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Homeschooling: All Things

Help Me I am Failing at Homeschooling

I wanted to repost this letter here and share my answer to this common homeschooling problem with first timers as well as veteran homeschoolers. If you have ideas to share, please post your answers too.



This is our 1st yr. home schooling after 3 years of Public School (PS). It is not going great. We have moments that are rewarding, but most of the time it is chaos, and I am screaming and frustrated. I want to put the kids back in PS just to feel sane again.

My biggest problems is the chaos … we have 3 kids (9, 7, and 5). The 9 and 7 year olds are very busy, chatty, and wonderfully crazy boys – who are driving me crazy. They seem to have very little self control w/ me, but I know they were respectful and well behaved at PS. How do I get them to treat me like they treated their teachers?

How do I get them to not talk out of turn? to focus on work? How much structure do you find works? How do you create structure? I am desperate for different ideas on making this HS thing work – really just looking for ways to organize our days and time together for success – 'cause now we are failing!

Thanks, K


 My comment back to her was:


I have two main thoughts about the being treated poorly and disrespectfully. You have to ask yourself if you have been allowing this outside of school all along. If so then there needs to be a re-vamping in the house of what kind of attitude toward you and your husband is allowed and how they are expected to treat you both. This is not just related to bringing them home, there is much more underneath that layer and you and hubby will have to peel away at it to figure out how to deal with the underlying problem.
But, if it is only started happening just now during bringing them home for homeschooling school, well then they are just testing the waters, another words YOU. They are seeing what they can and cannot get away with! We all did this to some extent and in different ways when we were children. It doesn't make it right, but I think it is somewhat normal human nature!
It is up to you to come up with some disciplinary action for each child for EACH action. What may work for some other kids may not for yours. What gets at them? Taking away TV, swats, tea spoon vinegar, take away toys, going to be early, writing an apology on paper? Discuss it with your husband so you are both on board with the actions that will administered.
But on the other hand, if we are ALWAYS picking out just the negative things the child does and always disciplining that, what are we telling the child. That he/she is bad? Take the time on your end to find the positives in them and let them know they did well. However that looks for you! Could be as simple as a sticker, going to dollar store and getting a prize, special lunch out with just Mom, $$$$ or even just a huge high-5.
Just because we homeschool does not mean EVERYTHING is always going to be exciting and fun! However, I do feel that it should be a little more fun then a traditional classroom with 30 children! We are not in a traditional class room so therefore we should be able to make things a bit more interesting. If your child is constantly saying he hates school, then you need to talk to him/her. Do not just say we don't allow that talk, but ask what it is they hate. Find out what you can do different by finding out what is hated.
I finally found out why my son disliked math so much. He hated writing on those tiny spots on the math paper. The moment I re-wrote the math problem big on a white board, there was no more tears, no more complaining and he got all his math done in 3/4 the time it was taking him b4. It took me 1 year of listening to whining to figure out that I really needed to listen to the complaining and what he was really trying to tell me, not just whine back at him! And it paid off. This may not be the case with your kids, but it is worth the try!
Take school slow for the first year. DO NOT get hung up on whether or not they will fall behind. Forget the standards and do what is best for your kids. Go slow. Make Fridays (if they have had good attitudes) the day you go to the park to do school or do it in the backyard, at the beach or whatever. Make a few special things for them to look forward to for their obedience and wonderful attitudes. I am not saying to make your house a child centered home, but there is nothing wrong with allowing the child to look forward to something in return for doing what is expected of them.
Make sure you are keeping some kind of schedule. The kids are so use to this from PS, that maybe the loosy goosyness of homeschooling may be too loose for them right now. Pick up a daily calendar and schedule your day a bit. Put it out so they can see it and explain to them that this is what is expected. Make them part of helping you to keep to the schedule too. This is not just kids looking to learn, but a family working as a team to help each other!
I have been homeschooling for 5 years now and this is my first year with Heart Of Dakota. I will be praying for you! Homeschooling is one of the most wonderful gift you will ever give your kids, but it comes with a price. That price is learning to deal with the stresses and struggling in a constructive way. I know with God's help and prayer form all of us that you will do great. God is with you and is watching you and just allow Him to guide you! YOU CAN DO IT! Good luck and keep us all posted

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