Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Book Learning comes to a halt at 2 pm- Mama is unhappy!

I'm up against a real problem. I know this problem stems from the fact that both my kids went to public school before they were homeschooled but my problem is that the kids have in their minds that all book learning ends at when the school bell tolls at 2 pm.

Now I know too that I am partly to blame for this. When you operate a school from your home you have to hold to definite times for each subject and for a beginning and an ending to the homeschool day. After the tutor students leave my own children just flop! Once in a while I can get Tink to do a little more without much prodding but if I want Peter to do anything it is like pulling hens teeth!

He is not interested in book learning. He learns wonderfully from videos and real life experiences. But a pencil is like a death stick in his hand. So here comes the other problem with operating a "school" within the home. I can't let Peter learn with videos and computer because the other children think they want to do that too and the parents are not paying to have their kids learn that way.

Interestingly enough, even though they hire me to teach their kids because they cannot, most of them have very definite ideas of how they want their children taught. Because most of the kids I work with have learning differences their parents send them to me to get them up to grade level. The parents that are more into unschooling would never send their kids here because of the structure of our day.

Parents are desperate for their children to pass the state exams and it is up to me to see that they do! Videos are not their idea of learning. Bill Nye the Science Guy would not qualify for a Science program. This is very frustrating when I know my own son Peter learns best that way.

On the other hand it really isn't a bad thing to have to take the death stick in hand and learn to wield that tool. So I have decided that Peter will do lessons just like he has been doing and then after everyone leaves he is going to do learning through video and computer program and reading.

I really think that Tink set a norm here with all of her learning problems. Peter has watched her all his little life and he thinks her behavior is the way all children behave. It is so frustrating.

I feel great excitement though for this next term. Nine weeks until the end of the school year. I have great things planned! I am starting a geography program for my two oldest students using lapbooks and games. I have decided against the Trail program I was considering in the last post. I got to thinking about what Kristin said and I can see the wisdom in that!


  1. Hmmm... could the answer be getting up *earlier* or having "warm-up time" an hour before school starts? Throwing out ideas here. I know it's pretty well impossible to motivate a kid once school is *done.* This is why many ps parents think they can't homeschool... they hit this wall with their children and think it would be like that all day. They think they are incapable of teaching because of what "homework time" is like.

    Just my thought. God bless you during these last nine weeks! Home stretch!

  2. I really dont want to get the kids up earlier. Tink gets up around 6:30 and Peter around 7:00. The first student arrives at 8. So we're already making use of the morning hours. There are just a lot of afternoon hours going to waste! :(

  3. Oh, I so know what you are going through. I don't tutor like you do but we do have school in our home as you do. My daughter (12) has gone to public school too and she thinks as well that school ends at 3. It's hard to have them do anything after that. I have to be as creative as I can so that they don't think its school but most of the time they catch on. My daughter also has a learning disability and I have seen the same with my son copying certain behaviors. I actually had him tested to Make sure and he bumped genius marks so it truely frustrates me that he is below his reading level since I know he has the capabilities to do better. I worry about my younger children that they will follow suit with her. I am hoping that the age gap will keep that from happening. I wish I had some wonderful advice for you but I am stuggling with this as well.

    God Bless

  4. I'm certainly not criticizing you for tutoring others but it seems a shame that you're losing one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling which is teaching your kids in their own learning style. I agree that it doesn't hurt to force him with a pen now and then, that's for sure but if that's how your son learns best, it's a shame you can't get his best hours of the day with what works for him.

    Again, no criticism but adjusting our curriculum to what works best for my kids and how they like to learn is certainly one of my reasons for homeschooling.


Thank you for taking the time to add to the discussion here. Your ideas and thoughts are always welcome!

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