difficult days

hi all.... been having a few difficult days with my son (just turned 5) ive been HE for just under two years to my little girl just six and my little boy just 5. they are on the whole very good but my son is exhibiting some really lazy behaviour. pure and simple he doesnt appear to put any effort in at anything. either at HE or at his rugby club either. he doesnt listen or follow instructions and just has an "it'll do" attitude which is anathema to me. Little or nothing at all seems to be retained and we have to cover the same ground every day, he just cant be bothered at all it seems.
it is becoming a battle of wills and i am at the point of giving up...everything...my depression is crippling me at the moment and i really feel at my wits end.
my little girl on the other hand is so keen and tries so very hard ay everything she does. im trying hard not to compare them as they are indeed boy and girl with a year between them...i know all the they learn differently stuff....
i dont want to have to put him into school i really am horrified at the prospect ...im stuck as to how to move on...we have tried all sorts.
sorry for the rant and thank you for reading and of course any input or advice would be so very welcome. ann


Hi Ann,

Have you tried following your son's interests?

If you are using school at home it may be that your son is disinterested in the school curriculum.

It helped me when I saw that anything and everything is educational.

Really, society expects us to be human doings not human beings. Maybe your son is someone who likes to experience the world inwardly and doesn't 'show' much evidence of what he is doing or thinking. We all have times when we are in transition, and perhaps it is a good thing that your boy is able to have that time to himself.
It's always really difficult to give advice to someone you don't know about children you don't know, but I'll have a go.

I think Diane is right. A great deal of research shows that there is a stark difference between boys and girls readiness to take part in more formal learning at the age your son is at. It's the main reason why certain Scandinavian countries don't begin what we would recognise as formal learning until eight. And while research is obviously quite general, I can confirm, as the mum of four girls, that every single one of them learns in a different way and at a different rate. It's one of the reasons that I largely abandoned my idea of how I would educate and now just go with the flow. They accomplish far more and are much more industrious without me sticking my oar in.

Six and five, is, in my opinion, still very much in the play zone. That should, perhaps be the focus. Learning will be taking place right under your nose. I'm willing to bet, as Diane says, that if you let your son do what he wants for a few months and just watch him, chat to him and show interest in what he's doing, you'll be astonished. Trust him. He's obviously a completely different character to you, but that doesn't mean he isn't curious and learning: it just looks a whole lot different and won't fit into that extremely narrow measure that we call a curriculum.

Relax. That's the trick with home ed. Find the happy, the giggles, the fun, and all the rest will fall into place. I write a blog. Down the right hand side there is a list of three popular posts. One of them is called 'Tickets to Wonder'. It's about what I think is wrong with the current approach to teaching English, but you might find it useful as an illustration of how a hands off approach works wonders.

Best of Luck x
thank you so much. your replies have given me the faith i need to keep going. we developed a little reward system which has worked well the past few days and he also started tae kwon do which he really did very well at. he paid attention and tried really hard. this was so encouraging. perhaps i am expecting a little too much of him...i am trying to relax things a bit but i just dont want him to slip behind from the tasks we are covering.
we spoke about the importance of trying your best at whatever task you try and how even if you dont know the answer it is important that you try to get there anyway. hoping things can move on from where we were on monday because it was dreadful...for both of us....

it is heartening to know there are others in a similar situation as sometimes doing things alone can be so isolating. i do try very hard to make sure my little ones have the social input they need with dance classes rugby and now tae kwon do but in all this i do seem to forget myself. i expect that is quite a common problem. i am loathe to see my gp or health visitor regarding depression as i am a bit paranoid it will impact on our HE. depression i can live with....i have done all my life...it is transitory and there are better days and worse days. im keeping my fingers crossed for lots of better ones....

thank you so much once again....you have made my continuing with HE a reality. xxx


The thing I ever did for myself was to realise that I could trust my children to do what is right for them, no matter what I personally thought of it.

They have become amazing young people.

The second best thing I did was to realise that measuring people doesn't work - you're always going to have some behind, some in front and a few where you think they should be.

Schooling is about control, not education. Education is something our young should be able to manage for themselves with us, parents and guardians, around to facilitate their journey.

Try to relax. Everything will follow in its own good time.