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My ds is a gifted almost 12 year old who until very recently enjoyed math, along with reading and all his other subjects, however, he seemed bored out of his mind with his English, I thought the problem was the program because we switched MCT, which he loved, to R&S for lack of time. However, it's not the program because he's taking HOURS to work through a lesson of math (Saxon algebra 1/2), he gets the material, once finished he as a perfect, or almost perfect score, but he just can't seem to concentrate long enough to finish in a decent amount of time. He's also having issues with Spanish, so we discontinued it for a while to give him time to "put himself together," but the same thing happened with Latin! I don't know what to do. We have chosen not to medicate, and that seemed fine, as he was getting things done without the medicine, however, I just got word from his scout master/Sunday school teacher that he cannot concentrate during those activities either, and he LOVES them both!

 

I don't know what to do. He was on focalin before, but he wasn't gaining weight or growing at a normal rate. We tried other medicines (can't remember the names, as it was a looooong time ago), but they showed different negative side effects, ie, lack of sleep, no appetite, increased irritability, stomach cramps, you name it, the best was focalin, but we had to discontinue it to help him grow!

 

Have you had any similar experiences? Do you have any thoughts or advice that may prove useful to us?

 

Dh is ready to put him back in ps, however, I don't think that's the answer. Besides, if we put him in ps, the are going to demand that he'd be put on medicine (they did that in 1st grade, that's when we tried all those drugs).

 

Any ideas, thoughts or advice?

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No advice from direct experience, but perhaps a suggestion that you look into other issues.  

1. Does he have any food sensitivity?

2. Has anything happened to make him unhappy?

3. Does he need more outside interests or perhaps more focus on the WHY of what he is doing?  In other words, some practical application stuff.  Like with math, maybe do some project based math where he runs an imaginary business or completes an art project with math.  Incorporate a lot of games.  There are several different resources available for those types of things so you wouldn't have to create something from scratch.  In other words, something to break up what he is doing and show him another reason for learning. Soror started doing that with her child when he started not liking math in particular and it has reinvigorated their math lessons.  Her post on relaxed math is on the General Education board and has a wealth of great resources listed.

4.  Does he have any close friends?  Usually about that age kids really start to want independence and more chances to hang out with friends without a ton of parental supervision.

5.  Have you asked him, in a non-judgmental way, what he thinks the difficulties may be?  Does he have any suggestions for ways to approach the issue?

6.  Is he suddenly struggling with completing tasks that are not school related as well?

7.  Have you considered having your ped run some blood work to see if there is some sort of underlying undiagnosed health issue (mine was hypoglycemia near that age and it took well over a year of having weird behavior and odd symptoms before I was correctly diagnosed and treated; then I found out in my 20's that I had a thyroid condition but again it took a very long time before the subtle symptoms became distinctive enough for me to seek evals)

 

And PS doesn't seem like the best option to me, either, based on what you have shared of your circumstances, but for some it works out pretty well... 

 

Best wishes.

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There is a big difference between ages 6 and 12. Maybe it's time to evaluate meds again? If the side effects are too great, then at least you know it for certain. Maybe he can tolerate them better than he used to. For a while my ds took Focalin twice a day so his appetite could come back in between doses. You could also choose to just do mornings and the times that he has scouts/Sunday school.

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When were your last evals?  Maybe it's time for fresh evals so you can get updated information and fresh perspective on what's going on...   If it has been 3-4 years or he never had a full psych eval, that's where I'd be looking.  If you have recent evals, maybe you need to reread his full write-up and see if it gives you new perspective on what's going on? Processing speed, working memory, motor control, etc. would definitely impact how he'll handle math now that he's going into pre-algebra.  Have you been able to watch him a bit and see exactly what's happening in the math?  If he's drifting (attention), then you could use the technique someone else mentioned where you put all his work in front of him for all the subjects and give him a timer that goes off every 15 minutes.  So he works for 15, and as soon has he drifts or the timer goes off, switch to the next thing.  In that way he's not boring himself out of his skull.

 

On the R&S, it's not a crime to use it (though it would be in our house, lol), but maybe shake it up?  Have you tried using just the first 3 exercises in the set and letting him dump the rest if he gets those right?  And maybe carry it over and have him do some form of MCT-style analysis on the R&S sentences?  Is he having to copy the sentences from the R&S or did you get him the workbook?  We used Shurley for years, because it only had 3 sentences a day.  That's all it takes if they're really focused and engaged.

 

So he's doing spanish and latin?  Where is his biggest trouble with the languages?  Grammar or vocab or??? For my dd it's the vocab.  She can understand the grammar and word order and everything else, but vocab recall is VERY hard for her.  Again I go back to reading your psych eval report.  Our psych found dd's word retrieval is very, very low.  It's just how it is, and it's low in a way common to dyslexia and apraxia.  (My ds has apraxia, so this is no shock.)   Anyways, try googling techniques for dyslexics studying foreign language and see what you get.  I tried a lot with her, because I'm somewhat of a language buff.  (russian minor, also did french and dabbled in german and greek and...)  Because of her low processing speed (which again, you'll find in your report), I now know WHY it seemed like steam would come out her ears with latin, lol.  It wasn't a laughing matter at age 11!  We finally gave up on latin.  She could understand it, but she couldn't PROCESS it without wearing out.  The vocab wasn't sticking either, so the whole theoretical benefit wasn't going to be there either.

