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  #1  
September 6th, 2006, 01:08 PM
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I'm a little nervous to post but I think that's why you're here.
I am a homeschooler of 3 (10,8,5 close enough). We have done one year and survived(it went better than I thought, I think - I've seen progress). But starting this year is becoming frustrating and no one wants to co-operate and listen - They want to just play, watch tv and play computer not necessarily educational games. (except 1 who really does try - if he would just stop annoying his sister and trying to correct her!). I have one who wants to do what the 'big' kids are doing but doesn't have mastery of even the basic skills - but doesn't want to accept he must learn the basics first and gives up after one try). The middle one just wants to whine and argue. There are a whole lot of reasons why I want to homeschool - but sitting here arguing all day with them is not one of them. It took us 2 hours to write one sentence yesterday and I had to sit next to them the whole time. If I give up and send them back to public school they will respect their teachers, bring their work home for me to help them (because by golly they won't have time to get it done while their in school because of everything 'else' they have to do) and then argue with me that it is not the way their teacher wants it done. And having them in tears because they get made fun of or have different standards (we are a religious family) also makes things difficult - so in homeschooling they just have each other - and oh the pleasure of getting on each others nerves is so much fun - except for mother..... anyway I just need to make it through another day and another and eventually (I hope) it will (I hope) get better (I hope). If anyone reads this thank you for letting me vent. And if anyone has any advice I would appreciate that also. Thanks again for letting me post. Hope your all having a GOOD day!
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  #2  
September 6th, 2006, 01:21 PM
joyfulmommy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Well, all I can say, is that you are not alone! We have some of the same reasons for not sending our kids to public school, and my husband is not willing to budge. Some days, I think I could be willing to budge and send my oldest, but then I sort through my reasons again, and I can't do it. To me, its just not worth it.

But today was our second day of school. I had all kinds of fun new subjects and activities planned and guess what ! It took my dd 3 hours to finish handwriting and half of her spelling!!! Okay, so out to the backyard she goes so I can clear my head LOL

Sorry I'm not much help. Are you using a curriculum? Which ones? What kind of schedule do you follow if any? Do you school them all at once or one at a time? Hopefully things will get better, but maybe with a little more information, me or somebody else could offer our similiar experiences and solutions we tried.
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  #3  
September 6th, 2006, 03:13 PM
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OK, here's some suggestions I have...please understand that I'm coming from the viewpoint of a 2nd year homeschooler (1st grade) with only one child that I'm currently teaching. I have a 3-year-old as well, but we're not doing school with him yet.

It sounds to me like they're having trouble with the whole "Mom is the teacher and the mom at the same time" thing. You know that your middle child wouldn't sit in the classroom and argue with the teacher there, so why does she feel like she can argue with you? Well, because you're Mom, that's why! (I face the same thing with my daughter and I think, "I know you don't talk to your Sunday school teacher like that!!!") I would sit down with your husband and figure out what you expect as a minimum standard for behavior, lay out some ground rules and the consequences for breaking them, and then let all of the kids know what is expected of them. Maybe even write them on a chart for the wall whereever you have school. That way they all know that if they do A, B, or C then the consequence is D, E, or F. They know exactly what is expected of them while they're in school. Does that make sense? (By the way, please don't take this to mean that I think your kids are undisciplined or anything. I'm literally sitting here thinking, "What would I do if I were having these struggles come up?")

As for the T.V. and computer games? If I was having trouble with my kids wanting to do those things and not school, those things would probably be taken away and have to be earned back. If they want to play a non-educational computer game or watch T.V. for an hour (or some other specified length of time), all school work must be completed in a timely manner, done correctly, and with a minimal amount of whining/arguing/etc. In other words, like Cinderella, you don't play until you get the things done that need to be done.

As for the length of time taken for lessons in school, I've had the same problem with my daughter thus far in this school year. (We've been in for two weeks now) I have a kitchen timer on the table in the school room and I set it for a reasonable length of time when she begins, say, her math. If the timer goes off and she's not done, then we set math aside and move on to another lesson. She then has to go back and finish her math after school is over, which she never likes to do because she's a very schedule-oriented person and believes that school happens in "school time" and the rest of the time there shouldn't be school! (So, you know the happy homeschooling family that you hear about who drives down the road singing math songs and doing geography bee's while they run errands? That's NOT us!! ) Knowing that she has to finish up unfinished work at a later time is a pretty big motivator for her and it's helped quite a bit with procrastinating and playing when she should be working. Now, I'm also a little bit flexible with this, in that if the timer goes off and she only has one problem left or a few words to write or something like that, I'll go ahead and let her finish.

I'm not sure what to say about your little one and his wanting to do what the big kids do...maybe a change in curriculum or something might help him there? Something that keeps his attention more?

