Teaching diligence amongst distractions

Using MFW Preschool & Pre-K Packages, as well as occupying babies and toddlers while teaching
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LSH in MS
Posts: 208
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 9:26 am

Teaching diligence amongst distractions

Unread post by LSH in MS » Mon May 07, 2007 11:13 pm

Ariasarias wrote:We are finishing up MFW 1 this month. My dd is a very bright little girl. Her mind is always churning. But this seems to get in the way of doing her work.

She has some days that she can stay on task and others that it takes all day to get only her Bible and Math done. Today she spent a good 4 hours on these two subjects.

When I send her to do her individual work, I frequently find her "thinking" and not doing anything. I have to send her to another room because I have a four year old dd and a 20 month old dd. They are too distracting, but she causes her own distractions when she is away from the family.

I feel like I am at a loss of how to help her understand how she is spending her time. If I remind her too much about the time or if I set times, she just gets upset -- this frustrates the situation and usually makes it worse. She is aware that she will not have time later for the fun things she wants to do, but it doesn't seem to bother her that much. I've also kept her home from some outings with her friends because she did not get her work done, but she still doesn't seem very changed by that. Any suggestions???
Thank you,
Nicole :)
I have found with K and 1st that when I sit right beside them and talk them through their work it goes much more quickly.

I work with one at a time until they are finished and go to the next one.

If the younger ones are too distracting maybe you could help her during naptime. I like to get school done in the morning with my younger ones but it takes twice as long as when I do it at a time I won't be interrupted. I taught my 5 year old when he was the oldest in the afternoons while the 3 yr old, 2 yr old, and infant were taking naps.
Lori

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
MFW user for 10 years

4Truth
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Unread post by 4Truth » Mon May 07, 2007 11:35 pm

Naptime is definitely a great time to do school work!

Also, do you have anything special set out for the little ones to play with while you're working with your oldest? The little ones need something to *do* or else yes, they'll definitely get in the way. ;o) You could create a special play box with toys and/or videos, coloring books, etc. that they only get to play with during their big sister's school time.

You could also do room time. If there's a safe place in their room(s) to play alone during certain parts of the day, that would be good for everyone. I don't know if you already do this, so it might require some training time up front.

And one more thought (since I have an oldest child who recently expressed that sometimes she wishes she wasn't the oldest).... Now if I'm completely wrong, just ignore me. I'm just throwing out ideas as I try to think of things that might help. If you are very distracted with tending the littles while trying to work 1-on-1 with the oldest, she might be "retreating" (mentally and physically) because she can't keep your attention anyway. She may have some feelings she's dealing with regarding the attention problem. And if you're sending her to her room to work *because* of the littles, that might just be frustrating the problem.

I would try to re-focus and work on training the younger two with regard to not interrupting, being quiet, being respectful of mommy and big sister's school time, staying in a certain area and/or playing with only certain items during a specified time of day, obedience, and providing safe, creative play that's "all theirs" for that time period. Personally, I think your dd at this age *needs* your undivided attention for this time of the day... as another poster said, sitting and work side by side with her.

I need to get in bed, but I can check back tomorrow and perhaps offer some specific play ideas for the littles. I'm sure some of the other moms here will come along and offer some great ideas, too.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

MJ in IL
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 5:23 pm

Unread post by MJ in IL » Tue May 08, 2007 9:11 am

OK, I am a not a great example for time management. I love making charts / schedules but have difficulties following them. We follow Marie's order of subjects in the CtG manual-I put that in quotes because I'm fairly sure it doesn't always look like it!

I have found my children do much better focusing when I am sitting with them, although it's not always possible. We get the most done when we stay at the kitchen table!

Structuring my dd3's morning helped us immensly, too. Some of this may help with your 4yo, but my vote is to use naptime right now if you can!

Anyway, I have dd3 who loves to sit with us. She has a school drawer like the big kids and sits at the table with us most of the morning. She requested a schedule too...I took time slots and filled them with...cutting, lacing, puzzles, tracing, beads with a tweezer, stickers, babies, painting with watercolors, Lauri puzzles, room time, book tape, outside, coloring...

When dd13 was little I found an aritcle on the web with preschool activities in a bag...I made some up and still have them for dd3. She switches activities when we do and does better at it than the older kids sometimes.

I find that moving her to the LR for 1 or 2 of the times helps me with her chatter. Some days she watches a video when the above isn't working. I also try to spend a bit of time with just her before we start school so she isn't craving me from the start.

