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Ahhh... what to do with ds 9???


Jasperstone
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Please don't quote, as I might delete later.

 

My ds 9 (nearly 10) has spent the week sitting at the table, but not doing his schoolwork. I've grounded him from tv, and other fun stuff. Tried rewards etc...but he just refuses to do his work, and sits there doodling on his workbooks!

 

I have had this before, but not 3 days straight in a row. I've told him he'll being do some catch up work in the Easter holidays, but he's acting like he doesn't care! Ahhhh......

 

It's stressing me out big time!

 

What would you do with him? Send him to school?

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I'd do things he was interested in, at least for some time. The beauty of homeschooling is flexibility.

Yes, was going to take ds5 & dd 12 to a theme park (have yearly passes) this afternoon, but it started raining! He would act like he doesn't care though.

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You need a hard reset. Both of you.

 

Therapist trick for resistant kids...I let them choose one activity and I choose the next one. Alternate until time is up or the work is done, in your case. Get outside some to start your day. Keep him at elbow. Move from the table, and sit in the couch. Eat popcorn during school. Anything to push the reset button.

 

You are in a control battle, and no one wins these. Switch things up to shake you both out of your bad rut. Let him save face.

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General housework. .. stopping by every now and then, and telling him to stop doodling and get on with it. He's sooo stubborn. Unfortunately, he takes after my dad.

 

He also greatly resembles other nine-year-old boys to whom he is not related. :)

 

Can you do housework before or after his lessons, and supervise him more? Maybe work at a blackboard with him and help him stay engaged? You won't have to be that involved forever -- it's a matter of training him to pay attention while waiting for him to grow up enough to do it reliably on his own.

 

You mentioned sending him to school. The teacher at school wouldn't do cleaning and go about her other business and check in on the kids every now and then. She would be watching them all the time, to keep them on task. You can do that, too.

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I'd sit with him. I know it probably feels like 'giving in', but I'd just make a cup of tea and sit down with him while he got the work done.

 

I don't have to sit with ds as much now - but I did when he was 9.

 

Sorry it's been a frustrating week!

Thanx. I sat with him all morning already, and it didnt help. Sooo over it.

 

I keep thinking you can lead a horse to water....

 

Is it a common 9-10 boy thing, do you think?

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He also greatly resembles other nine-year-old boys to whom he is not related. :)

 

Can you do housework before or after his lessons, and supervise him more? Maybe work at a blackboard with him and help him stay engaged? You won't have to be that involved forever -- it's a matter of training him to pay attention while waiting for him to grow up enough to do it reliably on his own.

 

You mentioned sending him to school. The teacher at school wouldn't do cleaning and go about her other business and check in on the kids every now and then. She would be watching them all the time, to keep them on task. You can do that, too.

 

Its afternoon time here. I have sat with him all morning, but can't sit anymore when it's not working etc...

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It can be.  But I agree with texasmama that part of this is probably a control issue at this point and neither of you wants to give in.  You will both lose.  You need a hard reset.  Something to start this whole process over.   Are you absolutely certain there isn't anything in his school work that he struggles with?   Something he feels insecure about?  And I agree with Sadie, does he have any outside interests he feels good about accomplishing?  In fact, if he does, maybe you could spin some school work off of his interests...?

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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You need a hard reset. Both of you.

 

Therapist trick for resistant kids...I let them choose one activity and I choose the next one. Alternate until time is up or the work is done, in your case. Get outside some to start your day. Keep him at elbow. Move from the table, and sit in the couch. Eat popcorn during school. Anything to push the reset button.

 

You are in a control battle, and no one wins these. Switch things up to shake you both out of your bad rut. Let him save face.

Won't he just use that again with me? My dd 12 is so easy to keep motivated. But ds is so head-strong. I know he doing it as a punishment for me. Not sure why exactly though.

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Won't he just use that again with me? My dd 12 is so easy to keep motivated. But ds is so head-strong. I know he doing it as a punishment for me. Not sure why exactly though.

