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gidamom
10-03-2011, 03:01 PM
That is what I feel like we're on. Overall, hs has gotten off to a positive start..BUT, we do have MANY days that are TOUGH.

The kids get soooo angry at me and frustrated...as DO I!! Seems like every single day there is an argument between my son and I, and we cannot get through a full day without me arguing, getting mad at him, having him talk back..ugh!

I just don't know how to solve this. Makes me really second guess whether hs will work for us or not :(:confused:

Accidental Homeschooler
10-03-2011, 03:39 PM
It does get easier as you figure out what works and what doesn't. What are the things that start the day going downhill with your son? Usually once I identify a pattern I can think of some different options to try. Sometimes it has been changes in the structure of our day. Sometimes it is changes in the material I am using. Sometimes we just take a day off and come back fresh. Good luck!

dragonfly
10-03-2011, 03:53 PM
Been there, done that! I've tried everything. Logic, fighting back, ignoring it, punishment, etc. The best thing for my son has been this procedure:

1. Make sure he has had enough to eat. He turns into a real crankypants when he's hungry. For that matter, so do I, so I need to make sure I've eaten, too.
2. Be calm and reasonable. Arguing doesn't help. You are the boss, what you say goes, and you don't need to argue and justify it. Threats of punishment don't help, usually they make it worse. If you find your control slipping, excuse yourself calmly, go into another room, and scream and swear into your pillow or something. Get yourself calm again before you go back.
3. Try to make them laugh. What works for me is to tell my son, straight-faced, "Don't smile. Stop it, don't you dare smile. WHAT are you doing? I TOLD you not to smile! What's up with that? You're SUPPOSED to be extremely grumpy." Variations include don't giggle, chuckle, titter, guffaw--any word for laugh that is inherently funny. I'll often keep up the straight-man banter for a while, until he's laughing. He's absolutely helpless to this, and can't help smiling and giggling, no matter how hard he tries (how annoying!). Anyway, it usually helps break the mood, and things go a little better after that.

bcnlvr
10-03-2011, 04:06 PM
I had this a lot in the beginning. Exactly what you wrote. This year (our second hsing) is much better. I wrote 3 more paragraphs then deleted them... it was all stuff that was specific to what worked for *us*. (plus it sounded preachy to me....lol)

I would definitely say don't give up and don't be afraid to be as open-minded as you can. Let them help you pick stuff. Be as patient as you can. Go with the flow. See where the children lead you. You can do this and still have objectives skill-wise. It's an adventure! I know that fear held me back (and still does, sometimes) and letting go of it really made HSing fun.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

bcn

dragonfly
10-03-2011, 04:06 PM
Thought of something else:

It gets better. I had a LOT of these struggles in the early years. It's important to stand your ground (as long as you are being reasonable), because they will eventually learn that this is the way it's going to be. It may be hard for the kids to transition from "Mom" to "teacher," so some boundary testing is probably inevitable.

Sometimes I will discuss things with my son (when we are both calm and have had some distance), about how best to handle certain situations. For example, sometimes rearranging the schedule will make things go much more smoothly, or perhaps reading the history lesson out loud instead of quietly to ourselves would be more effective...whatever the problems are, I like to involve my son in the possible solutions as much as I can.

Hampchick
10-03-2011, 04:09 PM
Yes it does get easier although we still have some ugly conflicts here now and then. Particularly for kids that have been in school, I think there is a period of trust building that needs to happen in the beginning. It takes time for everyone to become accustomed to the new roles and lifestyle. It helps to think of every disagreement as my son trying to tell me something that I'm not 'getting'. To me it's not 'talk back' but something that my son is feeling or needs to communicate but perhaps isn't able to do so in a mature way (because he's just a kid). Sometimes he or I are just not having a great day so it's temporary, sometimes it's a problem we need to work through together to come up with mutually agreeable solution. You have to find the way you all work well together and that can take time.

hockeymom
10-04-2011, 05:57 AM
It helps to think of every disagreement as my son trying to tell me something that I'm not 'getting'. To me it's not 'talk back' but something that my son is feeling or needs to communicate but perhaps isn't able to do so in a mature way (because he's just a kid). Sometimes he or I are just not having a great day so it's temporary, sometimes it's a problem we need to work through together to come up with mutually agreeable solution. You have to find the way you all work well together and that can take time.

Dawn: I love the way you look at this. I know I often expect my son to be able to communicate more maturely than is possible for an agitated 8 year old, and I try to keep it in perspective when things get rough. Talking it through and coming up with solutions together after the meltdown usually works for us.

