PDA

View Full Version : I don't think I can do this anymore



raegan
09-15-2011, 02:47 PM
I am tired of coercing and cajoling and threatening and anything else to get my kids to do anything. I hate the thought of sending them to school (we're in a notoriously bad district that is constantly in danger of losing accreditation and is going through yet another administrative upheaval)...but the thought of putting myself through this little mini-hell every freaking day is more daunting. It's getting to where--especially today--I don't even LIKE my kids. I'm sitting here in tears because they won't even shut the eff up long enough for me to tell them the math lesson is really fun today.

I realize I'm going through a depressive cycle, but seriously, the future homeschool prospects are just overwhelmingly negative right now.

(and please, no one freaking say "unschool," or I may have to reach through my computer and punch you in the nose. see? bad day!)

ginnyjf
09-15-2011, 02:54 PM
Here, let me reach through my computer and give you a hug. And then I will dodge your virtual fists when I say a day off here and there while you're all finding your way is not a bad thing at all. There will be days when you don't like your kids. There will be days when you're ready to gnaw off a limb to have some time to yourself. There will be days when you want to run over the soccer moms standing on the corner after school dropoff, drinking their coffee and laughing. Or is that just me? We've all had days like that and somehow we find the determination and the energy to get up and keep plugging away. I'm sorry I don't have much advice for you, just sympathy. Hang in there.

raegan
09-15-2011, 03:01 PM
We've been taking about 6 days a week off for the past two or so weeks. I feel like it's contributing the the frustration--my older (6.5yo; I don't much bother to worry about my 3.5yo) just wants to watch netflix, build LEGOs and Hero Factory stuff, and make up dangerous (and unfair to his little bro) games/competitions. The second I suggest we start some lernin', he goes apesh*t, sometimes crying and screaming like I just defiled his favorite stuffed animal before his very eyes. Yes, I try to do transitions/warnings ("5 minutes, 2 minutes...") and discuss expectations/schedule, both the night before and the morning of, and repeatedly throughout the day. So he's not being blindsided by my pathetically low expectations. So getting into a groove of the utter slackitude makes it even harder, having to try to re-establish routines constantly.

I just want off this ride at the moment, I think. :(

bcnlvr
09-15-2011, 03:13 PM
Boys. They show academic readiness later than little girls. Maybe wait 6 months and try again. Some are just. not. ready. to do any kind of school (even at 6.5). If the readiness is not there, I am afraid you won't get much accomplished (except for a bald spot from pulling out your hair). This happened to me and a little more time for their little brains to be ready will simply amaze you.

bcn

JinxieFox
09-15-2011, 03:14 PM
*hugs*

Well, I'm not sure what to say, except that I hope it gets better! Maybe not just a day off, but a week of breathe, replan and reboot?

ginnyjf
09-15-2011, 03:17 PM
I'm sorry. I really do wish I had some solid advice for you. All I can say is, if you've reached the point where you don't think you can continue, you are the only person who can make that decision. It doesn't mean you've failed or you're doing your son a disservice or anything else you might be telling yourself right now. Homeschooling is such a personal and individual thing for each family. Wish I could bring you coffee or tea and give you a break for a bit.

laundrycrisis
09-15-2011, 03:33 PM
We've been taking about 6 days a week off for the past two or so weeks. I feel like it's contributing the the frustration--my older (6.5yo; I don't much bother to worry about my 3.5yo) just wants to watch netflix, build LEGOs and Hero Factory stuff, and make up dangerous (and unfair to his little bro) games/competitions. The second I suggest we start some lernin', he goes apesh*t, sometimes crying and screaming like I just defiled his favorite stuffed animal before his very eyes. Yes, I try to do transitions/warnings ("5 minutes, 2 minutes...") and discuss expectations/schedule, both the night before and the morning of, and repeatedly throughout the day. So he's not being blindsided by my pathetically low expectations. So getting into a groove of the utter slackitude makes it even harder, having to try to re-establish routines constantly.

I just want off this ride at the moment, I think. :(

Okay...I have experienced this. It always seems to happen here after a long weekend or other long break of some sort. I will share the only way I have ever found through it. First, it involves a lot of caffeine for me...Red Bull, coffee, and chai...all three. The night before, I put them to bed early - like 8 pm, lights OUT. No arguments. Then I put the remotes out of reach, lock the computer with a password, pick up all the stray toys, etc. Stack the workbooks on the kitchen table. The next morning, I get DS1 up early, go straight through breakfast, get dressed, brush your teeth, sit down. Work for about two hours with one 5 minute break in the middle, but no TV or computer game time. DS2 is out of the way with a movie (or maybe still in bed) until I get DS1 on track. Tantrum time only delays the start of the two hours. The first day, the two hours may not be completed until very late in the day, but NO PLAYTIME is allowed until the work is done, and a tantrum will get you nowhere fast here. Your only entertainment will be your own wailing (it gets old pretty fast). After the two hours of work is completed, done for the day. Repeat several days in a row. The tantrums taper off and finally stop. Expectations of goofing off in the morning are extinguished. I feel back on top of things and we are back to making progress.

I don't discuss any of this. I just do it.

dbmamaz
09-15-2011, 03:49 PM
I dont think there is anything wrong with taking a break if you really think you need it. My kids all spent time in public school. It really makes them appreciate what they have. However, you are likely to still have to fight them to the table to do homework. But at least its less on you . . . its more you enforcing someone else's rules.

OTOH . . . tantrums, yeah, we had a lot. And I cant function first thing in the morning. but I also just ride out the tantrums, repeat that you can go back to your games after xyz happens, but you also have ot be ready for them then stalling and refusing to write, writing wrong answers on purpose, whatever.

