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Just so frustrated...

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Our DS, who has a chronic illness and visual challenges and auditory challenges and anxiety (which is a lot for anyone), has a terrible attitude, seeing the worst in everything, An example: we went and played putt-putt; after the game was over he said he did terrible and was in a mood. It was what I thought was light hearted with just his friend and I and lots of "nice putt!" or "oh - so close!" there was also plenty of laughter. When I queried him on why he thought he had done so badly he said he had a lot of bad holes. I put the score card in front of him and he saw that almost all the holes where 2's and 3's, a couple 4's and 2 5's. He looked at me and said, "oh!"  I had to ask him to count the 5's and count the 2's and 3's before he could see that he had really played well - which isn't what putt-putt is about unless you are really competitive.

 

We just pulled him from public school this past February because he had missed so much school and they were discussing the holes in his learning and holding him back - legally they couldn't do that as he has a 504, but that is beside the point. They believed homeschool would be better for him and so did we so we said goodbye and brought him home. 

 

He complains about everything!  This isn't fun, there are no games, you said we would have all of August off even if we weren't done (I said that never imagining he would do so little work each day he came to the office with me). I'm worn out after two days.  We even laughed a lot yesterday and all he could see was it took forever and he didn't like the books. (he has always like sonlight books as I have read them to him for years!). 

 

I'm curious how much time others spend to accomplish a school day with 1 (yes, just one kid) who is in 6th grade, is bright and mentally able, to do Sonlight history, geography, reader alouds, Bible, math, science and LA?

 

Any ideas to help him see the positives and encourage thankfulness?

 

Thanks,

Tired mom

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Heritage of Sons

I have 4 boys (16, 11, 9, & 7), so I cannot begin to guess how much time it would be if it were only one!  I do know that they can sure drag it out when they want to!.... one of mine is 6th grade this year though we have not really started yet. :)

 

First of all there is a general recommendation that kids pulled from brick and mortar schools in order to homeschool need approximately 1 month for each year they were in school to adjust to the new.  So K-5 is 6 years, so 6 months.  He's barely at that 6th month point now.  I am not sure what all you are doing for a school day right now (if you are all ready doing all subjects for the year), but I might scale back and ease into it.  Start with maybe 3 subjects -- math, history & reading (or let him pick).  After a few days or a week add another subject in.  By the time you have done three weeks or so of school he could be doing all 7 subjects that you listed.  Adding them in gradually might help rather than one day it is summer vacation and the next is 6-7 hours of school work.

 

Since tomorrow is the last day of August and you did indicate that he could have the whole month off, why don't you give him tomorrow off and start with three subjects on Thursday?  Then Monday (wait that's a holiday), Tuesday you could add a 4th subject, and go from there.

 

I'd point out the benefits of homeschooling rather than going to school -- I did that with my boys today when the younger elementary students (they looked like K through 4th maybe) got off the school bus today at 4 PM -- right outside our house.  "Aren't you glad you are not just getting of the bus from school right now?"

 

Try setting a timer for each subject, giving him maybe 10 mins LONGER than you think it should take him and tell him whatever time is left on the timer when that subject is finished is free time.  He can either use it then (a break before starting the next subject) or move on to the next subject to get done for the day sooner.  That might motivate him to work harder and stay focused -- if he saves the free time he could be done with his daily assignments an hour earlier than scheduled!  (30 mins needed for that math lesson? set the timer for 40 -- if he's done in 25 he gets 15 mins of free time...)

 

My eldest is at a college class tonight and Daddy took the 6th grader with him to do science in the library while they wait for big brother (the class is an hour and 45 min, so plenty of time to be productive while they wait).

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Hunny

For one kid in 6th grade, probably 5 hours of school work a day, if the child is diligent to focus and get the work done.  I think that is what my older two boys were doing at the same age/grade level.

 

Ease into the year.  We started yesterday with 5 of our 8 subjects.  Tomorrow we will do 5, but maybe not the same 5 we did Monday.  We go to a co-op and I wanted to at least get those subjects started for their classes next week, which is science, art, and government/elections.  I added to that math and 1 language arts item.  I figure about 30-45 minutes per subject, based on the child's/children's attention span. 

 

Yes, my kids occasionally complain about school, even though we have been homeschooling for years.  I usually get more complaints in the beginning of the year when they transition from summer break to school work, and again in the spring time when spring fever hits and they just want to be done for the year.  They don't always want to do their work.  It is not always fun and games.  I tell them that.  I do try to plan for a fun school day once or twice a month where all we do is play games and do some fun school project for science or history.  I like to do one fun but educational outing a month or every other month, sometimes with our friends from co-op and sometimes as a family where Dad takes the day off from work to participate. 

