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How much time does your 10yo spend on math?


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My10yo DD has been taking 1 1/2 hours (or more) to get her (Singapore) math done. Part of her problem is attentiveness; this year she seems to be getting distracted much more easily than normal. I think we're going to send her to DH's home office to do some work to help with that. I think we're also going to try getting her up before breakfast to get math done before anything else. She has been reading the MIF 5B lesson herself and then doing the workbook. She has always wanted me sit beside her while she does her math, but at the end of 4th grade we transitioned her to doing it on her own. Math has been harder for her this year, so I still am helping often. I waffle back and forth between thinking my expectations are too high for her to do most of it on her own (because she could six months ago) to thinking this is more on her end and she is flaking out on me. Okay, enough with that. How long does your 10yo/5th grader spend on math?

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My DS10 needs me to sit within 1m of him when he does any schoolwork. He does his work best before my DS11 wakes up. He takes close to 2hrs regardless of level of math just because he gets distracted. Every subject takes longer. He is also my slower reader so the same page of SM will take him longer to read through than DS11.

 

For what its worth, my DS11 still wants me to be nearby despite him doing work independently. He just want to be able to see me.

 

ETA:

If she is distracted for every subject, a "white space" might help. My DS10 concentrates better at the library so we walk there almost daily.

 

If it is only math that takes so long, you might have to watch her do it to see what is the time hog.

Edited by Arcadia
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My almost 11yo 5th grader spends 20-30 minutes on Singapore math a day.  However, math is his strong subject, and he gets the concepts very easily.  It also depends on what we're doing.  He doesn't tend to need a lot of practice and review, so if we're just going over the textbook, we often cover a lot in a short period of time.  I prefer to go over a concept or two and then give him IP or CWP as practice/review, but sometimes he just wants to do more textbook.  It really doesn't matter to me; we just started the 5B textbook, and it's full of review, or just one small concept more than what he did previously.  Once he finishes the textbooks, we will move on to doing IP and CWP full time, and he will probably spend around half an hour a day on them.

 

Why do I not give him more/harder?  Because he tends to tire easily and is prone to headaches; he's a happy and confident but slow reader, and so history and literature, while he likes them a lot, are more labor-intensive subjects for him, so at this point, I like that math is fun for him. 

 

I'm switching him to AOPS pre-algebra next year, and I expect that he'll spend 30-45 minutes a day on it, regardless of how much he covers.  1.5 hours sounds like a lot for a subject that isn't her strong point.

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We spend an hour every day -- it would be 40 without his getting distracted.  I now tell them that they have a certain amount of time to finish their subjects.  If they are working steadily the whole time and need more time to finish, I give them extra time. But if I see them staring off into space too much, I tell them time's up at the 40 minute mark and they have to finish it up as homework. (any time after 3 pm.)  This seems to be working well.  I didn't want to be a meanie but eventually I felt like it was unfair towards me -- I have to be available all day and can't relax until our day is finished, so when they drag it out it directly affects me.  Now their innattentiveness directly affects them.  

 

But I always stay right by them the whole time they are working. They work much better with someone there. 

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About half hour. I sit with her the entire time to keep her focused though. The concepts of math come easily to her, the drudgery of review and arithmetic do not. She is a bit scattered and will make simple arithmetic/handwriting mistakes, so I help redirect her when I see that happening. If we were spending 1.5 hours of math, her brain would just turn off and no learning would happen after a time anyway.

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My two spend about an hour. I sit there and help there younger sister with her work while they do math. More than an hour and their brains turn off and they are unable to do even the most basic of operations. We get done what we get done, and I think this is facilitated by the fact that the programs we use don't have discreet lessons.

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We spend 45 min to an hour. I say "we" because if I walked away, I'm pretty sure nothing would get done. It's not that she couldn't read the lesson and do the work, but she is a very sociable learner and while she does lots of studies independently now, she really enjoys the math time we spend together(and truthfully, so do I). Also, I don't choose a specific quantity of work to be done. We work till 45ish minutes have passed. We will work longer if we are having fun(frequently the case) and much less if she is frustrated because very little learning occurs past that point.

