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paganmomblog
08-17-2010, 01:04 PM
We have been going with a relaxed sort of method. I give the kids their weekly assignments in a notebook to work on. And at the end of the week I go over it. However, in that week I encourage them to talk to me about what they did, ask questions, and if they are stuck to let me know. This past week seemed to go well and I had planned on taking the kids out for ice cream and maybe a trip to the used book store to let them pick out a book. However, upon reviewing with the kids I realized that not only had my middle child not done some of the work but she hadn't retained information on some of her subjects. So I made the decision not to take them out and talked with them about helping each other, speaking up when we are stuck, etc etc.

Now I have all 3 of them crying and I feel like I have completely screwed up. Any advice on what I can do to make this better? Should I make sure to review everything immediately for awhile?

farrarwilliams
08-17-2010, 01:30 PM
If you're just getting started, they might need more guidance up front. Maybe check the book every day - it's not a punishment, at least, I wouldn't think so. I think asking for help and advocating for one's needs is a skill that we often assume people (and kids) have when no one has bothered to teach it. I would keep working with them on that.

Also, I would say that celebrating a first week doesn't have to be dependent on perfect work. You could do something else to celebrate the start of the second week or you could still take them to pick out a book. That's just good stuff, getting books!

hockeymom
08-17-2010, 01:38 PM
(Hugs)! I hate it when I tell my son something and then wish I could take it back. I'm a total stickler for holding firm, but on occasion I've felt like I've really messed up and have to take it back. I figure it's okay, it's a good lesson in reality and how to be reasonable (it really is okay for mama to make a mistake!).

That said, I don't really have much hands on advice to offer because I work so closely with my son; he doesn't do much independent work yet so I'm not sure how the dynamic works for you. Review is super important for some kids but not so much for others, and maybe more important in some subjects than others. I'd suggest that using games instead of drills would be more beneficial given the ages of your kids, but maybe others would disagree.

I wonder if your kids feel as though they are being punished for one of them not remembering all the information she was supposed to learn (by missing out on the ice cream trip). We are big communicators in our family so I guess we'd talk through our feelings before coming to a solution, but again that doesn't work so well for everyone. I wish I could be of more help.

good luck! :)

StartingOver
08-17-2010, 02:03 PM
Mine never did much independent work until at least the middle years. But even then we did daily assignment sheets, and I checked progress twice a day. They would bring me what they had accomplished independently at lunch time, and after dinner so I could check the work and verbally discuss it with them to check for understanding and retention. By high school I required much more independent work, but still checked twice daily on their work.

SherryZoned
08-17-2010, 02:14 PM
I would say check everyday. I check Terry the oldest, after each assignment because i want to make sure he knows what he is doing. The little boys i have to sit with anyway. So relax! You guys are still adjusting..

Busygoddess
08-17-2010, 02:50 PM
It'll take some time to get them to work that independantly. I would work with them on their weakest & least favorite subjects & let them work independantly on the subjects they excel in & enjoy. Check their work daily, in all subjects. Then, work gradually toward more independence. You could give daily assignment sheets or give a weekly calendar that shows what should be done each day in each subject. That way, they could work ahead if they want & you can still plan weekly instead of daily.

MamaB2C
08-17-2010, 03:32 PM
Were they aware of the expectations up front? Were they aware of the consequences (both good and bad)? I have been treating doing his "school" stuff more or less like I treat teaching him everything else. Maintaining consistency helps me probably as much or more than it helps him lol.

Anyway, I would have a calm discussion about expectations, and ask for their input on how everyone can reach their goals best. Maybe one of them wants or needs more daily supervision?

paganmomblog
08-17-2010, 04:02 PM
Thanks!

We have been officially in school since end of July (we are going year round). And we just came back from a few days off at their request so I am not sure why the sudden change. Since we started the girls have worked independently freeing me up to work 1 on 1 with the boy, then when he is done I am available to them. I am honestly ok with her not retaining the info if she is trying, then at least I know i need to find another way to handle her assignments. But it felt like she wasn't trying and that's what frustrated me. And knowing she was skidding by last year in her class, I guess maybe I am just freaking out that she thinks she can do that with me. She is not my communicative child which means I get frustrated and we end up angry at each other (she is so like me at her age!). So as I asked her today why she decided to not do the work and not tell me, all I have gotten is "I don't know" which is 20 times worse than just staring at me with a busted look on her face.

At this moment we are all chill and making sailboats from popsicle sticks. I have brought the subject up again after we have had more time to calm it down and let them know that we all have to work together and ask for help if we are stuck. I also told them that we will go over every subject after I am done with little man. That way I am on top of stuff.

