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Jeanine in TX
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What consequences do you have for your children if schoolwork is not done on time?

 

I have a dd in 7th grade. She is capable of doing the work, but she DAWDLES. I have tried limiting the number of assignments due each day, so she won't feel overwhelmed. It seems to make no difference. Everything always seems to take too long for her to do. :confused:

 

She really does not watch tv or play on the computer, so restricting usage of these things won't work.

 

By the way, here are her typical assignments:

Saxon Algebra 1/2

Rod & Staff Grammar 7

Henle Latin I (vocab review only)

Spanish (vocab review only)

Lightning Lit 7

American History (outline once per week)

Apologia General Science (at coop, assignment done at home)

 

Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

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Does she do any outside activities? My daughter also is plagued with the dawdle bug, some days more than others. I do not punish her, per se, but she knows that "if you do not get finished, you will not go to dance (or Girl Scouts, or soccer, or whatever is coming up next)." It tends to motivate her, since she does not want to miss these things.

 

Incidentally, I have never actually had to enforce this, just the prospect of missing an outside activity keeps her going.

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Yes, she has some outside activities.

 

(Piano) 1:30, Mondays

(Girl Scouts) 2:00 - 4:00, 1st & 3rd Tuesdays

(Horseback Riding) 4:30, Thursdays

(Church Youth Group) once per month

 

Last month, she missed church youth group because her assignments weren't done. I never let her miss lessons because I have paid for them in advance. If we temporarily drop the lesson, then we will lose our scheduled time. This would be very bad, given that I worked very hard to schedule lessons that don't interfere with those of her brother.

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I had this problem last year more than this year. One thing that seemed to help last year was I gave her a list of what needed to be done for the whole week. We sat down on Monday and had a "meeting" to discuss our schedule for that week, field trips, appointments, etc. I let her plan what she would do on each day. I think she liked the freedom and feeling of being in control somewhat. I did oversee it because certain assignments had to be completed before others.

 

I don't even have to do that this year. I give her an assignment list that is completed by me. I should probably go back to doing it because it was a good time management/planning skill.

 

Since you don't have much to "take away", could she be given extra chores if the work is not completed in a timely manner? Could she earn an allowance for school work and chores, and get "docked" for being late?

 

I hope you find what works!

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There are days when she "works" to 9:00 in the evening, which is bedtime. It is so frustrating. My husband says that I should give her a deadline of 7:00 pm and then give a F for anything not done. I'm not sure if she would care. To her, it would be one less thing to do. :001_huh: I really dislike feeling like I care more her education than she does.

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I never let her miss lessons because I have paid for them in advance.

 

Miss the lesson and she loses allowance / gets extra chores to pay for the lost lesson?

 

I imagine it would only have to happen once or twice... Short term loss for long term gain, perhaps?

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Miss the lesson and she loses allowance / gets extra chores to pay for the lost lesson?

 

I imagine it would only have to happen once or twice... Short term loss for long term gain, perhaps?

 

 

:iagree: I understand about missing the lesson, losing the money, but for me, I think it is more important that she learns responsibility from what we are doing. I would let her miss, and if it kept happening, I would refuse to pay for any more... tell her no more dance lessons, etc. I think that it would depend on how much she enjoys the lessons, though. If she hates piano lessons, there is no threat in taking them away.

 

Don't become discouraged, though, you will find something that works for you both. And in the meantime, if she is doing well on the tests, I am sure that she is okay.

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but what if you took school away? What if she got to be a full-time housekeeper, cook, yardman, etc. for a solid week and school was a priivilege to be earned the following week.

 

She could also pay you back for her afternoon lessons (take her but make her pay for them on the days she is dawdling) that way you do not lose your slot but there is a consequence for not working in a timely manner. She can use birthday money, piggy-bank, whatever.

 

Or, what about "he who does not work, does not eat"? Maybe tie-in certain subject to meals..... Latin, Math, English done by lunch or NO lunch. The rest done by dinner or no dinner.

 

Sorry if this sounds too tough but some dc need LOUDER consequnces.

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I always tie in consequences to meals... it just works. The girls spent two hours in their room this morning deciding when they wanted to clean it up. They finally got bored and hungry and decided to clean it.

 

Check out the book, Love and Logic. It talks a lot about natural consequences (as opposed to punishments) Really the only diff. between the two is our attitude.