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45min-1hr on regular math, occasionally additional time if we were doing a project such as a math and art thing or something along those lines, or reading aloud a living math book, or playing math games.

 

That's still the case here for my 11 yos though I aim for the full hour more now. We go by time over "assignment." I rarely can tell how long things will take either of them. They fly though things I think we'll need to spend more time on and then take forever on things I think will be done in a jiff. I've given up trying to predict or understand.

Edited by Farrar
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My 11 year old spends 1 hour: 5 mins fact practice (multiplication fact cards through 15*15); 15 mins spiral review sheet (12 problems); 40 mins new lesson. She is a task-master, though, and accomplishes a lot during this time (~3-4 pages of MM7). She works independently through the fact cards & spiral review, but we typically do the new material 'buddy math' style.

 

I would think it the rare child who could self-teach SM. ymmv...

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My current 10yo is a strong math student and a quick, independent worker by nature. Her times aren't average and wouldn't help you. (If I made her do math for a whole hour I'd never keep her stocked in math books. :tongue_smilie:) And she's on a Math Olympiad team.

 

That said, two of my kids still needed me near for math at 10. It's not unusual. 10 is still very much a little kid, though I'll be the first to admit that's hard to see with the oldest kid. My ds who tended toward struggling with math needed human interaction for every lesson clear into high school. He needed interaction for other subjects for a long time too.

 

(The other one that didn't need to be at my elbow is one of those that I'll swear already understood most elementary math concepts and I was just teaching him the vocabulary for math he already knew.)

 

 

I waffle back and forth between thinking my expectations are too high for her to do most of it on her own (because she could six months ago) to thinking this is more on her end and she is flaking out on me.

 

Well, it does make sense. The end of a math book (last year) is usually just solidifying concepts already taught (comfortable) and not plowing ahead at full steam, which is right where a math book would be halfway through this year (hard work).

 

What is the goal? Understanding the concepts well, to the best of her abilities, or independent working? Occasionally those two ideals will co-exist, and sometimes they'll be contrary to each other. Ebb and flow. The beauty of homeschooling is being able to match her needs in the moment. :001_smile:  Kids grow and change, some parts grow faster than other parts. What worked yesterday won't necessarily work today. 

Edited by SilverMoon
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To answer your question, my 10 yr old takes 30 min to nearly 2 hours depending on the ease of the problems and his focus.

 

My ds10 has ADHD, and I'm not suggesting at all that yours does, and we have some strategies that help.

- Work in shorter bursts with a break (20 min hard work, 5 min break) - someone has termed these pomodoros (after his tomato shaped kitchen timer).

- Ideal working environment is helpful, but that ideal is different for different people. Some prefer others present and are more on task if they're around others who are working. Some work best in solitude. Some do better in quiet, some like steady ambient noise. Few, but still some, prefer punctuated noise levels. Some like bright sunlight, some dimness, some cool artificial lighting. Some prefer a fidgit, some don't. The point is there are a variety of environmental factors you can alter, but be careful not to assume there is one right environment for everyone

- some kids need more feedback, so you might want to try check-ins after a few problems to help them stay engaged and motivated

 

Another thing to consider are the earliest of the adolescent hormones kicking in, or simply a cognitive change going on in her development. Kids don't function at reliable rates - they're growing and changing all the time and sometimes that means their legs and hair follicles are getting more energy than their brains and eyes.

 

Best wishes!

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My 10 yo 5th grader was taking too long to do a math lesson-- maybe 1.5 hours...so I have been having her work for 45 minutes and then stop. We are not progressing at the rate I would like, but she is making steady progress. I plan to move closer to 1 hour in the coming weeks. She mostly works independently but occasionally needs help -- usually just explaining it and working a couple with her will do it....I am always close by if she needs me. 

