HSing three kiddos: ages 12, 9, 7
My ds7 is a typical third child – energetic, daring, goofy, funny, etc.
He loves the outdoors and science, as well as reading books together.
He is currently struggling with Math, Grammar, and Copywork. As soon as he sees “how much” content is on the page to complete, he curls up and pulls his blanket over his head. Or he will try one, then whine that it’s “too much”. I’ve tried covering one page in the math workbook (Singapore) or circling every other problem so he only does half. It’s still overwhelming to him. Same idea with grammar (EFTC, 1) or Copywork – if he has to write out more than one or two sentences, he gets overwhelmed and quits. I’ve cut way back on his grammar and have made our own copywork sentences from favorite songs or movie quotes, etc. It doesn’t matter the subject, it’s more of the how much content is there.
I’ve been researching Right Start math program and talked to a mom from our church today. I think that is more up his alley because he seems to be a creative, right-brain sort of learner. I think he would benefit from more games and hands-on play with math. Any thoughts there are appreciated.
But I’m at a loss for grammar and copywork. I wouldn’t mind tossing grammar all together this year or doing it verbally only, as he’s ony 7 1/2. Any concerns about that? And what about copywork? Again, I see the value in this and he needs to practice that handwriting habit, but how do I not overwhelm him?
He also broke his arm last week (fell out of a tree he was climbing), so he’s not able to go outside and do his exploring in the woods or trampoline jumping that usually helps him burn some energy and then re-focus.
I have 4 boys, 3 of whom are using RightStart (ages 9, 9 and 5). We love it. You can do a search on RightStart here and find lots of thoughts. Because it is more games and hands-on stuff my boys work longer and are happier doing so. (But we still keep the lessons around 15 to 20 minutes.)
For grammar you might want to consider ripping your book apart. Or finding a book you can rip apart. I tear out one page a day from Explode the Code and my kids laugh hysterically that they “only have to do one page”. Well, they were only doing one page before and whining about it. Nothing changed, just the presentation. We’re using Growing with Grammar with the older boys this year and they really seem to like it (only twice a week). I’m also trying Queen’s Language Lessons and thus far they like it. They are pretty short lessons and a lot of it is done verbally.
We use a copywork jar. I have strips of paper with various quotes, scriptures, sayings, etc. I tell them to draw one or two each day and they copy it into their notebook. Then they write their names on the back of the strip and stick it back in the jar. I think seeing it on a small piece of paper helps them see that the quote won’t go on forever.
Sometimes boys are just wiggly too and now matter what great lesson plans we have, they don’t like it. Good luck with the broken arm – we’ve been there and it’s no fun.
We love Easy Grammar, they are very short lessons and not too much. For 2nd grade we did 1st Language Lessons orally and ds liked it a lot. My ds9 does not like to see a lot of work, cries and dawdles if he thinks its too much. I saw this as a discipline issue, and now if he complains I give him double. I have also prayed and really cut back on things too. I don’t think Singapore lessons are long at all, so maybe he doesn’t have a good enough memorization of the facts. We set our Singapore book aside and spent time just on the times table and division, I also do flash cards everyday now. Math Facts for Copywork by Queen Homeschool is great too.SummerParticipant
My son who is 7 has some of the same problems. Some of it is due to the fact that handwriting is hard for him because of fine motor skill delay. Could this be something your child struggles with. Is he pressing really hard when he writes? That will make them really fatigued and not want to write what we think is a normal amount of work. Is he struggling with copy work. Is he mixing capitals and lower case? Does he have a problem with looking at what needs to be copied and then copying it .If you think there is problem at all you can get a children’s OT to help him out. It did wonders for my 10 year old who really struggled in this area. SummerRachel WhiteParticipant
When my son was 7, he pushed too hard and didn’t like writing more than one sentence. No biggie; Just give him one sentence and talk to him about the pressing down and have him practice just letters for a while and gently monitor that he ‘lightens up’ on the pressure. It’s a habit that can be broken. Come to think of it, my son broke that habit on his own when as a part of his punishment from Daddy, was to write a certain amount out. Well, my son realized after that experience how pressing down hard makes his hand hurt. So there’s another option!
Also, yeah, ditch the grammer book, IMO. You can start it up next year or try something a little more gentle and oral like Primary Language Lessons or some of the others advised here. Once a week is enough, too. But even if you decide to wait till next year, that’s ok too. As long as certain things are happening;
1-you correct him when he uses language incorrectly
2-his copywork is ‘high caliber’ and teaches good grammar within the sentence. I’m afraid movie quotes will neither elevate his mind nor his speaking abilities.
3-the books he reads are also elevated in their language; not twaddle. Creates lazy brain, esp. since you’re also dealing with breaking the habits created from gov’t school that promotes mediocre thinking abilities, book choices and concentration.
Personally, I would suggest asking The L-rd to give you clarity if you are also dealing with any disobedience issues, grumbling/complaining spirits within them and also maybe start having them memorize the verses from Scripture that relate to: respecting your authority, working as unto The L-rd, everything you do do with thanksgiving, honoring the L-rd with your actions, etc. I don’t have those numerous verses in front of me at the time, but I hope you get my point. It’s also a heart issue and it’s through Scripture and G-d’s Spirit that we are “transformed by the renewing of our mind” and our heart, which is “deceptively wicked” can be softened and be made teachable.
crazy4boys, I love your copywork jar suggestion! I’m going to try that!
no, I don’t think the problem is OT. He writes fairly well, with capital letter and period at the end. He doesn’t seem to be pressing too hard. I think he simply doesn’t like to write. He obviously needs to write, but I guess I’m just wondering how much is “enough” until he gets a bit older and I can ask more of him.
thanks for all the suggestions,
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