Friday, September 29, 2006

Observations

This week flew by. The whole month flew by. It's been crazy.

We're getting better at working but... something's not right and I can't figure out how to fix it. Maybe the problem is I'm spending too much time trying to fix something without stepping back and observing what's going on. Cardinal rule of Montessori: observe!!

So, what did I observe today?

The 12yo is developing even worse habits in terms of sticking to a single activity. I was very clear with him today that his behaviour is not actually ADD--it's simply making a decision to leave something for something else that seems better. I know that gets labelled as ADD, but I worked with a boy once whose mind flitted to 10 different topics in a 30-second span: THAT is what I consder ADD. This is about priorities and habits more than his mind not being able to follow through on a task. It's a not-want-to attitude. Or a 'the grass is greener on the other side' attitude. Seeing what that person is doing is much more interesting than sitting down and eating the orange that he cut. It's not simply that activtity caught his interest and distracted him, it was that he didn't want to miss out. After taking a piece, going over and getting involved with what someone else is doing is much more interesting than sitting down and finishing his orange. This is daily with him, especially when it comes to work time. He'll sit down then if I'm not there to make sure he stays there, he goes off into the living room, usually doing a front roll or something. He'll finish a single question and takes off. Somehow or other, the ability to do a task from beginning to end, a vital Montessori lesson, needs to be given to him. (This has got me thinking--maybe I should give him some small Practical Life activities to do!)

As I type this, I realize that there are things going on behind the scenes that I don't know a lot about, but it's family stuff and it does stress him out. Seeking something more pleasurable, regardless of what he's doing, makes him feel better. Which reminds me that we did little tackling of emotional vocabulary work this week, which was on my mental plan of things to do. I had hoped to have worked through most of the unit on emotions in the book Building Moral Intelligence and I haven't even started.

So this brings me to another observation, but a self-observation: what am I doing or not doing? I'm not doing my lists and following through. Doesn't this indirectly affect the kids? Is it not a subtle modelling of what I don't want them doing? I'm spending too much time at the kitchen table when there are other spaces worthy of working in where the 12yo and dd are much more comfortable working in (like laying stretched out on the living room floor). I have so much laid out in Homeschool Tracker yet have barely opened it up this month. I think I need to take FlyLady's advice and get a morning routine written down, which starts with looking at HST and specific sections to see what sort of lessons I'd had planned out and want to do. Also, having my own list out and visible, a list I need to check off, may provide a good example to them. Again, I'm trying to fix things instead of just observing!!

Ok, more observations:

Dd really wants to spend more time working with me but she doesn't want to make all of the decisions. (I just offered to have us work on a project together for school work and she said that was a really good idea. I also think I'm going to have to work more time in the morning before school, in the evening and during the afternoons to do little amounts here and there with her.) Dd is also resistant to anything that's new. She loves writing poems on the computer. She would love to do daily typing if our JumpStart Typing wouldn't cause the computer to crash (it's actually related to the computer crashing for any reason and JumpStart Typing is the latest program the 'cancer' has decided to attack). She has been difficult this week and finally had a fever today. She may have had fevers the other days and I just hadn't thought to see if that was one of the causes of her low attitudes.

Ds is still so very much in play mode, especially when my niece is here. Just how he is at that point makes it impossible to really get him to do something. [Solution: do stuff with him before play time begins. Do stuff when my niece isn't here.] He's also been fussy this week. We've probably all been fighting off a bug and that's affected our work time and the flow to the day.

The 15yo is doing fairly well, as usual. I still am a bit fearful that she's not getting as much done as she should be, and yet, because we got a late start and she definitely has been fighting off something this week, I just kind of have to accept it.

So, with some observations made, I can now reflect on them and then see about a different plan of action for next week.

2 comments:

Lisia said...

Hi. I love reading your blog. While your typing programme isn't working, one of the free online typing programmes might provide a temporary solution. We use:

http://www.sense-lang.org/typing/

Daisy said...

Thanks, Lisia. I'll check into that.