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    teaching children to work well & to be prompt

    On Enigma's thread RE study guide struggles, and working through a really challenging homeschool time, Jude mentioned that she gives the children a start time AND an end time as a way to encourage thorough work & studying: they don't just get to finish their assignments and then go play. (At least, that's how I read it -- Jude, I hope you'll correct me if I got it wrong)

    I was wondering what other strategies y'all use to encourage your children to work both well and promptly. And, Jude, what you have them do when their scheduled work is complete?

    I think my older child benefits so much from breaks after each subject that I would hesitate to do the work-till-end-of-morning/afternoon with him, though the younger could do well with a strategy like that one. Possibly it would work for the older, too, but he is an outlier -- DH calls him "multiple-sigma" b/c he's several standard deviations from the mean in so many ways.

    ETA: it occurs to me that my older one might do well if he could earn a 15"-early quit time with excellent work done & studying completed. That might align his motivations well.
    Last edited by serendipitous journey; 06-23-2017, 09:05 PM.
    Ana, mama to
    ds A, 15 yo
    ds N, 10 yo

    #2
    Re: teaching children to work well & to be prompt

    Yes, you understood correctly. They are not done with school time even if all the written assignments for the day have been completed. Each child has a binder full of memory work for daily review. (The memory work is largely taken from Andrew Campbell's "Living Memory," which covers all subjects, including Latin and Greek.) This was the time each day my son used to learn Horatius at the Bridge in 6th grade. They have flashcards for various subjects. They have timeline cards and maps to trace and study. They have books in Latin to try to read. Or they can go back and review their work to make sure nothing was missed. If we have some sort of interruption in the week, they can make up the missed work at this time.
    This is a schedule I have used even with two who are very gifted. My husband and I were both gifted students, so we know that developing the habit of coasting through schoolwork is a real danger. A high IQ without perseverance (and other virtues) is meaningless. They appreciate that I'm not giving them silly busy work, because they know what their peers in public schools (even in the honors programs) are assigned. Plus they get a full hour for lunch. One hour is enough time to have lunch and read for fun, play basketball on the driveway, or try to whip your siblings at chess. The high schoolers have had very challenging course loads. They normally need the full school day and an hour or more each night during the week.
    My five-year-old does not have enough material to fill up the day from 8:00 to 3:00. She understands that she can not interrupt the others until they have finished school. She can play in another area, read books with me, draw, color, trace maps, etc...
    Blessings,
    Jude

    DD 20, DS 17, DS 14, DS 12, DD 10, DS 7, DD 5
    DD24
    DS21
    DS18
    DS16
    DD14
    DS11
    DD9

    Comment


      #3
      Re: teaching children to work well & to be prompt

      Originally posted by SaintJude7 View Post
      Yes, you understood correctly. They are not done with school time even if all the written assignments for the day have been completed. Each child has a binder full of memory work for daily review. (The memory work is largely taken from Andrew Campbell's "Living Memory," which covers all subjects, including Latin and Greek.) This was the time each day my son used to learn Horatius at the Bridge in 6th grade. They have flashcards for various subjects. They have timeline cards and maps to trace and study. They have books in Latin to try to read. Or they can go back and review their work to make sure nothing was missed. If we have some sort of interruption in the week, they can make up the missed work at this time.
      This is a schedule I have used even with two who are very gifted. My husband and I were both gifted students, so we know that developing the habit of coasting through schoolwork is a real danger. A high IQ without perseverance (and other virtues) is meaningless. They appreciate that I'm not giving them silly busy work, because they know what their peers in public schools (even in the honors programs) are assigned. Plus they get a full hour for lunch. One hour is enough time to have lunch and read for fun, play basketball on the driveway, or try to whip your siblings at chess. The high schoolers have had very challenging course loads. They normally need the full school day and an hour or more each night during the week.
      My five-year-old does not have enough material to fill up the day from 8:00 to 3:00. She understands that she can not interrupt the others until they have finished school. She can play in another area, read books with me, draw, color, trace maps, etc...
      Blessings,
      Jude

      DD 20, DS 17, DS 14, DS 12, DD 10, DS 7, DD 5
      Were we separated at birth? My husband and I both struggled, despite high IQs. He did better than I -- he graduated from the Air Force Academy. Meanwhile, my poor study habits (barely) landed me in a public university, where I finally got my act together and graduated with honors. But I have never learned how to study well.

      I am following your responses with almost-awe. Three of our four children have (undiagnosed) ASD, and at least one of them is asynchronously gifted. I confess, I put school uniforms on my Amazon wish list yesterday after I read the response that started this thread.

