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home/unschooling uninterested kids
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keptwoman
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Joined: 14 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

batwing, I don't have an answer for you in terms of getting them under control, there is no one solution that works for all kids, they all have their own "currency" and needs. Perhaps your daughter could concentrate on one behaviour at a time and work on that.

The other thing is that I don't personally believe you can unschool kids who have been to school, at least not at first. The reality is that their natural desire to learn has been quite admirably crushed out of them by the system. Listening to John Taylor Gatto he says that the system sets out to do that and I agree with him.
I'm sure the teachers out there would disagree; but even watching my DD at preschool its interesting to see the way they are already trying to mould them into little clones, who do what they are told and learn nice little parcel sized bits of info that convieniently fit into the period before the bell. Imagine if the kids WANTED to learn, they wouldn't want to go to the next class because they would be too interested in the current one...it could cause a stampede Mad

Regardless of whether they want to do it or not, they need to be made to do some work....after an initial period of deschooling of course.

I do think from speaking to parents whose kids have been out of school for longer than mine has that that natural desire to just know things does come back, but in the meantime you can't do nothing.

I do the basics, maths and language arts, lots and lots of reading and we do history which DS really enjoys. Other than that occasionally I will find something that interests him and do some work on it, but mostly I let him cruise. I hope that eventually he will use that cruise time to work on things that he feels passionate about, he is already showing more creativity and imagination in his free time, so I do think things are improving.

On the subject of TV. We have a rule, no TV/Xbox/Computer games before 4pm. The kids HAVE to find something else to do, I don't much care what it is, it will be better than the mindlessness of the screen. Your DD might have more success with the kids if she looses the screens for a while.
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leeann316
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm dealing with the exact same problem. I have 3 boys, ages 9, 6 1/2 and 4. (just tell her to imagine one more dennis the menace type on top of what she already has and then to call me!!!)

Anyways, the tv might not be a totally bad idea; you can borrow videos for free from the library (about dinosaurs, space, whatever they're interested in.) What I'm trying to do is "go with" what they're into. I've tried homeschooling and am now leaning more toward "unschooling." (tell your daughter to read more about this--John Holt has some really great books, esp. "Teach Your Own"). This is my first year and I pictured my kids working at the kitchen table in their own little workbooks, quietly, while I happily did the dishes and my youngest and I baked brownies for our group snack. Ok, it's not like that AT ALL!!! Those kids will definitely learn way more at home "doing nothing much" than they will at the public school. My son who is in 4th grade this year actually unlearned alot of what he knew at public school in 3rd grade. He used to know how to write cursive (his teacher didn't make them) and he used to do mental math like a whiz (then they "taught" him how to add and subtract).
Please try to be patient and let the kids de-school and PRAY and it will work out. (at least that's what i'm hoping will happen in my house)
We go on lots of outings (zoo, museum, science center, nature hiked---look out for free days, memberships (good xmas gifts), coupons--as admission can get pricey). Kids are like little sponges. THey suck up knowledge everywhere they go. And remember they don't have to learn exactly what the public school is teaching. If they're into dinos, let them play with dino toys, act like dinos, eat dino nuggets, whatever--or don't)

I hope it works out for you all. I would really seriously reconsider sending them back to public school; oh yeah, my son unlearned many things and learned some really yucky stuff, too, while he was there. Think about that, too.

Blessings,
Lee Ann
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laurabeth
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

batwing wrote:
Thanks for all your input. Yes, I most heartily agree that she needs to get the kids under control. BUT.....how do you do that when they "don't care" about anything???? They've been spanked,put in time out,had things and privileges taken away,etc.etc. and if doesn't seem to matter. They don't listen,won't mind and basically just ignore Mom,while they go about doing their own thing. How do you FORCE them to do something/anything when they just flat out refuse? TELL them not to fight? Might as well tell them to jump over the moon. Punish them when they do? Doesn't matter. The oldest is ADHD which doesn't help.
Our worry is that if she doesn't put them back in school,and they refuse to do any learning at home,they'll eventually get so far behind in everything that they'll grow up totally ignorant. Altho MY feeling is that if they continue to refuse to learn,at some point in time,they'll mature enough where they'll realize that they HAVE to learn to read,write,do basic math,etc. if they don't want to be totally embarrassed around their peers.
But getting them under control is the issue now.....