When Raven was 6, we read books together, he did a half page of handwriting without tears, and he did 20 minutes a day of time4learning . . and i think that was about it. Oh, and some math, but he fought me on the worksheets so i mostly just kept getting math readers out of the library. Now that he's 8, we are getting more done . . . but not a ton more.

So, you need to put off all decisions until you are in a place where you dont want to swear at your kids, you arent sick of them, and you arent feeling like you are pathetic . . . because you know you cant make a good choice today. but . . its your choice. and not a permanent choice, either way.

Is it drink-30 yet?

MarkInMD
09-15-2011, 04:20 PM
Raegan, we're going through this with Tornado right now. (It's hitting my wife more than me because she's doing most of the schooling this year.) He's a total street-angel/house-devil kid. In fact DW came into my studio this morning with tears in her eyes and said, "Remind me again why I want to homeschool him." He's about the same age as your guy (will be 6 next Thursday), so there may be some age/gender issues at work there, too. I sympathize and can only say we're trying to work through it as best we can. Every day, though, has been a struggle with him -- a fact that was driven home to me last week when I did all the school for both of them for three days. Yeah, it's bad. But I just try to keep in mind that the alternative is probably worse (certainly by the time he gets to the crappy middle and high school he'd be going to).

Hope it gets better. If a cross-gender hug isn't appropriate, I'll buy you an adult beverage of your choice. :)

Greenmother
09-15-2011, 04:25 PM
Raegan, if you want to put your kids in PS, no one I know of is going to give you any grief about it. You are the parent, you get to make that decision.

I will say this though--We all go through what you are going through in some form or another.

I am about ready to feed my children to their chickens right now even as we speak. My 5 yr old and 9 yr old are going at it like cats and dogs. Its maddening. And then there are my very own independent depressive phases that I go through on top of their weirdness.

So you are not alone.
People support you.

Although I am with bcnlvr that boys sometimes bloom later academically speaking than girls. But I also know that when it's your kid and stuff isn't happening in that window deemed proper by the rest of society, that it can be scary hoping that things will come together and you won't be held up as crappy mom of the year who didn't teach her kids how to read, write and cipher.

Right now, I am having issues keeping mine off of Pixie Hollow. Part of it is, we are bored and lonely. But there isn't a whole lot we can do about it right now. For what ever reason, the time has not been right for us to make lasting friendships, regardless of our feelings or efforts in this manner.

Aandwsmom
09-15-2011, 06:01 PM
HUGS!!
Been there, I think we all have at one time or another!
It sucks, you want to sit in the corner and cry, you want to drive by the public school and kick your kids out WITHOUT slowing down and you feel like it is NOT going to work.
I get that way a few times a school year. When either of mine cop an attitude about something and I want to smack them upside the head for their smart teenage mouths. UGH!
Then I take a day and breathe and we figure out what went wrong and why.
I have 2 boys plus daycare for 4 more. We have a VERY organized schedule for both homeschool and daycare. Couldnt operate without it. We do things at a certain time and if they are not willing to do them, then there are consequences to their actions.
I hope you are doing ok and that you make the right decision for you and your family, whatever it is..... we are here to support you!!!!
Again, HUGE HUGS!!

lakshmi
09-15-2011, 06:15 PM
Okay...I have experienced this. It always seems to happen here after a long weekend or other long break of some sort. I will share the only way I have ever found through it. First, it involves a lot of caffeine for me...Red Bull, coffee, and chai...all three. The night before, I put them to bed early - like 8 pm, lights OUT. No arguments. Then I put the remotes out of reach, lock the computer with a password, pick up all the stray toys, etc. Stack the workbooks on the kitchen table. The next morning, I get DS1 up early, go straight through breakfast, get dressed, brush your teeth, sit down. Work for about two hours with one 5 minute break in the middle, but no TV or computer game time. DS2 is out of the way with a movie (or maybe still in bed) until I get DS1 on track. Tantrum time only delays the start of the two hours. The first day, the two hours may not be completed until very late in the day, but NO PLAYTIME is allowed until the work is done, and a tantrum will get you nowhere fast here. Your only entertainment will be your own wailing (it gets old pretty fast). After the two hours of work is completed, done for the day. Repeat several days in a row. The tantrums taper off and finally stop. Expectations of goofing off in the morning are extinguished. I feel back on top of things and we are back to making progress.

I don't discuss any of this. I just do it.

OMG>>>>>>>>>what a riot. You got me with the red bull coffee and chai... all three. lMAO... and then the image of it. yes, very good plan... me likey..

[Reminds me of a story that my husband keeps telling me about our future rebellious teens. If said teen comes home late and drunk, they can expect a 5am wake up call with a backpack loaded for back country hiking and camping.]

You created a 'this is your decision' kind of day. You can do this in TWO HOURS or I can sit my ass here all day, and make your life miserable. I got all day, sonny. LOL... Is it okay if I imagine it with a toothpick and leather hat a la Clint Eastwood?

This didn't work for me, but I can so appreciate it. I ended up screaming about public school and waking up at 6am.


He's a total street-angel/house-devil kid.

I got one of those!!!

On a serious note dbmamz has a point about actually putting them in school. BUT I totally cracked up with the unschooling remark. Basically that is what you're doing if you take 6 days off.

We actually were doing the same thing, more time off and less time schooling and I had the EXACT same response. For me, I thought about public school and even went to registration, but didn't register for a number of OT reasons.

BUT, I did explain to the girls (gender difference noted) how I felt about homeschooling, why it was important to me, how much fun I thought it was learning the same stuff they were (a lot of it is new to me, what window was I looking out during 2nd grade) and how much fun I got out of seeing them make stuff and being with them when they learned. I never once said that I hated it or that it was hard. Or to just rush through it and "get it done." I made it seem important to life, important to me.