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DS is 11 (so not too far off your child's age) and is in 5th grade, Saxon 5/6; no attention problems.  With me teaching the lesson (about 15 -20 minutes with all the working parts to Saxon), him doing the problems independently (30-45 minutes per day), and us correcting errors the next day (another 15 minutes or so), I'd say math takes 1 hour - 1 hour and 15 minutes per day.  DS doesn't have difficulty with math and works mostly independently, and that time input strikes me about right for a 5th grader.  I think math and foreign languages take a hefty input of time and energy and are effort-intensive, so 1 1/2 hours for your DD is a bit on the upper end, but not really out there, IMO.

Edited by reefgazer
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My 10 yr old  has always been enrolled in school , and on-line math classes. since kindergarten.   He spends minutes on school homework ( has already finished 5th, 6th & pre-alg).    three or four -- 45 minute sessions per week on advanced on-line math classes (he is on last unit of Alg. 1),  1 hour per week with an alg.  tutor,  and then 2 hours per week in a math circle.   At first glance it might seem excessive, but it balances with so little time on math homework, and he usually does other homework during math class.  Have not pushed acceleration at school because I am waiting until 6-7th grade before subjecting him to a classroom pace.

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It depends on the day. Some days, my 11 year old will be done in 20 minutes, other times it's over an hour. The goal time is around 40 minutes purely because he works better having that self-imposed goal/deadline - if he gets into a bad streak, he'll use our counting timer for a few days to see if he can beat it and break his funk. His love of beating the timer saved us a lot of stress - he used to spend hours on it back when he wanted tot

do multiple pages of MEP a day but this year has been all about doing maths and other things well but in less time for him. 

 

He usually works on his maths on his own while I'm working with my 8 and 6 year old in the same room with check-ins with me between each section and video if he's doing a Math Essentials page with a video that day. If he's struggling, he waits until I'm done with them and I have him go through a problem outloud with me - that usually either helps it click for him or shows me where he needs help. 

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I am so sympathetic.  Today is worse than usual, but even though I sat with her as much as possible, dd11 took about 4 hours to do what should have been 20 min worth of math.

 

She is now cranky and complaining about the minimal French I've given her.

 

I am about ready to take some kind of extreme action.

Edited by Bluegoat
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My 10 yo was taking up to 2ish hours a day. We have switched math curriculum this week to see if presentation is the issue. She's taking chapter tests, right now, to help us find where we need to start lessons. So today was about 15 minutes. My goal for her is 30-45 min, though.

Edited by My3girls
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30 minutes - Beast Academy + math fact practice

 

There is no way she could do math for 1.5-2 hours...

 

Yes, math is done first thing in the morning.  I work on it with her.  I read the text to her, we go over the example problems and then she does the workbook on her own.  I check her answers at the end.   

 

Edited to add: I've noticed the longer a subject takes, the more inefficient the kid is, the more mistakes they make and the less they retain (something I've noticed about my own kids - maybe other kids are different).

Edited by Evanthe
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We allocate 1 hour for Singapore which includes the active teaching from the HIG, the practice questions in the textbook, and the independent workbook exercise. This is for a 10 yr old in 5a. We also spend 30min. on Beast at a separate time. Distractions can extend the time, but I wouldn't expect 2 hours to be the norm.

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My DS10 is in MIF 4B. I go over the lesson, and we do the in book practice problems together. Then he does the workbook on his own. I strive for about 45 min a day total not including prodigy which he does independently.  

 

I am not sure if anyone else on this thread is using MIF.   While there have been times I think I could have had my DS10 read the lesson and do the work himself, there have been other times when my being there and explaining and going over the problems step by step  has helped.  I am not sure this helps your question--but maybe if you stepped back in to do the part up until the guided practice?

 

 

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I have one 11 year old who takes 2-3 times as long as his brother because his focus is poor. I have to sit with him for most or it would certainly take all day if it got done at all. For that reason, I don't know exactly how long his twin takes. I'd say it's 45 minutes to an hour, including time for me to go over his work with him and teach him the next day's material.

