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If you're already mean, how do you get meaner? or HOW in on earth do I get this kid


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to focus????

 

We have X amount of work. It is not an insurmountable mountain of work, just work.

 

Her work is taking f.o.r.e.v.e.r because she dawdles, daydreams, doodles . . .

 

I'm ready to tear my hair out!

 

She is not getting work done.

 

So, I could say that she doesn't get her screen time till her work is done today but . . . she doesn't have any screen time! She gets screen time on weekends so there is no immediate drive to finish today.

 

I could say that she doesn't get to watch a movie but . . . right, no movies till the weekend.

 

I could say that she doesn't get to play with friends but . . . She doesn't get together with friends on most school days.

 

I could say that she doesn't get to do her extracurricular activities but . . . most we don't consider extracurricular. Violin is part of school, not an extra. Ditto for our girls' club. I could bar her from going to riding lessons but they're only 2nd and 4th Fridays. I'd do it, though, if it would help.

 

I could say that she's not allowed food and water till she finishes her work but there is a part of me that, despite all my frustration, remains human enough not to consider that . . . very seriously.

 

P.L.E.A.S.E!!! What is the answer???

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Well I'm posting more to subscribe for others' answers. I have the same issues with my two oldest. Sometimes they work efficiently but sometimes they dawdle and daydream and stall for so long I am pulling my hair out. I have tried assigning extra chores (which is semi effective) and I've moved bedtime up in increments related to how many times I've had to tell them to get back to work. I'd love to hear more ideas for consequences to this problem.

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Allow her to have some screen time every day. Then you can say no screen time until she finishes her work.

 

Also, I would suggest that you sit with her for a good portion of it to help her focus. Allow her to do some of it orally. Save writing energy for what matters--essays, reports, stories.

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This is what I did with my girls:

 

One Sunday night, we sat down and I explained what work had to be done each day that week. I told them what they didn't finish on Mon, they had to do on Saturday. What wasn't finished on Tues, had to be finished on Sat. Etc....

 

Each morning, each girl got a checklist for that day's work.

 

The work that wasn't completed by 4pm got put in the Saturday school box.

 

Dh and I had conspired early in the week to have a fun outing on Saturday. OF COURSE, the girls had work they had to make up. They missed the fun outing.

 

To this day, they are efficient workers. :)

 

At that age, I would teach in the mornings and the girls would finish their homework in the afternoon.

 

hth!

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Sit right beside her. Help her get the work done. Show her that it shouldn't take hours to do 5 math problems or days to do a paragraph for history. Then time her. Once she knows how and knows that she can do the work in so many minutes turn her loose. Tell her, "You now have 45 minutes to do these math problems. Anything not done is homework." If the work isn't done then it is homework to be done under the watchful eye of dad.

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Well I'm posting more to subscribe for others' answers. Me, too! Well, I have done that, too.I have the same issues with my two oldest. Sometimes they work efficiently but sometimes they dawdle and daydream and stall for so long I am pulling my hair out. I have tried assigning extra chores Me, too!(which is semi effective) and I've moved bedtime up in increments related to how many times I've had to tell them to get back to work. Me, too!I'd love to hear more ideas for consequences to this problem.

 

Sigh . . . You can be in my Bald Mothers Unite club.

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Oh heaven, just let her sit until she's done.....After you make sure that her work is challenging enough without being too challenging, make sure she's getting enough sleep and strategize with her about what helps her focus.

 

My dawdly dreamer does best when I attend to these issues:

 

Sleep. He has a hard time sleeping at night, so I adjust waking up times occasionally to make sure he gets enough rest.

Boredom. If it's too easy, I lose him. Also the amount of work: Too much and he gets overwhelmed.

Pacing: I try to stagger subjects: Preferred, medium preferred, not preferred, highly preferred. Short breaks actually help a little with the pace too. He says they clear his head.

Snack. I make sure he's had protein. A handful of nuts of a piece of cheese helps some days.

Exercise, exercise, exercise! He focuses better if he's gotten some kind of morning exercise.

And reminders. He needs reminders to stay on task.

 

She may just have some struggles with attention. I try to balance my sit-til-you're-done with some compassion. I know it's just plain harder to focus some days.

 

Cat

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Allow her to have some screen time every day. Then you can say no screen time until she finishes her work.

