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Somebody please tell me what I am doing wrong


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  #1  
August 25th, 2006, 09:41 AM
KarateMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Please help me understand why Reilly and I both ended up in tears of frustration in school today?
What am I doing wrong?
Why is it that she is completely resistant to doing anything that she deems "hard"? And then gets frustrated when I simply ask her to try?
Why is it that, when she knows the sounds that all the letters make, she looks at the word "alligator" and, simply because it's long, refuses to even try to sound the letters out?
Why? Why? Why?
Why is it only the third day of first grade and I'm already finding myself thinking. "What have I DONE?! I'm going to screw her up for life!" What in the world am I doing wrong?

I imagine school to be this fun, active place where she loves to come and learn and I manage to turn it into the seventh circle of hell for the both of us. I picture myself coming up with all of these fun activities to do to make learning a joy for both of us, and yet the only thing I can come up with are worksheets and more worksheets. How do I teach these basic concepts without using worksheets? How can I teach her anything at all when she seems to be so resistant to learning anything?

I can't believe we've not even done a whole week of school and we're already having these battles...I am so discouraged.
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  #2  
August 25th, 2006, 09:50 AM
fka teresarunningmommy
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Ok, here's some tips we have found for tackling long words. I take the words and write them on a piece of paper. I draw lines in the middle of the syllables for them. Then I tell them we are just going to read the syllables not the whole word. I tell them not to even try the whole word. Heck, if you are beginning first grade and attempting words like alligagtor, then I say you are doing pretty good!

Teresa
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  #3  
August 25th, 2006, 10:04 AM
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I have been having the same problems with the reading/spelling. But you WILL NOT mess up her life, they wouldn't even work on words that hard in the public schools, you're doing a GREAT job! With math, worksheets is all my son WANTS to do, but he refuses to do anything reading/writing related. We will be working on it, but slowly, as he can only handle a little bit each day.
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  #4  
August 25th, 2006, 11:07 AM
tevinsangel
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Awwww... Big Hugs to you! I have no advice, since I have no experience but don't be so hard on yourself. You will do great and maybe she is having a moment lol...like all women do. Sending some imaginary chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven your way!
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  #5  
August 25th, 2006, 11:18 AM
machris's Avatar Veteran
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We all have times when we feel this way
Maybe she needs a break from it? if it were me i would move back and do some easy words she already knows for awhile and build up the confidence.



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  #6  
August 25th, 2006, 11:20 AM
MissyPrincessEha's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I agree with Teresa, break the words up.
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  #7  
August 25th, 2006, 12:14 PM
KarateMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thanks for all the advice...and the chocolate chip cookies!
The thing that was so frustrating is that I was trying to get her to break the word up and she wouldn't even try. And I was sitting there, waiting to help her. And the more I tried to help her, the more upset she got. The word was acually in the handwriting exercise we were doing, it wasn't even a reading exercise!! I just thought, "HEy, let's kill two birds with one stone here!"

Hopefully, DH and I can figure out some things this weekend that might help. Because, honestly, the way I feel right now? I'm ready to go and enroll her in PS....
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  #8  
August 25th, 2006, 04:32 PM
joandsarah77's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Why do you need to do words like 'alligator'? Maybe back of a little and keep to shorter words that she will find easier and have more confidence in using. If you already can guess something will cause a problem I would try to mostly avoid them untill you can see her confidence is quite high. if she is reading and such a word is in the text then simply read it for her, if she is writing, then write it for her. Not untill she thinks smaller words are a sinch would I even try to get her to tackle these 'hard' words. Then with a word like aligator that you feel she could tackle if she would try. I would write it nice and large over a number of cards so the syllables are broken down. Then show only one at a time (so put a card down, read the syllable, then pick it up. Put down the next card, read then pick it up and so on)so that she reads each syllable independently from the others. Then put them down one at a time leaving the card there and saying the sounds untill the whole word is down on the table. This way she dosn't know how long the word is untill after she has read the sounds, and dosn't automaticly shut off before trying. When she has a good list of harder words play bingo with them. I don't know where my Games for reading book by peggy kaye is at the moment, when I find it I will see if there are some other games you could use for practice. You might see if your libary has it.
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  #9  
August 25th, 2006, 04:54 PM
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It doesn't sound like you're "pushing" her at all, you know what she's capable of and there is nothing wrong with encouraging her to challenge herself . Is the issue here the words or is it deeper than that? I love my mom to death and always have..BUT..I've always been very strong willed and she and I have always clashed heads (especially when she tries to show me how to do something ). The relationship between my BIL (now 11) and MIL is the same and homeschooling him was a challenge because he just fought her every step of the way. In the end she sended him back to school which was a real shame because he's a very bright boy and he's never really been encouraged to work up to his potential there. Have you ever thought of an online homeschooling program that she could do mostly by herself (I think some even use a "teacher" in the younger years)? That way she might feel more in charge of things and when she needs help she'll come ask you, that way, asking for help will feel more like "her" idea and she might be more receptive to it. I wish I had more help to offer !