I really feel for your daughters situation, my dd is almost 7, and I have gone through much of what you describe. For years I tried time outs and a spank on the butt, and taking away toys, tv, and whatever else I could think of to no avail. The only thing (in my opinion obviously) that is going to do a bit of good is consistency. This all started with my daughter from the age of about 2 1/2, she was just unbelievably out of control even with the consistency that I insisted upon having, and it continued until just recently although there has been slow improvement over about the last 6 months. I was so worn out, and I wanted nothing more than to throw my hands up in the air and give up. I felt like I just couldn't take it anymore. But, I didn't give up and I just kept going. I have to agree with the poster that said every child cares about something. With my daughter, I could take away tv, computer, toys, I took the playroom itself away. None of it made a difference.

Then one day I had a brilliant idea.......her dresses. It sounds silly but she is a girly girl, she loves her dresses, and after battling with her yet again, away they went and man o man did it work. She realized mama meant business. Now obviously it didn't end with that, but that was the beginning of the end. Once I found that one thing that mattered it was like something went off in her head and not that we had no more issues but life got a lot better. We still have struggles, she loves school but she does hate the work some days and we battle. I used to be stressed to the point that I felt like all I did was yell, I still yell here and there but not nearly like I did. If I stay calm she recovers from whatever meltdown is going on at the moment. When we sit down to work, and she is having one of those days that she doesn't want to and she starts her meltdown I just tell her "ok, we will just sit here until your ready, I have nothing better to do" and I keep a big smile on my face. If the meltdown continues, and involves time, like "all we do is work" or something like that, I calmly explain "its your choice to sit here and waste time, you get to decide how long it takes to get the work done each day, whenever you are ready we will start again" or if its an "I cant" situation, I explain " you can and I will help you, I love you and I wouldn't make you do this alone" etc. The key is staying calm and playing the waiting game. If the tv is off, and the shades are closed, and there is nothing to look at or do then what you need them to do, they will give in. You just have to be more stubborn than them.

As far as the ADHD issue, I know that my daughter is, I have not had her evaluated or anything because up until this year she was in public school and I didn't want her "labeled". She wasn't having problems in school (preK and K) so I left it alone. I have dealt with many ADHD children, and my husband is ADHD, so I do know what to look for, and she displays it. One thing that has helped, other than the above, is sign language. I was introduced to a series called Signing Time when my daughter was in PreK through the school. Its a dvd series designed for children from babies on up and it teaches a lot of signs in a way children like and can learn. There are lots of songs, and it really is fun. I watched the videos with my kids a lot, we still use them to learn more, and I use some key signs in "class" as well as just around the house. Signs like "stop" and "pay attention" are good for getting them back without having to raise your voice. Signs like "tantrum" "grumpy" and "silly" are a good way to crack a smile on there face to get the grumpy to go away after a disruption. They can quickly learn these and others like colors, letters, animals, and so much more. Having these physical signs helps them and you.

I have to agree that it doesn't sound like putting them back in public school is the way to go, I had a harder time when I shared the responsibility of her with the school than I do now, but that is a personal choice that your daughter has to make. One of the most important things is figuring out what works for each child, learning style is so important. There are many ways to homeschool too, it doesn't have to be "school at home" so research is the key to success I think, but that can be done online or at the library free. I hope this helps, Smile good luck!
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amird
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maybe unschooling is the answer:
let the kids play as much they want. trust them, and you'll see they will want to learn read,write, math, because it is a part in their world.
And every kid has something important for him, but maybe the fights are the way to earn attention? so maybe being with the kids and paying as much attention as they need will make the fighting go away

