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Overachievers......except not really!

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    Overachievers......except not really!

    My son, 6 is a bit of an overachiever. Except he is not really. At the start of the year he would cry, errr... roll around the floor, kicking and screaming, the moment I opened the math book. Now, he completes everything, without tears! Yeah! He is funny though, because I know a strategy is to break down the assignment (do x number of rows, etc), but he won’t do that! He will do the whole page anyway! He has finished all of book 1 of R&S1, but until after Christmas we are just doing black lines. Today, he was assigned one of those pages with a million addition problems. I asked him to do 3 of the 6 lines. We would do the next 3 tomorrow and then I assigned a few additional more fun pages. Well, he did all 6 rows and then was too fatigued to do the rest of the “assignment”. (Which is why I only assigned 3 in the first place). Any suggestions? Also, how do we get to doing new material without the tantrums? I have found new stuff, he always baulks at. I know over time he will adjust, but how do I introduce new tasks without the tantrums? He clearly need limits on his work as well, but how do you tell a child “no, do not do more than I asked.” (Said no Mom ever???)
    Christine

    (2019/2020)
    DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
    DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
    DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

    Previous Years
    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

    #2
    Re: Overachievers......except not really!

    One suggestion learned from working with my son is to focus on following directions.

    Following directions:
    Often our classical classrooms do a better job of teaching "following directions" than we homeschoolers do. We're more (overly?) relaxed about whether our children place name and date at the top of the page, notice the heading on the page before diving into the work, or even read the directions before beginning! But in real life, e.g., workplace, following directions is important. Most bosses are not interested in needing to negotiate every little detail of your work. They want the job done well and, usually, exactly as assigned with plenty of energy left over for all of the other tasks!

    You might introduce it this way:
    Explain that in all of our lessons we are learning more than the subjects being taught. Among other things, we are also learning to follow directions. If he is not fond of hearing about mere rules, you can make it more relational: This is a matter of trust. "Trust me enough that when I assign 3 rows, and only 3 rows, this is for your good. You are expected to follow directions exactly as you receive them."

    Help him:
    Given his ADHD tendencies, this may be a self-regulation issue. He may have a hard time stopping when he feels he is "on a roll." Help him by keeping a red marker handy. I did this with my over-eager daughter. Draw a clear line with a stop sign and a big red "STOP." Praise his self-control and his careful following of directions. Later, if you want, you can explain subtly, "I'm glad you stopped here. I had a reason for this. We have a longer lesson in xyz, so I knew 3 rows would be plenty for today. It is good that you followed directions, so you still have enough energy for this next lesson!"

    Offer more:
    And then sometimes, when you know it is truly an option, you can give your ambitious young man choices. We do want to encourage hard work! "Today you have 1 R&S blackline, but I know you like to work hard. If you want, you can finish this second one too." Give him two. Reiterate that the first must be finished, and the second is his choice.

    But all of it is your call.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Overachievers......except not really!

      Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
      One suggestion learned from working with my son is to focus on following directions.

      Following directions:
      Often our classical classrooms do a better job of teaching "following directions" than we homeschoolers do. We're more (overly?) relaxed about whether our children place name and date at the top of the page, notice the heading on the page before diving into the work, or even read the directions before beginning! But in real life, e.g., workplace, following directions is important. Most bosses are not interested in needing to negotiate every little detail of your work. They want the job done well and, usually, exactly as assigned with plenty of energy left over for all of the other tasks!

      You might introduce it this way:
      Explain that in all of our lessons we are learning more than the subjects being taught. Among other things, we are also learning to follow directions. If he is not fond of hearing about mere rules, you can make it more relational: This is a matter of trust. "Trust me enough that when I assign 3 rows, and only 3 rows, this is for your good. You are expected to follow directions exactly as you receive them."

      Help him:
      Given his ADHD tendencies, this may be a self-regulation issue. He may have a hard time stopping when he feels he is "on a roll." Help him by keeping a red marker handy. I did this with my over-eager daughter. Draw a clear line with a stop sign and a big red "STOP." Praise his self-control and his careful following of directions. Later, if you want, you can explain subtly, "I'm glad you stopped here. I had a reason for this. We have a longer lesson in xyz, so I knew 3 rows would be plenty for today. It is good that you followed directions, so you still have enough energy for this next lesson!"

