Kids don't like to learn!
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  1. #1
    as110 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Kids don't like to learn!

    I am new here. I have been teaching my twins since they were babies. When they were 2 we enrolled in A+ Development because we thought it was the right thing to do. We could afford the curriculum, it was an experimental program and promised to get kids ready for school by 5.y.o. Which it kind of did.
    We always planned to home school since they were born. The material I used was fun and they loved it and learned fast.
    QWhen they turned 4 we enrolled them part time in JK in the local PS just so we could say they were socialized, and I could catch up with sleep from the first few sleep deprived years. Meanwhile we continued to research the home schooling options and we finished SK. They are now in grade 1 and we have been going at it since September. I like it because we have time for other activities like piano and art classes and phys ed which are not important in school.

    OK so to the question about my topic title. There are some things that I can't teach any other way than by siting down at the table and doing some exercises, writing, adding, that kind of stuff. It doesn't take a long time and I catch the kids in the morning when they are not tired or cranky. But I noticed that they are complaining about wanting to play, they moan when I want to try something new at the table. My husband introduced the computer in the form of a Lego game and they are so hooked on it they don't want to do anything else. We don't watch tv.

    I try to limit the computer use but we use it for reading and other teaching activities, doing research, I planned to show them how to use Word and Photoshop to make pictures or write, so I am not against of the computer if it is used for the right things.

    How do I get my kids back to a good routine and have fun while learning, without the computer games? Thankfully Lego will shut down the game at the end of January so that will solve one of the problems.

    We focus on reading, writing, spelling sight words and numbers, counting, adding etc., piano, arts, swimming, gym, and we go to museums and community programs. I feel like we are not doing enough because I see them play most of the time and when I ask to sit down with me they protest. I follow their lead, if they are interested in something I zoom in and teach that, for example they wanted to know the calendar, how to read the clock, tie show laces, paint a picture, and we did well initially in every topic but they lose interest if it isn't easy. I am starting to think that home schooling is great for the self learner but not for my kids.

    The other issue for me is that I seem to have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that we don't have a curriculum like in school and I am not sure how to assess progress without tests. How did other home schooling families deal with knowing if you are on target? We don't want to get behind. I am still struggling with letting them play instead of sit and learn and do exercises like I did in school. (and didn't like it either LOL)
    thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    fairylover's Avatar
    fairylover is offline Senior Member
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    We use time4learning for our main curriculum. We have used it since preK. If your kids love working on the computer, they will love this program. The interactive characters really do keep the little ones engaged. You might want to try it out. It's pretty inexpensive. And there is a two week free trial. If you find that it is not meeting your needs at the end of the two weeks you can just cancel. It's not like so many other programs that you have to sign long term contracts with. I love the ease of printing reports so you can keep records of what they have been learning. You can see the progress. I also like the way the lessons are all laid out. You just move from one lesson to the next. No preplanning for mom. And it covers the core subjects pretty well. Can you tell I am sold on this program?

    Another thing to remember is that your kids are still quite young. They need to play and move around. One thing I do with my son is that I read some of his lessons to him while he sits on the floor and plays with legos. He is listening and he is able to answer the questions but he is having fun building at the same time. We work in short bursts. There is no law that says you have to sit down and do school work for five hours a day. We may work for 15 or 20 minutes and then go do something fun. Then come back and work for another half hour. Breaking the work up can really help. With two you could certainly work with one while the other played and then switch off. When my son was in first grade a "school day" usually only lasted an hour or so. Now he is in fourth grade and there is more work to do. We usually spend two hours or so at actually sit down at the computer and work time. But we break it up. Remember learning also can involve counting plates to set the table or helping to pick out the groceries at the store. Everything we do in life can be turned into a learning situation. The most important thing is to have fun. All kids love to learn. They just don't like to sit down at a table and do worksheets for hours.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

  3. #3
    raisingknights is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    I'm new to this forum and we aren't very experienced with Time4Learning yet, but I have been homeschooling my five boys for over 12 years now (ages 1, 4, 8, 12, 17). We have used lots of different types of curriculum and will be using T4L mostly as a supplement for my middle schooler.