Then I told them that right now PS wasn't an option, and that we were most definitely not just going to hang out and play and do nothing. (yes yes, i know all about always learning but... )

Then I asked them for solutions. Not directly, I offered up a couple of plans and took into consideration some of their concerns.

We all agreed to do four 30 minute sessions throughout the day. All throughout the day, if we weren't done at 8PM, then we had notebooks out, etc. All within the bounds of our daily lives, as in, I didn't keep them up until 10 to do it. BUT, my power was, "you agreed to do this..." YOU agreed. Most times we'd end up working for an hour or even two. But if they got bored, they left. If there was a lull in their play,then I'd get them back.

And Mark stated, what would it be like at school, better worse or the same.

Stella M
09-15-2011, 06:32 PM
I know you don't want me to say this, but I would take a break. Pushing through with the 'learning stuff' means nothing if your relationship with the boys suffers. Take a break, get outside into the fresh air with them, spend the day at the park, get someone else to mind them and take a day off to do something interesting by yourself. Then think about ways to restructure/redo homeschool, but don't try to do both - think/decide on an approach and do it at the same time. Rest, ponder, then act.

lakshmi
09-15-2011, 06:42 PM
AT sadie.....


watch out dude, she warned you that she was coming through the screen, you might want to turn on invisible mode... that sounds very unschooly...........

StartingOver
09-15-2011, 06:53 PM
HUGS !!!

We hit that, time and time again with our 4 children, one more to go !! Yeah, there is a point where I just take everything away, the tv, games, toys, you name it. I strive to make them really bored so they wish to do something. School is better than twiddling their thumbs. I have even had to go so far with preteens and teens as to clear out their whole room, leaving only bedding. Mean mom I know, but sometimes I just have to break the cycle and gain control again.

All of us have seriously considered just putting them in school. No one would look down on you if you did. But if that isn't really what you want, keep putting one foot in front of the other. No everyone can homeschool, but I truly believe that most parents that have a real desire can find a way. This journey has all kinds of twists and turns, ups and downs, but in the end it is worth it for me.

Lak001
09-15-2011, 07:03 PM
Oh Lakshmi, you have such good sense of humor...:) I envy You...

To the OP, please hang in there. Like everyone said, we all have been in similar situations, if that helps. Today, dd didn't want to do anything except read her Junie B Jones chapter books. When I redirected to her work space gently reminding her of the work, she was so displeased she started a tantrum. Took me two hours to reason with her, and we got very little accomplished in terms of learning. This a happened a lot of times earlier, and I expect it to happen again.
My issues may not be as big as yours' right now, but I hear you. You are not alone. So, pls give it some time. Like others suggested, take a break. Like, for another week if that's what is needed. Its ok if you look at it from a long term perspective. 6.5 years is still a very young age, imo. There's no harm done if you have spent 2 or 3 weeks without any learning. Just think of it as a time spent away on vacation or something.

Hopefully, my advice isn't rubbing you the wrong way. that is not my intention at all.

farrarwilliams
09-15-2011, 07:08 PM
Hugs! And some disjointed thoughts...

I think taking a break is different from unschooling - which is not to say you should, just that it's okay if you do and it doesn't have to compromise your educational philosophy.

I think adjusting your expectations or doing things that you know will be confidence building is not a cop-out.

I second Cara's advice to never make a decision like sending them to school on the day that you're most annoyed or angry or worn out from dealing with them. If you do it, then of course you can, but do it from a place where you're deciding it will really be a better decision for all of you, not just in a fit of frustration.

If it were me, I would make myself take a break - maybe not even a long one, maybe just a week or two. Then I would come back with a really strong routine. I think offering or suggesting to a kid to do something can be really difficult. We're flexible, but I'm in charge of the flexibility, not the kids. The default is always the routine and if we change it it's because I said so, if that makes sense. When we were first starting out, I gave them a lot more power to choose what we were doing and when. It led to a lot more issues for us and squabbles between the kids as well as a lot of anxiety and so very slow decision making. When I took that power away and said, look, here's what we're doing, they were a lot happier. I think there was just less anxiety about what was happening.

In any case, good luck and more hugs.

Batgirl
09-15-2011, 07:49 PM
Yeah, I did a lot of that last year, (my first year). It was so awful. I know what you're going through. I second Farrar's suggestion to take a break, and possibly come back with a lot more structure. I tend to offer my kids a lot choices, but everything works a lot better with fewer choices and more structure at our house. That was a hard-earned lesson for me.

Just to offer up more of what happened with us: When I started last fall, Batman was six and Robin was three. It was hellish. My oldest son fought me constantly because it was beyond his ability at the time to do the work I was asking him to do. Printing was (and is) very difficult and frustrating for him. Reading has improved, but sustained reading is still tough as he has convergence issues and gets fatigued easily. Math was okay, but tough because he had to write numbers. Oh and he has real problems with attention, so sitting still and focusing was very hard. Oh, and his little brother took every opportunity to disrupt lessons.

I gave up on worksheets and taught Batman phonics using a whiteboard and Tanglewood's phonics. Math was flashcards and manipulatives. Printing was writing on the whiteboard. I got him vision therapy, more OT, some typing programs, and we started medication for attention. Around the turn of the year, we discovered Time4Learning and I finally realized how what a strong visual learner my son is. The number of battles decreased dramatically after we started that program and my son learned very well from it. He still doesn't believe it's "school", btw.

Even with all that, I was strongly tempted to reenroll him in ps this fall, because I knew I couldn't face another year like the first. I read up on Sue Patrick's workbox system, which gives us even more structure, which makes it easier to discipline......and while we are having problems right now (different problems!)--hsing is still so much better than last year. Oh, and my younger son uses the workboxes too. Having his own work to do like his big brother has made all the difference for him.

