Recently found on a notebook
Awhile back I asked on the Facebook Preschoolers and Peace Fan Page if anyone had questions they'd been wrestling with. The subject of bad attitudes came up: How to deal with bad attitudes at school time. You know, when they cry about having to sit down, be still and get to work?!
My children have never, ever had bad attitudes pertaining to schoolwork. They just dig right in and smile the whole time. HA! We've had our share of bad attitudes over the years, and they tend to manifest themselves when a disliked subject is on the schedule.
I have had two approaches: 1. "Just do it/Get over it/This is life/You can't always get what you want", and 2. "Go ahead and go sit on your bed until you attitude changes because until it does, I really think you need to be on your bed".
Interestingly, the second approach tends to work every time, and in a much shorter time frame than one might imagine. You would think that given the opportunity to put off schoolwork, a child would choose to sit on their bed for the entire day, but that's not what's happened here. Every time I've done this, the child has returned within a half hour.
That's not to say you wouldn't have a child who'd stay in their room for hours. You might. But in that case, my back-up plan was always to announce to Dad at dinner, "Well, so-and-so didn't want to do her math today, so she chose to sit on her bed instead", to which Dad would inevitably reply, "Bummer. Guess you've got to do it now". No one wants to spend the evening hours doing schoolwork here; the clear benefit of not going to school is the complete lack of evening homework.
Hope that helps!