 

It can hurt when they complain.  I had a talk with my older two one year because they were complaining ALL the time and I was sick and tired of it.  They eased up after that, especially since I attached a consequence of losing their screen time for the day or several days when they did.  I try not to take it personally when they complain anymore because they are not trying to hurt my feelings, they just want to get out of their school work.

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kolamum

:friends: I think it's part in parcel of the age & partially the anxiety. My 13 year old who is dealing with high anxiety always sees the worst side of things, always believes the worst will happen, & compound that with teenage hormones is often up for a fight.  Yes, it's frustrating & yes I can't always cope with it in the cheerful happy manner I want to, but other times I am reminded that internally my kid is struggling & if I can stay positive that I can help him.

 

We did Putt-Putt a while back, he had a grand time with it, but you know if we mention doing something again, something like that which he loved then, he'll say, "No, I'm not good at it.." or some other silly nonsense type thing. The truth isn't that he isn't good & it's not even that he didn't/doesn't like it, the truth is that the idea of it excites him, but he's also worried about enjoying it again & thus the anxiety has kicked in & starts to take over.

"I'm no good at school." or "This is boring." are common complaints that I hear from him, but what he really means is, "I'm afraid of failing." & "I don't understand this." & even sometimes, "Do you think I did good, are you impressed with the work I did because I am?" He won't say those things. Is it the hormones, the anxiety, the pride? I don't know, but I'm trying to teach myself to look through what he's saying to get to the heart of it.

 

And I often turn to him & say, "I think what you really means is..." and often times I'll see a tiny curve at the corner of his lip. It's not exactly a smile nor is it a frown. It's the glimmer of hope that Mom understands him & has told him so. Do I wish he'd better articulate himself? Of course! Do I wish that his anxiety would hit the road & that it wouldn't mix with teenage hormones? With all my heart. Do I get totally fed up with all of it? Every day. It's a slog, without a doubt, but it's worth it. 

 

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szasza

I homeschooled only 1 last year and she was in the 5th grade (Core E). We did those exact subjects plus spelling. It took about 4 to 4.5 hours, but could've been quicker if she was a faster reader. We haven't started yet this year, but will be doing Core F.

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polarbearla

I am sorry you are having a rough time. For my son school took about 4-5 hours at that level doing those same subjects. 

 

I wonder if he felt like that about public school and just had different expectations about homeschool. I know it's common people fall into a mindset that homeschool is more fun or easier or lighter and it's really not the case, certainly at this age where they still have to do the basic subjects. I think Sonlight makes school so much more interesting and better than what they do in a public or private school, but it could be this is just not how he expected it to be. Maybe he thought this would solve all his problems. It could be it will just take time. 

 

Also, it's completely all right to set a rule saying NO COMPLAINING. I have to do this with my children. I want feedback and constructive information but that is different than just complaining. Complaining is tooo wearing on mom and it also effects the child's attitude and work. So, it's just no allowed!!

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candjmunoz

My son is only in 3rd grade, but he behaves the same as your son. We have only homeschooled and only with Sonlight. He also seems to have anxiety, but has never been evaluated. He complains every. single. day. It's exhausting. I write this to say that it may have absolutely nothing to do with school and everything to do with your son. My husband and I are convinced that if we sent him to school he would have the same behaviors, but no one to love him through them. When I mother him well, we spend more time hugging and talking than feels productive school-wise, but at the end of the day he LIKES me, which is so worth it. Unfortunately I don't mother him well every day, but I think I'm getting better.

If you have never heard of Celebrate Calm, look it up. They have plenty of great information, but be prepared that literally everything they share is an advertisement for their products. They are probably well worth the cost, but not something we've chosen to budget for yet. It is a father giving advice based on how he changed himself to be able to relate better to his son. We use some of the advice and love it.

My son throws fits every morning when I ask him to do morning chores, every time I ask him to do kitchen chores, every time I ask him to do language arts, every time I ask him to do math, every time he thinks we may not have screen time, every time I ask him to take a shower, every time I ask him to brush his teeth . . . And the list goes on.

He hates himself, thinks he'said stupid, etc. But he really doesn'the think any of those things. Those are the things he says when the emotions run high. When the anxiety kicks in. Any time there is a transition.

You mentioned pointing out his score on the scorecard. What you did was argue against his feelings and for truth. I tell my son all the time that feelings lie. Feelings don't tell us truth, so it'should up to us to tell our feelings what is true.

Also, on a different subject, my son drags things out but loves to work with a timer. Well, he doesn'the love the timer, but he loves to win against the timer. Today he had 7 math problems on the front of the page so I gave him 8 minutes (see how generous I am? LOL!). It took him 3 minutes. Same for the back. He would take 30 minutes on a full page if I didn'the push him. But he doesn'the respond to nagging at all. Only a challenge he can win.

I hope this has helped at all. I know my son is a totally different age group, but I really believe that anxiety can be dealt with similarly.

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