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Homeschooling: I feel like quitting


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#1 ruthanne

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 01:44 PM

I need some tips if any have some. I felt right about homeschooling and felt like I've given it my all and turned to the Lord when the oging got tough, but my kids constantly fight me to do the schoolwork, even when I simplify it and try to make it fun. They also have rambunctious short tempers and will talk back to me unless I yell or threaten to spank. I dont like the ugly monster Im becoming and we are all unhappy. NOt to mention I am feeling overwhelmed constantly and they say they are bored. We have a co-op----they hate it. We have a sports group--kinda expensive. We're doing extra fun things like"Wacky fressup days" and music & dance lessons. We're using the Karl Maeser curriculum--love it! But getting them to do their work without fighting and yelling puts me on an emotional roller coaster daily and I feel like I could eat out Dunking Donuts and watch all of Blockbuster's movies! If I've done all I can and they are to blame for me putting them back into school--that's one thing. But I will still face the feelings of being a quitter. I don't know how I can keep doing this or how it could possibly be good for us to continue. My wise husband suggested I write all the forums for tips before I quit. Help please. Ages and other info: 9 and 7 I have 4 children--9,7,4 (all three are boys),and 1 I homeschooled the 9 and 7 until last year--they did one year of public school when I had our little girl So this is my 4th year homeschooling. The curriculum is great--challenging and fun. I have been told that the yelling etc wont stop with public school. But I feel like I've tried everything, so I think to myself "maybe it's just not right anymore". Have a few reward systems: We fill up a little jar with pennies when we see them making good choices 9Then when it's full, dad takes them out to eat). I grade their work too for "honor roll" out to eat. Helper cards: when they help a siblin gwith their work they check it off on their helper card and if they fill up their card, they get a prize out of the treasure box. My oldest will throw in the towel right away if it's remotely challenging. I'll offer help and try to make it fun but he goes straight into freak out mode. So I said if they whine about their work (and I offered help, tried to make it fun, etc) and they still wont do it, they have to stay in their seat until it is done. They can always ask for help, but he hardly gets himeslf to do that until hours later. Stubborn. He just rants on and on "Im not doing i! You can't make me do it" If the backtalking gets ridiculous and hateful, he has to write sentences and stays in his room until it's done. For yelling and backtalking (mild) they are just sent to their room. Until they can calm down. The problem is if the older one does it, the 7 year old will most often copy him. And their poor younger brother has to wait through it all until I can help him with his work. Not to mention the 1 year old is trying to nap through all the commotion so that doesn't help when she's awakened. Im okay with him communicating that it's difficult. But why the towel in right away and the anger and blah...

#2 JudoMinja

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 01:56 PM

Try getting and reading the book Teaching with Love and Logic. It has some great tips that will help make learning more fun and productive- and there's some more information from these guys on the site link. I've read their Parenting with Love and Logic book, and thought it was amazing. :)

Another thought that comes to mind is that you can try following their interests instead of maintaining a "boring" curriculum. Instead of chopping things up into math, science, history, English, etc. and making things overly structured, figure out what your kids get excited about and work your education around that. Find ways to work standard lessons into what they enjoy doing. This is the Montessori method of teaching, and I think it does a great job getting children to be driven about learning instead of dreading it.
Bhagavad Gita - “Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he becomes.”

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#3 Dravin

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 02:05 PM

It should be noted, and I think that is what you meant when you said the yelling won't stop with public school, that there are behavioral issues that aren't going to be solved by the public school system. That is to say that just because they are going to a public school isn't going to make them want to do their homework or not backtalk or not go into freakout mode. One way or the other those issues are home to roost.

Edited by Dravin, 14 November 2011 - 02:07 PM.

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#4 beefche

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 02:20 PM

Have you talked (with your husband) with your 9 y/o? He’s old enough to actually discuss the issues with him. Perhaps he wants to attend public school? Perhaps he feels he doesn’t get a break from the “teacher”? Perhaps he’s afraid of failure and doesn’t know how to deal with it? Has he been tested for learning disabilities? Perhaps there is this issue going on and he’s having difficulties and is expressing it with anger and apathy? I think you and your husband should discuss options, then the 2 of you sit down with your son and talk with him. Prior to the discussion, have a good prayer and ask for the Lord’s blessing to help you to recognize the promptings of the Spirit as you talk to him. Do it when you are not feeling stressed (even if you think you are faking it well, the stress will come across to him). Constantly reassure him of your love. Talk about boundaries (even if he is attending school, there are boundaries he needs to understand and keep) and the consequences of such. Ask good questions to find out what’s going on with him. Look at the non-verbal clues that he will be sending you.
I say that we need to teach our people to find their answers in the scriptures...But the unfortunate thing is that so many of us are not reading the scriptures. We do not know what is in them, and therefore we speculate about things that we ought to have found in the scriptures themselves. I think that therein is one of our biggest dangers of today."
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#5 Blocky