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This may not even apply to your daughter's situation, but have you tried giving her more to do? My youngest brother thinks and learns differently from anyone else in our family, and he has always taken an extremely long time to complete his schoolwork--every minute he has until bedtime, no matter how little work there was to do. Over years of frustrating trial and error, my parents have learned that he will always take whatever time he has, so instead of giving him fewer tasks to complete, they give him more--and he still completes them all, in exactly the amount of time he has before bedtime. He's in high school now, and he never has unstructured free time on school days (because he would just draw out his homework over the whole time), but he does have structured social activities, cross country running, piano lessons, etc., and he gets straight A's in all honors classes.

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I understand about missing the lesson, losing the money, but for me, I think it is more important that she learns responsibility from what we are doing.
But my kids know they are expected to work at the activities for which they take lessons, in spite of their enjoyment. ;) I don't see how taking away something a child is motivated to do helps them *want* to do their regular work (as opposed to grudgingly finishing). It's all learning, and for me, having the kids in structured physical activities (especially ones that could turn into lifelong interests) is every bit as important as learning how to divide fractions.
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Does she want to finish? I just ask because at the end of last year Calvin was taking forever to finish things. I decided in the end that he was just going through a dreamy stage and needed help to stay focused. Things that I did:

 

- sat him on an exercise cushion (similar to this) so that the constant slight body movement kept his brain awake

- sat by him to bring him back when his mind was wandering

- gave him a timer for every task

- started each week and each day with tasks which were more straightforward, so he got into a brisker mode

- reviewed what I was asking him to do, then enforced his finishing every scrap by Sunday night

 

I think that the exercise cushion is the biggest help. If that hadn't worked, I would have moved him to an exercise ball. He's doing a good job completing a pretty substantial workload this year.

 

Best wishes

 

Laura

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Couple of questions. What time does she start? Do you get emotional over her dawdling? She may enjoying your reaction. Is it at all possible she has ADD? Often girls daydream and dawdle when they have ADD.

 

My dawdlers are girls, too. My 7th grader is doing much better this year and part of that is because I allow her to have coffee in the morning. Before it was more of a fight to get her out of bed, off the couch, remind her to follow through. The caffeine has helped her.

 

If you have done everything I would probably have her evaluated to rule anything out like ADD or LDs.

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Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I really appreciate it.

 

I think dd finally wants to improve time management, but it's difficult. She has no sense of time. Two hours can literally seem like 15 minutes to her. We've tried timers. The timer rings, but the work is still not done.

 

She is a night owl and likes free time to do creative projects. Last night, I thought of making her bedtime 7:30 pm on days when assignments are not done by 7:00 pm. I wasn't sure if I should then make her complete the homework on Saturday, or just grade what's done. I don't want her to think turning in homework late is an acceptable alternative.

 

Oh, some of her lessons have attendance policies. If she skips too many without sufficient advance notice (48 hours unless ill), she will be dropped. Also, her enjoyment of piano and riding is borderline. We moved last summer, and the lessons are harder here. She has been working hard though, and is making much progress. As she gets better, she likes the lessons more.

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What consequences do you have for your children if schoolwork is not done on time?

 

I have a dd in 7th grade. She is capable of doing the work, but she DAWDLES. I have tried limiting the number of assignments due each day, so she won't feel overwhelmed. It seems to make no difference. Everything always seems to take too long for her to do. :confused:

 

She really does not watch tv or play on the computer, so restricting usage of these things won't work.

 

By the way, here are her typical assignments:

Saxon Algebra 1/2

Rod & Staff Grammar 7

Henle Latin I (vocab review only)

Spanish (vocab review only)

Lightning Lit 7

American History (outline once per week)

Apologia General Science (at coop, assignment done at home)

 

Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

 

There has to be something that is her favorite thing to do. You just limit that. For my dd it happens to be video games, but if it were not it would either be reading for fun or "telling her stories" in the hall while bouncing her ball. I really wouldn't hate to limit those, but she has to learn that one does work before play, so I would.

 

For the first month that I told her that she would loose privileges she still did not do well and often lost at least one turn. Like your dd she has very little sense of time and can piddle away time doing the most mundane of things to amuse herself. The cats are probably the biggest distraction in the house for her. My reading to one of the other children would be the second-she will drop everything she is doing to listen even if she has herd it 10 times before. I was about to really consider that her work load was too much when she suddenly bucked up and started getting things done on time. :glare: She almost got me. Now she goes through cycles of being really on top of things and slacking off. I pay attention to how much she is getting done each day so I can warn her in advanced she isn't focusing, so by the end of the week when she looses a privilege she knows full well she could have changed it.

