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    Help! My daughter hates Kindergarten

    I am struggling with my Kindergartener. She just turned six yesterday, and we started MP K three weeks ago. It's emotionally exhausting to do her one hour of schoolwork. She slumps and whines during recitation. She cries during math--we've jumped ahead in R&S 1 and are about to start the addition fact family for 5, but she still complains it is boring and she already knows it (she doesn't have it memorized like its her name but she figurse it out in two seconds). She throws herself around in her chair during phonics and says she wants school to be over and she never wants to do it again (even though we've skipped ahead a bit to the end of book A). She can sound everything out but will still read "his" as "has" in a cat sits on the mat type story. She complains mightily during copywork. She does, however, like the Enrichment we are doing--except for science. She wants experiments. Reading a book isn't cutting it as "science" for her.

    As a caveat, she's gifted. While I haven't yet gotten her tested due to her age and the expense, I don't say that lightly. Her artwork is on a third or fourth grade level. She copies out lines of text from Anne of Green Gables for fun. She can retell entire chapters of Harry Potter. She asks questions like, "how can clouds and ice all be water?" or "When the light is dimmed, does it use less electricity than when it is on all the way?"

    I wonder if something as formulaic is Classical isn't the right fit for this briliant chemist-artist that God has given me. On the other hand, I love that Classical will help her to think deeply and logically and expose her to the best of Western culture. I realize that these brief paragraphs don't give you the whole picture, but I would like some thoughts. My older daughter has always taken to school like a duck to water and is more of a people pleaser. This second daughter is not a people pleaser at all, which I love, but find difficult to educate. It's like I need her agreement or something. Or maybe it's me--maybe I need to adapt the curriculum a bit more to fit her better, especially with math...maybe even switching to MEP math?
    DD1: Third grade: reading, spelling, piano, and art along with MP Mammals, Lit Guides, LC yr 1, and R&S 3 so we are ready for 4NU next year
    DD2: MP Kindergarten
    DS 1: MP Preschool package
    Me: Autoimmune Protocol athlete who loves chai tea with coconut milk, a good book, and the mountains

    #2
    Those first few weeks of being back to school are a rough transition for children. They are having developmentally appropriate reactions to the new confines and demands of authority. They're going from unstructured summer routines, which are more autonomous and enjoyable, to a defined time of attention and obedient, receptive learning. Both of my out-of-the-box learners have difficult transitions back to school. Now over 5 weeks into our new semester, I can speak with confidence that with clear expectations and resolute goals, the kids always acquiesce and step up.

    I compare it to newborns and tummy time. They hate it. They cry. They whine. But when they do it enough, they start rolling over, reaching their goals, and pursuing autonomy in the given tasks. Maturation is painful. Don't fear the protests along the way.
    Mama to 2, Married 17 years

    SY 19/20
    DD 8-3A
    DS 5-SC C

    Comment


      #3
      My very creative out of the box learner had an extremely rough transition back to school every year for the last 8 years. This year she asked to not take the summer off. It has been better this year.

      Hang in there mama. She’s smart, she knows she smart, and she may very well not like school because she doesn’t like not knowing everything- “has” vs. “his”, etc. Form those good habits now and it will serve her well later. Mastery matters.
      Last edited by bean; 08-25-2019, 11:45 AM. Reason: Posting on phone.
      Bean. Long time MP user.

      DD- 9th grade aerospace enthusiast. Using a mix of dual credit, online and classical materials for 2019-2020.

      Comment


        #4
        Also, I would stay the course until Christmas. Compact if she has truly mastered something, but don’t switch anything out until you’ve got good habits in place. Especially to MEP. (Ask me how I know). Maybe add it in as a fun supplement when her other math is done.
        Bean. Long time MP user.

        DD- 9th grade aerospace enthusiast. Using a mix of dual credit, online and classical materials for 2019-2020.

