Long story short: For online lessons (because of the corona lockdown) I had to put pressure on my son to do his school tasks. Now the circumstances have relaxed. But we are stuck in the "pressure pattern" regardless of almost 2 months of holidays.
At the beginning of the Corona events our country had a full lock down. The school’s Easter holidays were started one week earlier and after them my son had online lessons until the summer holidays. It is his first year in primary school. This means I have to sit next to him all the time he has online lessions via video-chat with his class.
So my tasks were to make him follow the teacher’s commands, focus on the screen and fulfill the tasks the teacher gave to him. The teacher put a lot of effort in and poured all her heart and soul into it. Because of this I felt obligated to "make" my son a good pupil.
The tasks he likes (for example painting/crafting, maths and anything to do with general knowledge) were no problem. He was interested and stuck to the screen. But the tasks he did not like (even in IRL school, like writing) were a big struggle.
Because writing is an essential part of the documentation of every lesson, it was a problem all day. I need to use more and more pressure to get him write anything.
For example they had to write every Friday for 30 minutes about one topic that had been discussed that week. It was not important how much they write, but for each sentence the first letter needs to be capitalized and end in a full stop. It was no problem for him to tell me all about the lion, every bit of information. But he refused to write down anything. We talked about the first sentence he wanted to start with, then the first word to write, then the first letter. He uses many strategies to distract me (and him) from the task: needing to use the toilet, getting thirsty, telling me all about the lion and about the last lessons, needing to sharpen his pencil and so on. After 30 minutes of discussion there were two words written: "The Lion".
I tried to limit the distraction. I sharpened the pencils, only one walk to the toilet, one glass to drink... I tried to make compromises: one sip and one letter, one sip and one letter... or "you write one sentence and I write the next" (because I had the impression that he feels very thwarted by his slow writing in contrast to his fast thinking). At some point he did not want to write any more and said this very directly to me. I answered that I need to say this to the teacher, because she wanted to see the outcome of the 30 minutes of writing (the school collected the week’s work every Friday). He was upset, we argued and he cried (as I see it, because of anger). This repeated nearly every Friday, more often the longer the online teaching lasted.
Then the holidays started and we needed no pressure for school anymore. But now I observed that we are stuck in the learned patterns of behavior. If he does not get something he wants, he starts to get loud. I start to get loud fast too. I hoped we could calm down and repair our behavior and relationship, but now the holidays are nearly over and school will start again. Online lessons are not planned, but we need to do homework together and I am nervous, because I do not want to make the situation worse.
My aim: Find a way to stay calm during the homework and do it with less stress for both of us. Homework means writing, equal with the topic it is connected with.
Please ask if you need more information...
Why does he not like writing? I do not know for certain but I have some assumptions. I believe he is impatient. He likes to tell stories a lot, but to write them down is too difficult when one could send voice mails instead. He is also a boy and a little more than 6 years old so his motor skills are not too developed, so writing is exhausting for his muscles. This is one reason I started to reward his effort like "When you write the first sentence, I will write the others". But he is not dyslexic I think, because he could write on a keyboard and sometimes likes doing it. (We do so as much as possible, to train even the convert-sound-to-letter-skill, like writing via Messenger to his grandparent). The "failing" worry could be an option now, because I have to tell the teacher about the problems. But this is not wanted, neither by me nor by the teacher. We both want to help him and reward any effort he does.
Does it need to be handwriting? The problem I’m asking about is handwriting. One part of the homework (like last year) will be 10 words per week that have to be written three times each. These words then on Friday will be dictated by the teacher as a test. We use a keyboard whenever it is allowed.
How was the situation before the online lessons? He was very slow in writing, but this was (and is) no issue for me. He did his homework slowly with some distractions but without stress or arguing. I thought that he knew the need behind it, so he wanted to learn it even if it is difficult.