 

You may notice from our sig she's doing spanish this year.  I've got her online with La Clase Divertide.  Sr. Gamache that teaches it is OFF THE CHARTS awesome.  He has an amazing track record with SN kids, and he knows how to get enough repetition in to make sure they succeed.  He brings tons of humor into the class and keeps them engaged.  My dd still finds the vocab work challenging (and usually has vocab scores a full grade level below her other grades in the class), but at least it's WORKING.  Best $350 I ever spent.  Seriously.  With a younger dc, maybe do his La Clase Divertide video program and then go into the high school level online classes when it's time.  

 

Anyways, yes foreign languages were hard for us, yes the explanations were in her eval write-up, and yes I would google techniques for dyslexics studying languages to see what might help.  The Eides just sent around an email with a webinar link on it.  

 

School isn't going to care if he flops. The real answer is to figure out why it's not working (which the evals tell you) and make changes.  I can't make everything better for my dd.  At this stage, she just hits some walls, and that's reality.  But I tell her I WANT her to hit walls because I WANT HER TO LEARN TO CLIMB them.  But she can't do that on her own. 

 

Btw, if your dh is anything like mine, he wants to solve the problem.  My dh spent a couple years when dd was in junior high sort of inadvertently destabilizing me by somewhat frequently throwing it in my face that the solution was to put her in school, if it didn't get better we'd put her in school, blah blah.  I finally had to tell him to STOP.  It's just not a productive way to problem solve when someone is constantly destabilizing you or undermining you.  Make sure you're being REALISTIC and not over-ambitious based on what you read on the boards.  My kid has a not too shabby IQ too, and yes we were doing a lot of things like you.  It's possible to back off.  Seriously.  Some things are not important, and some things that are not going well are not going well in a way that is draining energy from what WOULD become important to him or good for him if you LET GO of things.  Try letting go of some things.  I'd let go over grammar, honestly.  R&S sucks.  Take a year off from grammar and just write.  If he actually learned what he did before in MCT, it will still be there when he comes back.  We took off a chunk of time (6+ months) from grammar one year, and I was AMAZED how well it stuck and was still there when we came back.  It *may be* you're trying to do too much.  Does he have a daily or weekly checklist?  What helps me is to go through that checklist and assign reasonable time amounts of what it really takes on a moderately good day to get them done.  Then when I have that total, I can determine if that leaves her a couple hours of free, energized time a day where she's not worn out where she can pursue her OWN pursuits.  The psych was the one who told us to do that.  He told us specifically to CUT BACK and make more time for her own creative things.  I wouldn't have had the hutzpah to do that without a professional telling me, kwim?  

 

Well whatever.  You've gotten a lot of good advice from the others too.  It's a crunchy age, and it wasn't fun in our house.  We came to the other side, and you will too.  We have a LOT more peace now than we did then.  Partly it's changing things up (dropping, shortening, compromising) and partly it's just getting to 14.  Others had told me 14 was the golden number, and well...

 

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So, I'm on my tablet and cannot quote, so I'm just answering your questions here :-)

 

@ OneStepAtATime

 

I'm not aware of any food sensitivities, I've been trying to research possible ones that may be hard to detect.

Nothing has happened to making unhappy, other than the fact that his best friend was sent to public school, so they have less time to see each other, and they no longer have homeschooling in common

Thank you for referring me to soror's post. I think activities like that would be educational, but a bit more relaxed!

I'vea skied him, and he feels guilty and just cries. I feel horrible. We often cry together and try to look for solutions together, but that hasn't taken us anywhere

He's struggling with scouts, his favorite activity in e whole wide world! I just had a looooong talk with his instructor about it, which leads me to believe he cannot control his impulsivity, because he wouldn't jeopardize his scout activities on purpose

I'm going to take him to his pediatrician. I had not done so because I was convinced it was something I could deal with at home, but you make me realize that there is a possibility that it isn't.

 

@ ondreeuh

 

I didn't know there could be different outcomes depending on the age of the child. I'll definitely ask his doctor when I take him in. He took focalin 2x/day for a while, but he wasn't gaining weight properly and we had to take him off. He took it for about 1 year and came off about a year ago, maybe two. Thank you for the suggestion, though, maybe we need to look at other medicine options.

 

@ OhElizabeth

 

We've never had evals anywhere else, but at our pediatrician's office. Can I request an official one there? I wasn't aware of the existence of different evals for ADHD. I'm calling his doctor in the morning!

He's driftiing and also simply just taking his sweet time with his math!

About R&S, I mentioned to him the idea of going to MCT, and he told me he felt that he learned more from R&S and didn't want to change! I'm at a loss, he's a creature of habit and I'm afraid his latest pace is sticking! I'm concerned that it could be that he finds it super easy and doesn't want to let go!

 

So he was doing spanish and latin. He speaks Spanish, so we do classes for the grammar aspect of it, and as far as Latin is concerned, it just comes easily to him, not to mention the fact that he loves being able to figure out the meaning of words both in English and Spanish by knowing Latin stems. He understands both, the grammar and the vocabulary, he's just unwilling or incapable of working fast enough to get it done! We use bju Spanish, a high school course because, like I said, we both speak Spanish. For Latin we were using Latina Christiana.

 

I agree that the school system isn't going to care enough to help him, they failed him once, when I decided to pull him out, and honestly, I have no reason to believe it'll be any different nowadays.

My dh wants to solve the problem too. He's constantly telling me that the issue in with our dc, and not with me. He's said that he hates seeing me worrying endlessly about making it work when our dc isn't making a big enough effort (unfair,IMHO)

 

So I'm a molecular biologist, and dh is an internal medicine doctor, we're both well educated and put extra enfasis in school, I can understand that he won't be behind if we take the rest of the year off in grammar, and would be willing to try it, but dh isn't going to let that one fly!

