totally with you.  I've pretty much concluded homeschooling high school is insanity.  We're doing it, but wowsers.

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thank you!  I really mean that.  He had an eval when he was 6-7.  But I do not think it was a full physc eval.  I do know what whenever it is that we actually get in with the Ped phsyc here they plan on doing one.  Its a 3-4 month wait to get in and we have been on the list a good 2 months now.   I will look into JAG. 

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thank you!  I really mean that.  He had an eval when he was 6-7.  But I do not think it was a full physc eval.  I do know what whenever it is that we actually get in with the Ped phsyc here they plan on doing one.  Its a 3-4 month wait to get in and we have been on the list a good 2 months now.   I will look into JAG. 

Not to quibble, but have you looked into neuropsychs?  Ped psychiatrist or psychologist?  Psychiatrist isn't the same.  Some people use a ped psychiatrist for the counseling and meds, so that's why I ask.

 

Just as a something to look into, you might see if there are any psychs in your area doing Neurofeedback and a QEEG.  Neurofeedback is a tier 1 intervention, permanent, and as effective as meds.  I'm looking into it for my dd.  If you find a doc doing it, you might want him to do your eval as well.

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FWIW, a psychologist did/does all our testing and therapy there is one pychiatrist in the practice and we see him for medications.  Opposition, as I understand it, is a common 'symptom' of ADHD.  I see that here in both DS and myself.  We both take guanfacine/Intuniv and it helps a little.  :)

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I have an 11 yo DS that is ADHD and can have a killer attitude. He is inattentive type not hyperactive. We do have some attitudes on things. He is a perfectionist and if he feels he can't do it perfectly (speaking of writing specifically) he tries to not do it. You mentioned your son loves to read. He knows what good literature and writing sounds and reads like. I would bet money that when it comes to his writing skills and assignments, he can't silence his brain to focus to develop his writing ideas, knows he will fail when compared to his ideal thoughts of what it should read as and then refuses to push forward. Not excusing the behavior but hopefully you can understand a different perspective a bit.

 

I didn't see it listed above, but is he medicated? It changed our family dynamic overnight. No lie.

 

Also, so many are so quick to push you to eliminate the gaming or the reading but may I gently encourage you not to? Reading and gaming for an ADHD child helps "silence" their minds. They have mental peace while doing these things. It is mental massage for them. In our household, we clean as a family. It helps keep everyone focused on the task if we work together and move from room to room. 10 minutes a day gets the chores out of the way. Also, we limit our electronics till after 5. They do have to finish their assignments prior, though.

 

My son is also highly emotional without meds and takes all comments to heart. He wants to behave and have a good attitude but he just gets so frustrated and overwhelmed. He has learned it is ok to ask for some alone time away from others to regain composure of his emotions and calm down alone. It helps.

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You know that's the HARDEST THING to me about high school.  I have in my mind this picture of creativity, engagement, and productivity, and there ISN'T a curriculum that does it, not her way.  And it's so hard for me to sit here and scratch my head and find ways to do that and bring out that awesomeness, yes I get tired.  If I HAD a great school to toss her in with teachers who would bring that out of her, I'd be all for it.  However she's ALL OVER THE BOARD.  She's doing 11th grade history this year, whatever year math, and elementary writing, haha.  She's totally all over the board.  There is no one around here who would engage her with that scenario.

 

But yeah I'm totally with you.  I've pretty much concluded homeschooling high school is insanity.  We're doing it, but wowsers.

DD will actually be home for high school. Her school only goes to grade 8 and then our only option would be to send her to a boarding school for dyslexics.

We're ridiculously blessed to have this school. There are only 6 children in the upper school (grades 6-8), 2 children in her lit class, a few in her math class - all work given is geared toward the child's individual abilities; all receive one-on-one tutoring to help them stay challenged and/or remediate where necessary. Homework is tailored to each student as well. So, since Autumn has no reading issues, she was placed in a class where she could gain more by helping to tutor the other student in the class; she has two math periods - one is below her level, so she helps and reviews, the other meets her where she's at (and she's good at math).

All that to say - she, like your daughter, is all over the board.