    My first thought is that you may need to lower your expectations a bit and take some things off of their plate. Your children are trying to tell you something and if you don't listen, you may burn them out too early. Young children need unstructured play time and down time to internalize all that they have been learning. Have you read any homeschooling books yet? I would suggest anything by Ruth Beechick or Raymond and Dorothy Moore, Educating the Whole-Hearted Child by Sally Clarkson, and some sort of scope/sequence book, like Home Learning Year By Year by Rebecca Rupp.

    I hope that you find what works for you and your children.

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    fairylover's Avatar
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    I couldn't agree with you more Raisingknights. Great advice,
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

  5. #5
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    denimay is offline Senior Member
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    1. I too agree that your kids are very young and need lots and lots of play.
    2. Maria Montessori proposed the concept of "intuitive learning" that children do when they play. I believe in this completely. . . . . PLAY, not TV or VIDEOS.
    3. Why do they always have to sit at the table?? Get them whiteboards and wipe-off markers. . . . get one for yourself as well. Let them sit/lay on the floor or curl up in a corner of a soft chair/couch to "work. " Lapdesks or clipboards can give them a hard surface they need for pencil/paper work or coloring.
    4. Let them 'act out' a story that you're reading.
    5. Give them choices. "Would you like to sing first or play a counting game?" Make a chart and give them the opportunity to choose the order in which they'd like to do today's activities; post this on the wall and hold them to their choices.
    6. Try to believe that learning can be fun. deni. . . . . . . . . . .
    deni may ............
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  6. #6
    fairylover's Avatar
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    Great ideas Deni May
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

  7. #7
    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by as110 View Post
    I feel like we are not doing enough because I see them play most of the time and when I ask to sit down with me they protest.
    First, play is good. However, I understand that it is disrupting the flow of your teaching. I also understand how difficult it is to keep two kids on track and if you allow them to repeatedly stray from the work that you feel needs to be completed you can end up with a very long day.

    Quote Originally Posted by as110 View Post
    I follow their lead, if they are interested in something I zoom in and teach that, for example they wanted to know the calendar, how to read the clock, tie show laces, paint a picture, and we did well initially in every topic but they lose interest if it isn't easy. I am starting to think that home schooling is great for the self learner but not for my kids.)
    Good for you for following their lead! However, realize that some people don't like to be challenged and some kids just don't like school. This is true for children in traditional classrooms and for those at home.

    Sometimes it just comes down to habit training. I don't like to wash dishes, but I like to eat off of clean plates. I don't like to wash clothes, but I like having clean underwear. Although it is no fun in the short term, I have trained myself to take care of the dishes and the clothes. Since I take care of these things, I am happy in the long run. There can be no long term happiness without first taking care of your responsibilities. Participating in their education is one of the largest responsibilities in children's lives.

    Children typically lack the ability to understand the importance of this responsibility. It is up to you as the parent to figure out the habit training that will keep as many doors as possible open for them in the future. Some kids respond to the sameness of a schedule. Some kids respond to daily stickers. Some kids respond to weekly or monthly short term goals and rewards (for example read x number of pages and receive an ice cream cone or a webkin).

    Quote Originally Posted by as110 View Post
    The other issue for me is that I seem to have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that we don't have a curriculum like in school and I am not sure how to assess progress without tests. How did other home schooling families deal with knowing if you are on target? We don't want to get behind. I am still struggling with letting them play instead of sit and learn and do exercises like I did in school. (and didn't like it either LOL)
    T4L is alligned to standards and does contain quizzes and tests. Plenty of other home education curriculum contain built in assessment. Some homeschool families don't feel the need for this sort of formal assessment, because they are with their children everyday and know the level at which they are working. However, if this is important to you just be sure to use a product that is alligned to standards and contains assessments.