Lak001
10-04-2011, 10:11 AM
I realized with my dd that the more I act like an authoritarian, the more she's bound to push my limits. So, I give her the freedom to pick the subjects she likes to work with on any given day, as long as we follow a rough schedule that we have charted down for an entire week. I don't insist she should do math at a particular time, or language arts at any particular time.
There are days when she wouldn't want to do anything and just watch TV, or play games on the computer. Now there are days she's really cranky, and whines, and tries to get away without doing pretty much anything. On those days, I tell her we don't have to complete everything on the schedule, and she can do how-much- ever work she's willing to do. She does the bare minimal, and I usually let her do whatever she wants after that. That way, she knows I've given her something she wanted, and the next time I want something from her, she's ready to keep up that end of the bargain. Like the Give and Take policy, I guess :)

Even as adults some days we don't feel like doing anything, right? I guess even kids have those days.

Gabriela
10-04-2011, 10:45 AM
I was there a few weeks ago. My head was spinning from so much arguing. It was more the constancy than the intensity, but I finally exploded. And it was a good thing.
We had it out. I told him what a life without education could be like, and let him make his choice.
It was a dramatic 3 minute sermon, straight out of a cheesy hallmark channel movie.
I had to bare all my insecurities and tell him "like it is", but in the end he really got it.
(I should add that he gets a say in most things, and I regularly ask him to evaluate our classes and my participation - respectfully but honestly.)
Not that everything has been smooth sailing since that day, but at least now I feel like he realizes and appreciates all the time and effort that I'm putting into this too.
He still gets frustrated and "complain-y" with some subjects, but it's not directed at me anymore, which makes it more bearable for me and makes me more willing to patiently help him through it.

Hope your day is better today.

OrganicFrmGrl
10-04-2011, 12:08 PM
I hope it gets better for you but just know you are not alone! My house is full of crying, moaning, groaning, talking back and rolling of the eyes. It is very diffucult to deal with on a daily basis. It is also hard for me because I think that he probably wouldn't have the behaviors if he were in a public setting. The only thing that has been making things a tiny bit better last week and this week is laying down "school rules". I actually wrote out the inappropriate behaviors he has been exhibiting and the appropriate ones he should be having! I have been pretty strict with the behaviors but still give him choices with school. Choices like the order we do things, where we homeschool and things like music and snacks.

Hampchick
10-04-2011, 12:15 PM
Dawn: I love the way you look at this. I know I often expect my son to be able to communicate more maturely than is possible for an agitated 8 year old, and I try to keep it in perspective when things get rough. Talking it through and coming up with solutions together after the meltdown usually works for us.

I wish I could say I was always successful. A while back when I posted here about my 5 year old and his rages someone recommended the book The Explosive Child. The author really made me think about how many outbursts are related to the child simply not having the tools to react in a more tempered (or adult) manner.

MarkInMD
10-04-2011, 01:57 PM
This is every day here with Tornado. Every day. Whether we're homeschooling or not. Every day is an outburst. But I asked my wife (who does most of the schooling this year and pretty much all of his) just this morning if she was sure she still wanted to do this. Her answer was enlightening: "Yes, because I want to fix him."

It was enlightening because we had some issues (different but related) with Hurricane when we started. After working with him these past couple of years, he largely is "fixed," in the sense of the routine and our way of doing things coupled with his growing maturity level have made it much easier for him and us around the house now. So persistence pays off. Hang in there.

Theresa Holland Ryder
10-04-2011, 05:28 PM
Hang in there gida. Lots of us have awful days, and one of the things I adore about this site is that people aren't afraid to admit it. I used to have a link to an awesome positive communication site that helped me a lot, but now I can't find it. I'll have to do a whole post on it later. :) Mostly it was about framing what you say in a way that makes it hard to argue with, and tips on how to keep your cool. My daughter used to be able to make my head explode in under an hour, and generally it's really hard to get me mad.

Accidental Homeschooler
10-04-2011, 07:30 PM
It was enlightening because we had some issues (different but related) with Hurricane when we started. After working with him these past couple of years, he largely is "fixed," in the sense of the routine and our way of doing things coupled with his growing maturity level have made it much easier for him and us around the house now. So persistence pays off. Hang in there.

This is very encouraging to me. Thank you! I too have been noticing so many positive changes with my 6yo since we started hsing and she has never been "easy".

MarkInMD
10-04-2011, 08:53 PM
Yeah, we had a case in point with Hurricane just this morning where his improvement was obvious. He was gorging on Frosted Cheerios at breakfast, and then it came time to get dressed, brush teeth, all that stuff before school. He was adamant that he should get more Cheerios. Now. We explained that he could bring some downstairs and snack on them, but he had to do all the other stuff first. Nope. He started to get grabby, reaching for the box and getting more agitated. So we appealed to his sense of logic: We've given you a way to get the Cheerios, but you just have to do something in the meantime. Or you can keep going on this path, not get the Cheerios at the end of it, and still have to get dressed and brush your teeth. You pick.

