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Topic: Encouragement

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Subject: Encouragement
Date Posted: 9/1/2010 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 13,343
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I just need a little encouragement and need to do a little venting today. We are a new homeschooling family. We are in our third week of school. I always expected there would be hard days and days when the kids were just pills, but it's always different to live those days out than to think about them. Today was one of those days. Oldest was balking about work. Middle was so distracted that it was hard to keep going. Baby was so loud and unhappy the whole time. Sigh. I just feel discouraged today. Then we had some behavior problems in our chores. 


So a couple of questions

How do manage school with a toddler?

Anyone have a reluctant writer? If so how do you motivate them?

Thanks for any encouragement you can send my way.

Date Posted: 9/2/2010 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2008
Posts: 1,518
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I don't have a toddler so I can't help you there but I do have a reluctant writer. His arm hurts or he has a headache, he always has an excuse, yesterday he didn't want to write because his nose was running. I just tell him that is has to be done and if he has to sit there all day he will do it. This is my second year of homeschooling and he is in the first grade. I learned last year that we have to have a reward system with him. I print up calendars and we hang them on the wall and if he does good that day he gets a green star, If he is not cooperating and I have to warn him twice he gets a yellow star and if he is bad he gets a red star. If he has a full week of green stars he gets a reward. For my son it is getting a hotwheels car because he collects them. You just have to figure out what will work for yours. The bad days and feeling discouraged I have done last year especially in the beggining but it smoothed out and the good by far outweighed the bad. Even though I would like to choke mine on bad day I am so glad that we decided to homeschool. Everybody has bad days. Good luck with homeschooling it will all work out.

Date Posted: 9/8/2010 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2010
Posts: 25
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When I had a toddler, I would do school time during naptime.  Now my youngest is 4 and gets in the way and doesn't nap for me at all!  LOL.  It was easier in some ways with a toddler.  :)  As for a reluctant writer, My middle child is a reluctant writer and my oldest is a reluctant school writer (in his spare time he writes his own comics, stories, etc with no problems, but tell him to answer the school questions in complete sentences and he'll cry he's so mad!).  My middle child is in 1st grade and my oldest is in 3rd grade.  I think 'dealing' with the reluctant writer would be different with each age.  With my 1st grader, I just don't make her write very often.  It's important to teach her to write sentences correctly and how to spell, but I don't feel that she has to write a lot.  When I have her write stories, I have her dictate them to me as I type and then she adds pictures.  For our spelling tests, I plug in a microphone to a stereo and I have her do her spelling test "spelling bee style" (she loves talking in the microphone, so she loves spelling time!)  She writes 1-2 sentences each day for language arts and I'll have her write her answers on some of her science worksheets if they are one word answers, otherwise I just write it down for her.  We do one handwriting page a day as well.  I know as she becomes more comfortable with writing and learns to read and spell better, she'll be okay writing more so I try not to push or think of alternative ways to make it more fun.  We've also had times were I had her write things with a normal sized chalk on the sidewalk outside to make it more fun or I'll slip a handwriting paper in one of these pockets:  http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/seo/ca%7CsearchResults~~p%7C2534374302100494~~.jsp and I give her a wet erase marker (that teacher's use on overheads because they don't erase without water so they won't accidentally erase their work before you get a chance to see it).  We mix it up and try to keep it fun.

With my 3rd grader, it's a little more difficult because I can't be as accommadating!  We takes his spelling test on the computer with spelling made simple software and for writing, I have to remind him a lot that it's important to practice writing in complete sentences and he'll be a much better writer, if he keeps doing so.  Also, I have him "earn" his free time.  I really like the "Accountable Kids" program for doing chores and I've adapted  how in the program they have the kids earn their rights to the tv, computer, video games, legos, paint, or whatever your child would be interested in by doing their chores.  My 3rd grader can do most of his work on his own with my guidance so I make him a weekly schedule at the beginning of each week.  So on Monday, he goes to Monday and it tells him what book to read in each subject, which questions to answer, etc.  When he's done with certain school chores he gets to do whatever fun thing he's earned.  It helps him!  Older kids would be more difficult.  I'm just slowly working my kids to more and more writing each year :)