5 year old refusing school work
Eachpeachpearplum1985 · 09/06/2020 14:34
I'm at the end of my tether today! School are sending daily activities home for reading, writing and maths (no pressure to do it - we don't have to send it in or anything). I would imagine if you did it all in one go it would be about 30 minutes, probably less. I try and do 5 minute chunks throughout the day.
I'm not trying to get my son to do any more than the bear minimum but even that is met with tears and tantrums. I'm not expecting him to make great strides during lockdown but I'd like to maintain the learning he already has.
I have tried doing 'fun' phonics activities, computer reading games, writing treasure hunt and scavenger hunt clues for him to read etc etc. He hates it all and what is meant to be a nice fun game results in arguments.
One of the tasks school sends is a sentence for me to read out and then he has to write it. I assure him that the spelling doesnt matter and he just needs to listen to the sounds but he will. not. do. It.
I also have a toddler who destroys everything including my elder son's work so there's an added element of fun.
We do other stuff like colouring, making cakes etc but he's getting to the point where he's refusing those things too. Went for a woodland walk yesterday which I gave up on after 10 minutes because he was whining to go home from the second we stepped out the door.
Advice / sympathy needed before I decide to lock him in the shed for the remainder of lockdown.
PickACoolUserName · 09/06/2020 14:49
What does he want to do?
Are you maybe filling his time a bit too much? Perhaps a guilt free day on the sofa watching cartoons might help him relax a little.
It's tough I know. My 7 year old has been very ratty with home learning this week. I think everyone is fed up with the situation.
Eachpeachpearplum1985 · 09/06/2020 14:55
He wants to go on his tablet. I dont think I'm trying to fill his time too much. He must have about 5 hours of tablet per day at least . Weekends and half term he's had a complete break from any school stuff. Some week days I can see it's not going to happen so I just leave it but It doesn't get any easier the next time.
PickACoolUserName · 09/06/2020 15:00
Sounds tough I'm sorry.
Is he possibly addicted to the tablet?
That's the only rule we've stick with during lockdown. A limit on tablet use including tablet free days. Not because we are striving to be perfect parents but simply because my son does get addicted and it absolutely affects his behaviour.
I use a lot of bribery to get through home schooling. I'm sure someone will be along soon with a better approach but it works for us!
Eachpeachpearplum1985 · 09/06/2020 15:04
Yes I dont think it's good for him but I also have to work and look after a toddler so it is what it is at the mo. I definitely notice more brattish behaviour after lots of tablet.
The other thing he wants to do is wrestle or play lego. I do wrestling matches about twice a day but it gets pretty tiresome! Lego can only be played with when toddler is napping sadly. He cant play on his own and requires my input. Always been the same annoyingly.
AllsortsofAwkward · 09/06/2020 15:08
Could you put educational games on the tablet? We got a writing game, number game and piano. I've got some workbooks from poundland and they've helped abit I havent been doing the work from nursery they have put on their website as he struggles to apply himself. Just do little bits op.
CuckooCuckooClock · 09/06/2020 15:10
We hardly do any actual schoolwork with our 6yo. Things started off ok but he’s putting up more and more resistance.
Occupied and entertained is my goal.
Here are a few things that have worked well:
To limit screen time we have told him how much time he has per day (say 1 hour of minecraft and 1 hour of YouTube) then he can ‘save it’ for later or use it in the morning. Usually he’ll happily split it into 20 min chunks throughout the day.
Because of his minecraft obsession we have had some success doing minecraft themed educational activities.
He’s much happier drawing than writing so we tell a story then he does a picture of it or we (I) read a page of non-fiction and he does a ‘fact sheet’ (just pictures usually).
We also play lots of board games that are vaguely educational (orchard toys type ones).
I’m trying not to worry about the academics . They’re only young and have plenty of time to catch up on that stuff.
CuckooCuckooClock · 09/06/2020 15:14
It is hard if you have lots of work to do. On days that I’m behind with my own work the screen time limit goes out the window. I try to negotiate a film rather than tablet and we watch it together whilst I do my work.
I’m trying to get most of my work done in the evenings now while the dc are sleeping.
Eachpeachpearplum1985 · 09/06/2020 15:18
Yeah we've tried reading games on the tablet. He knows they're trying to educate him . Its really reading and writing we're struggling with. He's quite good at Maths and because he finds it easy, he isn't so resistant to it. He's worked his way through a few maths work books.
