Schedule - Ideas for dawdlers who take too long

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Homeschooling6
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 3:49 pm

Schedule - Ideas for dawdlers who take too long

Unread post by Homeschooling6 » Sat Feb 24, 2007 2:15 pm

warriormom wrote:This is a "redeeming the time" question: First, the background. I have a MFW1st grader (7y/o ds) and a MFWK (51/2 y/o ds).

My oldest is progressing well, but I feel that certain things are taking way too much time...for example: the Proverbs copywork can stretch on to 20 minutes (or so it seems), with me having to redirect him frequently (there goes Miss Mason's cheerful attitude!).

I want school to be enjoyable, but I also want my kids to learn to buckle down and do their work, working as unto the Lord. This can happen on other things too, of course. Suddenly, school has taken 4 hours... Do any of you experience this, and how do you handle it?
Melanie
IMHO I think 10 minutes of copywork to start is good. You can slowly increase it throughout the year.

Maybe set the timer for 10min or how ever many min. you think he can handle and when the timer goes off he can take a break and come back to it to complete.

If he is doing his best work and trying hard I think he is doing okay =)

Gently remind him that we do everything for the Lord and our best work, but I think you are doing that already ;)
Blessings,
Linda Mom to
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Ariasarias
Posts: 94
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Unread post by Ariasarias » Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:06 pm

I feel like I'm there with you. I have a 6dd doing first and she is a daydreamer. I also have two younger ones at home, so she is easily distracted. Sometimes we get through school so quickly and then there are many other days that seem to take all day to complete the work. I would love to hear what others have to say.

The only thing that has worked for me sometimes is, after having done a little teaching with her, I send dd into my bedroom with her individual work. Then I finish up teaching her math. Her reward is to come back and join us when she is finished. Sometimes she is more diligent. I also let her know that if I see her being diligent, I may give her a break and let her go back and finish.
Nicole, wife to Claudio since 1996, and mom to dd (2000), dd (2003), dd (2005), and ds (2009).

StarrMama
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Unread post by StarrMama » Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:56 pm

Ditto Nicole for my house. I have my oldest in MFW1 with 3 younger ones. She does get distracted and some days go quick, while others go slow.

I just try to encourage her to do her best work and once she's done she can play or do whatever she wants. Some days I can see her bad attitude and I tell her to stop--that she's not gonna work till she's changed her attitude. Sometimes it takes a few minutes, sometimes she has to go to her room and come down once she's ready.

We pray together and talk about it. I tell her there are things I have to do that I don't like, but I know God wants me to and it's up to me to have a good attiude...which makes things go a lot faster and easier! Looking forward to ideas that anyone else has!
~Rose
Wife to Desi. Mama to Hope 8 (ECC), Owen 6(K), Emmaline 4 and Levi 2. Happily serving God in the inner-city of Denver,CO.
www.6starrs.blogspot.com

kfrench
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 1:03 pm

Unread post by kfrench » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:05 pm

The thing that seems to help my daydreaming daughter is using a timer. It beeps every 5 minutes and sometimes that helps remind her that the time is ticking. If she has the timer she goes faster and stays on task a little more.

I also use snack time and break time to motivate my kids. I set the timer for break time. If they aren't finished with their work when the time is up they start using their break time. I set the timer for break time and they get what ever time is left when they finish their work. I usually give a longer break time like half an hour so that they can be successful. A few times of being successful is a good motivater to continue getting done on time.

For chores I set the timer for 5 minutes and she does one chore and runs back to check it off before going to the next one otherwise she ends up spacing out for half an hour somewhere. Sometimes I give them half hour to do chores and if they finish early it is free time.

For geting up in the morning the rule is if they are up and dressed by 8:10 they can have waffles or oatmeal for breakfast; otherwise it is cold cereal.

I also try to rotate assignments so that an assignment that they don't particularly like is followed by something more exciting like a science experiment or a read aloud book or a break or snack. That seems to help keep things moving.

I often will just move to the next thing if they are taking too long and I leave things that they can do on their own for last and get the things they need my help done with first. That way if they want to take forever it is their time not mine.

Mine seem to do a little better if they have a check off sheet and can see what they need to acomplish for the day. I have a 7 and 8 year old so I often use a little competition to get a slow one doing their best. Sometimes the first one done gets to help me cook and the last one done has to clear the table. I also require that morning chores and required school work is done before lunch. I usually do this on a case by case basis depending on the circumstances. We are still working on this but my 8 year old does really well where she use to dawdle a lot more.
Kris
kfrench

rachel
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 4:50 pm

Unread post by rachel » Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:02 pm

Melanie-

A very little thing that has helped my daughter focus on her handwriting more and make it more of a challenge is that when she is done, I have her circle her best letter.... She seems to like that.