I hope some of this helps. I know it's horrible now, but when you find the right method/curriculum/approach, it can be a minor miracle. Take a break, enjoy your kids! I know when I get really angry with mine, it's harder on me almost. I'm still upset after they've forgiven and forgotten.

Btw, this wasn't to imply that your kids have any developmental issues.....just letting you know what happened in case any of it is helpful. :D

jessica14
09-15-2011, 07:54 PM
We've been taking about 6 days a week off for the past two or so weeks. I feel like it's contributing the the frustration--my older (6.5yo; I don't much bother to worry about my 3.5yo) just wants to watch netflix, build LEGOs and Hero Factory stuff, and make up dangerous (and unfair to his little bro) games/competitions. The second I suggest we start some lernin', he goes apesh*t, sometimes crying and screaming like I just defiled his favorite stuffed animal before his very eyes. Yes, I try to do transitions/warnings ("5 minutes, 2 minutes...") and discuss expectations/schedule, both the night before and the morning of, and repeatedly throughout the day. So he's not being blindsided by my pathetically low expectations. So getting into a groove of the utter slackitude makes it even harder, having to try to re-establish routines constantly.

I just want off this ride at the moment, I think. :(

Raegan-also sending hugs and telling you that I had the exact same day! I'm not feeling like throwing in the towel but my slapping the table several times and yelling "Pay attention and stop whining!" was highly inappropriate and I have apologized. But really,when you give the kids (8.5 daughter and 6.75 son) spelling that can be done independently, go to send off a quick e-mail and then hear daughter screaming and see her slapping and clawing at her brother because he knocked over her supply bucket and drew on her spelling on purpose all by 9AM, you know its going to be a bad day!

I think what you are doing with the transitions and expectations is really good and you should continue to do it. It will help in the long run. I also list the day's agenda on a white board and they can pick what they are going to do and when. But, yes, I get the crying and screaming from my son too and its just like nails on a board. I tell him it has to be done and he eventually does it, even if he's whining throughout.

All I can say is hang in there. It's got to get better, right? (She said REALLY hopefully)

Cafdog
09-15-2011, 07:59 PM
(and please, no one freaking say "unschool," or I may have to reach through my computer and punch you in the nose. see? bad day!)

Bwahahahaaa!! I am so sorry you are down in the dumps - but this made my day, dude.

You are not the only one hitting the wall this week - I'm riding right behind you on that crazy train. We are one of those school-at-home families, so unschooling isn't really going to work for us now, temporarily or otherwise. We have assignments due, and this week - piling up. I'm trying really hard not to project my goal-orientated, anal-retentiveness on my child, but she is really pushing her luck this week. I made the grievous error of selling all the best, flexible "homeschool" attributes to her this summer when we broke the news we were pulling her out of PS. Now, I think she's really trying to play me. "I want to sleep in, Mom - this is our homeschool schedule." "I want to watch television with my lunch." "I'm just so lonely here at home, I just want to (weasel out of any given assignment). Grrr.

I have not caved in to her guilt demands, but I am serious getting irked at feeling like I'm right back in the homework wars this week. Boo. Kids are really master manipulators, aren't they?

I can only send you silent sympathy, and a suggested list of the wines I'm drinking every evening. Hang in there. You can always threaten the fake "orphanage", like I used to. ;)

Accidental Homeschooler
09-15-2011, 08:29 PM
Ok, here is what I am doing and I feel like it is working. My goal, after a lot of time off this summer, was to first set a precedent. The precedent is that we do the things I say we are going to do and we do them until I say we are done. I know my dd pretty well and I know myself. I can handle staying with her for fifteen minutes of difficult behavior (complaining, whining, fussing...) without losing my emotional neutrality. Thirty minutes would be too long and I would end up getting frustrated and then things go downhill fast. I give her two choices to start. She picks and I do a short lesson. The first week some of our lessons were five or ten minutes and now we are at about fifteen. Then she gets a break (which is a break for me too and time to work with her sister). Then I call her back and two more choices and another short lesson and then a break. With the subjects she likes we tend to go longer. I try to end those lessons when I see her losing focus but before she starts complaining or acting out. I don't want the precedent to be she starts being difficult and that ends the lesson. If I miss that window I say something like, "We are almost done, we just need to do this one more thing and then a break." Then I stick with her until it is done. I want to get us to thirty minutes per lesson (or in that neighborhood). I figure she is only six and I have time to reach that goal slowly. Maybe you are expecting to much of yourself and your son and something sort of halfway between a break and contuing to struggle on would be an option. Whatever you decide, I hope things get better soon.

PBB
09-15-2011, 08:45 PM
I am new at this and my ds(6) is pretty easy, but my advice is to try not to slip into teacher mode my son loves to learn, but hates flashcards,worksheets, etc. He loves to be read to and talked to about history and science. Today I had ds teach me what he learned about his current favorite subject...the Titanic. He loved it! He as absorbed far more ancient history than his sister (almost 8).

