Jump to content

Menu

Recommended Posts

This is thinking way ahead for me, but I'd like some feedback since it's something my husband brings up occasionally!  Two part question:  What challenges have you faced when homeschooling a son who's 12ish, especially if he the only one being home schooled and is, for the most part, home alone with mom during the day?  In our case this is because he's the youngest, and that's just life. 😆  What did you do aside from standard discipline to address these challenges (I'm thinking organizationally, scheduling, resources, and overall strategies to reduce the impact of the challenges before they reach chronic discipline status)? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't gone through this myself, as my boys were close in age and also are the 2 oldest, but a friend of mine irl has 1 son and 3 daughters and she always talked about how much she had to work hard to find something for him to be involved in where he could show leadership and "be a man" and not be constantly "mothered" by someone.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I may have shared some of this info with you before, apologies if this seems repetitive! We tried a number of different things with DS, who is the oldest but his younger sister started homeschooling before he did. Main challenge: he did not want to do the work with me, because he thought he knew it all already; but when I said, "OK you can do it independently" he didn't do it; and I simply didn't have the time (due to many hours working from home) to oversee. We thought he was bored and needed more of a challenge, but when I assigned more difficult work, he didn't do that either. He needed me to be a full-time homeschool mom overseeing him for at least that first year, and I wouldn't have been able to quit my job due to serious financial and health problems in the family.

If you are a few years ahead of middle school, it's worth beginning to "train" for independent work now. See if he can stay on-task for 10 minutes without you. And, if you recently brought him home from PS, assume you'll need to fill in some gaps. I didn't know, for over a year after we brought DS home, that he literally didn't know his times table, and by the time I found out, he had become very stubborn about not practicing with Mom. So he still doesn't know the eights or above very solidly. Apparently at the PS they didn't care whether he had them memorized, bc calculators? I now think DS' "work with Mom" avoidance was because he knew he was behind, and he was ashamed of it and didn't want to be found out.

Also, you can let your DH know right now that 7th, 8th, and possibly 9th will be "brain soup" years. Both my kids seemed to regress in terms of actual knowledge, focus, work ethic, and executive functioning in 7th. With DS, it has been a long slog back, although something seems to be clicking in the last few weeks (he's about to start 10th). DD is about to start 8th, so we'll see whether the melty brain continues this year or not.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

DS is my only and he is 13.  He's always been mothered and always been homeschooled.  However, starting last year, our relationship evolved into something not mother-son-ish.  We hang out, we do things like friends, he talks to me like a friend, but I can't say that I do a whole lot of mothering.  I'm also a single parent, so he gets himself lunch more days, breakfast half the time; he has responsibilities around the house - animal care (we have lots), housework, etc.  

I agree that your DS should start ramping up the independent work at this stage.  I told DS that I have to be able to trust him to get ALL of his schoolwork done while I'm gone during the day (he's otherwise home by himself for the most part), or else I'm walking him down the block and registering him for ps.  He occasionally regresses, like the PP said, it's "brain soup" years. I give advice about which subject he should start with first, depending on how he slept, but for the most part, he directs his day and what he does.

What specific challenges are you facing with him?  I guess I'm not quite understanding...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, WendyAndMilo said:

What specific challenges are you facing with him?  I guess I'm not quite understanding...

My son is only two years old!  😆  Kudos to you for doing such a good job motivating your son from afar as a single mom.  My mother was a single mom for all of my teen years--every day is a labor of love. 💗 Over the years my husband has told me that at some point when boys reach youth they stop caring so much about what their mothers or female authorities have to say--they actively seek a male role model to copy and learn from.  According to him it's a natural phase/part of growing a male identity, but it does need to be managed positively.  He is extremely dubious about our son being the last one around homeschooling during that age range.  My mother actually had a hard time with this being a single mom of three boys (I'm the only girl).  For her it was a constant battle to get them to listen to her at times!  I remember a few parent teacher conferences when I was a middle school teacher where all six of us subject teachers would get together to make a plan for a male student--all of the female teachers would describe the same sort of shenanigans in their classroom but the one or two male teachers had "very motivated and well behaved" experiences with those boys.  At least for some boys there is this phase of just not listening to women for some reason.  It's not PC to say but does seem to play out as some boys move from child to youth.   I know there are many moms on here who have successfully homeschooled a middle school boy in that age bracket, so I wanted to get some experienced feedback to think ahead and not feel like that time frame will be "hopeless."  

edit:  I should probably directly ask my three bros how they felt at that age!  I'm just going based off of how they acted.  😆