 

I'm in tears, I just don't know what to do, I feel so lost!

 

Thank you for taking the time to help me look for solutions. I'm going to revise his checklists and request a formal eval.

 

Does anyone else have any other ideas?

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Yes, you want an eval by a neuropsychologist.  If your insurance covers it, you may have to go through your ped.  If you're paying for it yourself, you can just call and make the appt yourself.  Find someone well-recommended in your area, someone who is hopefully homeschooling-friendly or at least not antagonistic.  

 

I wouldn't make any major decisions on school stuff until you've had the full eval.  They're going to run all sorts of tests.  You can ask them upfront how many hours of testing they'll do, how many pages their reports are, etc.  That will give you one way to compare.  Basically more is better.  Ours did 6 hours of testing over 2 days, and we got a 6 page report.  Some will do much more testing and dramatically longer reports, and some will do less.  Just see what you can get.  Ours was immensely helpful, and I reread portions of our eval regularly.  When you first get all the info, it's such a flood.  It takes time to digest all that and see all the applications.  It's worth the money and may give you the info you need to solve a lot of your problems, frankly.  Like I said, when my dd was that age, we were squawking over the same issues you are, and the testing was what we needed to dig in and find out precisely what was going on.  You can't DO anything about it when you don't have the right WORDS for it.  

 

Well keep us posted on how it goes.  This is the ugghy stage, but in a few months you'll have your psych, be doing the testing, and get some results that can help you change things.  In the mean time, be good to each other.  Compromise.  When he's frustrated, ask him how he's feeling and try to put words to it.  You mentioned scouting and SS.  What's going on there?  Does he need a fidget toy?  Is the teacher super boring?  Have you asked your ds how he feels and what's going on and what HE thinks would help?  Some teachers are just super boring.  You could try caffeine to see if that calms him a bit.  He might benefit from some physical activity before he goes into those settings so he's ready to calm down.  He may do better if he has a physical task during it like counting the students or being the official this or that. Is he allowed to take an iPad into those situations?  Might give him a way to occupy himself, even if it's just with doodling (oops, polite artistic note-taking, hehe).  Compromise.  A lot.

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My dh wants to solve the problem too. He's constantly telling me that the issue in with our dc, and not with me. He's said that he hates seeing me worrying endlessly about making it work when our dc isn't making a big enough effort (unfair,IMHO)

 

So I'm a molecular biologist, and dh is an internal medicine doctor, we're both well educated and put extra enfasis in school, I can understand that he won't be behind if we take the rest of the year off in grammar, and would be willing to try it, but dh isn't going to let that one fly!

 

I'm in tears, I just don't know what to do, I feel so lost!

 

Ok, I want to follow up with this a bit.  Is it possible that because of your dh's very medical background he's viewing these kids as BROKEN?  Seriously, that's something to ponder.  According to the medicalized, drug-dispensing model, adhd is a defect, a ritalin-deficiency, they're broken, they're defective, the issue is they can't focus, put them on meds and "fix" the problem.

 

 Superparenting for ADD: An Innovative Approach to ... - Amazon.com  has  a great explanation.  Also the book Dyslexic Advantage by the Eides was helpful to me.  Or read Bright, Not Broken...  

 

There is MRI evidence to indicate that these kids have dramatically different brain structures from NT (neurotypical) kids and that the differences change how they attend but also how they think, problem-solve, how they relate information, etc. etc.  In other words, they're DIFFERENT, not BROKEN. 

 

If you take off grammar a while, you do that knowing: 1) you're getting the grammar in the other two languages you're doing, and 2) you're upping the writing and hitting grammar in context that way as you edit, etc.  

 

Ok, I'd like to flip the question for you, since you seem kind of in the dumps.  You've told us some things aren't going well.  (He's not focusing in the SS and scouting classes with the boring, tattletale teacher and he hates R&S grammar and super long lessons of boring spiral saxon math, no shock.)  What is something he does WELL?  Does he have any interests right now or passions or fettishes or odd pursuits?  When my dd was that age, she would say the thing she wanted most was time just to pursue learning her own way.  She wanted more contextualized study, more exploring rabbit trails.  Ironically, a book I was just flipping through The Myth of the A.D.D. Child: 50 Ways Improve your Child's Behavior attn Span w/o Drugs Labels or Coercion  was suggesting something similar.  It's also something our psych told us to open up to.  It's something to think about, whether he could hit a portion of his academics using his own drive.  Make some structured requirements like every day he has to write or type 1/2 a page of something about what he read, pick something for you to dictate to him, and then diagram one of the sentences from the dictation.  So if he was reading science or history or engineering or something, he just used what he was interested in and nailed not only that subject but all his formal LA for the day too.  

 

The math you might compromise on.  Saxon either fits kids or it doesn't.  It's not going to be good for all kids.  He might be ready for Jacob's algebra or enjoy some time doing Hands-On Equations while you work on getting evals.  HOE is extremely good, highly recommend.  

 

You don't have to be afraid to decrease your formally demanded work with these kids.  It's actually sort of the inverse of what you expect.  Because they're so bright, when you leave them some margin and energy for their own pursuits, they do MORE and HARDER work than what they were before.  We get LESS done if I'm constantly maxing out what she can (or in theory "ought") to be doing, because then she's constantly tired.  We have to find a balance.  She pushes herself plenty hard and in ways that are memorable and engaging and very worthwhile when I leave her the energy to do so.  It's the very definition of the label.  They're BRIGHT, not broken.  She has this incredible ability to make connections, visualize, problem solve.  You want to get in sync with that and harness that and see their strengths instead of only seeing the ways they don't happen to match up to WTM.  

