The Resistant Child
“Ten year old Joshua is a very difficult boy to homeschool. I try and I try, but homeschooling Joshua is nothing like working with his brother Wayne. Eleven year old Wayne likes to learn and he is motivated inside somehow. I think this is partly because Wayne doesn’t like to have school work piling up. In the morning he asks what we have to do today, and then right after breakfast he starts his math, all by himself! Josh is a whole different story. When it is time to study, I have to hunt him down and sit beside him every minute. He opens his reading book and immediately starts to rub his eyes. He hates to read aloud and misreads every other word. After I have corrected him for the fifth time he slams the book shut and angrily shoves it off the table. ‘I hate this!’ He growls. ‘Why do we have to read this stupid book? It’s boring. Everything you give me is hard and boring. I hate homeschool!’
“I am ashamed to say that I have often compared my boys to each other. When it comes to homeschooling, Wayne is a dream student and Josh is a nightmare.” I have often threatened Josh. I’ve threatened to send him to school and I’ve threatened to tell his father on him. I’ve threatened to send him to his room for the whole day with all his work to do alone. Yes, I am continually frustrated. You can’t imagine how much time I spend thinking about this and looking for material that he will like. This is not how I imagined it would be and I’m really not sure that it is worth all the struggle.”
Angela’s story illustrates how difficult it is to work with a resistant child. You may have a boy or girl who has difficulty learning even the basic skills of Reading and Handwriting. Or it may be that Creative Writing or Math is his weak area. He may also be resistant to doing what he is told whether or not it has anything to do with academic pursuits.
It is difficult to know how to handle this child. Well meaning friends might have said that you are merely not disciplining your son properly. “More spankings will resolve all his problems,” they advise. You have tried this and noticed that you are just magnifying the situation even more. Now, he is both the one who is not succeeding in homeschool as well as the one who is getting all the spankings.
A child may be hard to teach for a variety of reasons. He may be rigid in his thought patterns and resistant to change. He may find it difficult to change from one thought or activity to another. Learning may not come easily because he has weak visual, auditory, perceptual, or memory skills, etc.
If you want more information go to the post titled: Ten Tips for Working with the Resistant Child.
Copyrighted © 1998 by Randi St. Denis