 

Also, I would suggest that you sit with her for a good portion of it to help her focus. Allow her to do some of it orally. Save writing energy for what matters--essays, reports, stories.

 

I have considered this. I'm still a little skittish, though. I hate to have daily screen time. I don't know. I am thinking about it and thanks.

 

We try to choose some subject to do together and some independently.

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this may or may not work for your family...but it has worked for ours. Some kids won't speed up with this method, they just get hysterical, but it has worked for some of mine.

 

Here's what I've done....

 

I decide on what is a "reasonable" amount of work....

 

For awhile my stubborn one would want to spend an hour doing 10 math problems, when she could do it in 15 minutes. So here was my solution...

 

Breakfast is always a good big meal. Snack at 10:30, Lunch at 12.

 

 

At 10 o'clock, I've told her before. You need to have x,y, and z done by 10:30 or you forfeit your snack. At 10:15, she got a warning. At 10:30 mom said "Oh, no! you're not done. That stinks. Well, lunch is in an hour and a half. You need to have x,y,z and a,b, and c done by lunch."

 

At 11. I'd tell her the time. "One hour, dear" I'd tell her at 15 minute increments, so she could be aware of the time. At 11:45 I'd say, I hope you have your stuff done, we have pizza for lunch today!" At 12 when it was not done..."Aw, man, you didn't get finished. Well, I tell you what. I'll fix your plate and stick it in the microwave for you. Let me know when you are done."

 

All mom quotes are in a cheerful, happy, non-nagging tone of voice. I know this sounds harsh and ugly, but I looked at it this way....I was not being mean, my child was choosing to have a late lunch, by piddling around. I only did this when I was sure the slowness was caused by dawdling, and when I knew that she had a clear understanding of the work. Amazing;y, when she saw that I was not going to give in, all of a sudden the work got done.

 

And I have gone to activities and left her at home. The rule around here is if you aren't trying in school work, forget about 4-h, homeschool group parties, or sports practice.

 

For what it is worth it really helped my daughter. You really have to stick to your guns though, even if they get dramatic. (yes there was major drama. "you mean you're not going to let me eat! " "Of course you can eat...when you get your stuff finished.")

 

 

Alternately, if they piddle and don't get lunch (pizza) and they really NEED lunch to be able to concentrate (some kids are like this!) perhaps they get lunch, but it might be something rather dull (plain oatmeal, plain toast).

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Sit right beside her. Help her get the work done. Show her that it shouldn't take hours to do 5 math problems or days to do a paragraph for history. Then time her. Once she knows how and knows that she can do the work in so many minutes turn her loose. Tell her, "You now have 45 minutes to do these math problems. Anything not done is homework." If the work isn't done then it is homework to be done under the watchful eye of dad.

 

I agree. :iagree:

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to focus????

 

We have X amount of work. It is not an insurmountable mountain of work, just work.

 

Her work is taking f.o.r.e.v.e.r because she dawdles, daydreams, doodles . . .

 

I'm ready to tear my hair out!

 

She is not getting work done.

 

So, I could say that she doesn't get her screen time till her work is done today but . . . she doesn't have any screen time! She gets screen time on weekends so there is no immediate drive to finish today.

 

I could say that she doesn't get to watch a movie but . . . right, no movies till the weekend.

 

I could say that she doesn't get to play with friends but . . . She doesn't get together with friends on most school days.

 

I could say that she doesn't get to do her extracurricular activities but . . . most we don't consider extracurricular. Violin is part of school, not an extra. Ditto for our girls' club. I could bar her from going to riding lessons but they're only 2nd and 4th Fridays. I'd do it, though, if it would help.

 

I could say that she's not allowed food and water till she finishes her work but there is a part of me that, despite all my frustration, remains human enough not to consider that . . . very seriously.

 

P.L.E.A.S.E!!! What is the answer???

I certainly don't have all the answers. I can be a member of the bald mothers unite club. However, one thing that sometimes helps me with this is bribery.

 

Yes, I'm not only a mean, bald mother, I'm also the type who sometimes bribes her children with chocolate and other treats. Nothing big, but little treats that we don't usually have can be "earned." I was thrilled this week to give my children mini 100 Grand chocolate bars to reward them for 100% on their spelling tests. I had one too--because I earned it.