I'll keep you guys in my prayers tonight for a resolution! You're doing a great job, don't feel like you're not somehow. It would be wonderful if we all had children who jumped out of bed excited to take on the day's learning whose personalities meshed perfectly with our own making homeschooling a happy, fluffy kind of place...but we don't. There are challenges and hurdles and it sounds like that's what you are dealing with right now. Don't give up though..you can do it! and a blue one too for good measure !
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  #10  
August 26th, 2006, 07:32 AM
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I don't have any advice really since this is my 1st year, but just wanted to give you a hug! If it helps, my sister has been homeschooling her dds for 9 years now. I remember her hitting some rough patches, too. But they plugged through and her oldest will be graduating this year. Just keep reminding yourself why you decided to do this. Look at the big picture. One day you'll see the rewards of your hard work.
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  #11  
August 26th, 2006, 10:19 AM
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My friend!!!!!!! You are not doing anything wrong. As a matter of fact, you try harder than most people to make things right. You just happen to be starting out with a "student" who loves to succeed and turns away from something that is going to cause her to do anything less. My Patrick is that way. I have to work very hard with him to get him to work on something challenging. He is smart, as I am sure that Reilly is..I Know she is!
As for reading...don't worry too much about the fluency of that. They are all SO different. Madison and Carter were neither one reading at the level that I thought they needed to in first grade...not reading much at all at the beginning of it. However, Patrick was reading well by the end of Kindergarten. Now, at the beginning of 2nd grade, Carter is SO MUCH BETTER. I can't believe how much he even improved over the summer, even though I didn't have him read to me as often as I should have. As for Madison, she is still not as fluent as she should be, but as good as she needs to be...she is ADD, so that is expected.
Anyway, just choose your battles. I know that is hard when you have things that you want to see her accomplish.
Don't get discouraged. Just imagine, if she gets frustrated at home one on one, what would it be like at school. Not better...for sure.
I hope it gets better....QUICK.
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  #12  
August 26th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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Thank you all SO much for your kind words and advice!
It's so nice to be able to come here and get a little sanity!
When Ched got home from work last night, we had a loooong talk about school and decided that:

1.) I needed to sit down and hammer out a lesson plan . I've intended to do that all along, but just haven't gotten around to it, and I think that Bear sees me "looking" for the next thing to do and thinks that she can make the choices as to what she does and doesn't do. Does that make sense? I think that having a plan in advance will make a lot of difference. (Again, insert a big "duh" here on my behalf! Go ahead...I'll wait. I don't mind.)

2.) I'm going to have a timer to set during lessons or activities. That way she knows exactly how much time we have to complete the lesson. Then, if we don't complete, say, math, we move on to a different lesson and she comes back to math after everything else is done. (A lot of time is wasted when she goes into her "It's haaaarrrrrrrd!" routine.) Basically there will be nothing else done until the schoolwork is done, and if it takes her all day, so be it. I think that a few times of having to finish something up after school is "over" and missing out on playing with friends or watching "Ruff Ruffman" will (hopefully) help her realize that it's better to get it done in the alotted time.

Ched helped her finish up her math lesson before dinner last night and, while she complained at first, she got it finished and had a good time working with her Papa!
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  #13  
August 26th, 2006, 01:42 PM
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I've done something similar with Madison. I was allowing all of us to get behind our schedules at one time last year because Madison would get so stuck on Math...or whatever else. So, now, when it is break time for the boys, she also breaks with them. Then we move on to what is supposed to be next. At the end of our school time, she has to go back to the table and finish whatever didn't get done. Most days, this past week, she would finish about 45 minutes after they were done. Friday we had a wonderful thing happen...they all finished together . I think this will work for you. It tells her that she can suck the time up complaining about the work and then it is over...that was her Math time. If she knows that she will HAVE to finish it that day, she will do it, I'm sure. I hope it works!!!
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  #14  
August 26th, 2006, 02:22 PM
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sounds like homeschooling at my house. I hope my second is easier to teach than my first. *HUG*
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  #15  
August 28th, 2006, 06:32 AM
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I totally understand your frustration. We have had many days full of tears. I have come to realize that we have to find a new way for that subject. If it's math worksheets, try math on computer. If its grammar on computer, try grammar games and worksheets. It works for us. Sometimes my 8yo enjoys the 'new' curriculum so much that he cant understand why people call this 'learning'. Ahhh, success! I know it's working because when we make the adjustments he breezes through. He's doing a 7th grade curriculum across the board. Homeschooling is such a joy! Just find what works and stick with it. It may take a few tries to find her way of learning but it's definitely worth it!
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