Do you make lessons that will keep your child happy? If they are unhappy with an assignment, will you change it? For example, if a child hates worksheets, will you throw out the worksheets and figure out another method to teach the subject? My 3rd grader hates everything school related. I could easily teach everything in a "fun" way, but I feel like he needs to learn to do things he doesn't want to do too. We all have times in life where we have to do things we don't want to do, but we do them anyway. I ask this because he's actually in a private school, and is refusing to do worksheets, writing assignments, and occasionally reading. Science, History and Art he loves. I could easily bring him home to homeschool because my 7 year old is homeschooled, but I don't want to give him this idea that just because he doesn't "want" to do the work, then mommy will save you, homeschool you with only "fun" lessons, no more tough assignments....only what makes you happy. Am I crazy to think that my kids should have to learn that they will have to do things they don't always want to do? Do you make your kids do assignments even if they don't like it, refuse, get mad, throw a fit, take forever, etc?
October 10, 2013 at 8:04 PM
I try to do both. But my DD has a really hard time with math so I feel like I have scrapped every single thing I have tried...but as long as I know she *can* do it, I make her finish what I have planned and then I try to adjust it for next time.
I agree that we all have to do things we don't like to do sometimes. And everyone has to learn that, better at 8 than 18 ;)
I think going entirely interest led and child centered is a great way to end up with an entitled child who is unable to function in adulthood (yes, I know I'll be flamed for that one!). We all have to do things in life we dislike.
Now, that should be tempered and there should be things they DO enjoy doing too; it doesn't mean you can't (or shouldn't) try to help ignite an interest in said xxxxx that child doesn't enjoy - you certainly should. It just means that they need to, on some level, learn to suck it up.
I agree that all kids need to learn to do stuff that's not fun. But, I also feel like we can restore that love of learning in our kids so that even the most mundane thing can be at least tolerable. And not because its entertaining, but for the sake of learning. Just today, I talked to my math-hating son why I was so adamant about him memorizing "those stupid mulitplication facts". Yes, they're boring, and hard, and dumb. But as a kid who spent years in "special classes" for math and being called a retard becasue I was slow at math, I would rather he not spend 40 years being bad at math and feeling bad about himself. His attitude change was remarkable. He suddenly didn't mind the repetitive speed drills I was having him do. A good attitude can change your whole perspective.
I had that problem with DS last year. It was the biggest PITA to get him to do his work some days. I pulled him out of PS and brought him home. It wasn't a reward and he still has to do stuff he isn't fond of, but I can do more stuff he DOES like and give him more freedom with things he doesn't like. He still has to do it, but he doesn't fight it half as much.
I never make them do anything boring. It goes against everything I am trying to accomplish. My goals while homeschooling is helping them to love learning and reading books. I never allow my kids to be disrespectful or throw a tantrum. If they don't like something they simply ask respectfully to learn the same material differently. My son last week had a workbook page out of his dictionary workbook. Usually they have creative puzzles that he enjoys. One page was just filling in a letter that came after a certain letter. I have to admit it was pretty boring. I challenged him to come up with a way to make it more fun. We decided instead of writing the letter down he would draw a picture to stand for the correct letter. It was creative and fun. We even combined English and Art together. I say be flexible while homeschooling but don't ever let them be disrespectful. There are many things my kids are required to do. I don't think learning should ever be forced. Kids learn a whole lot more when they are having fun. There are fun ways to teach everything.
We unschool so everything we do the kids have a say in it! As they get older they see the importance of knowing how to do things to accomplish their goals. When they show interest in learning something I am ready to help them & it only takes a little time. Where as in if I forced them to learn something they have no interest in I could be there for days & they still might not learn it!
I have found that my children will help do things that if we told them they had to help do they would fight & argue against it! My DD used to hate to clean her room even with everyone's help but as she has matured she has started to see the benefits of a clean organized room & now cleans her room a few times a month because she want to have a clean room! A few weeks back my Hubby wanted to clear out a brush pile we had & burn it along with other scrap wood we had in the yard. He also wanted the weeds & over growth around those arias cleaned up, as well as to dig up some trees that had died. We never asked our 8 & 10 y/o to help but when they woke up & saw what we where doing they dressed in outside clothes & grabbed gloves & worked all weekend. They worked as hard as we did, when I asked them why they wanted to help they said that they knew it was something that had to be done & until it was we could not do things as a family! I have no worry's of my children growing up to be selfish & entitled , I believe that weekend they showed more maturity & took on responsibility that most adults would shy away from!
I make my kids do work even if they don't like it and as I put it to them they will always have things in life they don't like from housework when they'd rather be doing other things, to work that they are assigned by their boss they'd rather not be doing; that's just part of life.
Having said that there are times where I can teach or approach the same thing a little differently to where it's more enjoyable and I try to do that if it's possible. Still, I don't usually toss materials or dumb things down so that it's baby easy for them.
You are asking two different things, though connected.
1. Do you expect your child to do some work that they don't "want to do"?
Yes. Our kids are expected to do some stuff that is just plain old work... (school related and general life-related)... We enjoy our school times, but the work has to be followed through on to at least a reasonable (age appropriate) manner. However, if it's obvious that the approach is interfering with their education rather than strengthening it, obviously you have to find a different approach or lighten the work load in exchange for other things.
2. If my child is simply refusing to DO the work in school, is it acceptable to pull him out to teach him at home or would that be teaching him that it's OK to not do your work?
This one is tougher to answer, because I see both sides. However, I would have to go with my first thought. The whole point to schooling is education, if it's not working for your child, why keep using that same approach? He is at an age you can discuss the expectations, though, involved in bringing him home. Share with him the rewards and your own excitement at having him home and learning with you, yet let him know there will be consequences to refusing to do the writing and "work" side of schooling...and these consequences should be consistent whether you bring him home or not.