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January 26, 2006

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Great post, Jamie. Clear and helpful explanation, and still making me want to homeschool again. And this was helpful in another way too. Thanks!

This added a really nice counterpart to the post about obedience on Half-Changed World the other day.

I think I would have been a successfully unschooled child - I have extreme curiosity that borders on obession. I can't NOT know something. My mother could have dropped me off at the library at 9:00 AM and picked me up at 3:00 PM and I would have spent the whole time studying SOMETHING. Sadly, I think regular school took some of that passion away, and it worries me, because I think it's a good skill to have.

The thing I see about Alex's personality (as it comes across in your posts) is that your struggles arise when you put your foot down. He sees that foot come down and his innate reaction is I MUST RESIST. Correct me if I'm wrong here. I think the two of you have that similar quality, you're both stubborn and are willing to fight just for the sake of maintaining your position.

So the trick is to find a way to diffuse the situation when it starts to arise. If you find a mutually agreeable way to do geography or whatever then you can circumvent the ultimatums.

If it were me, I'd sit down with him and say, "Alex I can see that you really don't want to do this geography assignment. It's important to me, as your teacher, that you have an understanding of geography. What are we going to do to solve this problem?" There are a myriad of ways to teach geography - things that come to mind are puzzles, card games, and computer games, or how about orienteering? Is he involved in scouts at all? Perhaps you could introduce him to people who use maps in their jobs or daily lives. I'm just throwing out ideas here.

I think you're an excellent teacher and mother! I really think that you and Alex can learn to work in harmony in this situation. It's just a matter of learning not to go into resistance mode when faced with something.

Best of luck, Jamie. Go and give your oldest a hug and tell him how much you love him. I always found that it softened me up when I was fighting with my mom (I was the oldest, too.)

Lisa C., your perception is right on target. Thanks for your story. :-)

Excellent story.

May I suggest these books as a substitute for Rilla? (they're centered around WWII, but I think you'll find they offer up a good background for living under wartime conditions.)

Noel Streatfeild: When the Sirens Wailed and Party Shoes.

Plenty of boys in each, which may make it easier on him.

Party shoes should have had a link too. here it is

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