Help me manage my children please!

Discussion in 'Alternative Learning' started by miraclemom, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. miraclemom

    miraclemom Amity's Focus Member

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    I'm at my wits end and about to enroll my 5 year old and 7 year old into school next year. It's not waht I really want. I WANT them to stay home with me, but I can't deal with this stress every day. They're constantly complaining that their work is too hard (it's NOT, at all), they don't want to do it, they don't like school, etc. It takes them twice as long to get anything done as it should. For example, my 7 year old doesn't want to work in his new math book. He finished his 1-2nd grade book, so he's starting the 3-4th grade book. He chose the book and was all excited initially. So Tues comes and we pull it out. He takes one look and decides it's too hard. "It's 3-4rd grade mom and I'm only in 1st grade!" he says. He CAN do it. I sat and read him the problems. He just whined and whined and walked away. So, I told him he coudl work on his addition/sub facts until he's ready to do the book. I gave him a page of 100 problems at which he balked. That's too many problems! I gave him 15 minutes and told him if he worked hard and still wasn't done with them after 15 min he could be done. He finished all the problems. Today, same 100 problems, same 15 min. He whined and complained thru the whole 15 minute. It took him 30+ min to finish the work.

    My 5 year old has 2 math pages and 2 phonics pages to do today. He's still not done and it's lunch time. He's cried, whined, been in time out for other things, etc.

    What do I do with this kids? What type of response do I give the whining and complaining about the work? Help me please!
  2. irinam

    irinam Amity's Focus Member

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    What do *they* think about going to school? Would they be up for it / excited about it?

    As far as the rest - Is working from the book a requirement? If not (and even if yes), I'd try to make school "work" look more like fun. Not a set of problems - 1,2,3...100. Can the older one challenge the younger one with some quiz?

    I also love fun websites (you can Google plenty). My favorite so far is Cool math 4 kids - math games, math puzzles, math lessons - designed for kids and fun! - we usually sit next to a computer and I recite the contents making fun of some of them ("oh, now tell us something we do not know!") or show her other ways to some up with answers.

    Also, I think seeing 100 problems at a time can overwhelm. It can overwhelm me, and I am an adult with engineering degree, lol

    Another thing - I do not think repeated action of the same sort are inductive to learning. I would build up on a concept instead of repeating it many times.

    Let's say - addition. When you see he seems to have gotten the idea, make another set of activities when he is USING addition. Then go on to the next level - let's say multiplication. See if he can apply the principles and then have a problem/activity where both concepts are used.

    Then I would do a word problem or two (not too many) using both concepts. If it seems like he is getting it - move on!

    Cool thing about math is that you 1) can not quite move on if you did not get the previous concept, which is (when this is a case) gives a wonderful chance to go back and reinforce the first one) 2) if one CAN move on - no dwelling on the same thing is necessary because that "same thing" gets used and re-used.

    So, in summary - I would (and did) try to make it less "academical looking" and more "fun looking"

    Play monopoly too!
  3. OnTheBrink

    OnTheBrink Amity's Focus Member

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    Do you think they don't enjoy being taught at home? Would they prefer school?
    Honestly, what you described sounds quite boring to me. I don't know of any school around here (even the traditional ones) that give out sheets with 100 math problems and such. I think, as a general rule, it's known that most people don't learn that way. Can you incorporate some more pertinent learning opportunities for them?
  4. miraclemom

    miraclemom Amity's Focus Member

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    The 100 problems worksheet is only something I've used for the past 2 days. He had been doing a colorful, mix it up type workbook that he really likes. I bought him the same book, but in the next level up and he refuses to do it because he thinks it's too difficult. It's really not, he's just psyching himself out because it's 3-4th grade and he's in 1st grade. Anyway, I'm not a drill sargent handing out multiple 100 question worksheets. LOL. We do try to mix it up using math games, worksheets, etc. I can't sit next to him the entire time doing his school because I have 4 kids, 3 of which are homeschooled and 1 is a 2 year old. We do do a lot of worksheet/workbook work because it's what I can manage. I know it's not ideal, but it is what it is. I wish I had more time to spend sitting with one child working independently each day, but our schedule just doesn't allow for it. I did write a schedule that would allow for that, but it takes all day and 3 out of 5 days we've got somewhere to go during the day so that doesn't work.