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A timer is your friend. ;) Start small with a challenge, "Can you finish this 1 problem in 1 minute?" Offer small incentives if necessary such as a short break, a chance to read her favorite book, a silly song together, etc. Move up to 5-15 minutes and teach her to race the clock.

 

Just remember, being able to focus on your work is a learned skill for some of us. :D It really does require someone standing over you giving you a guiding hand. My mom was that someone for me when I was about your dd's age.

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I wanted to say that sometimes the answer isn't being "meaner" but helping them through what might be too overwhelming for them. I will assign 3 problems of math to dd9 (maybe up to 5) and then ask her to do 5 windmills and 3 jumping jacks. Then I assign x more. Having a very short goal and a little break to get the blood flowing helps her a lot.

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:iagree: Here at our house, math was making me crazy. It would take 45 min to do 20 min. of work, and it was sloppy and incorrect. Finally I told ds that he had 25 min. to do his math lesson. I use a timer and set it up in the table near him. If he finishes early, the extra time is his. He *has* to finish the lesson, no matter how long it takes though. If the work is sloppy and/or incorrect he has to re-do it. He has risen to the challenge and really loves getting done early enough to go irritate his sisters for a few minutes before our next lesson. We have had quite a few days in which he finished in under 20 min. (which makes me think it is time to do 2 lessons a day. ;) EVIL LAUGHTER)

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I have considered this. I'm still a little skittish, though. I hate to have daily screen time. I don't know. I am thinking about it and thanks.

 

 

 

It doesn't have to be screen time, it's just that screen time is easy to implement.

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For what it is worth it really helped my daughter. You really have to stick to your guns though, even if they get dramatic. (yes there was major drama. "you mean you're not going to let me eat! " "Of course you can eat...when you get your stuff finished.")

 

 

OP, I think this is well worth exploring to see if it would work for your dd.

 

:tongue_smilie: I tried something similar with ds7 last week - on his too-easy homework (he goes to school and has a weekly packet that should take him all of a half hour, even considering he is a slow processor) - and it wasn't a huge motivator - I couldn't believe it. Homemade mac and cheese waiting in the wings, and he still wouldn't do his work. He had to go sit with DH, who acted all threatening. Another hour and a half later, it was done. I have NO idea why he's being so stubborn - I suspect the homework is boring. Now this morning, we had a delayed start for school (snow) that I thought we might as well take advantage of and get that homework done, and all I had to do to get him to start was to threaten to call his teacher. So I sat with the phone in my hand, and began dialing periodically :).

 

With my dd9, for whom I'm the teacher, I haven't tried the food thing - she is too strong-willed. Plus she has a way of making me feel guilty that is second to none (ok, second only to my own mother).

 

Have her use the daily planner. The after dinner hour is for everything that didn't get done....she does not go to bed until it is finished.

While you are training this, check in with her after every subject's allotted independent work time is up. Positive feedback where you can, express confidence that she can meet her goal.

 

Make sure the daily plan has down time so she can daydream and 2 hrs of exercise.

 

One Sunday night, we sat down and I explained what work had to be done each day that week. I told them what they didn't finish on Mon, they had to do on Saturday. What wasn't finished on Tues, had to be finished on Sat. Etc....

 

Each morning, each girl got a checklist for that day's work.

 

The work that wasn't completed by 4pm got put in the Saturday school box.

 

Dh and I had conspired early in the week to have a fun outing on Saturday. OF COURSE, the girls had work they had to make up. They missed the fun outing.

 

I like these plans. OP, does she already have a list/schedule of the work to be completed each day/week? Recently I started using a weekly spreadsheet (ok we're on week 2 of this approach LOL) for dd9 and it's really helping a lot. Plus she has recently discovered that Little House is on TV every day at 1 pm, and she has to finish her work in order to watch. Of course, moments ago she snuck (is that even a word?) upstairs to the TV in my room, and she has done all her work except for Latin. That's a subject we need to do together, so Latin is about to come to her...:D Since we started the weekly spreadsheet, I'm seeing a lot more efficiency, and places where I can add in more work. I tried not to make the schedule too onerous that first week, then this second week I added in a bit more, and next week I plan to add a tad more, to make sure we're at "full capacity."

