I want to address the child who is avoidant. Elsa has assiduously avoided math. We have had many many moments of the two of us battling over this. I gave up, we hired tutors, worked with friends. Nothing has taken. But Elsa knows she must do some official math so she can get to where she wants to go in life. Next year she'll be addressing that at MCC. One could accuse her of being delayed, or us of being negligent, but I truly believe that Elsa's ability to
grasp spatial concepts is fine, she just doesn't compute well. She'll find a way to deal with this. (She seems to be doing fine with the cash register at Cold Stone Creamery.)
But Elsa's situation is different from a child who has "issues". I have seen children reluctant to take on writing because they weren't comfortable with producing a a "less than perfect" product. This has more to do with personality than ability. Again, using Elsa as an example, despite the ridicule she has received for her abysmal (but vastly improved) spelling and grammar she has posted stories for family and friends, because she cannot stop herself from expressing
her ideas. She is compelled to write, so she doesn't care about the errors. (Sometimes they make the story more interesting!) Elsa is not shy about putting her ideas out in the world. A child who expresses that they find writing difficult or impossible may be struggling with the exposure of putting a part of themselves on paper. I know of one
child who wouldn't show her writing to friends or family, but had a large online community that she wrote very prolifically for. She needed the anonymity to feel safe expressing herself. Not because her family was unreceptive, but because of her own stuff (which she appears to have outgrown).
What I used to tell my kids when I "compelled" them to do things was "Please do this so I can feel comfortable with what we're doing about your education. This is because I need it, regardless of whether you feel the need to do it." This worked because I kept those items to a very small number and because my girls are generally pretty compliant,
even if they grumble the entire time they are complying. I do have to add that whenever I took on the demeanor of "we're having a wonderful learning moment!" my daughters ran away. They really did not like the idea of doing "fun learning activities". They really have enjoyed the times when I shared things that genuinely interested me, or that I
thought might genuinely interest them.