      You're definitely giving me food for thought here, Jude...
      “If I should fall even a thousand times a day, a thousand times, with peaceful repentance, I will say immediately, Nunc Coepi, ‘Now, I begin.’.”

      ~Venerable Bruno Lanteri
      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      Boy Wonder 13 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 4/5 + Seton 5
      Joy Bubble 11 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 4/5 + Seton 5
      Cuddly Cowboy 9 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 3/4/5 + Seton 4
      Sassafras 5 ...MPK + Seton K

      Comment


        #4
        Re: teaching children to work well & to be prompt

        I am also gleaning several gems of knowledge on this thread and the previous. My children are younger 7, 5 and 2 but I already see the need to set the bar high in the beginning. My eldest seems to need more structure to her school day than I was initially giving her. I'm trying to learn what that looks like with littles around too.
        Heidi

        For 2021-22
        dd- 6th
        ds- 3rd
        dd- 1st
        ds- adding smiles and distractions

        Comment


          #5
          Re: teaching children to work well & to be prompt

          I like the idea of a set end time as well, but I'm not sure how we would accomplish it. Some of my boys prefer to do their schoolwork immediately upon waking...but I know a big reason they do it is to get their work out of the way until review time with me later in the day.
          Jennifer
          Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

          2021-2022
          DS18: Almost done!
          DS17: MP, MPOA
          DS15: MP, MPOA
          DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
          DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
          DD9: SC3
          DD6: MPK

          Comment


            #6
            Re: teaching children to work well & to be prompt

            Jude, I agree that training bright children to work hard is incredibly important! (Jude knows from the other thread that my older is academically quite capable -- ie gifted -- and his particular style of analytical, feeling-oriented brain has presented some particular challenges) DH and I managed to avoid learning not to work, but I had to figure so much out on my own and I am glad to spare my children this struggle. They are learning how to write, how to study, how to read well in preparation for tests/quizzes, etcetera.

            I've also seen that many bright boys (this is especially a problem with the boys) in the public school system here find that the main challenge is figuring out how to get the required grades with the least effort, and they develop that skill. And a friend who is an scientist/engineer in academia mentioned to me that this was his experience, and it still affected his ability to work effectively after he'd finished grad school! I am so grateful to have this perspective, since we have always made sure that the boys know they are expected to work to their own capacities and we've given them materials that challenge them.

            A month or so ago, when I asked my older son if he preferred science in the Novare Earth Science book (he has to read, write vocab, answer review questions in note-taking format) or learning from just reading "Archimedes and the Door of Science", he answered that Archimedes was more fun but he learns more with Novare. He wants to be assigned the harder task because he sees how it increases his understanding. But he wouldn't do it on his own!

            Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
            I like the idea of a set end time as well, but I'm not sure how we would accomplish it. Some of my boys prefer to do their schoolwork immediately upon waking...but I know a big reason they do it is to get their work out of the way until review time with me later in the day.
            Jen, you are helping me understand my hesitation in setting firm start and end times for my particular children. And, of course, with only two of them it is a different ball of wax for me ...

            I want to encourage the older child to begin having and meeting his own goals for himself, and managing his time so that it is most rewarding for him. Within constraints: we are not going to have him play during the day and do late-afternoon/night work.

            The boys are unlikely to be in work situations where they are given clear daily tasks + defined hours in which to accomplish them. Eventually they will probably be working on large clouds of tasks, some of which have deadlines and others of which may never really be "complete", with college/grad school work being intermediate between their homeschool structure and the structure of their work in the world (assuming college).

            I have always focused on a "work hard, play hard" attitude and encouraged frustrated children to take breaks when necessary. We focus on finishing our tasks well and then doing something else for a bit. If a child is working hard and has hit a wall, I have them consider stepping away for a short time or having a snack or just doing something else. For the younger one I usually make the call on how to treat the frustration (keep going is most usual; go read something fun for 2-5 minutes is rarest; I give him a snack when I know he may be hungry). The older one usually gets to make the call, and he almost never wants to stop working; sometimes I do enforce a short break, often have him get a snack.

            The snacks are usually a carrot followed by a some pretzels or stone-ground tortilla chips. I'm working on getting some protein options that they can quickly get for themselves. Drinks are water in bottles that don't spill when tipped over. I can see that this could be crazy-making for a big family, unless maybe everybody had a baggie of snack to eat when necessary.

