Background: My youngest son was born 16 weeks early and has neuro-sensory issues. He is easily overwhelmed and can shut down quite quickly. He also has a genetic bone disease, and one of the issues he's had is a large tumor in the wrist of his dominant hand that has made it extremely difficult to write. I have made accommodations for his disabilities, to allow him to do the work required and learn what he needs to do, but he still must do the required assignments. Most of the time that means he has to work harder, or things will take longer, or that we need to take frequent breaks, but the work must still be done.
So, I've moved back in with my parents. The schools here are awful. There was no question that I would be homeschooling my kids. My parents also homeschool my youngest two siblings. Both of those two kids also have issues. Little bro has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and lil sis has issues from physical, sexual and emotional abuse suffered in the first 4.5 years of her life before my parents got custody of her. Both children were foster children first, then adopted.
My mother tells me that I have to take over all math and science education for all the kids. Fair enough. They're letting me live here rent free and paying some of my expenses. It's the least I can do. Now, I've been a teacher and worked in a very, very poor area. A "normal" student would have been the exception. I'm quite good at teaching math and getting through to students with issues. Again, sometimes it takes more work, or a different approach, but the work still has to get done. End Background.
What's driving me up a wall is every time things get "tough" my siblings revolt and my mother makes excuses for them. "Oh, he has FAS", or "She has Reactive Attachment Disorder", and "That's just how they are". Um, no. They've been taught that they can throw a tantrum and not have to work. For example: today I just wanted to see what they knew of their multiplication tables. I printed out a worksheet and asked them to "do whatever problems they could and leave the rest blank." My 10 year old and my sister do so happily. Lil bro lays of the floor kicking and flailing that "he can't do this." Now, since some of the problems were the 1's and 0's, and I know for a fact he knows how to do those, I didn't buy it. My mother intervened before I had a chance to do so. In the end, he got out of the assignment. I've dealt with kids like this before and have several tricks up my sleeve that would likely have helped, but I never got the chance. Ugh. How does making excuses for him help him? A similar incident happened with lil sis and a writing assignment yesterday. *sigh*