        Comment


          #5
          There are other moms here who are equipped to speak on the gifted aspect but, speaking from the other end of the challenge-spectrum, one thing I love about classical education is that it truly meets the needs of every child because it's forming them as human persons. The pedagogy works whether you have a genius or someone who is intellectually disabled. I have children who struggle, a child who could teach himself, and everything in between. I love that I don't have to reinvent the wheel for each of them. It's just a matter of placement and customization within the framework, and sometimes offering them more outside of school to provide for their artistic or linguistic talents (I have one child who is currently writing his own language, complete with syntax, a la Tolkien, and is now wanting to learn Japanese in his free time while he continues with Latin in school). And, as was said above, regardless of the child's level/aptitude or the curriculum you use, training in virtue is always needed.
          Jennifer
          Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

          DS16
          MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
          MPOA: High School Comp. II
          HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

          DS15
          MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
          MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
          HSC: Modern European History

          DS12
          7M with:
          Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

          DS11
          SC Level 4

          DD9
          3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

          DD7/8
          Still in SC Level 2

          DD 4/5
          SC Level C

          Comment


            #6
            Totally agreeing with the responses you have gotten. Kindergarten is not just about academic skills. It is also about setting the foundation of your expectations about school - behavior, attitude, compliance, and fortitude. These need just as much practice as math facts. And on that note, if she can’t say her math facts as easily as her own name, then NO, she does not have them MASTERED. This matters. This is why we keep doing the things that they grumble and complain about. Figuring them out still takes too long. Letting mastery slide this early will only make things more difficult down the road.

            Bright, brilliant, gifted children need just as much structure as more traditional children - many times even more so because it helps them deal with their heightened perceptiveness and sensitivities. Read solid books on giftedness and they all echo the same things that are recommended for good parenting in general. Set routines for school time, define clear expectations of work quality and appropriate attitude, and have firm consequences in place for failure to comply. This has nothing at all to do with trying to break them down or injure their spirit. NEVER. It is about the fact that they have a lot to learn, and it is your job to teach them - but it’s only possible if they develop a sense of humility. This is actually the reason Socrates used to ask his students so many questions. What he was really trying to do was to get the student to reach a realization of what he did not know. Only then would the student be teachable.

            In our house, running stairs is the consequence for poor attitude. It’s immediate, it’s physical, and they have to come back better or they get another couple of sets. I have had kids be on the stairs for quite a while at times because of being sent back again and again. But it allows you to defuse the emotions of the situation. You keep your calm and simply show by example that you are the leader and they are expected to be led. Humility is not easy for anyone - but can be particularly challenging for bright kids.

            AMDG,
            Sarah
            Last edited by KF2000; 08-25-2019, 12:37 PM.
            2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
            DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
            DS, 16
            DD, 14
            DD, 12
            DD, 10
            DD, 7.5
            DD, 5.5
            +DS+
            DS, 18 months

            Comment


              #7
              Good afternoon!

              I agree with enbateau that the back to school time is tough especially since it isn’t really back to school for her. This is the time to set your expectations for behavior or you will find yourself catering to her whims instead of being the one in charge of her schooling. The thing about gifted kids is they usually are not uniform in their abilities and still need to be taught to manage their time and taught that they are not the ones in charge. I think it is too early to start letting her know you are thinking about changes. Possibly tell her when she is demonstrating the school behaviors you want to see (cooperation, etc) that you will have a discussion about appropriate modifications with the principal (your husband), but until then you hear her concerns but she still needs to do her job. Also let her know if she does her work without complaining then you will have time to plan an experiment or an art project. A couple of months should show where she is and give you time to plan instead of react. Classical education is for everyone, including gifted kids, but you may need to come to terms with the idea that a complete core might not be in her future. I would still call this year Kindergarten, but make the content what you feel she needs. Remember also that she is still 6 and needs plenty of play time. Don’t overfill her life with school just yet.

              We started Right Start before I came to MP (and before the cores were published) and my kids really like it. My 16 yo daughter called me delusional this summer when I picked up Rod and Staff 6 off the shelf and commented on how nice it would be to use the plans as written for her brother. She reminds me that every time I have tried it that it does not end well. I have looked at MEP and it does look more classroom oriented, but free is nice. I would advise to make sure you like it well enough to stick with it. Jumping around between math curriculums leads to gaps in their knowledge since all follow a different scope and sequence. My poor daughter suffered through that when I first started homeschooling. My rising first grader complained continually about Right Start A last year and after a few months we ditched it for level B and it was a better fit....still review, but better. I suggest that since you have a third grader you spend time thinking about when you think #2 will be ready for that kind of work because 3A/4NU is where MP takes a huge jump up. You want to make sure that she has the handwriting stamina, reading, and attitude in place to be able to tackle that. That is what the K-2 years are working towards.

              Dorinda

              For 2019-2020
              DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
              DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
              DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
              DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

              Comment


                #8
                Argh! My post just got flagged as spam because I went to edit something. it’s going to be in limbo now. Sorry!