MrsLOLcat
09-15-2011, 08:45 PM
No advice, no comments, no judgment on whatever you need to do to help your family and regain your sanity, but lots and lots of (((((HUGS))))) sent your way!

hreneeh
09-15-2011, 08:58 PM
Honestly, if you feel like you've reached the end, go ahead put them in public school. If it turns out to be really bad you can pull them out and you're in no worse spot than now. You may even be in a better spot when they realize how much more they enjoy the freedoms that homeschooling allows. Other than that, in my house it would be the no anything, TV, games, legos until whatever amount of work is done. The longer you take to do it the more you are hurting yourself. Hugs to you though.

lakshmi
09-15-2011, 09:18 PM
Ok, here is what I am doing and I feel like it is working. My goal, after a lot of time off this summer, was to first set a precedent. The precedent is that we do the things I say we are going to do and we do them until I say we are done. I know my dd pretty well and I know myself. I can handle staying with her for fifteen minutes of difficult behavior (complaining, whining, fussing...) without losing my emotional neutrality. Thirty minutes would be too long and I would end up getting frustrated and then things go downhill fast. I give her two choices to start. She picks and I do a short lesson. The first week some of our lessons were five or ten minutes and now we are at about fifteen. Then she gets a break (which is a break for me too and time to work with her sister). Then I call her back and two more choices and another short lesson and then a break. With the subjects she likes we tend to go longer. I try to end those lessons when I see her losing focus but before she starts complaining or acting out. I don't want the precedent to be she starts being difficult and that ends the lesson. If I miss that window I say something like, "We are almost done, we just need to do this one more thing and then a break." Then I stick with her until it is done. I want to get us to thirty minutes per lesson (or in that neighborhood). I figure she is only six and I have time to reach that goal slowly. Maybe you are expecting to much of yourself and your son and something sort of halfway between a break and contuing to struggle on would be an option. Whatever you decide, I hope things get better soon.

Yes, that is what I was trying to say.


No advice, no comments, no judgment on whatever you need to do to help your family and regain your sanity, but lots and lots of (((((HUGS))))) sent your way!


Yes to both of these....

dottieanna29
09-15-2011, 09:37 PM
Yeah, I have a 6 year old boy too. And he can be a real pisser sometimes. Uncooperative, screaming, whining, flopping to the floor, forgetting how to hold a pencil, hitting his sister, pinching his sister, and so on, and so on. As for the sister - she doesn't help. 3 years old on was WAY worse than 2. I don't know why they call it terrible 2's since 3 was practically unbearable.

Suggestions? Not sure I have anything helpful since we just take it one day at a time and take a LOT of time off. We play a lot of games, free ones from Kelly's Kindergarten, some from Scholastic books dollar days sets, board games like Scrabble Jr, Boggle, Yatzee. I recently changed our set-up so I put all my sons worksheets into a binder with dividers for each day. So he can see at a glance what I expect him to do in a day. I will let him go out of order, I usually do quite a bit of the writing for him. Today, he was being a real butt-head so I handed him the pencil, told him I wasn't going to write for him if he was going to give me a hard time, that there would be no tv, no computer, no nothing until he did a certain number of pages (nothing too hard for him, not many pages) and then I sat in a chair and pulled out a book. A nice, light, fluffy romance novel. Pure escapism. And, he somehow managed to get through 2 pages of math all by himself. So, basically I stopped fighting, put it in his hands and disengaged.

<<Hugs>> Just remember "This too shall pass." They aren't at this stage forever.

laundrycrisis
09-15-2011, 10:07 PM
.... but my slapping the table several times and yelling "Pay attention and stop whining!" was highly inappropriate and I have apologized.

That's inappropriate ? Oh, well, crap. :_lol:

Seriously, to the OP, nobody here is perfect. We all feel like this sometimes. We all stagger around sometimes, and have moments (or entire days) we are less than proud of. Anyone who doesn't is probably lying or in denial. Or at least is someone I have nothing in common with anyway. :_p:

KristinK
09-15-2011, 10:22 PM
*hugs* I've had those days too. The "what the F*** am I doing???" days. The "i want to send them to boarding school" days...

lots of good ideas here. I'd also say it's time to forget school for a bit, but do NOT sit home letting them just play lego and fight. Plan to be out of the house alot, burning energy, exploring and discovering, etc etc. Moving away from the "routine" of fighting school for a week might help to reset him?

Resaj
09-15-2011, 10:28 PM
And I have been reading for awhile before joining.

I have been where you are. I wish I could drag you into the future where better times are waiting. I promise, they are here. While I won't even pretend to know the solution to your current dilemma, I will share my experience.

I put my daughter in school. Preschool even. Even though I thought the whole concept of preschool was STUPID, especially for stay at home moms such as myself. And I sent her because WE needed time to heal. We were both suffering. I needed a break (from my own child, though I cringe when I admit it aloud). I took a breather. Sent myself to therapy to deal with my own depression so that I coul deal with my daughter (whom even the therapist found...spirited...let's call it that).

And it helped. It helped a lot. I was able to LIKE her again (and my heart still hurts when I remember how painful not liking her was). she was unmanageable. I couldn't have done any school with her and fortunately didn't need to because she was so young. But... I had to do vision therapy (amblyopia, lazy eye). It should have taken twenty minutes, tops. Two hours of threats, screaming, time-outs, and yes...her very first ever spanking...and still no vision therapy. It's embarrassing to admit, but it almost destroyed us as a family. And it wasn't worth it. It really wasn't. And it's three years later and still the amblyopia lives on (though we have been able to return to therapy as she has matured). and I think that is what has to happen. They have to mature. And you do what you have to do to survive. If that means public school, or a really lovely Montessori school in our area that I can recommend from experience, or just a somewhat extended fall break at your house... You survive. This too shall pass.

I hope it passes quickly.

T

Resaj
09-15-2011, 10:37 PM
By the way...at our house there are the terrible twos, followed by the god-awful horrendous mommy-needs-therapy threes. I have another in that phase now and I would like to say a quick prayer... Thank you o pharmaceutical gods for the bounty you have provided for me, your humble lab rat. Blessed be the Lamictal, the ambien, and our holy fruit of the vine-Shiraz. Amen.

coloradoalice
09-15-2011, 11:15 PM
Resaj, you are funny! You forgot the f-you fours. Those were fun.......

