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What to do when a child constantly slacks and is so SLOW

Forum: Homeschooling


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  • 1 Post By Frackel
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September 4th, 2013, 02:16 PM
2Corinthians10:4's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 12,959
Let me start off by saying she is not slow because she is having difficulties doing the work, it is because she is putting off doing the work because it isn't what she wants to do at that point in time.

We have been sitting here for 1 hour and 15 minutes for Dd to do two sheets of math work TWO, and they aren't that long! She keeps hanging in her seat, whistling, playing with the cat, etc. Just trying to do anything besides doing her work. This is the first thing we are doing today so she has a lot more to finish before we are through.

It breaks my heart because I have to be to work in a couple hours (I nanny) and I am taking the kids to the park. What does Dd get to do? Sit at a picnic table and finish her spelling, reading, and handwriting because she won't have time to finish them before we leave.

I hate having to 'punish' her. But what would she do if she were in PS and didn't do her work?

Ugh, I am lost. Does anyone else have this problem? What do you suggest?

Thank you Kiliki for my beautiful siggy!

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September 4th, 2013, 06:27 PM
Irish_Wristwatch's Avatar Running with Scissors....
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
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is there another time what she does want to sit and do work? like is she more focused after dinner or right after breakfast? or is it more that she would just rather play all the time?

Unless there is another time that she will focus im not sure what else you can do
Mom to 3 boys
07.10 - 10.11 - 03.13

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September 4th, 2013, 07:33 PM
KMH KMH is offline
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It sounds like the natural consequences (having to do schoolwork instead of playing) will encourage her to focus and get her work done in a more timely fashion in the future!

Melissa & DH
IVF babies Claire (5), Abigail (3) and George (3)

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September 4th, 2013, 11:16 PM
Frackel's Avatar DOh!
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: In my house :p
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Is it possible she really doesn't like seat work at all? Or possible her learning style has changed? If that's the case, you two need to work together to find a better method for you both, or you're going to keep running into this. Some kids really just don't like worksheet type work, and that's ok. You can always go the more tactile route with things. She may be "bored" with what you're giving her. It's ok, it happens to the best of us. If that's the case now would probably be a good time to sit down with her and ask her what her opinion is on it. Ask her if she has a way she'd rather learn, she might surprise you. Some kids won't work on worksheets well but if you give them a whiteboard and marker, or chalkboard and chalk, they can and will do the work. This can be a bit time consuming for you, and if you had invested money in a specific textbook, workbook or even curriculum, it can smack ya upside the head financially because you weren't really expecting to change gears.

In our house, the kids get as much say in the curriculum and how I teach(and they learn) as I do. So for us adaptation is a regular thing and we just go with the flow. That doesn't mean they always have good days either, though, lol. My kids can be just as stubborn as anyone else. In that case, natural consequences usually take care of the problem all on their own. It just sometimes takes a day or two to sink in that goofing off isn't always going to happen, lol. Taking a day off here and there because work is just not going well, is also not a bad idea. We do that too when I can clearly tell we are going to get nowhere. Sometimes just that little break is enough for them to get right back on track the next day, or week depending on which day of the week this happens on.

If she can do the work, and isn't struggling, it's also likely she's testing your boundaries. Not hers, but yours. I strongly believe that being firm with natural consequences should be your first step-if there isn't anything else going on(like a general bad day). No giving in to whining or crying, because it's likely you may see both. You can't be a softy repeatedly on issues when kids decide it's time to test you, or you'll play heck trying to reign that behavior back in. No, I don't mean punishments, but her having to do her work while others play, isn't a punishment. It's what happens when you put off for later what you should be doing now.
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September 5th, 2013, 09:39 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
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If you know for sure nothing else is going on, and you see this as a pattern rather than a bad day, I suggest two things that have worked well for us: (1) natural consequences, and (2) make a prioritized list of all the work that needs to be done, write down how long each assignment should take, and schedule several short breaks within that priority list (whether necessary or not... like training a puppy with treats). Explain that if you do (xyz assignments) in the time allotted, you'll be finished with everything by (time or event) and can spend the rest of the day doing whatever you want, HOWEVER, if you don't finish, you'll have homework during the time you would have gotten to do (activity or event).

This works for us every single time (which seems almost daily, because Ben has ADD). What DOESN'T work for us is to say "I want everything done by (time)", because "everything" is too broad without a prioritized list (how many times to we as adults look at our own mile long to-do list and simply give up?), or to allow too much time to get everything done, because then procrastination creeps in. For a particularly long assignment, we also use an egg timer (set to 5 or 10 minutes) so that every time it rings, it's a cue to get back on task.
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September 6th, 2013, 05:37 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 8,365
We are having this problem as well. What works for us is them to know exactly what has to be done, and if they still dilly dally, then natural consequences take place. It is helping with my girls so far, I can't wait until we are moved into our new house so I can set up the work boxes. I feel it'll help move things along.
Momma to :
E-10.5yrs 11/03
S-7.75yrs 8/06
A-6yrs 3/08
J-4.5yrs 11/09
K 2.5yrs 9/11

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September 7th, 2013, 04:24 PM
2Corinthians10:4's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 12,959
Thanks ladies. I will just keep up with the natural consequences. There isn't anything else going on, the only thing I can think of is the baby coming soon but this is an ongoing issue that started before I ever got pregnant so I don't think it's that. She likes the curriculum, and she actually talks about how she likes this one better than the one we used last year...and she isn't struggling. Yesterday she had her chapter 1 math test and made a 100, finishing in only about 10-20 minutes.

I guess the natural consequences it is. I also like the idea of the exact schedule and breaks in between if she earns them.

Thanks ladies!

Thank you Kiliki for my beautiful siggy!

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September 7th, 2013, 10:03 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
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Perhaps she's bored, then? Sounds like it might be too easy for her, and she just doesn't want to do busy work.
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