Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Creative Contrariness

Roger will not cooperate with any schoolwork that I plan and initiate, but he's full of plenty of creative ideas for himself. This was how yesterday's school day went.

First, he fought with me over the copywork I'd printed off for him. This confused me, as last week he'd said that he loved copywork and wanted to do it every day. Then I had just written something on a paper, but this weekend I'd printed off a copywork booklet, and maybe that was overwhelming? With many threats and much cajoling I finally convinced him to do it. I wanted to take the time while Pauly was practicing his piano and then working on his typing to get Roger's math and reading done, but that didn't work out anything like I'd planned. For reading, I was going to do a spelling activity, but was first going to make letter tiles out of some of our many sheets of blank business cards. Roger asked to make the tiles himself, so I let him do so. Instead of just writing the lowercase letters, as I was planning, he insisted on writing the capital letters on one side, and the lowercase on the others. That's fine, extra practice, right? I was trying to tell him which letters we would need for the spelling words, but he ignored me entirely and wrote the letters he wanted, then started using the tiles to spell his own words. After he did that for a while, I suggested that he finish writing the letters we needed so I could read words for him to spell, but he declared that he was done and stacked the tiles up. So we didn't do what I'd planned, but he did reading.

We watched the next lesson on the Math-U-See DVD, which introduced subtraction, and then used the blocks to practice it a bit. He went along with this for a few minutes, then started using the blocks to build a restaurant, instead. My attempts to bring him back to math met with obstinate refusal, so I gave up. I had no energy for a fight. Instead, I used the math blocks to show Rosemarie subtraction, because she wanted to learn. Then Roger told me, "Guess what is on the dessert menu at my restaurant?" As he started listing things off, I figured we might as well roll with what he wanted to do, so I asked him if he wanted me to help him write the menus down. We ended up making two menus -- a regular menu and a dessert menu -- and he also named his restaurant. After I'd written everything down like he wanted, he illustrated the menus. So not math, but certainly educational.

This is just so very different from Pauly, who, until relatively recently, was happy to cooperate with what I wanted but who rarely initiates any kind of creative activity himself. The more I want Roger to do something, the less likely he is to do it.


  1. Ahhhh....but he *is* learning, though I understand the frustration. I bribe Rachel with 5 or 10 minutes of "silly time" if she'll just please get this page of math done!

  2. I may just give up, and let him do whatever he wants during school time, as long as it is educational. I don't think getting him to do what *I* want is worth the screaming, tears and fighting.

  3. Roger sounds a lot like xavier. I have a great time trying to figure out how to wrap math into star wars and lego's. but once he's hooked, he's in :) and we can go on for hours.

    what does he LOVE? does he have a passion for something? i, personally, would take the concepts of the math assignment and merge it with what he happens to be talking about that morning ???


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