 

I told you how much my dd has always wanted contextualized study, unit study type stuff, and as you can gather from my hanging out on the WTM board, that wasn't really where I was, lol.  I've given her some flexibility in some areas over the years but sort of kept my hand in the cookie jar or controlled the cookies.  This year I sort of threw inhibition to the wind and decided to GIVE her something entirely.  Her history this year has been entirely her own (well actually history and lit).  And you know what she's done?  She has done Holocaust survivor interviews and plowed through a pile of adult-level (very thick) books on the Holocaust and made a short video and read Candide and Yeats and...  It's really fascinating to watch.  And when I get all freaky about her not writing some sort of WTM-style assigned essays, I stop and think a minute and ponder whether it's OK just to enjoy something or whether EVERYTHING has to be prescribed top down.  

 

So last week I started us into WWS2, which I had been loathe to do, honestly.  It's just gagging it's so sequential, and there's no joy, no humor, nothing.  I don't have another great option though for this level, so we went back to it.  We're doing only a select number of the weeks and we'll do them double pace, as we did WWS1.  So the whole book in 12 weeks, that seems reasonable to me.  Not too long to torture someone, gives us the benefit.  The rest of the year we spent doing creative writing.  But here's what I want to show you, and I want to show you because it cracked me up.  The assignment itself is pretty dry (this is week, um, maybe 6 from WWS2?), so I told her to channel Tolkien.  Oh, and this is the kid who a year ago still HATED writing.  All that time letting her imbibe must have paid off...  This is what she wrote, not even corrected for obvious errors.  

 

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Beavers and platypuses. Two creatures that are often referred to with fascination and no small amount of trepidation. Why do they interest us so? Do their large, paddle-shaped tails confuse us? Do the claws which protrude from their paws make us fear them? We often imitate their sleek, furred bodies in our aquatic technology, subconsciously knowing that their design is perfect and utterly imitate-able. Perhaps it is the simple fact that they are mammals like many of our other favourite animals.

 

Beavers have often been featured in legends and tales, past from one generation to another. Do humans have an innate fear that someday those sharp teeth will turn from their work of peeling the bark from unsuspecting saplings and attack our defenceless homes? Platypuses do not generally inspire fear, however they often do create feelings of confusion and amusement. Their rubbery, slightly squashy bill, much like that of a common duck, while well designed for scooping up worms and crawfish from the bottom of riverbeds, can often appear rather hilarious. However, beavers are not usually viewed with amusement, more often an aura of mysteriousness surrounds them. This view is heightened by their size; beavers are North America's largest rodent. The platypus is noticeably smaller than the beaver, giving the rodent a feel of permanent age and wisdom.

 

If these two animals appeal to us partly because they remind us of our pets, perhaps one thing reason for this is the way they care for their young. Beavers will spend up to two years raising their kits, often assisted in this by older kits. Although beavers exhibit tendencies close to those of a mother cat, platypuses are more like the favourite creature of small boys; snakes. The amphibious mammal cares for it's young for only four months before sending them out into the wet world to discover it for themselves. 

 
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Try to get connected to resources that help you see his STRENGTHS and what's going on inside that's GOOD that you can nurture.  Give him tools to develop those strengths.  For my dd, it meant giving her an iPad so she could type at all hours.
 
Well night nights.  Don't fret though.  You're going to come to the other side of this.  :)
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Thank you, OhElizabeth, you gave me a lot of hope and ideas. I don't feel as guilty about not knowing what to do. I guess I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm not a horrendous mother for not having reached it yet.

 

As for dh, he does seem to think that, he says "medicine was created with this children in mind, so why not search and search until we find one that works for him, I know there is something out there for him," so in a way I think he does see him as broken, though he's never expressed it that way. I'm going to have tot all to him about the whole issue, again, hopefully we'll reach an understanding and some common ground.

 

Sunday school and scouts are both taught by the same guy, and he's very young (early 20's) but I honestly don't know anything about his teaching style.

 

Thank you for the book recommendations, I'm certainly ordering a few of your suggestions :-). Your daughter is amazing, and I hope my ds can get to a good place soon! Your dd gives me tons of hope!

 

He told me he thinks everything would be easier if we did more together, but he said "I love Saxon math!" We went through several programs before finding Saxon, and he didn't like any of them. He HATED mus, we didn't have any luck with teaching textbooks, Singapore was not a good choice, we tried everyday math with no success....like I said, we tried different ones and different approaches until I decided to give Saxon a try (after we had ditched it for the lower grades). But I'll try adding some hands on math Ike you suggested.

Here is our current schedule: scriptures, math, language arts, typing, history, science, Spanish, geography, art and logic. We alternate history and science, and we don't do geography or art everyday. Oh, and he plays the violin....that's it. Latin is out for now...is this too much?

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Thank you, OhElizabeth, you gave me a lot of hope and ideas. I don't feel as guilty about not knowing what to do. I guess I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm not a horrendous mother for not having reached it yet.

 

As for dh, he does seem to think that, he says "medicine was created with this children in mind, so why not search and search until we find one that works for him, I know there is something out there for him," so in a way I think he does see him as broken, though he's never expressed it that way. I'm going to have tot all to him about the whole issue, again, hopefully we'll reach an understanding and some common ground.