He does it because he can. :) You need something radically different for at least a week to shake things up. Also make a point to find some one on one time doing something you both enjoy. A walk, a board game, a cuddle on the couch. You need some positive currency in your relationship bank account. Neither of you enjoys the other right now, and you need to get that back.
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He does it because he can. :) You need something radically different for at least a week to shake things up. Also make a point to find some one on one time doing something you both enjoy. A walk, a board game, a cuddle on the couch. You need some positive currency in your relationship bank account. Neither of you enjoys the other right now, and you need to get that back.

You're right.

 

Thanx.

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But ds is so head-strong. I know he doing it as a punishment for me. Not sure why exactly though.

I'm headstrong with both my boys taking after me (why can't they take after hubby :p ) It might be a boundary pushing issue though at this age, finding out what they can get away with.

 

For my younger, taking away everything and just let him sit there works. He gets so bored he either fall asleep at the table or ask for his work back. He also needs to run after every hour or so because he is my energizer bunny.

For my older, having to finish his work until it's bedtime help. The next day he would get more work done before doodling and so on. Sometimes it's the weather though, he gets hay fever like me.

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Please don't quote, as I might delete later.

 

My ds 9 (nearly 10) has spent the week sitting at the table, but not doing his schoolwork. I've grounded him from tv, and other fun stuff. Tried rewards etc...but he just refuses to do his work, and sits there doodling on his workbooks!

 

I have had this before, but not 3 days straight in a row. I've told him he'll being do some catch up work in the Easter holidays, but he's acting like he doesn't care! Ahhhh......

 

It's stressing me out big time!

 

What would you do with him? Send him to school?

 

Without knowing what it is you are expecting him to do, I would toss everything and start from scratch. I would not blame his behavior on his age, gender, ability, or anything else; I would assume that what you are requiring him to do something that is very inappropriate for him--too easy, too hard, totally not his learning style, something. And I would take the time to figure out what will work better for him. If nothing else, I would not walk off and leave him sitting alone. It would break my heart to see that happen.

 

I cannot imagine letting a 9yo child sit at a table for three days. Not ever.

 

And I would definitely not send him to school.

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When my kids don't do schoolwork they help out at home. Yard work, cleaning bathrooms, painting, whatever. When they get tired, we point out that manual labor is hard, and only school gets you past that.

 

Granted, we public school, but if you feel he has not earned a vacation, well--there are edifying, non-school things you can do which can be pleasant for awhile but not a vacation.

 

DD1 got through two rooms clean before Singapore math started looking good.

 

But there was a choice and she did do hours of work. I tried not to make it too punitive and more of a choice. I don't know if it came off like that though.

 

I think ten is too old to be lazing about all day, personally. They need to do something edifying or useful for at least part of the day.

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I don't know how systemic this situation is for you, but I have a just turned 10 DS who I've been battling with over school for years. It was taking so much of my energy to drag this kid through every little thing every day. Fighting with him was decreasing my energy and time for my three girls, and it was affecting our relationship because I was so mad at him all the time.

 

So guess what? I put him in school this past January. We moved in December to a home that happens to be right around the corner from an elementary school, and I decided to make the break. And he is thriving! He's really good at getting his homework done, although I still have to nag him to get anything else done (chores, practicing, etc.) The school isn't perfect, and I'm not sure what we're going to do with him next year. But having him go to school has been a real blessing for all of us this year. I'm definitely not saying that is what you should do, but if it's been an ongoing situation that is affecting other people in your home it's worth looking into. Good luck with that boy!

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I spent 2 years sitting next to DS during school at the 9-11 age.  Much of his issue was pure boredom and feeling like there would never be an end to the work.  So I set limits on how much time he had to do each subject.  Since I sat with him I could keep him on task until the timer went off then we'd have a short break, food or activity then back to work for another 1/2 hour-1 hour.  I also limited the total amount of time we spent on school each day.  That was around the time I cut out all busywork and nonessential subjects.  

 

I would also stop any and all punishments, he sounds stubborn (not a bad thing) and stubborn children rarely give in when being punished. 

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I had and have currently boys like this. My oldest would go on strike for a week at a time. It was so frustrating - at around 15 he finally kicked into gear and started Open Uni at 16- now doing Aerospace Engineering and got on the Deans list last year.

