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Screens, time use, distractions, procrastination, etc.


sbgrace
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Oh ugh. One of my teens has much of his school self paced and outsourced online. 

He wastes a lot of time--checking sports scores, social media, the news, email etc before getting started in the morning, between subjects, on "breaks," etc. He can/does put off doing things with other distractions as well--books, etc. 

I'm feeling like homeschool, they way we have done it, has allowed him to develop bad habits. He would agree there is a problem. 

I would like ideas for how to help him develop better time use skills before he goes off to college. 

Edited by sbgrace
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Is he getting all his work done? Does he have things that have to be done and he's keeping up with them?

Suddenly, my distracted dd got much more efficient with her schooling when she had out of the house classes she was excited about and a part time job.

Driving helped because she could go do fun stuff after school was done. And the rule was, all that get shut down if you don't finish your schooling by x time.

My kids have been able to develop the skills when they had to. But just being done efficiently just to be done earlier in the day just didn't appeal to them, It only took at time or 2 for my kids to miss a fun activity because their stuff wasn't completed for them to shape up.

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We are in the midst of juggling this issue also. We have limits on computer use hours - but that is hardly foolproof when some classes take place on the computer. On one side of the issue, we have check-in meetings on Friday so that I understand how each class is going, what the plan is for the weekend and when, specifically, weekend work is going to happen. On the other side I've had to accept a level of procrastination that is uncomfortable to me, as long as things get done.

The fact that he agreed that there is a problem is key to working towards addressing it. Highlight areas that are not problems and pat yourselves on the back! Then brainstorm ideas for addressing the problem areas and, importantly, how will you know if there is backsliding and what the consequences will be.

I find this time of year to be particularly tricky, nothing is new anymore, the school year mountain looms large. It is time to buckle down and that feels hard.

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It's squirrel season here, so you send him out to get dinner. Maybe get some cows? (they would need morning care)

I agree with the others that it's just the hazard of the lower structure of being at home. Can he take a job or something to tighten his day?

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For me, Habitica (free app and website) has helped because I developed the habit of checking that first, and it has the list of things I still need to do today, so I more often will go to the next task instead of the next distraction that catches my attention.

It can also help to un-bookmark websites, clear saved passwords, and set a productive site as the browser's home page.

Edited by Carolina Wren
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On 9/20/2021 at 6:47 AM, sbgrace said:

Oh ugh. One of my teens has much of his school self paced and outsourced online. 

He wastes a lot of time--checking sports scores, social media, the news, email etc before getting started in the morning, between subjects, on "breaks," etc. He can/does put off doing things with other distractions as well--books, etc. 

I have to tomato stalk DS15. He is able to bypass parental apps. So I randomly check on him. DS16 spends quite a bit of time on YouTube but he does whatever homework he can complete first. 
All of us including my husband is bad at self paced stuff. We live for deadlines. DS15’s American Govt class is self paced and he only completed 1/7 in summer. He has no problems with his dual enrollment classes as all have hard deadlines. 

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