 

Sunday school and scouts are both taught by the same guy, and he's very young (early 20's) but I honestly don't know anything about his teaching style.

 

Thank you for the book recommendations, I'm certainly ordering a few of your suggestions :-). Your daughter is amazing, and I hope my ds can get to a good place soon! Your dd gives me tons of hope!

 

He told me he thinks everything would be easier if we did more together, but he said "I love Saxon math!" We went through several programs before finding Saxon, and he didn't like any of them. He HATED mus, we didn't have any luck with teaching textbooks, Singapore was not a good choice, we tried everyday math with no success....like I said, we tried different ones and different approaches until I decided to give Saxon a try (after we had ditched it for the lower grades). But I'll try adding some hands on math Ike you suggested.

Here is our current schedule: scriptures, math, language arts, typing, history, science, Spanish, geography, art and logic. We alternate history and science, and we don't do geography or art everyday. Latin is out for now...is this too much?

That's hard when people come in with strongly preconceived ideas, but you know ultimately EVERYBODY has (incorrect) preconceptions about adhd.  You might want to focus on getting him books written by DOCTORS.  That way he's reading someone with credibility in his eyes.  Hallowell wrote that Superparenting book and he has a bunch of others.  The Eides are both docs (one MD, one psychologist?).  So look for the people like that.  These are docs who have btdt and don't just have theories.  Hallowell himself is (insert labels) and the Eides homeschool (iirc) and have 2E kids.  

 

Hmm, so scouts and ss are taught by the same guy?  I guess ask your ds' take on it.  I have a talking relationship with my dd.  Everybody has their opinion on it, but i'm not some kind of gypsy ball reader that can look at a situation and know what's going on.  I actually need somebody to TELL me.  The kid is there, so ask them.  Take them with a grain of salt, sure.  I usually tell my dd something upfront like: I'm not saying you're solving the situation or deciding, but I'd like more information so I can understand what's going on and what you feel is going on.  So I preface it and then I let them speak.  It's kind of frustrating once you open that Pandora's box, but I go back to the idea that these ARE very bright kids who have the ability to drive themselves if we can turn the situation more positive and connect them to the process.

 

Ok, on the saxon math, that's very interesting that he says he likes it.  WHY does he say he likes it?  Nobody says you have to change.  To him are the long homework sessions not an issue?  Some kids have very high perseverance, and maybe for him it's not an issue but it's more of an issue for you?  Talk through it and see what he's saying.  He might have trouble putting it to words.  If you have to, pre-warn him ahead of time and say you know, later on today, once everybody else goes to bed, I want to stay up with you and let you tell me about what's working, what's not, and why.  That way he has some time to THINK.  If his processing speed is low (some kids' will be, some won't), then that gives him the chance to formulate his response.  You'll also see what's important to him and what's really bugging HIM.  Sometimes what's bugging him won't be what you think or expect.

 

Back to the SS/scout guy.  I swear, some people are so linear they just make boring as the hills teachers.  Don't assume anything.  If he's young and linear and doing everything verbally, he's still young and linear and doing everything with words.  You'd be AMAZED at how boring some people can be with a straight face, not even questioning themselves a little, lol.  Dd had a class like that once with someone, and at the end dd was blisteringly rude when the person asked what she thought of it.  I had suggested along the way the teacher do more with music and art and kinesthetic games and...  and the teacher every session used words and a worksheet, words and a worksheet.   :svengo:   The sad thing was for this topic there really were so many things to do with it!  Some people are just so linear, so whatever, they really don't see it.  I mean look at me.  My kid asks to do self-directed unit studies for years, and what do I do?  I keep shoving orderly studies at her.  We never learn.   :smilielol5:

 

Here was your list:

 

 

scriptures--20

math--60

language arts-60

typing-20

history/ science-40

Spanish-20

geography/art-20

logic-20

(Latin) 

 

Just out of curiosity, did you ask him what he thought about dropping the latin?  Since he was surprising on the math, I wondered what he would say on the languages.  Does he happen to use a checklist?  If he doesn't, you might find it extremely helpful.  I've posted some of my dd's in the past.  I make a table in pages (mac) with color, checkboxes, a variety of types of columns, whatever it takes to communicate the information she needs so she can sit down and do ALL her work.  She never has to wait for me.  They like that. Remember we have very bright do-ers, so they inherently want to DO and go, go, go if you give them enough structure.   

 

Now to the schedule.  I took the subjects you wrote and put beside them time estimates typical to our house.  Don't know what you're spending, but it might be a really worthwhile exercise for you.  When I make dd's checklists, that's what I do.  I write everything out so there's no wiggling, no confusing, no mom additions, nothing.  If it's a subject where I want to give her freedom, I put down the subject and a checkbox that says 1 hour.  Again, there's no confusion.  

 

So then, when I have that list I mentally go through the whole thing (written if I have to) and write down TIMES for everything.  Then I go OOPS it's probably not realistic for my dd to spend 6 hours doing heavy academics and then expect her to have energy to do her own pursuits too, kwim?  

 

You know your kid.  I don't know your kid.  I know in our house, at that age, 3-4 hours total of heavy academics was a better place to be.  And that 3-4 might include a chunk of time for reading.  When does he read?  With the latin adding another say 1/2 hour, that would have taken him up to 5 hours of formal academics a day!   :scared:   When did he read on top of that???  You'd be amazed at how many kids AREN'T READING because they're so busy pushing through some list of stuff their mother created.  The mom is shoving them through vocab programs and writing programs and...  when maybe what the kid needed was more time to themselves to read and grow.  

