Simply Charlotte Mason Homeschooling - Your Questions Answered: When Your Child Doesn’t “Like” a Subject

Today we want to talk about a question that I think most of us have heard at some time or other in our homeschool career. “I don’t like doing (whatever the subject is).” What about when my child doesn’t like to do a certain subject? Here to join me is my friend and coworker, Laura […] Your Questions Answered: When Your Child Doesn’t “Like” a Subject originally appeared on Simply Charlotte Mason.

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Welcome to the simply Charlotte Mason podcast. I'm Sonja Shaffer today. We want to talk about a question that I think most of us have heard at some time or other in our homeschool career like doing whatever the subject is. What about when my child doesn't like to do a certain subject. Well, let's talk about that here to join me is my friend and co-worker Laura Pitney Laura. Thanks for joining us. Glad to be here. Let's talk about what is my child doesn't like a certain subject. What are the next steps? I don't know. Go ahead. That's that's hard because I think we've all been there at some point or another. So that's open that can of worms. Alright some thoughts came to mind. I think when when it first when you hear that the tendency is to Panic. It's like, oh I must be doing something wrong and we immediately think that it's our fault.

But let's try and back up and take a broader perspective. I mean, there's always something you don't like in life there. There has to be even as a baby. There's something you don't like and as a preschooler there a lot of things you don't like as a child as a teenager as an adult there are things in life that we don't like so it's not some weird and abnormal situation to have something you don't like so we don't need to panic but when a child says that I think we need to check a couple of things.

First thing that comes to mind is why does that child not like the subject?

If it is that the child just doesn't understand it and is struggling to make sense of it. It makes sense that they would not like it if you don't understand something you don't like to do it if it's hard so I think in that situation

We need to well, okay, let's let's approach it this way. Is this the optimal Learning Zone for my child? It could be that they don't understand it. So we need to just take a few steps back and help them understand what they're doing help them grass that better but on the other side of that optimal Learning Zone is they're bored stiff with it because they already know all of that and they aren't being challenged. So look at that optimal learning zone. Are we in there somewhere?

But if it's not a learning issue, it's not in that Learning Zone for the set that aside now, let's look at it's probably just a preference Zone.

And when I think preference I think comfort zone.

We all have our comfort zones that we don't like to be nudged out of and sometimes some of the subjects like picture study.

Or poetry it's the same for moms. Maybe some of us don't like to do nature study. And so we tend to avoid it or or Shakespeare. That's out of some people's comfort zone. And so they tend to avoid so we need to relate with our children in this but we need to also determine why it is if it is outside their comfort zone. Let's talk about those issues. If it's just it's not a learning issue. It's just a preference issue.

What are some thoughts you have on that? Well, I think one thing is understanding that as the children grow their preferences do change. So to be aware of that that if something's going gray and you feel like the child's engaged then the next year. Maybe they're not so just always kind of keep a check on as they develop as young people, you know that their interest interest and preferences change deciding that's just kind of a general guideline just to keep in mind but I also think about how like you use you mentioned.

Life lessons here, you know you have situations all through their lives. So if you figure out that it's a preference for your child. I think it's important that you can teach them plant that seed that you still have to do. What's right, even when you don't feel like it there's an Integrity component to helping them find motivation to push through it and to still comply and to get it done with a happy heart even if it's not their preference. So I think there's a good teaching point there just as a life lesson and not to to cater to him to give you in which you know, that's hard because everybody parents so differently, yes, but I know in my homeschool experience when I've had children

Really have a hard time pushing through whatever the assignment is or a concept or whatever that ends up looking like once we realize this was I realize it's their preference. It's help me determine if it was our motivation here. I want them to

have that love of learning and understand that you may not at this may not be your happy sent it. I have your daughter's not happy with diagramming sentences. That's all that came out. But for her to understand that that's one way to analyze the sentence and just to understand it and then let's move on but the heart Focus during the dislike of it, you know, it's just it was a talking point for us to plant those seeds of you know, like you mentioned earlier. This is a life lesson 2 and I just stick with it and eat a do it even though you don't feel like it because it's the right thing to do and if we could also approach it as a courage issue, it takes courage to step outside your comfort zone and do something that you don't like to do case in point. I don't like to try new foods. I don't you know this.

Comfort zone it takes courage to step outside that and that's different from a subjective School in a way, but that also takes courage. So if she doesn't like the diagram sentences she understands that he first like you said find out why what's the motivation if she does understand it and it's just a preference issue, then we could approach it from a courage standpoint of this is a good way to practice the current it's going to take because when you grow up you're going to face many more things like this, right and maybe share from our own experience some things that we do everyday as adults that we don't necessarily like that puts it more on a positive spin give them opportunity to rise to the occasion and I like that picture I get my mind when you mention the word courage, you know, I think that's a good point to that. I think that

When you have to deal with your children not complying or not liking it and it's that just went through in the camp of its being a preference, you know, it's an opportunity.

