Balking at Fun Assignments

HEM’s Questions & Answers – November-December 2010

She’s Balking at My Fun Assignments

I love planning and organizing the unit studies that have worked so well for our homeschool. But my daughter (almost 12) is balking at completing the assignments I work so hard to make fun for her. She thinks she can manage her own education. I’m angry and upset but just about ready to give it a trial run rather than deal with her attitude. What am I doing wrong? -Jennifer

Your responses must meet our deadline of September 15th, 2010. Please recognize that your submission may be edited for length or clarity. Indicate how you prefer your question or answer signed.

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4 Responses to Balking at Fun Assignments

  1. Lisa Dillon on August 24, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    It seems to me that you’ve been doing everything right. What you’ve done for your daughter so far has been so effective that she seems ready to manage her own education. It’s difficult not to take it personally when your daughter no longer finds your project ideas worthy of her efforts. I think, however, that it is time to loosen the reins slightly. If you persist with your ideas, you run the risk of attracting her resentment and complete disinterest in her learning. If you cannot do this, you must ask yourself who you are doing this for? You? Or your daughter? We all get carried away thinking our ideas are so inspired, but sometimes we just have to hold back a bit. Your daughter knows the drill by now. She can devise her own exciting projects. After all, you’ve taught her well.

    Lisa Dillon

  2. Lori Trentanelli on August 24, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I think Lisa makes a great deal of sense. And who knows? Maybe your daughter will plan a fun project and let *you* participate! :-)

  3. Suzannah on August 24, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    A 12-year-old is absolutely ready to make their own
    decisions about how they express their learning,
    or how they go about completing a task; in fact, it is my
    belief as an educator (and a homeschooling parent) that they
    only true way to learn something, really, understand it,
    is to invest oneself in what is being learned (and lots of research
    backs me up on this point, too). It is fabulous
    that your daughter is so eager to take on this responsibility and
    is ready to really invest herself in her own education.
    Let her go; be the guide on the side (not the sage on the
    the stage!). She will come to you when she needs organizational
    help, resources or needs to bounce ideas off you, and that is
    exactly how you want it to be and she gets older.

  4. Casie Blevins on August 24, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    I dont think you are doing anything wrong and maybe this is the best example of what you have done right. You have raised your daughter to value her education and to be confident in taking it on on her own. This, I believe, is what we all strive for. Let her have a trial run for her own experience and follow it up with her choice of ‘proof’ of her learning–a written paper or a presentation. This will give you the best idea of how she tackles her own learning, where she may need improvement or where she especially shines. If you are like me you have enjoyed the prospect of researching the topic, presenting it and furthering your own knowledge. The good thing is you never have to stop that. Education is a lifelong passion. Good thing you’ve raised your daughter to feel the same way.