 

Reading is school work.  You have to figure out how much of it you'd like him to be doing a day.  In our house, I feel like if she doesn't have 1-2 hours a day to sneak somewhere and read, then we're too tight.  If your kid reads for 2 hours a day and does 5 hours of formal academics, you realize he just did *7* hours of work?!?!  At least in our area that's MORE than he'd be doing in school!!!   :ohmy:  So you have a dc with SN, who may have low processing speed or this or that, putting in as many hours or more than he would in school.  I know some schools are super-rigorous and assign hours of homework at night.  They also have lunch breaks and class parties and PE and...  

 

So I go back to 3-4 hours as a suggestion of what worked for us.  You might try the mental exercise of what it would take and how efficient you would have to be, how much chaff you would have to cut (unnecessary repetition, joy stealers, etc.) to get there realistically.  If he has pursuits of his own and you get his formal stuff down, he'll have more time and do them.  What I do with my dd, and you'll think this is crazy, is I make a line on the checklist.  Everything above the line is the formal/required work.  Everything below the line is her options stuff.  Sometimes they don't *remember* what their options are or what they'd like to do.  They need a bit of boredom and some reminders, sort of a little buffet to where they're hungry and start feeding themselves.  

 

And you know, on that reading, if he's not reading, pay him.  Make a log chart for the month and have him fill in squares for 15 minute intervals spent reading.  Make it such that if he reads say 1 1/2 hours a day, 4 days a week, for the month he'll get through all the squares and win the prize.  And the prize is, um, trip to the go cart/arcade place.  

 

At least in our house, sometimes we have to stagger values.  We don't necessarily do everything at once.  I think in terms of Winter Term, May Term, Summer Term, Fall Term.  If there's something that needs to go from the list to keep it reasonable during fall term or winter term, I know I can bring it in as an area of one month emphasis in May Term or hit it more slowly over the summer.  The summer is typically 12-13 weeks, a full semester.  May Term is usually a solid 4 weeks, sometimes verging on 5.  We get spring fever around here anyway, so I try to end our work by the end of April and do something special like that in the spring.  So that lets you DROP something, knowing you can pick it up later.  You can do an entire science program during the summer if you do double lessons.  You can do an entire art program in May Term if you do 3-4 projects a day.  I don't know about you, but we really enjoy having art or something special to do as the wind starts blowing and the daffodils bloom...  You lose attention anyway, so you might as well shift and do something special.

 

You don't have to do everything at once when you know you can stagger it.  At least that's what works for us.

 

And yes, you want to hear from people who've gone before you who got peace.  Homeschooling with these kids really WORKS, because it's a scenario where you can give them FREEDOM to pursue their strengths while making sure you're remediating areas that need them and bringing in enough support for EF, etc.  A school can't be so efficient, so a school has to wear them out and do everything evenly, factory-like.

 

Are you anywhere near a convention?  Have you been to them?  If you really want to blow your mind, come to the Cincy convention in April.  We're going to have a WTM board get together, SWB will be there, I'll be there, other ladies from the SN board may be there.  Some have come in the past, and for me it's this huge infusion of strength to know I'm surrounded by a cloud of women who have DONE this and that it can be OK.

 

http://cincinnatihomeschoolconvention.com

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PS.  My dd really enjoyed a daily dose of logic puzzles at that age.  I wouldn't drop that if he enjoys it.  Also, we moved math to later in our house because it requires more processing and wears her out.  More to talk through with him or notice, how he feels before and after.

 

PPS.  Do you standardized test every year?  You might consider that as a way to arbiter this whole school thing.  If a man/dh hasn't been researching homeschooling, he can have uninformed opinions about what it ought to look like or take our successes and ability to be efficient as problems.  My dh, bless his soul, used to take every success dd had and say now work her HARDER!  Seriously.  If he we blew through 1 1/2 years of math in 8 months, keep going.  If she's 4 grades ahead in this or that, keep going.  I finally had to buck up, realize what was going on, and stand my ground with some confidence.  If he has put in the work, he's done and his time is his own.  If his scores are fine and he's happy and growing intellectually, your job is done and his time is his.  This cannot be the child living out the dreams of the parents.  There has to be a standard and a way to say it's GOOD ENOUGH.  For us, that's testing.  Well that and the psych sitting in front of me and saying yes, Mrs. xxx, please do less with her.  My kid never scores less than tippy top on stuff.  Sometimes less is more and less is enough.  

 

Some moms for you to study here on the boards?

 

Creekland

TokyoMarie

JennW in SoCal

MtnTeaching

 

That's not to exclude anyone.  Just saying if I were depressed and down, I'd call those women into my house and let them encourage me that it works and will turn out ok.  If you go to the search feature and use advanced search, you can specify the poster and which forum or read all their posts on a specific topic (math, writing, reading, whatever).  I did that on many a Friday night for years...  :)

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I agree with OhE, go to a convention and take your DH.  What an eye opener!  And definitely read up in books written by credible sources, then excerpt important material for your DH to read if he doesn't have the patience or time to read an entire book himself.  My DH still sometimes waffles on whether homeschooling is the best option.  He wants the quick fix where you just tweak a couple of things and it all starts to run smoothly...only kids don't work that way.  Excerpting passages and sharing our successes as well as our difficulties has helped, but when I bombard him with too much either way, he gets kind of overwhelmed with the data and frustrated.

