Thursday, December 2, 2010

Burning Energy to Gain Focus

I've been slowly reading through this book.  In doing so, I've discovered a common cure for the "crazies" when it comes to achieving better focus on tasks- exercise.  This may not come as a surprise for many, but my daughter isn't like a lot of girls who could sit at home all day and paint.  A sports activity each week may not be enough for her.  She's jumping off couches and stairs, cartwheeling in the middle of the family room, and expressively waving her arms in conversation at the dinner table.  

In other words, she has a LOT of energy to burn!

Since we try to do the most of our schooling in the mornings, I've been working on a plan to get her in a happy place before she hits the frustration point and quits.  Yoga and karate have been two methods I've heard that help kids with extra energy or attention deficits.  So I went to the library this week and picked up some children's dvds.

Both Bella & Brody got so into it!

We'll see if my experiment works in the weeks ahead...

The Learning Curve

As with most new ventures, there's a period of time that it takes for us to figure things out and adjust.  So it's been over these past four months with homeschooling.  Some days I feel so certain of what I'm accomplishing, and yet there are a lot of moments in between when I second-guess my decisions, the curriculum, our schedule, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

For now, I'm hanging in there.  I'm trying out new methods to keep us on task and to keep Bella's attention.

One of the more interesting, difficult, and rewarding aspect of homeschooling has been what I'm learning about my daughter.  I can see the conversations and struggles directing her to a more mature role in her education.

Bella works best when there are absolutely no distractions, but she's having to learn that that isn't always possible.  It's ideal.  However, there are doorbells, little brothers, and her own daydreaming. I've been pushing her to get as many lessons done in the morning to give her momentum.  By lunchtime, she's spacing out, so I call it a day. 

The hard thing for me, is that I also have to stick to this routine.  With doctor's appointments, phone calls, housework, and the like, it's so easy for me to get distracted and blow off a lesson.  But I'm also learning here.  It's imperative that I stick to it!  We're so much happier when we can see all we've completed that day!

In addition, I'm still figuring out what motivates Bella.  What incentives work for her?  This week, we decided to do 15 lessons, so she can get a pedicure with Mommy.  So far, it's working!  Ten lessons down, and we have two more days to complete them.  But I can't do this every week.  I'll have to think about some less pricey rewards for her putting her nose to the grindstone :-)  She is really into girl time lately, so it shouldn't be too hard.  Maybe a trip to get frozen yogurt or pick out a new book at Barnes & Noble?