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geez0pete
04-12-2012, 10:05 AM
He'll be 6 next month and he's the only boy of 4 kids. He's going through a very sassy, disrespectful, and oppositional stage right now so it's not just school, but in life. He resists all through our school time (right now only a bit of reading, writing, and math) and is distracting to the others trying to learn. Being that he's in K and is either on target or above for K, how do I back off school without setting a precedent that if he misbehaves, he doesn't have to do school? I KNOW he will remember and use it if he thinks it worked once. And how will that come across to the others (and his twin sister) who are doing great but are still doing school?

FLDebbie
04-12-2012, 10:47 AM
I feel your pain (somewhat - I have only two children). My 8 yo son is in this exact stage right now. We're doing two items that seem to be working somewhat and have a third we plan to implement starting next week.
1. He goes into timeout immediately when he is disrespectful. He still has to do his schoolwork afterwards and he hates having to do work when his brother is playing.
2. We set a timer and work in 15-minute segments. When the timer goes off, he is to do something physical. If it's nice outside, he runs around the yard. If he has to stay inside, he runs laps in the house.
3. Next week we're going to start a reward system I read about. At the beginning of each week he will get a roll of nickels. Each time he is disrespectful we will take away a nickel. Any money he has at the end of the week is his to keep. If he runs out before the week is over, he must give us money from his piggy bank. He's trying to save money for a toy and we think this will be very motivating to him.

Good luck.

dbmamaz
04-12-2012, 10:48 AM
can you give him some alternative, like he can quietly play with some educational games or read independently or do educational puzzles while the others do 'lessons'? This was why i did time4learning for a while - my son refused to do anything I wanted him to do, but was willing to do Time4Learning. he did get better about things after 2 years on T4L

farrarwilliams
04-12-2012, 11:23 AM
He's a middle child? Just curious...

I know what you're saying and I think it can be hard, but I also think you just have to do it. Back off. Reframe what you're doing. Change things up. For him, when you talk about it, make it feel like a positive. You see that he's just in a place where he needs to just do reading or just play math video games for awhile or whatever it is that you end up doing. Make him feel like you're responding to him and his needs. But then make it clear that he'll continue to grow and change and you'll continue to change what you're doing with him because of that, including raising expectations for first grade come fall.

It's a balance... I try to let my kids know that you can absolutely question what we're doing and that when they're unhappy with school or it's boring or hard to sit through, then they need to speak up for their needs. But not in the middle of actually doing it. As in, having a conversation with me at the dinner table/in the car/while we're taking a walk about how "math is too hard!" or "I wish we could do more puzzles like that one day!" or "That book we're reading for history is way too long!" is totally okay. Trying to have that conversation in the middle of actually doing a math worksheet or listening to me read aloud is not okay. Obviously 6 is really young to get that - but for me it's all about the destination. I want my kids to be able to do that by the time they're 10 or 11 so I start now modeling that sort of thing.

laundrycrisis
04-12-2012, 03:12 PM
He'll be 6 next month and he's the only boy of 4 kids. He's going through a very sassy, disrespectful, and oppositional stage right now so it's not just school, but in life. He resists all through our school time (right now only a bit of reading, writing, and math) and is distracting to the others trying to learn. Being that he's in K and is either on target or above for K, how do I back off school without setting a precedent that if he misbehaves, he doesn't have to do school? I KNOW he will remember and use it if he thinks it worked once. And how will that come across to the others (and his twin sister) who are doing great but are still doing school?

I would not back off school in the wake of resistance or a tantrum. I would make him sit there until it is done...do not ever let him succeed in using bad behavior to get out of work. However, I would start by not giving him much in the first place - just give him the amount of work he can successfully get through without a meltdown, and slowly increase it. He is very young ! I would not be expecting very much seated quiet work at this age, at all. But don't ever give in to a meltdown and let him off the hook. For bad behavior at other times, I would remove the toys from his room and have him sit alone in his room (with nothing to play with) until he decides that he can behave. This is what has worked for both of our sons. It takes a lot of consistency, firmness, and a cool head, but it works.

As for the amount of work - don't worry about it not being enough. It is fine to just barely touch on reading, handwriting and math at this age. It may be five minutes of each ! That plus some time with an educational game or video, a little time observing his siblings working, and reading a book together, maybe some free time with paper and markers - enough ! When the work time is kept so short, the effort it takes to put up a big resistance does not seem worthwhile to our 6 yo. He is getting a little practice every day and making a little progress every week, and not stressed or burned out by it. He does not see the seated work as a big demand because it's not. Most of his day is filled with things he chooses and really likes, and that get his enthusiasm, hands and brain going. The structured work fits in well without feeling like a burden to him.

baker
04-12-2012, 03:56 PM
My son was barely 6 when we started homeschool in August. He did K at a private school. I got a lot of push back and a lot of whining. I eased off and try to remove the things he hates (flashcards, repetitive worksheets). He loves read alouds and discussion, so we do a lot of that. I would keep lessons short, do something at the desk, then move to the couch, etc. We do one hour, then break, then about another 90 minutes and then lunch and rarely anything after lunch. Whatever topic currently interests him (now it is all things military) I have lots of library books lying around so he can occupy himself if I am working with my dd. At least I feel like he is doing something educational while I am not with him.

Stella M
04-12-2012, 06:13 PM
6 is pretty young. Resistance in any of my children around that age ( and i got it with two out of three! ) I interpreted as lack of readiness for formal schooling. I backed off 'school' completely and tried again in six-twelve months time. And both times they were ready. My boy took longer. We didn't start his formal schooling till he was closer to 7.

Just another perspective :)

lakshmi
04-12-2012, 07:45 PM
I agree with stella...

geez0pete
04-12-2012, 08:57 PM
Thanks for the great responses. Today I just had the twins "write" simple words and additions answers with play dough. And we have some logic games and puzzles that I'll do more of, too. My son loves to play cards so I taught him a new game and he almost exploded with excitement. I guess I forgot that playing can be learning, too. It was a much better day. :)