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Hi everyone I am new here from TX.:001_smile:

 

I started HS 2 yrs ago when my older DD was 5. From 5yr old to 6yr-old was our HS honeymoon time. Then her personality emerged and had more of her own opinions but most of all, she day dreams ALL the TIME.

 

I have been reading books and learning about power struggles with kids.

With some advices from other master HS moms, I tried the following tips that made some progress with my DD's work speed and our relationship:

 

1. first shorten the work=shorten the time each subject needed to be done. I explained to my DD that I was sad to see both of us got frustrated so I am trying a new way to help her finish it quicker with better quality. Once her better attitude and habit to work well is built then I

 

2. Find my child's learning strength, learning style:

From observing what kinds of activities makes her eyes spark and engaged, I make sure to create some activities to help her get through the subjects she likes less.

In my case it's math. So I make sure I don't forget to use manipulative and abacus. We apply real life math situation(let her be a coffee shop owner) to a new concept from Miquon or a new arithmetic learning from Singapore.

I make sure any new concept is done with a very short segment of time and only give her review work with more content.

 

I found my DD is a people person like me. She likes to observe what people do where ever we go. If works get dull, I just pull my kids out of the house to the library or most of time to Whole Food's. My girls get some muffins while I enjoy my coffee. This somehow energizes both of us and helps her focused and get work done much easier.

 

3. Find out her up/down time: we try to do new stuff first thing in the morning after breakfast and save review works and her favorite art projects in the late afternoon. Now my dd#2 is 2 yr old so it's much trickier this year to try to get things done with her wanting my attention all the time. But I make sure to end the day with a good amount of read-aloud to my DD#1 to both of us

 

4. My dh and I decided that computer/tv time should/toy should not the tool to haggle with how she works. "Works should be done no matter what and learning well is for her own sake" has been kind of a motto inbed in our daily conversation (not preaching).

 

Hope things get better for you soon.

 

--------

Cellist

dd#1, 7yr old, Eclectic Chinese-English bilingual/Chinese poetry/cello/piano/art/SL 1-2 &Science/Miquon-Saxon2-Singapore/Muzzy French/Wordly Wise

dd#2, 2-yr-old, Mainly Chinese speaking/pretend to play the cello/count to 10 in Chinese, English & French.

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And actually, the meds really do help. I seriously wish they had been available when I was younger.

 

But apart from that, I think some of the following might have worked for me:

 

1) Make sure she gets HARD physical exercise in the morning. Every single morning.

 

2) Make sure she gets outside time every single day. For some reason, sunlight really seems to help me, as does just being outside.

 

3) Forget about what other people tell you she "should" be able to do at this age. If she's not getting her work done, sit down with her while she does it. If it works, it works. If she's your only, you probably can manage that. If you have others, YMMV, but she may just need more help staying organized and focused.

 

4) If sitting down with her doesn't work, figure out what does. Maybe having a timer set. Maybe telling her, "I just want to see how long it takes" without any threat of consequences.

 

5) Maybe dietary changes could help. You might want to check out recommendations for non-medicinal ADD treatment. Even if she's not ADD, I imagine that attention is a spectrum, and she's not where you want her on the spectrum.

 

6) I've been told that attention deficit could also be thought of as 'interest deficit" and that some of us just aren't as able to get our neurotransmitters firing on what others think we should be interested in achieving. For me, right now, that would be paying the bills:)

 

7) It sounds like you don't have screen time and movies, which is fine. I applaud that. She doesn't get together with friends. She has extracurriculars but she doesn't really love them - they are part of school. Apart from twice a month horse riding. Maybe you need to figure out what she really would love doing with her free time. Does she have anything she just gets really excited about and loves?

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I wanted to say that sometimes the answer isn't being "meaner" but helping them through what might be too overwhelming for them. I will assign 3 problems of math to dd9 (maybe up to 5) and then ask her to do 5 windmills and 3 jumping jacks. Then I assign x more. Having a very short goal and a little break to get the blood flowing helps her a lot.

 

:iagree::iagree: I was going to write this, but Jean beat me to it. If "being mean" hasn't worked, it is time to pull something else out of the parenting bag of tricks.

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Is it possible that she is ADHD-inattentive? If so, nothing will help until you medicate.

 

:iagree: That is what jumps to mind for me, because dh has that severely & after over 30 years, he finally medicated. The difference is AMAZING. Dd5 is showing signs of it as well. It's hard for her to even sit down for a meal. I have simple lists taped to the wall but she forgets to look at them or skips parts of them because she's, well, "inattentive" :tongue_smilie:.

