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View Full Version : Designing a homeschool around strong-willed children - advice needed!



Deb417
11-11-2011, 10:09 AM
So I had a really long thread a little while ago about my daughter being diagnosed ADD with ODD (or depending who you talked to, just ODD). We even started medicating her and talking seriously about putting her in school to get the extra structure she needed and to improve the dynamic at home (which was becoming increasingly adversarial, esp. when I was trying to be her "teacher."

If you have time to kill, you can read it here ;)
http://www.secularhomeschool.com/threads/4756-Pediatrician-prescribing-meds-and-SCHOOL-for-ADD

BUT, the new working theory is that it's NOT ADD, or at least, to the extent that she has ADD at all, it's mild, not in need of medication (which might be why medication didn't help her but made her a different person, and not in a good way).

We found a really good neuro-psychologist who ran a bunch of tests on her, and while the inventories I reported on showed her as elevated in the areas involving transitions and attention, they a) didn't show the aggression or defiance you would typically see with ODD AND b) were unremarkable except around transitions, which the psychologist said could result from external feedback as well as internal drives.

She then ran a test to see how Emma would do with a 20 min. really boring (we're talking DULL AS DIRT boring) task on a computer) and she passed it with such flying colors it shocked us all. She lasted the whole 20 minutes--not without some complaining and tons of fidgeting (IOW, not hyperfocused by any means) but did it nonetheless, with the psychologist in the room watching her. She told me after (the doc not my kid) that Emma seemed keen to please her and "do well" even though she clearly hated the task.

Contrast that with life at home in our "school" where she fights me tooth and nail with *ALMOST* every school task I give her. So that's why the suggestion was made by our ped. to send her to school, remove ME from the picture. But if we do that, we'd need to send her to public, can't afford private, and while we have magnet programs in our district, I wouldn't know what was best--Montessori (which I personally love, philosophically) or the structured "Traditional" magnets that go hard-core on the basics, pushing kids a little harder than the standard elementary schools, and often suggested for easily distracted and exceedingly bright kids who need to be pushed to be happy. AND I would want to send all the kids b/c they are so close, they'd feel left out.
I have three girls, 8 (the one we're talking about), almost 6 and 3 going on 4 this summer, so ready for pre-K in the Montessori setting.

The psychologist says we may be able to continue homeschooling if DH and I go in for some "training" on how to handle a strong-willed child. It involves role-playing with the child for difficult situations, in her office, but we literally LEARN how to reach her and work with her using an approach that makes us her "partners" moreso than her bosses, if that makes sense. DH tells me he was the SAME way as a kid, so I'm hopeful this can work. BUT she says curriculum design will be KEY and chances are, whatever we do would work well with the other two b/c they are showing signs of being similarly disposed, strong-will-wise ;)

Here's what she likes so far:
- Multiplication in a Flash - ADORES this program, calls it her "fun" math
- All About Spelling - She likes having a system/strategy for spelling rather than whole-word memorization
- Computer-based stuff (Time4Learning, though in small doses), BrainPop Jr. (LOVES this), iXL (though she gets frustrated with the timer, she can't get past being timed and starts making careless errors b/c she's rushing, then gets frustrated and gives up)
- Sewing - She has her own sewing kit I gave her, and she loves to hand-sew little toys and purses and things for her siblings, she can do it on her own for HOURS
- Meet the Master Art - Loves, it, period.
- SOTW History - She prefers that I read to her, but she likes chrono history best
- History Pockets - likes the crafts and gets super into it, can spend hours on this if I let her too
- Highlights Top Secret Adventures - See above
- Writing With Ease - This was a shocker, I thought she'd be bored to tears, but she loves it and she hated writing last year! She likes that it's a mix of dictation, copywork and listening I think, the variety is appealing to her, and she seems to like that it's short lessons too. She's not doing much writing on her own though :(
- Daily Grams - She doesn't love them, but will do them without too much fuss b/c they are so short
(Seeing a pattern here? Short-burst lessons, TONS of Mommy involvement)
- Science class at our local nature center (she goes every other week for 2 hours each time)
- Drama at our local playhouse
- Reading fiction, her latest thing? The Warriors series, she is as addicted as any Harry Potter or Twilight fan

What she HATES passionately:
- MBTP - OMG, this kid despises unit studies! Keep going on something for too long, especially if the reading level is too easy, and she goes stark raving mad, fights it tooth-and-nail.
- Math-U-See, which she used to love, refuses to touch it anymore. We switched to Singapore 1B, but the frustrating thing is, the first half is way too easy, but the second half is too hard without stone-cold understanding of the first half, so I'm having to force her through the first half. She'll do it only b/c there are colorful pictures and the exercises are super fast, short and clear.
- Reading non-fiction (unless it's historical and about something she personally loves, she can tolerate biographies of people she admires, that's about it, and only barely)
- Expository writing to ANY degree. Asking her to write a book report about a book she isn't DYING to talk about and you might as well ask her to shave her head.
- Creative writing - same as above, why not ask her to drink a cup of broken glass?
- Real Science Odyssey - I thought she would love, but she rolls her eyes and says it's too easy/boring and she "already knows this stuff." Meanwhile, it's too hard for my K student and she complains about THAT. :(

Things we've tried with very mixed success....Khan Academy, thought she would LOVE, she got bored super fast with the repetition. I told her to just skip to the exercises, but she hated having to do the math out on paper before entering her answer. This is why it is great that she likes Writing With Ease at all b/c this kid HATES putting pencil to paper unless it's strictly spelling. Even phrases make her roll her eyes. Knowing where the end-point is makes a HUGE difference to her. Tell her she needs to only do something five minutes, or 10 problems, or three sentences and you're more likely to get it done. Leave it remotely open or don't tell her (or have it be up to her, like creative writing, but in an are she's not keen on) forget it.

OH, almost forgot. As I'm learning, she HATES BEING WRONG. This kid didn't crawl, she walked--very late. She didn't babble incoherently, she used individual words perfectly, late again, then complete sentences, and now has a vocabulary that rivals that of most middle schoolers. When she gets an X on Rosetta stone (oh forgot, she has a love/hate with that one too, Chinese....When it's listening/speaking, she loves it, writing (shock and surprise) she LOATHES it and screams and cries b/c it's trial and error and she HATES getting them wrong, even when it doesn't "matter" as in no one is grading her or caring, yk?), or on iXL, she FREAKS OUT and quits. When she gets things right (as with spelling lately, she wants me to put a GRADE at the top, in RED no less! She BEGS for this "Mommy! What grade is this? 100%? Is that an A+??"

So this is where I'm so torn. I feel like as an 8 year old who's very bright she ought to be writing more by now, BUT I also know she tends to take off all at once and maybe I should back off....But how can I meet her needs to so much of my attention on this short-burst stuff (some she can do on her own, but in all cases, if I'm not at least in the room supervising, she will go off-task, even stuff she likes, and distract her sisters who are younger and also seem to go off task if I walk away.

One interesting point....In Science class and Sunday School (and choir, the two oldest are in choir), and in preschool (the youngest goes to our local montessori preschool) they ALL pretty much stay on-task so long as the other kids are too. They DO seem to want to please "teacher" and to fit-in with the other kids. This was the feedback that made the psychologist question the ADD diagnosis.

So what do you think? I desperately want to keep them at home!! DH is hell-bent now on sending them to school, a complete 180 since just a month ago. His reason is that he's convinced we are the wrong people to bring out their best, that they are too committed to fighting us. I am ever the optimist! I feel like there is a way, we just haven't found it yet. I KNOW a co-op would benefit us, but I have to start one if that's what I want b/c there isn't one around that has space or suits our needs (logistically, age-wise mostly), and I have no clue how to go about that.

But even help picking curriculum would be helpful.
Thanks in advance if you've read all this!!!!!

dbmamaz
11-11-2011, 10:40 AM
OK, again, i'm very laid back, relaxed ecclectic. My kids have to be doing SOMETHING in every subject, but I dont stress about it too much. as long as we are covering something in every subject, thats enough for me. Because, really, how much do you remember from grade school? The learning is incremental and anything missed in the first few years can easily be picked up later.

So what do you have?
Math: Multiplication in a flash, some iXL, sewing (this should count as geometry, imo).
Does she need more than this? Does she have a good understanding of addition and subtraction? Of simple division? You might look at your state standards for what she needs to know at this age, maybe add a few math story books for higher concepts, and call that enough math. The living math website, which I love, emphasizes that a broad coverage of math concepts, maybe with some games, stories, etc, is a strong enough foundation for kids to be able to move forward to middle school math when they have the maturity. Oh, a freind of mine set up a store in one room and the kids had to buy things. at first they just had to add up the cost of two items, later they would be making change, etc, as a fun way to work on math facts and concepts.

English: all about spelling, daily grams, writing with ease, reading fiction. IMO thats plenty for a 3rd grader. My child wont write yet either. But i'm also working w a 15 yo on writing . . . she has many years left before she needs to write at a college level, and she will mature in that time.

History: SOTW and history pockets. That sounds like a full curriculum to me

Science: one class every other week. Ok, thats light. . . but again, I dont think science needs to be crammed in all at once. Let her learn to love science. See if you can find science videos she likes, but its not worth fighting over yet.

Arts: Meet the masters and drama class. more than I'm doing!

So what I'm seeing is that the stuff she likes is enough for a full year of school. IMO. The approach I've taken with my boys is basically to start simple, and when that becomes easy we add something else. If you can easily get her to do those things, even if shes' only doing school for an hour a day total, I would let it go for now. The top priority is figuring out how to work together as a family. She would not be doing much more than that (and possibly less) in public school, except that she would be forced to write more, most likely.