Eachpeachpearplum1985 · 09/06/2020 15:22
I have a minecraft obsessed one too. Trying to make a story with minecraft characters might be an idea. He liked it when I drew Sonic characters and read the sentences I wrote about each one. It's just exhausting isn't it? Doesn't help that he wakes up at 6am. What do you do with them at 6am that doesn't involve screens?!
mynamechangemyrules · 09/06/2020 15:23
Oh god, no idea how to limit screen time here- and I'm a teacher! My 7 yr old worked out that when I was just about to start Zoom-teaching he could ask for more time and I'd give home anything!!
He did nothing at all. No work at all for 10 weeks while I was busy teaching other people's kids and setting/ checking work until 11 each night...
The sad thing is, we are back at school here (not UK!), normal hours, full classes, all wearing masks and allegedly social distancing (but please show me how that's possible with a full class of 5yr olds in the classroom all day...) and he's refusing to go in.... it's tortuous. He hates it.
I couldn't give a crap about the academics, it'll come, but for school-wary children like him, they are now full-blown school avoiders...
mynamechangemyrules · 09/06/2020 15:24
Sorry, realised that was a useless post I put- but feel your pain!!
I found a few free sheets (which I would never give as a teacher 🤣) all about Pokemon, which is his thing, and he's done those... that is it!
AllsortsofAwkward · 09/06/2020 15:26
Could you use his toys to help make a story about his favourite toy. My ds is obsessed with animals so we got him to put them into group and count them.
Eachpeachpearplum1985 · 09/06/2020 15:31
Feel free to vent mynamechange - it's basically why I made this post .
Eachpeachpearplum1985 · 09/06/2020 15:32
Thanks for the ideas everyone - keep 'em coming!
SandieCheeks · 09/06/2020 15:41
My 6 year old is just the same.
We’re also doing minimal school work but the rule here is you have to do it or no screen time.
So we tend to do maths, then a snack, then phonics/English (each activity is 20 mins max if he just gets on with it)
Then he can have his tablet til lunch.
After lunch he has to do some reading with me or again no screens.
In the afternoon I try to get him to do at least one educational screen activity like Bitesize or Purple Mash rather than just 3 solid hours of Roblox Today I succeeded
Lunasunrise · 09/06/2020 15:43
No advice, but sympathy! My 6 year old is exactly the same. He's very stubborn (like me) and I think sometimes the more I ask him to do the school work the more he digs his heels in. My 5 year old is a lot more laid back and will do some things but will not do anything relating to reading at all. Finding it even more difficult because they go to a Welsh medium school and struggling to find apps that are educational but that they are interested in. They would play Minecraft and watch YouTube all day but that does often end up with them arguing too. Also have a toddler who likes to draw all over everything or want me just when I'm finally managing to get them to sit down with me. They do like some Orchard games but again the toddler gets involved and makes it difficult. It's so frustrating. Sorry no ideas to help but just wanted to let you know you aren't alone!
Eachpeachpearplum1985 · 09/06/2020 15:59
Yep board games are out of the question when toddler is around!
Tomorrow I will be strict with the tablet and try and find some minecraft work sheets. Wish me luck!
EmmaTimes · 11/06/2020 11:56
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1AngelicFruitCake · 14/06/2020 09:39
I’ve found only allowing screen time once some work has been done has worked well.
Also the moaning about walking, ive just said we can go home but they’ll be no screen time, snacks etc as obviously you’re too tired! That’s worked for me and then they realise they like it. I take different snacks out they can have halfway.
Lollee · 25/06/2020 08:39
This so worried me. If someone can't show a 5 year old who is the parent what will it be like when the kids are 15?
FelicityPike · 25/06/2020 08:51
Why not get toddler friendly games like Orchard Games Lotto and all play together?
Or Duplo/ mega bloks or play dough?
AmandaSmith123396 · 25/06/2020 18:34
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NailsNeedDoing · 25/06/2020 18:48
It’s probably worth letting the class teacher know that he’s struggling and refusing to do work. They might be willing to do something to help motivate him. When my class was still home learning we called a couple of children that had become reluctant and spoke to them directly in an attempt to take the pressure of the parents, and they both said it helped them get their children to work as they were answering to their teachers instead of having to argue with their parents.
To be fair to your son, if you say there’s no pressure to send work in, I can understand why he doesn’t feel motivated. What five year old is going to want to work hard at something they find difficult and don’t want to do for no (understandable to them) reason when no one is going to appreciate it anyway? There’s a reason why teachers use reward systems at school, especially with little ones.
bluevioletcrimsonsky · 25/06/2020 20:20
If he likes screen time, maybe you can introduce things like www.poptropica.com/ (Literacy - lots of reading involved), and www.prodigygame.com/ (math - fun monster catching while answering maths questions)
My ds really enjoyed both while in early primary.
For writing, buy him a nice diary, and let him write daily about whatever he wants?
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