            I do this because I've seen how hard it can be for bright, hard-working people to stop working when they are tired or really need a break. When I was in the laboratory, pushing myself too hard when I was exhausted caused mistakes that meant weeks of work to repair. And sometimes it is best to set the math aside and come back with a fresh mind, either taking a lunch break or maybe switching to another task for a while. So: work hard, but be able to step away. My particular children will need to have mastered this, and to know when work is best left undone as well as how to get it done in the first place.

            On the whole this has worked well. It is sufficient to keep my younger fellow working hard, and he takes satisfaction in school work well done. The older could not care less about his school work. This is not a "bad attitude", it is simply that when he looks at a page of neatly-written, correct answers he feels no frisson of achievement. He does, however, want to please me and wants to meet his responsibilities. So I have to provide the feeling of achievement and the structure to make sure my goals for him are met by his work.

            He has also begun scheduling carefully to maximize his free time. One example: my husband took the boys on a short trip this year, and older knew he was responsible for completing his Latin workbook pages before his next online class. He did more than usual before they left, and decided to bring his books with him so that he could complete them on the trip, and he did. No last-minute rush at all! Hurrah!

            Thank goodness he is beginning to notice the results! He loves being able to read well when we are with other people, for instance, and is noticing that a good education has value. He's growing in the right directions.
            Last edited by serendipitous journey; 06-24-2017, 12:01 PM.
            Ana, mama to
            ds A, 15 yo
            ds N, 10 yo

            Comment


              #7
              Re: teaching children to work well & to be prompt

              This is the only point that I would question:

              "The boys are unlikely to be in work situations where they are given clear daily tasks + defined hours in which to accomplish them. Eventually they will probably be working on large clouds of tasks, some of which have deadlines and others of which may never really be "complete", with college/grad school work being intermediate between their homeschool structure and the structure of their work in the world (assuming college)."

              That may quite likely be the case once your child is in their chosen field beyond an entry level position, should they follow the path you see them on now. But I know an awful lot of people with advanced degrees who decided that environment wasn't what really made them happy in life. Some people choose to work in less demanding jobs and seek intellectual stimulation outside of the workplace. One of my favorite jobs while in college was working for a caterer. You have a lot of time to think while laying out silverware for 400 guests, and you don't take the job home with you.

              My husband and I actually want each of our children to work in fast food or a similar service industry before they head off to college. This teaches them basic work skills, how to interact with the public, and, most of all, humility. There are just too many stories of college graduates unable to find work in their fields who think physical/semi-skilled labor is beneath them. I truly hope one of my boys decides to be a plumber.

              My husband has explained to the children that he could leave and come home once everything on his agenda for the day had been completed. (He is salaried, works from multiple locations, leads a lot of long-term projects, and sets his own hours.) But he doesn't. He gives his employer a full work day and uses that time to go above and beyond. That is what we expect of them in their school work. Six hours total of dedicated school time is not exactly a Herculean task. I remind them that it's not like they have cows to milk or crops to harvest.

              Blessings,
              Jude

              DD 20, DS 17, DS 14, DS 12, DD 10, DS 7, DD 5
              DD24
              DS21
              DS18
              DS16
              DD14
              DS11
              DD9

              Comment


                #8
                Re: teaching children to work well & to be prompt

                Jude, do you think we disagree?

                It _is_ unlikely that my particular children will end up in positions like the one I described, given their temperaments. And it is true that 6 hours of work is very reasonable. And I am training my children so that they are able to work in situations where tasks and resources are clearly defined: I agree that this is important, and such work is valuable. My goals for my children do not include a particular sort of work, just work where the good Lord places them.

                ETA: I think where we differ is in temperament/personality, probably, and on emphasis but not on essentials. You are clearly teaching your children how to set limits to their work, for example. And my DH is also salaried, works from more than one location, and sets his own hours. Because of the particular nature and challenges of his own job, his talks with the boys focus on how to work collaboratively, how to work with difficult people (superiors, colleagues, subordinates) and especially meeting your responsibilities to those dependent on you. I am sure both of our families share these values, as well as sharing the values you mentioned of doing a strong, full day's work.