 

The Mislabeled Child by Brock and Fernette Eide helped.  The Dyslexic Advantage by the same authors helped.  Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner by Kathy Kuhl helped.  How to Homeschool Your Learning Abled Kid by Sandra Cook helped.  Even the books Smart but Scattered and The Homework Myth helped.  The more I read about various things, the more I understand and can convey to DH, not as a mom with fears, but as a well-researched parent who can point him to sources that are well written and from trustworthy sources.

 

You are not alone.  Best wishes.

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I agree with OhE, go to a convention and take your DH. 

Your man will go to a convention??  My man went ONE TIME for ONE DAY for a COUPLE HOURS and acted like he was going to DIE.   :lol:   :lol:

 

I go for the woman time and to talk with other ladies and recharge.  Leave the man, eat scrumptious food, let someone else make the beds...

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No big wisdom to offer--you've gotten great advice. I do want to say that medical folks seem to have a really hard time moving out of the fix-it box. My husband is a PA, so I know whereof I speak. There are also a lot of exceptionalities in his family that they just had to live with before fixes were available, so it seems overblown at times to work so hard to accommodate the ones we have in our little household. Thankfully, he does embrace and promote the idea that ADHD is a diagnosis of exclusion (you settle on it after ruling out all else), so we were able to pursue a better diagnosis for my son (Aspie with borderline ADHD only when sensory issues aren't kept under wraps). Your child may be ADHD and that's that, but an evaluation will tell you so much more about him even if ADHD is totally accurate and the only formal diagnosis.

 

Yes, come to the Cincinnati convention! Get your husband to come with you. My husband has been both times I've gone, and he loves it. He was very reluctant to homeschool, but he jumped right into his first convention and hasn't looked back--it really helped him wrap his head around the whole idea.

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Your man will go to a convention??  My man went ONE TIME for ONE DAY for a COUPLE HOURS and acted like he was going to DIE.   :lol:   :lol:

 

I go for the woman time and to talk with other ladies and recharge.  Leave the man, eat scrumptious food, let someone else make the beds...

Chuckle...well it isn't his first choice.  But I did get him to go to one once.  We used to work in the same field so we used to go to conventions in our field together every year and enjoyed the commonality.  Now that we don't work in the same field, it is harder.  I talked him in to going the first year we began homeschooling both kids.  I hope to get him to go again sometime but his schedule is just awful, and changes at a moment's notice.

 

Woman time sounds awesome.  I would love that.  IanSebast probably would, too.  I just thought that if OP could get her husband to go, he might might be more supportive of homeschooling.

 

By the way, OP, in reading a whole lot of posts on the LC board, going back quite a ways, it seems that those that put children back in ps usually also work with them extensively after school and on weekends and during the summer, too (like Lecka), so the work doesn't go away, it just gets shifted to the afternoon and evening hours.  Does your DH think it would all go away if you put him back in school?  Does your child want to go back to ps?  

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There are a lot of good homeschooling conventions.  The one that OhE is talking about is in Cincinnati in April.  I really want to go to that one.   I used to work in Kentucky and still have friends living in the area.  I also would love to meet people from the TWTM, especially if I could meet some of the great people that come to this board.  April is awful, though, and it doesn't look good right now.  If you do want to go to a convention, book hotel rooms early.  They have filled up quickly at the two conventions I have attended so far (both in Texas).  

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There are a lot of good homeschooling conventions.  The one that OhE is talking about is in Cincinnati in April.  I really want to go to that one.   I used to work in Kentucky and still have friends living in the area.  I also would love to meet people from the TWTM, especially if I could meet some of the great people that come to this board.  April is awful, though, and it doesn't look good right now.  If you do want to go to a convention, book hotel rooms early.  They have filled up quickly at the two conventions I have attended so far (both in Texas).  

 

If you decide to come at the last minute, you probably can get a room across the river (very, very close). We've done that two years in a row (staying at the Radisson). There is a trolley bus you can ride back to the OH side. You don't pay parking for the Radisson in KY, and you can get parking passes for five bucks during the convention if you want to drive back over and use the parking garage by the convention center. The only downside we found annoying is not having a hotel room attached to the convention where you can dump your stuff throughout the day. And if you take the trolley, you need to see where the stops are and when it runs.

 

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Your man will go to a convention??  My man went ONE TIME for ONE DAY for a COUPLE HOURS and acted like he was going to DIE.   :lol:   :lol:

 

I go for the woman time and to talk with other ladies and recharge.  Leave the man, eat scrumptious food, let someone else make the beds...

 

We don't get away without the kids EVER, so my hubby goes for the woman time and the good food too. :smilielol5:This year, we have extended family coming for the convention, so it's going to be a big family vacation with grandparents and all.

 

I think part of why it doesn't bother him to go is that his weird schedule allows him to ask off, but he doesn't take vacation time--he just asks for his days off to be those days.

 

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We don't get away without the kids EVER, so my hubby goes for the woman time and the good food too. :smilielol5:This year, we have extended family coming for the convention, so it's going to be a big family vacation with grandparents and all.

 

I think part of why it doesn't bother him to go is that his weird schedule allows him to ask off, but he doesn't take vacation time--he just asks for his days off to be those days.

 

I'm just WALKING AWAY from that one.  :D  

 

And yes to the op, the convention is at the end of April in Cincy.  Most states have a convention, so I guess just look to see what your options are.  People come from all over for the Cincy convention.  If you end up deciding you're coming, pm me and I'll connect you with the FB group for the board get together.  

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I'll definitely let you know if we can make it there, but I doubt it, dh Doesn't have that much time off, and I won't venture out with my 4 adorable monsters!