To exemplify Authority like as a parent the Lord gives us authority over children and for our children to understand that we are accountable as stewards of them. And again, you don't like to do this is not what you would choose to do, but you still have to obey because I'm the authority over you and to say it in a loving way that is an example to them that we're not doing this just to make your life miserable because we see it. It's for their better good and as you said we are held accountable for our actions to so we can't just let you out of it, right because for some parents that takes a lot of Courage because we want to

Deliver children and to make life easy for them and to cater to all their wants and needs but is that really the best thing for them and education setting? So I take that as an encouragement even from a parent parenting perspective to have courage to do the hard thing and enforce what we expect that's a good point some other charges follow but you know, it's a big is a big thing the shoulder knowing that like you said we're accountable. Yeah parenting is not for cowards on t-shirts. She probably already has somewhere just along with that then some other practical things that we can do to try and

Make the path as smooth as possible. We we cannot say okay, you don't have to go down that path not with a clear conscience. We can't say that but we can try and make that path as smooth as possible to absolutely right right, even though they think it's sometimes they could think that but sometimes we think they're out to get us to but we will go there for coffee.

So some things you can do to help make that pass a little bit. Smoother. Number one is make sure that you're not over burdening them by making that lesson dragged out longer than it needs to keeping that short succinct lesson. No granted if the child is dragging her heels because she doesn't like it then it's a natural consequence. It drags on so we but from our standpoint we do what we can to keep it short. Yes, you don't like it but it's just going to be for the short time. We also can make that path a little bit smoother by using Charlotte's methods that Charlotte Mason's methods are I think are enjoyable much more enjoyable than what most of us grew up with in school.

But we have to be careful. We are not confusing enjoyable and fun in our brains Lena difference teach me. I know there's a difference whether I can verbalize it or not. I'm not sure enjoyable means it's not tedious. It's not overburdening it is

Basically, yeah those types of I satisfied when it's done. Yes, there's a good sense of accomplishment there and it hasn't been like pulling teeth the whole time mind-numbing and all of this fun is more emotional. We're going to just you know ride on this adrenaline high and it doesn't matter what we do as long as we keep that adrenaline high but but the emotions in the adrenaline high is not where the learning takes place most. Does that make send as Charlotte Mason methods are enjoyable and we shouldn't confuse that with this emotional high of fun all the time. Yeah, we can have fun absolutely, but that's not the goal. The goal is to make them as enjoyable as we can with her message.

But we still have that sense of accomplishment at the end.

So why you were mentioning those things and the Practical side of Charlotte's methods being the short lessons in the the full attention and things like that habits came to my yes. And so we mentioned integrity and the motivation of a child to stick with it, even though they don't feel like it Integrity as a habit. I mean that's that's something that is an emotional habit if you are mental habits courage is a habit as well. So we don't have to think of Courage is a habit but it is I totally see that and then

I feel like in my experience when older children say they don't like something there's a conversation there, you know, there's there's there's a heart issue or just plain out like dislike or understanding the with the younger children. I see the habits interlaced in the situation. So if you have a 6 year old that realizes you know why I don't like to tell back to you but I just hurried a like there is a hard to Rebellion or it may just be foundations that need to be worked on to create a better student in the years to come. I'm so even though we were talking about practical aspects of her methods like physically what did what to do to help with in that subject. There's also the Habit component that I just feel is so strong or should be so strong and developing the children and the way that they view things.

And we've been studying at church working helping develop our children's hearts. And you know, it's a stepping stones to where eventually they are making independent decisions. And that's what we want them to be able to do that. But in the early years, it's so important to expect full-time attention attention and first-time obedience and truthfulness. I mean those are so important and to realize that if you work on that and a early age, then when you get to that conversation of that child saying what I don't like it you already have he's obviously being truthful an hour and if he's already given you his full attention and he's he's going to understand that he does have to obey when you tell him to do something then that gives you some guidance to know. Okay. Well, maybe this is a preference or maybe this isn't understanding thing if those see if those foundational habits are there.

You know it helps you figure troubleshoot it later on. Yeah, it would help it lays the foundation for that conversation so that you can get to the heart issue right away because a lot of times when our kids say I don't like right they use that term for many different reasons and so figuring out what's behind it is going to be a key. And I mean that we're applying this to school subjects, but it's the same idea of if you fix, you know, bacon and eggs for breakfast and your child says why I don't like that do you cater do you say okay go get cereal or I'll make you eat cinnamon toast or whatever. It's the same as you know, being consistent to wear that they understand again that there's enough thority figure there and that, you know what's best for them and just say something along the lines why I know this isn't your favorite meal maybe another day I can make you know, what you would like another David. This is what we have today. So thankfulness. I just see that

Yes, we're talking about what I don't like this or I don't want to do this in the school subject, but it's really A Life Lesson and all areas because there's always going to be something in life. You don't like comes right back. Exactly. If you enjoyed this podcast subscribe through iTunes Google Play for your favorite podcast app. So you don't miss an episode. You can also subscribe to the video version of this podcast or reads the blog post on our website at simply Charlotte Mason. Com. All of those links will be in the notes along with links to any resources that I mentioned by the way. Did you know that you can tell Siri or your echo or Google device to play the simply Charlotte Mason podcast. Give it a try.

Thanks for joining me. I'll see you next time.
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