I keep reminding myself of this all the time and it is assisting me got get through each day with ds11.... We have sort of made a compromise, ds11 finds he can concentrate better on his schoolwork after his bedtime ( yes I know :glare: ). So he does most of his literacy subjects at night with me sitting right beside him on his bed from 8:30 to 10 pm. Some nights he is too tired ( like last night) which means that I spent the whole of today struggling to get him to do a few subjects and we missed out on Science ( the only subject he likes).

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You might have to sit with him. When oldest was little, sometimes I'd schedule workbook stuff right before a preferred activity. He didn't get to do the thing until it was done. Sometimes he'd start and then be working on it in the car while I drove there. Sometimes he was even still doing it in the parking lot while activity started, but he got it done and ran in a few minutes late. My neighbor had a year where her ds refused to pick up his pace in math. Guess who came home from swim team practice all summer to do math while the other boys were racing around the neighborhood. He kept up with his work the next year.

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As a stubborn, resistant person once I'm in " heels dug in mode" it is hard to stop. At 9 it's darn near impossible. You want to " win" so you need to reset or in essence change the game and rules. Different scenery, different work, different schedule. A backwards day, a day of educational videos, nature walk week. Whatever. And don't return him to the same place with the same work. It'll flip back. And yes it's a royal pain. Pick another time and place to help him understand the whole better way to deal with life.

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Yes, if there's a particular thing ds wants to do, then he flies through his work. He is very capable of doing it.

 

Melissa, I've noticed that around 7-9pm my ds also doesn't mind doing his work then. It just makes a loooong day having him up doing it at that time. But whatever works, hey?

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I'd change up his work. If he's doing lots of workbooks, I'd find a different way to present the material. Not everyone is a workbook learner. For example, my kids loved using the white board. They would do their math problems from the workbook and I'd just check it off as they did it. I didn't make them rework the problems in the workbook. For grammar lessons, I had different color markers. When learning a new part of speech, they would write it in one color while the rest of the sentence was in another color. They thoroughly enjoyed diagramming. For writing, as in sentences or a paragraph, I would alternate with ds sometimes. He'd write a sentence, then I'd write the next one with him dictating, etc. And you know what? He got over the need to do that. He was a model high school student and is now graduated.

 

What are you using for History? How about Story of the World with the cool activity books? Experiment based Science? Read alouds on the sofa, hanging upside down? Letting him draw while you read?

 

Just tossing out some ideas. These might be teacher intensive, but oh so worth it.

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What are you using for History? How about Story of the World with the cool activity books? Experiment based Science? Read alouds on the sofa, hanging upside down? Letting him draw while you read?

 

 

-----------------

 

Yep, do read alouds. And my dc love SOTW in audio.

 

It's only English and math that requires seat work.

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I have to sit with my 9 year old.  He won't do the work if I don't. 

 

In between our work he also spends time doing some sort of physical activity.  It helps him concentrate better in general.  The weather is lousy right now so we have a few indoor things he can use.  When the weather is better we take walks up to the park. 

 

 

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What are you using for History? How about Story of the World with the cool activity books? Experiment based Science? Read alouds on the sofa, hanging upside down? Letting him draw while you read?

 

 

-----------------

 

Yep, do read alouds. And my dc love SOTW in audio.

 

It's only English and math that requires seat work.

 

Perhaps move math to a big white board with different color markers. 

 

Teach him to type for English and/or have him use a set of gel pens in different colors. Set up a work space outside now that the weather is getting warmer. 

 

I know these are little things and the situation is frustrating, but I'd just thought I'd throw it out there. Working outside is usually the thing that helps most around here.

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I spent 2 years sitting next to DS during school at the 9-11 age.  Much of his issue was pure boredom and feeling like there would never be an end to the work.  So I set limits on how much time he had to do each subject.  Since I sat with him I could keep him on task until the timer went off then we'd have a short break, food or activity then back to work for another 1/2 hour-1 hour.  I also limited the total amount of time we spent on school each day.  That was around the time I cut out all busywork and nonessential subjects.  

 

I would also stop any and all punishments, he sounds stubborn (not a bad thing) and stubborn children rarely give in when being punished. 

 

This is helpful for my 9 year old as well.  He wants to know what the plan is for the day and when it'll end.