He chose wisely.

I think it can happen, even with Aspie-type kids like him. So you might have a similar experience in a couple years or even sooner. Hope so.

gidamom
10-04-2011, 11:00 PM
Theresa, if you find the site please share it! Thanks!

gidamom
10-04-2011, 11:03 PM
This is every day here with Tornado. Every day. Whether we're homeschooling or not. Every day is an outburst. But I asked my wife (who does most of the schooling this year and pretty much all of his) just this morning if she was sure she still wanted to do this. Her answer was enlightening: "Yes, because I want to fix him."

It was enlightening because we had some issues (different but related) with Hurricane when we started. After working with him these past couple of years, he largely is "fixed," in the sense of the routine and our way of doing things coupled with his growing maturity level have made it much easier for him and us around the house now. So persistence pays off. Hang in there.

Thanks Mark :) I just donn't know if I know HOW to "fix" him :( So I feel that maybe all these arguments and tugs of war are just damaging our relationship and his self-esteem..rather than helping me "trun him around" Kwim?

lakshmi
10-05-2011, 12:23 AM
I hope it gets better for you but just know you are not alone! My house is full of crying, moaning, groaning, talking back and rolling of the eyes. It is very diffucult to deal with on a daily basis. It is also hard for me because I think that he probably wouldn't have the behaviors if he were in a public setting. The only thing that has been making things a tiny bit better last week and this week is laying down "school rules". I actually wrote out the inappropriate behaviors he has been exhibiting and the appropriate ones he should be having! I have been pretty strict with the behaviors but still give him choices with school. Choices like the order we do things, where we homeschool and things like music and snacks.

And if he were in a public setting he'd be fine, until he got home and you had to do the homework, it would be the same thing.


This is every day here with Tornado. Every day. Whether we're homeschooling or not. Every day is an outburst. But I asked my wife (who does most of the schooling this year and pretty much all of his) just this morning if she was sure she still wanted to do this. Her answer was enlightening: "Yes, because I want to fix him."

It was enlightening because we had some issues (different but related) with Hurricane when we started. After working with him these past couple of years, he largely is "fixed," in the sense of the routine and our way of doing things coupled with his growing maturity level have made it much easier for him and us around the house now. So persistence pays off. Hang in there.

Good to hear. I've noticed this in my older child who is much easier anyway. The younger one is freaking me out. Like seriously, Linda Blair move over I am looking at remaking The Exorcist.

I am the last to comment as a helpful person on this thread today. I had eye rolling, I am tireds, I am hungrys, Bad coloring and the ubiquitous scribble writing that shows how truly p'od she really is. Not to mention calling me a dumbass and scratching me when I told her sister it was okay to use the computer. To handle this situation, I left her with papa and went to wal-mart to look at everything in the store. It took me awhile.

Crabby Lioness
10-05-2011, 12:55 AM
You have a ten-year old. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, and ten-year olds gotta argue. It's normal.

Between nine and 13 the rational parts of their brain start to develop. They first become able to construct a real argument, and they feel they must practice it ALL THE TIME. That brain development is a core principal of Classical Homeschooling.

It's up to you to establish what topics are up to debate, and what are not. But leave him some avenue for practicing reason, even if it's only a puzzle book.

I know where you're coming from. I've home-schooled my children since birth. Right now my beautiful (normally) well-adjusted ten-year old wants to argue about EVERYTHING and the genius 12-year old wants to divorce the whole family. I have to keep reminding them that this will pass -- and then they'll be temporarily insane teenagers! :D

Accidental Homeschooler
10-05-2011, 01:00 AM
I just donn't know if I know HOW to "fix" him :( So I feel that maybe all these arguments and tugs of war are just damaging our relationship and his self-esteem..rather than helping me "trun him around" Kwim?

I guess I don't really feel like I have any option but to make hs work. School was just not a good place for my dd. I can't send her back there. In sort of a weird way hsing has forced me to figure out how to parent this child I love so much but have had such a hard time understanding. I guess it does make it easier as far as not having doubts about the decision to hs.

Stella M
10-05-2011, 02:40 AM
I am the last to comment as a helpful person on this thread today. I had eye rolling, I am tireds, I am hungrys, Bad coloring and the ubiquitous scribble writing that shows how truly p'od she really is. Not to mention calling me a dumbass and scratching me when I told her sister it was okay to use the computer. To handle this situation, I left her with papa and went to wal-mart to look at everything in the store. It took me awhile.