If she likes the grades so much, you might be able to use that to your advanatage. For example, you could say that if she spends 5 minutes doing math on T4L or iXL, that would be a B and 10 minutes would be an A and 15 minutes would be an A+. You could have a sheet or checklist for what she needs to do every day, and if she does all of the assignment without being disruptive, write "A+" on it.

I do think you need to accept that the girls will all be off-task when you aren there, and let that just be part of the rhythm of the day. The oldest gets 20 minutes of your attention to do work, then the younger ones, then do something together, then take a break, then the oldest, then the younger, then together, then a break. It doesnt have to look like school, they dont have to be sitting quietly working in between 'class' time . . . let them enjoy homeschooling by letting them have more freedom to explore their world in between assignments.

I have very bright kids and always thought that meant they should do more earlier and work harder. It turns out thats not necessarily the case. They feel more intensely and need to feel some control over their lives and they need to learn to persue their passions before they can learn to harness that energy. There will come a time when they start to look to the future and know what they want from life, and then they will be more willing to work hard. Until then its that fine balance of making sure they are moving forward without making them hate learning or hate you. Becuase the relationship with you is the boilerplate for all future relationships - its precious and you need to try to nurture it!

HOpe that didnt come out too harsh - I have challenging kids and its a subject i get passionate about!

MrsLOLcat
11-11-2011, 11:22 AM
I agree wholeheartedly with Cara that it sounds like you have a good thing going and there's no need to really shove anything down her throat (except maybe that first half of Singapore math, if she really does enjoy it). If you sent her to PS, you'd probably have to deal with getting a 504 plan/IEP put in place also, and the minute she throws an epic fit for the teacher they're going to be down your throat about medication... and what makes you think that she wouldn't fight tooth and nail about homework? You'd still have those battles to deal with. I think that if you're able to work with her, like the psychologist suggested, then she'll do just fine. That's what I'm learning in my own battles with DD and why I'm pretty certain I'll be bringing her home next year... I've finally gotten to a place mentally where *I* can work around *her* needs. I hadn't been there earlier. Is there a guarantee that it'll work and come out roses? Nope, but sometimes the devil you do know is better than the devil you don't. Hope you're able to work something out!!

Accidental Homeschooler
11-11-2011, 11:24 AM
I have nothing to add as far as curriculum after Cara's very thorough response, but I am wondering how successful you can be without DH on board. Maybe the two of you could agree to some sort time frame along with the parenting classes that would give hs a fair chance but not discount school at some future point if you are not both satisfied with how things are going at home. Also, I really admire your determination. I have a strong willed child, but she is the younger of two and my older dd is not a challenging child for me to raise. I really had no clue how to parent my younger dd. Sometimes I think there can just be a sort of mismatch between parent and child as far as temperament and that is how I think about parenting my younger dd. I have to work a lot harder to figure her out and what she needs from me. Hsing was good for us because it gave me the time/opportunity to do that. Actually, it really forced me to do it. It has been difficult and I don't know if I would have taken it on if school had not been such a disaster for her.

Deb417
11-11-2011, 11:29 AM
Wow! Thank you so much! It really helps to see it through someone else's eyes, you have no idea! I think when I'm so close to it (and having a husband who really wants to see "deliverables," as in "evidence" of what I'm doing each day with them, and who's ultra-sensitive to comments from family/friends about what THEIR kids are doing, blah blah, I think "OH NO! I'm not doing 'enough'!"

But when you put it that way, yeah, I guess I kinda am!

Take today for example:
Emma spent her morning sewing a family of mice out of fabric scraps. She did it all herself and took great pride in measuring, cutting and sewing each one, obviously trying to improve upon her stitching each time. I stayed out of it unless she asked for help, which she did, and I took the opportunity to help her find creative ways to solve a problem (adding a tail that would stay and not fray--ribbon was fraying and coming undone too easily). Seeing her eyes light up when we discussed the options was priceless.

Then we baked cookies. I had her read the recipe to me (teaching her how to read fractions out loud and then showing the measurements to her and then having her read the directions as well. I let her measure out and shape the cookies on the cookie sheets (which worked her strength in her fingers too b/c we used a 1/4c scoop which is hard to use, but her motivation to be "in charge" pushed her through it--her hand/finger muscles are and always have been weak, which may contribute to her hatred for writing, though she doesn't like keyboarding much *either* sadly).

Now she's lying on the couch reading Island of the Blue Dolphins--her choice. She just finished one of the Special Edition volumes for Warriors and I've purposely resisted getting the last three Power of Three series books from the library to get her reading a broader variety of things, classic books like this one included. But you can't get her to read just ANY classic/Newberry winner. There has to be adventure, danger, and she seems to love coming-of-age themes as well. So this seemed like a natural fit *and* represents great literature ;)

About a week ago she had a book review published here:
http://thiskidreviewsbooks.com/2011/11/01/guest-review-of-peter-nimble-and-his-fantastic-eyes-by-emma-age-8/
She dictated her review to me, I typed it out for her, but the words are her own. I thought maybe seeing her "name in lights" so-to-speak would help. It did get her juices flowing, and now she says she may want to do one for Island of the Blue Dolphins too (fingers crossed, "may" with her is far from "yes" but hope springs eternal).
She also joined me in entering a contest (feel free to have any kids or adults you know enter it too!!) on the same site, link is here, our idea is in the comments:
http://thiskidreviewsbooks.com/2011/11/08/bad-kitty-story-idea-contest-win-fabulous-prizes/

And I guess that's pretty good for second grade too right (she is only in second now, technically according to NC standards, b/c their cutoff is August 31st and she's an October kid--I'm only teaching multiplication b/c she got so damn bored with addition and is struggling with subtraction, so I decided to kinda change order up a bit to keep her interested while we work on subtraction more slowly....).

Also, in fairness, the kids takes violin and is doing very well at that, willingly practices and takes it very seriously too, and her drama class is a performance class, like on stage, with paid audiences and everything, and she works super hard at that AND at choir practice, so you're right, WTF am I worried about????

Just wish I could get more science for her, she loves it so....

Penguin
11-11-2011, 11:42 AM
I totally agree with what Cara said, too. Sounds like you're doing plenty. She reminds me of my son in some ways -- the advanced reading, love of science, and hatred of writing particularly. I just got Games for Writing by Peggy Kaye from the library and am going to try some the ideas for reluctant writers. Also, for science, I get a lot of books from the library on science topics and he reads them by himself and learns a lot that way. Would that appeal to her?

farrarwilliams
11-11-2011, 11:44 AM
I just wanted to say that I don't see the things that are working as fitting any particular pattern. She likes some really scripted things (WWE), some really project-based things (history pockets), and some really manipulatives based stuff (AAS). But she also doesn't like some scripted things (MUS), some project-based things (unit studies, RSO), and some manipulatives based things (MUS).

I agree with Cara that what you're doing for language arts seems like enough. If you're using WWE and she likes it, then you need to remember that you're taking a different approach to writing than public schools. Eight year-olds don't need to be writing that much - not even bright ones! Really! And the WTM approach to writing is that she will focus on getting fluency through copywork and dictation and thinking/organizational skills through narrations. The whole idea behind WWE is that 8 yos shouldn't be asked to both think about what they're writing and write at the same time. Instead, you've separated those two pieces into copywork/dictation (the writing part) and narration (the thinking part). Eventually, they'll come together, but not until she's pretty good at both.

Oh, and for science, how about reading fiction books like George's Secret Key or the Magic School Bus chapter books or the Andrew Lost books?

dbmamaz
11-11-2011, 11:53 AM
It sounds like you are supporting her in doing great, creative things! I need to do more science. Too. Not last summer but the summer before, we went really light on academics and did science experiments every day. I'm hoping to do that again this summer. I have trouble fitting in history and science for my younger. My older just reads on his own. Oh, and you might want to look at the "my pals are here" books - I've heard good things about them and considered trying them, tho I am slightly worried about them being too simple.

Airen
11-11-2011, 11:56 AM
How about a book of science experiments? We use Van Cleave. Most of them are short and simple to do at home. My son loves seeing the concepts I'm trying to teach him. Like for the different phases, we took ice and put it in a pot. Turned the heat on.... la la la. While we waited for it to melt/ boil, I explained what's going on that we cant see...

farrarwilliams
11-11-2011, 12:05 PM
It sounds like you are supporting her in doing great, creative things! I need to do more science. Too. Not last summer but the summer before, we went really light on academics and did science experiments every day. I'm hoping to do that again this summer. I have trouble fitting in history and science for my younger. My older just reads on his own. Oh, and you might want to look at the "my pals are here" books - I've heard good things about them and considered trying them, tho I am slightly worried about them being too simple.

I feel like some people say the MPH books are way too complex and others say the exact opposite, that they're way too simple. I admit, it has made me curious!

Deb417
11-11-2011, 12:20 PM
She would do science experiments every day if I let her. I say "let" bc they can be cost/materials intensive and therefore time consuming. There's nothing worse than your kid coming to you all hopped up to do an experiment involving six things, and five of them you don't have on hand! I have tried to point her towards more simple experiments involving basic kitchen tools, water, food coloring, egg cartons, seeds, stuff like that, she just rolls her eyes. She wants to make volcanoes that really erupt, cars and machines that go, electrical circuits that actually work, etc....I'm considering just getting her science "kits" for Christmas and nothing else frankly! That'll keep her busy for like a week LOL!