 

I try my best to find stuff he enjoys, but honestly he'd rather just do whatever fun thing he wants than any of it.  So sometimes it's not stuff he likes at all. 

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I feel your pain. I frequently need to shake things up to keep my almost 13-year-old moving through the day.

 

Some things I've done: packed up the schoolbooks, grab his bike, and head for the park. After each subject is done, he gets to ride or play. Fresh air can help.

 

Get out a favorite board game. Play 10 minutes or a certain number of turns between each subject.

 

Bribe 'em: Each correct answer rates a certain number of M&Ms or some such tiny treat.

 

Look at funny animal videos on the web. (Laughter helps change the mood.) He can watch a few more minutes when a subject is done.

 

These things don't always work. Some days are just hard or ugly or frustrating. But anything that can change the dynamic that's going on at the moment can help.

 

Good luck. This kind of stuff can make you want to tear your hair out.

 

 

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If he works best late at night, could you jump-start him one day, so that he gets "special permission" to stay up late as long as he's doing TOMORROW's work?

 

(I don't know if that would work or not, but it's the premise we use for doing school in the summer. If we were still dragging out last school year, we'd all be dying, but by "getting a head start" on NEXT year's work, we're all willing to put it 45 minutes a day or so, and we shave off a significant chunk of work that lightens our load during the year. Perhaps the parallel would help him?)

 

Or what we're doing with a 9yo boy in this house (+ a few other kids, LOL) - go to the science museum for a week straight! :) It's March! Get out of the house!

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I think we'd take a 3 day break from school while he helped me deep clean the house.  This would give us both a break from the lock jam (and me a chance to think it over) while not rewarding him for (IMO) unacceptable behavior. 

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One thing that helps that type of situation here is if I can totally lay it out, "look, I want you to do the work and you don't want to. Obviously this is not working, so we are going to (whatever you want, take today off to reset, back you up to fact practice in case this is too hard, switch to a different writing program in case this is too easy..)"

 

That way you acknowledge the struggle and why you are making a change, as opposed to "giving in". I would also ask for his thoughts on how we can avoid this in the future since it it's so unpleasant for me and reduces my ability to plan fun things.something like that. Trying to avoid slipping in passive-aggressive statements (blush).

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Refusing to do anything is what my ds9 does when he feels pressured, stressed, and anxious; in other words, when things are too hard for him, he freezes.

 

He needs adjusted expectations, more support, more incentives and encouragement, and maybe a break from something particularly difficult.

 

Took me awhile to figure out that it was a stress response, he doesn't come out and tell me what the problem is, just sits and glowers.

 

I agree with others who say focus on the relationship; try to see things from his perspective and don't condemn him even in your mind; kids know when we are feeling negatively towards them and they resent that and become defensive. You will be stuck in a power struggle if your focus is on making him fix his behavior. You and he need to get back on the same team.

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I've only skimmed through the thread, so forgive me if this is a repeat. I had a dd like that around that age. She is my youngest, who never went to ps at all. What I found with her was that there were just too many problems or questions in the lesson, and it was a big, overwhelming thing for her (she gets overwhelmed very easily). Took me forever to figure it out though! Anyway, I started letting her do half lessons, making each subject very short. It worked. 

 

Now, she is 16, and when I ask if she wants to drop something (like spelling recently), she says that no, she hates it, but she knows she needs to do it. So there is hope.  :001_smile:

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You know, a lot of times I think my kids can do the work they're refusing to do, but when I take a deep breath and calm down I realize they aren't really so lazy or stubborn that they're willing to make everybody in the house miserable to get out of doing something easy for them. No, that's actually me, as it turns out. Usually, it's not "attitude", it's legitimate problems. "Bad attitude" is what I say when really I mean "I don't want to be bothered to deal with you". I'm the one who is guilty of having a bad attitude at those moments - not the kid.

 

For that matter, that happened to me as a child. I got accused frequently of laziness, when the truth was that I couldn't do the work. Teachers (and often my parents) assumed that if I could add three numbers together, I was capable of going home, taking out a math book,  locating a pencil, copying out 10 problems, and solving them - neatly. Well, I wasn't. They also figured that if I spoke clearly, I could write an essay on the topic of my choice. Couldn't do that either, I just couldn't organize my thoughts well enough. And don't get me started on how they all handled handwriting, or, rather, didn't handle it.