I asked my dh about his opinion on ADHD, and if he somehow thought our ds was broken, well, let me tell you, he almost bit my head off, he told me "he's not broken, not anymore than someone who has diabetes or someone who suffers from migraines, they take medication to help with their conditions, but not because they're broken, and I'll appreciate it if you don't refer to him in those terms..." Well, I was trying to get an answer, and I got one, all right! So, there you have it, he sees him as a person who suffers from a condition and who's only option is to take medicine to control it. It's very ironic that I'm super anti medicine, but married to an md!

 

A small miracle occurred, I increased ds's omega-3 intake and during the last tow days he's been very dedicated to his work! I had to call his attention a couple of times, and he took a bit longer than I wanted him to, but he got through it and I'm more than happy. He wasn't cranky or crying, he was just happy doing his work. When we corrected his math he got 2 problems wrong out of the 35 he had done, and he just said "I bet you it was a couple of silly mistakes. I'll get a perfect score next time" WHAT???? Those kinds of phrases have been unheard of in our house for a while now.

 

Anyway, I wanted to give you an update on the situation. Any thoughts on dh's reaction?

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It's very ironic that I'm super anti medicine, but married to an md!

 

A small miracle occurred, I increased ds's omega-3 intake and during the last tow days he's been very dedicated to his work! I had to call his attention a couple of times, and he took a bit longer than I wanted him to, but he got through it and I'm more than happy. He wasn't cranky or crying, he was just happy doing his work. When we corrected his math he got 2 problems wrong out of the 35 he had done, and he just said "I bet you it was a couple of silly mistakes. I'll get a perfect score next time" WHAT???? Those kinds of phrases have been unheard of in our house for a while now.

 

Anyway, I wanted to give you an update on the situation. Any thoughts on dh's reaction?

 

Yay, on the omega-3's. It can help for some kids!

 

I am anti-medicine, but so are many docs when it actually comes down to their own care, surprisingly. I also bring out the worst in nearly every doc I ever see. Having a PA for a spouse has only solidified all of this, though I consider him an excellent practitioner.

 

Prayer...that's about all I can recommend for your husband's response. You could also look up other evidence-based interventions and show him other options.

 

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Anyway, I wanted to give you an update on the situation. Any thoughts on dh's reaction?

Congrats on your success with the omega 3!!!   :thumbup: 

 

Your dh's take is not unexpected.  Broken is such a loaded, emotional term.  Nevertheless, he's still thinking of it in terms of a defect, a problem, and not something with a literal design difference.  See, if it were merely like a heart problem where you pop in a pacemaker and things tick right and they're "normal" well that would be it.  You speed 'em up with drugs AND THEY'RE STILL DIFFERENT.  Their whole design is different.

 

Just out of curiosity, is your dh the one where he got it from or you?  Dunno, just saying he seemed really defensive.

 

I think a woman has great power to stretch her husband's understanding with sort of a gentle, quiet work.  Do what needs to be done, learn for yourself, and quietly teach him.  He'll probably see it in the end, ten years from now...

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Ds got it from me, I have ADD pretty badly. It's pretty hard for me to keep up with schedules, so we have routines instead, I have a million projects that I've started but not completed and I'm pretty scattered brained :-). As a little girl my teachers complained that I got distracted too easily and since my work was done before most of my peers', I was also a distraction! To this day I cannot do just one thing at a time. I fold clothes, do my homework (online master's), wash dishes and set up schedules while watching tv. I clean and shower while listening to music, books or talks on cd. I bring my crochet work to the movie theatre so I don't have to just sit there to watch a movie. I have more than 5 books in my nightstand that I'm currently reading.....I'm sure you get the idea

 

Dh is a great doctor, but I'm glad he's not our doctor. He has great expectations from medicines, because of he great research that goes into the making of any of them. He's also aware that medicines can be double edge swords and can have nasty side effects, but he believes in trying until you find the "right one," because in his opinion it's out there and all you have to do is find it. He wasn't there to see the disasters created by the different meds we tried at first, so for him "there was visible behavioral improvement" when ds was drugged up because he only got to see the poor kid who was tired from a horrible ill day, but he wasn't the one rubbing an achy belly or cleaning up vomit from the carpet during the day!

 

I showed dh a spreadsheet I have in the computer where he could see that by May ds will have completed 7th grade. He agreed that if in May, when we revisit the document he has indeed completed everything, he'll take it back and not insist on the ps issue. Ds cries desperately every time he hears anyone talking about the possibility of being sent there. I'm confident I'll work. I took out a few things, like Latin, and stretched out others to give us time to finish them.

 

Dh is a kind and smart md, a great man, a dreamed husband and a wonderful father, but he's a fixer! He became an md to fix people! I'm in love with him but, unfortunately for him, I'm not in love with his tools. :-)

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Well I guess work hard then and keep on track!  Some outside accountability is good like that, and you can acknowledge that.  My dd would get antsy about things, and I'd tell her I CAN'T compromise because it's the LAW.  :D  Seriously, it is the law in our state.  :)  It's ok to have some things like that to help you keep going when it's rough.  On the other hand, I'd probably redefine what 7th grade is and make sure it's within reach.  ;)   

 

Well I'm glad things are looking a little up for you.  Keep us posted. And yes, you people who do a jillion things at once are pretty wow to me.  I do ONE thing at a time, just one thing.  I just do it all the way.  :)  So if I get on a cleaning kick, I forget to cook or do laundry, oops.  Dd is like you though, lots of irons in the fire, and she likes living her life that way.  Makes her an interesting human being.  :)

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