Anyway, back to the OP, I have 2 words for you: Full Moon Seriously, it seems like everyone I've talked to the last couple days has had lots of insanity going on and kids acting like total animals. I screamed at my daughter today (bad me) after her crappy attitude during a short lesson (bad her). And the kids are currently on their first grounding from all electronics after behaving like rabid lemurs at Costco on Tuesday. I swear, something is in the air this week.

It will pass. And I am a big believer in taking large amounts of time off when things are just completely off course. Then starting again with a good talk, a plan, a schedule and some set consequences can help things go much more smoothly. *hugs*

raegan
09-16-2011, 02:25 AM
I love this board. After having a semi-crappy evening (a marked improvement from a completely sh*tty day, mind you), I think we will take time off from all but reading (4-5x/wk) and math (2-3x/wk), and just hike as many days as we can. It's therapy for me as well as them. They learn while we're outside (gasp! did I just allude to unschooling something?) :P and their screams/whines don't reverberate in the woods like they do off the walls and bamboo floors.

So we're taking at least a week off and playing. Then I do think it's worthwhile to get my older son to buy-in by directing some of his days. I will also need to figure out this insomnia thing and get more rest/get up earlier in the morning to head him off at the pass, so to speak. I'm also totally installing a password on the laptop, lol.

I think there may be something to ALLLLLL the stories about hellacious years coinciding with having a 3yo. My current 3yo is a pussycat compared to his big brother; a wonderful friend whose son was his BFF but who has since moved (pout) basically had him for about 30 hrs/week because I really couldn't stand to be around him for longer than a couple hours at a time. (That may sound terrible to anyone who doesn't have a spirited child--we refer to Khary as "balls-to-the-wall" with *everything* he does...except schoolwork, of course! For those who have had to deal with dangerous, sensory-seeking behavior--I'm sure you understand, lol.) Older son was social, outgoing, willing to hang out with other people; younger terrorist 3yo is a clingy, whiny, adorable kid, and I think I underestimate his toll on my sanity. It's also harder for me to relate to him, as I'm kind a social butterfly, balls-to-the-wall person, too--so I'm constantly frustrated by his unwillingness to try anything new or challenging. It just kind of bites that 3yo gets to suck the life out of mommy, thus shortchanging 6yo in the mommy's-patience-department and therefore the edumacation dept, as well. :/

I actually think 3yo would really benefit from a Montessori approach, and I have a friend who may come and give me some thoughts about that with our current setup (she's been teaching Montessori for about 10 or so years). I feel like it will really help his independence and self-confidence. gah, now I'm rambling. See what frazzled nerves and insomnia will do?!

Batgirl, it's funny that you stated you didn't mean to imply we had developmental issues--my 6.5yo is a fun ball of strange sensory bedfellows. We have had to stop formal OT because our insurance decided to not pay for it and since so much of dh's paycheck goes to pay for useless insurance, we can't swing that, either. We just keep him in gymnastics and the team sport of the season (flag football now; basketball later, then soccer, followed by baseball), and send him outside as much as possible while I try not to see the crazy-ass shit he does to meet his sensory needs.

Thank you all for the hugs, responses, suggestions, commiseration, and most of all, the humor! My brain is fried, we're going on a field trip to learn about the physics of roller coasters tomorrow, and I have to get up early to head Bubba off at the pass.

Again, I love this board. I wish we all lived closer, though--if for no other reason than to drink together. :P

fwiw, if anyone's buying me drinks...I'll accept any of the following: a Gibson martini, gin & tonic with a twist of lime, gin and orange juice, or any good, meaty red with a mellow finish.

Pefa
09-16-2011, 08:11 AM
Again, I haven't read all the posts so I'm probably repeating what others have said.

First and foremost you are your boys mother. If raising them into reasonable adults requires help from others go for it. You can be involved in their school in supportive ways that don't suck the life out of you. If you find yourself disliking your kids more than liking them it's time for something else. You've got challenging kids there and it's exhausting.

You will make the right choice for you and your family and I'm reaching out from VT to let you know whatever you decide I support it.

Aos_si
09-16-2011, 08:31 AM
I have to say I went through a year an a half of this. Now we had a few other deciding factors (son was diagnosed asperger's, etc. etc.) Anyways! So I have been there done that for sure. Nowadays I take it easy. We have an semi-interactive subject board that they get to pick their subjects and days and such, and we do make sure it gets done. (Or we end up working through it on the weekend.) We will take our work to the park somedays or just go outside (lap-desks are a GREAT investment!) and somedays the kids (especially when they were younger) just weren't very responsive so we just bake cookies or read books on those days. (Make a double batch and make them get the measurements, even if it's just finding the 1/2 cup!)

Also (and I don't usually do this) I read a book called Positive Discipline and it totally changed my relationship with my kids (total shameless plug I know) but seriously, it was probably one of the best 20 dollars I have ever spent in my life, so I just like to pass it on.

kewb22
09-16-2011, 08:40 AM
I feel your pain. There are days when I want to lock myself in my room and hide. Some days I find myself repeating the mantra "Murder is wrong. Beating the children in wrong. " There are days (months) when I wonder why I am doing this to myself. Then I look at my kids and compare them to their friends who go to school (and by compare I mean the opportunities, not behavior) and realize that I am giving my kids a gift. I then choose a time when everyone is relaxed and have a one on one conversation about expectations and what needs to happen in order to continue homeschooling. Everyone nods and smiles and agrees. Then the next day I take all the electronincs and suffer through the tantrums until everyone is back on board. For us it usually takes 3 - 5 days to get back on track.