I wonder sometimes if she loves "science" or if she loves making stuff happen IRL b/c she dives into sewing with the same zeal as science experiments, cooking too. So what I may try, honestly, is teaching her more of those (so easy to do with stuff I have on hand already), even letting her have her own sewing machine (I have an extra and it's simple and basic, not a lot of bells and whistles, but full size) because I think she would enjoy having the responsibility and feeling in control. I could teach her how to use it and that might satisfy her need to "experiment" and 'create.'

She does love Magic School Bus on TV and we record it weekly so we can FF through commercials ;) And she's read several of the books, but does say they are "babyish" (which is code for "too easy to read" so I will check out some of the stuff you've mentioned as far as other ways to read science. That may satisfy her craving too, who knows? Though it's odd, I upped her level of science on T4L to 4th grade b/c she'd completed all the others through 3rd grade, and now she turns away from them saying they are "too hard." It's a balance....

Good observation on the lack of pattern, I thought there was one, but maybe not. The only thing I see as constant is her lack of desire to dig deep into something *qualitatively.* She does like short-burst, rapid-fire change-up, unless she's really hooked, then leave her alone for hours, she's deaf to you ;)

I love the idea of grading for time commitment, might at least get her to try new things. I love that she has so much integrity and is comfortable asserting herself and her needs/wants, I do NOT want to squash that (great guard against peer pressure!), but I would like her to be a *little* bit of a risk-taker. I was a little bit like her as a kid, staying in my comfort zone quite often, and I didn't discover until very late in life what a passion I had for certain subjects that I'd shunned as a child for fear of not being good at them. I'd like to reward effort, experimentation as much as achievement (if not more at this age frankly).

Staysee34
11-11-2011, 12:28 PM
It definitely sounds like you are doing enough with the exception of science but there are many ways to slip it in and she'll not know it. Tricky, I know. For example, sewing mice could have lead to a discussion about rodents?? Cooking in and of itself is science, art, math, nutrition, etc. Reading Island of the Blue Dolphin could lead to a discussion,video, or something about aquatic animals, salt water vs. fresh water. The possibilities are endless.

farrarwilliams
11-11-2011, 12:29 PM
One of the things I'm learning about one of my kids is that he does better if we change up what we're using often. Ugh... an expensive learning style to be sure.

dbmamaz
11-11-2011, 12:47 PM
IIR the reading level of T4L rises significantly at the 4th grade level. It turned in to walls of text, more. but the science is so light before then. when we used T4L my son would whip through the science first, but then there was nothing left. Brainpop is good for that, tho, i think its more visual. he seems to like the quizes, too. maybe i should add that to his week - required science on brainbpop.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
11-11-2011, 12:51 PM
She does love Magic School Bus on TV and we record it weekly so we can FF through commercials ;) And she's read several of the books, but does say they are "babyish" (which is code for "too easy to read" so I will check out some of the stuff you've mentioned as far as other ways to read science. That may satisfy her craving too, who knows? Though it's odd, I upped her level of science on T4L to 4th grade b/c she'd completed all the others through 3rd grade, and now she turns away from them saying they are "too hard." It's a balance..

My kids love "Bill Nye the Science Guy"--definitely a step up from MSB. The MSB science chapter books are also chock full of information, but they still read more like a story than non-fiction.

Deb417
11-11-2011, 01:07 PM
Ooooh! I totally forgot about Bill Nye! I'm going to check programming to see if we have him here, and maybe he's online too--she'd love that! Also going to see about adding regular Brainpop b/c she's done all the brainpop JR. stuff and is getting zzzzzz by it. You're quite right about the walls of text in the 4th grade stuff, and she did the same thing with all the levels up to there. My K student is doing the same. Science is a mutual interest, esp. animal science (they LIVE FOR WILD KRATTS!)

dbmamaz
11-11-2011, 01:08 PM
Oh, yeah, the Kratt bro's were around since my older kids were in grade school, they've had many different shows. Raven found one (maybe even on youtube, not sure) and when I said yes, you can watch that during school he was THRILLED!

Deb417
11-11-2011, 01:30 PM
Remember Mr. Wizard? Can't believe I didn't think of him sooner ;)
http://www.mrwizardstudios.com/index.htm

PetVet
11-11-2011, 01:48 PM
I feel like some people say the MPH books are way too complex and others say the exact opposite, that they're way too simple. I admit, it has made me curious!

we are using MPH 3/4 and i've found that the text and activity booklets are not difficult (i use these to teach the concepts), the homework book is right on target (wrt both writing and thinking demands) for DS to do independently afterwards and, much like singapore math CWP, the HOTs can be quite difficult! i look at some of the problems and think: 'wha-ha?! he's only seven!' and we do many of them together... oftentimes, i get things wrong ;)

we also have the tests book, and it can also be challenging - in a good way... however, a warning for those who also live with little perfectionists, the marking scheme is printed onto the pages - so i've hidden it! i read ahead and then use the questions as a basis for discussion to be sure DS understands the concepts after using the text, activity, homework and HOTs program.

hth
:)

Hampchick
11-11-2011, 02:26 PM
Wow, yes looking at the way Cara laid it out it really does look like you've got everything covered with the things your DD likes.

Hands on is always best for science, but you might also look into pod casts for in-between times. A few that have been hits here are (all found on iTunes):

Ecogeeks: Untamed Science - my son LOVES, this one and surprises me all the time with things he's learned. Mostly biology/zoology, but recently they've had scientist profiles and chemistry episodes.
Scientific Tuesdays - DS loves this one too. Two caveats: 1. your DD might want to re-create the experiments they do. 2. it's not specifically for kids and I have seen slightly off color humor in at least one.
IRelevant Astronomy/Robot Astronomy talk show - Cute, aimed at kids but doesn't talk down to them.

dbmamaz
11-11-2011, 02:28 PM
Dawn, where do you find these? My son LOVES astronomy . . .

dragonfly
11-11-2011, 02:37 PM
I was thinking about what you said about how she hates to be wrong. It made me think of my math program (Thinkwell, which has video lessons given by a math prof.), and how the teacher sometimes makes mistakes, writes the wrong answer, whatever. He makes a point to say that it is a good thing, or that "this is a great mistake to make"--because it teaches you something. We learn better sometimes when we make mistakes. Maybe you can stress that she's not "wrong," but just made a mistake, and mistakes are good. I found this book, which looks like it might be really fun to read, and can even tie in with science and history: Mistakes that Worked, 40 Familiar Inventions and How They Came to Be (http://www.amazon.com/Mistakes-that-Worked-Charlotte-Jones/dp/0385320434) I haven't read it myself, but the reviews look pretty positive overall. Doesn't Miss Frizzle say to "make mistakes" at the beginning of every show?

Anyway, just a thought. For science, have you looked at The Young Scientists Club (http://www.theyoungscientistsclub.com/)?

Back when my son was younger and sometimes resistant or stubborn, I would switch things up and let him be the teacher and give me a lesson. There's lots of ways to go about this, but it worked like a charm as far as getting him engaged. You can also use the time to model student behavior--like, you can (purposely) get something wrong, and say something like, "Oh, I don't understand. Can you explain it to me?" or "Oops, made a mistake! Oh, well; now I know the right answer." Or whatever--I hope you get the idea. Just role-playing so she can see a better way that she might react in the same situation.

And FWIW, I agree that the program of "likes" you have looks plenty comprehensive.

As far as staying on task when you're not there--I guess I don't understand...? :confused: When my son was that age, I would be with him the whole time school was in session. If he was busy with some quiet work, I'd read a book or something, but I wouldn't leave...I hope this doesn't come across as rude or offensive or anything, but, why don't you stay with the kids throughout school time? My son was well behaved most of the time, but if I left him alone for more than a couple minutes, I'd often come back to find he hadn't accomplished anything in the time I was gone. At that age, his school time generally lasted 2-3 hours per day, so it wasn't too difficult for me to take the time out of my day. Or...maybe I am misunderstanding you...a distinct possibility, knowing me. :)

Hampchick
11-11-2011, 02:45 PM
Dawn, where do you find these? My son LOVES astronomy . . .

:D I periodically search iTunes podcasts for both science and kids stuff occasionally. The Spitzer one was passed on to me by another homeschooler. It's on iTunes and the spitzer telescope website which is worth checking out also: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/

Deb417
11-11-2011, 02:48 PM
Oh, when I say "leave" I should specify: go to the bathroom/change out the laundry/fix lunch/put the three year-old down for a nap, that sort of "leave" as in leave the room for five minutes. The havoc this child can wreak in a painfully short period of time boggles the mind! ;) I walked away one day to put the little one down for a nap, maybe gone 10 minutes upstairs...When I got back the cat was pink, oil pastels on cat fur PINK.

dbmamaz
11-11-2011, 03:00 PM
I walked away one day to put the little one down for a nap, maybe gone 10 minutes upstairs...When I got back the cat was pink, oil pastels on cat fur PINK.
LOL so grateful i never had kids that were that wild!

I found the robot astronomy on youtube and Raven is watching it now!

dragonfly
11-11-2011, 03:19 PM
Ah, okay. It sounds like she enjoys every minute that you're away. :) If it were me and this were happening, I'd probably take her with me--help with the laundry, help make lunch, etc. Maybe not help me go to the bathroom...

Perhaps for lunch, you could make bag lunches for everyone in the morning to bring to school.

Your story about the cat reminds me of a song by Larry Warner called "House Guests." It's about this guy who has elves living in his house, wreaking havoc and doing mischievous things to the cat...darn, I can't seem to find more than a short clip (http://www.themadmusicarchive.com/song_details.aspx?SongID=4749) online, not even lyrics. I'll keep looking, it's a great song...

theWeedyRoad
11-11-2011, 05:42 PM
I was going to offer advice for you- I have a strong willed child as well. But I won't, because although we've got a decent handle on our child, every kid is an individual.