Also, this may encourage you- my daughter was not really into the whole homeschooling thing- she had a 2- day a week "homeschool support" kindergarten school and she was really missing the experience there. That made it really difficult for me to enjoy my part. I finally asked God to change her heart to have gratitude instead of just thinking about what she was missing. The next day- with full sincerity- she looked at me and said, "I really like this kind of school now"- Her whole attitude was completely different. She even put more effort into her work. I tried not to show too much emotion.

I know this is a stretch from what you explained- but that is just to say that I know because I am seeing clearly how God WANTS to bless our efforts- I also know that my level of peace and the peace in our home impact how much our kids enjoy school.

But, in case you hadn't asked yet (it took me almost all year...)- He can help, too!

Rachel
(MFW1 with daughter- almost 7; and pre-K with boys- 5 and twins (almost 4)

Ariasarias
Posts: 94
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Unread post by Ariasarias » Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:20 pm

Rachel,
Thank you for encouraging me in this way.
Nicole
Nicole, wife to Claudio since 1996, and mom to dd (2000), dd (2003), dd (2005), and ds (2009).

Heather (WI)
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 8:02 pm

Unread post by Heather (WI) » Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:33 am

Wow, I am loving all the replies here, as I now see I am not alone. I thought I had one of the only "dawdlers".

Thanks for all the great advice!! Especially praying for God to help, which is probably the best thing we can do, and something I sometimes forget.

I love the idea about using break times as a "carrot", too.

We also put the "independent" work at the end of the day, so that she is cutting into her own play time if it takes too long. That was a necessity!!
Love in Christ,
Heather (WI)
MFW user since 2004:
ADV, ECC, CTG, RTR,
and starting Ex-1850 in Aug. 2008!!

microcarter
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:09 pm

I need cheerleaders!

Unread post by microcarter » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:24 pm

Quick background. After 4 yrs of public school, we brought home dd to be hs along with ds. Both have been dragging their feet and stretching the school day out all day- with many interruptions from their 3 year old brother. They don't mind - I do! No time for art or fun MFW1 exploration day stuff. Frustration set in with me that was definitely affecting the whole family.

However, God is good. Looking through MFW1's Bible verses has helped us all. We're doing Proverbs 16:24 now, "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and pleasing to the bones." Oh how we all needed this. We talked about how our words can be like eating honey or eating dirt. My kids all said we had been giving each other dirt to eat lately. We decided to try to give out more honey instead.

We are on week 5 of ECC and while we haven't quite hit our stride, I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm actually beginning to believe it is going to ease up soon. We began talking about having a Mexican Fiesta next Friday and my children got very excited and are planning on singing some of the Mexican and Caribbean songs from Wee Sing Around the World for their dad.

I should also add that with the help of my husband we began implementing some ideas to help keep them a little better focused, but if anyone else has issues with "feet dragging" and lack of focus and can help with ideas on how to deal with it, I would love to hear them! AND, quite frankly, I've noticed that quite a few of you are good "cheerleaders" and I need a few. Thanks guys!
Angie

dh of 22 years Danny
dd Sage 11
ds Knox 7
ds Kase 4

dhudson
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Unread post by dhudson » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:26 am

The Home Depot Commercial comes to mind...

You can do it and we can help!

We all need cheerleaders now and then!
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: I need cheerleaders!

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:36 am

Aw, Angie, <hugs> for all the frustration! We've all been there!

Lots of things to talk about and empathize with here...
microcarter wrote:Quick background. After 4 yrs of public school, we brought home dd to be hs along with ds.
Transitions. They're just hard.
microcarter wrote:We're using ECC and MFW1.
Do you have a plan for combining? Do you need help thinking through that? Things like combining subjects & scheduling?
microcarter wrote:To say it has been difficult is putting it mildly. Both have been dragging their feet and stretching the school day out all day- with many interruptions from their 3 year old brother. They don't mind - I do! No time for art or fun MFW1 exploration day stuff.
Setting some parameters may help. When my son was transitioning to school at home (3rd grade), I was very flexible to the point of just playing math games for math for weeks. However, eventually we started in and if he dawdled too far beyond my limits, I would just say in a simple way that enough time had been spent; we must move on; he can finish up at 3:30 (when school ordinarily would be done for the day).
microcarter wrote:However, God is good.
Agreeing that God is good. He is right there with us in the trenches.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Attitude chips...