 

Accusing me of lazy stubbornness didn't help resolve my very real issues in these areas. Accusing my girls of the same doesn't help them, which is why I try to remember not to do it. I'm not in their heads. You're not in your son's head. Children generally can't articulate clearly why they're having trouble. I think it's more likely that he really does have some barrier there - he doesn't understand the work, or he has trouble with planning, or whatever - than that he's just decided it'd be fun to spend all day every day at the table rather than give in.

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You know, a lot of times I think my kids can do the work they're refusing to do, but when I take a deep breath and calm down I realize they aren't really so lazy or stubborn that they're willing to make everybody in the house miserable to get out of doing something easy for them. No, that's actually me, as it turns out. Usually, it's not "attitude", it's legitimate problems. "Bad attitude" is what I say when really I mean "I don't want to be bothered to deal with you". I'm the one who is guilty of having a bad attitude at those moments - not the kid.

 

For that matter, that happened to me as a child. I got accused frequently of laziness, when the truth was that I couldn't do the work. Teachers (and often my parents) assumed that if I could add three numbers together, I was capable of going home, taking out a math book,  locating a pencil, copying out 10 problems, and solving them - neatly. Well, I wasn't. They also figured that if I spoke clearly, I could write an essay on the topic of my choice. Couldn't do that either, I just couldn't organize my thoughts well enough. And don't get me started on how they all handled handwriting, or, rather, didn't handle it.

 

Accusing me of lazy stubbornness didn't help resolve my very real issues in these areas. Accusing my girls of the same doesn't help them, which is why I try to remember not to do it. I'm not in their heads. You're not in your son's head. Children generally can't articulate clearly why they're having trouble. I think it's more likely that he really does have some barrier there - he doesn't understand the work, or he has trouble with planning, or whatever - than that he's just decided it'd be fun to spend all day every day at the table rather than give in.

 

:iagree: :iagree: :iagree:

 

Very well said. And it is why flames shoot through me when someone suggests that her child won't do whatever-it-is because he is "lazy" or "stubborn."

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My ds 9 (nearly 10) has spent the week sitting at the table, but not doing his schoolwork. I've grounded him from tv, and other fun stuff. Tried rewards etc...but he just refuses to do his work, and sits there doodling on his workbooks!

 

I have had this before, but not 3 days straight in a row. I've told him he'll being do some catch up work in the Easter holidays, but he's acting like he doesn't care! Ahhhh......

 

It's stressing me out big time!

 

What would you do with him? Send him to school?

 

Is the work he is not doing intended to reinforce concepts you have already taught?  Generally what I have found works best with most of our kids is to go over the concepts and then assign problems, reading, and or projects to reinforce/solidify those concepts. This often also can double as an assessment tool.  If they aren't able to work through problems then we may need to go back to the concepts again in a different way to ensure that they are really understanding. I realize that this is congruent with the approach in good school systems and therefore there are some posters that the idea will be distasteful just because of this common ground.  I don't know you well enough to know if you fall in that camp, however, if you don't, I think I would take some steps to make the day more interactive and have you be more involved in teaching. If you can't, or don't want to, take that kind of an approach then you may want to consider other educational opportunities where you child could have a taste of that approach and see if it worked better for him. 

 

As an aside, I grasp that whatever approach you are using likely worked very well for your daughter. While that is great for her, it doesn't necessarily mean that the solution is to just keep up with the same approach for your son.  All kids are different.  Our eldest daughter did reach a point where she pretty much self taught most of her high school math from an assigned curriculum.  DH and I were available to answer questions, provide assistance, and throw out some problems she hadn't seen to make sure she really understood what she was doing not just learning how to solve the specific problems from her text through repetition.  We were a bit wary but she really was quite fine on her own.  More than that, she enjoyed figuring it out herself.  In contrast, DD15 benefited from much more structure and instruction in algebra I&II, geometry, and now trigonometry and advanced algebra. With that she has been successful and has a great foundation in math.  Both daughters are bright and competent but different learning approaches work better for them.