I will say I tweaked some of his lessons so he can be SURE to get a good grade from the first assignment. For example: Spelling Power as is, spelling the words unseen, created tears and meltdowns. So he gets to see the words first, THEN I'll test him and he's fine if he makes a mistake.

Age helps with transitions for us, as does warnings (you have 5 more minutes, etc).

I found "Raising your Spirited Child" (Sheedy Kurcinka) to REALLY help me with getting myself trained to raise him.

Deb417
11-11-2011, 06:03 PM
OK, case in point re: why my DH is driving me INSANE right now? He just called, asked me what we "accomplished" today. AAARGH! I told him and got all giddy about this thread, told him how thrilled I was to discover I was already doing "enough" especially on language arts.

His response? "Well now, what about MBTP? She refuses to read those books and do the activities, it's not enough that she can read much harder books if she won't read the books 'assigned' to her and do the analysis! She needs to learn that too!"

Um, no, she doesn't. Which of us has the Masters in Elementary Ed? Yeah, that would be ME! I only ordered it b/c it had tons of ways to work on writing and I thought she might like it (I only got lit units, age 7-9, she mostly hates it, I have had to jump around, pick and choose activities very selectively) for writing since it's more contextualized. She can't get past the "dumb" books and how much repetition there is. I can't really argue, the first book Tornado was done to DEATH! OMG, we could have been done with that thing in a day, they dragged it out over two weeks, I was ready to burn it at the end myself! Since then, we jump around, but this pisses off DH b/c he "paid" for the program and wants to see the work "completed."

Kill me now.

It's hard, he's been all pro-homeschooling, but can't get his mind past school-at-home to save his life, and it's hard not to get sucked into his wormhole!

I tried patiently to explain that no, it's more important for her to develop a LOVE and FLUENCY of reading now, and the rest will follow later, and that most kids don't REALLY analyze literature until HIGH SCHOOL. Oh sure, they start in middle school, but most book reports are silly things meant to explore structure more than content, and honestly, I'm not sure how "effective" those are at turning kids into good writers and that I became a better writer the more I READ good writers!

He cut me off before I finished that last sentence to argue with me and say I was jumping all over the place and confusing him, and sugar-coating everything because "You just don't want to send them to school."

DUH! Damn straight! Why would I be struggling through all this and working so hard with her if I had any inclination to send her to school????? It would be so EASY to send her to school! I'd have all kinds of time on my hands, could work out more, clean house, make gourmet meals, get that etsy shop started I've always wanted to have, etc...But I feel like it's my first responsibility to give my kids the best education they can possibly have, not to mention as much time with me and each other as they want/need when they are small!

So frustrated right now. :(

LovingMyChildren
11-11-2011, 07:00 PM
With your husband - your mileage may vary - but worked for me for him to understand what I was doing (and why I was not doing some stuff) I had him read a well-selected book that emphasized the different styles of homeschooling. We talked about *our* goals for homeschooling, not *mine* though I certainly influenced his thinking ;). Then, I asked him what style of homeschooling seemed to fit our goals. He was pretty schooly (and so was I but not as much). However, after starting and seeing our DD6 resist being taught to because of her strong will and need to work with us closer to a partner feeling than an authority feeling, I shared with him I thought we needed to be less schooly. He agreed. So, he's comfortable with what he sees. I think it was his being home and seeing the resistance that helped. He didn't just hear about it but he saw it. Then, he saw the change. He saw the stealth teaching and the cooperation and exploration we do "together" and he's good with that. Anyway - short version: I got him to see that there are other ways to do homeschooling and that the overarching goals were more important than the academic. The academic will come in time. The proof that it worked? My DD6 was hating reading over the summer at a K level and now independently reads at a 2nd grade level. All just through reading books with her and doing AAS (with it's phonics based rules)... No reading instruction. That's just one example. I could also give science/biology/nature examples but you get the picture. :) HTH.

dbmamaz
11-11-2011, 07:48 PM
Which of us has the Masters in Elementary Ed? Yeah, that would be ME!
So frustrated right now. :(
I love hearing you standing up to your husband! But Elizabeth is probably right, you need to find a way to get him on board. But seriously, he's calling in the middle of the day for progress reports? He needs to trust you to teach your child! In fact, to give advice I'm really bad at taking - you might want to just not even engage with him when he calls. Just say "i'll tell you all about it when you get home!" or make a habit of sending him a daily email summary of the GOOD things that happenned. But seriously, you have a Masters in Elementary Ed and he's telling you what she needs to do? Bah! And of course you can always reuse the curriculum with the younger kids, maybe it will be more their style!

theWeedyRoad
11-11-2011, 07:58 PM
My dh is a bit of a fly in the ointment sometimes as well ;). He means well, but his methods of getting more cooperation out of my ds for school are really counterproductive sometimes.

If it was my dh, I'd plead for time. Changing your parenting style may make the difference between night and day for your dd (it might get much worse first, though, so be prepared... kids learn the 'dance' of the fight, and are comfortable with those patterns. Sometimes they'll work hard for that 'dance' even if we know it's not good for their mental/emotional health.). Too many changes at once imho are counterproductive.

For us, even though we have a handle on ds's behavior, ps made our homelife a mess. He was way too tired when he got off the bus to act at all mature. We'd struggle with homework (he'd be a crying mess), then in the mornings he'd struggle (and be a crying, fighting mess). It's hard to teach our kids anything when they are in that state. My ds was a model ps student, I will tell you, but at home we careened from one breakdown to another. On vacations, he was a different kid altogether (and we loved that) until it was time to go back. Homeschooling has let him calm down so he CAN listen, so we CAN communicate better, so we can teach him better reactions, better coping skills, better listening skills. He can listen to us when we explain rules now because he's CALM and rested. He's not even the same child anymore.

We pulled our spirited kid out of ps for his mental health. It took my dh time to realize it was for the best, though.

Raising a future leader is a difficult undertaking (in my worst moments, I say he'll be a dictator :p)

LovingMyChildren
11-11-2011, 10:14 PM
I love hearing you standing up to your husband! But Elizabeth is probably right, you need to find a way to get him on board. But seriously, he's calling in the middle of the day for progress reports? He needs to trust you to teach your child! In fact, to give advice I'm really bad at taking - you might want to just not even engage with him when he calls. Just say "i'll tell you all about it when you get home!" or make a habit of sending him a daily email summary of the GOOD things that happenned. But seriously, you have a Masters in Elementary Ed and he's telling you what she needs to do? Bah! And of course you can always reuse the curriculum with the younger kids, maybe it will be more their style!

I agree. Let me clarify - I run the show when it comes to hsing (i mean that in a nice way...) But, I knew I had to have my dh on board or the stress of it would likely kill me proverbially. And, dh agreed! I also have an MS in Educational Psychology and a PhD in Counseling Psychology - so, I decided to use my ninja psych skills on dh. I think you can too. I don't know, of course, the dynamics of your marriage but I hope you can find a way to help him see the value of this. I expect you can be creative :)

CatInTheSun
11-11-2011, 11:09 PM
Your dh ticks me off. :p <sorry, had to say it.> He can't be throwing around his control issues at the same time he's saying "hey, we failed, let's had the kids over to the system and move on." REGARDLESS of whether you end up hs or ps, RIGHT NOW you need to learn how to work constructively with your dd (and sounds like those skills will be useful with the siblings)! Or does your dh think that ps is going to protect him from all the REALLY scary rebellious teenage daughter stuff?!?

SO, first -- remind dh he better be on YOUR side. He doesn't get to play General from the sidelines or decide that if things don't go the way he wants he can give up.
Second, change one thing at a time! You guys NEED to do the training/counseling ANYWAYS, so why not do it assuming you with continue homeschooling? I can tell you that you have a much better chance to turn things around with your dd thru hs-ing that you will if you toss her into ps. She'll just tune you out. This isn't the time to give up access and relevance.

Our kids are strong willed, but when our first was 15mo we recognized that if we created an environment of harmony at least 85% of the time, dd would make the effort to maintain harmony for the 10-15% that was unavoidable. Every kid wants family harmony but each also has a point at which they "give up" and will fight EVERTHING. I called it "aikido parenting" (after the MA that focusses on harmonizing with your opponents energy instead of confronting it. We keep tuned in and we keep harmony as a priority. We don't let ourselves get drawn into battles of wills, but our dc also know that if we draw a line it is immutable. But we draw FEW lines. :)

It sounds like your dd might benefit from giving her some ownership in her education. Explain why you want to use one curric and discuss the options. With Singapore, have you explained why she needs to have the "easy stuff" down pat? Have you said, "It seems to me that you get really frustrated when math x is too hard but also frustrated when Y is too easy. How do you think we should learn X?" Obviously this is not a democracy and she's the kid, you're the adult -- but it is HER life and education. If you give her a couple options or involve her perhaps she'll see it as a team effort instead of a power struggle? Have you had a real conversation about how much you like to be right and have your way, but being an adult means accepting that sometimes you'll be wrong and sometimes you need to yield. That being wrong means an opportunity to learn. Maybe talk about how you feel when you make a mistake and then what you do -- not as a lecture, but find a teaching moment, like making a wrong turn driving or burning some cookies. Do your verbalize your internal dialog? "Darn, I wasn't paying attention and I missed that turn. I am so mad at myself because now we are going to be late. But I'm going to take a deep breath and not waste my energy worrying about what happened. I am going to try to think of another route we can take. It's only going to take us a minute or two more, and next time I will try to pay more attention." Modeling can be a very powerful tool with perfectionists. ;)

Good luck! And I agree -- use some ninja psych skills on your dh. Or a slap to the back of the head might work...