jarpsyd
09-16-2011, 09:02 AM
lots of good advice above - but wanted to offer my encouragement as well. What works for us: small portions. 20 minutes of each thing (actual work). With my 7 yo, we start with me reading gout loud - my choice of book - but she loves me reading to her so that gets us going. And no, she doesn't have to sit still - but she has to be able to answer a few questions about what I read. Then we do math - because its the hardest for us. 20 minutes of real sit down and learn. Then she gets to do Time4Learning for 20 minutes. Then 20 minutes of writing practice with me. Then she gets to do Time4Learning for 20 minutes. etc. The small chunks are manageable for both of us. The computer time is a reward for her, still learning, and a break for me. We do this from 9 -12. Then lunch. Then afternoon is "free" - sometimes errands, sometimes library trips or other excursions, sometimes "go play and let me do FB!". Hee! Good luck!!!!!!!!!!! :heart::heart:

Shoe
09-16-2011, 09:05 AM
I'm late jumping in, but just wanted to offer my support as well. I don't have any advice to add, except to agree that sometimes a bit of break is in order. I've had some bad days with my kids, and just try to take a break for a day or so. Good luck.

StephSchiff
09-16-2011, 09:17 AM
I'm with you Raegan! I'm having fantansies of dumping my 7 yr old (2nd grade) off in front of the public school and I can almost hear the tires squealing as I peel out! I've tried everything and he's being impossible! My plan for this week? I'm ending his world. The screens are gone, he's limited to the backyard, and we're not doing the "fun stuff" until I get some cooperation. I'm going to attempt to bore him into school work. He's throwing a tantrum no matter how fun or easy something is. I can't even get him to do math games on the iPad at this point. I am normally as stubborn as he is, but at the moment I feel like saying, "fine you win, you don't want to learn, then you can go sit in a classroom and not learn like everyone else." and do so to let him understand what public school is like (he was in private school before).

I'm trying to think of something sweet, funny, and commiserating to cheer you up, but at the moment I can't get past the urge duct tape my kid to the wall so he's forced to listen for 5 minutes!

Suicidesal5
09-16-2011, 10:00 AM
I feel ya. I know how frustrating it gets and there are times in my day where I want to yell and stomp and well, do what my kids do. So I completely understand. Keep going though. You can do it and that's not coming from someone who has kids who 'love" to learn. With understanding and love, push forward. But first have a drink. :)

tamitakesphotos
09-16-2011, 10:15 AM
Raegan,

So sorry to hear you've been having a rough time. I've had those moments myself, but it was when my guy was younger. It's strange, for some reason, when we met, I just had it in my head you were a seasoned veteran at homeschooling and had everything figured out. I don't know why.

Seems like you've gotten lots of great advice. I was thinking short lessons with breaks, and maybe workboxes myself. My son and I talked a lot about homeschooling before we started, and I made it clear that it wasn't all going to be fun and games. He went to PS last year, so I think that helps. He knows the alternative. Basically, he knows the things we need to do each day, and I usually let him pick the order. I am learning to understand my son's needs to fidget. I gave him a stress ball he can play with while we work. (it's quiet) I have friends that let their boys do legos while reading or sit on exercise balls. So, some more kinesthetic approaches might help.

Seems like you've got a plan in place. Maybe during your "break" you could have some conversations about expectations. Keep it short. Just maybe some gentle reminders of what's going happen.

And remember, I'm close enough for a drink!

Busygoddess
09-16-2011, 11:07 AM
No advice, just virtual (((((((hugs))))))), and letting you know you aren't alone. Whether you put one in school or keep both out, do what you feel is best for all of you right now.

Now, I should probably go read all the responses.

Kari
09-16-2011, 11:52 AM
Homeschooling a DD9 for all of her school age years and 7-8 were awful. Without the weekly co-op she might not have learned anything. Oh, and field trips. We did go out a lot. But my dream was to just spend a week or month in a hotel ALONE!
Then I put her in "regular" school for the last 3 months of her 3rd grade year. I was more nervous about how ** I ** would look - she's not a great speller, we're a year behind in the Singapore Math books, etc, etc. But the teacher was a friend of mine and recognized that I needed the break. We were moving from England back to the US and I could use the time to get ready. (btw, it was a US school).
Now we are here and have restarted homeschooling. It is like I have a different kid. She's interested, engaged, and altho she enjoyed PS, she has no desire to go back. So perhaps some time there might help your guys with perspective.

And Greenmother, we're in your boat too. Not meeting many people here, and 9yo girls are even more difficult to find. We are seriously lonely.

Good luck - to all of us!

lakshmi
09-16-2011, 12:32 PM
Raegan Will you mind if I drink tequila? While you drink Gin?

LovingMyChildren
09-16-2011, 03:19 PM
Ok, I've only been doing this for a month so I don't have the wisdom others do. However, I've had days similar to yours. Just this morning I was teary and told my husband That on Monday dd5 was going back to school. Dd5 heard and came and said she'd try harder. She'll still be the same her next week, mind you, but it was heart warming.

When I have days like this, I try to remember my mission for hsing: develop a deeper relationship with my daughter and instill a love for learning. If I remember that, then my preconceived "school" thinking melts away and I change my ideas of what I "need" to do. I now longer need to be worried about "school" and, rather, focus on what an education can truly look like. Yet, I tend to compare hs with what her friends are doing in a private school for the gifted - then, I freak out and put pressure on myself and her. When I go back to my mission I know I am doing what is right for us not what is right by others' standards.

So, what I do may not likely be right for you! But, I ask you to consider what your goals are. They may end up being what is considered "right" by society's standards. However, the glory of hsing is that your goals are YOUR goals and no longer tied to society's beliefs about a six year old.