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Also, I would suggest that you sit with her for a good portion of it to help her focus. Allow her to do some of it orally. Save writing energy for what matters--essays, reports, stories.

 

I definitely agree with this. My daughter is much happier and more cooperative when she has limited writing and more oral stuff. We don't even do math on paper every day; sometimes it's just not necessary, and we can breeze through things with me sitting and discussing them with her, whereas if I wanted her to do it on her own, it would take forever and be frustrating. We also do a lot of our schoolwork as a family, with me reading aloud. We have also started breaking up our schoolwork, having a break for a quick household task and a snack in the middle, and that works well. I know my children also focus better when their tummies are full, and they seem to need snacks/protein every few hours.

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Sit right beside her. Help her get the work done. Show her that it shouldn't take hours to do 5 math problems or days to do a paragraph for history. Then time her. Once she knows how and knows that she can do the work in so many minutes turn her loose. Tell her, "You now have 45 minutes to do these math problems. Anything not done is homework." If the work isn't done then it is homework to be done under the watchful eye of dad.

This is what ds and I had to do.

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At 11 yo, she is old enough to have her consequence follow by several days. I would take away weekend privileges.

 

I've also set up situations like Aggie suggested. That works well.

 

FWIW, I read your post to my 14 yo, who had this same problem at about age 9 or 10, and she giggled. She saiys to let her have it (consequences, she means,) and she will thank you for it later. :D

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Is her work challenging enough? That was me in grade school. My thinking was what's the point of doing the busy work, so it would drag on all day without an incentive. If it is challenging enough, then consider setting up a reward for finishing by x time instead of a punishment if it's not. Just a thought. :)

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I was thrilled this week to give my children mini 100 Grand chocolate bars to reward them for 100% on their spelling tests. I had one too--because I earned it.

 

I initially read this as "I was thrilled this week to give my children 100 mini grand chocolate bars..." and I thought wow :001_huh: I think that's taking rewards a bit too far. :D

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Instead of trying to remove something positive to get her to work, give her an incentive to work toward. This is not the same thing as a bribe, BTW. Give her something good to work toward.

 

Have her earn the incentive. At her age most motivation is going to be external. Children that age tend not to have well-developed intrinsic motivation toward academics.

 

Consider setting aside some time for her to daydream and doodle. Place it in between her most difficult and time consuming subjects. For example, give her twenty mins between math and Latin, two subjects that require a high level of attention.

 

The motivator could be something as simple as a cup of hot chocolate and a homemade cookie.

"Susie, if you finish your spelling by 10:30am we can have a warm snack."

 

If she is motivated by getting good grades, set a timer and say "Your spelling needs to be finished by the time the timer goes off. When the timer goes off, I will remove your spelling paper and your grade will reflect the amount of work you have completed." If good grades are her primary motivator, a few D's or F's should encourage her to work quickly.

--

I think we, as parents, tend to think removing something fun is the key to getting our children to work harder, faster, more accurately (not all of your problems). When, in reality, sometimes what our children need is looking forward to something fun, novel and relaxing.

Edited by The Dragon Academy
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I used to have dawdling slow workers until I put up a time schedule, like they would have in public school. It looks like this:

 

8:30, start school

9:45, recess

11:30, lunch

12:30, start school

2:00, recess

3:00 school adjourns.

 

I let it be known that anything not completed by 3:00 is homework. YES, there are days we don't start at 8:30, if I have a rough toddler night. Then we have our recess and lunch a bit later. HOWEVER... the latest we have finished was 3:15, on a day I had a doctor visit until 10:15. Mostly we are done before lunch, or 2pm at the latest.

 

Schedule something you have to be done by a certain time to do, like a fitness class or library trip. That usually does a good bit of motivation for us.

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Have her use the daily planner. The after dinner hour is for everything that didn't get done....she does not go to bed until it is finished.

While you are training this, check in with her after every subject's allotted independent work time is up. Positive feedback where you can, express confidence that she can meet her goal.

 

Make sure the daily plan has down time so she can daydream and 2 hrs of exercise.

 

A long term motivator is to connect her schoolwork with her future. My life plan is to be X, that means I need to finish A, so I can do B, etc. Step by step, I'll get there.