IMO, the key to strong-willed kids is to see that strong will as a gift. Life is tough and there is so much out there to try to bend and sway people, but I know my kids have strong wills and will be able to make their own way, hold their own in this world. I have no desire to break their wills or weaken them. I want to teach them how to use that strength to their advantage and not to let its "side effects" negatively impact their life.

ETA: I really enjoyed "Brain Rules for kids" -- goes into the neurobiology of why kids are the way they are. It says "thru age 5" but I found it goes all the way thru life. "Hold on to your kids" is another book, esp for dh, to appreciate some of the NEW problems you might be adding to the mix with ps. (it's not a hs book, but has some interesting things to consider).

jar7709
11-11-2011, 11:10 PM
Everyone else has said such good things I have little to add except for these two things:

--You've convinced me to look at WWE for DS :)

and

--Have you read this book (http://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Intensity-Gifted-Students-Explosive/dp/1593634900/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321070865&sr=8-1)? It really gave me a few more tools for parenting very-intense DS and our life runs much smoother now that I understand a little better what's going on in his head.

dbmamaz
11-11-2011, 11:22 PM
Ok, just thought of one more thing. You said your husband was like this as a child, right? I'm betting that he was hit with some hard discipline and very little leeway? If this is the case, than he probably has really bought in to the belief that kids need to be handled with a firm hand, cant be allowed to 'get away with' stuff, and must be pushed harder than they want to be pushed - because its really hard to accept that you sufferred a lot in your childhood at the hands of ppl who said they were doing it for your own good . . . for no reason. It might help to point out that she doenst have to have it as hard as he did, that kids can be treated gently and still be successful in life. You might be able to let him see a happier childhood for her than what he had, without any dire consquences.

ok, that was probably stupid for me to post, since you've already been told to use your 'ninja psych skills' on him (or a slap in the back of the head) but i just thought of it and thought maybe it could be useful. If not, just ignore it of course.

CatInTheSun
11-12-2011, 12:10 AM
Ok, just thought of one more thing. You said your husband was like this as a child, right? I'm betting that he was hit with some hard discipline and very little leeway? If this is the case, than he probably has really bought in to the belief that kids need to be handled with a firm hand, cant be allowed to 'get away with' stuff, and must be pushed harder than they want to be pushed - because its really hard to accept that you sufferred a lot in your childhood at the hands of ppl who said they were doing it for your own good . . . for no reason. It might help to point out that she doenst have to have it as hard as he did, that kids can be treated gently and still be successful in life. You might be able to let him see a happier childhood for her than what he had, without any dire consquences.

ok, that was probably stupid for me to post, since you've already been told to use your 'ninja psych skills' on him (or a slap in the back of the head) but i just thought of it and thought maybe it could be useful. If not, just ignore it of course.

Sounds like some good 'ninja psych skills' to me! :D

I believe we are either driven to give kids the childhood we had or to save them from going thru what we did -- usually a mix of both. If dh hasn't really thought about how he feels, both good and bad, about how he was raised -- what he liked, what he didn't, how he felt, what worked/didn't, where he thought his parents were right on and when they were clueless -- he's likely to just repeat what he's known. At the same time dd isn't dh, so his experience may give you both insights, but not an RX for what to do.

Cara, your insight trumps my sassiness on addressing dh (though I still want to give the smack upside the head a try, lol).

dbmamaz
11-12-2011, 12:13 AM
Cara, your insight trumps my sassiness on addressing dh (though I still want to give the smack upside the head a try, lol).
Thanks. I'm not a slapper, but boy i was mad when she talked about him arguing w her on the phone about school! but for me anger doesnt usually help me do the right thing.

Deb417
11-12-2011, 12:45 AM
So many awesome ideas! So much wonderful feedback and thoughtful insights, I don't know how to thank you all :)

And no worries about DH, I say it all the time ;)

We did just have a very fruitful discussion and I read him several posts (somewhat edited to protect the innocent LOL) and I think he's catching on. Turns out he was reacting to the dynamic and just "trying to help me" be less stressed, and he did think she was "getting away" with too much. Once I told him she was achieving at grade level even without all that extra stuff, he said he just doesn't see how and asked me to show him some other way if I can, and no it doesn't have to be paperwork anymore, that's just all he knows.

I also explained that his tone sometimes is SO managerial and *certain* that I get sucked in and since I'm no expert at all this really--my educator's exp. is in a classroom after-all--I've been internalizing his anxiety and projecting this back onto DD, which of course must feed her resistance!

I'm going to check out that book on emotional intensity too, read the reviews, sounds SPOT-ON, and not just for DD but DH as well!!! I read him some reviews and said "Now sub in "husband" for "child...." He had to admit, it was very familiar. My MIL has made the same comment, that the two are like the same person, different gender. No wonder I struggle with both! LOL

Anyway, I think there's hope still! He does want to check out the local Montessori, just to "keep our options open," but I think if I hone my ninja skills and have some better weeks at home, coming up with more creative ways to do things without using the curricula she hates, he'll soften (and then too there's the chance we won't get in, hehehe).

Thanks again ladies! If you have any other good science suggestions, I'd love to hear 'em!

CatInTheSun
11-12-2011, 09:49 AM
Thanks. I'm not a slapper, but boy i was mad when she talked about him arguing w her on the phone about school! but for me anger doesnt usually help me do the right thing.

@Cara: hehe. In reality I'm not a slapper, either (contrary to my very reserved, scandinavian upbringing, lol). However, on the rare occasion I have asked dh, "You really want a slap upside the head, don't you?" To which he laughs but takes the hint to back off a bit. :p

Guys are prone to be problem-solvers more than problem-understanders, so it's not surprising your dh's behavior is driven by (misplaced) protective intensions. If your dd and dh are truly similar, perhaps dh needs to see this as an opportunity to better hone his management of his own quirks. Modeling is powerful, and dh may be the best one for this job, especially if he can talk honestly about the strengths and problems his way of being has wrought. Sometimes we think we can't admit our weaknesses or imperfections to kids, that we'll lose their respect, but I think the opposite is true. We don't have to be perfect to exercise authority. :)

ETA: sounds like you and dh are getting onto the same page and learning (any day I learn something new is a good day, and most days are good days) -- I'm sure dd will benefit from that! Keep up the good work!

dbmamaz
11-12-2011, 10:22 AM
i'm getting all sorts of happy feelings from this thread now! glad things are looking up!

dragonfly
11-12-2011, 06:16 PM
Guys are prone to be problem-solvers more than problem-understanders,

Boy, is this my DH to a "T." I used to have really hard days with school, and I'd want to talk to him about it when he got home. I just wanted to vent, and have him make some sympathetic noises, and maybe a gentle suggestion here and there--I stress, maybe, if it's a really good idea.

His response is to try to "fix" the problem, usually by saying things like "you should do this..." or "you shouldn't do that..." all of which translated in my ears to "You suck as a teacher, mother, and human being."

Sigh. I've learned not to talk about school for the most part, other that to say that it went well that day. If we did something especially interesting, or if ds did a particularly good job with something, we'll share that. I'll ask for Dh's input when it comes to choosing books/curricula, but only after I've gotten it narrowed down to two or three choices. Oh, and he's better at critiquing and editing papers and compositions, so I'll get him to help with that, too.

I know he means well, and he's really very smart, but I don't think it's possible for someone who hasn't done it (i.e., homeschooled their kid(s) day in and day out) to really fully grasp what it's like. However, it seems like everyone thinks they are an expert. It's amazing how many non-homeschooling adults feel qualified to give advice to homeschoolers. :rolleyes:

CatInTheSun
11-12-2011, 07:15 PM
Boy, is this my DH to a "T." I used to have really hard days with school, and I'd want to talk to him about it when he got home. I just wanted to vent, and have him make some sympathetic noises, and maybe a gentle suggestion here and there--I stress, maybe, if it's a really good idea.

His response is to try to "fix" the problem, usually by saying things like "you should do this..." or "you shouldn't do that..." all of which translated in my ears to "You suck as a teacher, mother, and human being."

Sigh. I've learned not to talk about school for the most part, other that to say that it went well that day. If we did something especially interesting, or if ds did a particularly good job with something, we'll share that. I'll ask for Dh's input when it comes to choosing books/curricula, but only after I've gotten it narrowed down to two or three choices. Oh, and he's better at critiquing and editing papers and compositions, so I'll get him to help with that, too.

I know he means well, and he's really very smart, but I don't think it's possible for someone who hasn't done it (i.e., homeschooled their kid(s) day in and day out) to really fully grasp what it's like. However, it seems like everyone thinks they are an expert. It's amazing how many non-homeschooling adults feel qualified to give advice to homeschoolers. :rolleyes:

Yeah, no matter how great they are, it's best to learn what to edit out. It's like trying to commiserate about your kid rubbing finger paint along the walls to a friend without kids. Sometimes you need to share the successes with dh and the vents with us! :D

My dh is a saint and very involved in the day-to-day, but not the nitty-gritty of hs, and sometimes I find it helps to preface my comments with (delivered in the tone of the tv emergency broadcast system warning), "The following is a vent. It is just a vent. This is not the case of an actual problem requiring your help. I just need to vent." Sure, I'm effectively telling him he can completely tune me out without repercussions, but sometimes a person just needs to vent. In those cases, clear warning helps the spouse not put their helpful foot in their mouths. :)

Even when I do vent, I make sure to share at least 5 positive stories for each vent. In fact, I make a point to share one fun/good/cute story about each child each day with dh. Otherwise I tend to take that things went well as a given, but if all dh hears about is the vents... It also helps me to remember to look for those little wins and keeps dh plugged in to the daily foibles.