 

Edited by JoyKM
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, JoyKM said:

My son is only two years old!  😆  Kudos to you for doing such a good job motivating your son from afar as a single mom.  My mother was a single mom for all of my teen years--every day is a labor of love. 💗 Over the years my husband has told me that at some point when boys reach youth they stop caring so much about what their mothers or female authorities have to say--they actively seek a male role model to copy and learn from.  According to him it's a natural phase/part of growing a male identity, but it does need to be managed positively.  He is extremely dubious about our son being the last one around homeschooling during that age range.  My mother actually had a hard time with this being a single mom of three boys (I'm the only girl).  For her it was a constant battle to get them to listen to her at times!  I remember a few parent teacher conferences when I was a middle school teacher where all six of us subject teachers would get together to make a plan for a male student--all of the female teachers would describe the same sort of shenanigans in their classroom but the one or two male teachers had "very motivated and well behaved" experiences with those boys.  At least for some boys there is this phase of just not listening to women for some reason.  It's not PC to say but does seem to play out as some boys move from child to youth.   I know there are many moms on here who have successfully homeschooled a middle school boy in that age bracket, so I wanted to get some experienced feedback to think ahead and not feel like that time frame will be "hopeless."  

Oh I see.  I thought it was a current situation.  Not hopeless but 10 years is a LONG ways away...

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, WendyAndMilo said:

Oh I see.  I thought it was a current situation.  Not hopeless but 10 years is a LONG ways away...

Yeah--I just need the balanced perspective now as it's already been a discussion point!  I'm going to remember to build independent learning early so as to avoid a nagging, "motherish" feeling as the years approach.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, JoyKM said:

Yeah--I just need the balanced perspective now as it's already been a discussion point!  I'm going to remember to build independent learning early so as to avoid a nagging, "motherish" feeling as the years approach.  

...IF that is what your son needs/is able to do.  Many parents here don't start independent working until high school; others start a lot earlier.  You ONLY have to remember to teach and mother the son in front of you.  If your son is capable of working independently at 12, great.  If he isn't ready until 14, great.  And what he is able to do at 11 may not work at 12 and so on...  But sure, family calendars and task lists and such can be started at any age so it's more natural for your DS to merge into, but don't count on it 🙂

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, JoyKM said:

My son is only two years old!  😆  Kudos to you for doing such a good job motivating your son from afar as a single mom.  My mother was a single mom for all of my teen years--every day is a labor of love. 💗 Over the years my husband has told me that at some point when boys reach youth they stop caring so much about what their mothers or female authorities have to say--they actively seek a male role model to copy and learn from.  According to him it's a natural phase/part of growing a male identity, but it does need to be managed positively.  He is extremely dubious about our son being the last one around homeschooling during that age range.  My mother actually had a hard time with this being a single mom of three boys (I'm the only girl).  For her it was a constant battle to get them to listen to her at times!  I remember a few parent teacher conferences when I was a middle school teacher where all six of us subject teachers would get together to make a plan for a male student--all of the female teachers would describe the same sort of shenanigans in their classroom but the one or two male teachers had "very motivated and well behaved" experiences with those boys.  At least for some boys there is this phase of just not listening to women for some reason.  It's not PC to say but does seem to play out as some boys move from child to youth.   I know there are many moms on here who have successfully homeschooled a middle school boy in that age bracket, so I wanted to get some experienced feedback to think ahead and not feel like that time frame will be "hopeless."  

edit:  I should probably directly ask my three bros how they felt at that age!  I'm just going based off of how they acted.  😆


If your DH is thinking about this so far in advance, that's a good sign that over the next decade you can train him to take over some of the schoolwork accountability by that time! 😄

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/13/2020 at 8:39 PM, JoyKM said:

my husband has told me that at some point when boys reach youth they stop caring so much about what their mothers or female authorities have to say--they actively seek a male role model to copy and learn from.  According to him it's a natural phase/part of growing a male identity, but it does need to be managed positively. 

I have only read up to this post, so forgive me if I am repeating.

I have only boys and I agree with your husband.

But it's NBD and not really worth worrying about and I don't think being the only boy has anything to do with it, so I disagree as well 🙂 

Of *course* they pull away. But I mean does your husband plan on leaving you guys? I assume not, so you'll be fine. He'll be there. Also, kids start having their own dominant interests and through them they will interact with boys and men out in the world. 