 

I feel for ya. I have one that was born without an internal clock. He had to use a timer, and I had to remove the mattress the first night so he would see that I was serious. He chose no meds. Even now he'll sometimes come sit next to me while he does his work as I read as a focus aid.

 

Our daily planner wasn't working for her. I always write in it and really use it more to journal what we did rather than what we would do.

 

However, I read this yesterday and ran to the store to get one just for her. She thinks she's going to like it. Thanks!

 

Part of our problem is the sitting by her. She's wanting more freedom from that but, at the same time, still needing some of it. We're looking for a balance. I think we were thinking that we could just turn off the mommy at my shoulder switch cold turkey. nope.

 

Thanks, Heigh Ho!

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Oh heaven, just let her sit until she's done.....After you make sure that her work is challenging enough without being too challenging, make sure she's getting enough sleep and strategize with her about what helps her focus.

 

My dawdly dreamer does best when I attend to these issues:

 

Sleep. He has a hard time sleeping at night, so I adjust waking up times occasionally to make sure he gets enough rest.

Boredom. If it's too easy, I lose him. Also the amount of work: Too much and he gets overwhelmed.

Pacing: I try to stagger subjects: Preferred, medium preferred, not preferred, highly preferred. Short breaks actually help a little with the pace too. He says they clear his head.

Snack. I make sure he's had protein. A handful of nuts of a piece of cheese helps some days.

Exercise, exercise, exercise! He focuses better if he's gotten some kind of morning exercise.

And reminders. He needs reminders to stay on task.

 

She may just have some struggles with attention. I try to balance my sit-til-you're-done with some compassion. I know it's just plain harder to focus some days.

 

Cat

 

Well, I choose our curriculum pretty carefully. I know it is very challenging. I don't think any of it is too challenging but her Latin class is the most challenging and we do it together.

 

I definately like your idea about pacing and will discuss this with my girl. And I don't think she gets a perfect diet. This is always something we struggle with. We eat very wholesomely but she always prefers starch heavy foods like pasta and eschews proteins. She's good on fruits and veggies, though. From a previous thread, I'm thinking more proteins and healthy fats would be good for her. Would this help her focus, do you think???

 

I do think she needs more exercise. We used to exercise everyday and I'm trying to remember how her focus was. I don't remember any problems. We're snow bound just now -- actually we are NOT snowbound but everyone else seems to be. :angry: No one is willing to open, drive, et c. It's getting old. Sorry, off my own topic. I am definately going to follow your advice on this. I do have her go out to play for a bit every day.

 

Reminders . . . we talked about this yesterday. I blush to say that she says more reminders and less nagging. What? Me?

 

Thanks, Funny! May I call you Funny? ;)

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:D

 

It's 2:30 and we've only got math done so far and only partially done with history. I'm getting :toetap05: .

 

How's the hair situation? When you start tearing it out, you can join our Bald Mommies Unite club.

 

I'd love to be the one who has no problems in this area and offer you tons of advice. Sorry. All I can offer is loving support. There. Did you feel that?

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This is what I did with my girls:

 

One Sunday night, we sat down and I explained what work had to be done each day that week. I told them what they didn't finish on Mon, they had to do on Saturday. What wasn't finished on Tues, had to be finished on Sat. Etc....

 

Each morning, each girl got a checklist for that day's work.

 

The work that wasn't completed by 4pm got put in the Saturday school box.

 

Dh and I had conspired early in the week to have a fun outing on Saturday. OF COURSE, the girls had work they had to make up. They missed the fun outing.

 

To this day, they are efficient workers. :)

 

At that age, I would teach in the mornings and the girls would finish their homework in the afternoon.

 

hth!

 

This is what I would do. I also give my DD9 a checklist, but mine is for the whole week, 5 days across the top, subjects down the side and the whole page filled in with what must be finished by Friday at 4:00 pm. We highlight each assignment as it is finished. It is a GREAT visual stimulator to get more work done. She LOVES to see that whole daily row turn yellow and eventually the entire page! She KNOWS that if it's not yellow by Friday, it's school on Sat. My DD knows that Dad is home on the weekends and she spends almost all her time with him. Doing school on Sat. is her worst nightmare because she doesn't want to miss out on being with her dad. She almost always finishes.

