Home ed - one kid is thriving, the other is bored to tears - how do you balance their needs?(7 Posts)
I am homeschooling my kids (dd, 9 and ds, 6) for a year while we are out of the country. We are travelling some of the time with some extended stays as well. Home ed is working really well for dd who is pretty able but lacks confidence in her abilities, it's been great to be able to really see where she's struggling and try and help her plug the gaps, she'll be going back into year 6 in September and is pretty motivated to keep up with her peers. We are mainly focussing on Maths with a bit of SPAG and lots of reading, lots of sightseeing and fantastic museums.
My problem is ds who is very bright and very stubborn. I've mostly given up trying to get him to do any formal work as it's a real battle (he can already do everything on the year 2 curriculum but if I try anything new and slightly more challenging he gets very cross). He's clearly listening in when I explain stuff to dd and is reading voraciously and is obviously doing all the sight seeing etc too. The problem is that his behaviour is appalling (he's always been challenging at home and angelic at school) and I think he's just really bored and frustrated. He misses his friends and I think feels like he's always in trouble at home where he's the youngest and never quite gets things right, compared with school where he's used to getting everything right.
I just don't know how to match what he needs, which is probably spending more time with kids his age and basically just hanging out at science world (fantastic hands-on science centre in Vancouver) with what his sister needs (she needs a lot of support and encouragement to get on with stuff especially when she finds it tricky). Obviously, there should be enough time to do both but with all the arguments about even getting dressed, doing even minimal chores like clearing your dishes after a meal there just doesn't seem to be.
Anyway, apologies for the rambling post, I'm just feeling that I'm not really doing a very good job of things at the moment and hoping for some inspiration/advice.
Is he getting much interaction with kids his age? I think you’re right that he misses playing with friends. Is there a home-school network where you are?
Can you outsource anything?
Can he do courses/structured activities, even if just for a week here and there?
Does he get enough exercise? My sons needed about 2 hours hard exercise a day at primary level (athletics, gymnastics, martial arts, rugby etc) and still now, as teens, become restless if they have a whole day at home with no exercise.
For lots of kids to be able to concentrate and sit still, they need hours (!) of physical activity too, for balance.
Equal time with you, but doing only activities he chooses? Get him to make a planner/list/reward chart. Have a word with dd, and say he needs a chance to excel and build his confidence too.
Could he attend a local school while you're doing expended stays? Does he miss with other kids? Do you meet with other home schoolers while you're travelling? There must be home schoolers everywhere you could meet with. He needs the company of other kids.
Is there the option to send him to school at least some of the time? Or find other, active, homeschoolers? Sounds like he needs more outside input.
Thanks for the suggestions, sadly he’s also very anti the idea of organised activities which means dragging him kicking and screaming to something he’ll love in the end. We’re not here long enough to enroll in school and he’s not keen on the idea of the odd day just for the experience either! I will make more effort to connect with homeschoolers here though which might help. And you are right - I should probably get him out for a run first thing then try other stuff.
Much food for thought - thank you
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