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Homeschooling a 7 year old
by tlwl72
March 27, 2013 at 5:49 PM

So, I've been homeschooling my son since September. He is 7 & just finishing up 1st grade. He started off really well. He listened, did his work & we were having fun too... But ever since January it has been a nightmare. We changed curriculums, tried different schedules, incentives & anything you can think of & still nothing works. He says its boring, not fun, he's tired, doesn't want to do anything that has to do with school.

now I don't know if this is normal behavior for a 7 yr old or if I need to do something else. What we are doing now is that if he doesn't do his school work he has to do chores instead. No playing, no fun. I'm trying to make him understand that school is part of our daily life....

Any suggestions or similar experiences with boys this age?


  • romacox
    by romacox
    March 27, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Do you know his learning style?  If not here are some videos to help 

    Understanding Different learning Styles

    Once I know a little more about him, I can help. 

  • tlwl72
    by tlwl72
    March 27, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    So I looked at the link & I believe my son is closes to the NF learning style. The idealist.... He is a perfectionist, very sensitive & always wants to please me but just hates doing school work. He is very smart & loves to learn. But I still want him doing seat work.

  • romacox
    by romacox
    March 27, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    From what you are telling me, I would say he might be an analytical personality, or perhaps an NF

    • When you say he is very sensitive.  Do you mean he is easily hurt by others, or do you mean he gets angry when he does not get something right? 

    He needs to learn sit down work, that is true.  But studies show that it is more successful  to adjust to their learning style, and gradually introduce them to the conventional left brain teaching.  Otherwise we find ourselves trying to fit round pegs into square holes.  It just does not least not for 55% of the kids.

  • tlwl72
    by tlwl72
    March 27, 2013 at 6:35 PM
    Kinda both. He cries a lot & gets his feelings hurt easily. He had an experience in public school of kids calling him bad names & he wouldn't go back. But when we do work that he thinks we've already learned he gets mad that we are going over it again
  • romacox
    by romacox
    March 27, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    He likely has some NF, but he is more closly aligned to an NT.  They are very smart....Einstein was an NT (analytical child) 

     They make up only 6 to 12 percent of the average population. Many of the ways they learn best are as follows:

    · Because Nts are such a small percentage of the population, they are unlikely to have role models in their lives to help them develop their own unique talents. They are often left up to their own experimentation and exploration for that need. Thus the
    Unschooling Method of instruction works well for these children.

    Sp adults are wise to help the rational child by providing them tactical roles, because little Nts are usually eager to add concrete techniques to their skills. Self esteem is developed by recognizing and praising their inventiveness and cleverness. They are not usually impressed with gold stars on their hands or makes no sense to them.

    · These children love board games like
    Monopoly , and learning games like Ring Around The Phonics. Note: (from monopoly they can learn reading snd money counting) unlike most children, they will quickly get tired of doing the same activity cards in Ring Around The Phonics. When that happens, I start letting them write their own activity cards, helping them if they have not yet learned to write. It is an excellent way to start teaching them writing skills.

    ·They are more likely to practice reading if it is a subject that interests them. For example, one of my students likes Star Wars and science books. So I will start out reading to him, pointing to the words as I read, pausing periodically for him to pick up where I leave off (especially when I get to the big words). Because he is interested in the subject matter, he continues the reading (out loud) without any hesitation or instruction from me.

    · Once the NT knows their phonic sounds, I use
    Ring Around The Phonics to teach them root words, prefixes, suffixes and word families which helps them decode the larger words. They also like a challenge, so I will sometimes say, "I am going to try to trick you. lets see if you can read this big word." Usually just stating something that way motivates them, and they will usually figure it out. However, if they can't figure it out, they can become quite upset with themselves. That can be a time to teach them it is ok not to be perfect.

    · Nts can become quite stubborn if others try to manipulate them. However they can benefit greatly by parents and teachers who help them understand why social niceties are important. It is also important to explain to them why you are having them do something they don't want to do. They are more likely to cooperate if there is a reason they perceive as logical.