 

Also, I wouldn't let her get out of evening activites or chores because of unfinished school. What isn't done by 4:00 has to be done on Sat BECAUSE "you've got chores, then dinner with the family, then riding lessons tonight" or what ever (I'd permit a small amount of late evening homework). Then make Sat. really, really exciting! If this doesn't work, I'd begin to think that maybe she simply isn't capably of more focus due to ADD or some such thing. It certainly would not have worked for my DS (severe ADD).

Edited by katemary63
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Is it possible that she is ADHD-inattentive? If so, nothing will help until you medicate.

 

On the surface she does should ADHD to me, but who knows. Keep in mind that our collective societal idea of what ADHD "looks like" tends to be based on boys with ADHD - it can look different for girls. ADHD boys are often stereotypical wild kids - they sometimes get pretty loud about their distractions. But girls can be pretty quiet about it.

 

Also, I disagree that NOTHING will help until you medicate. That's one completely fine option, but if she did turn out to be ADHD, I would explore other options first - diet, exercise (movement really helps some kids to get exercise in the mornings or throughout the day), and all the wonderful tricks that help kids with ADHD.

 

Even if she isn't ADHD, I personally think looking at some of the tricks and teaching methods people with kids who do have ADHD could be helpful for an easily distractable child. I used to teach middle schoolers with a whole host of "issues" back when I was a teacher. Most of them were amazingly smart, but you had to know how to teach them - timers, kinetic activities, breaking things into very basic steps, letting them chew gum, and all those other little things can help some kids. My own kids wouldn't qualify for an IEP if they were in school, I'm pretty sure, but those teaching tricks I learned have absolutely helped me in homeschooling just because they're good to know.

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this may or may not work for your family...but it has worked for ours. Some kids won't speed up with this method, they just get hysterical, but it has worked for some of mine.

 

Here's what I've done....

 

I decide on what is a "reasonable" amount of work....

 

For awhile my stubborn one would want to spend an hour doing 10 math problems, when she could do it in 15 minutes. So here was my solution...

 

Breakfast is always a good big meal. Snack at 10:30, Lunch at 12.

 

 

At 10 o'clock, I've told her before. You need to have x,y, and z done by 10:30 or you forfeit your snack. At 10:15, she got a warning. At 10:30 mom said "Oh, no! you're not done. That stinks. Well, lunch is in an hour and a half. You need to have x,y,z and a,b, and c done by lunch."

 

At 11. I'd tell her the time. "One hour, dear" I'd tell her at 15 minute increments, so she could be aware of the time. At 11:45 I'd say, I hope you have your stuff done, we have pizza for lunch today!" At 12 when it was not done..."Aw, man, you didn't get finished. Well, I tell you what. I'll fix your plate and stick it in the microwave for you. Let me know when you are done."

 

All mom quotes are in a cheerful, happy, non-nagging tone of voice. I know this sounds harsh and ugly, but I looked at it this way....I was not being mean, my child was choosing to have a late lunch, by piddling around. I only did this when I was sure the slowness was caused by dawdling, and when I knew that she had a clear understanding of the work. Amazing;y, when she saw that I was not going to give in, all of a sudden the work got done.

 

And I have gone to activities and left her at home. The rule around here is if you aren't trying in school work, forget about 4-h, homeschool group parties, or sports practice.

 

For what it is worth it really helped my daughter. You really have to stick to your guns though, even if they get dramatic. (yes there was major drama. "you mean you're not going to let me eat! " "Of course you can eat...when you get your stuff finished.")

 

 

Alternately, if they piddle and don't get lunch (pizza) and they really NEED lunch to be able to concentrate (some kids are like this!) perhaps they get lunch, but it might be something rather dull (plain oatmeal, plain toast).

 

I have an only and she's 11. We're just now reaching the point where I feel comfortable leaving her alone but not for long. When that time does come, it will definately be a motivator to leave her home when we go out. One thing that moms of onlies miss out on is everyone else getting to do the fun activity. When we have plans to go out for pizza or to a movie and she gets grounded, not going is bad but she doesn't get the full impact of stewing in her bad decisions while everyone else goes. We can't leave her alone so no one gets to go. We still order out or watch something on netflix but it lacks the full impact.

 

On the food thing . . . I think I could do a version of that. I'll have to give it some thought. Actually, yeah, I'm going to think about this . . .