On 7/13/2020 at 8:39 PM, JoyKM said:

At least for some boys there is this phase of just not listening to women for some reason.  It's not PC to say but does seem to play out as some boys move from child to youth. 

 

I agree with this as well, but again it doesn't matter overmuch. You will have expectations for appropriate conduct, yes? And your husband will be on the same page? Then you just handle it like anything else (and have good friends to kvetch and cry about it with bc you can't be seen to take any of it personally in front of the kid-- we can not burden them with our problems even if the problem is them LOL-- and just concentrate on leading him--like a leader-- which is actually what those kinds of kids want 🙂. Someone to push against who won't give. ). They want to be spoken to "like a man," and some boys just assume (often correctly!!!) that their own mother, and by extension the other women in his life (never forget that we're their models!!) can not or will not be able to do that. 

PLUS, you don't know that your son will be that way and it's actually likely he will not. Going into the teen years assuming he's going to act like a POS because of this misplaced (or well-placed) emotional expectation that they themselves likely can not name) isn't going to do anything good for any of you! 

All that to say: it'll be fine. No worries 🙂 Tell your husband to be a good man "out loud" as it were. Make sure your son sleeps and eats lots of veggies and moves around A LOT. Like, so much. It's ridiculous. I have bookish kids and they're still so....much. 😄 And be prepared to look up one day and he's 700 feet tall and hairy and all the little kid "lasts" are behind you 😞 BOOM! 

And maybe rewatch Arrested Development to remind yourself you don't want to raise a Buster Bluth Motherboy and let him get on with it hahaha. 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Quoting myself to expand on this a bit.

21 minutes ago, OKBud said:

concentrate on leading him--like a leader-- which is actually what those kinds of kids want 🙂. Someone to push against who won't give.

 

I have been talking a lot to a few older women lately about raising boys into men, as well as with my husband. 

From my perspective it looks like these boys that, for whatever reason (natural proclivity or some tremendous upset in their lives), have this need to push... at some point "to be loved" means to have boundaries. Like the love and the boundaries are synonymous. And with most girls maybe you can be a little more fluid with them. 

Like, they get to feeling out-of-control and the world is so big and full of possibility, yanno? They really need a line to toe. My MIL says of my husband, "when he zigged I zagged," and all are in agreement that that was what he needed. Those boys can rage...and they are man-sized!... and howl and all the rest, but it's because inside they're A MESS, not because they have some heretofore undiscovered key to life and if Mom and Dad would only let them do what they wanted they would realize it, transforming humanity for the better in the process. 

So they end up needing boundaries. And of course, they need them to be drawn in love, not coersively, and there's shockingly little difference between the two sometimes, so the adults have to be really wise and reflective there.  

And I think where women struggle with this (which is certainly not ubiquitous- I do not) is the combination of "losing" the sweet little boy to his transformations, the rapidity of the change, their size (and voice!), and the intensity of their will, which they are endeavoring to assert over everyone. Those boys are so sure of themselves.  It can just be a lot. And, yeah, of course boys need men. But we can, if we decide it's important, hold the line too. We have to be proactive about it though. We can not wait until they are mouthing off to suddenly have a list of boundaries inside of which they must operate. 

Admittedly, I am thinking here of the worst of the worst of the boys I have seen/heard about... drug addicts, derelict fathers, thieves.... In general, boys are just people and we can just go with the flow. 

But do feed them well and work them hard and make them sleep 🙂 No matter what. 

 

Edited by OKBud
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, OKBud said:

I have been talking a lot to a few older women lately about raising boys into men, as well as with my husband.

 

You have gained a lot of wisdom about raising boys over the years--thanks for the perspective!  I just want to do it well, and it's good to hear from someone who has been down the road.  Thanks for the practical tips, too--I really want to put things in  place that will work with his natural boyness and prevent everything from turning in to some sort of "discpline problem."  We've had to do that for our older daughter in her own way which has paid off really well in helping her grow without destroying her spirit (we really didn't want to do that).  I always hear how boys are a different animal and would perhaps need a very different strategy to accomplish the same goal.  He has two older sisters, so the risk of being mothered long term is definitely there!  Obviously right now that's what he needs, and we all love it!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like your husband is borrowing trouble and, simultaneously, setting you up for failure. By talking about boys as being DIFFERENT somehow, and difficult for women to handle...

Every kid goes through separation from parents. And every kid had a personality. Are boys generally different than girls? Yeah, probably. Though there are surely exceptions, too. But women, like men, are quite capable of learning to deal appropriately with the tween or teen in front of them. I'm underwhelmed by your husband's assumption that it'll be a problem because you're a woman. Yuck. He thinks you won't be able to handle it...because you're a woman.