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:33 am

Here's something I've been doing with my dd.

We start the day with a cup of 20 "chips" (our chips are 20 pink paperclips, but you could use buttons, game chips or anything like that). Whenever she starts having an "attitude" about school, or disobeys or dawdles, I take a "chip."

At the end of the day, we count chips. If she has between 15 and 20, she gets 15 minutes of computer time while dh and I are putting the boys to bed. If she has between 8 and 15 chips, she doesn't get any reward. If she has less than 8, then there are consequences (which we haven't made up yet - shhh! don't tell!). We've only gotten down to 14 once.

I have some friends who do this who make it more complex. You earn a "ticket" if you get 15 chips. So many tickets means a special reward. So, it might look like this:

1 ticket = 15 minutes computer game time
5 tickets = ice cream for bed time snack
15 tickets = rent a movie
25 tickets = date night w/ mom or dad
50 tickets = stay up late one night
100 tickets = an approved music CD

This has been working very well for my dd just doing 15 minutes of computer time. (Long term savings isn't there for dd yet.) But, if your kids have things that motivate them, then this might work.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:52 am

Angie,

Go Angie...... you can do this!!!

Are you needing some hints/helps on how to do ECC and 1st together? It's ok to not do the full science from both programs. It's ok to re-arrange 1st grade's Exploration Day to be on a Friday because ECC has light and independent Fridays. You could move the nature walk from Wed. in ECC to be on Friday for everyone. But maybe if everyone had the lighter day on Friday that's ok.

I start off with K/1st grade kids to get basics done.

This week we had to blow off some steam while 7th grade throw a fit with science and math and hormones. So we put on some Brazilian music, got out those Carnival costumes made from felt squares, and played for 15 minutes.

And agreeing with Julie --- you're transitioning from PS to homeschool. It might take you longer to hit your stride. (((hugs))) you're doing a good thing!!!!

-crystal

marsha617
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:59 am

How do you motivate them?

Unread post by marsha617 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:18 pm

my2sons wrote:Ok, my 9yo DOES have attention issues, but it gets so hard pushing him all day. It took him nearly 2 hours yesterday to do a video math lesson. I know that can't be fun for him and it's definitely painful for me! We are only in week 2 and I had these dreams (haha) of finishing every day before lunch time. My 5yo?? -- No problem! He will jump in and want to do whatever so that he can have free time to play. Just wondering if anyone has similar issues and what you do to not make school go to 4pm!

-Melissa
I'm watching for answers with you. My two older sons do the same thing. It may be we give them so many minutes to work on a subject, when that time is up anything left over is done in the afternoon or put in with the independent work block.

I usually saw the behavior occur right before or during Saxon Math. We are starting Singapore Math so I'm hoping there will be improvement.
Andrew 10
Nathan 8
Ryan 5
Josh 2
Yes, we have ALL boys. Life is fun and always interesting!
MFW since 2008; CTG this coming school yr.

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: How do you motivate them?

Unread post by gratitude » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:29 pm

We stop at 3 p.m. no matter what happens during the day.

I try to start at 9 and finish by noon or 1. With 4 children 8 and under though I do have a lot of the 'unexpected' happen. So at some point I decided that when the clock reaches 3 we don't do anymore for the day.

As for motivation.. I will have to come back when I have more than a minute. I have worked a lot on this issue, and might have a few ideas since school has become 'non-stressful' at this point in our home. Praise God!

Blessings,

rjsmomma
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:14 am

Re: How do you motivate them?

Unread post by rjsmomma » Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:14 pm

I would love to see some answers to this as well.

I know in my house some of the problem is me too though. I have an only and sometimes I feel like we don't have to start as early as most do since we don't have as much to do. Well then dd doesn't feel like she should have to hurry either and that leaves us working on school until I give up around 6:00 because I have to make dinner or whatever is going on:) I would really like to get this nipped in the bud this year as she is going into 7th grade and I really want to be leading her to more independent studies (not all subjects at once of course, but I would like to work on her math and maybe science going more independant this year). But if I can't even get her up and going, well :) you see where this is going!!! LOL
Shannon Meyer
DD - 13 years old - 7th grade
Used MFW for K, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and now 7th:)

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: How do you motivate them?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:32 pm

my2sons wrote:Ok, my 9yo DOES have attention issues, but it gets so hard pushing him all day. It took him nearly 2 hours yesterday to do a video math lesson. I know that can't be fun for him and it's definitely painful for me! We are only in week 2 and I had these dreams (haha) of finishing every day before lunch time. My 5yo?? -- No problem! He will jump in and want to do whatever so that he can have free time to play. Just wondering if anyone has similar issues and what you do to not make school go to 4pm!