 

In MIF, we did the book instruction and guided practice together. Then my more independent worker would complete the independent practice on his own. If it was time consuming/difficult, I might even do guided practice one day and then independent practice the next. Either way, he would do his workbook page the day after he did independent practice for most lessons.

Edited by sbgrace
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I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one struggling with this. What should only take my Dd10 (4th grade) 15 to 20 min to get done she manages to stretch out to 2+ hours sometimes. I know she is not struggling with the material because when motivated she can easily fly through it. She just cannot stay focused. I have decided that I am going to try and set a timer for 45 min to 1 hour and tell her that she needs to complete her work in that amount of time or it is homework. If she completes here work sooner than she can use the remaining time as a break. I am really, really hoping this will make a difference because the long drawn out days are getting very old. I am also considering breaking up her lesson into multiple math sessions.

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One of the posters mentioned a timer.  This is what I use for my son (7th grade) who has always had a hard time focusing.  We set the timer when he starts math and when the timer goes off - no matter where he is - he's finished.  We don't do homework or anything.

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Foooooorrrrrrreeeeeeevvvvvvveeeeeeeerrrrrrrrr

 

I've had to start setting a timer. I sit with him as well and keep him on task. (My DS is only 9 but I figured that's close enough.)

It depends on why though. My DS10 read the same page of text much slower than DS11, and aops is wordy. Even if he is not distracted, the computation time is slower than DS11 and the reading time is much slower.

 

The timer didn't work for this kid because he either panic and get nothing done or he didn't bother and ran off to play despite getting only a few questions done.

 

When we set a timer just to see how long he needs to get work done, it only made him feel bad that he is slower. Concepts aren't hard, doing faster is.

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30-40 minutes = DS#1 -- but he is very math-minded and really enjoyed Singapore

25-30 min. + 10 min. = DS#2 -- math struggler who used MUS; at MOST he could handle about 25 minutes of the spine math, and then later in the day after other subjects, he could handle about 10-15 minutes of math facts and supplements.

 

For DS#2, if the spine math lesson did not get finished, it got bumped and finished the next day (so, math was often on it's own separate "loop schedule") At 30 min., DS maxed out his brain battery allotment for math for the day, and sitting there for any longer was pointless. If he was nearly done with a lesson at 30 min., sometimes instead of math facts & game/supplement later in the day, I had him finish the lesson.

 

The biggest help for him at this stage was me sitting at his elbow and redirecting to keep him on task. I know, I know, that is SO not what you want to hear, and it's super hard if you are the mom of many. But committing to 30 minutes to be right there at your distractible student's elbow to redirect up until about age 11-12 (or whenever they turn the corner in their unique timetable) is so WORTH it, rather than suffering daily hour+ math sessions and turning math from just a "struggle" subject into a holy terror and a nightmare. If you have a quiet student, perhaps double up your time by having the quiet one also at the table with you and the math struggler, working on something that needs your occasional input. Or sit and fold laundry. Or prep food for lunch/dinner. Or grade papers. Or… any chore that allows you to look up constantly and it not be burdensome to stop and redirect the math procrastinator. :)

 

The other thing you might try is having this student do math LAST. Sometimes, knowing they don't have to reserve anymore "brain battery" energy for anything else, allows a student who struggles with math to "sprint" to the finish line and finish quickly with a burst of all the last of their brain battery energy. In contrast to doing math first thing in the day and feeling like they have to hold some of their brain battery energy in reserve for all the rest of the school work that will be required of them.

 

Yes, I know this sounds counter-intuitive to the standard advice of "do the hard subject first" (which works great for many students, but not all). But this technique of doing the struggle subject last and NO OTHER school work for the rest of the day really does work for many students who struggle in an area. Wish we had discovered this technique back in elementary/middle school, because it absolutely turned things around for us into a positive direction when we tried this for the last 2 years of high school...

