Jump to content

Menu

Independent work that will actually be done independently


Recommended Posts

Ds8 is driving me crazy. He will not work unless I am literally standing over him. I have been going over his lesson with him and giving him an assignment before sitting down with ds5 to do his reading. When ds5 is finished with his reading (about 10-20 min.) I will check ds8's work and he usually has gotten little if anything done. Another example is yesterday I needed to take a shower, so I told ds8 to do his handwriting (copy one Bible verse), spelling (part A of one lesson in R&S - about 8 questions), and read his new poem to memorize. None of this is difficult for him. I specifically chose those things because he can do them independently. I even told him if he had those things done when I got back out he could pick out a dvd at the library. I went to take a shower and came back about 25 minutes later and he HAD NOT EVEN WRITTEN A SINGLE LETTER!! I have to have him doing something independently while I work with ds5 (The shower thing was a one-time thing. I normally do not do that, but I was trying to give him a chance to show me he could do it). Any suggestions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is very typical for the age.

SWB has a great audio on children working independently where she talks about the different stages -- mother at elbow, mother in room, progressing to child working independently.

My DS is almost 11 and it has just been in the past year that he will work w/o me being in the same room. At 8, I still needed to be at his elbow. I didn't need to be helping (I would often read a book) but I did need to be there for him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ds8 is driving me crazy. He will not work unless I am literally standing over him. I have been going over his lesson with him and giving him an assignment before sitting down with ds5 to do his reading. When ds5 is finished with his reading (about 10-20 min.) I will check ds8's work and he usually has gotten little if anything done. Another example is yesterday I needed to take a shower, so I told ds8 to do his handwriting (copy one Bible verse), spelling (part A of one lesson in R&S - about 8 questions), and read his new poem to memorize. None of this is difficult for him. I specifically chose those things because he can do them independently. I even told him if he had those things done when I got back out he could pick out a dvd at the library. I went to take a shower and came back about 25 minutes later and he HAD NOT EVEN WRITTEN A SINGLE LETTER!! I have to have him doing something independently while I work with ds5 (The shower thing was a one-time thing. I normally do not do that, but I was trying to give him a chance to show me he could do it). Any suggestions?

 

I hang a carrot out there to motivate, "We can make your have a snack/hot cocoa when you finish your spelling & math."

 

Or do a "beat the clock." Set the timer and see how far he gets before it chimes.

 

It will get better as he gets older.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SWB has a lecture on PHP that would be appropriate. I can't remember the title, hopefully someone else will link it.

 

I will say that seems to be age appropriate behavior, but SWB has some great suggestions on how to transition from hovering over them to independence.

 

ETA: posting same time as Suzanne. :cheers2:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If he likes computer games/activities and you're willing to let him use them, something like BrainPop (video, then take quiz) or Time For learning might be a good transition to working independently. The computer's providing the monitoring, but it still puts control in the DC's hand to complete the work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that he is 8 and acting like he's 8. You may need to reevaluate your expectations. With my older 2 I couldn't be out of the room when they were that age for more than a minute or two (a quick bathroom trip) now they are much better about the independent stuff, but have both also said they like when I just stay in the room. I don't have to do anything specific, but they like knowing I'm right there if they have a question. So I always have a book or my ipad in the school room just in case they are working and I have some down time from teaching.

 

There is no way I can leave my now 7 year old to do things independently, and I'm guessing it will be pretty much the same next year when he's 8.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although I was blessed w/an older dd that has always been very independent, my current 8 yr old is just like yours. It can be frustrating, but I have not worried too much about it. I think it is typical. I do the timer thing and have had good results and improvement in independent math work with that. We set the timer for each row. 5 min. to copy the problems from the text to the paper, then 5 minutes to complete them for each row. That 5 min. actually gives me a few min. to leave the room sometimes now :)

 

I do feel your pain though. I am taking on babysitting a new child this week, and know we are going to have some adjustment issues w/my 8 yr old and the attention I am going to have to give the new one as she begins to fit in here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't leave my 8 year old DD alone for that long and expect her to do anything independently, unless it's HER idea. I see glimpses of independence sometimes, and I try to really encourage her when she does her work diligently or without being asked. But it's not consistent yet.

 

When my DS was 8, he was further down the road to working independently than my DD is now at 8, but he's just that kind of kid. Now DS is 10 and works almost completely independently - I actually write notes on his work to "go over with Mom" when I need to teach a concept.

 

When DS was 7-8, earplugs and a timer were helpful. That way I could work with my DD, who was 5-6 at the time, and he could (try to) stay focused. I generally stayed in the same room with both of them to help him stay on track while I worked directly with DD.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm glad to know it is typical behavior. So, what do you do when you need to work one-on-one with a younger dc?

 

You could simply stagger the work times - at that age, none of them needs to spend 8 hours on school work. He could be legitimately on break when you work with the 5 year old, just send him outside to play and call it PE.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OP, I'm in the same situation: an 8 yr old and a 5 yr old.

 

This year I started an independent work folder for my ds and it's actually working awesome for us. I put a week's worth of independent work in his folder at a time with a checklist for each day of exactly what he needs to do.

 

It includes: daily reading, cursive practice, math (he's very mathy and doesn't typically need my help at all), geography workbook pages, and sometimes a few random other things like working on a history project or reading a particular book for science or history.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is very typical for the age.

SWB has a great audio on children working independently where she talks about the different stages -- mother at elbow, mother in room, progressing to child working independently.

My DS is almost 11 and it has just been in the past year that he will work w/o me being in the same room. At 8, I still needed to be at his elbow. I didn't need to be helping (I would often read a book) but I did need to be there for him.

 

:iagree:

 

I would start with one independent activity. Once he can successfully complete one activity independently without you in the room, move to two. Three independent tasks is probably too many for him right now.

 

Some of it is personality, too. My ds8 has always been able to keep himself pretty well on-task. Ds11 still needs quite a bit of in-room Mom presence and prompting.

 

Cat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...