good luck anyway
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a big fan of making learning as fun as possible, rather than just chugging through workbooks, but if kids don't happen to like a certain subject no matter what you do, that doesn't mean you should just ignore it. Not everything in life can be fun.
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teapot
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some what a similar situation with my children. My oldest is slow and my second child has mild speech and grammer problems.They are all behind grade level in every subject. I did delayed formal academics thinking they could marure more being 3 boys before learning structured schooling. Our family is always saying put your kid's in school compare them to other children their age and see what we mean! Then our new pedatrician we have keeps asking are the other two developmentally behind too?I just tell him in some speech and language.I don't know what to do about this Ireally start to believe I am doing my children a great disservice homeschooling them. HELP!!!
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chances are they wouldn't be doing any better in public school, where the teachers have time for maybe a couple minutes one-on-one time every day, and all the other kids would be making fun of them for being "slow". Just keep at it and don't despair - some kids don't learn to read and write until as late as age 8 or 10, and are doing just fine by the time they reach high school. Patience and lots of practice is the only way to make perfect.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Rayburn once said, "It is a sin to bore a child". To an extent I agree with him.

One Homeschool family who I think to be great homeschoolers found out what excited their children and then focused on studying that. One liked politics so they had to learn economics, history, law, science, and other issues related to political issues. One like farming, so the child had to learn science, law, history, politics, and agriculture so they could know all about the farming business.

One of my children has loved biology and is learning about science which will include a trip with her aunt to see an MRI take place. My girl will get to learn biology, math, have a course in technology, history, and other issues. Yes, we still do "book work" (it is actually required before she goes to the MRI session--a proficiency in the topic is always required) but exploring a subject my child is interested in learning could help foster other interests.

Find out what makes them tick and what they are interested in and explore that topic... they will probably want to learn more and then learning later will not be as bad.
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momo3boys
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the same problem, I have three boy that have their "slow" areas. BUt who defines the speed of the race? The special ed teachers that my son has three hours a week, are more worried than I am, because they want him to be at the same level as other children his age, but ask yourself, do all children crawl at the same time, walk, talk, potty train, ride a bike? then why do we expect them to all red and write at the same time? Don't let the "System" decide what is slow, as long as they are making progress don't worry about it. YOu will go crazy, trust me on that one. Just let things go, and trust that they will learn at their own time. THey will surprise you!
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amird
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

momo3boys wrote:
I have the same problem, I have three boy that have their "slow" areas. BUt who defines the speed of the race? The special ed teachers that my son has three hours a week, are more worried than I am, because they want him to be at the same level as other children his age, but ask yourself, do all children crawl at the same time, walk, talk, potty train, ride a bike? then why do we expect them to all red and write at the same time? Don't let the "System" decide what is slow, as long as they are making progress don't worry about it. YOu will go crazy, trust me on that one. Just let things go, and trust that they will learn at their own time. THey will surprise you!

SO RIGHT!!!
At my site I made the learning games to have no exams and no grades, so you cannot compare or fail.
The basic concept was that what interests me is that the child will learn, and I think avoiding the competition and the grades helps children learn better, love to learn and being more self confidant at their learning skills.
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can't fail, you also can't tell how well you're doing. Some kids might do better with a positive-only approach, but the more competitive kids will want to know how well they're doing - even if how well they're doing is pretty bad. It's motivation for working harder.
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amird
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theodore wrote:
If you can't fail, you also can't tell how well you're doing.

You are right, I can't tell, but they can know (I saw it happens with my own son).
If the game's concept is that the player asks the computer the question, and the computer answers, then the child can check if the answer is what he thought and get feedback.
The main difference is that the child chose the question to be checked upon, and when to be checked, so he would probably answer correctly.
I agree that getting a good and positive feedback is encouraging and supports self confidence. I think you'll agree that failures do the opposite, and might even make the child believe he cannot learn such stuff (how many think they cannot do math? ).
You can read in more details about learning with no failure at the link.
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Shari Nielsen
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="laurabeth"]
batwing wrote:
One thing that has helped, other than the above, is sign language. I was introduced to a series called Signing Time when my daughter was in PreK through the school. Its a dvd series designed for children from babies on up and it teaches a lot of signs in a way children like and can learn. There are lots of songs, and it really is fun. I watched the videos with my kids a lot, we still use them to learn more, and I use some key signs in "class" as well as just around the house. Signs like "stop" and "pay attention" are good for getting them back without having to raise your voice. Signs like "tantrum" "grumpy" and "silly" are a good way to crack a smile on there face to get the grumpy to go away after a disruption. They can quickly learn these and others like colors, letters, animals, and so much more. Having these physical signs helps them and you.