      Offer more:
      And then sometimes, when you know it is truly an option, you can give your ambitious young man choices. We do want to encourage hard work! "Today you have 1 R&S blackline, but I know you like to work hard. If you want, you can finish this second one too." Give him two. Reiterate that the first must be finished, and the second is his choice.

      But all of it is your call.


      YES!

      Hyperfocus is an oft-overlooked part of ADHD and sometimes it can be harder to deal with than the more well-known symptoms. My husband and one of my sons are the same way; it actually makes them anxious to have to stop when they're "on a roll".
      Jennifer
      Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

      DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC, Breaking the Barrier French
      DS15: MP, MPOA, HSC
      DS12: Mash-up of 6/7M
      DS11: SC 4
      DD9: 3A with First Form Latin (long story!)
      DD8: Mash-up of SC 1/2
      DD5: January birthday, using SC B and C as a two-year JrK

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Overachievers......except not really!

        Any suggestions on introducing new tasks/habits withou the tantrums? The flip side, after about 10 weeks it seems, once the habit/task is introduce he rarely needs reminding to do it. (Older one much more compliant, but YEaRs later and I am still reminding to brush teeth. My son, gets up, gets dressed, makes his bed. He eats breakfast, puts his bowl and milk away, goes back upstairs and brushes teeth....the oldest, I am still talking through almost every step!
        Christine

        (2019/2020)
        DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
        DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
        DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

        Previous Years
        DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
        DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
        DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Overachievers......except not really!

          No quick fixes for either of these, but something here might help:

          Your daughter: Visual Steps & Memory
          Your daughter, who struggles with memory, may need simple step-by-step visual charts. We include one for the habit of good hand washing, for example, in Myself & Others. You want to work yourself out of the job of being the Human Reminder, because all of those steps become daily things you must keep in your own mind. (Did you brush your teeth? Wash your face? Brush your hair? Make your bed?) Charts or laminated checklists might help. We still have checklists on the board with broken-down tasks for my daughter. She likes to check things off a list.

          My only rule with her: place a checkmark by the item; do not erase it! Then I can see quickly what still needs to be done. Otherwise I must rely on my own remembering what I assigned.

          Your son: Introducing New Things
          Pre-behavior:
          1. Frame it as "something very much like ____" something he already knows.
          "Next we are going to talk about something that is just like ____." Example: R&S adding a new addition fact family.

          2. Cue him with a special Self-Control chart.
          "The next lesson can earn you a point on your chart, 'I Use Good Self-Control'." On his chart, draw pictures to accompany simple requirements:

          During my lessons ...
          -I Stay in My Chair
          -I Hold My Temper
          -I Use a Quiet Voice

          Save this chart as a self-control cue before you introduce anything new. No need to say "This is new." Instead, refer back to #1.

          Post-behavior:
          1. Award immediately any earned points, stars, etc. on the Self-Control chart.

          2. Comment
          Whenever you can, notice with something like this: "That was a little bit new for you, and you did a great job trying it." Or, "Look how many stars you have on your Self-Control chart. You are becoming a capable, self-controlled young man. I am proud of you."


          Those are just examples. Use whatever language or strategies you would normally use. The combination is the key. Meta-analytic research indicates that the use of both pre- and post- cues and interventions improves behavior as well as attention to academics.

          You're trying to replace bad, unacceptable, out-of-control habits (e.g., over-reacting) with good, acceptable, self-controlled ones. You're also tuning him into the area we identified before: self-regulation.

          Other tips:
          -If a tantrum occurs, be sure it is not rewarding. Removing pay-offs -- such as increased attention, getting you frazzled, or getting out of work -- will help too.

          -Watch overdoing over-stimulating outings, foods, etc. If I remember, he has always been sensitive to such changes and seems to "overload." Prevention: good sleep, calm days, outings that are fun but not over-stimulating, good nutrition, predictable amounts of daily work.

          -It can feel like a juggling act when you have children with multiple, different needs, so stay rested and refreshed yourself. Pare down the "holiday hectic" for yourself. Call a friend for lunch. Sometimes a little mama-perspective is the best cure.

          Others may chime in with something more useful --
          Last edited by cherylswope; 12-06-2017, 02:53 PM.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Overachievers......except not really!

            Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
            No quick fixes for either of these, but something here might help:

            Your daughter: Visual Steps & Memory
            Your daughter, who struggles with memory, may need simple step-by-step visual charts. We include one for the habit of good hand washing, for example, in Myself & Others. You want to work yourself out of the job of being the Human Reminder, because all of those steps become daily things you must keep in your own mind. (Did you brush your teeth? Wash your face? Brush your hair? Make your bed?) Charts or laminated checklists might help. We still have checklists on the board with broken-down tasks for my daughter. She likes to check things off a list.

            My only rule with her: place a checkmark by the item; do not erase it! Then I can see quickly what still needs to be done. Otherwise I must rely on my own remembering what I assigned.

            Your son: Introducing New Things
            Pre-behavior:
            1. Frame it as "something very much like ____" something he already knows.
            "Next we are going to talk about something that is just like ____." Example: R&S adding a new addition fact family.

            2. Cue him with a special Self-Control chart.
            "The next lesson can earn you a point on your chart, 'I Use Good Self-Control'." On his chart, draw pictures to accompany simple requirements:

            During my lessons ...
            -I Stay in My Chair
            -I Hold My Temper
            -I Use a Quiet Voice

            Save this chart as a self-control cue before you introduce anything new. No need to say "This is new." Instead, refer back to #1.

            Post-behavior:
            1. Award immediately any earned points, stars, etc. on the Self-Control chart.

            2. Comment
            Whenever you can, notice with something like this: "That was a little bit new for you, and you did a great job trying it." Or, "Look how many stars you have on your Self-Control chart. You are becoming a capable, self-controlled young man. I am proud of you."


            Those are just examples. Use whatever language or strategies you would normally use. The combination is the key. Meta-analytic research indicates that the use of both pre- and post- cues and interventions improves behavior as well as attention to academics.

            You're trying to replace bad, unacceptable, out-of-control habits (e.g., over-reacting) with good, acceptable, self-controlled ones. You're also tuning him into the area we identified before: self-regulation.

            Other tips:
            -If a tantrum occurs, be sure it is not rewarding. Removing pay-offs -- such as increased attention, getting you frazzled, or getting out of work -- will help too.

            -Watch overdoing over-stimulating outings, foods, etc. If I remember, he has always been sensitive to such changes and seems to "overload." Prevention: good sleep, calm days, outings that are fun but not over-stimulating, good nutrition, predictable amounts of daily work.

            -It can feel like a juggling act when you have children with multiple, different needs, so stay rested and refreshed yourself. Pare down the "holiday hectic" for yourself. Call a friend for lunch. Sometimes a little mama-perspective is the best cure.

            Others may chime in with something more useful --

            These tips are super helpful -- any ideas for when mom's brain is already so overdone that she can't even remember that the charts are there? Because, yes, after the first week I have to be the Human Reminder for the charts too.

            The kids and I once joked that any charts have to hang from the ceiling fan because maybe then we would all remember them.
            Jennifer
            Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

            DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC, Breaking the Barrier French
            DS15: MP, MPOA, HSC
            DS12: Mash-up of 6/7M
            DS11: SC 4
            DD9: 3A with First Form Latin (long story!)
            DD8: Mash-up of SC 1/2
            DD5: January birthday, using SC B and C as a two-year JrK

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Overachievers......except not really!

              Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
              These tips are super helpful -- any ideas for when mom's brain is already so overdone that she can't even remember that the charts are there? Because, yes, after the first week I have to be the Human Reminder for the charts too.

              The kids and I once joked that any charts have to hang from the ceiling fan because maybe then we would all remember them.
              I have ADD (it used to be ADD or ADHD and I have the ADD form), so when there is something that I am trying to remember that is really important I post it on the front door so I have to see it every time I go out. I only do it with really important things. This might work for you because if you see a reminder every time you leave your house I think it will get ingrained in you.

              Oh, and HowieCram, I was also hyper-focused like your son, but it really helped me academically as I got older and I was able to get into an Ivy League College and Law School. It could turn into a really good thing!
              Last edited by jejegreer; 12-07-2017, 11:37 PM. Reason: misspelling
              JeJe Greer
              Mom to:
              Stella (8M with 9th grade literature)
              Clara (SC 5/6 and 4th new user)

              Comment

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