 

Hugs and sympathy -- when I was still stilling with DS at age 12 to help redirect I thought I would lose my mind as I had been sitting with DS and redirecting for 6 years at that point. (He has mild LDs and is highly distractible and was delayed in maturing the ability to focus); about that time, I was able to get him set up, walk away for 2 minutes and do something, check back in and sit for 2 minutes, then walk away for 5 minutes, and check back in… By age 14, he was pretty much able to work independently, but still did best if I was popping in every so often, or could do some sort of work alongside him -- he did not need redirecting by that time.

 

BEST of luck in finding what works for your 10yo! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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 I am also considering breaking up her lesson into multiple math sessions.

 

That can work really well for a low-concentration, highly-distractible student. :) Esp. if you can find "natural break points". So, new material of a lesson and practice in one session (20 min.). Review material of the lesson in a second session (10-15 min.). Math fact practice and/or supplements for one session (10 min.). That's 40-45 minutes right there! :)

 

This is exactly what I had to do with my struggling writer for Writing -- about 3 short "bites" spread out throughout the day, interspersed with non-Writing activities, and we managed to get 30-40 min. of writing done in a day!

 

 

She just cannot stay focused. I have decided that I am going to try and set a timer for 45 min to 1 hour and tell her that she needs to complete her work in that amount of time or it is homework. If she completes here work sooner than she can use the remaining time as a break.

 

I really would recommend FIRST using the timer to help her get a sense of time -- and be sure you talk together first and explain how this works. Gently, as I'm sure you don't mean it that way, and JMO, but starting off by setting a timer for 45 min - 60 min. and calling any work not done in that time "homework" sounds very punitive. :( And it does not train a student to be aware of a lack of "time sense" and distractibility nor does it give the student any tools for addressing that lack of awareness...

 

So, set the timer for 3 minutes, start working. 3 minutes pass -- DING! "What! Wow, I was drifting and thinking of something else!" Re-set the timer for 3 minutes, re-focus on Math, keep working. DING! "Yikes! Drifting again! Okay, back to math…" Re-set the timer for 3 minutes, re-focus on Math, keep working… That gives you 10 times of the timer for 30 minutes. Help her look at how much she accomplished overall. How much did she average in each 3 minutes -- Now set the timer for 6 minutes and encourage her to try and accomplish twice as many problems as she averaged in each 3 minute time segment. Celebrate if she can do it before the timer goes off; it not, encourage her with how much she did get finished, and let her finish those few remaining problems (from the 2x the average amount of problems) with no timer and then she's done for the day. Do any math fact drills or other supplements at a completely separate time, so the main math that is done largely solo is no more than 40 minutes of time at this age.

 

Once she has a sense of time, start stretching out the timer segments to 5 minute increments, and do 6 segments (for 30 minutes of work) -- then set it for 10 minutes for the "final stretch", and when it goes off, she's done with Math for the day, after a total of 40 minutes.

 

When she's ready, move to 3 10-minute segments plus a 10-minute "home stretch". (total of 40 minutes) And then, again when she's ready, move to 2 15-minute segments plus a 10 minute "home stretch". (total of 40 minutes). Usually by that time, the student has internalized a sense of time and the ability to focus for increased lengths of time.

 

BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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Yes, I know this sounds counter-intuitive to the standard advice of "do the hard subject first" (which works great for many students, but not all). But this technique of doing the struggle subject last and NO OTHER school work for the rest of the day really does work for many students who struggle in an area.

I agree. We do the time hoggers last so that kids have a sense of accomplishment in what they have gotten complete. Else nothing gets done besides an incomplete time hogging assignment.

 

I also agree that setting the timer to 45mins immediately isn't going to be helpful if OP's child isn't able to pace herself yet.

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I time my daughter because otherwise she will take hours and end up losing focus and making mistakes. Dragging it out causes the mind to lose focus. A timer set to 30 minutes in front of her does the trick. What was being done in 2 hours is now done in a quarter of that time with better accuracy.

 

My lesson and any questions she has is not included in the 30 minutes but once she's on her own doing the "homework" part, the clock starts.

 

Whatever isn't finished is added to the next day's work with the same time limit. If we get set back for whatever reason, she catches up on the weekend.

 

My daughter will be 10 in June.

