Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Well, Christmas day is just about here. For some reason this has been one of the more stressful Christmas seasons. I'm not sure why? Last year believe it or not, was not stressful even though Sarah had just come home. I think our expectations we so low and we were running on adrenaline. I am actually pretty ready for the celebration but now I feel like I am waiting for it to happen. It has been difficult keeping the kids busy and productive and at the same time trying to avoid overly crowded places. We have spent more time than usual at home.

I have bought a ton of groceries but the big kids keep eating the food- imagine that! Thank goodness the grocery store is close by! We will be running back there today and probably tomorrow! It looks like a snow storm is heading our way! We may be snowed in for a few days!

Over the last 2 months Sarah has been challenging me with homeschooling. She is a smart girl but when introduced to a new topic she shuts down and refuses to try. She does not like to be challenged with her school work- which is to bad because she is capable of so much. The other day she just refused to read her spelling words (that was one of many refusals that morning). She just sits and stares at it. I sit there with her, I pray to myself and then I excuse myself now and then so at least I can stay productive. I have thought about sending her to school- and I am currently praying about it. I don't want to I love HS and love the benefits- time together, bonding, being part of her learning process. I also feel like if she does this in school- they will give up on her- she can be very time consuming.

I finally called Hubby home and he spoke with Sarah. After much nudging she apologized and did her school work. We were both amazed at how well she did. I think she is really holding back with me and I need to find away to get beyond this. Has anyone else run into a similar situation- where their child refuses to do what you asked them to do. How do you handle it? This is probably a bad time to post this because after all it is Christmas but I sure could use a little help!


Jboo said...

HS sounds so very challenging to me -- I am so in awe of you and the others that do it. Though I don't HS, some times my little girl shuts down and doesn't want to do homework or go over work papers, esp. math papers. We have a tutor for her and she loves her and they work so well together on the very things she will not go over with me.

Think our storm will be headed your way after it finishes with us -- yikes! Went to the store last night and probably should go again. Best wishes for a merry and blessed Christmas for you and your sweet family!

Angie said...

Well, my son used to be slower than slow doing his schoolwork...not because he couldn't...but because he would rather daydream. So, since I didn't have all day to stand over him and that would only make me mad anyway, I would explain his work, set a timer for him, and I would go off and do something that I needed to get done. When the timer went off, we set that work aside and moved on to the next subject. And so it went throughout the morning. We would finish school on time, I wouldn't be stressed, and I'd accomplished some work while he chose to daydream. That afternoon, instead of playing or enjoying other rewards, he would sit and do schoolwork. NOTHING fun was allowed until it was done. It worked for us, and now he has no issue getting his work done. Hope that may be of some help!

Karin said...

Ohhh...I like Angie's advice. :) Let them experience the consequences of their choices without creating consequences for you. :)

Adeye said...

Yes, my friend.I too have one of those childre--as smart as a whip, but just not willing to work hard. It is challening--and I have still not found the right way to deal with it. I'll be reading the comments here to see who has :)

Our China Starfish said...

I'm the last person to be able to offer a tested solution for you on this one...if you've gleaned enough from our homeschooling experiences, you already know Tessa was EXACTLY like this, refusing to try, refusing to put forth an effort. Near the end of our experience, she was doing whatever she could to keep me focused on her many hours a day by fiddling around one way or another, not because SHE wanted my time but because she didn't want the OTHER girls to get it. So, in the end, I set a timer...she got a certain amount of my time each day for lessons/help with undertanding assignments/etc; after that, she was on her own to do whatever work remained. I had assigned my other daughter as her "helper" but even to this day, she won't allow Morgan to help her with schoolwork so she truly had to do everything independently. She certainly didn't like that and the first few days it took her ALL day to complete her work and she had no time for fun activities; and anything she got wrong (which was a lot since she hadn't had help) we went over the next day and she had to "re-do"..even more work) But, when I stood firm on this (and didn't help her later if she had messed around during our assigned time with me)she learned she had better work effectively during her assigned time with Mama or else her work would take her all day to do. We also expected her to do well on all spelling tests or else she had to write the words tons of times (so if she choose NOT to study her words or learn what they meant, she had more work on Fridays). In the end, we sent her to public school for many reasons, but I did feel before we started public school setting the timer did help improve this problem.

Lori said...

Great comments on this subject!

It sounds like Sarah responds well to Jim. I would have him hold her accountable each day. I mean, she definitely needs to respond to you and your direction but I would take advantage of Jim's authority that she obviously fears a little more. ??? Perhaps everyday he could come home and say, "Did you do the work that Mom gave you to do? Did you do it WHEN Mom said to?" And make sure you are there with them so she isn't tempted to fib. If she can't answer yes to his questions, then she gets privileges taken away.

She's a smart girl...I don't think it will take long for her to figure out the cause and effect!

Hezra said...

oh, Jean, I hear you on this. I can empathize too. My mom is a PS teacher too, so I feel any "failures" and shortcomings in schooling at home are under scrutiny. I know it is tough, and soooooo time consuming. I have to utilize dad here too. I have a couple who are balkers. Gripers, complainers.. etc when it comes to school. There is a book called "The way they learn" that helped me see them each so differently. The one who had the greatest issues worked so much better when he saw a to do list that he could check off each subject every day. We had it in a page protector and used a wipe off marker. Then he had to report it to dad every evening. Also, there was no TV or video games until school and chores were done. I will be praying for you. (((hugs)))

Lynda said...

I just love keeping up with your blog and reading your heart for your children and family. I am sure you and Jim will find your way to the right decision for Sarah. Even if it takes you several tries and attempts to finding the key.

We have three children we have been homeschooling for eight years. One adopted. And we are waiting on TA for our forth (4 yr. old who will likely need much therapy.) YEAH - ready to turn everything upside down! LOL.

One thought I had along with Sarah's ability to do her work is if she has a fear of failing. ?? Especially failing you.(I may be confusing you with another blog?? You had mentioned she did not enjoy school in China???? Sorry if I am wrong about that!!) Even though she has the ability, could her fear of failing or simply not wanting to get the work done be triggering former Ch*na memories?

Our adopted daughter(6 yr. old adopted as an infant) has a MAJOR fear of not doing her school work PERFECTLY. She has one subject that comes very easy for her and another which she has had to work MUCH harder at. She is making progress and is fine - but HATES to struggle at all.

It sounds as if Sarah is very capable of her work. Maybe some one on one time with Mom - out of the house on a "treat time" would reinforce her security with you. Maybe a simple but straightforward reassurance that you will always love her regardless of HOW she does her work may be beneficial. (But that she still need to finish it.) I think our kids - in so many areas - need our reminders that we love them for WHO they are and not WHAT they do.

I am sure you are already doing these things with her. I have found that in the business of holidays and other times, these extra one on one times are needed to refill their heart tanks.

Blessings. Best wishes,