Hope you both have a better day tomorrow. Hugs.

jenpenny5297
10-05-2011, 03:18 AM
Don't worry, it will get better. It took us the first year to get a good relationship going as far as school was concerned and we stil have "those days". Now they are fewer and far between but they are still there. I cannot name one of my HSing friends that do not have off days and maybe even off weeks and months even. The point is it will get better. I pulled my son out of PS when he was 12. He is 15 now and we still have tug-o-wars and useless arguments. It just goes with the territory with him. But we always resolve things and laugh about them later. Then we move on. My daughter came out of school a week after my son when she was 7. She is 10 now and our struggles are fewer but with Math- OH BOY! She hates Math! I think if my kids were in school they would bottle all their frustration, impatience, and anger up the entire day since they wouldn't be allowed to voice it, and then bring it home to me at the end of the day. I would rather talk through it during the day and work our way through the rough patches together. :) Good luck and remember- It does get better. ;)

MarkInMD
10-05-2011, 05:19 AM
Thanks Mark :) I just donn't know if I know HOW to "fix" him :( So I feel that maybe all these arguments and tugs of war are just damaging our relationship and his self-esteem..rather than helping me "trun him around" Kwim?

I think it's all in how we approach it. Believe me, there have been explosions on both sides around here (more his than ours, but we're not blameless in that regard). I just try to keep in mind that no matter how hideous he is at any moment, he's capable of empathy and can really be a sweetheart, too, because we see that every day. I think if you're able to "be the adult," and resist the urge to blow up more often than not, the relationship won't be damaged long-term. Not saying it's easy -- it's a daily, sometimes hourly struggle here -- but it's possible. I completely understand that concern, though.

Mum
10-05-2011, 09:01 AM
To me it's not 'talk back' but something that my son is feeling or needs to communicate but perhaps isn't able to do so in a mature way (because he's just a kid).

Thank you! You just provided for me what Oprah would call an "aha" moment. I really needed to read this.

StephSchiff
10-05-2011, 11:33 AM
We're in the same place with writing. He won't write, he won't draw, he won't paint, nothing I can think of to get those fine motor skills working. His writing is illegible and he's starting to lose his spelling skills due to lack of practice. I'm at my wits end.

gidamom
10-05-2011, 12:06 PM
Thanks for all your advice....I do hope things get better, and that somehow I am endowed with the wisdom and patience to help ds, and give him the understanding he needs...

For what its worth, it was the same during homework time when he was in school..except now, I am the single person that is trying to get him to do something, PLUS it is now an all day thing

Crabby Lioness
10-05-2011, 12:28 PM
Thanks for all your advice....I do hope things get better, and that somehow I am endowed with the wisdom and patience to help ds, and give him the understanding he needs...

For what its worth, it was the same during homework time when he was in school..except now, I am the single person that is trying to get him to do something, PLUS it is now an all day thing

Have you "de-schooled" yet? I'm told children need some decompression time when they come straight out of ps, iirc it's a week for every year they've had.

ginnyjf
10-05-2011, 12:49 PM
Wish I had some helpful advice, but I am sitting here at the moment with a copy of the enrollment form for public school, plus the lunch menu for the month and the parent handbook. I'm hoping a "Scared Straight" moment will help us both. It is rough right now.

skrink
10-05-2011, 12:55 PM
Oh, Ginny, I'm so sorry you're having such a tough time of it. It's been hard here, too - seems like a common theme lately. Don't know what else to say.

ginnyjf
10-05-2011, 12:57 PM
Thanks, skrink, didn't mean to threadjack on the OP, but I know many of us are struggling at the moment. Not sure why. And I'm not sending him back to school...just using the materials as visual aids since he's 9 going on 10 and has decided mom is stupid and can't really teach him anything and thus he does not have to listen. Bah.

Jilly
10-05-2011, 01:22 PM
My older son was very hard to homeschool in the beginning. I had many days that ended with both of us angry at each other. After a while though I realized that my relationship with my son was more important than whether he got all his work done. I pulled way back, and I stopped worrying about the academics and whether we were keeping up with the public schools. His first few years we read books he enjoyed, listened to audio books, took walks in nature, and worked on art. His only academic work was Time4learning and a handwriting book, and we only did that if he was able to.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
10-05-2011, 01:35 PM
Hugs, Ginny. I was just wondering how you were doing last night, since I hadn't seen you post in a while. I hope the rough patch ends soon.

lakshmi
10-05-2011, 05:14 PM
woot woot for Mark's Avatar
Woot woot for seeing Ginny

Boo boo for all of us with our PS registration and ink pens in hand.

MarkInMD
10-05-2011, 11:12 PM
woot woot for Mark's Avatar

Just to digress for a moment: I know you know who that is, but for those who don't, standing to my left is Thomas Dolby of "She Blinded Me with Science" fame, who I was lucky enough to meet recently. There aren't many celebrities I want to meet, but he's one of them. It was a big deal.

Back to the topic: We had a semi-better day around here today. Just goes to show that some days are better than others. Hope everyone who's struggling has a better day tomorrow.