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How do you teach time management?


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I assigned a book to DS (11yo) at the beginning of Christmas break and told him it had to be done by the 3rd, when we resumed studies. He left it the whole first week, then we had to fight him on the second. Needless to say, he's still not done and has lost all privileges until it is finished: no video games, Legos, going out, etc. He will be quized on it at the end too, to be sure he actually read it.

 

So how do you teach them to be accountable in their work without nagging? I suppose this would fall in with not only assigned reading, but writing assignments and projects too. (Neither of which we've really tackled yet, but I'm guessing we need to for the practice.) If they were in PS and he didn't do the reading, he'd more than likely get an F, since we don't do grades, that isn't really an option.:confused:

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:bigear:

 

My 11 yo ds is the same way. He has always been this way though. I feel like pulling my hair out at times, but I know that would do no good so I'm hoping you get some good help here.

 

Now, my 8 yo ds is super motivated. He always gets things done quickly and he loves being in charge of his own calendar. (this all makes it harder for older ds though)

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My kids are too little to consider myself experienced. But I often wish that someone had sat down with me when I was that age to break down big projects into smaller, less overwhelming pieces. I was smart and was able to get good grades in spite of myself. But I was never able to memorize anything, and I could never write a paper, except by cramming it all in at the end. So now I am faced with teaching my children something that I never learned. (But I do feel that I am on the right track.)

 

So I wonder if you sat down with him each week to help him plan things out, would it help him eventually learn how to do that for himself. We just started using TOG, and I have been reading about all these families whose children plan their own weeks, and I have come to understand that this did not happen overnight. Those moms sat and planned with their children for months or even years before the kids could do it on their own. So with that in mind, dd5 and I sit down each Monday morning to plan. Right now, I am not showing her how to plan so much as getting her into the habit of doing it and helping her think of it as a normal and necessary part of school.

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I started doing this last spring and it works great, I sit down with him after his first day of reading a new book. I see how many pages he read. He has some reading delays and is gradually improving so it can vary from book to book. Then we divide the remaining pages by the number of pages he read that day to determine how many days it will take him to finish. I allow him to read for only 30 minutes per day at this point and prefer to gauge my goals from that instead of picking a random finish date.

 

Then I make sure he reads every day. Last week I started writing down the page numbers to see if he is staying on pace. Then he has a clear daily goal in mind.

 

If I assign reading during off school hours I usually make him come into a public area of the house and do the reading. I also try to model good reading habits and will sometimes sit and do my reading for the day at the same time he does.

 

I'm hoping at some point down the road this will become an ingrained habit for him, but right now we purposely walk through each of the steps.

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The first assignment my two oldest have to turn in when they have a new book to read is a schedule for completion. I give them a blank calendar (that they put into their school agenda) and they have to indicate how many pages a day they will read in order to get the book read by the due date. They know to divide the number of pages by the days to get a daily requirement. They have to turn that schedule in for my approval before they can continue with school work for that day. So if I assign the book on Mon. they have to give me a schedule by Tue. morning. Then its just a matter of them checking off each day that they have read. They like to do their reading before bedtime; if they don't complete it by the next day then they loose privileges until they are caught up.

 

For their regular assignments I used to make a checklist for them for the week and they would follow it, but we just do the next lesson in most of our subjects so it became pointless. Now they just know to do the next lesson for each subject. (except history and science are interest led right now so we just verbally discuss I check to make sure they are current at the end of every day and if they aren't they loose privileges the next day until they are caught up. We have done it this way from the beginning so we haven't had any problems. I think they are afraid of what will happen if they push me.:tongue_smilie:

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I assigned a book to DS (11yo) at the beginning of Christmas break and told him it had to be done by the 3rd, when we resumed studies. He left it the whole first week, then we had to fight him on the second. Needless to say, he's still not done and has lost all privileges until it is finished: no video games, Legos, going out, etc. He will be quized on it at the end too, to be sure he actually read it.

 

So how do you teach them to be accountable in their work without nagging? I suppose this would fall in with not only assigned reading, but writing assignments and projects too. (Neither of which we've really tackled yet, but I'm guessing we need to for the practice.) If they were in PS and he didn't do the reading, he'd more than likely get an F, since we don't do grades, that isn't really an option.:confused:

 

Dude, it's not Christmas break if you assign work!! :D

 

Most kids that age aren't ready to break a task like that down on their own. You can't say, "this needs to be done by the 3rd," you have to sit down with him and say, "you have three weeks to finish this, let's break it down into four equal parts, and build in a buffer . . ." and so on. Then you need to check in with him for each mini-deadline, and adjust accordingly. It's a skill that needs to be taught, step by step. If he were in school, his teacher would be giving the students multiple deadlines and checking them.

 

There are many project and time management books aimed at the middle grades that can be helpful, but do not expect him to read the book and suddenly 'get it.' It's a long-term learning process.

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I agree with others, that such time-management is a learning process. Only certain personality types would be able to do that assisgnment, at such an age, without guidance.

 

If you look at it from his perspective, especially if he had never had such an assignment before, he would really have no idea that he would needed to break it down, schedule it out to ensure completetion by a certain date. That would be just beyond the thought process for most children at that age (except for the most Type A personalities)

 

I would have done what others suggested, with my DS12. Sit down, figure out a schedule for completion and given general reminders "How is the reading going? Keeping on track?"

