How long would you give it?

I picked up Five in a Row to be a nice “spine” or background for Victoria’s home learning.

So far — not much luck.

True, last week she was feverish and vomiting. But before that the Story of Ping had her sobbing hysterically at the part where Ping is temporarily separated from her family, and I couldn’t even get through it a second time. She did enjoy drawing water with me.

This week and last when I have tried to read a story two days in a row she has said, “Again?!”

I’m thinking she’s resistant and bored, and I’m really hesitant to push with a little kid. Then again, I’m really hesitant to let my little stubborn, willful, whiny one pout her way out of anything that mom suggests. If I let it go at 5, what will it be at 15?!

I told her we’d keep at it for a few more weeks, but I don’t know if I have it in me. Part of the problem is that I feel some personal distress at having a child who seems is resistant to literature-based learning. What?! My child?! Oh the shame, oh the agony! This internal struggle mucks up my ability to think clearly about the parenting and educational issues involved in dumping FIAR today.

If it were just Victoria, I wouldn’t even have a curriculum for her, except maybe something to help with math. (Though I find myself closing the workbook and drawing things and getting out toys as counters, etc.) But with Violet sitting down and studying Chinese and German this year, not to mention the history, English, math, science, and geography, Victoria acts like she wants in on the studious action . . . sort of.

Arrggghh! Why can’t my children be exactly the same?!

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10 Comments

Filed under Curriculum, Learning Styles

10 responses to “How long would you give it?

  1. I’m sure you’ll work something out. But I think that last line is uttered by almost every mom who has more than one. I thought Julie from Bravewriter put it well when she said something like “God gave me 5 unique individuals.”

    Leave stuff lying around and see what she picks up to “do school” when her sister is.

  2. Angela, MotherCrone

    Welcome to the Sisterhood of Frustration! I have lived /am living this and surviving. And while it has been frustrating at times to have one who dislikes literature/history based learning, I have grown and learned so much in embracing her nature/scientific mind with her. Recently, her interests have expanded into geography, and that has been an adventure for me as well.
    So, how long? At five, not too long at all. Who wants to snuff out her spark for all learning by just pushing what isn’t of interest?

  3. Angela, you might appreciate today that she told me stories are only for bedtime. In the daytime, “Only nature books.” (Like the Audubon Field Guide to Trees we checked out at the library today.)

  4. Hypatia

    Does “Five in a Row” mean you’re supposed to read the book five times in a row? I gotta say, I kind of sympathize with Victoria’s boredom. It’s one thing to turn a book around as soon as you finish it and start at the beginning again (something I frequently did as a child, and would now if I had the time). It’s another thing to feel like someone’s making you repeat the same material over and over.

    Of course, now that I’m a Big Grownup, I sympathize with Victoria’s *mom*, too! It’s a real downer when your plans don’t work out, especially when there’s so much to do.

    Is there a way to use different books on different days, or to read it just once or twice and then say “remember when Ping did this/saw that”?

  5. Hi, I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for a while now… not sure if I’ve ever commented before. Had to this time – your situation with Victoria sounds so familiar! I too have kids who are very different and just when one likes something and I’ve got it down, the next is sure not to like it. Also, I love the idea of FIAR, but not one of my kids (I’ve tried it with three) have enjoyed it. They certainly never liked being read the same story more than once (even though they re-read their own books frequently for fun) and they felt, I think, that the whole thing was too contrived. I like the tied-together feel of it, though. Sigh. And why is it that they want school when the others are doing it, but then when it comes right down to it, they don’t want what you give them? I figure it’s because really they just want mom-time. Still trying to sort that one out (being only one person and all). So, I can commiserate and I hope that you figure it out. You can always just find books to read and then create your own fun activites from those – more planning/prep on your part, but perhaps more fun for Victoria? Anyway, thanks for sharing… always good to know we’re not alone!

  6. You know, your daughter isn’t the only child to have that reaction to FIAR. Some people modify by skipping the repeated readings.

    Personally, I’m not a fan of FIAR because of the repeat readings and also because I found some of the activities suggested to be too much of a stretch from the story.

    I prefer Teacher Created Resource unit studies. They are designed for the classroom, but the ones I have used have been fairly easy to modify. You might want to try one of those and see how your daughter responds before giving up on the endeavor entirely.

    Good luck!

  7. Bummer. I’m not familiar with FIAR, but we all loved the story of Ping. Every so often I can hear Richard intoning “Two wise eyes on the Yangtze River” to himself.

    Is she normally very sensitive to stories?

    Maybe she’d like to read YOU the story? Or maybe she could write the story during the daytime and read it to you at bedtime. When you go to the library will she pick her own literature?

    I feel for you. All my kids love listening to me read and for that I am extremely thankful. I can deal with math phobias because I have one myself.

  8. As others have said, my dds thought the repeated readings were tedious. We tried adapting it. Eventually I simply ditched it and admitted that FIAR isn’t for everyone. Since then I’ve found many popular homeschooling resources that aren’t for everyone, and have become much more adept at bailing out early.

  9. I tried FIAR with Z way back and neither of us liked it. We did read a lot of books over and over again but they were the books she chose.

  10. Could you just have her go with what she wants to read (Field Guide) and work off of that? I know, really easy when you are homeschooling two really samrt ones…

    I must say that I purposefully did NOT use FIAR with Grace BECAUSE of the repetition. I also liked Annie’s idea that you could drop the repetitions and just go with the activities. I know that would have driven Grace bonkers though, but every kid is different;)

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