Good Morning, I have enjoyed reading the posts. Thanks for all the valuable information. My question (problem): My 11-year-old daughter wastes time with schoolwork, chores, virtually everything. Not just a little bit of time either. We sat down a couple of months back and calculated she wastes 3-4 hours per day daydreaming, or doing busy work, like erasing her math computations, and only showing her answers.
Anyway, I am at my wits end. Since we are always waiting on her we are not doing some of the fun things that I have planned to do with all of my children. I have tried giving her additional chores and taking away extra-curricular activities if she does not complete her work in a reasonable amount of time. I have even tried incentives such as when you complete this we can…. none of this seems to make a difference.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. This has been going on since about 6 months after we started homeschooling 3 years ago, and honestly, I am ready to send her back to the public school.
This is a commonly asked question. Since I don’t know all of your circumstances, I will try to read between the lines a bit. Here is the math:
One quick worker, go-getter, organized, efficient, secretary type mother (or father).
+ One contemplative, slow-to-move, slower-to-act, day-dreamer type child.
Especially if this is your oldest child or if this is your only child out of all your children who has these characteristics.
My three girls are like me, organized and quick. They know what I want even before I tell them. They will have an assignment or chore done in lightning speed and can even fill in the blanks when I’m talking and I can’t think of a particular word. But my second boy Hans was a different story. First I had to get his attention by calling his name. Then wait. Then I make my request or comment to him. Then wait. And as I wait, I can see his mind taking in the words and digesting the information. And then, because his starter motor is defective, I had to help him get started on the assignment or chore. But, on the other hand, he has an incredible amount of patience — enough to go over and over a piece of classical music he is learning on his guitar until he has it perfect. He is also the most easy-going of anyone in our family, seldom upset, and nearly always cheerful. He is just plain nice to be around.
Hans will never be somebody’s secretary, and I will never be any good at music. We are two different people with different characteristics, and I need to quit trying to force him into my idea of how a person should work and think. Different people develop their creativity in different ways and at different speeds and we don’t want to interfere with that process. We need to guide them, nurture them, be patient with them, and give them a reasonable amount of freedom. In addition, they need firmness and a reasonable amount of structure.
I will assume here, since I don’t know you, that you aren’t one of those perfectionist types who has expectations too high for anyone to reach. That is a separate issue which we have addressed elsewhere.