One of the unique philosophies of the school, which I had never considered implementing at home, is geared towards forcing the children to understand that failure is good, failure helps them learn, and how to ask for help - i.e. they are put in positions specifically designed so that they "fail" (most of these children are coming from other schools and are desperately afraid of failure) and so that they HAVE to ask for help (a common theme with the children seems to be that they are afraid to ask for help - perfectionist traits and general fear of embarrassment). When dd kept coming home with 500 word essays every night, spending upwards of 4 hours on them, I called the headmaster like "hey, I told you she hadn't learned essays yet - we were still trying for a coherent paragraph!" - he laughed a bit and said "I know. I'm trying to force her into asking for help - she'll never succeed in high school unless she learns to do so". Now, he also puts them in positions to succeed - if they follow the track; if you have a problem, ask for help; if you know the material, don't be lazy about it - do it.

I never, never in a million years would have thought setting her up for failure, as a way of motivating her, would work - but it has. A million times over.

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Have you thought about driving to another town?  Go to a big city with more options, you might have a shorter wait.  Around here (near a very large city), I can get into a very good psych in 1 month or the most popular one in 3.  We used the shorter wait psych.  Your local dudes might be fine, but it might be something to consider.  Even if you have to drive a ways, sometimes the psych will do all the testing in one day.

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One of the unique philosophies of the school, which I had never considered implementing at home, is geared towards forcing the children to understand that failure is good, failure helps them learn, and how to ask for help - i.e. they are put in positions specifically designed so that they "fail" (most of these children are coming from other schools and are desperately afraid of failure) and so that they HAVE to ask for help (a common theme with the children seems to be that they are afraid to ask for help - perfectionist traits and general fear of embarrassment). When dd kept coming home with 500 word essays every night, spending upwards of 4 hours on them, I called the headmaster like "hey, I told you she hadn't learned essays yet - we were still trying for a coherent paragraph!" - he laughed a bit and said "I know. I'm trying to force her into asking for help - she'll never succeed in high school unless she learns to do so". Now, he also puts them in positions to succeed - if they follow the track; if you have a problem, ask for help; if you know the material, don't be lazy about it - do it.

I never, never in a million years would have thought setting her up for failure, as a way of motivating her, would work - but it has. A million times over.

That's fascinating!  He's onto something with the idea of something hard and hitting a wall.  I don't like everything she does to be at her comfort zone, because then she doesn't have to push herself.  The area where I most wish I were better challenging her at is history.  I think a great teacher would bring something to it.  Sigh...  And you're right that they respond better to DOING, even if it's hard doing, than not doing.  Well that's fascinating.  

 

So what kinds of essays is he having them write?  And that was a couple days a week or 5 days a week?  I'm wondering what amount they found therapeutic and what would have broken them and hurt them.

 

Challenge is definitely good, especially when they're bright.  They have so much DRIVE and ability inside.  They want to do, not underperform and be idle.  So you're saying give her HARDER projects, hmmm...  I'll have to ponder that.  The NHD project last year definitely was.  She blossomed so much with it, I hadn't really thought about topping it, wowsers. (10 minute documentary, 20 page annotated bibliography, etc.) The one thing I've thought about is the response papers with Omnibus.  We're not doing Omnibus.  I've thought about buying O3 and O6 to go with our modern study.  She could do the essays from it, and it might create that bit of push and challenge you're describing.  Might be just the thing.  I think she feels the lack of a consuming project.  Once she's done something, it's easy.  She did NHD last year, so that's not hard for her now, just more something to do.  It won't stretch her again like it did before.

 

Well that's a good mental picture.  Thanks for sharing!  And as for you and high school, well gear up!  It has left me scratching my head.  Hopefully your chick comes out with such awesome character and skills, it's a non-issue.  For me though, I look at the things people say are great for high school, and they sort of look dull or flop for us.  We're having a great time, yes, but she still wants MORE, something more.  

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:grouphug:

 

I would try MCT LA with him. There are samples online to see if it might work. I am not sure if you would need to start with level 3 or 4.