 

Heather

 

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This very issue is driving me nuts right now as well.

 

So here's my question - does it seem worthwhile to try two approaches at once - $1 for each day work is finished on time, for instance, as well as taking away bedtime free reading if she does not finish on time?

 

Telling her she had to go to bed early (esp. earlier than her little brother) and no free reading time would really get her. She's also motivated by money though, so I'm wondering which way to go.

 

Any experienced mom thoughts on this? (or dads... :001_smile:)

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but what if you took school away? What if she got to be a full-time housekeeper, cook, yardman, etc. for a solid week and school was a priivilege to be earned the following week.

 

She could also pay you back for her afternoon lessons (take her but make her pay for them on the days she is dawdling) that way you do not lose your slot but there is a consequence for not working in a timely manner. She can use birthday money, piggy-bank, whatever.

 

Or, what about "he who does not work, does not eat"? Maybe tie-in certain subject to meals..... Latin, Math, English done by lunch or NO lunch. The rest done by dinner or no dinner.

 

Sorry if this sounds too tough but some dc need LOUDER consequnces.

 

 

:iagree: this is what I did for one of my ds's and my dd, they only made it one day before they were begging to go back to school. If I ever have to do it again, it will be "boot camp" complete with the 5am wake up call and PT.

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Is it at all possible she has ADD? Often girls daydream and dawdle when they have ADD.

 

My dawdlers are girls, too. My 7th grader is doing much better this year and part of that is because I allow her to have coffee in the morning. Before it was more of a fight to get her out of bed, off the couch, remind her to follow through. The caffeine has helped her.

 

If you have done everything I would probably have her evaluated to rule anything out like ADD or LDs.

 

:iagree:

 

I've heard of hormones doing this, but I would second the recommendation for an evaluation. It can be very hard to identify ADD without the D, the type that is most common in girls. Reasonable consequences are crucial, but it's also really worth finding out what is under her control and what's not before applying punishments.

 

:grouphug: We struggle with this, too. I know our 14 yo dd is as frustrasted as we are over the challenge to get her daily work done. She works hard in her way and is responsible.

 

BTW, she drinks tea in the morning, and the occasional cup of coffee really helps. We've just added a concentrated fish oil supplement, and I'm watching for signs of improvement.:001_smile:

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Schoolwork tied to meals? Are you kidding me? I can't focus or think when I don't eat, I certainly wouldn't expect my children to be able to. If my kids were in public school and had lunch withheld for unfinished work I would hit.the.roof.

 

It's a good thing meals aren't tied to laundry or the million things I'm supposed to get done everyday- I'd starve!

 

I'd make sure she likes the work - she sounds bored, bigtime. Maybe the schoolwork needs fixing, and not the child.

 

Please don't throw tomatoes - just withholding food sounds so controlling and mean - there *has* to be a better way than that.

 

Good luck - may your school goals be successful and your relationship with your beloved daughter remain healthy and intact!

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Schoolwork tied to meals? Are you kidding me? I can't focus or think when I don't eat, I certainly wouldn't expect my children to be able to. If my kids were in public school and had lunch withheld for unfinished work I would hit.the.roof.
I agree, and feel much the same way about restricting physical activity.
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Wow, this is my problem right now too. I find there is a disconnect between discussing the issue and actually doing something about the issue of getting school work done. DD is fully aware of lingering work left undone not for just days, but weeks at a time. Intellectually she understands she must do her school work, get up early, play piano, etc., but on a daily basis she does not meet even the smallest of these goals and get up early.

 

I've looked into how to build motivation. Intrinsic motivation, which comes from within, and extrinsic motivation which can be the carrot, the grade, the privilege; both of these motivators work together, but I am at a loss as how to cultivate motivation in a tween. In my opinion, to take privilege away can undermine your relationship with your child.

 

I do think the tweens are entering the long phase of establishing their independence and this grinding to a halt in their school work is part of the process. They need more sleep, they stay up late, they argue, they are late to lessons, they are finding their way and they certainly do not want Mom to tell them what to do anymore.

 

The issue of consequence in the home school environment is so different from "regular" school. We let our kids learn even if the work is turned in late; yet in the "real" world bills must be paid on deadline or one suffers finance charges. Meeting deadlines and enforcing deadlines is one of the most difficult obstacles of home schooling beyond the middle school years.

 

When I discover what works I will most assuredly share what I did and how I made it work, but until then I am taking one day at a time hoping for small victories.

 

Best of luck,

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