Deb417
11-12-2011, 09:52 PM
Love the rant announcement! I'm SO gonna use that one. My DH is so solutions-oriented, and the irony is, it's what he does for a LIVING!! He's a senior manager for a technical consulting firm, and what he's done for his client for the past 6 years is run multiple (we're talking dozens) of e-commerce projects, so supervising multiple project managers. Having to manage managers, day in, day out, kinda seeps into his pores (or maybe out?). He's VERY good at his job and literally gets paid to identify risk well before it appears. He's 100% geared towards almost hunting for problems, then prescribing ways to fix them.

When he gets home, he has a lot of trouble transitioning out of work-mode, and it doesn't help that he often works from home after the kids go to sleep (how little time I have to talk to him about anything is a whole OTHER issue, believe me). He's really a great guy, means well, wants only the best for them, but forgets that I'm not an "employee," we're partners.

But I can so relate to this:

His response is to try to "fix" the problem, usually by saying things like "you should do this..." or "you shouldn't do that..." all of which translated in my ears to "You suck as a teacher, mother, and human being."

I told him something along these lines last night and he had no idea I felt this way. I find that hard to believe b/c I feel like I tell him all the time that I can't stand the way he micromanages and seems to ask for progress reports, but he said I never told him WHY it drives me nuts, and that's key.

But just the same, I'm going to be more tight-lipped about how our days go from now on! :)

dbmamaz
11-12-2011, 10:57 PM
I guess i'm lucky . . . my dh USUALLY tunes me out when i'm talking. sigh.

CatInTheSun
11-12-2011, 11:08 PM
Thinking out loud hear (proverbially):

One of the things I learned form the book, "Gifts Differing" is that often the order we present ideas is critical. For example, with most extrovert types, if you start with consensus/praise, then the request, then a reaffirmation of your connection they're more likely to go along rather than create disharmony while the same request flat out might be rejected. As a female in engineering this wasn't obvious (most engineers rather have a flaw in a design pointed out fast so they can fix it, however I discovered my non-engineering friends didn't, um..appreciate my bluntness :D).

When my kids are talking to me, I find myself sometimes thinking, "ok, where is this going and what do you want me to do about it?" You know, is this a problem? Is your sibling bugging you? Or are they just sharing a tale? Makes me think our spouses listen in the same way, waiting to hear the answer to the question, "and what do you want me to do about it?" Women seem to save that for last. :D Maybe we should try to lead with the "what we want" part, even if it seems obvious to us (by our lack of ASKING for help)?

I do this a lot -- preface my story with either, "I need you opinion on what I should do about this", "I need a sounding board", "I'm really upset about X and need to discuss it with you", or "I need to just vent for a minute about X". I think I just subconsciously found it effective. I think I'm going to try this week to really consistently do this with dh and with the kids.

I mean, if you've ever been sobbing and 5min later your dh says surprised, "Are you upset about something?" you KNOW these guys need our help. LOL

dbmamaz
11-12-2011, 11:48 PM
I mean, if you've ever been sobbing and 5min later your dh says surprised, "Are you upset about something?" you KNOW these guys need our help. LOL
when dh left me for a while, when he first told me he totally sprung it on me right after Raven's eye surgery. I mean, we were in bed and Raven had just fallen asleep between us and i was about to go back to work. He started talking about what he'd been thinking about (for months, apparently) and what he was planning to do. And after a minute or two he looked at me, sobbing hysterically, and asked why I was crying, what did I think I heard? "You just said you might leave me!" "Yeah. . . . ?"

he doest remember that now . . . but talk about insensitive.

CatInTheSun
11-13-2011, 09:52 AM
when dh left me for a while, when he first told me he totally sprung it on me right after Raven's eye surgery. I mean, we were in bed and Raven had just fallen asleep between us and i was about to go back to work. He started talking about what he'd been thinking about (for months, apparently) and what he was planning to do. And after a minute or two he looked at me, sobbing hysterically, and asked why I was crying, what did I think I heard? "You just said you might leave me!" "Yeah. . . . ?"

he doest remember that now . . . but talk about insensitive.

Wow, Cara -- I hope your dh is a bit more sensitive these days. :p

dbmamaz
11-13-2011, 12:04 PM
Yeah, he's still not mr sensitive, but his head was in a really strange place that year. not much of what he said that year made sense. not much of what he did that year made sense. we've come a long way. after having that time (he lived away from me for about 6 months, maybe?), he came back fully committed. He had to really learn for himself that he loved me enough that living in my chaos (challinging kids and remember the 2 older arent his) was better than living without me.

raegan
11-13-2011, 01:43 PM
Have you ever read Parent Effectiveness Training (http://www.amazon.com/Parent-Effectiveness-Training-Responsible-Children/dp/0609806939)? It's been around for decades and has given rise to Family Effectiveness Training and some organizational ones (http://www.gordontraining.com/parent-programs/parent-effectiveness-training-p-e-t/), too. Back at the OP you mentioned the therapist doing a "training" for parenting that would eliminate opposition. It seems to me that it's the basis of PET and would be a great primer on what the training may hold in store. It also uses active listening and I imagine it would be massively helpful in your dynamics with not only your kids but dh as well. I like it better than other consensual living/nonviolent communication books because it uses actual examples of parents with kids and how miscommunication or the imposition of wills creates problems that never really existed.

I'm not being very clear, but just wanted to put the suggestions out there. My dh and I have borrowed it a couple times from the library, but he's not a big reader and we never really got very far--though he DOES see the value in it (which is a total WIN). We may need to break down and buy the Family Effectiveness Training program (DVDs, I think? it's been a while since we researched it). My bff is a hs'er and has 4 kids ages 6-12 and has found it to be an absolute sanity-saver. She's from an abusive upbringing, and after lots of counseling, knew she had to find a new model for child rearing because the one she's programmed with was not an option. I often tell her I just need her to come to the house and "fix" what we do wrong, much like your therapist said you'll have a chance to re-learn scripts and strategies by practicing them there. That sounds awesome to me.

btw, my dh is a project manager engineer--and is totally a fix-the-problem-before-it-happens guy, and I've just had him spend a LOT of time around the hs families I think are positive examples and talk about their unconventional victories, maybe about our little epiphanies, and he seems to get this relaxed schooling thing. DS6 is also strong-willed (he gets it from his mama*) so I've been working on what I consider priorities--the 3 Rs (with art/craft projects)--and not pushing anything else for now. He "gets" science intuitively and watches programs on all sorts of science subjects & is way beyond 1st grade science level...but we have little grasp of history because I can't seem to get him interested enough yet. So I'm taking notes here! ;)

dbmamaz
11-13-2011, 04:05 PM
I read Parent Affectiveness Training and How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk before I had kids and I think that was a really good thing!

Deb417
11-13-2011, 06:13 PM
Thanks Reagan! I'm going to check that book out, along with the others mentioned! My library is getting HUGE! I'm a one-woman ADHD/Strong-willed/spirited child/oppositional defiance LIBRARY! LOL

Deb417
11-18-2011, 07:15 AM
This is a x-post from the other thread. Had to reply there to a new poster and had this news:

Saw the Psychiatrist for the first time Wednesday and he took in all the other data and met her and didn't even hesitate to say its ADHD for sure. He said the reason meds had failed was that the ped. was too aggressive in the dose. He put her back on Concerta and said to do 2 weeks at 18mg then if necessary, ramp to 27, but not more based on her weight/height/age.

I feel like I'm on the roller coaster from hell Things are less combative now that I'm trying more positive discipline, but truth be told, we're still not getting much done. I even modified my curriculum to cut out nearly half of what I was doing, she's still all over the place. He said that's because she *does* have a strong willed personality TOO, but the two can coexist, which only makes it harder. He didn't say "yes, put her in school," but he did say it wasn't a crazy idea that she might benefit from external rewards/pressure. He did say she was very novelty-driven though, and it might work for a while, then stop when the novelty wears off if she doesn't find other reasons to WANT to thrive there (peers, like the teacher, interesting work...).

He also said her strong will could help OR hurt in school because either she'll latch onto a motivation to drive herself and take off like a rocket OR she'll rebel with equal force, no way to predict.

Great. So now what???

Public school wise we toured a magnet the other day that we loved, I mean really loved in spite of it being school and public but our odds of getting in are slim in the third grade. Basically we have to hope someone moves or switches schools in that grade, and that few others want the spot. We'll toss our names in, see what happens, but if not we'll probably be home. I'm starting to wonder if school would be best for ME. I'm a stress mess!

Just yesterday she did the strangest thing...She was doing copy work, which she usually loves, and burst into tears. I'd been working with her on holding her pencil correctly for weeks, it was affecting her handwriting that she jutted her thumb way out. She finally mastered the pincer grasp and it was automatic, and voila, great manuscript handwriting. Well, instead of being happy when I praised her work, she started to cry and said "I can't do it the old way! I can't remember how!!! I don't want my writing to be this good!" Abd she went on to try mightily to put her fingers back the old way. When that failed, she just purposely messed up her writing by letting her wrist go limp.