 

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk

Edited by AuNaturel
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That can work really well for a low-concentration, highly-distractible student. :) Esp. if you can find "natural break points". So, new material of a lesson and practice in one session (20 min.). Review material of the lesson in a second session (10-15 min.). Math fact practice and/or supplements for one session (10 min.). That's 40-45 minutes right there! :)

 

This is exactly what I had to do with my struggling writer for Writing -- about 3 short "bites" spread out throughout the day, interspersed with non-Writing activities, and we managed to get 30-40 min. of writing done in a day!

 

 

 

I really would recommend FIRST using the timer to help her get a sense of time -- and be sure you talk together first and explain how this works. Gently, as I'm sure you don't mean it that way, and JMO, but starting off by setting a timer for 45 min - 60 min. and calling any work not done in that time "homework" sounds very punitive. :( And it does not train a student to be aware of a lack of "time sense" and distractibility nor does it give the student any tools for addressing that lack of awareness...

 

So, set the timer for 3 minutes, start working. 3 minutes pass -- DING! "What! Wow, I was drifting and thinking of something else!" Re-set the timer for 3 minutes, re-focus on Math, keep working. DING! "Yikes! Drifting again! Okay, back to math…" Re-set the timer for 3 minutes, re-focus on Math, keep working… That gives you 10 times of the timer for 30 minutes. Help her look at how much she accomplished overall. How much did she average in each 3 minutes -- Now set the timer for 6 minutes and encourage her to try and accomplish twice as many problems as she averaged in each 3 minute time segment. Celebrate if she can do it before the timer goes off; it not, encourage her with how much she did get finished, and let her finish those few remaining problems (from the 2x the average amount of problems) with no timer and then she's done for the day. Do any math fact drills or other supplements at a completely separate time, so the main math that is done largely solo is no more than 40 minutes of time at this age.

 

Once she has a sense of time, start stretching out the timer segments to 5 minute increments, and do 6 segments (for 30 minutes of work) -- then set it for 10 minutes for the "final stretch", and when it goes off, she's done with Math for the day, after a total of 40 minutes.

 

When she's ready, move to 3 10-minute segments plus a 10-minute "home stretch". (total of 40 minutes) And then, again when she's ready, move to 2 15-minute segments plus a 10 minute "home stretch". (total of 40 minutes). Usually by that time, the student has internalized a sense of time and the ability to focus for increased lengths of time.

 

BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.

I am not trying to side track this thread. But I wanted to give an update. So I finally bought I timer and tried it out yesterday and today. It was a night and day difference. I did end up breaking it up into two shorter times. Yesterday I gave her 20 min and she finished in five, it was a really easy couple of fraction lessons. In the past she probably would have spent an hour on this, she doodles a LOT and easily gets distracted. She loved the idea of having free time, and she spent the remainder 15 min doodling in her math book, LOL :-). Today I gave her 15 min, for two more fraction lessons (4 pages) a little more time consuming than yesterday, she finished with 7 min to spare. Both days I did 10 additional minutes in her IP book. I plan on slowly increasing both times, but right now I am thrilled that she is finally focusing on her work and getting it done in a realistic amount of time. I really wasn't trying to sound punitive with the homework, i wasn't telling her in a punitive way more like a matter of fact natural consequence way. If she were giving it her all and ran out of time I would not be forcing her to finish it later as homework ;-), only if she were not staying on task. I was pretty sure that having the carrot of free time hanging out there this wouldn't even be an issue. :-). Lori D Thank you so much for all your thoughts!

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...I wanted to give an update. So I finally bought I timer and tried it out yesterday and today. It was a night and day difference… I gave her 20 min and she finished in five… In the past she probably would have spent an hour on this, she doodles a LOT and easily gets distracted. She loved the idea of having free time, and she spent the remainder 15 min doodling in her math book, LOL :-).

 

:hurray:  SOOO wonderful it worked so quickly for DD and has turned her time into a positive for her!! :) Thanks for updating -- and wishing you both continued SUCCESS! :)

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