                ETA #2: I'm totally following along with your posts on the other thread. Laundry is in my older child's Near Future ... bwah-hah-hah!!!
                Last edited by serendipitous journey; 06-24-2017, 01:15 PM.
                Ana, mama to
                ds A, 15 yo
                ds N, 10 yo

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: teaching children to work well & to be prompt

                  Anita,
                  I think that children on the milder end of the spectrum come with their own set of worries. They usually know when they are not fitting into a social situation, whereas my son is blissfully unaware. They often straddle that line between special ed and completely mainstreamed, not feeling at home in either. They can go to college but may need assistance, especially with executive functioning. Relationships can be difficult, as well as navigating workplace environments. That's an awful lot to manage.
                  In our son's case, we knew by the time he was seven that he would never go to college, never have a job, never get married, etc... His speech and communication skills have improved but will never move beyond severely impaired. He will need care and protection the rest of his life.
                  At the same time, his disability has been an amazing gift to our family. I once had to write a letter to my oldest daughter's new teacher. She had asked each parent to describe their child and their family. I started it off with something along the lines of, "Had (name) been our only child, we probably would have been the most asinine helicopter parents imaginable. Thankfully, God knew what he was doing and sent us a child with special needs to kick us in the butt and show us each day what is truly important. (Name) is very bright, but we know she is far from perfect..." The teacher said she had enjoyed our letter after reading so many others where the parents thought their child was the most special, talented child ever.
                  If you do discover that we were separated at birth, please have your mother call me. My mother is...unique. I'm definitely open to adding on another mother figure in my life.
                  Blessings,
                  Jude

                  DD 20, DS 17, DS 14, DS 12, DD 10, DS 7, DD 5
                  DD24
                  DS21
                  DS18
                  DS16
                  DD14
                  DS11
                  DD9

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: teaching children to work well & to be prompt

                    Originally posted by SaintJude7 View Post
                    Anita,
                    ... My mother is...unique. I'm definitely open to adding on another mother figure in my life.
                    Blessings,
                    Jude

                    DD 20, DS 17, DS 14, DS 12, DD 10, DS 7, DD 5
                    Me, too. It would be terrific if Anita's mother is lovely & could be shared with you!
                    Ana, mama to
                    ds A, 15 yo
                    ds N, 10 yo

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: teaching children to work well & to be prompt

                      Oh thank you thank you thank you...perfect timing on this thread...
                      I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out what to do with ds.

                      Esp moving into 8th there is so much we can delve into in the fall he but has just been coasting the last year and I was unsure how to address it.

                      Jude you cracked me up.
                      I feel very blessed that I can laugh most days ...whoever says sorrow and joy can not journey together was most likely not a parent.

                      He loves set schedules it never occurred to me to set an end time as well as a start time ..why didn't it?!
                      He is one that is on task the moment he wakes, refuses to take breaks..I have to add movement breaks to his schedule... but he barely does the minimum work with out prompting...his goal is never really to do what ever work...it is just always to be finished...he does love checking off the boxes but then is at a loss what to do with himself. We need to help him see the benefit of the delving deeper but for him he is hyper focused on the process of moving forward...it is always "what is the next step" and never how can I really engage in what I am doing now.
                      I like the idea of expected work to go through when his work is finished.

                      The are so many periods where the bare minimum is all that is physically possible but it means we set our bar low to accommodate...but now we realize that it is not nearly enough challenge during times of health...but having a binder as you said to turn to when he is done with lessonwork and not needing to immediately sleep or fighting brain fog would be helpful in filling the achievement gap we have.

                      Anita does in count as a "school uniform" if most day all your kids are wearing stripped long Hanna pj's during lessons
                      DD - Graduated!
                      DS - core 12 with remediation/support
                      DD - core 9 with remediation/support
                      DS - core 7 with remediation/support

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: teaching children to work well & to be prompt

                        Originally posted by MaggieAnnie View Post
                        Oh thank you thank you thank you...perfect timing on this thread...
                        I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out what to do with ds.

                        Esp moving into 8th there is so much we can delve into in the fall he but has just been coasting the last year and I was unsure how to address it.

                        Jude you cracked me up.
                        I feel very blessed that I can laugh most days ...whoever says sorrow and joy can not journey together was most likely not a parent.

                        He loves set schedules it never occurred to me to set an end time as well as a start time ..why didn't it?!
                        He is one that is on task the moment he wakes, refuses to take breaks..I have to add movement breaks to his schedule... but he barely does the minimum work with out prompting...his goal is never really to do what ever work...it is just always to be finished...he does love checking off the boxes but then is at a loss what to do with himself. We need to help him see the benefit of the delving deeper but for him he is hyper focused on the process of moving forward...it is always "what is the next step" and never how can I really engage in what I am doing now.
                        I like the idea of expected work to go through when his work is finished.

                        The are so many periods where the bare minimum is all that is physically possible but it means we set our bar low to accommodate...but now we realize that it is not nearly enough challenge during times of health...but having a binder as you said to turn to when he is done with lessonwork and not needing to immediately sleep or fighting brain fog would be helpful in filling the achievement gap we have.