WTF??? I tried gently talking to her, asking her to trust that no one--least of all I--was going to suddenly expect great paragraphs of prose from her, and asking her why she was upset in case that wasn't it, and she just dissolved. Couldn't explain it. My husband--from whom we suspect she inherited her strong will at least, if not also the ADHD, says he understands, she was just in a mood. He gets this way, hates change, ultra moody, loves rigid consistency. He seems to "get" her where I fail because I embrace change and am fairly even tempered. That's why he's pushing school, especially the one we saw which is traditional, very structured, but from what we could tell, also good at differentiation where kids need it. A friend's son goes there, has ADHD and is doing very well, getting loads of help. I just wonder because I'm losing it! I just wonder if WE are a mismatch

Accidental Homeschooler
11-18-2011, 07:46 PM
I feel like I'm on the roller coaster from hell Things are less combative now that I'm trying more positive discipline, but truth be told, we're still not getting much done. I even modified my curriculum to cut out nearly half of what I was doing, she's still all over the place. He said that's because she *does* have a strong willed personality TOO, but the two can coexist, which only makes it harder. He didn't say "yes, put her in school," but he did say it wasn't a crazy idea that she might benefit from external rewards/pressure. He did say she was very novelty-driven though, and it might work for a while, then stop when the novelty wears off if she doesn't find other reasons to WANT to thrive there (peers, like the teacher, interesting work...).

He also said her strong will could help OR hurt in school because either she'll latch onto a motivation to drive herself and take off like a rocket OR she'll rebel with equal force, no way to predict.

Great. So now what???

Public school wise we toured a magnet the other day that we loved, I mean really loved in spite of it being school and public but our odds of getting in are slim in the third grade. Basically we have to hope someone moves or switches schools in that grade, and that few others want the spot. We'll toss our names in, see what happens, but if not we'll probably be home. I'm starting to wonder if school would be best for ME. I'm a stress mess!

Just yesterday she did the strangest thing...She was doing copy work, which she usually loves, and burst into tears. I'd been working with her on holding her pencil correctly for weeks, it was affecting her handwriting that she jutted her thumb way out. She finally mastered the pincer grasp and it was automatic, and voila, great manuscript handwriting. Well, instead of being happy when I praised her work, she started to cry and said "I can't do it the old way! I can't remember how!!! I don't want my writing to be this good!" Abd she went on to try mightily to put her fingers back the old way. When that failed, she just purposely messed up her writing by letting her wrist go limp.

WTF??? I tried gently talking to her, asking her to trust that no one--least of all I--was going to suddenly expect great paragraphs of prose from her, and asking her why she was upset in case that wasn't it, and she just dissolved. Couldn't explain it. My husband--from whom we suspect she inherited her strong will at least, if not also the ADHD, says he understands, she was just in a mood. He gets this way, hates change, ultra moody, loves rigid consistency. He seems to "get" her where I fail because I embrace change and am fairly even tempered. That's why he's pushing school, especially the one we saw which is traditional, very structured, but from what we could tell, also good at differentiation where kids need it. A friend's son goes there, has ADHD and is doing very well, getting loads of help. I just wonder because I'm losing it! I just wonder if WE are a mismatch

It sounds like a roller coaster from hell. For us ps last year was the roller coaster and we got off. Maybe if your dh does "get her" so well it wouldn't be a bad idea to go with what he thinks is best. And if you are a mess it is going to affect your kids too, that was also a big part of our roller coaster ride. Whatever you decide comes next I hope things get better soon!!!!!!!!

theWeedyRoad
11-18-2011, 08:24 PM
It sounds like a roller coaster from hell. For us ps last year was the roller coaster and we got off. Maybe if your dh does "get her" so well it wouldn't be a bad idea to go with what he thinks is best. And if you are a mess it is going to affect your kids too, that was also a big part of our roller coaster ride. Whatever you decide comes next I hope things get better soon!!!!!!!!

I agree- It's tough when things are sooooo hard. I almost replied to the thing about the handwriting... I get it myself. I hate change, and if she feels her old way is fundamental to her personality, it would be super stressful to feel that bit is gone. My kids tend to be the perfectionists about school, but my dd feels she knows EVERYTHING about horses, even though she's never ridden and we don't have one. We are about to start lessons for her, and I have my fingers crossed she doesn't get knocked down and her feelings hurt when the teacher contradicts what she 'knows'.

As for your dh... I agree with Accidental Homeschooler. I have that relationship with my ds as well. Dh sees aspects of his personality as something shallow or self-centered, but I know it isn't that at all... my ds just needs to be treated in an entirely different manner (explaining WHY we need him to do something, lots of talking about things). I love my dh, he's a fantastic father, but he can't understand my ds the same way I do because I was just like my ds when I was a kid! I remember the hows and whys of that stuff, and can talk ds through it. My dh usually thinks he needs firmer boundaries or something (kids need to listen regardless of what we are saying, etc etc), which causes conflict instead of diffusing it.

Deb417
11-18-2011, 09:28 PM
The really sad thing for me is this: Before this week, I was furiously reading "The Well Trained Mind" more thoroughly this time, awaiting books recommended by y'all and assuming I'd still be homeschooling next year, just with more knowledge and armed to the teeth with strategies for coping. Now I feel it's almost a certainty my kids will be in some school come fall, and I wish I could tell you I'm as heartbroken as I thought I'd be, but I'm gradually coming to terms with it. I feel like I've reached that point of almost looking forward to having a daily break from at least my eldest (sad as that is). I will miss them all and cry buckets that first week I'm sure, but I'm a MESS! I need a year to find myself again! I have to get my health back, my hormones are all wack (perimenopause), my weight is up from where it ought to be, my migraines are coming on multiple times per week, and I know it's all stress-related. I feel like I use up all my energy holding it together all day to refrain from yelling, or to find positive parenting methods to deal with whatever new and different challenge my DD tosses my way each day. By the time they go to sleep, I collapse. I've got NOTHING left for me or my husband emotionally, I'm exhausted but can't sleep, and my anxiety and guilt levels are off-the-charts. I was so committed to homeschooling--I believe in it. I believe it is fundamentally superior to schooling, PERIOD, public, private, any kind actually. I just think the way we warehouse kids and treat them like herds, brainwash them and indoctrinate them, never mind use them to satisfy adult agendas, is pretty sick. But I'm a product of it, most of us are. And I'm not a bad person, or a stupid brain-dead person either ;) Why? Because my Dad was always homeschooling on the SIDE, supplementing, counseling, discussing, challenging and teaching me to use school for what it was worth, helping me get the most out of it when I could, advocating for me when I couldn't. And he needed me in school b/c he was a single parent with a really high-stress job. Without school, our lives wouldn't have worked.

So I have come to realize that as much as I could give my kids the most bang-up home education ever, as much as I have at my fingertips (literally) a library most people only dream about, computer equipment, access to museums and cultural centers, and a commitment to home education, I cannot MAKE my kids want it, appreciate it or take advantage of it. I cannot think my way out of dd's ADHD. I can't turn into a different personality, and I'll never stop being her "mother." I am I and she is she, and that's not going to change. Even with meds, our dynamic may just not work, and if/when that is true, she's not getting the benefit of homeschooling anyway! In fact, I'm starting to wonder if being around each other so much is actually HURTING our relationship :(

And maybe one year at school will show her what she's missing, she's old enough to know the difference. Maybe she'll go and RUN home the following year, begging to have me teach her and willing to let me? Maybe not. And if not, if she's thriving elsewhere, making friends, concentrating on her work, etc...Well then I'll feel good about letting her go. I'm lucky, I have the option to bring her home if things go badly. I'm even mentally preparing for that to happen because I keep hearing tales of kids who have ADHD who are pulled OUT not put IN.

But even if it only gives me a year break, to rest, recoup, get healthy, find myself again, maybe homeschooling after that will be better? I mean, there's no way I'd send my kids to public middle school! So no matter what they're all coming out after 5th grade! HELL YEAH! Middle School is the biggest WASTE of time, why bother? Even if they did nothing but sit home and NOT do drugs, get pregnant and read books all day, it would be time better spent than middle school! ;) Oh I'm exaggerating, but my point is, I'm planning on HSing or those years no matter what, I just need to get my kids--this one in particular--through these tough years of learning how to right, do math, etc...Reading she's got down, did my job there--same for my kindergartner, she's got the reading thing well in hand, and I could homeschool her EASILY, she's a dream. Calm, compliant, eager to please, a regular teacher's pet. I've thought of keeping her home and sending Emma only, but how can I do that??? I think she'd thrive anywhere, and there's more to be lost than gained by separating them in terms of *their* relationship. Plus, I need eyes/ears on the scene, and Lily--while not in the same class as Emma--is very intuitive and observant, and she will give it to me straight if she thinks there's something up I need to see or hear about that teachers or my own DD aren't telling me (b/c DD1 will tell her for sure, they are very close), and she craves peer relationships even more than DD1.

Sure, I'm still hoping some miracle occurs between now and September, that meds work, that she matures, that my parenting coaching sessions work, and we all wake-up able to keep homeschooling without constant drama and stress, but I feel better about the back-up plan than I thought I would. I'm letting myself off the hook.

mamakaty
11-18-2011, 10:29 PM
She would do science experiments every day if I let her. I say "let" bc they can be cost/materials intensive and therefore time consuming. There's nothing worse than your kid coming to you all hopped up to do an experiment involving six things, and five of them you don't have on hand! I have tried to point her towards more simple experiments involving basic kitchen tools, water, food coloring, egg cartons, seeds, stuff like that, she just rolls her eyes. She wants to make volcanoes that really erupt, cars and machines that go, electrical circuits that actually work, etc....I'm considering just getting her science "kits" for Christmas and nothing else frankly! That'll keep her busy for like a week LOL!



I haven't read the rest of the responses past the second page, so forgive me if something like this has been mentioned, but I wanted to add it here before I got distracted, lol!!