-Melissa
Like Carin, we have school hours. School hours at our house are usually 8:30 - 2:30 or thereabouts, depending on the neighborhood public schooled kids. Some of that time might be fun stuff like games or service projects, but everyone knows when the school day starts, when it stops, and what is allowed in between.

Now, if my child was dawdling too much, even after my encouragement and help, then I would just tell him (guess who ;) ) that we'd spent enough time on that for the day; he'll have to finish the rest after school hours. That worked very well with my particular lackadaisical youngest. I mean, he's only showing how smart he is when he realizes that if he takes 8 hours for math, then he won't have to do the dreaded English report, or whatever. So we solve that without argument by setting it aside for him to do in his own time. And he has enough public schooled friends to know that "homework" is not unusual, and to know that he won't like it!

If it didn't work, and if he was always ending up with "homework," then I might take a look at the materials you have chosen. I know MFW takes into consideration whether materials are time-efficient, and they also plan so that there is minimal overlap -- so you aren't doing writing in every subject every day, for instance. So I might look at where exactly the time is being eaten up, and examine the materials being used.

However, some kids just take a lot of time. My middle dd will not go faster no matter what. Things are a bit different with those kids. But it doesn't sound like that's what you have on your hands.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

cbollin

Re: How do you motivate them?

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:12 pm

hmm? thinking out loud...

I did have the wondering about it thought if he isn't ready to do math independently at age 9? even if you using video teaching, is he just not at the readiness level to do it without you sitting with him? Set the timer, watch/do the lesson together. Have him work on lesson. finish after 45 minutes getting done as much as possible. ask dad to supervise math study hall for 30 minutes after supper to finish any problems on the math set and be available for helping tutor math.

My middle gal has some attention issues and is a touch slow. I have to sit with her on math to get her brain focused. I used Singapore with her, and would teach the lesson.... then she'd do workbook. I taught her to circle the problems that she was otherwise drawing a blank on and we'd come back to it. set timer for 20 and she'd work while I did something else (dishes, laundry, clean kitchen counters, something quiet and nearby. After the timer went off, I'd check it right then and help.

He just might need more days/weeks of your time with him while he's doing math?

i dunno.... just what I noticed worked in my house. it might not apply.

-crystal

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: How do you motivate them?

Unread post by gratitude » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:40 pm

I haven't tried the homework idea yet, but I can see how it could be really effective. Julie though was my great inspiration at some point for deciding an end time for school. Thank you Julie! :-) As I mentioned earlier in the thread the end time for us is 3 p.m. It helped me a lot to set an end time. It makes me more focused during our school time, and it also helps me lay it aside without guilt at 3. My children are a little younger than yours, but at the moment I am also laying aside time restrictions for 'how much' we must do each year as long as we are moving forward. I want to move at their pace for each subject, rather than the pace of the public schools. The result though is they are ahead in many subjects, far ahead in one, and a little behind in the areas that challenge them; I rather have this though than having to struggle through the challenge area. So this means at 3 I really do lay aside anything that isn't finished.

So I wanted to share my one idea, that may or may not apply or help, that I used with my oldest in his area of low motivation. He has very low motivation for handwriting, unless it is something he wants to write outside of school time. So to help this problem I set the timer on handwriting days for 15 minutes. I tell him he just needs to work for 15 minutes and to do as much as he can. This helped A LOT! Before the timer handwriting a proverb, for example for MFW1, could take up to 45 minutes and still not be completed. Knowing the time is short has motivated him. At first he would only do a portion of the assignment, and then the next day he would do 15 minutes more on the assignment. He is catching on though and is being increasingly motivated to do the entire assignment in the 15 minutes (which is doable) so that it doesn't come out the next day. He is starting to figure out that he has less days of a notebook handwriting assignment if he gets it done in the first day. I think this could easily be applied in the same way to the home work idea. For example, for math set the timer for 30 minutes and anything that isn't done in 30 minutes is completed after dinner while the siblings are allowed to play. It is the same principle they used when we were in school. I remember rushing through math & french work in the 15 - 20 minutes given in high school so that I wouldn't have math or french home work. It can, for some students, be very motivating.

For math, I usually sit with them at their ages. It seems to motivate them to do it and then I am there to help if they have questions. I liked Crystals timer idea though and circling questions that are too difficult to do on their own and then at the end of the timer being able to ask for help on those questions.

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