Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I've heard that kids' brains restructure themselves at various stages of development, and that they show regression of cognitive development just as they're having a physical growth spurt.  If this isn't true, I'm not sure I want to be corrected.  Right now it is the only thing keeping me, and CD, sane and patient with our eight-and-a-half year old.

"Huh?"  I repeat the direction.  Pook stares at me blankly.  I repeat the direction slower.  I repeat it in different words.  I repeat it louder.  SERIOUSLY LOUDER.  I consider beating one of us on the head.

He was so independent last year.  I started the year by sitting with him while he did homework.  Soon, it was clear that he neither wanted me there nor needed me there.  Of course, his brother was upstairs having either a nap or quiet time listening to a cd, but still I was optimistic that when the kindergarten started assigning homework, that I'd be able to focus on only one child without any problems. I know-- I should assume nothing about children.  This year Pook is distracted and unfocused.  He can spend upwards of two hours on homework, and when I look to see what comprised this work, all I see are some simple worksheets to be completed.

I am trying a new idea. (Yes, I come up with New Shiny Ideas to Make Life Easier on a regular basis.  Every once in a while one works.  There is a paper chain earned link by link for Doing Nice Things to Your Brother languishing behind me right now.)   Nevertheless, the new idea this time is aiming to help him notice time usage.  He comes home with homework written by subject area in his agenda planner (which I am thankful the school has been teaching them to use).  At the bottom of each square, he will decide how much time to devote to the assignment.  For each assignment, a timer will be set to ring to remind him of his plan.  If he's dawdled, at least he'll realize what he didn't accomplish.  Meanwhile, I've sent Bug upstairs to have quiet time with a cd again.  He's happy listening to them and having him out of the room will help Pook concentrate.

btw, the New Idea of letting Bug sleep in sweats as his school clothes for Monday worked!  We had an ordinary, calm school morning for the first time on a Monday!


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