Holding Kids Back

Kids are great teachers.  They teach me all the time that life is a process of figuring things out.  There is no arrival at the place of all knowledge.  For most of this school year I have implemented a schedule where I had my children’s lessons all planned out.  When they completed a lesson in a subject they were free to be done with that subject for the day.  Since switching back to counting hours in each subject instead of specific assignments for the day I have noticed a big change.  I had been holding my younger son back.  His assignments were appropriate, but when he was given a time frame to complete as much as he could he took off.

Here is how we used to do things:

Day 1 assignment:  Read pages 23-27 in reader
Day 2 assignment: Read pages 28-33 in reader
Day 3 assignment: Read pages 34-39 in reader

You get the picture.

Here is how we have been doing things:

Day 1 and 3:  Set the timer for 30 minutes and tell him he needs to read at least x number of pages.  If he reads more than he can earn bonus computer time (his favorite thing).

I have done the same type of thing with math and phonics with the same result.  My son will often complete a week’s worth of assignments in 30 minutes.  I didn’t know he had it in him.  The bonus computer time highly motivated him.  Today in 30 minutes time he read 70 pages in his reading book.  I didn’t know that it could be possible.  So yes, I have learned something new.  While acceleration isn’t the goal here, if he wants to go faster I’ll let him.  Counting hours gives us the flexibility to go fast or deep or slow down.   I didn’t realize that a regular old schedule tailored to the child could hold a child back.   This homeschooling journey is full of surprises and is far from dull.  I wonder what my child will teach me next.

One Comment:

  1. Thanks Amy! for another great blog! I find I have changed things from the beginning of this year as well when needed or it wasn’t working.

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