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I am so frustrated!

Posted by on Aug. 22, 2011 at 8:39 PM
  • 9 Replies
I cannot keep my daughter focused! She is almost 8, and in between second and third grades. She has been working on the same assignment for 39 minutes and she has only completed 5 of the 15 questions she was supposed to answer. She started this assignment yesterday. I had this same problem last year. It would take her all day to do 1 page of math r 1English assignment. I don't know what to do.

Any tips?

Rebecca momma to

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by on Aug. 22, 2011 at 8:39 PM
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wright1212
by on Aug. 22, 2011 at 8:44 PM

 Today for my 1st grader I used a cheapo dry erase board and made of list of all the things she had to do today <read 1 book, 1 spanish video, 1 math sheet, and family tree leaves> Then I drew a line with xbox kinects, computer play, and outside play at the bottom. Once she completed all of the top she gets to do anything at the bottom. I think just 'being done' was not enough for her, plus she needed to stay on track. Perhaps you can break it up more. Like 10 problems first thing, then read a book together, then laundry, then 10 more math or something like that. Visual schedules or checklist work well with all kids especially those having trouble staying on task.

Mommy to Corbin (8-epilepsy,autism, add) Kayla (6) Collin (1.5), Wife to Ben-OT, and I love teaching- M.Ed Early Childhood. SAHM & Homeschooling. Come watch us at www.youtube.com/user/1212wright

akrsmomma
by on Aug. 22, 2011 at 8:50 PM
Quoting wright1212:

 Today for my 1st grader I used a cheapo dry erase board and made of list of all the things she had to do today Then I drew a line with xbox kinects, computer play, and outside play at the bottom. Once she completed all of the top she gets to do anything at the bottom. I think just 'being done' was not enough for her, plus she needed to stay on track. Perhaps you can break it up more. Like 10 problems first thing, then read a book together, then laundry, then 10 more math or something like that. Visual schedules or checklist work well with all kids especially those having trouble staying on task.





Thank you, we just implemented the work box system, it s great for having it all separated and planned out. I'll try breaking up the work even more throughout the day to see if it helps.

She stays focused if I'm right there helping her work through each and every problem, but she doesn't need my help and I have 2 younger ones to look after, so I can't sit there all day.

Thanks again for your advice.

Rebecca momma to

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KickButtMama
by Shannon on Aug. 23, 2011 at 7:32 AM

 Have you asked her why she's having trouble focusing on the assignment?  My oldest is a visual/audio learner, and for years I (who am a writing things out learner) gave him writing assignments and he dragged his feet kicking and screaming. This happened for a couple of years and I was so frustrated. Finally I sat down with him to find out why he wouldn't just get the work done in a timely fashion (it didn't make sense to me to drag it out for hours when the assignment should have taken a few minutes). He said he couldn't focus on the assignment and kept losing his place, he kept getting confused, or forgetting what he was supposed to be doing.

Finally I realized he wasn't trying to be lazy or manipulative, and it wasn't a product of his Aspergers - he just isn't the same kind of learner I am. I used to design curriculums really heavy on writing because I remember everything I write down, and I wished someone had told me that when I was a kid- but those techniques do not work for DJ. So now I changed it so that book reports are done in Lapbook style (much more visually stimulating and less overwhelming) and spelling sentences and journal writing are done on the computer, unless he WANTS to write it out (which he does more and more now that I'm not forcing him to). We also use visual learning techniques to improve his reading comprehension. Now he flies through his work much more quickly. Sure there are times it creeps back in (especially with math worksheets), but I finally determined that as long as he can express the knowledge and demonstrate it then I'm not going to force him to do eight million multiplication problems.

My advice is to try a couple of different styles of learning with her - perhaps she has a different style than what you have been using. Try different modes of expressing information - games, lapbooks, etc, just less writing intensive. Think outside of the box to make learning fun - one of my biggest goals as a HS'er is to instil a love of learning in my boys, and I know that will NOT happen if I'm yelling at them to finish a boring old worksheet.

Good Luck!

Shannon


Need a great Latin Curriculum for grades K-7? Check out LATIN FRUCTUS!


Home Educators Toolbox / Articles / Kicbuttmama's Crazy Lapbooks


Albert Einstein --
"It is, in fact nothing short a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom."
"Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid."

Boobah
by Nikki :) on Aug. 23, 2011 at 7:35 AM
That is awesome advice Shannon! I'm going to have to try to keep that in mind as I start this year. My dd tends to dwadle a lot during... Everything.
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akrsmomma
by on Aug. 23, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Thank you for your response. How would I go about learning what her learning style is? It seems like she stares off into space or watches her sisters or yells at the dog instead of doing her work. Even when it is reading a loud time and I'm reading to her, she's off in la la land. I don't know what to do to keep her focused on what is going on right now. 

But, here's the thing, she will stay completely on task when I am right there "helping" her through it. I don't do anything other than tell her to look it up, but I'm sitting right there. If I'm off in the kitchen putting away dishes, or changing the baby's diaper, and I come back, she's on the same question Ieft her on. 

