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His learning style appears to be "I don't like to learn
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Jana2002
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:56 pm    Post subject: His learning style appears to be "I don't like to learn Reply with quote

He is six (August) and every single day is a struggle to do anything related to learning. All he wants to do is play.

He can read at about a first grade level or slightly higher. He is fully capable.

However, all he wants to do is play and he articulates that THAT is the only thing he wants to do. He cries we are unfair if we ask him to do anything else. ???

I am not all that interested in unschooling in a radical way. We unschool enough and that is mostly our life (and certainly has been up to now) but both my husband and I feel the need to see him put effort into something so that we know he can before we can just store the school work away for another year.

I feel like it is a battle of the wills. I want to win. So does he.

I have a four year old who gets put in another room to play (well in the living room with books and puzzles and games and sometimes a little computer time) while I work with the older. The minute I leave the older child he quits doing anything and puts his pencil down. I can't sit in there with him for two hours at a time to get something done. I have another little person to consider.

My dreams of this cozy relationship of snuggling with math books is quickly becoming a stress I hate each morning. We can read for hours and hours and hours until my voice is horse. He loves to listen to stories and play nearby. I don't mind doing that but I am anxious to see his interests expand from playing with stuffed toys on the couches next to me to rocket science or something similar. Smile

I just really want this to work out and I am very stressed it is not. He puts a mental wall up when I say lets sit down and fit a little school in this morning.

He doesn't want to go to public school. He just wants to play.

Other kids manage an entire day at school. Why can't we get two hours in over the course of a day?

I expect to get responses saying "let him play" but what I want to know is - is it normal to have such strong opposition from a capable child?

It couldn't be that he is hard headed like his mom. Smile Truly, I want this to work and I want him to do what I ask each day without the drama. Is it just too much to expect at six? We could be done and out of the house by 10 or 11 every single day to go hike or play, ride bikes, zoo - whatever but instead we end up both of us in tears over four worksheet pages in Explode the Code (currently a two hour project with all the whining and playing around when I am not looking).

Thanks for all the constructive advice and for understanding that everyone probably wants a rocket scientist so please know that comment was made entirely in jest. I feel fragile today - I am looking for support here - even supportive "leave him alone" posts.

signed,

On the verge - Jan
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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He sounds a bit like a typical 6yo with some of those first born tendencies of being strong-willed.

I don't know the whole situation, but let's think this through....He likes to play and you want to cozy up with him and teach math, but if you are spending a few hours in a tug of war over math, he ends up hating math and your goals are unmet also. Maybe it is time to change tactics. Have you considered cuddling up without the worksheets? Just playing at math then gently working him into it?

Another thing I saw in your post was four sheets of Explode the Code. If I may suggest that 1-2 pages per day is plenty.

If you really have tried to accommodate his learning style and he is still being strong-willed....well, it gets kind of boring trying to play without any toys or not being allowed to watch TV. Take them all away and let him earn one back each day by doing his lessons with a good attitude. I might even tell him if he does not want to do lessons that is fine with you, but no toys, no TV, etc.


Last edited by seekingmyLord on Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jana2002
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your reply. I thought I had hit delete on the post by accident and was not going to type it all in again. Pleasant surprise.

I appreciate your ideas, especially the number of pages I ask him to do. We have a geography book we work from and do an entire lesson for the week in one day because it is only two questions per day which seems pretty silly. But perhaps those two questions, only two pages of ETC and a reduced expectation on everything else is what I will need to settle for.

I did try the no toys today and he said fine and went and took a nap. Smile

So did I!

:

J
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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your geography book sounds a great deal like Evan-Moor's Daily Geography Practice. If so, I have used that also. I think one side of the page would be enough, IF he really likes geography. Frankly, I had not planned to do geography at that age, except that I found my daughter LOVES anything to do with maps, so I ended up adding it to my curriculum.

It is not a terrible thing to take a break and get some rest now and then. It can give you both a chance to get a fresh start.
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elliemaejune
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:55 pm    Post subject: Re: His learning style appears to be "I don't like to l Reply with quote

Jana2002 wrote:
He is six (August) and every single day is a struggle to do anything related to learning. All he wants to do is play.

That he doesn't want to do things that look like school does not mean he doesn't want to learn.

All children want to learn. Your job is to find ways to help him learn, not to reproduce school in your house. Some dc will be just fine with doing school, but there is nothing wrong with learning differently. That doesn't mean you have to unschool (although there's surely nothing wrong with that, especially given his age); you just might have to find a different paradigm.