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\

 

Most kids that age aren't ready to break a task like that down on their own. You can't say, "this needs to be done by the 3rd," you have to sit down with him and say, "you have three weeks to finish this, let's break it down into four equal parts, and build in a buffer . . ." and so on. Then you need to check in with him for each mini-deadline, and adjust accordingly. It's a skill that needs to be taught, step by step. If he were in school, his teacher would be giving the students multiple deadlines and checking them.

 

 

:iagree:

 

I give my elementary and younger middle school kids planners that break down everything that needs to be completed every single day. As they get older, typically between 6th and 8th grade, I gradually start making more generalized plans that may say something along the lines of.......finish this book in 3 weeks.

 

But.......that still does not negate me of my responsibilities in following up on their progress. Weekly check-ins via discussion, etc are MY responsibility.

 

I don't remember ever being expected to complete an assignment with no follow-up except it being assigned until college age and the syllabus being the almighty reminder (along with frequent in class reminders).

 

Even research papers, etc in high school had thesis, note card, outline, rough draft, and final copy deadlines, not assignment and paper due.

 

FWIW.......it can be a learning curve to know when it is our mistake. :tongue_smilie: I remember when our oldest when in 6th or 7th grade and I had just had a baby. I asked him daily if he had done math and if he had graded his own work. Daily he told me yes and that he understood everything. One day I asked him to bring me his book and he brought it very reluctantly. Turns out he hadn't done math in over 3 weeks.

 

Know what I learned from that once I got over being upset that ds had lied? I had fallen flat on my teaching duties. Kids are kids. We can't expect them to not give in to temptations if we lead them right to the door of the temptation. Teachers assign work, ask for it to be turned in, and then grade it. They teach. They ask leading questions. They assign work in appropriate portions. If I am not doing the same for my children and they mess up, I usually need to look at myself first in order to find out what went wrong and how to correct it so it isn't repeated.

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Most kids that age aren't ready to break a task like that down on their own. You can't say, "this needs to be done by the 3rd," you have to sit down with him and say, "you have three weeks to finish this, let's break it down into four equal parts, and build in a buffer . . ." and so on. Then you need to check in with him for each mini-deadline, and adjust accordingly. It's a skill that needs to be taught, step by step. If he were in school, his teacher would be giving the students multiple deadlines and checking them.

 

There are many project and time management books aimed at the middle grades that can be helpful, but do not expect him to read the book and suddenly 'get it.' It's a long-term learning process.

 

That.

 

It takes a long time. It takes almost everyone a long time to really learn this.

 

I think you didn't really give him the tools necessary to achieve that particular goal. You are teaching him a new skill, like reading or math. Esp if he is not a kid who has experience with public school. The ps kids I know have a marginally better sense of such thing. They are more used to bringing things home and having to return them to school etc. I also think the teachers give them lots and lots of reminders.

 

One thing that is also helpful is to read the same book at the same time with the same goals. If you count out the chapters and the days and figure out how many need to be done in that time, then you read it as well. I am not saying do it all the time, more often at the begning and then taper off. Or, find a book of similar length.

 

It also helps to discuss the book over dinner, ask where he is, if he likes it so far. I sometimes do chapter narrations or plot line summaries to make sure he is keeping to the schedule.

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Are you sure the book just wasn't a poor fit? I mean any time my dd does that with me, the book was just a poor fit. But I wouldn't start with a multi-week assignment. You have to break it down with smaller steps. If you want a 1000 page book read, then break it down into 100 pages a day and actually make sure he did it. That's totally hands-on with you driving, but he learns how to do something in steps and with a plan. The next time you back off a bit more and a bit more.

 

I've done weeklong projects with my dd, but not yet multi-week. I still check on her quite a bit to break things into steps and make sure they're getting done. Some kids need more than others, but no matter what, it's a teaching process.

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I asked him daily if he had done math and if he had graded his own work. Daily he told me yes and that he understood everything. One day I asked him to bring me his book and he brought it very reluctantly. Turns out he hadn't done math in over 3 weeks.

 

Oh yeah, lol. :lol:

 

Read this once and thought it was pretty wise: You get what you inspect.

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You get what you inspect.

 

My husband always says, "inspect what you expect." I always try to remember this when I assign my dc responsibilities, whether lesson assignments or chores. My girls tend to work more diligently when they know I'll be checking in during the process and after the task is completed.

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Thank you so much for all the advice, I didn't think I was alone. The boy loves to read, when it's something HE wants to read. Assigned reading has always been an issue, therefore we are doing more of it. Trying to get through to him that sometimes you just have to read things you don't want to and be done with it. When we saw that he wasn't choosing to read, because he didn't want to, we started assigning him the reading, first at 30 minutes a day on his schedule then upping it to 45. He's admitted that he likes the book, he just DOESN'T WANT TO DO IT. He gets a checklist every day for his assignments and those that are due at the end of the day, he usually has no problem completing. If it's not due for a couple days though, forget it, he won't even start it that day, he has "time."

 

I love the idea of him turning in a reading schedule to me. I think that idea will work well with him. We'll keep working. He'll be getting a new book soon enough.

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