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I need a shoulder....

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to cry on...it's been one of those day (weeks, well months, well, just about all school year!!!)

My ds who will be 6 in July is not wanting to do ANY work. It has gotten to be such a battle and I'm feeling so worn down. Am I the only one to ever deal with this? I'm sure I'm not. It's almost enough to make me put him in ps which is definately against my better judgement...I don't know what to do! Any suggestions would be great! My dd who is 9 does pretty good with school. I try to think back and remember if it was this hard with her when she was in K...I don't think it was, but I can remember times of talking to her about options other than homeschooling.


I know he's only 5. He can write all his letters, upper and lower. He can add and subtract, etc. He's a smart kid. Each day, for written work, I have him do about 10 simple math problems, practice writing a few words (anywhere from 4-8 words), usually do a simple phonics sheet (fill in the letter, circle the correct word, etc). That's really it. The other work he does is a Bible lesson and reading/phonics when he really enjoys. Should I just stop with the seat work for now? How have you other mom's handled this?:confused:

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He is refusing to do ANY schoolwork, except reading books with Dad and being read to. I fought him for a few weeks before caving in. It was just too stressful for both of us. At 7 mos. pregnant and other kids to teach...my energy for the fight was gone. Now, I tell him he must pick ONE subject each day to do (from his curriculum) and the rest I let slide. I DO NOT allow TV period as an alternative. He can play w/ blocks, w/ his younger siblings (imaginative play), use pattern blocks (he loves those), play educational computer games or Leapster games, read quietly, etc. NO TV! Did I say that before?:D Once the baby is born, he knows it's back to school for real! I'm trying another math curriculum (switching from Saxon to MUS). Ds6 is also my Asperger kid and has been acting up A LOT recently. It's exhausting and I cry on my pillow once each day (sometimes more!). I'm also going to do a Dinosaur lapbook w/ him once our tax refund comes in and I have money to spend on resources and supplies! Oh, he does MFW K supplemental activities w/ my ds5 (not the alphabet, number stuff, but the reading, science stuff, coloring, arts and crafts, etc.) when the mood strikes him.


My advice: don't fight it. Just let him play. 5 is still young. The seatwork might just be too much for him. Read as much as you can to him, play games, do arts and crafts, allow plenty of time for creative play. Limit tv. He'll be just fine. As for your dd...she was probably fine b/c typically girls are more ready for the seatwork at an earlier age. My dd11 did a formal PreK program at age 3 and was just fine. My boys...well...let's just say they "bloomed" much later and they are all fine!


Praying for you...I know it's hard.



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She just wasn't ready to sit and concentrate at 5 years old. She liked math, but that was about it. So we did math. After she turned 6, I started building more of a routine. She has to do some phonics, reading, and math every day. When she says she doesn't want to, I tell her she's in first grade and this is what first graders do. If we get 20-30 minutes of formal schoolwork done, I am okay with that. We do other less formal, less schoolish things, but not a lot of seatwork. Now that we've built the routine, she is enjoying her schoolwork and I will gradually increase the time requirement.

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My advice -- I would give very careful thought as to whether


1. the child's workload is age-appropriate, and appropriate for this child.

2. *I* had a good attitude about school and about the child.

3. I was providing an appropriate environment (physically and emotionally) for learning.

4. the child has appropriate down time and play time.


(And you can probably think of other thought-provoking questions.)


If the answer to all the questions is really yes, then I'd stay the course. Just like we have to brush our teeth and eat our vegetables, whether we feel like it or not, we also have to pursue education, whether we feel like it or not.


Another idea: You might consider taking a single day off as an attitude readjustment day. Then agree to start again the next day with a good attitude. Get Dad in on this. Get him to verify that this is very important to him too.


Good luck with this.

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That sounds so frustrating, and I certainly am sending hugs your way.

Perhaps you could keep Bible and the phonics "that he loves," and ditch the rest. Maybe if you accomplished the same seat work in a non-seatwork way, it might help. Take a week off and then gradually introduce some game-based curriculum (not packaged--you can easily make things yourself).

For example:


Wanna practice addition? Play a game with two dice. Have him add the dice to see how much to move his piece. Works with any "path" game, where you are moving around the board. This covers facts up to 6+6

Add in a third die if you really want to challange a 5 yo.


Try reading bingo--just take a piece of posterboard and cut about 8 good-sized boards. You can even make them two sided. Make a grid (for a 5yo, maybe 4x4) and choose words to put in each box. Use marker to make them different colors, or make a blue board, a red board, etc. Then take index cards and write out words you want him to know. You get the idea, I'm sure. You can even let him help you decorate the cards or the boards with stickers. We did sight words, but you could do phonics-based words. You can do the same with math facts (write the facts on the index cards, write the answers on the bingo boards--doesn't that sound more fun than a worksheet?) Use fun things as markers--m&m's or skittles are neat.


For reading practice, a neat activity is to make little notes and put them in a basket or container--have him pick one, "secretly" (silently) read it, and do it--We made notes like, Kiss the Dog (all phonics words), Jump up!, Stand up, Sit on Mom, etc. Make it silly fun. Just choose maybe 5 or 6 for one game session. If it's fun, he'll want to play it again.


Have you labeled your house? This is fun. Write out some labels for the things in your house (or if you have a classroom, you can confine it to there). Then give ds a clipboard and pencil, and have him "write the room." If you label more than one room, it's fun to choose a room once a week. Just leave the labels up (use post it notes for your convenience). Draw a 3x2 grid (large boxes) on the paper, then tell him to write one word in each box, copying from the label. The first week, you can just sit with him and ask for suggestions for the labels. Pick 15 things in the room, or maybe less, depending on his attention span. Let him observe you writing the word, then have him go put the label on the object. (Clock, door, desk, table, dog--just kidding on that last one!) Then, the next week, have him write the room--not the whole room, it's too tiring. Just ask for the six he most wants.


Just some ideas to get you started!

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What is there that is so important for him to learn that it can't wait a few years? I think we force schooling on children at too young of an age and they miss out on play, which is the best way for young children to learn. (And when I say "we" I mean society at large, especially the public schools that are pushing reading on younger and younger kids.)


There is nothing that doing "school" will teach your son right now that he can't easily learn later (in fact he will probably pick up most of it on his own anyway, even if you don't "teach" it to him) but forcing school could cause irreparable damage and cause him to always view learning in a negative light.


So my advice is: WAIT.


Susan in TX

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