                AMDG,
                Sarah
                2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                DS, 16
                DD, 14
                DD, 12
                DD, 10
                DD, 7.5
                DD, 5.5
                +DS+
                DS, 18 months

                Comment


                  #9
                  Sarah, I love the stairs idea!!!
                  Dorinda

                  For 2019-2020
                  DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
                  DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
                  DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
                  DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by bean View Post
                    My very creative out of the box learner had an extremely rough transition back to school every year for the last 8 years. This year she asked to not take the summer off. It has been better this year.

                    Hang in there mama. She’s smart, she knows she smart, and she may very well not like school because she doesn’t like not knowing everything- “has” vs. “his”, etc. Form those good habits now and it will serve her well later. Mastery matters.
                    This is so her. She likes knowing; she doesn't like learning. She's a complete perfectionist, too, to the point that if we are going through some phonics flashcards and she messes even one up, she INSISTS on redoing the entire stack until she gets them ALL perfect. Just one example of me feeling like I don't even know how to teach her!

                    So for the "knowing vs learning" how does mastery help???
                    DD1: Third grade: reading, spelling, piano, and art along with MP Mammals, Lit Guides, LC yr 1, and R&S 3 so we are ready for 4NU next year
                    DD2: MP Kindergarten
                    DS 1: MP Preschool package
                    Me: Autoimmune Protocol athlete who loves chai tea with coconut milk, a good book, and the mountains

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Mom2mthj View Post
                      Good afternoon!

                      I agree with enbateau that the back to school time is tough especially since it isn’t really back to school for her. This is the time to set your expectations for behavior or you will find yourself catering to her whims instead of being the one in charge of her schooling. The thing about gifted kids is they usually are not uniform in their abilities and still need to be taught to manage their time and taught that they are not the ones in charge. I think it is too early to start letting her know you are thinking about changes. Possibly tell her when she is demonstrating the school behaviors you want to see (cooperation, etc) that you will have a discussion about appropriate modifications with the principal (your husband), but until then you hear her concerns but she still needs to do her job. Also let her know if she does her work without complaining then you will have time to plan an experiment or an art project. A couple of months should show where she is and give you time to plan instead of react. Classical education is for everyone, including gifted kids, but you may need to come to terms with the idea that a complete core might not be in her future. I would still call this year Kindergarten, but make the content what you feel she needs. Remember also that she is still 6 and needs plenty of play time. Don’t overfill her life with school just yet.

                      We started Right Start before I came to MP (and before the cores were published) and my kids really like it. My 16 yo daughter called me delusional this summer when I picked up Rod and Staff 6 off the shelf and commented on how nice it would be to use the plans as written for her brother. She reminds me that every time I have tried it that it does not end well. I have looked at MEP and it does look more classroom oriented, but free is nice. I would advise to make sure you like it well enough to stick with it. Jumping around between math curriculums leads to gaps in their knowledge since all follow a different scope and sequence. My poor daughter suffered through that when I first started homeschooling. My rising first grader complained continually about Right Start A last year and after a few months we ditched it for level B and it was a better fit....still review, but better. I suggest that since you have a third grader you spend time thinking about when you think #2 will be ready for that kind of work because 3A/4NU is where MP takes a huge jump up. You want to make sure that she has the handwriting stamina, reading, and attitude in place to be able to tackle that. That is what the K-2 years are working towards.
                      That really helps, thanks, and I love the idea of giving it a bit to plan instead of react. And the real reason we are doing K vs grade 1 is her attitude! I'm hoping that once she's seven she develops a work ethic! And I can see that consistency is key; even though it's tempting to let her have some say simply because she's smart. We've been working on unloading the dishwasher, for instance. For the past six months, she has had to unload the dishwasher each morning. And no joke, it has taken six months for her to get over it, and just do it. She now does it with a few reminders, but no whining or screaming. We thought we'd never get there! The problem was, I don't care if she hates unloading the dishwasher during this six month struggle of wills. I DO care if she hates school. I'm concerned that her level of misery is going to ruin school for her.
                      DD1: Third grade: reading, spelling, piano, and art along with MP Mammals, Lit Guides, LC yr 1, and R&S 3 so we are ready for 4NU next year
                      DD2: MP Kindergarten
                      DS 1: MP Preschool package
                      Me: Autoimmune Protocol athlete who loves chai tea with coconut milk, a good book, and the mountains

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by enbateau View Post
                        Those first few weeks of being back to school are a rough transition for children. They are having developmentally appropriate reactions to the new confines and demands of authority. They're going from unstructured summer routines, which are more autonomous and enjoyable, to a defined time of attention and obedient, receptive learning. Both of my out-of-the-box learners have difficult transitions back to school. Now over 5 weeks into our new semester, I can speak with confidence that with clear expectations and resolute goals, the kids always acquiesce and step up.

