Daydreamer child

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Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 5:44 pm

Daydreamer child

Post by Janphillips » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:52 pm

I was wondering if someone might have some tips or encouragement to offer considering a Day dreamy child. She has always been this way even before she started school. She is now turning 8 years old this month and still let’s her mind wander. Of course as her mother I find it frustrating enough outside of school. She’s the one I have to remind 3 different times to do something and that I’m always trying to hurry up. Schooling adds another level of difficulty because she can easily make any task where SHE drives the pace take twice or 3 times as long. A 10 minute math workbook page or handwriting sheet can be extended to 30 minutes if she’s not focused. I used to be at my whit’s end when it came to read alouds and her ability to narrate or answer questions afterwards because she would stare at me with eyes glassed over and not know a thing. However, another homeschool mom suggested I have her narrate after each paragraph and that has really helped. This year I have noted the expected time each box is suppose to take in the guide and have set timers and left things undone if going much past time. She began in Heart of Dakota, is 8 years old this month, reading the Emerging readers, and using the Bigger guide. She can do very well when focused. Any thoughts?
Jan Phillips
Married 16 years
Daughter 8 years old - LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing
Daughter 6 years old - LHFHG, Beyond
Daughter - 3 years old
Son - 3 years old

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Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:00 am

Re: Daydreamer child

Post by Rice » Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:12 pm

Some scattered thoughts:

- some kids do well if they have something to do with their hands while listening (stress ball, Lego, coloring [related or unrelated to the topic], play doh) or even some quiet gross-motor activity (bounce on a yoga ball or mini trampoline). Other kids find it more distracting. Feel free to experiment to find what does or doesn't work for your DD.

- the CM method encourages the "habit of attention". One way to reinforce focus in a short lesson is to stop as soon as the timer goes off. Every time. If it's simply something that takes longer than usual (a longer reading, a bigger assignment) then you could add a few minutes to the timer. However, if things got stretched due to lack of focus, then it goes in a pile to finish later. Once you're finished going through everything once, you announce that your day is done *except* there are a few things to catch up, due to not paying attention. Then proceed to set the timer again for the first subject that needs to be revisited. (Of course, you can take a break first - it would probably improve everyone's attitude. :wink: )

- another thing I've tried is positive reinforcement. Find something that is a motivator. I have one DS for whom media was a huge motivation. If he was ready for school on time, with chores done, he got a ticket, good for 10 minutes of media time once school was over for the day. If he was "on track" and had had a good attitude by snack time, he earned a second ticket. If he was on track (for him, that meant just 1 or 2 subjects left for after lunch, at that point in his school career) at lunch time, then he earned a third ticket. Rules that were game changers for him: 1) if he missed earning one ticket, he could still earn the others (he hadn't blown the day completely); 2) if he missed earning a ticket he did NOT lose the ones he'd already earned. Once all school was done for the day, he could use up to 5 tickets, and if he didn't have time to or want to use them one day, he could save them for another day.

- an other idea is to change the form of narration you're requesting. Have her ask YOU 3 questions. (Higher level thinking is required to sort through the story, determine what is important and formulate a question, than to merely answer a question. You might want to tell her what you expect before starting the reading.) Have her act out the story. Have her draw a picture, or a series of pictures as you read. YOU narrate the story, but leave big gaps or make hillarious mistakes that she needs to listen for and correct. Tag-team: you say a sentence that happened, then she has to say what happened next, then you add to it, etc.

- one thing that REALLY improves narrations is to go back to the beginning of the section being narrated and read a sentence or two that leads in to an exciting or action-packed part, then say, "What happened next." Going back to the beginning gives them a starting point, which is especially helpful when reading just part of a story (like in LHFHG's Burgess books, or Beyond etc.'s Storytime).

I'm sure there will be other suggestions, too. Just know you're not alone and that even one year of consistency will not change your DD's nature. Consequences, positive reinforcement, etc. can help with training, but your daughter sounds like she will be a challenge to keep focused no matter what you do (if she's anything like my #4). Be patient and set it up so her inability (or choice) not to finish within the set time affects her, more than it affects you. Plan to have to redirect and have things take longer, but have the onus be on her as much as possible as to whether she spends 2 or 5 hours at the table/chair doing school each day. Easier said than done, I know, but losing our cool doesn't improve their attention span. (Ask me how I know. :wink: )

Blessings as you work out what works best for your daughter and you, and praying for patience and wisdom over the coming years,

DS 19 - GRAD: after WG, 2020
DD 17 - GRAD: after WH, 2021 (DID: Bigger-WH [-CTC]; Irlen S.)
DS 15 non-HOD @ US1 level (DONE: CTC-WH)
DS 13 Rev2Rev (DONE: LHFHG+Prep-RTR)
DS 11 RTR (DONE: Prep-CTC)
DS 9 +
DD 7 Storytime + 3Rs
3yo DS

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Re: Daydreamer child

Post by Jennymommy » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:05 am

I would also look into the possibility of casomorphs being an issue. My son is not allergic to dairy, however he reacts poorly (read: gets spacy/whiny/poor focus/unable to keep on even simple tasks) to casein. He is fine with butter and whipping cream, but not cheese, ice cream, yogurt or milk. We have found lots of good substitutions, though they are pricey :|

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