Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Z Factor

We are on week three of our homeschooling year, and I can see my big challenge this year will be Mr. Z. He just does not want to do school. Like an otter, he wants to play all day. All during school he asks for his computer time, which he gets after school as a reward and as a way to have some uninterrupted school time with my 3rd grader. Mr. Z goofs around most of the time, making it take twice as long to complete school.

Now I really regret not doing a daily, scheduled preschool time with Mr. Z. He does not have the disciple of school time built into his day. It is easier to teach the disciple of school work before teaching them to read, doing both at the same time is too hard. In China and Japan, they spend a good portion of 1st grade just learning how to do school before tacking the scholastic subjects. I had thought a more relaxed approach to preschool would retain his love for books and learning. In fact, the problem lies in his work ethic, or lack there of.

The reasons for our school trouble could be developmental delays or too much school work. However, I think it is just plain disobedience because he goofs through tasks I know he can do well and I am using a fun curriculum with a reasonable amount of work. His is five and a boy, so obviously there are maturity issues too. I must be very careful not to make the work too easy, nor too hard. I must find a way to motivate him, while correcting his heart issue of laziness. Plus, I must do this all with retaining his love for books and learning. If he loves to learn about the human body and wants to be a doctor, he must learn to read and do math too, which in turns means work.

This is my battle plan for tomorrow. For every tasks he does obediently, he will get a chip representing a slice of computer time. First, I must explain to Mr. Z what "obediently" means. To obey during school means to listen, do the task right away, the right way (not necessarily correct, but best effort) and with a happy heart. Also, I must pray for Mr. Z and myself. Of course, as always, I will look for ways to make our work into a game.

Does anyone else have the same problem? What did you do that worked?


  1. Great Post Karen! I wish I had some great advice for you, but only you know Zack best and it seems like your plan should work! Jon is a good student, but I know that Miss Kylie will be my tough one. Ill be praying for Zack and also for you! God Bless!
    Anna Schimpf

  2. Hi Karen,
    It sounds like you're doing all the right things! Hang in there. :) It takes a while to "train the troops" doesn't it? When I was teaching K, it took a couple months to work out some of these things with the kiddos. It's so nice that you can work on these heart issues at home. :) We're working on our fair share of heart issues as well!