Anywho, thanks for listening and offering some advice! I appreciate it!

wild_destiny
08-17-2010, 08:20 PM
Glad it worked out for you in the end, Angela! Hopefully, things will get on track and run smoothly for all of you. :)

dbmamaz
08-17-2010, 09:54 PM
asking why a child did something stupid rarely gets an answer, or at least not a meaningful one. I mean, if they had a reason, they would have already told you (such as I thought you said I didnt have to do this, etc). Its really more productive to work on what we will change so this doesnt happen next week.

InstinctiveMom
08-18-2010, 12:31 AM
I find myself struggling with similar issues, Angela. We're also new to homeschooling (since Jan), and I am having a hard time some days letting go of my expectations. My oldest is in 3rd grade and to my way of thinking 'should' be able to complete a reasonable assignment independently. However, one of the reasons we pulled him out of school was because he could not work independently; he really needs someone RIGHTTHERE helping him stay on-task. It's frustrating to me, but we're working on it, together. There are days though... grrrr :)
You're definitely not alone on this.
I'm glad that you two worked through it and hope that your new strategies work well (and if they don't, I know you'll try something new!!)
~h

paganmomblog
08-18-2010, 06:11 AM
asking why a child did something stupid rarely gets an answer, or at least not a meaningful one. I mean, if they had a reason, they would have already told you (such as I thought you said I didnt have to do this, etc). Its really more productive to work on what we will change so this doesnt happen next week.

I didn't ask her "Why did you do something stupid", I asked her why she didn't do it AND "how can we make sure this doesn't happen again". She is an impulsive child and if I don't work at getting her to think about her actions now she is in for a world of hurt later on, she won't learn that if I just up and change things without finding out what is going on in her head.

mommykicksbutt
08-18-2010, 11:08 AM
At the ages that your children are now they are not quite ready for so much independent work. First, I would call them together and tell them that mommy made a mistake so that ice cream and the book store are back on (watch for the smiles! This will show them that 1) mommy can admit when she makes a mistake and 2) it is okay to make mistakes and to admit to them). 2ndly, tell them that instead of giving them their assignments for the week and checking them at the end of the week you will still be giving the weekly assignments but you will check them daily. 3rdly, instruct the children that they are to have a list of questions for you related the the assignments but that are not asking for answers to the assignments (critical thinking about what they've learned)(example "why do I have to learn about adjectives?", "why is long division important?" "why do I have to learn about a bunch of dead guys?" "what would happen if a put my bubble bath in the park fountain?") When the kids get be be middle school- high school level work then they may be ready for independent work. You know your children best and will know when they are ready, they may surprise you and ask for more work (a sign they are ready).

dbmamaz
08-18-2010, 05:54 PM
Sorry i didnt word that right. I dont mean you asked her 'why did you do something stupid', i meant that she did something stupid and you asked her 'why did you do that'. Something stupid like trying to get away with being dishonest and thinking she wouldnt get caught. hope thats clearer.

paganmomblog
08-18-2010, 08:03 PM
At the ages that your children are now they are not quite ready for so much independent work. First, I would call them together and tell them that mommy made a mistake so that ice cream and the book store are back on (watch for the smiles! This will show them that 1) mommy can admit when she makes a mistake and 2) it is okay to make mistakes and to admit to them). 2ndly, tell them that instead of giving them their assignments for the week and checking them at the end of the week you will still be giving the weekly assignments but you will check them daily. 3rdly, instruct the children that they are to have a list of questions for you related the the assignments but that are not asking for answers to the assignments (critical thinking about what they've learned)(example "why do I have to learn about adjectives?", "why is long division important?" "why do I have to learn about a bunch of dead guys?" "what would happen if a put my bubble bath in the park fountain?") When the kids get be be middle school- high school level work then they may be ready for independent work. You know your children best and will know when they are ready, they may surprise you and ask for more work (a sign they are ready).

Thanks! I actually did a bit of this today and it seemed to help with her. I think my problem is just still getting used to the needs of 3 very different children. My eldest works independently, she always has. I think it's a part of her personality. Then the other two are way out in left and right field. Never thought that it was possible to have 3 polar opposites but my kids prove it can be done :)

paganmomblog
08-18-2010, 08:05 PM
Sorry i didnt word that right. I dont mean you asked her 'why did you do something stupid', i meant that she did something stupid and you asked her 'why did you do that'. Something stupid like trying to get away with being dishonest and thinking she wouldnt get caught. hope thats clearer.

I find using the term "stupid" to young children and their behavior just offensive. She didn't do anything "stupid", she tested boundaries like every other normal child. I simply don't take kindly to someone alluding that my child, or anyone else's child, as being "stupid" or doing "stupid" things.