Quote:
I have a four year old who gets put in another room to play (well in the living room with books and puzzles and games and sometimes a little computer time) while I work with the older. The minute I leave the older child he quits doing anything and puts his pencil down. I can't sit in there with him for two hours at a time to get something done. I have another little person to consider.

Furthermore, I would look into doing something that doesn't require you to put your 4yo in another room while you work with the older dc.
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thinks
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes it definitely sounds like a power struggle going on here- and as you say, you both want to 'win".

Suggestions: You need to adapt the 'guide on the side" not the 'sage on the stage' approach.To avoid the power-play, give him some CHOICES. e.g. "You can do this or this..". "You can do a page of this before playing with your toys, or before dinner". And do discuss CONSEQUENCES with him... his choices lead to consequences (like a very late and maybe cold dinner) but it is HIS CHOICE. You will also need to be firm with the conseuences so make sure they are not too hard to implement.

I'd also suggest backing off the pages-work. Try the "sneaky learning' approach; learning should be fun after all! Try reading him some HOW-TO books for instance (from 'How to Make Popup Books', to 'How Water Gets in our Pipes' kind of stuff.) This way you are giving him a broader knowledge base, you are expanding his interests, and you are leading him on to questioning about the world around him. And include your 4-year old too- they can both snuggle up while you're reading to them!
Providing lots of "making" materials is also excellent for all those basic skills: eye-hand co-ordination, critical and creative thinking, problem-solving. Have a box full of paper-towel carboard tubes, coloured paper, cardboard bits, string, elastic bands, paperclips, pegs, etc etc, and let them simply PLAY with it - no instructions or directions apart from "tidying up as you go" reminders nd help. It's important that you only use the "You must do this.." approach when it's really necessary - and that you state the consequences and always FOLLOW THROUGH on the consequences. He'll notice whether you're shilly-shallying or dithering, believe me!

The aim is to SUPPORT him and to encourage him; open the doors for him. Hope this helps!
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mommyto2gr8ones
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest bringing his toys into the learning atmosphere. I know your dc isn't on the same level as mine but an example if you will.......my ds was having issues getting fractions. We took his little cars and "played" math games. I had him get a group of 20 and get me 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, ect. Maybe you could try the same kind of thing but with whatever level he is on....addition, subtraction, ect. He will enjoy "playing" with mom while learning!! And your younger may even be able to get in on the action (like counting the toys). LOL Another game we like to play to get some math in is "store". One of us will set up a "store" of my ds's toys and put price tags on them. He has play money that one of us gets part and the other gets part. Then the one that "shops" comes in and buys things. HTH
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thinks
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mommyto2gr8ones, I love your 'store' idea to teach fractions! I think you've really pointed out the need for all educators to make learning both meaningful and fun. Playing games like cards, and board games, are also excellent ways of teaching everything from social skills (wait for your turn, be a graceful loser, give others positive feedback,etc) as well as fractions, recognising number 'shapes" like the 5 pattern and the six pattern on dice, mental arithmetic, predicting...all great foundational thinking to be building! Smile
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mommyto2gr8ones
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thinks wrote:
mommyto2gr8ones, I love your 'store' idea to teach fractions! I think you've really pointed out the need for all educators to make learning both meaningful and fun. Playing games like cards, and board games, are also excellent ways of teaching everything from social skills (wait for your turn, be a graceful loser, give others positive feedback,etc) as well as fractions, recognising number 'shapes" like the 5 pattern and the six pattern on dice, mental arithmetic, predicting...all great foundational thinking to be building! Smile


TY, I have found it very helpful to make things fun for my 8yo while teaching him, he doesn't seem to learn any other way. LOL
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momo3boys
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You started your post with talking about his learning style. Have you looked at the multiple intelligence theory? My son is so active and social that math without moving and talking is useless. Jump rope times tables, two player games that teach math skills, if he likes to read then let him read a book about numbers, there are a bunch of great ones out there, check the library. Let him teach his younger brother something, that is a great way to learn, and remember something for much longer. Four is plenty old enough to get a quick lesson from older brother.
Good luck.
Unfortunately, if you don't have at least a few frustrating days with your children then you aren't homeschooling...Wink
At least they are with you. Smile
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thinks
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Jana272. Just re-reading your original post and the other responses, and am suddenly looking at this from another angle- MAYBE this is because you yourself are under a lot of pressure...are you being too hard on yourself with things?? So just to offer empathy - many of us have been in the very same situation and sometimes it just becomes overwhelming. So-- take a deep breath-- and resolve that you're going to relax on this one and that you and your children are going to ENJOY homeschooling. Be kind to yourself! And your children will benefit too Smile
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Dianne Dachyshyn
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:13 am    Post subject: He's only six! Reply with quote

