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Thread: At my wit's end

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    895

    Default At my wit's end

    C is refusing to read Moose Moments because it's "boring". I told him why we're reading it (so he can recognize long vowel words and read them right away), I told him he's the only one who can move beyond where he's at to get to the books he wants to read, etc, etc. No dice. I spend most of our time together just trying to convince him to do his work and I'm getting exhausted. I end up with next to no time to teach his sisters (SC1 and MP1) because of all the time we waste with dramatics and coaxing. Add in an older child who is throwing a fit because of long division and can only tell me ad nauseum that it "doesn't make sense" and I'm at the end of my rope.

    I'm tough with him (this is what we do and this is how we do it), but nothing is working. I encourage, re-focus, take advantage of little things like highlighting vowel teams (he likes highlighters), etc. I just don't know how to get beyond where we're at if he's not willing to even try.

    I was originally going to ask if there are "BIG kid" books that would teach/reinforce the same concepts but I don't know if that's just giving in?
    Jennifer

    2017-2018
    DS-13 & DS-14 (mix of 6M & 8M)
    DS-11 (5M),
    DS-9 (SC2)
    DD-7 (MP1)
    DD-5 (SC1)
    DD-3 (Preschool)

    2018-2019
    DS-14 & DS-15 (Novare Intro to Physics; MP9 Literature; Light to the Nations I for Medieval History; MPOA - Latin, Algebra I, Ref/Con)
    DS-12 (6M)
    DS-10 (SC3)
    DD-8 (MP2)
    DD-6 (SC2)
    DD-3 (Preschool Round 2)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: At my wit's end

    I know I'm new here, but I've been homeschooling for 20 years now, so here's my advice. It's worth about 2 cents, so take what you can use and leave the rest.

    Stop. Just stop trying to convince him. This is his job and he needs to do it. Nothing else happens until that job is done. No playing, no books, no electronics, boring food, only water to drink, no outside activities, he misses everything until he's doing his job without complaint and with a good attitude. If he doesn't get the job done during his time with you, then he'll need to wait until you are finished with everyone else before you can help him again. I wouldn't argue with him or even make a big deal of it. Just, "I'm sorry but I'm busy with your sister right now, so you'll have to go wait in your room until I'm done."

    Now, I also talk with them when things are going well, too. I'll tell them what a great job they are doing and how much I appreciate their hard work. I tell them that as a family, when we work together, we can do so much. I tell them what they are doing well and don't mention the bad things at all. I feel that focusing on the bad, makes them feel like they can't do anything right. So, each day, I tell them what they are doing that makes me happy.

    I just don't fight. If they don't do their job, then I move on with mine. They are stuck until I have time, which means they have a lot of time to think about how much fun they'd be having if they'd have just done their job. lol

    I don't know if that will help you, but my kids thrive knowing that they are an important part of the family. That their jobs matter, in chores and in school. I encourage them to make the right decision, but I don't fault them when they don't, because I don't always make the best or perfect decisions. I make mistakes and reap the consequences. I just make sure that my kids are not protected from those same consequences when they choose wrong, even if that means they miss something they've been waiting for. I hope this helps.

    Blessings,
    Lisa

    Oh, and our motto is that "We work before we play." So the expectation is always there.
    Last edited by Lisainjax; 01-16-2018 at 01:28 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    895

    Default Re: At my wit's end

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisainjax View Post
    I know I'm new here, but I've been homeschooling for 20 years now, so here's my advice. It's worth about 2 cents, so take what you can use and leave the rest.

    Stop. Just stop trying to convince him. This is his job and he needs to do it. Nothing else happens until that job is done. No playing, no books, no electronics, boring food, only water to drink, no outside activities, he misses everything until he's doing his job without complaint and with a good attitude. If he doesn't get the job done during his time with you, then he'll need to wait until you are finished with everyone else before you can help him again. I wouldn't argue with him or even make a big deal of it. Just, "I'm sorry but I'm busy with your sister right now, so you'll have to go wait in your room until I'm done."

    Now, I also talk with them when things are going well, too. I'll tell them what a great job they are doing and how much I appreciate their hard work. I tell them that as a family, when we work together, we can do so much. I tell them what they are doing well and don't mention the bad things at all. I feel that focusing on the bad, makes them feel like they can't do anything right. So, each day, I tell them what they are doing that makes me happy.

    I just don't fight. If they don't do their job, then I move on with mine. They are stuck until I have time, which means they have a lot of time to think about how much fun they'd be having if they'd have just done their job. lol

    I don't know if that will help you, but my kids thrive knowing that they are an important part of the family. That their jobs matter, in chores and in school. I encourage them to make the right decision, but I don't fault them when they don't, because I don't always make the best or perfect decisions. I make mistakes and reap the consequences. I just make sure that my kids are not protected from those same consequences when they choose wrong, even if that means they miss something they've been waiting for. I hope this helps.

