Thursday, August 23, 2007

A New System

Since Tuesday, we have been doing our school lessons a little differently, and this new system is making our days go much more smoothly. T. and I do math first thing in the morning, and my precious boy has tended to stretch his math out for an absurd length of time. I would pit my boy's ability to dawdle, doodle, and daydream over that of any other boy around. His shilly-shallying has caused me tremendous stress and many gray hairs because when you spend two and a half hours doing a lesson that should reasonably take forty minutes, you have precious little time left over for other subjects. We still got in grammar, Latin, and Bible studies, but other subjects were getting bumped off the schedule entirely. Enter the new system. We now allocate one hour for math. That is all. I introduce new concepts, do flashcards and Challenging Word Problems, and get him started on his daily assignment. There is plenty of time for him to complete the assignment within our hour, if he keeps at it. Any work that isn't finished is "homework," that he gets to do after school, before he can play. So far he has had homework every day, but I have high hopes that he will figure out that it is more fun to just do the work and get on with things, and, fabulously, I am no longer stressed and upset about how we are not getting things done! Happily, once we take math off the table (set aside for T. to enjoy later!), the rest of our day has been flowing beautifully, and we have been getting more done, more enjoyably, than I would have believed possible.

(This system also works for other subjects, and, Tuesday, was necessary for science. Math was our monster, though. I realize that this idea is completely obvious and we could have started it long ago, but I have been reluctant. Finally my sanity and the necessity of covering a few more subjects made some sort of change unavoidable, and I am so happy!)


Jules said...

LOL! Isn't it funny how the answers sometimes come to us and then we think, "Now why didn't I think of that before?"

I am glad things are going better for you and T. It sounds like a great plan- one that I may have to try someday.

Wisteria said...

We struggled with this same problem with my son. It took us a few years to find a solution. I'm glad you found something that works sooner.

Melora said...

Jules & Wiseria,
I Am very happy we now have something that works. It still isn't perfect, of course, because I really don't want to have the poor kid sitting at the table all afternoon with the work he won't do. If he learns that it is better to just do stuff than procrastinate, That would be perfect (and a lesson that his mommy still needs to learn!).