Don't ever feel like you can't come and post here to just blow off steam!! If I had a dime for every "AAARGH, I'm going NUTS!" post I've made here, I'd be able to send my kids to private school!
Hang in there. I know that statemene doesn't help much.....but your reasons for wanting to homeschool far outweigh, I think, the struggle. Here, I'm sending you some of this : (and liberally sprinkling some around my own school room as well!)
and one of these:
and one of these as well:
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  #4  
September 6th, 2006, 04:55 PM
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You ladies said most of it better than I could. And I REALLY, REALLY Appreciate the words of wisdom.
As far as curriculum I use 'Skill Builders' Workbooks in the basic subjects (math, spelling, phonics, grammar, reading) according to grade level and throw in a few unit studies and extras. I am trying to add geography and expand on writing with journals, letter writing, book reports and so on. We also do daily scriptures (usually in the evening with Daddy) and Lots of library books. I am proud of their reading which they seem to enjoy and they each read/had read to over 60 books this books this summer with our own summer reading program (since the library cancelled theirs).
Prayers, Chores and Breakfast come first and then:
I usually ask that they do 2 pages in each of their 3 or 4 basic books, 4 days a week as well as do some reading or another small task, and then try to something different on the other day. If I find they are having difficulty with a specific thing i,e, finding the areas of a shape or telling time I look online for other pages at enchantedlearning or edhelper or another sight I might come across during a search. And they work on that skill until they are ready to move on in their workbooks. The youngest I try to work some hands on color, abc, number something for recognition (as much as he 'thinks' he can write his fine motor skills need work and he doesn't have an interest in working on them, he just wants to 'scribble' and gets frustrated if I try to push him to 'follow the dotted lines'.
My 10yo wants rules posted (but not so much for school, for other things) I don't think some things need to be written down at their ages (like keep your hands to yourself and don't go into the other's room w/o permission). But I'm also afraid of having to spell out 'every little thing' and would need to somehow simplify a basic list but my brain works in detail and I'd be afraid of going overboard.
How do you take away something like tv from only one child when another child doesn't deserve to be 'penalized' when they did everything right. I can't isolate them in their rooms indefinitely (hmm, it is a thought - just kidding).
And yes Mom is the teacher and Mom is Mom - you nailed that on the head. My children love me and love to show 'MOM' in little ways that they do love me. They just don't 'LOVE' Mom the Teacher - but I'm not mean. They have lots of leeway. But I do have 'expectations' and want them to do their best to learn. I want them to understand how important learning is and I want them to be 'accountable' for their own learning.
Okay - This went way longer than I wanted but if it helps get things settled a little...Then again I thank you. and Thanks for the 'patience dust', 'hang in there', and 'Welcome' (And no we are not a family that sings math songs and geography bees in the car either. Thanks for letting me know I'm amongst friends)
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  #5  
September 6th, 2006, 06:33 PM
choshojo's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I applaud you for your efforts!

There are many days where I have troubles with patience and keeping my wits about me and I only have 1 to parent and educate!

I agree with Lisa about the TV & computer games issues; while I know that it is difficult to take priviledges away from one when you can't take them away from all of them, I think it's really important. And you don't have to confine the one(s) without the priviledges to his/her/their room in order to let the ones who have earned theirs have them... you can simply have the "punished" (I try not to look at this particular subject as a punishment, but rather an earned priviledge... I just got tired of using that word! LOL) do something educational on the computer, or sit at the kitchen table and work on a subject they need improvement in or go to their room and read a book. I imagine that you, like most homeschooling moms, don't allow your children to watch TV for many hours of the day, so it isn't like the ones without priviledges would have to be confined to where ever else for long enough that you should feel badly about it. Aslo, if you want everyone to be able to have TV time together, try getting some documentaries or other educational videos either from your local library (depending on how large their section is in this media... mine is tiny) or renting. We have a netflix subscription as the price is manageable and they have a rather large collection of materials that I like to use with my son, plus many that I will use as he gets older.