    · Most of all parents do well to read to their rational child. They are fascinated by stories.

    · They look critically at any plan of action, particularly if based on tradition or custom. Rational children need help in understanding that these things are important to others, and a smooth operation to society. When I say understand, I mean the logic behind such things...not just because "I say so".

    · This is funny but true: The
    ST child likes to accomplish something while learning, and the NT child likes to be taught how to do things just to satisfy his desire to know. So both personalities will learn while building something like a room addition. However, a word of caution; the NT will often stray from the standard way of doing the job just to find out what if. It can be quite an adventure.

    Nts are very good at analytical thinking, and have trouble understanding that their sarcastic remarks toward others, who are not so analytical, are hurtful. They benefit greatly by understanding the different personality types, and it helps them to develop some of the social niceties.

    Note: (It is important not to put inflexible labels on ourselves and others, because, even though we tend to be more of one personality than another, we are never one hundred percent in any one category, and different situations can bring out different traits.)

    Quoting tlwl72:

    Kinda both. He cries a lot & gets his feelings hurt easily. He had an experience in public school of kids calling him bad names & he wouldn't go back. But when we do work that he thinks we've already learned he gets mad that we are going over it again

  • romacox
    by romacox
    March 27, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    These children love to learn, but they do not like doing something they already know just to prove they know it. They will tell you it is boring.  They want to learn something new, but something that interests them.

      Find out what interests him, and use that to teach him other subjects like reading, math ext.  For example, one of the boys I tutor loves star Wars, and I gave an example about how I used that to get him to read.

    These children typically walk and talk a little late,.  They are capable, but will not show it until they are confident,  because They are perfectionists. They also do not take off reading until about third grade.

    My grandson is an analytical personality.  His Mom read the Book "Better Late Than Early".  Koty had learned all his phonic sounds, could read large words like premium as they played word games while traveling.  He could also read all his early reader books, but would not read independently.  As the book (Better Late Than Early) advised, she continued reading to him daily.  One day he came to her, and asked her to read a book who's cover interested him.  She told him that she did not have the time right then.  Koty, anxious to find out what was inside the interesting cover,  read it independently.  She let him stay up late that night to finish reading on his own.  From that day forward he became an avid reader, and advanced beyond his grade level very quickly. 

    So, he will be easier than you think to teach, but not if he is a round peg forced into a square hole.  The beauty of homeschooling is that we can adjust our teaching styles to each individual child, rather than fitting the child to a one size fits all approach. 

    Lesson Plans That Motivate  will give you some more ideas.

  • romacox
    by romacox
    March 27, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    P.S. he is quite capable of sit down work if it interests him, right?

  • romacox
    by romacox
    March 27, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Does any of this make sense, or does it just complicate things more for you? Does this sound like your son?

  • tlwl72
    by tlwl72
    March 27, 2013 at 8:24 PM
    He can do sit down work, it just seems to bore him. My husband is very concerned he learns to read & write well. I have looked a little bit at Unschooling too. Everything you said does sound like my son. He likes to experience things, games, puzzles & field trips are what he loves. He loves for me to read to him as well. I'll check out the website & try some different things & see if we can find a good combination of things so we are all happy & learning. Thanks for all your help
  • romacox
    by romacox
    March 28, 2013 at 6:33 AM

    You are most welcome, tlwf72 .  Mothers have a natural instinct when it comes to their children, and I hear your deep concern to do the right thing by him.  You will find that good balance.

    I had several NTs in my family, and in my tutoring.  They are a lot of fun because they are, in many ways, mature beyond their years.  They can carry on very intelligent conversations with adults that is well beyond their years.  They can be very stubborn too,  when they  do not see a logical reason for doing something. The problem is they do not have the experience you do when it comes to making that decision. 

    NTs can drive adults crazy with their constant, "Why?".  They aren't trying to be annoying.  They just have an insatiable apatite to understand everything.  So, I try to answer their why question as much as I possibly can.  

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