                        Anita does in count as a "school uniform" if most day all your kids are wearing stripped long Hanna pj's during lessons
                        If I get "teacher uniform" credit for Capri leggings, a bright colored workout shirt, a pony tail and sandals!
                        “If I should fall even a thousand times a day, a thousand times, with peaceful repentance, I will say immediately, Nunc Coepi, ‘Now, I begin.’.”

                        ~Venerable Bruno Lanteri
                        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                        Boy Wonder 13 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 4/5 + Seton 5
                        Joy Bubble 11 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 4/5 + Seton 5
                        Cuddly Cowboy 9 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 3/4/5 + Seton 4
                        Sassafras 5 ...MPK + Seton K

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: teaching children to work well & to be prompt

                          Originally posted by SaintJude7 View Post
                          Anita,
                          I think that children on the milder end of the spectrum come with their own set of worries. They usually know when they are not fitting into a social situation, whereas my son is blissfully unaware. They often straddle that line between special ed and completely mainstreamed, not feeling at home in either. They can go to college but may need assistance, especially with executive functioning. Relationships can be difficult, as well as navigating workplace environments. That's an awful lot to manage.
                          In our son's case, we knew by the time he was seven that he would never go to college, never have a job, never get married, etc... His speech and communication skills have improved but will never move beyond severely impaired. He will need care and protection the rest of his life.
                          At the same time, his disability has been an amazing gift to our family. I once had to write a letter to my oldest daughter's new teacher. She had asked each parent to describe their child and their family. I started it off with something along the lines of, "Had (name) been our only child, we probably would have been the most asinine helicopter parents imaginable. Thankfully, God knew what he was doing and sent us a child with special needs to kick us in the butt and show us each day what is truly important. (Name) is very bright, but we know she is far from perfect..." The teacher said she had enjoyed our letter after reading so many others where the parents thought their child was the most special, talented child ever.
                          If you do discover that we were separated at birth, please have your mother call me. My mother is...unique. I'm definitely open to adding on another mother figure in my life.
                          Blessings,
                          Jude

                          DD 20, DS 17, DS 14, DS 12, DD 10, DS 7, DD 5
                          Our oldest did not speak until after his fifth birthday. His next younger sibling is also ASD-language affected. I TOTALLY get this.

                          You don't want my mother. (Yikes.) ... Maybe we *were* separated at birth (?)
                          “If I should fall even a thousand times a day, a thousand times, with peaceful repentance, I will say immediately, Nunc Coepi, ‘Now, I begin.’.”

                          ~Venerable Bruno Lanteri
                          ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                          Boy Wonder 13 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 4/5 + Seton 5
                          Joy Bubble 11 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 4/5 + Seton 5
                          Cuddly Cowboy 9 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 3/4/5 + Seton 4
                          Sassafras 5 ...MPK + Seton K

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: teaching children to work well & to be prompt

                            Originally posted by Anita View Post
                            If I get "teacher uniform" credit for Capri leggings, a bright colored workout shirt, a pony tail and sandals!
                            Well most days at home find me in cargo shorts and ribbed tank top so I would say you look pretty put together! Really though those pockets come in handy do you know how many pencils and books I can fit in there!?


                            It is funny I loved the uniforms in my schools growing up. Even in high-school it was one of my favorite parts the school year...not having to pick an outfit...it was never really about the formal look for me just easy, uncomplicated. When I do go out my clothes do suspiciously look like my old high school uniform if you swap the skirt for my shorts right down to the lands end sweater...I love those ha!
                            DD - Graduated!
                            DS - core 12 with remediation/support
                            DD - core 9 with remediation/support
                            DS - core 7 with remediation/support

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: teaching children to work well & to be prompt

                              Ok ladies, I need some help on this one. My 7 year old, who is entering 2nd grade, seems to have I will do the least amount required tendency. I think the idea of a start and end time would be beneficial but I'm struggling with how that would look with a JrK and 2 year old running around too. How long should they do school work and how did it look when your kids were this age? How many chores were they doing? I'm wanting to instill good habits now. As much I want to be more laid back about our routine and habits, I'm realizing that it won't work. I've thought the 7 year old may have some anxiety or something but am not sure. The 5 year old is being evaluated for sensory processing disorder and I'm trying to figure out what's best for them. So I'll stop rambling now and say thank you for all the advice.
                              Heidi

                              For 2021-22
                              dd- 6th
                              ds- 3rd
                              dd- 1st
                              ds- adding smiles and distractions

                              Comment

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