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Melissa, I've noticed that around 7-9pm my ds also doesn't mind doing his work then. It just makes a loooong day having him up doing it at that time. But whatever works, hey?

You have my sympathies there. It is a long day (says the mom who just pushed back bedtimes an hour for the youngers and an hour and a half for my 10yo), but if it makes the rest of the day run smoother, it's worth it. We're a second shift family. Trying to make our day work around 1st shift hours is just silly. Maybe he's a second shift kind of guy? After all, not everyone in this world works first shift. Since you homeschool, you can go with it. Can you work in some quiet time for you during daylight hours? Maybe like what SWB describes in her day in the life videos on YouTube.

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Although I agree that sometimes "stubborn" children are reacting to having a hard time with their work, it is not always true. My stubborn son isn't stubborn because he is struggling with the work. He is stubborn because he doesn't like being told what to do or corrected. He doesn't like being wrong and he will resist correcting his work or his behavior. The more I correct (his schoolwork or his behavior) or teach (anything about academics or character issues), the harder he digs in his heels. It's very frustrating and makes it hard to be an effective teacher for him.

 

In our case, we've been struggling with this for years. Forever. My teacherly personality and his resistance to being taught are a poor mix. DH and I are probably enrolling him in school next year. Our relationship is suffering, and it is more important at the end of his childhood for me to have a positive relationship with him than it is for me to have been his academic instructor.

 

Although it is not a popular opinion on a homeschooling forum, it's okay to consider sending kids to school. I've had a hard time reconciling myself to that, because in my heart I am a homeschooler.

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Also, I agree with those who have suggested he may need more time and attention from you. I sit with my children the entire time that they are doing their work. I'm busy, either going over work they have completed, conducting our group lessons, or working one-on-one with individual children. Your son may need more of you. And you may not want to do that. That's understandable. I don't particularly want to spend my days doing elementary schoolwork alongside my kids, either. It's not a ton of fun for me, and the other things that I want to accomplish with my time (housework, cooking, hobbies, my personal goals) get neglected. It's hard to commit to having my seat in that seat right beside my kids all day. But it's what they need, so I do it.

 

ETA: I happen to be taking a little break from being "teacher" right at this moment, because I was in tears over my son's stubborn behavior this morning. So I get it. I truly do. Each of my kids brings their own challenges to our family dynamics (and believe me, we have some real challenges with our other kids), but this stubborn thing is what is breaking my heart. It is the hardest part of parenting for me. So whatever you end up doing to try to address these issues with your son, maybe it will help a bit to know that you aren't alone in your struggles.

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:iagree: :iagree: :iagree:

 

Very well said. And it is why flames shoot through me when someone suggests that her child won't do whatever-it-is because he is "lazy" or "stubborn."

 

Well, I can tell you from my experience as a child and with my own, that sometimes kids ARE lazy and stubborn.  I was lazy in school and refused to do most work.  It was boring and I hated it.  I could have done it; I just didn't want to.

 

My now 16 year old openly admits that the struggles that I had with him for 2 years were just him being stubborn about not wanting to do work that was boring (and no, he admits, there is nothing on this earth I could have done to make most of it interesting to him, he still finds math just as boring, but he sucks it up and does it).

 

Now, I also agree, that this isn't always the case.  There are often issues at work.  But you might want to cool your flames, because reality IS that sometimes kids are lazy and stubborn.

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Well, I can tell you from my experience as a child and with my own, that sometimes kids ARE lazy and stubborn.  I was lazy in school and refused to do most work.  It was boring and I hated it.  I could have done it; I just didn't want to.

 

My now 16 year old openly admits that the struggles that I had with him for 2 years were just him being stubborn about not wanting to do work that was boring (and no, he admits, there is nothing on this earth I could have done to make most of it interesting to him, he still finds math just as boring, but he sucks it up and does it).

 

Now, I also agree, that this isn't always the case.  There are often issues at work.  But you might want to cool your flames, because reality IS that sometimes kids are lazy and stubborn.

 

That is true. :-) But that shouldn't be one of the first things that a parent suggests when her child doesn't do what she thinks he should do.

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