I saw this fun idea for making science kits for gift giving for kids. You could do something similar so that you would already have all the supplies on hand: Super Science Kit (http://brandyscrafts.blogspot.com/2010/12/super-science-kit-christmas-gift-idea.html)

You could even make up a bunch of extras and only pull a couple out each week.

theWeedyRoad
11-18-2011, 10:38 PM
(((hugs)))

You have to do what's best for your family, all the way around. And if that means ps, then so be it. Not guilt, no blame. :)

Accidental Homeschooler
11-18-2011, 10:52 PM
(((hugs)))

You have to do what's best for your family, all the way around. And if that means ps, then so be it. Not guilt, no blame. :)

Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dbmamaz
11-18-2011, 10:59 PM
you have to meet your family's needs now (including you). if your families needs change, you change your plan. if something didnt work, change it. this is life.

Deb417
11-18-2011, 11:11 PM
Thanks. I just so wish someone could tell me what to do, and that I would believe in and trust that person completely. Right now, I feel like I second-guess myself so much. When I sit in my school room and look around at all the curriculum materials, the walls of art, the shelves FULL of books--overflowing really--and I want to cry. I had images of all of us reading stories, doing experiments, huddled on the floor playing games....And it just hasn't worked out that way. I've tried, but DD1 is just so easily distracted by our pets (cats in particular), by her own wishes, by her inability to get the basic things done in a timely manner, by her incessant need to "snack" throughout the day.....It just never works out that we're all ready to do something at the same time. I feel like I'm constantly waiting for someone to be ready or willing to participate.

And if I "unschool" and just let them do whatever the heck they want, things tend to descend into chaos b/c of DD. Yet every once in a blue moon, we'll have a good day where she'll be "on" for lack of a better term. She'll be ready and willing to do whatever I have planned, seem to enjoy it and give me hope that things have turned around. But it's short-lived.

Just when I get to thinking "It will be OK, they'll be fine b/c I'll volunteer in the school, I'll stay on top of things, I'll pull them out if need be...." I think "But what if something happens to scar them (I was scarred for life by ps shaming-style discipline)? What if they never forgive me? What if they love it, but for all the wrong reasons (let's say they like having "friends" or being "like everyone else" or something)? What if they want to keep going but aren't doing well academically? A million thoughts race through my head.

I guess I really want to hear from you ladies--is there any other way you can think of to get my sanity back and not put them in school? In all likelihood we will not get the lottery pick we want, but of late DH wants to put them in our neighborhood school which is IB (International Baccalaureate magnet). But Emma HATES unit studies, and having been over there, I think she'd be bored AND behind in some areas (areas I've never pushed--like writing). And then I think "what if I get my wish and we don't get in and they have to stay home, and things get even more chaotic and behind, then what??

I just want someone else to tell me what to do :(

theWeedyRoad
11-18-2011, 11:41 PM
I just want someone else to tell me what to do :(

Honey, I wish I had that answer for you. I just don't.

I will say, no matter how 'perfect' our day goes, NONE of my visions of busy heads over schoolwork ever materialized. I get dd at the table, doing math, seeming to fit the vision.. but really she's playing with the pennies and going ultra sllllllooooooooow on her math sheet. Or I spend hours looking for the right documentary and either a.) the kids talk through the entire thing, or b.) they get bored and want to do something else instead. I bought a ton of books to help ds like reading, and he hated every one that he tried to read, and the rest are gathering dust on his bookshelf. I would love to unschool, but ds's version of learning something new is to hunt up a youtube vid on his latest vid game obsession (albeit strategy games, at least) and see what neat tricks he can try out. dd has the love of learning, but not the focus. Ds has no love of learning, but intense focus... when he is feeling cooperative.

So I take the moments as they come- when ds reads his ss book in a funny accent and makes me laugh hysterically. When dd gets her math super fast. When both kids amaze me with what they learned when I thought they weren't listening. That my ds read a stinking book- even if it was way below reading level- with a minimum of aggravation.

Our homeschool will never be what I want it to be... because it doesn't include my quirky children's personalities. It reminds me of when I'm super excited about something sciencey and the kids say, "mom, that's nice. Can I go do xyz now please?". My excitement needs to be high, but not so high I'm near tears when it bores them. And it bores them often. (I have a pathetic story about a particular prehistoric plant unit I put together.. that took me HOURS to do. And which my son hated, and complained complained about. I cried.)

Does that help you? I don't know. I'm hoping knowing the disappointment you are feeling might be part of the homeschooling experience for some of us will show you that it doesn't mean you are doing it WRONG. So some days I feel like I drag ds off kicking and screaming to LEARN SOMETHING. And when it's done, it's like a prison break (run!!!). But then... the moments come when they remember something I taught them while doing something else. Those are the moments I wait for. Ultimately, it's not up to my kids to fit the vision... I have to fit the vision to my kids. And my kids... will never ever build rockets out of legos or study spelling words because they want to. But they will make me laugh, stun me with their intelligence, love each other with an intensity I never had with my sib, and wow me with their art. When dd tells me, out of the blue, that she's very good at reading (after believing she'd never learn at all)

Adding: that doesn't mean homeschooling is the way you should go. I don't mean that- just that you didn't screw up because your vision didn't become a reality. You aren't a failure, no matter which direction you go.

Deb417
11-19-2011, 12:13 AM
I'm in tears here. Thank you SO much, that does help. I need to spend more time with you ladies than talking to DH ;)

What this makes me realize is that isolation is part of my problem. If only I had a co-op...But here most are either closed or religious. I need more outlets with other homeschoolers. Having a 3 year old who naps (and needs to, desperately) does t help. Most park day events and other social opps seem to happen at lunch, and even when I get to them, I wonder...Am I the only one having problems? These women are the HS equivalent of those annoying PTA moms who seem to do everything minute- rice-perfect, I rarely if ever hear the bad stories, or if I do it's "oh things we're bad until the co- op" followed by "I'd invite you to join but we're full/Christian and studying apologia science/a zillion miles away from you and meet in the middle of your dd's nap time.

Tried starting a book club, a writing workshop and a group to do REAL science with using local HS lists and forums as feeders, no luck. So I tend to get easily sucked into the mainstream wormhole more easily than others.

Deb417
11-20-2011, 11:23 PM
Look what someone just posted on a local forum. Thought I'd share, it's soooo appropos of this conversation and giving me food-for-thought about how potentially messed up my kid will be IF i send her to school.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN7QfjIcVvA

theWeedyRoad
11-21-2011, 05:58 AM
Look what someone just posted on a local forum. Thought I'd share, it's soooo appropos of this conversation and giving me food-for-thought about how potentially messed up my kid will be IF i send her to school.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN7QfjIcVvA

I love that one. Made me teary the first time I watched it.

Kim
11-22-2011, 11:33 AM
I feel for your struggle. My daughter is very emotional with lots of explosive angry outbursts. Most days are difficult, few go really well. Sometimes I have visions of her returning to public school one day, and sometimes I have visions of always homeschooling. Sometimes it is really difficult, and many times I am bubbling over with all the benefits of homeschooling.

But I couldn't homeschool if I felt I had to homeschool, that is was the only good way to educate my daughter. I can't say that public school is evil and homeschool is good. And I have to believe that I have options, and that there is good and bad to both methods. There are risks in making each choice, there are potential pitfalls in each choice, and there are benefits to each choice. There are also going to be struggles and things to work out in both choices. Neither homeschooling nor public schooling is going to guarantee our children turn out great and neither is guaranteed to doom them.

For myself, I could write a book on why homeschooling is a great alternative to public education. But still, there are good things about public education, despite the bad examples, and many children do well in and enjoy public education. So don't close yourself off to it. It might be that your daughter has some good experiences there, that you get a much needed rest, and that you are better able to focus on meeting your daughter's needs when you've had a break from the nonstop struggles.

But whatever you or I decide for our children, we have to get beyond the fear, and the polarization of good/bad thinking, and what the people around us think. (Either pro homeschool or pro public school) and get to the heart of the matter for ourselves and our families. For me, this year, homeschool made the most sense all around. My daughter's needs are such that they weigh out over all other issues. In the future, if she can handle going to public school, even though it is not perfect, then other things will weigh into the balance and we may choose to public school.

Regardless of what we choose, we can always make choices to be close to our children and to spend lots of time with them. We can always live our lives in such a way that they will have a good example to follow. And we can always show love to them, even when they are not loving to us. And I do believe that these actions will have way more influence over them than any school choices we make.

My two cents worth :)

Deb417
11-22-2011, 02:27 PM
Thanks Kim! Very supportive and helpful. Food for thought to be sure!

kailuamom67
11-23-2011, 03:10 PM
Hi - I'm brand new here, I usually lurk a while before jumping in, but I felt compelled to say.....

I felt that we couldn't homeschool for the very reasons you share as your issues. I believed we couldn't get past these issues so kept DS in school. Unfortunately, school had no magic for dealing with DSs quirks any better than I did. The result was traumatic for all involved (I'm sure the schools too!). The upside is I am truly OK with the idea that DS isn't always ready or able to learn. At home, we have the ability to get it done later or in another setting or whatever. In school, he was just in trouble or less than - all the time, or not learning at all. Had we jumped into homeschooling prior to the trauma, I know I would be doubting myself and probably already giving up. I think that I was so desperate and really visualizing the worst case scenarios of drugs and gangs as his alternatives, that I am able to accept the pace as what needs to be, even though it isn't what I thought.

My sweet boy is not keeping pace with the PS classmates. However, at home he is whole perfect and complete. He is enough, even if we are having to figure out how to get him to learn math (which he resists at every juncture). I figure if we can just de-stress, it will happen eventually. If not, at least I have kept him safe and am trying to rebuild his sense of self. Even if he does play way too many video games!