The original title for this post was "Forcing My Kids To Take Notes". But that sounds too negative. But it is the truth. Whatever. I changed the title anyway.
The "not a homeschool co-op" requires that my 7th grader take notes on everything he reads, even fiction reading. This is new territory for us. Most of the time he takes notes on the word processor on the computer since he types about 50 words per minute and since there is so much writing with this program that his hand aches in pain every single day already.
To begin teaching him I would read aloud then stop and ask him what the main points were. Shockingly he had trouble with that so I was spoon feeding him the main points then we'd talk to make sure he got to see what I was doing to pick out the main ideas. I have learned to not let him go more than one chapter without taking the notes. He interchangeably takes notes during the reading and other times waits until the end of the reading then jots them down.
This is a pain-staking process that reminds me of how much patience I had to muster to teach my kids to read using a phonics and sound it out method.
My 10th grade son is resisting Every. Single. Thing. About. Everything. He actually meets all the symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder (in my opinion) at this moment in time. Despite facing negative consequences from not taking notes in chemistry and in math he was still refusing to take notes.
This week he is trying to be compliant and has negotiated with me to orally narrate notes to me while I type them into the computer. We have not done oral narration in a few years. We used to do it as part of the Charlotte Mason method. He is still able to narrate beautifully and to summarize well when doing narration. I was surprised.
I honestly don't know what the resistance to typing them in or to writing them by hand is. I am trying to resist the temptation to blame it on a learning disability, even though he has many symptoms of dysgraphia. I am sick of learning disabilities and labels and just want my kids to do what has to be done, suck it up and just do it.
I did not used to be this harsh but my kids and general life's stresses have worn me down. This is our roughest season of homeschooling. I am still miffed as to why this fall is the time when my kids seem to be showing the largest signs of stress from the move since the initial move was 15 months ago. Why would they not be stressed more when we first moved and were in a small rental house temporarily waiting for the old house to sell? Why is having that old house gone and moving into a nice new house and having all our worldly material possessions at our fingertips instead of stashed in a storage unit more stressful? I'm not a psychologist and I do not know. All I know is I am worn out and tired and most of it is directly due to my son's resistance and their opposition.