Thursday, September 5, 2013

"I Hate School" says Link!

We have officially started kindergarten, though you can't tell by watching our family. I really thought all this time that if I had great activities on the shelves that Link would be drawn to them. And if he wasn't, then getting the work out myself or inviting him to work with me would work. But for some reason he has decided that he does not like anything to do with school. Bumblebee is definitely learning in the school room, Link not so much.

So I've backed off, a little. We go for a walk in the morning. We read lots of stories. I try to sneak in phonics games. Sometimes he'll do some math, but not the three days a week I was shooting for. 

We go to Classical Conversations once a week. Though honestly, as a play date more than anything.  We join a Charlotte Mason (CM) group once a week. We are using Montessori for phonics, math, and geography/cultural studies. We use CM for things like cultural, nature, artist and composer studies. Which, at five years old, means we read stories like Old Mother West Wind, James Herriot's Treasury for Children, and maybe James Baldwin's 50 Famous Stories. 

I am feeling very frustrated with Link right now. Almost to the point where I think "maybe I should just send him to school if he's not going to work with me!"

I have to threaten to put all his Legos up just to get him to work for a little while! I'm tempted to put every toy in the house up, but I think that would just drive me more crazy! I keep saying I'll just give it a little more time, he'll come around. I hope I'm not messing up!


  1. I was so happy when I saw this post title - I was hoping you had a magic solution. We are in the same boat. Hope it just a phase for both of us.

  2. I just found your blog and I love what I see here! We are on a similar path. My children are 5, 3 and 1. We have been pursing Montessori for some time and just added Classical Conversations this year.

    I want to encourage you to hang in there. It's hard! My husband is now used to my occasional melt down where I develop a plan to sell all of our materials and enroll the kids anyplace that will take them. It's a daily challenge. I used to work as an IT professional and some days I really miss my job. It's worth it but I constantly battle keeping my perspective.

    I think you're doing all the right things. It takes times for the littles to adjust too. I'm not sure how much you've read about normalization with Montessori but I think it applies here. My oldest, who is also experiencing her kindergarten year, is so hit or miss. I came to the point where I would give myself presentations because she didn't want to join me when I invited her. She slowly starting joining me for some. On other occasions I'm just practicing what's in my albums alone. :-)

    You will find your rhythm but it will take time. At least that's what I tell myself!

    Hugs and hope,

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words!

    2. Sounds like you're handling it just fine. AND you found one work, the Logic of English, that he likes to do everyday without complaint. My advice is to make him do ONE math every day...even on weekends maybe? Until he stops complaining. Sometimes it is easier to get them over complaining if something happens every day without exception. Also, our kids aren't allowed to use the "hate" word in our house :) Yes, they have learned it from other kids/relatives. But, it's right up there with swearing. SOoo, they have to be a lot more creative when they want to complain. I think "I hate this" is just something people say. If you take it out of the vocabulary kids tend to NOT replace it with saying just "I don't like this" because it's just not "something people say."

      It sounds like Legos might be his "currency." You *could" have a "no Legos until after school" policy. If my kids say, "Mom, can we watch a Power Rangers?" It's really easy to say, "Yes! As soon as you've done X." If he will literally disobey you and go play with Legos anyway (which my kids wouldn't, but they are all different) then, yes, you may have to put them away.

      Of course as you know I'm biased. Almost all of our toys ARE put away anyway (toy library).

      Do you work on the CC work daily as well? I have the iPad apps and friends who do the program. I am trying (poorly) to add the songs to our curriculum. However, I'm finding it too much. If you are doing a good job with the CC I think you have to cut yourself some slack on the Montessori. You can't do everything.

    3. You know, we have always treated "hate" as a bad word as well, so it was surprising to me when he started saying it relating to school! He does mix it up though, with "Do we have to do this?" and "Can we stop now?" I always feel so let down when I have to resort to whatever our current "fun currency" is, but honestly, I feel better knowing that you do it too! The crazy thing is, he'll complain about something 2 seconds after he asks to do more of it!

      I like the idea of making it every day, just so that it becomes the norm. Also, when we travel it really messes us up! It's hard for him (and me) to get going when we come home. So when we travel in the next few months, we'll be taking some school along with us!

      We ended up leaving CC a few weeks ago. It wasn't adding to our school routine at home and was a big time sink. Link is NOT a singer, so he would not participate in any of the songs. It was all I could do just to get him to stand with the other kids while they sang. He said the only part he liked was doing the maps, and I've got that covered at home! He really looked forward to eating lunch and playing with the other kids. So we spent 4 hours there just so he could play at the end. For us, it wasn't worth it. So I don't have that excuse :) I focus on the Montessori Math and pre-reading along with the LoE.

      We do however, still join our Charlotte Mason co-op once a week. I'm not starting the CM reading for him until next year, but I don't think it will add too much for us. Link does love to be read to, and I think he'll do will with the CM curriculum. Plus, we all LOVE the community we have with that group.