    The boys don't really want to go to school. They want to stay home with me and be allowed to play all day. WE've talked about why that's not an option, and what their options are. They currently go to a homeschool enrichment program one day a week, and if we hs next year I'm going to put them in 2 day/week. There is a school not too far away that is a shortened day (they omit lunch and recess) so they would go from 7:40-12:40 M-F. The boys are a little intrigued by that so it may be a good compromise. The'll be home a good part of the day, but not learning from me. We'll have a discussion about homework though because it will be very much like homeschooling, just after a full school day. We're also going to try Homeschool, After School, Summer Study - Time4Learning - Home over the summer to see if they're excited about that and feel like they'd be more inclined to do the work.

    Thanks for listening to my rambling. I'm going to talk to the boys about it (again) and pray about it and we'll see where they end up next year.
  5. tikva18

    tikva18 busy building blocks

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    I hear you. I'm having a similar problem with Rashi. he won't work for me anymore and throws fits, whines, and takes FOREVER to complete the tiniest thing. Part of our problem is that my computer is down and he can't work on what he was doing because of that. I have an ETA of 3 wks to get it back. Currently, when he doesn't work for me then I'll send him with dh to work where he does do some work there because there's nothing else to do. So, this week - he bombed Monday. Tuesday and Wed. we had appts in the morning when we usually homeschool. Tuesday afternoon he refused to do anything and Wed. afternoon he had a violin lesson and I had an errand to run. Thursday he went with dh where he pulled the same shtick that he does wtih me. Today he's back at work to make up for it while I get ready for our Sabbath. I won't homeschool him again next year because he's just hurting himself - if he chooses to hurt himself in the school system that's one thing - it won't be weighing on my head that I didn't do a good enough job. But I can't take the stress of it coupled with other stressors this year.
  6. miraclemom

    miraclemom Amity's Focus Member

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    I'm sorry you're dealing with that Rivka. It is very stressful. This is so not what I pictured when I decided to homeschool. :(
  7. bubbles

    bubbles New Member

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    I think Irina had some really great advice. I think everyone who posted had great things to say. I originally planned to homeschool but realized it wasn't best for our family. I know that my kids go to school because the discipline it would take at home to make homeschooling fun and effective would just be more than I can handle. While teachers have a lot going on the focus is on the kids all day. At home, my focus is so divided between errands, chores, time for myself, etc. that I could not effectively give my kids what they need. If you think a school situation is reasonable for them then give it a try. My 5 (now 6 yo) started kinder this year. He was reluctant. He only wanted to stay home and play. While he liked school from the beginning he still asked every day to stay home. He made it clear that he just wanted to play and do his own thing. Now that we are into the second half of the year he can't wait to go every day. He skips out the door (dad drops the kids off) smiling and ready to go. He is really thriving and is gaining so much from it that I don't think he could get from me. My older son (now in 4th grade) has always loved going to school. I will say that my kids go to a charter school (full day) that is very progressive, nurturing, and child centered. I am not sure what I would do if I didn't have a place I felt really good about. It may not be perfect but it really works for us. Just wanted to give you my perspective in case it helps you at all.
  8. TeriMomOf4

    TeriMomOf4 Active Member

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    I have experienced what you described with my middle child. She is the one that is dyslexic. She can be completely gung ho about something, but if it doesn't pan out the way she thinks it should, she will totally balk. I had to rethink her entire curriculum in November. I ended up bumping her down two grade levels from where she was working...not because she wasn't able to do the work but because she was refusing to even try (when she DID do it, it was fine). She has been so much happier now.
    Could you try some different things with them?
    My kids will all fall apart when they see workbooks. It is just a no go around here.

    When I experienced the work refusal, I tried for a few days to see if I could change anything with what we were doing. Then, I backed completely off and downloaded a few simple unit studies for her to complete on her own. That worked great as a temporary solution.
    She really likes doing Teaching Textbooks for math because it is on the computer.
  9. justthemama

    justthemama Amity's Focus Member

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    Gosh I could swear I'd posted the other day...but it's not here!!

    One thing I remember saying is, or asking, do you have a local support group? I find that's make a huge difference (change of scenery I suppose) for my kids when they are being....reluctant....for lack of a better word. ;)

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