Why not pull back all together and just enjoy your time with this little guy? Maybe he's not ready for formal learning. Focus on the things he likes to do. Read together, drink tea, bake and take long walks outside. Readiness for learning is very important. I agree with a previous post--all kids love learning. It's "schooling" that they often take exception to!

God bless you as you raise your little one. You have lots of time!
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ncmom
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you need to find the learning style that works best with him and simply set the boundaries. I had to do that with mine. They wanted to play and go outside but didn't want to sit down for a couple of hours and do their work. I finally told them that if they didn't do their work then there would be no play. It took a couple of times testing me but they finally got the point. My kids however are older so you need to remember that your son is only 6. I started my daughter at 6 and she had a hard time sitting down at first. GIve it time, legally, in most states, he wouldn't even be required to go to school yet. You may need to slow down or spread it out over more time too. Maybe do your reading/eng in the morning and then some history. Then after lunch do some math and science. You could include health or other elective type classes but don't do them everyday. We rarely go every day of the week. We use formal books but I just feel like there is so much more to learning than books books and more books. We usually go three or four of the five days. We always complete our books we just do it slower than most of the other people we know.
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thinks
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The main thing to remember is that you don't want children champing at the bit and feeling "chained to their seats", or you run the risk of turning them off learning. At this age, I'd suggest READ, READ, READ to your children; ease up on the 'formal work' and have just a couple of periods a day of the formal stuff (spelling, maths facts, handwriting..). "Playing" activities - even things like building an obstacle course in the garden, making models, "making" and experimenting with bits of cardboard and paper and coloured markers and glue, baking cookies.. these are all learning activities too!
Let them choose videos too , and TALK about everything..use open-ended questions like "What does this remind you of?" "How would you have changed the ending?", "Can you tell me why...?", "Can you see this kind of thing somewhere else?" - these all get your children thinking, analysing, comparing, creatively thinking and imagining. You're probably already doing a lot of this already without thinking about it, you just didn't realise it was LEARNING!
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Dianne Dachyshyn
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:25 pm    Post subject: I agree with ncmom and Jean (or thinks) Reply with quote

Boy, I agree with ncmom and Jean, or is it thinks? Learning is what happens all day long as long as you open your mind to the endless possibilities! I like to tell parents, "If you want to learn at home, go for it. If you want to school at home, then just send them back to the public school. They have far more experience and resources to run a school than you do."

The point is that this little one could be learning so much by playing and experiencing life with you that he will be farther ahead at the end of the year than if you had "chained him to a desk."

We mustn't forget his age. He's very young, so even if he were eager to study, at the most, he should be doing traditional school work in small doses and short time spans and the total time shouldn't be more than 1.5 to 3 hours per day.

Don't make the mistake that I made with my little guy. He was six, too, and it was our first year homeschooling. The difference was that he was super eager and he would sit at his desk for hours and return after supper and continue working. I burned him out in less than a year. It was way too much, but it was my first year homeschooling and I had two older children. I mistakenly thought in terms of a "full" school day of six hours or more. That was crazy.

The time that we spend with our kids at home is concentrated learning. They don't have to share us with 25 other kids and we don't have to waste time with classroom management, multiple discipline problems, interruptions, rescheduling etc. (within reason!). Fifteen minutes of math is plenty when he's little and he has his own tutor, and who says that his learning has to come from between the pages of a book? As Jean said, do lots of hands-on work with real objects. Little kids, especially boys, love to learn this way. He's still a concrete learner, so the less abstract the presentation, the better.

I really doubt that this is a behavior issue as much as a problem with readiness. If you find that you are in a battle of wills at some point, I wrote an article that you might find helpful. It's called Help, I'm Going Nuts! and it's on my website. Otherwise, just follow the wonderful advice that other homeschoolers have given you here. You have lots of time to learn together. Slow down and enjoy it and make allowances for his age and sex. Little boys need to move! Smile
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