Find Joy. Seek Truth. Be Kind.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Common struggles

On two entirely separate lists a similar topic came up. They went something like this (paraphrasing):

"My son is currently 6yo and in the 1st grade. He fights doing his school work. He's much more interested in playing with his LEGOs. He really hates writing, but I'm afraid to not make him do it. I am so stressed out."

or this

"My 7yo struggles with math every single day. It takes us at least an hour and a half every day with her crying and we're still getting nowhere. I struggled the same way as a kid, and I'm not enjoying this."

I posted about "language arts" earlier, and posted my response to the math here.

I hear the very real pain in these parent's voices. When both the parent and the child are struggling with homeschooling, it's time to change something.

When I write back (sympathetically I hope) I have to start with "They're still so little!" This is an age when they should still be playing. Play is a child's work. Play is how they learn. If you feel the need to guide their learning, then play with them! Don't make the learning process painful for either of you.

What's the Heinlein quote? "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It frustrates you and irritates the pig."

Unlike the pig, your child will learn, I promise. They might not learn the way you want or expect them too. By forcing something in a way that is contrary to their learning style, or too early, you run the very real risk of turning them away from something that presented differently, or just a little later, would be very natural and satisfying to them.

Folks, don't irritate the pig.

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