 

Thanks for the thoughtful reply!

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I certainly don't have all the answers. I can be a member of the bald mothers unite club. However, one thing that sometimes helps me with this is bribery.

 

Yes, I'm not only a mean, bald mother, I'm also the type who sometimes bribes her children with chocolate and other treats. Nothing big, but little treats that we don't usually have can be "earned." I was thrilled this week to give my children mini 100 Grand chocolate bars to reward them for 100% on their spelling tests. I had one too--because I earned it.

 

Hello, Sister!

 

Yeah, it's pitiful but I'm thining about it, too. She's only slightly motivated by food treats. What she really wants is screen time. I read this post an others yesterday and I spoke about it with my girl.

 

We've agree that for now she can have 30 minutes of screen time per day IF all her wk is done. Furthermore, she can double that if she gets all of the day's work AND half of the next day's work.

 

Thank you for the reply, Merry!

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A timer is your friend. ;) Start small with a challenge, "Can you finish this 1 problem in 1 minute?" Offer small incentives if necessary such as a short break, a chance to read her favorite book, a silly song together, etc. Move up to 5-15 minutes and teach her to race the clock.

 

Just remember, being able to focus on your work is a learned skill for some of us. :D It really does require someone standing over you giving you a guiding hand. My mom was that someone for me when I was about your dd's age.

 

Thanks for that, CofeeGal! We into trying that. We read this and talked about it and decided it was like a muscle that needs exercise. We're thinking about it!

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I wanted to say that sometimes the answer isn't being "meaner" but helping them through what might be too overwhelming for them. I will assign 3 problems of math to dd9 (maybe up to 5) and then ask her to do 5 windmills and 3 jumping jacks. Then I assign x more. Having a very short goal and a little break to get the blood flowing helps her a lot.

 

I didn't really mean mean, Jean! I don't think I'm mean and most days my daughter doesn't either. It's just that when I read most posts on the subject, the advice is to take away privledges she doesn't have.

 

We like the idea of alternating heavy thinking subjects with lighter ones and I think this idea could work well, too! I mean, I need to get up and stretch and get fresh eyes, why not my kiddo? Thanks!

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:iagree: Here at our house, math was making me crazy. It would take 45 min to do 20 min. of work, and it was sloppy and incorrect. Finally I told ds that he had 25 min. to do his math lesson. I use a timer and set it up in the table near him. If he finishes early, the extra time is his. He *has* to finish the lesson, no matter how long it takes though. If the work is sloppy and/or incorrect he has to re-do it. He has risen to the challenge and really loves getting done early enough to go irritate his sisters for a few minutes before our next lesson. We have had quite a few days in which he finished in under 20 min. (which makes me think it is time to do 2 lessons a day. ;) EVIL LAUGHTER)

 

Mwaahahahahah!

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It doesn't have to be screen time, it's just that screen time is easy to implement.

 

Almost too easy. We did it. We made the agreement that if she finished her wk by 4.30, she could have 30 minutes of screen time. If she finishes the day's work and half the next day's, she can double that.

 

We're implementing a lot of other ideas so hopefully some will work. The screen time worked yesterday eventhough we didn't start till after noon. sigh.

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To me...she sounds horrifically, excruciatingly, bored...

 

Ever try pitching the formal seat work for a day or a week or a month and doing something completely different? Museum trips, craft work, community service, dress-up and play, I dunno...just...something different?

 

Why assume we're not doing that stuff? We do a ton of that stuff but I can't let math go or latin for that matter. Yesterday for example, she made homemade crackers, sledded for about an hour, and worked on some surgery much needed by a stuffed animal. Not to mention she engaged in her most beloved activity: Reading!

 

Sadly, many of our activities are cancelled by snow (or rather lack of willingness to drive in snow by our friends). Book club is cancelled for tonight. Writing and playing with friends will be cancelled tomorrow. Girls' club and playing with friends and a project may be cancelled for Friday. I don't think either of us would call her bored.

 

We often go to the museums and next week (weather permitting) we're going to the historical school house/town somewhat near here in full costume for a day of book learnin' from the olden times.

 

I thank you for the reply and hope that your reply doesn't mean that you feel that kids need the things I mentioned in my op (screen time and outside activities) to be stimulated. That would be sad.

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