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 03:13 PM

I have a 7 and 4 year old that we're homeschooling. My first thought was that it isn't that you're doing homeschool as much as their age and personalities. I run into trouble with my kids if they don't feel like they get control over some things and get to choose things. Of course I'm not going to let them choose that today is video game day and that they don't have to do work. I do let them choose what we're going to do next. With my 7 year old, his weak spot right now is reading and writing. If I let him do really easy stuff that he already knows how to do without stressing for a few days, he's much more ready to tackle the harder stuff. Him doing none challenging work seems to build his confidence. Also, if I have regular 3 days weekends and holiday breaks (and let them know it's happening so they can enjoy it to the max) he actually learns more than if we kept going. This last summer we were going to keep doing homeschool. Finally, we decided to take 2 months off from school as long as he read something each day, even if it was just a sentence or a few words on a game. When we started back in September it was as if he'd be studying all summer, his reading skills were so much better. I think he just needed the break and to mature a little more for it to click in his brain. I'm not sure if any of this is going to help you, but I feel for you and days of "why am I doing this?!?!' happen over here for sure. I feel much more stressed out if I hold myself to state standards instead of what is best for my son.

#6 sister_in_faith

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 07:03 PM

I agree with an earlier poster... sending them to public school isn't going to solve this problem. You have behavior issues that need to be delt with. What you are doing isn't working for you, so you are going to have to change things up... reading books or maybe going to counseling might help... good luck!

"Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day."

--Alma 37:37


#7 MsMagnolia

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 08:41 PM

I am a music teacher in the public school system. I teach 700 kindergarten and 1st grade students a week. About two years ago I got a chance to see a dvd that changed the way I teach and the way I parent. It was done by a man named fred jones. It talked a ton about the very issues you are facing and the very first lesson in it is "calm is strength upset is weakness" it is a dvd seminar that is wonderful! It has the most practical solutions to the exact behaviors you mention (backtalking, not listening the first, second or fiftieth time you say something, ect.) I highly reccomend it. His appraoch is awesome and very down to earth. He also says that the problem with most behaviors boils down to the consistency of the discipline of the parent. It made me think a lot about the way I manage my classroom. I can now stop the backtalk of a student without saying a word. I hope it helps ya. The website is fredjones.com Mags

Edited by MsMagnolia, 14 November 2011 - 08:42 PM.
forgot the website the first time

WE are the music-makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams,Wandering by lone sea-breakers, And sitting by desolate streams;World-losers and world-forsakers, On whom the pale moon gleams:Yet we are the movers and shakers Of the world for ever, it seems.
Arthur O'Shaughnessy. 1844–1881


#8 lizzy16

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 09:45 PM

I'm not a parent. But, I think my parents did a wonderful job in raising my brother and I. We were never rewarded for doing what we were supposed to. Even as kids. It was expected of us. We'd earn "Extra mile bucks" if we went the extra mile without being asked. If we did the dishes or vacumed or some random nice thing that my mom wasn't expecting. And, if we said "Can we earn an extra mile buck for that?" Then whatever it was turned into a chore. We could 'buy' things from the extra mile store ( a bunch of treats of different levels.) This also helped with my math/money skills. :) Good luck with the homeschooling.

#9 Carl62

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 10:04 PM

All kids are not the same and not all forms of motivation work. The thing is is to find what does. An incredible example of this is a few years ago, a student that I was teaching was doing poorly in school and the father was desperate for the boy to get good grades. Long story short, (and I actually witnessed this with my own two ears), the boy was offered $80 for every 'A' he got on his report card (and these are quarter grades, not final grades)!!:eek: And what was his reaction? ehh. He honestly didn't care! I about fell over when the dad said this and the thought of how much he could make in one year (I figured over $3,000 and some change!). Amazing what kids nowadays will turn down.

#10 Carl62

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 10:13 PM

I can now stop the backtalk of a student without saying a word.


Funny thing is my principle in school could do the very same thing with just about every student there was. It was a board about two feet long with a few holes in it and everybody knew he had it. Whenever any students got rowdy in class, you would hear a teacher say, "want me to send Mr. Reilly down here to straighten you kids out?" Not a word would be said and we were angels from that moment on. Worked every single time. Guaranteed.

#11 rameumptom

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 07:00 AM

Send them off to obedience school, sometimes known as a military academy, for a year or so. That will straighten the boys out.

Otherwise, set up an earning system. "Mommy Money" which you print on the computer and sign (so they cannot duplicate it). You give them a certain amount of time to do their homework. If they do it in that time, they get Mommy Money. The longer it takes them, the less they get. Once or twice a month, you open up the Mommy store and let them buy things in it with the Mommy money they have earned.

