Naif Bennabi November 20, 2020 Math Worksheets
The following situation is more common than you think:
"We've been homeschooling for almost three months now. Since we started he hasn't wanted to do his work. I told him I would send him back to school if he didn't listen and follow my directions. He settled down for awhile and was compliant, doing what I asked. But, it didn't last for long. Now I'm back to listening to one excuse after another for what he doesn't want to do. All I'm asking is for him to do two chores a day and complete around one page for each of the four subjects he's doing (math, language, writing, and geography). I have told him a million times that I am here if he needs help. When he asks for help, it turns out he does know what he's doing and is just pretending. I just can't make him apply himself. I really don't want to send him back to public school... but I'm really tempted. Help."
I'm sure a lot of thoughts run through your mind as you read the above. Thoughts like, could this really be true? Is this an exaggeration? How can she stand living like this? For those of you who have no experience with the above, all I can say is, again, this experience is more common than you think. And, because my wife once picked up the phone and "dialed" the local school to see if there was room for "one more," I can personally relate to this.
So, what can be done to correct this situation? Finding out that he is eight years old, here are three things I recommend:
Threats: While I don't recommend threatening to do something you know you really won't follow through with (like sending him to back to public school, unless you mean it), "collecting information" in his presence by calling or visiting may raise the anxiety level enough to stimulate compliance. And in reality, if you were unable to continue home schooling due to health or other issues, going to a public school could become a reality.
Structure: Children especially at this age need a predictable pattern. "School" should start close to the same time every day. Subjects studied should follow the same order: math, followed by penmanship, followed by reading, etc. For those who argue against such an approach, saying it is making the home too "school like," all I can say is that typically productivity and creativity are linked to discipline and structure. In other words, home schooling is often just getting your work done day in and day out. Can you adjust the schedule, and take a day off when warranted? Of course. I'm not suggesting that you should be inflexible.
I would also recommend what I call "pass the salt, pass the pepper" tones when implementing the schedule and course work. Your son needs to know that this is just the way the school work and chores are going to flow kind of tone. Avoid getting into arguments, even though it's easy to "win" them when the children are younger. As they get older, you'll find yourself "winning" less and less until your relationship with him or her crashes.
Instruction: It isn't going to work to tell him what to do, let him go to his room, and expect him to return at lunch with everything completed. At this age, home school instruction is largely driven by the parent. Yes, you can explain a math worksheet, leave him for ten to fifteen minutes and check back. A better approach would be to have him work at the kitchen table so you're close by for accountability and to teach and answer questions. The older he gets though, the less you should be needed.
Please keep in mind that parenting is both an art and science.
Thanks for reading!
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