Your emotions now, though, indicate a definite change is needed! Take some time and make a change - whatever that looks like is better than what is happening now! If that doesn't work, change again. If ps is in the equation, try it and see. Just know that you are in control of your choices.

Warm hugs to you as you consider your options and find your way - whatever way that is.

farrarwilliams
09-16-2011, 03:24 PM
I'm glad you chimed back in, Raegan! I was hoping you hadn't a) reached through the computer to punch us for tell you to take it easy or b) instituted "school at home" - oh, wait, I think it was decided it's not so bad! ;)

Charlotte Mason actually says you should go be outside in nature every day, right CM'ers? Good advices for young ones.

lakshmi
09-16-2011, 03:47 PM
oooo I like Charlotte Mason better already... ( actually i never disliked it, just that it seemed like too much work to read anything about how to do something when I preferred to just do it.) And I need to be reminded to go outside.

jessica14
09-16-2011, 04:04 PM
By the way...at our house there are the terrible twos, followed by the god-awful horrendous mommy-needs-therapy threes. I have another in that phase now and I would like to say a quick prayer... Thank you o pharmaceutical gods for the bounty you have provided for me, your humble lab rat. Blessed be the Lamictal, the ambien, and our holy fruit of the vine-Shiraz. Amen.

If not for Lexapro, I would never be able to hs at all! Amen as well!

Raegan, I wanted to tell you that gymnastics was a great thing for my daughter who had sensory issues. She went from not wanting to be on a trampoline or touching the mats, to being on a team at seven. We also were not given OT for my son and gymnastics helped a lot as well.

IrishTart
09-16-2011, 07:35 PM
Your situation sounds so much like mine!! My son is turning 7 in 3 weeks and is just now starting to like learning. He has never been diagnosed, but we know he has sensory issues. He has always been advanced in some areas and slow in others. Every moment of every day is a fight with him. It doesn't matter what you do, what you make him do, or what you take away...if it's not his way there is a fight. Time out doesn't work! I get so sick of people telling me that it does and I'm just doing it wrong. They know nothing!! It may work for "normal" children, but mine is far from it! You can take everything fun away from him and he will just sing and dance and play with his imaginary friends. (I was the same way.) No form of punishment works with my son. He just glares at you and waits for you to turn your back so he can do it again...sometimes he doesn't even wait for you to turn your back!

All last year I tried to teach my son through traditional means and he while he learned, I could never tell. No matter how many times I went over something, every question I asked he would answer incorrectly. If I told him he had to do something one way, he would do the complete opposite just to spite me. I would talk to people about my frustrations and they would spend 5 minutes with him asking him the same questions I did, but he would answer them correctly. They would give him instructions and he would follow them. They thought I was lying...I started to think I was crazy. People gave me advice, I followed it and I failed.

This year I decided to just start over from scratch. My brother repeated Kindergarten and it didn't hurt him! Two months ago I started my son on Time4Learning. He loves it! Absorbs it! We get up and he asks me if it's a school day and if he can get started!! At the rate he is going, he will probably be through with the Kindergarten lessons by Christmas. I could probably go ahead and move him up to 1st grade in the math lessons. He loves math...but so did I. I still supplement with the book work, and though he is still fighting me on it I've noticed that it's not as bad as it was. Structure and schedules also don't work with my son. It's seriously like trying fit a square peg into a round hole with him! I've got to stand back and see where his mind is going if I want to get anything productive done.

My point is, all kids are different and therefore learn differently. What works for everyone elses kids, might not work for yours. You will just have to keep trying different things until you find what keeps him interested and makes him want to learn. If you make him miserable by trying to force him to do it your way, you will keep getting the same results. I learned that the hard way!! I look back on all the tears, headaches, heartache, and nights curled up with a bottle of Jagermiester now and wonder why I didn't loosen up a lot sooner. I have wanted to throw the hat in so many times, but I know that my son will never learn in a public school setting. He will spend every day in the principal’s office or in ISS. My chiropractor's son was just like mine, and in Kindergarten he learned that all he had to do was act up and he would be sent to the office to play with the copy machine all day. It took them 2 years to break the habit.

I hope that you are able to find a way to work with your son in his own way. If in the end you can't and you have to send him to public school, at least you tried!

vvvvictoria
09-19-2011, 05:05 PM
Feeling your pain! My boys (6 & 8) are just plain lazy and make me wonder every day if I should haul them over to the public school. There are threats to do so...nearly daily! It's bad, I know. They've never been to public school...so they don't know how good they've got it.

What seems to be helping us a tiny bit this year are workboxes...of sorts. I think someone ahead of me in this thread mentioned them. I studied up on workboxes over the summer to try and find some way of keeping them engaged and in a decent humor about schoolwork. We tried the actual boxes for a week and that was enough. It works great but I found myself just putting an assignment in the box and letting them find the workbook, game, whatever on their own because our boxes weren't very big or sturdy. So that made me wonder why I'm bothering with these dang boxes? They just take up a valuable shelf! So now I have a little box on my desk where I keep their assignment cards. They're numbered on the back so they take one card and do whatever I've written on it. The "not knowing what's next" keeps them motivated to get on with it, stop griping, and you might have something fun to do next. The assignments are very short for my first grader...maybe 2 easy workbook pages and then on to the next card. My first grader gets more fun activities to motivate him. As for the cards, I cut up a bunch of vinyl binders and use a wet erase marker on them. When the work is done, he puts the card and the book or whatever back in a big basket under my desk and gets the next card. This prevents me from griping about where he replaces things (read: Mom's anal). An added benefit is that this process makes me check their work daily and get the assignments ready for the next day. So...just a thought for ya. I know it won't work for everyone and all kids have different temperaments. I hope you guys can find something that works for you!