If they absolutely refuse to do homework, then just place them in a very boring timeout - sitting towards a corner with nothing to do. Set up fun events, like going to McDonalds. If their work is done, they get to go. If not, then you set up in advance a baby sitter to take care of the child, while you go have fun without him. Teach them that this is the price they pay for fighting you. In this way, you don't have to fight them for very long. Eventually, they will see the benefit of following your guidance.

I suggest you check out some of the books from the Love and Logic site, work great!
Love and Logic - Helping Parents and Teachers Raise Responsible Kids
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#12 Dravin

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 08:26 AM

If they absolutely refuse to do homework, then just place them in a very boring timeout - sitting towards a corner with nothing to do.


One thing to keep in mind is that you need to find someone's punishment currency. A time out is a standard and for good reason, but people react differently to punishments and the key is to find their soft spots so to speak. For instance if you had a pair of children, one introverted and one extroverted one may react to being grounded from friends as the ultimate punishment but shrug at being grounded from the TV or computer and visa versa.
Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

#13 Vort

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 09:07 AM

A couple of thoughts: The fact that public schools educate children using some certain system does not mean you must, or should, use the same system. I see no reason to have a formal classroom period with little desks for the children to sit at, for example. Find and use what works well for your family. Home schooling should be as natural as breathing. It's communal schooling that is artificial, not home schooling. Let that work to your advantage. Consider your home school to be simply a natural outgrowth of your family time and relationships. Just as family time is not 100% sweetness and light, neither will home schooling so be. That does not mean you have failed. And just as you need to figure out how your family dynamic responds to various situations, the same is true with your home school. Home schooling is not a walk in the park. It is much easier to farm the kids off to tax-funded daycares and let them assume the responsibility for teaching your children how to read and how to be good people. You do it yourself, not because it's easier -- it certainly is not -- but because the rewards to your children and your family greatly outweigh the difficulty of the added complexity to your life. Don't give up! If it's something you want to do, don't throw in the towel. Lots of people stand ready to help you. Look for local home schooling groups who can give you support.
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#14 rameumptom

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 09:19 AM

One thing to keep in mind is that you need to find someone's punishment currency. A time out is a standard and for good reason, but people react differently to punishments and the key is to find their soft spots so to speak. For instance if you had a pair of children, one introverted and one extroverted one may react to being grounded from friends as the ultimate punishment but shrug at being grounded from the TV or computer and visa versa.



So, Dravin, how does Beefche discipline you? :lol:
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#15 Jenamarie

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 09:49 AM

So, Dravin, how does Beefche discipline you? :lol:


She gives him a good tongue lashing. :P
And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
Isaiah 42:16

#16 Eowyn

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 10:33 AM

It is much easier to farm the kids off to tax-funded daycares


:rolleyes:

#17 Gramajane

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 11:06 AM

Jumping right from your first paragraph-- I recommend that you need a BASIC relationship adjustment. As it seems you are in practically adversarial instead of " counselor" mode. :( -- no wonder nothing is working :( That if you would look into "Love and Logic" Parenting online- there is the SUPER principles taught with stories of how it works. I will try to give you just a sample that might be used in your case. We with true empathy, express sorrow that we have not been having joy together. We express that we hope to work together to accomplish that. We would like their help to figure out what to do. --We express that we know we can't make them (and Heavenly Father doesn't make us either ) do what they really don't want to do, but there are some rules we need to follow or the kids can be put in foster care. (not getting them an education, drugs, etc etc) THENNNN-----We ask THEM what their goals are. We let THEM talk till they are done, and we ask them IF they are done. then We express it back to them in our words what they want to do. Then we ask if they think they know what OUR (as parents) goals are, see if they can TELL us, so we know they know and we don't have to or want to lecture to them. Then we ask them questions for if it is possible or how to reach both our goals etc.

#18 Gramajane

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 11:08 AM

" the best way to 'get rid of an enemy' is to turn them into a friend".

#19 Gramajane

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 11:13 AM

God sends us our children to help us ALL grow. We need to provide for them, adequate shelter, food, clothing, medical care and education. All else is extra (stylish clothing, movies, sweets etc) and they can help work to gain those things. We are not to be drill Sargent making them choose what we want nor Rescue Squads making us come rescue them from their unfortunate consequences. (If they didn't put their favorite shirt in the laundry and want to wear it-- we let THEM do an extra batch of laundry, or hand wash it, etc. --- How we work with our family is a practice for becoming like our Father in Heaven, and we need to work as it says in the Doc and Cov. -- with love unfeigned, etc!

#20 Gramajane

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 11:17 AM

Rameumptum- much of what you say seems to be using a love and logic style. (the --if they don't get the AGREED ON work done, we are SO SORRY,(ABSOLUTELY NO SARCASM!!!!) they miss out on going to ____ and they need to pay the babysitter etc. But you do NOT tell them ahead of time what the consequences will be! As each consequence needs to fit the situation and child etc. If they know ahead, they can talk themselves into that they can handle it too!




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