I mean, I can fairly guarantee that a middle school boy won't want to be treated like mummy's darling boy, aged four. But that was a given. Treat your child as a competent human, teach him to be a competent human, and insist that he treat others as competent humans. That will look different for each child and each age and stage, regardless of biological sex of the child.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Kiara.I said:

I feel like your husband is borrowing trouble and, simultaneously, setting you up for failure. By talking about boys as being DIFFERENT somehow, and difficult for women to handle...

I appreciate your perspective.  To be fair to my husband, my older daughter and I butt heads quite often, and he is extremely dubious about me homeschooling that daughter even right now in 2nd grade!  He has to be pretty active in dealing with her so that we can parent her in the manner we want to and has come up with some very good strategies.   😆  We have never wanted to discipline her natural confidence and independent spirit out of her, but we do work to direct it.  😅   We want her to feel good about her natural strengths and to develop them further into positives. As I said, he has to take a very active hand in doing a lot of this with her.  She takes things much better from him and is very much a Daddy's Girl.  I appreciate that he does this because I think long term it will make my relationship with that daughter better--we have a lot more positive interactions because of it.  He was a very well behaved youth but does talk about going through a phase when he didn't care about what his mother said or see her as any sort of authority or person he wanted to listen to for direction.  I think he's looking ahead to our son being older, seeing how things are going with our daughter now, and is thinking we should try something different if he acts that way.  He doesn't want to set ourselves up to fail or to create a situation where we break our son's spirit for just being himself at that age. It's borrowing trouble in a way because our son is still young, but it's analyzed against stuff that's actually happening now with his sister.  That's why I was wanting to see what challenges people had experienced in boys and how they had set things up to make their sons successful rather than have things turn in to an excessive discipline situation.  I love coming up with routines, systems and strategies and want to get a jump on it for my son as an individual.  We have a totally different set of concerns and approaches for our middle girl than the older one, too!

ETA:  I guess you could say these talks about my son happen in a context--and that context is working out what to do with our daughter!

Edited by JoyKM
Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, JoyKM said:

I appreciate your perspective.  To be fair to my husband, my older daughter and I butt heads quite often, and he is extremely dubious about me homeschooling that daughter even right now in 2nd grade!  He has to be pretty active in dealing with her so that we can parent her in the manner we want to and has come up with some very good strategies.   😆  We have never wanted to discipline her natural confidence and independent spirit out of her, but we do work to direct it.  😅   We want her to feel good about her natural strengths and to develop them further into positives. As I said, he has to take a very active hand in doing a lot of this with her.  She takes things much better from him and is very much a Daddy's Girl.  I appreciate that he does this because I think long term it will make my relationship with that daughter better--we have a lot more positive interactions because of it.  He was a very well behaved youth but does talk about going through a phase when he didn't care about what his mother said or see her as any sort of authority or person he wanted to listen to for direction.  I think he's looking ahead to our son being older, seeing how things are going with our daughter now, and is thinking we should try something different if he acts that way.  He doesn't want to set ourselves up to fail or to create a situation where we break our son's spirit for just being himself at that age. It's borrowing trouble in a way because our son is still young, but it's analyzed against stuff that's actually happening now with his sister.  That's why I was wanting to see what challenges people had experienced in boys and how they had set things up to make their sons successful rather than have things turn in to an excessive discipline situation.  I love coming up with routines, systems and strategies and want to get a jump on it for my son as an individual.  We have a totally different set of concerns and approaches for our middle girl than the older one, too!

ETA:  I guess you could say these talks about my son happen in a context--and that context is working out what to do with our daughter!

I agree with the PP that you are "borrowing trouble" - making the assumption that your son will act anything like your daughter.  You are already comparing him to your daughter and yet you say you want to recognize him as an individual....but you don't even know who is he yet.   

My DS was a literal demon from hell when he was 4.  I remember getting black eyes from his fits and thought to myself that if he is anything like this in 10 years, I will end up calling the police.  The very next year, he became the most compliant, happy child.  And while he is still the compliant, happy child, his personality is something I NEVER would have thought about because it is so different from me....but we mesh so well because of our strengths and weaknesses. 

I would encourage you to NOT assume that your son will not care about authority or not listen to direction, regardless of what your husband or your daughter went through.  And likely, what works for him as far as discipline/direction will be entirely different than what you are asking for now.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...