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When the going gets Tough! · Monday April 21, 2008 by Christine

by Christine

Home schooling isn’t always a bed of roses. Sometimes on days like today you don’t seem to get very far!

Christopher woke up today with a scowl on his face , wrapped himself in his covers and disappeared under the duvet. I’ve learnt on days like this to ignore him and it works very well if I’m in a good mood. Today I wasn’t at my best!

I’ve begun to keep a log of his behaviour , as the days we call his ‘autistic days’ seem to occur in cycles of about 4-6 weeks. I have no scientific basis at all for my theory that he’s often worse when it’s a full moon (sounds a bit cranky I know) but having made a note of them in my diary I noted that full moon was yesterday. I’ve discovered other mother’s have experienced the same thing.

Anyway to get to the point, days when Christopher’s oppositional defiant disorder are at it’s worst are not easy. He needles his siblings, refuses to do anything he doesn’t want to do and moans and groans about virtually everything.

Today he didn’t want his teacher to do his one to one time for an hour. Fortunately I was at work today so I ignored his complaints and left him to his dad . The mistake I made when I got home was to try and make him do his English comprehension. He did do it but only after a lengthy battle of wills. I would have been far better preserving my energy and reading him a story which would have put no demands on him and given us quality time together instead of a war zone.

Having said that however, home education gives me the flexibility to do just that if the time isn’t right to learn a certain thing. We can go on a bike ride instead, visit a museum or just walk on the beach.

School doesn’t allow for bad days, I remember well the times when I would pick up Christopher from school to be collared by a flustered teacher intent on filling me in on how difficult his behaviour had been that day. School becomes a very stressful place when you are continually being ‘caught’ by the teacher at going home time when all you want to do is give your children a hug and take them to the park!

Any way Home education beats school hands down as far as I’m concerned! Tomorrow is another day and we’ll just start again. So at bed time Christopher said ’ I don’t like you shouting mummy, I won’t shout if you don’t shout’ and we shook on it!

For anyone in the same boat I’ve found ‘Educating Oppositional and Defiant Children’ by Philip S. Hall and Nancy D. Hall a very useful book.

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