PDA

View Full Version : I make him read and write



Virginia
01-11-2012, 10:52 AM
...so clearly I'm going out of my way to RUIN HIS LIFE! My ds loves discussions, he likes videos, he likes doing projects, but he HATES reading and writing. But this only applies to educational things. Like when I make him write out his spelling words...or I make him read his his assigned book. Give him free time and he's either online READING about animals or cryptozoology...or he's WRITING out the details of a new game or world he wants to create.

Everyday is a fight with him. English rolls around and he goes nuts because he has to write things down, or read something. Everyday we have a discussion about why it's important, and he always ends up apologizing, doing the work I asked him to do, and promising he won't do it again tomorrow. But he does it every single day.

His father's solution is to threaten to send him back to public school....and of course follow through when he does it again. I'm not sure that's the right solution, because then my fifth grader will undoubtedly be a 5th grader again next year.

Ironically, the major reason we pulled him out of school was because he was struggling with math. He does his math everyday without incident.

What am I doing wrong? How do I get it through his head that reading and writing are important?

AmyButler
01-11-2012, 11:18 AM
Today all I seem to be saying is "Would you just DO IT and get it OVER with!?!?" so I sympathize.

cupcakes0104
01-11-2012, 11:19 AM
The only thing that I can say is that I try to look at what they DO to find reassurance. For instance, my daughter hates to write but she writes amazing emails to my mother. My mother even commented that she thought I was helping her to write the narratives of our days, etc. etc. I let a big sigh of relief out because I could see some of the things we've been teaching her coming out in the emails (word choice, sentence structure, clarity of thought, etc). She also wrote a "book" on her own free will earlier this year and I never looked at it, just let her read it to me. If I look at it I will want to provide feedback which would have deflated her. If I just listen, I am convinced there are no problems with spelling, punctuation, capitalization, etc.

So, maybe ask him to write and tell him you won't critique it (which means, for me, I can't look at it). Maybe it's the feedback and the having to make corrections that he doesn't like.

We are using Writing with Ease this year and it focuses on summarizing and dictation. I'm not making them free write or journal write at all. I did for the past 2 years and it was always a battle. They do Writing with Ease without complaint and the battleground has been alleviated for this year. Till next year...

If he is reading anything at all, I wouldn't push it. Try not to worry and make it a battlefield (easier said than done, I realize.) I also read of a woman that read out loud to her son and picked things she thought he would like such as Treasure Island. Longer books, classic books, interesting books....eventually he started to make those selections for himself.

Hang in there!

kailuamom67
01-11-2012, 11:26 AM
This is us!

We handled it by using his strengths, and abandoning the power struggle.

So, Sammy was at a loggerheads about writing a 20 minute essay, just wasnt gonna do it. And btw, in this power struggle, they win. You can't actually make them write. You can assert your authority by making their lives hard, but if they want to continue the struggle, they can certainly win.

Anyway, I digress. I stopped the struggle and asked if he would like to do this differently. Would he be interested in filming a news report on the current science topic, instead of the essay. He would need to:

Research content
WRITE SCRIPT
Direct on air talent, or be on air talent and direct
Post production editing

He jumped at the chance to do this instead of the 20 minute essay.

He has written enough script to fill a 3 minute video. He is now on his third video. The first two were on ecosystems, this current one is on propulsion or something like that, we will film an experiment.

Anyway, the long and short of it is my 12 year old learns by doing. No amount of power struggle will get the same learning into him as a project in which he is engaged.

If you want to watch one of his videos, take a look at ice worlds here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne328JjEvDY&feature=youtube_gdata_player

theWeedyRoad
01-11-2012, 01:04 PM
We, too, have been in this situation with our ds. Someone said it's boys (not all, just lots).

I didn't make ds read last year- honestly, he reads all the time, doesn't mind reading say... something long with hard words in it.. as long as it isn't a BOOK. Blech. I gave up on his writing, as well. Just had him do some copywork and called it good.

This year I was determined something was going to change. I instituted 'journal days' twice a week, kept up the copywork, and expected him to do a minimal amount of writing. He was mostly much better about everything but the journals- apparently the assignments were way too open ended and he needed something specific to write about. Easy fix once I got it. I also break all writing assignments up pretty small, and give him a bit to do each day on it.

As for reading... *sigh* my solution was.. pretty tough. I discovered a serious comprehension issue with ds, as well, even though he could read above grade level... so I forbid all reading in Sept. and Oct, and remediated his phonics. THEN we finally hit on a series he likes- way below grade level but at least he's FINALLY reading! He still won't do it for himself, but at least he'll do it now without ending in tears. His rule is, though, that I'm not allowed to ask any questions at all about what he's read.

I agree that you can't make them write. And, to a certain degree, I think the ... force *might* make it worse. I don't want my ds to grow up hating to read because I MADE him read books (especially when again... he reads all the time, just not books). It's a hard choice to make. I don't know that my methods are 'the' way, or that he'll ever love it and pick up a book for himself.

Other suggestions that failed for us but might help you:
Reading: audio books, non-fiction books, magazines
Writing: do everything orally, make movies, oral reports, use a tape recorder, type instead of writing.

Virginia
01-11-2012, 06:11 PM
I thank you all for your input. I appreciate getting some other perspectives on the issue. I think my biggest problem is...I'm still in the honeymoon stage and I have this set idea in my head. How homeschool is "supposed" to be. If they balk or give me a hard time about it...I freak because they're ruining it for ME.