This may not apply to you--but I also have a fun book suggestion if you, like me, have difficulty focusing. It is something like Where is the Baby if I'm Diapering the Watermelon (Carol Barnier). It was a fun read for me and helped me see how I was contributing to my children's lack of attention to task. I will stress that in my situation this is the case, it may not be yours. I am fairly distractible and my children are older and could be doing more independently.
Molly
dd14 enjoying AHL; ds12 & ds10 in RtR & dd5 working through K!
have done K (2X), 1 (2X), ECC, CtG, & 1850MT

Ariasarias
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:26 am

Thank you!!

Unread post by Ariasarias » Tue May 08, 2007 10:22 am

Lori, Donna and Molly,
Thank you for your quick replies and your encouragement. Some of you suggested I do school during nap time. Maybe I should try. I am struggling with giving that time up because I guess I feel like I need the break by then. But I also feel I am finally trying to accept the fact that I don't really have a break much during the day any more. I used to live for nap time.

Some of you also mentioned she probably needs my attention and needs me to sit by her. You are probably right. I know she doesn't like be the oldest at times and has expressed that in relation to school. Maybe she does see it negatively when I am sending her to another room so she is not distracted.

I also agree that I need to train my younger two better. The four year old can actually sit with us at times and I have been meaning to come up with more learning activities for her to do during school time. She's ready. And I do need to train the youngest in room time. Thank you so much for your advice. I would appreciate any more ideas that anyone else has.
Thanks,
Nicole :)
Nicole, wife to Claudio since 1996, and mom to dd (2000), dd (2003), dd (2005), and ds (2009).

4Truth
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Unread post by 4Truth » Tue May 08, 2007 11:14 am

(((Nicole))) You know what, I think this season with all the children being so young is the hardest. You need to focus on schooling the one(s) old enough to be schooled, and try to keep the littles in order along with the house and everything else... no wonder you need a nap! I took a nap with my youngest almost every single day until she stopped napping about 6 months ago, so I do understand. BUT, my two olders were old enough to go to their rooms for quiet time and stay there while I napped, so I had it a bit easier than you do right now, I guess.

About your oldest dd. She really does need mommy time. And I think the "flavor" of the MFW curriculum, particularly at that age, makes the schooling time something to cherish in that way. In fact, when my oldest was 5, having that cherishable mommy time was one of the things that factored into the decision to homeschool because dh was active duty at the time and gone a lot. We didn't have much of a social time. So I used homeschooling to make that time sweet with my two dd's that I had at the time.

You can do this! You're a great mom who cares about the hearts and minds of her children, or you wouldn't be here. Try to establish some kind of basic routine with everybody... allowing for some "all together" time as well as 1-on-1 with each child. That 1-on-1 with your oldest dd could be her school time. Don't think of it as "school", but as "together time".

And I agree with the poster who suggested doing a "preschool" time with the little ones before starting with your dd is helpful. It helps to fill that "love bank" before you get started with your other business. Have you considered the preschool package from MFW? I have some of the toys that have kept my little one occupied a lot of times, but I haven't purchased the preschool package because someone gave me a big box of those Activities in a Bag already put together, and she likes those. We also have playdough, easy puzzles, lots of board books that she "reads", and a variety of other things for her. Sometimes she likes to sit at the table and "do school" with us, so I have a few inexpensive preschool workbooks that don't involve a lot of writing. (Still kind of hard because she usually needs help with those, but I pull them out on days that I have the energy to juggle! LOL.)

Anyway, I HTH. I will say a prayer for you today! (((HUGS)))
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

MJ in IL
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 5:23 pm

Unread post by MJ in IL » Tue May 08, 2007 12:37 pm

Nicole-
I remember the days of 6,4,2...it is a lot of work. I know how easy I have it now...I just wish I weren't in the car driving so much!

Just another quick idea for your younger children. I don't like messes...which means a lot of fun activities. However, Play-Doh, rice, water activities in small amounts while fastened in a high chair were not too overwhelming for me. (Can I count a few chocolate chips in leftover oatmeal as a fine motor activity?) Find some fun edible dough recipes and few kitchen utensils and you are set!

When my children were younger I also had a friend with children of similar ages. We traded one afternoon a week. Sometimes I napped, sometimes went grocery shopping, sometimes a bike ride or sometimes kept my older child home and finished up with some school. Looking forward to that afternoon each week helped me so much!
Molly
dd14 enjoying AHL; ds12 & ds10 in RtR & dd5 working through K!
have done K (2X), 1 (2X), ECC, CtG, & 1850MT

LSH in MS
Posts: 208
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 9:26 am

Unread post by LSH in MS » Tue May 08, 2007 1:28 pm

I know how you feel about living for naptime! When I had all little ones I was wiped out by 2 p.m.
Lori

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
MFW user for 10 years

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