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How to deal with a child who won't concentrate?

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I have a very sensitive child, 7, who can concentrate and work on her assignments, some days. Then, other days, she's very flighty and won't work on anything for more than a few seconds before messing around and wandering off, sometimes literally.

How would you handle this? Because I'm getting very frustrated with her. I was having her work on her writing (our school day is very simple, math, writing and reading, in that order) and she would start the assignment, then just turn it into a doodle. She also only got through half of her math (two pages of Math Mammoth first grade) before she started working on some art project she came up with, which she spent the last hour working on. I sent her outside to play and told her that she wasn't going to be playing any computer games (my kids are really in to Minecraft, that's all she plays) until she'd finished her school work. So, then she was wandering around outside crying because she wasn't going to be allowed to work on her ponies on minecraft today.

by on Jan. 28, 2014 at 7:09 PM
Replies (31-31):
by on Feb. 17, 2014 at 12:21 AM

I never have her just sit for an hour. She'll work on her math, one page, for maybe 5-10 minutes on a good day. On a bad day she'll be up and down for hours before she finishes it. It's the same kind of time for her other two subjects.

I dropped her assessment paperwork in the mail today. I'm supposed to wait a week, then call the clinic to set up an appointment. I'm just hoping we won't have to wait too long for it.

Oh, and I just found out today that two of my brothers, twins, were in special ed for dyslexia all the way up to junior in high school and another brother, who I knew had an LD, I forget what the LD was called, but he wasn't settling on a handedness, couldn't focus and was extremely disorganized. My mom told me what it was called and the word has just flown out of my head, lol. He'd do one thing with one hand, then something else with his other hand.

Isn't it fun the kinds of things you learn about your family when you have kids?

Quoting Beniegenie: My son is 6, he's like your daughter. He does really good some days and not so much other days. He earns iPad time or Wii time for doing his work. I give him 30 min unless he does exceptionally well that day, you know, he's focused and determined to do well and tries. If he does his school work well and just gets it done without me struggling with him I let him have 45 min of game time. If it's a struggle it automatically becomes 30 min. At that point I then tell him he's going to be timed. I look over each worksheet before he starts decide how long it usually takes him to do that much, then I tell him how much time he has and set the timer. If he finishes it in that time he loses nothing. If not he loses 5 min of game time. It takes a lot for him to lose all his game time and he's never lost more than 10 min. But he hates losing any of that time because he knows he only has 30 min. This method works so well for him that some days he'll ask me to time him because he feels like he does better when he's trying to beat the clock. I don't make his time 30 that day, I still base that on his behavior and whether or not he's focused. It really works well for him. I tried taking game time away for those hard days, but once I did that I had nothing else to motivate him so taking away time has been a better motivator for him. Another thing you may want to do is break up the subjects by playing a phonics game before sending her off to do worksheets. Then after phonics then maybe do oral math equations, maybe have her jump to a destination for each right answer. This way she burns some energy before having to sit and focus on papers. And it breaks it up so she's not just sitting and writing for an hour or so. I do this with my son and he loves it. Hope it gets better for you :) you're not alone

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