I know, I know. I need to get over myself. I do realize that...it's just really hard to let go of the dream. On a positive note...his math is going exceptionally well lol.

dbmamaz
01-11-2012, 07:39 PM
.I freak because they're ruining it for ME.
LOL love that concept! I was SOOO dissapointed when my teen acted like looking at things under the microscope was torture, and asked me to stop making him model DNA with the expensive k'nex kit i'd gotten. Oh, of that Life of Fred gave him panic attacks because . . what is all this stuff doing in my MATH textbook?! My youngest one HATES writing or worksheets. Well, now that he's 8, we're finally getting somewhere . . . but all these people would talk about their 4 and 5 yo's who would do worksheets all day long . . . . but at least THAT one loves Life of Fred!

JinxieFox
01-12-2012, 05:06 AM
Colleen, the script-writing is a great idea! My son isn't big on his structured penmanship lessons (which we only do once a week), but loves to write his own stories and comic books. Sometimes it just takes a different approach to draw out a writer or reader. :)

kailuamom67
01-12-2012, 11:06 AM
I am really trying to remember that if my child did well with typical school, he would still be there. While I agree that HSing provides a superior education (almost without exception), it is a real challenge for our family and we would probably still prefer DS be in a school setting. What that means to me is, we are charged with finding the way..... School has him so resistant to anything structured, that I must find that activity that can motivate him to learn and practice those skills. At the end of the day, we want him to have the skills he needs to have options in life, and right now, anything that looks schoolish won't help him learn what he needs.

Yesterday, I used his hatred of math assignments to get him to read a book. He is an avid Internet researcher, so I know he has great reading and comprehension skills BUT he hates to read regular books. Yesterday I traded him two math assignments for a chapter of the Hunger Games. I think it has a quick enough beginning that he's hooked, so fingers are crossed!

Maybe with him, this year will be about figuring out the alternative approaches...... So far, cause I said so, hasn't been working too well.

I just ordered Life of Fred math, so maybe that will help with school math? I'll try anything.

dbmamaz
01-12-2012, 01:48 PM
Today Raven got to the first bridge in his first LOF book, Fractions. I think both of us took it too seriously and we ended up with tears. I'm not sure if well skip the bridges, or just try not to take them so seriously. I just am going nuts because he won't write things down the right way, and SOMETIMES makes mistakes.

kailuamom67
01-12-2012, 01:54 PM
What caused the tears? I am looking for something thats fun, I am decidedly NOT looking for drama.

dbmamaz
01-12-2012, 02:03 PM
Oh, the bridge is supposed to be like a test. The instructions say you should write down all the answers, and if you get 9 right out of 10, you can move on. Otherwise, you should reread the chapters, and try the NEXT bridge(test). There are 5 different 10 question bridges in that first bridge section.

So, one of the problems asked you to write out the words for some large number, something in the millions or so. But writing is traumatic for him. I told him he didn't have to do it if he got the rest correct, but he said it out loud to me. Then there was a three digit addition problem, which he wrote out like a sentence instead of above each other, and he confused one of the digits and got it wrong. And I pointed out that's why you are supposed to write it above . . . Maybe a bit pointedly.

The next question was, how many minutes are there in a day, and I told him he couldn't use a calculator. I told him to write it down, but he kept yelling at me, so I shut up and let him do it in his head. Except he yelled out "1200". I asked him if he was sure, and he said yes . . .and then I yelled at him for writing it down. He wrote it down, but started crying. He insisted he hadn't been done yet, and I insisted he had told me that was the answer.

And then we gave up.

I admit, doing math with him can be SO frustrating because he wants to do everything in his head, and if I even say the problem again, while he's working on it, he will start screaming. If I suggest a way I might do it when he isn't stuck, he'll scream. He is the most stubborn of all my kids, by a long shot

Virginia
01-13-2012, 03:05 PM
I think for Nate the problem is...if he doesn't get it immediately...he doesn't want to put forth the effort to figure it out. The first 4 years of his school life were click click. He didn't even have to try...he just absorbed it all. Now he has to actually try, and he doesn't want to.

dbmamaz
01-13-2012, 04:17 PM
Honestly, today he was fighting me hard on long division (still in the LOF book), and I pointed out to him that this is really hard, he's trying to learn a new thing, and most math is SO easy for him that this is really frustrating. After that, he seemed to have a breakthrough with the long division! Sometimes you just need to let them know you understand them

theWeedyRoad
01-13-2012, 04:37 PM
I think for Nate the problem is...if he doesn't get it immediately...he doesn't want to put forth the effort to figure it out. The first 4 years of his school life were click click. He didn't even have to try...he just absorbed it all. Now he has to actually try, and he doesn't want to.

I'm totally with ya! That's here, too!!! Because there is no pointless review that was ridiculously easy - but which he hated- my ds doesn't like to work with his entire brain engaged. He wants to get it super fast. In our homeschool, though, I prefer thought and an element of challenge (not too much, but enough to get them working).

I find myself saying, "I am not asking you to do this to torture you," a LOT. Yesterday I told ds that no, I WASN'T going to look up his vocab word in the dictionary because I already went through Elementary School. His daddy even chimed in because ds had ground to a halt over looking up a darn word.

Virginia
01-15-2012, 07:54 PM
I'm totally with ya! That's here, too!!! Because there is no pointless review that was ridiculously easy - but which he hated- my ds doesn't like to work with his entire brain engaged. He wants to get it super fast. In our homeschool, though, I prefer thought and an element of challenge (not too much, but enough to get them working).

I find myself saying, "I am not asking you to do this to torture you," a LOT. Yesterday I told ds that no, I WASN'T going to look up his vocab word in the dictionary because I already went through Elementary School. His daddy even chimed in because ds had ground to a halt over looking up a darn word.

My DH and I are constantly saying "This isn't a punishment." DS is under the belief that we're just out to make him miserable. I spend far too much of my time everyday trying to explain to the boy the whys of what I want him to do. He doesn't see the future benefits...only the present situation where he actually *gasps* has to do something.