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Help! My daughter hates Kindergarten

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  • Enigma
    replied
    From experience, stay the course like all these Mommas have said. I let my daughter out of Kinder and MP and now regret it mightily. Just being smart is not enough.

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  • Caitlin
    replied
    Your daughter seems exactly like my son who is 5 and in K. I'm glad to read all of the advice from other posters- there is so much wisdom here! I focus a lot with my son on "who is the teacher and why" and "who is the student and why." We even did an activity which I saw suggested by a classroom teacher on YouTube (I wish I could credit her but I couldn't remember who did this) where we made a list on the whiteboard of qualities that make for a good student. Then we talked about what a good student would do/say and what a good student would not do/say. This actually helped a lot, but was good because it was interactive and not just me giving him a lecture. I included my second grader which helped. This year is really more about building good habits in our homeschool, than academics as far as I'm concerned. He does get very bogged down with much writing, so I do tell him at times that if he does one or two of his best letters, he does not need to do all of them each day. Other than that we do not skip around or disregard things because he "knows" them.

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  • bean
    replied
    Originally posted by Fireweed Prep View Post

    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???
    Mastery helps because very smart kiddos sometimes have a sort of imposter syndrome, with a fear of being wrong or not perfect. Mastering something really helps them get past it and not be afraid to try something hard/ new later. They know they can do it.

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  • Fireweed Prep
    replied
    Oh Sarah KF2000. I am printing out what you wrote. Thank you. I am (usually) a very patient, consistent, authoritative mother...now I need to become a patient, consistent, authoritative teacher.
    @MichelleT that helps so much. I like your detailed explanation of moving along but not skipping. I will certainly do it that way in the future! I saw the suggested activity about trees but sadly, it feels like our yard is a the preferred breeding ground for every single mosquito in the state so we haven't done that. We could, though, identify a few trees on our walk and then draw and talk about the tree in our yard while we sit in our mosquito free house. And we are going to start going to the little local science museum's homeschool days once a month so that she and her sister can do experiments and I don't have to clean up!

    Certainly this idea of Kindergarten being training ground for the emotional and structural component of school is a good one...though a new one for me. I feel like I've realized a lot about myself and what this whole homeschooling mom things means in the past two days, and I am so encouraged by everyone's responses. Thank you. (the tagging used to work on my computer and now isn't...sorry)

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  • Michelle T
    replied
    Your original post outlined behaviors common not only to kindergarten students but many students. As the others above mentioned it is hard transitioning from summer back to school time especially when it is still warm and sunny and the pools are still open. I found that home schooling was also harder than teaching in a traditional classroom because it is hard to distinguish mommy from teacher. It took a long time and for my children to understand that when we were in the classroom I was teacher- not mommy. There would be no negotiations on schoolwork. I started strict and would not accept argument regarding assignments. Instead of stairs, my children either ran laps around the outside of the house or sat on their bed (no toys or books just sitting and thinking) when they refused to get busy or insisted on negotiating assignments. When they were ready to work they returned to the classroom but this allowed me to stay on schedule with my other children rather than have my entire day sidelined due to a whim.

    Most students don't understand the "why" behind having to do things they think they already know. It is perhaps the biggest complaint with Rod & Staff because with math the written repetition is a key component to success and mastery. It is part of the work that must be done and not all work is fun. In fact often doing hard things is not fun. You are the teacher and have chosen this curriculum for a reason. Rest in your decision. I agree with Sarah that if you let your child think that you are considering changing the math because she is complaining, she is likely to complain and expect change whenever she doesn't like something or when she complains enough. Our children can outlast us or wear us down if they think there is a chance they will get their way. Let me encourage you to stay firm. You can try to add a time component to see how long it takes her to get her written work completed neatly and correctly-and without complaint. Challenge her to beat her time the next day. Play some classical music (smart music) during the individual work. Mozart works well. For pages that are especially well done, call a grandparent or close friend and let her overhear you telling them how proud you are of the day's work. When you do flashcard work with her you can explain that her speed is due to the written practice she has done.

    The same can be said for phonics. The work done within the lessons of FSR is purposeful. We want mastery which is more than just letter recognition. If she picks up concepts quickly, just work through all the activities more quickly but don't skip ahead because you don't want gaps. All the phonic work will help with spelling in the future so lessons are beyond just reading. In Book B you will add dictation which is a more challenging task. You will also notice the Optional Lessons in the margins of the Teacher Guide. Complete these for added challenge as well. Once reading in Fun in the Sun begins read more stories than are scheduled. You could indicate to her that because she is doing so well she can handle another story or that because she is picking up the material so quickly she can move at a faster pace but that you can't skip ahead.

    Science for this age is all discussion and observation based because that is how students this age best learn these concepts. The themes gleaned from the Read Aloud are then further developed by the Supplemental Science and Enrichment Set. Are you reading these as well and doing the activities? That first week you are to go outside and take a Summer Walk looking at the trees in your yard, labeling them and discussing their attributes- leaves, bark, seeds-if any- deciding if the tree is deciduous or evergreen and then selecting a tree to sketch in their Composition and Sketchbook. You can really individualize here and come up with a good sentence about a tree. Be sure to take her sentence, which is given orally, and write it on the board. Model how to expand to be a complete sentence or condense to be something she can actually copy into her book. This way correct spelling, capitalization and punctuation are ensured. In subsequent weeks you will revisit those same trees observing the changes through the seasons and noting these changes in the same manner. You can always ask at other times of day if she recalls what kind of trees are in the yard and which are deciduous/evergreen. This is just one example of how science is more than just reading a book. Now there are not experiments, you are correct. Back in my home school days I signed up for a free science experiment a week. I cannot recall the name of the site but maybe another person could help here. Our program isn't limited to the activities we suggest for expanding the themes. Add to your heart's delight! That is a home school benefit.

    Please be encouraged your situation is not unique. We are here to offer suggestions and support. Your success with the materials is our goal.

    Blessings,

    Leave a comment:


  • VAmom
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fireweed Prep
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fireweed Prep
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • Fireweed Prep
    replied
    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??

    Leave a comment:


  • Fireweed Prep
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fireweed Prep
    replied
    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???

    Leave a comment:


  • Mom2mthj
    replied
    Sarah, I love the stairs idea!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • KF2000
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Mom2mthj
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • KF2000
    replied
    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.

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