    Blessings,
    Lisa

    Oh, and our motto is that "We work before we play." So the expectation is always there.
    Thank you, Lisa! I do the exact same thing. Daily. With multiple children (I'm sure you understand!). The tough part is that I can't wait too long because I have to work in the afternoons (my husband and I run a client-based business from home). We start at 9 (after his older brothers' daily math lesson). Some days are great, but with all of today's stopping/starting we just finished about 10 minutes ago. I cleared up the division issue with my other one and I now have 20 minutes to teach both MP1 and SC1 (yeah, right) before needing to review Latin, switch laundry and take a breath before work. Because of his attention issues, I can't do more than answer brief questions with other people while I wait on him; otherwise he completely loses focus and there's little to no chance of getting it back. I can't even give him breaks away from his desk because it makes him unable to focus afterwards.
    Jennifer

    2017-2018
    DS-13 & DS-14 (mix of 6M & 8M)
    DS-11 (5M),
    DS-9 (SC2)
    DD-7 (MP1)
    DD-5 (SC1)
    DD-3 (Preschool)

    2018-2019
    DS-14 & DS-15 (Novare Intro to Physics; MP9 Literature; Light to the Nations I for Medieval History; MPOA - Latin, Algebra I, Ref/Con)
    DS-12 (6M)
    DS-10 (SC3)
    DD-8 (MP2)
    DD-6 (SC2)
    DD-3 (Preschool Round 2)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,778

    Default Re: At my wit's end

    Jennifer, is this the same child as "It's too hard," but now "It's boring"? Whether it is the same child or a different one, you do not need to feel obliged to replace those readers. They last only a short time, and then he moves to ALS with new stories. This is less a phonics problem than a "work ethic" problem. If he thinks they are truly boring, you might ask him if he also thinks they are too easy for him. If so, simply increase the challenge by having him spell orally various words he reads after each story. Up the challenge. If he just wishes they were livelier, assure him his reading will become quite lively when he grows in his reading. Then get back to business. "For today, this is your assignment. No arguing. Let's get busy." If his arguing leaves you too squeezed for time to teach, then this is not reasonable.

    You have 7 children and 2 adults, all with various special needs, and a toddler in the mix. All of you live and work in a small space. Efficiency, not negotiation, needs to prevail here.


    And Lisa, I had a feeling you would be an asset here. Veteran, academically-minded homeschoolers are worth far more than $.02. ☺

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: At my wit's end

    Quote Originally Posted by jen1134 View Post
    Thank you, Lisa! I do the exact same thing. Daily. With multiple children (I'm sure you understand!). The tough part is that I can't wait too long because I have to work in the afternoons (my husband and I run a client-based business from home). We start at 9 (after his older brothers' daily math lesson). Some days are great, but with all of today's stopping/starting we just finished about 10 minutes ago. I cleared up the division issue with my other one and I now have 20 minutes to teach both MP1 and SC1 (yeah, right) before needing to review Latin, switch laundry and take a breath before work. Because of his attention issues, I can't do more than answer brief questions with other people while I wait on him; otherwise he completely loses focus and there's little to no chance of getting it back. I can't even give him breaks away from his desk because it makes him unable to focus afterwards.

    Yes, I do understand. I have 7 kids, two grown and gone, five left from ages 5 to 15.

    What do your kids do once you and your dh are working? My point was that if he wasted his day, then he just couldn't move on. You can move on, he can't.

    As for the adhd, I have two with it, so I understand that, too. My 15yo has adhd, dyslexia, and other issues, too. She's just started on meds, but we had some really good success with supplements, too. You might want to try Natural Calm, it's a powder that you put into a drink. She takes that at night, along with Attentive Child (it comes in a chewable) in the day time. I also have her take Omega 3 oil. She really improved with those, but now that she's older, she wanted something that could help her stay on track better, so went with a prescription since it was negatively affecting her goals.

    Anyway, I sure understand. There is only so much you can do.

    Lisa

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    895

    Default Re: At my wit's end

    Quote Originally Posted by cherylswope View Post
    Efficiency, not negotiation, needs to prevail here.
    This one statement cuts to the heart of our household. Thank you. I will be repeating it to myself daily.
    Jennifer

    2017-2018
    DS-13 & DS-14 (mix of 6M & 8M)
    DS-11 (5M),
    DS-9 (SC2)
    DD-7 (MP1)
    DD-5 (SC1)
    DD-3 (Preschool)

    2018-2019
    DS-14 & DS-15 (Novare Intro to Physics; MP9 Literature; Light to the Nations I for Medieval History; MPOA - Latin, Algebra I, Ref/Con)
    DS-12 (6M)
    DS-10 (SC3)
    DD-8 (MP2)
    DD-6 (SC2)
    DD-3 (Preschool Round 2)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    305

    Default Re: At my wit's end

    I wanted to chime in . . . in my house "it's boring" is often code for "it's hard." This does not excuse the behavior in any way and this completely sounds like a work ethic/disobedience/I just don't want to situation, but his reasoning might be that it's actually hard. Either way, the response would be the same -- "I'm sorry you think it's boring, but this is our work for today. Let's get going."
    Susan

    2017-2018
    A (10) - AAR 2/AAS 2, R&S math 3, everything else MP 1
    C (8) - AAR 2/AAS 2, R&S math 2, everything else MP 1
    G (4) - Simply Classical B

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    1,604

    Default Re: At my wit's end

    He wants attention. He wants control. He will get attention, but not by this route. He will get a modicum of control, but not by these means. Obedience and completed work get positive attention and the chance to read books or do work that pleases him. Fighting and time wasting only get his privileges taken away and his curriculum year longer. I would not necessarily tell him that, but I would do everything calmly and coolly in accordance with that ethos. Once he figures out that he’s not going to get your attention any other way but by obeying, and he’s not going to have anything but “boredom” if he doesn’t complete his work, he’ll change up his game. Some kids need a gentle nudge; some kids need a kick in the pants. If he continues to dig in his heels, up the discomfort until he gets it. He is not allowed to hold you hostage.

    Good luck!
    "Do not let the past disturb you; leave everything in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and begin again with joy."
    ~ St Mother Teresa of Calcutta

    "Pray, hope, and don't worry."
    ~ St Padre Pio

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