You might need to separate the children a bit more when teaching... which I am sure doesn't sound like a hoot for you, but it does sound like part of the problem might be the fact that the 3 are on different levels academically, so it may be hard for them to sit patiently while you explain things to the others. If you can work it into your schedule at all, that is. Perhaps work on an area with one child that they need more guidance in while the others are in a different room having some time with activities they don't need as much supervision with, like reading, writing, whatever they are good at but still need the practice. It sounds like a lot to juggle and I very much don't envy you, but I know many women who are in similar shoes to yours and somehow they manage, so I have faith that it can be done! Keep at it, you've made a great choice for your family and I am sure you will be happiest if you find a way to make it work!
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  #6  
September 7th, 2006, 06:39 AM
KarateMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Hi! Me again!
I imagine that the great thing about having older kids is that you might be able to come up with some basic, general rules and they would be able to make that "mind jump" to the more specific things. For example, if you have a rule about speaking respectfully to each other, then they would be able to realize that that means not only with their actual words, but with their tone of voice and their attitude as well....Did that make sense? (It did in my head, !) My kids, being little, have trouble making that "mind jump"...and, who knows? Big kids might have that trouble, too! I don't know! That might not be something that needs to be done, I'm just tossing out ideas here!
Hey, if your brain works in too much detail, and you would like, I may be able to help you come up with some general rules based on your specifics. Much to my husband's chagrin, my brain tends to work in the general realm! (He's a very specific guy!) Anyway, I thought I'd throw that offer out there! (Wow, I'm throwing a lot of things around here today!)
OK, well, I'm going to stop pitching things around the forum, less someone gets an eye put out! Tee hee, I crack myself up! (just kidding)
Hope you have a good day today!
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  #7  
September 7th, 2006, 07:58 AM
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You ladies are Awesome and I already feel a little better about homeschooling. You ladies sure know how to build someone's faith in themselves and their abilities. I THANK YOU.

Reilly&DeClansMom - Please Don't 'crack yourself up' because I don't even know how to put 'Humpty Dumpty' back together again . But Please keep 'pitching' cause your aim appears to be 'straight and true'.

You've all suggested a few things I think I need to take to heart. It may take a little more effort but it may make it 'easier' in the long run if I try to do a little more working with one at a time. And I'll have to be honest (though it is difficult 'ouch'- that my children do have days where they probably get a little more TV time than they should- though we try to stick with more educational type programs on PBS - we don't have cable/satellite).

And I would love some 'General Guides' but my mind can't seem to formulate where to begin(in the educational realm/ appropriate consquences) so if your still 'Pitching' Please feel free to throw out a few opening suggestions...

Did I tell you Ladies how 'Absolutely Wonderful' you all are to help. Thank You - Again.
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  #8  
September 7th, 2006, 09:27 AM
choshojo's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Glad we could make you feel a little less frustrated, that's what we're here for! I'm glad this site has a pretty active homeschooling forum; many parenting sites I visit aren't quite as active on their homeschooling boards, and many of the homeschooling forum sites are TOO busy, so I feel not quite so connected.

Don't feel too badly about how much TV your kids watch, many of us who allow TV at all tend to let them watch a bit more than we probably ought to. My thought on it is that it matters a bit more WHAT they watch than how much they watch (provided they don't spend several hours out of every day watching it, of course). As long as your kids aren't watching a marathon of Spongebob, or something (don't get me wrong, I love Spongebob, but a little goes a long way!), I doubt that you are damaging them as long as it is ballanced with other activities as well. But, if you feel that you let them watch too much, perhaps you are and you might consider easing them into other activities more frequently. You know how your family goes more than any of us do.
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  #9  
September 7th, 2006, 02:42 PM
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it's all been said so....
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  #10  
September 7th, 2006, 05:41 PM
KarateMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Well, my brain isn't working at the moment - I've got two extra kids at my house at the moment - but when things are quieter I'll try to think of some good, general rules. Then I can pitch them at you (DUCK!) and you can use them if you'd like. (I'm thinking this is something that I need for MY school as well!)
I'll be back later!
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  #11  
September 7th, 2006, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Well, my brain isn't working at the moment - I've got two extra kids at my house at the moment - but when things are quieter I'll try to think of some good, general rules. Then I can pitch them at you (DUCK!) and you can use them if you'd like. (I'm thinking this is something that I need for MY school as well!)
I'll be back later![/b]

"Batter Up!" - "Pitch When Ready......"
Just be sure to take care of the 'homeplate' first. Thanks.
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  #12  
September 7th, 2006, 06:40 PM
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Let me start with I only have one, 4 yrs old( k-2nd grade levelright now) and I'm not verry stucured.
Work books were not our thing . Sence they like playing video games you may want to look into a leapster for educational video games, Only allow educational things. If they can explane how it's educational then they are free to do it. Anyone here can tell you how much I like leapfrog. They have toys for all ages that are educational. I found movies help miguel a lot. Thats how he learned to read and is learning basic math. There's now a madlib game that teaches noun, verbs and ajiitives. The work books I do do are after I know he has mastered the skill so he doesn't get frustrated with it. Posiblly a "progress chart" would help so the can see what they have to do. Look for comuter games or just games in genral that your 8 and ten can play while you help your other child write on a dry erase board or a wall that can be washed. Crafts are also good with learning (ie. telling time they go to the art store build a clock) they're more likly to be able to read it because they're so proud of what they made. Ask them why they don't feel like doing work they are old enough to tell you better why they fight. As for journals they should write to there dad what they did all day and what they liked and dislike and Idea's for things they like to do.

YES I'm the one with the readerrabbit cd in my car but that doesn't count because he likes it.
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