    Some homeschool families have structured play time and school time. If this is how it needs to be for you to keep it together and feel successful, then schedule your day accordingly. Find a balance that works to your family.

    HTH-
    Mandy
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

  8. #8
    fairylover's Avatar
    fairylover is offline Senior Member
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    I think there are a lot of ways to make learning fun. Sitting down at a table or desk is not always the best way to try to teach a six year old. Let them lay on the floor or sit outside under a tree. There is no law that says that learning has to take place at a table or desk. My son loves to lay on the floor and play with legos while I read some of his work to him. That doesn't mean he's not learning. He's enjoying his learning time. I think the interactive cartoon like characters of time4learning help keep the kids focused on their work because they are fun and playful.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

  9. #9
    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairylover View Post
    I think there are a lot of ways to make learning fun. Sitting down at a table or desk is not always the best way to try to teach a six year old. Let them lay on the floor or sit outside under a tree. There is no law that says that learning has to take place at a table or desk. My son loves to lay on the floor and play with legos while I read some of his work to him. That doesn't mean he's not learning. He's enjoying his learning time. I think the interactive cartoon like characters of time4learning help keep the kids focused on their work because they are fun and playful.
    Honestly, we don't own a desk and have done almost all of little man's work in nontraditional settings- same for my extra student. However, little man would rather play video games than do anything remotely educational and extra student is a social butterfly who would rather be texting with her friends. Sadly, neither of them wants anything to do with legos, and both Cuppycake's mom and I own a ton of them from our older boys for whom that strategy actually worked. Neither are they keen on watching the cartoony learning videos on T4L. If I don't keep an eye on them, they will let them play while they escape to the bathroom or open another window to do something else on the PC while it runs. If we could fast forward through them, we would.

    Sometimes no amount of glitter and glue or sing-along songs will allow school to masquerade as fun for a child who just isn't interested. Sometimes you just have to put down your foot and let him know that now is time to do school, and he will be able to enjoy a video game or his phone when he is finished with spelling or math or whatever you as the parent feels needs to be completed. This is no different than telling a child that he must bathe, brush his teeth, or at least try his vegetables before he will be allowed to eat dessert.

    Most of the time Cuppycake and Doodlebug take the approach that the quicker they complete what I say needs to be done the quicker they can do what they want to do. Occassionally, Cuppycake is distracted by glitter and glue and often she likes sing-along songs. OTOH, Doodlebug totally gets it that these are things that just extend his school time. All he wants to know is what he needs to learn and the quickest way to do it. With appropriate habit training this attitude has its benefits. We can typically complete a lot of work fairly quickly.

    My oldest loved to live a learning lifestyle. He loved to research: he loved rabbit trails. He doesn't see the point of video games and he loves to read. That personality also had its benefits. While it is the personality that the OP was talking about, I don't think that it is the norm even in homeschool children.

    Also, this learning lifestyle personality has its downside as well. Kids who like to learn this way often do not complete a scope and sequence that matches up well with standards. Not that the knowledge they possess is any less valuable, but because it is not standard it often can't be measured on standardized tests. These kids may be able to tell you all about the people groups of the Middle East and be at home in a college level paleontology class. They may can give elaborate speeches on the clothing of the middle ages or be able to assemble computers, but these topics may not come up at all in the social studies and science sections for that year's standards. Some parents would have a difficult time letting go of standards enough to allow this type of exploratory learning. However, I have found that more so than parents letting go, most kids are not interested in this type of learning that eats up all their time.

    Certainly, if a child enjoys hands-on learning or auditory learning while keeping his hands busy or whatever else entertains him, that should always be taken into consideration. However, in the end some things just need to be done, because most people like clean underwear.

    KWIM-
    Mandy
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

  10. #10
    fairylover's Avatar
    fairylover is offline Senior Member
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    I totally hear what you are saying Mandy. Kids all have a different learning style. As do the parents who teach them. I say we each need to do what is best for our family.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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