Gwenhwyfar
08-19-2010, 12:52 AM
So as I asked her today why she decided to not do the work and not tell me, all I have gotten is "I don't know"

Ahh yes. Did it come with the shrugged shoulders and slight glower? The glower might be strictly a teenage thing, though I do think I remember it showing up around the age of ten or eleven :p

pandahoneybee
08-19-2010, 06:36 PM
ok mine are just starting this independent thing as well, mostly the older one but the 3rd grade sees older bro doing it so he thinks that he can as well.

I totally think you did the right thing, that is the one thing when they are working for a group goal of playing games or going some where special is they have to make sure the other is doing and understanding their work as well. This really helps my oldest retain alot more info!
I even stretched it to their chores, no one gets allowance until everyone including me gets done with the chores! We have had the melt downs too but ya know that makes me feel good the next time they do something to see them working together! just my two cents;) Hang in there, and keep a secret flask by ya it helps;) LOL

StartingOver
08-19-2010, 06:52 PM
Hang in there, and keep a secret flask by ya it helps;) LOL
Best advice I have seen on here yet !! If your a drinker that is, if you aren't you might want to try it sometime. There are days !

pandahoneybee
08-19-2010, 07:06 PM
Best advice I have seen on here yet !! If your a drinker that is, if you aren't you might want to try it sometime. There are days !
hehe my husband wonders why we go thru the capn so fast! if he only knew! LOL jk well mostly anyways

StartingOver
08-19-2010, 07:18 PM
hehe my husband wonders why we go thru the capn so fast! if he only knew! LOL jk well mostly anyways

Mine is VO !! I just adore it after a long day. Sometimes even sooner !

Yeah they should make the bottle bigger, or just send a keg !!!

wild_destiny
08-19-2010, 07:43 PM
You guys are too funny! I wish I was a drinker (at least in moderation). God knows, I've tried to down some alcohol at various infrequent occasions, but I just can't stand the taste! (Although several years ago, I did manage to drink and like 2 bottles of Zima (Zema ? don't know the spelling) in pretty quick order, only to spend the next 2 hours sitting alone at our dining table, laughing to myself over God only knows what. And then the urge to urinate hit every 3 minutes for the next hour, which promptly quelled any further desire to drink again. Lesson learned!! ) Seriously, though, we all likely have our ups and downs in homeschooling: I think that is just a part of it. It is groups like this (not the drinking for me) that help keep my sanity, well, sane!

StartingOver
08-19-2010, 07:50 PM
You guys are too funny! I wish I was a drinker (at least in moderation). God knows, I've tried to down some alcohol at various infrequent occasions, but I just can't stand the taste! (Although several years ago, I did manage to drink and like 2 bottles of Zima (Zema ? don't know the spelling) in pretty quick order, only to spend the next 2 hours sitting alone at our dining table, laughing to myself over God only knows what. And then the urge to urinate hit every 3 minutes for the next hour, which promptly quelled any further desire to drink again. Lesson learned!! ) Seriously, though, we all likely have our ups and downs in homeschooling: I think that is just a part of it. It is groups like this (not the drinking for me) that help keep my sanity, well, sane!

Whatever works. ;-) Just let us know when you need some humor, if we aren't providing enough. I am sure a couple of drinks and I will get good and lively. For some reason a good drink brings out my funny bone !

I know I have had my share of days over the year that make a mixed drink at the end of the day, taste oh so sweet. Most days there is no need though. Thankfully !!

pandahoneybee
08-20-2010, 04:30 PM
Whatever works. ;-) Just let us know when you need some humor, if we aren't providing enough. I am sure a couple of drinks and I will get good and lively. For some reason a good drink brings out my funny bone !

I know I have had my share of days over the year that make a mixed drink at the end of the day, taste oh so sweet. Most days there is no need though. Thankfully !!
Jana~ now you know if they laugh too much then we should charge a cover! it would pay for the drinks! jk

I don't want to give the wrong impression here I wait until at least 11am to drink no earlier, cuz that would be wrong;)

Ok I should probably stop joking before someone turns me in! this is Michelle signing out!

wild_destiny
08-20-2010, 07:01 PM
Never fear, Jana, you never disappoint (neither do any of these other guys). This group is full to bursting with good humor.
And Michelle, I totally know what you mean (or I would if I were a drinker). I mean, it is one thing to start drinking at 11am, but only alcoholics start drinking before that, like, say at 10:45 am. THOSE people have real problems. Am I right! LOL of course. Oh yeah, please don't charge for the laughter. Some of us are nearly broke. :)

StartingOver
08-20-2010, 08:01 PM
Jana~ now you know if they laugh too much then we should charge a cover! it would pay for the drinks! jk

I don't want to give the wrong impression here I wait until at least 11am to drink no earlier, cuz that would be wrong;)

Ok I should probably stop joking before someone turns me in! this is Michelle signing out!

Shhhhh don't tell anyone, but I have broken the golden rule of 5 o'clock. When you have 3 teens in the house, it is always 5 O'clock somewhere !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!