                        I compare it to newborns and tummy time. They hate it. They cry. They whine. But when they do it enough, they start rolling over, reaching their goals, and pursuing autonomy in the given tasks. Maturation is painful. Don't fear the protests along the way.
                        This is good food for thought. I always LOVED school, homeschool, private school, public school, university, so this idea of fighting school is foreign to me! We do make sure to give her lots of free time, and I try to give it in big chunks as she always has been and still is, terrible at transitions.

                        I keep thinking that I am "on board" with classical education and I've always considered myself an authoritative parent, so I think I need to transition to being an authoritative teacher, especially given this one's level of determination! Sometimes I can't tell: is her violent wilting a discipline/habit issue, or is a true truncating of her personality? I suppose the best way to figure that out is to keep on keeping on, with lots of patience, and see if it gets better with time??
                        DD1: Third grade: reading, spelling, piano, and art along with MP Mammals, Lit Guides, LC yr 1, and R&S 3 so we are ready for 4NU next year
                        DD2: MP Kindergarten
                        DS 1: MP Preschool package
                        Me: Autoimmune Protocol athlete who loves chai tea with coconut milk, a good book, and the mountains

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
                          There are other moms here who are equipped to speak on the gifted aspect but, speaking from the other end of the challenge-spectrum, one thing I love about classical education is that it truly meets the needs of every child because it's forming them as human persons. The pedagogy works whether you have a genius or someone who is intellectually disabled. I have children who struggle, a child who could teach himself, and everything in between. I love that I don't have to reinvent the wheel for each of them. It's just a matter of placement and customization within the framework, and sometimes offering them more outside of school to provide for their artistic or linguistic talents (I have one child who is currently writing his own language, complete with syntax, a la Tolkien, and is now wanting to learn Japanese in his free time while he continues with Latin in school). And, as was said above, regardless of the child's level/aptitude or the curriculum you use, training in virtue is always needed.
                          I do feel like MP has magically created this amazing program that manages to put in lots of good things and yet no busy work. Like it's elegant and streamlined and still feels so full! So yes, there is time for her to do lots of art outside of school time.

                          And I think I need training in consistency with curriculum even more than my kids do!
                          DD1: Third grade: reading, spelling, piano, and art along with MP Mammals, Lit Guides, LC yr 1, and R&S 3 so we are ready for 4NU next year
                          DD2: MP Kindergarten
                          DS 1: MP Preschool package
                          Me: Autoimmune Protocol athlete who loves chai tea with coconut milk, a good book, and the mountains

                          Comment


                            #14
                            So I was able to journal a bit this afternoon, and I so very, very much appreciate you all taking time to read my tale of woe/panic and write me wise responses! It was startling to realize that this is likely a discipline issue--not in a "shut up and do what I tell you" kind of discipline issue, but in terms of guiding her heart to an understanding of expectations for school time, and also disciplining myself with perseverance with what I know is a stellar curriculum that I decided on for excellent reasons. So it's not the fault, per se, of the curriculum, or me, or her (necessarily...I am going to tweak my approach just a tiny bit) but more the whole human condition! And I hear that the Classical method does a great job of reading about and pondering deeply the human condition.
                            DD1: Third grade: reading, spelling, piano, and art along with MP Mammals, Lit Guides, LC yr 1, and R&S 3 so we are ready for 4NU next year
                            DD2: MP Kindergarten
                            DS 1: MP Preschool package
                            Me: Autoimmune Protocol athlete who loves chai tea with coconut milk, a good book, and the mountains

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Fireweed Prep View Post

                              I DO care if she hates school. I'm concerned that her level of misery is going to ruin school for her.
                              Oh, I feel for you! My eldest child was/is the same way. It.Is.Exhausting! I have fretted over her hating school and tried so many gimmicks and ideas to help her like school more. The novelty always wears off and we’re back in the same spot. Thanks to the wise ladies on here I have stopped chasing the notion of school should be fun. Learning is hard work and hard work isn’t fun. I’m taking a class right now and I may have been whining about the professor and her assignments because it’s hard. 😏 Another older, wiser mom once told me that she imagines being water on a stone, over time you smooth out the rough edges.
                              Heidi

                              2018-19
                              dd- 3m
                              ds- SC 1
                              dd- SC B

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