I am looking more into centers, lap books, and file folder games, but I don't want all her school to be those things. I do want to mix them in, but in order for her to be able to do those things, she can't take all day on one assignment. This weekend, since I have nothing going on, I'm going to have my dh keep the kids busy for like 3 hours and focus on school and really think about what I want our home school to look like and how to evenly divide my time between my oldest dd and my middle dd (she's only 4 but really wants to learn, but with me having to focus so much time and energy keeping my oldest on task, I just can't figure out how to make it all work). 

I want learning to be fun. I want my kids to have fun while they're home schooling and I want to have fun home schooling them. But I also need to be able to have them be independant with it to some extent too. I kinda wish that my kids were closer together in age so they could all do the same program, but grade appropraite assigments. Hmmmm, I might be able to do that. I need my dh to go on leave so I can take a week and focus solely on school....

Quoting KickButtMama:

 Have you asked her why she's having trouble focusing on the assignment?  My oldest is a visual/audio learner, and for years I (who am a writing things out learner) gave him writing assignments and he dragged his feet kicking and screaming. This happened for a couple of years and I was so frustrated. Finally I sat down with him to find out why he wouldn't just get the work done in a timely fashion (it didn't make sense to me to drag it out for hours when the assignment should have taken a few minutes). He said he couldn't focus on the assignment and kept losing his place, he kept getting confused, or forgetting what he was supposed to be doing.

Finally I realized he wasn't trying to be lazy or manipulative, and it wasn't a product of his Aspergers - he just isn't the same kind of learner I am. I used to design curriculums really heavy on writing because I remember everything I write down, and I wished someone had told me that when I was a kid- but those techniques do not work for DJ. So now I changed it so that book reports are done in Lapbook style (much more visually stimulating and less overwhelming) and spelling sentences and journal writing are done on the computer, unless he WANTS to write it out (which he does more and more now that I'm not forcing him to). We also use visual learning techniques to improve his reading comprehension. Now he flies through his work much more quickly. Sure there are times it creeps back in (especially with math worksheets), but I finally determined that as long as he can express the knowledge and demonstrate it then I'm not going to force him to do eight million multiplication problems.

My advice is to try a couple of different styles of learning with her - perhaps she has a different style than what you have been using. Try different modes of expressing information - games, lapbooks, etc, just less writing intensive. Think outside of the box to make learning fun - one of my biggest goals as a HS'er is to instil a love of learning in my boys, and I know that will NOT happen if I'm yelling at them to finish a boring old worksheet.

Good Luck!

Shannon


Rebecca momma to

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No_Difference
by Silver Member on Aug. 23, 2011 at 8:28 AM

 My daughter had the exact same problem last year. I ended up making a little "store" for her with various prizes that she also got to pick out. Then, eact "class" got a decent amount of time and a certain amount of points. If she finished all her work in the alloted time she got all the points. Various reasons including procrastinating or getting snippy dropped the points, but mostly going over time ever so many minutes. Then at the end of the day, she'd add them all up (this helped alot with math) and wrote them down in her "point bank book" At the end of the week, if she had enough to "buy" a prize, she could, or she could choose to save up for a better one.  We had everything from pencils, eraseres, note books, cook books, dollar store prizes, and a few barbie dolls, and reading books. The dolls are at the highest end of the award bracket.  If she did decide to buy a prize, she would have to subtract from the bank book how ever much the prize was going to cost in points.

akrsmomma
by on Aug. 23, 2011 at 8:47 AM

This is a really good idea. It will have to wait until we move back to the states though. I'm not a big fan of the Japanese toys, and the Exchange's selection sucks. But definately when we are back in the states and have (hopefully) a bigger house, I might give this a try. Thank you.

Quoting No_Difference:

 My daughter had the exact same problem last year. I ended up making a little "store" for her with various prizes that she also got to pick out. Then, eact "class" got a decent amount of time and a certain amount of points. If she finished all her work in the alloted time she got all the points. Various reasons including procrastinating or getting snippy dropped the points, but mostly going over time ever so many minutes. Then at the end of the day, she'd add them all up (this helped alot with math) and wrote them down in her "point bank book" At the end of the week, if she had enough to "buy" a prize, she could, or she could choose to save up for a better one.  We had everything from pencils, eraseres, note books, cook books, dollar store prizes, and a few barbie dolls, and reading books. The dolls are at the highest end of the award bracket.  If she did decide to buy a prize, she would have to subtract from the bank book how ever much the prize was going to cost in points.


Rebecca momma to

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romacox
by Silver Member on Aug. 23, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Excellent comments form all of you.  We all tend to parent and teach according to our own personalities.  That works out well if our children  have the same learning style as we do. But problems arise when there are differences.  However  if we understand the different personalities, that difference can actually be an asset. 

My favorite book on the different personalities, and their learning styles is "Please Understand Me II" by  David Kiersey (Meyers Briggs).

There are several conditions that can cause or mimic learning disabilities, and this has also been very helpful.



mem82
by Platinum Member on Aug. 23, 2011 at 2:19 PM

You've gotten some great advice! I don't have much to add except good luck! 8)

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