 

http://www.rfwp.com/package/mct-level-4-supplementary-student-books

 

http://www.rfwp.com/package/mct-level-3-basic-homeschool-package

 

I would try the samples from both levels for him. My daughter enjoyed grammar a lot more when we switched to this program.

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I have to tell you, you are describing ME at that age. To a T. (I was in PS, labeled gifted but not offered acceleration, and probably with ADHD-I. I didn't have video games but immersed myself in books.)

 

What I needed was

  1. something to work toward--a reason for all this day-to-day stuff, especially things that were truly busywork (like copying out definitions of vocabulary words I already knew);
  2. a better relationship with my parents--my mom in particular seemed like more of a temperamental warden than an ally, always dangling privileges and threatening punishments to manipulate me (it didn't work!);
  3. quiet time with a friend or two, preferably out in nature and away from the noise of younger siblings and TV;
  4. a sense of truly having choices.

Good news: I got #1, and that saved me academically. I was co-valedictorian and did well in college.

Bad news: I did not get #2; I only got 3 and 4 when I went to college.

 

So I would ask your DS to take a few days to jot down some ideas of what he would like life to be like while he is at home. At first he will not dare answer ("I don't know"), or will not think of anything but superficial answers (video games all day and candy all night!). But you can use that to gently offer something deeper. What does he like about those things? Where else might he find the peace or the excitement or the feeling of accomplishment that he's enjoying? What are his goals? What can *you* do to help?

Would he like to sprint around the block a couple of times before school starts each day? If he is not playing an instrument of his choice, consider it: it gives the instant feedback of a video game, with a sense of really doing something worthwhile. Or see if he wants to try one of the martial arts, which may help with the respect issues as well. Help him create a relaxing space for himself in his room, not as a taking-away-because-he-doesn't-deserve-it but as a gift of peace. In other words, if he is opposing you all the time and life is like an exasperating tug-of-war, step over to his end of the rope for a while and show him you're on his side, pulling for him.

 

That doesn't mean you don't have boundaries. It might mean that you will have to both model and instruct him explicitly in self-control strategies (such as taking a time-out when he has spoken rudely to you and you want to answer the way you'd want him to answer). It might mean the family needs to sit down together, discuss, and write down and post the  family's core values, and that you refer to those values when you correct his behavior. But again, that puts you all on the same team.

 

HTH. That's what I wish someone had told my mom. To this day we are not close.

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My kids don't have ADHD but are enrolled in a martial arts studio in which there are a lot of ADD or ADHD kids. Have you considered something like this?

 

The kids have massive respect for the studio teachers, and the teachers show massive respect to the parents so the kids' esteem for the parents increases too. One of the ways the teachers show respect for the parents is by not allowing the kids to progress in belts unless the parents sign a paper saying the kids are respectful, have a good attitude, and are doing all their schoolwork and chores. So you can learn the moves and pass the best test, but if you're not behaving at home, they will not move you forward. There's a bit of public shaming, too: when they announce who has passed the test they also tell the class (and other parents at the ceremony) if your parents have not signed the paper. Then they hold onto your belt until the parents sign.

 

I love having this bit of leverage from other adults in the community. I don't know if this is typical at studios though, or if it could be created with the teachers. A lot of the parents of kids with LDs have said this helps them at home. All the kids seem to love the teachers and the classes.

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In another thread, the book The 5 Love Languages of Children came up.  That might be helpful to you too.  It has some references to Christian religion in it, but I think even if that aspect does not fit your view, that the overall book can offer a great deal of help in many cases.  It does not particularly have to do with ADHD issues, but just things like how to discipline effectively and so on.

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What I needed was
  1. something to work toward--a reason for all this day-to-day stuff, especially things that were truly busywork (like copying out definitions of vocabulary words I already knew);
  2. a better relationship with my parents--my mom in particular seemed like more of a temperamental warden than an ally, always dangling privileges and threatening punishments to manipulate me (it didn't work!);
  3. quiet time with a friend or two, preferably out in nature and away from the noise of younger siblings and TV;
  4. a sense of truly having choices.

 

Wonderful post overall whitehawk, it has given me a lot to think about. I especially love that you have so clearly delineated the needs of a gifted/ADHD child. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

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