Sunday, March 02, 2008

Almost a full week at home!

This coming week, we have nothing set in stone. There is park day tomorrow afternoon, if we choose to go, and we talked about going to a rec. centre Friday afternoon (work isn't usually done then anyhow), but other than that, we are home! Well, okay, except for library and small errands taking up an hour on Tuesday.

I kind of changed things Friday morning. It's been bugging me for a while about how to get dd and "Bob" back on track. I try to work with them, and they don't follow through. I couldn't figure out what my follow-through should be. So, I just started having them come to me for little lessons. "Okay, we're doing this now." It worked. :) Next step is to clearly lay out what has to be done (well, Bob has stuff that MUST be done because it's part remedial stuff) and then give them choices for lessons, but have continual lessons/activities all morning long.

For the oldest... She's still struggling to develop motivation. She left ALL of her books at my place this weekend. Despite being behind in math, bio and physics. I did up an example of weekly notes review, just for physics, with some tips on remembering some information, emailed it to her yesterday and asked her to copy it out. It was 2 pages, but lots of white space--would only take 10 minutes to copy. I just got an email from her, asking me if she "had to" do the work because she really doesn't want to do it (even though she knows she should). We've had this discussion many times--she doesn't "have to" do anything--but she'll have to live with the consequences of it. I hope I wasn't harsh in my response: I told her that she didn't "have to" do anything, but she had to choose if she wanted to do better than 50% on her exams (which is what she got on her most recent exams), better than 50-60% in the course, and if she wanted to stop freaking out at any mention of a quiz or test. (I also said that if she chooses to not do work on the weekends, she is choosing to only get 50-60% in the courses.) She freaks out because she doesn't really have the material learned well and she knows it. So much gets left to the last minute to "learn" because she resists doing the work so much. But instead of learning from that, she just sees herself as incapable of doing exams, because she figures that she's "learned" all the stuff and just can't remember it. I'm absolutely determined to have that change this semester. Which is why I sent her the work to do. :)

This week, I'm letting her know that I expect her to be caught up completely by spring break. Perhaps not math--that's a whole other issue--but there's no reason for her bio and physics to not be caught up, although, admittedly, she may need to work on it Thursday evenings and on the weekends. We've got 5 days (more or less) this week, 4 next week (one day off for snowboarding), 3 the week after (Good Friday, plus the 20th off for her bday), then 3 the week after that (Easter Monday plus a snowboarding day). I was going to give them the Friday off, but perhaps they should have to work for it. :D Not as a reward, but as "you get things done ahead of time and you are left with some free time". Hmm.... I kind of like that idea. It puts it in their hands. Of course, that wouldn't work quite as well with dd since she doesn't have as much structure as Bob and his sister, but perhaps something can be worked out, like certain learning goals to achieve by that point. Like large multiplication. :D

Although ds and I haven't gotten our routine down quite yet--he wakes up at different times, experiences different levels of grogginess in the morning--he's still doing not too badly. I'm still working at incorporating more into our daily life for his learning. Every time I get him to read, I can see the little bit of improvement. If we could be more consistent--and I could provide some fun phonics activities to do with him--he would take off.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

I've already changed my mind a little about that last day before spring break. With so few real work days this month and with the past 2 months having been so shaky, we will have a normal work morning, then our usual pre-spring break cleaning and then maybe an outing somewhere. It just feels so coercive and pressure-oriented to say, "Well, we need that day for work, but if you can get yourself really working hard, then you can have the day off." If I say it now and it doesn't get accomplished, there'll be a sense of guilt. My goal is not to guilt them into it nor to be coercive. However, if that Friday arrives and things are all caught up and the routine has been well established, I might propose that morning the day off.