Your comment about sign language caught my attention. I'm using a few signs w/ my 10 mth old and he just signed all done and more for the first time this week! I was so excited. His big sisters also learned some signs to use w/ him and I was impressed w/ how quickly they learned the signs AND how nice it is to quickly sign something such as "no", "stop", "I love you", "eat", etc. w/out verbally telling them over and over - just quick eye contact and the sign and my point is made. I might look into the videos you mentioned...Thanks
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barabi51
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our sixth child is cut out of a different piece of cloth than the first five. He was the first to really have serious problems in school, which he did almost from his first day of kindergarten.

When we began homeschooling him at the end of grade 2, it took him a good eight months to really settle down. He hadn't done well with workbooks in regular school, and he didn't do well with them at home either. After a few months, we discovered "literature-based" curriculum, and began doing a lot of reading. I eventually found out that what worked for us was for me to read his books aloud to him, ask him the questions in the teachers' guide or workbook, and let him answer orally. (Handwriting was a completely different issue at that point.) While I read to him, he was allowed to play at the table or on the floor with something that didn't make noise: Legos, playing with little plastic animals, drawing pictures, making crafts items out of paper, working with clay, and other stuff like that.

Is it Charlotte Mason who uses the term "strewing the path"? (All you Charlotte Mason people, help out here.) This means just making stuff available for kids to get interested in…leaving it lying around the house, having it arrive in the mail with their name on it, arranging a trip to go pick it out at a store, etc. Especially if it's new, different, colourful and not obviously educational, this works. You don't have to comment on it, just leave it lying around.

We skipped math for two years. This was partly accidental, as I forgot to order a math curriculum when I ordered everything else. Then, before I could feel really neglectful about not giving my 8-year-old third-grader math, I met a homeschooling woman doctor who was just graduating her older kids from high school and sending them off to college, who told me she never started her kids on math lessons till they were ten years old. There’s an article about why this is a good idea:

http://www.triviumpursuit.com/articles/research_on_teaching_math.php

It’s quite a long article, but if you read quickly through the history part in the beginning, the rest of the article will explain why kids’ brains are not really ready for formal math instruction until they’re about ten years old.

I mention this because this is the first year we’ve had any formal math since grade 2. He started grade 5 last fall, and turned 10 in October. Last summer, he suddenly asked if he could do math this year. SHOCK!!!! My child was asking to learn something! So we got some workbooks and a teachers' guide. He doesn’t always want to do them, but at 10 he has settled down quite a bit and he can do several pages a day without acting as though I am punishing him cruelly and unusually. He's mature enough now that I can say, "Sit there and don't get up till you've finished the pages I marked, and I have to see them before you're considered to be finished." He wasn't mature enough to do that when he was seven or eight.

However, my best secret weapon is finding something to compliment him about. For some reason, he just blossoms when I do this. I finally figured out that identifying and commenting on something he’s done that is kind or helpful, or a wise decision he has made, can often snap him right out of a negative mood. Maybe this is one reason why chores can be so good for kids. It gives us a regular opportunity to compliment them for little things that really do improve the quality of life around the home.

I am NOT proposing that we go around offering praise for every little thing a child does, or that we never correct them. However, I think they do need a certain amount of sincere praise and appreciation.

I read somewhere, once, that for ADHD children in particular this offering of praise and appreciation is VERY important, and is often true of ADHD adults as well—that it’s important to surround yourself with people who like and appreciate you rather than with people who criticize you constantly. Maybe it’s because those who are distractible, forgetful and impulsive have so many opportunities for wrath to be called down upon their heads, that they need the other just to balance out.
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Shari Nielsen
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are the kids happy about the decision to back to regular PS next year? If so, maybe they will do better b/c they feel that it is "what they wanted" so now they have to prove that this will work for them.
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