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pokey kids

Forum: Homeschooling


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August 10th, 2012, 09:21 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Andrews AFB, MD
Posts: 15,496
Any advice on dealing with a kid who works sooo slowly?

Matt is driving me crazy. He takes forever to do anything. Like today he was supposed to draw a picture about a story he read and write three sentences about it. Over an hour and he hasn't finished the picture. Nor has he tried...he's drawn like one little bird. He does the same thing with all his work. I literally have to sit right there and say "Now what's the answer to number two?" And even then he is slow. He is perfectly capable. He reads well, is excellent at math, and I know he can do everything I am asking. He just apparently thinks that homeschool is his place to play all day. And he has TONS of time to play. If he did the work like he could, it would take like 1 - 1 1/2 hours. And a lot of that time is stuff I would consider fun. He wouldn't do this when he was in actual school. I really am having a hard time not losing my temper. Beth is working great, Carrie is doing to the little things for her, and even little Katy is starting to get with the program. It only takes one to make everything fall apart though.
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August 10th, 2012, 09:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 128
For my six year old it helps him to know he has 10 minutes. I set a timer and he's content to work diligently with that set finish line in place. I still need to be nearby though. He's not mature enough to not at all need my help to keep on task. I help my minimizing distractions around him also and by the way I arrange the schedule and thereby choose the time he's expected to sit down and work.

This didn't work near so well when he was five as it does now that he's six so I have definitely seen what a huge role growth/maturity plays and that is changing the way I do things and what I expect with my next one coming up.
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August 10th, 2012, 09:32 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
Posts: 28,853
Set specific rules for his work. He can do NOTHING else until he is done his work. If his sisters are off playing, tough. Maybe even tell him since he goes so slow with his desk-type work, he'll just have to skip the fun stuff. He'll figure out it's a lot more fun to complete your work quickly than to dawdle and miss out on the fun. It might take a while, but stick to it. This is very common.

(A timer may or may not work... I tried it with my pokey Ani and it made her *slower* because the timer stressed her out.)

~Heather, wife to Jamie (15 years; June 5, 1998) and mom to
Ani - 14 (February 15, 2000), Cameron - 12 (October 3, 2001),
Fritz - 7 (July 11, 2006), and Adrian - 5 (June 19, 2008)
Smaller on the Outside

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August 10th, 2012, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 128
The idea of the timer in our house isn't to get it done in that amount of time but that we can move on at that time if he wants. Anything not finished can be completed another day. Things like timed drills or tests stress my child out also.
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August 10th, 2012, 10:04 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Andrews AFB, MD
Posts: 15,496
Our morning ended in a giant temper-tantrum. Him crying and saying "I'm trying...I just can't work that fast." Oh please....he was playing! I sat there and watched him do everything except his work. I'm happy to sit with him and work on his math and things like that, but I'm not going to hold his hand while he draws a picture. Gah! *deep breath*
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August 10th, 2012, 10:36 AM
jhmomofmany's Avatar Look! A Dancing Banana!
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 14,600
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How old is Matt?

I agree with PP who said he cannot do anything else until his work is done. This is what I do with my pokey-est child. Also, I find that I just cannot keep my peace if I sit and watch her work, it just drives me too freakin' nuts. So maybe set Matt up in a place that eliminates distractions as much as possible and tell him to bring his page/workbook/whatever to you either when he is done or if he needs help. Then you can go about your business and he is going to figure out pretty quickly that he will get more free time if he learns to buckle down.

But, I didn't do that with my daughter until she was older- like middle school age. If Matt is still young enough, it could very well be that he simply lacks the maturity required to ignore distractions and focus on his work. If that's the case, maybe breaking up drills or the more monotonous types of work into smaller segments with breaks between would help. Eliminating busy work and unnecessary repetition (if there is any in your program) might also help.
~Jennifer, wife of one, mother of many

Robert: 20 Raechel: 18 Daniel: 15 Joseph: 13 Thomas: 10 Mary Mae: 7 Lucy Marie: 5 John Anthony: 2 AND Baby due Dec. 2015

Always Missing our Angels: Hope (7-8-06 @36w); Francis (7-4-12 @12w); Charlie (1-19-15 @ 6w)

Congratulations Raechel and Kaleb, married May, 2015

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August 10th, 2012, 11:38 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Andrews AFB, MD
Posts: 15,496
He's only 6 1/2. I think it is a combination of maturity and just choosing to do something else.
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